Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kenner Spotlight: Hooray For The Police Academy!

Fan of the old Police Academy movies? Sure! Why wouldn't you be? There's like a thousand of them with every movie containing goofier characters than the last! Plus, Guttenberg, son.

Ok, confession, I've only seen the first one and maybe the fifth. I don't know. I gotta be honest, I personally thought the first one was ok at best but I know a LOT of people who swear up and down it's their favorite movie, so I can't hate. However, that said, I loved the cartoon series as a kid. Couldn't tell you anything that happened in the episodes NOW, but back in 89/90, I was all over it.

(Yeah, it was even released on vhs!)

You don't remember the cartoon? Come on! If you were a kid back then, you no doubt remember watching it before school every morning! It was one of those cartoons that would be shown all over the country in syndication that had very little chance of lasting more than 2 seasons. Also, the Fat Boys did the theme song. Check it out:

 Still nothing? Gah! Well, you may not remember this but I guarantee you'll remember the TOYS!

Stop shaking your head already. You do remember. Stop being a Difficult Debbie.

So the line was initially released by Kenner in 1989, the same year  the cartoon hit the airwaves in hopes that it would be just as successful as the Real Ghostbusters(which was beginning to wind down at that time). The cartoon was doing well so the natural step was toys and no one handled cartoon/toy crossovers at that time better than Kenner.
Even roleplay accessories!

A lot of goofy gimmicks were included in the line. Whether it was over the top accessories or ridiculous action feature, these toys were welcomed in every kids toybox. You could get a lot of hours of play with Now, don't go into this thinking they were accurate potrayals of the actors or characters of the movie, because these weren't. In fact, the were even more cartoony looking than WWF Hasbro figures. If you were a fan of the movie though and really wanted a Carey Mahoney or Larvelle Jones on your shelf, they weren't a terrible choice. Variations were added to the line as well. Karate Larvelle Jones being my personal favorite. But others such as Stakeout Sweetchuck, Snack Attack House and SWAT Tackleberry were only some of the special versions we could have. And those variations can fetch a lot of money. Specifically Sweetchuck and House, who was rumored to be only 1 per case.

The villains of the cartoon were also celebrated with figures of their own. Numbskull, Flung Hi, Claw, Mr. Sleaze and Kingpin were added to make sure kids had someone to arrest and beat the hell out of. And a beating they took.

While the villains from the cartoons were given toys, the women of the Police Academy. Kenner had a longstanding thought that female figures just don't sell, so this is hardly a surprise to ANYONE who was aware of the toy industry at that time. Sad, they could've made some great figures!

I gotta admit, as a 7 year old, the main figure that caught my attention was Zed, the zany funster of the group. Check him out! He's got a skateboard and his PANTS FALL DOWN. I don't know what could entice a 7 year old boy who finds The Wizard entertaining than an action figure who's trousers fall. I mean, look at him! He could've been a Ninja Turtle! He was even featured in the commercial!

They also, much like every Kenner line(and to be fair, every toy line at that time) had vehicles and a playset. Now, the photo shows multiple vehicles being offered but only two were released: The Crash Cycle and Crash Cruiser. Both of which were actually pretty cool looking and if you have them, they look great parked outside...


I remember seeing this when it was first released and immediately thought it was a little cooler than the Ghostbusters firehouse. It seems to have a lot of fun stuff going on and makes for a perfect playset. Sadly, I've never seen one up close in person, so I can only go on what other collectors tell me or images from other sites and eBay. I'd love to see it someday. It looks great!

To further drive how much fun this line was, my best friend at the time, legendary funster Danny Thrift had a birthday around the time these came out and he requested his party be Police Academy themed. Now, in 1990, TMNT still ruled the roost so to sway even the most wide eyed youngster with these toys? Holy cow, this has gotta be big. That year he received practically the entire line and vehicles. ESPECIALLY ZED. To the surprise of no one, Zed was the first one he opened. My envy was at an all time high. It's a feeling I haven't ever forgotten. Or gotten over. Mark my words, Thrift, someday I too will know the feeling of making Zed's pants fall.

Wait...I meant...oh forget it...

Despite only lasting 3 series(which isn't bad mind you!), Police Academy's appeal lasted briefly but in the long run it became more of a nostalgic trivia question. With rumors of a new movie always popping up every year, there's always a chance that a new audience can rediscover this hidden gem and start collecting. Which would be great since it's such a fun line!


Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Look At Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2 VHS Art!

My love of Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2 has been very heavily documented many, many times. It's a movie that has been a favorite of mine for years and a fond video store memory of mine. So it would be of shock to no one that I've amassed a collection of various vhs from around the world...

...via eBay...

Fact is, I'd love to collect each and every copy from around the world, but I'm ok with just owning one copy and spreading the word of this in hopes that someone like Scream Factory or Olive Films will pick it up one day! It definitely deserves a release with interviews, commentary and the like. Heck, a tour of Hamilton High would be a fun extra! (Heads up, I'd be happy to host that! Hamilton, Ontario is only a small drive for me! A guy can dream!)

 Until then, I'd like to you feast your eyes upon art from around the globe. Sources vary from eBay to Amazon to Google so if your photo is presented, please forgive me for not crediting. These have been kept on a hard drive for a while now.

Bonus: A newspaper ad for a screening:

Extra bonus: Print ad for the release of all 4 Prom Night movies in Australia, I believe?


Things To Look Forward To In 2016

Boy, 2015 was a fun year! I had so much fun and so many great opportunities came my way. After years of hoping to, I finally made my podcasting debut and landed a cohosting gig on Dead Air Horror And Genre Podcast as well as the Terror Twins Podcast with Stacy Still of StayStillReviews, as well as appearances on Nerd Lunch, UnderScoopFire(a record 4 times!), Recurrent Events, as well as a "lost show" with Eddie Spuhgetti and Stacy Still. A great time had by all! Then there's the multiple conventions, screeners, interviews, and so much else that came my way. If 2015 was any indication, I'm gonna have a lot to look forward to in 2016.

So other than blogging stuff, what else did I look forward to? Well, as mucky as it's been throughout the years, I've still tuned in every week to Monday Night Raw, and I'll continue to do so this year as well. Movies have been off the charts between Star Wars, Mad Max, and multiple great horror movies and comedies. TV shows have been entertaining. And of course, being a lover of bad foods, Hostess cakes and cereals have been offering great varieties like never before! It's been a very entertaining and satisfying year to be a geek of any kind. But 2016? There's some things I'm looking forward to even more than this past year! So let's dive in(in no particular order):


Well this goes without saying. I'll make it short. I know these three movies are being torn apart by the internet(hey, who knew these people had a time machine and already saw the movies?) but I'm really looking forward to them. Ghostbusters 3 features a great cast. I'm a HUGE fan of Melissa McCarthy and the ladies of SNL. Paul Feig's movies always make me laugh. Especially Bridesmaids. So as far as I'm concerned, it's a done deal for me.

TMNT 2. Now, I wasn't a fan of the first Michael Bay movie. I think it's probably because I wasn't the audience tey were going for. That said, there were a LOT of things that I did like about the movie. It was a good starting point, but it looks they're going for all audiences in this one. Casey Jones? Bebop and Rocksteady? Baxter Stockman? Oh yeah. I'm set.

Now this one is the movie I'm looking forward to the most. I'm fully aware people hated Man of Steel, and there were some issues I had with it as well, but this will most likely be a different movie. Having Batman and Wonder Woman in it will almost guarantee my approival. Not to mention, I've been waiting for a Justice League movie since I was a youngster, so to get it before I left this planet? Oh my! Bring it on!


 Toyfair 2016 is only a month and a half away and with that, I'm sure will be plenty of Funkos, WWE, Batman, and horror toys! Since my early teens, I've always looked forward to this time of year with expectations high. Through Wizard and Toyfare, I was able to live vicariously through the editors and journalists while essentially making a checklist just from the pages of the magazine. Now? Well, photos hit the day OF THE SHOW, so I don't have to wait a month to play "birthday and Christmas wish list". I don't think there's been a year gone by where there's at least 15 things I want. This year will be absolutely no different.


nWo was formed in 1996, when I was in middle school. At that point wrestling was looked down upon and mocked. Both WCW and WWF were still doing Saturday Morning cartoon-like gimmicks and goofy storylines. It looked no different than 1986. But once Scott Hall and Kevin Nash jumped from WWF to WCW in spring of 96, things changed. They began an invasion of WCW that even I as a 13 year old kayfabe loving mark believed to be real. But once Hulk Hogan joined them as the villainous Hollywood Hogan? Forget it. It was all over. They formed a troupe of rebellious, anti authority outsiders hellbent on taking what they wanted no matter what, by any means necessary. It was a vast change from the happy babyface characters we had all three portray and boy did it resonate with me. Three tough guys making their own rules? Yup. I'm down for this.

Since 1996, I have never gone without an nWo shirt in my closet and nWo memorabilia in my room. I still drink out of an nWo mug, have a pair of nWo branded sweatpants, when I podcast I'm flocked by nWo figures and autographs in my office and when I head to the gym, I'm wearing my old nWo shirt. I can't say enough about the nWo. To me, it's what the 4 Horsemen is to NWA Loyalists. And I have to imagine we're gonna see some sort of celebration. Maybe a new three pack of action figures? Maybe an epiosde of Monday Night Raw? Who knows! But I know I'm looking forward to it!

Batman 1966 and nWo were two things that molded me at a young age. Adam West was my introduction to Batman and for that I'm forever in debt. Not to mention, to this day I'm still in love with Yvonne Craig, who left us this past year, but she was my first true love. The show itself was a great link for my late father and I to share and gave us something to watch every afternoon. Eventually it got to the point that I'd discover more of the Batman mythology and overtook my life. So to know it's celebrating it's 50th anniversary, and remaining as popular as ever, is something very exciting. I'm sure there will be plenty to look forward to when it comes to this iconic tv show.

And as a bonus, here's my favorite photo of Yvonne Craig. Why? Because I said so.

Royal Rumble:

You can't truly kick off the new year without a Royal Rumble. Slowly overtaking the Survivor Series in terms of becoming my favorite event of the year. While the original concept of Survivor Series has faded out, Royal Rumble has maintained it's importance. Whether it's building a story for Wrestlemania, comedic moments, or returning stars of the past, there's always something to remember! Even if the last few years have had not featured the best endings, there's always been something talk about later that week and throughout the year. Who could come back? Who could win? The anticipation is KILLING ME!

Hostess Cakes and Other Junk Food:
Credit: Delish.com

Last year, Hostess rolled a record number of variations for each holiday. Candy Corn, Pumpkin Spice, Peppermint, anything they could inject into those delicious cakes, they took a chance. It was really awesome. I'm really glad they're doing this. I had a lot of worries that they wouldn't after they returned from their brief demise. But lo and behold, they did! This year looks even better with the introduction of a totally NEW cake! The I Love You Cakes! Sure, they look to be DingDongs in the form of hearts with sprinkles but it's still a new cake in my eyes and something to look forward to. I'm hoping this also leads to new cakes in following seasons as well!


As of press time, Monster Mania in March is a lock. Heading down to promote Dead Air Podcast  with Jeff Konopka and Jesse Bartel is the main plan. But don't forget I'm bringing my best friend Andrew who joined last year. And you just don't know what to expect when we're in town!

There's a lot of great convention lineups throughout the year. Texas Frightmare in May, Chiller Theatre will no doubt have an amazing lineup, HorrorHound, New York Comic Con, Toronto Fan Expo, Mad Monster Party, Niagara Falls Comic Con, Scareacon will also be amazing as well. If there's a convention near you, check it out!

Salt City Horror Fest:

The best 35mm film festival ever! See you in April! And don't forget to check out our buddies at VHSPS who will be slinging their amazing titles!

The 50 Mile Yard Sale:

Last year was a monumental event. I gotta say, it was a big risk but it was totally worth it. Driving an hour and a half out of my way to rustle through strangers junk? Yes. I'm down. As a flea marketing madman and self professed "Best In The World", I'm always down for the challenge. Sure, lots of eBay fodder, but lots of good pieces for my collection as well! I'm assuming this will take place in July like last year, but no matter when, I'm gonna be there!

Like I said, I'm a very optimistic person so no matter what I'm sure there will be plenty of adventures. I certainly hope you'll stick around for the ride!