Retro Spins: Oingo Boing - Good For Your Soul

Oingo Boingo
Good For Your Soul

Though I've had it for many years now, and have listened to it many times, Oingo Boing's 1983 album, "Good For Your Soul" was actually the last album from the band I got. The reason being, when I was looking for it, you know, back in the days of record stores (1990's), I couldn't find it. I quickly learned this was because the album was out of print. As such, it became the first CD I ever bought off of Amazon, and at $120.00, brand new / sealed, it was the most expensive album (at the time) I had ever bought.

Times have sadly changed since then, and this CD was reissued, making the price I paid for it somewhat disappointing. However, considering I would have had to wait about fifteen to twenty years for this, perhaps I'm not so heartbroken over this.

Good For Your Soul is the 3rd studio album from Oingo Boingo, and comes two years prior to the band really breaking with their most popular hit, "Weird Science", still on the horizon. However, with it also comes a group who have honed their style together, making it also a well polished release. It brings with it all the great multi-instrument variety and odd nature that was Oingo Boingo. It even features a bit of backtracking.

Because of how and when I was introduced to Oingo Boingo, I have to admit I don't honestly like the "original" cuts of many of their songs. Instead, I prefer the uptempo re-recorded / updated versions as heard on their Best O' Boingo and Alive albums. Still, I appreciate the originals for what they are, and have come to enjoy them more than I used to as the years have passed.

As such, when I listen to Boingo albums, what I enjoy the most is hearing those tracks you won't find on their greatest hits albums. Songs like, Cry of the Vatos, Fill the Void, Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me and Little Guns, all of which are featured on Good For Your Soul.

These tracks, in addition to the "hits", make for a well rounded album, and honestly while it's not my all time favorite from them, it ranks pretty high up there. I suppose though I am a little biased when it comes to reviewing anything from them since they are essentially my second favorite band of all time (Queen being the first).

With that said, this wraps up Retro Spins for 2019.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Limited Collector's Edition (DC Comics)

Limited Collector's Edition
DC Comics
1972 - 1978

Let's wrap this year up with something a little in tune with the holiday festivities. Not too much to shove Christmas down everyone's throats who may or may not celebrate, but enough of a nod to at least acknowledge the holiday.

DC Comics Limited Collector's Edition isn't a well known one, but in its pages were contained several fun stories from all walks of life. Christmas, super heroes, the bible, mysteries, savage lands, and even a splash of television. The "books" ran from December 1972 though January 1978, and each featured extra large magazine size pages. As an added bonus, most of the stories contained within the thirty-two issues were all new material, rather than reprinted stories as common in magazine size Treasury Editions.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Christmas 2019

Christmas 2019 has come, and with it, a wonderful haul of great things to play with. My girlfriend and family are always so generous, and I thank them all so very much for it.

This year I got an array of things, and believe it or not, none of them were action figures, vehicles or playsets.

First up, I'll show you what my girlfriend got me.

I got intrigued by Captain N: The Game Master when I started collecting boxed NES games. I think I may have seen bits and pieces of the series when it originally aired, but never really sat down to watch the show from start to finish. I'm looking forward to digging in.

The book in the background is The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994, 3rd Edition. Back in the day, I had volumes one and two, but this was long before I started buying Joe figures. I also parted with them several years ago when I purged myself of all my physical media - A mistake I won't make again.

My girlfriend and I actually chuckled when I opened the Christmas wrap it was hiding underneath because we both thought at the same time, "This would have been a helpful book three years ago." Oh well. My G.I. Joe buying days may be over, but perhaps with the help of this book I'll find a figure or two...or twelve that I decide to add to the collection.

In the realm of NES games, I received boxed / complete versions of Sunsoft's Blaster Master and Nintendo's Punch-Out!!

I've actually never played Blaster Master, or more accurately stated, I don't think I ever have. However, I kept seeing it on lists claiming to be a collection of the greatest NES games of all time. I figured with so many people stating this that there had to be some merit to the claim. I guess I'll find out.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, a game I received last year for Chistmas, will always be my go to boxing game. However, there's still a lot to be said about it's "re-release", Punch-Out!!. It's essentially the same game, but removes Tyson from it due to the license expiring to use his likeness. Still, a great game unto itself.

Using the word, "lastly" lightly, my girlfriend got me a couple CD's - the Super Deluxe Edition 1999 from Prince and the Special Edition of Barcelon from Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé.

The Special Edition of Barcelona had been on my list of CD's to get for a long time, but oddly, I never pulled the trigger. For me, this is honestly bizarre since I'm such a massive Queen fan. Then again, I didn't get around to getting The Freddie Mercury Album until last year either - Ironically, also for Christmas from my girlfriend.

What makes this version of Barcelon "special" is that it removes the original synthesizer tracks, replacing them with all new fully orchestrated ones. Will it be all the more better for it? Well, I don't know just yet.

Part of me says, "The way you're hearing it on the original CD is how Freddie wanted you to hear it." I.E. synthesizers depicting the orchestration. I mean, let's be honest, Freddie wasn't exactly digging in his couch for coins to buy groceries. If he wanted a full orchestration for this album, he could have had it. 

Still, I'm intrigued to hear it, and will decide from there which version is for me.

Prince's estate has been offering some great posthumous albums from the singer these past few years, and this year is no different. 1999 gets an overhaul that puts the prior released Purple Rain to shame. Not only does it contain five discs, versus the three from Rain, but also a massive booklet, all housed in a fantastically shimmering slipcase box.

Disc one contains the original album, fully remastered and the second disc contains the single versions, which also include the b-sides. However, it's disc three and four which I wanted to start with, and did. These two platters have what I really wanted to hear - promos, demos and unreleased material from the era. I literally just finished the first of these discs and the second has just started.

The set is rounded out with two concerts, one on CD and another on DVD. These are great additions, especially the CD. What was noticeably absent from the aforementioned Purple Rain set was a live album - Something Prince never really seemed interested in releasing during his career. It's great to finally have one. Too bad it doesn't include any tracks from Purple Rain, having been released prior to its recording and inception.

From my brother, I received two comics which have left major holes in my Spider-Man collection for some time - There are actually many holes in my collection which I'm working on filling.

The Amazing Spider-Man 298 and 299 might not be the best, in terms of story arcs. However, what they do feature, specifically on the last page of each one, is a glimpse of the soon to be biggest villain in Spider-Man history, Venom.

Venom of course makes his full appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 300. However, these interludes into things to come provide an exciting cliffhanger to each book.

Another noteworthy aspect to these books, more so 298 than 299, is that 298 is the first Todd McFarlane issue in the series. Starting with this issue, McFarlane went on to pencil consecutively through issue 323, and then again for issues 325 and 328, moving on then to his own series, aptly named Spider-Man.

From family members and my girlfriend, I also received several ebay gift cards and "cash". The cash I'll put away for a rainy day. As for the ebay gift cards, I am going to put to use to get a comic I've been eyeballing for a few months - The Amazing Spider-Man issue 101.

This book is not only a part of the six-armed Spider-Man story arc, but also the first appearance of Morbius - The latter of which has been causing a considerable price hike in anticipation for the upcoming movie. Of course, that leaves me with a conundrum of hunting down issues 100 and 102 to actually finish and read said arc.

I won't say how much the cards equated to, suffice to say, I was able to get issue 101 without being out of pocket one penny. Mind you, that wasn't a mint condition copy, but rather in the condition I was "comfortable" with affording for my personal reading and enjoyment. I don't need mint books. I'm not an investor. I'm a comic book reader.

With the exception of stocking stuffer, most of which consisted of candy and a few other random gift cards from other family members, that wraps up Christmas 2019. A very generous one at that.

Mostly though, I enjoyed the blessings of being with family and enjoying the time to just relax and reboot for the upcoming new year. I hope your holiday season was as prosperous and enjoyable, regardless of what you got. I look forward to stopping by the various blogs to see what everyone got.

Merry Christmas!

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Santa Claus Came To Town

This year, Santa Claus filled my stocking with tidings of good reading...and by Santa Claus, I mean me.

As a young comic book collector, I was enthralled with the new Spider-Man series launched by Marvel Comics under the guidance of Todd McFarlane. As I found out about the various different covers, I diligently went to work getting all the various covers I could afford, which wasn't honestly many of them. I had the green newsstand edition, the newsstand silver cover variant and gold cover second print.

When I learned about the holy grail platinum edition, I begged my parents to buy it for me. The comic shop in Oregon predominantly displayed one on their top shelf, goading me every time I went inside the store. However, at $500.00, 1991 money, that was a definitive no on my parent's part. I tried saving up for it, but never managed to save up that kind of cash. Sure, a quarter here and a quarter there adds up, but not that fast. Certainly not to the tune I needed.

For Christmas 2019, I thought I would rectify that childhood dream that always remained so far out of reach. I took to ebay scouring the various listings for the platinum edition book until I found the perfect listing for one.

Though there were several, the one I finally landed on had eight different versions of the book, including the ultra rare second print Walmart copy. The price was perfect and I swooped it up. Of course,the downside was then playing the waiting game for it to come in the mail and then the added agony of forcing myself to wait until Christmas. With that day finally here, I can revel in finally owning a childhood dream comic book, as well as, the various other covers which were produced.

The picture below showcase these beauties. The ones that feature two books are the duplicate copies I had prior to buying the full listing.

In addition to these comics, I also grabbed three books which feature a duo of my two favorite Marvel Comics characters together. I'm talking about Spider-Man and The Punisher. Amazing Spider-Man number 129, 134 and 135 feature the first, second and third appearances of The Punisher in the Marvel Universe.

I tracked down two of these three books, 129 and 135, at Schoff's Comic Convention in November. I then picked up 134 off a seller on ebay.

Number 129 was actually a book I owned as a young twenty-something comic collector, but it eventually went out the door when I sold off my entire collection. Wouldn't it be ironic if this copy was the same one I originally had?

My comic collection is coming together wonderfully. I'm trying to be careful of the books I'm buying, avoiding filler, or straight up bad stories. This unfortunately comes with a bit of a high dollar buy in price for certain books. However, unlike my many childhood mistakes when collecting comics, I'm focusing on quality, not quantity.

Additionally, and some might think I'm crazy, but I'm actually reading what I'm buying. I mean, that's kind of what comic books are primarily for, right? Further, I'm really enjoying it. My only regret is not having enough time to just sit around and read more comics.

If you haven't seen my Order of Battle post on my comic collection lately, check it out!

While it's great to receive gift on Christmas, be them from yourself or friends and family, I hope all of you will take a moment to reflect on the true reason of the day. The birth of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Toys and comics are great, but ultimately, they are just stuff. The greatest gifts of salvation and eternal life in Heaven come from Jesus.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Retro Spins: Chunky A - Large And In Charge

Chunky A
Large And In Charge

People were pretty gullible in the 80's. Take for example in 1989, when people actually thought Chunky A was a rapper, and not just Arsenio Hall making a comedy album. Through the magic of editing, Chunky even appeared on the late night host's show, as if to drill home the gag.

Rap was big time in the music scene with rappers such as Run DMC, Fat Boys, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Tone Loc. While it wasn't necessarily my go to music of choice, and still isn't today, I found a few songs here and there that resonated with me. One of them was the leading single from Chunky A's "Large And In Charge" album, "Owww!"

While I'm sure this track helped to sell quite a few records and cassettes back in the day, it was by no means the only great song to come from it. In fact, overall, the album as a whole is pretty darn good. My personal favorite being "I Command You To Dance". Where else are you going to find lines such as, "Don't sit in the corner picking your nose, work them pumps, sweat them clothes"?

I hadn't heard this album in over two decades (almost three), and I have to admit, it's just as fun to listen to today as it was as a kid. It's got humor, which as a kid, was hysterical. However, as an adult, and humor aside, it also has songs that are simply just good. Sure, there were songs I preferred more than others, but overall, I didn't hear anything on the album that I didn't like. Even the "morals" song, "Dope the Big Lie" (featuring Ice T, Paula Abdul, KRS One, Wil Wheaton and Arseniol Hall - as himself ) isn't hard to like. It sends a positive message without shoving it down your throat.

Overall, it was great to see this album stand up to the test of time. It was great to hear it again, and now that it's in my collection, I look forward to hearing it a few more times.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Disney Plus Wants Me To Wait How Long?!?!

With the holidays here, my girlfriend and I thought we'd spend some evenings catching up on movies which half the world have seen, but we never got a chance to. Disney Plus seemed the best place to start.

First we clicked on Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. We were quickly greeted to a trailer, and then taken back to the main menu. I thought, "Well, that didn't work right," and clicked on it again. This time I caught the words, "Play Trailer". Above this, in teeny tiny letters, it said, "Available for streaming December 2, 2020." I was taken aback. Almost a whole year before this movie would be available, yet it was sitting on the tab for movies? What kind of bait and switch nonsense was this?

We chalked it up to no big loss, because after all, it is like the two hundredth Pirates movie, and it's not like they're all that great anyway. We scrolled down through the list once again and came to Tomorrowland. Once again we were greeted by the option to play the trailer. However, this time it stated the movie wouldn't be available until September 21, 2021.

People, that's not a typo. Disney Plus is seriously advertising movies you won't be able to watch for almost two years! What kind of nonsense is this?

Now I'm not going to deny that Disney Plus offers a lot of content. However, what kind of marketing scheme is this they have going on? Do they honestly think advertising a movie two years down the road, an old one at that, is the way to keep subscribers around for the long haul? If anything, it's kind of infuriating because it feels like a bait and switch.

I seriously hope this doesn't become a trend with this streaming service as my patience will only go so far with worms dangling in front of my face on a hook. If I'm going to continually be lulled in by movies I don't actually get to watch, I'm going to move on to a service that actually provides the entertainment their showcasing as an option.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Legions Of Power (Tonka)

Legions of Power

Legions of Power! The good Star Legions versus the evil Tech Dynasty. The toys were a mix mash of part action figure, part knock off Erector sets. Most kids didn't know about them, want them or smile when they got them under the tree for the 1986 Christmas season.

To this day, they remain one of the most obscure toy lines from the era, with many kids now adults still having no clue they even existed. No surprise considering there was little advertising from Tonka, and of course the all important missing aspect, no cartoon. Sure, it didn't help either that it was 1986, and kids were big into the likes of Masters of the Universe, Transformers and G.I. Joe - All of which were backed by animated series.

However, as I give this line a nod now in 2019, I can't help but appreciate it more. The look and feel certainly could have fit in with the likes of Air Raiders or Sky Commanders. Not necessarily their stories, but definitely the overall design.

An interesting tactic on behalf of Tonka was their decision to include a mini comic with each toy. This was obviously an attempt to mimic the marketing style of Masters of the Universe. One came packed in with each of the fourteen vehicle assortments. What's odd though is there appears to only be four individual issues.

Star Legions In-Flight Command Vehicles featuring Lt. P.C.

 Star Legions Land Rovers featuring Lt. Rob-Bart

 Star Legions Prolon Pro-Techtors featuring Lt. Sadrick

 Star Legions Space Fighters featuring Lt. Marker

What's up with all the Lieutenants?

 Star Legions Strategic Enforcers featuring Commander Jeffron

 Star Legions Strike Jet

 Star Legions Swivel Tank

The fact that you had to construct each vehicle wouldn't have necessarily been a plus for me as I've never really been a fan of Legos. Building toys isn't something I have the patience for - Let alone ones which are flimsy and delicate once constructed. As such, it's no surprise this particular line didn't interest me one bit as a kid. Again though, I can appreciate it these days.

Even now, information on the line is severely limited in terms of Google searches. You'll find someone here and there throwing out a "Hey, I remember those," kind of post, but finding an actual checklist, or the toys themselves is a little bit of a challenge. I personally started digging into this line all the way back in September of 2018, so that there should give you an idea of how difficult it has been.

 Tech Dynasty Commandos of Konn featuring Lt. Douglar

 Tech Dynasty Bandit Bomber

 Tech Dynasty Ground Terrors featuring Lt. Reighnor

 Tech Dynasty Planetary Control Vehicles featuring Lt. Jondice

 Tech Dynasty Power Masters featuring Commander Wartech

 Tech Dynasty Space Attackers featuring Lt. Nimrod

 Tech Dynasty Z-Tank

It was interesting to find out the series had a tie in with Nestle Quik which offered the mail away Space Capsule Set. This piece is relatively impossible to find these days, and I dare say it's because many weren't ever redeemed.

Nestle Quik Mail Away Space Capsule

If / when you find them, you can expect pieces to run anywhere from twenty to one hundred dollars mint in the box. Unfortunately, because the line is so obscure, they don't sell well, if at all. Sellers seem to have too high of a value for these toys than those few on the hunt for them seem willing to pay.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.