Friday, July 29, 2016

M.A.S.K: The Puzzle Adventure!

While driving home from a day at the park with the kids one day, we spotted a yard sale at a local church. Of course I made the wife stop the car and pull over. The only thing I was able to procure from this sale was this beautiful M.A.S.K puzzle produced by Golden in 1986. It cost me a whopping $0.50.
Recently, I decided to put this bad boy together and see if all 200 pieces were still in the box or did I get ripped off by a 6 year old girl? The box was dumped out on the living room floor and a little over an hour later, this masterpiece of accomplishment appeared!
ALL THE PIECES WERE STILL THERE! After 30 years every piece was there. I hadn't done a puzzle with so many pieces in a long time and when I started working on it, I had thoughts of giving up. But it became a personal goal and challenge to finish this puzzle. When I put the last piece in, I can't describe the feeling of proud accomplishment I felt. It was like I was on my own personal M.A.S.K mission and now was able to feel the relief of a job well done. This is what I spent my evening doing. Is that sad?
Click the video below and enjoy the pilot episode of the M.A.S.K cartoon from 1985. Now try and get the theme song out of your head. You're welcome!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 7/27/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
As Harley's monthly series comes to an end, the world prepares for twice as much Harley when her new series debuts in August! And you'd better believe Harley's burning the place down on the way out the door...
(W) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti (A) Elsa Charretier (CA) Amanda Conner   
   SRP: $3.99             

Monday, July 25, 2016

8-Bit Jason Voorhees

Some genius at NECA had the brilliant idea to make 8-bit versions of horror icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees back in 2013. Like most toys I drool over, the Jason version was a SDCC exclusive. I gave in to the thought that I would never own this guy. Then there was a ray of hope, they re-issued Jason recently and I found him in the wild!
Of course there are some slight changes to the packaging from the SDCC version, but the one outstanding change that was made was...the inclusion of a sound chip in the box that plays the Friday The 13th video game theme! HOLY CRAP! You can hear it below in all it's 8-Bit glory!
Also the box mimics the look of the vintage NES box beautifully, Here is what the NES box looks like. Compare it to the above images of the toy box. Awesome, huh?
The toy itself is just a re-paint of a previously released NECA Jason figure, but my gosh is it glorious. The sculpting is nice.The colors are so annoying and nowhere near movie accurate, but that's how the game was. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see his trademark machete included as an accessory. Who can forget receiving a beat down from Jason in his purple jumpsuit and baby blue mask? Why did LJN choose these colors? I don't know, but I love it!
Below is a closer look at this ugly fella. I am so glad I was able to grab this 80s icon for around $20! He now owns a prominent space on my wall of fame.
For any of us who played the Friday The 13th game back in the 80s, we all know what a pain in the ass it is and how much frustration went into finding Jason's mom's head and the lighter and saving your friends! UGH! Enjoy a walk through of the game and relive those memories today.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dairy Queen MLB Helmets

Growing up one of the best things about a hot summer night in NJ was the anticipation of going to Dairy Queen at night to cool down with a Dilly Bar, Blizzard or hot fudge Sunday. Most of the time whenever you ordered something from DQ in the 80s it would be served up in a sweet disposable Dennis The Menace cup like this one:
Other times if you were lucky it was that special time of the year where they served up frozen treats in an AWESOME mini Major League Baseball Helmet! I was lucky enough to find a few of these at a local thrift store for $.25 each!
I grabbed some of my faves based on retro appeal. Here they are!
Montreal Expos
I picked up the Montreal Expos helmet because this team is no longer around. They moved to Washington and became the Nationals in 2004. I also love the old school logo. They don't make them like this anymore!
Philadelphia Phillies
Living close to Philadelphia the Phillies were always in the papers and on TV. This logo has not been used in years, but reminds me of the days of Mike Schmidt, Darren Daulton & Lenny Dykstra. Plus this logo kinda looks like the top of a DQ sundae?
New York Mets
This was the one I always coveted as a kid. I had this and never used it for eating once the sundae was gone. It sat on my shelf of sports collectables for years. My original helmet from the 80s, like many other amazing treasures, is packed away in my mother's attic. Man, I gotta make a trip and get all that stuff someday!
I hope you enjoyed this delicious trip down summer memory lane, I know I did! Gotta take the kids to DQ now! Enjoy Dick Clark talkin bout Blizzards in this ad below!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 7/20/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #60
(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman (A/CA) Dave Wachter
The Foot Clan headquarters is under attack and no one is safe as brother turns against brother!
The Foot under siege!
Item Code: MAY160429
In Shops: 7/20/2016
SRP: $3.99

Monday, July 18, 2016

5 Random Trading Cards: Vol. 1

Today I'll be taking you back to the days of cardboard cards, stale chunks of pink chewing gum and wax wrappers. Today we will be looking at 5 old trading cards! I loved collecting cards as a kid. Baseball, Ninja Turtles, Superheroes it didn't matter. I just loved opening a pack and smelling the gum and seeing if you had opened a pack with new cards or more doubles! The stickers were always the premium pieces, but having a few extras to trade never hurt. Let's open this pack of awesomeness and take a look at 5 random cards from the 80s & 90s:
 Baby (Topps, 1985)
I never collected these cards as a kid. Mostly because I never knew they existed until I found them thrown in with some other collectables I purchased a while back. I remember seeing this movie in theaters at the age of 5 with my family. This was one of the few movies my mom went to with us. As a 5 year old I was blown away by the "lifelike" dinosaurs in the film. To me it was Jurassic Park before Jurassic Park. Looking back now, the movie and effects are horribly outdated, but it's the memories that give me a fondness for this film and it's card set.
 Gremlins (Topps, 1984)
This is another movie I saw in the theaters at the age of 4! I thought it was AMAZING but the Gremlins still scarred the hell out of me. The part where the Gremlin gets sliced up by the blender always stuck with me. When we got home from seeing this movie at the theater, my dad went into the house and the lights would not turn on. Of course he joked that "The Gremlins must be in our house!" Of course it was just a blown fuse, but still I WAS 4 AT THE TIME...thanks for the trauma dad! I did collect these cards as a kid with my brother and sisters along with Gremlins toys, candy and books!
 The Rocketeer (Topps, 1991)
I always thought this looked like a cool movie. It was very retro, but still modern and stylized. Oh, it also had 90s Jennifer Connelly in it! I remember watching it as a rental as a kid and enjoying it. I tried watching it recently on Netflix but fell asleep pretty quick. I'll have to give it another watch soon and see if it still stands up. BTW did not collect these cards back in the day.
 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Series 1 (Topps/O-Pee-Chee, 1989)
Who did not collect these cards? I had the entire set of cards and stickers from this set plus the movie cards and stickers, then I kinda slacked when the second series came out. I had a few of the cards, but definitely not as many as the first. I'm not sure why? Maybe my collecting tastes changed at that point? The card pictured here was the Canadian O-Pee-Chee version of the card. It seems to be a bit more on the high end side. The colors are brighter and the card stock is more slick and less brown/cardboard textured. These are like a premium version of the Topps cards we got in the US. Damn you cheap Topps company!
X-Men: '94 Fleer Ultra (Fleer, 1994)
Ah the X-men. One could say that the merry mutants along with the Death of Superman were the reason for the comics boom & bust in the 90s. I enjoyed the cartoon so much, but the comics became a little confusing around this time with all the crossovers going on. If you missed one issue, you were lost for years! Who is that new guy? Who killed him? What future is this guy from? All questions that became all too familiar to X-Men readers in the Bronze Age. The cards that spun off from this popularity though were amazing! These were probably the most traded cards on the school yard and why not? They had great art, cool info on the back and were laminated with gold foil stamping! These guys were huge in the 90s!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Super Mario: Profile of a Plumber (Part 2)

If you were alive in 1985, you were playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES. stomping on Goombas, dropping Bowser into lava and finding Warp Zones. This was pre-internet, so one of the only ways to find out the most valuable game secrets was by word of mouth. Sometimes these tips were total crap other times they were as valuable as gold. Who would have thought that over 30 years later these Italian plumber Brothers from Brooklyn would still be as popular and recognizable all over the world. Back in the 80s you had Mario's face on everything from t-shirts to fruit snacks and today you can still find him on...t-shirts and fruit snacks. Looking around my house, I guess I didn't realize how much stuff I owned with the Super Mario branding on it. Here are a few selections from the collection:
Mario "Down Since '85" t-shirt (Nintendo, 2007)
 Mario Brick Breakers Candy Tin (Boston America Corp, 2012)
Super Mario Power Up Energy Drink (Boston America Corp, 2012)
Super Mario Plush Backpack (Accessory Innovations, 2013)
Super Mario Bros. Super Show Season 1 DVD (Shout Factory, 2009)
Every weekday afternoon after school, me and my brother would plop down in front of the TV and watch The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! It was amazing to see our Nintendo 8-Bit heroes come to life on the television screen. The theme song was annoyingly catchy. We enjoyed seeing the celeb of the week, be it Magic Johnson, Nicole Eggert or break dance legend Shabadoo share the screen with Luigi and Mario (played by WWF Legend Captain Lou Albano)! Monday through Thursday was filled with Mario cartoons. Then on Friday, it was time to bug out because that's when The Legend of Zelda was on! It was so epic! Enjoy an episode below and share in the joy that is
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 7/13/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Publisher: DC COMICS
(W) Gene Luen Yang (A/CA) Viktor Bogdanovic
"MADE IN CHINA" Chapter One: An impulsive act of heroism thrusts an arrogant young man into the limelight of Shanghai as China begins to form its own Justice League of powerful heroes. Rising from the ashes of The Final Days of Superman, award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and on-the-rise art star Victor Bogdanovic introduce readers to Kong Kenan-the New Super-Man! When the world needed a new hero, China made him!
Item Code: MAY160224
In Shops: 7/13/2016
SRP: $2.99

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ecto Cooler Update: 7/12/16

I FINALLY RECEIVED MY ECTO COOLER!!!! I had given up hope of finding some Hi-C Ecto Cooler on the shelves of my local Wal-Mart and grocery stores. Everyday I would check the website to see if websites had any up for sale. Finally about 11 days ago, I checked and HEB, Wal-Mart and Shop Rite had them available! Wal-Mart was by far the cheapest. I made my purchase and it finally arrived and it is amazing!
The first sip I drank made me immediately think of a mylar balloon I had as a kid of Slimer. I got it at a local amusement park and when it finally deflated, I hung it on my wall. I hadn't thought of that balloon in years, but one sip of Ecto Cooler made it all come back to me. The balloon was die-cut around Slimer's body and looked like this:
Anyway, I digress. The taste was exactly like I remembered. Citrus, sweet and neon green. I let each of my kids have a can when they arrived, but am rationing them now to make it last a little longer. It has been so long since I had this stuff and it makes me extremely happy that I can share the joy with my kids today. I just need to find the juice box versions now. It just doesn't feel the same drinking Ecto Cooler from a can, even if the cans are extremely cool and change color when refrigerated.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Keepin It Classic: Garbage Pail Kids

Now this is what I'm talkin bout! A few weeks ago I wrote about how disappointed I was with the new "Garbage Pail Kids: American as Apple Pie In Your Face!" card set. The art was a little off and the humor of the cards was not up to par. I found these "Garbage Pail Kids: Chrome Series 2" cards at Target. They are re-issues of the original GPK Series 2 cards from 1985 with chrome artwork! 4 cards come in each pack. These are the kids I remember and enjoy so much! Let's tear into the pack and see what's inside:
 Brainy Brian & Live Mike
These cards are not re-issues of the older cards, but part of the "Returning" subset. It's like a look at what happened to each character after the original photo was taken. Live Mike's fans get a shock and an exquisite rendition of a GPK Zombie attempts to steal a bite of Brainy Brian's brain. I like these cards. It keeps the story going without loosing any of the original art flavor. It's fun to see the "After" portion of each characters story. I'm kind of glad I got these 2 cards. They are something recognizable from the 85 series with a new twist!
Pegleg Peter & Jolly Roger
Here is where a little disappointment set in. I got version A & B of the same character in the same pack. These are re-issues of 1985 cards and I understand this is something Topps has been doing with the Garbage Pail Kids from the beginning, but when you only get 4 cards per pack it is a bit of a let down to get pretty much the same card. Even the backs are identical! 
Would I buy these again? Yes! Not only is the artwork classic GPK but the inclusion of chase cards like Superfractors (1:4,666), Pencil Art Cards (1:3) and Artist Autographs (1:305) will keep me ripping open packs. I know the odds are not in my favor, but it's always good to dream.

Friday, July 8, 2016

My Faves: Figure Collection #2

 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. Get ready, here we go!
 April O'Neil: Ninja Turtles Figure Keyrings (Monogram, 2015)
As you may already know from reading this blog, I have an affinity for the Ninja Turtles. The local mall had one of those "Go! Calendar, Games & Toys" stores pop up around the holiday season. If you don't know, these stores open up around November and close around the end of February. They are very seasonal. When they are about to close for the year everything in the store goes 50% off. That's how I picked up this cute little keyring of April O'Neil. She was in a blind bag, so I didn't know what I was getting. To be honest, I would have been happy with any of the characters in the collection.
 Thundercats Cheetara (LJN, 1985)
Thundercats...Hoooooooooooo!!!! Who can forget that iconic 80s call to action? The Thundercats were a weekday staple in my house. Every day after school we would watch the cartoon on our local station. After cartoons, it was time for homework! Me and my brother not only watched the cartoon, but had a ton of toys from the show. We had Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, Tygra, Hammerhand and Hachiman to name a few. Yes, we even had Cheetara. I found this one in a McDonald's pencil box at a second hand store. I couldn't believe she was in there with some other Thundercats figures for under $2! That is why you always open things at these stores. You may find some retro gold inside!
 Ducky (Pizza Hut, 1988)
This is from the legendary Land Before Time Pizza Hut cross promotion. Back in the day I had the Spike hand puppet. Many years later, I found this Ducky at a church yard sale. I know she is no Little Foot, but I had to have her just the same. Pizza Hut used to have some great promotional tie ins, like the NCAA Streetballs, X-Men videos & comics and Ninja Turtles Coming Out Of Their Shells Tapes. Time to step up your game Pizza Hut. The challenge has been thrown down!
 Talking Dashboard Homer Simpson (Gemmy, 2004)
Got this guy as a Christmas present many years ago. Even though he is a "Dashboard" toy, sadly he has never been in a car. You can either push his button or set him to motion and hear Homer say one of many great things like "Yeah yeah, quit your waving. I'll move through the intersection when I'm good and ready. Officer." or "Your child might be an honours student, but you're a moron!". My kids love him, my wife not so much. 
Mr. Met Stuffed Toy (Steven Smith, 2008)
The summer of 2008 the New York Mets played their last season at Shea Stadium located in Flushing, Queens. I made one last trip to the stadium and saw the Mets beat the Marlins one last time. It was a magical moment. To commemorate the day, I picked up this Mr. Met stuffed guy from one of the many souvenir stands for a surprisingly low price of $12. That's a steal at an MLB ball game. You can't get a hot dog for less than $134. RIP Shea Stadium, I will never forget your delicious waffle fries. Enjoy this cheesy 1986 New York Mets music video featuring my favorite Met of all time, Mookie Wilson!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Second Hand Score: Black Box & Hot Shots

Went back for my semi-monthly trip to the local Goodwill last week and found a few things. It was not an abundance or retro riches, but all together these three items cost me around $2.50. The most expensive being the Milton Bradley Travel Hot Shot Basketball game.
The World of Teddy Ruxpin Vol. 8 the Faded Fobs (Hi-Tops Video, 1987)
I enjoyed Teddy Ruxpin's adventures as a kid. Never owned the toy. Never owned the tapes. Never even had the books, but one huge memory that sticks out about this cartoon was watching cartoons nonstop at my friends house during a sleepover and one of the tapes was Teddy Ruxpin! It was awesome! I had a shaky memory of Teddy Ruxpin in puppet form giving kids tips on how to stay safe at the end or beginning of each episode. I bought the DVDs on sale and didn't see these on there. Did I just imagine that? I'll have to watch this VHS soon and see if this really was part of the show?
Wasn't that great? Now on to the next Jam!
Black Box: Dreamland CD (RCA, 1990)
Back in the early 90s Techno/House/Dance music was blowin up the radio. One of the bands responsible for this explosion was Black Box. Their album "Dreamland" spawned the hits "Everybody, Everybody" & "Strike It Up"! Great songs. I was more than happy to pick up this CD for $0.25! Here's a tip, always make sure there is a CD in the case when buying from second hand stores. I occasionally find a disc I want and open it to find there was never a CD in the case or it was stolen. Fun fact about Black Box: Martha Wash of "It's Raining Men" fame sang the bands biggest hits, but was represented in their videos by model Katrin Quinol! It's time to get funky!
Now on to the coolest pickup of the week, Hot Shot Basketball!
Hot Shot Basketball: Travel Edition (Milton Bradley, 1992) 
I always wanted this game as a kid and never received it. I think it was the commercial that made me crave the chance to play some table top hoops. To this day I still tell people to "Beat That Hot Shot!" as a form of smack talk. Now, this version I picked up is the "Travel Edition" but the backboard still moves front to back and when you make a shot, the game keeps score. I love it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 7/6/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Publisher: ONI PRESS INC.
(W/A/CA) Sarah Andersen
A special one-shot written and illustrated by Sarah Andersen (Sarah's Scribbles)! When GIR brings home a flea-ridden stray cat, ZIM is furious-until he finds out what the cat does to Dib. Dib's sneezing and covered in hives-could the magical powers of this "cat" be harnessed and turned against all of mankind? Could the earth FINALLY be ZIM's?
Item Code: APR161825
In Shops: 7/6/2016
SRP: $3.99