Friday, April 28, 2017

Feeling upscale with 5th Avenue

A while ago I had talked about visiting a little mom & pop candy store in a tourist town where I found Whatchamacallit candy bars, well we returned to the same town for some more family fun and while there I saw another candy bar that had been off my radar since the 90s...5th Avenue!
I immediately thought of this commercial from 1992 and kept singing the lyrics, "5th Avenue. Big Peanut Butter Crunch!" in my head until I finally got the chance to chow down on this chocolate bar from years past. I really enjoy this commercial. It is crazy and has a mix of different styles, but in my opinion it's still a notch below the Whatchamacallit campaign.
I did some research online and found that according to 5th Avenue's official Wikipedia page, the 5th Avenue candy bar was created in 1936 by William H. Luden (the cough drop guy). The Luden's brand was bought by Hershey in 1986 and they continue to make the bar, but in limited quantities.
I never really was a huge fan of the bar and never really sought it out as a kid. When there are options like Snickers, Kit Kats and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups out there, it's hard to compete. From my limited taste experiences with 5th Avenue, I recalled that it tasted a little like a Butterfinger Bar.
After taking my first bites, I was kind of right. It's consistency is definitely like a Butterfinger with it's flaky peanut butter layers covered in chocolate, but to me the taste of peanut butter was subtle and not very strong. The taste of the chocolate was what really took over my tastes buds. Was it good? Yes. Would I buy it again? Maybe, I'll have to check my options on the shelf first.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 4/26/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
"THE BUTTON" part two! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it's not who anyone suspects! It's a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!
(W) Joshua Williamson (A) Howard Porter (CA) Jason Fabok
SRP: $3.99

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bionic Bo

If you were a sports fan back in the early 90s there were 3 names that were on the tip of every kids tongue...Ken Griffey Jr., Michael Jordan and BO JACKSON!

From the start of Bo's career in Kansas City in 1986, I was a fan. He was larger than life and like nothing I had ever seen before on the baseball diamond. He was built like a tank, fast as a cheetah and had an arm like a cannon. As a card collector, I had to have anything and everything with Bo on it! But my favorite card I own of his has to be the 1991 Fleer "ProVision" card #5.
It isn't worth a heck of a lot (you can find them on eBay for around $1), but this is how I envisioned Bo when I was a kid. He was more than human, he was an icon who pulled off such great feats that he had to be robotic! I loved this card so much that for my 10th birthday I asked for a t-shirt with this image on it! My dad went to a screen printer at the local mall and my birthday wish came true! I wore the shirt maybe twice because I didn't want it to get dirty, but it hung on my wall for years!
Then in 1987 Jackson was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders! Now Bo was building his legacy on the gridiron by running over giants, scoring touchdowns and embarrassing defenses in his spare time away from Baseball.
Then during an NFL Playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 13, 1991 the impossible happened. My sports hero was taken down. His hip was dislocated and fractured ending his NFL career and leading the KC Royals to drop him from their roster. 10 year old me was crushed to see this happen.
Then an amazing thing occurred, BO PLANNED TO RETURN TO BASEBALL WITH AN ARTIFICIAL HIP! He was back in the gym rehabbing for his come back and as Dennis Leary once said "It Ain't over till a hip socket sings."
Bo came back and in his first at bat since his hip surgery in true Herculean fashion he smashed a home-run. It was glorious! Bo played until 1994 ending his career with the California Angels. It was only an 8 year career, but damn was it spectacular! I will always remember him as "Bionic Bo". If you haven't seen the ESPN 30 for 30 film "You Don't Know Bo: The Legend of Bo Jackson", you need to check it out. It goes beyond the sports he played and shows how he became the American Icon he was in the late 80s & early 90s. You can view it in it's entirety below.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bigfoot: Akklaim Handheld Game

I received this Bigfoot Handheld Game as a gift recently and the memories came flooding back! Bigfoot was huge back in the day! He was in everything from trading card sets, to toys to starring in the "Power Team" Cartoon with Johnny Arcade! I remember seeing the Monster Truck "Winter Nationals" commercials on our local channels. I wanted to go, just to see Bigfoot. I never did get to see him though. I'll have to add this to my bucket list.
This game was released by Akklaim in 1989 and man does it suck! All you do is drive Bigfoot around the same LCD screen track in an attempt to avoid other Monster Trucks! There is no end, you just keep driving. These type of games were almost always given as gifts to kids who asked for a Gameboy. They were cheap and used licensed characters that were in at the time like Batman, The Simpsons and the Terminator. The one great thing that came from these games were the ads!
I mean look at these babies! Who wouldn't want to be the crazy, lunatic, cool kid floating through space on a surf board with video games flying around you? The one with the professor, that guy's mind was blown from the new Akklaim Super Play Plus Series! Although most of these games were based on Akklaim games that were released for the NES, the gameplay was much different. Obviously the limitations of an LCD video game were what caused this. Even though the NES games were an upgrade, Akklaim just could not make the most of their licensed properties. Take a look at the Bigfoot NES game below and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 4/19/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
"THE BUTTON" part one! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it's not who anyone suspects! It's a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!
Retailers: This issue will ship with four covers. Please note that this issue's lenticular cover edition is available only in the US and Canada.
 (W) Tom King (A/CA) Jason Fabok 
SRP: $3.99

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cards One Redemption

Whenever I go to the Dollar Tree I always buy a pack of their sports cards. More often than not it is the Ultimate Super Jumbo Pack. You get 30 mixed sport trading cards for only $1. Most of the time you get some decent cards that range from the 80s to today. I usually tear open the pack and throw away the wrapper. Except this time I turned the pack over and discovered an offer for a FREE Autographed Trading Card. In exchange for 4 wrappers and $3.99 shipping and handling I could receive an authentic autographed trading card! I was in!
I waited my 4 to 6 weeks and finally received this foil package in the mail! Who would it be? What sport would the player be from? So many questions! So much ANTICIPATION! I opened up the pack carefully and got....
Rolando Gomez. I had no idea who he was, so as anyone would do I Googled him. Through this advanced mystery solving technique I found out that Rolando Gomez was not a very good player. According to his MiLB page, Rolando was drafted in the 11th round in 2008 and was out of baseball by 2014. In this time he played for 6 teams and never made it to the bigs. Well the redemption offer gamble was worth a shot, probably won't do it again. Thanks for the thrills Cardsone! You can watch his prospect video below.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Retro Lines at Toys R Us Today: Part 2!

A few weekends ago I took my kids to our local Toys R Us for a FREE Mega Construx build! We had time to kill, so we looked at all the awesome toys at the store. I was surprised to see so many toy lines from my childhood still available on the shelves. Here's part 2 of a few of the cool things I found:
Ultimate Electronic Voltron ($39.99)
I loved Voltron as a kid! It was such an awesome premise for a kids show. Five robot lions come together and form one giant robot that uses a blazing sword to protect the universe from giant monsters. I was sold! With the success of the latest DreamWorks revival of Voltron on Netflix came a new line of toys. This "Ultimate" version has lights, sounds and the Green Lion can shoot out a laser projectile!
Star Wars Millennium Falcon iHome & Alarm Clock ($49.99)
Star Wars has been around for a long time and it's great to see that the franchise is still as popular as ever! My 5 year old son had one wish for his last birthday...a Millennium Falcon Alarm Clock! His wish was granted and every morning at 7am he is awoken by the sweet sounds of the Falcon taking off into space. He also uses the clock to listen to the radio while he is playing in his room.
Ninja Turtles Mega Bloks sets ($1.99 - $99.99)
These kind of caught me by surprise. Yes, I had known that Mega Bloks was making these sets but I didn't know they were being put on clearance at such great prices. You can pick up the individual mini-figs for under $2 each and the Krang set was only $16.95! I bought a few for future gift giving holidays and birthdays. Also, that Raph in human disguise is amazing!
Smurfs: The Lost Village Figures ($3.99 - $5.99)
Another Smurfs movie and another toy line by Jakks. The Smurfs were one of the first things I really remember loving as a kid. I had all the figurines and when I was 3 my mom made me a Smurf blankey that I carried everywhere with me. When I moved I made sure that blankey came with me. It served me well for decades and when my daughter started having nightmares, I passed it on to her to keep her safe at night.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2-packs ($9.99)
I was always a Nintendo kid, but as an adult I can respect what Sega had done with Sonic back in the 90s. The games were simple, fast and fun. Even though Mario was my choice for platformers back in the day, I did read a Sonic comic or two. Each of these 2-packs includes one of those original comics from Archie publishing. 2 figures and a comic for $9.99, not bad! Did you know that Sonic comic is still being published today?
Legos ($4.99 - $150)
Every kid has had Legos at some point in there life and mine are no exception. Lego has put out some really great sets in the last few years, but the Superhero lines are the ones that have stood out most to me. This Clay Face set from the Lego Batman Movie is on the top of my boy's wish list this year!
Now try to get that song from the Lego Batman Movie out of your head! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 4/12/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Decades ago, the Weapon X program produced the deadliest mutant killers on the planet. Now, with more research, more funding and more Adamantium at its disposal, the Weapon X program is creating new killers for old targets: Old Man Logan. Sabretooth. Lady Deathstrike. Weapon X isn't just experimenting on mutants's eradicating them. All of them.
Plus: Deadlier and more shadowy than ever, you won't believe who's taken the job as Director of Weapon X! Reuniting X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong creative team GREG PAK (World War Hulk) and GREG LAND (Uncanny X-Men)!
       (W) Greg Pak (A/CA) Greg Land     
SRP: $3.99  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Retro Lines at Toys R Us Today!

This past weekend I took my kids to our local Toys R Us for a FREE Mega Construx build! These free events happen about twice a month at Toys R Us and allow kids to come in and get stuff for free! In the past we have done free builds for Lego Nexo Knights, Lego Batman Movie, Pokémon cards, Pokémon Figures and a birthday party with Geoffrey himself!
This time around my boy got to build a ship from the HALO series and my girls built a beach set from the American Girls line. Of course since we were already there, we had to look at all the awesome toys at the store. It's like that's what Toys R Us had in mind from the start? Those crafty bastards! I was surprised to see so many toy lines from my childhood still available on the shelves. Here's a few of the cool things I found:
Masters of the Universe: Mega Bloks Kubros ($14.99)
These things are brilliant. It's almost like you get to build your own action figure. I always look at these on the shelf and want to buy them, but I am a cheap man with 3 kids and always wait for a sale. The He-Man version of Kubros was on sale for $8.98 when we went. Maybe I'll grab it next pay day?
Transformers Fortress Maximus ($149.99)
WOW!!! I never thought I would ever see a Fortress Maximus in stores again! This thing was massive and a total status symbols for kids growing up in the 80s! If you had this, you were the man! For $150 though...I'll let someone else be the man.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Action Figures ($16.99)
My little brother was huge into Power Rangers. He had all the toys, collected the cards, played the games and of course watched every episode of the show. These brought back memories of watching this show with him and having epic battles in the living room as his Ninja Mega Zord would conquer my bad guys led by Goldar. If they had the White Ranger in stock, I may have to grab it for him as a gift. That was the elusive toy he never got. You might say the White Ranger is his White Whale! I know...terrible :(
Pokémon Cards ($3.99 - $17.99)
I know these cards have been around forever, but isn't it reassuring that in 2017 Pokémon is still a popular brand? When these cards were at their crazy peak, I worked at a mom & pop toy store in Jersey. Kids would come in every day with their allowance money to buy the latest series packs. Eventually when I would get bored and to pass the time, they taught me how to play the game and we would have matches in the store. It was fun and now as my kids are getting into Pokémon, I can pass that knowledge onto them. See Mom, it wasn't a complete waste of my time!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Figures ($10.99)
I absolutely LOVE THESE! So much nostalgia is rushing through my head. I have picked up the original 4 Turtles, Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang and April in this line. I never had Super Mikey or Super Donatello as a kid. I will be adding these to my birthday wish list!
Madballs ($2.99 - $9.99)
I saved what is in my opinion, the best for last...MADBALLS!!! Months ago I had heard that Just Play Toys and Kid Robot were going to be putting out several different lines of Madballs. My sons favorite is Oculus Orbus and I was going nuts looking to find him one for Christmas. Well, maybe the Easter Bunny can drop one of these guys in his basket? I really like how there are different sets for different audiences. They have the classic versions based off the 80s toys. New revamped/updated versions, which my kids prefer and the Madballs Mini blind bags which are a cheaper way to get your nostalgia at $2.99 a pack.
Such a great commercial! That's it for now. Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 4/5/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
"Deadly Sin" part one! The twisted Harley Sinn's been released from prison, and she's looking to hurt Harley in a whole new going after somebody she loved and lost! And to make this issue extra-unmissable, a brand-new backup story begins, set in Harley's earliest days with the Joker-and co-written by one of Harley's original creators, Paul Dini! "Harley Loves Joker" kicks off as Harley makes the biggest mistake of her burgeoning criminal career...accidentally revealing the location of Mistah J's hideout!
(W) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini (A) John Timms, Bret Blevins (CA) Amanda Conner
SRP: $2.99

Monday, April 3, 2017

Round Robin Challenge: At the Corner Store

This week I have the privilege of selecting the Round Robin Social Media Challenge topic! There have been some great topics covered over the last few weeks and I wanted to choose something different, then I began to search for some of my favorite childhood memories. A lot of these memories came back to riding our bikes to the local corner store to grab snacks, drinks and other fun items so me and my friends could get energized before we hit the blacktop. So this weeks topic is...
When you were a kid, what would you use your hard earned allowance money to buy at the corner store? To get this thing started I'll let you know what my top picks were and why!
Trading Cards!
This was back in the day when every movie or character that was even remotely appealing to kids had it's own trading card set. I do remember grabbing packs of the above properties, but I also remember picking up Adams Family, Dinosaurs Attack and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cards.
In the early 90s we were all under the grip of the cultural icon known as Michael Jordan. He was the spokesperson for everything from Wheaties to Nike to his own SNES game! We all wanted to be "Like Mike". So for us streetball hoopers drinking Gatorade was a must! My favorite flavor was Citrus Cooler. Not only because it was labeled as "Mike's Favorite Flavor", but because it was delicious! The flavor has been in and out of the rotation over the years, so whenever I see it on shelves it's time to stock up! Why don't they produce Gatorade in glass bottles anymore?
Sticking with the Gatorade family, we move on to Gatorgum. This product only came in 2 flavors that I remember being Lemon/Lime and Orange. I favored the orange as my gum of choice. According to my research Gatorgum was discontinued in the early 2000s. I'm surprised to hear that it was around that long! The closest thing available to Gator Gum today is Quench Gum.
Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream chips
I remember when these came out and thinking they would be nasty. After first bite, they became a staple in my corner store trips. These are so amazing! It's like a creamy cheddar taste wrapping all the goodness of a salty Ruffles chip. They are still available today in any grocery store. If you haven't tried these, I suggest picking some up today!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics
Every time I went into the corner store, I had to peruse the comic/magazine rack. They were always littered with any new X-Men comics that were out and the Archie produced Ninja Turtles Adventures comics. These were my introduction to the world of Turtles comics. Kind of a gateway to the more adult Mirage produced comics. I still love reading these today. For the most part the art was great and the stories were well written. IDW has been collecting these stories in TPB form over the last few years for those who missed them in the 90s.
Well, that's it for my early 90s trip to the corner store. What were your favorite items to pick up? Write your own blog entry on this topic and don't forget to leave a link to your page in my comments section! I hope we get a lot of entries. Have fun, I can't wait to see what other goodies are out there!
The Toy Box takes us on a trip to the corner stores of Allentown & Oregon!
The Toy Break drinkin quarter water. Gotta be the best!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Who was Johnny Kilroy?

On October 6th, 1993 the world cried as the greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan announced his stunning retirement from the game. Sure the NBA had some superstars like Shaq, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson, but there would be a huge hole left by Jordan's departure. Who could fill those shoes? Who would entertain the world? Enter a mysterious baller named Johnny Kilroy!
I had totally forgotten about this mythical basketball player until I recently uncovered an Upper Deck card from 1994 in my collection that features Mr. Kilroy. This brought back so many memories and raised so many questions.
Nobody knew where he came from, but the Chicago Bulls believed in his raw talent enough to sign him to an undisclosed contract in late 1993. Legend has it that on December 20th he scored 79 points in one quarter, but little to no evidence of this achievement exists! You can view the fan home video dubbed "The Popcorn" tape in the Steve Martin hosted documentary below.
Was he Michael Jordan in disguise? Was MJ's retirement a huge hoax? Was Johnny Kilroy even a real person? The only one who knows the real truth about Johnny Kilroy is...Johnny Kilroy. As of this writing he has not been available for comment in 20 years. We may never know the origin of this shooting star, but damn was it great to be alive when Johnny hit the court. You can still see his presence on the streetball courts today thanks to the folks at NIKE.
 God bless you Johnny Kilroy, wherever you are! Below are a few more documented Kilroy signings and opinions from NBA superstars. Who do you think Johnny Kilroy was?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 3/29/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Trapped in a strange rift in time, Green Lantern and Space Ghost are forced to battle a variety of foes - and each other! And even if they manage to survive, they will be thrown into a world with no concept of interstellar travel - or even what an alien is! Stripped of their weapons by a xenophobic culture, the duo will have to battle to regain them - but what happens when Space Ghost dons the Emerald Ring and Hal Jordan put on the Power Bands? And in the backup feature, Ruff and Reddy were once the toast of nightclubs, variety shows, late night chat fests and Broadway. Learn how they became the comedic duo of yesterday... before they hit rock-bottom today!
(W) James TynionIV, Christopher Sebela, Howard Chaykin (A) Howard Chaykin (A/CA) Ariel Olivetti
SRP: $4.99

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Round Robin Challenge: Eccentric Action Figures

This week 2 Minute Toy Break has challenged us to take a look at our nearest and weirdest and post a pic or multiple pics of the most eccentric action figure in our collection. This would be a museum worthy action figure. One that would draw a lot of ooohs and aaaahs from an art show crowd. Here's what I decided to feature....
A 2009 vacuum metalized limited edition Fugitoid action figure by Playmates Toys. This is not just any Fugitoid action figure though. This figure hung on the Christmas tree of TMNT co-creator Peter Laird! Here's the story.
In 2009 Mr. Laird's daughter Emily decided it would be fun to decorate the family tree with a bunch of these shiny, metallic Fugitoid figures. Peter Laird had a case of 100 of these figures and he himself opened 50 of the figures and attached an ornament hook to each figure.
On December 21st the tree was decorated by the Laird family and the 2009 mighty "Fugitree" was born.
After the 2009 holiday season, the Fugitoids were boxed back up and sold through the Mirage Studios website for $25. There were only 50 of these items available, and I got one!
This guy holds a prominent spot on my shelf of fame in the basement. Each Fugitoid came in a custom box made by Peter Laird with the story of the Fugitree printed  on a sticker on the front of the box.
The coolest thing was that the boxes were personally signed by Peter Laird. I am so glad to own this piece of TMNT history. It is a rare item that was used in the home of one of my comic book heroes. I feel this piece would fit into any museum of pop culture and would make any Ninja Turtles fan oooh and ahhh at it's appearance. And yes, my Fugitoid still has the ornament hanger on him that Peter Laird twisted around his neck for future tree hanging experiences.
If you would like to read more about the Fugitree, the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the thoughts of Peter Laird, please visit his TMNT blog by clicking HERE! The Laird family photos in the above post were from his website.
Check out Toy Break's post. He has a pretty interesting mash-up to show off!