Archive for May, 2011

Apocalypse, Now!

Posted in Toys with tags , , , , on May 25, 2011 by Jason

First off.  I would like to say, that I know that the title of this post is cheesy.  But c’mon, how could I not use it?

I was perusing the toy aisles at Target, and with no luck in the Transformers department, I decided to check out the comic-related releases.  I have heard mixed reviews about the Marvel Universe line, and I myself haven’t been too impressed.  Up to this point, I haven’t bought a single figure from the line.  Don’t get me wrong, I have seen a handful of figures that I would like to have(gray Hulk, Spiderman 2099 etc.).  But most of the time I couldn’t find a figure on the pegs that I wanted, and $7.99 seemed steep for the size of the figures.  That thought changed when I spotted this guy!

Apocalypse here is massive!  The heft of this figure justified the $7.99 price tag, in my mind.  Apocalypse has long been one of my favorite villains(along with Thanos), and this is the best looking figure of him that I’ve ever seen.  We have come to a time where action figures for comic book properties are on par with how they are meant to look.  The articulation is getting insane, and the same mold isn’t getting used for the whole line.  Just as an example, here is a comparison shot of the above Apocalypse and the 1991 Toy Biz version.

See what I mean?  The 1991 version looks like a tall skinny version of someone who looks like Apocalypse.  The new Marvel Universe version looks like the real deal.  He’s big, bulky and intimidating.  I don’t think there’s a figure I have that he couldn’t take.  :)

Intimidating, right?  My only gripe is his shoulder pads.  They’re not necessary and they inhibit his arms from going up very high.  Other than that, I have no complaints.  I’ll give him a 9.5 out of 10.

Remember when I said that I don’t think that I have a figure that could take him on?  I caught him shaking down Iron Man for his milk money.

Weekend Finds

Posted in Toys, Video Games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by Jason

On Friday night, myself, my wife and a couple of friends headed out to Albany.  I’m sure you’ve heard me make mention of going to Albany at least a couple of times.  This is the closest place of major commerce in my area(not to mention it’s the state capital).  Before we even got in the car, I had one clear objective when we got out there….to find Transformers Generations Wheeljack.  With the luck I was having these past couple of months, I would’ve even settled for Thundercracker(I want both, but I would have been happy finding either of them).  Long story short.  I didn’t find either of them.  I checked Toys R Us, Target and a couple of places at the mall.  People selling these online are asking crazy money for these recently released toys, and the legit businesses are sold out.  Thinking about this was kind of depressing at the time(and still is), but I didn’t come home empty handed.  “Let’s begin, shall we?  Shall we?!”

The first place we hit when we reached Albany was Goodwill.  It’s pretty much the first place I stop at when we’re in the area.  I found some pretty cool stuff at a really great price.

Yet another McDonald’s Garfield glass that I didn’t have!  I’m thinking Mickey Dee’s ran a few different promotions for these glasses.  The reason I say this is because this one has copyrights for 1978, 1979 and 1980.  While the others I have are copyrighted 1978.  99 cents later and it’s in my cupboard.

Now, while these are all sports games, and aren’t worth much, they were games I didn’t have.  NHL ’94 was actually on my want list though.  I actually enjoy that game and there’s also memories attached to it as well.  These were 99 cents each, which is a nice price.

There were a bunch of these shirts on the rack in medium and large.  I usually have to get xl t-shirts, because they fit well.  They didn’t have any xl, so I thought I was out of luck.  Well, I bought a large one, and I’m wearing it now(it fits fine).  All of these shirts(featuring Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz, Hot Rod and Grimlock), were brand new and priced to go at $3.99.

The next stop was Target.  While I didn’t have the luck with Transformers like I usually do at Target, I did find a really cool figure.

Apocalyse!  I’m not going to say much, as he’s up for review in the next post.  I’ve mentioned that he’s one of my favorite villains before, and now he’s got a figure that does him some justice.

Next was Toys R Us, but guess what?  I didn’t find anything!  The new Dark of the Moon toys aren’t really doing it for me.  Having Nascar Transformers totally flabbergasts me!  Ridiculous!!!!

At the FYE in the mall across the street from Toys R Us, I found a really great deal.

Pee-Wee’s Playhouse complete seasons 1 & 2 for $14.99!!  I could not pass this up as it normally sells for $29.99.  As one of my favorite shows ever, it was a blast to watch the first seven episodes this past weekend!  I’m actually looking to get the Playhouse playset(as well as the other toys in that line).  Next time, I’ll have to get the second set which has seasons 3-5.  This kind of made up for not finding Wheeljack.

Lastly, there was a game store next to the FYE, that was not there on previous visits.  This store sold Atari games, NES, SNES, Genesis and every other major console up the the current generation.  They did have a lot of games that I would have liked to have, but I had to be thrifty.  So for a total of $4.30, I got these 2 games.

These were $1.99 each.  It’s been a long time since I played T & C Surf Designs, and I’ve never played Alpha Mission(it’s from SNK, so it should be decent, I hope).  I collect for NES and SNES, so it’s not a matter if the games suck or not.  If the games are good, that’s a bonus, and they’ll actually get played more than once every year or two.  :)

Mail Call!!

Posted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toys, Trading cards, Transformers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by Jason

For the past week I’ve been waiting anxiously for a package to arrive in the mail.  Any time I know something is coming for me, I watch the mailbox like a hawk!  This package was coming from none other than Brian, the man behind Cool and Collected(check it out, I’ll still be here).  He had acquired some stuff he was taking offers on, and we made a deal.

Without further adieu…

These are some freebies Brian included(thanks, man!!).  I already have these McDonald’s Turtles, but I’ll find them a good home.  Plus some Garbage Pail Kids from 2003.  I thought those 2 were the only ones in the box, until my wife was breaking up the box and asked, “Should these be here?”.  There were a whole bunch more that slipped in under the flaps of the box, that were totally hidden from view!  Brian you really know how to make someone smile!

Here we have “ass-less” Army Ants.  These guys came with bright green abdomens, that were for some reason, removable.  Of course we kids would remove them and lose them shortly after.  I remember getting them suctioned to my tongue, like you would with the small tops of Bic pens.  I didn’t have any of these guys in my collection, so it’s not a big deal right now.  Also in this picture you’ll see Bumper from the The Crash Dummies line.  If I remember correctly, he was paired with Hubcat.

On the left we have Megatron from Transformers Animated(another freebie!).  I really dig the figures from the Animated line, and this was one I didn’t have.  He’s from “The Battle Begins” 2-pack from 2008.  I found the Optimus Prime from this set last year, you can see him here.  All I need is Optimus’ axe accessory, and I’ll be set.  To the right, we have Runabout from 1986.  He’s missing his arms, but still a nice addition to the collection.  The rub sign on this guy works even better than the new Reveal the Shield figures(and he’s 25 years old).

And this last one surprised the hell out of me.  It’s one of the aliens from Independance day.  I thought this guy was maybe 8 inches tall.  How wrong I was!

(“Release me.”)

This guy is like a foot tall!  He’s missing one of the tentacles that keep him balanced, but it doesn’t hinder him from standing up.  I put some new batteries in it, and the action features still work.  The “A” function just makes a loud alien noise, while the “B” function makes the noise, and the head splits open!  If you’ve seen the movie, you know this is basically an exo-suit for the actual aliens(who are way smaller).  This thing is awesome!  Now I have to find one of those little aliens(which I used to have years ago).

Thanks again Brian, not only did you give me a great deal, you made my week!

I Finally Found Pitch Black!!(a.k.a.-Beverage Review #5)

Posted in Food/Beverage with tags , , , , on May 16, 2011 by Jason

It’s true.  I finally found Mountain Dew Pitch Black!!  I have actively been searching for this ever since I heard the news of it’s release.  I knew it was going to happen, and the suspense was killing me.  A few blogs that I frequent were finding and reviewing it, so it was only a matter of time.  That time was today.

I found these at a Hess station a few miles from my job.  I figured I had the best shot at finding Pitch Black there, as they always have a large selection of beverages.  Not only did they have it, they had a 2 for $2.00 deal going on!

When I was pouring it into the glass, I noticed traces of blue in the foam.  The color is very nice.  As far as flavor, it tastes kind of like a carbonated grape popsicle.  I remember trying Pitch Black when it first arrived in 2004 and 2005(Pitch Black II), and not particularly loving it.  And tasting it now, my thoughts have changed, I really dig it!  There aren’t too many grape sodas out there, and this one is quite good.  I will be buying this as often as possible, as it’s only available for a scant 8 weeks.  While I’m happy that it’s available, it’s limited edition.  And if it’s going to be limited, I’m with the others who think it should be offered during the Halloween season.  Matt from X-Entertainment has written about Pitch Black Multiple times.  Read his take on the first edition of Pitch black here.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  If you see it, do yourself a favor and grab one!

Yard Sale Finds #5

Posted in Toys, Video Games, Yard Sale Finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by Jason

The yard sale season is finally upon us.  This is when others’  “junk” becomes our treasure.  In the coming months, bordering towns/villages, will hold village wide garage/yard sales on the weekends.  It’s not every weekend, but only one village wide garage sale will be on any given weekend.  This weekend was the town of Esperance’s village wide sale.

I found a bunch of stuff, but came home with very little in the toy department.  I spent around five dollars for everything you will see here today.

It was an overcast day yesterday, but still warm enough to be outside in a t-shirt.  I woke up at 7:30am(on a day I could sleep in), but I didn’t head out until about 10:45am.  This was probably the reason that I didn’t get a lot of cool toys.  It could also be that I have been hitting the annual sale in Esperance for the last 4 years!  There’s only so many old-school toys in a single location, but I’m with the same train of thought as The New York Lottery….”Hey, you never know.”

I came across some really great deals on books.  I came home with six really cool books, which cost me a grand total of just .95 cents!  And the books came from 3 different sellers!  Here’s the first 4 I found yesterday morning.

From 1979, we have Mercer Mayer’s “Little Monster’s Alphabet Book”.  I remember thinking that the little monster on the cover was a cool looking character when I was a kid.  While this book came out the year I was born, I remember liking this Little Monster series in my early years.  Then we have Sesame Street’s “The Little Red Hen”.  This came out in 1983.  I don’t remember this specific book, but the Sesame Street books that came out in this period were great books for their target demographic(the best Sesame Street book is “The Monster at the End of this Book”, in case you wanted to know).  Lastly we have “Like, MAD” and “Fighting MAD”, from 1960 and 1961 respectively.  These came out many years before my time, but if you’re a fan of MAD, your a fan of their complete works.  Don Martin is my favorite of all MAD artists, and you can see some of his early work within these pages.  It’s not exactly the work I remember from the 80’s, but it’s cool to see some of his early work, as it was kind of rough(but you would still know it was his work).

And here are the other 2 books that I purchased.

From 1963, we have 2 books from the LIFE Nature Library.  The first is a book called The Sea.  I have had a fascination with animals since I can remember.  My obsessions when I was a kid(besides toys and cartoons), were animals, dinosaurs and outer space.  I still retain interest in all of those categories, and the sea is a great place to find some of the weirdest life forms on earth.  Secondly we have The Forest.  While not as cool as sea animals, this is very informative for the life that lives in the world’s forests.  A damn good deal at .25 cents a piece!

In a rare event, I actually found a couple of video games at such a price, that it wasn’t necessary to haggle!

At one dollar per game, I thought it was a hell of a deal!  Spawn The Eternal is from 1997, The Die Hard Trilogy is from 1996.  I haven’t played the Spawn game, but I remember playing the Die Hard Trilogy on the PS1, as well as the arcade version.  Despite being hard as hell at times, The Die Hard Trilogy is a blast to play.

If you’ve read some of my other yard sale posts, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for old-school cups and glasses.  And this weekend proved to provide a nice assortment of vintage drink receptacles.

The Far Side mug will now be my mug of choice when I’m drinking coffee.  I think everyone can relate to this.  Where I live, there are plenty of dairy farms, so I see my fair share of cows.  I’m pretty sure that when 99% of people drive by and they see a cow, they let out an audible “Moo”.  This mug depicts the reversal of roles, and I find that hilarious!  In the middle is a McDonald’s “Mac Tonight” collector’s cup from 1987.  I don’t know why we haven’t seen more of Mac, but I will enjoy drinking out of this cup.  And on the right, is a McDonald’s Garfield collector’s glass from 1978.  I now have 4 of these(3 different, with 1 duplicate).  I love Garfield, and if you don’t, you have no soul.

Let’s wrap this up!

From 1995, it’s a “BK Kids Club Cooler”.  I can only remember Kid Vid and Jaws.  Research tells me that this “Snaps”.  Kid Vid is obviously the chaser.  If any male my age says that Kid Vid was not their favorite, they’re a dirty liar!  Totally worth the dime the seller was asking.  That little wizard guy appears to be hand made, and there’s no date of any tell tale markings of being a production piece, so I’m guessing it was made by a student or in a craft class.  Two quarters was all it took to make it mine!  The black tray is a Discover card check tray(?).  It is shrink wrapped and does not appeared to be used.  I got this from the same seller who sold me the Snaps Cooler, for .10 cents as well.  For a nickel, my wife found that neat little Pepsi Cola truck.  While I have nothing against Coke, and I drink it from time to time, I come from a Pepsi family.  Now, I finally have one of these cool Dark Knight figures found in boxes of various General Mills cereals back in 2008(this is the one with the uppercut action).  The hunt was fun, and I made out okay, so I can’t complain.  I love to go garage saling, as it’s a defining activity of my summer.  And you can bet we’ll see more as the weather gets warmer.

A Look into One of My Non-Sports Trading Card Albums

Posted in Trading cards with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2011 by Jason

I’ve shown you some of my favorite non-sports trading cards before.  Tonight I’m going to keep the theme, but add a little twist to it.  Instead of showing some single cards in top loaders, we’ll see full 9 card pages from one of my albums.  I’ll cover a good range, but have tons more for future follow ups.

I’m pretty sure that I started collecting trading card before I started to get into collecting comics.  It started with getting some albums full of baseball cards from my older brother and step brother.  The eighties and early nineties were a great time for non-sports trading cards.  This was before companies started adding chaser cards with their various gimmicks.  Most non-sports cards were a regular set of cards and a set of stickers.  Topps had tons of licenses for all the popular properties.  And if you bought a pack of cards manufactured by Topps during this time, you also got the requisite stick of their famous now stale gum.  When the cards were new, the gum was a nice bonus.  But now the gum would be old and stale(trust me, this stuff went bad years ago.Do not eat it).  You can see a picture of this gum from one of my other card related posts here and here.

Here is the album we’ll be peaking into today.

There’s not a single Pokemon card in here!  That’s not to say that I don’t like Pokemon, because I actually do.  They remind me of Battle Beasts in a round about way.  I got into them when the craze started, and got this binder pretty cheap(and it’s officially licensed).  The Gameboy games were what really got me into the lore.  It’s not too bad, give it a chance!  But we’re not here to talk about Pokemon, I just wanted to explain the album choice.

First up…

We have a sampling of my Punisher cards.  The Punisher has been my favorite Marvel character ever since I started collecting comics.  I especially like the old school prismatic sticker(I’ve had this for a long time).  Some of these were found in packs, while others were found in binders in card shops and conventions.

Here we have some stickers from Topps’ Nintendo Game Packs from 1990.  I’ve talked about the cards in a previous post, and briefly mentioned the stickers.  Some of these stickers are pretty ridiculous, but they’re fitting of the time period.  While I’m missing 4 cards from the set, I do have the complete set of stickers.  On the reverse side, they have “Top Secret Tips”.  And I stand by my assessment that they’re bullshit!  Not only did every kid know the tips, but a lot of them were the lamest ones!  I’ll even give you proof with a scan from the backs of the above stickers.

While the tips suck, I love the design!  Any time I think of a spy, that’s exactly what I would imagine.

Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!  One of my favorite shows and toy lines of all time!  These are Pee-Wee’s Playhouse trading cards.  They have 1988 Herman Toys printed on them, and I would guess that’s when they were released.  I never saw these when they originally came out, and I don’t feel like finding the wrapper to find out, so we’ll assume that they were released in ’88.  These were something special.  Topps went a different route with this set than they did with any of their other licenses.  These were sold in “Fun Packs”.  Fun Packs we’re more like a trading card goodie bag.  You get cards, temporary tattoos, stickers and a lenticular card in every pack!  You can usually find loose packs on Ebay for as low as $1.50 a pack(although most will overcharge for them, so shop around).

These are some of the cards for the custom comic art from Mallrats(I guess these would be considered a sub-set).  If you’ve seen the movie, these were shown during the end credits.  When I worked at Tower Video, we got all types of cool stuff.  As soon as these hit the shelf, I bought the whole box(with a very nice employee discount)!  I thought that I made a complete set, and gave away all of my doubles.  But, I made a mistake, and my set is one card short of being complete.  :(

These are the first series of trading cards based on The Simpsons.  Released in 1990 by, you guessed it…Topps.  These were released around the time Simpsons-mania started.  The animation is rough compared to the polished look of The Simpsons today.  And that’s part of the charm!  The earlier episodes had a bit of a different feel to them compared to a bulk of the series.

I just have one last card to show you tonight.  This is just an awesome card from one of the most memorable scenes from any movie, period!  I’m thinking of using it for my banner.  What do you think?

I think this would work great for an anti-meth poster.  Dontcha think?  :)

The Unveiling

Posted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toys, Yard Sale Finds with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2011 by Jason

So you got a sneak peek of the contents of the box of stuff that found it’s way into my possession Saturday afternoon.  I won’t keep up the suspense any longer!

This past Saturday I had to attend the baby shower for one of my friends(his woman).  We were playing some beer pong in the garage, and I got a phone call.  It was another one of my friends, who happened to be garage saling at the time. He asked if I would be interested in certain action figures, I ran off a few lines and he arrived at the house a short time later.

The box you originally saw was not completely full, but it was a pretty big box, and had a good amount of stuff.

We’ll start off slow, but we’ll end strong.

There were tons of accessories for many lines, and I have to say that I couldn’t match up what a lot of them went to.

These were all scattered in the box.  I sorted them into ones that I could identify, and ones I couldn’t.  The two bags above are the ones that I couldn’t immediately identify.  There’s enough there to supply an action figure war here!

Now we’ll take a look at the accessories that I could immediately identify.

Here we have a nice mix.  You can see King Hiss’s back armor plate, Rokkon’s laser, one of Modulok’s legs a random MOTU sword.  There are also two mask’s from M.A.S.K. figures.  One of them is Jackhammer’s, and he was my favorite toy from that line.  There’s also a couple of fists from old school Transformers. a glow in the dark grenade from the Toxic Crusaders line, a Battle Beasts weapon, and an Incredible Crash Dummies head.

But that’s not it, as far as accessories go!

I actually need a few of these TMNT accessories to go with figures in my collection.  Now all four turtles will have at least one of their trademark weapons!  The miniature canisters of ooze will nicely compliment my TMNT shelf.

Like I said, we’ll start off slow, so now we’ll pick up the pace.

Or maybe not.  These are the ones I have no need for(though, the guy in front of Wolverine looks cool).  I only could identify Wolverine, and I believe the guy in front of him is from The CORPS.  Anyone know who the other two are?

Here are some cool little guys, that I couldn’t identify, but are nice looking none the less.

The wizard is the only one that’s stamped, but I’ll need to get a magnifying glass, as it’s very hard to read.  All 3 of these will probably end up finding themselves displayed for all to see around Halloween.  I’m really loving that ghost!

Now we’re going to see my favorites of the lot.

Casey freakin’ Jones!  One of the coolest characters, and he’s only missing his golf club!  I was really excited to see him in the mix, with the accessories being a nice bonus.  Krang may be missing a tentacle, but I don’t mind, as I didn’t have Krang for my collection(you gotta start somewhere, right?).  The little troll guy looks both cool and familiar, but I can’t quite place where he’s from.  Anybody got any guesses?

Now we’re movin’!

Thunderbolt from Supernaturals!  These are some really nice figures.  There not very articulated, but the holograms is what makes these figures so cool.  I think this was the only one of the larger figures to not have a chest plate to cover his chest.  But he was not alone.

And lastly, we have See-Thru, also from the Supernaturals line.  When I was a kid I only got a few of these “Ghostling” figures, I never got any of the larger ones.  I prefer the look of the Ghostlings anyway.  My favorite was Mr. Lucky(he’s the one with the orange cloak).  Eventually, I would like to get all of the Ghostlings.  The weapons that were packed with these figures were glow-in-the-dark.  You can’t get much cooler than holograms and glow-in-the-dark combined.  I just wish I would come across deals like this more often.  :)

Sneak Peek

Posted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toys with tags , , , , , on May 8, 2011 by Jason

Well it’s getting late, but I figured I could show a couple of things from inside the box.

If you look closely at the photo of the box in my last post, you’ll notice Shredder’s hand protruding from the top of the box.  That was my attempt to recreate the scene from TMNT II, where Shredder’s hand emerges from the garbage.  Pretty cool since he was previously missing from my collection.  Next to ol’ chrome dome is Colossus from Toy Biz’s 1991 X-Men line.  By pressing a lever on his back, you would activate the “power lift” action.  He originally came with a giant weight that he would lift with the push of the previously mentioned lever.  I actually like the old Toy Biz figures(one of the last lines I played with, as I was approaching my teen years), so he’s another welcome addition.

I’ll give you the back story of the box, as well as more of what was inside it in the next couple of days.  Much cooler stuff to come.

What’s in the Box?

Posted in Yard Sale Finds with tags , on May 8, 2011 by Jason

Enough to spread over a few posts.

If I get home early enough today, we’ll start tonight.  If not, in a day or two.  Stay tuned!

Spring Ahead, Fallback

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

I don’t need to tell you the back story on this.  If you missed it, here it is.

Any time I’m out and about, I always make sure to check out the toy selection at various establishments.  You guys know the situation about the “Reveal the Shield” line in my area.  So, my first stop is the action figure aisle, to see what’s new in the Transformers universe.  I wish I had a Target in my area, because this place does not seem to disappoint.  I don’t think that there has been a time where I have left any Target empty handed.  Target and Toys R Us always seem to have the best selection of action figures.  All I have is an area Wal-Mart, and they seem to be lacking in the toy department.  Then again, it could just be the location, because I’ve been to other Wal-Marts that have a decent selection.

This time there were two figures from the Reveal the Shield line, and this one spoke to me.

The only thing that would’ve made this figure better, is if he was the same colors as on the back of the card.  The toy itself is more of a cream and brown, instead of the olive and rust.  Like Jazz, I like both vehicle and robot modes.  In vehicle mode, he is reminiscent of the movie version Ironhide.

In robot mode, he has some kibble in the back, but it doesn’t affect the posability all that much.  I love the fact that he comes with 2 pistols, and the shoulder cannon is a nice touch.  His head is what I like best about him(kind of reminds me of the Mortal Kombat “ninjas”).

I’m really impressed with the figures I’ve gotten for this line so far!  If they were more readily available, I probably would try to collect the entire line.  And that’s saying something, because I haven’t seen a figure in this line that I wouldn’t mind having.  I found him on clearance as well, which is always a plus.  I would recommend picking him up if you see him, clearance or not.

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