Friday, June 28, 2019

Taking the Fam to the Drive-In!

Every summer the wife and I take the kids to the Amusement Park Drive In theater to catch a flick. We usually only do this once a year, so the kids get really excited about it and have to pick the movie they want to see the most. This year they all decided on Toy Story 4! So away we went. The prices were reasonable at $7 per adult and $5 per kid.
We got there around 9 pm and that gave us enough time to get the back of the van set up with pillows, cushions and sleeping bags. We also went to grab snacks at the concession stand which is always a treat in itself!
The snack barn is literally a barn that has been converted to meet our movie time snacking needs and bathroom trips. I love the old school trash cans with the lions heads on the top. You know a place is classy if they have these!
Inside was pretty nice. They must have done some renovations recently, because I don't remember it being so clean. The prices were reasonable and the crew behind the counter was friendly and helpful. We ended up getting a few extra large popcorns for us to share and a Dr. Pepper for the wife.
The Snack Barn also had some cool looking old school ride machines like this Bozo The Clown School Bus...
and this AMAZING Kermit Muppet Babies car. Neither of them were working, but that didn't stop the kids from climbing in, having some laughs and taking some pictures. I really wish these were working. It's not often now that you find these machines outside of grocery stores or other retail outlets and I want my kids to be able to enjoy them to the fullest before they get too old like I used to.
Another cool but strange sight was this wall of old TVs and a rocking horse that lined the area where the bathrooms were. Odd definitely, awesome...absolutely!!!
This place is called The Amusement Park Drive In because of the rides that are housed on the lot. They have a spinning ride and a roller coaster. In all the years we have been coming here I don't think I have seen them running once. It must be a money thing or maybe an insurance thing? Still gives the place a nice ambiance though!
The movie finally started around 10:15 pm and ran until almost midnight. The kids really enjoyed Toy Story 4, but I had mixed feelings about it. Toy Story 3 did such a great job with wrapping up the series that I felt this one was a little unnecessary. It was good, but not great in my opinion. In defense though it had some high expectations to live up to based off the original trilogy. We had a great night at the drive in and I know we will be back again for more family fun!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Comic Book Pick 6/26/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
"GHOSTS OF CYBERTRON" PART 1! After years of civil war, the Autobots fled Cyberton, leaving their home planet in the evil clutches of Megatron and his Decepticons. Years later and millions of miles away, the Autobots pick up a Cybertronian distress signal from a mysterious planet called Earth. The ghostly signal shouldn't exist, and it'll bring Optimus Prime and his team-including brand-new Autobot ECTOTRON-face-to-face with... the GHOSTBUSTERS! Crossing the streams after 35 years! Written and illustrated by the long-time fan-favorite Ghostbusters creative team of Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, and Luis Antonio Delgado! Five action-packed interconnecting covers from series artist Dan Schoening! The series will also include covers from superstar artists like Nick Roche, Alex Milne, Paulina Ganucheau, Priscilla Tramontano, and more!
(W) Erik Burnham (A) Dan Schoening (CA) Nick Roche
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/24/19

Throw on your baggy jeans and head to a construction site as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Fu-Schnickens
Song: Breakdown
Album:  Nervous Breakdown (1994)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 67
Bonus Fun Fact: This was the group's second single off their 1994 album and features samples from the songs "Dance Floor" by Zapp and "Theme From The Black Hole" by Parliament.

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Special Wizard Publication

Last month I took my kids to the annual local library book sale. My oldest daughter is an avid reader and is always on the hunt for new books to read. The prices at this book sale range from 25 cents to around $2 each. She found a few new novels to peruse and I found an old Wizard magazine from October 1997! This was a special edition of Wizard that covers the big Marvel Heroes Return event that brought classic characters like Iron Man, Captain America and The Fantastic Four back to the regular Marvel continuity. Back then this was a big deal, but now I can see it as the cash grab it was. Anyway, whenever I see an old Wizard magazine for sale at a reasonable price, I just have to pick it up. The nostalgia is too much for me to pass up. It brings back happy memories of the years that I really became a collector of comics and the humor and articles within still hold a soft spot in myself. Below are some of the highlights from this $1 pickup. Take a look and let's see if it sparks some of those feelings for you:
Created by Mark Bagley and Kurt Busiek in 1997 the Thunderbolts were a super group who's goal was to pick up the slack while Cap, Iron Man and the FF were missing. They seemed like any other super group of the time, with one huge exception...they were all former bad guys using new identities to save the world! I will never forget the shock I got after reading Thunderbolts #1 and seeing the final page of that issue where the Thunderbolts true identities were revealed. It was shocking and a twist I never expected. It still ranks for me as one of the best secrets in comics that I have ever read.
This is just an ad for the upcoming Heroes Return story line. I just included it here to show the kind of ads you find on the regular in Wizard Magazine. They were well put together and always eye catching. This ad shows off a mix of the "Sunburst" variant covers that would be released with each #1 issue released with this release.
Inside this special publication, Wizard revealed a list of the top 10 Biggest Marvel Battles of All Time! The Infinity Gauntlet was placed at number 1 ahead of such great story lines as the Contest of Champions, Secret Wars, The Korvac Saga, The Evolutionary War, X-Men Onslaught, Inferno, Kree-Skrull War, The Age of Apocalypse and The Surtur Saga. I have to say that I totally agree with their pick. The story was amazing when it was released in the 90s and it still defies the test of time as it has become a huge smash at the box office.
This section was hosted by the Watcher and attempts to catch up the missing heroes with what has happened since they left a few years back. This section really highlights the wit and humor that Wizard was known for. How could they not take the opportunity to poke fun at the "Batman and Robin" movie?
I'll wrap this article up with this pretty cool "Create Your Own Celestial" contest. The Celestials are an ancient race of beings that are nearly invulnerable and have the power to destroy universes. Mostly they are presented as looking like humanoid giants in full body armor. This was your chance to get creative and make your own character in order to win big prizes like original artwork, signed comics and a ... boomerang? Wizard always ran contests like this. I always wanted to enter, but never did. Another missed life opportunity! What are some of the memories you have of Wizard Magazine or the Marvel Heroes Return event? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Comic Book Pick 6/19/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Follow the adventures of rabbit Ronin Miyamoto Usagi as he wanders Edo period Japan on his warrior's journey. In the start of this three-part story, Usagi becomes embroiled in a puppet drama where the players are not quite what they seem! Written, drawn, and lettered by comics legend Stan Sakai! Colors by Tom Luth (Groo the Wanderer)!  The start of an exciting new chapter in the epic ongoing saga of Usagi, now published by IDW! Exciting retail incentive variants are offered for the serialized Usagi Yojimbo series for the first time! This series will be in all color!
(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/17/19

Throw on your dashiki and head to Tennessee as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Arrested Development
Song: People Everyday
Album:  3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the life of... (1992)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 8
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was the group's follow up to the hugely successful single "Tennessee". Samples lyrics and music from Sly & The Family Stone's hit song "Everyday People" from 1969.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Stranger Things are happening...

at Baskin Robbins right now! I heard through the wire that Baskin Robbins, home of 31 flavors, would be introducing new Stranger things inspired flavors and creations this summer. So this past weekend we took the kids to the park to run around, had a picnic then after that we headed to taste the flavors of the upside down!
Baskin Robbins was pretty creative with their new Stranger Things menu. They didn't just rehash an old product and slap a clever Stranger Things related name on it, but these are all new, unique taste treats. Above you will see the Demogorgon Sundae. This is a Demogrgon shaped waffle bowl filled with Very Berry Strawberry ice cream, strawberry topping and sprinkles. The Upside Down Sundae is a scoop of the new Upside Down Pralines ice cream with caramel sauce, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on the bottom! 
These two creations were dedicated to everyone's favorite Hawkins refugee, Eleven. Here we have the Elevenade Freeze, which is a mix of vanilla ice cream and lemonade. The final stop on this journey takes us to Eleven's Heaven, waffle cone ice cream, chocolate coating, sprinkles served in a waffle cone.
Of course when we entered Baskin Robbins we had to stop and check out what items we wanted to try, but there were some other cool Stranger Things decor to check out. We all got our pictures taken in the Scoops Ahoy! cut out and I was interested in the two new flavors of ice cream. Those being the Upside Down Pralines and Eleven's Heaven.
While ordering I couldn't stop drooling over the Stranger Things merchandise they had for sale that included an exclusive Scoops Ahoy! Steve Funko Pop figure, stickers and official Scoops Ahoy! shirts! Didn't get any this time, maybe next.
I ended up ordering the Upside Down Sundae and my son and daughter each got a Demogorgon Sundae. I really enjoyed mine, my only complaint is that it was just a single scoop of ice cream. Next time I'll ask for two. My kids enjoyed their frozen novelties as well and were filled before they even finished!
Baskin Robbins didn't just let the fun stop at the door, you can take home your own Sccops Ahoy! brand ice cream, the U.S.S. Butterscotch or you could order some of a Byer's House Lights Cookie Pizza. Very cool! If you are a fan of Stranger Things, I highly suggest you go to Baskin Robbins right now and take part in these limited edition treats while they last! Remember season 3 debuts on July 4th!!!!
Check out the Baskin Robbins/Scoops Ahoy! page by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Comic Book Pick 6/12/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
"HUNTED" now runs through AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23!
•  The fallout from "HUNTED" is felt and much of Peter's life is called into question.
•  What is left of Spider-Man after living through the harrowing hunt?!
(W) Nick Spencer (A/CA) Ryan Ottley
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/10/19

Throw on your shiny suit and hit the animal hospital as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Aaliyah
Song: Are You That Somebody
Album:  Dr. Dolittle Soundtrack (1998)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 21
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was produced by Timbaland who also provides the rap portion of the song. Nominated at the 1999 Grammy Awards for "Best Female R&B Vocal performance".

Friday, June 7, 2019

Whatever Happened to Johnny Arcade?

In 1990 I was introduced to the show Video Power! I remember the show aired early in the mornings on weekdays on either WWOR or WPIX. The show was originally split into 2 segments. The first would be 15 minutes of pure video game bliss as the show's host Johnny Arcade would give us tips, hints & cheats on our favorite games for all of our favorite systems. Johnny would also do sneak peaks of upcoming games and reviews of current ones. 
He would do this all from the comfort of his AMAZING hangout/room. This place was total nirvana for any young video game fan at the time. If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up during these years, I would have said "Johnny Arcade"! The guy got paid to play video games! It was amazing. He was a role model to us all.
The second part of the show was a cartoon called "The Power Team". It featured the Acclaim video game heroes Kuros from Wizards & Warriors, Max Force from NARC, Tyrone from Arch Rivals, Bigfoot and Kwirk. They fought the bad guys Mr. Big and Malkil in order to save the world.
Occasionally Johnny Arcade would be seen in cartoon form in order to assist the Power Team in their exploits to defeat the forces of evil. The cartoon lasted for 33 episodes during season 1 of Video Power.
Then during season 2 of Video Power the cartoon was dropped in favor of a game show segment! The game started off with 4 contestants picked from the audience as they played a video game in order to get the high score within the 2:02 time limit. The top 2 scorers would move on to the Quiz round. Players were asked video game related questions and had to identify games based on the music. Each right answer gained them points. Finally it was on to the final head to head game play challenge. Whoever had the highest score after playing the game earned 50 points. 
The player with the most points at the end earned the right to go to the prize round where they would grab prizes like games, accessories and consoles. They were only given 41 seconds to make it through the course and velcro as many prizes to their vests and helmets as they could handle. 
Whatever they had, they won and Johnny Arcade would help identify each prize on camera. After season 2 ended in 1992 Video Power was not renewed for another year. So what happened to the Video Game icon Johnny Arcade?
Johnny Arcade was played by actor Stivi Paskoski. After his starring role on Video Power, Paskoski went on to act in shows like Franny's Turn (1992), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and the movie PCU (1994). Then after taking almost 10 years off, he returned to the screen in Third Watch (2003) and has had a steady acting career since then. Highlights include his role as Charles Bell in Law & Order and Lead SVR Agent in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Who would have thought that Johnny Arcade would become a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Comic Book Pick 6/5/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
SPINNING OUT OF THE PAGES OF AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES! The Black Cat is back and starring in her first ever ongoing series! Felicia Hardy has a taste for the finer things in life and a certain set of skills that can get her into any mansion, vault or museum to...procure said finer things. But due to her actions in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Felicia's not only on the run from the police but also by the New York Thieves Guild and their boss ODESSA DRAKE! High-octane heists, climactic chases and twist after twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat like a cat on a perch. IN THIS ISSUE: Find out a secret from Cat's past in a bonus story that sets a foundation for the future! All this and an all-new MARVEL MEOW short story by Nao Fuji!
(W) Jed MacKay (A) Travel Foreman, Michael Dowling, Nao Fuji (CA) J. Scott Campbell
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/3/19

Throw on your black suit, black shades & black shoes and hit the alien infested streets of New York as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Will Smith
Song: Men In Black
Album:  Men In Black: The Album (1997)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 1
Bonus Fun Fact: Coko from the group SWV provides the background singing vocals on this track. This song samples heavily from Patrice Rushen's 1982 song "Forget Me Nots". Won the 1998 Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance. This song was covered by The Chipmunks for their 1998 album "The A-Files: Alien Songs".