Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Christmas Recap

This past Christmas was AMAZING! I got some time off from work spent the day with my kids and wife and tore into a heaping helping of holiday goodness! My kids got what they asked for, a Hatchimal, Lego Mixels and an American Girl Doll. Let's see what I got, shall we?
Video Games
Got Madden from my sister, NES Remix from the in-laws, Ducktales from my kids & wife and Skylanders was a family present. I have wanted that Ducktales game for so long and it didn't disappoint! It was a blast of nostalgia wrapped up in a modern graphics package! So fun! We got a bunch of Skylanders figures at Toys R Us and stashed them away when they were "Buy 1 Get 3 Free". We were able to get all the kids' favorite characters (Spyro, Stealth Elf & Eruptor) and then some! Still have some in reserve for future holiday gift giving.
Movies & TV Shows on DVD
Scored the 5th season of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", 1st season of "What's Happening", Volume 6 of the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cartoon and "Deadpool". I am a huge fan of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and only need season 6 to complete my collection! I remember watching What's Happening as a kid in syndication and loving it for some reason? It still is a fun watch today and my kids walk around the house humming the catchy theme song! Still haven't seen Deadpool yet. I hope to rectify that this weekend!
Dorbz Vinyl Figures
Dorbz may be taking my attention away from Pop Vinyls. I mean look at these ultra cute versions of Peter, Winston and Donatello and tell me they wouldn't look sweet on your collectors shelf and they are super affordable!
Got these cool books from my family. I can't wait to read the kids the Ghostbusters Little Golden Book. It makes me so happy that they made this!
Ninja Turtles Action Vinyls
These Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were originaly priced at $50 and are a store exclusive. A few months ago the store was going out of business and I was able to grab these Loyal Subjects Action Vinyls on clearance for about $8! THEY GLOW IN THE DARK!!! I always had my eye on them, but the price was way too high. Merry Christmas to me!
Stocking Stuffers
When I was a kid, our parents always let us rip into our stockings before the adults woke up. This was probably their way of gaining a few more minutes of sleep before we woke them up. It was always stuffed with small toys and snacks. I love the snacks! This year I got Swedish Fish, War Heads Chews, Cry Baby Drops and Slim Jims. In addition to that my wife got me a Hickory Farms sausage & cheese gift set. I ate it before taking pics. Also in the stocking were Ninja Turtles Mini-Comics, Garbage Pail Kids Mini-Figs, a 3DS case, sports cards and a few blind bag/box items.
I hope everyone out there had as great a holiday as I had, so once again MERRY CHRISTMAS and I will see you next year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 12/28/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Blockbuster creators BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS and DAVID MARQUEZ go out with a seismic bang as fists fly over Washington D.C.!
Ulysses' precognitive powers grow stronger with each passing moment. As they reach their peak, what horrors from the future will be unleashed? And seeds sown here will bear bitter fruit for the Marvel Universe of tomorrow. Protect the future or change the future?
It all gets decided here!
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A) Various (CA) TBD
SRP: $4.99

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I hope it is full of family, fun and cheer! I know I am having a great time, but what to do after the turkey is eaten and the presents unwrapped? Why not watch a few of my favorite holiday classics below! Enjoy and I send my goodwill to you!

He-Man/She-Ra: A Christmas Special (1985)

Star Wars Holiday Special: Boba Fett Cartoon Segment (1978)

We wish you a Turtle Christmas: Part 1 (1994)

Fat Albert's Christmas Special (1977)

A Garfield Christmas Special (1987)

RUN DMC: Christmas In Hollis Music Video (1987)

Classic Christmas Commercials

Merry Christmas from 20 Years Before 2000!

Friday, December 23, 2016

A look at some ornaments

Christmas is almost here! It is one of my favorite times of the year! I actually got all my shopping done a couple weeks ago 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 come the lights! Then 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.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Pac-Man Arcade Machine w/ lights & sounds (Hallmark 2008)

Hand made Ninja Turtles (My kids made these for me! 2014)
Homer Claus (Hallmark)
Turbo w/ light up shell (Hallmark 2013)
BONUS: Ornament I made in Kindergarten for Mom (1986)
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!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 12/21/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
The first major event storyline of DC's Rebirth era begins with a day Amanda Waller always knew would come: the Justice League discovers the existence of the Suicide Squad! This government-sponsored black-ops team of super-villains with bombs implanted in their brains is obviously a deal-breaker for Earth's paragons of truth and justice! But you can bet that the Wall and her Task Force X won't go down without the fight to end all fights as this weekly series gets underway!
(W) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Jason Fabok
SRP: $3.99

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pop Culture League: The End

This morning I checked out Cool & Collected's website to see what the assignment was for the League to write about this week. Instead I found this surprising message:
"Last week, the League wrote about things they would do differently if given the opportunity. The Pop Culture League was a “Do Over” itself, in that it was reborn from the ashes of the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. As with its predecessor, the Pop Culture League has had a good run, but it’s time for me to tuck it into bed and let it slumber for a while. I have so much respect for all the bloggers who contributed, and every week was a fun and enlightening trip down various rabbit holes.
For most of us, our blogs are a side hobby, not our jobs, and as such, real life tends to take precedence over our online contributions (as it should!). Lately, my schedule outside of the blog has filled up and pulled me away more often than I would care to admit, and I just don’t feel like I can ask others to contribute to the League when I can’t find the time to contribute myself. So, it’s time to put the League into a deep cryogenic sleep once more, maybe to be reawakened by some future dystopian society.
As the holidays are fast approaching, I want to thank all of you for being a part of this grand experience and hope you all have an awesome 2017 — you guys rock!"
I can't say that I'm not disappointed to not have the League around anymore, but I completely understand and respect Brian for what he has done for not only my blog but the blogs of the other members. So in closing I would like to say a huge "Thank You" to Brian! I will continue to follow and read my fellow League member's pages as I hope they will do for me and I am grateful for my time in the Pop Culture League. It was fun while it lasted and I am proud to call myself a member of the Pop Culture League!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Here comes Vader Claus!

In 2009 the magic of Christmas reached a galaxy far, far away and thus Vader Claus was born! Produced by Funko, this amazing Holiday Darth Vader Bobble Head just screams Christmas. Look at him, he is the baddest of bad guys and yet through the magic of the season he is ready to offer you a gift.
Every year when the Christmas decorations come out, this dark lord of the Sith always finds a special spot in our house...and then my wife moves it to the shelf next to the back door. I wonder what kind of gift Vader would give? Is it a do it yourself lightsaber kit? A kowakian monkey-lizard? Maybe a nice hand knitted sweater? The possibilities are endless and baffle my mind!
The art on the back of the box only makes me happier! Look at how happy Han and Luke are to receive gifts from their arch nemesis. I imagine that when they open these boxes that they will explode, sort of like a gift from Jokey Smurf. Oh how silly those Rebels will look with soot all up in their faces!
I really do enjoy this Vader Bobble head. The sculpt is great as usual from Funko and it's a Star Wars decoration for the holidays. What's not to like?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rest in peace Mr. Seaver

On my way into work this morning I heard the news that iconic 80s actor Alan Thicke is dead at the age of 69 from an apparent heart attack while playing Hockey with his son. Of all places I heard this shocking news while listening to ESPN Radio's "Dan Le Batard Show". Alan was a frequent caller into the show and they played a few of his most memorable clips. I was almost in tears. Not only did we loose a great person & actor, but I felt like a piece of my childhood was gone also.
Anyone who grew up in the 80s will recognize Alan Thicke as Dr. Jason Seaver from the popular show "Growing Pains". I watched that show from the time it hit air in 1985. It was one of those shows that I felt like I grew up with it as the characters grew.
Aside from being a solid actor Alan Thicke wrote so many memorable theme songs including the theme from "The Facts of Life" and another one of my fave 80s sitcoms "Diff'rent Strokes"! What you talkin' bout, Willis!
As a Canadian he was a huge Hockey fan and got the chance to write the epic Tampa Bay Lightning fight song! Alan Thicke was inducted to the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2013.
Recently Alan Thicke had been seen in everything from the soap opera "The Bold & The Beautiful" to "How I Met Your Mother" to "Scream Queens". Just last night I watched an episode of "Fuller House" on Netflix where he played a blind date for DJ Tanner! This guy never slowed down!
He will be missed. I'm sure not only by me but by millions of fans. Now enjoy this lost tape of Alan Thicke performing "Santa Claus is coming to town" with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is how I would like to remember him, as a fun loving guy who was down for anything. What are some of your favorite Alan Thicke memories?

Comic Book Pick: 12/14/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
DC's biggest and brightest heroes celebrate the holidays in this new special! Don't miss a Chanukah crisis for Huntress, a Flash family Christmas, Wonder Woman interrupting John Constantine's hellblazing pagan party and more-including the return of Detective Chimp! Today's top talents bring you a very special holiday gift that'll keep on giving through the New Year! And writer Paul Dini crafts a Harley holiday tale featuring DCU guests that bridges all the stories in the weirdest, wildest way.
(W) Paul Dini, James TynionIV, Steve Orlando, Vita Ayala, Cullen Bunn, Tim Seeley, James Asmus, Heath Corson, Kate Perkins (A) Robbi Rodriguez, Gustavo Duarte (CA) Jorge Jimenez
SRP: $9.99

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pop Culture Challenge: The Do Over

Last week the Pop Culture League wrote about the great heroes of our Universe, so naturally as a follow up this week's challenge is to write about a “Do over. If you could do it all over again…" Obviously, like most people I have made some mistakes in my life. You live and you learn. But this is a pop culture blog, so I will skip all that life lesson stuff and jump into one of my biggest collecting regrets....Subscription boxes!
I have always wanted to pull the trigger on ordering one or more of these subscription boxes. These companies like Loot Crate pack a box full of collectible goodies and send them to your house for as low as $15. The price does go up based on what plan you pick and how many items are in each box.
The problem with a lot of these subscription services is that you don't know what you will be getting each month, and that kind of scares me. I know anything that I didn't want to keep from the boxes, I could regift to a friend or my brother, but it's the fear of the unknown that keeps me from ordering.
I totally regret my decision after I see the treasures that are packed into each box, but by that time it is too late. If you are in the market to purchase one of these boxes for yourself or as a gift, I suggest checking out TMNT Box, Nerd Block, Legion of Collectors or Dino Drac's Fun Packs.
The Dino Drac Packs are the boxes I regret not grabbing the most! Each month Dinosaur Dracula offers up one of these AWESOME packs for $25. He let's you know what's inside each month so there are no surprises and it is full of retro gold! I wish I would have jumped on this train when it started years ago. Now I am lost in the regret of what could have been.
Here is what the other League members would like to do over:
Green Plastic Squirt Gun: Big Loo for $1.50
The Toy Box: Batman & Star Wars on Vinyl
The Harvey Mercheum: Collecting Regrets
Toy Break: Should have ducked, man!
Mr. Smith: Great moments in Time travel

Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas Smurf Village

I bought these Smurf figurines about 6 years ago and they have become a holiday favorite for my kids. They love when we pull out the Christmas decorations and empty out the seasonal toys. The Smurfs have always been one of my favorite 80s properties since my Mom made me a blanket when I was 2 years old!
These festive Smurfs were made by Jakks in 2006 and they are some of my favorites. They have the look of the original Smurf figurines from the 80s, but their arms, heads and waists move.
My favorite of the 3 figures in the set is easily Santa Papa Smurf. He was born to guide that sleigh! Literally, there is a place specifically made in the sleigh for Papa to rest his butt. My only problem is that Papa is stuck in a crouching pose so he can ride in the sleigh. He can not stand straight up!
I also wanted to show this "A Charlie Brown Christmas" book and tree set. The book is a full adaptation of the animated special and the tree came in parts so you could assemble your own at home. These small stocking stuffers range in price from $7.99-$9.99. This one was $8.99.
As a gift to you, I present the 1986 Smurfs Christmas Special! Watch below and Merry Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Comic Book Pick: 12/7/16

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Party like it's 1977 in this cross-over event fans have wanted for decades - but never thought possible! Now, Diana Prince meets Jaime Sommers... or should we say, Wonder Woman meets The Bionic Woman? In this action-packed mini-series, the two television titans team up to fight a rogue cabal bent on wreaking havoc and stealing deadly weapons. Can CASTRA be stopped before their real targets are revealed and lives are lost? With super powers, bionic enhancements, surprise villains, and an invisible plane, just about anything is possible!
    (W) Andy Mangels (A) Judit Tondora (CA) Alex Ross    
   SRP: $3.99            

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pop Culture Challenge: Space Marines

To get the Pop Cultures creative juices flowing this week, Cool & Collected dropped this topic on us "Space marines. Pop culture’s peacekeepers of the future." Obviously the first thing that popped into my mind were the soldiers from the Aliens movies. I do enjoy the Aliens franchise, but I am not a collector of the merchandise. But then I took a look at the last part that said "Pop culture’s peacekeepers of the future." and one name popped into my head...Captain Power!
On September 1st, 1987 this magnificent hero was dropped on the unsuspecting public!
He was tough, he was shiny and his Soldiers of the Future were human kinds last hope against the Bio-Dreads! You see by 2132 ad our worldwide military force was replaced by the Bio-Mechs. Of course crazy Dr. Taggart believe a man/machine hybrid was the next step to evolution. The robots become self aware, the Metal Wars ensue, humans lose and Captain Power fights for the rights of all future humans!
The show only ran for 22 episodes. I don't know why? It was a great premise, the characters were cool, the bad guys were robots and your Captain Power toys could interact with the actual television show as you watched it! How sweet is that?
I remember seeing these ads all over the comic pages. I thought it was an AWESOME idea, but I could never find the show on air. The only instructions I had were "Watch for the futuristic military adventures of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future on TV this fall". I never saw an episode of the show and my interest waned onto other things.
The only merchandise I owned from this show as a kid was a pair of glow-in-the-dark sneakers and issue #1 of the comic book. The Captain Power action figure was always on my wish list though.
I was never able to find him for a reasonable price, until recently I spotted something shiny & bold calling me to a hanging grab bag at the local Goodwill store. Could it be?
IT WAS!! I found Captain Power detained in a grab bag filled with broken toys and other cheap crap! I made it my mission to save him! For $2 I picked him up and he is now a part of my vintage toy collection. I am glad to have this piece to my collecting puzzle finally in hand. It brings back so many memories. Now let's watch the show!
Here are some other League Members take on the "Space Marines" topic: