Saturday, February 21, 2015

BUY ME TOYS! 5 things I want from Toyfair 2015

Well, Toyfair has come and gone and every toy geek on the planet is already making a list of the action figures and statues they want more than anything. And since I did my list last year, it's only right to follow it up with this list! And there's absolutely no better way to start then with...






TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: Muckman, Napoleon Bonafrog and Baxter Stockman(Playmates) 











Ok, confession: I really believe this new era of Ninja Turtles is blowing the old series and toys out of the water. Yes, yes, I know. As someone who loved the original line more than life itself, I really shouldn't be saying that. But it's true. The monster/comic book-look definitely makes the figures stand out. The characters you see above were beloved action figures in the original run, especially MuckMan who was remembered for his TarMan meets Toxic Avenger look and this figure continues that in a more embellished way.

Napoleon Bonafrog is on this list because of his appearance on the cartoon. See, I'm a very big fan of Napoleon Dynamite and when I found out that Napoleon Dynamite himself, Jon Heder was voicing Napoleon Bonafrog...well...I had to tune in. And it worked for me. So now, I must own him.

I do apologize for typing "Napoleon" so much. It's starting to become redundant, I'm sure.

Last on the list is Baxter Stockman. I hear a lot of fans say they didn't like Baxter as a fly in the original cartoon/toyline. But I always loved him. The toy sculpt was great and he provided a great sidekick for Shredder. Now if that figure didn't work for you, this one should. This looks more of a 1950's monster movie that went bad. Which I get the sense is what the show creators were going for. This is one figure that has cross appeal. Monster fans, Ninja Turtles fans, and nostalgists alike can put this figure on the shelf.




SIMPSONS GREATEST GUEST STARS: Adam West(NECA)

These figures are pretty much fantastic beyond belief. The lineup is great. Matt Groening, Lenny Kravitz, Stan Lee and Tom Petty. But one figure stands out to me as a must own: ADAM WEST. Yes indeed. Adam guests starred on the famous Mr. Plow episode where he poked fun at his Batman fame and this figure captures the image of the legendary actor that can only be described as "Pure West". Sadly, I don't think he does the Batusi.



BATMAN 66: Batgirl(Mattel):





Speaking of Adam West's Batman fame, Mattel has been releasing a slew of figures of characters of the legendary 1966 tv series. One character that most fans have been hoping for since the lines initial debut was Yvonne Craig as Batgirl. And last year at San Diego Comic Con, we got a glimpse of a prototype. Fans were very happy. My hopes of owning all three heroes of the original series now will come true. Hopefully this figure will be available by the time I meet Yvonne at Niagara Falls Comic Con in June!   This figure would look great signed!



GARBAGE PAIL KIDS: ALL OF THEM!!!!! (Funko)



We never truly got Garbage Pail Kids figures during the original run, or ever really, but Funko is solving that problem. These very faithful interpretations of the classic characters are no doubt a welcome addition to all of our toy shelves. The cards were one thing, but figures are another. I can't think of one fan that wouldn't want to own their favorite character. Yes, you can finally put Nat Nerd on your shelf next to your copy of Garbage Pail Kids the Movie. And isn't that what life is all about?




GREMLINS RE-ACTION: Billy and Kate(Funko)

Back in September, Stacy Still discussed her favorite unmade figures, and Billy and Kate from  Gremlins  was on her list. And rightfully so! Of all the Gremlins toys and merchandising in 31 years, we've NEVER ONCE GOTTEN A BILLY AND KATE. NOT. ONE. Why?!?!?

Well, finally Funko decided to fix that and present us with throwback figures of our favorite humans from the beloved Gremlins movies for their wildly popular ReAction retro line. FINALLY. Billy and Kate. It's about time.Gremlins fans worldwide rejoiced in a collective roar when they saw these beauties And you know Billy will come with a Gizmo in a bookbag accessory. No question. It has to happen. You know for a fact, our friend Stacy Still will buy up every Billy figure, so buy them quickly!



KARATE KID RE-ACTION: ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!!(FUNKO)

Courtesy of EntertainmentEarth.com


I missed out on owning as many Karate Kid figures as I could as a kid. This gives me an opportunity to make up for that. In the ReAction line, we're gonna see Daniel, Mr. Miyagi, Sensei Kreese, Johnny, and of course Ali, who never received a figure in the original LJN line. I get the sense these will be one of the most popular entrants in the ReAction line. Even if you're not a fan of the Karate Kid figures, you at least get an Arnold from Happy Days figure!


HONORABLE MENTION:

JAWS REACTION: BRUCE(FUNKO)



Photo courtesy of Ihorror.com




Ok, confession...I'm not the biggest Jaws fan on the planet. I've watched it a few time and just never truly gotten into it as much as some of my friends do. I have plenty of friends who worship this movie like I worship Freddy Krueger. That said, when I saw these figures, I quickly reconsidered my allegiance. These are THE FIRST EVER JAWS FIGURES. They're pretty darn cool. These figures represent one of the most legendary icon in its most purest form. Sure, you could get a normal generic shark anywhere, but you can't get a Richard Dreyfuss anywhere. Besides, if you're not a fan of this movie and want to play What About Bob? all you'd have to do is get your Real Ghostbusters Peter and-bam-you're sailing! Brody, Hooper and Bruce will be flying off the shelf, no doubt. Pick them up soon!


There you have it. My top 5 picks and one extra. We're getting some really cool stuff and I am super stoked about it. I won't be stoked about bank account though...


Photos courtesy of Figures.com, unless noted.

-Chad


Monday, February 9, 2015

Really Old Batman Valentines!

Valentines Day is upon us. You know what that means. CANDY. Lots of tasty chocolate and those neat Little Debbie heart cakes. And while the days of giving Super Mario valentine cards in first grade are far behind me, I'm always finding cool new and old valentine cards that I may have never seen or may have forgotten. It's usually pretty fun. In fact, my girlfriend still has a bunch of her old ones from her childhood that we have hanging on the fridge. Because our fridge needs a Valentine with Bebop and Rocksteady.

And good gosh, I can honestly say I have NEVER seen these Batman Valentine cards from the 60's a day in my life. I'm sure if I had, I would've made a post regarding them before. Because they really are that fantastic. Check these babies out!




Holy crap. Considering his parents died at a young age, you have to guess Batman has issues with being needy and stuff. How needy? So much, he's willing to follow you around town in his goofy Lego contraption and take notes on you. I'm not the biggest expert in love, but I'm sure stalking with the goal of who knows what just isn't the best way to get a sweetheart this year. I'd be afraid of giving a girl this card only because I'd fear she'd turn me in for threats of stalking. And holy crap, Batman's head to body ratio is seriously off. Seems he's suffering from Gigantism. This is definitely not one of the better Batman illustrations.




Once again, we find Batman blabbing about how he wants to stalk you. This time, he even reveals that he's using his BatComputer to retrieve information on you. Now if you ever saw the original tv show, Batman used his BatComputer to gain as much information on the villains of the week. Now if he can discover the real names of The Joker and Colonel Gumm, then surely he can see pictures of you at Coconut Joes hitting beer bongs. Scared? You should be. There's nothing that frightens me more than a grown man in his underwear looking at photos of me smoking a cigarette without a shirt from 15 years ago. So, beware Valentine, Batman is watching you and will no doubt find you. If he does find you...well, you may become the next Robin. And I'm pretty sure he's up to 4 at this point. 5 if he finds you.





On to the bad guys. Mr. Freeze is a character driven by the death of his wife and obsessed over it. Usually his stories revolved around kidnapping some super model or Batgirl and planning to making them the new Mrs Freeze. This card somewhat reflects that in a very bizarre way. While it resembles an episode from the tv series, it's also a very weird card for children to give to each other. Essentially, much like the previous cards that threatened stalking, this card threatens kidnapping with the great caption "Don't give me the cold shoulder! Let's not act like Mr. Freeze, Valentine!". The caption alone makes no sense if the person you give this to knows nothing of Mr. Freeze and his icy shenanigans. Although, the name Mr. Freeze should say it all. This may be the creepiest card of the lot. That girl you like rejects your smooth advances? Screw it. Kidnap her and put her in a giant block of ice. That'll show her!!!! And judging by that giant heart he's holding, Mr. Freeze is planning on doing some serious transplant surgery after her body gives out due to hypothermia. Which is interesting, because his secret identity is that of Dr. Victor Fries. This card just has creepy horror movie villain written all over it, doesn't it? 



This may be the most bland card. Zelda the Great was a magic themed villain made exclusively for the tv show and quite frankly, made very little impact. Her main heist was kidnapping Aunt Harriet and balancing her over a giant barrel of fire. To be honest, it was a crappy two episodes and that's all I remember. I also remember her NOT appearing in a jail getup. I have to imagine the illustrator took some liberties here to make her somewhat appealing since she was like 90 in the show. The caption is pretty pretty dumb too. How is her crime waiting on ME? Am I really that important? I mean, I never deemed myself a heartbreak kid or something when I handed my cards out. And I'd expect my valentine not to put me on that kind of pedestal. It's just weird. And I'm sorry that driving you crazy, but I never told you to kidnap Batman's aunt and almost fry her. I'd say this girl has more issues than she's letting on. My gosh, what is it about all the chicks in Gotham having some weird issue? They're either obsessed with cats, clowns, plants or bats and now I'm being blamed for crimes? Crap. If someone gives you this valentine, head for the hills. IMMEDIATELY.




By far the most interesting valentine card and of course, the most iconic villain in this series of cards. Riddler was always one of the best portrayed characters on the show by the late great Frank Gorshin. I'm guessing the Riddler's valentine relate riddle is just a cover up for robbing the bank or something. I mean, the BatSignal is already up. Be that as it may, valentine cards with trivia or jokes were always a favorite of mine. A clever joke can always be the way to my heart. So why not start off the relationship with a nice, clever, crisp riddle? The only concern I truly have is why the Riddler is holding this over his crotch. I mean, we all know he loves riddles but is he covering up his true excitement? At this point, I'm pretty sure I don't want to find out. Those costumes on the tv show were known for being too tight and revealing, so I'll thank Mr. Nigma for covering up any unnecessary moose knuckles. Bonus points for being considerate in that regard. Riddler wins the award for most considerate and least crime-suggesting valentine. Good for you, Ed Nigma, you go Ed Nigma!


Yes, I closed that out with a Mean Girls reference. Admit it, these cards are pretty fetch. 



-Chad

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Meeting Ric Flair!

He's the oldest ride in the park but still has the longest lines...

Never has that line rung more true when it comes to Ric Flair. The 16 time world champion and pro wrestling icon came up to my neck of the woods to come meet and greet his fans at the Syracuse Crunch minor league hockey game in beautiful downtown Syracuse!



Ric and a Crunch official.




I took the risky drive from Rochester to Syracuse in the snow to come meet the legend himself. An hour and a half drive in the snow turned into a lot longer but I had to make this happen. Not to get too much into my personal life, but the past year has been filled with me having to cancel every event that I may have had planned. On top of that, I had back surgery in October so an hour and a half drive was not going to be too fun. But, I decided I had to attend this. If not just to get some stuff signed, but to slowly get back in the swing of doing more events all around. So, after a slippery trip on the New York Thruway, I finally made it.


I hooked up with my buddy John, who I've become friends with via a autograph collecting forum called MarkedOut. He and I have always bonded over our love of pro wrestling and since this was a free signing, I knew he'd have to attend. It's always great to see him, which I rarely get to do. We caught up, discussed our hopes for WWE, and signings we've attended.

When I got to the Syracuse Crunch game, held at the War Memorial Arena, the line was pretty massive. But for seasoned pros like John and I, being 50 in line was nothing, In fact, it was a good spot for us. My hope was to meet Flair and get back to Rochester as quick as possible before more snow hit. So, I arrived around 6:30 to meet up with John in line. And after Flair met with the VIP's who paid extra to get a more intimate experience with the Nature Boy himself in another part of the arena, he came downstairs where all his fans were waiting. It was actually pretty sweet setup. The basement of the arena had carpeting instead of just solid concrete, which was awesome on my feet and back. Fans brought items of all sorts including books, figures, belts, dvds and so much more. It was interesting to see who brought what and what the reasoning behind it was.

I brought a photo op from the first time I met Flair in 2008 at the Washington Auto Show in DC as well as a Classic Superstar two pack featuring Barry Windham and Flair. The two pack had already been signed by Barry in 2009 and I've been waiting to get it signed by Flair since then.

A little under an hour and it was our time to meet the man. I got to shake the man's hand and told him what a thrill it was to meet him again. After Flair signed my photo op, I was told by security "Only one item". But, I've been waiting too long to get the figure signed and Flair was impressed that it was signed by Barry so he offered to sign it on his own accord with my blue paint pen. Finally. After 6 years, I finally completed this two pack. I was so excited. And even after that, Flair was still willing to throw up those 4 fingers for a photo op!




I can't say enough nice things about Ric. He was willing to welcome everyone with a smile and a handshake and seemed to really enjoy meeting his fans. He time to take photos with everyone who stopped by, no matter what number in line they were and willing to sign each item that came across the table.


At this point, I bid farewell to Mr. Flair and my buddy John. It was time to have a quick cigar and head back to Rochester. Thankfully I had Nerd Lunch and Adam Carolla podcast episodes to keep me sane during the two and a half hour drive. The drive was pretty stressful but it was worth it because I got to meet one of my all time favorite wrestlers again, complete an autograph project, get a sweet photo, and hang out with a great friend. And most importantly, I was able to get back in the swing of things when it comes to driving and attending events. Also, considering Flair normally charges $40 for an autograph or a photo at conventions, paying under that for the entire trip, gas, tolls and ticket included, it was a no brainer that I had to attend. It was a great night. If you have the opportunity to meet Flair, don't pass it up!


My loot. No, I'm not bothered by the fact that Flair signed over his face.


To be the man, you have to meet the man! WOOOO!


-Chad

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Saved By The Bell 2015!

So, if you were watching Jimmy Fallon last night, you no doubt freaked out heavily over the awesome Saved By The Bell reunion that was very lovingly staged by the comedian for his Tonight Show audience. Longtime readers already know of my love for Saved By The Bell from previous posts so I'll bypass any long explanation of my longtime love of the show. But last night was a huge moment for my fellow Bayside Tigers.


Why? Well, first off, it was always thought it would never happen. Sure, we've gotten a reunion pictorial from People Magazine and even a campaign from Jimmy on his previous talk show. While a lot of fans, such as myself, had hoped it would happen, it was rather unlikely. For a full reunion, you'd have to have the entire cast of characters and Mr. Belding. Jimmy often had cast members stop by his show and give their stamp of approval by placing their face on a giant cast photo, including Mark Paul Gosselar showing up in character as Zach himself(which was awesome!).



So after a while, most fans gave up and it seemed the reunion was dead in the water. And once Jimmy took over the Tonight Show, the hopes for a reunion died. More importantly, Jimmy had bigger and better ideas to tackle. But once it was established Jimmy was going after a much younger audience, fans started to get their hopes back up that we'd see the Bayside crew again. So when Tiffany Amber Thiessen posted a photo of her in her old Bayside Tiger cheerleader outfit next to Mark Paul as Zach, fans went crazy. It was very clear we were going to get something awesome. And we did.



A sketch in which Jimmy was a member of Saved By The Bell. Brilliant! The music, the sets, the clothes, everything. If you got lost in it all, you would've sworn it was a new episode. Ok, sure, they all look a little older, but hey, it was a lot of fun to see Mr. Belding, Zach, Kelly, Slater and his hot mama Jessie once again.

Now, notable by their absences were Dustin Diamond and Lark Voorhies. Did it matter? Well, to me, no. First off, it's been noted that the cast wants nothing to do with Dustin after his book and his many comments and allegations. Second, without Screech, Lisa would've had no reason for being there. Plus, with all respect to Lark, her physical appearance(as well as mental issues that have been sadly plaguing her lately) would've made her unrecognizable unlike the rest of the cast.



Is this the one and only reunion show we need? What about Staci Carosi or Tori or Max? What about Screech's robot? Nah. I don't think we need all that. The sketch, under ten minutes, gave us more than we could ask for. I can't imagine a 30 minute or an hour episode where the entire cast comes back as a whole and gets into shenanigans and having the same charm. What we saw accomplished everything. Whether it was the long reaction from the audience when Zach stepped down the stairs for the first time or the joke about Jessie becoming a stripper, the crowd was surprised big time and very excited to see everyone. As was I. I got very giddy and happy hearing the music and cast along with the NBC bug once again. I'm glad we got it. It was funny. It was magical. It was perfection. It was Saved By The Bell at it's finest.


So, thank you Jimmy Fallon, the cast of Saved By The Bell, and NBC for this magical moment. You've made all your fans very happy!




Now the question remains. Tonight, Jimmy will be having Will Smith. Earlier this week, Jimmy recreated the opening to Fresh Prince. Could we see something similar? We'll have to tune in to find out!


-Chad