Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Joys of Black Friday!

We're officially in the home stretch of the Thanksgiving season. It's been a pretty busy few weeks for me and I'm sure you as well but in just a matter of hours, it'll be worth all the effort. I can feel the excitement creeping up more and more! Of course after a long day of Parades, food, and family telling the same stories over, I'll have Black Friday to look forward to!

Good thing I have Monster to help me recreate the mood for this one...

Oh yeah. The only time lining up at 3 am for 20 dollars off a 4K tv seems somewhat sane and...logical? I don't know. I feel like I can always find better deals on Mercari or even used on Amazon, but that weird comradely with other psychos in line makes it somewhat comforting. Besides, it's just not a Thanksgiving evening without about 600 flyers and circulars on your dinner table. It's a weirdly comforting feeling.

Black Friday actually holds a lot of positive memories for me. The first one I ever did was in 2003 and my big reward for dragging my best friend Andrew to Best Buy at 4 in the morning while relying heavily on cigarettes and Pepsi was 3 cd's, a Playstation 2 game and a couple Anchor Bay horror dvds (ya know, back when Best Buy had an enormous horror section). Andrew was a great sport and picked up a few PS2 games but he wanted nothing more than a nice hot McGriddle and to go back to bed. For two 20 year old guys, who probably were more used to a good smoke and drink and sleeping in until about noon or so on a day off, this was a different experience for us. Fun though! And I'm glad I got to share it with my best friend.

While that was a good starter, in 2006, I'd bust my biggest nut. That was the era where Jakks WWE Classic Superstars were reaching one of their highest points. Some of the best characters of wrestling's past were being created for the first time in 15-20 years. Brutus Beefcake, Demolition. All the faves. And on Black Friday that year, KB Toys and Kmart offered some serious deals that I couldn't pass up. KB offered 3 Classic Superstars for $20, which considering they were $15 each at the time, wasn't something I would turn down. So I decided to load up on my collection and grab 3 figures, which is good since the store had already sold so many. Pickings were slim but hey, Ken Shamrock, Bam, Bam Bigelow and Kamala are nothing to sneeze at. Of course, K-Mart is where the real gem was...

K-Mart rolled out an exclusive "Real Scale Ring" set which was a replica of a WWE ring, except a LOT bigger than a normal ring. This was no rinky dink toy, it was a 20' x 20' ring with a real cloth ring mat, die cast ringposts, foam turnbuckles and ropes that didn't require me to tie them with horrible knots like I used to with WWF Hasbro Rings. It was more like a giant model than a toy and I was more than happy to humor the store and pay it. The asking price for this beauty? $50. Special Black Friday price. You'd think they were done and officially hooked me but then they threw in the big guns: Exclusive Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan figures would be included. Well, crap. Now I really can't turn this down!

Just pretend this is K-Mart, as hard as that is to do...

So I drove from KB to my local K-Mart. By this point it was about 5:30. K-Mart opened at 6 am and I was determined to be the one to grab that ring and figure set. Once the doors opened, I flew to the toy section like the giant kid I am and grabbed the only set they had! It was a flawless victory. I was overjoyed. I couldn't wait to get home to put it together and immediately construct a sweet display on my shelf. The guilt set in rather quickly though, as I checked out and started walking out. A woman came up to me and asked if they had anymore because she wanted one for her son. I broke the news that I got the only one and she looked super defeated. Normally I would feel bad and would be happy to give up my bounty for the greater good but I was super drained at this point and wanted to get home. Not my proudest moment, but hey, my credit card got charged and I was feeling cocky and victorious. Little Billy would have to wait another day.

And then, on the way home, I proceeded to stop at another Kmart and pick up two more Classic Superstars. Before you ask, yes I still lived in my mom's basement. Shocking, eh?

For no reason, here's Monster and Bullseye.

I'm sure you too have a very similar story about having fun during Black Friday. I'd love to hear it!  Sound off in the comments with your best Black Friday memory!


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

He-Man at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!

Now, I've written about our pal He-Man before, but this is one subject I've been wanting to cover since I started blogging. In the words of Blade from the live action Masters of the Universe movie "I've been waiting a long time for this!"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Horror Movie BBQ Podcast: Garfield's Thanksgiving!

It was bound to happen. And after ranting and raving about it online, I finally took the plunge and called my friend Jayme to join me for a discussion about...GARFIELD'S THANKSGIVING!

I wrote about my love of this special 2 years ago, but one writeup just doesn't do it justice.  If you really wanna hear how great it is and get a couple laughs in, you gotta check out this episode. And with the 30th anniversary of this special upon us, it just felt right to do this one!

In today's episode, Jayme and I discuss:

  • Previous Garfield specials
  • Is Jon a moron?
  • Holy crap, he really is.
  • Dr. Liz.
  • The Mount Rushmore of Thanksgiving Icons
  • Lou Rawls 
  • The greatest Thanksgiving Special of All Time?
So check it out and let us know what you thought. Where do you rank this one?

You can also check out Jayme's great artwork and shirts.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review: A Flock of Milk Chocolate Turkeys!

It's a pretty well known fact that Trader Joe's goes all out when it comes to their holiday offerings. If you've never had one of their famous Christmas advent calendars, you're really missing out. No holiday is left untouched and if you need any further proof, check out these amazing chocolate turkeys!

A Flock of Milk Chocolate Turkeys! Maybe a better description is The 4 Turkeymen? I'll alert Ole Anderson immediately, I'm sure he has a new gig waiting for him as the enforcer of these bad boys!

Check out this amazing box! Add a little of Trader Joe's trademark retro packaging and some old fashioned attitude, you got a treat you don't even wanna mess with, let alone eat!

What's this? A new favorite Thanksgiving character? NAY! ICON:

He may be a turkey, but there's no arguing that he's no jive turkey.

Look at that sassy turkey on the right poking his head in!

Make no mistake here, these may be basic hollow milk chocolate treats to some, but the attention to detail can't be denied. This is some next level stuff here I'm talking about here, ladies and gentlemen. Not just the quality of the mold and sculpt, but the quality of chocolate itself is absolutely amazing.

Very sweet and tasty, I suggest maybe limiting yourself to just one unless you have a serious threshold for rich milk chocolate. Which if you're like me, you probably do have a serious sweet tooth and one just wouldn't settle for one sitting. I feel bad for eating such a great treat that could've also made for a fun display piece during the big day on the 28th but I stand by my actions and the lack of sleep I got that night. 3 solid milk chocolate turkeys(my wife took one) aren't the best thing to eat before bed but they are fun!

A Flock Of Milk Chocolate Turkey's can be found at your local Trader Joe's everywhere and I suggest you pick them up sooner than later. I'm predicting these will become super popular just based off the detail, the packaging and the amazing taste. I can't recommend these enough, I really think they work as a fun dessert and something to offer guests this holiday. Plus, if we have chocolate bunnies during Easter, why not adorable/delicious/addicting/dangerously amazing chocolate turkeys?


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thanksgiving Celebration 2019: Thankisgiving Playlist!


Now normally I start this a week before Thanksgiving but there's so much going on this season that I wanted to get a few extra weeks in. I'm sure you don't mind. Besides, it's not like Thanksgiving gets a lot of hype and buildup by the mainstream anyhow, so I guess I'll spend the next three weeks doing what I normally do all over social media and in real life: shouting about all things Thanksgiving as loudly and obnoxiously as I can until people understand just how great and exciting this holiday truly is. It'll be a fun time filled with lots of fall/turkey flavored goodness...with gravy!

So to start you off with the season, I'm going to give you just a small sampling of my famous Thanksgiving Playlist so you too can get in the fun spirit of the special season! Of course there's not a lot of Thanksgiving themed songs, so I had to get a little creative with my picks but there's some special Thanksgiving connections to these selections and I think you'll find a new favorite!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Review: Chiller Theatre October 2019

So it's come to this. After 14 years of missing out, I decided to head to Parsippany for what's considered to be the best horror convention of the season and dig into the guts and g(l)ory known as...Chiller Theatre.

Backstory: I first attended my first horror convention, Chiller Theatre, in 2004 and was instantly hooked. I proceeded to attend many other conventions but I never found my way back to the one that started it all for me. The last Chiller I did was in 2005 and it was one of the most enjoyable conventions ever. So naturally I wanted to go back to but something always stopped me. Car issues, medical, money, family, whatever. I just wasn't meant to attend just yet. But not this show. I was determined to get to it no matter what. It had to happen. It was either or now or never. Well, after all the roadblocks for the last 14 years, I finally did it. I was here. I couldn't believe it.

Well, it didn't take me long to feel comfortable. The atmosphere in the lobby alone was welcoming, and familiar all at the same time. The hotel had a fun, modern lobby that was somewhat easy to navigate around. And it didn't take me long to see a celebrity roaming around. Mr. Robert Wuhl, aka Arliss Michaels and Alexander Knox from Batman 1989, was seen grabbing himself a warm coffee. Kinda felt like a throwback to when I saw Adam West grabbing a soda at the gift shop during my first Chiller.

After checking in, I started roaming around. First face I see hanging outside? The Chiller icon himself, Animal! This guy has always been a favorite among fans for his sarcasm, gravely voice and amazing cosplay. Great to see him still holding down the fort and keeping us laughing!

So, finally I was in. I stopped into the vendors and was almost immediately greeted with multiple tables filled with action figures, posters and my personal favorite...

BOOTLEG DVDS!!!! So many! TV shows, movies, pro wrestling, banned cartoons, Something Weird compilations, everything!!!! I've seen a lot of conventions start clearing these vendors out in favor of legit labels, so this was a big shock to me. Anytime I can walk in and see a unofficial copy of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends with a terribly basic cover and 47 discs packed into one cheap case, I'm happy.

Oh and of course....I had to buy a wrestling figure in the vendors room! Which was clearly meant to be since my friend Brandon gifted me this awesome LJN ring. Yes, I know it's a Jakks ring but it;'s technically an LJN ring mold, so save it. Anyway, Big Herc came home with me simply because I love ridiculous 80s wrestlers who were clearly meant to be a giant rubbery action figure. I think Hercules sums that up perfectly. And if you're not buying wrestling figures at a horror con, you're not really attending a horror con.

So time to meet some guests.

Up first: Tori Spelling of 90210 and Saved By The Bell. Tori was in one of the main parts of the hotel lobby set aside for the big names and reunions and she certainly brought out a big crowd. For good reason too, as she couldn't have been sweeter. She seemed to appreciate everyone coming out and thanked everyone to see her. I told her how much I loved her as Violet Bickerstaff on SBTB and she had a laugh as she thanked me.

Brian Tochi:

This familiar face, who played in movies such as Revenge of the Nerds and Police Academy, will always be known as Leonardo to me. He provided the voice of the blue bandanna'ed leader of the Ninja Turtles in first three live action movies and had even more energy and enthusiasm than probably anyone else int he convention. Very fun to meet

Mark Blankenfield:

Another Saved By The Bell alumni. We got to talk about his involvement and how grateful he is that the show will be played for so many future generations and how much fun he had being apart of such a lively cast. Really funny guy who also appreciated anyone stopping by and chatting.

Hayley Mills is hands down the VIP guest in my opinion. She gave everyone a nice hug and wanted to get to know every person that walked up to her. She was beyond sweet and everyone who met her instantly fell in love with her. With her trademark accent and warming personality, she felt like an old friend. You can tell my excitement in meeting her in my photo.

If you know me, you know I love the live action Masters of the Universe movie. I've written and podcasted and ranted and raved about it until I was blue in the face. So finding out that Robert Towers who played Karg in the movie was in attendance, I knew I had to meet him and get him on my teaser poster. He was alongside his former cast members of the Banana Splits. And while he had no photos of Karg, he was so grateful for me bringing my poster and getting to talk about the movie. He took his time in hearing what the movie meant to me and vice versa, I got to hear some fun stories about him filming his role. He also had his wife take a photo of us with my poster as a memory, which meant a lot to me. It was an absolute honor to meet him and if you see him at a convention near you, please take the time to meet him. He's an absolute gentleman!

Now. The reason I came to this show: Robert Wuhl. One of my all time favorite comedians and actors. I've been a huge of his thanks to Batman, Arli$$, and even some of his lesser known roles, like in Mistress, Hollywood Knights, and so many others. So, seeing him added to this show, really helped me get my butt in gear and head down. When I met him, I got to hear some fun stories about Batman, including how great Tim Burton was when it came to allowing improvisation on set. How else would we have gotten "King of the Wicker People"?

Robert, much like all the guests I met at this show was was super appreciative of everyone coming by and it showed by how much fun he was having. When I asked him what his favorite quote from Batman, he responded in classic Robert fashion with "My favorite was "Thank you, Mr. Burton, for giving me a job". I don't normally get this starstruck, but after all the years of being entertained, I couldn't contain my joy. I thanked him for coming to the show and what a thrill it was to meet him.

For a show that took me so long to get back to, it felt like home. I've been let down by a few conventions lately and this show picked me back up. I originally had planned on giving up conventions after this one what with the rise of enormous prices, inflated egos of promoters, and other disappointments, but this seemingly reenergized my love of conventions. It felt like great to be back and it felt right to be there. Every guest I met was absolutely stellar, my group of friends had a fantastic time, laughs were had, and I even got to meet some people that I've only known online, which is always thrilling to do.

Don't have any complaints in terms of anyone I met. My only issue with the entire convention was the rooms the guests were in, which were very small almost offices. About 5-6 guests in each room but not a lot of room for attendees to move around. Which, when it came to finding where certain guests were located, was a pretty useful deal. But they felt so cramped. Even then, it's still not enough to make me swear the show off. I can almost guarantee it won't take me 14 years to come back. I'd give this show the highest rating I can and recommend anyone who's never attended to make the trek. So I hope to see ya next time in Parsippany. Next year will be the convention's 30th anniversary and I for one look forward to partaking in the festivities. Especially if it means more bootleg dvds and Batman cast members.

 I think you'll know which room is mine...

Yes, I had My Pet Monster guarding my room. It worked. Everyone was pretty quiet on my floor!