Friday, January 31, 2020

My Old Sticker Book: Part 1

While visiting my family back in New Jersey this past October, I took it upon myself to wander into my Mom's attic to see if some of my old stuff was still up there. To my surprise, she had not thrown anything out! So away I went, searching through bins and boxes looking for things that I could take back with me or at least get pictures of to share with you guys. One of the things that was uncovered was my old sticker album. Let's stop this chit-chat and get to looking...shall we?
The first and last pages in this album were dedicated to this old NBC Saturday morning lineup advertisement. There are some great things going on here from Mr. Miyagi teaching Daniel how to karate chop wood to Smurfs sharing a campfire with John Candy, but the main reason I taped this into my album was the appearance of Captain N! Coming up on the next few pages, you will see that I tried to keep these stickers in some kind of order. Each page has it's own theme. On to page 1!
The World of Nintendo featuring the Super Mario Bros. & Legend of Zelda
Back in the late 80s & early 90s Nintendo was everything! It was that one common bond that all kids had (except the ones who owned a Sega Master System). We would talk about high scores, what level we made it to and the latest cheat codes. Sure we all bragged about what we accomplished and some of us made up a bunch of crap about our victories. These stickers and their early art design really take me back to those days of the new and outstanding NES system.
 Hockey Stickers
I am by no means a hockey fan. I've been to 1 New Jersey Devils game in my entire life and I never collected hockey cards outside of Pro Stars alum Wayne Gretzky. I was given these stickers by one of my grade school teachers for achieving some kind of high score on a test and I turned them into the wacky game of shoot the puck that you see above.
 Garfield Stickers
Let me start off by saying Garfield and Friends was tha shiznit. We loved that cartoon in my house and watched it every weekend. That is probably what led me to buy these stickers.
 Ninja Turtles Stickers from TMNT Magazine and TMNT Pies
Yes, I had a subscription to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Magazine. That is why I have these awesome stickers in my collection. It really bugged me that they all had red bandanas when I was a kid. I wasn't aware until a few years after getting these stickers that in the original Mirage comic all the Turtles wore red bandanas. It wasn't until the cartoon came out in 1988 that the different colors were introduced for each Turtle. Not much to say about the TMNT Pie stickers except they were AWESOME and I thank my Dad for packing them in my lunch all those years ago!
 Mello Smello Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stickers
Not too much to say about the TMNT stickers. Me and my brother were huge fans of the Mean, Green Machine and I bought these at the local Hackettstown, NJ Mall with my allowance money. I doremember it being quite a hard decision picking which sticker sheets would come home with me though. Those are were true real world problems!
Vending Machine Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Stickers
We tried so hard to collect the whole set of these and begged my Mom for quarters when she took us shopping at our local A&P grocery store.. Me and my brother came close, but alas the machine was changed out before we could complete it!
Stay tuned for My Old Sticker Book: Part 2, coming soon!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Comic Book Pick 1/29/20

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
The Turtles are separated, each trying to find their own way forward. With their absence, Old Hob fills the power vacuum with the help of some very unusual new mutants!
(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Sophie Campbell (A/CA) Sophie Campbell
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 1/27/20

Throw on Red Suit Jacket and head to Philly as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Boyz II Men
Song: Motownphilly
Album:  Bad Boys: Cooleyhighharmony (1991)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: #3
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was the debut single for Boyz II Men and was co-written by Michael Bivens of New Edition and Bel Biv DeVoe fame. The video for this song features a cameo by all white R&B group Sudden Impact which was put together by Bivens as part of his East Coast Family group of artists.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Secret Wars Action Figures!

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars was a huge event that took place in the pages of the 12 issue Marvel Comics mini-series of the same name from May 1984 - April 1985. A very abbreviated synopsis of this series goes something like this...The Beyonder transports a group of Marvel's best heroes and worst villains to a place called Battleworld. While there these characters are challenged to defeat each other in a battle royale where the winner will receive all that they desire. Even though this concept seems simplistic, some cool changes were made to the status quo of these characters. Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter is introduced, Colossus breaks up with Kitty, Thing leaves the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man gets his symbiote suit and an amazing toy line was created by Mattel!
This toy line ran for 3 series from 1984-1985 with the first 2 series released in the US and the 3rd only being released internationally. Me and my brother loved these figures and for the most part it was our introduction to these wonderful Marvel characters. We didn't have the whole set, but we had quite a few. Now in my 30s I am looking to regain that collection. Some of the figures I currently own are from our original collection and some were purchased online. Either way these are great toys with huge nostalgia value to me. I most vividly remember playing under our beds with the figures and using that as the bad guys underground lair while the heroes occupied the top of the bed. We may not have been familiar with all of the characters, I called Baron Zemo "Heat Panel" for the longest time, but it was fun, we used our imaginations and they bring back amazing memories. Here is the collection so far!

By looking at the pictures above, I'm sure you can see that these are not mint specimens by any means, but that's okay with me. This is what our toys looked like. How many of you broke off Doc Ock's arms, ripped Doctor Doom's holster or chewed on Captain America's wings? I know I did. These guys are a good start to my collection, but there are a few omissions that I would like to have again.
Most notably these include a Daredevil figure, Captain America figure, Turbo Cycle and a Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Sticker Adventure book. I hope I was able to take you with me as I traveled down memory lane to those times when we were kids and didn't have any cares in the world and our biggest issue was figuring out how Spider-Man could take down Baron Zemo. Enjoy a commercial for these classic figures below & EXCELSIOR!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Comic Book Pick 1/22/20

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
In anticipation of the new Ghostbusters feature film coming to theaters Summer 2020, we look back at the Boys in Grey's first year on the job, showcasing never before seen adventures! After defeating Gozer and becoming heroes in the city, county, and state of New York, a publisher has decided to cash in with a biography of the Boys in Grey and sends a writer to interview them all for background. He starts with WINSTON ZEDDEMORE, the first 'buster hired into the supernatural start-up. Winston relates the story of his very first bust, so we can finally know what kind of... ahem, stuff he's seen that'll will turn you white!
(W) Erik Burnham (A/CA) Dan Schoening
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 1/20/20

Throw on Best Suit and Shades and Hit Club Hell With The Bad Boys as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Warren G
Song: So Many Ways
Album:  Bad Boys: Movie Soundtrack (1995)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: This song originally appeared on Warren G's debut album "Regulate...G Funk Era" in 1994. "So Many Ways" features a sample of the song "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" by The S.O.S Band.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Remebering DJ Kat & the Fox 5 Kids Club

Who doesn't remember running home from school in the mid 80s to mid 90s so they could watch cartoons? I know I do. Myself and my brother would get home from school and turn on our TVs by hand to watch such classics as Tiny Toons, Bobby's World, Masters of the Universe, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Ghostbusters and Duck Tales. Our Mom let us watch until around 5pm when Diff'rent Strokes starring Gary Coleman came on. 
That's when we knew it was time to crack the books and do our homework. To this day that theme song still conjures visions of math, social studies and English books ready for me to pencil in my answers. Then one day in 1988 we turned on FOX 5 and we were introduced to an afternoon cartoon host like no other, by the name of DJ Kat!
Now, unknown to me DJ Kat had been around for a few years prior on his own show during Saturday mornings from November 28th, 1987 - December 26th, 1987. His show was then moved to Sunday mornings until December 24th, 1988. Here is a clip of the show:
Myself and my brother never really paid attention to this show, probably due to us having our usually regimented Saturday morning viewing mapped out so we could see our favorite shows. So, this was something new to us when he debuted as the host of the Fox 5 Kids club.
DJ Kat was wisecracking, funny and cool by late 80s standards and most importantly of all, he helped me become a member of the Fox Kids Club.
When you joined the Kids Club it was something special. You really felt like you were a part of something big. To prove this you got your very own membership card with the Secret Code on the back so you could receive exclusive messages and in addition to this you also got...
a FREE subscription to one of the best kids magazines of all-time, Totally Kids Magazine! This thing was packed with games, puzzles, crafts, interviews, previews of upcoming cartoons, advertisements and exclusive comics featuring everyone from The Tick to Batman! It was amazing and I would re-read these all the time until every word had sunk into my brain making me ready for any Fox related conversations that may have broken out on the schoolyard. I may still have a few of these hanging around somewhere, man I hope I do. This magazine was AMAZING! If you ever had a subscription, you know what I'm talkin' bout!
But I digress, back to DJ Kat. I've read online that the original 1987 version of this character came off as abrasive and rude and that's what caused the show to be revived and revamped in 1988 with a new puppeteer by the name of Craig Marin and a new co-host to hang out with in his dank, urban clubhouse. No longer did he have Elizabeth Rose by his side, no, the DJ Kat I know and love had the bubbly and cute Jennifer Davis played by Carmen De La Paz. I may or may not have had a crush on her back in the day? Honestly, I can't remember?
Either way, DJ Kat was a fun character who introduced our weekday morning cartoons after school and he was the coolest guy because he introduced me to the Fox 5 Kids Club! By the way, I still regret not sending in my fan artwork of DJ Kat to the show. I really think it had a chance to be featured, but my brother said it sucked and I never sent it in. Let that be a lesson kids, don't listen to your brother when he says things suck! Now let's take a final look at DJ Kat as he takes on WWF Superstar Jake "The Snake" Roberts! I wonder who is going to win?
Side note: I will never forget when DJ Kat said the letters WWF stood for Weird, Wimpy Fakes! That must have really chaffed The Snakes tights!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Comic Book Pick 1/15/20

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
IRON MAN 2020 #1 (OF 6)
The future is now! Artificial Intelligences presents a clear and present danger to humanity and must be brought to heel! The Robot Rebellion battles for the establishment of robot rights! And Arno Stark IS Iron Man! PLUS! Pete Woods' main cover art will feature a 5th Color Fluorescent Ink treatment!
(W) Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage (A/CA) Pete Woods
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 1/13/20

Throw on Something Fluorescent and Hit The Club as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Young MC
Song: Bust A Move
Album:  Stone Cold Rhymin' (1989)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 7
Bonus Fun Fact: This song won the 1990 Grammy Award for "Best Rap Performance" and features a sample from the song "Daytime Hustler" by Bette Midler! The video features appearances by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who played bass on the song and Crystal Blake , who sings backup on the song.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Wrapping Up Christmas 2019

Now that I am a parent Christmas is mostly all about making the kids happy and helping Santa get them the toys that were on their list. But every year I still look forward to unwrapping my own gifts from my kids & wife. They typically do a great job of getting me some sweet presents and this year they did not disappoint. I know it's a little late, but lets look behind the wrapping paper and see what goodies were under the tree for me this year!

Stocking Stuffers
I freakin' love stocking stuffers! Ever since I was a kid I couldn't wait to rip into the stocking on Christmas morning to find the cool little gifts Santa had brought in addition to all the edible goodies inside. This year was no different. I got a lot of my favorite retro sweets including an Astro Pop, Bubble Tape, Bazooka Bubble Gum, a Kool-Aid Candy Cane and Crisp Kringle! In addition to these I also received a Hickory Farms mini sausage, mustard and 2 more Transformers mini figures to add to my collection!

Freakin' Crossfire!!!! This game has been around since 1971, but one can argue that it really caught fire in the late 80s & early 90s with the amazing marketing campaign that was released to televisions and depicted two young men locked in deadly combat over their Crossfire board. One would be crowned the victor while the other would be spun out viciously to an unknown dimension of pain and humiliation. At least that's how read into it as a kid. Never had this game growing up, always wanted it and finally got it in 2019! Let me say, it does not disappoint. Me and my son had a blast playing it, but the old school marketing was very misleading as I won and there was no fanfare or twirling loser at the end. DAMN!

Basketball Cards
I have been a collector of basketball cards since the early 90s when Jordan was causing the market to explode. I still pick up a few packs each year and try to get cards of my favorite players and top rookies. For Christmas I got a box of 2019-2020 NBA Hoops cards in the limited winter design. I did snag some cards of Zion Williamson and Ja Morant in addition to Shaq, Giannis and my recent fave player from the Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie!

I rarely make it out to the movie theater to see a movie above a PG rating these days, so my wife picked me up a great selection of movies I have missed over the last year. Included are Spider-Man: Far From Home, Shazam!, Godzilla: King of Monsters, Aquaman, and Venom. Can't wait to find the time to watch these flicks!

Stranger Things: Palace Arcade Mini Game
This machine is pretty AWESOME! It has 20 games built in including classics like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Galaxian and Galaga in addition to having Stranger Things games based on favorites like Breakout and Tetris. This has gotten a lot of use around my house between me and the kids since Christmas.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1up Arcade Cabinet!!!!!
I had no idea my wife was getting this for me. When I got up with the kids in the morning, there was no large box under the tree and I was extremely happy with the gifts I had gotten. Then we went over to my wife's sister's house for dinner and I saw it!!! Surprise!!! She had been putting away a few dollars every time she went shopping and got this game on sale during black Friday just because she knew how much this game meant to me. She really is great and I was very spoiled this Christmas and this just made me want to scream out in joy. In all fairness this is a family gift and anytime it is played, there are at least 2 Turtles on screen battling the Foot Clan. I even got my wife to play through the entire first TMNT arcade game with me! 
Well, that's it for this past Christmas. I hope yours was merry, bright and full of good tidings. Now enjoy this NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 commercial from the 90's to tide you over until next year! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Comic Book Pick 1/8/20

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Humanity makes its last stand in the only place strong enough to survive: BROOKLYN. Former Spider-Man, Miles Morales, leads the last bastion of civilization into the future! Penned by MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN author SALADIN AHMED!
(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Damion Scott (CA) Rahzzah
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Throwback Jam of the Week: 1/6/20

Throw on your Zoot Suit and head to the 30s with Cab Calloway as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Janet Jackson
Song: Alright
Album:  Rhythm Nation 1814 (1990)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 4
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was written by Janet Jackson with help from Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The music video features cameos by Cyd Charisse, Cab Calloway and The Nicholas Brothers. This video won a Soul Train Award in 1991 for "Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video".

Friday, January 3, 2020

TMNT Movie Knockoffs

In my searches for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items on ebay, I kept stumbling upon listings for Ninja Turtles 6 piece Classic Collection sets. These sets looked just like the Playmates TMNT Movie figures that were released in 1992, but the price was only around $13 for the 6 figures! Obviously these had to be knockoffs, but the quality in the pictures looked so good. Finally, out of curiosity I pulled the trigger and bought these Turtle boys from China! 
 So, obviously you can see the differences in the side by side pictures. The knock off Turtles seem to only have 2 head sculpts. Raph and Don are styled after the Playmates Donatello and Mike and Leo look to be styled after the original Playmates Leonardo figure. The belts also come in two varieties Mike's and Don's. Those differences don't bother me too much, but some of the quality control issues seem common with these types of toys. You have extra plastic around the heads and the paint applications are less than perfect and they are made from hard plastic instead of the rubbery feeling stuff used to make the green teens in 1991. But one cool thing about these toys is the weapons! They are painted to look like the real thing and are not the standard brown color that came with the Playmates movie Turtles. Pretty cool, except Leo's swords are significantly warped. I'll have to figure out a way to correct that.
Master Splinter
Here is where these knockoffs get a little cray-cray! Master Splinter looks nothing like his Playmates counterpart. He looks more like a ninja raccoon with his gray fur and black coloring around his eyes. His fur is definitely not flocked and he is missing his robe. He does come with his bow and arrow though. I gotta say, I kind of like this take on the mutant master. 
Foot Soldier
Here is the rare example of how I actually think the knockoff figure improves on the original. I like the black coloring of the Foot Soldier over the gray of the Playmates version and the gray around the arms, legs and belt really pop against the dark of the body sculpt. Kind of reminds me of the Foot Ninja from the For Kids series. One not so cool thing is how they packaged him with the Foot Bopper weapon that was originally included with Movie Star Leonardo. Overall, I am pretty impressed with this set. I didn't pay all that much for it and they seem to be some of the better knockoff TMNT toys that I have seen around. Now take a look back at the commercial from 1991 promoting these awesome new toys featuring the movie likenesses of our favorite Turtle Teens!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Comic Book Pick 1/1/20

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
"No...I am your father." In the wake of the events following The Empire Strikes Back, it is a dark time for the heroes of the Rebellion. The Rebel fleet...scattered following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hoth. Han Solo...lost to the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, after being frozen in carbonite. And after being lured into a trap on Cloud City and bested in a vicious lightsaber duel against the evil Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker...learned the horrible truth about his past. Vader did not kill Luke's father Anakin--Vader is Luke's father! Now, after narrowly escaping the dark lord's clutches, and wounded and reeling from the revelation, Luke, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, the Wookiee Chewbacca and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 must fight their way back to the Rebel Alliance-for the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake! After so many losses is victory still possible?  But, what Leia, Luke and their ragtag band of freedom fighters do not realize is that they have only traded one Imperial trap for another! Enter the cunning and vengeful Imperial Commander Zahra, at the helm of the Tarkin's Will! Writer Charles Soule (DARTH VADER) and artist Jesus Saiz (DOCTOR STRANGE) are taking us all to the galaxy far, far away next year! With covers by RB Silva (POWERS OF X)! THE GREATEST SPACE ADVENTURE OF ALL TIME BEGINS THIS JANUARY!
(W) Charles Soule (A) Jesus Saiz (CA) R. B. Silva
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis Provided By: