Thursday, March 22, 2018

Living In Target's Bunny Wonderland

You know me. You know that I love rabbits more than any other creature in the world. So of course once Valentines Day goes away, I know I'll become bombarded by every company in the world with their amazing bunny products for Easter. Now, much like Halloween, there's one store more than any other I expect to blow me away and give me almost an Easter sanctuary to visit when I'm feeling down. You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I'm talking Target. And when it came to delivering the fluffy goodness, they didn't let me down at all.

Hop Shop? Well, we're starting this experience off on the right foot...err...paw. Hey wait a minute...what's that near the produce section...

Bunny paws, eh? Hmmm...

Look I know better then to let my rabbits near the produce in my apartment otherwise I'll be out a dinner. I know this can't end well. that...?

A-Ha! Of course! Bunnies love carrots, so it only makes sense that he'd stop in for a quick treat. After all, he's gotta get his energy for leaving Easter eggs all across the world. He deserves it!

Well there we are. Beginning at the front of the aisles, we're greeted by happy rabbits everywhere. But you have to be on your toes, much like the treats the Easter Bunny leaves for good children throughout the world, there will be fun Easter Eggs to be on the lookout for. Not just in the aisles but...

...the signage as well. That sneaky rabbit!

M&M's always brings the goods for every season. You can usually gauge what time of the year it is by the variety of the candy. This season is all about Neopalitan flavors, which I gotta be honest, I'm not a big fan of the dessert anyway, so I'll pass for now. But I get the sense those will be on every Easter brunch table. And hey, there's that sneaky rabbit again hiding behind those Peeps! Speaking of which...

I feel like every year, the Peeps madness just gets bigger and bigger. At the risk of sounding like a crazy old man, I can remember a time when peeps were yellow and pink and that was it. But now, we get every possible color and flavor as the somewhat avatar for every holiday and time of year. Which I happen to think is pretty awesome. A lemonade Peep for the summer? Ok, that has my attention. Until we get there though, let's gaze upon the marshmallow-y goodness and mass merchandising. A pillow buddy (or bunny buddy as I call it!), baskets, and festive headbands are offered to make your Easter season that more fun. You just know someone in your family is wearing that headband before getting drunk off red wine. You've been warned.

Gotta load up on your decorations. What fun is celebrating the season without large, crazy-looking signs and even a crazy wreath. I mean, my apartment is already overrun by spoiled rabbits, so technically that would be a good piece for all year round to hang on my door. The egg wreath though...yeesh. Not the biggest fan, but still pretty festive. I can't truly hate it mainly because it resembles something out of a John Waters movie. That's a lot of pastel.

Some motivation. "Hop To It". We all hit that wall when it comes to Easter planning and cleaning, but take a look at that sneaky rabbit. He doesn't know whether or not you can do this. A little reverse psychology on his part, because he's believed in you the entire time. Prove him right and keep up the hustle. That Easter bread isn't gonna bake itself, pal!

Oh stop everything. PAAS, the egg dying wizards are giving us something so amazing and charming. An egg whisk to help you dunk those eggs to make a new work of art. I'm pretty sure these are specifically made for coloring eggs but that won't stop me from buying it and attempting to make pudding using it. I'll post photos of my failure later...

This caught my eye on the end of the aisle, in a card display. Batman and Robin? An Easter message? Look I'm sure even the Dark Knight enjoys the lighthearted nature and joy that Easter brings to everyone but what message would the Dynamic Duo want to share with me? My gosh, this just too much suspense to handle! A warning of the Penguin's nefarious behavior? Could Mr. Freeze be on his way to ruin Easter? Can I expect to make a seat at my table for Alfred? Could the Sportsmaster try to ruin the traditional softball game my neighbors usually play out in the courtyard?


 Of course. Batman and Robin found time to wish us a very happy Easter. Batman may be the world's greatest detective, but let us never forget that he's still a man of the people. Even if he's one that dresses up like a flying rodent.

Need some last second Easter basket ideas? Don't worry, Target's got your back. If you're not looking for a giant bag of Reese's or jelly beans, there's always fun little toys and single packed candy. I remember one time my mom put a GI Joe in my Easter basket, so I can totally imagine the joy of a child who gets fun Peep stuff, Reeses, and a My Little Pony plush! Not a bad selection...wait...hold up...

Cheez-It's and dirt cake too? Now we're getting serious. Don't get me wrong, the Chessman cookies are fantastic too, but these dollar offerings can make the most cynical person happy to celebrate the season.

If we're going to be honest with ourselves, as great as Reese's and Peeps are, they're not the true champions of Easter. Cadbury is. Or maybe it's just my opinion. Yeah, it's me. Look, I get that Cadbury Eggs have changed in size and recipe and have expanded to even Halloween.but there's just something so satsifying about eating these no matter what. I've always been a huge fan and much like eating my first bowl of Chocula around Halloween, I know it's not truly Easter until I have my first Cadbury Egg. The cream, the hard shell, and let's not ignore the fact that they still show that almost 30 year old commercial!

 They may taste different but my gosh they're still so good! Even if they've got some competition in many forms...

...those eggs are great but it's truly hard to dethrone the king.

The last thing I saw before I left were these adorable plush figures and dolls. Bunnies, chicks, happy sheep and wooden pull-string dolls. Target offers them every year and I can't help but get a huge smile across my face every time I lock eyes on them. Those chubby sheep are just too adorable and I want to buy all of these to create the happiest farm diorama you could ever imagine.

Well, it's time to go. But it's been a fun trip and I'm sure next year will be...WAIT WHAT IS THAT?!?!?

A BB-8 BASKET?!?!?!?! Yup, just hiding right around the corner waiting for the right person to come adopt him, is our favorite droid from the new Star Wars movies. Easter just got even better. Don't discount Mickey and Minnie's feelings either. They're happy to see their colleague get the spotlight, they know they're gonna be around for more holidays so let the droid win this one. A BB-8 holiday basket though? Makes sense! He's the perfect companion and very loyal, so how much joy does he get knowing he can help provide a very memorable Easter morning? That's a real friend.

That's all she wrote, folks. Easter isn't exactly the biggest and most money-making holiday, but it's a nice time to enjoy bunnies and chocolate eggs. What better way to kick off Spring?


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Some Awesome WWF Hasbro Figures!

It's been a while since I've featured WWF Hasbros on the blog, which considering how great they are, makes no sense. I should at least be doing 8 writeups a day on how great they are. Until that happens, we'll have to just spend a few moments looking at some of the finest (and not so finest) mini-superstars, as Lord Alfred Hayes would refer to them as. So bust out that beat up ring, grab some Ecto Cooler and let's check out some of the best figures from a byegone era!

Hacksaw Jim Duggan:

A favorite of so many young kids due to his loud and reckless behavior as well as giving fans the thumbs up as he enters the ring, Jim was one of the biggest WWF superstars in the late 80s/early 90s and the only wrestler to, my knowledge, who walks down to the ring with a giant board to beat up bad guys and still be perceived as a good guy. His action feature of slamming his fist down like your drunk uncle at a picnic and bashing his opponents with his 2x4 (missing here) makes him easy to play with but not as easy to look at. Then again, Jim will be the first to tell you he didn't get through life based off looks.

The Mountie:

Oh boy, this guy caused some controversy in his day. Originally just a comedy heel character who hit people with a cattle prod and screamed "I ALWAYS GET MY MAN!", The Mountie actually got his biggest amount of heel-heat with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Apparently they didn't find the joke as funny and deemed him to be a poor interpretation of their values and demanded he not portray this character when preforming in Canada.

Another figure that came with an accessory that gets lost all too easily but that doesn't stop this figure from being a load of fun and looking great in your collection. Play value isn't there as much due to his awkward hat being in the way of some fun moves but come on, you totally want this figure! Look at how smug he is! It's like he just wants you to beat him up! Just...don't do that to the actual Mounties. They're nice.

Demolition Crush:

Make no mistake about it, Demolition is my all time favorite tag team. Ax and Smash literally made history by having the longest tag team title run until it was broken by New Day in 2017. They looked like Jason Voorhees and Kiss had two babies and made no apologies about beating their opponents in nasty fashion. Of course, when it was time to wind down, and Ax got sick, WWF brought in a new member of the team: CRUSH! Crush was a little hard to swallow as a fan because we had been accustomed to Ax and Smash for so long. He wasn't as popular as the the classic team but his figure is pretty cool. I'm a fan of the clothesline feature, mainly due to the joint of the elbow that made it easier for the figures to grab a hold of their opponent and slam them down. Crush, as a figure looks great and was actually only available in a two pack with Smash, but did little to bring steam back to the dying team.

British Bulldog:

Davey Boy Smith was one of the most impressive specimens in wrestling but also one of the most "hired/fired" records.  Vince McMahon always had a soft spot for Davey, as did the fans, so he brought him in and let him go multiple times. Of course, he always had something new in store for Davey. For a lot of fans, this is the era that defined him. I find it funny that in the early 90s, one of Bulldog's biggest opponents was The Warlord and they both share the same action feature. Which would make it easier to recreate their far from exciting feud. I just wish they could've done something about that Mad Magazine face of his but otherwise, it's a great figure.

Jim Neidhart

I've got a lot of love for this figure mainly because it makes Jim look like a cereal pitchman. Known as "The Anvil" or simple "a big rhino", Jim was the muscle of the feared Hart Foundation duo as compared to the brains of Bret Hart. This figure depicts him in his later solo career where he wore Hammer pants, yellow boots with what seem to be a checkered pattern from a bicycle helmet, and looked as if he should've been guest starring on a TGIF show. Having that awesome "clothesline" feature and a very puffy stomach with a six-pack, this may be my favorite of this particular lot. Mainly due to his taxi-cab/Hammer pants and crazy grin.

Some of the most interesting figures from the time. Most memorable? Perhaps not, but
still fun nonetheless!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Review: Umbrella Entertainment's February Releases

A little late,  but don't let that stop you from ordering these great Umbrella titles! A really fun (and different) variety hit shelves last month!


Film synopsis

After a humiliating modelling incident, Cora (Debby Ryan) books a one-way ticket out of New York, final destination: Australia. Expecting a five-star holiday with her Aunt Margot, Cora realises all too late that her idyllic beachside retreat has no internet access and is miles from the nearest city. Cora feels trapped, but as time goes by, friendships bloom and romance sparks between her and handsome Tom. And when the community realises Cora’s hidden talent as a fashion designer, they rope her into creating the outfits for the big Surf Festival.

Thoughts: I grew up near the beach in Maryland, so naturally, anything that reminds me of the beach is something I'll dive into. And any kind of surf movie, I'm totally into. So when I heard Umbrella was putting out a surf movie starring Debby Ryan, I kinda had to go all in. And of course being a fan of silly teen movies, it was an easy sell.

This movie has the feel of a Disney movie done in Australia which is pretty fun, considering how huge surfing culture is in the land down under. There's not as many American surf movies anymore, I feel like that trend kinda died off in the 80s and 90s once skatebaording and BMX movies came into the arena and took over but every once in a while we'll see one pop up. Glad to see that this got a fun release and that it's making a...splash...on Netflix as well!

Synopsis:A champagne tycoon's (Furneaux) partner (Ronet) suspects his partner's gigolo husband (Perkins) of murders he's been framed for.

Thoughts: Anytime I can find Anthony Perkins movies that I've never heard of before, I'm a happy boy. For someone so charismatic and so talented, he's only remembered as Norman Bates. With so many other great and maybe even forgotten roles. In this French thriller, Perkins really shines through and really makes this his own movie. 

Synopsis:  Run Chrissie Run is a thriiling game of cat and mouse. Chrissie (Annie Jones) and her mother Eve (Carmen Duncan) suddenly become the pray of a group of international terrorists. As they run for their lives, Chrissie learns the terrible secrets of her mother's past and the shocking identity of her real father.

Thoughts: Since becoming a fan of Umbrella, I've fallen head over heels with the world of Ozploitation. The he grungy nature of the stories, the action, the raw sexuality and violence. These movies are absolutely incredible and Run Chrissie Run is just another great selection. I feel like had I discovered a movie like this on vhs, it would've become a fast favorite. Glad to see Umbrella is putting out the effort to restore movies such as this and introduce a brand new audience (even continents away!) to this great genre of movies!

You can pick these up and so many more great movies over at Umbrella Entertainment .



Review: Justice League

Synopsis: " Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.  But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes-Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash-it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions."

Thoughts: Whereas Batman vs. Superman divided fans and in a lot of fans minds, started this whole "DC Extended Universe" off the wrong foot. It was too dark, it was too long, too many stories, etc, etc.  My opinion aside, a lot of fans weren't willing to accept this as their cinematic universe. But thankfully since Wonder Woman, fans started loosening up and looking at the films with a little bit more acceptance. And once Justice League hit, fans were who were let down by previous movies were ready to give the series another chance. A lot of that had to do with the reshoots done by Joss Whedon and the announcement that Zack Snyder would be taking a break from the movie.

Justice League is, visually, a bigger movie than BVS. On top of that, after hearing so much fan response over the darkness in the previous movie, more humor and heart was interjected. I think adding light heartedness helps the movie and the future of the series. Personally, I prefer the DC movies to maintain more of a dark feel, but after seeing what they were able to deliver, I'd be ok with more movies in this vein.

The team dynamic is really the main focal point in this movie. Picking up after Superman's death, the team bands together to make the world a safer place. Characters briefly introduced in BVS, Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash join the ranks of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman to take down Steppenwolf, Darkseid's uncle and the first of what appears to be many villains that stand in the way. This is pretty close to the original comics, as we'd see the main characters go around courting new members to join the League.

Justice League is a great step into the future for DCEU and it's fan response shows it. I hope with the release of this bluray, anyone who was on the fence with watching it before in the theater, will give it a solid chance. The action is there, the special f/x were good, the story is fun and the villain is larger than life. I'm really excited to see where the series goes from here.

Oh and for those curious, the "Return of Superman" deleted scenes are pretty fun. I highly suggest checking those out. Especially the scene with Alfred. You'll be happy with what you see!


Monday, February 26, 2018

Oh Sweet Szechuan Sauce!

Have you been to McDonalds lately? No? Well, you may want to change. Then again, you may be making the best decision after all. One way or the other, I'm sure your stomach thanks you. Me, I never eat at McDonalds anymore, unless it's a chance to get a Halloween Charlie Brown pail or a Shamrock Shake. But today, I broke my own rule and decided to head to the Golden Arches for a highly anticipated item. What made me risk a night on the toilet and perhaps even clogged arteries? The infamous Szechuan Sauce!

The sauce, first introduced in 1998 in conjunction with Disney's promotion of Mulan, caused an uproar and instant demand from the rabid Rick And Morty fanbase after a random reference on an episode that aired last year. Fans took to social media immediately and started demanding that McDonalds bring back the sauce and as expected, the outcry was too much to ignore and McDonalds brought back the sauce in a very limited run in October. Of course, when I mean limited, I mean that only a certain number of stores received maybe 50 packets at most. Well....that didn't exactly sit well with fans. Some devoted fans even drove hours to claim their prize to no avail. After the response, McDonalds announced they'd make it right and bring the sauce back sooner than later.

And sooner came. Fans rejoiced to own their dipping sauce and the day was saved.

Was it though? I say that with a little trepidation. I had tried the sauce back while on vacation in 1998 during it's release and I just wasn't impressed then. In fact I was downright repulsed by it and put it out of my mind for the longest time. Why would I dip my nuggets in such nonsense? I really tried but just wasn't happy with it.

Naturally, I became curious as I saw hints surfacing online between April and October. I got the sense that after the demand it would be back but I didn't think it would be so quick. After all, we waited for almost 20 years for Ecto Cooler. But it is what it is. It's here and I decided to go grab some to see if it still refused to get along with my stomach or if my taste had changed and matured. If it was good enough for an evil genius on a cartoon, it has to be good enough for me.

There's the goods. The server got a little generous and gave me 4 packets instead of the normal two most have been getting. I'm digging the design, it's pretty likable. It kinda looks like the font New Line  would use for an early 90s action movie poster. I approve. But now it's time to dig in...'s pretty smelly. Like rotten Slim Jims dunked in stale hot wing sauce. I for one can guarantee Randy Savage wouldn't snap into this idea. I'm one of those people who are so repulsed by bad smells that  I either laugh hysterically or throw the food out entirely. But, I'm in this for the long haul and I'm willing to risk my dining room smelling like old meat for the sake of art. So I pinched my nose, and dunked my Chicken McNugget and...

...actually the odor aside, it's not as bad as I remember it to be. In fact, I kinda like it better more now than I did in 1998, but then again I didn't have great taste back then. At age 15, I considered TGI Fridays to be the finest cuisine I had ever tasted. That and I thought Barenaked Ladies and Fastball would've toured forever. Anyway. The sauce.

It's got the same sweet and sour plus orange sauce taste that I remember to have, but it also tastes like spices were added as well. Now saying it's "not as bad as I remember" isn't high praise but it's also not harsh criticism either. It's just kind of "meh". I'm kind of indifferent about it. I get the sense if this wasn't a huge deal to the fans of the cartoon, it wouldn't be considered to be brought back. But, Rick and Morty fanatics can't be underestimated.They made magic happen. Thankfully, I still had about 5 other nuggets to go and I had some ketchup to dunk them in for a more familiar and comforting taste. To me at least. I know some people who balk at the idea of putting ketchup on nuggets but I'd also guess the same people would shun the thought of this Szechuan sauce. Is it something you should try at least once so you don't feel regret over missing it like I did for missing Pepsi Holiday Spice? Yeah, absolutely. It'll be a topic that could come up in ten years when you and your friends are discussing limited food promotions. And while I'm still not amazed, I get the sense this won't be around forever and it's definitely gonna be remembered as something the fans helped bring back. Which is pretty spectacular if you sit and think about it.

There you have it. The sauce is back and here to stay (perhaps?). No one said the sauce would be pretty or even good but they promised you a special sauce and that's what they delivered. So head out, grab some sauce, and give it a shot!

Oh and of course I got my Shamrock Shake.



Monday, February 12, 2018

Visiting The Zubaz Store!

A Sunday in Buffalo during the winter isn't exactly the number 1 spot for a celebration. It's just cold, snowy, rainy, and very ugly and can make you kinda cranky and tired and just put you in a bad mood. Or maybe that's just me. I genuinely like Buffalo but the snow don't help. Especially for a Maryland-boy at heart who prefers to stay in and under about 47 blankets when it snows. But, sometimes there's something or somewhere so radical I have to suck it up, pack up the car with water and snacks and make the drive for. And yesterday was one of those amazing occasions. I brought two of my friends and decided to hit up...THE ZUBAZ STORE!

What? You didn't know about The Zubaz Store? The store that contains so many amazing zebra striped products that you'll think you're in Brian Bosworth's mind.

For those who don't know what Zubaz are, they are the most comfortable pants in the world. Usually popularized by pro wrestlers(ESPECIALLY The Road Warriors, who invested a lot in the company), football players and weightlifters, the pants were designed with the intent of stretching and constant movement with as much comfort as possible without tearing or ripping. They usually make the perfect lounge/sleeping pants and can lead to an excellent lazy day uniform. These amazing pants were in all sorts of colors and designs, but if you're a member of the Zubaz Nation, you know that Zebra stripe is the way to go, bro.

I didn't know what to expect with this store. I figured I'd see some crazy zebra stuff, maybe something resembling a Zubaz-Pee Wee's Playhouse mashup. A lot of lights, perhaps? Loud 80s music? Maybe even AC Slater hanging out while showing off his sweet break dancing moves? Well, whatever expectations I may have had were thrown out the window with one sign.

Look right? Well ok, but I don't know what to gosh...


Ok, ok...breathe in...good gosh is that wall of nothing but Zubaz pants?

Well, it wasn't Zubaz Playhouse, but it's still pretty overwhelming once you walk in. More colors in here than in the rainbow itself and in all different sizes and items! And if the offerings weren't awesome enough, they were all on extreme clearance. Some pants were only 7 bucks and even overalls were only 7 bucks!

Don't be fooled. This store isn't completely pants and overalls. They even have accessories that make your otherwise humdrum day a little bit more spectacular and flashy! Remember when I mentioned the Road Warriors?

ROAD WARRIOR MASKS! In tribute to their biggest celebrity supporters, these delightful lucha masks are perfect for playing sports, heading to the bar for Wrestlemania or just some fun photos with your friends. And no your eyes don't deceive you. Buy 1 get 2 free. That's actually not a bad deal!

Looking to support your favorite company but can't wear those pants at work? Try these sweet sunglasses on! Featuring that sweet Zubaz logo, you'll be the coolest guy in the office in no time!

Now the other items I kinda expected because they're listed on the website, but a skateboard? Did NOT see that coming! I could've been fooled that this was an actual skateboard from the late 80s. It's a nice, smooth looking skateboard. In fact, I'm pretty sure I should've picked one up, sticker it up and try to skateboard again.

Ehhh...Probably not the best idea, but it certainly was the VIP pick of this store.

A lot of love for the locals in this store. Labatt Blue, a Canadian beer company that is also the official beer partner of The Bills and Sabres. So up in B-lo, if you ain't drinking Labatt, you're not doing it right. I think...I only drink Pepsi so i'm just guessing here. Zubaz actually has it's own beer can in partnership with Bills and Labatt so why wouldn't they blow it up and make a poster that would drive the most honest man into envy?

You guys have no clue how bad I wanted that banner. The manager wouldn't sell it. I understand, but I'll still be dreaming about it later.

 Fun Christmas shirts are still on clearance. Cool shirt for the holidays, but for people who celebrate the Christmas all year round, it's just another Monday afternoon shirt. Pretty cool shirts, at that though. Not a bad idea to stock up on these now and start planning your family Christmas card. Don't forget to put me on that receiving list!

Preparing for a St. Patty's Day party? Good! Zubaz has your back with some tasteful shirts, ties and hats! Makes sense to me! If I'm gonna be getting drunk and roving around in front of bars, I'd prefer my shirts to be the choice of pro wrestlers who dress like Marvel supervillians of the 1970s.

To be honest, at this point, the store wanted my friends and I out of the store in a major way. I could see the workers get exhausted with us, trying on everything, taking photos and laughing like idiots. We had good reason though. We were having a lot of fun and to be in a store that carries these items and not have fun would be absolutely illogical. Zubaz brings the fun and we had a ball while at this store. But what did I pick up?

Well, I had to get a pair of pants, and if I was getting a pair of pants, it was gonna be ones that resemble Fruity Pebbles/Fruit Stripe Gum. You really thought I'd go subtle and pick out a solid color? Come on, you know me by now! These pants are literally the most comfortable pants ever and are giving my Count Chocula pajama pants a run for their money. I gotta figure out how I can wear these at work and not get written up.

The Road Warrior masks you saw previously were great but I didn't have 20 bucks. However this mask was only 2 bucks and still maintained that Legion of Doom/Zubaz feel. Sure it's got a sports team logo but those black, red and white stripes were drawing me in. I couldn't pass this up for two dollars! I'd be foolish to leave without it!

Oh but the fun doesn't stop there. With every purchase comes...FREEBIES!I couldn't get a photo of the drawer itself, but imagine a drawer of Zubaz throwback greatness!

 Arm sleeves! Well, it's getting awfully cold here, so why not keep my arms warm with what appears to be Jake Robert's tights?

Headbands! I'm sorry but I can't look at these and not think of Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels as the Rockers. A perfect choice in my opinion. I'll be rocking these all year round!

Clear stickers! Those will end up on literally everything I own!

With a visit to their freebie drawer and a quick purchase, it was time to say goodbye. And it was a very hard goodbye to say. But to know that this store is right around the corner, makes me smile all over again and gets my hopes up with thoughts of savings, zebra stripes and (hopefully) more freebies!

On a side note, why would I drag my friends to a Zubaz store? It's simple. We were heading up to Niagara Falls, it was on the way and it meant something to a weird degree. My friend Andrew and I used to call ourselves "The Zubaz Squad" in middle and high school, a name we chose after he jokingly teased about wearing Zubaz in 1998. So we embraced it and always picked up Zubaz whenever we saw it in a thrift store. But to visit the store? Oh yeah! Now we're talking. We always have fun no matter what we do, and we certainly had fun today.

Oh right...those masks...they may have made it over the border too...