Archive for January, 2011

Cybertronian Megatron and a can of poop

Posted in Toys, Transformers with tags , , , , on January 30, 2011 by Jason

Yes.  You read that title correctly.  But you will have to wait until after we spotlight ol’ Megsy(come on, he would kill me if I didn’t feature him first).

Shortly before the turn of the new year(December 30, if I remember correctly), I found myself at Wal-Mart, like I so frequently do.  Any trip to Wal-Mart is not complete without a quick trip to the toy section.  Now, while I was out Christmas shopping, I had seen a handful of recent Transformers I was interested in.  I was Christmas shopping, so I couldn’t be selfish and spend my dough all on myself(I did get Rodimus Minor though).  The figures I was interested in are as follows…Transformers Generations Dirge, Red Alert, Cybertronian Soundwave and Cybertronian Megatron.  If I had the money I would have gotten all four.  So Christmas passed, and I found myself checking the pegs at Wal-Mart.  They had a bunch of Cybertronian Bumblebees, two Thrusts, and mixed in with these was a lone Cybertronian Megatron.  I didn’t even have to think about it.  I grabbed it quickly and proceeded to the check-out.

I have always thought Megatron was one of the coolest looking Transformers.  As a matter of fact, my younger brother and I both got a Megatron for Christmas in ’84 or ’85.  I loved that figure!  I would love to add that figure to my collection, but a good complete version would run me at least $80.  I don’t have that type of cash to spend on a single figure, so obviously I couldn’t put it on this years collecting goals list.  This one’s robot mode is very reminiscent of the G1 version, and it was only $9.

Megatron came carded in his robot mode, and he looks very nice right out of the package.  He is gray wih black and red, and he has some nice translucent purple spots on him, most noticeably on the spots below his knees.

His face is almost exactly the same as his G1 counterpart.  This and the arm mounted cannon is what made me want this figure.  His alternate mode is nice looking and transformation is pretty smooth.  For a level 3 difficulty, it was surprisingly easy.

This figure is worth the price, and I give him a 5 out of 5.

Now we’ll get to the part of the post that grabbed your attention in the title.  Poop in a can.  Here’s the low down.

A couple of week’s ago, my wife and I had the pleasure of sorting through a few boxes of “junk”.  Most of the stuff was older kitchen ware and knick knacks.  As we searched I came across the one item I claimed as mine.

Ogopogo Poo, in a can.  Ogopogo is basically British Columbia’s Loch Ness Monster.  For more information on Ogopogo, click here.

It does sound like there is something in it, but I do not want to ruin this treasure by opening it.  The contents sounds somewhat sandy and somewhat solid.  There is no date of any kind anywhere on the can or it’s label, so I have no idea how old this thing is.  I do know that is just weird enough for me to like.  If anybody knows anything about this, please leave info in the comments.

Here is what is printed on it’s label.  Are they trying to say that this is a can of real bull shit?  I’m not opening it to find out.

 Looks like someone else has laid claim to this mysterious souvenir.

My Favorite Comic Book Covers #2 (The #1s)

Posted in Comic Books, Memories with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2011 by Jason

Okay.  I had fun doing the last comic book cover entry, so I will continue to write posts about them.  The title of this post refers to the first issue of a comic.  This installment will feature six comics!  It was hard to narrow it down, but I could always write a part 2.  Let’s get to it!

X-Men Vol.2 #1

This was a huge deal when it hit shops in 1991.  Jim Lee was just starting to get huge, and with 3 or 4 variant covers, this was a hot item.  Of all of the covers for this issue, this is the only one I own.  This one folds out to reveal a larger picture(maybe I’ll dig it out at a later date and show you).  This cover stands out, because it takes up the whole canvas.  There’s no borders, or pricing, or artists and writers names on the cover, just a small Marvel Comics logo.  I love the logo and Jim Lee was definitely at the top of his game when he drew this!  I got this(along with a handful of other comics with covers done by Jim Lee), signed at one of he few Big Apple Comic-Con’s I attended around 2001-2002.  There was no limit set,and I waited behind people with stacks of books.  I also ended up getting him to sketch Logan for me(eventually you’ll get to see that too).  A really awesome cover from a really awesome guy!

The Maxx #1

That first shot is the glow-in-the-dark cover of the first issue for The Maxx.  The one below it is the more common one(I also have the 3-D version but the cover isn’t all that different and it’s not in 3-D).  Sam Kieth is my all-time favorite artist.  He has done some pretty weird stuff, and this is no exception.  I own all 35 1/2 issues, and the story combined with Kieth’s artwork is mind blowing.  And while the show on Mtv was pretty good, just as with books, the comics are better.  I was pretty bummed out that he had to cancel his appearance at a convention that I went to, but Sergio Aragones was there, so it wasn’t a total loss(more on that at another time).  In the future we’ll see his renditions of Batman, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, The Hulk and many more, all in his trademark style.

The Punisher #1 (mini-series)

When I started collecting comics, The Punisher quickly became my favorite.  This is the first issue of the 4 part(really 5 part) mini-series.  While Mike Zeck was the penciler for the interior art (issues 1-4), he and Phil Zimelman painted the covers.  These books have a certain style that’s just incredible.  I remember looking at the price guides and seeing these issues going for like 40-50 dollars.  This was years before graded comics were even heard of, so prices for ungraded copies are now considerably lower.  I had always wanted this mini-series, and I effectively hunted every issue down during my early twenties.  To this day, they remain some of the most unique renditions of The Punisher that I have ever seen.

The Savage Dragon #1

When Image Comics formed in 1992, they had a lot of hype going for them.  Here was a company that was formed by some of the top artists in comics.  The Savage Dragon here, is the creation of Erik Larsen.  You could guarantee that everyone in my age group at the time was buying up every issue of every new comic they released.  Back in those days, I was a sucker for the first issue of any comic.  I guess I was thinking if it was a number 1, it would be worth big bucks in the future.  While these books aren’t rare or expensive, I have great memories of the times they were first released, and that means more to me than the value of a comic.  The guy is a human dragon hybrid with a fin on his head…what’s not to like?

Beetlejuice #1

Now while this isn’t the copy I had then, I can still remember where I picked up this issue first.  I believe we were visiting my step mom’s mother in the hospital, and my brother and I were allowed to get an item from the gift shop(probably just to shut us up and keep us occupied).  Obviously, the comic above was my choice.  This is based on the Beetlejuice animated series, and like others before it, the quirky style called to me.  I can remember pouring over this series trying to draw what I was seeing.  Please give it a read before you turn your nose up at me.  :)

Stupid #1

This was supposed to be a series that actually made fun of Image properties.  Sadly, there were no further issues after this initial release.  Hilary Barta was the artist for this series, and I love his style.  Barta worked as an inker( a tracer[that was a joke, sorry Hilary]), and penciler for quite a few titles in the 80s.  Here we see how he exaggerated Spawn’s cape.  A few pages in, his cape is actually stapled to the page, it’s quite funny.  Barta’s style compliments the comedy contained within.  Here is the “Where’s Aldo” work he did at the end of this comic.

I absolutely love it!  There is so much going on, and again his style is intriguing.  I wish they went along with further issues, because look at what would have been next.

My Favorite Comic Book Covers #1

Posted in Comic Books, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with tags , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2011 by Jason

As I was thinking of new things to write about, I thought about what I hadn’t yet spoke about.  And immediately, I thought about the close to 1,000 comic books I had stored in long boxes in “The Vault”(aka my closet).

For many years I purchased comic books on a regular basis.  Whether I was 12 years old spending my allowance, or a twenty-something spending a nice chunk of change every week, I was a frequent customer in more than a few comic book shops for more than a decade.  As such, I have an ass-load of comics.

This will mark the first of a series of posts, that will showcase my favorite comic book covers.  The only stipulation is, that I must own the comics I feature.  So you’re not going to see any super-expensive vintage comics here.  So…let’s go!!

The Punisher Vol.2  #47

This is my favorite all-time comic book cover…with good reason.  This was the one that started it all.  I remember walking with my younger brother Jeff and my nephew Victor.  It was a warm Saturday, and my brother and I knew of a comic book store in nearby Pleasantville.  The name of the shop was Adventure Ink and it was a good three mile walk from our house.  We had just gotten our allowance and we decided to check out this comic shop.  You see, this was the first comic book I purchased that started my collection(this is not the original copy I purchased).  I’m pretty sure this cover was echoing Desert Storm.  On this day I discovered my love for comic books and also found out my favorite Marvel Super Hero was the Punisher.  My brother found out that he was a Daredevil fan.  And I found it totally awesome that The Punisher and Daredevil had a little rivalry.

Teenage Nutant Ninja Turtles Vol.1, Book 22

Shortly after I had started collecting comics, I stumbled across some of the old school TMNT books in a back issue box.  I decided to check them out, and I was totally floored!  I loved the stories, the art work, everything.  The original first volume, has amazing cover art.  Being young, I judged my first choices on their cover.  Donatello is my favorite, and yes, while this is an old school comic, and they should all be wearing red, that is clearly Donatello.  I would be hard pressed to tell you anything that happens in any of these comics because I haven’t read any of them in more than 8 years.  I got this one signed by Kevin Eastman at a comic convention at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in 2001 or 2002.  The same show I got this at.

Ghost Rider Vol.3  #15

Now in the early to mid nineties, comic book companies started rolling out all sorts of gimmick covers, to increase sales.  There were holographic covers, prismatic covers, gold embossed covers and this.  A glow-in-the-dark cover.  When your twelve years old…what could be cooler?!  Out of all the gimmick covers released to date, this is my absolute favorite!  The art work is great, and the glow-in-the-dark flames totally fit the subject matter.  This is one of two Ghost Rider comics that I own.

So, that’s the end of the first of, hopefully, a series of posts about my favorite comic book covers.  The comics that appear are in no particular order, except for The Punisher Vol.2 #47, because as stated earlier, it will always be my all-time favorite.

This was actually pretty fun, and I might be able to do posts like this on a regular basis.  What did you think?

Totally Turtle-Tastic Friday!

Posted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toys with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2011 by Jason

What a perfect end of the week!

I arrived home Friday to hear the news that a couple of pieces of mail had come for me.  I ask if they are packages, and was told “One is a package, and the other one is in an envelope.  This is the type of mail that I get exited about.  What could these be?!

To start things off, last week, The Surfing Pizza had/ran a TMNT give away.  The prizes were TMNT Tabulators, that were featured as items(as well as TMNT towels, visors and other junk), that you could send a way for in the Pizza Points catalog.  Back in the day, I never did send away for anything in that catalog.  He had a few extra Totally Tubular Tabulators(brand new, never used), that were prizes in this give away.  I was one of the winners!!!!

This is the envelope(holder), that the Totally Tubular Tabulator came in.  It’s weird because, it shows the Turtles in their cartoon style, but they’re all wearing red like in the old school comics(which is pretty sweet).  It is copyrighted 1990.  Now for being 21 years old, it looks like it would’ve back in 1990(brand new).

Here we are, all opened up.

On the inside of the envelope there are directions for how to use your Totally Tubular Tabulator.  Also included is a “protective” case emblazoned with the same graphic that is on the envelope.  And because this is a solar powered Tabulator, it worked immediately.

The other package was from Brian over at Cool and Collected.  I started checking out his site sometime last summer, and I had recently commented on one of his posts.  I received an e-mail from Brian and he said that he clicked on my url, and saw that I was a fellow toy collector.  He said that he recently cleaned out some closets, and found a few items(that I could cross off on my 2011 collecting checklist), that he would send to me if I provided a mailing address.  I was not expecting this.

Let’s open it up and see what’s inside!  If you couldn’t tell from this post’s title, this is another TMNT related package.

First up is a Foot Soldier.  Now I would think that these guys would be easy to find in the wild, but believe it or not, I never have.  This guy is a must for any TMNT collector.

Next we have Bebop.  Now my Rocksteady has his partner in crime, to help fight the “toitles”.

Storage Shell Donatello!  Donatello is my favorite Turtle, and this figure is one of the first one’s on my “to get” list.  I just love the gimmick!

Now, while I love all of these figures…I saved my favorite of the bunch for last.

Slash!  No.  Not the Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist!  This is one of the most bad-ass looking TMNT figures in the original line.  He also happened to be one of my favorite action figures when I was a kid.  In the last animated series(TMNT-Fast Forward), there were evil versions(strong and dumb) of the Turtles.  It is my belief that those guys were modeled after ‘ol Slashy boy.

I want to again thank Shel over at The Surfing Pizza and Brian over at Cool and Collected for totally making my weekend.  Keep up the good work guys!  And if you haven’t checked out either of their sites, click on the links in this post or the ones to your right. 

TMNT Party Wagon

Posted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toys with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by Jason

Well, the masses(all four of them) have spoken, and they decried that they wanted to see the “Turtle Van”.  I know you’re probably thinking, finally!!  Sometimes I procrastinate, even if it’s opening a new toy.  But that is will power.  I didn’t have any new toys to open today(I do, but not ones I want to open[just yet]).  So, if I would’ve opened this sometime between Christmas and this past weekend, I wouldn’t have an awesome new toy to play with today.

So we open up the box and see that the van is held securely in place with some nicely crafted cardboard.

Now let’s look at the van and it’s accessories out of the box, but still encased in their protective packaging.

 

An now out of their protective packaging.

 

This exactly what it looks like coming out of the box.  I actually looked forward to applying the decals, but no such luck!  Now, I never had this as a kid, but I would imagine that just like 99% of the toys in the 80’s, you had to put the damn stickers on yourself.  You would think that the stickers might be painted on, but they are in fact, stickers(one of them was not fully adhered to the side, but I fixed that).

You can see from the photos that the van isn’t very hard to put together.  Everything fits into holes on the “Wagon”(or onto some of the other accessories), except for the front shield, which snaps onto two posts on the front.  Total time to put the Party Wagon together( including putting the “Whacko Bombs” in the door)?  Less than a minute.

All in all, I’m extremely happy to own The Party Wagon, and it still remains as my favorite Christmas Gift from this past Christmas.  I only have a few minor gripes, and had I known about them in advance, I would still have wanted it!

I’m sure you would like to know the gripes, so I’ll let you in on them.  First, I would have liked to apply the decals myself(like I said minor gripes).  Second, The Foot Tenderizer Weapon(the spring loaded door on the side of the van) cannot hold a TMNT figure by itself.  Well it can, but not very well, and if you can get one of the figures to sit for long enough to take a picture, it doesn’t look natural.  And I think this is because the ledge on the door is too short to have a figure in a sitting or standing action pose.  And lastly, on the side of the box, they show a Michaelangelo figure fastened to “The Foot Tenderizer Weapon” by way of rubber band.  There was no rubber band in the box!  Did the company think everyone has extra rubber bands lying around?!  Like I said, none of these gripes are huge problems and wouldn’t affect my decision on wanting to own this.

Now the Turtles don’t have to walk everywhere, and are the envy of all my toys(except for the Transformers), because they have the first vehicle in my collection.

Now here are a few shots that I took for fun.

I lucked out getting this.  It came out during the first quarter of 2009(I believe), so I was amazed I spotted it in a mall Toys R Us during the holiday shopping season of 2010.  And I never thought I had a shot at it.  If you can find it at less than 30 bucks, I would recommend picking this up.  I highly doubt that you will find this still sitting on a shelf at a store, but if you do grab it!

The force is with you!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2011 by Jason

I’m leaving this up to you.  Tonight I will post another review.  My thoughts are it will be either, the TMNT Party Wagon that I got for Christmas or another Transformer I recently picked up(I can hear you sighing from here).  But that choice will be up to you, my faithful readers.  If you don’t like either choice, be a rebel and suggest something else.

I also wanted to start something new here.  My idea is that, I would like to do series of posts titled something like…”My Favorite Comic Book Covers”.  The stipulation would be, that these covers would have to be out of my personal collection(so you won’t see Action Comics #1 or Detective Comics #27).  I would have anywhere between 3 and 5 covers with my thoughts, and maybe a story of how I acquired them.  So, my second question is…What do you think of that idea?  I know a lot of my readers collect toys, and comic book related toys.  So I figured you guys would be the best source of input.  Let me know and I will see you tonight.  May the Force be with you!!!

Thrust and ?

Posted in Toys, Transformers with tags , , , , on January 4, 2011 by Jason

Happy New Year everyone!!

As you can tell from the title, Cybertronian Bumblebee remains untransformed.  I haven’t even attempted to try since the first time I failed.  I will get to it, since I really do like his vehicle mode.  When displayed, he will be posed in robot form, but I have to transform him for piece of mind.

Moving along.

The day after Christmas I found myself at Wal-Mart with my wife.  As I always do, I went to check out the selection in the toy aisle.  I went over to the Transformers section, not figuring to find anything new, or even a decent figure for that matter.  I perused the Generations pegs, and was surprised to see 3 of this guy.

Thrust is one of the “conehead” seeker jets(Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet).  Unlike Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker, in robot mode, the nose of the plane stays erect instead of folding back, hence the conehead title.

Knowing that we had some Christmas cash I snapped one off of the peg.  I took him to the check out and home we went.

One of the reasons I bought him was that he is a seeker.  The other is because he resembles the G1 Thrust almost to a tee.  In the package his 2 thrusters are attached to the rear stabilizers, while they’re shown on the wings on the reverse of the card.  There are six total places on the wings and stabilizers, so it doesn’t really matter where they’re at.  But if you’re looking to make him look closer to his G1 look, you want the thrusters on the wings.

In jet mode, he looks pretty cool, and the color scheme is pretty good looking as well.  Thrust is labeled as a level 2(easy) transformation, and this is a pretty straight forward.  That gives Thrust bonus points.  Because you may be able to decipher the first 3 steps, and then they just make no damn sense after that!

But as it is with so many Transformers, he looks best in his robot mode.  His articulation is pretty good and he has missiles that really fire(always a plus).

I went to go grab a beer, and when I came back, Thrust thought he stumbled upon an Energon cube.  But then I let him know that that was a late Christmas gift from my buddy Clark.

When I purchased that Bob-omb a couple of weeks back, there were 2 candies I didn’t buy because I couldn’t justify the price.  I got one of them as a gift from my wife, and then Clark goes and gets me the second one I wanted…Sweet!

Inside, there are 8 gummy squares(think fruit roll-ups, only thicker), with sprinkles on them, that make up 3 different Mario related objects(Starman, mushroom and coin).

These candies also have a great name, Snerdles candied fruit strips.  They’re pretty tasty, and surprisingly the sprinkles are more like sprinkles, and not like Nerds.  If these are what Energon cubes taste like, I can sort of understand whey the Autobots and Decepticons are at war.  :)

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