Friday, September 29, 2017

Super Mario Bros. Skybox Movie Cards!

In the summer of 1993 kids all over the United States waited with anticipation for the theatrical release of the blockbuster film event of the decade! That film was Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi! I saw the movie at the theater when it was released and enjoyed it for the most part, but I was left with so many questions. Why was Koopa a human? Why were the heads of the Goombas so small? Where was Princess Toadstool? After all these years I have no answers for these questions, but I have grown to appreciate the Super Mario Bros. movie for what it is...a fun, crazy, industrial thrill ride filled with fungus and mediocre performances! In other words it is an amazing sight to behold!
Around the time the film was released naturally there was a ton of tie in merchandise. Everything from action figures to books to music soundtracks featuring Roxette were released to the unsuspecting masses, but the one thing that always eluded me was the Super Mario Bros. movie cards by Skybox! Years ago I bought a sealed box of 36 packs on eBay for around $10. I never had any intention to open them, but plans change.
Recently me and my kids watched the movie and my son fell in love with it. I mentioned to him that I had a box of the cards and his little mind was blown. We dug the cards out of our back closet and sat on the living room floor with the girls opening every pack to see if we could complete a whole set and we did! We got the 100 card base set and also the 3 card hologram set! When we reached this milestone there was much rejoicing and we read the back of each card as a bedtime story for the kids.
Now that I've told my story, in no particular order here are my favorite cards from this Super trading card set:
"A Parallel Dimension" (Card #28)
The scene where these 2 mini-dinos are featured happens when the Mario Bros. make their first trip to Koopa Square. These guys are only on screen for a split second, so it's nice to finally have a still picture of them to pour over for as long as I want. Aren't they cute?

"Big Plans" (Card #62)
For 80% of the movie the Mario Bros. are dressed in either street clothes or vibrant colored dance wear! It isn't until their assault on Koopa Tower that we finally get to see the unstoppable plumbers in their recognizable red & Green garb! I remember getting so excited when this happened on the big screen. I still get that feeling of joy when I look at this card today.

"Daisy's Back" (Card #90)
The scene from this card happens just before the end credits roll. Daisy busts into the Mario Bros. apartment asking for help on another adventure. I assume they did this to lead into a sequel. Man I would've loved seeing a second film with Wart as the main baddie...but wait something is a little off here? 
Daisy is in a totally different outfit on the card! They must have changed up the end sequence to make Daisy look more badass in the final version of the movie with her long sleeve shirt and bandolier filled with Bullet Bills!

"Koopa Regresses" (Card #86)
This is another blink and you miss it scene in the movie. When Koopa is hit with the Devo Gun (aka Super Scope 6) at the end of the film by Mario and Luigi, he is transformed into a primordial sludge that splashes on the streets. But as he is being transformed, he regresses from his current state to a T-rex in the process! I love this shot! I wonder if Dennis Hopper was under that sweet Halloween mask?

"Luigi Mario" (Card #4)
Not only does this card introduce us to one of our heroes it also shows that Luigi enjoys reading GamePro Magazine! I loved that periodical as a kid. Why don't they make these anymore?

"Yoshi" (Card #52)
For obvious reasons this card was included! Who didn't love Yoshi and to see him come to life in this film was mind shattering. He was so AWESOME and even saved the day by grabbing Lena with his super stretchy tongue! Also Samantha Mathis looks kinda hot is this photo.

That's it! I hoped you enjoyed this look back at one of the weirdest pieces of Nintendo history from the 90s. If you are a fan of Mario and haven't seen this movie, I highly suggest you check it out with an open mind...otherwise you will be very disappointed. After all THIS AIN'T NO GAME! For more info on the strange history of the making of this film, click HERE.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 9/27/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
SUPERMAN: ACTION COMICS #988
"THE OZ EFFECT" part two! As Superman struggles with the ramifications of Mr. Oz's identity, the mysterious figure's origins and the long road to Superman's doorstep finally reveal themselves.
(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Ryan Sook (CA) Nick Bradshaw    
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, September 22, 2017

Birthday Recap 2017!

My family really did an amazing job this year taking care of me on my birthday! First off when I woke up that morning sitting on the kitchen counter was this amazing Mr. Men cake my wife baked for me! It was butter/pecan flavor and she made the caramel frosting and Mr. Bump, Mr. Tickle and Mr. Happy were created with colored chocolates!

When I got home from work, my kids couldn't wait for me to open my gifts. The first one I opened was this mini Centipede arcade cabinet! I set the high score of the day at just over 35,000 points. I felt pretty accomplished until my wife told me the world record was over 16 million points!
Next I opened a gift from my son, these Masters of the Universe Megaconstrux mini-figs! I love these guys! They are like having mini versions of the original action figures! It was a bonus when we figured out you can remove their heads. We put Skeletor's staff skull on his head and it looks AWESOME!

Bill & Ted's Excellent Double Feature! I have owned a copy of Bogus Journey for a long time now. I got it from Pizza Hut when they did a "Dinner & a movie" promotion back in the day, but for some reason I never owned Excellent Adventure...until now! EXCELLENT!!! Also, the family stepped up my t-shirt game with this Space Jam shirt. I immediately took off my plain white tee and put this baby on!

My oldest daughter got me some of my favorite candy and a new Wii Nunchuck controller. She picked this out so we could all play games together. We already have 2, but now 3 players can take part in the Superhero Squad battles on the WiiU! What a thoughtful gift!
My youngest daughter picked out this Yeti in My Spaghetti game! If you don't know what this game is, it's kind of a mash-up between pick up sticks and Don't Break The Ice. You set up a bed of spaghetti over a bowl and place the adorable little Yeti in the middle. Each player takes a turn removing a piece of spaghetti. The one that drops him in ends the game. We had so much fun with this one. If you have kids between the ages of 5 & 8 like I do, I highly recommend it!

Opening all those gifts gave us an appetite! So we went to the best pizza parlor in town, Village Inn Pizza! This place has such an 80s retro feel to it. 
They have stained glass windows, dark lighting, classic salad bar and VIDEO GAMES!!!!
We were able to play the table top Ms. Pac-Man game (I set the high score!), Feeding Frenzy a crane game and Fast and the Furious. Then our pizza came!
We got a Pepperoni for the kids and the Village Inn special for me and my wife. This pizza was topped with Pepperoni, Salami, Sausage, Green Pepper, Onion, Black Olive And Mushroom and it was delicious! After dinner we went home, played some games and had some cake. It was a great day and I am so appreciative of all the thought that my family put into it. I am a lucky guy!   




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 9/20/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
CATWOMAN BY JIM BALENT TP BOOK 01
At last, DC collects Catwoman's 1990s adventures! Gotham City's Feline Fatale has turned a new leaf as she faces off with Bane, takes on thugs and includes Knightquest, Knightsend and Zero Hour crossovers! Collects Catwoman #0-14.
(W) Jo Duffy, Doug Moench (A) Rick Burchett, Ande Parks, Bob Smith (A/CA) Jim Balent
SRP: $29.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, September 15, 2017

Why Michael Dooney is my Hero.

 
 
As a huge lifelong fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the art of Michael Dooney has always been around my collection. Whether it be from the comic books, posters or Nintendo video game box art, Dooney's artwork, in my opinion, has always been the standard for other TMNT artists. So when I had the chance to purchase some of his autographed prints, I jumped at the opportunity! I got the prints and had intentions of getting them framed, but never got around to it. They ended up on a shelf in the basement. A few months ago when I was cleaning said basement I was shocked at what I found!
 
 
 
Ironically enough a strange goo had spilled all over the Ninja Turtle prints! I was not very happy about this turn of events. I tried to clean them the best that I could, but as you can see it didn't help. After some more cleaning I discovered that the goo came from a half drunken can of Duff Energy Drink! This is one time where I could "Get enough of that wonderful Duff"!
I became even more frustrated because I know it was myself that caused the damage. Like I said, I tried to clean them off and it didn't work. So I contacted Michael Dooney himself via his website, Dooney Girls! What happened next was AWESOME!
Mr. Dooney went out of his way to make sure that the damaged prints were replaced. I am very thankful for his dedication to his fans. But he didn't stop there...
 
He also threw in these 2 prints as a bonus! What a cool guy! It's these type of actions that keep your fans for life. I appreciate the personal care Mr. Dooney gave me and I will be getting these prints framed ASAP! That's why Michael Dooney is a hero to me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 9/13/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
HARLEY QUINN 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1
In a story written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Conner, learn what really happened when Harley, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy hit Vegas! Then, a tale written by Paul Dini with art by Chad Hardin takes us back to Harley's days with the Joker to see the hell he unleashes when he makes the mistake of scheduling the biggest heist of their career on Harley's birthday! Plus, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Joe Quinones pit Harley and the Joker against Batman and Robin -- but while you might think the Joker knows how to play with Batman's mind, it's nothing compared to Harley's ability to crack Robin's psyche! And that's not all! Writer Dale Kibblesmith with art by David LaFuente put Coney Island right in the path of a hurricane -- and put Harley on a collision course with Swamp Thing, of all people...monsters...things...? This issue also includes Harley pin-up pages with art by Babs Tarr, Bengal, Dustin Nguyen and more!
(W) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini, Chip Zdarsky (A) Amanda Conner, Chad Hardin, Joe Quinones (CA) Rachel Dodson, Terry Dodson
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

Superheroes at the Art Museum!

This past weekend we took our kids to the art museum for a new exhibit called "My Hero! Contemporary Art and Superhero Action"! The local art museum made this a fun event for kids by inviting cosplayers over to take pictures with the kids, snacks, crafts and FREE ADMISSION for everyone who was there to see the exhibit. My kids really got into the spirit of things by dressing up as Iron Man, Batgirl and Wonder Woman. Not only was the Superhero exhibit free, but the entire museum was open to the public at no cost. This was a great way to get my kids into the art museum and learn an appreciation for art. Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show.

"Catvengers" by Jenny Parks (2013)
This was possibly my favorite piece from the show! How could you not love cuddly cat versions of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes? I mean look at Cat-Hulk, he is so grumpy but I still want to pick him up and squeeze that soft fur! No question, this was my kids favorite image.

"Tony Stark, The Iron Man" & "Bruce Wayne, The Batman" by Jeremy Fisher (2015)
These sculptures were amazing. They were life sized recreations of the Iron Man and Batman masks. The details in the Iron Man mask were fantastic! From the twisted metal to broken wires it was great. I believe these were made to represent the fragility of our modern heroes and that we are all human underneath it all. Pretty deep!


"Xi'an-American Batman & Spider-Man Warriors" by Lizabeth Eva Rossof (2015)
These 2 statues were actually made from concrete and were inspired, as you might guess, by the terracotta warriors that were discovered in the tomb of China's first Emperor, Quin Shi Huang!

"DEFLECTION" by Maurizio Zuluaga (2014)
This collage had so much going on, but in the middle of it all stood the eye catching visage of Batman shooting rainbows from his eyes! This piece was so bright and busy that it was hard not to be drawn in and see how many characters you could find blended into the canvas. Another bit of info is that the artist is from Jersey City, NJ!

 "Tim Drake - Robin" by Simon Monk (2012)
There were several of these paintings in the "Bagged Heroes" series by Monk, but the one that stood out to me the most was this one of Tim Drake aka Robin. Not sure why? Maybe it's because he reminds me of the Kenner Robin figure from the "Batman Returns" line that I once owned?

"Non Stop Beautiful Ladies" by Remi Noel (2005)
This one just seemed funny to me. The artist, Remi Noel, took a Batman action figure and snapped photos of him in various situations like reading a cookbook, in bed at a hotel and staring at bat shaped power lines, but this is the one that stood out to me. It was so unusual to see Batman in this setting contemplating the night's entertainment that lies ahead.

I loved this exhibit! There were so many more great pieces of art at the show. If this exhibit ever hits your town, I highly recommend you strap on your boots, throw on your cape and fly on over to the art museum to check it out! For more info on this traveling exhibit or to see if it's heading anywhere near you visit The Bedford Gallery website.

Friday, September 8, 2017

80s Toys I spotted in "The Boss Baby"

Every Friday night we take time as a family to pick out a movie and watch it together. The kids get out their sleeping bags, we let them choose some candy and we decide on a movie. This past week's pick was "The Boss Baby". The movie features Alec Baldwin as The Boss Baby who is sent to Earth to protect babies from the rising popularity of cute puppies. Puppies are getting cuter therefore stealing the love from babies all over the world! It actually was a decent movie that had some pretty funny parts in it, but one of the cool things was the way they integrated real toys into the story. Here are the ones that I spotted:
 
Little People Farm (Fisher Price)
The intro to the film takes us on a ride through the room of Tim. Tim is a happy boy who likes to spend time with his Mom & Dad and loves playing with his toys. We get to see a few of these toys on display during this opening sequence including these Little People.
 
Mouse Trap (Milton Bradley)
This was another toy that we saw on the tour of Tim's room, it kind of foreshadows a later scene in the movie. Never really understood the rules of this game as a kid, don't understand it now, but damn is it fun to catch those mice in this crazy contraption!
 
Skeletor (Mattel)
I was really excited to see Skeletor hanging from a zip line in Tim's room. I was a huge fan of Masters of the Universe in the 80s and one of my favorite action figures of all-time was Dragon Blaster Skeletor. I got him for my birthday when I was 5 years old and the sight of Skeletor's blue skin and purple ram staff gives me goosebumps to this day!
 
Chatters Phone (Fisher Price)
Who didn't have one of these phones growing up or at least knew someone who did? My kids have one, but they are outgrowing it fast. The Boss Baby uses this phone to contact his superiors so he can keep them up to date on his mission progress!
 
Voltron (Matchbox)
I always wanted a Voltron as a kid. I never got one. The closest I got was when my brother got a watch that transformed into Voltron. It was pretty cool, but it could never match the pinnacle of AWESOMENESS that was the original die cast Lion Force Voltron!
 
He-Man & Skeletor (Mattel)
This cameo appearance of the most powerful man in the universe and his arch nemesis came by way of deleted scene where the boys are putting together their plan to stop puppies from stealing all of the world's love. It was a pretty funny scene where Skeletor comments on He-Man's "bikini", but it didn't make the final cut.
 
 
Etch-A-Sketch (Ohio Art)
I had an Etch-A-Sketch as a kid and my kids have an Etch-A-Sketch today. This is a timeless toy that causes as much joy as it does frustration. Why can't I ever make a circle look like a circle on this thing! I did have fun with this toy, but it was totally eclipsed when the Etch-A-Sketch Animator came out in 1987 and blew the original away! I had one of those as a kid also and finding an Animator is now on my collecting wish list. Enjoy this classic commercial and try to get the jingle out of your head!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 9/6/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
STAR WARS ADVENTURES #1
Introducing an exciting new era in all-ages Star Wars comics! Each issue in this monthly series will feature two stories, starring your favorite Star Wars characters from all the films! This debut issue will reveal Rey's early adventures on Jakku as well as a comical tale of clone catastrophe!
(W) Cavan Scott (A/CA) Derek Charm
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Car Show 2017

Every Labor Day weekend one of the local charities hosts a classic car show as a fund raiser. My kids get so excited for this event, even though in my mind it symbolizes the true end of the Summer season. We always have a great time, see some cool cars and enjoy delicious ice cream. This year was no different. Here are some of the cool cars we saw at the show!
 
This custom painted 70s Ford van sported a recreation of the artwork from the 1977 animated Ralph Bakshi film "Wizards". On the other side we had some more crazy artwork...
This side featured the artist shooting lines out of a paint sprayer at a Dragon who was holding a crystal ball! My son thought it was very cool!
 
This was a custom made Ford Rat-Rod. A rat rod is a hot rod that is built to look like the style from the 40s-60s. The signature look of these Rat Rods is to make them drivable, but still keep up an "unfinished" appearance. The artwork on the side of this Rat-Rod made it one of my favorites!
 
The one car my kids always seek out is the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner! These cars were specifically built with Warner Bros., so Plymouth could use the name, likeness and even sound of the Road Runner character on their cars! In years past the owner would let my kids honk the horn to hear the iconic "Beep, Beep" sound of the Road Runner. This year we had no such luck!
 
Any car with Rumble Seats or the engine in the back is a draw to my kids. They are so interested in the history of these machines and I am happy to talk to them about it. Even though the weather reached close to 100 degrees that day, it was a great show. The only issue we had was that the booth that usually sells Hot Wheels cars was only selling model kits this year! What the heck Hot Wheels guy! Maybe next year?