Aug 28, 2015

SummerSwap 2015 Update 6: The Dark Prince of Bel Air

The most recent host for the SummerSwap box is one of my the people that inspired me to start blogging: Mr. Shawn Robare who runs the awesome Branded in the 80s.


The box has now traveled around 7500 miles!

Shawn did a post about one of the cool things he pulled out of the Swap Box, the MASK-inspired Laserpunks. You can check that post out here.

He also sent along a few photos of Drac around Bel Air.


It was a sunny day around town, and Shawn just happened to have a pair of Drac-sized sunglasses he could lend.


Drac sampling the local cuisine.


Drac at the local armory, which reminded him of home.

That's a wrap for this update! 
The remaining stops for the box are on the East coast, but it's heading West next....

Aug 25, 2015

August 2015 Loot Crate - Villains 2

It's no surprise that Loot Crate decided to follow up last months sequel, Heroes 2, with another sequel: Villains 2! As always, the mischievous minions at Loot Crate have supplied me with this box of geeky goodies in exchange for a review/promotion.

Let's see what's cookin, shall we?


There's not a lot of "content" in this months mag. Feels like there's more self promotion for LC than articles. There's a nifty little "Match the Quote to the Villain" game and a few pages on Batman baddies and how we all might have people like them in our lives.


I'm not the biggest DC comics fan but I am pretty into their shows and movies. This Joker figure is about 4" high and made entirely out of wood. He's got a surprising amount of articulation for something you'd expect to just be a desk tchotchke. His waist, wrists, shoulders, and head are all movable. He even comes with a swap-out head. If you look close at his "smile" you'll notice they say different things. Mistah J here is a Loot Crate exclusive but they also have Batman and Superman figures.


If you need a little crazy with your morning coffee, here's a 16 oz. Venom head mug. Some people got Venom, some got Carnage. You can't choose your crazy, it chooses you. Something about the face just doesn't look right to me, maybe because it looks like a normal head? But I do like how the tongue lashes around the back to form the handle.


My favorite item in the crate is this Hydra pin from eFX Collectibles. The packaging is a Loot Crate exclusive, the retail version will have a different box. This was created from the original digital files that were used to make the movie prop.

Also in the Crate was a Los Pollos Hermanos (Breaking Bad) apron. It was all nicely folded and in a plastic bag. Since I'll never use it, I figured I'd leave it that way so someone else can have the joy of opening it.


Here's a peek at the interior of the Crate. I really like what they've been doing with the insides of the boxes. I've seen other Looters mounting them on their walls to create a place to show off their collectibles, which is a pretty cool idea.

In terms of villainous plots, I'd call this month's Loot Crate "knocking over a bank and finding out most of what you grabbed was international currency." Some of it's good, but most of it isn't for you and would be better enjoyed somewhere else.

If you'd like to get a random box of geeky goodies dropped on your doorstep every month, head on over to Loot Crate and sign up! Use promo code AEIOUwhy for 10% off your subscription plan.

Aug 18, 2015

Marvel 500 Review

Now that my local Target has completed its toy aisle reset (except for the glaring hole where the new Star Wars merch will live on September 4th), there's actually some new stock.

Hasbro is taking Marvel into the mass market blind bag arena with Marvel 500. So called because they say they're planning on releasing 500 figures in the line. If I were a betting man, I would plunk down a roll of bills on "Maybe 100, if you're lucky."

You might recall the Handful of Heroes figures that warmed pegs for a number of years. Those monochromatic army-man type figures were actually not that bad. Marvel 500 figures are around 2", just a little taller than your average LEGO minifig.

Rock out with your Ock out!
For their size, the figures actually have a good amount of detail on them. The plastic seems like it will take a good amount of rough play. They really feel like they're pieces for some kind of board game to me.


At the price of $2.50 per figure, the paint apps are minimal. Although some of the ones I've seen photos of are pretty passable. At a proposed 500 figures, you may be wondering how deep they'll go into the Marvel Mythos. Will we get Howard the Duck? Angar the Screamer? Sleepwalker?


The answer lies in variants and repaints! Here you can see my ultra-rare translucent Amputee Hulk figure. He's missing both hands and his left foot!


A little disappointing to open the bag and find this guy inside, to say the least.


Series 1 has 24 figures to collect, of which half are variants and repaints.

3 Spider-Man
3 Hulks
2 Cap
2 Venom/Carnage
2 Green Goblin
2 Ultron
2 Ghost Rider
2 Ultron
2 Iron Man
2 Thor
1 Nick Fury
1 Punisher (one of the best looking figures!)

I probably won't be getting any more of these unless I'm trying to hunt down a particular favorite character of mine. I could see these being a good pacifier for the little ones crying in the toy aisles who want something and the surprise of not knowing what's inside might be fun for them. If you're someone that's into painting miniatures, I think these could be worth picking up to customize.

Aug 14, 2015

SummerSwap2015 Stop 5



The Swap Box made it's most recent stop in Terre Haute having travelled around 6900 miles! This stop was hosted by Morbius Kromwell. He's a fellow Halloween fiend and occasionally posts some fantastic mixes over on Gravecast.com. Here's some of the ghoulish goodies Morbius swapped in.



Morbius took Drac out and about for a few days.
Here's some of the highlights of his travel journal.


Day 1
Drac was a day late in arriving and was pretty tired from the trip. He met a couple of friends of mine and they seemed to hit it off.


My home town was the birthplace of the coke bottle. I offered Drac some special edition bottles but he told me he never drinks…Coca Cola. Maybe he is a Pepsi person.
I was a little embarrassed.


A photo with Drac and my wife and I in our casual wear. 
He said it made him feel “Velcome.”


Drac liked my Halloween themed Truck but couldn’t drive it without a license. He thought it was “Wary nice.” It was a bit sunny out and the SPF 1,000,000 didn’t help much so he spent most of the day inside.


Day 2
How nice that “Take a Vampire to Work Day” in our town was a dark and stormy day. You couldn’t have asked for anything better. He thought that the fact that my office is in Stalker Hall was “most appropriate.” 

 

 Drac pointing out an error I made in my Drupal programming. He said he is very familiar with webs and gave me a nice story about spiders. He said a former employee was quite the expert on the subject. Wow, he will chew your ear off if you let him. 


Day 3
Drac was a little bored the next day. He wanted to listen to some music. He asked about a band called Children of the Night but I didn’t have any of their stuff. He also had some issues with the ear buds.


We found some better headphones and he was happy listening to music. 
He loved my Halloween sound effects collection. 

 All in all, it was a nice visit. Drac really loves watching old horror movies. He especially loved Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. I guess he is quite the fan of Martin Landau. Thanks for letting me invite you into my home, Count. You are always welcome to drop in whenever you like. I hope the next person to get the Drac Pack finds his visit as delightful.

Aug 7, 2015

Toon Alert - Guardians of the Galaxy

Over on their YouTube channel, Marvel Entertainment recently released a couple of clips from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy animated series.

Of course, I'm very excited for this!


The Guardians have appeared in the Avengers and Spider-Man animated series before but they were definitely more influenced by the comic team than the movie.

These two clips give a little bit of Star Lord's origin, after he's picked up as a kid. I hope we get more backstory on all the characters, not just Quill.



Although teams like the Avengers and X-Men travel into space on occasion, the Guardians live there! With the whole of outer space open for adventure, there should be no shortage of wild and crazy experiences ahead. Not to mention we may see the Nova Corps, Kree, Skrulls, and who knows what else. I'm definitely betting on the Badoon.

If you want to see more, including a look at the people behind the voices, check out Marvel's Guardians channel.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy premieres Saturday, September 26 at 9:30 PM ET on Disney XD! Just in time for my birthday!

Aug 3, 2015

Boston Comic Con 2015

This weekend was the annual Boston Comic Con. The organizers did a pretty good job this year but I still think they need to relocate to a larger place. I know it's a con and maybe if you go to SDCC, you expect the aisles on the show floor to be packed from side to side, but this ain't San Diego. A lot of people packed in = a lot of heat.


Last year I had several posts covering different aspects of the con. This year, it's all jammed into one. The biggest reason being I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked. Mainly because I was miserable for at least half of the day due to being overheated and light headed. Not the best frame of mind to make me want to take photos. The second reason being sometimes there were just too damn many people to be able to shoot what I wanted.

We got there a couple hours after the doors opened and had no wait to get in. Unless you count having to walk around the convention building. They have it set up so that you check in in the front left corner, then walk all the way around to enter in the front right corner. I can appreciate this as a good idea when crowds are waiting for the doors to open but it seems a bit excessive to force people to do this when there's no line.

Stan Lee autographed guitars
We trolled the con floor until it was time for our 3:30 photo op with Billie Piper. I have to give them serious props for relocating the photo area this year and despite the length of the line, it went super quick. After picking up our photo that was nearly instantly ready, we went to the autograph area. Billie was scheduled to come back there at 4:30 and with it only being 4, we thought we'd get a jump on the line. The good news is, we did. The bad news is, for whatever reason, she didn't get there until 5.


It wouldn't have been such a huge deal, but also at the con was Elvira. I'm not talking just Cassandra Peterson, but full-on Elvira! Figuring Billie would probably arrive the moment I left the line, I wasn't able to meet Elvira. She had started, and finished, her signing time while I was waiting in line. That kind of bummed me out.

Other celebs included the a lot shorter than you'd think Robin Lord Taylor, (Gotham's Penguin). Marvel stars Brett Dalton (Agents of SHIELD, Ward) and Haley Atwell (Agent Carter). Oh yeah, Stan Lee was there too but there was no way I was getting anywhere near him at those prices!

Speaking of Agent Carter, the Carter cosplayers were out in force in a variety of outfits and she was probably the most popular costume I saw. There were also quite a few Age of Ultron Scarlet Witches, a number of Gravity Falls, and Supernatural characters among the usual assortment of comic characters.


There was even a whole family (parents included!) that dressed up as the gang from Gravity Falls, the dad was Grunkle Stan and it was great. There definitely weren't as many Deadpools as last year. I did spot a couple of Netflix Daredevils and even a Kingpin.


After I took this photo, Foggy handed me this...


How's that for going the extra mile?


Not only does this guy look like Peter Griffin, he does the voice and everything!

I also picked up a few things, because what's a con without shopping, right? I hemmed and hawed at a few booths that had LEGO bootleg figures but I didn't like how shiny they were and ultimately passed on them.


But I did snag this book because Halloween! The Pumpkin Wizard is about a kid that stands up to his bullies with the power of his imagination and a pumpkin army. The creators say it's going to be a six book series so I guess I've got some waiting to do to see how it all turns out.


And I also got these buttons from Monsters Are Good. 
They have some pretty rad shirts, check out their site!

There was one booth I didn't get pics of but I really wanted to share. It's called Gilded Dragon Designs. This woman handmakes some very cool stuffed dragons inspired by different characters ranging from Star Wars to classic Monsters to superheroes.

I think that about wraps it up!
If you want to check out the rest of my photos, head over to Flickr.
 

Aug 1, 2015

Monthly Movie Recap - July 2015

Not a ton of movies this month. A good part of movie time was spent getting caught up on Salem season 2 (are you watching it?) and American Horror Story: Asylum (thanks, Netflix!). As you read this, I'm likely at Boston Comic Con, recap next week!

Wow, where is the time going? Halloween merch is already hitting the shelves, and I do not approve. We're supposed to be better than Christmas at this!


Inside Out (2015)
The short before the movie, Lava, is amazing!

Pixar usually knows how to blend the funny and the feels to make a winner and once again, they nailed it. I love the concept of our emotions being represented by characters in our head that can be at odds with each other. It makes you think about the way you think and react to things.

Cool/Lame: Bing Bong....damn you, Pixar!

Rating: 9/10

I probably would have passed on this if not for Karen Gillan being in it. It was about on par with the recent PG-13 horror, even though it's R.
Cool: I like the mirror, the whole history they built up for it, and how it affects people. Also enjoy how they screw with your perception through what the characters experience.
Lame: It felt like it was missing a little something to make it better but I don't know what

Rating: 6/10


Ant Man (2015)
Marvel once again succeeds at giving a movie to a character that Joe Movie-goer has never heard of and making it a really fun time. It was kind of refreshing to see a (pardon the pun) smaller, personal story. Not only do I love 50s/60s horror/scifi but I am enamored with the very specific sub-genre of things that are smaller/larger than normal and Ant Man totally hits that sweet spot. I never noticed how retro the suit looks until seeing it in B&W (check out the trailer!).

Cool: The first sequence where he shrinks is a great adventure on its own
Lame: Marvel still needs to work on their villains being more than evil for evil's sake. And what's up with that post-credits scene??

Rating: 8/10


Stung (2015)
Giant killer bugs? I'm all in! But you know that because you read the previous movie's review. This movie is like cotton candy. There's not much to it, it doesn't fill you up, and it's fun for awhile. Also, giant killer wasps. Did I mention that?

Cool: Plenty of gooey bits; decent effects
Lame: The surprise twist at the end has me needing a sequel...now!

Rating: 6/10


The Young Racers (1963)
July's Roger Corman pick. This isn't my usual type of movie but the trailer and plot summary made it sound like it'd be a fun one. Sadly, it wasn't all I hoped it would be.

Cool: The racing scenes are shot very well, this coming from someone who doesn't usually notice that type of technical thing.
Lame: You'd think with all the girls and racing it would be pretty exciting...it's actually kind boring.

Rating: 4/10

Month Total
 New: 5  Rewatch:0

Year Total
 New: 44  Rewatch: 3

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