Aug 29, 2014

August 2014 Loot Crate - Heroes

Hot on the trail of last month's Villains Loot Crate are the Heroes!
The theme for this month starts before you even crack open the box.

Loot Crate August 2014 Box

Hmmm, that looks like a street with an open manhole cover.
I wonder what could be inside?

Loot Crate August 2014 TMNT Box

BAM! Turtle lair!
I was pretty impressed with the Villains taking over the inside of the box last month, but this is a whole new level. I hope they continue to think inside the box in the future.

You should probably click on that so you can get a better view, there's all kinds of crazy detail in there. Next to the video game, there's a Guardians of the Galaxy poster. To the left of the couch is a punching bag. Behind the couch is a weapon storage area with all the things an aspiring martial reptile could want. The rug in front of the couch is actually a little fold back flap to make the couch a bit more 3D so you can put someone on it.

Loot Crate August 2014 TMNT Box closeup

Here's a closer view of the couch and interior right wall. There's a Harley Quinn poster on the wall which was in the Crate last month. I wonder who put that up? My money's on Mikey. The Konami Code is always inside the box, but I'll let you in on a little secret: if you go to and enter the code, you might uncover something.

Loot Crate August 2014 minimag

Here's the monthly mini-mag full of heroic goodness. There's a two page spread recapping the origins of a handful of heroes, and article on what it means to be a hero, pics taken by Looters, and a couple of puzzle pages for fun.

It links nicely with the Villains cover.

July/August Loot Crate covers

Let's get to the goods!

Loot Crate August 2014 TMNT

Of course there's TMNT stuff in the Crate! They did send out the bandanna sunglasses and figures in all flavors. The Kidrobot figure is pretty cool. The "Ooze Action" is just a coating on the weapons that makes them glow in the dark. No sticky, messy goo here. In addition to the Turtles, there are Splinter and Shredder figures in the line.

Loot Crate August 2014 Shwings

I've never heard of Shwings before but they have quite an assortment of styles to choose from to spruce up your kicks. I'm not planning on getting doused in chemicals that have been hit by lightning so I won't be using these on my sneaks in the near future. I said I'm not planning on it, but if it should somehow happen, I"m open to it.

There's also a MegaMan air freshener, the monthly button with mini-mag cover art, and a Deadpool inspired cereal box magnet. Interesting that Deadpool showed up in Villains last month and Heroes this month!

Loot Crate August 2014 Groot in sewer

And here is the star of the month! They probably should call this month GrootCrate, but it would have ruined the surprise. This Pop! vinyl bobblehead from Funko was made exclusively for LootCrate subscribers. And that's all they've been talking about since he got leaked online. In case you haven't been looking for Guardians of the Galaxy merch like I have, Groot toys are super-hot right now. The regular, non-exclusive Groot Pop! figure is going for more than three times retail on Ebay right now!
Hold out if you want one, more are coming.

Loot Crate August 2014 Groot 2

Groot being Groot, he insisted on being shot out in the wild. What makes this Groot special (I mean, other than him being Groot!) is his mossy coloring and glow in the dark left hand to simulate his glowing performance in the movie. The normal Groot looks like this. I also like the twigs on top of his head. They could have just done the head without them and it would still look great but I think they give him even more character.

A huge thanks to the awesome inhabitants of Loot Crate for sending me this product to review. I really look forward to these every month! If you want to get cool geeky swag in your mail every month, head over to Loot Crate and sign up with code "AEIOUWHY" for 10% your order. Get on board for September's Galactic Crate!

Here's one more shot just because I had so much fun with Groot. If you haven't pre-ordered the Dancing Groot Pop! yet, I have a feeling the first wave might sell out quick.

Loot Crate August 2014 Groot

Aug 27, 2014

League Post - Dinner Party

This week the League of Extraordinary Bloggers has been tasked to hold their ultimate dinner party. Invited guests can be living, dead, and/or fictional.

I was good up until the fictional part. It's hard enough putting together just five people from real life people, never mind all of literature, TV, movies, and video games! So I'm thinking this may call for some creative interpretation, also known as cheating the topic.

For starters, here's my real world guest list. Not to be confused with the Real World, although it could be interesting to see these people living in a house together.

If you know me at all, it's no surprise that Vincent Price is numero uno on my guest list. I'm pretty sure I'd have no problem with him being my only guest for the evening! His daughter is coming to Salem in October and I'm hoping really hard that I"ll be able to attend her lecture. It'll be the next best thing to being able to actually meet him.

Second is Roger Corman, King of the B Movies! Not only do I love B movies, but he's worked with so many people during his career, he's got to have some fantastic stories.

The next two gentlemen should need no introduction. I'd love to pick Walt's brain about theme park design and attractions. Maybe even ask him to design his version of a Star Wars ride, after showing him the movie of course!

Jim and Kermit are a package deal. I wouldn't make Jim perform, technically. I mean, if I'm bringing people back from the dead, I'm sure there's some magic way Jim could "be" Kermit without having to be under the table, right? I don't even know where I'd start with them. Sesame Street and The Muppet Show have had such an impact on me. I'd probably be more star struck and tongue tied trying to talk to Kermit.

My last guest does need an introduction and his name is Howard Scott Warshaw. Maybe you've heard the name, maybe not. But if you owned an Atari 2600 as a kid, chances are you're familiar with at least one of his games: Yar's Revenge, Raiders of the Lost Ark, or E.T. Yar's is one of my favorite video games ever and the Atari was a big part of my childhood.
I promise not to bring up E.T.

Now we come to the fictional party list!

Right off the top, it has to be The Doctor, but which one? Maybe he'd start at 1 and regenerate into each version as the night wears on. Or he could just randomly rotate between 4, 9, 10, and 11 all night. Wouldn't that be fun? Or some (or all) could show up at once, not like that hasn't happened before.

Next is probably my most loved character in printed fiction, Tasslehoff Burrfoot from the DragonLance novels. He's like a halfling with ADHD and has a habit of "borrowing" things that aren't nailed down. He's pretty much fearless and if there's trouble to be found, he'll won't just find it, he'll find it and poke it with a stick!

From Marvel comics, a pair of distinctly different doctors: Doom and Strange. When it comes to comic characters, I tend toward the more mystically inclined. Doom might try to steal the TARDIS, but I'd bet Tasslehoff would be stowed away in there and drive him crazy. And Strange I've been a fan of almost as long as I've been reading comics. I'm much more into his extra-dimensional adventures than the Earth-bound ones.

I was going to put Rocket Raccoon in the last chair. But as much as I'm into Guardians of the Galaxy right now, I have to put Adventure Time's Finn as my final fictional guest. He knows how to party but if Tas isn't plundering the depths of the TARDIS, he and Finn will probably run off to find adventure somewhere. There's so much doctor going on at this party, I had to use this particular image of Finn, even though he's not a doctor.

Check out other League members' guest lists
Retro Robot Review has got some creative inspirations
Author! Author! over at Kalem Klub
Super Powered Fiction invites some world changers

Check out all the participants at Cool and Collected!

Aug 19, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy - Hey Groot

Here's a neat little video that Guardians director Jams Gunn tweeted out last night. If you liked the movie, I think you'll enjoy it. If you haven't seen the movie, you probably won't have a clue as to what it's all about. 

Aug 14, 2014

Boston Comic Con 2014 - Celebs & Cosplay

Welcome to the second post all about Boston Comic Con 2014. 
Today is all about the celebrity guests and cosplayers!

Sam Witwer & Us

First is Sam Witwer. You might know him as Doomsday on Smallville, the voice of Starkiller in the Star Wars: Force Unleashed video games, Darth Maul in the Clone Wars animated series, or his current role on Almost Human. He didn't have a huge line so we got to speak with him for a few minutes. Not only was he super cool, but he's also a fan.

When I mentioned I was a big Star Wars fan, he started talking about working on the Clone Wars series and how big of a fan he is himself. I said it's great when you have people that are fans working on something they love. He said everyone at LucasFilm is like that. He said Dave Filoni calls him sometimes just to talk Star Wars after he's been working on Rebels (the new animated series) all day. As we were finishing up, I asked him if Dave had mentioned anything to him about doing voice work on Rebels. Sam kind of cocked his head and said he had no idea what I was talking about while giving me a look that said he totally did. So we may be hearing more from him in the Star Wars galaxy!

Barrowman 1

The main reason we went to the convention was to see John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow). We had a professional photo-op with him and then got in line for an autograph. After finishing his photo ops, he sat down and told us he was going to take a little break and laid his head on the table. He got in either late the previous night or early that morning and hadn't gotten much sleep. When the crowd gave a sympathetic "aww" he started hamming it up for a bigger reaction. If you only know him from Arrow, you probably wouldn't have any idea just how funny he can be.

Barrowman & Myles

Sitting next to him, was his Torchwood co-star Eve Myles. She snuck over while he had his head down and gave him a playful spanking.

Barrowman & Myles 4

They chatted for a few minutes and then he got to the meeting and greeting.  Also present were James Marsters (Buffy, Torchwood), Jewel Staite (Firefly), Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones), Sean Astin (everything), and Run DMC's Darrell McDaniels. We didn't get autographs from any of them but we did see them while in the autograph area. Jason walked by us on the con floor and let me tell you, he's a big dude!

There were a ton of cosplayers at the con, which I always love. There were so many Doctor Who and Supernatural costumes that I actually ended up not taking photos of any of them. There were even a few Welcome to Night Vale cosplayers! Also present were a lot of Deadpools. I don't know if they have a club or what but there had to be at least 20 of them, one of which was a female Deadpool in a wedding dress.

Here's a few of my favorites. You can see all my Con photos on my Flickr page.


This guy was a huge hit, which is no surprise. You don't see Orko everyday! He had some kind of light up rods on his left hand to simulate magic.

Cosplay_Up Carl Fredricksen

Carl from Up! He even has the grape soda bottle cap pinned on his left lapel. We saw him later in the day and he was still holding those balloons. I wonder if his arm got tired from doing that all day.

Cosplay_Gravity Falls

These were the only Gravity Falls people I saw all day. I don't know what's cooler, seeing younger people or older people dressing as Mabel and Dipper Pines.

Cosplay_Agent Venom

I caught this Agent Venom in a little park outside the convention center. I had to chase him down but it was totally worth it! He's one of my favorite newer Marvel characters and was the only one I saw all day.

Cosplay_Orphan Black

Kasima from Orphan Black! Before getting her pic, I conferred with my wife to see if she also thought this was a cosplay and not how she normally looked because I didn't want to come across like a weirdo for asking this girl to take her photo if she wasn't dressed up as someone. So I asked her if she was supposed to be Kasima and she said yes but she forgot her lab coat. I told her if I knew who she was supposed to be without it, she didn't need it.


I saw this group as we were leaving and what a gathering! Archer and Lana on either side. Harley Quinn, The Flash, an unmasked Deadpool, and Thor behind Leonardo. And the Red Hood next to Lana. The TMNT costume was pretty impressive in person.


And the award for best parent ever goes to this guy! You can't see it too well in the photo, but little River is doing her split fight pose. They were so cute! Dad also had a couple of dinosaurs just in case the outfits and oodles of guns weren't enough to sell it.

Cosplay_Spidey Doctor

And the last one I'll leave you with is Spider-Man dressed as the Fourth Doctor. Why? I have no idea but there you have it! There's more to see over on Flickr, so stop by!

Stay Pufts

Aug 12, 2014

Boston Comic Con 2014 - Vendors & Artists

This past weekend Boston Comic Con was in town again. It seems like they're committed to improving it every year, which is good news because I think it has big potential, but they're going to need a bigger space to hold it! Friday night they posted cautioning people that were planning on buying tickets on site Saturday to consider getting tickets for Sunday instead due to the expected crowd.

BCC sign

I'm breaking my one day at the con up into a few posts to avoid making one TL;DR post where everyone is just looking at the photos. Today, I'll be showing off an incredibly small fraction of the artists/vendors at the con.

Recycle Fett

I didn't grab a card from this vendor, so I can't tell you where to find their work. They had a whole display of characters made from recycled metal covering all sorts of properties. I'm presuming this is Jango Fett because of the dual pistols he's sporting.

Recycle Alien Predator

Here's an Alien and Predator not trying to kill each other.
You can see the top of a Dalek in front of them. They also had a kick ass mini AT-AT.

Flying Sciurus - Custom Simon & Marcy

These custom Adventure Time figures were done by Shaun Nakasone. He had a few amazing customs on his table but if there's one thing that gets me, it's Simon and Marcy. Shaun works with all kinds of vinyl figures like Munnies and Mighty Muggs. You can check out his work at Flying Sciurus.

Companion Suitcases

These "Companion Suitcases" are functional works of art featuring Firefly, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. They also had an assortment of geeky lockets, earrings and prints. You can find them at Ursula and Olive.

Geeky Cheeky figures

One of my favorite crafty booths was by Geeky and Cheeky. These doll characters stand about a foot tall and are infinitely squishable! They also take custom orders online. The people running the booth were overjoyed when I asked if that was Dungeonmaster on the bottom left. They said I was only the second person that day to identify him, which I couldn't believe. Parents, educate your kids!

Geeky Cheeky_Doctors

They also had a 3' tall Weeping Angel doll which is a little more creepy at that size!

Super Sox Shop 2Super Sox Shop 1

Super Sox Shop is the perfect place to go if you need a little something special to hang by your chimney in the winter. They also have plush weapons like Thor's Hammer, Cap's shield, Zelda sword & shield, and the Mario star (a good tree topper!). I also really like the Pac-Man stuff which you can see on the table in the left pic.

The Bea Arthur Art Project

Before I get to the art that I actually bought, I had to show this postcard I picked up. This artist is doing a piece of Bea Arthur art every day for a year. I looked through his print book and there is some hilarious stuff in there combining Bea (and the Golden Girls) with all aspects of pop culture. He plans to compile them into a book when finished. Follow him on Twitter for daily updates and check out his online shop.

I've got a fever and the only prescription is more raccoon! I mentioned it during Guardians of the Galaxy week, but I've been a fan of Rocket since the 80s and now that he's in he spotlight, you can't swing a twig and not hit something he's on. This postcard size print was only $3 and I couldn't pass it up. The art is just too cute, but don't tell Rocket. 
Artist: TinaT8m

Katie Cook 1

This is artist Katie Cook working on a custom piece for me. Can you guess who it is? I've been following Katie's work for years when she started doing work for Star Wars. Currently, she's best know for her work on the My Little Pony comic. She said she had a lot of people ask for a dancing Groot custom.

Rocket Raccoon & Snoopy

On the left is (surprise!) Rocket that I had her do for me. On the right is Snoopy that was one of the many pre-made cards she had on her table. Other people had her do custom work while we were waiting our turn and it was pretty cool to watch her knock out these little works. The cards are maybe a quarter inch bigger on all sides than a playing card to give you an idea of their size. Rocket is about as tall as my first thumb knuckle.

Finally, the Pièce de résistance... (ooh la-la)

Peanuts of the Galaxy

How awesome is this??
Artist Matthew J Fletcher had a few other Peanuts gang prints and even a mashup with Star Wars. This was the big winner. I can just picture Linus/Drax assaulting people with his blanket. Or Chuck's "Good grief!" when he tells someone his name is Star-Lord and they reply "Who?" Honestly, I'm a little freaked out at the thought of a 9' tall Woodstock though.

Well, I said I wanted to break this up so as not to make too long of a post but this was plenty long by itself! Stay tuned this week for more from Boston Comic Con 2014!

Final note: I linked to all these artists and shops because I like what they do. I'm not getting any kind of kickbacks or discounts from them. Support your local artists!

Aug 8, 2014

League Post - Top 10

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers is looking for your Top 10 this week. 
Top 10 what? That's up to us to decide!

I've been working on a top sci-fi music videos from the 80s post but it needs more research, so I almost sat out this week. But I got an idea while watching the UK Guardians of the Galaxy press conference. In it, James Gunn was talking about the soundtrack and how he wanted to use ELO's "Livin Thing" in the movie, which would have been cool, especially for Groot. So what I came up with is my Top 10 additional/alternate tracks for the movie. And really, any excuse to talk about this movie is good enough for me.

Spoiler Alert! 
If you haven't seen the movie yet this is your warning as I'll be describing certain scenes where my picks would go in the flick. I'm not claiming my choices are better than what we got, because the soundtrack is fantastic. These are just some tunes I picked out and where I thought they could fit.

Summer Breeze - Seals & Croft
Opening/Hospital "I'm Not In Love"
I haven't been able to get the song out of my head since seeing the movie, but that's where I'd swap this one in. It doesn't have "big boys don't cry" but the lightness of the song would contrast well with what's going on at the start of the movie. And it kind of has that same etherealness to it.

Get Down Tonight - KC & The Sunshine Band
Bang a Gong - T. Rex
Star-Lord approaches the temple "Come and Get Your Love"
You can't really argue the song choice in what has become a fan favorite scene. The music, and Quill's actions, instantly set the tone for what's to come. But go ahead and spin any of the above tracks and picture him dancing across the alien landscape and abusing space rats.

 Magic - Pilot
Prison intake "Hooked on a Feeling"
I know, I know. How could I replace "Hooked on a Feeling?" In the same vein, it's a light happy tune that would be an oddball combo when Quill goes after the guard with his Walkman and subsequently gets the beat down.

Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
The gang breaks out of Kyln
This section is scored but either of these songs would make a great addition to the action. Or you could just have that last guard in the tower listening to one of them and bobbing his head, oblivious to what's going on around him. I was also thinking "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet but that might be too cliche.

Love is Like Oxygen - Sweet
Gamora's "seduction" "Fooled Around and Fell In Love"
It's not as light as "Fooled," but it would tie in nicely with Star-Lord saving Gamora later.

You're So Vain - Carly Simon
Showdown with Ronan "Ooh Child"
How hilarious would it be to have Star-Lord singing this to distract Ronan? Granted, he wouldn't really be able to bust out those sweet moves to this song though. With all the talk of Bacon, would "Footloose" be a little too on the nose here?

Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
Slow Ride - Free
Where to Next? / End
Either of these would provide a rockin send off as the Milano heads off into parts unknown for its next adventure. I imagine the ship blasting away from camera as the songs break.

What hits from the Awesome Mix era would you want to hear in the movie?

Here's what other League members are posting
D.I. Treasures eats through their Top 10 cereals
Action figure are where it's at for The Goodwill Geek
The Trash Man shows off his 10 favorite VHS tapes

Hit up Cool and Collected to see all the participating bloggers!

Aug 1, 2014

Monthly Movie Recap - July 2014

Hey, it's the first of the month! Hope you've enjoyed the (almost) week long Guardians of the Galaxy posts. I'll be seeing the movie tomorrow and I cannot wait! If you go to an AMC theater this weekend, you can get 1 of 6 mystery pins.

The Guardians emblem is a 1 in 100 shot, so good luck!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Much like the second Matrix movie, the second Transformers movie turned me off the franchise. I only came back because someone wanted to see the new one and my geek brain wouldn't let me skip part of the series. Thankfully they got rid of most of the stupidity from part 2 (no giant robo-testicles or Skids/Mudflap). For a "family friendly" series, this one's pretty violent.

Cool: The battle in the collapsing skyscraper was a great action scene
Lame: Didn't really care for the plot; Why was Megatron even in this? They expect me to believe there's a " dark side" of the moon? Science!
Rating: 5/10

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
This is like a greatest hits album with a couple of new tracks. It's a lot of the same stuff (overly gratuitous explosions, too much slo-mo, and Bay's trademark camera shots) but now we've got some new humans. It feels like it's supposed to be Prime's story but he's not the main focus. Unlike the last two I thought this one was a fun ride, if a bit long. If humanity was upset by the damage done in Chicago last movie, they are going to be pissed at the full-scale destruction done here!

Cool: I like the new Autobots, although I still don't understand why they have human features like hair and beards; The bounty hunter Lockdown is an awesome villain; Lots of action (duh)
Lame: Why are there Dinobots? Why does Lockdown's ship pickup and drop stuff in the city? Am I supposed to be thinking enough to ask these questions? In yo face product placement.
Rating:  6/10, my overall opinion might change if they make more films and follow through with the setup done here.

Blood Widow (2014)
Proof that you shouldn't judge a movie by its cover, even if that cover makes you think you'll see an awesome movie. I can appreciate low budget horror when it has an entertaining story to tell but there is nothing redeeming about this story because of the way it ends. But if you're at a Redbox and need a teen slasher fix, it's worth a rental.

Cool: The Blood Widow is a great looking killer
Lame: The ending just about makes the rest of the movie pointless
Rating: 4/10

Kansas City Bomber (1972)
Raquel Welch is a single mom trying to become a roller derby star. It's not a bad movie, it's just doesn't pull me in except for the derby scenes. The best parts of the movie happen on the track, the rest could be a Lifetime original movie.

Cool: Great derby action! Jodie Foster has a bit part. That big guy (around 1:08) is Norman Alden, voice of Aquaman on the Superfriends!
Lame: Despite the age difference, any romance with Kevin McCarthy is creepy
Rating: 5/10. If you want some sleazy roller action, check out Unholy Rollers. It's a lot more fun.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)
Have you ever dreamed of Charlie's Angels with more toplessness and blood? If so, then Andy Sidaris is your director! One of the 12 movies making up the Bullets, Bombs, and Babes series staring Playmates and Penthouse Pets, this flick is crazy awesome bad! Drive by shooting from a skateboard! A crazed killer boa constrictor! Inept use of nunchucks! This movie has it all and you have to see it to believe it.

Cool: Everything I mentioned above and more!
Lame: Everything that is bad about this one is what makes it so "good"
Rating: 6/10

*Starship Invasions (1977)
This one came out shortly after Star Wars and I'm pretty sure I pestered my dad to go see it because I was obsessed with Star Wars. This is a completely different movie and not something a 7 year old should watch! Christopher Lee leads an alien force to try and take over Earth by making the population homicidal and/or suicidal.

Cool:I like most of the alien stuff, like the secret underwater monitoring base, unique hand blasters and UFO battles.
Lame: There has to be a better way to take over the planet; Not sure what is up with the evil alien costumes, they're just weird!
Rating: 5/10

We're The Millers (2013)
This was actually pretty funny, if a little by the numbers plot-wise. Not much else to say about it.

Cool: One specific outtake with Aniston is hilarious!
Rating: 6/10

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Maybe it was the overhype that happened leading up to this movie, but I thought it was just ok. It felt like a lot of retreading the same ground from the first one. Don't get me wrong, it's still fairly funny.

Cool: The best part is seeing who turns up for the news team battle at the end (See? Retreading.)
Lame: I found Carrell oddly annoying this go round.
Rating: 5.5/10

Me Other Me: A Film About Cosplayers (2013)
The title is misleading. This is not a documentary about cosplayers, but about people that happen to be cosplayers. It gets to a more intimate level with three cosplayers, their personal relationships and how they deal with things like gender identity, reconnecting with parents, and unrequited feelings for friends.

Cool: Once I figured out what the movie was, I mostly enjoyed it
Lame: Was expecting something more like SyFy's Heroes of Cosplay and more focus on con-going, costuming and contests
Rating: 5.5/10

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)
More Zeiring! More sharks! More -nadoes! An unbelievable amount of cameos! Really the best thing about these movies is live tweeting them. If you're criticizing the bad writing or saying people tweeting about it are why SyFy original programming gets cancelled, you're watching the wrong movie. At the end of the day it's more dumb fun.

Rating: 7/10 (fun factor), 3/10 (actual movie rating)

Month Total
 New: 9  Rewatch: 1

Year To-Date Final Total 
New: 59 (+1 incomplete)  Rewatch: 11