Feb 20, 2019

LEGO Movie 2 Minifigures & Trading

I haven't seen the new LEGO movie yet but I decided to pick up a few figures for the heck of it. There's a fun assortment of characters but what I really want are the Wizard of Oz crew.


If you want to see the full line-up or need a handy guide for how to feel for a specific figure, head over to Brickfinder. When I say "how to feel" I'm not talking about getting all emotionally deep, I mean physically feeling the bag for the figures you want!

I'm not 100% sure but they may have done away with the bump codes on this series. Another change is that the figures have white baseplates instead of black. I think the black ones look much better.

Here's a quick look at what I scored.


President Business has gone golfin' and is sporting the most golfingest golf outfit you've ever seen. Hey look, it's the Cowardly Lion! One down. All four of the figures have an alternate face on them. The Lion is probably the least different, he has this sort of sad face and then a neutral face. He needs a roaring face, right? He is the Kiiiiiing of the Forrrrrrest after all.


Get ready to rock with Kitty Pop and Candy Rapper! Like I said, I haven't seen the movie so I don't know how big a role these two play but they're pretty cute. The colors and accessories are fantastic. Kitty Pop is obviously inspired by Josie & The Pussycats. Cat ears? Check. Whiskers? Check. Long tail? See below. I love Candy's tiny cassette tape. I'm sure some parents will have to explain that one to their kids.

Here they are jammin together with their alt faces.


As you can see, Kitty Pop has a tail to complete her look.
Further proof of my Pussycat theory.

So who's up for some trading?

I still need Dorothy, Tin Man, and Scarecrow from this set. In addition to the ones pictured above, I also have the ones below up for trade. If I've got something that catches your eye I'm still open to trading for other blind bag minifigs.

Feb 13, 2019

Salem's So Sweet 2019

This past weekend was the annual Salem's So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival. Despite temps in the low 30s and the occasional 15-20 mph wind, I went to check it out.


Over the weekend downtown Salem businesses and restaurants are offering deals and some even have chocolate samples for tasting. But what I'm in it for is the ice sculptures. Here's the downtown map showing all 22 ice sculptures that are around town.


As I mentioned, it was a bit brisk so I didn't see every single one. If you want to see some professional shots, including when they light the sculptures at night, head over to this Facebook album.


I spotted this on the side of a parking garage while walking from our parking spot. I think there's been a rare occasion where I've seen Salem PD on a Segway so I"m presuming that's what this is for.


A pair of well known literary characters made an appearance this year: Mary Poppins and the Tin Man. At one point, the Tin Man was holding a heart watch prop and there was a ruby slipper on next to him.


This one, sponsored by the local comic shop, was called Hellboy. I kind of see it, but I always think of Hellboy with the shaved down horns. It looks like he's holding a box with a heart on it that has a knife stuck into it. Happy Valentine's Day? Mrs Dex said maybe he's just a Hell boy and not the Hellboy.


The cat is in front of the Witch House, the only standing structure in Salem with direct ties to the Witch Trials. It's also just a few doors down from the Ropes Mansion which was used for exterior shots of Julia's house in Hocus Pocus. I know it's made of ice, but I'm saying it's a black cat based on its location.


Maria's Sweet Somethings is the one place we always be sure to visit no matter how cold it is. They sell all sorts of gifts, candy, chocolate, and ice cream. But the real draw is the chocolate fountain they setup for the event. You can dip a marshmallow, pretzel, pineapple, strawberry, Oreo, and probably a couple other things I'm forgetting. De-li-cous!


The kissing couple is right outside Maria's. The sailboat is located at the Salem Waterfront Hotel. Seeing a sailboat and the word regatta together always makes me think of One Crazy Summer. Something we're definitely not very close to in February.


Not surprisingly, the bottle was outside a liquor store. But not just any liquor store! It's Salem's famous (or infamous) Bunghole. That's right, it's Bunghole Liquors! There's actually an interesting story about the history of the location and an explanation of what a bunghole really is. Here's a better shot of the store front which is probably one of the most photographed places in Salem.

And on that note, I'll conclude my photo journey around Salem's So Sweet.

Feb 6, 2019

Quarter Bin - Planet Comics (1940)


Welcome back to the Quarter Bin where I talk about old, random comics. Today we're looking at Planet Comics from Fiction House, published from 1940 to 1953.

Planet Comics was a spinoff from the pulp magazine Planet Stories. It was the first all sci-fi comic. How cool is that? The featured stories were of the space opera genre which is the kind of sci-fi I really dig: spaceships, aliens, rayguns, and plenty of action. Plus, I'm really into the whole retro-future thing so this book is right in my wheelhouse.

Planet Comics #1 (1940)
I'm curious what the thought process was on the designs of these "helmets." Usually you have the fish bowl style helmets but here it covers the whole torso leaving the arms and legs exposed. My guess would be they thought it made sense to protect the lungs. I"m also guessing if these were a real thing, they'd make moving around really awkward.

Planet Comics #24 (1943)
While each issue was an anthology featuring different characters across multiple stories, the characters often made return appearances. I'm not going to get into different characters and storylines because as you might imagine, there were more than a few over the 73 issues, but you can read more about them on Wikipedia. As you can see here, they weren't afraid to switch up the damsel in distress trope for the cover because they also had capable heroines like Futura and Mysta of the Moon.

Depending on the page count of an issue, they would feature between 4-6 comic stories and sometimes a few pages of written fiction.

Planet Comics #52 (1948)
I picked this particular cover because the perspective is so weird. The guy in the bottom left looks like he's tiny but if he's as far away from the foreground as the monster, that thing must be ginormous! Even though there were strong space heroines, there was no shortage of good girl art in these books.

Planet Comics #64 (1950)
Here we've got your more traditional bowl helmets and jetpacks.
When all else fails, shoot the giant robot in the crotch!

I've read a few issues from the series 13 year run and they're a lot of fun if you enjoy the Flash Gordon/Star Wars type adventure in outer space. If you want to read them or even just check them out for the crazy covers and art, head over to the Digital Comic Museum and sign up for a totally free account. Once you have an account, you'll have access to way more Golden Age comics than you could probably ever read. You may get lost there for awhile, don't say I didn't warn you.

You can view them online or download to read at your leisure. You'll need a cbr/cbz file reader to view on PC. I use the free app CDisplay.

If you have an iDevice, you can grab the free app Chunky. Then just sync your device to your PC, go into file sharing, select Chunky then drag and drop the comics into the right pane.

Feb 1, 2019

Monthly Movie Recap - January 2019

For those caught in the Polar Apocalypse, I hope you're all staying warm and watching some good stuff. It's as good an excuse as any for binge watching!


Streaming
Voltron: Finally finished season 7. What a finale!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Only a little more than halfway through but am loving every minute of it. Glad they decided to mix in a small amount of humor here and there because the comic is just straight horror.

Bird Box (2018, Netflix)
Ok, I gave in to the hype! My general thing with movies like this is they start out strong and have trouble sticking the landing. Just like anything of M Night's after Sixth Sense not involving super people, I find myself rolling my eyes at the ending because...of course that's how it goes. Overall, I enjoyed the premise and might have liked the ending more if it got there quicker.

Rating: 6.5/10


Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018, Netflix)
I don't know if the whole "interactive" thing worked as well as it could but it was a fun experiment. It gets a bit weird in places, especially if you find yourself able to communicate with the main character.

Rating: 7/10

Coco (2017, Netflix)
Another home run for Pixar! It's a great story and the Day of the Dead thing just puts it way over the top for me. I just love the colors, the look of everything, and the mythology of it.

Rating: 9/10


After the hard eye rolling at the end of Signs, I felt I was done with M Night. But now that Now Playing Podcast is reviewing all his movies, I'm going to watch them all, for better or worse. This one...definitely worse. I thought Signs had a bunch of random stuff come together to make a plot but this blows it away! M Night, you are not as smart as you think, an actor, or anywhere near Guillermo Del Toro. Add another strike because the dialog is so quiet I have to turn on close captioning.

Rating: 2/10, the only reason this gets 2 instead of 1 is for the grass wolf

Went to a local screening followed by Q&A with the actors who played Napoleon, Pedro, and Uncle Rico. It still has it's offbeat charm fifteen years later. The Q&A was incredibly fun, If you like this movie and they come around, it is absolutely worth it!

Rating: 8/10

A lot of horror is pretty much throwaway so when I do see something that gets an emotional response or reaction out of me, it's an instant favorite. At one point, I was staring at the screen jaw agape in shock at what just happened. In another part, I got a genuine chill which I don't think has ever happened. This is so much more than a horror movie which is part of what makes it so outstanding in my book.

Rating: 9/10, if you even remotely enjoy horror you need to see this


Who isn't a fan of The Price is Right? This delightful documentary tells the story of an average guy that studied the prices of prizes on the show basically turning himself into the Rain Main of bidding. It's also got some behind the scenes shots that any long time viewer of TPIR will find fascinating.
It's not that this wasn't a fun one, I just don't have a lot to say about it.

Rating: 6/10


On the other hand, I. LOVE. THIS. MOVIE! They have a lot of fun playing with the meta of the characters knowing they're in a horror movie. There are some absolutely gorgeous scenes and quite possibly the best slo-mo chase ever. Yup, slow motion chase! On top of all this, the cast is pretty much perfect and there's an actual story. The only thing I might ding it for is being PG-13 you don't get the full 80s slasher experience but honestly everything else is so good you won't miss it.

Rating: 9/10


As a horror movie, this is just okay. There's just a handful of kills and only two of them are noteworthy. It's more about the environment and stalking than being a straight slasher. And that's what really makes this one worth seeing: the setting. They do such an amazing job with the horror park that I want to go there, just, you know, not the murder-y one.

Rating: 6/10, movie 4/10 but +1 for setting and +1 for Bex Taylor-Klaus


Month/Year Total
New: Rewatch: 1

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