Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 11/30/16


This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
MASK: MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND #1
Launching from the events of REVOLUTION! The M.A.S.K. team streaks into a dangerous, unstable landscape of dark wars, high intrigue and non-stop action where they'll encounter the nearly unstoppable threat of Miles Mayhem and his black ops squadron known as V.E.N.O.M.  How will an untested Matt Trakker lead M.A.S.K. through a complex new world order where nothing is what it seems? Join writer Brandon Easton (Marvel's Agent Carter), artist Tony Vargas (Rot and Ruin) and cover artist Tommy Lee Edwards for an exciting 21st century spin on the classic series where "illusion is the ultimate weapon!"
•   Part of the new Hasbro shared universe torn from the pages of Revolution!
•   Featuring variant covers by Sonny Liew (Dr. Fate) and Paul Pope!
•   Special back-up material in every issue written by Tommy Lee Edwards!
(W) Brandon Easton (A) Tony Vargas (CA) Tommy Lee Edwards
SRP: $3.99

Monday, November 28, 2016

Home Alone: 1991 VHS Release


In 1990 the United States was held captive by a young boy named Kevin who was left Home Alone by his negligent parents. When I say this movie was huge, I mean it was huge! I remember Home Alone playing in theaters well after the 1990 holiday season on it's way to grossing over $280,000,000 in the US. I saw the movie in theaters and it really felt like I was part of a cultural event. You weren't cool on the playground unless you could recite at least one line from the movie. My go to was the following quote by big brother Buzz:
"I wouldn't let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass!"
Naturally when the VHS was released in 1991, I had to have it! Me, my brother and all our neighborhood friends watched the hell out of that video until we could recite the whole movie line by line! Yes it was annoying, but man we loved that movie!
I still have my original copy of Home Alone on VHS from '91 and drag it out every year after Thanksgiving to watch with my kids. I still catch myself blurting out lines during our watch parties, much to the annoyance of my kids.
There is just something about the old artwork of the VHS tape. From the side panels to the cover art, it just makes me happy. Yes you can find better quality on Blu-Ray, but it does not match the nostalgia of rewinding a tape and fixing the tracking on your VCR so you can watch a grainy picture on your television set. Yes, I can also watch this on demand, but does that come with AN AMZING HOME ALONE BATTLE PLAN POSTER?!!!!!
I was one of the lucky kids who got this free poster when my parents bought the VHS tape. Mine is long gone, but I still remember it hanging on our bedroom wall for years. We would look over the plan and use our imaginations to see what we could do to protect our house in case the Wet Bandits made a stop on our street. This thing was AWESOME!
Of course it wasn't an exact replica of Kevin's Battle Plan, but hey it was still a cool thing to have this on our wall for all our pals to see when they came over to play Ninja Turtles or some NES. It gave us bragging right for a short time and what a time it was...unless you were Harry or Marv, THEN IT SUCKED!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


After you are done scarfing down some turkey, avoiding your relatives and watching NFL Football... I suggest you take a load off for a few minutes and watch some clips from a few of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving specials! Videos are below! ENJOY!

Garfield's Thanksgiving
Peanuts Thanksgiving
Daffy Duck and Tom Turkey
Simpsons Thanksgiving
Free Birds
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from 20 Years Before 2000!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 11/23/16


This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
VENOM #1
Venom is back and badder than ever!
The symbiote you know and love has returned to New York City. No more "Agent of the Cosmos." No more "Lethal Protector." It's time for a new Venom, and it's great to be bad.
              (W) Mike Costa (A) Gerardo Sandoval (CA) Todd McFarlane                   
SRP: $3.99

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pop Culture Challenge: Gee, Thanks!

 


Since we are just a few days away from Thanksgiving, this week’s challenge for the Pop Culture League is titled "Gee, Thanks!: It’s the season to be thankful" and has us looking inward and reflecting on what we have to be thankful for.
In honor of this challenge and blessing of a holiday...I have written a crappy poem about toys, family and the spirit of the holiday. Enjoy!


Golden Girls, Smurfs and bad guys named Megatron;
the family of mutated Turtles like Don.
I'm thankful for cartoons, the 80s, and Kids from the Pail
who made childhood experiences creepy like a Crypt with a Tale.
I'm thankful for Rattlor, Nintendo and Ironhide 
for Busters of Ghosts who read Tobin's Spirit Guide
It's almost the end but we can not ever forget
Saturday mornings in front of our parent's TV set
For all of the memories, the fun and the friends
for the stuffed Ewok critter we cuddled to no end
Finally for family, for health and my kids
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope you win your eBay Hatchimal bids!

Happy Thanksgiving!
See what other Leaguers are thankful for by visiting these pages:

Friday, November 18, 2016

1988 TMNT Fan Club!

I have exhibited dauntless courage in the face of adversity, a tireless commitment to social justice and sent in a check or money order for five dollars. Yes, I am a proud card carrying charter member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Force!
While cleaning up/sorting my comic collection over the last few weeks, I was able to find my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan Club packet! Not only did you get those sweet membership cards, but you also got a large "Mutant Power" sticker and a note from P.J. Van Egeren! I don't know who he was, but on the note it says "President". I assume of the Fan Club?
According to the letter, my fan club kit was supposed to provide "hours of fun and moral guidance"! I'm not 100% sure it did that, but it did come with this sweet "Chaos Chronicle" newsletter. The newsletter included some great articles including an introductory letter, a section where the turtles themselves answered our letters and a nice shot of the new Turtle products that had recently come out including everything from calendars to Banquet Meat Pies!
But that's not all! The Chaos Chronicles also had a "Pizza Point" catalogue, fun and games and a Sneak Preview behind the set of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie!
The coolest thing, in my opinion, that was included in the Fan Club Kit has to be the exclusive "Street Collector's Edition #1" mini-comic! I love that the art style is in the gritty Mirage fashion and not the cartoony way. The Turtles on the cover even have all their bandanas in red! This is one of the rare TMNT comics that I am glad I have in my collection.
To top it all off you also received this AWESOME Ninja Turtles print bandana! Mine is still in pristine condition and has never been worn. I am waiting for my opportunity to don this fashion icon. Waiting for a time when I must do battle with the forces of evil wherever I may find them!
Everything was only $5 back in 1988. That was an amazing value back then! I wish more properties would have fan club's like this today. The new TMNT Fan Club has been reduced to e-mails every now and then from Nickelodeon. Kids today (puts on old man hat and hikes up pants) will never know the joy of receiving their official kits in the mail and that makes me sad.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pop Culture Challenge: Future Collectibles

 
 
We all know what's hot on the collector's market right now. Transformers, Funko Pops, Star Wars, the list goes on and on. But this week the Pop Culture League was tasked with looking into our collective Crystal Ball to find out "What will be the hot collectible in 2046?" Here's what I think will happen!
Toy companies will see a steady decline from the years 2020-2045. This will cause a panic for everyone from Playskool to NECA. What can they do to revive this dying business? Who can save them from becoming a trend of the past? Who can force kids to put down their future VR implant tablets and pick up a piece of plastic bliss again? Enter Collectable Man!!!
After coming together as one to perform years of research & development, the united toy companies of the world finally created the ultimate action figure! They accomplished this by taking the best attributes from past trends of the golden ages, also known as the 80s & 90s! They put them together into one AWESOME PACKAGE!!! The power of He-Man, the ninja action of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the amazing weapons of Star Wars and the addictiveness of a Tomagotchi! It's all here in one perfect toy! BEHOLD...Collectable Man!!!
In addition to all these mind blowing features, the united toy companies took an extreme page out of Vanilla Ice's playbook to enhance the playability of this toy. Just turn off the lights and he'll glow!
As if that weren't enough, no action figure would be complete without including the ultimate toy for kids and nightmare for parents, a bucket of Slime! Cover Collectable Man in the slime and his chassis color changes from red to one of 10 secret colors. How do you know what color you will get? It's a mystery until you open the package and slime our hero!
Does the insanity stop there? Nope! You have a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that your Collectable Man action figure will be the Solid Gold Variant worth millions of dollars! I for one would totally buy this toy! Would you?
Can you guess what other popular toy lines are included in this action figure for the ages? Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to check these other League posts:
 
D.I. Treasures says Z-bots are the collectible of the future!
Green Plastic Squirt Gun rewinds the VHS tape format
Toy Break drones on about drones
The Toy Box envisions a grim & gritty future
Alexis' Universe gives us 3 fine collectables to start hoarding now!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 11/16/16


This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
HE-MAN/THUNDERCATS #2
He-Man has lost control of his Power Sword...just as he's forced to battle dozens of mutants and minions of evil from two worlds-Evil-Lyn, Slithe, Beastman, Jackalman and more! With only his bare hands for weapons, and with the Power of Grayskull never more vulnerable, will any man help He-Man stand against the forces of evil? Fortunately for Eternia, a new breed of heroes has arrived!
(W) Rob David, Lloyd Goldfine (A/CA) Freddie Williams II       
SRP: $3.99

Friday, November 11, 2016

Second Hand Score: Indiana Trilogy


For a while now I have been wanting to watch the classic Indiana Jones trilogy of movies. I do not own them and just never pulled the trigger to purchase the set on DVD/Blu-Ray and Netflix does not have these movies on demand. So, I would just watch something else like Lethal Weapon or Beverly Hills Cop to get my 80s action fix. Then I found these 3 VHS beauties for $0.25 each! I dusted off the tape player and enjoyed these great movies.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): This was not the first Indy movie I saw and it would be years after it's release before I watched it. This is how adventure movies should be done. Lucas and Speilberg at the top of their game.
The highlights are obviously the opening where Indy avoids the giant boulder and the end where the Nazi gets melted by the ark. Checking IMDB, I just found out that Dr. Octopus himself, Mr. Alfred Molina was in this movie!
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984): This movie was my introduction to Dr. Jones, and what an intro it was.
From the opening where a guy gets a flaming skewer thrown into his chest, to Data from the Goonies, to still beating hearts being ripped out to bad guys being torn apart by alligators there is just so many memorable moments to this movie! I didn't even mention the cart race of good vs. evil in the mines! Amazing movie!
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989): As the alleged last movie in the Indiana Jones series, this movie did it right.
They introduced Indy's dad, played by the great Sean Connery which was a great addition and the adventure was just as exciting and dangerous as the previous installments. Even Hitler has a cameo! A nice way to send off the franchise. Let's not talk about that other movie. The less said, the better.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 11/9/16


This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
BATMAN/TMNT ADVENTURES #1
When villains start to mysteriously escape Arkham, Batman seeks to track them down. What happens when he discovers that they have left Gotham completely... and entered the TMNT's New York City?
•   The animated worlds of the current TMNT Nickelodeon cartoon and Batman: The Animated Series collide in this outstanding mini-series!
•   The greatest all-ages crossover of all-time!
•   Featuring villains and allies from both universes!
•   The influential Batman: The Animated Series returns to comics!
(W) Matthew K. Manning (A/CA) Jon Sommariva       
SRP: $3.99

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Pop Culture Challenge: Red State/Blue State


Happy Election day! This week the Pop Culture League was tasked with snapping a red or blue themed photo. Here is what I came up with to celebrate this great day in America!
Red vs. Blue Battle Royale! Which side wins?
Blue Side: Captain America, Skeletor, Smooth Smurf, Army Ant Heave-Ho, Leonardo and Blue Trunk Bumble Boxer.
In this brawl for the ages the Blue team has the advantages of evil cheap shots with Skeletor on the team and skill, leadership and discipline with Ninjitsu Master Leo and hard hitting Bumble Boxer. The wild cards on this side are Smooth Smurf and Heave-Ho. They have the heart, but the size is an issue!
Red Side: Spider-Man, Cheetara, Super Mario, Raphael and Gizmo in Santa Hat.
The Red team has the brilliant speed of Cheetara, the flame throwing, Goomba stomping powers of Super Mario and the reckless savagery of Raphael. Once again the wild card here is Gizmo because of the size issue. But spray some water on this guy or feed him after midnight and you have a formidable opponent.
Mr. Men Fight For Freedom! Mr. Strong vs. Mr. Bump!
You may think Mr. Strong has the advantage here, but Mr. Bump can take quite a beating. I could see this fight lasting a long time with Mr. Bump pulling off a "Rope-A-Dope" on Mr. Strong. Wearing him down until he exhausts himself. Mr. Bump arrives victorious!
Let's see how the other League Bloggers handled this week's challenge:
 
Mr. Smith Transforms my idea of Red & Blue
Green Plastic Squirt Gun has some sweet pics of his collection
The Toy Box takes us to Smurf Village
Toy Break...I need to get me a Fridge GI Joe!
Alexis' Universe is feeling a little blue

Monday, November 7, 2016

Whatchamacallit?

In the late 80s/early 90s Whatchamacallit candy bars were on the upper echelon of chocolate offerings. To me they were good, but not great. I believe they had a boost in popularity at this time due to the AWESOME marketing campaign that blasted us kids every Saturday morning as we sat in front of the TV with our Cheerios to watch cartoons.
This ad was amazing! The visuals were eye candy, no pun intended and the music gets stuck in my head to this day. Hershey's had TV covered, but they also hit us in the comic books.
Whatchamacallit was everywhere...and then it wasn't. I hadn't seen a Whatchamacallit in years until I spotted a box of these babies at a little mom & pop candy store while recently on a weekend getaway with the family. Had to snap one up and relive the peanut/chocolate nostalgia.
How was it? It was not exactly like I remembered, but it was still very good. Later on I read that Hershey's changed the formula around 2008. According to the official Whatchamacallit Wikipedia page, "In 2008, the Hershey Company began to change the ingredients for some of its products, replacing the relatively expensive cocoa butter with cheaper oil substitutes. Such cost cutting was done to avoid price increases for the affected products." It still tasted okay to me!
Would I seek these out again? Probably not, but it's nice to know that Whatchamacallit is still around for another generation to enjoy!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Celebrating 80s Day 2016!


Last month my wife had to take a 4 day trip out of town for work. It was me and the kids for the better part of a week. To help them keep up some good behavior and listen to their father I put together a chart. The kids would get an "X" for a bad behavior and a check mark for a good behavior. At the end of the week if they had more checks than X marks, we would have an 80's Day!!! I am so glad they were able to do it!
We started the day off with a healthy and nutritious breakfast of Boo Berry Cereal and Ecto Cooler as we watched some 80s cartoons.
The cartoon playlist included Heathcliff, Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors, Kissyfur, Pink Panther & Sons, Rubik the Amazing Cube and their favorite Popples.
Of course all of the classic 80s toy commercials were included in the breaks between shows!
After cartoons, I gave the girls side ponies and we dressed in our finest 80s T-shirts that included characters from Star Wars, Thundercats, Mr. Men/Little Miss and Ghostbusters. While at the mall we stopped at Build-A-Bear and played in the kids play area. As if it was a sign, the mall was playing 80s tunes over the PA system including "Whip It" by Devo!
All that mall walking built up an appetite, so we all decided to have lunch at McDonalds! The kids all got McNugget Happy Meals which had DC Superhero toys as the prize. My boy got a Batman that throws Batarangs and the girls got Katana and Batgirl. I chose the Big Mac meal with a Hi-C Orange Lava Burst drink!
It was time to work off all those calories, so we hit up some 18 holes of Mini-golf. No one fell into the water traps and everyone had fun, I call that a win! The mini-golf course had an arcade attached to the venue and we played games for about 2 hours and earned enough tickets to win a Pez Dispenser with candy, a couple wacky wall crawlers and some bootleg Koosh Balls! Nice!
My wife's plane was coming in soon after we left the arcade, but we still had some time to kill. I found a park on the way to the airport and we stopped to play for a little while.
We picked up my wife and it was getting late, so we headed off to Pizza Hut for dinner. We ordered a Meat Lover's Stuffed Crust pizza for me and my wife and a large Pepperoni Pizza for the kids.
Once we got home it was time to unwind with the iconic classic 80s movie Labyrinth. This is one of my kids favorite movies and I'm okay with that. We rolled out the sleeping bags, got our footie jammies on and enjoyed some David Bowie as the Goblin King!
Once the kids were asleep me and the misses popped in one of those 20 horror movies on one disc collections and watched the 80s horror gem "Chopping Mall". The story was about a mall that needed security so badly that it purchased 3 robots to patrol the area after night. Of course the robots go crazy and kill everyone...including the guy who played Mr. Futterman in the Gremlins movies!
That's it for this year. Can't wait to see what we do in 2017 to represent those great days that were my childhood living in the 80s!