May 30, 2015

May 2015 Loot Crate - Unite

Loot Crate supplies me with a box of geek swag every month in exchange for a review/sharing on social media.

This month, Loot Crate is all about great team-ups.
Readers Assemble!

May 2015 Loot Crate Book & Button

Our magazine talks to Boom! Studios on their 10th anniversary and has a list of the top 5 comic book teams. The list is clearly wrong as not only is the Justice League ahead of the Avengers and X-Men, but they take the top spot. It's not that I don't like DC, I know as a very young lad, I gravitated more toward DC (probably because of Batman '66 and Superfriends) but now I just love Marvel!

May 2015 Loot Crate Puzzle & Buttons

I admit, I've never heard of Rick & Morty but the image on this jigsaw puzzle has garnered a sliver of my interest so I may just have to check it out.
There's also a 4-pack of Team Fortress 2 buttons.

May 2015 Loot Crate Exclusive comics

Here's a pair of Loot Crate exclusives: Mad Magazine and Bravest Warriors! Mad Magazine is a classic. Ah, I still remember the hey day of comedy mags when you could buy Mad, Cracked, and Crazy. Overkill? Maybe, but it was awesome. If you haven't heard of Bravest Warriors, the only thing you need to know is it's created by the same guy that does Adventure Time, it's sci-fi, and it can get weird! You can check it out on You Tube.

May 2015 Loot Crate Marvel stuf

A trio of Mighty Marvel stuff! First is a silicone ice cube tray with Iron Man, Cap's shield, the Thing, and some fists that could possibly be Hulk's. Next is a pair of black and gray shoelaces that have some kind of design on them that I can't really make out. And then there's an Age of Ultron window sticker.

May 2015 Loot Crate Power Ranger shirt

 Lastly is this Power Rangers shirt. I think I was about a decade too early to be caught in the Power Rangers phenomenon. Even though I grew up on Godzilla movies, I probably felt I was too old for this craziness when it debuted. Now, I'd probably enjoy the cheeziness. I've watched (and loved) about 20 episodes of the Japanese Spider-Man show from the 70s, so I think I'm ready!

Even as someone that's never really watched the show, I have to say this design is pretty cool. Although I bet if I were to wear it someone would inevitably come up to me and start talking about the show. To which I could only reply with a blank stare.

 I often see people complaining about Loot Crate not being worth it and I generally find at least one or two things that I really like every month. This month, I could really take it or leave it. But that's the chance you take when you get a blind box o' stuff.

If you'd like to get a box full of geekiness delivered every month, sign up at Loot Crate and use the promo code AEIOUWHY for 10% any subscription plan.

May 27, 2015

Summer Swap 2015 Update

A huge thanks to everyone who signed up for Summer Swap 2015. Most of the spots were filled in the first 24 hours! Ladies and gents, here are your Summer Swap 2015 participants:

and my Twitter pal Morbius Kromwell

And here's where the Swap Box will be traveling in no particular order.

Summer Swap 2015

A little more than half of you voted Dracula in as the Summer Swap 2015 mascot! Donatello came in second, Zak Saturday and Rinzler tied for last place with only one vote each.

 How about a little peek inside the box?

Summer Swap 2015 box

It may not look like much, but I can assure you, there are plenty of goodies buried under what you see here. The box will be going out on Saturday. There will be an envelope laying flat on the bottom with instructions/guidelines so be sure to look for that.

Where is the box headed first? I haven't decided yet but I will email that person on Saturday.

May 20, 2015

Summer Swap 2015

To paraphrase Picasso, "Good bloggers copy, great bloggers steal." In honor of this, I'm stealing an idea from the Retroist/I See Robots where they had a "Junk Box" that made its way around the country. I signed up for it twice and the box never made its way to me. The point of this sad tale is that I have stuff that I've been picking up that would have been sent to someone out in the blogsphere and that stuff is still sitting around along with several months worth of Loot Crate loot that's just collecting dust.

So the question that came to me is: "Why am I keeping this stuff?" 
The answer is "I have no idea!" but that's great for you!

What I'm doing is putting the call out to fellow pop culture nerds, bloggers, toy geeks, and all around cool people that want to swap their dust collecting stuff for different stuff. In short, if you're reading this, you're the intended audience! Funny how that works.

So what exactly am I going on about?

Summer Swap 2015 or #SummerSwap2015 as it shall be known!
If you've got a better name, I'm open to suggestions.

How's it work?

I'll start it off with a Large Flat Rate Priority Box packed with stuff. That box will get mailed to the first person. They'll take some stuff out of the box and put some of their stuff in and send it on to the next person. Rinse and repeat until everyone on the list has gotten the box and it comes back to me. You can use a new large flat rate priority box if the original is too beat up but I think it'd be cool if it looked like a suitcase from an old movie with people decorating it with doodles, stickers, or what have you.

When does it start?

Either after 10 people sign up or several days go by without a new sign up but I'd like to get at least 5 people.

What can I send?

Whatever you want that fits in the box! Trading cards, magazines, comics, figures, books, oddities, pretty much anything you think someone else might enjoy. Or whatever stuff you're tired of looking at and want to get out of your house!

Who can join in?

I'd say anyone, but there's a catch. Because we're sending a box full of goodies, I want to make sure it gets to all intended destinations, so there's some trust involved. If you're someone that's done mail exchanges with me before or if you're someone I consider in my Circle of the Blogosphere, you're good. If you don't fit either of those, maybe you know someone that is and they can vouch for you or I'll figure something out.

What do I need to participate?

Some stuff to donate to the cause
$18, the cost of shipping the box 
Good communication skillz! You'll need to check in with me when you get the box as well as when you send it and provide your tracking number.

What do I do when I get the box?

Open it! Bask in the glory of surprise stuff!
Also, it'd be really cool if you could shoot a couple photos of what you scored and what you're putting in. It doesn't need to be a full blown post if you don't want, Instagram works too. Send me a link to your post and I'll post it here, tweet it and basically get it out there. Take a shot of the mascot with your collection, at a favorite eatery, or a local landmark. 
Have fun with it! 

The Mascot

Currently, these guys are vying for the coveted spot of Summer Swap 2015 Mascot. They'll travel in the box to your home. Who do you want hanging out with you and your collection?

How do I sign up?

Sign ups are now closed but you can keep up with Summer Swap 2015 by clicking on it on the right under topics.

May 14, 2015

Hallmark 2015 Halloween Ornaments

A few years ago, Hallmark figured out there are enough weirdos out there like me that never knew they needed Halloween ornaments in their life. These are all on the same page of the Dream Book but I broke them up to focus on them more and give a bigger image.

Hallmark Halloween 2015 2

I'm always a fan of any kind of black cat decoration but combining that with Dia de Los Muertos makes it that much better! The dayglo colors will really pop against a black background. The Cookie Cutter idea is cute. You can't go wrong with Trick or Treating animals. It took me a few looks to realize the door step is an Oreo.

Hallmark Halloween 2015 1

Happy Halloween! is my favorite of the four. This is the third one in a series they've been doing with a character inside of something. What I really like about it is the spooky background and zombie kid are just the right mix of creepy and fun for the youngins.

I can't remember a recent year where Hallmark hasn't done some kind of Nightmare Before Christmas ornament. They're not always lumped in with the "Halloween" ones but they've been there. Usually it's Jack-centric so it's nice to see Oogie get some love.

Most of the ornaments (and a lot more!) I've shown off this week will be available at your local Hallmark store the weekend on July 11-12.

May 12, 2015

Hallmark 2015 Dream Book

Ah May, the snow if finally melting and soon it will be the unofficial start of summer. So of course, what better time than to start thinking about Christmas ornaments?

We received our annual catalog of tree danglers recently so I thought I'd share some of the more pop culture related things that would probably be of interest to a typical reader. While there's plenty of recent offerings, there's a healthy dose of 70s/80s nostalgia because let's face it, we're the ones with the money, right? Or we're supposed to be...

Hallmark 2015 Beetlejuice

Unfortunately, I don't think Hallmark has done an official Burton Batman because it'd be cool to hang him side by side with this guy! Now if they could just make the waiting room couch with the head hunter.

Hallmark 2015 Wonder Woman

Now, I"m not a huge Wonder Woman fan, but this is not just Wonder Woman. This is Lynda Carter Wonder Woman! And if that's not enough for you, it plays the theme song.

Hallmark 2015 6MDM

Continuing the 70s TV nostalgia is Col. Steve Austin in his iconic red track suit. As much as I like the show's theme song (the 70s and 80s had some of the best!), it's a missed opportunity to not have it play bionic sounds, isn't it?

Hallmark 2015 Groot

Will people still not have enough Groot by Christmas? No, no they will not. Of course it plays the Jackson 5 song, but it would have been cool if they could have worked a little arm motion into it or something. I can only imagine how much it would cost then!

Hallmark 2015 Megatron

I have never liked this form of Megatron. Sure he looks cool in the cartoon but in the real world, his robot form looks like you could knock him over pretty easy. Seriously, compare the robot forms of Prime and Megatron. One if clearly superior! Still, it's good to get a classic representation of the toy line instead of something from the Bayformers universe.

Hallmark 2015 80s

It's time to play "One of These Things is Not Like the Other"!
I bet Kenny Loggins never imagined he'd have two holiday ornaments that played his music.

Hallmark 2015 Trio

How's this for a terrific trio? I wonder if Daryl will be flying off the shelves? I know a certain Cool & Collected person will be thrilled about Dr Zaius. I find it interesting that Hallmark has done an Alien and now a Predator, both characters from R rated movies.

Hallmark 2015

I know some people can't stand Star Wars things like this. I kind of dig it but I think the hat and sweater together are too much. If they left off the hat, it would have sold the turtleneck much better. I'm interested to find out what "holiday message" he will impart.

Hallmark 2015

It seems like they've discontinued the Lego minifig ornaments, so I guess Hallmark just doesn't like me anymore. But what I am very excited for is the Zeb ornament from Star Wars: Rebels. He's my favorite character on the show and I'm surprised they did him as the first character from the show.

Also of note, in the lower right, are two upcoming ornaments based on the new movie. I'm guessing one will probably be BB-8, the soccer ball droid that's taking the world by storm. What will the other be? Only time will tell!

May 6, 2015

Star Wars UK Poster Magazine (1978)

It's amazing the things you can find on the internets when you're not looking for them. I stumbled on this yesterday and thought I'd share it since I've posted a few other of these poster magazines from the Original Trilogy days. Oddly enough, this is the first Star Wars one I've posted! Here's the other ones in case you missed them.

Star Wars UK Poster Magazine #3 (1978) 1

There's just something about the layout and the colors used that immediately takes you back. Because there was no internet way back then, magazines like this were a great source of info that you couldn't really get anywhere else.

Star Wars UK Poster Magazine #3 (1978) 2

And there was usually a little behind the scenes action so you could get a peek at just how they did some of the amazing things that made it on screen. Even at a young age, I thought I was pretty well versed in the cast and crew of the movie, but I don't recall ever hearing the name John Stears before. I think it's because he's a Brit and this is a UK magazine.

Star Wars UK Poster Magazine #3 (1978) 3

And then there's the real reason you wanted these: the poster!
This is a great shot of Vader and some stormtroopers that I don't think I've seen before!

Star Wars UK Poster Magazine #3 (1978) 6

There are a few more pages to the magazine, including an ad for mail away merch, that I didn't post. If you want to grab the whole thing, here's the link.

May 1, 2015

Monthly Movie Recap - April 2015

Aside from Halloween, the start of the summer movie season is probably my favorite time of year. Already have tickets to see Avengers tomorrow and I can NOT WAIT!

Fast Five (2011)
Although this is more Diesel's 11 than anything else, I think the series (so far) hit its high point here. The street racing is mostly gone and is replaced with a heist. Well, I guess they've all been about stealing stuff haven't they? It starts going crazy at the climax but if you're willing to go for the ride, it's a fun one!

Cool: The Rock finally gives an opponent to match Diesel's physicality; Getting the gang together, they play off each other fantastically; Major props for the use of physical effects over CGI, especially with the safe
Lame: I swear someone was hired just to keep The Rock looking sweaty, or he really sweats A LOT. Ew!

Rating: 7/10
If the last one went a little into crazy town at the climax, this one is just saying "screw it, pedal to the metal!" and whole-heartedly barreling into crazy town and becoming an over the top action movie. It's not a bad thing as long as you're on board with where they're going.

Cool: The new villains have got some cool gear; The end finally brings us to Tokyo Drift!
Lame: As much as I loved The Rock in the last one, he's not as great here but it's more the fault of the script than anything to do with him.. Sad that our time with Han is over, he's one of the best characters in the series. The climax on the plane does on way too long.

Rating: 6/10

A new actor in the title role and a completely different tone. This one plays more tongue-in-cheek and if you removed the boobs and some of the violence, it's probably be an entertaining movie for the kiddies.

Cool: It's just so bad, it's fun!
Lame: The female lead's acting is oh so bad.

Rating: 4/10

I was somehow unaware that this was based on a musical so I guess it's a little unfair to say it has too much singing in it for me. But otherwise, it hits a very niche sweet spot for me. It's sort of a What If?/Team-Up of Grimm's Fairy Tales characters.

Cool: I enjoyed the fairy tale characters/elements having an intertwined plot
Lame: Too much singing

Rating: 5/10, On Amazon it has the same percentage of people giving it 5 stars as 1 stars!

 Complete movie on YouTube!

Crash! (1977)
The tagline from the poster sums it up nicely: "An occult object takes possession of a driverless car and causes one spectacular crash after another until fifty cars are pounded into a mass of twisted metal." It's a little bit Carrie, a little bit Christine, and a lot of vehicular carnage!

Cool: Early Charles Band film. Groovy 70s soundtrack.
Lame: It's a bit uneven with the horror/psychic powers and Smokey & The Bandit car antics

Rating: 3/10

Iron Man 3 (2013)
I somehow never got around to seeing this in theaters. It's probably not the post-Avengers movie a lot of people wanted but I really liked it. It was neat seeing Tony do his thing without being in the suit for most of the movie. It will be interesting to see where he's at mentally in AoU.

Cool: So. Many. Armors! Good action, especially when Tony goes all Home Depot commando.
Lame: Not really anything bad to say, it's just a different kind of superhero movie.

Rating: 7/10

Month Total
 New: 6  Rewatch:0
Year Total
 New: 24  Rewatch: 3