Thursday, 29 December 2016

Ten Examples of Crap I Waste Other People's Money On: Christmas 2016 Edition

I’m wrote this on Christmas Day, everyone went out to drop off relatives and I got half an hour to myself, so spent it writing about my prezzies, god I’m such an attention whore – look at me, look at the cool stuff I got, I make myself sick – and yet I’d still never do this in real life, I think I now understand how come people can write such horrible shit in YouTube comments but I’ll be dammed if I can put it in words. This may only be part 1 in fact, my gift giving and receiving is very spread out this year, beginning on the 23rd and ending whenever the NES Mini arrives (so probably February) but I made out so well so far – in fact in truth I already had enough for a post by Christmas Eve - I thought I may as well get bragging, I mean blogging, I think I may mean both. Now as always I’m not saying these are the best presents I received, they’re just the ones I can get a paragraph of semi-amusing waffle out of. So are you sitting comfortably? Of course you are, you’re still full of food, after four days, so I’ll begin:

Over 25 Years of TMNT!
So I worked out today that I’ve been receiving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles related gifts every Christmas for over half a century, I felt exceptionally old and ate Quality Street, lots of Quality Street, even the penny toffees no one but Sophie eats. This actually isn’t all of the TMNT stuff I received this year either, just the ones that were nearest the tree that accidentally ended up being the perfect items to photograph for this, with Raphael and the LP representing the earliest years of my life as a TMNT fan (I came in roughly in autumn 1990 with some stuff my dad bought back for me from Austria) and Karai and Armaggon representing the present day. Can we talk about that LP for a minute? That is the limited edition boxed version of the soundtrack to the first TMNT film, my favourite part of the Ninja Turtles franchise and my nan got it from a fucking charity shop. Some people might be unhappy they got a present from what is effectively a smaller goodwill store with a stronger stench of cat pee; I say that if it gets me a picture disc with T-U-R-T-L-E Powah! on it you can buy it from a fucking meth lab for all I care.

These were available at Walt Disney World, I saw ‘em at EPCOT and Hollywood Studios but I’m sure they were available all over, AH GOD THIS IS SO COOL. Reasons for being cool 1) It’s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse only cooler 2) my friend managed to buy this, keep it in her room and then pack it without me noticing in any way 3) it’s from my favourite theme park ever (Disney World, not EPCOT, EPCOT is no one’s favourite theme park) 4) It’s one of a kind, sort of 5) Shorts are comfy and easy to wear. I am really, really short on wall space in my room but I will make room for this, if I have to somehow affix it to the ceiling (hmm, it’s Artexed so maybe that won’t work…maybe if I use pins of different lengths?) or the fucking window I will have a sketch of Oswald up in my room.

Star Wars Bin!
I spent Christmas Eve with my dad and we decided the most festive thing we could think of to do was watch a sci-fi film that’s mostly set on a tropical paradise – we all keep Christmas in our own ways. Short review of Star Wars: Rogue One? Best Star Wars film since ‘Jedi. Anyway Vue Cinemas were selling these bins at the food counter, which is also the current ticket counter because of staff cutbacks (I think? Does anyone know why they closed down the ticket counter at the bottom of the escalator at Romford Vue?) for £3 empty or £8 full of popcorn, this implies that Vue Cinemas think their popcorn is worth £2 more than a embossed metal bucket with AT-ATs on and thus that they know NOTHING and that everything you’ve ever thought about cinema food and the companies that sell it are true. Dad bought me a bucket and we ate the sweets we bought elsewhere out of it, feeling like rebels while watching rebels. As you can see I’ve already filled it full of toys.

The Best of Skulls!
That is a skull made of skulls; it is the ultimate skull, if these sorts of ornaments have a deity this is it. I don’t really know what else to say about it, it’s the Skull of Skulls and the friend who gifted it to me has great taste, and just in case my loud enthusing at the time didn’t get it across – I think this is brilliant. Skull of Skulls’ sidekick comes from one of my little cousins and while it is upstaged by a skull made of skulls so are a lot of things and shouldn’t feel bad – it is exceptionally shiny and reflective and utterly lovely and reminds me of such a specific memory I need to share it. For a good while when I was a child my dad has a chromed skull gear knob, which he transferred from car to car along with a set of furry seat covers that looked like the sort of thing a cave man might wear; from the back this is a dead ringer for that gear knob (it had hollow eye sockets rather than the rotting fleshy ones this has) and looking at it I can feel those seat covers and see my dad changing gears with the force that an old A-40 required as he drives me home up Carter Drive, it’s a lovely little flashback I didn’t expect to get even at this the most nostalgic time of year.  

A Unicorn That Shoots Rainbows
So if you were real and hadn’t been driven away by the slew of shit I’ve posted on this thing in the meantime you might remember Izzy the Eater of Genitals , this is from the same friend. It’s part of Hog Wild’s Poppers Range which also includes the fantastic Monster Poppers but… as great as Monster Poppers are… they’re not a weaponized unicorn. These things are great; they shoot fast enough and far enough to feel satisfying but not hard enough that the person you hit in the head gets genuinely annoyed with you for doing so, you can also vary the distance and ferocity very easily to hit anyone in your living room, unlike, say, the classic Blurp Balls where all you can do it fire them at one speed and that speed is called ‘painful’ - technology really HAS advanced.

Remote Controlled ECTO-1!
Ok so I know I said that I wasn’t saying that these are the best presents but this is one of the best presents, possibly ever. This is a remote controlled ECTO-1 with lights and sounds and just in case my photo isn’t getting this across, mostly because you have no idea how big my tree and/or reindeer it, this is big – even out of the box when all toys (except The Hive from Sectaurs) shrink and become far less impressive this thing is big and impressive. This was taken Christmas Eve before I’d had it out and driven it over elderly people’s feet as they pottered around my kitchen – which by being long, thin and tongue-and-groove flooringed is the perfect toy-sized roadway and has been used as such for 30 years for everything from monster trucks to Garfield & Odie. But with such an awesome present comes an awesome amount of guilt, wanna know what I bought the friend who bought me this? A book – sure it was an awesome book but, but this is the car from Ghostbusters and I can control it, the book would have to be the actual Necronomicon to match it. I am buying so many drinks and snack foods for this man; he won’t be paying for a Mars Bar until July.   

So my other little cousin, not the one that bought me the shiny skull, bought me a light up cat, which I’ve named Bob because if you can think of a better name for a cat with that expression then you’re some kind of sixth-dimensional hypothetical theta-wizard. Bob looks good in that picture but he really comes into his own in person, because what you can’t see is that Bob is very squishy which just makes him even more loveable (and easier to physically love – not like that), what you also can’t see is that he’s a touch-activated light and when not strobing he’s a very effective lamp that I’m going to use to read by – and how great is it to be able to read by the light of a squishy cat? Bob became my lil’ buddy all Christmas Day and I interacted with him frequently, my family are VERY patient people.

Homemade Rice Crispie Christmas Tree!
I couldn’t leave this off, these were made by my neighbour’s daughter’s finance’s son (got that?) which means in reality it was made my by neighbour’s daughter and the lad stuck the balls on but I’m crediting him as the creator all the same. It is solid Rice Crispies died green with god knows what and held together with marshmallows on a shortbread base and it is like fucking amphetamine sulphate (or so I’d imagine - no, really I’ve never taken amphetamine sulphate and never intend to, I just know roughly what the high is like thanks to reading lots of autobiographies on The Clash and Punk Rock in general – speeding around underneath the yellow light indeed). I had about four bites of mine and my head was literally buzzing, the sugar levels in one of these things is roughly equal to one Tate & Lyle factory and I am so, so VERY ok with that.  

Moon Ball!
Much like how the Skulls of Skulls is the ultimate skull this is quite possibly the ultimate bouncy ball, the Bouncy Ball of Bouncy Balls and I’ve wanted one for years but somehow have never gotten around to buying one or being given one as a gift. THIS is still in its box, in fact I’m terrified to get it out until me nan’s good plates have been put away, in fact I may not even get it out until after the Christmas Trees have been put away; if my regular interaction with regular size bouncy balls is anything to go by I may be chancing it bouncing it anywhere but a large open space, like, say, a deserted runway.

A Bag of Knock-off Pokémon!
I have a stocking that’s also Donatello from the TMNT; here I took a picture of him in his usual position at my mum’s:

I’ve had him for as long as I can remember but he probably came into my life around 1991 and mum always puts something noteworthy in him, it’s one of those little things that people do that’s a little tragic to others but totally wonderful to the people doing it. Sometimes the noteworthy thing is just some really nice chocolate but it’s always something that feels a little special, my copy of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is the first thing I can remember being in Donnie specifically. I love Pokémon and I love knock-off toys so even though this bag probably cost mum around a pound it is a top-notch gift in my eyes and it’s just full of winners – lookit: Kyogre, Mewtwo, Litleo, Mega Charizard X, Blaziken, Charmeleon, Crobat, Pikablu Marril, Misdreavus, Trevenant, motherfuckin’ Oddish and the fact that Misdreavus looks like a ghostly asparagus and Nidoran is the colour of blue Slush Puppy (the best Slush Puppy) just improves them in my eyes. So much joy in such a small bag, and yes they are in the Star Wars bin.

Ha! Just in time, everyone’s just come back in. Thank you to everyone who gave me a gift and special thanks to my neighbours and great aunt who helped turn what could have been a really emotionally difficult Christmas into a really fun one and thank you my imaginary chums for reading for a whole year.        

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Quick Crappy Review: The Corps! The Corps vs The Curse: The Collection 3-Figure Set: Ogre, Buckshot & Snake Bite

Even though I wrote some fairly recently, I’m feeling a lot of review rust, in fact I spent about 40 minute reading old and reviews to get myself back in the mood, though really all it did was annoy me because I’ve been so out of the action figure collector loop of late. But fuck it, I bought a new thing and I need a blog post to fully justify my purchase and I’ll only get more rusty the longer I wait and if I put it off enough eventually I’ll end up like the Tin Man and need Judy Garland to sort me out, and I will not rely on Judy Garland for anything every again.

So Lanard have been making The Corps! line for a looong time now, they launched in 1986 as the best of the G.I. Joe: Real American Hero knock-off lines as and have been going pretty much non-stop ever since, today’s set is now considered part of The Corps 2.0. by their official website but were also released as The Corps! Elite. I haven’t bought a Corps figure since I was small, we’re talking 1992ish, but while shopping for Christmas presents I fell I love with their new character Buckshot and, finding her set for a fiver in The Range, I caved in and brought her home with me, this not the only time I’ve brought an angry Australian home from Romford. Called a ‘collectors edition’ the The Collection sets are really just an evolution of their old Triple Pack and Action Pack concepts and includes three figures, a snazzy bike and a shitload of weapons. Not bad for a fiver.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A Tribute To: Smarties Smartians

I was one of those kids who liked saving up for things, I was also one of those kids whose dietary habits were easily dictated by what free shit was being given away, there was no such thing as brand loyalty when free toys were involved – except Kinder Eggs, I am their high chieftain for life. This is leading up to the time I ate Smarties almost solidly for a month to get a set of four glow-in-the-dark mini figures, those mini-figures were the Smartians.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Toys of Christmas Past

So I said the next pot would be less indulgent and that was because I was planning to post my Smartians tribute but Dinosaur Dracula, my main blogging inspiration and by ‘inspiration’ I mean ‘house I repeatedly rob’, did a special edition of his 5 Random Action Figures posts, my favourite of his regular features. This edition was five figures that were all received as gifts at Christmas when he was a kid, he then asked for readers to post some examples/stories of toys/dolls they received as kids in the comments. I started writing a post but it got so long I decided to make it a full blog post, plus remembering is very difficult for me. Why is remembering hard? Apparently it’s a common problem for people who have the mental health issues I have – depression and related issues (paranoia, anxiety etc) - I don’t know why this is, I know that once out of a ‘bout’ of depression I remember very little of what happened when in it but then why does it affect memories of times before I had the problem or during times when I wasn’t having a bout? Is it the medication? Must investigate further. Of course it’s quite possible that it doesn’t apply to me and I just have a really shitty memory for life experiences because I use all my memory blocks to remember the elemental types of Pokémon and the real names of X-Men characters. Whatever it is, my memories are quite fragmented and just to be bloody difficult I have more fragments about Birthday gifts than I do Christmas ones.  I did manage to pull out five memories though, so are you sitting comfortably? Then it was Christmas Eve babe, in the drunk tank…

Friday, 9 December 2016

The Pop Culture Chritmas Tree*

The Pop Culture Christmas Tree is done!

Well actually it was done on Sunday but my phone ran out of battery and I couldn’t find the charger. This isn’t the first year I’ve done this but this is the first year I’ve been able to have solely pop culture related to decorations. I feel like I’ve achieved something even though all I’ve achieved is being alive long enough for enough hanging things to be released, hmm but given my various depression-based problems, maybe that IS an achievement? Fuck it I feel a sense of accomplishment and that’s all that matters – so of course I’m going to share it with the internet.

The above photo doesn’t do my completely Pop Culture tree justice (I’m not even sure if it’s in focus) so I’ve picked out some key elements for you, you’re so lucky, so are you’re sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Lumpy Cakes!*

I am really excited and cake is the cause

No one in my town sells Skips in single bags. This is important because a) how can it be that I can’t buy Skips in anything but bags of six? And b) it was while looking for a bag of Skips that I found these:

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Pop Culture League: There's A Sale on At Penney's!

So I deleted my last Pop Culture League post because I hated it and it made me sound like a dick and I don’t think I am a dick (I might be though). Let’s see if I can make myself look like less of a tosser with this one. What’s the topic Cool & Collected? “There’s a sale at Penneys! What was one of your greatest deals?” Oh noooo, this is going to be a bad memory. Also I don’t know what Penneys is, Google is giving me the option of JC Penneys or Primark…ANYway, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

I peaked early, find-wise: I found a Megator in the early ‘90s - only a few years after it was released now I think about it, about six years, just about the right amount for someone to have grown out of it and grown into masturbation and sports cars. Megator is one of the last Masters of the Universe figures released, part of the aborted Powers of Grayskull sub-line (only he and his fellow giant Tytus were released along with some dinosaurs, two more He-Men figures would be released in ’88: Laser Light Skeletor and Laser Sabre He-Man). His harness is currently on sale on eBay for £220 but obviously that’s still there, I saw one sell for £338– so he’d probably go for a couple of hundred at least today, I paid 50p (29 cents approx.). But what makes my Megator buy so good is that I had no earthly idea who the hell he was; Megator came too late to be featured in either the He-Man or She-ra cartoon and I’ve never bought or owned a single carded vintage He-Man figure so even if he was on one of the cardbacks (and I don’t think he was on any non-Powers of Grayskull packaging) I wouldn’t have known of him either. I bought him, well, got my mum to buy him, because he looked cool – he IS cool, he’s a giant green ogre who looks like he’s going to eat your entrails and really hate it because they came out of you and he hates you but he’ll do it anyway and he’ll do it why you’re still alive. I remember vaguely assuming he was from one of those toylines that weer vaguely He-Man/Thundercats scale but went nowhere like Sherriff Solar or Voice Squad (not that I’d’ve known either of those lines’ names back then). Megator strode across the battlefields that I turned my garden into, a lumbering subordinate of evil, regardless of who was the big bad that time (usually Mumm-Ra, Hordak and/or Super Shredder probably). The sad part of this is that Megator is no longer here, I have no idea what became of him, I can only assume he was in the Crash Dummies Box because I wouldn’t have sold him nor thrown him away so his disappearance must have been an accident. This means that I no longer have one of the coolest toys of my childhood and no chance of ever being able to afford a replacement, and frankly a replacement would be nowhere near as cool because he wasn’t bought for 50p at some random bootsale. I do have the Masters of the Universe Classics version who is technically a better figure (it doesn’t have rooted hair for a start, well the extra head does but I don’t use that) and I did get him cheap too thanks to but it’s still not the same, I miss you Megator. I know it says ‘one’ in the topic but I need to cheer myself up – meet Eggasaurus, who was 20p (along with a whole bunch of other stuff including four Fisher-Price Adventure People.). 

I thought I had a better picture, turns out I don't and
it's way, way, WAY to cold to go up in the loft and take
one, sorry folks.
Eggasaurus here is part of a semi-obscure set of mini-figures called Bad Eggz Bunch whom I don’t bother with usually because, well, they’re fucking expensive – going for between 10 and 50 quid and that’s far too much for something that’s less than 2” (insert penis joke here). I have an old Egg Gripper from when they first came out but that’s it. The BEB figures came in eggs filled with slime, being a sequel to the Trash Bag Bunch, who came in dissolvable bags filled with slime – they used to sell ‘em in places like Tesco, so mum would get me one with the odd weekly shop, getting something that came in a slime-filled container with your Fish Fingers and Munch Bunch still seems cool to me. I can’t find a recent Eggasaurs sale, not even on the wonderful but it’s certainly the only thing I’ve ever bought where I could sell it for 100 times what I paid for it! I’m not, going to sell it, the BEB figures are such wonderful sculpts (my particular favourites being Protein Plasm, Bategg, Yolkyuk and the aforementioned Egg Gripper) that I rarely get to enjoy in person thanks to their extortionate bloody value and even though Eggasaurus is one of the more ‘boring’ monsters, and that says a lot for the other figurines when we’re taking about a caricatured triceratops, it’s still worthy of praise, worthy of having and enjoying and it’s a fucking dinosaur – I LIKE dinosaurs.

Yeah I sounded much better this time around, sorry to anyone who read the last post. Also from the League? Also from the League:

Whatever Green PlasticSquirt Gun is actually talking about is irrelevant because they have a naked Frankie Stein making out with a naked Gooliope Jellington in the background of their photo
2 Minute Toy Break has a more recent find
Goodwill can be found at Alexis’ Universe

At first I thought Mr Smith’s Plastic Bubble was being an adult, then I saw their second pick
The Nerd Nook has a MUCH better. He-Man story than mine, sob 

Six Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Hyper Japan Christmas Market Edition!*

Hyper Japan’s Christmas Market was this weekend just gone; I went (though the important parts of my costume didn’t turn up in time – boo) with my awesome friends in their awesome costumes and even though the con has moved to Tobacco Docks this year it was still awesome, I of course only took one picture and it was of course childish and stupid: 

The best way to describe Hyper Japan in Tobacco Dock is to imagine a level of Batman: Arkham Asylum but with cells decorated by a committee of Jigglypuff, The Care Bears and Tingle from The Legend of Zelda. It’s not the best place to hold a convention in general (it’s hard to find your way around once let alone find your way back to a particular stall) and it’s maze of dungeon-like rooms is particularly bad for a place where people stop every 23 seconds to take pictures of other people who are carrying huge foam weapons and/or sporting huge foam wings and/or wigs that obstruct their ability to see with both eyes. This was a Sunday at the smaller of the Hyper Japan shows, but apparently they’re planning to run the summer con there too, I predict it will be unbearable, especially on Saturday. But the stalls were excellent (and pretty fairly priced too), the stall holders were friendly, the food good and all the cosplayers we chatted to were delightful. I purchased just enough stuff to wring an Examples of Stuff I Waste My Money On post out and as I’m still suffering writer’s block I thought such an easy assignment might help me a little.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

How to Read the 1991 X-Revamp

So back in 1991 there was a huge revamp of the X-Men line of comics: the X-Men and X-Factor became one X-Men line-up again and then were split into two squads: Blue Team and Gold Team; Cable took remnants of the New Mutants to form the more ‘pro-active’ X-Force and X-Factor replaced Freedom Force as the government’s mutant team by becoming made up of odds and ends characters Havok, Polaris, Strong Guy, Multiple Man and Wolfsbane. The ‘X-Revamp’ happened in X-Force #1, X-Men #1, Uncanny X-Men #281 and X-Factor #71 and came about for a number of reasons: one major factor was the request for another X-Men title (which became X-Men #1) from Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco who needed to exceed the takings of the previous year (which had been very high due to Spider-Man #1’s success); another was the rise in popularity of several artists at Marvel (Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee primarily) combined with the future plans of Chris Claremont – who was one of the two major architects of the X-Men books – not lining up with where editor Bob Harras wanted to take the books while the ideas of X-artists Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld and Whilce Portacio were closer to what Harras had in mind; the final was grumblings from retailers that seemed to back up Harras’ dislike for Claremont’s current and future X-writing.  So Harras, being a lovely chap, first forced Louise Simonson (who wrote New Mutants and X-Factor) from her books then Claremont himself from the franchise he’d built. Louise was forced off primarily to please Rob Liefeld, who wanted a different direction written by old friend Fabian Nicieza while Claremont stuck around to wrap up X-Factor pre-revamp and rough out the ideas for the new status quo for Uncanny, X-Factor and the new adjectiveless X-Men but ultimately quit, but not before negotiating the script duties on X-Men 1-3 as severance pay. How did Harras do this? Well by doing things to piss off both writers until they were forced to leave, and when they left they took Walt Simonson (Louise’s husband) with them. Walt Simonson was one of the finest storytellers in the industry at the time and one of few superstars Marvel boasted for some time pre-McFarlane and Lee (along with Art Adams and Frank Miller) though I’m sure Marvel dried their tears on the huge wads of cash X-Force #1 and X-Men #1 brought in. X-Force #1 beat all sales records for a single comic and then X-Men #1 beat X-Force’s record – though it’s worth noting they did this via semi-cheating, as each one had multiple versions of the same issue for sale and the sales of all of those versions were added together to get those records: X-Force had one of several trading cards included with the issue, with X-Men it was five different covers released roughly once a week for a month.  

Friday, 18 November 2016

Super Quick Crappy Review: World of Nintendo Star Power Mario*

I've been atrociously busy the last two weeks, normally I just wouldn't post or post articles I have queued up but a) I got obsessed with writing a new blog post NO MATTER WHAT and b) those queued articles all require photos I don't have time to take. As luck would have it though I bought a toy while out being busy and I can review it BUT I only bought one because I'm as skint as I am busy so I'm introducing a new type of review article: SUPER Quick Crappy Review, this works perfectly as I only had to take about three pictures, so yay? A tentative yay. 

Holy shit new World of Nintendo figures! I thought the line was dead! But a whole new wave just snuck into our local Entertainer stores (Mario and Zelda not being a corrupting influence taking our children from belief in the one, true God like Monster High I guess). Series 2-3 includes Star Power Mario and Koopa Trooper from Mario Brothers, Villager from Animal Crossing, Link in Goron Tunic from The Legend of Zelda and Peppy from Star Fox so of course I bought the translucent one and I’m still not done being fascinated by it

Star Power Mario is Mario when invincible, achieved by picking up the Super Star item (more commonly known, or at least it was back in my day – so oooold, as a Starman). The power-up (and powered-up form) debuted in Super Mario Bros for the NES and has appeared in pretty much every core Mario game since. This figure however isn’t of Invincible Mario, it’s of Rainbow Mario, a form that debuted in Super Mario Galaxy that comes from getting the Rainbow Star power-up – Rainbow Mario is the only time Mario becomes solid rainbow colours rather than flashing or being covered in an rainbow overlay with his normal colours showing through (both being versions of Invincible Mario).

I’ve been interested to see how an Invincible Mario could be realised in figure form and while I’m not 100% satisfied with this result I can’t say I hate what came out. In case my shoddy photography skills don’t get it across, Mario is cast in a plastic that has roughly the same properties of a soap bubble, with different colours visible depending on the light and angle – you can catch pinks, yellows, greens and it’s a decent way of getting a rainbow-y effect. It might not be utterly accurate but it’s certainly delightful to look at, in fact I’m sitting here right now turning my head from side to side to see the colours shift and move, I’ve been doing this since I unboxed him hours ago and it hasn’t lost its appeal - I’m a grown man, I swear. But this is a review so negatives – the colours just aren’t strong enough to be accurate and he’s just too translucent, but then I don’t know if you can do the ‘seeing colours when the light shines on it’ trick with foggier plastic so that might be a necessary compromise. He’s a straight repaint (well re-cast) of the original World of Nintendo Mario so any negatives carry over, his head articulation is blocked to the point of it being virtually worthless, he lacks for waist and wrist articulation and his hands are fists meaning he can’t hold anything. Of course he also carries over positives from that toy, he’s a spot-on sculpt, his arms artic and knees have great range and he feels lovely (actually he feels slightly different, almost like he’s got a film over him). Oh and they’ve put the copyright stamp right on his head, it really sticks out on such a light figure with no other details painted on.  

This was supposed to be Peach holding the star
Debby McGee style but she didn't have the articulation
for it, so I chose the next sexiest person in that
box to take her place
The mystery accessory gimmick has been dropped! *cheers and applause from the crowd*
If you missed this or haven’t read my utterly marvellous (translation: utterly amateurish) previous World of Nintendo reviews, the 4” scale figures came with a ‘mystery accessory’ hidden in a cardboard replica of the power-up box for the game series they came from. However the accessories weren’t randomly inserted into these boxes, they were always the same accessory and always connected to the figure (so for Tanooki Mario the ‘mystery’ accessory was the Super Leaf you collect to turn Mario into Tanooki Mario) so there was no mystery. It was pointless and I moaned about it. Now it’s gone and the accessories are plain to see in the package, awesome. Power Star Mario’s accessory is a Power Star, it’s virtually perfect except, y’know, it can’t stand up by itself (being a star and pointy and all) and Mario can’t hold it because he has fists so, um, I’m not sure how I’m going to display it, I’m sure I can do something with Blu-Tac. A Power Star isn’t a Starman by the way, it’s the larger stars (AND IT IS ALWAYS STARS) you collect to progress in Super Mario 64 and the Mario Galaxy games, though I think this is supposed to be a Starman (modern Power Stars look different to this and this looks very similar to the Super Mario 3D World Starman) it looks just like the Mario 64 Power Star so I’m willing to accept it as being a Power Star as the box implies. 

So, conclusion? It’s not the most accurate World of Nintendo figure nor is it even given an accurate name but it’s bloody pleasing to look at  (yep, still tilting my head) and his accessory is great (even if it doesn’t stand up). 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Pop Culture League: Future Collectibles

This week is a topic the League has posted before and I thought it was odd then, after all people will collect anything and that’s not going to change but trying not to be a stick in the mud, today we’re discussing:  Future Collectibles, What will be the hot collectible in 2046?

My answer? 

Monster 500!

I need to buy whoever greenlit this pitch a beer, many beers, an entire pub full of beers, a brewery. I would never, in any wildest dream, have believed that a line of monster toys recalling the work of classic hot rod art, classic hot rod artist like Big Daddy Roth and Bill Campbell’s Weird-Ohs model kits would be released in 2013 with a fucking app. But here they are, and of course they come with an app, everything comes with an app, but apps are a so very modern, disgustingly modern in fact, to the point they annoy me (just the word ‘app’ annoys me – when did ‘programme' become unhip?) and these toys find their influences and feel firmly in the past, a feel that’s very much that of 90’s toys (I would have been all over these in the early-to-mid ‘90s, these were born to be played with Street Sharks) with a little of the 80’s thrown in (tell me you don’t see the designer of these owning Madballs and Monster in My Pocket?), so an app just feels very out of place – of course it IS a horror themed racing game that I find very reminiscent of the PSOne era so I can’t hate on it too much, and an app does mean that this line combines something from the 60s, 90s and 2010s into one deliciously monstery pudding – why weren’t these a massive hit again? I kid, these are way too cool to have been a hit – mind you I thought that about Monster High too so maybe I know NOTHING but they do seem to have been designed specifically to be a cult hit, to be a new Food Fighters or Primal Rage, I just don’t think anyone told the creators that.
I can see them thinking ‘yeah we’re gonna teach the kids of today to love the much better things we loved when we were kids with this awesome new toyline, add an app and they’ll be completely fooled’, shame that never seems to work (further proving the world is unjust and unfair) and as the die-cast toys are currently in Poundland…well…still the upside is that we, the adult who never grew out of toys of today, get to have a great line that can be found very cheap today and the children of today will get to have a great line to remember, figure out and track down when they become the adults who never grew out of toys of tomorrow.

Anyway the toys came in two sizes, large electronic cars and small die-cast cars, which seem to be the standard size as two playsets were released in the die-cast’s scale, and both were split into racing teams (Driving Dead, Lunatic Legends, The Experi-Mentals, Freak Force & Animal Asylum). I have all of the cars bar the die cast range’s chase variants (which I so want but y’know how it is, money, competition from other toylines, effort, not even sure they were made, those sort of things) but for today’s short article I just want to focus on the large electronic cars because they were the first things I found of the line (in The Range no less), so have a look:

Flatop Frank! 

Lead Foot!

Crack Pot!

Zoom Zombie!

Were I forced to pick a favourite it would come down to a cage match between Zoom Zombie and Flattop Frank. Flattop Frank is the line’s Roth/Hot Rod homages taken up to 11, his choice of car (and engine), the signature hand on a giant gear stick, the face, the teeth, he looks like he rode right off a Revell model kit so I usually think ‘yeah he’s my favourite’ then I remember that Zoom Zombie is driving a hotted up hearse and the button to activate his light up feature is the hand of his current ‘customer’ escaping and I’m just not so sure anymore. Perhaps fittingly this a similar conundrum I encounter with said Revell model kits from the Roth, I usually think of Surf Fink as my favourite then I remember Superfink is on a motorized skateboard and suddenly I’m not so sure. The Mosnter 500 site is still currently up and features a bunch of racers who never made it into toys – ah sod  it, I’ll stick ‘em here in case/when the official site goes down, meet the racers you can’t buy as toys:
Phreaky Pharaoh 
Skully Crossbones
Creature from the Track Lagoon
Car Shark
The Indomitable Snowman
Loch Ness Maniac
Scream Punk
Dr Fly By
Brat Worst
The Hunchcrack of Notre Doom
These were supposed to come out in 2015 *sigh* looks like I shall never own Creature from the Track Lagoon, you suck children of today!

So far only one other Leaguer has posted as of this writing:
Green Plastic Squirt Gun makes me want to rewatch Ruthless People and Mac & Me
I’ll add some more when there're more to add