Mar 27, 2019

Quarter Bin - Battle of the Planets

Battle of the Planets will always be one of my favorite cartoons. It was my first real intro to Japanese animation and was one of the shows in rotation that my friends and I would use for inspiration when playing out our own adventures. I remember making our own wristbands and sonic boomerangs out of cardboard.

The arrival of Battle of the Planets in the US was due to the popularity of Star Wars at the time. It's right there in the name! Star Wars. Battle of the Planets. The original show, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, was edited (read: sanitized) for American audiences and incorporated new footage featuring an R2-D2 inspired robot called 7-Zark-7. Until the internet age, I had no idea BotP was anything other than what I saw on afternoon TV. The original Gatchaman is a bit more violent and has some adult themes, including transgenderism.

Here's the show's intro

Just hearing that music and voice-over makes me feel like a kid again! The basic premise of the show followed this group of super teens battling the evil Zoltar and the forces of Spectra. Like any good hero, each one has a signature weapon and vehicle. Being Japanimation, the vehicles combine but not in a Voltron like way. This is a quick clip showing how all the vehicles combine into the command ship, The Phoenix.

I don't know how popular the show was when it aired but I feel like they missed out by not marketing it in the US with a toy line. I know I kid me would have been all over it!

The show ran in syndication from September 1978 - May 1980 while the comic produced 10 issues from June 1979 - February 1981. The first few issues featured the Gold Key logo and then switched to Whitman. Oddly, issue 4 can be found with either company logo on it.

The art in the comic is about on par with what you'd expect for a comic adaptation of a 70s cartoon. It's not going to knock your socks off but it gets the job done. Like the series, the comics for the most part are self contained stories. I didn't fully look into it but I think they're all original stories.

In 2002, Image/Top Cow Comics brought the super teen team back into print with a 12 issue mini-series featuring alternate covers by Alex Ross. They went on over the next couple years with a manga adaptation, one shots featuring Mark and Jason, and a 6 issue Princess mini-series. There were also a pair of crossovers.

I know next to nothing about Witchblade so that book wasn't nearly as exciting to me as the Thundercats crossover. Definitely a fun read for fans of either!

Collecting the Gold Key issues will put a small dent in your wallet. Ebay shows issues ranging from $10-$40 each and going upwards of $100 for pro graded copies. The more recent Top Cow books are generally under $5 each.

If you've never seen the show, it's worth checking out. There are plenty of episodes to be found on YouTube. While the original Gatchaman might appeal more to us now as adults, Battle of the Planets is still good if you need a dose of Saturday morning cartoons.

And just the next day, Toy Galaxy posted this awesome video.

Mar 20, 2019

Starforce Captian Marvel Figure

With Captain Marvel still flying high at the box office, today I'm showing off the Target exclusive Marvel Legends figure.

This figure was both frustrating and ridiculously easy to get. None of my local stores have had it in stock. They've barely even managed to have any of the regular Captain Marvel Legends on the pegs. Then it dawned on me to try the Target app and what do you know? A store a little further away had them in stock or I could order online? Bonus!

I ordered online, not wanting to risk waiting for the weekend to get to the store. I selected my local store thinking they would ship to that store. I then got a notice saying that because my store didn't have it in stock, they'd ship for free to my house. A couple days later I unexpectedly happened to be in the "in stock store" area and picked one up, just to be safe.

But enough about me, let's get a look at Starforce Captain Marvel.

The black, green, and silver looks really sharp on this figure. I don't know why but the red and blue costume figures just haven't done it for me and I really wanted to get some movie version of her in plastic form. The figure has all the great articulation you expect from a Legend and some awesome pack in accessories. But more on that later.

The mohawk head has a fun little smirk on her face, which I wish they'd used on the unmasked head as well, or at least some kind of expression.

The unmasked face just doesn't look right to me. It might be the sculpting is a little too good and it's in the uncanny valley area. Or maybe it looks a little too big for the body? It kind of has that look like when you know they're slapping RDJ's head on an all CGI Iron Man.

If you get up even closer than this, you can see the dots used to print the eyes which is just a bit weird. When I was grabbing one in the store, I was comparing the paint jobs on figures to make sure I had a good one and at first thought there was some kind of error on her left cheek and then realized, nope, that's a beauty mark!

Overall, this is a great figure and my only minor complaint is that her hands are balled up into fists. Oh wait, did you think I was wrapping up? It's accessory time!

An extra head, pair of hands, scarf, bandolier, and rifle turn her into Minn-Erva. She wasn't in the movie a whole lot but I really liked the character. Might be because I usually gravitate toward snipers/distance fighters in video games.

They did an amazing job with this alternate head. The colors in her hair are great and stupid me didn't get a good shot of the side of her shaved head. They could have put this out as a figure and I would have bought it. When we first saw shots of Captain Marvel in the green armor I was all "huh?" and after seeing the movie I'm all "more Starforce figures!" I'd love to see a Korath in uniform since we never got one from either Guardians line.

I decided to team up the comic version from a few years back with the movie version.

Marvel Legends have come a long way in a few years! I liked the comic figure when it came out (post here) but looking at it compared to a recent figure is a world of difference.

Mar 8, 2019

Captain Marvel Challenge Coin & Mission Patch

Happy Captain Marvel/International Women's Day!

I don't usually pick up MCU related things from the trading card area but this grabbed my interest. I'm not a "coin collector" but I do pick up the odd coin here and there.

This is put out by a company called Bullsitoy. They make all sorts of assorted things you'd find in a big box store trading card section. Given that Captain Marvel was in the Air Force, I thought this was a cool way to go for a product instead of dog tags with character images.

Here's the back of the package showing the eight different coins and patches. The coin detail is kind of hard to see in the photo but they are all different. The front calls this a set so I'm not sure if the coins and patches are paired the same in each box but that would make getting them all a bit easier.

I have to give them major points for exceeding my expectations with the coin. I wasn't expecting it to have its own packaging. It sits inside a plastic bubble on the card. And the best thing? They made it resealable so you can take out the coin out and put it back in to your heart's content making for a nice way to display it.

They also didn't cheap out and go with a plastic coin. It's metal and has a good weight to it. On the back it's stamped with the Captain Marvel logo and tells me this is coin 3 in the series. For those in the cheap seats, the front says Higher, Further, Faster.

Some of you out there may be wondering what a Challenge Coin is. I don't know how big a role, if any, they play in the movie but I'd suggest skimming the Wiki article because they're pretty cool. The Bullsitoy site says "The Skrull invasion is here! With shapeshifting aliens in our midst, the only way to tell friend from for are Captain Marvel patches or challenge coins!"

Quarter for scale

The patch is pretty cool. It's fabric but surprise! While it looks and feels like a patch, it's a sticker. I wasn't sure what to make of the $6 price tag before I knew what was inside but I think it's worth it, especially with the display card for the coin.

I'm off to see the movie tomorrow and I'm really pulling for it to be great.

Mar 1, 2019

Monthly Movie Recap - February 2019

Hey it's the first of March and you know what that means! Yup, 6"-12" of snow forecast for tomorrow. Sounds like a good time to get in some movies.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Finished it, loved it, can't wait for more!

Bloodsucking Bastards (2015, Amazon Prime)
The trailer pretty much tells you everything you need to know. It's your typical office workplace but with vampires. If you like the trailer's sense of humor, you should enjoy the movie. It's a good time, not overly violent and there's buckets of blood.

Rating: 7/10

Murder Party (2007, Netflix)
On Halloween, a lonely schlub finds an invitation to a Murder Party but it's not he kind of party he thinks. This is one of those dark comedies where things start going horribly wrong and don't stop. I don't think it's going to be for everyone but if you're reading this blog, check it out.

Rating: 6/10

Abducted in Plain Sight (2017, Netflix)
The crime doc that's all the talk around the internet water cooler. If you were to craft a fictional story I don't know that you could come up with something as weird as this true story. I could try to explain it but you'd think I was lying. I only give documentaries a pass or fail and while I give this a pass, I can't prepare you for the story. Even Jem would be jealous at how truly outrageous it is!

Sometimes you spend way too long looking for something to watch on Netflix and out of frustration just pick anything so you can start watching something. Considering I had no clue what I was in for, this was a real treat! This is a great little horror flick. From the way the story is told to the almost claustrophobic haunted house vibe, I can't recommend this enough.

Rating: 8/10

Halloween (2018)
Full disclosure: of the Big Three cinema slashers, the Halloween series has always been my least favorite. Nightmare has Freddy, Jason has epic kills. Nothing comes to mind for me with Halloween that makes it stand out. Don't get me wrong, I liked the first two but couldn't tell you anything about any installment after 3.
My history with this series makes me the perfect audience for the most recent sequel. I don't need to remember anything beyond the original and that's why I really had a good time here. Not only do I think it's a worthy successor but it's still very much in that 80s slasher vein which makes it so much fun. There's talk of a sequel but honestly they have to do an even better job to make it worthwhile and not rob Laurie of her victory.

Rating: 8/10

New: Rewatch: 0

Year to Date
New: 14  Rewatch: 1