May 26, 2017

Funko Smuggler's Bounty - 40th Anniv

What better way to wrap up a week celebrating Star Wars' 40th Anniversary than the Funko Smuggler's Bounty which happens to have the 40th Anniversary as its theme?

This was the largest box by far, and you'll see why. I was going for the opening crawl effect with the box photo, can you tell? There's usually an info card in the box that tells you about the items and what the next theme will be but my box didn't have one. I don't know if it got left out or if they stopped doing it.

The traditional Funko box pin and patch. X-Wing Luke looks a little...weird? Maybe he's talking to Obi-Wan's ghost.

Funko has a track record of debuting new types of items in their boxes. I'm not sure if this is one of them (because I didn't get an info card) but it's definitely the first Funko wristbands I've seen. Yep, they sure are wristbands that say Star Wars.

See if you're going to Funko-ize something, this is how you do it! I don't know about leaving these two characters on my dining table though, they might get into some shenanigans.

Who shot first, salt or pepper? Wrong! 
The correct answer is no one shot first. 
Han shot. 
End of story.

And here's why this box was so large! Not a Dorbz Ride but a full on Pop Ride Luke in his Landspeeder. I really wish I had a work space where I could put this out. It's just so much fun to look at! The used clear plastic rods to give it a hover effect.

The paint job is great. Not only the weathering but also in the detail on the exposed engine. And check out the ripples in the sand. Of course I can't look at this and not think of the original Landspeeder toy with its pop-up hood.

Well, that's it for the Funko Smuggler's Bounty for me. I've been wanting to cancel my subscription for awhile but every time I see the next theme I think "How can I stop now?" The next one is droids, not that I don't love droids! I just don't have the space to keep piling up all the boxes of stuff.

So May the Force Be With You, Smuggler's Bounty. 
I'm sure our paths will cross again in the future.

May 25, 2017

The Making of Star Wars TV Special (1977)

You can keep your mass market cutsey May the 4th Be With You.
May 25th has, and always will be, Star Wars day for me!

Happy 40th, Star Wars!

Whether you're a younger fan that's never seen this or an "original" fan that hasn't seen it in awhile, this is a great watch. Star Wars was the movie that got me interested in how movies were made. It was the first movie where I made a point to memorize the actors and started learning about how movies were made because I just wanted to know as much as possible about the movie.

I absolutely love stuff like this video because it's a time capsule of not only Star Wars history but also what the world in general.

So sit back and relax as C-3PO and R2-D2 show you how Star Wars was made.

May 24, 2017

Star Wars - The Big Bad Theory Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1, almost 6 years ago (yikes!), the time between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back was just amazing. Star Wars was still new and no one had any ideas what would be in store for us in 1980. Fan speculation was all over the place and at that time, anybody could have been right!

Despite having only 12 minutes of screen time, Darth Vader immediatley became one of the most iconic villains in movie history.

Here are some pages from Famous Monsters of Filmland issue #142 (April 1978) with an interesting take on why Darth Vader may not be the bad guy you think he is. One of my favorite bits in this piece is how the author believes the Force itself to be neutral and that it's the user that is Light or Dark.

May 23, 2017

My First Light Saber

I guess a more accurate title would be my first Kenner light saber. I'm sure before I got this one I was using cardboard tubes and flashlights and making the sounds while swinging it.

But this is what we got in 1978, kids...

Your eyes don't deceive you, the package does say inflatable sword!

Images from 2 Warps to Neptune
Not exactly the dream of every kid hoping for a magical space sword. It's basically a flashlight with am inflatable plastic attached to it. A yellow tube! Not that 8 year old me really cared, I mean the figure of Luke had a yellow light saber, right?

Secrets of the Jedi revealed! The source of a light saber's power? 2 D batteries.
Also, they work best in dimly lit areas. This is because (as I remember) the tube wasn't even as transparent as your standard balloon when shining a light through it.

They also include a patch kit in case your light saber takes a really bad hit while you're out battling Sith Lords and saving the galaxy.

It was the 70s and we were glad to have anything that said Star Wars on it.

May 22, 2017

Happy 40th Star Wars!

It's the biggest birthday party in the galaxy!
Star Wars turns 40 this Thursday and to celebrate, I'll be posting stuff every day focusing on the 1977-1980 time frame when all we had was the original Star Wars.

Today, we're jumping in the way back machine to see what it was like to grow up as a Star Wars kid. If you want more old school Star Wars goodness, check out the amazing site I Grew Up Star Wars which features fan submitted photos.

Here's me holding The Story of Star Wars album. Back then, this was the closest thing we had to actually going to the theater to see the movie again. This was better than the read-along record and book sets because it used dialog from the movie. This was probably more responsible for me learning the lines than anything else.

You can hear the whole album below.

Here's a drawing my mom recently discovered from 1978.

In case you can't tell, it's a landspeeder! The lightsabers, R2, and Jawa are pretty spot on, I think. You can sort of see in the bottom right where I tried to do C-3PO but didn't like the way he came out and erased him. The funny thing is, I can still remember exactly what the markers looked like that I used to make this.

I don't remember what year this was but I want to say 79 or 80. I got to meet Darth in Providence RI of all places at a World of Wheels car show. I remember going to quite a few of these with my dad and seeing famous TV cars but this was definitely the best one!

Stay tuned all week for more Star Wars!

May 17, 2017

Krampus in the Corner

Towards the end of last year, I backed a Kickstarter called Krampus in the Corner, a parody of everyone's least favorite holiday toy Elf on the Shelf. Although he didn't arrive in time for the 2016 holiday season, I couldn't wait to share him with you so you can be sure to get yours for this year if you want one. And honestly, why would you not?

If they can do Christmas in July, why not Krampus in May?

The Krampus plush is 12" tall and oh so ready to judge your actions year round. The book is 32 pages, features 16 full color illustrations, and is most definitely not for young children!

Here's a full view of ol Krampus. He's got chains on his wrists to tie up the naughty as well as a swatch of sticks for punishment. What's the red harness for, you ask?

It's to hold the basket where he puts the naughty kids! This is such a great detail.
And the cutest bit disturbing for a plush toy.

Here's a sample of what you'll find in the book. There are a few illustrations that are not exactly kid friendly. I mean, they're not gory but definitely not for bedtime! I really like the art style and would love to see an animated short with this Krampus, he's got a lot of character.

If you want to put a Krampus in your Corner, head over to Silent Orchid Studio. You can get Krampus, the book, or postcards and buttons featuring the artwork. I highly recommend Krampus and the book, well worth it!

May 8, 2017

Mail Order Monday - CB Times (1976)

Breaker, breaker good buddy. You got your ears on?

Anyone that grew up around the late 70s/early 80s will no doubt remember when CB radio was a big thing. I'm sure other kids out there that had walkie talkies spent way too much time trying to raise a passing trucker. Or, more likely, annoying them.

This mail order ad from 1976 lets you join the CB Times Good Buddy Association! 
CB Times was a magazine dedicated to the CB lifestyle.

Your $10 will get you: 

A periodic newsletter to keep you up to date on CB trends and an exclusive classified section
The official CB Times bumper sticker
"Official" CB Times Press Card to aid you in gathering news at conversations and shows.
"Official" CB Times t-shirt (worn by the couple in the ad)
Directory of over 200 CB expressions
"Official" CB Times embroidered emblem
Wallet sized membership card entitling you to special discounts
SUPER BONUS: $2 discount on a yearly subscription

It's a little odd they put official in quotes in a couple places considering the stuff is coming direct from the company.

Here's a close up for you of the information you need to supply to sign up.

I get why they ask for most of the stuff, but why would they need your radio's serial number?

If you've still got a hankerin to do some jaw flappin, head over to CB Slang, which claims to be the most complete CB slang dictionary online. 

Leave your CB handle below and we'll catch you on the flip-flop.

May 5, 2017

A Galaxy of Guardians Books

If you need more Guardians in your life after leaving the theater this weekend (and who doesn't?) there are plenty more adventures to check out on the printed page. And I'm not even talking comic books! Clicking on an image will take you to Amazon where you can place an order that would make the Collector envious.

Let's start off with numero uno on my "to get" list. DK always does an amazing job with these books. Whether you're a long time fan or a newbie, there's a lot to love. They pack plenty of info in about the characters and major story lines. I flipped through this in the store and about 98% is covering the modern Guardians. They have a small section up front about the original Guardians team and then it goes up to recent comic history including Quill's romance with the X-Men's Kitty Pryde and The Thing's short membership with the group.

Next are a pair of prose novels. The one on the left came out around the time of the first movie and the other was just released about a week ago. I've read the Rocket and Groot one and it's a fun adventure starring the two of them doing their own thing. It also has a full production audio book which I picked up awhile back and should probably listen to sometime.

I passed by this in the store the other day and thought it was neat. A junior novelization with pages of photos kind of takes me back to books I'd get as a kid. And then I noticed the Bonus at the bottom: an exclusive Guardians story that's not part of the movie! It's not very long and takes place between the movies. It might be enough to get me to pick this up at some point.

But Dex, you say, I have younger kids that like the movies, is there anything for them? Well, of course there is! These two middle grade novels are by Tom Angelberger, the man behind the Origami Yoda series (something else I should probably check out). I checked out the first one from the library (yes those are still a thing!) and it was...okay. I'm sure the target age range, 8-12, will get more kicks out of it. I don't have anything against kids books, this just isn't what I want from a Rocket and Groot story.

You've got even younger readers, or ones that like lots of pictures? These Golden Books should be just right. Marvel has been putting out Golden Books for awhile now for Avengers characters and even Doctor Strange! I think it's a great way for kids to enjoy their favorite characters without having to dive into comics.

There are also Passport to Reading books featuring the Guardians.

If you're looking for a little more interactivity with your Guardians, check out Doodles! Personally, I don't know if I could bring myself to deface a book that I paid for. Photocopy maybe, but not write on the pages. I suck at drawing but I do like the art style in the book.

And the one I'm really looking forward to is the art book. Ever since I was a kid and got into Star Wars, I have loved looking at concept art for sci-fi movies. It amazes me that there are so many ideas that have to happen to arrive at the final concept. If you want this one, I would suggest getting it as soon as you can. The art book from the first movie is now going for $120 from third party sellers on Amazon!

May 3, 2017

Marvel Collector Corps - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Funko's Marvel Collector Corps is back like a fox on the run with everyone's favorite gang of intergalactic a-holes! I don't have a regular subscription to the Marvel Collector Corps but when I saw the Guardians were back, of course I had to order it.

They're not messing around this time, full-on Groot mode is in effect.
They know where the money is.

The inside of the box is loaded with images that I'm sure will be in the GotGv2 coloring book when it comes out. If they made a couple for the first movie, I have no doubt there will be some for this one. But enough about that, let's dive into the awesome mix of stuff inside!

I have to give some serious props to the artist on the pin. They nailed Zoe Saldana's likeness.

This exclusive cover is so adorable I don't even care that it's not a Guardians comic. I get they want to push the current Big Event but I would have been just as happy (more?) with a comic cover sized print of this sans title.

This shirt features the new crew ready to take on the galaxy, including Mantis and Yondu.
Yondu is whistling for his arrow and Baby Groot looks like he's ready to tear someone up!

This Dorbz Ride is a first for the Marvel Collector Corps and features Star-Lord in the Milano. If you're not familiar with Dorbz (honestly, do you not get out?) they're about 3" tall. It didn't occur to me while shooting it to take a photo from above to better show off the ship but you get the idea. Star-Lord is removable...

Funko is spot on with the details as always. Not only does Quill have the alien logo shirt that we've seen but he's also sporting a couple of chains around his neck. At the red carpet premiere, Chris Pratt said it's a logo for an alien brand of candy. Whether he was joking or not, we'll have to wait and see.

On to the final item!

Prepare yourself...

I usually skip taking a photo of the Pop in box but the artwork is just too cute! This 2-in-1 is another first for the Collector Corps. I'm no Funko expert but I don't think I've seen another Pop that has two characters together like this. There are some that come with two separate characters but I haven't seen any where they are part of a single figure like this.

I love Rocket's squinty half-closed eyes like he's ready to kick ass and chew bubblegum. Both Rocket and Baby Groot are bobbleheads. My only problem with this figure is that it doesn't come with a base. This makes it a little challenging to get it to stand up with the extra weight on the head. Not a huge deal though.

The real shame is that when you have Rocket on display, you're going to be missing out on seeing Baby Groot's whole body. I mean...look at him hanging on back there!

And that shot of Groot butt will wrap up the Guardians Vol. 2 Collector Corps box. I don't think they could do much better than this, it's a very solid box all around. The next box's theme is Spider-Man Homecoming, so if you want to order it, head over to the Collector Corps site and sign up. Once you're signed up, you also have the ability to purchase any past boxes, if they're still available. And you get to see everything in it before you decide!

May 1, 2017

Monthly Movie Recap - April 2017

I can't believe it's May already! I remember it being January and thinking "When will May get here so I can see Guardians?!?"

Not a lot of flicks this month. Although I did start getting into Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix. I never watched him when he was on in the 90s. I loved Mr. Wizard on Nick when I was younger and I was into Beakman's World which came out a year before the Science Guy. The new show is not aimed at kids and you should check it out.

On with the movies!

I had no idea this movie even existed until a couple years ago when I saw it mentioned on Strange Kids Club. It's definitely a step or to above the average 80s slasher and most of that is due to the cast. In most slashers the kids are there for the body count but I really liked most of them and wanted them to make it.

Cool: Jason Alexander!? Requisite nudity and gore.
Lame: The worst thing about this one for me are the kill scenes, not the makeup effects but the actual composition of the kills. Because the weapon of choice is gardening shears, it makes for some awkward angles.

Rating: 7/10

Train to Busan (2016, Netflix)
Stumbled into this on Netflix and loved it. Yes, it's a zombie movie. Yes, it has most of the tropes you'd expect in a zombie movie. But since it's not a US movie, it's done a little differently than what you'd expect.

Cool: The characters! Much like The Burning, I was invested in some of the characters and was bummed when some of them died.
Lame: Seems like no matter where the zombie outbreak happens there's always that a-hole that endangers the survivors to save them self.

Rating: 8/10

*Rogue One (2016)
Still love it!

Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2013, Netflix)
This is by the same animation company that did Gantz:O from last month. And like that movie, this is an existing franchise I knew nothing about. They do lay the story out so you can come into it blind and still have a good time. It's almost two hours but there's a good amount of sci-fi action to keep it going. His name is the title of the movie but he's not the main character. They go less is more with Harlock, which I guess they have to because he is such a bad ass.

Cool: Great character designs. Harlock's ship, Arcadia, is like the galactic Jolly Roger.
Lame: I wasn't as interested in the main character's relationships/story as I was pretty much everyone else.

Rating: 7/10

Month Total
 New: 3  Rewatch: 1

Year Total
 New: 18  Rewatch: 2