Retro Spins: Sheila E. In Romance 1600

Sheila E may have been a female protégée of Prince. However, Prince, she was not. The singer's second solo album, while definitely influenced by the late artist, certainly doesn't have his shine and polish to it.

Sheila E In Romance 1600 pretty much fits the bill for bland and boring. It's uninspired, relatively unmemorable and beyond salvaging. It's glimmer of hope, Love Bizarre, featuring Prince, shows that too much of something doesn't necessarily make it good. At twelve minutes eighteen seconds, it doesn't do anything beyond making me want to hear the far superior single mix.

Overall, this album just isn't any good and I'm not going to try to pretend it is. If nothing else, it makes me sad that the much shorter and better version of Love Bizarre isn't included on it.

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Care Bears On DVD


Care Bears wasn't a cartoon that I used to watch as a kid, and truth be told, even though I own several DVD's, the only one I've actually watched to date is the Christmas special, Care Bears Nutcracker Suite. As I prepared myself for finally diving in, I found myself first and foremost facing a problem. With seven DVD's, what order was I supposed to watch them?

Well, of course, today's post is intended to answer just that question, so let's dive right in.

The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings

Prior to getting its own cartoon series, Care Bears got two specials. The first being, The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings. This aired in April of 1983, and was the length of your average cartoon episode.

The special was released on VHS shortly after its broadcast, and this is unfortunately the only way that you can get the original cut. While a limited DVD release was seen in 2007, this edit of the special is actually the syndicated version, which aired as a re-run along with the original DIC series.

The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine

April 1984 saw the release of the second Care Bears special, The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine.

Much like the above special, the original broadcast version of the short was released on VHS shortly after it aired. Also like the above, while it was released on DVD in 2007, this is the edited version of the special.

In addition to purchasing this on DVD as its own disc, the short was included on the 2007 run of DVD pressings for the first theatrical Care Bears Movie. More on that below.

Care Bears DIC Series

Due to the popularity (and awards) of the above two specials, Care Bears got its own cartoon series released by DIC between September and December of 1985. While fans of the show have long debated which series is superior between DIC and Nelvana (more on that below), I can't personally wade into the argument...yet.

I can say, that in reading the arguments, those who favor the DIC version do so because the episodes are more so themed around plots that involve the Care Bears caring. This is what these fans state was supposed to be the main premise to being with.

There were eleven episodes in total, and each one contained two segments. All of these were released on DVD by Mill Creek in 2015. However, the cover is a bit misleading. It advertises that it contains twenty-two episodes, but this is only all eleven episodes with all twenty-two segments.

Care Bears The Movie

Nelvana acquired the rights to Care Bears, and in conjunction with American Greetings developed and produced the first full length feature film. This was released in theaters across Canada and the United States in March of 1985.

Calendar wise, it came out prior to the DIC series noted above. Chronological order, fans place the events of the film occurring after the first series.

The film was released on DVD by MGM in 2007, and as stated previously, the disc contains the second special, The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine. The film got re-released again, but these later pressings don't include the special. You can tell the difference between the two by the covers, with the larger image shown being the 2007 release with the special, and the smaller being the version that removes it.

Care Bears Family

The second series iteration of Care Bears was released by Nelvana, running for three seasons which contained forty-nine episodes, seventy if you break it down by segments.

Re-stating that I haven't seen these episodes, and once again looking to the fans, the general consensus I've found from those who favor this iteration is because it fleshed out the different Care Bears and their personalities. Being someone who favors good character building, I can definitely see myself advocating for this iteration. But, time will tell.

Mill Creek also released this iteration on DVD, but surprisingly enough, it was prior to the first series, coming out in 2012. What was interesting to find out is that the Care Bears Nutcracker Suite is actually pulled from the last three episodes of season three.

Care Bears The Movie II: A New Generation

Much like the first film, calendar versus chronological order comes into play with the second full length feature film. The movie was released in March of 1986, a full six months prior to Nelvana's syndicated show airing. However, as you can probably tell from this post, its chronological order falls after the series.

Columbia TriStar released the film on DVD in 2003, and of all the Care Bears related media appears to be one of the more common, and easier to obtain. It's also relatively cheap as a result of this.

The Care Bears Adventure In Wonderland

A third full length feature film was released in theaters in August of 1987, and if you couldn't guess by the title, was a take on Lewis Carroll's Alice stories.

This is where things get a bit disappointing for USA, or region one fans. The movie doesn't appear to have received a release in this region, and as such is technically unavailable. That's not to say you can't get the film. You just have to have a region four (Australia) DVD player, or settle for an original VHS or laserdisc format, which was released in the United States.

The Care Bears Nutcracker Suite

Obviously, this final DVD release isn't necessary if you buy the above complete series from Nelvana. But, if you absolutely need another Care Bears DVD on your shelf, this is definitely the most easiest and cheapest to find, second only to the sequel film. It essentially takes all three episodes, and edits them into a contiguous story.

And there you have it. This is the order you're going to watch your Care Bears on DVD. The majority of these can be easily found for as little as five to ten dollars (used). The original DIC series runs you closer to fifteen (new). However, the Nelvana series released in 2022 is not going to be as easy to swoop up. Of all the releases, it is the rarer of the bunch, and can run you as much as sixty dollars to get. Mind you, that's usually in a used condition.

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Done With Classified

Today was the day. It was the day where I finally made the decision to cut the teether that is G.I. Joe Classified.

It ultimately came down to me simply no longer wanting to deal with the hassle of collecting this line. I'm tired of the general issues with distribution, having a massive pre-order collection, and exclusives. It's not a fun line to collect, rather a futile practice in waiting. It honestly felt like standing in line at an amusement park, only to find out after waiting and waiting that the ride was a line simulator. I'm just over it.

It felt relieving in a way to hit the cancel button on my twenty+ figures on order. Like that stressful weight was being lifted off my shoulders. I no longer had to worry about the problem.

I can attribute this feeling to another time in my life when I was collecting every Star Wars novel being published, and it became a matter of keeping up for the sake of staying current, even though I wasn't reading them anymore. It was easier to keep up than catch up, and that's essentially where I got to with this line of figures. I wanted to stay current via pre-orders from fear of missing out.

I really wish this line well, because the figures are amazing. But, I simply don't want any more part of it. I've lost interest due to the excessive time that goes by with receiving nothing, and I'm just tired of having things on pre-order. For me, it's just not fun anymore

Now on to my next step - Getting rid of the figures I have. If any of you out there are looking for holes to plug from figure 00 through Croc Master, let me know.

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Retro Spins: Wham - Fantastic

Wham's Make It Big was an accurate title, but what about their prior album, Fantastic? Does it live up to its name as well?


After hearing the first track, I could understand why George Michael wanted to distance himself from the Wham image. It didn't get any better with the tracks which followed either. I felt like I was in the Blue Oyster bar from Police Academy as I listened to it. The music was not hitting any of the right notes for me.

It sounded dated, even for 1983. It's almost as if the album is locked in a late 70's disco era. Fine, if you like disco. While I'm not necessarily a hater, admittedly, there are only a few handfuls of songs in that style which I enjoy. I think it was because of this that I found myself really not able to get into the album. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. While that can be a good thing, this time around, it was not.

It was around the time I was coming to the conclusion of my theory on the disco theme that track three hit, Love Machine. The Miracles first took this song to wild success in 1975 on their album City Of Angels. That album is coincidentally noted as coinciding with the rise of disco.

Track four, Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do), did a complete 180, churning out a funky rap sound. It doesn't work. A rapper, George Michael, is not. The four minute mark of this six minute forty-six second song was my limit. From there, I started skipping. The last remaining four tracks each got about thirty seconds of my time before being skipped as well.

"Uh-uh", was the last sound I muttered before finally turning it off. I couldn't take it anymore. Fantastic is awful!

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Just Doodling - Scooby And The Gang


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Kellogg's Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi Frosted Flakes


It's Saturday morning, which means it's time for cereal and cartoons!

Today, I'm cracking open a box of Obi-Wan Kenobi tie in Frosted Flakes from Kellogg's. I found this cereal while passing along through the breakfast isle of a local grocery store, and decided I would go ahead and give it a try.

Flipping the box over, I noted that the back was the exact same as the front, and had to laugh. The first thought that came to my mind was, "Yep. That's Disney Star Wars. Copy and paste what has already been done."

Filling the bowl, I quickly noted the very uneven ratio of regular pieces to chocolate ones. Clearly Kellogg's doesn't know anything about bringing balance to the force.

I wasn't anticipating much, in the sense that this would be anything "new". It was, after all, just a bowl of Frosted Flakes. However, at a minimum, I was expecting to be able to at least taste the different cereals. Sadly, this was not the case. The dark chocolate pieces didn't come through at all. Had I not seen them in the bowl, I wouldn't have even known they were there. This did indeed just taste like a regular bowl of Frosted Flakes.

I even tried a chocolate flake separately, only to find that in general, it had no flavor. Certainly not one of cocoa.

Would I buy this cereal again? No. I don't tend to buy Frosted Flakes as it is, and I don't see the point of paying the up charge for a licensed version. Perhaps my mindset would have been different if there were a distinct flavor between the two cereals mixed together. 

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Retro Spins: Genesis - Duke

I'm not very versed in Genesis. I know the hits, most of which are from the band's 1986 monster, Invisible Touch. Today felt like the right day to expand on that. To do so, I chose their first entry into the 80's, Duke.

Personally, I've not heard any of the Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis tunes, or at least if I have, I didn't recognize who or what those songs were. For me, Genesis has always been Phil Collins. Still, and with that said, I know very little about the band. For example, I had no clue their catalog encompassed fifteen studio albums. Nor did I know Collins had been fronting the band as early as 1976 with their album, A Trick Of The Tail.

As Duke fired up, I was treated to a pretty fantastic instrumental intro in Behind the Lines. It seamlessly transitioned into track two, Duchess. So seamlessly that I didn't even realize I was listening to a different song. As a whole, I was digging both songs and quickly added them both to my shuffle list.

Another perfect transition and I was on my way through the hauntingly fantastic Guide Vocal. A short minute thirty second song, but a wonderful one all the same. It was at this time that it dawned on my, I wasn't listening to just any ordinary album. No, this was poising to be an epic rock opera.

Man of the Times was decent, but didn't excite me as much as the prior tracks. However, the following track, which also somewhat changed the tempo of everything, definitely hit the right notes. This was also the only track on the album I knew coming into it. That song was, Misunderstanding.

Duke somewhat lost my attention at this point and relegated itself to background noise. It wasn't until Alone Tonight that I started paying attention again. While the following track, Cul-De-Sac, was okay, my attention started to drop again. It was also at this point that I found myself wishing the album would just end. At a running time of fifty-five minutes, it was outstaying its welcome. Mind you, it wasn't "bad". It was just getting boring.

Overall, Duke wasn't a bad album. However, when I reached my limit with it, I was ready to just be done. I think at that point, it wouldn't have mattered what track played next because I had already made up my mind that I didn't want to hear anymore. Still, the first half of the act, as we'll call it, was pretty entertaining to hear. Maybe in the near future I'll fire it up again, but this time on the back half, to see if my opinion has changed.

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Hasbro H.I.S.S. Tank - 16,000 Backers Reached!


Things slowed down for quite a while, but we've finally made it to 16,000 backers, unlocking tier four.

I honestly believe that "Mickey Mouse" Cobra Commander was not planned for this campaign. I think with the rate in which support dropped when tier two was announced that they combined their original tier three and four into tier three, and scrambled for a replacement fourth tier. 

My reasoning for this conclusion is because these campaigns are planned out well in advance, thus the 3D renderings for all the items shown for tier one through three. However, with tier four, all they had was the above drawing.

I have no doubts that a retro style Cobra Commander figure wasn't planned, and one will probably still come as the remaining two yet announced Wal-Mart exclusive retro editions. However, I think the inclusion of the "Mickey Mouse" logo will be exclusive to this project.

There's still thirty-five days left in the project, so there's plenty of time left for more people to jump on board, and be part of the first G.I. Joe Classified HasLab.

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Marvel Superheroes First Issue Covers (Fantasy Trading Card Company / Marvel Entertainment Group)

Marvel Superheroes First Issue Covers
Fantasy Trading Card Company / Marvel Entertainment Group

October 1960 was a monumentous month in the world of comic books. With its release of Strange Tales issue seventy-seven, Stan Lee proclaimed across the cover that the book featured the return of the character Taboo, noting the comic was a, "Great new collector's item." It's with these words that the comic industry proclaimed that comic books were no longer just for kids who read them and tossed them away. Rather, they were something to be collected, and held onto.

Lee would continue to hint at the collectibility of comics for years to come, and Marvel would double down on this concept in January 1964 with the release of its all new reprint series, Marvel Tales. This suggested a demand for the prior stories produced by the publisher, only to further stir in the minds of people that there may be something more to these dime novel rags than they first may have thought.

Though it's unknown specifically when it happened, it was during this decade that antique shops started selling older issues of comics, looking to cash in on the collectible nature of out of print issues. April 1968 would also see the opening of the first comic book store in the United States, Gary Arlington's San Francisco Comic Book Company.

The era of collectible comics was upon us, and with it, came a hunger for fans young and old to swoop up classic comics going back as far as the 1930's.

Us kids of the 80's had no chance of getting our hands on the likes of an Amazing Spider-Man issue one, Avengers issue four, or the multitude of other iconic comics that launched the Marvel Age of comic books. Instead, if we wanted to see these classic covers, we had to suffice for images from the annual Overstreet Price Guide, or, if we were luck enough, this awesome set of collectible trading cards released by Fantasy Trading Card Company in 1984.

Marvel First Issue Covers was exactly as it sounds like. A trading card set which showcased classic comic book first issue covers. In total, the set comprised of sixty cards, with the last in the series being a double-sided checklist.

For kids like me, this was my only chance to see many, if not all of these books. Let alone "hold" it in my hand, albeit in miniature image form only. Fun to flip through, make you wonder what it would be like to actually have the book, and of course, trade with your friends. It's ironic that this post is going live on 7/11, because that's probably the place most kids got their packs from.

The images were by no means high quality. Take your average quality baseball card of the early 80's, and then reduce that even further to keep costs as low as possible. The generic white border on the front was as simplistic as the design got, and the brown cardboard back served only to house a text box which contained a blurb on the book's contents.

Regardless, for kids deeply into comic books, these cards were just as good as having the issues themselves. With the image of the cover, and the summary on the back, our young minds would fill in the rest, making our own stories based on the described premise and imagery.

What's interesting about this set that while you could buy individual packs, Fantasy Trading Card Company also released a complete set that came with all sixty cards. Sure, it was a convenient way to get all the cards in a one and done shopping experience, but it also kind of defeats the purpose of collecting them. Opening packs is half the fun.

These days, you won't find any information on Fantasy Trading Card Company. A history of what they did prior to this set of cards, or after, seems non-existent. Regardless, this doesn't stop this particular set from being sought after on secondary markets. Marvel fans love to buy them by the pack, full box, complete set, and even individual card.

A second series was released in 1991. However, this was released directly by Marvel Entertainment Group. This, though, is a post for another day.

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Order Of Battle: Spawn


Due to the increasing size of my comic book collection, I have found it necessary to not only break them up by title, but for some of the larger series, by groups. This will be an ongoing post of my Image published Spawn comic books, as I obtain them. All photos are actual scans.

Issue 1

Issue 1 (2nd Copy)

Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4

Issue 5

Issue 6

Issue 7

Issue 8

Issue 9

Issue 10

Issue 11

Issue 12

Issue 13

Issue 14

Issue 15

Issue 16

Issue 17

Issue 18

Issue 19

Issue 20

Issue 21

Issue 22

Issue 23

Issue 24

Issue 25

Issue 26

Issue 27

Issue 28

Issue 29

Issue 30

Issue 31

Issue 32

Issue 33

Issue 34

Issue 35

Issue 36

Issue 37

Issue 38

Issue 39

Issue 40

Issue 41

Issue 42

Issue 43

Issue 44

Issue 45

Issue 46

Issue 47

Issue 48

Issue 49

Issue 50

Spawn / Batman

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