Jul 27, 2016

Funko Smuggler's Bounty - Jabba's Palace

Wow it feels longer than two months since the last Smuggler's Bounty! This time around we're headed back to the place where it all began: Tatooine. The only place in the galaxy when you hear "Ho, ho, ho!" you  know it ain't Santa!

Funko has added a new piece to the Smuggler's Bounty starting this month. It's a double sided card that shows what you're getting and some fun facts about the items.

The reverse side is an ad for the next box, which is Death Star themed. 
I'm really hoping for a Death Star Droid Pop figure!

Here are the pin and patch that come in every box. I really like the little detail on the patch of the outline of Jabba's Palace against the twin suns.

If I had a shelf running around the top of my kitchen walls, I might actually collect these mugs. There's just something about the Pop! aesthetic that makes these work.

This Boba Fett plush is about 6.5" to the top of his helmet. He's the first of a new line of Funko plush figures because that's one of the few markets they haven't cornered yet! I keep hearing people say Funko will follow the path of Beanie Babies but I don't see it happening any time soon.

I had to show off Boba's back so you could see that he not only has a cape, but also a tiny little jetpack! It's just a flat piece of material but it's a nice touch.

Pop! Tops are another new Funko line and just like Boba, this is the first one to be released. I definitely want to check out the characters in this line. I'm not a huge 3P0 fan and if I wear it around here, people are going to think it's a Bruins hat.

Finally, we have the exclusive Pop! Vinyl figure: R2-D2 drink server. He does have a base but I thought he'd look better in the pic without it. He does have a little bobble action going on too. You might be thinking he doesn't look as nice and shiny as he normally does. They gave him a brown wash to dirty him up, but you'd have to view the original image and zoom in to see the detail.

They did a great job with the serving tray and glasses. The dispenser on his head makes him look like a keg droid!

Overall, this was a pretty fun box and not one I'd be dropping in the Rancor pit. If you want to get in on the fun, head over to the Smuggler's Bounty site and sign up.

Jul 20, 2016

Now Hear This - The Surfin' Robots

Way back in the early aughts (i was going to write 00s but that just doesn't look right), before this whole internet thing really blew up and we could pretty much stream any music we can think of, you had to turn to things like Napster or mIRC to find stuff a little more off the pop beaten path. For instance, you could search "surf" and find the usual suspects like The Beach Boys and Dick Dale. Or you might stumble into something completely new and awesome. Until I started searching (and researching) I had no idea there was modern day surf.

If there's one thing I associate with summer, other than the temperature, it's surf music. I've always been a fan of surf, yet another thing I attribute to my fascination with 50s/60s culture. If you listen to enough of it, it starts to blur together and it takes something fresh to break you out of the "been there, heard that" mentality.

Enter, Cowabungiga by The Surfin' Robots...

The Surfin' Robots are one of those bands that I accidentally discovered and fell in love with their music. I've done a good amount of searching the webs and haven't been able to find out much about them other than they are a French band that made a short film about a couple of tin toy style robots that want to surf.

Describing their sound is no easy task. It's sort of like what Daft Punk might sound like if they were a garage surf band. "Dance the Surfin' Robot" is probably the catchiest tune on the album, mainly because it's the only one with real lyrics. I defy you to listen to this and not have the line "Dance the Surfin' Robot" pop into your head later.

They've got the signature drippy guitars of surf but inject some sci-fi electro-pop that gives them a fitting 50s retro futuristic sound.

Check out the video for "Dangersurf" below.

The album clocks in just under a half hour and it's packed with high energy catchy tunes. The best way to listen to surf is blasting it on a nice summer day with the car windows rolled down with a cold beverage of choice in the cup holder. Mine's a Sonic cherry limeade, for the record. Living on the right coast, I'm not exactly in surf country and I am definitely not a beach person but this album puts me in that idealized "fun at the beach" mindset.

You can listen to Cowabungiga on Spotify and grab the full mp3 album at Amazon. Maybe even throw it on at your next party and spread the word of The Surfin' Robots.

Jul 14, 2016

Summer Flashback - Squirt Guns

This (hopefully) series of Summer Flashback posts was inspired by the Purple Stuff Podcast hosted by Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and Jay from The Sexy Armpit. If you love pop culture and you're not listening to this show, you're missing out! In episode 30 of the podcast, the guys list off some of their favorite things about summer.

I thought, "Hey, I have things I like about summer!" and I'm always looking for opportunities to do posts that are something other than showing off a new toy or collectible. So here we are!

This first post, in case you haven't guess from the title, is about squirt guns. It's going to be a bit on the retro side. Just as our calendar is split into two significant time periods due to a grand event, so too is the legacy of squirt guns. We have Before Super Soaker (BSS) and After Super Soaker (AS...S?), maybe we'll go with Post Super Soaker.

As a kid, I was lucky enough to live about a 5 minute walk from a convenience store called Girlie's, which is still there today. This place was little kid heaven with candy, trading cards, comic books, a couple of video games, and toys. There was the usual corner store stuff too of course, but at that age, the only time you cared about it was when mom had you go pick something up, which usually involved a bribe in the form of being allowed to spend the change. The toy section then is about what you'd find in your local supermarket today: a bunch of no-name, cheap stuff.

Sorta like this...

This was where I probably found my preferred squirt gun, the Wee Gee.

The Wee Gee barrel/top is about 3 inches long. It's definitely on the small side as squirt guns go. In most instances, you'd think bigger is better, right? A bigger gun means it holds more shots. However, the smaller size has the advantage of being able to surprise your victim. 

For disposable plastic toys, these were pretty well put together. They were at least as powerful as the regular size versions and they lacked the common tendency to leak. The small size also let you carry a couple of backups in your pockets because any good summer assassin couldn't afford to be caught refilling their weapon of choice.

Back in the day, most squirt guns were translucent, colorful plastic. The transparent design let you know just how much ammo you had, bonus! Some of them were modeled after actual handguns and I remember having one just like this Baretta (correction, 1911), same color.

While these real world water shooters were great for most kids that played cops & robbers or army, I was never satisfied playing something so...earthly.

I always had a love for retro future ray guns. Given the choice between sci-fi and realistic, I'd pick sci-fi all day. I'd say blame Star Wars but even those props were made using Earth weapons as a base.

At some point during middle school, the squirt gun evolved to include battery power and got a bit controversial.

Uzis were the "it" gun in the early 80s so of course they made a squirt gun for kids! And they didn't even bother making it in a bright color. This gun would never see the light of day if pitched today. It might have been the first squirt gun to have a replaceable tank, in the form of its ammo clip. The biggest disadvantage with it being battery powered was that you had to give it a few seconds of holding the trigger before it would be primed to unleash aquatic hell.

Well, that wraps up the first Summer Flashback. I'm hoping to get at least a couple more of these out before the season is over, so be sure to check back for more summer fun.

Jul 1, 2016

Monthly Movie Recap - June 2016

Not too much going on last month movie-wise but there were a few fun ones.
Maybe you'll find something to check out over the long weekend.
Have yourself a happy and safe 4th of July!

Zoombies (2016, Netflix)
You pretty much know what you're getting when you sit down to a move from The Asylum, makers of Sharknado: bad acting, cheap effects, and crazy "plots". But once in awhile, they make a really good bad movie. This one was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. There's even some scenes where the effects look decent! The trailer should tell you if you might like it.

Cool: You haven't lived until you've seen zombified giraffe tearing a person apart!
Lame: When the effects are bad, they are baaaad (and that's not a sheep joke)

Rating: 6/10

*Battlestar Galactica (1978, Netflix)
I probably haven't seen the actual movie (aka pilot episodes) for decades but I still love it! Sure the effects don't hold up that well and there's several shots that get used over and over but it's got that 70s charm and I really like the story. I will take the original Cylons over the new ones every cycle of the secton!

Cool: The Star Wars ties of concept artist Ralph McQuarrie and FX master John Dykstra; The score
Lame: Ovions still kinda scary as an adult but not as freaky as those singers!

Rating: 7/10

X-Men Apocalypse (2016)
I think I'm getting cinematic X-fatigue and that's not a good thing considering they're my favorite hero team in comics. The last two movies were great and pretty good but this one's just missing...something. The short version is I just didn't find Apocalypse to be any sort of threat and was more intrigued with Magneto's story.

Cool: Nightcrawler; Quicksilver steals the show again
Lame: What happened to Quicksilver's little sister? Horsemen characters more mini-bosses than characters. Sophie Turner: great in Game of Thrones, not so much Jean Grey.

Rating: 6.5/10

Hot Rods to Hell (1967)
I don't know what it is in my DNA but I absolutely love these type of hot roddin' movies. Granted in this one, the teens are the bad guys even though they dress in tucked-in button down shirts. It's more of a drama about an all American family being threatened by the kids.

Cool: Produced by the legendary Sam Katzman
Lame: Lacks a lot of the hi-octane hijinks you might expect from the title

Rating: 5/10

This one was...interesting. At first I didn't think it was going to hold my attention but as it went along, I got more interested in hearing the actors' stories. There's not a ton of behind the scenes stuff to be had here, it's more about the handful of people they interviewed that had minor roles in Star Wars. Okay, there's one or two people that had more prominent roles but for the most part, they're background characters.

This doesn't come off as a documentary for the casual fan the way the actors are introduced but if you're more on the involved side, I say it's worth a watch to see some of these people that you barely see in the film.

Month Total
 New: 4  Rewatch:1

Year Total
 New: 33  Rewatch:3