Retro Spins: David Bowie & Mick Jagger - Dancing In The Streets

David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Dancing in the Streets

It honestly shocked me to find the classic Dancing in the Streets from David Bowie and Mick Jagger was only released on vinyl in 1985. I thought for sure this would be on one of the two's solo albums, but no. Single, or nothing.

The track was recorded by the duo as a contribution to Live Aid, and was completed, video and all, in under twenty-four hours. Another interesting fact about the song, is that the band playing the music is The Jam - Another band I came to find out who my favorite song from was also only released as a single. For the sake of closing the loop, that would be their 1981 single, Absolute Beginners, which would later be used on the 1997 soundtrack for Grosse Pointe Blank.

Boy, singles everywhere!

It's sad, thanks a lot in part to Family Guy, that these days the song is considered to be one of the worst things to come from 80's music. I guess it's just one of those, you had to be there moments, where you could enjoy the tune as it was intended to be - A fun duo between two of rock's greatest musicians. And, it is fun. It's catchy. It's got a beat you could dance to, and hey, to boot, it's even just good - You know, the biggest thing that matters in the long run.

Dancing in the Streets came in multiple vinyl versions, which included, twelve inch, seven inch and forty-five.

The twelve inch featured the extended dance mix, the dub mix and edited version, aka the radio version. The seven inch featured something called the Clearoutain Mix as well as the instrumental version. The forty-five featured the original version as well as an instrumental one.

For my collection, I opted just the forty-five as I just wanted the "original" version of the song. Of course, if you're looking to get this track in crystal clear digital form, you can look to the 2007 released The Very Best of Mick Jagger or the 2002 released Best of Bowie.

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The Rolling Stones (MediCom)

The Rolling Stones

Want to spend a ton of money on a non articulated set of six inch action figures? Then look no further than MediCom's The Rolling Stone line from 2006. Sadly, you won't find the whole band present. Rather just Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Not being a big fan of the Stones myself, I have to be honest and admit I have no clue which era these outfits come from. Google searches all came up in vain. Then again, when you're typing things such as Mick Jagger blue outfit and Keith Richards white shirt, you don't tend to get much help.
 6" Mick Jagger

For what it's worth, the figures look good. Personally speaking though, I'm not a fan of action figures with zero articulation and frozen poses. Even if it's simply for display purposes, I think companies such as Sideshow and SH Figuarts have proven articulation to be somewhat of a necessity in this day and age. These 2006 figures get no pass in that regard.

 6" Keith Richards

Hidden behind a cardboard cover were two twelve inch versions of the same figures. The only difference was that these actually got a touch of articulation. On these, the heads swiveled, the shoulders, elbows and wrists had joints as did the top of the legs and knees. The clothing was also fabric vs. the plastic used for the six inch versions.

 12" Mike Jagger

Overall, the entire line came and went in the blink of an eye. This probably wasn't helped by the fact it was limited to exportation from Japan. This meant very few sources were available for buyers overseas. These were the kind of pieces you would walk past at places such as Otakon, and do a double take because you never knew they existed.

 12" Keith Richards

Between their overall limited nature, and their overseas distribution, these figures are not cheap. The carded six inch figures can sell for as much as eighty dollars a piece. Meanwhile, the twelve inch boxed versions are going to wallop your bank account at two hundred fifty dollars or more. To make matters worse, even with the aid of ebay, they're still incredibly scarce.

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Spider-Man To Venom: The Symbiote's Journey

-Editor's Note

I originally posted this write up on October 23, 2019. However, I soon after pulled it because as I dug further and further into the pages of Spider-Man, I found the information initially provided was not exactly correct, nor was it the full story.

After much reading and research, I think I finally have a full scope of the original intentions of my article, and so I present to all of you once again, the fully revised "Spider-Man To Venom: The Symbiote's Journey". Even if you read the original post, I hope you'll take time to read through it again for the further information now available.

When people think of Venom, they think of Todd McFarlane and (sometimes) David Michelinie. While it's true these two comic book powerhouses ultimately created the character, this is a mere tip of the iceberg in the story of the villain who would become Spider-Man's most fearsome foe.

Step into your way back machines with me to 1982. Marvel Comics hosted a contest where aspiring writers and artists could submit their ideas, and if chosen, would be paid for their creations. Enter Randy Schueller, a twenty-two year old comic book fan. Schueller submitted the idea of Spider-Man wearing a black costume.

Initially, it was presented where Spider-Man would only be slightly upgrade, in terms of his abilities and appearance: He would don a new black, stealth-like suit designed by Reed Richards and The Wasp of the Avengers. Composed of the same unstable molecules found in the Fantastic Four's costumes, this new suit would be more durable and stealth-like than the handmade red and blue costume.

Seeing potential in the idea, Writer / Artist / Editor of Marvel, Jim Shooter, purchased the concept from Schueller for $220.00. Additionally, the creator was given multiple opportunities to create the story surrounding his concept. While he submitted multiple suggestions, ultimately, all of these ideas would be rejected and Marvel would take creative control.

The hint of the events unfolding began subtly in issue 249 of The Amazing Spider-Man. During an outing with Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker suddenly has a massive surge from his spider sense. However, the sensation comes and goes instantly.

As Peter ponders this, the ominous third party narrator of the book informs readers, "That questions will haunt Peter for days to come. When it is finally answered, his life will never be the same."

While most readers moved on from this moment, and possibly even forgot, in the following issue, number 250, Peter would once again have a surge of spider sense hit him.

While an epic, yet random moment in the middle of the book, some fans would once again miss the important foreshadowing occurring.

Marvel Age was a series of promotional comic book size magazines which showcased interviews with artists, writers, editors. In addition, it provided behind the scenes looks at upcoming Marvel books and / or events.

It was in issue 12 of this magazine that comic book readers got their first glance of a black suited Spider-Man, albeit a slight different version from what would become the final design and eventual iconic design.

This particular version featured the iconic black suit, but inlaid into it were a red spider emblem, as well as, red glove tops. It also introduced the concept of the character's new web shooters, which would disperse from the top of his hand, versus his lower wrist. The notes scribe above them asked the question of if the webs were organic or mechanical.

For a teaser, it was fantastic and the speculation began as to how this dark suited origin of Spider-Man would play out.

With interests piqued and speculation running among comic book fans, events began to unfold within the Marvel universe. The main focal point of this article being about the Symbiote's journey, I'll mention the various other issues which tie in, but will reserve photos for the books surrounding Spider-Man.

In the final pages of The Amazing Spider-Man 251, Spider-Man finds himself having another surge of spider sense. However, this time, it sticks with him and eventually leads him to a structure in Central Park. As if drawn to it, he enters the building and disappears in a flash of light.

Readers are prompted to continue the tale in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars number 1. However, and as mentioned above, it wasn't just the pages of Spider-Man where incidents were occurring. If you truly wanted to delve deep within the story, you would need to read several monthly titles of the time. These included:

The Avengers 240 - 243
Captain America 292
Fantastic Four 265 and 277
The Incredible Hulk 292 - 295
Iron Man 181 - 183
The New Mutants 13
Quasar 8
Rom 53
Thing 10 - 22
Thor 341 - 342 and 383
The Uncanny X-Men 178 - 181

These issues not only lead up to the events of the Secret Wars, but also the return of the heroes to Earth. In the case of Thing 11 - 22, they also include the further story of Ben Grimm, who stayed behind on Battleworld.

Because one telling of Spider-Man entering the portal to Battleworld wouldn't be enough, the story was showcased two more times, once in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 89 and again in Marvel Team-Up 140.

Both books reserved this for the last page of the story, tying it into the events which originally unfolded in The Amazing Spider-Man 251.

All of these events finally lead us into the Secret Wars. However, this is where the history of Spider-Man gets a little convoluted and actually confuses some comic enthusiasts. While it's true that the twelve issue mini-series began in May of 1984, it wouldn't be until Decmber that issue number 8 would hit newsstands. At this point, all three ongoing Spider-Man titles; (1) The Amazing Spider-Man, (2) Marvel Team-Up and (3) Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man continued their normal publications and this included stories surrounding Spider-Man in his new black suit.

It's because of this that people confuse Secret Wars issue 8 as being the first appearance of Spider-Man in his black suit. However, as you've seen above, that honor technically goes to Marvel Age number 12. Sure, you could take the stance that Marvel Age was a magazine showcasing an article, and not a true comic book. Despite this, it still wouldn't make Secret Wars number 8 the first appearance.

Calendar wise, Spider-Man debuted his black suit in The Amazing Spider-Man number 252. This was followed by his spin-off book debuts in Marvel-Team Up number 141 and Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man number 90. All three books were released in May of 1984, seven months before Secret Wars number 8 was released. In fact, before readers would even learn how he got the suit, Peter Parker would have already rid himself of it.

However, before reading the three issues above, for continuity sake, this would be the point in time to read the Secret Wars story arc.

You could skip ahead to issue number 8 and cut right to the chase of Spider-Man getting his black suit. Technically though, you should read all twelve issues of this mini-series if you want the whole story.

Issues one through eight lead up to why Spider-Man needs a new suit, as well as, him getting it. Essentially, and to cut to the chase, his red and blue suit gets torn up from consistent battles with the various villains who have also arrived on Battleworld. In fact, several other characters also need new costumes as a result.

After witnessing some of the heroes coming out of a room with fresh clothes, Spider-Man inquires about where they got them. He's directed inside to a machine which provided them with the outfits. It's here, in this room, that a black ball is dropped into his hands from one of the pieces of equipment. The ball bonds with Peter, and the suit takes shape, dissolving his tattered one in the process.

Spider-Man remains a somewhat predominant character in the final four issues. However, it's in the finale issue, when other heroes once again need new suits, that he discovers his came from a different machine. Rather than worry about it, Spider-Man shrugs it off.

With the aid of Mr. Fantastic, the heroes return to Earth and this is where the aforementioned three debut issues come back into the fold chronologically.

The Amazing Spider-Man Issue Number 252

Marvel Team-Up Issue Number 141

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Issue Number90

From there, Spider-Man would have several more adventures in each title. However, as these would unfold, Peter Parker would start to change in personality. He would become more aggressive as his alter ego, while becoming a jerk to those who loved him, such as Black Cat and Aunt May.

The Amazing Spider-Man 253*Marvel Team-Up 142*Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 91

The Amazing Spider-Man 254*Marvel Team-Up 143*Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 92

The Amazing Spider-Man 255*Marvel Team-Up 144*Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 93

The Amazing Spider-Man 256*Marvel Team-Up 145*Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 94

The Amazing Spider-Man 254*Marvel Team-Up Annual 7*Marvel Team-Up 146

You'll notice in the photo below that Marvel Age issue 19 is included. While this issue features Spider-Man in his Symbiote suit on the cover, there are no articles about him within the pages. He's just there to introduce the world to Star Comics. However, I'll go ahead and count it as an appearance since it falls within the timeline we're in.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 4*Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 95*Marvel Age 19

The photos above show the chronological release order for these books. However, the recommended reading order is:

The Amazing Spider-Man 253
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 91
The Amazing Spider-Man 254
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 92
Marvel Team-Up 142
Marvel Team-Up 143
The Amazing Spider-Man 255
Marvel Team-Up Annual 7
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 93
Marvel Team-Up 144
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 94
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 95
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 4
Marvel Team-Up 145
The Amazing Spider-Man 256
The Amazing Spider-Man 257
Marvel Team-Up 146

It soon became apparent to Peter Parker that it was the suit causing this change in his personas and Peter would set to the task of removing the costume. This would occur in issue number 258 of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Peter would seek out Reed Richards of The Fantastic Four, who would remove the suit and imprison it in a large capsule. A fun side note, this issue was also the first appearance for Peter Parker in his Bag-Man costume.

This would also lead to the return of Spider-Man in his traditional red and blue suit, but not indefinitely. Black Cat would present him with a cloth version of his black suit in the pages of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man issue 99 but he wouldn't wear it until The Amazing Spider-Man issue 263.

To keep readers up to speed, flashback pages were included in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man issue number 96 and 97, as well as, Marvel Team-Up issue number 147 and 148.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Issue 96

Marvel Team-Up Issue 147

This story arc would pick up in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man 259, which features a section where Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four is examining the Symbiote.

Meanwhile, in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual 18, Peter Parker takes a moment to briefly reflect on his recently shedding of the alien parasite. This excerpts serves as nothing more than an exposition used to keep readers who may have missed an issue, or just recently started reading, up to speed.

As for Marvel Team-Up 148, this provides a look at the Symbiote's desire to break free from its encapsulated prison at the Baxter Building, AKA the Fantastic Four's headquarters.

To follow the story further, you'd need to wait for, and then turn to the pages of, Fantastic Four 274. Though the Symbiote is not the main focal point, but rather an epilogue, it would escape its prison in the final pages of the story and make its way out into the city.

Fantastic Four Issue 274

Free at last, the Symbiote journeys throughout the city in an effort to find its way back to Peter Parker. His arc unfolds within the pages of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man issues 97 through 99 and The Amazing Spider-Man 260 and 261. During this period, citizens of the city mistake the alien for Spider-Man, and some get ruthlessly attacked as a result.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 97*The Amazing Spider-Man 260*Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 98

The Amazing Spider-Man 261*Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 99

The Symbiote eventually finds Peter's apartment in the final pages of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man issue 100. Here, it hides in his closet and waits patiently.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Issue 100

Enter the all new monthly series, Web Of Spider-Man.

The first issue picks up immediately following the events of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man issue 100. The Symbiote disguises itself as Spider-Man's classic red and blue suit, waiting for Peter to put it on. When he does, the creature envelopes him in the black suit.

As the story unfolds, Spider-Man attempts to make his way to the Fantastic Four headquarters to get Reed Richard's help. Unfortunately, the suit won't allow him to do so. Additionally, his efforts are thwarted by the Vulturions, a relatively throw away gang of villains.

At the end of the story, Spider-Man is able to fend off the Symbiote in a church bell tower, ringing the bells to send it fleeing from the sonic sounds of the clanging bells.

With the Symbiote defeated, things seem to return to relative normality in the now four monthly Spider-Man titles. That is until Web Of Spider-Man issue 18.

Though it's gone unnoticed by several comic book fans, in this particular issue, there's a scene where Peter is standing at a train station, waiting for a train. Suddenly, someone pushes him from behind onto the tracks. Odd that someone could do so without alerting his spider sense.

An equally odd instance would occur in Web Of Spider-Man issue 24. As he's climbing the side of a building, someone from a window grabs Peter's leg and pushes him off the building. Once again, his spider sense fails to warn him.

Who is this mysterious person who keeps trying to kill Peter? Fans of Spider-Man, even those who missed these subtle clues can see what is building up here.

Which leads to the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man issue 298. This book is noteworthy for a couple reasons. First and foremost, it's the first issue in the series drawn by artist Todd McFarlane. Second, it begins the story-arc for the villain this article has been building up to, Venom.

While the story mostly involves the villain, Chance, the final pages show the reader an exciting cliffhanger. A mysterious man's hands change over the panels to be surrounded by the iconic black Spidey suit.

Issue number 299 wraps up the story of Chance. However, the very last page gives us our first look at the character from the cliffhanger of the prior one. Venom, in his debut glory.

While the look captures the essence of Venom, it doesn't showcase his now iconic long tongue and drooling teeth image. This wouldn't come to fruition until issue 332, when Erik Larson would take over the series, and would get even more so over the top with issue 346.

All bets are off in the spectacular issue number 300 of The Amazing Spider-Man. Venom's story unfolds, telling the tale of Eddie Brock, disgraced reporter, angry at Spider-Man for ruining his career. He's now host to the Symbiote, who is equally angered at the web slinging hero.

It's here that Peter realizes that Venom somehow negates hi spider sense, leaving him vulnerable to attacks. Put that concept together with Peter's prior accidents being pushed onto train tracks and off buildings.

It's a pure tale of revenge which sadly culminates in a rehashed ending from the pages of Web Of Spider-Man issue 1, bells and all.

Venom had officially emerged and fans ate him up. It was a finely crafted origin story over the period of December 1984 through May 1988, and with it, wrapped up a story arc which began as a novel concept in the mind of an average comic book fan responding to a simple contest.

Since then, the character's story has only served to get bigger, broader and sometimes better. A stand out concept would be the birth of Carnage. However, some aspects of the stories have also gotten worse, and some even retconned. Still, if you're looking to follow a wonderful villain, Venom is certainly one who, for the most part, is well structured and written. Plus, he just looks so cool.

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Plastic Caskets: Why I Dislike Graded Comics

I've never been a fan of graded comics and as I get back into the realm of buying and reading books, I can't help but realize just how badly it's gotten. It seems every book pre-bronze age has been encased in a plastic casket. While dealers and niche investors seem to love it, I only stand to dislike it more and more with each book I see.

As the days progressed, and I exposes myself more and more to the world of comics again, the thought of this concept grated on my nerves more and more. The more I saw them, the more I couldn't stand them. I wanted to slap the dealers selling them and break all the books free of their slabs.

Because it continued to infuriate me, I decided to sit down and think about this horrendous and idiotic concept in hopes of getting to the root of what bothered me so much about it, writing down points as they came to me. As I sorted through my list of notes, I found that each one fell into one of three categories.

Category 1: Self Professed Experts

CGC, PXG, CBCS and all the others out there are nothing more than self professed experts and there is no "official" guideline to grading comics. When you get down to the heart of it, you're relying on the opinion of the individual grader who is looking at your book. Further, and most importantly, opinions are subjective. Typically, they're only relevant to those who agree with them.

More so a result of there being no official guideline, these people can make mistakes, and have. Was the grader tired? Did they just want to get through their mandated pile of books for the day? Was it a friend of theirs they were helping out? All of these factors weigh into the process, and all have potential positive or negative implications. You may have noticed that small crease in the spine, but either the grader didn't, or conveniently chose not to.

Which leads to another problem with this whole system. VIP customers have been rumored to get preferential treatment and leniency when grading their books. More so shocking is the allegations of books being swapped out for lesser quality ones. While I can't personally attest to any of this, I can tell you it doesn't help boost my feelings on the system of grading comics.

Category 2: Inflated Prices

Price points in any guide are subjective to begin with. However, a mint book assessed at $3,000.00 isn't worth more than this just because you encase it in plastic. It's still the same book and it's still in the same condition. This mindset of dealers and individual sellers that a graded comic somehow garners a 500% markup is asinine.

Further, this affect trickles into the regular market of non-slabbed books. I can't tell you how many comics I've seen with inflated prices simply for the fact of keeping in line with graded ones. It's ridiculous.

Worst of all, it prices people out of the hobby. Sure, I get it. Rare books are going to be worth more than common ones. However, when dealers actively look for ways to inflate their prices, they cut out the average comic enthusiast who can't afford books anymore.

If you want to see all of this in practice, look no further than The Amazing Spider-Man issue 208. This is a comic people have in their comic box to fill a hole between 207 and 209, nothing more. I've never met anyone who was actively seeking this issue out for its content. On a good day, this comic will sell for two to three dollars. CGC graded, this book has sold for forty to fifty dollars. Why? It's still the same book nobody wants.

Category 3: Comics Are For Reading

You'll notice in my entire post that this is the first time you will see the word "collect" in any form or fashion. There's a reason for this. From my perspective, a true comic book enthusiast doesn't collect comics. They buy comics to read and enjoy. The end result just so happens to be that you end up with a collection of them over time.

This brings me to my last point, and my biggest disdain for graded books. Comics are for reading. Slabbed books can't be read. As a result, these become useless.

Back when I was going to local comic shops, the purpose of getting a comic was to take it home and read it. Enjoy the story and artwork. Absorb all of it and in the process of doing so, learn to draw comics myself.

When you seal a comic book in plastic you take away it's main purpose. To be read. You no longer want to have it to read it. You just want to have it to have it. Would you buy a sandwich just to stare at it? Probably not (if you have any sense of intelligence). So why do that with a comic book?

Rant Complete

While I'm sure this post will be filed under, "Just another internet rant," it served its purpose for me to get it from my head to digital paper. At the very least, now that I have it at the forefront of my mind, I can speak coherently on the subject if I ever get into it with a dealer at a shop or show.

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A Visit To Cool And Collected Headquarters

In a recent post, Brian over at Cool and Collected stated he was looking to offload some items which had been shifted from his collection to storage. Since we live so close to each other, it was a perfect opportunity to reach out for a visit to his home, aka, The Cool And Collected Headquarters, to see if there was anything of interest.

What I loved about Brian's house was the sense you got the moment you walked in the door. You knew you were in a collector's home. Displays were established in numerous rooms, neatly set up on shelving. Brian's main focal point seemed to be his den, which houses his current treasures of interest. He was happy to not only take me through it, but also let me snap some photos.

For those of you who have been to his site, you know Brian's main focal point of collecting is Batman and Marvel characters, pre 1970's. He loves the unique pieces that you won't find every day, and its these that he displays predominantly on numerous shelves and display cases.

From there, we took a trip to his basement, which the walk alone was a treat doing. Once again, the walls from the stairwell to the actual room were decked out with numerous shelves, all housing a collection of some form of toy. Brian smiled as he informed me that the majority of these items were his kids. Yes, it seems even his children have a little bit of the collector's bug inside of them.

In a separate room off of the main basement area is where Brian houses his overstock. I'll call it that because Brian seemed a little self conscious about being labeled a hoarder. To that regard, I'd like to assure him that this was not at all the sense I got. Everything he had for sale was neatly organized in labeled boxes or bins, as if to be displays unto themselves.

While the sight of it all may have been a little overwhelming and one of those, "Where to start," moments, Brian settled all of that with one question. "What are you looking for?" I thought for a moment, and it hit me. I didn't honestly know, but I had to say something. The first words that came to my mouth were, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Brian gave a grin and said something to the tune of, "I can help you with that." With that, the boxes started coming down from their shelves to a small table back in the main basement area.

"Pull out what you're interested in," Brian said. I immediately spotted a treasure I was looking for. A set of the four original figures, mint on their cards. From there, more boxes came out, and with each one I got a little more comfortable with throwing out more and more ideas of what I was interested in, and even more boxes followed as a result. Before too long, I had a nice stack of toys sitting on the table in my "want" pile.

With everything gathered, we then set to the task of negotiation. Brian knew I wanted a good deal and I knew he wanted a fair price. He threw out numbers to me of what his expectations were and I in turn threw out numbers of my own. As we both thought on things, we enjoyed a side conversation about the upcoming shows, such as Schoff's comic show and Dave Hart's Timonium toy show. This concluded with my offer and Brian accepting. The deal was done, the money was paid and I was the owner of some great new toys and collectibles.

What was great about my visit to his home was Brian's delight in showing his collection to me. He was happy to showcase and talk about all the things he had on display or tucked away, and additionally, we had a great conversation about various other things, such as our current hobby interests. Overall, it was a fantastic visit.

Before heading out, Brian gave me a box of his Cool and Collected magazine, which I said I would take to the Schoff show with me and hand out to the various vendors. For those of you who don't know, Brian self published and sold from his site this fantastic magazine. While he doesn't currently have plans to release a second issue, even though he has completed the majority of the work, let's hope that will change in the near future.

Now of course, I didn't leave Brian's house empty handed. Below are the pictures of all the great new stuff I acquired. Sadly, I appear to have lost one item between Brian's house and mine. That would be a random Madballs. While it's not a major loss, it's kind of a bummer I misplaced it. Naturally I took the trash out this morning, which included the boxes from Brian's, and I just realized now that it is gone. Oh well...Maybe it will turn up somewhere.

As for the stuff I can still account for, those are:

The holy grail of Kenner 1979 Alien toy collecting. This one was nowhere near my radar of want items. In fact, it wasn't something on your average day I would have considered picking up. However, when I saw this item at Brian's house, just asking for a new home, I decided on the spot that I had to have it.

Brian made an amazing custom stand, which he included with the figure at no additional cost.

While I never would have expected it, one of the things I told him I was looking for was the set of Hardees Smurf glasses from the 80's. This was a very random thing to ask for, and I was genuinely surprised when he then proceed to pull out six of the eight glasses.

I just need Papa Smurf and Smurfette to complete my set!

I'm by no means a mint on card collector, or a fan in general of keeping toys sealed. However, even I have to admit I won't be opening these carded original TMNT figures. They're just too pristine to deserve being ripped off their cards. Instead, I'll seal them in Zoloworld protectors and display them that way.

I'm not a big Masters of the Universe vehicle collector, but something about this Buzzsaw was begging me to bring it home.

This tray was also too good to pass up. This is classic 80's artwork!

Last up, until I find my Madballs ball, is this awesome complete Speeder Bike from the 1983 Return of the Jedi line. I would have passed this up had Brian not produced the two rear flaps for it.

There you have it. My visit to Cool and Collected Headquarters, and my new wares.

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