Dec 30, 2014

December 2014 Loot Crate - Anniversary

Disclaimer: Loot Crate supplies these goodies in exchange for a review/post.

Didn't think I was going to get to it with how crazy things have been lately, but I'm sneaking in this post on the most recent Loot Crate which is all about anniversaries. One of these days I want to try to do an unboxing video, but this month is not it.

Loot Crate Anniversary Mag & Button

As usual, we'll open with the monthly magazine and collector's button. Digging the art on the cover here, especially Groot who is entirely composed of, what else, I am Groot. The mag has interviews with Stan Lee and Josh Mirman, the artist behind the typography cover art.

Loot Crate Anniversary Tetris & Simpsons

The ever addictive Tetris celebrates it's 30th anniversary this year and we got a set of Tetrimino stickers. I still have memories of playing it on my Commodore 64. Never had a Gameboy! As I'm sure everyone knows, The Simpsons hit 25 this year. This Dynomighty wallet shows off a ton of characters from the show's long run and it's made from a single sheet of material! Loot Crate also tossed in a festive mini-candy cane.

Loot Crate Anniversary Ghostbusters Door Hanger

Ghostbusters also hit the big 3-0 this year. Although designed as a Do Not Disturb sign, I think the warning side would actually be more likely to get me to open the door! I found out there were two versions sent out, the other with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Loot Crate Anniversary Marvel

We also got what has to be the most adorable socks ever made! These are Loot Crate exclusive Groot socks. The only item in the Crate where some fighting might break out over who gets to use them. And there's also a Captain America shield air freshener. The package says vanilla, so that must be what freedom smells like: vanilla.

Loot Crate Anniversary Bat Exclusives

Here's a couple more exclusives from the other side of the comic tracks to celebrate Batman's 75th anniversary. Batman #36 with an exclusive cover by Greg Capullo. And topping it all off is another Funko exclusive Pop of a Joker-Batman figure! It's Batman, but sporting Joker's colors and trademark grin.

Even the interior of the Crate is Bat-tastic!

Loot Crate Anniversary Box

It's made so you can fold down the front flap (the cave) and there's a Bat-computer to assemble. But my favorite has to be all the details in the back.

Loot Crate Anniversary Box Close Up

The costumes, Batmobile, gadgets, giant penny and T-Rex. Even as someone that's not big into DC the penny and T-Rex are things I instantly recognize as iconic parts of the Batcave.

If you want to get sweet swag delivered to you every month, be sure to sign up at Loot Crate. Use code AEIOUwhy for 10% off your entire order.

Dec 27, 2014

Holiday Haul Highlights 2014

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great holiday. Things have been...interesting around here the last couple weeks. But overall, I'd say we landed firmly in the plus column!

Despite not having a camera, I'm going to make due with my iPad for the time being so I can keep posting. I mean, what's the point of blogging without images? Then it's just a bunch of words, who wants to read a bunch of words with no pictures?
Today I'm sharing some of my holiday loot.

Holiday Haul 2014

Seriously, what more could you want than a LEGO Rocket Raccoon and Groot? Not pictured is a Guardians wall calender which is already hanging to get the most out of the sweet group shot they used for the 2014 months. Remember when calendars only had the months for the upcoming year on them? I also can't wait to get into that Star Wars desk calendar, it looks to be all art instead of film scenes.

Holiday Haul 2014

Speaking of Star Wars....I may never wear this on any kind of regular basis because it would be warmer than sleeping inside a dead tauntuan, but it's pretty cool. I also got two other sets of sleep wear. I don't think I've gotten this many jammies for Christmas ever! One is Jack Skellington and the other is the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who. Also got a matching set of Angel boxers, which I don't really understand since my wife (who gave them to me) is creeped out by the Angels...

Holiday Haul 2014

And she also got us this tree topper! I love it because you can pretty much put it out somewhere year round. It's about a foot tall. I guess you can put it anywhere that you want people to never look away from because don't blink.

Holiday Haul 2014

Lots of geeky reading to do next year! The second book down that appears to be hiding is Haunted Air, a collection of some of the most nightmare inducing vintage Halloween photos you'll ever likely find. Seriously, look at some of these!

Pumpkin Cinema will likely serve as a checklist for my movie viewing. I know I've seen quite a few of the movies but I'm hoping to stumble on some good stuff I never heard of.

The Corman book is absolutely gorgeous. Glossy, full color pages with plenty of movie posters and stills. People give Corman crap for some of his work, but that's why he's called the King of the Bs. He's done some of my favorite Vincent Price films and brought us DeathRace 2000, you can't argue with that pedigree.

I also got a pair of e-books.Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan, the second book in the series. The first one was a lot of fun, highly recommend it for your younglings. And The Making of The Empire Strikes Back (Enhanced Version). The enhanced versions of these Making Of books are amazing. As someone that's been a Star Wars fan as long as there has been Star Wars, seeing something new regarding the original trilogy is mind blowing. And to get short audio and video clips is just icing on the cake.

Holiday Haul 2014

I'm listening to the Golden Records Halloween CD as I'm writing this post. It's about the most perfect children's Halloween album I've ever heard. Even if you don't have kids, if you're a Halloween fiend, add this to your collection. You can thank me later. It perfectly nails what I love about Halloween.

And finally, the Price set I've been dying for: The Raven, Comedy of Terrors (one of my favorites), House on Haunted Hill, Last Man on Earth, Dr Phibes Rises Again, and a couple more all in HD. I really hope they keep releasing more of these sets.

So there's some highlights of what I got this year, what cool stuff did you get?

Dec 21, 2014

Holiday Devils & Angels

I don't normally post "real life" stuff here because there isn't usually anything I think my readers would be interested in reading. But no matter how much hemming and hawing I've been doing on this over the past few days, it always comes back to a little voice that keeps telling me to post. Maybe it will be therapeutic for me to get it out there, despite how many people I've told the story already. 

When I got home Thursday night, I found my home had been broken into and burgled. I could have said robbed, but let's face it, unless you're talking about Hamburglar, you generally don't get to use any form of the word "burgle" in daily conversation.

The whole thing was bizarre and surreal. I came in through the front door, which was still locked, so I had no real indication from outside anything was amiss. Just inside our front door, we have a coat closet which was open with several things on the floor. We have two cats, we don't leave closet doors open.

The brain is a funny thing. Even subconsciously, it tries to connect the dots for you in a way that makes the most sense, that fits with your perception of what should be. As I came around the corner to the hall to the bedrooms, I could see the two doors we normally keep closed were open and the lights were on. I thought somehow, even though her car wasn't here, that my wife had come home early. It wasn't until I went down the hall and could see in the rooms that I realized things were very wrong.

This is what I saw in our bedroom. One of the windows leading to the fenced in yard was also wide open and that's when the really ugly light bulb lit up. We have a small house (in fact, we're the only one floor house on our street) and I had my cell phone in my pocket but I went back down the short hall to the living room to grab the house phone to call 911. A: just in case something happened to me while I was on the phone, they'd know where to go. B: when you call 911 from a cell it can take longer to get to your local PD.

After talking to the police and assuring them there was no one in the house (sometimes a small home can be a good thing), I noticed the kitchen.

They (I'm just going to use "they," I have no idea how many people it was) came in through our side door, breaking the door frame, that's what's lying on the floor. These photos were taken while I was waiting for the police to arrive and my wife to come home. When I first saw the door, it was wiiiide open and the outside door, which has one of those pistons on it to close itself, was also open. This is when the real panic set in. Remember when I said we have two cats? They're strictly indoor cats. They're like our kids and it suddenly occurred to me that with the door and the bedroom window open to the world, they might be outside. Luckily, they had both taken refuge under beds in separate rooms.

The bedrooms were tossed, drawers of clothes emptied on the floor. The medicine cabinet doors were open. Things that you might think to hide money in were rifled through. That's the kind of person that did this. They were looking for quick cash and/or drugs and a quick escape. None of the bigger, expensive things were even touched. Which makes it just a little weirder. They were the most polite burglars I've heard of. They easily could have destroyed the house while searching it, knocked things over just because, but they didn't. 

Our third bedroom is sort of my geek cave where I'm typing this from, and there's tons of collectibles that if any of you were robbing this house, you'd probably taken that stuff! On one bookshelf in here is a Darth Vader stein among other Vader collectibles. They took the stein from the shelf, without disturbing anything in front of it, looked inside it, and not finding anything but a General Grievous Pez dispenser, put it down on the chair. 
Didn't throw it on the floor in disgust, they knowingly set it down, no damage.

Having said that, the Grinches did make off with some things that we know of:
My wife's gym bag, which they took the clothes out of and we presume it was used to put other stuff in.
Both of our digital cameras. If you're a frequent visitor, you know how I love to include photos in my posts.
Our years old TomTom GPS. Seriously, they don't even make this model anymore.
A necklace my mom gave to my wife on our wedding day.
My high school class ring, which was extra cool because my dad worked at Josten's and made the ring for me!
A set of 12 Snoopy charm bracelets, complete with display case.
And probably the worst thing (to me at least)...

You see how down inside the closet on the left there's a big empty hole? That's where I was hiding a bag of wrapped Christmas presents for my wife. Yup, almost all the presents I'd gotten for her were taken away in a flash because I put them in a convenient, reusable shopping tote. Screw you, green living! I kid! 

Just between us, they're going to be sorely disappointed when they open those gifts. I can't say what they were because my wife reads the blog, but trust me when I tell you these are not things you could even resell for decent money, much less would want to find out you just stole instead of things that weren't wrapped.

The worst bit of it is being in the house and realizing someone you don't know was in here when you weren't. Totally destroys that sense of comfort and safety you have when you're supposed to be in your safe place from the world.

Anyway...this post is titled Holiday Devils & Angels, so where are the angels?

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Shortly after I posted about this on Facebook, my brother-in-law, who lives about 20 minutes away had hopped in his truck with some tools and spare wood to secure our broken door. You see, kicking a door in kinda makes it unable to be locked shut anymore.

The following day, my immensely kind-hearted sister-in-law started a GoFundMe page to help us pay for our insurance deductible. In two days, the donations have already exceeded what we expect the deductible to be! The donations come from friends, family, and people that we don't even know who are friends with our family members. One of my cousins also gave a rather generous donation. Not to mention the people at my wife's place of work that took up a collection for us!

Whatever money is left over after the deductible will be going towards a security system. 
Or a moat containing sharks with frickin lasers on their heads. 
Maybe both, you can't be too careful.

Despite how terrible the experience has been, it's also been extremely humbling because of these folks. Meanwhile, our local news ran a story about a man in Boston that had a box of Christmas cards with his 8 month old on them stolen from his doorstep (yes, OUTSIDE) and the thief was caught on video.

If you've read this far, I thank you! If you skipped down here, the TL;DR version is it could have been much, much worse and although there are some asshats in this world, there are also people on this planet to balance them out that I could never thank enough for their kindness even if I had all of time to do it.

Things will likely be quiet around here until the new year.
Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Dec 18, 2014

25 Years of Hot Christmas Toys

Things have been a little quiet around here...the blog, certainly not in that "real life" place! I went to see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical last weekend (based on the classic Rankin-Bass show) and it was fantastic. I highly recommend it for fans of the show. Seeing how they did Bumble was worth admission on its own.

Anyway, with Christmas/the holidays fast approaching, I thought you might enjoy a little trip down memory lane with an infographic showing the hot toys from the last 25 years. I can't believe it's been so long for some of these. Thanks to Personal Creations for the graphic!

You can see the fine print better on their site.

Dec 13, 2014

Merry Creepmas!

Whether you actively spread Creepmas fear like an infection via social media or visited the participating sites, thank you for taking part in the most wonderfully spooky time of the year!

Here are a couple of Creepmas presents to enjoy.
Click on the cover art to put them under your tree.

 Elvira's Haunted Holidays Special from 1986.
You will need a program to view cbr files, I recommend CDisplay.

Next we have a pair of audio treats guaranteed to drive your family insane with holiday cheer! These have both been out of print for some time now, which is a shame.

Monster Christmas Mash may not be as widely known as the Monster Mash, but it's a holiday gem in its own right. You owe it to yourself to listen to it at least once.

If you need even more Creepmas in your life, check out my Creepmas board on Pinterest.

Follow Dex's board Creepmas on Pinterest.

Visit for a complete list of participating blogs!
And remember, there's only 320 days til Halloween 2015!

Dec 12, 2014

Creepmas Postcards by Lar DeSouza

My wife recently ordered this awesome non-Creepmas print from Lar DeSouza.

With the print, he included a few freebie postcards that are in the Creepmas spirit.

First is Frosty the Undead Snowman. I love the tag line "It isn't the yellow snow you need to worry about." Good stuff! Why is he wearing a hockey mask? Maybe he saw the Jack Frost movies and didn't want anyone to mistake him for that.

Second is Rudolph the Red-rum Reindeer. Since Rudolph is the victim of seemingly constant bullying, this isn't the first time I've seen him out for revenge. What I do particularly enjoy is Dolly with a bazooka and the snowman head under Santa's foot.

He also has this pinup style print called Kidnapping Krampus.

If you want to get any of these, you can click on the image to go to that print.

Visit for a complete list of participating blogs!

Dec 11, 2014

Games for Hallowe'en - Mary Blain

I am so thrilled to finally get this on the blog! I got it in mid-October but couldn't manage to post it then between all the interviews.

Games for Hallowe'en

I scored it on Ebay for less than $20 and considering how old it is, it's in really great shape. I've always been interested in the history and evolution of Halloween traditions and what better way to get a window into the past than a book?

Games for Hallowe'en_Title Page

Yes, that copyright date says 1912, this book is just over 100 years old! But what is it all about, you ask? It's broken up into three sections. The first five pages have suggestions for holding a Halloween party, including sample invitations and decorations to make.

Games for Hallowe'en_Snapdragon Game

The next 30 pages contain the games. Granted, not all of them involve igniting alcohol as part of the fun (above), but just about every game somehow relates to discovering who your true love will be or some method of foretelling the future.

Games for Hallowe'en_Riddles

The next eight pages contain riddles. According to the book, these are to keep the little ones amused while the older kids/adults play the true love/fortune telling games. They're meant to be told as riddles for people to guess the answer to, as opposed to jokes where you would say it and tell the punchline right after.

Games for Hallowe'en_Forfeit

The final five pages are forfeits. If someone refuses to take part in a game or are penalized during a game, there are a variety of things you can make them do. I think this is the early 1900's version of "I'll take the physical challenge."

There is a whole thing that is acted out, where the victim must surrender a personal belonging as collateral. One person is selected to be Justice and hands out their sentence. Some of these are riddles in themselves as the person struggles to figure out how to perform the task. And still others are there just to make the person look foolish as their penalty.

I'm hoping to find the motivation over the next year to scan all 60 pages so that I can share it with you next Halloween in its entirety.

Visit for a complete list of participating blogs!

Dec 10, 2014

Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghost Figure Set

These guys hitched a ride along with my Haunted Mansion playing cards.

Hitchhiking Ghosts Boxed

This ghostly trio are actually pretty articulate. Not that they talk (much), but they have elbow, knee, ankle, and wrist articulation which is more than the standard five points I'd expect. They have an appropriately spooky background behind them that would work just as well for them outside the box.

Hitchhiking Ghosts Box back

Oddly, the back of the box refers to them as Traveler Ghost, Skeleton Ghost, and Prisoner Ghost. I say oddly because as far as I know they are officially named Phineas, Ezra, and Gus respectively. But then I don't think a lot of the ghosts in the Mansion have proper names because they're usually just referred to as their defining trait.

Hitchhiking Ghosts Prisoner

Gus' ball and chain are attached by a small clip that goes around his ankle and it can be removed. Although he has neck articulation, he can't turn his head much due to the beard. I can't knock him for that though, it's a pretty common thing in the action figure world with beards or long hair. The loose clothing on these is interesting. It's molded from a pliable rubbery material instead of hard plastic.

Hitchhiking Ghosts Skeleton

Ezra is my favorite of the three probably because of his eternal skeletal grin. The taller figures have some torso articulation. Why they decided to put the rotation in the middle of the chest instead of the waist, I have no clue. This figure is based on the newer version of Ezra that appears in the ride, but I prefer the original version that was bald and had a smaller hat. The hats, on the two gents that have them, are perma-attached to their heads.

Hitchhiking Ghosts Skeleton Thumbs
In my opinion, this hat looks ridiculously over-sized for him.

Hitchhiking Ghosts Traveler

Finally, here is Phineas with his bag packed and ready to go. The bag is an actual accessory and can be removed, unlike his hat!

Hitchhiking Ghosts Trio

And here they are all together waiting to follow you home! Well, chances are, you're already at home while you're reading this. Overall, the figures are pretty good for their $20 price point. They've got more articulation than you'd expect, although I don't necessarily know that you'd use it all. But maybe your Hitchhiking Ghosts get up to some crazy things and need the extra joints. If only I had a to scale Doombuggy that they could sit in/on top of.

And the best thing about them is when you turn out the lights...

Hitchhiking Ghosts Glowing Trio

Visit for a complete list of participating blogs!

Dec 9, 2014

Haunted Mansion Playing Cards

Another October find from the Disney website. And it looks like I got these just in time because they're no longer available online! They may still be in the parks if you happen to go.

Haunted Mansion Cards Box

I still can't believe they were only $10, considering the awesome job on the packaging. As you can see, the deck comes in its own coffin-shaped box.

Haunted Mansion Cards Inside Box

And it's lined with a nice silk-looking material. The cards are packed in a plastic box that I've found to be fairly standard from Disney.

Haunted Mansion Cards Back & Jokers

Here are the card back and jokers. You should really click on that to get a better view of the card back to see all the detail in it. In addition to Madame Leota's floating head, there are bat stanchions to either side of the eye. These stanchions are a favorite part of the ride queue for many people. And what would a Haunted Mansion deck of cards be without the Hitchhiking Ghosts? I like that the two jokers represent things at the start and end of the ride.

Oh yes, the back of the cards glow in the dark!

Haunted Mansion Cards Glow Back

It's a little fuzzy, but you get the idea. While I like the effect in theory, the way they do it makes the card backs a little gritty/grainy.

Haunted Mansion Cards Face

The court cards in each suit are the same.
Each one features one of the portraits from the stretch room.

Haunted Mansion Cards Pips

The suits are RIP headstones (Spades), bat stanchions (Hearts), spooky eyes from the Mansion wallpaper (Clubs), and candles (Diamonds). I'm presuming the candles are the same as the ones held by the gargoyle sconces, like the black Joker.

Haunted Mansion Cards Pips Closeup

Here's a closer shot of three of the bats, eyes, and candles. This is a really great deck that every Haunted Mansion fan should have!

Visit for a complete list of participating blogs!