Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday Night Flashback: Sting and Robocop

As a kid, I loved both Sting and Robocop. Pro wrestling was still a big deal by 1990 and Robocop's popularity was peaking. With Robocop 2 coming out, someone, somewhere decided "hey, let's have him come out and fight the Four Horsemen". And that resulted in videos like this...

 Something like having Robocop and Sting live and in living color can't fail right? There's even a macho handshake kinda like Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Carl Weathers in Predator! That's gonna sell tickets! I know it is!


Didn't turn out that way. During one of WCW's big PayPerView events promoted as the "Capitol Combat: The Return of Robocop", in Washington DC (a show that I gladly did not attend), the Four Horsemen locked Sting in a giant cage. Not a cage you'd put a dog in or something, but a cage that would be in a go-go dance club or something. So, Sting, helpless against the Horsemen's attack of locking him in a giant prop cage, needed the help of one not Lex Luger, one of the Steiners, El Gigante, Oz, PN News or any other WCW star at the time. No. He need the sheer power of Robocop. The power of this half-man, half-machine, all badass was enough to break the Stinger out of the plastic cage and "Scare" the Horsemen through the crowd and out of this horrendous event. Robocop's appearance was hyped pretty well but he only showed up for a couple minutes, did nothing and lumbered back to the backstage area never to be seen in wrestling again.

Yep. All the hype for this.

It was extremely embarrassing, even for the time.  WCW was known for crap like this from the time it got bought out by Ted Turner, it the time it closed. Despite all the promotion, hype and the promise of the big man himself, it ended in humiliation for WCW. And quite frankly, it didn't matter. The PPV stunk and so did Robocop 2. In fact, Robocop 2 was so atrocious, I'd wager to say people would rather watch this PPV event than the actual movie.

The rest of the PPV had nothing of note and is wisely rarely discussed in the wrestling fandom.

What's even sadder, is we never heard Robocop say "Your move, Flair" and Flair sell a robotic punch from the bucket of bolts by flip flopping all around the ring and acting like he got hit by a cannonball. Someday, perhaps...



PS-In keeping with the reminiscing about early 90s WCW, I need to send my condolences to the family of the late professional wrestler Matt "Bourne" Osbourne who died today on Friday June 28th at the age of 55. Matt wrestled around this time in WCW as "Big Josh" and later as the first Doink the Clown. A true tragedy, as he was very talented and very respected. I got to meet him at a convention a few years ago and he was as nice as can be. He was even in his Big Josh gear. Thanks for the memories, Matt. You were one of the best.

Thanks for everything, Matt. Rest in peace.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Greatest Trip To Target Ever

Today's Friday and I was feeling a little adventurous. And it's payday. That's never a good way to start the weekend. And since I've been put on a new diet, I've been trying to find new things to do to get my mind off eating. Quite frankly staying active is the key more than anything. And living in a small apartment, it can be rather easy to be lazy and inactive. I mean, who wants to walk around and get fit when I could sit and watch Miami Connection?

So today I ventured out to Target for a few items for around the house. I expected an average trip. Nothing more than looking at the mens ware, toys, seasonal items and the dvds. I expected no more, nothing less. I have my shopping regimen and I like to stick with it. But today was no average trip. And quite frankly, out of all the "big box" department stores, Target's usually the one to get the most enjoyment out of your trip. Target usually has cool new stuff and their clearance racks are always amazing. Where else can I get a Batman soap dispenser for 3.50 and a Toy Story Christmas Ornament for 35 cents? Now, i grew up a K-Mart guy, but I've always had my love of Target. Not as much as my girlfriend Laurie, who worships Target, but I've always loved Target. Their high quality merchandise and clean stores usually made K-Mart look even filthier. And we won't even compare it to WalMart...

I kinda had an idea of what to expect. I've been waiting for the summer Justice League kitchenware to go on clearance. I've also been addicted to the new Chocolate-Peanut Butter PopTarts (I'll get to those in a later entry). But in no way was I expecting what I found when I turned the corner of the kitchenware. It was like a treasure trove of pop culture, all wrapped up in plastic and at a reasonable price. And luckily, my iPhone came in more handy than I thought...

Thar she blows. Kitchenware of your favorite heroes and cartoons. I know what you're thnking. "What's the big deal? I've seen stuff like this before". And I'm sure you have seen bottles and cups featuring Ninja Turtles and Marvel heroes, but not the level of jaw-dropping quality and eye popping detail. Clicking the picture above will show in better detail the selection of awesome items available. But, I'll gladly show my favorite items from each shelf.

First, from the top, are water/sports bottles. More stylish than the sports bottles that I'd take to school on field day. You remember them? The big cylinders with straws? Usually in awesome late 80s/early 90s neon? If you didn't have a Ninja Turtles sports bottle, you were cast away to play in the outfield. Well, good news, now you make up for that folly as a child with a new stylish, Ninja Turtles sports bottle. In tasteful green, the classic Turtles pose stands literally screams TURTLE POWER!!!! Yeah!!!! I agree!!!! Something very turtley and powerful at the same time about this. Now, my spellcheck informs me that the word "turtley" doesn't register as a real word, but it's my blog, and if I want to invent a word, I'll go for it. Be aware, there are two types of these sports bottles: one with a flip up straw and one with a screw off top. Both bottle types have awesome designs, but only one can be purchased.The X-Men and Ninja Turtles bottles you see above are the ones with a flip up straw available. Working at a summer camp, these could come in very handy. As much as I love the homage to the classic X-Men by displaying Giant Sized X-Men #1, the Ninja Turtles clearly win this matchup. Despite the X-Men bottle going the extra mile by giving Professor X the spotlight on the back, the green bottle alone is rather eye catching and it looks like you're drinking Shredder's Ooze. And who wouldn't want that?

The next items that come up are the adult sippy cups. These cups have become extremely popular as of late and are very handy are the house. Made to resemble fountain drink cups, these cups are usually made of plastic and "double walled" which is just fancy for "won't sweat and leave stupid rings on your table". These are pretty cool actually. Laurie and I have several. And from the looks of it, we're gonna have several more. Laurie's a Wonder Woman fan, so I'm sure she'll be buying that one. Personally, I think it looks a little silly. Yes, we all know Wonder Woman's famous black hair, tiara and piercing blue eyes. But, the rubber wraparound cup hugger just seems silly as a design and as an addition to the cup. But that's just me. It's an eye catching red cup and it's Wonder Woman, so you can't really go wrong with it. And speaking of not going wrong, once again the Ninja Turtles come into play. I like this cup and out of everything, this is the one I'd buy. it's a classic pose that I had seen plenty of times as a child on t-shirts, buttons, and even a trashcan. And for that reason alone, it warrants a swift purchase. Also, not on the back, the sewer pipes and the respective colors of the masterful warrior reptiles themselves. It's a nice cup, and quite frankly the coolest looking image.

Next up, are old style plastic soda/beer mugs. We all had these growing up. It was a given. You'd walk into a kitchen and grab one and fill it up with orange soda and plop down on the couch and watch TGIF and much on some Cheetos Paws. But, sadly after about 10 years, my plastic A&W mug decided to crack.It was about as heartbreaking as when I found out Dame Edna was really a man. Time heals all wounds, sure, but how could I ever buy a new mug? Well, finally, after about 15 years, I've found my replacement. Above you see Ninja Turtles and the classic MTV logo. And as you can surmise, the Turtles seem to be getting the last two victories, but the surprise of the neon pink mug and retro logo punched me in the face like a giant fist. Despite the pompous catchphrase of "Cool But Crude", no doubt describing Raph's penchant for sarcasm and repeating lines from Garfield, this one just doesn't stack up like the others did before him. The joyous look on Raphael's face can't last long knowing he lost one for the team. Knowing you lost to a corporate logo has to be about as depressing as watching a Bill Murray movie from the past ten years. I'm sure Michelangelo will never let him live it down. At the same time, that's a mighty attractive mug. In fact, if it didn't say "2013" in the copyright on the back, you'd swear it was an old item from the 80s or 90s. MTV wins this one for sure. And when was the last time you heard anyone say that about MTV?

On the very bottom shelf are little party cups. And without a doubt, my favorite surprise. I'm not a fan of Star Trek or Marvel, so the Turtles win the kitchenware challenge. Not that the others didn't try, but when I'm offered 4 cups with Mikey on it and it says "Party Dude", it's a surefire sale. And that's all because Michelangelo was everyone's favorite. No one liked Donatello. If this was a Donatello cup, they'd be sitting on clearance till next Easter.

I had to get away from this section. People were staring at a giant 6'3 bald man taking 10 pictures of each cup and it was quite frankly a little annoying. So, I headed over to the toy section to take a look at the newest figures but not before I pass...

A Batman shower curtain. Hot dog, we're on a real roll here. Ignore the glare from the flash. It's not hiding anything you've never seen before. Just Batman swinging in and acting important. Quite frankly all you need to know is it's a giant black shower curtain with the Batman logo with a yellow and grey border above and below. Quite frankly, it's perfect. Just imagine getting out of the shower and looking at it. My gosh, it's as perfect as you'll get. Now, trying to convince my girlfriend that it would be a good idea to swap our current shower curtain for this, though...that will be the challenge. I know for a fact this won't go with our bathroom decor, but it's worth a shot. Besides, no one can say no to Batman.

Ironic how that last sentence ended, no? Just as I walked over to the toy section I encountered this beauty. A new figure in the Batman Unlimited toy line. So called "Planet X Batman". taken from some comic in the 50s, this Batman came from another planet. Supposedly a planet that allows grown men running around in red pajamas with purple shorts in public. By that statement, you'd think West Virginia loosened up, but don't be fooled. Planet X is just an alternate reality. As impressive as that figure is, look next to him. What do you see?

BATMITE. OH YEAH. Forget what I said about the Ninja Turtle cup. This two pack is easily the greatest money grabber in the store. Although a little blurry, you can still tell it's him. Essentially a goofy character created to make jokes and hit on Batgirl. What proved as a joke, turned out to be a mascot of sorts and a character that developed a cult following. And why not? It's a mini-Batman. I'd be hardpressed to find someone who didn't like him. In fact, I'm sure if you don't like him, you're probably a Communist. How do you feel now, Commy?

Another awesome aspect of the recent onslaught of superhero merchandising is the collaboration between Marvel and DC and Lego. I find it interesting that these companies cam together. I remember clear as day in Toyfare magazine back in 2000 or so, Toyfare presented ideas for new lines and one of them was Marvel and DC. The Lego exec responded "won't happen. the licenses are too expensive.". Well, what the price tag must've lowered, Look at these. DC heroes and a Batcave. Sure, it's just a tiny sample, but a great sample of the fantastic stuff Lego is pounding out. Along with a billion other movie and cartoon properties, Lego is counting money hand over fist. And looking at these figurines and playsets, you can't blame them. I've officially entered the age of saying "where were these when I was a kid". That's coming from someone who grew up in the 80s and 90s, so I'm either being selfish or dramatic. Or both.

So, moving on, I really had to check out the dvd section. You never really know with department stores what the dvd selection will be. And since I'm a lover of bargain dvds and multi packs, I'm always on the hunt. And boy did I stumble into some gold today...

 Lifelong bad-boy Johnny Depp got his big break in popular teen drama and Fox smash hit, 21 Jump Street. It was a fantastic show, one that I can watch to this day. Now, years ago I actually had the entire series on dvd. Every season, every episode, everything. Including that last awful season. Those dvd's became out of print and the pain of selling them sucked. Thankfully, dvd distributor Mill Creek, a company that prides itself on selling movies and tv series at bargain-bin prices, re-released them and gave those who missed out on the wacky antics of Doug Penhall another chance. And it seems Target has really been bundling tv series together. First and second series can now be owned for a low price. Now, the price of 25.95 is a decent price for these two seasons. But when I turned the dvd's around to take a quick gander at the specs...

$6.56?!?!?!?! Really?!?!?! That's way below what you should legally be expected to pay for a glimpse of Detective Hoffs dressed like a punk. And for two seasons, no less! Amazing. I don't know why these are labeled "AS IS", but at this price, I'm willing to find out. One way or the other, this will gladly make my dvd shelf.

I had to get out of here. Just looking around was making my wallet bleed. And quite frankly I had forgotten about what I originally came for. I needed to hightail it out of here in a bad way. But, one more item called me. An item so massively awesome, it can hardly be described with words. But I'll try my best.

A cheeseburger bank. For 12.99 too. This is no piggy bank, that's for sure. This is totally in your face and nonstop attitude. Look at it. Why put your loose change in a pig or even a cup when you can put it in a cheeseburger?!? There's no doubt that this was made for the college kids or younger, but if this doesn't catch your eye, I don't want to know you. Amazing isn't it? An item that would perhaps one day belong in a museum. Saving your money has never been so tasty and sexy.

Finally hitting an all time high and realizing nothing else in the store could even come close to the cheeseburger bank, I left. My pride intact, knowing I didn't fill my cart with this stuff. I do have rent to pay. But tomorrow is another day and a second chance to pick some of these items up. After this trip to Target, it's gonna be hard going to any other store. But I look forward to the next adventure. Good or bad... K-Mart sense is tingling...


Friday, June 21, 2013

Some Of My Favorite Novelty Albums And Soundtracks! Part 1

I have a problem. I'm addicted to downloading soundtracks and novelty albums. I love them! Be it awesome soundtracks like the Batman Forever Soundtrack or goofy novelty albums like Freddy's Greatest Hits, my iPod seems to be filled more with albums that center around movies or trends. And today, children, I invite you to either laugh at them or bond with me over your love of them as well.

First up, "Coming Out Of Our Shells". Released in 1990, when the Ninja Turtles were hotter than Sofia Vergara slowly eating ice cream at the beach in slow motion, this novelty album was sold in conjunction with the Ninja Turtles live tour of the same name. Yes. A live tour. Where they played their greatest hits such as "Pizza Power", "Tubin", "Walk Straight" and of course the title track "Coming Out Of Our Shells". I actually had both the live tour tape and the making of the live tour, which the latter was nothing more than a documentary style tape where a bunch of people play along and act like Leonardo was born with musical ability while April interviews a bunch of kids about their favorite Turtle. This was one of the many horrible tapes I'd drive my mom absolutely crazy with. I'm sure she'd rather drive off the road than listen to the Ninja Turtles sing about April's disappearance, but she was a trooper and stuck it out. Quite frankly, I recommend the soundtrack more than anything, especially if you just want something goofy to listen to and you forgot to put Tarzan Boy on your iPod.

Hearing the Turtles sing was one thing, but listening to the best of the best in the WWF was another. Another album I drove my mom crazy with was "WWF Superstars Present Wrestlemania The Album". in it, Bret Hart sang sappy ballads about breaking up, The Nasty Boys sang about not showering, The Undertaker crooned about his penchant for wearing black and Hacksaw Duggan just screamed "USA!" into a microphone for too much time. It obviously wasn't good, but I loved the WWF and was so heavily into it, my mom bought this tape for me. And if you haven't heard Mr. Perfect rapping, you're missing out big time. And while wrestling novelty albums isn't new, going back to WWF's multiple albums from the 80s where multiple wrestlers like George Steele and Koko B Ware sang their hearts out, this may be the worst of the lot. A real shame, because I'm sure we all were hoping that Big Bossman would win a Grammy for this one.

Next up is a very puzzling album because I have it on my iPod all year round and one of the few cassettes I have left. "Have Yourself A Scary Little Christmas" was put out as a compainion to HBO's wildly popular(and my all time favorite TV show), Tales From the Crypt. The Crypt Keeper decided to invite guests down to the Crypt to enjoy some nice Crypt-mas Kookies and Christmas Scare-ols (ok, I really gotta leave these puns to the Crypt Keeper himself) all while remaining in the creepy spirit of the macabre. These songs are all goofy, horror-themed covers of popular Christmas songs sung by the Crypt Keeper's voice actor, John Kassir. Selections include "Deck The Halls With Parts of Charlie", "We Wish You'd Bury The Missus" and "Juggle Bills". It's a pretty fun album to listen to, especially if you can appreciate the silliness and over the top nature of the Crypt Keeper. Definitely highly suggested!

One of the only records I own is, surprise, the Freddy's Greatest Hits. This was released at a time when Freddy was unstoppable and could do no wrong. The merchandising wasn't as refined as it is now, but it was definitely the a huge cash cow. Freddy's Greatest Hits, much like Scary Little Christmas, was pretty much a cover album sung by a generic pop group called "The Elm Street Group" with vocals laid down by the man himself, Robert Englund. And just like the Crypt Keeper, Freddy has a ball butchering your favorite songs for his own delight. And Robert shines on this. its silly, goofy, dowright hilarious. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to get an album like this these days in which a horror star would take the time to stay in character and sing goofy songs. Tracks include "All I Have To Do Is Dream", "Do The Freddy" and "Down In The Boiler Room". Most, if not all, songs are just covers of older songs and are given Elm Street themes. It's a very fun album to listen to, especially if you need a quick pick me up and a good laugh. If you can find it, buy it! it's a great collectors item!

Mr. T's Commandments was a bold statement by the big man himself. Mr. T was no longer going to settle for gang violence or disrespecting mothers. Of all the albums I've listed, this is a hard one to describe. Essentially it's just Mr. T signing nursery rhymes while dispensing his wisdom of how hard it is to grow up in Chicago. A former troubled youth, the T saw the pandemic of drugs and violence in his former neighborhood of Chicago in the 80s. And boy howdy, did he start a revolution. For a good 45 minutes of yelling about how he was made for loving in "Mr. T, Mr. T, He Was Made For Loving" and how he's the "Toughest Man In The World"(actual titles. No seriously) and the valuable lesson of "Don't Talk To Strangers". His rapping skills aren't yet refined and compared to "Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool", it kinda falls flat. But Mr. T screaming about not doing drugs is something that makes me laugh hysterically and must be heard.

All in all, these albums are on my iPod. Yes, really. I actually listen to these. Sometimes you need a good laugh and these albums are good for that. in my next entry, I'll cover some of the lesser known soundtracks I own that I love.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Treehouse of Horror: Monster Squad Style!

In a recent entry over at Freddy In Space, my friend Johnny Boots listed his top ten items in his Monster Squad-Style Treehouse. Now I had a treehouse, more like backyard fort, but it was nothing compared to the boys of the Monster Squad!

How many of you saw this movie and thought "man, I would've loved to have had a treehouse like theirs!"? Well, I'm gonna list off my top ten items that I'd love to have in my treehouse. Now, following the Monster Squad and Johnny will be a tough task, but I'm up for a good challenge! And while racking my brain and trying to limit my treehouse items to only ten items was difficult, it will be a mean mama jamma in the end. Warning, this isn't the kind of treehouse you'll bring your little sister too unless you're trying to scare her into tears. But, let's take a gander, shall we?

1.) Talking Freddy Doll

My holy grail as a Freddy Krueger collector. If I had this, it would obviously end up in my treehouse. It's just so darn cool. Matchbox knew what they were up to putting this bad boy out, but I don't think they were expecting the backlash of angry suburban moms throwing fits over Freddy staring down at them from the aisles of Toys R Us. Eventually, the pressure of having Freddy in the same aisles as other clean cut and family friendly toys such as Skeletor, Golobulous, The Joker and Vince McMahon was just too much, so this doll quickly left the shelves and went back to the boiler room. This remains a very popular item for collectors to this day and it's easy to see why. A great item to just goof off and have conversations with when your friends won't shut up about stupid stuff.

2.) Tales From the Crypt Book Set

Ok, let's be fair. If this is my treehouse, there's going to be a time that I want to be left alone with my comic books and quite frankly, there's no greater horror comic book than Tales From the Crypt. And with all the stories collected into this beautiful package, it just makes sense!

3.) Halloween Sounds cd

Sitting around reading Tales From the Crypt books is one thing, but add some of the Halloween Sounds to the mix and you're kicking it up a notch. Who didn't grow up with these cheesy/awesome collections playing in our house Halloween night? No one, that's who. This is a must. Especially on nice, cold, autumn nights while exchanging ghost stories with the rest of the crew!

4.) Elvira Cardboard Cutout

Horror's resident pinup girl. Cassandra Peterson has become a household name throughout the whole world being a ditzy and busty horror hostess with the mostess. Quite frankly, no horror fan male or female, hasn't had a crush on Elvira. She's pretty much the perfect woman! Sense of humor, knowledge of horror and a set of killer legs. She's a welcome guest in my room...uh...I mean my treehouse!

Hmm...that last sentence didn't work the way I wanted to. So much for not being item!

5.) Freddy Krueger Alarm Clock

Hey, gotta know what time it is and with this promotional item for Elm Street 3 it's always horror-time! And why have not  Freddy staring down at you letting you know that it's time for bed! And to paraphrase Doc Brown "I figure, if you're gonna keep time, why not keep time in style!" and for us horror fans, you don't get more stylish than ol' Pizza Face!

6.) Snake Mountain

Growing up in the era I did (80s and early 90s) He-Man was king. Quite frankly, if you were a young boy during this time and didn't have a He-Man figure and playset, you were doomed to ridicule the rest of your life. The social stigma of not having that awesome toy as a child can stick with you until you start making your own money. Hence why so many adults buy stuff they didn't have as kids to overcompensate for lack of parents who weren't willing to mortgage the house for a playset that included a giant snake. Thanfuly, I had both must-have Masters of the Universe playsets. Castle Greyskull was great and all, it really was. But, Snake Mountain was always my favorite. Even if I had it second hand, there was something just so cool about the design. Between a microphone that you could speak into and scare your family pets to the trap door that would send Man-At-Arms to his whining doom to the awesome monster-ish face, this is the perfect toy to play with my friends in my treehouse! So, Johnny Boots, you bring the Ghostbusters House and we'll have a crossover battle battle between the Evil Forces of Skeletor and the Ghostbusters!

7.) The Gizmo Pillow

I posted about my awesome Gizmo pillow in an earlier entry. And it's become a very popular item in my house with guests. And why not! It's awesome and comfy at the same time! Beanbag chairs are great for a treehouse, but eventually they'll get a little uncomfortable after a while. Thankfuly, Gizmo will be there to soften the blow when the beanbag chairs start to lose shape. just don't spill any water on it...otherwise it''ll see what happens next...

8.)  Brain Gremlin figure

See what I did there? Clever, no? Ok, following the Gizmo pillow is a hard act, but the Brain Gremlin is up for the task. Gremlins 2 was my favorite of the two movies and as great as the entire cast was, Brain Gremlin really stole the show. He was perfectly played by Tony Randell who even lent his singing voice to the classic scene where all the Gremlins get together and sing "New York, New York"! As much as I love Spike, my favorite Gremlin was always Brain. And if Gizmo is going to be in the treehouse, I've gotta have a Gremlin to terrorize him. After all, it's all Gizmo's fault anyway! NECA really hit it out of the park when they released the sophisticated Gremlin. A perfect sculpt, pose and the formula that he drank lending to his ultra intelligence are included as well. If my Monster Squad was to have a mascot, I'd have to give the honor to Brain.

9.) Ninja Turtles Trash Can

Look, I can be a messy guy, but you've gotta have some order going on in such a tiny space. And since I can't find a horror themed trash can, I have to go with this.  I had this trash can as a child for my bedroom and I loved it. I believe there were a couple of these oval-shaped trashcans with various art, but this was the best of the lot. The artwork pops though. I love it! Look at those Turtles just busting through what seems to be a paper-thin wall and annoys Shredder while he spills a can of guacamole as Splinter practices his love of Hulk Hogan in that snappy red and yellow ensemble, brother. While not horror, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't like the heroes in green and would pass this one up.

10.) Ecto Cooler

Simply put, it's the drink of my generation. Before we were old enough to even know what alcohol was, we were all addicted to this drink. Whether you liked Ghostbusters or not, it didn't matter. This was put in all of our lunchboxes and we loved it. The memorable taste of tangerine-ish fruit punch sticks with you the rest of your life. And quite frankly, if I could, I'd stock up a mini cooler with these every day for the rest of my life and carry it with me everywhere. So if I'm to stock up my treehouse mini-fridge, you can bet this will be the number one drink in my treehouse of glory.

...or is that treehouse of gory? Eh, at this point, who knows. Don't judge though! Puns are always welcome in my treehouse!

It's very obvious my treehouse would be decorated heavily by movies and toys of my youth. But I wouldn't want it any other way. Besides, in my mind, my buddies and I would spend more time talking about Freddy's latest kills and Jason's latest exploits and watching more of that Linnea Quigley Workout Video in slow motion...

There I go again. I just sound more and more pervy. maybe it's best to wrap up this entry...