Jan 28, 2016

Funko Smuggler's Bounty - Resistance

Last week, both Loot Crate and Smuggler's Bounty arrived on the same day! I already posted the Loot Crate, so here's the latest Smuggler's Bounty box from Funko.

This is only the second Smuggler's Bounty but it seems like they're going to keep changing up the character on the box to fit with the theme.

Here are a BB-8 patch and Poe pin. Poe pin! C'mon everyone, say it with me a few times. Poe pin, Poe pin, Poe pin. One of these days I should probably translate the Aurebesh writing on these. As big of a Star Wars geek that I am, I can't read this.

I'm still not sold on these Pop! mugs. They look fun but I don't think I'd ever actually use it. I do like the fact that they put a red handle on it to match 3P0's red arm. I'm not a big fan of the red arm but I guess it shows how strapped for resources the Resistance is. I also didn't think the costume looked great in the new movie, it looked more like a plastic molded Halloween costume than metal.

You're guaranteed at least one exclusive Pop vinyl in each Bounty box. After getting Han last time, it's cool to get Chewie. But what makes him exclusive? He's flocked!

If you're wondering what flocked means, here's a close up. He's kind of fuzzy.

Best bros foreva!

Finally, here is an exclusive Pop shirt. Just like last time, it's a great design that I'd love to wear but will never be able to because it's not made for someone that grew up with the original movies and doesn't wear skinny jeans.

This box was okay for me. I love Chewie but don't really care about the mug or shirt (because I can't wear it). I'll probably cancel my subscription at some point and only get the ones where the theme sounds like it will be good. The next one is slated to be Cantina themed so I'm still along for the ride. Really hoping for a band member Pop!

Jan 26, 2016

January 2016 Loot Crate - Invasion

Attention Earthlings:
The Supreme Overlords at Loot Crate graciously provide their humble servant with goodness every month in exchange for sharing it with the masses.

Look to the skies and you just may witness the latest Loot Crate: Invasion!
Run for your lives!

Loot Crate seems to be stepping up their game in the new year. The magazine is now printed on sturdier matte paper where it was previously more "magazine"-like and glossy. They've also changed the monthly button to a cloisonne pin. The cardboard backing tells you how to access some extra DLC Loot! This month it's the first issue of a comic called Letter 44.

The magazine has a brief guide on how to survive an alien invasion, an article on tv/movie invaders, an X-Files Who's Who, and an interview with this month's shirt artist. There's also a X-Files crossword and a match the alien to its ship page.

Kicking it off is a pair of 9" x 6" mini art prints from Quantum Mechanix. I love these! I have a few 11" x 17" mini posters hanging up of other classics from the 50s and 60s. Not only do I really like the sci-fi of that era but you can't beat the poster art.

The smallest item in this month's Crate is probably my favorite! This little bugger might be only 2" high, but he's full on 3D! I would have preferred the green/blue variation just because when I think Space Invaders, I think of the original, all-green graphics. It'd be really cool if they made the other Invaders in this form too. Then of course, I'd need the tank and shields.

While we're talking Space Invaders, here's what happens if you turn the Crate inside out! The astronaut hero has a ray gun to battle the descending aliens and their flying saucers.

I'm not as excited as a lot of people are about X-Files coming back but there's no denying this shirt is awesome! Who knows, maybe I'll be surprised and it will be really good.

The adorable facehugger comes from Kidrobot. Who knew an egg laying parasite could be so cute? The rubber band is so you can attach it to your face and pretend you've got an ovipositor down your throat. Fun!

I have a feeling the Multipass from Quantum Mechanix will be a huge hit with people. I've only seen The Fifth Element once so I'm not crazy into it but I know it's got a following. The card holder is made so you can slide Leeloo's ID out and put your own in its place. It also comes with a chain so you can wear it around your neck.

Last is an X-Files LED flashlight so you don't have to search for alien life in the dark. They even included the batteries for you!

Overall, I'd say this is a pretty stellar Crate that most sci-fi fans would be into!
I give it 8 out of 10 mutilated cows.

If you'd like to get out of this world goodies dropped off at your door every month, head over to Loot Crate and use the code AEIOUwhy for 10% any subscription plan.

Jan 21, 2016

Boba Fett Playing Cards

Last month, I had posted about the Force Awakens decks that I found. Someone at Cartamundi noticed one of my posts/tweets and tweeted back to me that they were glad I liked the decks. I started a DM conversation with them to find out if they were planning on doing a Phasma helmet deck like the one they put out for the First Order Stormtrooper. They said they didn't have plans for that at the moment. Even though she was disappointing in the film, I still think she looks cool.

At one point I mentioned needing to find the Boba Fett deck pictured on their site and they told me it was a WalGreens exclusive. So I stopped in the next time I passed one and lo and behold, there it was!

Now, I'm a self-professed Boba fanboy but I have to say, I love this deck!
Top to bottom, it's an outstanding product.

For starters, it comes in a tin case instead of your every day tuck box. The interior has a foam insert that the cards fit into so they don't slide around inside the tin. The other thing I love, love, love about this set is that the Jokers are all using old school Marvel comic art. Two of them have the Mythosaur skull in the corners.
 (Hey look, you might have learned some obscure trivia!)

The suits are broken down into categories: Hearts are concept art, Diamonds are movie scenes, and Clubs and Spades are artwork. I thought this was a really good idea to keep it from just being 52 random images of Boba. The card in the bottom right is the back.

I really can't recommend this deck highly enough! The packaging, card layout, and the way the suits are broken into categories all come together to make a great looking pack of cards. Head down to your local WalGreens and hunt one down. I almost didn't find it at my store because it was on the side of an end cap mixed in with other playing cards.

Jan 19, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy Playing Cards

There are two flavors of Guardians playing cards out there for your card gaming pleasure.
Lucky for you, I'm showing them both off today!

First up is the movie deck. The Jokers here are one of the posters and the artwork from the soundtrack album.

Every card in the deck has a image of one or more characters from the movie. My only complaint with this deck is that all the character images come from the same poster-style art that was all over the place when the movie was released. I suppose in one way, it's good in that it provides a cohesive look to the cards. The casual fan will probably not even care about it. I don't mind it that much, it just reminds me of the type of art you'd find on birthday party supplies. There's just something about the style.

Second is the comic based deck. Who else would you put for the Jokers other than Star Lord and Rocket? And they're both on wanted posters!

This one also has an image on every card but has a lot more variety! The black and white comic strip type borders on these are a nice touch. The art draws from various recent comic pages and covers.  One thing Marvel has been doing in conjunction with their cinematic releases is changing up the source comic to match the movie a little more. The most evident of these changes is in Star Lord who now looks exactly like he did in the film.

Of course I had to get both of these when I saw them but I'd have to give the edge to the comic version. They're just more fun to look at because of the different art styles.

I picked these up at my local comic shop but haven't found them anywhere else in the wild. That might be because they're not made by Cartamundi, who seem to have good distribution into mass market retail. If you want to pick either of these up, you can find them at Entertainment Earth.

Jan 12, 2016

Summer Swap Box 2015 Comes Home!

At the end of the holiday season, the 2015 Summer Swap Box made its way back to the AEIOU home base. It's traveled to 11 other people all around the country and logged over 9000 miles in the US postal system!

Somehow, it was still in the original box that I mailed out oh so long ago with stickers placed on it by the various participants. And yet, I forgot to take photos of it. D'oh!

The other shocking thing is that there were less than five items I put in it that were still in there. Dracula made it back safe and sound as well.

So, what was in this mystery box that had been bouncing around the country for a little bit longer than a summer?

There was a whole lotta plastic people...

Plenty of army men, a good amount of Indians and just a few cowboys. Were there more cowboys in there when they got shipped out? I didn't find any tiny plastic scalps in the box so I don't think so.

A smattering of various kids meal toys, a couple of Street Fighter GI Joe figures, some Duck Tales figures, and even an old school Fisher-Price Adventure People fireman.

Perhaps the most disturbing find in the box was the nude-looking Sly Stallone figure (top right). A good cross section of the best 80s toys.

Someone chucked in a heaping handful of 70s Star Wars cards! I've been doing a lot of online trading with the new Topps sets that have come out and I'm going to start tossing a few of these into each trade. Whoever put those in, know that they will be finding a new home with Star Wars fans around the country.

I hadn't heard of Once Upon a Zombie (center) before but maybe that's because it looks like they were put out by a UK company. They look sort of Monster High-ish but are still pretty neat. A quick search shows they also made dolls of the characters.

Five, count em, five movie novelizations! And unlike the ones I had as a kid, they still have their photo pages in them. I have no idea what possessed little me to cut out the photo pages from my movie novelizations, but I did. The Batman book is an illustrated story, not a comic. And the A-Team book doesn't even have the puzzles already done, score!

More books in the top row including a Pigs in Space adventure! Voltron up there is a few party hats folded flat. And this is just a small sample of the stack of comics that were in the box: TMNT movie adaptation, GI Joe, and Sleepwalker!
You can't go wrong with Sleepwalker!

Speaking of art...

There was also some pretty rad art inside! I have no idea who did any of these, so if you want to make yourself known, go for it. Not sure what happened to the page on the left. I heard there was a toxic slime spill in the box, maybe it was a victim of that. I really dig the horizontal piece at the top.

More kooky art. Dinosaurs and Mars Attacks?! Shut up and make that movie!

Here's the stuff that really grabbed my attention.

I don't know why but I'm definitely going to check out this book, it looks like fun.  But is Hitch really in the book like the title suggests? Is he hanging out with a trio of aspiring boy detectives? Not that there's anything...no, wait. There is something wrong with that.

These are the first Monster in my Pocket figures I've ever owned. I really can't figure out how that is the case considering I have a good sized army of Battle Beasts. There was some other figure I pulled out to put in the photo but I must have forgotten it...oh well.

This isn't everything that was in the box. It was really packed to bursting! A huge thanks to everyone that joined in the fun on this. And if you're still planning to post about your experience with the box, just let me know and I'll pass the word along.

Jan 5, 2016

Star Wars - Pining for Plastic

** This post may contain The Force Awakens spoilers **

As a kid in the 70s, the toys of Star Wars were every bit as important as the movies themselves. They helped us get through the three year intervals between films at a time when there wasn't much else. When you're still in single digits, three years is for-ev-er!

There wasn't much in the way of an Expanded Universe, so playing with figures of background characters allowed for creative story telling. Hammerhead was usually a bad ass when I played with him because he was my favorite figure. And then there was the magic of the mail away Boba Fett. Getting him before the movie, you had no idea who he was or what he could do (non-rocket firing disappointment aside).

Image from Galactic Hunter
The point of all this waxing nostalgic is getting to my current lack of faith with Hasbro. First was the Force Friday debacle. If you weren't there at midnight on Thursday, you probably didn't see any movie figures for months except the Resistance fighter. To this day, I still haven't seen a 3.75" Phasma or Rey in the wild. In the months leading up to the movie, I started seeing figures here and there but they just didn't do it for me.

As a kid, seeing new figures had a certain magic to it. Before the movie, I read a story with Sarco Plank having a major role in it so I was a little excited to see the figure to find out what he looked like. Turns out, he wasn't as cool as I pictured and the design is kinda meh. He has no real face or features, just a helmet (?) and a big red robe. I don't know why so few of the new figures are exciting me. It just feels like they made the wrong figures. Constable Zuvio has a 3.75" and 6" figure but is he even in the movie?

 Zuvio has a stand-alone e-book short story that takes place before the film but isn't connected to the events in it. At least he looks kind of cool (although he's an enemy in Disney Infinity!). I think my problem with a lot of the characters I have seen in the store is they look more like costumes than characters. If you look at the majority of Jakku-based figures, they're faces are covered. Not that completely covered up characters don't rock, these just look kind of Mad Max-generic instead of Star Wars. Also, given the lead time that Hasbro needs to create the figures it's possible the script at that time had these characters doing something in the movie.

My first viewing of The Force Awakens wasn't until the Sunday after opening so there was a small window where I was hoping to recapture that childhood magic of finding new (and cool) figures in the store. I don't know if you heard all the hubbub about the WalMart that put out a mildly spoilerish Rey figure before the movie opened but that kindled a spark in me. I had a hunch Hasbro would be unleashing a whole new wave of toys after opening day and the thick curtain of secrecy was lifted from the movie.


I went into all my local stores looking for something, anything new that hadn't been peg warming for the past couple months and found Absolutely Nothing new. I mean, there have to be movie versions of Han, Leia, and Chewie at least, right?

It feels like Force Friday all over again with no new stuff before Christmas. The movie has been out for a couple of weeks. Shouldn't I be able to walk into any store to find main characters and troopers readily available? Not only is this a problem for collectors, but what about all the kids that want the toys? There's so much vying for kids' attention nowadays, if they don't get the toys after seeing the movie, they'll probably move on to something else.

If there's a bright center of action figures, I must be living in the city that it's farthest from. I know they'll be coming...some day. It's just that this is the primo time to have them out there.
Hasbro, I want to give you money but you have to give me something for it.

Has your Force Awakens figure experience been the same?

Jan 1, 2016

Monthly Movie Recap - December 2015

Another year in the books! I would say the most notable thing for 2015 was having my contracting position turn into a full time gig. Hooray for employment!

Hope everyone has a fun and happy New Year!

Here's the final movie rundown for 2015. As always, clicking on a link will bring you to Amazon where you can order the movie (or anything else you want) which nets me a small percentage of your spending. If you've used my Amazon links, thank you! I got a little extra holiday credit to use for December.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
William Shatner (!) is a radio DJ connecting four almost unrelated tales in this holiday horror anthology. Most of the stories are okay but the one where the North Pole is taken over by zombie elves and Santa has a knock down drag out with Krampus make it a must see.

Cool: The above mentioned zombie elves and Santa vs Krampus fight; The through line story, and it's ending, knocked me on my butt
Lame: I wasn't a big fan of cutting back and forth between all the stories but I know why it had to be done

Rating: 7/10

Krampus (2015)

Michael Dougherty (Trick R Treat) is back to take on another holiday. A totally fun horror-lite holiday flick! If you like Gremlins, there's no reason you shouldn't dig this too. I really want a few more holiday horror movies.

Cool: Creature design twisting familiar holiday icons
Lame: I wasn't a big fan of the open-mouthed Krampus look, it just looks weird

Rating: 8/10

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

I'm not going to go into it too much but I really enjoyed it! I have a few...not really problems, but things I felt could have been better. I think this is getting the stage set for what's to come and I can't wait to see what's in store!

*Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
The second viewing was much better because I didn't have to process all the new stuff.

Rating: 8.5/10

Munchies (1987)

And with this stinker, I complete my self-challenge of watching a new to me Roger Corman involved movie every month this year! If Critters and Gremlins had a love child addicted to weed, they would look like Munchies. The actual movie was not nearly as good as either of its parents, sadly.

Cool: Harvey Corman playing brothers, one in a horibbly bad wig
Lame: This movie!

Rating: 2/10

Hot Pursuit (2015)
If you watch this trailer, you'll know if you'll enjoy the movie. It's pretty much what you'd expect teaming up two people that are polar opposites on the run.

Rating: 5/10

Month Total
 New: 5  Rewatch:1

Year Total
 New: 78  Rewatch: 5