Feb 26, 2020

The Cybertronic Spree Rolls Out on Tour

The galaxy's best transforming robot band is going on tour starting this spring!

I guess I should lead off explaining just who the Spree are for those not familiar and why I am so very excited to see them live.

The Cybertronic Spree are a band that takes their love of Transformers to a whole new level. They perform in full costume!

Last year, I supported their Kickstarter to make a cover album of the entire Transformers: The Movie soundtrack. That album is very near and dear to me and will always rank in my Top 5 albums of all time list because it hit me at just the right time in life: high school. To this day, I still get a little chill when I hear those first four notes of Stan Bush's "The Touch".

If you want to check out these Bots and Cons in action, head over to their YouTube page where you'll find them doing songs from the Transformers soundtrack along with other tunes.

The full list of tour dates can be found on their website TheCybertronicSpree.com.
Tickets are already on sale, so nothing's gonna stand in your way!

Feb 20, 2020

Marvel Legends - Doctor Doom

I mentioned in a recent post that Dr. Strange is my favorite Marvel character but Dr. Doom is my favorite villain. What can I say? I guess I have a thing for mystically trained, educated characters.

I like Doom because he's complicated. He's not just evil for evil's sake. He's always got an angle. Heck, somewhat recently he even called himself Infamous Iron Man and took over for Tony Stark for a bit. 

I was pretty excited to see him when preview pics came out of the Fantastic Four wave of Marvel Legends. Sure, Infamous Iron Man had a figure but as much as I dug it, it wasn't the Doom. And yet, I hemmed and hawed, passing the figure up no less then three times at retail. I eventually caved in to the social media peer pressure of everyone saying how great the figure is. And I'm glad I did!

The detail on this figure is darn impressive! I daresay even the Lord of Latveria himself would approve! The tunic is plastic but they put some great texturing on it to make it look like fabric. There's multiple holes in the belt in case Doom puts on/drops some weight. Being a dictator can be stressful, no judgement here.

And just look at that armor. There's rivets on the outside and straps on the inseam. Such small details they didn't have to include but go a long way to make it the best it can be.

The cape is removable and is probably the one thing I'm not completely over the moon about as it makes him somewhat back heavy and difficult to stand. Under the cape, he's got a pair of jets. You can see one just behind his shoulder. And not only does the holster have a monogrammed D on it and hold his pistol, but it actually opens.

I have to admit I was hesitant to try and pop it open in case it wasn't supposed to but that's just more genius put into the figure. I've always found it odd that he carries a pistol. I mean, on top of his armor, he's no slouch in the mystic arts. I guess it's more of a status symbol.

As far as accessories go, he comes with the pistol, four hands (two "I'll get you, Richards!" clenched fists, a right hand for pistol holdin', and a left menacing gesture hand), and two heads. The one you've seen so far is the classic "man in the iron mask" Doom. The other is a more modern version.

The modern head looks more like an armored suit than a suit of armor and the hood is a bit larger. The eyes on both heads are fantastic. You can practically feel the loathing.

The tunic is a hard plastic and while it does move a little, it's still going to limit range of motion for his legs. There was something that felt off to me about the figure and I finally figured it out. The classic Doom look (what I usually picture for him) has a tunic that just covers his butt instead of knee length. Not a big deal.

Lord Doom would appreciate it if you bought his figure.

Feb 12, 2020

Salem So Sweet Ice Sculptures 2020

This past weekend was the 18th Annual Salem's So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival. It's a great event to get people into local businesses with shopping discounts and food sampling. But the main reason I go is for the ice sculptures...and maybe a bit of free chocolate tasting.

This year there were 26 ice sculptures on display around the downtown Salem area. The weather was perfect...if you're an ice sculpture. It was around 30F with the occasional bitter cold wind. Due to that, I didn't walk around to see all the sculptures but I do have a few photos to share.

Star Wars The Child aka Baby Yoda ice sculpture

This Baby Yoda (or The Child if you prefer) looks like he may be a little younger than 50 with his chubby cheeks.

Godzilla ice sculpture

The thing you've been waiting for all your life...Godzilla on Ice! Okay, so it's more Godzilla in ice. Something about the way the spikes/plates on his neck was making me think of the House Stark banner.

Licensed properties actually are in the minority, but happen to be the ones I'm more excited to see. Most of the others are representing local businesses, like this one for Coon's Card & Gift Shop.

Here's a pair of large heart shaped glasses in front of Old Town Hall, which is the oldest surviving municipal structure in Salem, dating back to 1816 or 1817. It was also featured in Hocus Pocus as the exterior of the building where the big party takes place.

guardians of the galaxy baby groot ice sculpture

This Baby Groot was my favorite of the ones I saw.
It has an amazing likeness and the detail work on the face is crazy.

I happened to go earlier in the day and they were still working on getting some of the ice in place. There's a small chainsaw on the left and if you look in the truck, you'll see a couple of large blocks of ice.

When night rolls around, the sculptures are illuminated with colored lights. If you want to see more ice sculpture pics (lit and unlit), check out CreativeNorthShore on Facebook and DerekMillen on YouTube.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention, several of the Salem monsters were out and about on Saturday for Monster Hugs. During October, you can find them on the streets to take photos with for a donation. This time, they're donating all their tip money to Boston Childrens' Hospital. With it being so cold, I was pretty bundled up so I didn't take any pics with them but good on them for toughing it out for a good cause! You can find plenty of pics of them with one of my favorite monsters: Salem_Satan on IG.

Feb 7, 2020

Labyrinth Playing Cards

I did tell you to tune your crystal ball in to see the next deck of cards and that was sort of a clue as to what it might be.

Labyrinth has been one of my favorite movies since it came out. Both the movie and the soundtrack have gotten a lot of play over the years. Back in the dial-up days of Bulletin Board Systems, I adopted Jareth as my first online handle.

There is so much to love with this deck! First, they used the riddle door guards Ralph (red) and Alph (blue) as the Jokers. What better choice is there?

Second, Hearts/Diamonds are yellow with Spades/Clubs being purple. I really like this because it makes the cards more interesting when you're holding a hand. Not surprisingly, the card images are all stills/promo images from the movie.

The court cards in every suit are the Labyrinth (Ace), Jareth (King, naturally!), Sarah (Queen, of course), and back to Jareth (Jack). He's also on the 10 in every suit.

Another fun thing they did was use Ludo on the 4s and the Fireys on the 3s. Here you can see what I mean about having two different colors of cards.

Whoever you're favorite character might be from the movie, they're probably on at least one card in the deck. Sir Didymus? The Wiseman? The worm? They're all here.

So if you ever accidentally wish away your baby brother and need to play a game of cards to get him back, this is your deck! You can find them at Entertainment Earth.

Feb 5, 2020

Dr Strange Playing Cards

Thanks to Entertainment Earth having a BOGO 40% off sale on Aquarius stuff, I got two new decks of cards! Sadly, most of their Star Wars cards are out of stock, including this really cool one, but the ones I got are pretty great.

Doctor Strange is probably my favorite Marvel character. Before I really got into comics as a teen, I had a pair of pocket sized collections of his earliest adventures and that's really where my love for him got it start. I read those things so many times! I even kept a notebook of all the spells/incantations he used. Nerd alert!

I would have picked these up no matter which era of Dr. Strange they focused on but they lean more toward the early 70s stuff. Would I have preferred more classic Ditko art or art that covered the span of Strange's appearances? Sure, but this era is classic for me. I would have done something different for the Jokers, maybe had one of the Eye of Agamotto cards be closed or the Seal of the Vishanti which is the symbol on the large window in his Sanctum Sanctorum.

They use an assortment of comic covers, comic panels, and portraits of Strange. Some panels include his long time foes Baron Mordo or Dormammu. No Nightmare or Mindless Ones though, what up with that?

Okay, who out there is good at math? In this 52 card deck, there are 25 different pieces of art used. How did they manage that, you ask? Not only do they repeat art between suits, they used one image for four cards!

Maybe they only had so much budget for different pieces of art? Who knows, but unless you're a weirdo that collects playing cards, you might not even notice it.

Tune your crystal ball in on Friday to find out what the other deck is.

Feb 1, 2020

Monthly Media Recap - January 2020

Can you believe it? 2020! Flying cars, personal jetpacks, robot maids.
Maybe next decade...


The Witcher (Netflix) - Really enjoyed this despite the timeline being a little confusing for a bit. Even went so far as to post a different "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" cover video for a week. Not my videos, I'm not musically inclined. Kudos to the song writer as that thing is damn catchy.

The Imagineering Story (Disney+) - A 6 part history of the Disney parks featuring the people behind the scenes. Absolute must watch for anyone that enjoys going to Disney.

Lost In Space, S2 (Netflix) - A great example of how to reboot a series. It doesn't need to be tied to the original show, it's just good storytelling with interesting characters.

The Big Screen

It: Chapter 2 (2019, Redbox)
I'd say this is as different from the first one as Nightmare on Elm Street is to parts 4 or 5. It's not as scary and has more comedic moments. It's a long one, and I didn't mind going on the ride but did it need to be almost 3 hours? SPOILER ALERT: the moral of the story is that you can defeat your bully by bullying them.

Rating: 7/10

Overlord (2018, Amazon Prime)
Not only was this a solid WWII movie but it only gets better when they start getting into the Nazi weird science stuff! It felt like watching a Castle Wolfenstein movie.

Rating: 8/10

10/31 (2017)
A Halloween anthology from the people that did The Barn, I really wanted to like this one. Indie, low budget horror can be a tough sell for me. If I had started this on streaming, instead of having bought the BluRay, I probably would have turned it off after a few minutes. I'll give the writers credit, the story ideas are solid, they just don't have the actors or effects to make them great.

Rating: 4/10

Dead Space: Downfall (2008, Amazon Prime)
A prelude to the original Dead Space video game. Sort of like Resident Evil meets Aliens. It may be animated but it's definitely not for the kiddos! It's got more than enough gore for its 85 minute run time.

Rating: 6/10

Braid (2018, Amazon Prime)
I think you'll either love this one or hate it. You may enjoy the drug-induced fever dream style or you might think it's a pretentious waste of time. It's still a little difficult on where I land on it because there isn't really a main character to root for. The ending didn't make a lot of sense to me but I enjoyed the wild ride.

Rating: 6.5/10

The VelociPastor (2018, Amazon Prime)
Look, if the title and trailer don't sell you on this, you probably won't enjoy it. This movie knows exactly what it is and constantly winks at you to make sure you know too. The film's leading man, Greg Cohan, should rocket to cult status. Probably the best dinosaur vs ninja fight ever committed to film!

Rating: 7/10, this is purely a rating of how much I enjoyed it

Year to Date Total
New: 6   Rewatch: 0