Just wanted to let y’all know, I will be heading for Cincinnati for vacation at 9:00 PM tonight. Movie Battle vol.2 will be up later this evening. I would have posted it last night, but I got too hungry and tired when I was about 90% done. See you guys when I get back.
Archive for June, 2010
So, nothing much has happened this weekend. We decided to go out yesterday to stock up on a few things we needed for our upcoming trip to Cincinnati. My fiancee decided to shop for some clothes and suggested that while she was shopping, I should go check out the new comic shop in town. What a great suggestion! Now, in the seven years I’ve lived in upstate N.Y., there has not been a comic shop within a reasonable distance from where I live.
I had seen the shop on a passing trip through Cobleskill, and I saw a sign on the sidewalk proclaiming the grand opening of a new comic shop. I didn’t get to stop that day, but I was amped at the opportunity to be a regular customer at this new establishment. As the day went on I was informed that the building that housed the comic shop, burned to the ground later that day! I was pissed! Here I was, happy as can be because I might be able to rekindle a passion reading comics, and the savior burns to the ground!
There is a happy ending though. About a week after this the owner of the shop found a new location in town, and was open for business a few weeks later. The owner told me that he was open for about 45 minutes before the fire occured. That has got to be a shitty feeling on your first day! Anyway, not only does he have over one million comics. He sells vintage toys as well. He has G.I. Joe toys mint in box, Masters of the Universe( Castle Grayskull mint in box!! ), as well as Transformers and other toys from the 80s and 90s.
This brings us to the point of the post. I was able to haggle a little bit to get this two headed Transformer I remember having as a kid, for seven bucks!
Further research tells me that this is Hun-grrr. He is the central Decepticon Terrorcon in the combiner known as Abominus. He was in one small story arc of the original G1 cartoon. Obviously, he didn’t have a huge impact on the youth at large, but he held a special place in my heart. A two headed dragon that transforms into a robot!! Did I mention that he is a two headed dragon? I went home and did the happy dance as I transformed him. Although he looks badass in his dragon form, he will be displayed in his robot form, for now.
At 23, I think he looks pretty good.
Okay. So as I was thinking of some blogging fodder, I remembered something(s) I had that I wanted reviewed. The thought that followed went something like this…”But that’s related to Halloween. Why don’t you wait until at least late August to talk about these?” I figured, what the hell?! If I know the type of people who visit here, they will happily take something Halloween related any time of the year(except in December when we’re all consumed in Christmas and the X-E Advent Calendar 🙂 ).
I know that McDonald’s was a happy place when I was growing up. But, there are quite a few differences. I’m not going to turn this into a rant about how some people just want to suck the life out of everything, rather, help you remember a time when life was sweet and nothing really mattered. That’s right, I’m talking about childhood and McDonald’s in the 80s!
Before we get to the meat of this article, I would just like to point out some differences and memories of McDonald’s then and now. Back in the day there was no such thing as a Mighty Kids Meal. If you wanted 6 chicken McNuggets, you ordered a chicken McNugget Happy Meal. I was always a fan of their BBQ sauce, but my younger brother always got honey with his nuggets. What ever happened to the honey? What ever happened to the Fry Guys? And, what ever happened to all Happy Meals coming in those cool boxes(bags are so BK)? And lastly where are our McNugget Buddies?
Well I don’t have any answers for you. But I do have a few things based on those last two questions that I would like to share with you. For me, the McNugget Buddies are one of my favorite McDonald’s Happy Meal toys ever! There was just something so simple, yet so fun with these guys. Was it the fact that they were little representations of the living McNuggets we saw on television? Or, was it the fact that they were kind of customizable? I think the answer may be both. I also think that part of it had to do with them first debuting as toys around the Halloween season.
If you visit X-Entertainment, you will know that Mumm-Ra crashed these guys’ Halloween Shindig last year.
But I’m not here to talk about the Halloween McNugget Buddies, rather the cardboard house they came in beore we took them to their new home. Yes people. I’m talking about the Happy Meal boxes that these guys came in with you meal. Nowadys, when you go to McDonald’s, sometimes your Happy Meal will come in a paper bag. What the fuck!! Part of the appeal of a Happy Meal besides the toy and the food, was the neat box it was all packaged in. Growing up, I don’t think a single Happy Meal I got didn’t come in one of those neat boxes.
These are said boxes that the Halloween McNugget buddies came in.
Now from what I remember, there are usually four different boxes to promote each different Happy Meal. Well, I only have three of the boxes. When I bought the set of the McNugget Buddies from a garage sale (still in their sealed packages), these three boxes came with them as well. The woman I bought them from had hundreds of complete Happy Meal toy sets, some had the corresponding boxes sold with them. She also gave me two of the McBoo pails for free. Let me tell you, I was ecstatic! Back to the boxes.
The picture above is of the front of the boxes. As you can see they are completely covered in Halloween graphics. There were puzzles, games and jokes all over these boxes. They really went all out. Click on any of the pictures to see exactly what I’m talking about.
Halloween and McDonald’s just seem to go together. But it just seems that some people don’t agree with me. If they would just understand moderation. And just so they know…I didn’t just tell my parents that I wanted McDonald’s cuz of the hot new toys they were peddling, but I actually enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. The toys were kind of an extra. An extra that I was Happy to have with my Meal.
I have an interesting post coming up tonight. A flashback of sorts. I don’t know how these things survived…………….
Today we have some cool items that I obtained going yard-saling yesterday. This venture proved to be less successful than the last. While I did not get as good a haul as I anticipated, I returned home happy nonetheless(is that correct?). The items will be listed in the order of their coolness. I figured that way to be best, because if I showed them in the order that I found them, this would end up being pretty anti-climactic.
So, let’s get down to business.
First up, let it be known that I am a big ice hockey fan. Since I started watching hockey games at the age of ten or eleven, I have been a faithful follower of the New York Rangers. Most of the time I go yard saling or garage saling, I’m not looking for hockey related merchandise. But what I found came home with me because it is a similar to an item I once owned.
I believe these guys were called “Hockey Brats” or something. This keychain is stamped 1986 and looks almost brand new. We were perusing the streets a little after 4 pm, and a lot of people were done for the day, so we stumbled upon a few piles next to the curb, marked “free”. My motto is, “If it’s free it’s for me!”. I found this guy and a couple of paperback books absolutely free of charge. I just think it’s funny that the Philadelphia Flyers(the team this guy plays for), lost in the Finals this year and he wound up in the trash.
Next up, we have something that I haven’t owned before. This is hard to believe.
This is a Koopa Paratroopa from the 1989 McDonald’s Super Mario Bros. 3 happy meal promotion. This guy is missing the bulb and tube that connects to his rear end to make him hop. The Koopa Paratroopa is one of my all time favorite Nintendo characters. He was found in a box of mixed crap. I figured he probably cost about 25 cents, and when I asked the lady how much, she said, “You can keep it.” So far we haven’t spent any money and we have something to show for it.
This next item is the most recent. He comes to us from the 2002 McDonald’s promotion for Transformers Energon. Ladies and gentlemen…Scorponok!
This guy actually transforms very well. For a Happy Meal toy, this is surprisingly well made. He was in a box of items going for 25 cents each. I located his matching trading card in the same box and got both of them for the low, low price of one quarter. Still haven’t even broke a dollar yet.
I saved the biggest and most expensive find for last. I won’t say what it is, I’ll just show it to you.
That’s right people. We have a 1986 Lazer Tag gun and target. The gun is missing a cover for the light, but other than that, I see nothing wrong with it. Both the gun and the target take a 9-volt battery to operate and I currently don’t have any to test it. I believe the target might have been part of the vest that you would wear, as there’s a patch of velcro on the back of it. This was the most expensive purchase of the day totaling fifty cents.
Ther you have it folks! A pretty good day. I only spent 75 cents. And for those of you who wish to know the books I got…they were, Shutter Island, Go Ask Alice and a 1954 copy of Lord of the Flies.
Update 9/9/10: I misidentified the McDonald’s Transformer. I mistakenly thought it was Scorponok (being that the card I found him with was a Scorponok card, and the color scheme was appropriate), when in fact it is Megatron(which is sadly missing the turret for his tank mode).
While thinking of a topic to write about, I had all sorts of things going through my head. Most of the things that I swirling in my head today are things that I am quite fond of and I have been into or liked for a big part of my life.
Alot of the stuff I was thinking about was in someway attached to my childhood and early teen years. Things that helped shape me and define the person I am today. Growing up in the 80’s, as alot of you know was an interesting time. There is all types of stuff from that decade that I think about on an almost daily basis. And I know that this is said alot but, things really did seem simpler back then. And I’m not talking about not having the responsibilities we have as adults. The economy was on the up and up, the sky was the limit for everything, and in my honest opinion that decade had the best toys and tv programming as well as movies I have seen to date. I have alot of fond memories of all of this. Today I guess, I’m still a kid. I still buy toys and watch old tv shows and wake up early Saturday morning to catch TMNT. Speaking of which, have Saturday morning cartoons go the way of the dodo, or what? I remeber the Big 3 networks(NBC, CBS, & ABC), as well as some big but not as huge networks(WPIX & Fox), vying for our viewership. I’ve looked at the shit they pass off nowadays. 95% of it is garbage! Let’s look back at some stuff that will give us happy thoughts.
First, I would like to talk about someone I loved as a kid, and still do today. I watched him find his lost bike hundreds of times, and I knew when he came on tv Saturday mornings, that Saturday morning was over and either golf or tennis would be coming on next. You know who it is. Don’t act like you don’t!
Even though he’s insane, I think he helps me keep my sanity. Just watching the intro makes me want to live there. Here was a grown-up, who was a kid and lived in a house that no parent would ever live in! He lived by himself and lived by his own rules. I always wondered what happened to his house in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. And because of X-E, I can’t look at that door and not have Skeletor with Moss Man’s arms pop into my head! Anyway, religiously watched his show every Saturday and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was one of the most watched tapes in the house. One thing me and my younger brother always thought was how much our stepmom looked like Large Marge, I’m serious(I’ll do a comparison in a later post). I have heard alot of people say that the Large Marge scene scared the shit out of them in their younger days, but my brother and I thought it was one of the funniest things we ever saw! When we would watch it alone, my brother had a habit of rewinding any parts of the movie we thought was funny, repeatedly! It was funny about the first 2 times. Still to this day, I go frame by frame at least once when I watch it.
Next up, we have something that ruled everyones lives. The Nintendo Entertainment System owned me from 1985 until 1991 when it was Super Nintendo’s turn. I would play any game on this, any time I could. Getting a new game was a family event. My dad would play the games with us and really get into it(I learned a few new words ‘cuz of that). I’m not gonna get to in depth, because this subject has been covered by so many. But, being that before we spoke of the NES, we spoke about Pee-Wee…..How about this?
These days it seems that there is little thought put into the child demographic. But, we have learned to be more politically corect these days and most of that shit wouldn’t fly today.
Another huge part of my childhood was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were on everything and they were everywhere! We had the cartoon, the toys, the movies, the food, shampoo, bed sheets and the all so sacred pudding pies. To this day, I would say that the Turtles are my favorite cartoon/toy line. I didn’t have the Turtle Van or Blimp or the technodrome. My brother and I only got one or two playsets growing up, but we had ass loads of figures. The figures spanned every major and minor toy line that was available. The ones we had the most of were G.I Joe, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Michaelangelo started out as my favorite, but that only lasted for about a month. Donatello has since been my favorite pizza eating reptile. By the early 90s, you could watch the Turtles on Saturday morning, and watch them on WPIX(NY), after school on weekdays. And that’s exactly what I did. I think the Turtles were the last big cartoon/toyline for me. As you go through school, certain things made you a “baby”. Playing with toys was one of them, although I still got toys once in a while, and I haven’t stopped watching cartoons, but the kids in school didn’t need to know that.
The turtles cartoon debuted in 1988. By the time 1991 rolled around, I was starting to spend my allowance collecting comics. It was thanks to this hobby, that I found the gritty Turtles form the original Mirage comic book series. I will say that I am a huge fan of the original turtles and have many of the original comica and the Donatello Neca figure still inside of his plastic prison. I went to a comic convention at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in 2002(when I lived in the city), and to my surprise Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Turtles was in attendance. There was nobody in line for him, so I swooped right in. He was an awesome individual. We had a brief conversation and I asked if he would sketch something for me. He asked if I had anything to sketch on, so I grabbed a backing board from one of my purchases and gave that to him to sketch. Here is what I recieved a few minutes later.
I got an awesome sketch of “Mike”. Watching him do this was amazing. No pencils. Just a thin tipped Sharpie and a regular Sharpie. I consider myself a decent artist, but ther would be no way for me to sketch something with a Sharpie that’s suitable for framing.
On a final note. I would like to say, if you’re a fan of the Turtles and haven’t seen the three episode “Turtles Forever”, jump on it. The present day Turtles meet their 1988 counterparts as well as their 1984 counterparts. This was an awesome surprise for older Turtle fans. They even left the 1984 turtles black and white. I felt like a kid again, only this time coffee and cigarettes replaced my bowl of cereal.