Thursday, September 20, 2018

Painted Memories: Choose The Right Finger




Please share your own thoughts, memories and stories in the comment section.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Retro Spins: Pretty Poison - Catch Me I'm Falling



Pretty Poison
Catch Me I'm Falling
1988

I've always been a fan of Pretty Poison's Catch Me (I'm Falling) (the song), but had honestly never heard anything else from the group.

While the album (of the same name) was released in 1988 (oddly enough nobody seems to know the month), the single Catch Me (I'm Falling) started flying up the charts by September of 1987. By December it had already reached the top ten, but sadly by January of '88 was already beginning its descent.

Pretty Poison had a second hit chart in April of '88. However, the track only peaked at number thirty-six before drifting off the charts. It would be the last "hit" for the band and as a result of not many people knowing the song the group remains in one hit wonder status.

As for the album - Well, it's just not that memorable. A lot of the songs sound the same and while some are listenable, they're not necessarily memorable. It's because of this I really didn't find anything beyond the hit Catch Me (I'm Falling) to throw on my IPOD. A shame as I was really expecting to be somewhat impressed with the album based on how good the aforementioned song is. 

Not really much more to say beyond that.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Space Channel 5 (Palisades)



Space Channel 5
Palisades
2001





Before their were guitar controllers, there was Space Channel 5 - A game from Sega developed for their Sega Dreamcast System...Which coincidentally was their last video game console to date (and later for the Sony Platstation 2).

The game involved the character Ulala who the player controlled in an effort to groove and rescue hostages as she stopped the attacking enemy. As the character calls out commands, it is up to the player to repeat these commands via inputs on their controller.

Critically the game was highly praised by reviewers and players who noted the game as incredibly fun. Even those who stated that the game wasn't necessarily up to par graphically wise for its time of release still couldn't deny the fun nature of the game.

Prior to going out of business, Palisades produced a very short lived lineup of action figures based on the game - Most of which were versions of Ulala.



Of course many know the eventual downfall to the company was the numerous lawsuits brought against it for taking money under the table and not paying its bills / design teams. A definite disappointment considering the company was producing the highly popular Muppets line at the time all of this went down.


Speaking of lawsuits, Lady Miss Kier of the band Deee-Lite sued Sega over the release of the game. She claimed Sega had approached her prior to development to use her likeness and also a person she used to adopt during her career where she wore knee-high boots, short skirts and a pink pony tail. She also alleged Sega had approached her to use her likeness and music in the game, but that she declined the offer of $16,000.00. Her claim stated that despite declining Sega's offer, the company proceeded to use her likeness.

There may be some validity to that claim

Despite the clear resemblance in the above photo (at least to us), Kier lost her case against Sega and ended up having to pay over $600,000.00 for their legal fees.

In 2008 Kier would have another run in with Sega, but this time by way of actually allowing them to use her song Groove is in the Heart for their game Samba de Amigo. The song was ironically acted out in the game by Ulala from Space Channel 5.


Palisades were big fans of making their lunchbox exclusive figures which could only be gotten by joining their "fan club". The Space Channel 5 line saw it's own released exclusive in this nature featuring a black and red suited Ulala.


For those looking for the figures you can find them readily available via secondary markets. They are also relatively cheap. A full carded set can be grabbed for as little as $50.00. Unfortunately, the exclusive lunchbox version is another story. It is incredibly scarce and as such we can't even begin to estimate a price. For those on the hunt for the actual Sega Dreamcast game, you can get this for around three bucks.

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

It's Almost September 30th!



 
Is Kathleen Kennedy going to be fired as many suspect? I don't know, but in anticipation of that glorious day, I've gone ahead and started celebrating by updating her "proud" shirt for her.

Disney's fiscal year ends September 30th, and many people sit in anticipation of her being let go. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

G.I. Joe: The Card And Dice Game



Have you played the original G.I. Joe: The Card and Dice Game? It's a ton of fun and so simple. The game is designed for one or two players, which means solo missions can still be had!

Each person chooses either the Joe or Cobra team (or the single player takes both decks), shuffles the cards of each deck, and lays them face up in front of them. In addition to the deck, each player is provided a designated dice (or both dice to a single player), green for the Joe team and red for Cobra.

The game is played out in a "war" like fashion, but rather than relying on a number printed on the card to designate who has the highest, this is determined by the dice. The premise is still the same - Be the last player with cards remaining in their deck.

The card at the top of the deck is your current character. Simultaneously role the dice, and the player with the highest dice roll wins. The player with the lower number discards their card to a separate pile, and the player with the highest keeps theirs in play. Continue to roll the dice until one player has depleted all of their cards.

It's so much fun, and can be played virtually anywhere! It's also great for kids and adults of all ages!

Unfortunately, the downside to the game is you're not going to find it on store shelves...Or anywhere for that matter. Why? Because it's a game I invented.

For those of you who have read my Joe posts, you may have caught me mentioning numerous times how in my early teen years I still somewhat continued to play with my Joe figures. Not in a sense that I would set them up all over the house and play out an imaginary story with them. Rather, a simpler game where I separated the Joe and Cobras into two piles, then picked one from each pile at random and rolled a dice for each team to see who the winner was. Sound familiar? You know, like a little aforementioned card game above?

As I was sitting in my toy room, I found myself wanting to play with my figures, but not in a way that would result in people calling out my sanity. This resulted in me grabbing a pair of dice and an empty box, and just sitting in front of the display shelf playing out my childhood game.

When I finished, I thought to myself, "That was still a lot of fun, but how can I make this game something I could do wherever I wanted to?" Thus, the above cards were born.

Utilizing a similar design to that of Impel's short lived G.I. Joe trading cards in conjunction with the cardback and box art for the toys, I came up with the cards. The two decks you see above incorporate all the figures from 1983's 1.5 series through 1987. This includes not only the carded figures, but vehicle drives, mail away and sub-sets - such as Special Missions Brazil, Battle Force 2000, Slaughter's Marauders, Etc. I then printed the cards on a thicker cardstock paper, cut them out and inserted them in Ultra-Pro card sleeves to ensure longevity.

Because some of the vehicle drives are displayed on their boxes somewhat tiny, blowing them up resulted in blurry cards for several of these. However, when I sat back and thought of what my options were, I decided to just leave it. My decision behind this was to essentially conclude if I was a little kid creating this game back in the 80's, this is essentially what would have happened. However, the difference would be that through a child's eyes this would still be pure awesome because the character was still represented.

A downside to the decks was that I quickly found out the Joe's didn't just slightly outnumber the Cobras, rather majorly. There are ninety-nine unique Joe figures in their deck, but only half this amount for the Cobras. This meant I either needed to trim down the Joe team cards or pad the Cobra one. I opted for the latter.

I achieved this by breaking it down by year, and then essentially army building. For example, 1983's 1.5 line has three Cobra figures and thirteen Joe's. A difference of ten. So I printed five additional Cobra Soldier cards and five Cobra Officer's to even them out. I continued to do this for each wave of figures, utilizing the current year's soldier characters on the Cobra team to even out each one. This resulted in an even deck of ninety-nine cards for each team.

Why only go through 1987? Mainly for me, it's because that's where my interest in Joe figures really ends. There are a few from 1988 I know of, and even owned as a kid, but they're not as special to me as the '83 - '87 era. Also, I really just wanted to get a card set in place so I could start playing. The longer I spent designing each individual card meant I wasn't playing.

I'm sure I'll get around to incorporating '88 - '94 into the game eventually, yet at the same time I'm a little hesitant. Mainly because ninety-nine cards in and of themselves make for a fairly decent length game. Any longer, and it risks becoming boring. In fact, I dare say I need to consider trimming it down to a base set of sixty cards per side, and only incorporating the rest when I have tons of time on my hands - Which isn't often.

For now, I'm content with my little homemade card game. It's not only fun, but nostalgic for me at the same time. For starters, it includes all that fantastic artwork from the packages, and second, it takes me down memory lane of a game from my childhood. It's been fun to find a way to incorporate this back into my life.

If any of you are interested in getting your hands on the file for these cards so you can play too, I have no problem sharing. Drop me a comment with just your e-mail address, which won't be published, and I'll get in touch with you. It may need to come in multiple e-mails due to the size of the file. You will also need Microsoft Power Point to open it, and of course have a way to print all the pages out.

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Painted Memories: Boldly Going




Please share your own thoughts, memories and stories in the comment section.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Retro Spins: David Bowie - Let's Dance



David Bowie
Let's Dance
1983

David Bowie's Let's Dance is an important milestone album for me. While many people have been enjoying this album since April of 1983 I have never heard any of his albums until obtaining this one recently. Sure, I've heard Bowie's hits played here and there on the radio and they were decent. However, up until Let's Dance, I've never actually owned or listen to a Bowie album - Well, unless you count the Labyrinth soundtrack. I don't.

Bowie's first single from the album, Cat People (Putting Out Fire) charted a full one year ahead of the album being released. However, this was due to the fact the song appeared not only the album to come, but also from the movie soundtrack to Cat People. So really, does this one count?

Whether it does or doesn't, it wouldn't be the only song to chart from what would quickly become Bowie's most popular album of the 80's. Let's Dance (the song) hit the charts in March of '83 and flew up the charts to the number one spot by May, knocking Michael's Jackson's Beat It down to number two.

While the track remained in the top ten, China Girl joined it on the charts in June. The two songs would pass each other in the charts in July as China Girl continued its way up while Let's Dance slowly drifted off the charts. The song would make it to number ten by August, but then started to drop off as well.

However, this wouldn't be the last hit from the album. Modern Love jumped on the charts September and climbed up to number nineteen before beginning ts descent back down. It wouldn't be until March of the following year that yet another track from the album would chart; Without You. However it would disappear a weak later. Bowie wasn't out for the count yet as songs from his follow up album, Tonight, would begin charting shortly after.

So how was it? Am I David Bowie's latest fan? Will I be tracking down further albums?

It was pretty good. Not necessarily. Probably.

The album fires off three singles right in a row; Modern Love, China Girl and Let's Dance and sets the tone for a fantastic listening experience. Unfortunately, it then takes a little dip and suffers for a couple songs before coming back towards the end with Criminal World and Cat People (Putting Out Fire). Long story short, five of the eight tracks made it to my IPOD.

After giving it a listen, I'm intrigued to want to track down some other Bowie stuff - Most likely hitting a few more from the 80's before venturing off into "classic rock" territory. Though I may be asking for trouble going this route as in reading about Bowie's two follow up albums to Let's Dance it seems as though the general consensus was that they weren't good. Well, I'm a fan of finding out for myself. So until then...

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Roboforce (Galoob)



Roboforce
Galoob
1992

Robo Force was created in 1984 by Ideal and released and featured Maxx Steele, the leader of the team. Their enemy - The Cult of Dred! The line was awesome...

 ...and has absolutely nothing to do with today's entry, Roboforce by Galoob.

Galoob's 1992 line has no backstory. So any premise you want to instill is left entirely to the imagination. Here's one we've created which you can use if you like;

"In the year 8-0 (pronounced oh)-G, a group of robots suddenly find themselves rebooting aboard the floating garbage cruiser The Tyroarus. Among the debris, the remains of human bones from their once live crew, now decease for over a century.

A fateful course is locked in the cruisers autopilot program which will send the ship headlong into the explosive sun of the nearby planet Dagargo. With all systems unresponsive to alter their course, the doomed robots spend the rest of their fleeting days swapping out their bits and pieces with each other in an attempt to at least look as cool as possible before succumbing to their inevitable demise.

ROBOFORCE! Accessorize and die hard! New from Galoob."

What do you think? Oh well, back to it.

If you couldn't surmise from the above write up, the line features eight figures with removable pieces and parts which can be interchanged with each other to create any form of robot you want.

Cool premise. However, with no cartoon to back the series up or any real strong marketing behind the toys they quickly fizzled to clearance bins across the nation.

Jetor*Wingold*Trakoid

Tankor*Arachnor*Spidoid

Augor*Dozoid

The figures are not too common on secondary markets these days, so it's a little difficult to pinpoint any price points. We've seen loose figures listed for about $40.00 each. However, these do not sell. Whether this is because the asking price is too high or there is simply no interest is unknown. It could be both.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

80's Nostalgia Comic Books



I've taken a slight hiatus from buying toys to really focus on bolstering my collection of comic books related to some of my favorite 1980's properties. If you recall from my visit to Fairfax Comic Con, my collection started, with a bang I might add, with the likes of Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Transformers and more. You may also recall I am only focusing on collecting issue number 1's (at this time).

Since then, my collection has been growing at a bit of a steady pace. Why not? At a couple bucks a piece for most of the books, it's really not all that difficult to amass a fairly large collection in little time. The books themselves aren't all that difficult to track down either, thanks in part to ebay.

These books are so much fun to collect, and not only that, but because the majority of them have no continuity to them, there's really no specific order one needs to collect them in. Again though, I'm strictly focusing on issue number 1's, and I don't honestly know if I'll branch out much further than that.

So let's have a look at what I've picked up since starting off at Fairfax Comic Con.

 Air Raiders*C.O.P.S.*Star Wars Droids

I honestly know very little about Air Raiders. I don't think I ever watched the cartoon, and I never played with the toys. Oddly enough though, I did used to own this exact comic book when I received it as a gift at Christmas time in one of those Sears or JC Penny comic book packs.

C.O.P.S. has easily become one of my most recent all time favorite cartoons from the 80's. Probably because I wasn't inundated with it when it first came out. I watched an episode here and there, but never really made it a point to catch the series when it aired.

Star Wars Droids was out of my wheelhouse when the cartoon originally aired, but since then I've come to appreciate it in VHS and DVD format. It's unfortunate the entire series has yet to be released on DVD.

Ewoks*G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero*Inhumanoids

 Much like Droids, Ewoks is something I've watched in my later teen years and beyond, but never gave the show much time as a kid.

I've actually tried reading this first issue of G.I. Joe several times online, but could never get into it. I think I only wanted it because it was a staple in a collection such as this. I'll give it another try in traditional paper format and see how it goes.

Another series I know little about, Inhumanoids was also a series I never watch on TV or played with the toys.

Madballs*MASK*Muppet Babies

 I had a few Madballs as a kid, and they were impressionable enough on me that I've remembered them fondly all these years later. I'm curious to see how the characters actually act in a story scenario.

MASK was big for my brother who collected the toys in droves. For me, I watched and enjoyed the cartoons. Between the two of us, you could say we had all the bases covered.

Who doesn't love Muppet Babies? Even if you didn't like the show, the opening theme with its snippets from movies such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark should have been enough to at least get you to give it a chance. Though I'm not a big fan of the Muppets in general, I did enjoy the cartoon in small doses.

Police Academy*Silver Hawks*V

I feel the need to admit this every time I post something about Police Academy - I've seen all six of the theatrical films on the big screen. Mission to Moscow doesn't count as it was never released in theaters. I love the Police Academy franchise, so it surprises me to admit I've never seen the cartoon...Ever.

Silver Hawks is another iconic 80's franchise which I have to admit is out of my realm of knowledge. I was never big on Japanese animation style cartoons such as this, Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and all those others I can't remember - Because they weren't my thing.

V on the other hand - Oh yeah. I'm all over this one. To this day I make it a point to watch the two mini series, and attempt to make it through the television series every few years. Love it! It's one of those franchise that really disappoints me to know the originally planned toy line of action figures was cancelled. I may have to break my credo of no new toy lines if Funko picks these up in their ReAction line.

All and all, not a bad batch of books. I'm excited to read through each and everyone of these...and it literally just dawned on me I forgot to post a photo of Alf #1...Oh well. Next time.

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Painted Memories: Phone Home




Please share your own thoughts, memories and stories in the comment section.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Retro Spins: Julian Lennon - Valotte



Julian Lennon
Valotte
1984

Lyrically, Valotte isn't all that impressive. Rather, where it shines is in the excellent instrumentation from song to song. No two songs sound alike and they feel masterfully crafted by artists who have honed their skills of various instruments - It almost feels experimental at times. Am I making sense here? Probably not.

It's interesting to hear Julian's voice. Interesting in a good way. At times he can sound like his father (most notably on tracks Valotte and Too Late for Goodbyes). Others he sounds almost like Elton John (On the Phone). Then there are times where he sounds...Well, like Julian - Having a voice of his own. I dare say it's an opportunity for folks to hear what The Beatles could have sounded like had they continued on into the 80's.

Though his pops was eating up the charts himself in 1984. Julian found his own hits in October of that same year when Valotte charted in the mid sixties. The song made its way to the top ten by the end of the year and though it made it to the number nine spot in January of the following year began falling off the charts from there. However, January also brought with it the debut of his second hit, Too Late for Goodbyes. The song soared all the way up to the number five spot before drifting back down the charts.

By April, Julian's third single, Say You're Wrong charted at number fifty-four. Unfortunately, this track only made it to the number twenty-one spot before falling back down and eventually off the charts. Julian wasn't done though. In August of that same year, Jesse hit the charts at the number seventy-five spot. Sadly, by the following week it was gone. Admittedly out of the four tracks noted it's the weakest one.

Having just recently obtained this album, this was actually the first time I'd heard anything beyond Too Late for Goodybyes. Like I mentioned above, one of the things that stands out is how different each track sounds from each other. It makes for a really nice mix to the ears. As for stand out tracks? Well, I only actually ended up pulling all four of the chart toppers from it. However, I will say I did so prior to finding out they were the four tracks which hit the charts. So this was actually more so coincidental than anything. Still, I wouldn't hate listening to the whole album again. The remaining tracks weren't bad. They just weren't as good as the four I pulled.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

AC/DC (NECA)



AC/DC
NECA
2007

Admittedly we don't know much about AC / DC the band, and we won't pretend to. Beyond a handful of the "hits", we don't honestly listen to their music and even then don't go out of our way to do so. Because of this we won't jump into details on the band itself as we don't want to offend their fans with what would be nothing more than a cut and paste from Wikipedia.

What we do know about is toys, so we'll focus on that factor.


NECA produced a fantastic two pack in 2007 based on lead singer Brian Johnson and guitarist Angus Young. Between the sculpts, articulation and fun accessories you really won't find a better pair of representations in plastic.

Unfortunately, you also won't find them too cheap these days. Much like the many music related lines which NECA has released in the past, this two pack is going to set you back around $90.00 to $120.00. Pretty steep for two figures. You'll have to be a pretty big fan to swallow that price.


We will say this - The announcement of Axel Rose officially being the front man for tours intrigues us enough that we would definitely check out a live act or even a new studio album (if he were involved). Of course, we also understand that AC / DC purists may find this blasphemous. Believe us, we know how it feels to have some random guy fronting your favorite band. Adam Lambert is currently ruining everything we love about Queen with the help of Brian May and Roger Taylor who seem intent on destroying Freddie Mercury's legacy.

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Painted Memories: Yee-Haw!





Please share your own thoughts, memories and stories in the comment section.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Retro Spins: Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back The Clock



Johnny Hates Jazz
Turn Back the Clock
1988

The stinkyness continues at Retro Spins with today's blah of an entry, Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back the Clock. Granted, most of you are probably asking right now, "What is a Johnny Hates Jazz?" They weren't exactly a big act in January of 1988 when they released their first album - Which just so happens to be Turn Back the Clock.

They managed to hit the charts back in March of '88 with Shattered Dreams. The song was so popular it made it all the way up to the number two spot before starting to gradually fall off the charts over the following couple months. When Shattered Dreams disappeared from the charts, I Don't Want to Be A Hero charted. How? I have no clue. It's an awful song. Miraculously it made it to the low thirties before dropping off the charts.

The sad part about all of this is that the album starts out great. Of course, the first song also just so happens to be Shattered Dreams. It then goes into Heart of Gold, which coincidentally is the second of only two songs which went onto my IPOD. I honestly was really excited to hear what was coming next and that's when it all went wrong. From there, the tempo slams on the brakes and the album drones on with ballad after ballad. So awful.

Look, I'm all for a ballad here and there. Some of them can be great - Hello, Aerosmith's Angel, REO Speedwagon's Keep on Loving You, The Cure's Love Song, Pat Benatar's Promises in the Dark. Heck, even Bette Midler's The Rose. When done right a ballad can be enjoyable.

Unfortunately, Johnny Hates Jazz doesn't do it right. None of the songs stand out and they all just seem to drone on and on.

Sorry, but I'll take their one hit and the second song which somehow managed to make the cut. The rest? Pass!

On a bright note, I've hit a milestone in my Retro Spin posts. With the write up of this album, I've hit at least one album from each year of the 1980's. For those of you who haven't noticed, you can search the Retro Spin posts by year on the sidebar.

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Vincent Price (NECA)



Vincent Price
NECA
2002

Does the world need a Vincent Price figure? Overall sales, and a quick shift to clearance isles claim nay it does not. NECA has always been a brand which makes some relatively obscure figures, and their 2002 Vincent Price certainly fits that bill.

We won't deny Vincent Price is an iconic "star". His voice has been instantly recognizable for decades of fans since the 60's with notable projects such as Michael Jackson's Thriller and The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo - And mind you, those are just two examples from his work in the 80's.

The figure features all that great sculpting, paint and articulation one would expect from a NECA product, so there's no denying there is quality to be had here. It's just that at the end of the day, what does one do with it? Let's face it. You've got to be a pretty large fan of the man to want an action figure based on him.

The figure came and went relatively fast on toy isles as a result of not only its obscure nature, but also lack of appeal / desire for most toy collectors. These days it's a fairly common item on secondary markets. However, at $35.00 to $40.00 only one in about five ever sell. If you're looking for a Vincent Price figure - Rest assured they're out there for you to find relatively easily.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Hello San Dimas!



 "I'm Bill S. Preston, Esquire!"

"And I'm Ted Theodore Logan!"

"And we're, Wyld Stallyns!"

Kenner did a fantastic job with these 1991 iterations of Bill and Ted for their Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure line. However, the interesting thing to note about the toys is that they were actually released to coincide with the sequel to the film, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.

To really give life to your figures, Kenner released the Wyld Stallyns Speaker and Tape Set. The speaker looked like an amp, which with the use of a wire hooked into the back of your figure. Another wire ran from the amp to a Walkman, or other tape player which could support a headphone jack. With the tape playing, you squeeze the legs of the figure together to produce music. Though there were no actual songs on the cassette, rather just riffs of either guitars, drums or piano, you could put any cassette in your tape deck and get the music to play through the speaker as well - After squeezing their legs together of course.

When my figures arrived, they were in somewhat nice looking packages. 


The only flaws, which you can't actually see in the photos was that the bottom of the bubbles were open. Since I was planning on opening them anyway, these were perfect for me.


I have to say, I'm really impressed with all of the details Kenner squeezed into each figure. Seriously, take a look at all of the hidden sculpting in the pants which you would miss on a glance.


Save the Humans with a smiley face. Love it. Though I am admittedly a little confused by the upside down question mark.


Yes, that's a tick tack toe game etched in Bill's right leg. Peak down at all the details in the shoes too.


The guitars are probably the most unappealing aspect to the figures, but still, they'll pass as acceptable.


Additionally, the heads on these figures are incredibly loose, while the remaining limbs are the absolute extreme opposite of tightness - To the point you can't move them for fear they'll snap off. For display purposes though, they'll achieve their goal of looking awesome.
 
I have to say, I'm quite honestly considering tracking down the remaining figures from this line; Abe Lincoln, Rufus, Billy the Kid, Genghis Khan and Grim Reaper. These figures are pretty fun.

Until then...

 Party on, dudes!

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

It Wasn't San Diego...



...But, Fairfax Comic Con was a lot of fun.

I was there bright and early at 9:15 AM for a 10:00 AM opening, and got that ever wonderful privilege of standing in a line with excited enthusiasts all chatting among each other about what or who they were there to see, and what they were hoping to score.

The person I was behind struck up a conversation for the most part with my girlfriend. I nodded here and there, but quite honestly wasn't really interested in what he was saying. Something about Power Rangers and the actor Johnny Yong Bosch who was there signing autographs.

Admittedly, I kicked myself for leaving my New York Toy Fair Michelangelo from the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line at home as actor Greg Cipes was there giving out autographs. That would have been fantastic to get his John Hancock across the thing.

The only other name I recognized on the guest list was actor Greg Grunberg. And by name, mind you I really just mean the franchise he was in. Star Wars for those of you who don't know. He played one of the random X-Wing pilots in the Sequel Trilogy. Much like Power Rangers, I wasn't interested. As for the rest of the guests, you can check the list out HERE (for now anyway until the website gets taken down).

At 10:00 sharp, the doors flung open, and the line shuffled in to be treated to....

Another line! WOW!!!

Once we got through that line, we were finally free to enter the gates of the convention.





 For something called, Comic Con, it was interesting to note there were twice as many toy vendors as comic vendors, and twice as many miscellaneous vendors (shirts, swords, garbage, etc.) as toy vendors.

Once again, I didn't snap as many photos as I could have. My mind was on overload going from table to table. Where I remembered, I took a few.


This rack of comics was the first thing I stepped up to, and is key to a theme of items I picked up. I'll go into more details below when I show what I actually picked up.


It never ceases to both amaze and disappoint me how many vendors are inundated with 90's to current merchandise at these shows.

This was practically all any of the vendors had. Not much "vintage" stuff at all. Don't even get me started on the table after table stacked to the brim with Funko Pops.


This 1989 Batcave was very tempting, but at $200.00, I couldn't bring myself to take the plunge. Especially since I would have just opened it when I got home. With how pristine it was, this belonged to someone who was going to keep it mint in the box.


Just another random wall of recent toys...


Tosche Station was at the show, but admittedly they were pretty disappointing. Not only did it take them about four hours after the show started to even begin setting up, but when they did, their stock wasn't that impressive. In talking with the owner, he admitted he wasn't prepared for the show, and really just grabbed two car loads of random boxes to bring. He promised the store, which is opening next week (?), will have all kinds of good stuff.



You can't have a convention without cosplayers. There weren't as many as I would have expected to see, but the ones that came out were on par. I didn't harass too many for photos, but I grabbed a few here and there. Mind you, this was only about a third of them walking around.


 Cobra Viper - Actually a very nice young lady under that dome.

 Master Chief

 Spider-Man (one of three or four - but the best of them all)

 Dalek - I don't know how this "guy" got around the show in this thing

 Hellboy

 Han and Leia...Sort of...Not the best cosplay I've seen of these characters

 Elastigirl

 Han Solo and Princess Leia...Better than above

You know you're not having any form of convention without the 501st showing up. They had their recruitment tables set up for both their Imperial and Rebellion legions.


Don't let the poses fool you. Those were real people in costume, not mannequins.


There were more Star Wars characters running around the show from the 501's, but I didn't want to get inundated with Star Wars photos - Beyond what I already was.


All the cosplayers I ran into, and actually asked for a photo, were super nice. Each one was willing to accommodate with a smile and a pose. Then again, I wasn't just shoving my camera in their face expectantly. It's always key to ask permission prior to snapping a photo, and not just assume people want to be bothered just because they're dressed up. Now that I mention it, that goes for dealer booths too. I always make it a point to ask before taking photos of what they're selling.

Among the tables, the patrons and cosplayers were three cars. Yes. Cars. Real size, real working cars. I took photos of two of the three, because I didn't know what the third one was.

I want to say there was a sign there that said the cars belonged to a group known as Carolina Cars (or something like that). Thus the Carolina tags on the vehicles.



I don't know what I loved more. The actual Volkswagen Bumblebee or the tape deck Blaster.



 Ah, the classic Mystery Machine! So iconic! You know this thing turns heads heading down the road.





I ended up spending about three to four hours at the show, and had a lot of fun picking through all the stuff available. There was plenty to choose from, and I ended up with quite the haul.

Though they weren't the first items I picked up, I stopped by Action Joe Comics & Collectibles, my go to vendor for G.I. Joe figures, to pick up the latest set he had specifically put together for me.


 Monkey Wrench*Iron Grenadier*Thrasher*Golobulus*Nemesis Enforcer

When Joe told me he had found a Golobulus for me (a couple weeks prior to the show), I had the foresight to pick up an appropriate action figure stand for him. Smart, huh? Five down, four to go on my Cobra list.

My Joe team also grew considerably with eight new figures!

Shipwreck*Beach Head*(Action Figure) Barbecue*Wild Bill*Cover Girl*Alpine*Tunnel Rat*Lady Jaye

Two questions. 1) How on Earth can Alpine climb anything carrying all of that stuff? 2) How did kids ever get their Tunnel Rat figure to stand back in the days before action figure stands with that honkin' huge pack? Third question...What is up with the Joe's and their purse accessories?

This puts a good dent in my Joe collection, but admittedly, there are still thirty-five of them I'm wanting to get to complete my desired set. It'll get there. It may even grow a little more once it does. You know, with those secondary figures one is always on the fence about.

It's important when you're selling stuff that you know not only what it is, but what you're asking for it. I picked up the below Cryptkeeper figure from a table, and while I wasn't particularly interested in him, I asked, "How much?"

"I have him priced at $10.00," the guy said. I look at the bottom of the package which says, $20.00 on a sticker and say, "Okay. I'll take him."



I put this guy up with my Beetlejuice figures, and happily, he fits right in.


 That's an impressive amount of detail in the face. Ace Novelty may not have lasted long as a company, but they certainly did good work. No mistaking who this guy is.


I also picked up another 1989 DC Super Hero to add to my collection of Batman 1989 movie toys.



Believe it or not, this little piece of string is what often times is missing from the figure when buying it loose.


Overall, this has to be one of the worst action figures I've ever seen in my life. Unless you actively seek to break the action feature in her arm, there's no way to put it down at her side. You'll forever be displaying "I Have A Question" Wonder Woman in your collection.


Remember that rack of comics I talked about in my first picture of vendor displays?

The main thing I went on the hunt for at Fairfax Comic Con was issue number one's from some of my all time favorite 80's properties. I found quite a few - Most of which cost a dollar.


 Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos*Blade Runner*Masters of the Universe

 A-Team*The Saga of Crystar: Crystal Warrior*Spiral Zone

 The Transformers*Thundercats*Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion

 Smurfs*Star Wars


I picked up other books from another source which I'll post about at a later date.

This is a "new" collection for me, and while I'm off to a great start, there are quite a few more books I'm on the hunt for. Sadly, comics based on 80's cartoons / toy lines aren't all that common at conventions because most people know they can only get a buck for them, and that's if they sell. There aren't too many collectors looking for the majority of them because quite honestly they weren't very good, both in terms of story and artwork, since they were only intended to be an extension of advertising to sell toys.

Still, these will bring a great amount of entertainment when I'm...You know...sitting on a throne.

I've got just one more thing to show you, and hopefully I saved the best for last in this post. The creme de la creme of my finds at the show, and one I was thrilled to walk out with.



Pristine mint condition Ninetendo Entertainment System Action Set in the box with all facets. I'll be setting this bad boy up, that's for sure. Too bad I won't be able to play Duck Hunt.

This version was of extra interest to me, because this was the exact version my mother bought my brother and I for Christmas back in the 80's. Sentimental, nostalgic and loads of fun all in one!

I won't say how much I paid for it, but I talked the guy down to a fair price (in my book). What was funny, was just as I finished haggling with the guy, someone else walked up and said, "Wow, Nintendo in the box for XXX dollars. That's a fantastic price!" To which I said, "I just bought that."


Part of the deal for the Nintendo was that I told the guy I would buy his boxed Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 for their requested price. I think this is what really solidified the deal.


I had a lot of fun today, and I came away with so much awesome stuff. Unfortunately, as my girlfriend pointed out, I'm running out of space in my toy room. I need to start considering getting a little more selective of what I buy, until I purchase another tall display case, because I refuse to collect stuff which will sit in a box in a closet. That's no fun.

Next stop, Tosche Station (mabey...if it ever opens) and VA Comic Con!

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