Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Order Of Battle: Batman And Friends...'N Villains

This will be an ongoing post of my vintage Batman and DC Super Hero toys, as I obtain them.

Obtained: December 17, 2017 

Obtained: December 25, 2017

 Batmobile with Shield Cocoon
Obtained: December 25, 2017

Obtained: December 25, 2017

 Bob the Goon
Obtained: December 25, 2017

Obtained: July 7, 2018
Obtained: July 8, 2018 

 Joker Cycle
Obtained: July 8, 2018
Obtained: August 14, 2018

Obtained: August 14, 2018

  Penguin Army
Obtained: August 14, 2018

  Wonder Woman
Obtained: August 25, 2018 

Obtained: October 7, 2018 

Obtained: October 7, 2018
Lex Luthor
Obtained: October 14, 2018

 Mr. Freeze
Obtained: October 27, 2018 

Obtained: October 27, 2018 
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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Retro Spins: Laura Branigan - Branigan

Laura Branigan

Well....Crap. This wasn't supposed to happen. I recently was listening to a greatest hits of Laura Branigan and found myself saying, "This is really good! I need to hunt down her studio albums from the 80's." This was an expensive undertaking as several of her albums are a little scarce which makes them a bit expensive. I'm talking as much as $50.00 expensive for one in particular.

I ordered all five of her albums from the 80's and specifically waited until I had them all in hand so I could listen to them in order; Branigan (1982), Branagin 2 (1983), Self Control (1984), Hold Me (1985) and Touch (1987). With the picture laid out, let me go into the details.

I haven't listened to all five of the albums noted above just yet, just Branigan from 1982. However, it was awful! Where are the quality of songs from the greatest hits album I heard? Gloria was the only saving grace of the entire thing and heck, I already had that one from the aforementioned compilation.

The album starts out on a massive lull with what would become the first chart topper from the album (for a single week at number 96) and one of the most boring songs I've ever heard in my life, All Night with Me. It follows that up with Gloria and it was at this point in time that I said to myself, "Okay, it's going to get better from here." I then re-braced myself for an album that was going to blow me away. I could accept that one out of nine was a dud. That's not a terrible average.

Sigh... What I instead ended up with was one out of nine being good....Gloria. I was so disappointed. Disappointed to the point that my desire to listen to the other four albums was immediately swept under the rug. Sure, I'll get around to it, but they're no longer a top priority for me.

I suppose in the long run I shouldn't be overly shocked. The only track which really managed to move on the charts was Gloria. The song went to the number two spot by November of 1982 and stayed there for three consecutive weeks before very slowly falling off the charts over the course of the next three months. With the exception of the above noted All Night with Me, there were no other hits from the album.

Maybe I shouldn't be so bummed out in light of that. Clearly things have to get better. After all, the two above noted tracks are the only ones from the album which made their way to the greatest hits album. Perhaps the best is yet to come.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Dixie's Diner (Tyco)

Dixie's Diner

I love that feeling I get when I finish up a post I've been working on for years. Some times it takes a bit of effort to track down every single piece from a toy line. I can't tell you how many posts I still have in the works because I simply couldn't find everything from the line.

Well, enough of that.

Let's look at today's entry, Dixie's Diner from Tyco. The line features characters and playsets designed in a sense to that of your standard 1950's diner - A diner of course run by Dixie. In total there were eleven dolls - six of which came packaged individually and the remaining five with a playset.

Each stood approximately three inches tall and featured moveable heads,  arms and legs. Additionally, they each came with a set of unique cloth clothing. In essence, they were miniature dolls.

 Patty*Peggy Sue*Darren


To flesh out Dixie's Diner you could purchase additional accessories such as the Counter Service Set, Kitchen Set and Refrigerator - All a must have if you ask me.

 Counter Service Set*Kitchen Set*Refrigerator

To take Dixie's Diner to a whole new level, Tyco also produced several deluxe style playset accessories. Each one came packed with a unique figure.

 Juke Box with Dotty*Diner Booth Set with Barbara Ann
Pinball Machine with Eddie*Pool Table with Mitch

Sure, you could hoof it over to Dixie's, but that wouldn't be hip. Rather it's far more cool to ride your pink or blue convertible over to the joint. It was cool how Tyco made one for the guys and one for the gals - Even if they're the exact same molds in different colors.

 50's Style Convertable
Pink and Blue

To get Dixie herself, you'd have to purchase the Diner Playset. The set also included a counter with seats and a table setting set for two.


Of course if you're down with the one stop shopping, Tyco was happy to sell kids a Deluxe Furnished Diner Playset. This massive set featured (of course) the diner with counter, seats and a table setting for two as well as all four of the playset accessories; jukebox, diner booth, pinball machine and pool table. If that wasn't enough, the set also included a Dixie figure as well as the four figures packed in with the playset accessories; Dotty, Barbara Ann, Edie and Mitch.

Deluxe Furnished Playset

Dixie's Diner is a pretty fun set of toys. Despite the pink packaging (not that there's anything wrong with pink), the line is both boy and girl friendly. As a kid I would have had no problems playing with this set because I love cooking so much. This set would have totally fueled my imagination for running my own restaurant. Of course, I'd have to be Frankie and Dixie would be one of my waitresses.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Order Of Battle: Ghostbusters!

This will be an ongoing post of my vintage The Real Ghostbusters toys, as I obtain them.

Peter Venkman with Blue Ghost
Obtained: July 18, 2018

Ray Stantz with Purple Ghost
Obtained: July 18, 2018

 Egon Spengler with Yellow Ghost
Obtained: July 18, 2018

  Winston Zeddemore with Red Ghost
Obtained: July 18, 2018

Obtained: July 18, 2018

Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man
Obtained: July 18, 2018

  H2 Ghost
Obtained: July 18, 2018

Obtained: July 18, 2018

Bug Eyed Ghost
Obtained: July 18, 2018

   Firehouse Playset
Obtained: July 18, 2018

Obtained: July 18, 2018
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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Retro Spins: Blondie - Autoamerican


When I first started listening to Blondie's Autoamerican I was confused. It started with an orchestral intro then dove into a disco type song only to switch to a new wave style after that and then a funk and rap style. Sprinkled in throughout were also a mixture of jazz and punk. It was all over the map and every time I got accustomed to one style it switched.

Despite this ever changing style of music, I did find myself enjoying parts of the album. Its feature hits The Tide is High and Rapture weren't the only gems to be found here. I enjoyed tracks such as; Do the Dark, Angels on the Balcony and Go Through It. Overall though, it doesn't leave me wanting more. I could be just as happy never hearing another Blondie album.

Critically wise, the album's stand out hit was The Tide is High which was the first to enter the charts in November of 1980. The song wasted no time racing up the charts to the number one spot by January 1981. Rapture hit the charts that same month. This song to raced up the charts to take the number one spot by March where it stayed for two consecutive weeks.

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham (Star Comics)

Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham
and Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham
Star Comics
1983 & 1985 - 1987

These days I have to admit I don't really like my comics on the "heavy" side. I'm not into life changing events, stories that hit too close to home or in general drama laden issues which span across multiple books in expansive cross-over stories. Instead, I find myself more so leaning towards lighthearted, silly nature ones such as...

Peter Porker began his legacy in the one-shot Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham by Marvel Comics in November of 1983. Satire was the name of the game, and fans caught on in a big way.

Rather than continue direct publication of the title, Marvel handed it over to its sister company, Star Comics - Known for its stories geared more so towards a younger audience - To continue the adventures of Peter Porker in the pages of Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.

Issue number one launched in in May of 1985 and with it came eight more issues, one following every other month.

With issue number nine, Star Comics reverted to a monthly series, but oddly stopped doing so with issue number twelve.

The series once again reverted back to being published every other month up until it's final issue, number seventeen which landed on comic stands in September of 1987.

The adventures of Peter Porker didn't end with the series. The character continued to make appearances here and there in titles such as What The..., Ultimate Civil War and even teamed up with Spider-Man himself.

Unfortunately for toy collectors, Spider-Ham remained out of toy isles until just recently. In 2018 Dorbz produced a Walgreens exclusive version.

Sadly, if you're not a Dorbz collector the figurine can leave a lot to be desired. Needless to say I'm still crossing my fingers for a full fledged and fully articulated Marvel Universe / Legends figure. Wouldn't that be a cool build a figure incentive for a series? I'm crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.

NOTE: This post was written long in advance before the Marvel Legends figure came to fruition.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Retro Spins: El DeBarge - El DeBarge

El DeBarge
El DeBarge

I feel it's premature reviewing this CD because quite honestly I should first be reviewing the DeBarge album, Rhythm of the Night, as it paints quite the picture for things to come for the band, the family and the solo career of El. But....Meh.

Despite the success of the band, Gordy Records a division of Motown, was growing increasingly annoyed with the publicized drug use of many of the family members and subsequently their unreliability as a result. Additionally, the label saw more talent and marketability in both El and his sister Bunny. As such, the decision was made to drop the group from the label and focus on solo careers of the two sibblings.

El released the song, "Who's Johnny" for the hit movie Short Circuit which hit theaters in May of 1986. However, for whatever reasoning there was behind it, the film never released a soundtrack. This paved the way for El to release his debut self titled album in 1986 which featured the song as the first track.

Unfortunately, whatever Motown saw in El didn't seem to translate over to the actual album. It's pretty boring, bland and full of ballads. Triple B! It's got a couple tracks which stand out as better, but none are as catchy as Who's Johnny nor as commercial. Overall, I found myself just needing this album to end so I could go on with my life. It was kind of torturous to have to sit through it.

Who's Johnny charted in April of 1986 and went all the way to number three by July before drifting back down the charts. The follow up single, Love Always, charted at number eighty-eight and peaked at number forty-three before disappearing. The third single, Someone, entered the charts at number ninety in December, but lasted one lone week before exiting.

Regardless of having three songs hit the charts, I'll stick with just the one, Who's Johnny, and in minimal doses. It's not exactly a mind blowing track, but it's fun 80's music.

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