Retro Spins: The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones

 

Who would have thought that one of the most influential bands of the sixties and seventies would get there start as a glorified cover band? The Rolling Stones self titled 1964 debut features a slew of classic hits, none of which were written by any of the members. While they contributed one original track, Tell Me (You're Coming Back), this song failed to make any major impression.

The main focal point of the album is very rhythm and blues oriented. A love letter to artists such as, Bobby Troup, Willie Dixon Chuck Berry and Rufus Thomas. It's not terrible by any means, but it's also not the legendary band that would come to be. It wouldn't be until the group's 1966 album, Aftermath, that The Rolling Stones would achieve the breakthrough they were looking for. The album is also notable for being the first where all the tracks were written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

In terms of my listen, I was a bit disappointed. It was nice to hear the early singing and instrumentation of the group. However, it wasn't the powerful punch I was looking for. While I'm trying to stick closely to debut albums for this particular era of Retro Spins, I can't help but think I should have started my Rolling Stones journey with Aftermath. If I were to base my interest in this group solely on this debut album, I honestly wouldn't bother going any further into their catalog.

Again, this is not a bad album. I get what it is. A love letter from a group to an era of rhythm and blues that inspired them to want to be musicians. However, at the end of the day, it's also not the iconic group they would become.

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Retro Spins: Billy Joel - Storm Front



I'm not a big Billy Joel fan, which is ironic, because I own eleven of his thirteen studio albums, one greatest hits and one live album. In my defense, the majority of them were picked up from dollar bins during a phase where I was actively trying to get introduced to popular singers / bands which I overlooked in the 70's and 80's.

When looking into the history of this album, as I often do when listening to a CD, it was interesting to find that for as long as Joel has been recording / releasing music, he only has three number one hits. One of which is We Didn't Start The Fire from Storm Front - A classic, if not slightly confusing, song. As a point of reference, his other two number one hits were, Still Rock and Roll To Me from his 1980 Glass Houses album and Tell Her About It from his 1983 An Innocent Man album.

For being such a highly acclaimed album, I was actually surprised there were only a handful of songs I liked from it. One of them was, of course, We Didn't Start the Fire, as well as, I Go To Extremes. My favorite from the record is by far, Downeaster 'Alexa'. I love the story the latter track tells, and quite frankly, it's a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned.

Despite its minimal appeal to me, I still look forward to actually delving further into the massive collection of Billy Joel albums I own. It's no secret the man has hits. We are, after all, talking about a singer / songwriter / multi-instrumental man who has fifteen compilation discs under his belt to compliment his career. Shoot, when you have more compilations than studio albums, there's got to be something about you people like, right?

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Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)



Spider-Man
Marvel Comics
1990 - 1998

In the early days of my comic book collecting, Marvel Comic's 1990 Spider-Man series was my all time favorite. My first introduction came with issue three, which I found on the newsstand of a local convenience store in Bend, Oregon. This was a place my brother and I regularly rode our bikes to after school, and while he typically got snacks, I opted for the comic books.

As the early 90's proceeded, I continued buying the series on a monthly basis and eventually made my way to a comic shop where I was able to buy an issue number one and two. It was then that I set my sights on a comic that I would drool and pine over for years to come. The coveted platinum edition.

With a price tag of $500.00, this book was far beyond my reach. However, this didn't stop me from promptly creating a money jar at home and setting to task to save up for it. As a kid, this book never made it to my collection. However, as an adult, this was rectified Christmas of 2019 when I bought a copy for myself...Along with every other cover variant of issue number one.

It was doing this which prompted today's post. A look at every issue from the 1990 through 1998 Spider-Man series from Marvel Comics.

With exception of autographed versions, for issue one, there are eleven different versions confirmed to be in existence. These include the four regular versions, or, "green cover".

The first direct release was a purple webbing version, which came polybagged. In the place of the UPC was a facade of Spider-Man's face. This was released in conjunction with a newsstand polybagged version which had a silver webbing and traditional UPC.



The silver webbing version was also released unbagged and came in both a direct and newsstand edition. It's interesting to note that the direct edition silver webbing version, which appears to be the corrected cover of the purple webbing version noted above, never appears to have been released polybagged.


A silver variant cover was released, and this too has its own set of variations. The first one was a polybagged version. The price tag was removed from the version so as not to negate the $2.00 price tag printed on the bag. Below, you can see a bagged and unbagged version of this book. While you can't buy the non-price tag version out of the bag, oddly enough, a loose one is considered to be its own variant.


An unbagged silver cover variant was also available with the $1.75 price tag printed on the book.


This particular version resulted in a very rare print run error before being corrected . There are panels in the issue where the Lizard is blue, as opposed to his regular green color. Because this is a print error, the blue Lizard version is not considered an actual variant. However, it is a holy grail of the series which some collectors will pay upwards of $200.00 for. The result of the error was from the printing press running out of yellow ink.


In August of 2020, it was brought to light that a copper Lizard variant of this issue may exist. This was a result of a ebay seller, doomdoomdoom90, who not only sold one for approximately $15,000.00, but claimed there were only six copies in existence. Skepticism quickly began to surface in October of that same year when the seller once again listed a copper variant, but this time for $10,000.00 less. Considering the blue variant was a result of the printer running out of yellow ink, coupled with the fact that nobody seems to have heard of this variant from a book that is now 30+ years old and sold over two million copies, this makes the validity of the book all the more questionable. It's also extremely sketchy that the one seller who seems to know there are only six in existence would also happen to have two of them (that we know of). I'm not saying that it's unfathomable. I'm just saying buyer beware.

Because of the high demand, the book was reprinted with a gold cover. These too came in a handful of versions, one of which I have never personally seen in the wild, the polybagged direct edition. Despite my endless searching, I have not once seen a gold version sealed in the bag. I only acknowledge its existence because it is confirmed by MyComicShop.com, a reputable online comic seller, despite them not having one in stock currently.



A rare version I have seen, and own, is the 10,000 copy print run Walmart edition. The Walmart version can be identified by the traditional newsstand UPC at the bottom left, whereas, the "regular" version is the one with the facade of Spider-Man's face.
 

Last up, in terms of variant covers for issue one, is the holy grail platinum edition. Of the estimated 10,000 copies printed, approximately 7,000 were given to retailers for helping make the book a major success. Though shops were encouraged in the accompanying letter to them to find a special place in their shop to display it or auction it off for charity, most slapped a high price tag on it and waited for a direct, all profit, sale. 


A side note for those of you collecting polybagged books from the 90's, such as this one, X-Force number 1 or the X-Men crossover series, Executioner's Song (to name a few), you may want to take note that these bags are not acid free. While it's nostalgic to have those polybagged books, just keep in mind, in the long run, they may be damaging your comics.

As most comic book collectors know, the series was started off by Todd McFarlane who would helm the series in a combination of both writing and drawing through issue fourteen. Erik Larsen would take over the series from issue fifteen through twenty-three with exceptions. Those being, issue sixteen was drawn by Todd McFarlane and seventeen by Rick Leonardi. Both McFarlane and Larsen would leave Marvel Comics to co-found Image Comics shortly after. From there, the series would see a rotating list of artists throughout the remainder of the series, concluding with issue number ninety-eight.




For me, the series waned in interest around issue number twenty-six. This was one of the many infamous hologram covers. In this series, the overpriced book served no other purpose than to be a retelling of Spider-Man's origin.


Issue thirty-five drew me back in slightly with its Maximum Carnage storyline, but not long enough to keep me around for many issues afterwards. At this point in my comic book years, I was deep into Image Comics, following artists, and not necessarily characters.



In fact, it was around this time that as a "mature" collector, I was losing interest in Spider-Man altogether. It didn't help when concepts such as the Scarlet Spider and Spider Clone got introduced, completely negating everything with Marvel had established in the Spider-Man universe. Basically, things just got too confusing to keep up with the character. Silly too.







The series wrapped up in 1998 with issue 98, which also contained a variant cover. Spider-Man would continue in The Amazing Spider-Man for another fourteen years before concluding, as well as, several other spin-off titles.


For its time, or better stated, for my time in the series, it served as a key era in my comic book collecting life. The artwork of Todd McFarlane sucked me in, shaping my collecting habits of books. Making me more critical of the artwork, and tuning my radar to that of key artists of the day. With it, it introduced me to several comics which I otherwise wouldn't have read as I followed the creators and not the characters.

The unfortunate catch to this was that it also ultimately led to me quitting comics until just recently. As I found myself more and more intrigued with the art, I found myself reading less and less of the stories. Mainly because the majority of them weren't any good. One day I just stopped buying any books and eventually offloaded my entire collection.

These days, my collecting habits more so follows story arcs or one off stories and not necessarily the artists behind them. I've rekindled my joy for collecting comics through reading and discovering great stories in the process. Of course, I've also found some stinkers, and while I'm sad to say it, McFarlane's five part Torment, which started this whole series, isn't really that strong of a story.

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G.I. Joe Classifed: The Run Changes Continue

 

You can't find him, so it's probably irrelevant, but the run changes continue in the latest wave of Target Exclusive Cobra Island figures. MCUcollector24 shows both a matte and glossy finish to Firefly.

Much like the prior run changes, this is very subtle, and most likely immaterial to most collectors. Especially in light of most people not being able to get their hands on one version, let alone both.

Ebay has yet to catch wind of this, but I suspect that once they do that prices will start to reflect this. We've seen it in the past with these "variants" where one version suddenly becomes more desirable than the other.

You know, when I see this kind of stuff, and then take a moment to reflect back on how much of a pain it's been to get the figures in this line, I don't honestly know if I have the longevity I'd like to have for this series. If you think store exclusives are a pain, just wait until the convention exclusives start up again.

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Calling All 80's Music Afficionados And General Fans

 

I need your help. I'm in the final stretch of obtaining every 80's album I could think of / want, and in doing so, I intend on creating an ultimate decade playlist for myself. However, before I pat myself on the back and call it a job done, I want to know if I'm missing anything. What songs were undiscovered or forgotten gems that I should take a listen to and see if it's something that I "need" to have.

Now I know that this kind of question is a relative stab in the dark. I mean, just because someone likes something, doesn't mean someone else will. But, I'm open to trying new things. Especially when it comes to 80's era music. I will say that my music tastes sway more so towards weekly top forty's style tunes, you know, new wave, pop, rock. I didn't venture to far into country music of that era, nor rap, techno or funk. But again, I'm willing to give it a listen if you have a suggestion.

Do me a favor. If something comes to mind, throw it out there in the comment section. any genre from the era. Heck, even commercial jingles.

Thanks in advance!

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Retro Spins: The Jackson 5 - Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5

 

Five brothers, a determined father and the Motown sound would soon create one of the greatest artists of all time. A man who not only released the greatest selling album of all time, a spot held even today, but someone who when he passed would send the entire world into mourning. I'm of course talking about Michael Jackson and the group he fronted, The Jackson 5.

Though many people often attribute Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 as the first recordings from the youth group, there is actually another. One which has only recently seen the light of day. 2009 to be exact. This "album" entitled The Steeltown Recordings, featured a nine year old Michael and his brothers laying down tracks such as Big Boy, Under The Boardwalk and My Girl. However, none of these had the punch that Motown would soon pack.

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 may give the impression that the female Supreme singer discovered the group. However, this was more so a marketing tactic. Motown knew how to utilize already established acts / stars to promote new talent, and this worked out well for The Jackson 5.

However, this would quickly prove to be unnecessary. Entering the charts at number ninety in November of 1969, I Want You Back rapidly shot up to the number one spot by January of the following year, becoming their first of soon to be many number one hits. Who's Loving You would join the track on the charts, but only make it to number fifty-five. Though they never charted, Standing In The Shadows Of Love, You've Changed, My Cherie Amour and Stand are solid tracks unto themselves.

Admittedly, this is not my first time hearing this album from start to finish, but I wanted to give it one more listen as I wrote this post up. This turned out to be a good thing, as I found out that the latter four tracks mentioned above were no longer in my shuffle list. That was something I definitely needed to rectify and did.

So far, I'm really enjoying going back into the annals of rock history. While I've started with the 60's, I'll definitely be jumping around a bit to the 70's, and even the 50's. I want to hear all those classic debut albums from the likes of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and more. Keep it tuned here to join me for my reviews.

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Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

 

Retro Spins: Cher - Cher



Not being a child of the 60's, my first introduction to Cher was in 1987 when her career went into its second orbit with her self titled album. Despite this, her music was nothing I ever owned until amassing my giant CD collection, which has been built over the past few years.

To promote the album, both Sonny and Cher appearing on David Letterman in 1987 where they sang, I Got You Babe together for the last time in front of an audience. You can see in their eyes just how much they loved each other - Even though they divorced in 1975.

The album features my all time favorite track from her, I Found Someone, but doesn't shy away from there. It has a ton of great material, and Cher power houses through each and every song with her magnificent and unique voice.

Songs, We All Sleep Alone, (the re-recorded) Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) and Main Man stand out as my favorites from the album, in addition to I Found Someone. The rest were descent, and compliment the album well. However, they don't pack the punch that the others mentioned above do. 

Overall, I enjoyed it though, and I look forward to making my way to her 1989 entry, Heart of Stone. Hopefully it will be as enjoyable as this one. But, that's a Retro Spin for another day.

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Rocky Boppers (Zee Toys)



Rocky Boppers
Zee Toys
1983

Be the King of the Ring and put both Rocky Balboa and Clubber Lang in their places with Zee Toys Rocky Boppers.

What's interesting about these inflatable toys is that when you get down to the root of their purpose, they were intended for kids to punch each other. It blows the mind from a perspective of today because something like this simply wouldn't be allowed. "Here kids. Put these on and beat the s*%t out of each other for mommy and daddy's amusement." Even I have to take a step back and ask, "What were you thinking?" Mind you, I'm the most un-PC person I know.

That aside, if you look at these from a collector's standpoint, they hit all the right marks. Each glove has a fantastic image of the character on the front of them and the sides have a beautiful "Rocky Boppers" logo. This is definitely something I want to inflate and display alongside the box, versus keeping them inside of it.

Because these came out during the Rocky III era, Zee Toys produced a set with Rocky on them, as well as, a set with Clubber Lang. It was unfortunate that we never got a pair for Thunderlips or Apollo Creed, as this would have fleshed out the series nicely. 

These "gloves" are not very common these days. Though you can find them sporadically, they're going to set you back $50.00+ for them. As of this write up, I've never seen a Clubber Lang set in the wild and only two Rocky ones. If you're going to try to hunt these down, you're going to need a lot of patience, and perhaps, even a bit of luck.

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G.I. Joe Classified Regal Cobra Commander

 

When I received my notifications last weekend that the Target exclusive Viper and Firefly had shipped, it reminded me that I had a box sitting in my toy room which had actually arrived just before Christmas. This box.


Because you've already read the title to this post, I have to assume you already know where this is going, so let's pop that bad boy open.

Box wise, if you've seen the retail version of Cobra Commander, then you've seen this one. Not even the name is different, despite being referred to as "Regal" on Hasbro Pulse.





With exception of the brighter blue and gold accents, the figure too is the same as the retail version. However, because these colors match closer to that of the original Cobra Commander, this version is definitely my favorite.





Accessories wise, while they have a different, and dare I say, far superior paint job to that of the retail version, both the pistol and dagger are the exact same sculpts. The red and gold on the dagger looks really nice together. Again we get those extra set of hands, which in the long run do nothing for me personally.


It's because of all of these similarities between the figure and accessories to that of the retail version, that there's honestly not much more to say about Regal Cobra Commander. Quite frankly, this is the third version of the character we've gotten to date, and it's starting to feel fatigued.

To me, it's the equivalent of Hasbro announcing Roadblock in the original wave one of Cobra Island. My reaction at this point is, "What, again?" I really hope Hasbro doesn't fall back too much on re-releases and repaints. That will kill this line fast. Despite the relatively short term this line has been in existence, Regal Cobra Commander is the second of what will be three repainted figures to date. The aforementioned Roadblock being the first, and the repainted Cobra Trooper the third.

For what it's worth, here's the figure all decked out.

And, here's the state of the shelves for the series to date.

(Front to back / left to right)
Deluxe Snake Eyes*Roadblock
Snake Eyes, Destro (circle head)*Destro (no circle)*Duke
Scarlet*Cobra Commander*Regal Cobra Commander*Gung Ho
Red Ninja*Snake Supreme Cobra Commander*Beach Head (green eyes)*Beach Head (blue eyes)

(Front to back / left to right)
Roadblock*Cobra Trooper (black collar)*Cobra Trooper (blue collar)*Baroness
Arctic Mission Storm Shadow*Profit Director Destro

Figures still to come down the pike are Firefly, Cobra Viper, Zartan, Cobra Infantry, Flint and Lady Jaye. 2021 looks to be off to a good start, in terms of a solid lineup of new figures.

On a side note, I was tooling around ebay, taking a look at what all the enablers were paying for the new Cobra Island wave, and was rather annoyed with a listing I came across. The guy had the Cobra Viper for $90.00, which was outrageous in and of itself, but what really annoyed me was that on top of that he wanted $10.00 for shipping. Really? You're going to charge over four times retail, and you can't even ship for free?

Humans are so greedy. Please don't enable this behavior. I know that everyone wants these figures, but don't send the message that it's okay for people to act this way by padding their pockets.

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Retro Spins: The Beatles - Please Please Me

 

"1, 2, 3, 4." They're the first words and the count off which started Beatlemania. As a child of the 80's, I like many before me know about the Beatles. I know their music, well, some of it anyway. However, what I don't have is that "wow" factor that those who were there to see it all unfold have. To me it's just music.

To truly appreciate the band, you need to first understand the times. Not only was their musical structure ahead of its time, in terms of sound and production, but they also brought with them a youth movement across the globe. Many cultural movements were purportedly inspired by The Beatles, and inspired many young artists to pursue a career in music.

Despite their very short career together as a band, just a mere seven years, they churned out a total of twenty number one hits. However, more so impressive than this achievement would be on April 4, 1964, when they held all five of the top five slots on Billboard with Can't Buy Me Love (1), Twist And Shout (2), She Loves You (3), I Want To Hold Your Hand (4) and Please Please Me (5). If that weren't impressive enough, they also held seven additional spots on the charts this day, for a total of twelve Billboard hits. Those additional songs, I Saw Her Standing There (31), From Me To You (41), Do You Want To Know A Secret (46), All My Loving (58), You Can't Do That (65), Roll Over Beethoven (68) and Thank You Girl (79).

I don't think even Michael Jackson had that kind of success with his album, Thriller. But, hopefully you get the point I'm trying to make. The band was big. As such, it was only appropriate that they would be selected to launch an all new series here at The Toy Box. Retro Spins: The Classic Years is starting with a listen to The Beatles debut album, Please Please Me.

Fourteen tracks encompass the first album, and yet, due to their short nature, the album only totals around thirty-three minutes. I recognized several of the tracks, but my surprise more so came from finding out that these classic hits, which I had heard from several other artists, were written by the Fab 4.

As I listened to the songs, I could tell exactly what people were saying with their style revolutionizing an era. While some tracks, such as P.S. I Love You, sound very bubblegum style, and in line with the sounds of the era, others sound very different. You could tell The Beatles were on the horizon of something, and while it isn't achieved fully on their debut album, you can see the groundwork it's being built on.

Overall, I liked what I heard, and I want to hear more. Good thing I already own their entire UK catalog. As I type this, I feel like it may also be time to track down the US released albums. I may just have to do that.

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Retro Spins: Newcleus - Jam On Revenge



Newcleus is sadly one of the forgotten "bands" of the 80's. Their contribution to the world of electro and hip hop is fantastic and fun, making them a cult classic of sorts in the world of music. Neither of their two albums, 1984's Jam on Revenge and 1985's Space Is The Place sold well upon their initial release. However, these days, they have become coveted treasures for audiophiles searching for rare vinyls.

2020's Retro Spin gets kicked off on the right foot with their album Jam On Revenge - A forty-six minute masterpiece, if I do say so myself.

While songs fade in and out, ending as one typically would, the album is glued together, so to speak, by delightful sound effects which keep you frozen in the moment from track to track. A segue of sorts between each song.

Some tracks certainly stand out as better than others, but at the same time, it's difficult to pull one out of the fold to stand on its own. The reason for this is because one simply can't imagine any one track being excluded in the flow. Computer Age wouldn't be quite what it is if it didn't lead into Auto-Man and so on and so on.

With that said, there were two tracks which were mildly popular in the 80's which brought mediocre success to the group. Those were Jam On Revenge and Jam On It.

Newcleus' albums have long since been out of print in their original vinyl and cassette form, and weren't originally released on CD. In 2018, Newcleus, via their Jam-On Productions label, released a minimal quantity of CD's for both of their albums. However, there is a downside to this. Jam On Revenge is missing the track, Where's The Beat. Both albums feature three bonus tracks each, which begs the question, why was this track not included?

Personally speaking, if these are albums you'd be potentially interested in, I would recommend hunting down either the vinyl or cassette version to get the full experience. They're not going to be cheap though.

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Cobra Kai

 

Cobra Kai season three dropped these past couple days, and after a straight binge watch, I'm all caught up and ready for season four.

I've got to be honest with you. After sitting through three seasons of this show, the only reason I keep coming back is for the nostalgia. If this show didn't have that aspect carrying it, I wouldn't watch this at all. The acting is awful. Really awful.Not only that, but this show is plagued with terribly written scripts that carry the weight of some of the worst "B" movies.

In terms of the characters, none of them are likeable. Both Johnny and Daniel have explosive tempers that often show how ignorant and immature they have both developed into as adults. Yet these are the people we're supposed to trust to be nurturing and training the children in the ways of karate. At least with Kreese, you know he's a jerk, and he doesn't deviate from this. In fact, he embraces it. He's a jerk and he knows it. Meanwhile, Daniel and Johnny are jerks, yet are so self deluded, they see themselves a good people. Which they're not.

As for the children, spoiler alerts ahead, they are all a bunch of bullies. Regardless of what side they may feel they're on. They constantly antagonize each other, start fights, and then play the victim when the tables are turned. At the end of both season two and three, they have what equates to an all out gang war against each other, almost killing one of them. Yet the most they get is suspension from school for a few weeks, with only one of them getting expelled and another being wanted for assault charges. How about slap all of them with assault charges, and put them all in juvenile hall?

This all comes back to the writing. The series runners either have a very delusion mentality of what constitutes someone as a bad guy vs. a good guy, or they simply wanted to write a show about a whole group of bad people confused by who exactly the victims are. Not only that, but they really expect you to suspend disbelief in terms of the consequences not only the kids in this show, but the adults, would face for their brutal violence towards each other.

However, it's not all just about the way the characters act, but also how they talk. They have conversations with each other that no human being would have - especially considering the circumstances. A perfect example of this is, again, spoilers, Ali returns in season three, and tells Johnny all the life lessons he needs to hear in a few sentences. This woman hasn't seen him in over twenty years, and is on the cusp of a divorce herself. She is in no position to bestow any kind of wisdom. It's awkward, and so out of place for the series. It's there simply to say, "Hey, Ali's back, but now we have to right the course of our plot points."

This is also not the first occurrence in season three where nostalgia is utilized to conveniently solve a problem. Look, at this point, if you're not aware there are spoilers in this write up, I can't help you. Anyway, Daniel randomly decides that the answer to all of his car dealership problems is to take a trip to Okinawa. He has no game plan. No idea why he's going, but he jumps on a plane and goes. Upon arrival, and within minutes of returning to Tomi Village, he comes across Kumiko.

Kumiko takes him to a bar the next day, where she, for some reason, invites Chozen. You know, the guy that held a knife to her throat in 1986 and told everyone he was going to kill her. Um...Why would she keep in touch with that person? Well, nostalgia. That's the only answer. Why else would he show up?

As Daniel randomly trains with Chozen, Kumiko goes off to do her own thing, coming back later with more nostalgia in the form of Yuna, aka the little girl ringing the bell during the storm in the second film, who Daniel saves. She's risen from town bell ringer, to the VP of sales at the car company that Daniel just so happened to lose his contract with. She of course reinstates this because it's a convenient and quick bow tie to the entire problem, while sprinkling it with nostalgia. Let's not forget the massive plot hole it creates. Daniel has been doing business with this company for years, but never met the VP of sales? Okay...Moving on.

Let's get back to those crazy kids. They switch allegiances more frequently than most people change underwear. One second they're Cobra Kai, the next second Miyagi-Do, and on and on and on. This wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't so random. The perfect example of this is the character Hawk. Over the course of three seasons he established himself as a brutal villain. He beata on anyone he can get his hands on, and showed zero signs of any remorse. In fact, he often displays signs that he's enjoying it. Yet randomly in the season three finale fight, he switches sides on a dime to help Demitri. Yes, the same Demitri who just a few episodes prior to that, Hawk broke his arm in a vicious attack. His sudden change of allegiance is so out of place that it derails the remainder of the entire episode. Mind you, he's not the first flip flopper among the students. His just stands out the most.

It just keeps coming back to the writing. It's just terrible. It's as if they want to cram as much nostalgia in there as possible that the writing is formed around who can we bring back now as opposed to how can we develop these characters while sprinkling nostalgia around it. Even season three ends with a hint that more nostalgia is around the corner in the shape of Thomas Ian Griffith's character, Terry Silver, returning in season four. I mean, who's next? Are they going to try and work Hilary Swank into this?

Don't get me wrong. I like the nostalgic aspect to the show. As I said from the start, it's the only reason I watch it. But that doesn't mean it's a good show.

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Battlestar Galactica (Wonder Bread)



Battlestar Galactica
Wonder Bread
1978

George over at G.I. Jigsaw is the person who hipped me to the existence of these cards. In doing so, I not only learned about this particular set, but also several others which Wonder Bread ran as a promotion in their bread bags throughout the 1970's. As such, there's definitely more to come in this regard here at The Toy Box. For now though, let me focus in on these 1978 Battlestar Galacatic trading cards.

Much like the 1977 Star Wars set, the concept was simple. Buy a loaf of bread, and inside specially marked packages find a single trading card. However, unlike that aforementioned set, which included sixteen cards, this all new series consisted of thirty-six cards in total! If you thought you were making a lot of sandwiches before to make a complete set, try going for this one!

Let's do the math!

A single twenty ounce bag of Wonder Bread houses twenty-two slices of bread. Considering most people don't eat the lackluster thinly sliced end pieces, we'll drop that down to twenty. So ten sandwiches per bag, times thirty-six cards, giving a high luck roll on your D20 that you're going to get each card in just one attempt, that's three hundred sixty sandwiches. If you eat one sandwich a day, that's just shy of one year it's going to take you to get a full set. Again, that's considering you're lucky and don't get any duplicates.

Or...You could just fill out the form and submit for a full set in one fell swoop to Wonder Bread via their mail in offer. But who wants to do that? That would defeat the purpose of "collecting" a set.

Anyway, regardless of how one would have gone about obtaining this series, below is what you would eventually end up with as a full set.

















Much like the prior Star Wars set, it's relatively easy to obtain a complete for very cheap. Ten dollars was the last price I saw these hovering around. If you're a true fanatic, you can also try your luck at obtaining a full graded set. However, doing so will set you back between $10.00 and $25.00 per card.

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