Friday, September 21, 2018

The Horror Movie BBQ Podcast: WWF Hasbros!

After a ten month hiatus and working on other projects, I am happy to announce that the HorrorMovieBBQ Podcast is BACK and better than ever! With a subject that can no doubt please the wrestling geek and nostalgic toy fan in all of us, WWF HASBROS!

Joining me for today's episode are my friends Myles Arden, admin of the WFIGs Facebook Group and Richard Mayerik, toy-mega fan and producer of the wildly popular and beloved Netflix series The Toys That Made Us. Both guests were fantastic, have a wealth of toy knowledge and had a deep love of these plastic muscle-bound goofballs. Today's discussion consists of:

-Faveorite/least favorite figures.
-WWE Mattel Retro Line.
-Recent popularity.
-The infamous Orange Line.
-What's our favorite/least favorite action feature?
-Why the long face, 123 Kid?

And so much more!

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So sit back, relax and breath in the neon fumes of nostalgia! Maybe even bust out your ring and figures and get in the spirit by putting on a match while you listen too! We won't judge, since we were most likely playing with figures while recording too!

-Chad, Myles, Richard

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Trick Or Treating With Gene Simmons!

Demon, God Of Thunder, Nuke. Whatever you want to call him, Gene Simmons is a pop culture icon. Whatever he touches turns to gold and his millions of fans around the world are quick to embrace it. Of course, most of that involves putting his face on caskets, toilet paper, comic books, toys, and about everything else possible, but hey, a guy's gotta earn a buck right? He wouldn't be where he is without his campiness and outrageous antics. So why he wouldn't put his name on a soda line? Well he did and he swung by Rochester to promote it and sign!

This past Tuesday, Gene came by the local Wegmans grocery store (5 minutes away from my apartment too!) to sign cases of his "Money Bags Soda" and I was right there for the entire event. A front row seat, or front row spot in line if you will. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. Tickets were released on Tuesday the week before and were gone pretty quick within hours. Thankfully, that day I had to pick it up a few items and was able to score a ticket. What was promised with this golden ticket? Admission, a chance to pay $25 for a pack of soda(portions of the sale went to a local charity) and a guaranteed professional photo op with the legend himself! Of course, no extra items were to be signed by Gene, according to staff, but that wouldn't stop me from bringing something just in case. The worst thing I'd be told is "no".

I get there around 11:30 am. Knowing the signing would start at 1:30 and having a guaranteed ticket, I knew I wouldn't have to stand in line too long. Thank goodness, because 2 hours was long enough for me. Now, I'm not the biggest Kiss fan in the world, in fact out of everything else, I loved Gene in his movies. Specifically Trick Or Treat, so really I was just after a photo op. But I got to meet some REAL hardcore Kiss fans. When I say hardcore, I'm talking knowing what boots Gene and Paul wore on their first tour, the lines from Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park to the first lines of some unrecorded concert in Chicago in 1981. It was pretty impressive to be on the outside and see the effect Gene and his crew had on these people over the years. I think their love of the band got me interested in checking out their catalog and giving them another chance. I don't expect to paint my face up like a cat anytime soon and follow all the members across the country. A bunny? Ok. I can do that. Sign me up.

So Gene strolled in rather early, maybe about 15 minutes before his designated time. Almost as soon as he came in, he started hamming it up as only he can. He started schmoozing with the employees, local news outlets and police. After about 10 minutes, he made it through the store to come to our section of the store and started greeting us. He seemed pretty enthusiastic, waving, fistbumping, even taking photos with a grocery cart. I mean, it's Wegmans, baby! How could you not get excited! He even came to the front of the line to accept a gift of cookies from a little old lady who was so happy to meet him. He was super appreciative and even ate one or two. That's a pretty ballsy move, but he's a pretty ballsy guy and knows how to work the crowd. Good for you, Gene. You definitely that ladies day!

Ok, so after some more showboating, Gene went to his signing station and the "conveyor belt" system immediately began. As expected, Gene signed the cases and took photos. For a few people, he even signed small items they brought if they were nice enough and asked politely. Finally, it was my turn to meet the man himself. He gave me a fistbump, and signed my soda. I brought with me a Trick Or Treat 8x10 signed by star of the movie, Marc Price in hopes Gene would sign. I showed it to him and said how much I loved the movie and he just looked at it and said "oh wow!" and put it down. I picked it up and asked him if he wouldn't mind signing it. His staff member told me, very respectfully "sorry, he's only signing soda" but before I could take it back, Gene started signing! Holy crap! I guess you just never know! This was a huge victory considering Gene normally charges $100-140 for his autograph at a convention. I'm still shocked and super appreciative.

So, as I'm ready to pose for my photo a staff member grabs me and tells me to move along. I say "Sir, we didn't take a photo" and Gene laughs, puts his arm on my shoulder and says to me "You're trouble aren't you?". We take a photo, he gives me another fist and I leave. Ok sure, I should've just been grateful for him signing an extra item and just moved along and cut my losses, but I definitely wanted that photo of Nuke!

I've often been told Gene reciprocates respect and if nothing else, Gene respects his fans. He interacted with everyone and gave them a positive memory to take with them, along with delicious soda. If this was the only experience I can base my opinion on Gene Simmons, then I've got nothing but respect for him.

Seriously, guys...this ginger ale is amazing...I really wanna save the rest for a sick day and drink it with a side of chicken noodle soup while I lay in bed and watch reruns of the old My Pet Monster cartoon. Anyone who says that won't be a quick remedy is lying to you and you should shun them immediately.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

HorrorMovieBBQ...Lost In NY!

So I've been on a hiatus from this blog, which to be fair I need to take a few times a year to refresh my self. My depression has been getting much worse and my motivation to do anything but hide under my comforter with a giant bag of Doritos or lay on the couch to watch old Growing Pains reruns. It's not like I plan these things but when it happens it affects literally everything in my life, so if I barely have the motivation to change my rabbits litter box, how can I concentrate on producing quality blog content? So with that, I do apologize for the lack of MOTU Month updates. I really had wanted to provide something fun and entertaining, but again, it just wasn't gonna happen. Good news, is a lot of the articles will be held over and used for this coming Halloween, because the theme of some do fit into the spooky season! Next year, I'm gonna try it again and limit it to "MOTU Week". At least just to try and keep it simple and doable. I still love my blog and don't make money off it, so I at least wanna keep my passion going.

...And I feel like today's a good time to break that hiatus and come back with something fun.

Earlier this year, my wife and I decided we needed a vacation and we decided we'd head down to Brooklyn to soak in the sun and attend the biggest party of the summer, WWE's Summerslam! We're both gigantic wrestling fans and we've never had a vacation, so why not? On top of that, Laurie's never been to NYC, so this would be quite the experience for her. Of course when visiting the big city, we had to make a sizable list of places we wanted to hit, places to eat, sights to see. And you'll see that, if time allowed, there was just one place I truly had to hit. More on that later.

Other than having extreme difficulty driving into the city on a Friday night, which should have been expected, we had no major issues with our trip. Saturday and Sunday were obviously meant for some live 'rasslin action and sleeping in until about 1 pm, but Monday was all about hitting Times Square and seeing everything we could before Monday Night Raw at the Barclays. After a very swift 30 minute Uber ride, we found ourselves directly in the heart of Times Square, on a very busy day.

Why? Well, the Video Music Awards were taking place right up the block at Radio City Music Hall! The entire area was taken over by wacky MoonMen promoting the huge event. It was pretty fun to see an event I spent so many years watching as a teen and young adult right in front of me. Even more fun was seeing The Backstreet Boys preform during the preshow!

Talk about a total timewarp! Is this 1998 all over again?

Of course, I couldn't visit Times Square without stopping by to see my buddy Jon, who is the face of one of my favorite blogs, the Ninja Turtle themed The Sewer Den . Jon's a great guy that I've met twice this year and both times we've met, we just talk, talk, talk. It's like we've known each other forever and quite frankly, he's one of the most genuine friends I've made thanks to this amazing thing called "blogging". Jon, Laurie and I walked around Times Square and hit up the Hershey's Store, since we're all huge Reese's fans, it was quite the heavenly spot to be in. It was great to hang out, chat and goof off. I hope everyone gets to become friends with someone as awesome as Jon is.

So after we parted ways (Hey, Jon's gotta get back to work!) Laurie and I walked around more of the area, even hitting The Nintendo Store and passing by the sprawling Rockafeller Center. As a huge fan of Saturday Night Live and NBC in general, it was fantastic to finally visit and see these studios up close.

Ok. It's lunchtime. One of the spots we *needed* to hit was the famous BlackTap, known for their delicious craft burgers and world famous milkshakes. Now, I've been trying to cut back on eating red meat, but I had been wanting to try one of these for a while. The burger was absolutely delicious. I don't know what they do to that burger to make it taste so sinfully good and I don't want to know, but it certainly was one of the best burgers I've ever had in my life. Just straight up perfect. Nothing too fancy, just a big juicy patty with cheese, just how I like it! Of course, the true main event was the milkshakes:


Your eyes do not deceive you. That is indeed a giant slice of birthday ice cream cake atop of an absolutely delicious milkshake. Apparently BlackTap is trying to put me in the biggest food coma since the great post-Thanksgiving nap of 2014 when I passed out before my annual viewing of Christmas Vacation. As great as the milkshake was on it's own, the addition of the cake was what made it a true homerun. The cake was as delicious as it looks. I can't even begin to describe the taste. It was like getting about 14 birthday presents at once! They don't play around at Black Tap and I can see why they're such a popular spot with tourists and locals. I'm still amazed that I was able to down all of this and move afterwards but I made it happen.

So...what happened next? We were full of food and ready to head back to our hotel in Brooklyn to put our feet up and change for Monday Night Raw. But I couldn't leave NYC without hitting one spot. There's a lot of historic spots in this city that people go to that hold a lot of sentimental value but for me I had to see THE GHOSTBUSTERS FIREHOUSE!!!!

After getting somewhat lost, we turn a corner and my wife points to the Firehouse and says "Hey! There it is!" and I immediately turn into a child. My face went from being tired and full of cakey goodness to the extreme joy to the point that I actually teared up. I couldn't believe I was standing right there. It was absolutely incredible. So of course, I had to take about 598 photos of the location. I'm sure the brave men and women working that day are already used to the lunatic fans coming by, taking photos and geeking out, so I tried to contain my excitement the best I could, so I wouldn't be in their way. Thankfully, they were nice enough to allow me to walk in and take photos of the Ghostbusters 2 sign hanging inside the actual firehouse.

Of course, I'm aware that only the exterior was used in the movie and very little remnants from the movies are intact especially after all the renovations through years, but just standing there meant the world to me. I've tried to get here for years, multiple times and I either couldn't make it or it was still under heavy renovations, which finished this year. As a huge Ghostbusters fanatic, I can't see any better way to celebrate my fandom and love of that wacky series than heading to what most fans will refer to as "Mecca". Had I been quicker on my feet, I would've brought one of my frozen Ecto Cooler boxes to drink while standing there, but it's for the best.

 A great trip down to NYC concluded with our last wrestling event and a trip to a 24 hour Target across from the Barclay's Center. The next morning, we drove back to Rochester and pretty much slept through the next day and ate any Wawa we brought back with us. Of course nothing compares to that amazing burger from Black Tap!

Oh and of course, being the tourist I am, I had to get a photo with The Naked Cowboy!


Friday, August 31, 2018

Terror Twins Podcast: Treasures!

Ok, this one's a bit late, but I'm sure you can forgive me for the delay.

Today on the Terror Twins Podcast, Stacy of StayStillReviews and I discuss our most treasured collectables and prized possessions. It could be anything! A VHS, a crew shirt, an autograph or two? You'll have to listen to find out what they are and the stories behind them!

You can find Stacy at her site, Stay Still Reviews and her Facebook page, where she's always got something fun up her sleeve! You just never know what fun stuff she has in store on her blog!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Review: Death of Superman


"Based on the acclaimed DC Comics graphic novel comes an epic animated movie showcasing Superman’s greatest battle. An asteroid hurtles through our atmosphere and crashes into the ocean, with it arrives an unstoppable force fueled by uncontrollable rage known only as Doomsday! With innocent lives threatened and Metropolis under attack, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League rally to meet this otherworldly menace. But when the dust settles, only an epic showdown between Superman and Doomsday can decide the fate of Metropolis and ultimately, planet Earth!"


As a huge DC fan and someone who lived through the original release of this story as a young comic book fan, I feel like I have a somewhat an emotional connection. I've never been a big Superman fan,( even though I did a podcast episode about it with my buddy CT of Nerd Lunch which you can listen to here) but the enormity of this entire saga always remained a favorite of mine. How could I not? Superman finally meets his match is something that piqued everyone's interest, whether they read Superman as a child or loved the Richard Donner movies or tied a towel around their neck like a cape and raced around their yard. It captured the entire world's attention and sold huge numbers. It was a smash hit for DC and in my opinion, it has never been matched in terms of a story that feels larger than life.

When this released was announced a lot of fans were hopeful that it would right the wrongs of the 2007 Death of Superman animated movie, which was an abbreviated version of the story and left a lot to be desired. Of course, we as fans received a pretty epic battle in Batman vs. Superman between Doomsday and Superman but that too left a lot of fans wanting more. DC's animated films are usually something that all fans can usually agree on and enjoy. As we got closer to this release, I got the sense we were finally getting the right adaption.

This movie reflects the true nature of what helped make this storyline so good by depicting all the storylines leading up to the infamous battle. Whether it was Doomsday's arrival on Earth and essentially taking out the entire Justice League, to Lois and Clark's relationship issues, and obviously...the fight to the bitter end between Superman and Doomsday, the bases were covered and we were guaranteed a home run.

The voice cast, lead by Jerry O Connell playing Big Blue himself and Rainn Wilson playing his nemesis Lex Luthor, who at this point have become so adapt at playing these roles, it sounds like they were born to play them. In fact, in terms of a Superman/Lex relationship, this could very well be the most accurate we've seen in an animated movie. Rainn depicting Lex may be my favorite choice to play the famous villain since even Clancy Brown in 1997's Superman: The Animated Series.

There's a lot to take in here emotionally with this movie and if you've been hoping for a comic accurate depiction of Superman's last stand, you're in luck. I've gone on record and spoken about my love of 2016's Batman vs. Superman, but after watching this movie, I do see why people were let down by Doomsday's involvement. This movie provided a more violent battle with more dire consequences. Obviously animation and live action are two different mediums but for a purist of the story, I'd say this is the best choice. The animation, writing and cast all come together for a perfect combination of action, love and tragedy which is really made this story so captivating in the first place. If you're into the storytelling and action of this iconic moment in comics history, this is the movie for you. Just be warned, it is not something you can show your kids unless you watch it first and decide so. It's pretty hardcore and intense and could possibly worry them. This is not your average Superman story, but then again that's what you can expect from these more modern and mature depictions of classic DC stories.

Oh and don't forget about the sequel. The Reign of The Supermen will be here before you know it...


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Halloween Skeletor!

One of the great contributions to the 200X line was of course the awesome (and sometimes painful to hunt down) chase variants. A lot of cool colors and thought were put into these and it gave us some great looking figures. Of course, one of my favorites in the entire MOTU history was a variant and it's one I wanna dig into today...

There's a lot of names this one goes by: Fruity Pebbles Skeletor, Disco Skeletor, but my personal pick for it is "Halloween Skeletor". Just look at it. Does that not scream Halloween to you? I don't exactly think it's "disco" but I suppose I can appreciate the term. Taking the basic Skeletor and slapping a different coat of paint on him is nothing new. Skeletor already received an inverted skull and crossbones variant but this enters an almost psychedelic level with this. I mean, a golden/orange-ish body with black highlights? That's a new one.

Plus, gold/orange/black weapons? Who's gonna truly fight a guy with a skull and gold weapons? That's straight up out of a horror movie or the CVS Halloween aisle. If they want to really add extra flair, they'd make it smell like a cheap CVS pumpkin candle even if that's Stinkor's gimmick, Skeletor is evil enough to steal that. He's a dick.

Despite what you may believe, a candy corn colored Skeletor was not the most popular figure from the line. He was memorable enough to receive the Funko Pop treatment as a SDCC exclusive years later and has gone on to become a very rare one at that. So while fans didn't embrace him as much, it's pretty awesome to see it left an impression on someone enough to create it!

On top of that, I can't help but think this is the closest we'll ever get to a Golden God Skeletor from the live action movie. Still waiting on that one, Mattel. Until that day comes, I'll be happy to call this my favorite Skeletor figure of all time for it's crazy paint job and the fact that I can use it as a Halloween decoration all year round. I think Skeletor can appreciate that.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: Hordak Staction

By 2005, the MOTU line was dead. Fans had given up and ready to accept defeat. Even though we hadn't received a lot of characters, we accepted it's fate and were ready to move on. But suddenly a savior appeared in the form of NECA and The Four Horsemen and we were blessed with STACTIONS!

A combination of "statue" and "action figures", these mini statue/figures filled the holes of fans collections with all their favorite obscure characters. NECA, The independent toy company responsible for mini busts and the sculptors behind the 200X series would be in charge of giving us the characters we had dreamed of. Via an announcement in Toyfare, Hordak and Clawful were the first to be announced and suddenly fans got their hopes back up that this could be a resurgence of the line and He-Man could get a second chance. Personally, as a HUUUUGE Hordak and Evil Horde fan, I was so excited to finally get my hands on these characters in this particular scale but I tried not to get my hopes up as to what else we could get. This was just two characters, so it would all depend on sales. But regardless, we were excited for the future.

And what a nice, while brief, future it was. Through 6 waves, characters who were never given a chance to shine were given the Staction treatment and characters like King Randor, a cartoon accurate Evil Lynn and a classic colored He-Man were offered as comic con exclusive while future waves continued the theme of Horde members, gimmick characters, and another He-Man and Evil Lynn. It was pretty wild to finally see a character like Grizzlor and Leech in the Staction format. Finding them in stores became somewhat of a task. For a while, it was said that Suncoast Video was the main source to pick them up, some people even found them at grocery stores. My friend Ryan actually found one at a local Aldi's, which is pretty bizarre but then again, you gotta remember 2005/2006 was a completely different time for finding independent toys. There wasn't a lot of promotion outside the internet either which made it a bigger problem for fans and collectors.

Even though you couldn't move their appendages due to the joints being glued and fused together, the sculpts were fantastic. As you can expect from a Horsemen sculpt, the details were extremely impressive, with his costume getting so much attention. Hordak's famed symbol was given a more serious look. With a darker look and more demonic feel, this symbol is ready to intimidate upon first glance. A flowing cape that shows off some wear and tear from some serious battle was a nice touch, even if fans who aren't the biggest fans of plastic, molded capes can appreciate this.

His pose, considering his permanent positioning, is pretty fantastic as well. He's already a scary sumbitch, so for him to have anything but a commanding would be foolish. Look at him. He's heads and shoulders above the other figures of the line and he knows it. Skeletor? Please. Who do you think taught him everything he knows? This guy. His stance and sculpt are the perfect example as to why I love this era of MOTU.

His weapons also reflect a very different era of MOTU. Instead of the simple crossbow he previously came with, Hordaks newest weapon is somewhat of a cyberpunk/scifi/Transformers hybrid. His staff, which was featured in the Filmation series, was also a worthy addition. As much as I love the design of Skeletors Havoc Staff, this was definitely the cooler of the two. Also, you gotta love that Hordak is so vein and narcissistic that he'd rather use his symbol on the end of a staff than a giant animal skull. That's ego right there and he knows it.

In terms of scale to other figures, he's pretty on point. Standing next to She-Ra, who I'd assume would've been close to about 5'11 in real life, is towered by the giant vampire/demon, who I'd assume would clock in arou  7 or 8 feet which works for me! A larger than life, frightening villain is just one of the things what makes a series like MOTU so fantastic and memorable. Imagination and pure insanity at it's finest and boldest.

The entire Horde crew would eventually be completed thanks to the stactions and the Horsemen's amazing efforts. But in my opinion, no figure in the entire line shone brighter than Hordak. In fact, I'd even argue this is the best Hordak figure. No offense to any other, but there's no competition. Of course, if there is any debate, I'd love to hear it! Is this your favorite Hordak? Least favorite? Share in the comments!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Mosquitor Doesn't Suck!

Some of the most unique and craziest characters released in the MOTU line was offered in the last wave or two. Whether it was a new costume for He-Man, a firefighter with an elephant head or ninjas, Mattel really beefed up the line to keep fans interested. A lot of crazy ideas, but the one that stands out the most is none other than Mosquitor!

Mosquitor, the blood sucking pest of The Evil Horde was one of the more gimmicky characters of the final lines. A giant mosquito with the power to drain his enemies blood via his giant nose? Yup. Mattel was really stepping up their "WTF" game and really hit a homer with this one. And people say Mattel was out of ideas come 1987. I beg to differ. A 6 foot blood sucking mosquito? That's either out of a David Cronenberg movie or some serious drugs. I'd like to believe both but who am I kidding, Mattel knew what they were doing. The more insane the figure was, the cooler it was. Like you didn't want a giant lobster with a muscular lobster arm or a giant fire-ant/demon with 80 arms and legs.
Check that out! Not only is he a weirdo with a thirst for blood, but he's a snappy dresser who wears boots that once belonged to a Cylon. While the other Horde members focused on how monstrous and frightening they'd appear to others, this guy right here wanted to maintain some style. If you're gonna stand out, fancy 1970s moon boots are the way to do so.

The most memorable aspect of this figure, other than his giant freakin' head and smart-ass looking face, is obviously the window on his chest that shows him pumping his enemies blood through his body. Eventually, his tummy fills with yummy blood and he's a happy mosquito and flies off to stop the next hero. Genius idea and in all the underutilized MOTU characters, Mosquitor is probably up at the top. But that's not by design, it's mainly because he was introduced so late.

Mosquitor is a perfect addition to The Horde. How could he not? His design is pretty memorable and a unique power could've lead to some real fun in both He-Man or She-Ra cartoons. Maybe he'll appear in the new She-Ra series on Netflix. Time will tell!


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Stinkor Smells Like A Winner!

Last year's San Diego ComicCon exclusive MOTU Pop was a big winner. Scare Glow, an obscure character with such a unique gimmick? Totally made for a Funko Pop! If ScareGlow was such a huge success, how would they follow it up the next year?

Stinkor! Of course! I smell a giant pile of money. At least I hope that's what I smell.

The most odious member of the MOTU mythology was a perfect choice to be given the Pop treatment! Brilliant! If you're gonna do a gimmicky character, why not go with one who smells?!? Stinkor, was the most hated skunk on Eternia with a rather controversial history. Stinkor was a character that actually had a smell to him. Not just a figure that you press a button and emanates a smell. Nope, I'm talking straight up patchouli mixed with the plastic. A rather genius idea because once kids heard they could own a figure that smelled like a dirty fart, they wanted it even more. Parents weren't too thrilled to purchase their kids a figure that stunk up their house. A lot of parents said no with their wallets and Stinkor went forgotten for a long time outside of the "oh yeah, I remember that" discussion. Of course, Funko was happy to exploit the gimmick this with one of this years most popular exclusives. Stinkor was announced as a SDCC exclusive a few months ago and fans were already to call in favors and try to get their hands on this at all costs. Thankfully, a limited amount of figures were released on and in stores, but it didn't take long for those to sell out.

Thankfully I got my hands on TWO. Two great friends helped me out we are...

First thing I noticed was the head. I'll be honest, when this was announced I expected a repaint of MerMan's head just to keep tradition but giving Stinkor his own head sculpt helps add to the unique release. Anytime we can see an exclusive figure with an original sculpt, I'm ok with it.

The body armor and accompanying shield provide a great look and was done very faithful to the original figure. But let's not fool ourselves. We're here for one reason and reason only: his smell...

Oh man, that odor. No mistaking that one. It smells exactly like he smelled back in the day mixed with a cheap dollar store air freshener and maybe some English Leather. Of course writing about it isn't the easiest. I don't think you truly understands how bad it is. It's so bad that if you were to hide this in someone's laundry, they'd be shunned for about a month. Imagine having morning breath, coffee breath and smoking about 80 cigarettes, blow into a tupperware container and then open it in about a month to see how it smells. Essentially it smells like if Mickey Rourke fell into a giant vat of Brut and emerged as some weird Brut Beast.

Yet, I'm ok with that. I wouldn't have my Stinkor any other way. It stands out just based off its beloved look alone, but it's smell really makes it memorable. I'm kinda tempted hide this in random spots in my apartment and hold in my laughter as my wife tries to figure it out. It'll be funny. I swear.