Jun 30, 2013

Bicycle Sideshow Freaks Playing Cards

While this isn't exactly breaking news to anyone keeping up with Bicycle, I only recently found out about the new Sideshow Freaks deck debuting tomorrow.

Until recently, I'd mainly been collecting playing card decks with cool art or licensed properties like Indiana Jones and Star Wars. I've managed to find a few Halloween themed decks and even one inspired by Tron. Once you start poking around the web, you realize there are a lot more out there than you could ever imagine! Kickstarter also has a few decks in process at any given time.

Back to the topic at hand, I wanted to share these because I'm fascinated by the old school carnival sideshows, the movie Freaks, and they just look cool!

"With freakshow classics like the bearded lady, contortionists, fire-breather, sword swallower, lobster boy, and more, this deck is bound to be one of your new favorites. What else can you expect? How about unique court cards, a special back design, and a tuck that resembles a circus tent? Assemble the crew—it’s time for a game night under the lights."

If you like the look of these, I suggest heading over to TuckCase.com for a behind the scenes article on their development and design. This deck should be available for order July 1st from the Bicycle Shop (it's ok, it's an online store not a bike shop with a creepy old guy).

Jun 26, 2013

Star Wars Wednesday - Return of the Jedi Compendium

Just when I thought I had posted everything I had on poster magazines, I dug up something else. This 25 page Compendium was published by Paradise Press, the same company that did the poster magazines. It's not packed with behind the scenes info like the poster mags and is more like a visual reference guide to the characters and vehicles.

star wars return of the jedi compendium 1983

Even if I didn't have the publisher's name to match between the two things, it's pretty obvious this was done in the same style as the poster magazines. Here's a sample page:

star wars return of the jedi compendium at-at endor 1983
If you want to check it out in its entirety, click here. It is in cbr format, so you'll need a program to view it (I use CDisplay) or you can unrar it to view the indiviual page jpegs.

Jun 24, 2013

Mail Order Monday - Jet "Rocket" Space Ship (1955)

Mail Order Monday blasts back into action with the 1955 Jet "Rocket" Space Ship!


My first question is why is rocket in quotations?
Does it mean the jet space ship part is more accurate?

If I'd been around as a young lad when this was available, I would have lost my mind and relentlessly begged to get it ordered. Over 7' long, and look at the list of the controls on that instrument panel! Of course the big concern if I had gotten it would have been where
the heck do you put it?

There were also similar offers for a nuclear submarine and a tank. Just like many other mail offer ads of its time, there's a lot more flash in the ad than what you actually get in the mail. Head on over to Secret Fun Spot to see photos of the item from a January Ebay auction
that was offered for $1500.

And while you're puttering around online, check out the song Jet "Rocket" Space Ship by Darling Pet Munkee. I've mentioned them on the blog a few times before. All their songs are inspired by classic comic book mail order ads like this one.

Jun 21, 2013

League Post - The Ultimate Arcade

league of extraordinary bloggers last starfighter arcade logo

This assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers may be my toughest yet...

You’ve decided to build an addition onto your house, a rec room that will feature your very own fantasy video arcade. 
What games are on your shopping list?

  I have to try and restrain myself to just a few all time favorites and I'll no doubt think of others after the list has been posted and wonder why I didn't include them.

When I was in middle school, the mall across from my school had a handful of games and I'd stop by on the way home. The local corner store had a couple too. That's where I cut my teeth on Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Centipede, Karate Champ and Jungle King. I also swiped some quarters from mom's change jar. Sorry about that!

My dad would take me to the local bowling alley/arcade just about every Friday night and it was a common location within biking distance where I could meet friends. Once someone got a license, we'd visit other arcades at the area malls to scope out different games. To say I spent a lot of time in arcades would still be an understatement!
It's ridiculous how many 80s games I can name by sound.

Ready Player One!

Jun 19, 2013

Star Wars Wednesday - Grand Moff Tarkin

It wasn't until decades after seeing Star Wars that I would experience the awesomeness of Peter Cushing as a leading man in Hammer Horror Films, but there was still no denying the man had a certain presence on screen.

And it was that presence that formed a band in his name.
Wait, what?!

Jun 17, 2013

Greetings from Iowa, 1972

While visiting my parents over the weekend, my step-dad spent awhile showing us a lot of really cool old stuff he acquired recently. Among the stuff were lots of postcards (some used, some not) and photographs from the early 1900s.
People looked a lot creepier back then, it's a wonder any of us are here now.

He also had a letter written by a soldier to his family from WWII along with some other things tied to that person. There will be another post on that next week, it's great stuff!

I figured for Monday I'd toss something a little lighter into the blogosphere. It's not WWII old, but early 70s. Here's a postcard from somewhere along rt. 80 in Iowa.

Iowa route 80 postcard 1972 road trip americana
Click for a better view
This just brings a lot of joy to me. I think it goes hand in hand with my love of 50s car culture. There's just something about the Great American Road Trip and everything that would come with it, pre-80s. And maybe it's a little about the kitsch of it all too.

Added bonus! Here's the back...

Iowa route 80 postcard 1972 road trip americana summer games Munich stamp

Doesn't sound like they were having a particularly exciting time, does it? The real reason I even bothered to scan the back though was for the 1972 Munich Summer Games stamp on it, which also helps capture the time this came out of.

I'm also curious if Audrey is a person or the name of their vehicle/camper?

Jun 14, 2013

Blog Collective - Video Game Music

Hey there! If you haven't heard, the Blog Collective is looking for bloggers like you! The Collective is inspired by Cool & Collected's League of Extraordinary Bloggers. They throw out a weekly topic and you make a post related to it. Easy peasy!

And while I say it's easy, I'm making my first post a week late. I meant to get around to it sooner, really I did, because it was one of those topics that popped something into
my brain as soon as I saw it:

Video Game Music

For the most part, if you ask me what I thought about the music in any video game, I'll probably tell you I don't remember it. There are exceptions of course, as anyone that's ever played Super Mario Bros. can tell you if they played it for any length of time.

But what I'm talking about is the original video game inspired music:
Click to order on Amazon

Jun 12, 2013

Star Wars Wednesday - Return of the Jedi Poster Magazine #3

Well, here we are at the final Star Wars Poster Magazine in my digital archives. And once again, there's an interesting contrast in the cover images. Because the posters inside were double-sided, you could only have one side showing. I put up the Rancor.
I was a weird kid.

star wars return of the jedi poster magazine 3 rancor han solo

This issue focuses more on the Battle of Endor stuff. In this section, they mention how they filmed the background for the speeder bike chase to make it look like they were going 150 mph. I remember seeing how they did it on one of the behind the scenes TV specials that aired. The sketch design in the bottom corner is one of my favorite pieces of concept art.

It seems like, in the sequels, the Empire always gets the cool new toys. First the AT-ATs and now speeder bikes, AT-STs and a sweet folding-wing shuttle!

star wars return of the jedi poster magazine 3 speeder bike scout trooper endor

The next section is about the contrast between the Empire with their shiny new toys and the Rebellion with their beat-up equipment and primitive allies. Not sure why, but the bottom right image of the Falcon flying through the Death Star has been flipped.
The cockpit is on the wrong side.

star wars return of the jedi poster magazine 3 death star endor ewok at-st star destroyer y-wing shuttle tydirium
And wrapping it up is a neat-o fact sheet. As I've said before, things like this were how you found out useless bits of trivia about the movies way back in the pre-internet days.

Be sure to tune in next Star Wars Wednesday for a time tripping audio treat!

In case you missed them, here are more poster magazines!

Jedi Poster 2
Jedi Poster Compendium (UK)
ESB Poster 4
ESB Poster 3
ESB Poster 2
 ESB Poster 1


Jun 8, 2013

League Post - Bring It Back

I'm very happy to have some free time to jump back into the League of
 Extraordinary Bloggers this week. The topic:

Bring it back! What product or media property would you like to see revived, and how would you imagine it being different today.

Two properties immediately jumped to mind right away, both Saturday morning favorites of mine. The first was Thundarr the Barbarian but I didn't think it would be much of an interesting post. Beyond updating the animation, giving it an overall story arc, and on-going plot threads (much like the latest incarnation of Scooby-Doo), there isn't much I'd change.

So that leaves the other one: Land of the Lost!

Jun 5, 2013

Star Wars Wednesday - Return of the Jedi Poster Magazine 2

It's funny what a difference 3 years can make. I'm pretty sure I must have had the Empire poster magazines because I recognize the covers. But I distinctly remember each of the
 Jedi ones cover to cover.

Here's the second Jedi poster magazine. Quite the juxtaposition of cover images,
you get cute and cuddly with gross and slimy!

star wars return of the jedi poster magazine wicket ewok jabba the hutt

In this issue, you get to learn all about the making of Ewoks!

star wars return of the jedi poster magazine wicket ewok paploo chirpa logray

And Jabba's court. I thought it was strange that they call the movie Revenge of the Jedi in one place and Return after that. Maybe they need a new editor because the also incorrectly spelled "wookie" and didn't capitalize the f in "force."

star wars return of the jedi poster magazine jabba the hutt boushh carbonite jedi luke rancor gammorean guard

Jun 3, 2013

Mailbox Invaders - Glyos Drop

These guys landed a few weeks ago but I haven't had time to properly photograph them for posting. I've been getting bored (and frustrated) with my usual impromptu photo studio. I wanted to get these outside for a bit more scenery than a single color background.

First is the pairing of the Glyan ROU Operator Cane & Reydurran Mimic Armorvor. My very first Glyos purchase was an Armorvor but I think the black/red color scheme makes this one better looking. I'm not very familiar with the Glyos universe story so I'm not sure what Operator Cane is supposed to be. I'm saying he's a robo-bodyguard for the Armorvor.

glyos Glyan ROU Operator Cane and Reydurran Mimic Armorvor toy figures

Each of their heads has another face on the back. They also came with an additional head each. Cane's  reminds me of a Trans-Former and the Armorvor's is similar to my other one's wolf head but is gray. I swapped the guns that they came with originally. I think the large barrel weapon is a bit more fitting for the Armorvor's brutish frame.

Second is the Deep Space Glyan Reydurran Science Division, a figure I missed out on during the last drop. There were two things that sold me on this figure, the helmet and the jetpack. As much as I dig his retro-astro aesthetic, he's got a big problem.

Deep Space Glyan Reydurran Science Division glyos toy figure

The issue I have with him is his jetpack. The peg that plugs it into his back is too short to hold it on there well. Unfortunately, I can't pick him up or move him without it falling off and then it's a minor pain to get it on again and oriented properly.

The back of his helmet looks like an inverse of Cane's head in the photo above. He came with two extra heads that look great but sadly can't be used on him. The helmet he has attaches to a peg and the extra heads have pegs on them instead of holes. I know the whole point of the line is to mix and match parts but I really wanted to check out the heads on this body. Without the jetpack he looks more like a galactic grunt trooper and that's not too bad either.

That minor gripe aside, I'm still looking forward to adding more Glyos to my collection. Someday I'll get around to picking up some spare parts so I can experiment.

Jun 1, 2013

Monthly Movie Recap - May 2013

Another quick recap this month. If you watch a lot of movies or just need yet another social media platform to use, check out Letterboxd. You can keep a journal of the films you watch, rate and review them. And there's that whole social thing where you can connect with people and see what they're doing too. Feel free to add me under Dex1138.

Inferno (1980)
This is only the 2nd Argento movie I've seen, the first being Suspiria. I can see where this was being tied in as a sequel but I didn't find it nearly as entertaining and was bored throughout most of it even though the kill count kept going up.

Cool: Great soundtrack/score; if you like watching victims languish in their pain, this is your movie
Lame: Pretty much every character is killed and it feels like there's no rhyme or reason to it; the coolest scene is near the end and lasts about a minute
Rating: 4/10

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
As I've posted before, I've never been into Trek like other franchises but I did like the 2009 movie. This one carries on the story and is just as good, if not better. Plenty of action and running around while shouting balanced with character moments.

Cool: Feels more like the action-y Star Wars galaxy than science/brainy Trek universe (which I know a lot of fans don't like); Not having an attachment to the original characters keeps me from having any problems with their new versions.
Lame: Why is it you can't beam someone up from a moving vehicle but can beam someone down to the same vehicle? Those aliens they fought should have come into the climax of the story.; Oh my God, the lens flare! My eyes!
Rating: 7/10

Month Total
 New: 2

Year to Date
New: 38, Rewatch:1