Wednesday, May 16, 2018

8-Bit Zombie Presents: Wizard Wednesday!


It's #WizardWednesday and our pal Ross over at 8-Bit Zombie (who I interviewed years ago about his love of The Wizard!) has unveiled a brand new collection of awesome shirts, a hat and other goodies. By now, if you follow me on any social media platform, you've figured out how much I love these shirts and products due to the incredible passion put into the artwork, themes and the originality that goes into thesm. In fact, alongside Fright-Rags (who offered their own Video Armageddon shirt earlier this year, but seems to have sold out!) and WWE, they're the only shirts I own anymore! And today, I'm happy to share with you some of the coolest products I've seen Ross release. Ladies and gentlemen, 8-Bit Zombie brings you...THE WIZARD...


Check out that sweet gear! Patches, a pin, a hat and some sweet new shirts! Let's take a closer look though...






Let's start off with the patches. The purple and pink Power Glove are very reminiscent of the box art and magazine advertisements. I love both of those patches, but there's something very late 80s about that pink patch, that's for sure!

The Video Armageddon Power Patch is super special. For those who may not remember, Nintendo had a "world championship" tournament in 1990, somewhat of a real life Video Armageddon. Every participant was given the patch you see above, as well as a black hat with the same logo:





These hats are extremely hard to come by and usually can go for quite a pretty penny. Thankfully, we're getting a patch that is not just an homage to that event but one that makes you an official Video Armageddon "Power Player"!

Speaking of which...one of my favorite pieces of this collection is the Power Player hat. We've seen Ross offer plenty of hats before, ranging from My Pet Monster (which if anyone has one they'd like to let go of, let me know!) to Big Trouble In Little China to Robocop and everything in between. But just like the patch, this hat is all about playing with power and recreating that famous NES Championship:


 Summer is around the corner and I'm always looking for a new hat to wear out and about and I've decided to go full on retro/neon this summer so the pink and black on this hat make for a perfect accessory to anything I wear. A trucker hat that Hayley's friend Spanky would no doubt approve of while he beats up on Mr. Putnam but also one that Jimmy Woods would wear while defeating his dreaded nemesis Lucas on the big stage, I'd say we got ourselves a winner. Bonus: check out the two buttons on the side, an 8BZ trademark. So you don't just get a sweet hat, but some fun buttons too! Double winner.

Pins have become quite popular with collectors and the more you have on your vest/bookbag/fanny pack, the cooler you are. Well that's before we got a sweet Power Glove branded with 8BZ, now you're even radder. I've actually got a Power Glove pin already, but it's not as elaborate as this. The detailing of the buttons and the fingers are just right. So if you're a pin collector, definitely pick this up!


Now onto the main event...The shirts...

That image looks familiar. You know EXACTLY who's playing that arcade game. It's JIMMY WOOOOODS. With his lunchbox in town, Jimmy seems to be head over heels playing the 8-Bit Zombie game Thrash Or Die, a game you can actually play while you wear this fun shirt! Be aware that this particular shirt is a little softer and smaller than the others, so if you're like me and need a larger shirt, go up a size.


A Video Armageddon shirt to go along with the hat and patch. Because if you're really going to be the ultimate Power Player, you simply must have all the gear. Now, sure, somedays you don't feel like wearing a hat. That's understandable. But with a shirt so soft and so bright, you'll wanna wear THIS all the time! And peep that 8-Bit Zombie logo down below. Look familiar? Of course. How could you not recognize it. Artist and Thrashor designer Matthew Skiff seemed to work in a tip of the (Power Player) hat to Universal Studios, where Video Armageddon took place in The Wizard. Great way to show the world that you're not to be messed with when it comes to playing Super Mario 3.


To top off this amazing collection is LUCAS. Who else but the ultimate jerkface could close this collection out?

If you're a long time fan of 8BZ, you no doubt remember the original Lucas, which not only paid tribute to the films iconic character and famous "It's So Bad" line, but also Vision Street Wear:



Well, Ross retired that design but decided it was time to give it another go and offer us a SECOND Lucas shirt. Not as in your face, but still maintaining that "VSW" feel. The font, colors and crackling background really make this new shirt stand out. In fact, the first time I saw this shirt, I could've been fooled that it was a shirt from the late 80s. The authenticity of it really makes it quite special. So bad? Not at all, this shirt is just SO RAD!


So if you're a Wizard fan like I am and have been hoping for some fun shirts to add to your collection, head over to 8BitZombie to pick them up. Who knows, maybe you'll find yourself at an arcade and need the right gear to strike fear into your opponent!




-Chad

Friday, May 11, 2018

TPIF: Thank Pod It's Funny! Episode 6: Musical Guests!

The boys are back and ready to rock!

In TGIF's long history, a lot of famous musicians popped in for an appearance or two and jammed with our favorite characters! From The Beach Boys to Debbie Gibson, we cover them all!

Also discussed:

-TC's love of Furries
-TC's love of Big Dogs shirts
-Derek's love of Debbie Gibson
-Chad's hatred for Michelle



powered by podcast garden


-Derek, TC and Chad

Monday, May 7, 2018

What I've Been Watching: DC/WB Edition

SUICIDE SQUAD: HELL TO PAY:




Synopsis:

  It’s batter up at Belle Reve and that can only mean that Amanda Waller, the penitentiary’s cold and calculating warden, has a mission that only the damned will take on. It’s time to unleash Task Force X again, stacked with seasoned vets such as Deadshot, Captain Boomerang and Harley Quinn, these crafty criminals are joined by newcomers Copperhead, Killer Frost and the martial art master, Bronze Tiger!


With the target objective being a mystical object so powerful that they’re willing to risk their own lives to steal it, you can be sure it will be collision of chaos, gunfire and attitudes. So, take aim for a raging road trip with the Suicide Squad!

Thoughts:

For anyone who still has a bad taste in their mouth due to the live action Suicide Squad movie, this is the movie for you. Suicide Squad, is one of DC's sleeper groups and really should be given more attention considering all the great characters involved. Deadshot, Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang are all legendary characters and still have so much to offer in other mediums, unfortunately they haven't been as exploited as they should. I think a major reason I love this particular release is because it focuses more on the strengths of the characters. The animation, as always, provides the perfect medium to tell a story of all these villains turned hitmen for Amanda Waller and the government. I think if this movie were released before the live action movie, more people would be willing to embrace the movie itself and accept these characters as a new team in the DCEU.


BATMAN NINJA:



Synopsis: 

 
Batman Ninja takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd's time displacement machine transports many of Batman's worst enemies to feudal Japan—along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies—including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family—to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City.


The visually stunning Batman Ninja is the creative result of a trio of anime's finest filmmakers: director Jumpei Mizusaki (Opening animation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure), writer Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann), and character designer Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai) produced the original movie with Warner Bros. Japan. The script was then reinterpreted and rewritten for English-language distribution by award-winning screenwriters Leo Chu and Eric Garcia (Supah Ninjas, Afro Samurai). Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers.


Thoughts:


Without a doubt, this is one of the most impressive DC animated movies I've ever seen. Enlisting the assistance of some of the best anime artists and animators help make this the most ambitious and stunning animated movie in DC's long history. The character designs, with heavy Japanese inspiration, provide a different look at Batman's legendary battle with the Joker and other members of his rogues gallery. The costumes and battles have an old school anime feel, so if you're a fan of things like Fist of the North Star, Akira and Ninja Scroll, this will be a favorite of yours. I truly believe this overtakes Batman: Gotham By Gaslight as the best animated film since Justice League Dark and has a lot of rewatchability value.

2018 has become a great year for DCA films and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for us from DC/WB.



-Chad
 

What I've Been Watching: Umbrella Edition

Society (Umbrella Entertainment) :




Synopsis:

Legendary schlock producer Brian Yuzna (Re-animator, Return of the Living Dead), creates a tense and gory work of horrific social satire in his directorial debut. Billy Whitney (Billy Warlock - Baywatch, General Hospital), a model rich kid and prefect at the Beverley Hills Academy who enjoys rubbing oil into his girlfriend around the pool, is inexplicably embroiled in a spiraling web of fear and paranoia, a surreal, psychotic world that is fast becoming a nightmare. His worst fears are realized when he crashes a perverse socialite gathering that turns into a shocking, and sticky, shunting ritual. The sick and disturbing finale was made possible through ultra-special effects by Screaming Mad George! After 4 minutes were censored for its American release, Society is now presented totally uncut and uncensored, including full restoration of the infamous orgy scene.

Review:

Society is, hands down, one of the most bizarre and twisted movies I've ever seen. It's been a favorite of mine since I first discovered it in high school and since then, multiple releases have hit the home media market. Every release has had strengths and weaknesses. This Umbrella release focuses on more of the movie than extras. Admittedly, if you prefer to buy a disc loaded with extras, there are other options, but quite frankly if you're looking for a release that's not overloaded, this is a great option.

Society is one of those movies you really need to see at least once in your life. The team of Bryan Yuzna and Screaming Mad George help tell a twisted story (that helped somewhat inspire Get Out) with a message about the upper class society of this world that can be perceived as a warning to our modern day world. Yuzna certain has a different look at what qualifies as horror when it comes to a movie such as this but delivers it's message of society eating it's young very well. The imagery helps drives the message home as well. Screaming Mad George, the f/x wizard on this picture, has helped create some of the most memorable and revolting creations you'll ever see. If you've never seen it, pick this up today. It's certainly something you'll never forget.
SYNPOSIS:

Just when you thought that you’d seen every pulse-pounding, blood-drenched, flesh-filled scrap of trailer trash comes this third stupefying serving of mind-numbing, skull-splitting retro movie madness!
Bulging with over 6 hours of non-stop sex, violence, vehicle destruction and cockamamie cosmic carnage - DRIVE-IN DELIRIUM: THE NEW BATCH is a rip-roaring, off-road, high-def ruckus that proudly programs your Blu-ray player to DETONATE!

Extra Features

  • VHS DELIRIUM - BONUS 95 MINUTE SD TRAILER COMPILE


Thoughts: 

Once again, Umbrella holds nothing back with their Drive In Delirium release. An endless collection of amazing trailers of movies you love, you may have forgotten, and some you never knew existed. I'm a huge fan of these sets and always look forward to putting the trailers on for a horror movie marathon filler or just when I need something to play while I do chores. Drive In Delirium is certainly one of Umbrella's best offerings and if you've wanted to see these gems in great quality, here's your chance. And may I suggest picking one of these up for your Halloween party? Sure, Haunted House music is a great idea, but having these play on the tv in the background will be a different great conversation starter for your friends.

-Chad 

Friday, April 27, 2018

TPIF: Thank Pod It's Funny! Episode 5: Urkel-Mania

On today's show, the boys wrap up their discussion on the face of TGIF, Steven Q. Urkel!

If it involves Urkel, we talked about it. From his meteoric rise into the pop culture stratosphere and the Urkel-Mania that followed. From doing the Urkel-Dance with Bea Arthur to the merchandising, to his wacky storylines, we cover it!

powered by podcast garden



 -Derek, TC, Chad

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The 2018 Flea Market Season Kickoff!



Ya know I keep promising every year to make a new banner for my flea market posts but at this point, I love this too much.



Finally! The first flea market of the new season. Thank goodness, because just the week before, we were still getting snow and even an ice storm, so the hopes for an enjoyable spring were at an all-time low. People around Rochester have been fed up with the crappy cold and in a hurry to enjoy all the delights of the warmer seasons. So what better way to enjoy than hitting the first flea market of the season?

I was excited for this first market, but don't get me wrong, I had to keep it at a minimum. Last year was pretty lame and a gigantic letdown with finds, I feel like more and more people are getting wise as to what they have. I mean, why sell a complete Greyskull at the flea market for $5 when you can get it for a lot more on eBay? I get it, but the treasure hunter in me was sad when I'd walk away with nothing. So when I hit the flea market this past Sunday, as excited as I was, I was trying to stay realistic.

Some familiar vendors and familiar items were on display. The usual suspects if you will. The same vendors in their favorite spots with items that they couldn't get rid of last time. Some with higher prices, some with lower. Some with new stuff, some with the same stuff they've had for years. Either way, it was good to see some of my favorites and catch up.

My old friend Alf! It seems like every time I hit the market, I always find something Alf-related on my first trip. I don't know if it's a good thing and that I should take it as a sign of things to come, but I always look forward to finding something that involves my favorite sarcastic, smart-ass Melmac resident. While I have the Rockin' Alf doll already, I always love seeing these with their tags with those old Burger King logos. Don't see them as often and it's a very welcome sight.


VHS is a constant at these flea markets and sometimes there's gold in the stacks but not always. More times than most, if you're looking for a copy of Three On A Meathook, you probably won't find it. You'll be more likely to find a copy of Ghoulies 2 or some other fun 80s cheese than you will something so rare you can retire by selling it. But hey, it's a fun way to find old trash and childhood favorite!

Ok, enough riff-raff, I hit as many tables as I could before I got sweaty and tired. Let's dig in to the goods!


COMIC BOOKS: 


Some good comics here. I'm a huge Dazzler fan, so anytime I can find some comics featuring her, I'll pick them up. Rom? Never truly got into him but I love the idea of Rom. Plus his name is fun to say. Rom. Rom Rom Rom Rom Rom. See? It's fun.

Rounding out the crew were Fallen Angels, the infamously bad Kickers Inc and a Madballs comic that there was no way I wasn't walking away with! That Marvel Age may be my favorite of the bunch. Look at those authentic 1993 attitudes and clothing of the Romita boys. It's like a cover of a made for HBO about a family of vending machine thieves on the lam. Or the cover of a new alternative band. You pick.


VHS:

As I said, VHS are always at your local flea markets, and while I didn't see a lot I wanted, I decided if I was gonna pick up anything, it would be two releases of my all time favorite show, Tales From The Crypt. I've already got the entire series on DVD and all, but there's something that looks so nice about these VHS covers. The different designs and colors certainly are eye catching too. Some good episodes on both tapes and will come in handy when I wanna watch random episodes and not put in 80 discs in one afternoon.


HE-MAN TOYS:

I guess I don't need to tell you that this was the fave of the days finds. A 2002 Panthor, the original He-Man and a Spikor all in one swoop. Well, if I'm gonna buy anything that gives me hope for a great season, it's these. Good condition, clean and look great on display. Now, of course, MOTUMonth 2018 is right around the corner, so I won't go too in depth on these, but as you can imagine, I felt like a big kid taking these home with me.


Ok, now you'd think I wouldn't push my luck any further, go home and call it a day, but no. I decided to hop on over to the nearby thrift store and see if I could get lucky there too. I've had a bit of a thrifting dryspell as of late, but I was just a few miles away, so what's the harm?

DRYSPELL: OVER.

Yup. After months and months, my luck has finally changed.  I was able to find a few extra items to consider my day extra fruitful...

MINI FIGURES:




MUSCLE figures, Monster In My Pocket, California Raisins, and some random Starburst candy looking monsters. I'm a fan of MIMP and The Raisins, but I never got into the MUSCLE figures.  Alien professional wrestlers are right up my alley but I lost mini figures way too often though. But the designs were pretty cool and a lot of people still love the heck outta these guys so I can appreciate them.

 RICKY BOBBY LOT:


Talladega Nights was Will Ferrel's movie about a ridiculous NASCAR driver and his adventures. It wasn't the greatest movie in the world, but it was ridiculous enough for me to buy a ticket for it and the dvd when it was released. It was a fun time in my life for multiple reasons and there's a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in this movie, so I figured what the heck do I have to lose in buying these. I'm guessing those air freshener's don't smell as great as they once did though.

RAMBO NOMAD WITH WRONG ARMS: 






Nomad, a villain from the Rambo cartoon, caught my eye in a bag of random toys and I was in a big hurry to buy him. Unfortunately I didn't notice he had a weirdo, second left arm until I got home and I was photographing him. So what I thought would be a nice piece of eBay fodder turns out to be a hilarious paperweight on my desk. I always liked the Rambo line so even if it's not what I had hoped, it's a fun, unique item to put on display.

I don't ever expect to start my flea marketing adventures off on a huge not but when I find some real quality stuff, I get super excited. Here's hoping for a fun rest of the season filled with rare treasures and stacks of cool vhs!



-Chad








Friday, April 20, 2018

My Major Radical Award!

Well this big brick of radical Turtle-y goodness just got slammed on my door step. And I am dancing with joy!




A little backstory before I dig into this most bodacious box. The fine folks at Viacom ran a sweet "Spring Cleaning Sweepstakes" over at the official TMNT Facebook page a few weeks ago, seemingly to help promote for the new Rise of the Ninja Turtles cartoon and toyline and to probably get rid of some crazy crap hanging around the office but the biggest prize...An exclusive Rise of the TMNT figure (not released until later this year). I love a good contest, especially when it has toys involved, so I was not going to turn this opportunity down. Bad add the possibility of winning something no one else can own just yet? There's a selfish, competitive side to me that will not rest until I win it. And win I did!

You remember mailing away for those exclusive GI Joe or Star Wars figures as a kid? Remember the excruciating wait from them to arrive? That's what I felt. It was a nail-biting few weeks that would drive me insane. Anytime the mailman left without dropping off this package, was just another failure of a day. But finally...after what felt like decades passing...it arrived...


Let's take a look at that box! The new Rise design greets you with the promise of fun and excitement that the new series will no doubt be full of. Bright colors, lots of green and an in-your-face attitude that only the Turtles can deliver.



The sides of the box features our fearsome foursome through various inspirations through the years. From 1987 to their 2012 to the newest era. Nice touch!I'm loving it so far!



As far as the contents of the box, it's a proverbial treasure chest of pizza-loving, shell-raising goodness. As soon as you open the box you get this kid-like excitement come over you. A little overwhelming, a little emotional, but definitely exciting! Love the green gift wrap protecting da goodz. Nice touch!

The first item I laid eyes on was a delightful foam hand. "High Three"? Well, don't mind if I do. What better way to give my fellow Turtle fanatics a bodacious greeting than with the official TMNT foam hand? Even Master Splinter would approve. He didn't approve of Vanilla Ice, but a foam hand featuring three fingers? Even he has a good sense of humor!

For those rainyday/sick days/days off, I have a gigantic collection of terrific comics to read. This massive collection features several reprinted issues of the great comic series that's been put out by the fine folks at IDW. And it even includes the Ghostbusters/TMNT crossover! Ninja Turtles on their own already are amazing, but add Ghostbusters and you've got the greatest team to hit New York since Roddy Piper and Cowboy Bob Orton.


Some shirts! Not my size, but definitely my taste in bright, colorful shirts with giant pizza eating reptiles! Thankfully I do have a couple of friends with awesome children that these could fit better than me. Otherwise, these shirts are absolutely terrific. I actually had my own collection of Turtles shirts as a kid, and they were more in tune with the Eastman designs, but these cartoonish designs just scream being a kid again and I for one adore them for that.





Ahhhh yes. Pins have become the newest and hottest "must have" geek item for all denim vest wearin', bookbag slingin', BrandedInThe80s.com readin', bulletin board havin' cool kid crowd and what's cooler than the Heroes in a Halfshell? TURTLE PINS! These pins were created by the fine folks over at PinTrill in conjunction with the Turtles last season. Each is a unique and a very awesome design detailing some of the insanity of the series. As a pin collector, I fell in love with these instantly but as a Halloween junkie, my eyes zeroed in on that Halloween Turtle. I've been in the Halloween mood for a while and this just intensifies it even more. It's not just a pin suitable for the fall season but all year round when you're feeling Halloween withdrawals.

Also: SPLINTER WITH BABY TURTLES IN A SHOPPING CART COME ON NOW.



Well now! A special "Power Patch" from 1989! I'm pretty convinced that the staff at Viacom are huge Ninja Turtles fans, because this isn't exactly the item you can just go down the street to the old deli and find mountains of. Well, maybe in NYC you can. I tend to remember my buddy Matt of DinoDrac finding ancient Hi-C at his hometown deli. Be that is at it may, if those radical pins aren't up your alley and you don't wish to put too many holes in your clothes, a patch can be a reasonable compromise, no? Now, I'm kind of afraid to open this and unleash the amazing power it welds. I'm just not sure I'm mature enough to handle it. But, when I do, I'm going to look awesome. Especially when it rests next to my 8-Bit Zombie Slime Pit patch.


Ok...now the main event of the century...

I cannot state how amazing this is. Presenting the NEW leader of the Ninja Turtles...RAPH:

Not due out until later in the late summer/early fall, these new Rise of the TMNT figures look to be some of the best yet. If Raph is any indication, than the rest of the line is going to be absolutely bonkers.


The figure I received, which came in it's own special collectors box show above, is absolutely incredible. The bright colors, the new design of his headwear and the new shell, his new weapons are all pretty much what you'd want them to be. Man, if I were a kid and I was caught between a new Funko Pop and one of these, I'd throw the Pop on the ground and walk off with a new Turtle. A lot of fans have voiced their concern over the new design but to me, I see nothing offensive. I only see a new coat of paint applied to a character that's gone through multiple incarnations and redesigns for over 34 years. You gotta try something new and I'm totally putting my faith into this new series just as I had with the 2003 and the 2012 series. If you're gonna try to take the Turtles in a new direction, why not turn them into full blown superheroes? It makes sense to me and trust me, there's not a lot in this world that does make sense to me.



The Turtles have always been pretty groundbreaking with their figures. The play-ability and articulation of the group has always been important to the fanbase and those who love them. And if you're a Ninja, you have to be pretty flexible. For this new line to have such a huge difference in detail and a new look is very important. You can't sell the same wallpaper over and over again, you have to be willing to change it up. 

And change it up they did. I would definitely encourage and implore everyone to give this a chance when they come out in full force, because I imagine these could be as big if not bigger than the previous series. Besides, you simply can't go wrong with Ninja Turtles!!! I am so appreciative and grateful for winning this great prize pack from the fine folks at Nickelodeon. This has to be one of the neatest and most exciting things I've received in the mail in sometime. Thanks for making this fan very happy! Next time I'm in town, pizza on me!

Cowabunga!

-Chad