Reading Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 23



Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 23
Release Date: April 1965

Highlights
    • The Green Goblin returns
    • First appearance of Lucky Lobo
    • Frederick Foswell is out of prison (see issue 10) and returns to work at the Daily Bugle
    • Lucky Lobo's entire gang gets busted
    Low Points
    • The back and forth distrust between Peter Parker and Betty Brant has officially worn thin - One issue she doesn't trust him, the next he doesn't trust her
    Oddities
    • Peter Parker leaves his Spider-Man outfit just sitting on a hanger in the attic?
    • Spider-Man stops mid-fight to call Aunt May and tell her he won't be home in time for dinner
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)


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    Reading Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 22



    Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
    Issue Number: 22
    Release Date: March 1965

    Highlights
    • Return of the Ringmaster and his gang
    • The gaggle of circus creeps toss Ringmaster out of his own gang
    • Peter talks about Dr. Henry Pym - As in Pym Particles, Ant Man, etc.
    Low Points
    • Simple heist story with little imagination, very boring
    Oddities
    • Spider-Man knows how to hypnotize people?
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)


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    Reading Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 21



    Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
    Issue Number: 21
    Release Date: February 1965

    Highlights
    • The Beetle appears in The Amazing Spider-Man for the first time, but it's not his first appearance in comics
    • Shameless plug for Coke, yup, that's a highlight
    • Peter Parker shouts down Johnny Storm in public 
    • Peter Parker really takes it to heart that the people of the city fear him
    Low Points
    • From a personal perspective, Human Torch needs to politely exit Spider-Man's spotlight and go back to the Fantastic Four where he belongs 
    • Betty Brant continues to prove she's nothing but emotional baggage
    Oddities
    • Human Torch assumes Spider-Man is behind his girlfriend going missing just because he finds webbing in her home - He's too dumb to think Spider-Man may have been trying to help?
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)





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    Retro Spins: The Transformers The Movie



    I've never pretended to be a big Transformers fan, both of the toys or television show. In fact, I never even saw the movie until the 90's, when a friend of mine from high school ordered me a copy of the VHS from Canada - The only place it was available from at the time. It was okay, but what stood out to me much more than the film itself was the awesome soundtrack.

    There's an evil new force in the universe. A monster planet that devours everything in its path. And it's heading for the small planet of Cybertron where a unique race of transforming robots continues to fight a civil ware-a war between good and evil that has raged for millions of years.

    The evil Decepticon Transformers, led by the manical Megatron, have sworn to crush their enemies, the Autobots. To this end, they have relentlessly pursued them across the galaxy from planet Cybertron to planet Earth and back again. But the heroic Autobot Transformers and their courageous leader Optimus Prime are not easily defeated. - Back cover of the original VHS

    One of my favorite aspects of this album is how "raw" it feels. Lots of thrashing style songs, heavy guitar licks and amazing drumming and bass work make it equal to that of your high profile heavy metal hair band of the 80's. It's mixed well with a handful of wonderful ballad and uptempo synthesizer led instrumental tracks from Vince DiCola.

    Some of my all time favorites include Instruments of Destruction from N.R.G., Dare from Stan Bush, Nothin's Gonna Stand In Our Way from Spectre General, The Transformers from Lion and Escape from Vince DiCola. Though it's by no means the only way you can hear or get it, I also enjoy how the album ends with "Weird Al" Yankovic's Dare To Be Stupid, a track heard in the film during the scene on Junkion.

    It's got its hits and misses, but overall, The Transformers The Movie album is pretty solid and it stands up to the test of time. Unfortunately, it's a little tough to come by these days. It crops up on ebay in batches, but it's going to cost you between $30.00 and $70.00, depending on the seller.

    There's also an equally costly 20th Anniversary edition which includes a few bonus track, all of which are from Vince DiCola. Additionally, there's an alternate take of the opening theme by Vince DiCola and Stan Bush. After having a listen to this version, I'm glad Lion got the honors for the theme. Their version is far superior. 

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    The Game Of Jaws (Ideal)



    The Game Of Jaws
    Ideal
    1975

    You know, if I've seen Jaws, I don't remember it. I think I've seen it...I remember owning it on VHS along with Jaws 2, Jaws 3D and Jaws: The Revenge. I have to believe because of this I've seen it. However, now that I think about it, I don't really remember any of the content in the films. Hmm....

    Despite its popularity, it's difficult to make merchandise around that of a shark and the few humans which were relevant in the movie. Of course, considering it was 1975, and nobody was really banking big money on movie tie-in merchandise, it's irrelevant. Not only was there limited Jaws merchandise available, the stuff that did exist was all only relatable in the name, and not the human characters.

    Take for example the 1975 Ideal game, The Game of Jaws. The concept was a take on Milton Bradley's Operation (1965). Although, without the buzzers and body parts.

    The premise was to fill Jaws' mouth with all the games "junk pieces", and then be the first person to remove four from his mouth with your gaff hook. If you didn't do it correctly, the mouth would snap shut, and your turn was over. 

    Honestly, it doesn't sound like all that bad of a game. I could see a younger version of myself having a lot of fun playing this with my siblings and / or friends. Heck, it wouldn't even have to be called Jaws to sell it. A game like this could have easily stood on its own.

    The downer to this game is finding one complete with all the pieces and being relatively cheap. Getting one in the box with all the parts will easily set you back seventy dollars or more. Ouch. While I know there are some high tech board games out there these days that can set you back that kind of scratch, this one here is by no means fancy in any way. Not sure I would personally see the value in that, but then again I can't even remember if I've seen the movies or not. So, you know, not exactly a fan over here.

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    2020 Toy and Comic Events Calendar



    Like toys? Like comics? Live in the Northern Virginia area? Mayhaps it would be desirable for you to patron these local events in 2020! I know I am.

    Shoff's Comic and Cards (Sports and Non-Sports) Card Show
    Date: February 23, 2020
    Hours: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Location: Annandale Fire House Expo Hall - 7128 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Virginia 22003
    Admission: $3.00

    Shoff's Comic Con
    Date: March 8, 2020
    Hours: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Location: Frederick Maryland Calarion Inn - 5400 Holiday Drive, Frederick, Maryland 21703
    Admission: $8.00

    Shoff's Comic and Cards (Sports and Non-Sports) Card Show
    Date: March 29, 2020
    Hours: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Location: Annandale Fire House Expo Hall - 7128 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Virginia 22003
    Admission: $3.00

    The Great Philadelphia Comic Con
    Date: April 3 - 5, 2020
    Hours: Varies based on package
    Location: The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, Pennsylvania 19460
    Admission:Varies based on package, 3-day pass $69.95

    Awesome Con
    Date: May 1 - 3, 2020
    Hours: Varies based on package
    Location: Washington Convention Center - 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, Washington, DC 20001
    Admission: Varies greatly, 3-day pass $80.00

    Tidewater Comic Con
    Date: May 16 - 17, 2020
    Hours: Varies based on day
    Location: Virginia Beach Convention Center, 1000 19th Street, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
    Admission: Varies based on day, weekend pass $75.00

    Shoff's Comic and Cards (Sports and Non-Sports) Card Show
    Date: May 9, 2020
    Hours: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Location: Annandale Fire House Expo Hall - 7128 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Virginia 22003
    Admission: $3.00

    Fredericksburg Comic and Toy Show (Formerly Fredcon)
    Date: July 11, 2020
    Hours: Varies based on ticket, no later than 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Location: Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center - 2371 Carl D Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401
    Admission: $10.00 - $15.00


    Dave Hart's Baltimore Toy and Collectibles Show
    Date: July 18, 2020
    Hours: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Location: Timonium Fairgrounds - 2200 York Road, Timonium, Maryland 21003
    Admission: $5.00

    Dave Hart's Mega Flea Market
    Date: July 19, 2020
    Hours: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Location: Timonium Fairgrounds - 2200 York Road, Timonium, Maryland 21003
    Admission: Free

    Brickfair Lego Fan Expo
    Date: August 1 - 2, 2020
    Hours: Varies by day
    Location: Dulles Expo Center - 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, Virginia 20151
    Admission: Varies based on day

    Fairfax Comic Con
    Date: August 22 - 23, 2020
    Hours: Saturday - 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Sunday 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM
    Location: Dulles Expo Center - 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, Virginia 20151
    Admission: $12.50 - $35.00

    New York Comic Con
    Date: October 8 - 11, 2020
    Hours: Varies based on day
    Location: Javits Center - 429 11th Avenue, New York, New York, 10001
    Admission: Not available yet

    Do you know of any I didn't mention? Please post it in the comments section!

    You can fill in your down time between all of these great shows by hitting some awesome toy and comic shops in the area.

    Big Planet Comics
    426 Maple Avenue E
    Suite 4721
    Vienna, Virginia 22180
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Wednesday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Sadurday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    (703) 242-9412
    Other locations in Washington DC, Bethesda Maryland and College Park Maryland

    Lost In Time Toys
    11200 Scaggsville Road
    Suite 105
    Fulton, Maryland 20759
    Monday through Saturday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM and Sunday 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    (301) 776-8697

    The Toy Exchange
    1001 Twin Arch Road
    Suite 12
    Mt. Airy, Maryland 21771
    Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    (301) 829-0700

    Tosche Station
    7521 Huntsman Boulevard
    Springfield, Virginia 22153
    Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    (703) 489-2912

    Victory Comics
    586 S Washington Street
    Falls Church, Virginia 22046
    Monday through Friday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    (703) 241-9393

    Know of any other vintage toy or comic shops? Drop their name in the comments section!

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    Reading Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 20



    Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
    Issue Number: 20
    Release Date: January 1965

    Highlights
    • First appearance of the MacDonald Gargan / the Scorpion
    • Ned Leeds leaves for Europe
    • J. Jonah Jameson is responsible for creating the Scorpion - Officially making J.J.J. a villain in my book 
    • Spidey gets a whoopin' - Twice!
    • Great story, great villain and great action - One of the best stories since Spidey was created
    Low Points
    • The mystery cliffhanger from issue 19 is a letdown - Simply a guy being paid by J. Jonah Jameson to follow Peter Parker in order to find out how he gets photos of Spider-Man
    Oddities
    • Spider-Man makes a bat out of webbing and uses it to startle a man he's following
    • Gargan is willing to submit himself to a scientific experiment for only $10,000.00 - Sure, that equates to $83,624.25 on the inflation calculator, but still, that's not much for something so risky
    • Scorpion comes out of nowhere, landing on Spider-Man's back in mid air as he swings
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)


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    Reading Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 19



    Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
    Issue Number: 19
    Release Date: December 1963

    Highlights
    • Human Torch joins the fight (ties back to Strange Tales 127, but is not a necessary read for Spider-Man's story line)
    • Sandman and the Enforcers return 
    • Peter Parker meets Ned Leeds
    • Mysterious cliffhanger ending
    Low Points
    • Spider-Man and Human Torch don't capture Sandman because they both get tangled up in Spider-Man's webbing
    Oddities
    • The Enforcers have a backpack that sprays foam to extinguish Human Torch
    • Betty is concerned she's lost Peter as a boyfriend, yet she's actively dating Ned Leeds
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)





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    Reading Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 18



    Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
    Issue Number: 18
    Release Date: November 1963

    Highlights
    • Very story driven with a deeper look at Peter Parker and Aunt May
    • J. Jonah Jameson revels in Spider-Man being labeled a coward 
    • First appearance of Ned Leeds , but not by name - just seen with Betty Brant on a date
    Low Points
    • Spider-Man is barely in it and there's no battle with any villains
    Oddities
    • Peter is so desperate to make money that he's even willing to sell the formula to his web fluid
    • Throughout the entire issue, Anna May Watson is incorrectly referred to as Mrs. Watkins
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)


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    Reading Spider-Man: Strange Tales Annual 2



    Title: Strange Tales
    Issue Number: Annual 2
    Release Date: November 1964

    Highlights
    • A necessary read if you want to connect the dots in The Amazing Spider-Man 18
    • Spider-Man and Human Torch work together for the first time
    Low Points
    • Spider-Man is considered guilty until proven innocent - Even by Human Torch
    • Fox is a very boring "villain"
    • Secondary story is unrelated to Spider-Man, or super heroes in general
    Oddities
    • Spider-Man randomly carries around silicone crystals with him and can manipulate them with a microscope?
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)






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    Retro Spins: The Goonies



    The Goonies is a timeless classic, and yet it's funny how my perspective of watching has changed from that as a kid to an adult. For those of you who remember the film as vividly as I do, picture if you will the scene where Mama Frutelli shoes the kids out of the restaurant, slamming the door behind them. She rests her back against it and mutters, "Kids suck." As a child, I would always shout at the TV, "Hey, screw you, lady!" As an adult, I can't do anything other than shake my head in agreement and proclaim, "Boy, you said it, lady." Funny how time changes us.

    The Goonies, a tightly-knit band of misfit youngsters, are breaking up. With greedy developers about to raze the neighborhood, the kids spend a final drizzly morning together, trying to find a way to say goodbye. Instead, they find a real honest-to-gosh 17th century pirate map - and set out on a dazzling, day-long quest for treasure rich enough to save all their homes.

    The Goonies follow the map (and their dreams)...and enter a fabulous subterranean world filled with caverns, crooks, skeletons, booby-traps, a magical, moldering pirate ship and marvelous milquetoast of a monster (ex-Raider football star John Matuszak who has swivel piglet ears and a face only Dr. Frankenstein could love.

    Steven Spielberg (creator of E.T. - The Extraterrestrial, the Indian Jones films, Gremlins, Back to the Future and other blockbusters) and Richard Donner, director of Superman, Inside Moves and Ladyhawke) combine their cinematic wizardry to create The Goonies, "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" sings Cyndi Lauper in the film's title song...and you'll agree because The Goonies is part Hardy Boys, part Treasure Island, part Our Gang and 100 percent adventure! - Back cover of the original VHS

    Cyndi Lauper does indeed sing "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough", but is the soundtrack?

    No.

    Thank you for reading. Goodnight.

    I kid, but unfortunately not about the album being any good.

    It's a pretty big thud for such a monumental film. Cyndi Lauper's above mentioned track is decent, or, "good enough", if you will. However, let's be honest. It's by no means her best material. Nor is it a top ten hit.

    This is disappointing as this album is not easy to track down in CD format, neither is it necessarily cheap. You'll easily spend between $30.00 and $50.00 for the few which appear on ebay here and there.

    Overall, the soundtrack is like a sandwich. It starts with Cyndi Lauper's track as a nice piece of bread, and finishes with the instrumental theme from Dave Grusin as the second piece of delicious bread. Unfortunately, in between said bread is a bunch of moldy meats and cheese with soggy vegetables and out of date condiments.

    This is quite a bummer because it's not like this album is packed full of a bunch of random no name bands. It's got the likes of Philip Bailey, The Bangles, REO Speedwagon, Luther Vandross and Joseph Williams (who would later join Toto, and is the son of composer John Williams). These are not nobodies in the realm of 80's mainstream music. Cyndi Lauper even has a second track on the album, but it's nothing to write home about. It's as if the producers went to all of this trouble to find some of the hottest names of the 80's, but none of them wanted to bring their "A" game to the project.

    Now that I've totally stepped all over the soundtrack, let me be fair to one track which gets an honorable mention. Teena Marie's 14K is a pretty good track. In fact, it may be better than The Goonies 'R' Good Enough. Glaringly omitted from the soundtrack is the on the edge of your seat opening queue, Fratelli Chase, where the family break brother Jake from prison and lead the police on a chase across town, introducing us to most of The Goonies in the process.

    I proclaimed a couple Retro Spin posts ago that I was having a lot of fun with this year's albums. After The Lost Boys, and now, The Goonies, I'm starting to get a little bored of it all. I need to dig deep and find a good soundtrack to get me back on a positive mindset.

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    Knight Rider (Colorforms)



    Knight Rider
    Colorforms
    1982

    David Hasselhoff has this mystic way about him of turning anything he touches into gold. He's dabbled in television, film and music across the span of four decades, and these days makes a lot of money just appearing as himself. That's how you know you're big in the industry. People want you to play yourself.

    Though he had a successful run from 1975 to 1982 in the daily soap opera, The Young And The Restless, most adults from my era remember the Hoff as the one and only Michael Knight from TV's Knight Rider.

    The original Knight Rider series ran for four seasons, a total of 90 episodes, and with it brought hours of entertainment to fans young and old. Michael Knight and Kitt were, in their own right, a dynamic duo.

    With the success of the franchise came the inevitable merchandise tie ins. Knight Rider had something for everyone; t-shirts, toys, coloring books and today's topic of choice, Colorforms Rub n' Play Transfers!

    These things have become a bit of an addiction for me as of late. I'm having a blast tracking down the vast array of transfers which Colorforms produced. As I said in a prior post on the subject, the company released a ton of sets based on 80's properties. This certainly won't be my last time discussing these things here at The Toy Box.


    The "meat" of the collection was the Transfer Set. This featured a massive page of backgrounds in comic book panel style, and of course a fun set of transfers themselves. With the use of a basic number two pencil and your imagination, the story unfolded as you transferred each Rub n' Play onto the page in the spot of your choice.


    Colorforms also produced a smaller Adventure Set (above) and the even smaller Transfers Pack. Both featured their own backdrops to incorporate the transfers onto, and would be what I would call more travel friendly for the child of the 80's on a family trip.


    Sadly, Colorforms Rub n' Plays were like Underoos. Kids used them, and then they eventually got tossed out because they weren't of any further use. Because of this, some of these sets have become pretty rare and valuable on secondary markets. They're fun to collect, but by no means do I recommend dropping fifty to one hundred dollars on one only to pull it out of the box and play with it. No, instead these pieces are more so relegated to display only these days. It's kind of sad in a way because these things are so much fun.

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    Reading Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 17



    Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
    Issue Number: 17
    Release Date: October 1964

    Highlights
    • Green Goblin returns for revenge, and this time he has his classic goblin glider
    • Flash Thompson launches the Spider-Man Fan Club, Forest Hills Chapter
    • Aunt May continues to try to get Peter to go on a blind date with Mary Jane Watson - Who we still don't get to physically see
    • Green Goblin shoots his goblin sparks from his finger and throws pumpkin bombs for the first time
    Low Points
    • Green Goblin uses toys as weapons - Bats, frogs, etc.
    • Spider-Man abandons the fight with Green Goblin to make an appearance as Peter Parker
    Oddities
    • Green Goblin uses a toy frog to break Spider-Man's webline
    Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)


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