Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Comic Book Pick 6/30/21

  The comic book I am most excited to read this week is...
CATWOMAN 2021 ANNUAL #1

Father Valley is a mystery. His unusual style as a hit man, his habit of keeping a bible designated for each of his targets, his macabre and particular method of elegant savagery, his insistence on waiting until his target has reached their highest point before he strikes them down-these are all strange and enigmatic traits that have remained unexplained...until now. Bear witness to Father Valley's past with the Order of St. Dumas, and his unexpected connection with Azrael, to learn the method to of his madness. And see, once and for all, why Catwoman should be deathly afraid of being on his hit list.
SRP: $5.99
Synopsis Provided By: PreviewsWorld.com 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/28/21

 Throw on your flowy silk shirts and head to a New Edition concert as we take you back to the 90's! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!

Artist: Ralph Tresvant
Song: Sensitivity
Album: Ralph Tresvant (1990)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 4
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was the first solo single for former New Edition frontman Ralph Tresvant and was used in the 2004 Rockstar video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" on the fictional New Jack station CSR 103.9!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Return to the Antique Store: Part I

It has been a while since myself, my wife and kids have been out and about at our local downtown shops, but a few weeks ago we decided to go to one of the antique stores. We found some incredible items there. Of course the majority of it was way over priced, but I did manage to score some solid deals on a few items. After our trip through time the kids were feeling exhausted, so we took them to grab some ice cream. It was a beautiful day outside, but I would like to share with you some of the "antiques" that we saw inside the antique store. I didn't pick any of these up, but I thought they were worthy of a post.
Assorted Smurf Figures
As far back as I can remember, I have loved the Smurfs. My Mom said I used to sit in my height chair and dunk my Smurf figures into my milk and then suck the milk off of them. Pretty gross, but hey I was like 2 years old! Anytime I see these figures at a store or garage sale, I take the time to check them out. These were a bit over my comfort price at $30 for the "Jungle", "Trick or Treat" and "Zombie" Smurf. The others were around $10 each. I did pick a few up for cheaper, but I'll show those in a future post.

Old Metal Batmobile
I don't know much about this toy. It was behind glass, so I couldn't find a manufacturer or production date on it. I tried searching Google and found a few from the 60's that look similar, but not exactly the same. Those were going for around $400, so I assume the $185 price tag on this awesome looking Batmobile is a fair price?

Baxter Stockman & Bendy Captain America
The Baxter Stockman figure was around $10 and was in pretty good condition. I thought about picking him up, but I already have one in my collection, so I left him for another collector to add to their TMNT collection. I thought these Lifesavers promotional Bendy Captain America's were pretty neat, but at $10 I didn't pull the trigger. These look like they were from the early 90's but I can't seem to find any info on them or the promotional giveaway campaign. There were a ton of them at one booth, so maybe next time I stop by Cap will be coming home with me!

Fisher Price Queen Buzzy Bee Toy
My family had one of these pull toys when I was a kid! I'm sure it was a hand me down from one of my older sisters, but I thought it was pretty cool and would pull it around the house while watching the wings spin and antennae bobble around. The one in the picture above was from the 60's and I found that Fisher Price still makes a version of this toy for it's "Classics" toy line! 

Flintstones Movie Action Figures
These Mattel produced figures were released alongside the theatrical release of the Flintstones movie in 1994. I remember seeing this movie in the theater and being sort of disappointed. I never had any of these figures as I was starting to reach my teen years at this time, but seeing these takes me back to some of the hype surrounding the film. I thought John Goodman did a solid job as Fred, but that wasn't enough to make me want to take him home with me. A few booths later I found a figure of Cliff Vandercave as played by Kyle MacLachlan! The resemblance was uncanny!

Character Glasses
I'm pretty sure 50% of the booths at this antique store had old character glasses from the 70's & 80's. I already have quite a few Peanuts, Smurfs and Garfield glasses in my collection so I passed on this group. They were about $10 each on average at the antique store. The glasses I am currently seeking out have our favorite pellet muncher on them...Pac-Man!

Pulsar Action Figure
Pulsar was released in 1976 by Mattel to try and capitalize on the success of Kenner's Six Million Dollar Man toy line. This figure had a pumping organs feature that was able to be seen through Pulsar's clear plastic torso. The line was not very popular and only produced 2 figures, Pulsar & Hypnos (The Bad Guy), and one lone playset called "The Life Systems Center". The seller was asking $50 for this figure which is fair based on going rates on the internet. I vaguely remember hearing of this toy, I never had him, have no memories of him, so he stayed on the shelf.


Snoopy Phone!
This awesome phone was released by Telecom in the 70's and the one at the store looked fantastic! This was one item that I was really second guessing, but my wife gave me that "really" look when I told her how much it was. At $75 that seems to be fair as I've seen these go for anywhere between $50 - $150 online. There is a rotary version of this phone that seems to be more sought after which makes those prices fairly high. I can't say that I'm not a little sad that I left Snoopy behind, but I guess we don't even have a landline at home that I could have hooked this bad boy up to anyway.

Vintage Lunch Boxes & Thermos
I saw this cool Pac-Man Thermos for $12 and there were also some sweet looking metal lunch boxes at a few of the booths. I saw a Muppets, Dukes of Hazzard and Mr. Merlin lunch boxes. These were priced between $30-$40 without the Thermos. Does anyone remember Mr. Merlin? I don't, but a quick search on Wikipedia tells me this show ran for one season in 1981-1982 and was about a boy named Zac who pulls a crowbar from a bucket of cement. Of course this crowbar was actually King Arthur's sword Excalibur and now Merlin disguised as a mechanic in San Francisco must train Zac in the magical arts. Sounds pretty crazy right! Well, you can view some of this insanity below by watching an episode of this lost piece of television history!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Comic Book Pick 6/23/21

  The comic book I am most excited to read this week is...
SPAWN'S UNIVERSE #1

(W) Todd McFarlane (A) Jim Cheung, Stephen Segovia, Marcio Takara (A/CA) Todd McFarlane
IT'S HERE: THE OFFICIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE LONG-AWAITED SPAWN'S UNIVERSE! A double-sized issue that begins a storyline so huge that three NEW SPAWN-related monthly titles will spill out from it, including...A new SPAWN title. GUNSLINGER SPAWN monthly. And a new TEAM book bringing a handful of these characters together in their own book. With this one-shot...the world of SPAWN changes forever! New heroes. New villains, and more importantly, new titles coming to a comic shop near you. Join this list of artists as we unveil a historic moment in the mythology of SPAWN'S UNIVERSE: JIM CHEUNG, TODD McFARLANE, STEPHEN SEGOVIA & MARCIO TAKARA.
SRP: $5.99
Synopsis Provided By: PreviewsWorld.com 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/21/21

  Throw on your baggy jeans and head to the campus of Howard University as we take you back to the 90's! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!

Artist: Shai
Song: If I Ever Fall In Love
Album: ...If I Ever Fall In Love (1992)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 2
Bonus Fun Fact: This song spent 8 weeks on the Billboard charts at #2 due to the massive success of the Whitney Houston song "I Will Always Love You"!

Friday, June 18, 2021

Discontinued Candy I Want Back: Part II!

I don't know about you but there are just certain things in life that can bring back strong nostalgia and make those memories of the good old days flood back to you. Certain smells, beats & lyrics from a favorite song or tastes of a favorite food or drink can make those good times come back if not only for a quick minute. For me certain candies can transport me back to my childhood in the 80's & 90's. Fortunately for us, a lot of those candies are still around, but in some instances they have been discontinued and we will never experience them again! If I owned my own candy company, these are even more of the sugary treats I would like to revive...
Sparkle Laffy Taffy
I remember discovering Sparkle Cherry Laffy Taffy back in the 90's. The flavor was typical cherry flavor, but inside the taffy were these small crunchy sparkle candies. I like Laffy Taffy, but the little crunch added so much to the experience. After doing a little searching, I found out that this unique form of Laffy Taffy can still be had! Places like Walmart & Kmart have the product listed on their sites, but are currently out of stock, but I did find a candy website where it is still for sale! If you want to try this off shoot of the beloved Laffy Taffy brand by Wonka, you can buy one for $1.99 at CandyDistrict.com.

Topps Character Candy Heads
What kid growing up in the 80's/90's didn't have one of these? It seemed like any movie or cartoon that was even remotely of interest to kids had a Topps Candy Head container on the impulse buy shelves at grocery stores, toy stores or corner markets. They were filled with small fruit flavored hard candies and ranged from Ninja Turtles to Alf to Star Wars! I remember playing down by the creek that ran through my old neighborhood with my sister's Gizmo candy head. I accidentally dropped it into the water and immediately panicked because I knew my sister would be crazy angry with me! I jumped into the flowing water as Gizmo was being dragged away by the current, shoes and all. I was able to rescue Gizmo. I was soaked from head to toe, but I avoided the wrath of my older sister!

Neon Bandits
Does anyone remember these candies from the early/mid 90's? They came out around the time Warheads were the hottest candies on the market. I remember they had a sour taste and came in a variety of flavors. It has been decades since I had one of these, but I remember part of the gimmick was that they would turn your mouth the same color of the candy. Each package had a different cartoon character on the front to coincide with the flavor of candy. I liked them, but nothing could take my loyalty away from Warheads. Speaking of Warheads...does anyone else remember the hot Warheads flavors that came out in the early 90's? 

Topps Juice Bar Bubble Gum
If you had this gum on the schoolyards of the 80's, you were the man! Everyone wanted just a single pellet of this delicious gum. Each box opened like a real carton of juice and poured out small nuggets of fruit flavored gum. The gum was delicious, but just like Fruit Stripe Gum, the flavor lasted all of 30 seconds. That fact never detracted kids from picking these tiny boxes of wonderful from the candy store though. My favorite was the Grape Juice flavor followed closely by Pink Lemonade! They really need to bring this gum back!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutagen Candy Chew
That title is a mouthful, but these things were delicious! These Mutagen bars were neon green colored and had the consistency of taffy with a lime flavor to it. These were once again released around the same time as the TMNT movies were hitting theaters during the height of Turtlemania! I believe this was another KB Toys front register impulse buy. Why haven't more candy companies taken advantage of the TMNT Ooze connection. I would buy those like crazy!

LaVie Fruit Drops
These candies were delicious! They were never my main pick when my family would hit up the store, but my Mom always seemed to have a tin of these in her purse. They came in various flavors like Orange, Cherry, Strawberry & Lemon. Since I always had that connection to my Mom, these candies were more of a grown up way to enjoy candy. They came in different shapes based on the flavor you chose and had a sort of powdered sugar outer coating that added to the flavor. It seems these have been discontinued in the US, but may be available in other countries to this day!

Butterfinger BBs
These mini "popable" versions of Nestle's Butterfinger Bars actually lasted for a long time on market shelves. They were introduced in 1992 with an amazing marketing campaign that featured the uber popular Simpsons characters and they were discontinued in 2006. That's actually a pretty long life span for a spin off candy! I liked these because you got all the flavor of a Butterfinger Bar, but you didn't have to deal with the melting. You could pop a few in your mouth and throw the rest back into your back pack for future snacking. Of course the addition of Bart & Homer didn't hurt at all. In 2009 Nestle introduced the Butterfinger Mini Bites that were supposed to be an update of the BBs brand, but they just don't taste the same. Below you can find some examples of this marketing wonder...ENJOY!!!




Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Comic Book Pick 6/16/21

 The comic book I am most excited to read this week is...
STATIC: SEASON ONE #1

"At long last, the most famous face of the Milestone Universe is making his shocking return!
Bullied nerd Virgil Hawkins wasn't the kind of kid you'd normally find on the streets at a protest-but like everyone else in the city of Dakota, he was fed up. Unfortunately, the first time he stood up to raise his voice, the world turned upside down. The experimental tear gas released that day left some of his classmates maimed or dead...but it left Virgil, and others, with stunning new abilities. Virgil has power inside him now-real power, the ability to channel and manipulate electromagnetic fields. But there's anger burning inside him, too.
What is he supposed to do about all of this? And first and foremost-what is he supposed to do about his bullies, now that they've got superpowers too? A dynamic creative team of new comics voices and Milestone Media veterans join forces to open up a new chapter in the story of the most iconic Black teen superhero in comics history."
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: PreviewsWorld.com 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/14/21

 Throw on your Nicely pressed suit and head to the boxing ring as we take you back to the 80's! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!
Artist: Terence Trent D'Arby
Song: Wishing Well
Album: Introducing The Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby (1987)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 1
Bonus Fun Fact: This song not only made it to #1 on the US Billboard charts, but also hit #1 in the Netherlands and Canada!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Discontinued Candy I Want Back!

I don't know about you but there are just certain things in life that can bring back strong nostalgia and make those memories of the good old days flood back to you. Certain smells, beats & lyrics from a favorite song or tastes of a favorite food or drink can make those good times come back if not only for a quick minute. For me certain candies can transport me back to my childhood in the 80's & 90's. Fortunately for us, a lot of those candies are still around, but in some instances they have been discontinued and we will never experience them again! If I owned my own candy company, these are the sugary treats I would like to revive...
Bonkers Fruit Candy
Nabisco brands produced these chewy fruit flavored candies in the 80's & early 90's. My favorite was the grape flavored. One of the most amazing aspects of this candy was the incredible advertising campaign that was created to help sell Bonkers. Typically there was an older lady who would be crushed by giant fruits that would crash through her ceiling and while this woman was trapped underneath, she would laugh out loud while the slogan "Bonkers Bonks You Out" was said on screen. If you have never seen these commercials, you can check out one at the bottom of this article. Recently the Bonkers brand was bought by LEAF and allegedly they are in the process of bringing these back! According to the LEAF website they... "are in the process of acquiring the machinery needed to wrap these amazing fruit chews." 

Candilicious
This 80's candy was created by the same company that brought us Bubblicious Bubble Gum. Candilicious was created to be a competitor to Starburst candies. If memory serves me right, these came in packs of 12 candies that were assorted flavors and they were a little bigger and softer than Starburst. Once again, my interest for this 80's candy was based solely on the commercials that I would see on T.V. I remember seeing them mostly while I would watch "Saved By The Bell" on Saturday mornings. 

The Real Ghostbusters Gummy Ghost Candies
I searched all the internets and could not find a picture of the Ghostbusters gummy ghosts that were around in the late 80's/early 90's, but they were extremely similar to these gummy bugs you see above. The major difference was that the candy was shaped like ghosts and the packaging was classic RGB. I have fantastic memories of grabbing these gummy candies from the Triple Brook Camping Resort in Blairstown, NJ. We would ride our bikes to the camp and buy these for a quarter. I also remember the store having Punch-Out and Tron arcade cabinets that we would spend our hard earned cash on! I know they still make gummy bugs, but it just doesn't have that same feeling as the Ghostbuster candy from my great summer memories!!

Wonka Jumbo Nerds
I really liked Jumbo Nerds. When we would go into Hartung's General store in Hope, NJ and my dad would let us pick a candy, I would definitely choose Nerds of the Jumbo variety over the regular ones. Jumbo Nerds were so much bigger than regular Nerds and the boxes had a bunch of flavors mixed into one. I just felt they had more flavor, but I'm sure that is just my bias towards these awesome Wonka confections.

Life Savers Holes
These 90's candies released by Wrigley's were notorious for being a choking hazard. That is what ultimately led to them being taken off of store shelves. I think Wrigley's did not want to deal with the headaches and lawsuits, but there are other similar candies still being sold today like Tic-Tac. Those are a choking hazard, but people still buy them! I guess I am still a little salty that Holes were discontinued. I liked the flavor of these small round shaped candies. They were of course just differently shaped Life Savers, but the real draw was the container they came in. Don't act like you didn't save a few of these containers for future use!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ooze Squeeze Candy
I remember getting a tube of this candy from the KB Toys store in the Rockaway Mall in Rockaway, NJ. I remember it being at the front counter where we were paying for a toy, probably a Ninja Turtle action figure. I picked one up and was not disappointed by the flavor. I believe it was supposed to be a watermelon type of goo? This candy was the perfect tie in to the ultra popular movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze! Now I know Hubba Bubba makes a similar squeeze candy today, but once again our green heroes and nostalgia has made this version the best squeeze candy ever created by man...at least in my mind.

Nestle Alpine White
Yes, the notorious Nestle Alpine White Bar! This candy was marketed to the sophisticated adult candy connoisseur, so the one time I actually had the pleasure of eating one I felt like the coolest person in the world! I was not transported to a soap opera like winter fantasy land which was a disappointment, but I do remember liking the taste. I will have to say though, thanks to all the great options competing for my sweet tooth, I would have probably picked something else over an Alpine White Bar. After saying all that, damn those commercials were freakin' fantastic though! Below you can find an example of this marketing wonder along with a few other commercials featuring some of the amazing discontinued candies listed above...ENJOY!!!



Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Comic Book Pick 6/9/21

      The comic book I am most excited to read this week is...
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #117
(W) Sophie Campbell (A/CA) Sophie Campbell
A winner is crowned in Jennika's battle of the bands and two old foes make surprising revelations as the TMNT and allies prepare to take Mutant Town in a new direction! Important steps towards the next chapter of the TMNT saga are made here!
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: PreviewsWorld.com 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Throwback Jam of the Week: 6/7/21

Throw on your Turtle Neck and head to the steamy streets of NY as we take you back to the 80's! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK!

Artist: Al B. Sure
Song: Nite and Day
Album: In Effect Mode (1988)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 7
Bonus Fun Fact: In 2017 Al B. Sure's son Quincy used samples from this song to create the song "I Can Tell You (Nite and Day 2.0) which featured his dad on vocal tracks!

Friday, June 4, 2021

So Long 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan

This week my family and I finally said our last farewell to our 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan. This van lasted us years and was pretty reliable almost right up to the end. Once the brakes stopped working and the van couldn't go over 4o mph without shaking violently, we knew it was time to say goodbye. I was so close to getting it to the 200,000 mile mark too! Anyway, while I was getting the info off the car, I noticed the manufacturing date of this once mighty vehicle was October of 1992. A lot of things have changed since then, but a lot of awesome things were happening when this vehicle was put together. Let's take a look at what was popping in pop culture almost 30 years ago in 1992!
George H.W. Bush was President of the United States
George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States and he served from 1989-1993. Under his administration we entered the Gulf War that lasted until about 1991. He was defeated by Bill Clinton and only served one term in office.
Daisy Ridley & John Boyega were born
In addition to these Star Wars stars being born in 1992 we also saw these folks come into the world: Shawn Johnson (Gymnast), Demi Lovato (actress/singer), Selena Gomez (actress, singer), Odell Beckham Jr. (football player), Kyrie Irving (basketball player) & Joe Keery (actor).
Crystal Pepsi hit supermarket shelves
Not too much to say about this clear cola that didn't taste like cola. It lasted a few years in the states and was revived a few years ago due to popular demand. 
The most notable thing besides the clear color was the ad campaign featuring Van Halen's song "Right Now".
Aladdin, Batman Returns & Wayne's World topped the box office
The top 10 grossing films from 1992 in order were Aladdin, The Bodyguard, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Basic Instinct, Lethal Weapon 3, Batman Returns, A Few Good Men, Sister Act, Bram Stoker's Dracula & Wayne's World.
Boyz II Men were blowing up the music charts
The top 5 songs on the 1992 year end music charts in order were "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men, "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot, "Jump" by Kris Kross, "Save The Best For Last" by Vanessa Williams and "Baby-Baby-Baby" by TLC!
Super Mario Kart ruled living rooms & Street Fighter II took over arcades
Some of the top selling video games for home consoles included Tecmo Super Bowl (NES), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time (SNES), Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis), Super Mario Land 2 (Gameboy) and Batman Returns (Atari Lynx). While these games were heating up homes across America, these games were ruling the arcades: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Fatal Fury: King of Fighters, Knights of the Round and WWF WrestleFest!
The Dream Team won Gold in Barcelona
The greatest basketball team ever assembled hit the global stage during the 1992 Olympics from Barcelona. The team featured such NBA greats as Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley and for some reason Christian Laettner. The Dream Team won each of it's games by an average score of 43.8 points and beat Croatia to win the gold medal. 11 of the 12 players on the team were elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the team as a whole was inducted in 2010.
Superman fought Doomsday & Azrael was introduced by DC Comics
1992 saw saw Superman die in one of the best selling comic books of all-time Superman #75. 1992 also saw WildC.A.T.S. #1, Venom: Lethal Protector #1, Spawn #1 and Spider-Man 2099 #1 hit the comic racks.
Home Improvement was a top TV show
Home Improvement was barely beaten out by Roseanne as the top rated scripted show on television while news program 60 Minutes took the #1 overall position. Not far behind were such classics as Murphy Brown, Murder, She Wrote, Coach, Cheers and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Cartoon Network signed on for the first time
Cartoon Network launched on October 1st, 1992. The same month my Dodge Grand Caravan left the assembly line. The classic Bugs Bunny cartoon "Rhapsody Rabbit" was the first to air on the channel. Over the years Cartoon Network has brought us such quality programming as Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Dexter's Laboratory, Sealab 2021 and Ed, Edd & Eddy to name just a few. Enjoy some videos below from the early days of Cartoon Network in 1992.

Well, that's all folks. We've said our goodbyes to an amazing vehicle, looked back on the good times, now the only thing left to do is move on and look forward to the future. Hope you enjoyed this trip back to 1992 and the great things it brought us...like this AWESOME and somewhat reliable van. You will be missed!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Comic Book Pick 6/2/21

     The comic book I am most excited to read this week is...
STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS #1

(W) Charles Soule (A) Luke Ross (CA) Steve McNiven
AT WAR FOR THE GREATEST PRIZE OF ALL: HAN SOLO!
THE HUNT BEGINS! Nobody. Steals. From BOBA FETT! The notorious bounty hunter will not stop until he gets what's rightfully his. For the thief, no corner of the galaxy is safe. Good thing for them that the REBEL ALLIANCE, THE EMPIRE and every bounty hunter in the galaxy is standing in Boba's way. With a last-page reveal that will blow this Death Star-sized story wide open, Issue #1 is just the beginning. The biggest crossover in STAR WARS history will continue raging through the pages of the WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS event miniseries and tie-in to STAR WARS, DOCTOR APHRA, DARTH VADER and BOUNTY HUNTERS through October. Only one hunter will be left standing, and the STAR WARS galaxy will never be the same!
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis Provided By: PreviewsWorld.com