Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 158


Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 158
Release Date: July 1976


  • Spider-Man creates a hang glider for the first time with his webbing
  • Spider-Man crash lands into stinky garbage
Low Points
  • None
  • Um...Spider-Man creates a hang glider with his webbing
  • So...Hammerhead was a ghost? Now he's back in the flesh? I don't get it
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 157


Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 157
Release Date: June 1976


  • Reference is made to The Amazing Spider-Man 122, 126, 131, and 141
  • Spider-Man is threatened with a lawsuit if he doesn't deliver on the Spider-Mobile, which he sank at the bottom of the ocean in AMS 141
  • Doc Ock explains that the nuclear blast from AMS 131 once again grafted his mechanical arms to him - This time "permanently"
Low Points
  • None
  • Nuclear Hammerhead - Is he a ghost, radioactive, or something else?
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 156


Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 156
Release Date: May 1976


  • First appearance of Mirage
  • The wedding of Betty Brant and Ned Leeds
  • The mysterious homeless man returns, and reveals to Aunt May he's Otto Octavius, AKA Doc Ock
Low Points
  • Peter smashes a massive chandelier to stop Mirage
  • The issue exists clearly just for Ned and Betty to be married, and tie up that loose thread story arc - Everything else is just throw away villain of the week, and simple robbery plot point
  • After the fighting, the wedding just resumes like nothing ever happened at all
  • The stairs in the building where Ned and Betty are getting married - Who's walking up those monstrosities, and why do they only connect to the top floor?

Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 155


Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 155
Release Date: April 1976


  • First appearance of Leroy Tallon
  • Death of Dr. Armstrong Smith
  • Reference is made to The Amazing Spider-Man 153
Low Points
  • Sloppy writing - See below oddities regarding doors
  • AI computer gone rogue villain - lame
  • Officer Gillis is asked to open a locked door quickly, so he pulls his gun and shoots the lock
  • Peter Parker snaps a photo of the dead Dr. Armstrong Smith, and it makes the front page of J. Jonah Jameson's newspaper
  • The computer is alive, and somehow has a laser in the screen for shooting at people
  • Near the beginning of the story Spider-Man breaks down a door with ease, however later in the story, he is thwarted from escaping the same room by another locked door
    • Why are locked doors suddenly a hindrance?
    • If it's the same door he came in, it was already broken / open
      • If it's a different door, go out the one that you came in that was broken / open
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)

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Retro Spins: Babe - Babe!

Today on Retro Spins, we're going back overseas to listen to the debut album from Dutch bubblegum pop trio, Babe. Gemma van Eck, Rita van Rooy and Monique Hagemeyer were the original lineup, with Margot van der Ven stepping in to replace Hagemeyer relatively early in the group's infancy. Marga Bult would also join the group in 1981, replacing van Eck, leaving van Rooy as the only original member to remain until the girls split up indefinitely in 1986. All this from a group most of you don't even know.

Between 1980 and 1983, they released three albums, the 1980 debut, Babe!, 1981's Blitzer and 1983's Shop Around. Though the girls had several top forty hits, becoming known in the Netherlands in the group with most, they never reached the number one spot. Their most notable and memorable probably being a rendition of the old Irish song, Drunken Sailor.

This group takes me all the way back to South Africa, listening to Springbok records with my sister and brother. It was Springbok Hit Parade volume 51 to be exact. The last song on the album, number 14 if you really want to get into specifics.

Finding the original Babe album was no small feat. For starters, it doesn't seem to exist in CD format. Or at least if it does, it's not easily found. Seven inch singles were available here and there. However, the full album was sparse and rather expensive.

When I finally got my hands on it, I was eager, but not necessarily expecting much from it. I couldn't really imagine that the girls who brought you Drunken Sailor, which admittedly isn't a very good song, could really impress.

Well, I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. Hearing Drunken Sailor brought back so many memories, and from there, it actually got better. There are good tracks on this album. Please Me / Do Me and Wonderboy definitely stood out among them all, but truth be told, I never once came across a song that I would say, "I hate that." It was a pretty solid album.

After hearing it, I'm honestly a bit interested in listening to the groups remaining two albums from the 80's. I'm going to have to track those down. I must say, in general, it's been a lot of fun tracking down albums from overseas. So far, they have not disappointed.

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Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

Collector's World, Super Bit Video Games and 9292


Nothing says fun like a weekend outing to some new local stores. Well, I use the word "new" relatively loosely. These stores have been around for a while. I'm just now getting around to going to them.

Despite the posting date, this was actually an outing my girl and I took on June 17, 2023. First stop was Collector's World, a multi-faceted store chalk full of toys, comic books, and trading cards.

Walking up to the store, you're immediately greeted by two large window displays showcasing what to expect inside.

Oversized, and over priced sail barge. It's every fan's dream, and every seller's nightmare. This is Star Wars' USS Flag.

I was intrigued by this Link figure, and even checked it out to see if there was a price on it. There wasn't, so I simply put it back.

The store is broken up into multiple sections. On the left the focal point is sports memorabilia and trading cards.

Down the center are bins of comics.

The right showcases all the wall worth books. There were a lot of keys, graded, and autographed comics up for grabs.

I really liked this Amazing Fantasy piece, but I couldn't wrap my head around the $350.00 price tag. It's nothing more than a standard sized print encased in a typical frame with mat board. There's nothing special about it by any means.

These are the books I look for when I'm out and about. Low number The Amazing Spider-Man's. With the exception of number 57, I have all of these. I didn't bother picking up the issue missing in my collection for a couple reasons. First and foremost was the price. It's fair, to be sure, but isn't anything special that I would personally throw $100.00 at. Second, I really wasn't interested in buying comics today, and if I were, that wouldn't have been my first choice.

So many key books were mixed in among the wall books. They're fun to see out in the wild, but nothing I am personally interested in.

The back room open ups to a tabletop gaming area that isn't shy of using space to continue offering the store's stock.

On the left of this area were dollar bin books.

They also had these cool vintage military weapon toys. These were super cool.

On the right wall were movie posters, as well as a few autographed items.

This signed Yvonne De Carlo print from The Munsters was awesome.

Back by the register were several showcases, and inside were a mix mash of things.

Admittedly, I miss owning my great collection of Garbage Pail Kids that I used to have. I used to have a complete series one through fifteen, with all variants of cards, as well as several of the newer series which had come out at the time. I stupidly parted with them when I went on a kick of buying Xbox 360 games, which too are long gone out of my collection. I sometimes toy with the idea of re-buying the original series cards, but ultimately come back to reality, and don't. I think that ship has sailed.

I didn't end up buying anything, and instead we went down the road to Super Bit Video Games.

I have actually been to this store before when they were in their original Falls Church location, and this is actually where we first were headed when I discovered Collector's World via a Google search.

The original Nintendo Entertainment System section was what I came for, and was hoping to find two specific titles, Popeye and Wild Gunman. I really expected to be able to get them based on my prior visits to the original location where NES games were bountiful. Surprisingly, neither were there.

I made my way over to the cases where the higher end titles reside thinking maybe they would be hidden within, but nadda.

Despite this, there were two games I did end up leaving with, and both of them are amongst the cartridges in the photos below. Can you guess which ones?

While I have been fortunate enough to recreate the collection of games my brother and I had as kids, and then some, there are still a few NES games I'd be interested in owning. They're certainly not high priorities, but I'll grab one or two a year. Mostly for the sake of buying something different.

It was neat to see that they had a select collection of vinyls for sale across the top walls of the shop. These are by no means bad titles.

With games in hand, we were off to our next locale, finding a restaurant that we couldn't eat at back in our neck of the woods. 9292 was what we settled on.

There are actually three 9292 locations, all in the same parking lot, and each specializes in its own theme. Having never been, we accidentally ended up in the soup location first, and they were kind enough to direct us to the Korean BBQ spot across the lot.

This place loads you up with all kinds of add on items when you select the all you can eat option.

This macaroni salad was really good. I ate three bowls of it.

I ordered an iced tea, and this is what I got. A macha flavored IPA. Okay, not what I asked for, but, whatever.

We selected four meats for our buffet banquet, and admittedly, this was overkill.

By the time we finished the spicy pork belly (above), and beef bulgogi (below), we were pretty well done.

Unfortunately, we had also asked for marinated pork short ribs, and spicy chicken.

We did our best to each some of the chicken, but tapped out on the pork. Our server was kind enough to pack it up for us.

With all that salt in us, and despite being full, we needed something sweet to help with the digestion. Brusters fit that bill. We actually picked this up back in our neck of the woods after the drive back home.

Once we were home, it was time to blow on some cartridges, and fire them up.

Man, Batman: Return of The Joker is hard. I didn't make it far in this one before tapping out. On the other hand, I almost made it to the end of G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor before succumbing to the perils of a level overflowing with death pits.

But, dead Joes and super heroes aside, it was a great outing. Lot's of fun to see new places, try new foods, and in general, just go somewhere.

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