Archive for The League of Extraordinary Bloggers

Patriotic Pop Culture

Posted in Memories, Toys, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by Jason

Another week, and another assignment from “The League”.  I haven’t been contributing as much as I would like for these assignments, but I try.  And I just couldn’t pass up on this one.

“Patriotic pop culture. What movie, TV show, comic book, etc. makes you want to stand up and salute Old Glory?”

Well, I could go with a few things here.  But the number 1 for me would have to be(probably everyone else thought of it first), is G.I. Joe.

I know this seems like the easy route.  But that’s not at all, what I’m going for.  Even as a kid, this show, made me proud to be an American.  It not only entertained me, but I think it may have helped to make me a better person.  And I mean that.  I really think the end segments(“And knowing is half the battle”), helped me to understand what was right, and good.  It sounds funny, even cheesy to say, being an adult and all, but it’s true.

I have always been grateful for the freedoms we have in our great country.  I appreciate the efforts our soldiers exert, to ensure that the American people, and our future generations are able to have these freedoms.  While I may not agree with everything our government does, I am damn proud to be an American!  And the song that sounds just like what I typed, is oh, so true(you know the song)!

My dad was in the Navy(before I was born), and seemed to dig that my brother and I were into a cartoon such as G.I. Joe.  I say this because I can remember many birthdays and Christmas’s where we got toys pertaining to G.I. Joe.  We absolutely loved the show, and toys(I still do!)!

So, even though I’m talking about toys and cartoons…remember those who have sacrificed everything for us to be able to enjoy such things.  Yo Joe!!

Reis says it better than me over at Lair of the Dork Horde

Over at Branded in the 80s, shawn goes all out with G.I. Joe as well(Awesome, Shawn!!!)

And Adam from Adamotomy, goes of the beaten path, with something I love, that also makes sense(if that makes sense)

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League Assignment – Top 10 Movies

Posted in Memories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by Jason

Brian from Cool & Collected came up with yet another great topic for this week’s League assignment.  Top 10 movies.

He asked, What are your Top Ten Movies?”.  But it doesn’t have to be a typical top 10 movies of all-time list, which is nice.

For more clarity…

“Note, this list can be your top ten all time favorites, or your top ten in a given genre–go ahead and make up your own qualifiers! Google loves top ten lists, so make sure to use those words in your title and watch your traffic soar.”

I went with what my 10 favorite movies are these days.  But I did exclude holiday titles like, “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, “Planes, Trains & Automoibiles”, “Halloween” etc., because, while these movies are great, and a good watch every time, they just hold more meaning to me during their respective holidays.

It was very hard to narrow the list down.  I came up with a list off the top of my head that was 14 titles long.  This was already more than enough, so I stopped there and had to cut 4 titles from the list.  Those being, “Gremlins”, “Back to the Future”, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Grandma’s Boy”.

This list could be different next week, but most of these have long been favorites of mine.  So let’s get to it!

10.) The Karate Kid

I used to watch the hell out of this movie when I was kid(among others, some of which are on this list)!  This is the classic underdog tale.  There is so much to like about this movie.  And even though it’s a bit embarrising to say, I really like the soundtrack.  I’ve never seen the remake(and don’t plan to), as I don’t want to tarnish what a great movie the orignal is.

9.) Pulp Fiction

I was introduced to this movie by my older brother back in 1997.  I was blown away!  The intertwining stories were great.  The acting was phenomenal, as was the casting choices.  Pulp Fiction is extremely quotable(as is the rest of the list), and after watching it, Quentin Tarantino became one of my favorite directors.

8.) The Crow

For many years, this was my absolute favorite movie.  In my opinion, this is the finest movie ever made that was adapted from a comic book.  Brandon Lee was great in this, and actually died during the filming(it’s a sad story, and a real shame because his star was on the rise).  It has a feel similar to Batman, in that it’s dark and gritty.  There were a few other movies made based on The Crow, but none of them come close to the original.  If you haven’t seen it, I can’t urge you enough to give it a watch.

7.) GoodFellas

The greatest gangster movie of all-time!  I’d also say that this is Joe Pesci’s career performance.  While most of Martin Scorsese’s films are really good, this was is his best.  The acting of everyone involved is top-notch, complimenting Scorsese’s direction.  The fact that it was based on true story, makes it just that much more compelling.

6.) Dumb and Dumber

This is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.  I know a lot of the humor in this movie is kind of childish, but I think that’s what makes it so funny(to me anyway).  The title is most fitting, as it will have you thinking frequently, “are they really that dumb?”.   Jim Carrey had a lot of great movies in the nineties, and this is no exception.  This is another highly quotable movie, and I have many favorites.  I couldn’t choose just one, so here’s the full list from IMDB.

5.) Spaceballs

Before we had all of the parody movies like Scary Movies, and the “Not Another(insert movie genre here)”, we had Mel Brooks.  I’m no expert on Mel Brooks’  movies, but Spaceballs is an exception.  I loved this movie since I first saw it back in 1987-88.  My step brother was into sci-fi and horror movies big-time, which in turn got me into those genres as well.  This movies spoofs every sci-fi movie from Aliens – Star Wars, and does it well!  The subject matter and John Candy make for a winning combination. If you’ve never seen it(which I would find hard to believe), get on it!

4.) Clerks

Kevin Smith’s first and finest work.  This movie details a day in the life of 2 store clerks, Dante and Randal.  If you have ever worked in the retail sector, most of this movie will hit close to home.  I for one, have worked in a convenience store as well as a video store, so I can relate to some of it.  There’s a slim possibility for some of the stuff that happens in the movie would ever happen in real life, but it also seems like some of it legitimately could happen.  The film is in black and white, and I feel that that’s a good thing.  There is nothing to distract you from what is going on.  Kevin Smith worked at the store he filmed at, and most of it was filmed at night when he wasn’t working.  In the movie, Dante arrives at work to find that someone jammed gum in the shutters’ locks(“Bunch of savages in this town.”).  I can go on and on, so I’ll just leave it at see this now!  If you haven’t already.

3.) Beetlejuice

This was released in 1988, and I remember when my dad rented it as a new release(’88-’89?).  Directed by Tim Burton and scored by Danny Elfman(who have done numerous projects together), and featuring an all-star cast(not all of them were legit stars at this time), this movie just screams win!  It has the feel of classic Tim Burton, which it is(I’m not saying that the movies he’s made in the past 15 years is bad, but, in my opinion, his stuff in the 80’s through the early nineties is flawless).  I can’t say that I’ve seen anything like it, and that’s the main reason why it’s #3 on my list.  The movie spawned an animated series, as well as a line of action figures(I’m a huge fan of both btw).  I think I’m going to watch this again at some point this weekend.  🙂

2.) The Goonies

If you have a pulse, I’m sure all of you have seen this movie, and love it as well.  If yuo first saw this movie as a child, you’d be lying if you said you never wanted to be a Goonie(Goony?).  Some of the cast has gone on to bigger and better things, while some of them just kind of fell off the map(no pun intended).  It’s got humor, action and suspense, so there’s something for everyone.  This was one of the first movies I could recite word for word, and it didn’t take long because this was one of the movies me and my brother would regularly choose to watch whenever we were home and wanted to watch a movie.

1.) Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

This is the movie I think that I’ve seen more than any other movie.  Just like The Goonies, this is another of the first movies I learned to recite word for word.  This is Tim Buton’s feature-length directorial debut, as well as the beginning of collaborations of Burton and Danny Elfman.  If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know that I am a huge Pee-Wee Herman fan.  Co-written by the late, great Phil Hartman(along with Paul Reubens and Michael Varhol), this is a tale about a man(boy) and his quest to get back his most prized posession…his bike(and what an awesome bike it is!).  This was the beginning of my fandom for Tim Burton and Pee-Wee Herman.  There isn’t a single thing I would change about the movie(although I would have liked to have seen more of the inside of his house in the movie), and I don’t think it ever has, or ever will be out of my top 3.  But I’d say it’s been my #1 for 10 years or more.

For now, these are my top 10 movies.  And while the order may change slightly from time to time, I don’t think any of these would ever fall out of my top 20.  But that’s a subject for a later time(this was tough enough as it was).

 

Check out Shawn’s Top 10 Favorite 80’s Villains over at Branded in the 80’s

Brian “goes ape” at Cool and Collected

Colbey mixes it up with an eclectic list over at Random Toy Reviews

 

 

League Assignment and Extras

Posted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toys, Uncategorized, Video Games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2012 by Jason

For this week’s assignment, Brian asked…

Besides the Batmobile, what is the sweetest ride cruising the streets of pop culture?

There are so many great possibilities for this(the Tim Burton Batmobile is the best, in case you were wondering).  Before we get to the ride I would most like to get behind the wheel of, I’d like to show you guys my runner-up.

(photo credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/winterwoman/2180330085/)

Pee wee’s bike just looks awesome!  I don’t care that it probably really slow and clumsy.  But theres so much awesome in this bike, that it doesn’t really matter.  But ther is one vehicle that would be really fun test drive.

(it’s the best shot I could find on Google)

The Thundertank was probably my favorite 80’s vehicle/accessory.  A real life version of this beast would be amazing!  This would make for the party wagon!  I remember my yonger brother and I having remote-controlled versions of the Thundertank, and even finding a Thundertank(as well as some Thundercats figures), on the curb headed for the trash, while we were on vacation in Ohio!  It’s a ride that I have always thought was co0l.

And speaking of Thundertanks…

This was the mystery item that I eluded to in my last post.  But I’ll go more into detail with the review I have planned for this.

I hit up a few thrift store in the last couple of days, and I ended up finding some pretty cool stuff.

I purchased all of the above games at a new local thrift shop for $1 each, with the exceotion of Toughguy Contest, which was 99 cents at Goodwill.  With the exception of Bubble Bobble, I didn’t have any of the other games in my collection(I’ll sell the extra Bubble Bobble to offset the cost of my hobbies 🙂 ).  I did pretty well with these, but they’ll be staying with me.

Both the Starfox 64 Player’s Guide and the “Coming out of Their Shells Tour” vhs were $1 each at the same thift shop.  These are 2 more items that are for the personal collection(nobody should want the TMNT tape, it’s horrible!).  These were some good finds on the first trip to the new shop, so I’ll stop by again sometime.

Check out some other sweet rides at Cavalcade of Awesome (I knew that would be your #1 pick Paxton!!)

You can read about lok’s pick over at That Figures.

Ashely from Life With Fandom had some really good picks.

Prized Possessions and the “Tip of the Iceberg”

Posted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toys, Uncategorized, Video Games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by Jason

This week’s assignment from The League is “Prized Possessions”.  Brian asked us, “What is the one item in your collection you would save if your house was being swallowed by a sink hole, carried off in a tornado, and then swept away in a flood.”

It was a pretty quick decision.

I believe I bought this from a Toys R Us back in 1999.  When I was a kid in the eighties, I would’ve killed for the original(it was diecast, ya know).  But, I only owned the green lion, and my brother owned the red lion(the black lion is my personal favorite).  I happened to hit up the Toys R Us in White Plains on pay day, and there were 3 of these on the shelf.  It was the 5 lions, the five pilots and the “Blazing Sword” and shield.  A pretty good deal for the $29.99 asking price.  I didn’t even flinch…I wanted this!  While waiting for the train to go back home, I opened up the package and began to assemble it.

The box it came in is long gone, as I wasn’t the dork collector I am today.  One of the horns on the robot form’s head is missing, as is it’s spring-loaded missile on the back and one of the “wings” is also absent.  The only other thing missing is Pidge(the mini pilot for the green lion).  But it’s mine, and it’s also one of the toys that’s been in my collection the longest.

Check out what Colbey couldn’t leave behind over at Random Toy Reviews.

Shawn from Branded in the Eighties chooses to save a cuddley(sp?) friend.

Jon from Doubledumbassonyou picks a figure I never even knew existed(but it’s awesome!).

And, I went to a toy show today!  It was a small affair, but I did manage to get a few deals.  I want to spread them out over the next week(this gives me a few posts), so I’ll just show you guys the smaller stuff today.

These ALF figures were given away in Wendy’s kids meals sometime back in 1990(that’s what they’re stamped).  I’m a fan olf ALF, and for 50 cents each, I grabbed all 3.  They’re based on the short-lived animated show(that I liked, and the toy line is something I’d like to find a few of), but these look like they’re more specifically from ALF Tales(which were poplular fairy tales that featured ALF in the title roles(I have ALF Tales on dvd, and I can’t believe I haven’t watched it yet!  I’ll have to get on that).

And in the same box, I also found these.

Also, 50 cents each.  Any E.T. toy for fifty cents is a deal in my opinion, plus these are my favorite representations of the lovable alien.  The Happy Meal Koopa Paratroopa was in a line of toys given away in Happy Meals at McDonald’s back in 1990(check out a commercial for it here).  Just like the other one in my collection, it is missing the tube and bulb required to make it hop.  There are loads of these guys in the games, so I don’t mind owning 2 of them(they’re my favorite old school Super Mario enemies anyway).  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle candy dispenser is made by Topps, but this piece is missing the bottom cover, so I don’t have a date for you.  But I would assume that it’s from around 1989-1990.  I remember buying tons of this candy back in the day, and it’s something I have never came across for sale, and at the price I paid, I’m happy.

I also managed to score a SNES game at a very nice price.

There was a kid there selling a Super Nintendo and 6 Super Nintendo games.  So I asked how much the games were.  He said that they were all $10, but Aladdin was $3!  I already own the other 5 games that were there, and this one usually sells for $10 or more.  It’s a fun platformer, and it’s from Capcom, so it’s also very visually appealing as well.

The best is yet to come.  I have a few really awesome toys we’ll see in the coming days(quite possibly tomorrow).

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers – Holy Grails and White Whales

Posted in Memories, Toys, Transformers, Video Games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by Jason

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers is a project that Brian from Cool and Collected started about 2 months ago(for those of you who are not familiar with this, click here for the scoop).  The topic this week is, as stated in this post’s title, Holy Grails and White Whales.

While I could go on and on with stuff I would love to get, the idea is what would we most like to find, and be able to take home with us.  There’s got to be  something that has eluded you, that you think you may never get, or get the opportunity for a chance at.  There are a few things that instantly came to mind.

I collect video games, among other things, so that’s where we’ll start.

What you see above is the very definition of Holy Grail, when it comes to the Nintendo Entertainment System.

I have many fond memories attached to the NES, which is probably why I have so much interest in the system itself.  I collect games for quite a few consoles,  but I have more NES games than all of my other consoles combined(200+).  If you are not familiar with the story behind these cartridges, I’ll give you a little history.

In 1990, Nintendo held a video game championship across the country(not unlike the one in the movie The Wizard).  There were competitions in cities across the nation, looking for the best Nintendo player in that city.  Then the “best” players from each age group would play against each other in the finals of the tournament to determine the winner.  I’m not sure just how these were distributed, but I do know that some went to the champions and finalists, and some were given away in a Nintendo Power contest.  There are only 90 of the gray cartridges, and just 26 copies of the gold one.

The games contained within are Super Mario Brothers(get 50 coins), Rad Racer(complete the first course), and Tetris(get the highest score you can).  There is a dipswitch on the outside of the cart, that you can use to adjust the amount of time to play.  Even though all the games are pretty common, the cartridges are not.  This is something I’m pretty sure I will never own, but it’s nice to dream of finding it a at a garage sale or flea market.

And there are a few toys that came to mind as well.  Now, there are a lot(tons), of toys that I would love to add to my collection.  There are plenty of lines that I collect, and others that I would like to collect.  But there is one line that stands above the rest, and that’s Transformers.  Or more specifically, Generation 1 Transformers.

The first of the two?

Transformers and I go way back.  My brother and I received our first Transformers on the Christmas of 1984 or 1985.  We got one each, and they were both Megatron.  Megatron is high on my want list, but Ultra Magnus is just a little more important to me.  You see, when I saw Transformers the Movie back in 1987, Ultra Magnus quickly became my new Favorite Transformer.  My older brother ended up getting it for me, I believe, for my 9th birthday in 1988.  For some reason I didn’t have it very long.  My stepmother, took him away for some reason(probably jealous that my younger brother didn’t have one), and I never saw him again.  I’m sure I probably cried my eyes out, because I really wanted that toy, and really loved it for the short time that I had it.  So, maybe, finally getting him again may give me some closure.

And the one I wanted, but never got.

Soundwave, is perhaps the coolest looking Transformer in robot mode(and a little dated in alt mode).  I knew a few kids who had this guy, and boy, did I want it!  There were quite a few times I would pick out cassette 2-packs(for Soundwave or Blaster), when we would ask if we could get a toy(you know what I’m talking about).  I have had a few chances to pick this guy up, but at the time(s), I just didn’t have the $40-$50 to spare.  But that may all change when the toy show comes to town on April 22!

Check out what has eluded Reis over at Lair of the Dork Horde.

Brian talks about the item he would love to add to his ever-growing King Kong collection over at Cool and Collected.

And Tim searches for “The Non-Existent” over at Flashlights are Something to Eat.