Friday, June 23, 2017

My Faves: Figure Collection #4


 I have a fairly big collection of loose figures from the 80s & 90s. I would like to share a few of my faves with you at this time. You ready? Here we go!
 
 Bartman: The Simpsons (Mattel, 1990)
I purchased this figure just recently off ebay for a few bucks in an action figure lot sale. These 1990 Mattel Simpsons figures have been on my wish list for a long time. I remember seeing these on the shelf at toys stores back when I was a kid, but unfortunately for me I chose Beetlejuice toys over them. I am a huge Simpsons fan, so I am always looking for early products from the 90s and these are on the top of my list. Only 8 figures and the "Sofa & Boob Tube" play set were released from Mattel.
 
Prince Adam: Masters of the Universe (Mattel, 1984)
I was 4 years old when I first laid eyes on this Prince Adam action figure. I remember to this day because I met a friend at the park while my older sisters were playing a soccer game. He brought his Masters of the Universe figures and when he opened his case...out came Prince Adam. I had never seen him before and had to have him. Well, pretty soon my taste in toys changed over to the Thundercats and Ghostbusters and Prince Adam was forgotten. Then there he was, in a thrift store grab bag with some McDoanlds toys and plastic dinosaurs for the low price of $5! I grabbed him up and he stands in a special spot on my shelf of collectables in the basement and will stay there forever!

Snoopy aka Joe Cool: Peanuts (Schleich, 2015)
There is not too much to say about Joe Cool here. He was in the clearance bin at Barnes & Noble after the 2015 holiday season, he looked cool and I picked him up. I am always a sucker for cheap Peanuts merch!
 
Wilykit: Thundercats (LJN, 1986)
Thundercats ruled my world from 1985-1988. Me and my brother accrued quite a collection of the action figures and even had the Cats Lair and Mumm-Ra's Tomb play sets! I even dressed as Lion-O for Halloween in Kindergarten. We never had this Wilykit action figure though. We had the PVC figure of her that was included with the Cheetara figures in 1985. I stumbled upon this 1986 Wilykit figure by pure luck. I found an old green McDonalds pencil box at Goodwill. It was taped shut, but I could kind of see what looked like action figures inside. I bought the pencil box for a few bucks and opened it when I got home. To my surprise there was Wilykit along with Cheetara, a Mario figure and some Berenstain Bears & Muppet Babies Happy Meal toys. I call that a score!
 
Lola Bunny: McDonalds Happy Meal Toy (McDonalds, 1996)
The smash hit movie "Space Jam" starring Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters was all over the place in 1996! There were candies, posters, clothing items, video games and best of all a McDonalds Happy Meal dedicated to the film! Not only was this the film debut of his Airness, Michael Jordan, but an all new character was introduced by the name of Lola Bunny. I find these spinning figures at thrift stores all the time for around a quarter a piece. I loved this movie and anytime I see anything Space Jam related out in the wild, I grab it. Still looking to complete this Happy Meal set 20 years after it's release.
If you missed the first few parts of the 20 Years Before 2000 "My Faves: Figure Collection" series you can view them at the links below!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 6/21/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
WONDER WOMAN TASMANIAN DEVIL SPECIAL #1
Not since the twelve labors of Hercules has a Greek warrior faced as great a danger and as destructive a peril as the Tasmanian Devil! And the bonus Looney Tunes backup story features DC characters with story by Tony Bedard and art by Ben Caldwell!
(W) Antony Bedard (A) Barry Kitson, Ben Caldwell (CA) Byron Vaughns
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fathers Day 2017 Recap!

I know I'm a little late, but I hope all the dads out there had an amazing Fathers Day this past weekend! I know my kids did a great job of planning out my day and made me some fantastic art for my office!
 
My day started off by watching cartoons with the kids. Each kid and myself got to pick one show to watch. The kids selected LEGO Marvel Superheroes: Maximum Overload, Pokémon XY and Barbie: Life In The Dream House.
My pick was Troll Hunters! This DreamWorks cartoon is a Netflix original adapted from the books written by Guillermo del Toro. I love this cartoon! It features a great cast that includes Anton Yelchin, Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman and Tom Hiddleston. Each Saturday me and the kids watch a new episode of the show. We are almost finished with the first 26 episodes of season one and are looking forward to season 2! I highly recommend watching it!
 
After cartoons we got ready and the kids took me out to the bagel shop for some breakfast and they surprised me with a CGC graded copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1!
 
With our bellies full of carbs and cream cheese we headed off to play 18 holes of mini-golf and some sweet arcade games! The wife and myself kind of kept score and we decided it was a tie, due to some circumstances involving kid interference. One of which blocked me from a hole in one! We hit the arcade and played some Skiball, air hockey fishing games and Fast & Furious racing! The kids won a whoopee cushion, some pull back cars, a mini basketball hoop, hackey sack and a ton of Tootsie Rolls!

We got home and played some crazy games of catch, badminton and Nerf Guns outside while I barbecued up some teriyaki & jerk chicken and beef kabobs. These were marinated for over 24 hours and tasted great! Stubbs Beef Marinade is AMAZING!

My wife also surprised me with a 6-pack of Zima to go along with our dinner. It tasted just like I remembered from the 90s. It had a citrusy, muted lemonade flavor. I've heard people compare it to a lighter version of Mike's Hard Lemonade and they are correct. This brought back so many memories!
 
The night was capped off by a viewing of Space Jam! This has become one of my kids favorite movies and I must say I'm okay with that! I had a great day with my wonderful kids. Now it's Monday and back to the grind...UGH! Why can't every day be Fathers Day?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Foil Pack Revolution: 90s Edition

A recent obsession of mine has been collecting old foil packs of trading cards from the  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 hearing the foil crinkle as you tore open a fresh pack of trading card nirvana. Let's dive into a few of these packs that I have on display...AGAIN!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (Fleer, 1995)
 I remember taking my little brother to this movie when it came out in 1995. About halfway through the movie the power went out in the theater. We were given the option of waiting for the lights to come back on or get a refund. With a 7 year old Power Ranger nut with us, we stayed and enjoyed every minute of Ivan Ooze's reign of terror over Angel Grove!
 
Popeye Trading Cards (Card Creations, 1994)
I worked at a store that sold these cards and every now and then when things would get slow, I would open a few packs hoping to track down some of the chase cards randomly inserted into the packs. These included Character Foil Cards (1:9), Evolution Chrome Cards (1:36), and Popeye Power Cels cards (1:360). I never got one, but the chase continues thanks to the Dollar Tree!
 
Guinness Book of Records Cards (Pro Set, 1992)
I never collected these as a kid, never had any desire to collect the set, but when old foil packs of trading cards can be had for $0.50 each, I'll add them to my collection.
 
Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures (Upper Deck, 1996)
Oh Jonny Quest! In 1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest debuted on Cartoon Network. The show was actually pretty entertaining as I remember, but only lasted 52 episodes. It had a mix of traditional animation and computer graphics that added to the new look Jonny. I never knew these cards existed until recently and when given the chance, I grabbed a pack for my collection. Chase cards in the set include Action Quest Pop-Up cards and Heat Activated Hadji's Clues inserts.
 
Youngblood Trading Cards (Comic Images, 1992)
Lastly we have a pack of Comic Images Youngblood cards featuring art by Rob Liefeld. Back in the 90s Liefeld's art was the hottest around. Looking back now, not so much. I've talked about Comic Images card sets before and this follows the same pattern of basic art, little to no backgrounds and Prism Foil cards as the chase set. For all it's fallbacks, this set still takes me back to the 90s comic book boom that helped me fall in love with comics.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 6/14/17


This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #70
"Desperate Measures" Part 4! A stand-off between humans and mutants turns deadly for one side and the consequences will have an impact for years to come! The senses-shattering conclusion of an action-packed story arc!
(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman (A/CA) Mateus Santolouco
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Monday, June 12, 2017

Remembering Adam West


Last Friday on June 9th we lost another pop-culture icon in Adam West at the age of 88. Everyone will remember him for his roles as Batman in the 60s and his terms as Mayor of Quahog, RI on the animated show Family Guy. I will always remember the time I got to meet the Caped Crusader at the Chiller Theatre convention in 2005.
This was a pretty big year for the convention. They had some amazing guests like Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeanie), George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead), Capt Lou Albano (WWF & Super Mario Bros. Super Show), Dirk Benedict (A-Team), Warwick Davis (Star Wars & Willow), Betsy Palmer (Friday The 13th) and Tonya Harding to name a few. You can check out the complete guest list for that year by clicking HERE. Even with all those amazing guests at the convention the one I seeked out was ADAM WEST!
We waited in line for a little while and when we got to Adam West's table he had a handler take our money. This guy was a dead ringer for Vince Neil of Motley Crue fame! I wanted to get an autograph from the Mr. West, so I brought a comic for him to sign...All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder #1.
He graciously signed the comic after talking with me for a minute about how they draw Batman way too bulky these days and almost like a scene out of The Simpsons, he told us that back in his day he didn't have to wear costumes with fake muscles, he worked at his body.
I'll forgive him for not dancing the Batusi for us, because he did pose with me for the picture at the top of this post and gave me the memory of a lifetime. I got to meet Batman! Thanks for all the fun Adam West, you will be missed.

Friday, June 9, 2017

What happened to Billy Ocean?


This past week while looking for something to watch on Netflix I spotted the 1988 Corey Haim/Corey Feldman classic "License to Drive"! I made some comment to my wife about possibly watching this movie tonight and she replied "I have never seen that before". WHAT! That "possibly watching" turned into a "DEFINATELY WATCHING" License to Drive!
If you haven't seen the movie yet, I won't spoil too much for you, but in a nutshell Corey Haim's character fails his driving test, tells his friend Corey Feldman he passed, they take the family car out and craziness ensues! At the end Haim gets the girl played by a young Heather Graham and they drive away to the sweet & soulful sounds of Billy Ocean.
Billy Ocean? I hadn't thought about him in a long time, but as luck would have it I was recently sorting through a box of old toys, cards, etc. and I uncovered this "Greatest Hits" tape of his that I had bought at Goodwill for $0.50 over a year ago.
If you're anything like me, right now you're asking yourself "Whatever happened to Billy Ocean?". Why doesn't Billy Ocean get the same respect as other R&B singers from the 80s? He was a hit maker on par with Lionel Richie, Terence Trent D'Arby and Keith Sweat at the time. So, what has he been up to since the early 90s? I mean this guy had multiple #1 hits won Grammy Awards and performed the theme song from the film The Jewel of the Nile! He was on top of the world and then nothing.
I did some digging and it turns out Billy Ocean has been quite busy since we last heard him on the airwaves. In 2002 the University of Westminster awarded him an honorary doctorate of music. In 2010 he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Music of Black Origins Awards. Then in 2011 Ocean became a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and in his spare time he released the albums "Because I Love You" (2009) & "Here You Are" (2013). Finally, he just wrapped his 2017 Spring Tour last month! In honor of rediscovering Billy here is my favorite song of his, "Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)". Have fun trying to get that out of your head! What is your favorite Billy Ocean song?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 6/7/17


This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
HASBRO HEROES SOURCEBOOK #1
If you're new to the Hasbro Universe or a long-time fan, this book is for you! Featuring a veritable TON of bios on your favorite characters, from A to D, plus papercraft projects, a map of the new GI JOE Headquarters and an exclusive story featuring Rock 'N' Roll and his fateful encounter with the Cold Crawlers! Featuring writing and art by some of today's top talent including John Barber, Guido Guidi, Aubrey Sitterson, Fico Ossio, Chris Ryall, Jack Lawrence, Brandon Easton, Steve Kurth, Cullen Bunn, Robert Atkins, Mairghread Scott, David Messina, and Jimmy Johnston.
•   Exclusive paper-crafts, posters and stories in every issue!
(W) John Barber, Various (A) Robert Atkins, Various (CA) Sam Lotfi
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tiny Toons: My Top 5 Summer Vacation Moments


The feature length movie Tiny Toon Adventures: How I spent My Summer Vacation was released exclusively on VHS in 1992 by Warner Bros. The film was later released as a 4-part event during the regular airings of Tiny Toon Adventures on our local FOX station (FOX 5 NY) and became a summer tradition for a few years in my house. We knew summer was here once that special aired after school.
 
 Just last week my kids had their last day of the school year and we celebrated by popping in the "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" DVD. I hadn't seen this movie in years and I really loved watching how much my kids enjoyed it. A lot of the jokes were dated and over there heads but the overall stories of Babs & Buster on the river, Plucky & Hamton heading to Happy World Land and Fifi fawning over Johnny Pew really kept them entertained. If you asked them "What were your favorite parts of the movie?" my kids would more than likely say "EVERYTHING!", in my case here are my top 5 moments from Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Summer Vacation!
 
1. The opening musical montage
This is the very beginning of the film and it shows the students of Acme Looniversity counting down the seconds on the last day of school and discussing what they planned to do in the summer. This brings me back to those final days of grade school when all we did was watch movies, clean the classroom and goof off with our friends one last time before going off for vacation. The song is catchy too!
 
2. Superman Cameo
After falling off a waterfall while floating down a river created by Babs and Buster's reckless water fight the two bunnies are rescued by none other than Superman! He is promptly told by Buster & Babs that he is in the wrong movie and he should get his own video. This leads the man of steel to drop the bunnies back into the raging river.
I like how the depiction of Superman in this brief cameo resembles his appearance in the Max Fleischer animated Superman series from the 40s. Don't believe me, take a look at the video above and judge for yourself!
 
3. Immature Radioactive Samurai Slugs
While Plucky and Hamton's family are on their way to the Happy World Land amusement park, Plucky tries to find a way to pass the time. He pulls out his mint condition, first printing of Immature Radioactive Samurai Slugs #1! These homages to the TMNT made an appearance in another episode of Tiny Toons complete with AWESOME theme song!
I was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the time, so I could sympathize with Plucky when Hamton threw up all over his prized comic.
 
4. Masked Maniac
As Plucky & Hamton went about their long road trip they encountered a ton of craziness including Uncle Stinky's sweat, rest stop bathroom clean-ups and playing the "There's A Car" game, but none was more dangerous than when the family picked up a hitchhiker who turned out to be a pork loving, chainsaw wielding raving masked maniac!
 
5. HAPPY WORLD LAND
After overcoming all of the obstacles and family friendliness, Plucky finally made it to Happy World Land. I loved seeing the rides the park had to offer as a kid and always wondered what it would be like to ride the Happy Go-Pukey, The Gargle, Slap Happy and the Happy Centrifuge. Unfortunately for Plucky he was left wondering also. The Pig family rode the monorail and then it was time to go home and subdue Plucky to one more form of torture...a SLIDESHOW!!!
 
If you haven't seen this 90s cartoon gem, you can view the summer special above. It isn't the best quality, but it's all I could find online. Now we end this post with a picture of Babs dressed up like Jessica Rabbit, just because!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Topps Baseball Coins!


Back in the late 80s & early 90s Topps released a series of metal coins that had pictures of some of the biggest stars of the time. Me and my brother collected them, not as much as regular Topps Baseball Cards, but nonetheless we had a nice collection. Recently I found a value box of old baseball cards at target for around $5.99. The main reason I bought this box was because it contained about 30 of these Topps coins.
When I saw these in the box, I immediately had to buy it for nostalgia's sake. I'm pretty sure you can find these sets online for a fairly cheap price. A quick search and I was able to find the 1990 set for $7.99.
Just like most card sets, Topps Coins had their premium coins. These were your MVPs, Rookies of the Year and record breakers from the most recent baseball season. It was always at treat to see a blue or pink coin come out of your Topps pack. As kids, we treated these things like real GOLD!
In the bundle I had bought, I was able to get some of my 1990s Baseball favorite players like Gary Sheffield, Cal Ripken, Howard Johnson, Rickey Henderson and Ken Griffey Jr.! The backs of these coins did not have your traditional season stats on them, but rather some season highlights for each player. For example the back of the Ryne Sandberg coin states "In 1989 Ryne set 2nd base record with 90 straight errorless games. He led Cubs with 176 hits and 30 HR." Who knew right!
Okay, so the real reason I spent $5.99 on a box of old cards and coins was to get this BO JACKSON coin from the 1990 set. I am a huge Bo Jackson fan and I never owned this coin as a kid, it was not even a question if I would leave this Bo collectable on the shelf at Target.
The closest thing we have to these coins today is the Topps Chipz line of collectables. These retail for around $2-$3 a pack, are pretty heavy duty and resemble poker chips in size and weight. The cool thing is that with every pack of Topps Chipz, you have the chance to pull an autograph, glow-in-the-dark, magnetic or relic chip! That's enough to keep me grabbing packs!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 5/31/17


This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
TMNT AMAZING ADVENTURES ROBOTANIMALS #1
Baxter Stockman is looking to become the new major villain on the streets! His first step to world domination? Turn the Mutanimals into robots!! All-ages three issue mega-story! If you dug the Batman/TMNT Adventures books, you'll get a major kick out of the next adventures of the TMNT from the current Nickelodeon cartoon!
(W) Caleb Goellner (A) Chad Thomas (CA) Billy Martin
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend 2017


First of all I want to say Thank You to our service men and women who have served are serving and will serve in the armed forces. Without these men and women we probably would not have the freedoms to celebrate a long holiday weekend. Secondly, Memorial Day weekend is always the official kickoff to summer for me and my family. This past weekend we had no prior commitments like baseball, gymnastics, school functions or birthday parties for the first time in a long time! We finally had a chance to relax!
With all that free time I was able to tackle a few things around the house that had been piling up like getting our lawn sprinklers up and working, fixing a broken light fixture, catching up on laundry and building this raised garden for my kids to plant some veggies! We went to Lowes and the kids picked out cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes and surprisingly Brussels sprouts!
We cooked almost every meal on the barbeque! This included hot dogs, home made cheese burgers, chicken and my favorite...Earl Campbell's Hot Links! Oh, I also stirred up a pitcher of my fave Kool-Aid flavor Blue Raspberry Lemonade!
Now back to the Earl Campbell Hot Links. These are amazing! They are so flavorful with enough spice to make your mouth water. The spice is just right and doesn't overpower the taste of the link itself. The price is also reasonable. It is only $4.98 for a 36oz pack at Walmart. You can check out some other Earl Campbell products at his website EarlCampbellMeatProducts.com. You may be asking yourself 'Who the hell is Earl Campbell?" Earl is a Heisman Award winning, Hall of Fame NFL running back who played 8 years for the Oilers & Saints. See him in action in this video!
Other highlights include 5 Pro Bowl selections, 3 All-Pro selections, 3 time NFL Rushing leader, 2 time NFL Touchdown leader, 1979 AP NFL MVP, 3 time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, 1978 Offensive Rookie of the Year and a 2 time All American at Texas! His football legacy is why I picked these up in the first place.
Of course we had to have the traditional side dishes and junk food to go along with our meals which included salads, watermelon, chip, Cheetos and I finally got to try the new Mountain Dew flavor Dew-S-A which is a combination of Mountain Dew Code Red, White Out & Voltage. It was okay, but a bit too sweet for my likes. The kids loved it though! Also finally found and got to try the new Warheads "Hotheads Worms". These I really liked. They start out with a sour sweetness and end with a spicy kick. I found these at the dollar store.
It was such a great weekend filled with good food, fun in the sprinklers, competitive games of badminton, completed projects and time with the family. How did you spend your weekend?