Friday, December 15, 2017

Keepin it Christmas!

There are so many great things about this time of the year. Besides getting gifts there's the music (I'm looking at you WHAM!), movies, books and random items you find at the Dollar Tree. While unpacking our decorations to make our house a festive wonderland, I uncovered a few gems from my collection that make me happy it's Christmas.

I bought this set of Star Wars Christmas themed Galactic Heroes back in the mid 2000s when I worked at Target. I am a sucker for anything Darth Vader and to get the dark lord of the Sith in a Santa hat holding a candy cane saber, a festive Stormtrooper and lit up Bobba Fett, this was a deal that was too good to pass up. The price was right and these guys sat in their plastic tube untouched until my kids became interested in the Galaxy far, far away and I opened them. This trio of evil has been a staple in our home during the holidays ever since! (BTW: This is not a picture of my collection. We lost our Stormtrooper in my son's room somewhere and I found this group shot online.)

This 2007-2008 Glen Davis Rookie card just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. How can you not smile when you see that goofy grin on a 6-9, 250lb NBA power forward dressed in a Santa hat? Upper Deck Trading Card Company created these cards as a bonus to anyone who bought an oversized pack of cards that season. The cool thing was that you could see which bonus card you would get and you could decide on your player of choice. There was no doubt that I had to add this card to my collection.

This is one of my favorite issues of the original Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle run. First of all it features Michaelangelo as the lead, it introduces his cat..Klunk and it's set during Christmas in NY! The gist of the story is that Mikey goes gift shopping, he spots some baddies robbing a toy store and he fights to get the toys back so they can be delivered to some underprivileged orphans. The artwork is vintage Eastman/Laird Turtles and the story is solid. I always had a soft spot for this issue and then a few years ago my sister bought my family this DVD for Christmas...
and it contains a pretty faithful cartoon version of the Michaelangelo Christmas special right down to the "Little Orphan Alien" toys. We watch this every year now as part of our Christmas special viewing rotation! You can view it for your holiday pleasure by clicking the YouTube video below!
Christmas is coming fast and I still have quite a few things to do before it gets here. So, I wanna join Mikey in saying, Thanks for reading and...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 12/13/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
X-MEN BLUE #17
CROSS-TIME CAPERS Part 2: Lost in time, JEAN GREY and her team of X-MEN must survive long enough to fix what is wrong with the timestream...which isn't easy with the teens stranded in the not-too-far future. If only there were a similar group of mutant heroes to help them out.
Oh, wait! There totally is! GUEST-STARRING X-MEN 2099!
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, December 8, 2017

A look at some MORE ornaments!


Christmas is almost here! It is one of my favorite times of the year! I actually got all my shopping done recently for my kids and my family back home. I am so glad I have no last minute shopping to do...I think? One of the best parts of the season is going out with the kids and picking out a tree for our home. Then my wife puts up the lights! She is so specific about how the lights have to look, that I don't even ask if I can help anymore. After the lights are up then it's time for the best part... the ornaments! Each year we purchase a new ornament to put on the family tree. Here are some of my faves that we have amassed over the years.
 Bart Simpson with Funzo (Kurt Adler, 2005)
 Star Wars: Darth Vader (Hallmark, 2015)
 Thundercats: Lion-o (Hallmark, 2012)
 Glass Robot w/ Helmet (Wondershop at Target, 2016)
Snoopy Candy Topper (Galerie, 2011)
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite Christmas Tree Ornaments. Now, get your tree ready for Santa, enjoy the holidays and open some presents! Merry Christmas! BTW, here are some great Christmas commercials from the 80s for your viewing pleasure!
Check out some highlights from last year's tree by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 12/6/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
ROCKOS MODERN LIFE #1
Ryan Ferrier (Regular Show) and Ian McGinty (Adventure Time) continue BOOM! Studios' partnership with Nickelodeon with all-new stories about everyone's favorite wallaby!
When Rocko faces unemployment, a terrible living situation, and increasingly slim job prospects, he is forced to find out just how far he is willing to go to get a job. Features a backup story by KC Green where Ed Bighead finds himself in the dentist chair of Dr. Hutchison!
(W) Ryan Ferrier (A) Ian McGinty (CA) Jorge Monlongo
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Christmas Toy

In 1986 Jim Henson introduced us to Rugby the tiger and his friends in the family holiday special "The Christmas Toy"! I remember when this first aired on TV we recorded it onto VHS and watched it every year. It became one of our favorite Christmas movies. I still remember that it was presented by KRAFT foods and they ran a recipe or holiday related commercial for KRAFT products during every break!
The story revolves around our main character Rugby, who was last year's beloved Christmas toy wanting to be this year's Christmas toy. He is willing to do anything to get under the tree this year, even facing off with the people who live there. You see, if a toy is found out of place they become "frozen" forever, but this matters not to our confident hero, Rugby!
His best friends Mew, the cat toy and Apple, the doll try to do their best to stop him, but the Tiger proves to wily for them to keep in the play room. Rugby eventually makes it to the living room, but finds out that someone else is under the tree! He learns a valuable lesson from his adventure and Christmas cheer is spread throughout the house. I don't want to spoil the ending for you if you haven't seen this special yet, but it's pretty AWESOME!
"The Christmas Toy" still remains one of my favorite holiday specials and I was finally able to pick up a DVD copy of it a few years ago, so I could introduce it to my kids. Guess what? They love it too!
My only beef with the latest release of "The Christmas Toy" is that they completely removed all evidence that Kermit the frog was in this film! I understand that HIT had to do this because Disney owns the Muppets now, but it just didn't seem right to keep the green legend out of this special. I mean, he did the introduction that sets up the whole story! If you would like to see Kermit's intro, you can view it in the video below.
What is your favorite Christmas special/movie? Let us know in the comments below and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from 20 Years Before 2000!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 11/29/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES/GHOSTBUSTERS II #5
The climactic conclusion as the teams reunite to face their adversaries... and a long lost ally!
(W) Erik Burnham, Tom Waltz (A) Dan Schoening (A/CA) Charles Paul Wilson
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Memories

Growing up in the 80s & 90s, I always loved Thanksgiving. Yeah it was sandwiched between 2 of the biggest holidays for kids, but Thanksgiving never had any of the pressures of Halloween or Christmas. You didn't have to worry about what costume to wear, if your candy was poisoned or if you forgot to buy your brother a gift. It was that special time of year where you could just eat all day and be lazy!
Every Thanksgiving morning my Mom would turn on the Macy's parade. It was always on in the background at our house. Me and my brothers and sisters never really sat and watched the thing, it was just on for the sake of having the TV on until Thanksgiving 1986 when He-Man, Skeletor and the rest of the Masters of The Universe mad their glorious debut in the parade!
This was something me and my brother had been anticipating since we saw a sneak peak of the float in our Masters of the Universe Magazine! We were not disappointed by their appearance in the parade and we wouldn't reach this level of anticipation until...
Bart Simpson made his debut in 1990! Since then I really haven't sat down to watch the Macy's parade, but I will make damn sure it is on my TV Thanksgiving morning!
The weather was typically nice each Thanksgiving in New Jersey and after we were dressed in our best sweaters and corduroys, we had to make sure to seem like we were busy otherwise Mom would put us to work by either helping her with the cooking or cleaning the house for guests. That's about the time we would go outside and toss around the old...NERF Turbo Football!
Yes, we had the Turbo Screamer Football. Yes, it would almost rip your finger off if you got hit by the hard plastic "Screamer" part and Yes, we did treat this thing like gold! After some outside time, the guests would start arriving and it would be about that time for some turkey!
A lot of people say Turkey is their favorite or maybe the stuffing or cranberry sauce, but for me it was always my Dad's home made baked Mac & Cheese! We only had this dish once a year and it was amazing. My wife still makes it for me each Thanksgiving and it's great. I just wish I was back home in NJ to enjoy it with my family!
After dinner we would settle down and watch some NFL football. There really have been some great games on Turkey-day over the years, but the one that sticks out the most to me is the 1993 Cowboys vs Dolphins game. A day that Leon Lett will never forget. Those are some of my Thanksgiving memories, what are some of yours? From all of us at 20 Years Before 2000...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 11/22/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
BETTY AND VERONICA VIXENS #1
NEW ONGOING SERIES! The toughest gang in Riverdale is one you'd least expect: the Vixens, led by Riverdale High's own Betty and Veronica!
(W) Jamie L Rotante (A) Eva Cabrera (CA) Fiona Staples
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, November 17, 2017

Top ten game wants for N64 Mini


The SNES Mini has come and gone. I was one of the lucky few that was able to find one at a retail store and I LOVE IT! In fact, just the other day me and the kids were playing Super Mario World, F-Zero and Street Fighter II: Turbo Edition. I just wish there was a way to add more Super Nintendo games to it? Well, now all the talk and speculation has come to Nintendo releasing a Nintendo 64 Mini! If this happens, I want one! Here's my top ten list of games that I would like to see on an N64 console based on how much I enjoyed them as a kid.

 Conker's Bad Fur Day
(2001, Rare)

Banjo-Kazooie
(1998, Rare)

 Mario Kart 64
(1996, Nintendo)

 Paper Mario
(2000, Nintendo)

 Pokémon Snap
(1999, HAL Laboratory/Nintendo)

 Spider-Man
(2000, Activision)

 Star Wars: Episode I Racer
(1999, LucasArts)

 Super Mario 64
(1996, Nintendo)

 Super SMASH Bros.
(1999, HAL Laboratory/Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
(2000, Nintendo)
Honorable Mentions go to: Killer Instinct Gold, GoldenEye 007, Mario Party, NBA In The Zone '98, Pokémon Stadium and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. I hope you enjoyed the above Nintendo 64 commercials. What games would make it onto your N64 Mini wish list? 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 11/15/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
BATMAN #35
"Dream of Me" part three! Has the Caped Crusader passed the point of no return? Turns out he's going to need a little help from his friends, but this help comes with a downside: Batman's true intentions will be exposed.
(W) Tom King (A) Jo?lle Jones (CA) Tony S. Daniel
SRP: $2.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Collector's Wish List #1

I collect a lot of things from the 80s & 90s. Mostly stuff that reminds me of my childhood like toys, comics and cards. Some of these items can be pretty scarce or out of my price range. I have compiled a list of these items in the hopes that I will find them and be able to cross them off that list some day. Here are 5 items that I have on my wish list that I hope to add to my collection.

The Real Ghostbusters Play-Doh Set
Average Price: $30
I have been wanting this set for a long time now. I had this when I was a kid and me and my brother spent hours making ghosts from the containment unit mold. I will never forget how blown away we both were when we found out that this set came with GLOW IN THE DARK PLAY-DOH! As a kid anything that glowed in the dark was a special find! I want to get this set again and see what kind of awesome fun my kids can have with it. Of course I will be right there next to them using the sweet Ecto-1 mold!

Gremlins Water Hatchers
Average Price: $50
I was a huge fan of the movie "Gremlins" when it came out in 1984. My Dad took my family to see it in the theaters and I was hooked! It was really too bad that we never got a proper action figure set for this exceptional holiday movie. It wouldn't be until a few years ago when we got the Re-action set in stores that I felt this classic flick got it's due in the toy aisles. Sure we had those PVC figurines, stuffed Gizmos and this Water Hatcher toy! My neighbor had one and I was amazed at how huge these guys got after you left them in the water for a few hours and the cocoon that you stored the hatchers in was pretty cool looking too!

Masters of the Universe Toothpaste Toppers
Average Price: $30 each
I have vivid memories of seeing these "Toothpaste Toppers" in the bath & beauty department at our local grocery store as a kid. I always wanted them, but my parents didn't see the necessity that was squeezing toothpaste out of the head of the most powerful man in the universe. Obviously I can! These toppers would increase the desirability of teeth brushing so much, plus I mean look at those graphics on the packaging! Who could resist owning a piece of artwork where Skeletor is about to pummel He-Man with a gigantic toothbrush? 

Milton Bradley T.H.I.N.G.S. Eggzilla
Average Price: $30
I vaguely remember owning one of the games from the Milton Bradley T.H.I.N.G.S. line. I can't remember which one it was, but in my opinion this "EGGZILLA" game is the cream of the crop. If I never get this game, I wouldn't be too sad. But if one ever crossed my path, you better believe I would snatch that bad boy up!

Super Mario "I Saved The Princess" Poster
Average Price: $88
This exact poster hung on the wall of my brother's and my room for at least a decade! From the late 80s to mid 90s, this classic representation of our heroic plumber greeted us when we walked into our room. After a while this Mario poster migrated from our room to our "Nintendo Room". My Mom allowed me and my brother to turn her sewing room into our very own game room, complete with NES, TV and fold out couch! We decorated the room with Nintendo Power posters, but Mario was always the centerpiece. I remember we got this poster for Christmas one year and when I look at it I can still smell the pine needles and feel a brisk winter chill in the air. This is definitely one of the top 5 items I would like to have again in my possession. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 11/8/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES/GHOSTBUSTERS II #2
As the teams split up to evade their spectral pursuers, Michelangelo and Peter Venkman enter a dimension populated by anthropomorphic animals... including Turtle Ghostbusters!
(W) Erik Burnham, Tom Waltz (A) Pablo Tunica (A/CA) Dan Schoening
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, November 3, 2017

Wax Pack Revolution: All Topps Edition

A recent obsession of mine has been collecting old wax packs of trading cards from the 80s & 90s. Sure, I have a ton of these non-sport cards from when I was a kid, but the artwork and design of the packaging is something I missed. When you would buy one of these packs you would tear it open and throw away the wrapper. Never giving it a second thought. Seeing these again brings back memories of feeling the slick paper in your hands, seeing the simple artwork and the smell of bubble gum. Let's dive into a few of these packs that I have on display...YET AGAIN!
Nintendo Game Pack (Topps, 1989)
I absolutely loved these cards as a kid! Any time we went shopping with my Mom for either clothes or groceries, we would get a pack of Nintendo scratch off cards. For 25 cents you got 3 scratch off cards to entertain you and 2 stickers to decorate your books, trapper keepers or even your Nintendo! But, the biggest draw was the secret tips on the sticker backs. How else would we have known to hit Bald Bull on his 3rd jump for a KO?

Superman: The Movie (Topps, 1978)
To many people Christopher Reeve will always be THE Superman. These cards came out before I was even born, so needless o say, I did not collect these as a kid. As a collector though I can really appreciate the simple design of the cards.

Tiny Toon Adventures (Topps, 1991)
Tiny Toon Adventures was a staple in my house. After we would get home from school we would turn on the local Fox5 station out of New York and watch it along with some other great 90s toons. Surprisingly I never did own any of these cards growing up, but had to add a pack to my growing collection.


Supergirl (Topps, 1984)
I have not seen the Supergirl movie in at least 25 years. The only memory I have of this movie was that it was on TV during a sleep over at my house with friends. One friend got homesick and had to go home. Totally a bummer!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 2nd Series (Topps, 1990)
If you have read this blog before, you know I love me some Ninja Turtles. Me and my brother collected these cards so we would have cardboard versions of the cartoons we loved so much! Of course it didn't hurt that Usagi Yojimbo was featured on some of the cards. We loved that guy!