Monday, February 20, 2017

Round Robin Challenge: Your Mission,Should You Choose To Accept It



This week's Round Robin Challenge: Your Mission,Should You Choose To Accept It, was a perfect opportunity for me. See, I'd been holding on to a very special bottle of wine for the past fifteen years, and today was the perfect opportunity to finally try it.

What we have here is the 2002 Viandante Del Cielo translated as Travel of the Sky, or "Skywalker". Yes, as in Luke Skywalker of Star Wars.

This wine comes from the infamous Niebaum Coppola vineyards, but here's the kicker - It utilizes grapes grown at THE Skywalker Ranch. So in all essence of the wine, it's technically a Star Wars product.

Honestly, for being fifteen years old at this point, I expected better. They say that wine gets better with age, but I guess my snobbery for the stuff isn't where it should have been to truly appreciate it for what it was.


The wine itself is more so collectible to Star Wars fans for memorabilia purposes. After all, it's not every day that one can say they got a piece of "history" from Lucasfilm.

Taste wise - It was creamy in flavor with a smooth oak and vanilla finish, which is definitely good in terms of Chardonnay. The acid is just enough to give it that kick that a good wine should have.

With how old this bottle is, I very well may have just cracked open a couple hundred dollar bottle of wine - Though it only cost me around forty bucks when it first came out. In hind site, I kind of wish I would have left it in the closet to age more, but at least I have another bottle sitting in there. So, in the long run I still have one to hold on to.

These wines aren't common on secondary markets. However, they still make bottles of it here and there. The key thing to keep in mind is that regardless of what year you get your hands on that it's always made in limited batches that once they're gone, they're gone. This aspect alone makes the bottles desirable to wine aficionados, and all the more collectible to Star Wars fans.

As of this post, I may be first to chime in to this week's Round Robin - A first for me. So, head to the main page for any updates that come in.

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The Spectacular Spider-Man: Techno-Wars (Toy Biz)



The Spectacular Spider-Man: Techno-Wars
Toy Biz
1996

There are a lot of Spider-Man lines out there - The majority of which were produced under the Toy Biz banner. However, there are few that are developed under The Spectacular Spider-Man guise. That's what makes the Techno-Wars line so unique, and special to fans of that particular comic book series. Granted, you're not going to see any of these iterations of the characters in the pages of the comic.

As typical of Toy Biz in the mid 1990's, the line is confined to just a handful of characters. It's no secret that Toy Biz was big on gimmicks to sell Marvel related figures, and this is definitely another one of those attempts. Each figure featured bulky / colorful accessories that would scream to passing children, "Buy me!" It wasn't the first time Toy Biz did this, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.

Anti-Symbiote Spidey*Hyper Tech Spider-Man

Radioactive Spider Armor

Ultimate Octopus*Vault Guardsman

The Spectacular Spider-Man
Marvel Comics
1976 - 2011

 Because we're taking a look at a Spectacular Spider-Man toy line, we thought we'd incorporate the entire run of comics into the mix. The series started in 1976, making it the second Spider-Man comic book series to be produced (The Amazing Spider-Man was the first, and Spectacular was followed by Web of Spider-Man which began in 1985).

The series initially started its run as Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man. However, by issue number 134 the series title was shortened, dropping the "Peter Parker" portion.

Though The Spectacular Spider-Man isn't the most popular Spidey title in existence, it's not without its note worthy moments. Some of the best include;

The first appearance of Carrion - Issue 25
The first appearance of Cloak and Dagger - Issue 64
Death of Jean DeWolff - Issues 107 - 110
Kraven's last hunt crossover arc- Issues 131 and 132
Spidey gets cosmic powers - Issue 158
Death of Harry Osbourne - Issue 200

Then thereafter the series gets muddled with the whole Spidey clone nonsense.
































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Monday, February 13, 2017

Terminator 2: Future War (Kenner)



Terminator 2: Future War
Kenner
1993

This particular 1993 Kenner line falls in between the original 1991 to 1992 Terminator 2 line, and the latter produced 1997 Terminator 2 3D (AKA Battle Across Time). Kenner was finding a fair amount of success in toy isles due to the massive momentum of James Cameron's highly anticipated sequel, and the company hoped to continue raking in cash by expanding into further lines based on the characters.

Future War featured eight new figures, but sadly stopped there. No vehicles or playsets got incorporated into the line, leaving it rather hollow for those who didn't have the predecessor line. The series also focused heavily on variants of the Terminator - A whopping six of them out of the eight total figures available. Furthermore, the two villains in the series, Cyber-Grip and Kromium were 100% Kenner created for the line.

3-Strike Terminator*Battle Ready Terminator*Cyber-Grip

Hidden Power Terminator*Hot Blast Terminator*Kromium

Metal-Mash Terminator*Rapid Repair Terminator

If you look closely at the cardback above, you can see that Kenner definitely planned for this series to be a continuation from their prior line. It depicts the eight figures from this series, and then encourages children to collect the rest of the Terminator figures available - I.E. the prior series.

It's probably no surprise to anyone that there is little value in these figures on secondary markets. They are readily available, and can be obtained for as little as $3.00 each, mint on card. If you're in to the Terminator, and wanting to add some figures to your collection, the time is now to jump on these. They're cheap, and easy to find.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Round Robin Challenge: Best Adaption!



Alexis' Universe brings us this week's Round Robin Challenge - Best Adaption! Mr. Smith was first to respond (as usual), and had some really good comments as he finally narrowed it down to The Watchmen film adaptation as being the best of the best - Which I have to agree is really good in terms of staying true to the source material.

For my choice, I'm going with something a little more recent.


Neil Patrick Harris is killing it as Count Olaf in the Netflix adaptations of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I also find it rather interesting that Malina Weissman was cast as Violet Baudelaire as she's almost a carbon copy lookalike of Emily Browning who played the character in the 2004 film version starring Jim Carrey.

Overall the first season has been a very enjoyable, and fun experience. Some of the writing can seem a bit over the top theatrical, or even flat out annoying. However, this is nothing short of how the actual novels were written.

Season one encompasses the first four books - each broken down into two episodes. With nine more stories to go from there, you can well bet that they plan on stretching this out for at least another two seasons of episodes.

Speaking of which, don't pass on the novels themselves. They're a fun read in and of themselves, and can be read fairly quickly for any average paced reader.



Of course, if you're not into reading, you can also check out the audiobook adaptations. Most of them are read by the fabulous Mr. Tim Curry. However, books three, four and five are read by Mr. Lemony Snicket himself, Daniel Handler. Sadly, the books narrated by him are not as good. They lack a lot of the depth of character acting that Curry brings to each page.

Unfortunately nobody else has chimed in to the Round Robin Challenge for the week - Other than Mr. Smith as noted above - So unfortunately there's no links to share. Keep your eye's posted to Alexis' main page for any that come in.

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Doctor Who (Denys Fisher)



Wow, who would have thought that Patriots would come back in the 4th quarter to take the Superbowl into overtime, and then win the game? It's unheard of what they did. Tom Brady's salary just went up immensely!

Doctor Who
Denys Fisher
1976

For a character that goes all the way back to 1963, and has numerous iterations in books, toys and television, we sadly know little to nothing about the character. We've never seen any of the shows, never read any books. I guess you could safely say that in general we have little to no interest.

What we do know about the show is that the "original series" ran from 1963 all the way through 1989. Since then there have been numerous attempts to relaunch the series, but with mild success until the 2014 iteration.

One of the most note worthy aspects of the show is that when a particular actor would leave his respective roll as the Doctor, the next actor hired would be given the next consecutive number. Thus the numerous versions of Doctors from First through the now current twelfth. Throughout the various shows it was common that prior Doctors would reprise their roles in a cameo appearance. As such, Doctor Who could be considered one of the longest running consecutive shows in history. "From a certain point of view" - Ben Kenobi.

Despite our lack of knowledge of the series, we do enjoy a classic eight inch action figure line, and these from Denys Fisher fit in perfectly with any of your standard Megos - Right down to their packaging.

Because this particular line was produced in 1976, it falls in line with the Tom Baker iteration of the Doctor - AKA Fourth Doctor. A great choice considering that in a recent poll his portrayal is considered the most popular iteration to date.

There were six figures produced, and one "accessory", the Tardis. Each one was sculpted with meticulous detail for its time, and featured that classic hand stitched clothing that was common place with any good quality eight inch line.

Doctor Who

Cyberman

Dalek

Giant Robot

Leela

K-9*Tardis

Now for the bad news. If you're looking at adding these to your collection, start saving now. Complete figures with the box (new or used) can set you back upwards of $500.00 a piece. This is not a line for the faintest of collectors. Additionally, the majority of these figures are not common. While you can find the Doctor and Dalek here and there, the rest are incredibly scarce.

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