Apr 1, 2021

Monthly Media Recap - March 2021

If you haven't discovered it yet, check out JustWatch,com or download the app. You can look up movies or shows and it will tell you which streaming platforms you can find it and if it's free.
 
 
Streaming
 
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer (Netflix) 
Yep, I'm on the true crime train now. I was just hitting mid-teens when this guy was on the loose and remember hearing about him on the news but I had no idea how truly whacked he was. I've seen plenty of CSI shows where they match shoe prints to ID the suspect but I'd never heard of a big case where they actually did that before.

Disenchantment (S4, Netflix)
I love this series. It's not often you get an animated show with an ongoing story and character growth. Well, not from America anyway. And it's still got it's oddball sense of humor.

Wandavision (Disney+)
I didn't think it would be possible, but Marvel has me even more excited for a new Doctor Strange movie! I can't wait to see Wanda and Strange together. It's going to be wild!

Mar 29, 2021

2021 - The Year of the Purge

I made a decision that 2021 is the year of the Purge!
 

 No, not THAT Purge. The Basement Purge of 2021.

I'm not a New Year's Resolution type of guy but this year I decided to make one and stick with it for the whole year...and likely beyond because a year probably isn't going to be enough to do it right.

I've been a collector of stuff since the original Star Wars came out which was...a long time ago. We moved into our current house close to 20 years ago and I've still been collecting that whole time. You know what? Stuff takes up space!

I would be ashamed to show anyone my computer room because I think it looks like a "Five Years Ago" photo leading into an episode of Hoarders. What's the point of collecting stuff if you don't have a place to put it so you can look at it?

There's boxes of stuff that I owned before we moved in piled up in the basement. 99% of it has stayed in the box it was packed in to move it here this whole time. So I figured it was time to start making space for new stuff. My resolution is this: every month I'm going to go through at least one box in the basement and get rid of what I can. If it doesn't move on eBay after a month, it gets donated somewhere.
 
One box a month my not sound like much but if you've sold on eBay, you know there's time involved with looking up the items to make sure they're worth selling and that you're pricing them well. Then there's measuring and weighing the packages, and let's not forget taking photos of everything.

So far, I've stuck with it and it's paying off!

 
A lot of the time, I will post stuff to Instagram before eBay at a lower price than I think it will get at auction. It's not about the money, I'd rather have it go to someone I "know". So far, no bites there yet.

You can check out my eBay shop here.

Mar 24, 2021

Thundarr the Barbarian Funko Pops

 Shortly after Funko started cranking out Pop figures, I had my heart set on ones based on my favorite Saturday morning cartoon, Thundarr the Barbarian. While I kept it in mind that they may never happen, over the years I figured they'd start running out of things people were nostalgic for and eventually they would come and they finally have...sort of.
 

 Back in February, Funko announced all the exclusives for their Spring 2021 VirtualCon and among them were these three I had been waiting on for years. Yes, my most wanted Pops were coming but they were going to be an online exclusive. In the span of a few seconds I went from elation to presuming I'd never actually see these at a decent price.

A couple weeks later, I saw something about being able to register ahead of time to order the figures. The only catch was you had to have been signed up two weeks before I found this info. Like Thundarr, I was going to fight on ignoring any obstacles in my way!

Mar 17, 2021

Hot Wheels 2021 - Rigor Motor

 There's nothing like finding a sprinkle of Halloween in the off season!


Rigor Motor returns for the first time since 2019 as part of the Hot Wheels Art Car mini collection. This is one of my favorite "Halloween" models because of its coffin shape, skull radiator, and bat ornament. This release also has the skull wheels that I think I've only ever seen on Halloween specific releases previously.


This version is also special because it's got a flat body paint which is something else you don't see very often. But the real stand out is the art. Let's get a better look!


The skull graphic definitely has a Dia de los Muertos vibe to it. That could be a capital "I" but since the card it comes on says it's 1/10 in the art set, it could be the number 1. Looking at pics of other cars in the series, I'm not seeing a number on them. Who knows?

Mar 10, 2021

Slashy Camp Game Review

 If you're into mobile gaming, you've likely heard of Crossy Road or one of the seemingly hundreds of clones of it. If you're also a horror nut, you might have also heard of Slayaway Camp, a slasher inspired puzzle game. Now, the people behind Slayaway Camp have stitched these two together for a really fun casual game on Android and iOS.


Skullface, the "star" of Slayaway Camp, is back for more blood in an endless runner kill fest. Your goal is simple: romp through the woodlands, avoid hazards, and kill everything on two legs. I say two legs because even maniacal slashers shouldn't hurt forest animals. Trust me.

Mar 1, 2021

Monthly Media Recap - February 2021

 A short month means not quite as many movies. That and I was totally absorbed by the Cecil Hotel doc on Netflix!


Streaming
 
Westworld (S1-S2, HBO Max) - The 1973 movie is one of my all time favorites and I wasn't sure how they would turn it into an ongoing series. I wasn't really expecting them to go in the direction they did but I love when sci-fi is used to address what it means to be human so I was all in. And then the end of the first season threw out a few wrenches and opened even more possibilites! Can't wait to keep watching.

Neon Genesis Evangelion (Netflix) - Anime is one area of where my geekness is sorely lacking. It's not that I don't like it. I loved the Japanimation that was on TV daily as a kid. I know people love this which is why I wanted to check it out. But I'm 4 eps in and so far it's not really doing anything for me. I'll probably give it a couple more before deciding if I'll finish it.
 
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (Netflix) -  I had definitely seen the infamous elevator footage before coming into this, maybe it was back during American Horror Story: Hotel was on and I was poking around into the hotel. The story starts out kinda creepy and then becomes sad toward the end. Personally, I think something happened to her other than a brain chemistry issue but we'll never know. The "internet sleuths" that ruined a dude's life based on pretty much no evidence are a bunch of jerks.

Feb 24, 2021

Behind the Music - Mah Na Mah Na

 On February 19th, Disney+ added all five seasons of the original Muppet Show (1976 - 1981) to its streaming catalog. The is pretty amazing considering the last two seasons have yet to receive a home release. Featured in the very first episode is the iconic (and infectious) musical number "Mah Na Mah Na". 
 

No doubt, you know the tune, but do you know this wasn't the first Muppet performance of it, or where the song originated?

Join us as we go Behind the Music with Mah Na Mah Na...
 

Feb 17, 2021

Tron Legacy Boots into Fortnite

It seems like the folks at Epic Games are out to get me. Get me to play Fortnite that is. I had somehow held back when previous Star Wars and Marvel events invaded the game. This past December, they brought in the Mandalorian (and Grogu!) so I decided to finally check it out. I've been enjoying the game a lot. I'm not great at it by any means (building still confuses me) but I'm okay.

Even with the Predator, Sarah Connor, and T-800 Terminator recently released, I thought the Mandalorian would be the end all of collaborations. Then they go and drop this on me last week.

Feb 10, 2021

Monsterwax Spookshow Trading Cards Series 2

 Trading card company Monsterwax is back again with a sequel to their fantastic Spookshow trading card series from 2012. You can see my review of those here.


As before, they took to Kickstarter to make this series happen and I was thrilled to be part of it. And just like last time, I wouldn't be content with just the base set of cards so I ponied up for the Delux Master Set!

So what did I get for front row seats?

Feb 1, 2021

Monthly Media Recap - January 2021

 Welcome to another year of Monthly Media Recaps! 
 
A few reminders:

You can find me on Letterboxd. I don't usually post reviews there but I do record my movie views so I won't forget any at the end of the month.

If a title is linked, it will take you to Amazon if you want to buy the movie, or anything else, and drop a few pennies in the coffers.
 
 
Streaming

Cobra Kai (S3, Netflix) - I don't want to say this season jumped the shark but it's definitely getting a little more soap opera-ish and how many times do you let kids beat each other up before you get the police involved?
 
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (S4, Netflix) - I am definitely going to miss this show! The overall story for the final season was great. The final couple eps were crazy but in a really fun way.
 
The History of Swear Words (Netflix) - Seriously, who could host this better than Nic Cage? OK, maybe Sam Jackson but still, this is a lot of fun and a good change from anything else you're watching.

WandaVision (Disney+) - Still airing new eps but it is a real treat! Not only am I interested to see how it unfolds but the work that went into recreating each sitcom style through the years has been top notch.

The Flight Attendant (HBO Max) - Love this show! Definitely a very Hitchcock vibe to it. It's even got a little bit of retro going for it with the title score and split screen shots. Kaley Couco was fantastic and had a lot to do with her character. It's nice to see do something other than "the blonde girl on the sitcom". I wasn't sure they were going to wrap it up by the end but they pulled it off while leaving the possibility for another season. However, it would have to be a really great story.
 

Jan 27, 2021

Plunderlings Goblin Figures

It took about a year longer than expected but I finally got my Plunderlings figures!


The Kickstarter originally launched in August 2019. The figures looked great and were overflowing with character. The hard part wasn't deciding whether or not to back it but keeping myself in check and only going in for two figures. I looked back at the page for this post and found myself saying "Why didn't I pick that one?" a whole lot! You can see the page and all the figures on Kickstarter.

 So let's start at the beginning and get my least favorite thing out of the way.


The packaging is very cute. It comes with cardboard ears that you can slot into the sides to make a fun Plunderling head. However, the box is terrible at showing you what's inside of it. It's not a huge deal because, trust me, if you have any of these guys you're going to want to have them out of the box!

Jan 19, 2021

Disney's Haunted Mansion Attic Diorama

 I didn't want to do another Haunted Mansion post and start it off with "Welcome, Foolish Mortals!" but what are you going to do? That's like THE thing.


I got this diorama set for Christmas and couldn't wait until October to post it! (Only 285 days til Halloween!) This is one of two sets that are available in parks or on ShopDisney, when they're in stock. The other one is of Madame Leota's seance room and it looks pretty sweet.

Inside the box is a floor, three walls, some connectors to hold them together, the bride, and a whole lot of attic stuff.


I mean, this isn't even everything! I love the chaise lounge with the tiger pelt draped over it. It's hard to see in the pics, but the wedding cake topper has a headless groom. And yes, there's an axe on the table with the tea setting. It wold have been cool if they had a hole in the bride's hands so she could hold it.

There isn't an "official" story of the Haunted Mansion but if you see the attic bride on the ride, she's surrounded by reminders of her previous husbands and they definitely "lost their heads" over her. You can see some of that on the walls, there are portraits of her with different men.

The left wall has a banner that's dated 1872 and says Love Forever, Frank and Constance. The room is more narrow at the back and widens as it gets toward you which angles out the side walls so you can see them without having to stick your head in there to peek at them.
 
 
Adding a little blue light for a ghostly effect.

I really like the way this one came out. If I was more skilled with Photoshop, I could have done a transparency thing to make her a little see through.

This is a really cool set and hopefully ShopDisney will get the other one back in stock so I can get that one too.

I did this one for scale so you can get an idea of the size. I don't have any "spooky" 3.75" figures but I think the scale is close enough.


LEGO on the left, Playmobil on the right.

Jan 13, 2021

The TypEtching Art of Winifred Caldwell - Part 2

 Yes, this is the second half of a story! If you haven't, go back and read part one first.
 
 
As I mentioned at the end of Monday's post, I reached out to Mike Devaney, grandson of Winifred Caldwell, through Facebook and explained to him how I had come into the magazine featuring his grandmother and her letter.

He told me that she was quite the promoter of her art and that he had several pieces of correspondence from people that she had reached out to but did not have any of the letters that she sent out.

He offered to send me a reproduction print of her art that was made in the 60s and would sell for $7.50. While I was interested to see if he wanted the items, I wasn't looking for anything from him when I contacted him. It just felt like the right thing to do! Can you imagine if someone contacted you with 60 year old documents relating to a family member?

Jan 11, 2021

The TypEtching Art of Winifred Caldwell - Part 1

Back in October, I bought a Vincent Price Trick or Treat Memorabilia grab bag on eBay. It wasn't particularly spooky so I didn't post it in October. It's actually a fun way to kick of the new year due to the story that came out of it.

The grab bag was put together by his estate/daughter and contains all sorts of random things you might find if you were going through his desk at different points in time. It was a priority flat rate envelope packed with all sorts of ephemera.


This is just a small sampling of what was included. There were a couple of photos, several things relating to the art world such as gallery opening invites, holiday cards, random newspaper clippings, wedding invites, and even a children's birthday party invite.

Jan 6, 2021

Hauilday Excerpts

I usually try to do the after Christmas post before the New Year. At least I think I do, I'm not going to go back and check. Here's a few highlights from my gift haul 2020.


Starting off with a couple of really cool shirts. I love the art style on the Strange one, plus is kind of a subtle reference that non-Marvel people will miss. We'll get back to Mando & Son, there's a lot more of them coming up!


I got my first Funko Soda ever. I've always held off on getting any of these because I usually want the 'regular' version and don't want to take the chance on getting a variant. I like the kinda chunky, solid figure design.

The other thing is a Disney's Haunted Mansion diorama set. I've seen pictures of these from the parks and was definitely going to pick one up on my next trip (Which would have been September 2020, thanks Covid.) It's part of the attic scene and there's lots of little bits and pieces to it. This will likely get its own blog post whenever I get around to putting it together. Looks very cool! I also got the Hallmark Hitchhiking Ghost ornament.
 
 
In recent years, the Disney Store has been selling these collector keys. They come in all sorts of themes and characters. This is a pretty cool set that covers a few different aspects of Disney. The Marvel one has Avengers symbols and the Star Wars one has Vader and Luke on it.
 

There's just something really fun about having a "Star Wars Christmas" again and this year was definitely one of those! On the Pop front, we have Moff Gideon with Darksaber and Mando & Son in the desert. Top right is a pair of Mando and IG-11 Cosbaby bobblehead figures. Not pictured, a Mandalorian 2020 wall calendar.


For when you need to shoot and capture your bounty alive: the Mandalorian Polaroid camera! It's the odd perfect combination of modern day Star Wars with 1970s technology. It might be the 21st century but the photos still look like how you remember Polaroids from back in the day.
 
 
The camera itself looks like it would fit right in with Mando's armor and even has a Mudhorn skull on the back. Do you remember the last time you had to look through a viewfinder to take a photo? Me either! My one minor complaint with the setup is the position of the shutter button below the flash. You have to pay attention to your hand position when snapping those pics otherwise you're going to get finger shadows on your subject. The original cameras didn't have a flash, or if they did it was on an additional part of the camera that flipped up.

The film has Mandalorian themed borders and graphics on it. What's really cool is that when you prep a new film cartridge, there is a film protector that gets ejected (bottom right). This one of the Armorer is numbered 5/8 so I'm guessing there's 8 different cards to collect as well.

So that's some of the stuff I got over the holidays. 
What kind of cool stuff did you get? 
Let me know in the comments!

Jan 1, 2021

Monthly Media Recap - December 2020

 Well, that was...a year. But we made it and the horizon of '21 is looking bright. Wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, I hope you're having a great holiday season!


Streaming

Death to 2020 (Netflix) - A funny look back at all the crazy that was 2020. Highly recommended.

The Mandalorian (S2, Disney+) - Just...wow. I am so glad I was able to stay spoiler free through the whole series. A handful of episodes had me geeking out like I was a kid again and truly excited for Star Wars. Give these guys some movies already!

Aunty Donna's Big Ol' House of Fun (Netflix) - The only thing I can equate this comedy trio to, even remotely, is Monty Python. The jokes are quick and the WTF-ness if way off the scale! Love it.

Creepshow Holiday Special (Shudder) - I liked the animated Halloween special but this one was so much more fun for me. The way it twists Christmas lore is superb.