Saturday, September 29, 2018

Kathleen Kennedy Sticking Around



It's official. Kathleen Kennedy is sticking around Lucasfilm. Those who longed for her exile from the company have another three year wait per her new contract.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Playing With Logos...Again



This all kind of started when I stumbled across Jerry's return posts for his Barbecue Bonfire. Jerry posted THIS fun little banner for his post, which got my creative noggin going, and in turn I churned out...


Jerry has always been kind enough to have my artwork rotating throughout his blog, and I'm hoping this one makes the cut.

This took me back to a post from 2015, where I got a little creative with other blogger's logos. Compounded with the above one turning out so awesome (if I do say so myself), I found myself twiddling around with other blogger's logos.

In looking through some of the folks blogs I frequent, I do have to say this for Weird Fantastic Toy Adventures and 20 Years Before 2000, you guys really have awesome logos! Not that the rest of you don't.

Well, before I dig a hole for myself, let me just jump into this.

2 Minute Toy Break gets a throwback to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Paying homage to the game that re-lit the spark of video games back in June of 1983, the Super Mario Bros. logo was the perfect fit for Adventures in Video Games!

Transformers and Mr. Smith are like bread and butter. They're just meant to be. So it only made sense to combine them. The bubble...Well, that's because it used to be Mr. Smith's Plastic Bubble.

Spyda-Man encouraged me to try to come up with something for 20 Years Before 2000...So....This is what I've got.Time circuits are on for 1980!

Playing with people's logos was a lot of fun. I do have to mention I mean no offense to anyone who see's their site here, and is like, "What the heck!?!" Of course, if you feel the other way, and actually like what I did, you're welcome to use it.

For those of you who may have missed it, there's a contest here at The Toy Box. Scroll down to see it, or click "HERE".

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Painted Memories: 25th Century




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

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story DVD and Blu-Ray Round Up



Solo may have flopped at the box office, but Disney is banking hard on home video sales to move the movie from the red to green financially. Will you be helping contribute to this? Let's take a look at all the various versions which hit the market, and see if one is right for you!

Digital versions of the film were released on Friday, September 14, 2018. With it comes all the bells and whistles you'll find compiled in the special features of most of the physical releases. What are those features?

Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable
Team Chewie
Kasdan on Kasdan
Escape from Corellia
The Train Heist
Becoming a Droid: L3-37
Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso
Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run
Deleted Scenes


Though I've owned the digital version since its release date, I honestly haven't taken the time to watch any of the special features beyond the deleted scenes. As such, I'm really not prepared to comment on any of them.

There are a handful of retail releases which you can find anywhere. These include the DVD, Blu-Ray / Digital Code and 4K Ultra HD + Blu-Ray + Digital Code. Much like the prior released, The Last Jedi, if you're looking to get a combo pack with both a Blu-Ray and DVD, you're going to have to look at the exclusive releases. More on that in a bit.

The DVD version is simply the movie. No frills, no fuss, no extra content. It's as basic as it gets, and at $19.99 (retail) also the cheapest. If you just want the movie, don't care about HD formats or bonus features, look no further.


The second tier for the standard retail releases is the Blu-Ray / Digital Code combo. With this version you will get all the special features as noted above as well as a digital code to download the film on the streaming service of your choosing. Unlike the DVD, it also comes packaged with a slipcase. However, both covers are the same.

Retail price $24.99.


The final retail release is the 4K Ultra HD + Blu-Ray + Digital Code release. With it, you get all the content you'll find in the above noted Blu-Ray / Digital Code Combo in addition to the 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray. The box also denotes it as the Ultimate Collector's Edition, but considering the only additional item you get from it is the 4K version, I don't know what qualifies it as "ultimate". Bigger? Sure. Ultimate? No.

Retail price $29.99.


Much like prior releases, every major retailer wanted in the game of an exclusive.

Target sticks to its traditional go to exclusive of packing in a full color gallery booklet with tons of photos packed into its forty pages. Additionally, if you pre-ordered the movie from Target and used your Red Card, you could also get a miniature metal model kit of the Millennium Falcon. The versions with the model kits were only available online, and went relatively fast.

Once again, Target offers exclusive content, the bonus feature The Millennium Falcon: From Page to Park. Also once again, it can only be accessed via a digital code and download on a streaming service.

At $34.99, you're paying an additional $10.00 for the book and digital code for one bonus feature.


Best Buy sticks to tradition as well, and releases a steelbook version of the film. The "set" is essentially the same contents you'll get from the Ultimate Collector's Edition, but with a metal case.

With that shiny metal case, you also get the $34.99 price tag. Essentially you're paying $10.00 for a case.


Walmart comes out swinging with the best exclusive of them all! Queue crickets...

Hey, if you buy the Walmart exclusive, you get...The Blu-Ray. No DVD. No Digital Code. Just the Blu-Ray. The real insult to this one is that it retails for $24.99 - The exact same price as the Blu-Ray / Digital Code version. So in essence, you're being punished if you buy this from Walmart.


What were they thinking? There's no incentive or value here! If there's a bright side, at least it wasn't an interchangeable cover with six different possibilities. That got expensive with Rogue One and The Last Jedi.

The last exclusive comes directly from the Disney Movie Club. For those of you who recall, The Last Jedi was the first film released through this venue which actually became a high demand item for collectors. The reason being, it include the Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Code. The release of Solo continues this with the exact format of release, making it the only way you can actually find this type of combo package.



Additionally, if you pre-ordered the film, you'll receive a set of four lithographs. It's also worth noting, you can get the same lightographs, but in a larger format for pre-ordering the film from a Disney Store. However, you will not find this version at stores, only through the club.

At a cost of $24.99, and overlooking the fact you have to first be a member of the club, this particular version may very well be the best bang for your buck if you're not looking to own the 4K version. If that's the case, Target's exclusive may better suit your needs.

Unfortunately, there is no one stop shopping to get every version in one package - A shame really. Additionally, if you want the film in 3D, you'll have to look to other countries as once again there is no 3D version of a Star Wars film released in the states.

You could of course save yourself the trouble of deciding and just buy them all, but with Star Wars fatigue being felt across the world, that's not something many people are prepared to do.

I'll finish this post out with another attempt at getting some help tracking down something for myself. I've been looking for the DVD version gold cover "holiday edition" of The Force Awakens, which was released as a Walmart exclusive in 2016. If anyone happens to have one they want to sell, please leave a comment with your e-mail address and a quick message about it. I won't post your comment or e-mail address, but will reach out directly. Again, only the DVD version though as I already have the Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD version. Thanks in advance!


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Retro Spins: Journey - Departure



Journey
Departure
1980

I've been of the mind for some time that Journey's Don't Stop Believing has got to be the most overplayed song of all time. In fact, in general Journey's hits see far too much radio play to the point that I actually don't even enjoy them all that much anymore.

As a result, I honestly never owned a Journey CD (or album in general) until just recently when I decided it was time to see if there was more to this band than just the overplayed hits. I picked up three albums, Departure (1980), Escape (1981) and Frontiers (1983). The irony behind this is that out of all their albums, these three contained the most hits. Hear me out though. I at least felt if the albums didn't pan out for me I would at least have a handful of good Journey songs vs. having three coasters.

Of course Any Way You Want It from the album was a big hit for the band. It debuted in March of '80 and fired up the charts to number twenty-three by May and then oddly enough dropped all the way down to forty-one the following week. Ouch.

Walk Like A Lady debuted a week later and made its way to the low thirties. However, much like Any Way You Want It dropped back into the forties a week after. This hit was followed up by Good Morning Girl / Stay Awhile - Which actually are two separate songs. However, due to the minimal length of the two tracks they received back to back airplay. The song(s) debuted in August of '80 at number eighty-seven, but were off the charts by the following week.

I honestly wasn't impressed with the album as a whole. In fact, I'm very disappointed to say Any Way You Want It was really the only song I liked. The rest were just there. It was really unfortunate.

Any Way You Want It kicks the album off and with it sets a tone and expectation of powerful tracks with hard guitar riffs and Steve Perry's monster voice. Sadly, the rest of the tracks falter under a feeling of being unpolished, accompanied by an overall lackluster sound - both in instrumentation and lyrics.

Going into it, I wasn't really expecting much from Journey's Departure. However, I was expecting something more than one "good" song. As a result, I'm not really pumped to listen to the other two albums I picked up. I'll get around to them, but they're not high on my list at this point.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Starsky & Hutch (Mego)



Starsky & Hutch
Mego
1976 - 1978

Just the good ol' boys 
Never meanin' no harm
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born

Oh...Wait...Wrong series. Starsky and Hutch wasn't about them Duke boys from Hazzard County, Georgia. S & H was about two Southern California police detectives.

Admittedly, we don't know much about the television series. So rather than pretend we do, here's the link to Wikipedia which will tell you all you need to know about it.

Let's instead talk about something we can rap about in droves - Mego eight inch action figures.

Hasbro gets bragging rights for first coining the phrase "action figure" for their 1964 G.I. Joe line. However, it's Mego who really stepped out of the confines of boundaries and went all out with eight inch figures based upon just about every concept you could think of - Pirates, Monsters, TV and Movie Characters and so many more. All of this began in 1972 when Mego secured the rights for their now famous Marvel and DC Super Heroes lines.

While the television series for Starsky and Hutch ran from 1975 to 1979, Mego produced figures based on the characters and infamous Ford Gran Torino car from 1976 - 1978. The series included the two main protagonists Starsky and Hutch (obviously) as well as a few reoccurring characters.

Starsky*Hutch

Chopper*Dobey

Huggy Bear

Starsky & Hutch Car

Unlike a lot of Mego's vintage stuff you won't find yourself going bankrupt buying some of the figures from this particular line. Starsky and Hutch will only cost you about $10.00 to $15.00 for each. Carded versions will set you back about $50.00 to $60.00.

As for the other three figures, they're a bit more - Roughly $50.00 each (loose). They're admittedly a bit difficult to track down in the package. As such, we can't estimate a value at this time.

Then there's the car...It's a little pricier and much rarer. In the box you can expect to spend over $300.00. We have not found many loose versions to provide a price point for this item.

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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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