02nd Oct2015

West Week Ever – 10/2/15

by Will

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This has been a bit of a slow week, so bear with me here. Let’s see what pop culture goodness I was able to dredge from the pond of mediocrity that was this week.

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The Fall television season got into full swing this week, as the shows that didn’t debut last week finally made their appearance. First up was Grandfathered from Fox. Starring John Stamos, it’s about a restaurateur who finds out that he’s a father and a grandfather on the same day. It appears he had a fling with Paget Brewster (I LOVE her) 25 years ago, which yielded a son that he didn’t know about. Now, said son (formerly fat Josh Peck) has his own child (a daughter), who was the result of a one-night fling with his friend (Christina Milian). So, son seeks out dad to get pointers on how to woo girl and get out of the Friend Zone. There’s a LOT going on here, but it’s still a cute show with a lot of heart. I don’t know if it’ll last, but I’ll watch it for as long as it’s around – especially since it’s on opposite The Muppets, which I don’t plan to watch again.

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Also on Tuesday night, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned for its third season, and it didn’t skimp on the action. I still, however, don’t really find the team members that likable, but it at least feels like they’re trying now. It was also nice to get Sokovia references and an appearance by the President from Iron Man 3 to reinforce that this is a shared universe. If they can’t get the big guns, I appreciate them getting the little guys. Still don’t care about The Inhumans, so it’ll be interesting to see if it holds my attention for the full season. I do like that they’re competing with Constance Zimmer (LOVE her, too), who seems to be running some sort of shadow agency for the government, rounding up Inhumans.

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Meanwhile in TV land, it’s rumored that Zack Snyder might be developing a Watchmen TV series for HBO. Why, I do not know. That ship has sailed. I was OK with the movie. Didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it. It had too many parts that were like an film student’s final project (all the music video stuff), and lots of blue dong. Still, it told its story rather well, and was pretty accurate except for the lack of the blue squid. This is the type of project that I hope falls apart in pre-production.

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Also, for you Whovians, there’s a new Doctor Who spinoff called Class, which will focus on some kids dealing with the paranormal at a school. If you ask me, it sounds a lot like Strange Days at Blake Holsey High – a Canadian show that aired on NBC Saturday mornings during their Discovery Kids block. That show dealt with a very similar premise, as the school was located next to a wormhole. I really enjoyed that show, but never saw the finale, as it got canceled in the US before it ended. Still, I’m not a Doctor Who fan, so this ain’t for me. In fact, it doesn’t seem like it’s for most adult Who fans. If anything, it seems like this might be designed to take the place of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which used to serve as the gateway show for kids to get into the Doctor Who franchise. I really kind of admire how the Doctor Who franchise caters to different demographics. You’ve got Class for the kids, while the mothership is for the sci fi heads. Meanwhile, Torchwood was the sexier, mature show. The latter is over for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something came along to fill that void soon.

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New The Daily Show host Trevor Noah debuted his incarnation of the show this week. I missed it, but I’m hearing good things online. Of course folks will always compare him to Jon Stewart, but that’s to be expected. To me, I hope he’s the exact opposite of Stewart, whom I never really liked. If that’s the case, I might actually start watching that show – as long as it’s not on against one of my favorite episodes of Family Guy

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In the world of movies, there’s a rumor that Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd might be working on a Ghostbusters animated film. Man, Sony is really milking that son of a bitch dry, aren’t they? I get that they need a new franchise, as the Men In Black thing sort of petered out for them, but this might be too much Ghostbusters at once. For the moment, we’ve already got the Paul Feig film coming, and then a rumored all-male version. Now, this? I guess if it gets them to finally re-release Ecto-Cooler, then it was worth it, but I just feel like they’re doing too much with this property at once.

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Pitch Perfect 3 has received the release date that was originally slated for Pacific Rim 2. I don’t have any strong feelings about this. I loved Pitch Perfect, but still haven’t seen the second one. Meanwhile, Pacific Rim has been sitting on my DVR for over a year. Can we talk about how Anna Kendrick looks like a sexy rat? Like, she’s the personification of Gadget from Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers. Am I the only one who sees this?

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Speaking of movies, when did the new DVD release day move to Friday? I knew that music was moving, but I didn’t know all physical disc media was moving. That kinda sucks, as it means that any sale on a new release will now probably last 2 days (Friday and Saturday) before the next week’s sale kicks in. Anyway, this is a drawn-out way of saying that Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray today.

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In comic news, it was announced that the Daredevil team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee will be relaunching Black Widow for Marvel following Secret Wars. I’ve got to be honest: I only read the last Black Widow series because I love the art of Phil Noto. I’m not quite sure if I ever really enjoyed the story or the character – it was just beautiful to look at. So, with that in mind, I’m probably not gonna be on board for this new series.

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In the podcasting world, this week saw us celebrating Podcast Day. I’m not sure how long this has been a thing, but it’s a great opportunity for you to check out the latest 2-part season premiere of Classick Team-up, where Classick and I discuss everything from the new TV season to the upcoming Black Panther comic series. You should check it out here and here.

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In a week where nothing really happened, Power Rangers stands when the dust settles. After 22 seasons, tomorrow will see the 800th episode of the franchise. EIGHT HUNDRED EPISODES. Can you believe that?! When I saw the premiere, that Saturday morning back in 1993, I thought it was some cheesy shit. I had no clue that it would span 2 decades, countless incarnations, and even more action figures and playsets. It was the #1 boy’s toy for the first ten years of its existence. And in a “snake eating its tale” fashion, now our adapted Power Rangers episodes are being re-dubbed and aired in Japan and Korea. I’ve written way too much about the franchise to go through all of that again (seriously, there’s a Power Rangers tag over to the right. Just click that). It’s safe to say that the franchise has meant a lot to me over the years, so I’m proud of this unbelievable accomplishment. 800 episodes! Man. Anyway, with that in mind, Power Rangers had the West Week Ever.

18th May2015

Thrift Justice: YSE – Holy Deal, Batman!

by Will

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Well, welcome back to Thrift Justice: Yard Sale Edition. If it’s your first time here, this is where I share my hauls from yard sales, as opposed to the regular Thrift Justice, which is where I showcase my thrift store hauls. Anyway, I had a pretty nice weekend, so I thought it was time to dust off this column and get down to business. There are tons of yard sale haul posts out there, but there’s only one Thrift Justice. Well, two Thrift Justices. You know what I mean.

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The day started out slowly enough, as I found myself at a sale that looked promising on Cragislist. In the pics, I had seen a LEGO storage head and something that I was pretty sure was a Kenner The Real Ghostbusters Ghostzapper. I got there just in time to see a guy walk off with a Star Trek: The Next Generation Enterprise-D in the box. Curses! After looking around a bit, I realized that they weren’t exactly charging “yard sale prices”. I should’ve known when I saw a guy with a trailer set up in the driveway, selling antique dolls. Those never go cheap! The LEGO storage head was empty, and not much cheaper than retail. Oh, and the Ghostzapper was actually the Ghostpopper, but they wanted $8 for it without any of its foam ammo (which can’t really be replaced in 2015). They also had a bunch of Thermoses, but nothing too exciting. I didn’t want to leave emptyhanded, though, so I took a look at the books. That’s when I found this Marvel 75th Anniversary magazine. Apparently, it was free when it was originally released, but I’d never seen it before. I hate paying for things that were meant to be free. Still, I like a good anniversary book, so I forked over the dollar. Trust me, the day gets better after this.

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Next, I found myself at a church sale, which can really go either way. I find that church sales really depend on the denomination. Baptist sales won’t sell anything that goes against their beliefs. I once went to one that had taken some dinosaurs off the sales table because, well, dinosaurs. Luckily, this was not a Baptist church. I found these G1 Transformers in a quarter box near the door. What we have here are Insecticons Shrapnel and Bombshell. I wonder if I could’ve found Kickback if I had gotten to the sale earlier. Anyway, this was a good sign that I had stumbled upon something special.

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My latest thing is collecting really old games, especially board games. Even if the pieces aren’t all there, I’m fascinated by the box art. If you get them cheap enough, you can get a good pic of them and then donate them or something. This is Don’t Break The Ice, which was released by Schaper Manufacturing in 1970. The game is still being made, as part of Milton Bradley’s Cootie Games brand, but the box art isn’t nearly as groovy. I got it for a dollar, so it seemed worth it. Here’s something I find interesting: 45 years ago, this game was suggested for kids ages 5-10. Now, however, it’s recommended for kids ages 3-6. We’ve gotten smarter, America!

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The church had quite the vintage game selection, so next I picked up Tip-iT. This is the 1965 edition from the Ideal Toy Company. This game is still being made by Mattel, but it doesn’t look anywhere near this cool. That little girl is enthralled by what she sees happening, while the little boy is tackling the game with the precision of a bomb squad member. There’s another boy who apparently never learned that you never turn your back to the audience.  Meanwhile, Dad is just glad that Mom’s in the kitchen making his dinner. Hey, it was a different time!

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I love games like this because I’m a glutton for punishment. This Manhunt game is described as “The Electric Computer Detective Game”, but that probably means that the batteries have corroded in the “computer”, or it’s missing a battery cover or something. I have no faith that this thing works, but it’s like the lottery: you’ve gotta be in it to win it. Plus, look at the lapels on the kid on the box! I like how the box art is split between actual gameplay and the fantasy of gameplay. The left side looks nowhere near as exciting as the right, but they’re hoping you won’t figure that out. Anyway, it, too, was a dollar.

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This really isn’t all that special. I just kinda liked the 1970s idea of “wealth”. I mean, look at those skyscrapers! They were so state-of-the-art at the time, but so dated now. Again, I grabbed it because it was a dollar. I was making it RAIN up in that church!

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This I had to have because the box was huge by board game standards. It’s basically Battleship, but with a 3D board. Again, I have no idea if it’s complete, but it was so 70s that I just had to have it. Again, like the Manhunt game, I like the splitscreen showing fantasy versus reality. As big as the set up game looks, however, it actually seems to be more interesting than the fantasy of the gameplay. This was three dollars, but so worth it. At least, that’s how I feel without having taken inventory of all the parts. Out of all the games I bought, it has the most value on the secondary market, so I’ll flip it if it’s complete enough.

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I went hardcore on Saturday, going to nearly 20 yard sales once everything was said and done. As these things are wont to happen, my greatest item came near the end of the day. I found myself at a Knight of Columbus sale, where everything was being sold under tents. There was a little house on the property, which served as the “boutique”. Everything under the tents was some garbage, so I didn’t expect to find anything great inside. Looking around the little house, I was right. The most promising thing I found was the Double Dare home game, but the box was kinda busted up. So, I decided to take one last look around, and that’s when I found this high up on a shelf.

Yes, it’s the recently released complete DVD collection of the 1966 Batman television series. And it was still sealed. Of course, it had a $100 price tag on it, so they were going for close to retail. That just didn’t seem to fit with the general ambiance of the sale, so I grabbed it and held it tight as I contemplated my next move. The devil on my shoulder told me to just peel the tag off so they’d have to figure out a price on the fly. They had tons of stuff there, so surely they wouldn’t remember what they had on there, right? No, that wouldn’t have been right (and no, I’ve never done that before!). So, I decided to just check and see if it was their final offer.

I went up to the guy manning the cash register, and asked, “Is this really $100?” He said, “Well, that’s what they sell it for online. In fact, they ask $200 for it.” I pretended to be surprised. I’ve had my eye on the set for a few months, so I knew what it went for. As I was putting it back on the shelf, as he said, “You could make me an offer.” I said, “Nah, I trust ya.” That’s when he surprised me. He said, “I’ll tell ya what – I’ll sell it to ya for $20.” Yes, the bill that everyone wants to put Harriet Tubman on. TWENTY DOLLARS. Instead of ONE HUNDRED. That’s cheaper than one season of the series on DVD, and here he was offering me the whole series for $20! “SOLD,” I told him! I quickly fished a twenty out of my pocket, gave it to him, and shuffled to my car before he realized he’d made a mistake. My eyes darted both ways, as if I’d stolen something. I couldn’t believe it. I love me some Batman, and I’d pretty much resigned myself to never getting this set, since it was so expensive and I had a convention bootleg set I’d never finished watching. I drove off and met my wife and kid for some well-deserved Chipotle. I did the right thing, and I was rewarded for it. Or I kinda robbed that guy. I don’t know. I guess it depends on where you stand.

17th Jan2014

West Week Ever – 1/17/14

by Will

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I didn’t watch anything on Netflix this week, but I used the time to catch up on some TV. First up, I watched Enlisted on Fox. Someone on Twitter said that it’s basically Stripes: The TV Series, and they weren’t wrong. It focuses on a war hero who, due to insubordination, gets bumped down to a Rear Detachment unit back home with his two brothers. He’s dying to get back to combat, and his Rear D unit is made up of a bunch of underachievers. By the end of the episode, however, he learns that Rear D is a valuable unit, as they take care of the families of the soldiers who’ve been deployed. The show was really funny and has a lot of heart. I’d expect big things if Fox had put it on Tuesday with the rest of their comedies. Instead, it’s being burned off on Friday nights with Raising Hope. The numbers weren’t too good for the premiere, but Fox execs say they’re committed to it for its initial 13-episode run. You should definitely add it to your DVR.

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I caught the 2-episode season premiere of Girls, and I still can’t figure out how I feel about the show. I don’t have HBO, but luckily they put the episodes on their official YouTube channel. I thought this meant that certain things would be censored. After all, when I watched the free preview of the House of Lies pilot, there were black bars over all the naughty bits. I was wrong to think that was going to happen here. Despite YouTube’s content rules, nothing about the Girls episodes was changed. We still saw Lena Dunham’s sad little boobies, and we also saw Jessa go down on another girl – all on free, non-age verified YouTube. I was kinda impressed by the balls on that decision. Anyway, the titular girls are still deplorable, and Adam’s even weirder than before. Nice cameo by Amy Schumer, but that didn’t really help the need for diversity on that show. Shoshanna’s still my favorite character, though this article points out that she seems to have no real motivation for being there.

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How I Met Your Mother‘s writers must’ve just said “Fuck it. It’s the last season.” No, I’m not talking about the quality of the writing, but I’m referring to the fact that this week’s episode was full-on yellowface. If you’re familiar with the show, then you probably know about the Slap Bet – Marshall won a bet with Barney and won the opportunity to slap Barney, as hard as he could, over the course of what became 8 slaps. In the continuity of the show, there’s always been some build-up to the slaps, and they tend to happen on “Slapsgiving”. Well, this season, in “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra”, the writers went full retard and told a tale of Marshall traveling to Shanghai to learn the Slap of A Million Exploding Suns. Yes, every chop socky Asian trope is displayed in the episode, and it even includes Ted looking like this:

slapsgivingThe creators have, since, apologized, but it’s a sour note for the show to go out on. After all, the series finale is in March, and this isn’t the kind of legacy that it should leave behind. I tend not to take things too seriously, but even I was watching the episode like, “Oh, shit. They’re really doing this?”

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It was announced on Wednesday that the 1966 Batman TV show would finally be released on DVD. This is a big deal because the rights have been tied up forever, as Warner Bros owns Batman, yet Fox owned the show. That said, I still feel like this was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood, as it was pretty obvious this was going to happen due to the onslaught of Batman ’66 merchandising over the past year. We’ve gotten everything from comics to action figures to Barbie dolls. There was no reason to be pimping an almost 50 yr old show if the DVD thing wasn’t happening. Still, as excited as people seem to be about the DVDs, I don’t really get it. I mean, if you really wanted them, you have them already. I bought my complete series for $40 at a comic show. Sure, it’s bootleg, but the quality’s just fine. I know that I’m not alone, so I feel that the extras are really going to make or break this set. There are folks lining up already, saying “Take my money”, but I’m gonna need to learn more about this before I get too excited.

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From here on out, I will be referring to the star of 12 Years A Slave as “Chitlin Ejector”. I can’t pronounce his real name, and I feel his new name is urban, yet futuristic.

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I had a bit of a milestone this week, as I got the most hits I’ve ever had in the history of the site. No, it wasn’t West Week Ever that did it. It turns out that a 10-year old post of mine was linked by NPR’s Code Switch blog. If you’ve never gone that far back in my archives (or you just don’t feel like clicking that link), I posted a quote from John Byrne’s message board where he gave his opinion of Jessica Alba being cast as Sue Storm. And he also said that he thinks Latinas with blonde hair look like hookers. Since his message board archive doesn’t go back that far, it seems like my snapshot of the conversation is one of the last remaining pieces of evidence that it ever existed. Anyway, the Code Switch blog was discussing race and identity in comics (you should totally read it!), and that link drove my traffic through the roof. I’m still feeling the residual effects of it, so welcome, new readers, if this is your first taste of West Week Ever.

When I wrote West Year Ever, I omitted another event that took place in 2013: my good friends James and Jenn came to visit. Jenn helped create this site, while you can see James in the Wonder Woman video clip I’ve been posting. Anyway, I didn’t have a pic of their visit, so they got no mention. Still, you can follow them on twitter: @snoopyjenkins (James) and @reappropriate (Jenn).

In Case You Missed It This Week

Track Star: Mr. Mister Vs. Boy Meets Girl

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On Monday, it was announced that Michael Douglas will be playing Hank Pym in Marvel’s Ant-Man movie. This is a pretty big deal for two reasons. First of all, the tabloids had Douglas on deathwatch just a year ago, so it’s great that he’s not only still with us, but ready to tackle such a meaty role. It’s also important because it means that Paul Rudd will actually be portraying the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang. This bit of casting made the Ant-Man movie plans that much clearer, and it’s gotten folks excited for the movie in a way that they hadn’t been prior to the announcement. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pretty “meh” since the introduction of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but this was just the shot in the arm that the franchise needed. For this reason, Michael Douglas had the West Week Ever.

13th Nov2013

Thrift Justice – Fleas and Thank You, Xuxa

by Will

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Man, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Basically, there just hasn’t been a lot of awesome stuff out in these streets. The thrift stores have dried up, while the yard sales have yielded little. So, I’ve been forced to resort to the final frontier of thrifting: the flea market. It’s not my first choice, but it sometimes gets the job done. Here’s some stuff that I’ve found on recent visits.

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I’ve written about the Civitan Flea Market in the past, and while it hasn’t been as packed with goodies as it used to be, it still has a few conversation pieces. One of my current goals is to become the go-to American site for all Xuxa Google searches. This just helps me get one step closer to that goal. I got this baby for $1, but not without some resistance from the seller. He felt the need to tell me that it was odd seeing a man “buy a Barbie doll” and he wanted to know if it was for me. I corrected him that it was a Xuxa doll, but I told him it wasn’t for me. So I lied. I wasn’t getting shanked by some flea market bigot. Best to let him think it’s for my biracial daughter or some shit.

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On another trip, I managed to get this LEGO Hawkeye for $5. That might seem a bit steep, but it’s a lot better than having to buy the entire building set for him. Now, my LEGO Avengers consist of him, Cap, Iron Man, and Thor – all without having to buy some huge $60+ building set.

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The same vendor with Hawkeye also had these Marvel Universe Series III holograms. I don’t go into it much on the blog, mainly because they’re not as prevalent anymore, but I’m a sucker for some holograms. So, I had to have these.

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I actually already own this, but it was only a couple of bucks and I figure I can flip it on Amazon or something.

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Even though their rubsigns aren’t present, these Battle Beasts were a good acquisition for a couple of bucks. They probably would’ve cost more had the dealer known what they were. He waited until after I paid, and then asked, “What are those things called anyway?”

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When it came to DC Universe Classics, I’d made a conscious effort to avoid the “Lantern Corps” figures. I thought it was a dumb idea, and I didn’t feel like paying retail for a bunch of repaints. That said, he was only $3 and he’s so BLUE. I HAD to have him!

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I got these Joes at a booth where a woman was charging $0.50 each for them. This was a no-brainer, as that 25th anniversary Chuckles figure was only available in what has become a VERY expensive figure pack.

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After Civitan dried up, Special Forces told me about a flea market in nearby West Virginia. So, one Saturday morning, we made the trek to Harpers Ferry to see what we could find. This wasn’t really a “collectibles” environment, unless you’re into NASCAR and Hot Wheels. I did, however, find this guy:

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This Robin figure is from the Mego Corp, and he is PERFECT. And since his head is starting to turn blue, he even came with a better replacement head. I tried haggling with the dealer, but he wasn’t having it. Still, this was a pretty nice buy for $25. I found it odd that he wouldn’t give me the mailer box because it had his home address on it. Why didn’t he plan for that by scratching it off? Did he think I was gonna come rob him? Anyway, I ended up walking around, holding him for the rest of the morning, looking like a goober.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. What have you guys found lately?

26th Jul2013

West Week Ever – 7/26/13

by Will
Who had the West Week Ever? Read on and find out!

Who had the West Week Ever? Read on and find out!

For those not “in the know”, I work in education. This week I learned two things that were pretty surprising: homework is a joke, and so is college. As it stands, there’s no correlation between homework and achievement in elementary and middle school. Even in high school, there’s just a negligible correlation. At most, it’s just busy work. In the meantime, only 31% of high school graduates who go on to college actually earn their degree. And once they get that degree, who’s to say they’ll get jobs? Food for thought, and all that jazz.

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Backstreet’s back?! Did anyone else realize there’s a new Backstreet Boys album coming out next week? Of course you didn’t, ’cause you’re “cool”. I, on the other hand, friggin’ love that group. I consider myself the biggest straight male boyband fan in the lower 48. There was a time when I would’ve had a countdown going for a new boyband album, but this one totally skipped by me. While most folks just wish they’d break up already, I kinda hope BSB stay together forever, touring as old men. I mean, their style has already transitioned to “soft pop”, so it’s not like they’re really looking all that foolish by trying to stay young. The problem, however, is that the new stuff can’t get radio play. It’s not hot enough for the pop stations, and all the soft rock stations are too busy with Maroon 5. Anyway, this new album is perfect for the Maroon 5/OneRepublic fan in your life. I acquired an advanced copy and you’ll especially be happy if you’re a Kevin fan. I guess that was one of the stipulations for his return. Here’s the first single, and title track “In A World Like This”. Spoiler alert: I’m kinda surprised to see a pop act take a stance on marriage equality, but it’s a welcome change:

Sure, it’s no “I Want It That Way”, but it grows on ya. I’ve had it on repeat for the past 2 days, and I fell in love with it.

I guess since it’s “Backstreet Week” here at WBW.com, here’s another video. I’m no Letterman fan, but I thought this was pretty funny:

While we’re on music, there’s a memory that haunts me, especially since I started listening to 60s on 6. See, when I was elementary school, I used to carpool with a teacher at my school and she’d listen to oldies. I remember one time The Supremes came on, and she asked if I liked them. Here’s what I said: “I don’t consider women with beehive hairdos to be ‘good’ music.” Who the fuck was THAT guy?! Where did that even come from? I was 9! Where did I get such a mature level of condescension. I’d be mocked out of town for the music I listen to now, but I had the gall to say something like that. The odd part is that I did like The Supremes, but I guess I thought I’d sound smart or cultured by that response. Man, I wish I could go back in time and beat myself up for that statement.

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I’m not even gonna pimp Will’s World of Wonder this week, as I had a prime opportunity to make money, and I squandered it. As most of you know, the Masters of the Universe Classics figures have been popping up at Big Lots! and the race was on to track them down. Any figure, $10 – and these things used to cost $33 on the Mattel website! Anyway, I know a thing or two about finding rare stuff, so I just went where white folks fear to tread: the ghetto. Sure enough, I found them (coincidentally, they were at a store located behind my old job). I bought up a bunch, tweeted that I’d found them, and most of them were spoken for by the time I got to work. But I didn’t even charge a markup! Nope, most of these went out at cost plus shipping. What was I thinking?! I mean, it’s not like I could scalp them, as everyone knows they’re out there, and they know they’re $10. Still, I’ve seen people trying to charge $20-30 for the figures. If they can get that, more power to them. I just didn’t have it in me. So, if nothing else, I hope my generosity gets me that much closer to Heaven…

One promised to never break our hearts, while the other wondered where our love went. One actually bought a Pontiac Aztec, while the other is the first worthwhile thing to be found in a Big Lots! Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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OH MY GOD!!!! WHY DIDN’T YOU PEOPLE TELL ME HOW GOOD BREAKING BAD WAS?!! I mean, I always heard great things about it, but I also heard great things about Lost, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, etc. Basically, when you travel in geek circles, EVERYTHING is the best thing since the TARDIS. I’m always finding myself late to the game when it comes to AMC shows. I discovered Mad Men around season 3, and found myself illegally binge-watching the first 2 seasons over the course of 3 days. That wasn’t my fault, though, as I didn’t have cable when it started. The same could be said for Breaking Bad, but I’ve had more than enough time to catch up. I got the first season on DVD for $3, at a yard sale that didn’t warrant a Thrift Justice post a few months back. Last Monday, I felt like watching a DVD, and since season 1 is only 7 episodes, it seemed like something I could kill a few evenings watching. Instead, I ended up watching all 7 episodes that night. Oh my God, y’all! The show is old news to most of you, but it’s even better than I’d heard. Watching Walter White go from milquetoast family man to crime boss, interspersed with Mr. Wizard-esque tutorials with Jesse about how batteries are made. Passive-aggressive Skylar, lovable asshole Hank, and Marie who always wears purple – I love every bit of it. I’m sure some of these characters will disappoint me, but I’m enjoying the ride. I signed up for Netflix just so I could keep going, and I’m almost done with season 2. By Monday, there’s a good chance I’ll be caught up (at least in Netflix terms, as they still don’t have season 5). If there are other awesome shows I should be watching (other than The Walking Dead. I’m already clinically depressed, so I don’t need a show to bring me down,), you’d better tell me about them NOW! Anyway, for being way better than I ever expected, Breaking Bad had the West Week Ever.

 

19th Jul2013

West Week Ever – 7/19/13

by Will

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Welcome back to the regular edition of West Week Ever. Thanks to everyone who joined me in celebrating 10 yrs with West Decade Ever. It was a good time for introspection to figure out what I want to do next. I’ve got a new feature that I’m just about to pull the trigger on, but it’s gonna be polarizing for longtime readers. Might increase my female readership, though…

One thing I’ve been thinking about is Will’s World of Wonder. I don’t quit things, but maybe it’s time for it to go. It was created to fund the wedding, and it did that.  I can still sell via Amazon and eBay, but maybe I don’t need a storefront.  It hasn’t been “received by the community” the way I’d like. I mean, it’s been successful, but it’s not gangbusters or anything. Then, before I have a pity party, I have to remind myself that nobody asked me to do this. It’s not like I necessarily saw a need. I wanted to do it and I forced it on you. Some folks went along with it, but most kinda kept on moving. I just got invited to open a wholesaler account with Entertainment Earth, but I know where my bread is buttered. I’ve never really done all that well with “new” stuff, as people are more interested in the vintage items I find. If it’s new, I sell it on Amazon. If you want a new case assortment of something, there’s Nerd Rage Toys. You don’t come to me for that. Plus, Dinosaur Toy Vault‘s coming back. So, I guess, in the words of Pippin, “I’ve gotta find my corner of the sky”. Do I keep selling? Do I stick to vintage? Do you all even care? These are all the things rolling around in my head.

Oh, and everyone called me a hater for saying Pacific Rim was gonna flop, but I was just using the evidence. People tend to forget that I know what I’m talking about, and I’m not just talking out of my ass. Read the tagline of this site, y’all! Anyway, it was marketed to geeks and no one outside that realm really cared about it. Still, nobody came to me Monday to say, “You were right, Will”, so I’m gonna pat myself on the back. To all y’all who doubted me, here’s my victory Cat Daddy:

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Comic stuff usually gets its own post, but this is gonna be short and to the point: if you love the Adam West Batman, you MUST read Batman ’66. The first issue was released this week, and it’s a pitch perfect addition to the ’60s Batman mythos. It’s so spot-on that I can even hear where the music cues come in. I really haven’t understood the recent push for 60s Batman merchandise, as it’s not an anniversary year or anything. Most folks think they’ll finally announce the long-awaited DVDs this weekend at San Diego Comic Con. The show has been wrapped up in legal red tape for decades, as Warner Bros owns the characters yet Fox owns the show, but the rumor is that a deal might’ve been reached. Anyway, I was a huge fan of that show as a kid, and this comic fits perfectly in that universe.

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How did I just discover Regular Show?! I’m kinda anti modern cartoons, so I shit on most Cartoon Network shows that come around these days. After all, the cool kids LOVE Adventure Time and I LOATHE it, so why would Regular Show be any different? I ended up watching a Regular Weekend marathon over the weekend, and fell in love with this show. I love every character, from Mordecai to Rigby to Pops to Benson. Plus, I love cartoons where they’re allowed to mention death. Back in my day, there was a limit to showing blood, but now a show can say “Yeah, that guy’s totally dead.”

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So, I’ve been trying to find fun ways to get in shape without having to go to the boring gym. With that in mind, I decided to join my friend Jeff at his soccer practice this week. Most of the players are African, so that was an experience. I know people joke that Africans are fast, but MY GOD ARE AFRICANS FAST!!! I got the ball and turned my back. I didn’t even hear anything more than the sound of a leaf on the wind, and a large dark man swept in and stole the ball from me. OUT OF NOWHERE! Anyway, I think I disappointed my African brothers that day…

Here’s an update on something. Remember back when I had to return the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier because it was missing parts? Well, I went to Walmart a few weeks back, and look what I saw:

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THAT’S THE SAME HELICARRIER!!!! THEY JUST PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF!!!! I know because I shook it and everything inside rattled around the way I left it. Otherwise, the parts would’ve been in place with their twisty ties. Walmart has a reputation for this kind of thing, but I’d never seen it happen to something of mine – mainly because I don’t ever return anything. Let this be a lesson: keep your receipts!

One of them had an eventful Saturday night, while the other had a final Saturday night. One pissed off newsstand owners left and right, while the other was too busy extreme cartin’. Only one, however, could have the West Week Ever.

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Really, was there any question? Those other 3 couldn’t win. There’d be rioting amongst my 12 readers! Plus the complete first and second seasons of Regular Show were released on DVD this week. Hell, if I had better connections, this would’ve been a sponsored post. I thought about giving it to the Twinkie, but that’s The Robot’s Pajamas’ turf. Anyway, I’m sure you’ve got #SDCC news you need to catch up on, so I’ll cut it off here. See ya next week!

11th Jun2013

Thrift Justice – Rocky and the Riders

by Will

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It hasn’t been all bad on the thrifting scene. Yesterday, I showed a bunch of stuff that I left behind, but I have been able to find a few gems lately. So, without further ado…

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I’m gonna lose the respect of a lot of y’all, but I’ve never seen this movie before. I’ve said before that I’m not a Movie Guy, and that’s the truth. Usually, however, I end up making up for it by watching them when they come on TV. Still, when does this come on? Is it a Halloween movie? A Christmas movie? Is this grounds for debate like whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie? Anyway, I couldn’t pass it up for under $2. I’ll just add it to the shelf of DVDs I Hope To Watch Before I Die.

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When this first came out, I thought it was pretty stupid. All these years later, I’m still not sure if my opinion has changed. What has changed, however, is the dawn of the Articulated Comic Book Art (#acba) genre. If you’re not big into Instagram, these are guys who pride themselves on taking really cool pictures of action figures, using unique lighting, dioramas, etc. While this is a bit of a lackluster playset, it would make a great ACBA backdrop. The only thing that sucks about it is the “Statue of Liberty” sign, as if no one knew without that.

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As you can see, it’s missing one of the head spires, but I’m not sure that’s really a big deal. That can be hidden well enough from the right angle. Still, I haven’t decided if I’m gonna keep it or sell it. Considering how much space it would take up in a Detolf, I’m leaning towards selling.

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This bad boy is complete., as I learned after 2 hours of parts inspection. Can you say “Cha-ching”?

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I own Arkham Asylum. Got it Black Friday. Haven’t even opened it. My 360 makes me feel guilty, as I have all these games to play, but spend all my time in thrift stores and working on these various sites. I mean, I haven’t even opened Injustice yet! Anyway, this came with the collector’s edition of Arkham Asylum, and you can see there’s a nice life-sized Batarang inside the case. I couldn’t pass this up for $4, so this is definitely in the Keep pile.

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I tried reading this 20 yrs ago when I was first getting into comics, and it bored the shit out of me. Over the years, however, all the industry muckety-mucks couldn’t stop praising it, so I didn’t hesitate to snatch it up when I saw it on the “Humor” shelf. Silly thrift store!

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Before we smelled what he was cooking, “Rocky Maivia” was more of a jester pinata. For those not in the know when it comes to the WWE, this is how The Rock looked when he debuted. This figure is from the pre-Mattel Jakks era, but I don’t care. My Undertaker collection has been discussed, but I also collect figures of other wrestlers I love, like The Rock, Brodus Clay, and AJ Lee. This guy’s going right up there on the shelf with them.

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This is a Kivat Belt from Kamen Rider Kiva – not that I knew that when I snatched it up. I happened to see it on the thrift store shelf, and I know Bandai products when I see them. So, immediately I knew it came from the sentai family, even if I didn’t know from where. Once I saw the Japanese on the battery compartment, I knew I’d hit paydirt (especially for $1.91!). It turns out these things have gone for around $60 online recently.

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Anyway, the Kivat is the transformation device in Kamen Rider Kiva. Since I’d never seen the show before, I decided  to watch the pilot on YouTube, and it made no sense whatsoever. We’re not here for a recap, but here’s what you need to know. The little bat guy is sentient and flies around. When it’s time for transformation, it bites the human on the finger, turning him into a Kamen Rider.

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The belt also included these power cell things. I’m sure some sentai fan will correct me in the comments as to their actual name. Originally, there were 6, but this one only had 2. When they’re placed in the Kivat’s mouth, he speaks Japanese and his eyes turn the corresponding color.

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The belt’s worn upside down, and when transformed, Kamen Rider Kiva looks something like this:

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Well, that’s it for this edition. Thanks for playing along, and we have a lovely parting gift in the form of the home edition of our game. Until next time!

23rd May2013

Thrift Justice – Hell Naw! Are You For Real?

by Will

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Do we really need an intro. Y’all know what this is all about. These are things I find in thrift stores. Usually, I write about the things that I buy. Every now and then, however, I focus on things that I simply HAD to leave behind. This is one of those posts. These are recent items that I just couldn’t believe I found, but felt would make great conversation pieces. So, away we go!

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Sure, Jakks eventually figured out how to make a decent wrestling figure, but those earliest offerings were hideous. This hails from the “Attitude Era” that I missed in its entirety, so I know next to nothing about Sable OR Shotgun Saturday Night. From what I can tell from this figure, Sable was just a wrestling groupie, right? She wasn’t a “Diva”, was she? Please tell me she wasn’t a Diva. She looks like someone’s slutty mom. She needs to take that chair packaged with her, and go sit down somewhere.

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Hehe. And notice that the seal is unbroken on this CD…

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I’m sorry, but no one has ever said “Man, I could really watch 26 hours of The Price Is Right today!” If they did, they’re probably a stoner, and can’t remember where they left this box set. I mean, really? I would watch a compilation of every episode where Barker did something sleazy to spokesmodels and women contestants, but just random-ass episodes? No, thank you!

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I’m amazed this thing actually exists. For those not in the know, this is Harry from Harry and the Hendersons. I’ve never seen the movie in its entirety,  but I was really into the Saturday afternoon syndicated show. The dad was the evil senator from the X-Men movies. That’s all I really remember about it. Well, that and that it aired along with What A Dummy! and Tiny Toon Adventures (before it was repurposed as a kids show).

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This saddens me, as I wonder how it ended up being donated. It’s such a personal thing, and not something that would really sell to anyone other than its original recipient. As you can see, it’s some sort of CD to commemorate Mothers Day 9 years ago. Did Mom die? Did the family get a divorce? Did she finally get to the age where she started throwing away all the homemade gifts the kids made her over the years? I’m always curious when I see such personalized items being resold.

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California Dreidels?! Can’t black people have anything to themselves?! First Elvis came along, then Eminem, and now this?!!

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OK, read this slowly, as it gets kinda good. When you get cards from a questionable source, always inspect ya deck! I saw this in a batch of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards I got, and noticed that it looked…janky. Look at the edges and borders. I don’t think this card is real. So, I grab a corner and start peeling…

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WTF?! It’s like finding Narnia! What’s under this nefarious cover?

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An entirely different card! There’s some kinda card shark on the Yu-Gi-Oh! scene! How does a tween turn to such a life of crime? Who taught him to do this? Has he already been shot in the face following a Chinatown game gone wrong? Why?! WHY?!!!

Welp, that wraps it up for this installment. I gotta Google “Chinatown Yu-Gi-Oh! shootout”. Come back tomorrow, ’cause it’s Friday, and you know what happens around here on Fridays…

14th May2013

Thrift Justice: YSE – Trials & Tribble-ations

by Will

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Can I just take a minute to saw how much I love that real life is gradually evolving into my vision for Thrift Justice: The Series? I mean, I’m not a bounty hunter (yet), but Special Forces has become a full fledged sidekick, just as I envisioned. Anyway, last weekend’s haul wasn’t huge, but it’s about quality and not quantity!

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It was supposed to rain Saturday, so I made a point to look for sales that labeled themselves as “rain or shine”. Luckily, the clouds held it together long enough for us to hit a few choice sales first thing that morning. I’ve always tried not to be an “early bird”, as a lot of sellers hate that. So, when I arrive early to a sale, I just hang out in my car, looking like a sketchy black guy in a white neighborhood. It’s all very hilarious to the people living on that street. Anyway, we did this on Saturday, and missed out big time, as another guy pulled up who didn’t care about being an early bird. At first, I thought he lived there, seeing as how he bounded the steps with ease and familiarity. Then, I saw him walk to his car with a stack of books in his hands about a foot and a half high. I’m not exaggerating. SF and I were trying to figure out if they were graphic novels. I decided it was time to hit the sale, and we jumped out of my car and up the steps. It turns out those were all LEGO manuals, to accompany the $100 of LEGO he had just purchased. And there had to have been a good 70 lbs! Do you know what that would get on the secondary market?!! Feeling deflated, I managed to get the figures you see above. She had a bunch of Marvel Universe figures, but wanted $1 each, and I just felt that was too much. I’m sorry, but I like $0.50 for my used 4″ figures. Thing and Iron Monger were $1 each, which was fair. IM is broken, as his slam action no longer works, but he’s still a good looking figure. Plus, I got a bag of Transformers Robot Heroes for $5.

 

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Here’s a closer look at the Robot Heroes. I haven’t counted them yet, but there are well over 25 of them. A lot of them also have the kid’s initials written on their foot – ya know, to distinguish them at play dates. This was an OK haul, but I wanted those friggin’ tubs of LEGO!!! 🙁

 

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While I was looking at the Marvel figures, a woman from down the street ran up, and saleblocked her neighbor by telling us that she was also having a sale, and that we needed to come by and look. Well, who am I to pass up a forward older woman? Once we got to the sale, I noticed it was mainly National Geographic memorabilia. Then, I noticed a few Star Trek trinkets. Once the other seller at the house (don’t know if they were sisters, partners, what) asked, “Am I gonna have to get out my Star Trek stuff?” I said, “Yeah, I think you are!” She went into the house, and brought out several boxes of carded Star Trek figures from the Playmates era. As nice as the figures were, she mentioned something that caught my interest: she had gone to Toy Fair in ’97, and had received the Playmates catalog, as well as 3 shooter glasses. THAT was what I wanted. After all, my love of toy industry catalogs has already been documented. I’d promise to showcase what’s inside, but I’ve made that promise in the past, and I never make good on it. One day? One day. Anyway, the TNG hardcover is really just a notebook, but I kinda liked it, so grabbed it, too. Finally, I got the “Trials & Tribble-ations” Captain Sisko figure. I already have all the T&T figures, but I didn’t have any carded. I’m trying to bolster my carded figure collection, and I figure I should probably “keep it in the community” by buying the black guy. So, I got all of this for $20, which I don’t think was too bad. I’ll probably sell off the shooters and make some of it back.

 

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At one of the last houses, I got this sealed Mad Men Season 3 for $2!!! Sealed. Needless to say, it’s listed on Amazon as we speak. Finally, at the last house we hit, they were selling a lot of World War II DVDs and whatnot. Again, I have an affinity for sealed DVDs, as well as things from the BBC. In case you weren’t aware, BBC DVDs cost an arm & a leg, just like TV season sets of HBO shows. Regardless, I don’t know any war buffs, so I walked away from the $3 price tag. As SF & I were walking to the car, something told me to check the going prices on Amazon. $65?! Needless to say, I turned right around, and gladly handed over $3. At this point, the clouds let loose their fury, and we decided to spend the rest of the morning in thrift stores.

Luckily, Special Forces and I don’t like the same things. I’m the toy guy, while he’s the video game guy. Since we don’t “cross the streams”, we make a good pair. Anyway, here’s what he got:

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At the sale where I got the Mad Men set, SF got all of this for $8. He thought the tag said $18, but I swore that it was $8. After asking the woman of the house, it was confirmed at $8. While the system was nice, I think SF was more intrigued by the “mystery” game you see above Warioland 4. Remind me to ask him what that turned out to be (or just tell us in the comments, SF!).

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Since video game pickings are sometimes slim at yard sales, SF typically does better at the after-sale thrift store rounds that we make. He got this at thrift store #3 (yup, we roll that hard) because it’s apparently a rare color. It seems the clear/clear purple are common, but this fuschia is a bit more rare. I guess those games were packaged with it.

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Finally, he grabbed this 3-disc Final Fantasy (can’t tell if it’s 6 or 7) for about $2. He tells me this is the first edition, and not the Greatest Hits version, making it more sought after. He’s the game guy, so I bow to his expertise.

So, there ya have it – another one for the books…and the net. Later this week, I think I’ll treat y’all to a traditional edition of Thrift Justice. Stay tuned!

25th Apr2013

Thrift Justice – The One With All the DVDs

by Will

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Well, I pretty much showed my hand in the title, but this one’s all about DVDs. Back in the days of yore, I was what you might call a “DVD whore”. Hey, that rhymed! Anyway, if it was cheap enough, I’d buy it. I used to tape any and everything off TV, even though I’d never watch it again. I’d probably have done it with discs, had it been easy enough. If I found a movie that I’d seen and kinda liked, or had never seen, I’d buy it if it was under $10. And I’d buy the first season of ANY show. Now, I’ve got more DVDs than I’ll ever watch before I die, yet I can bring myself to get rid of them. Don’t have time to watch them, either, ’cause I have 39 hours of Burn Notice on the DVR I need to get through. So, needless to say, I’ve cut back a lot in recent years. Still, with thrift stores, I still find myself succumbing to amazing prizes where DVDs are concerned. So, I’ve added a few more to the collection in recent months, much to my disappointment in myself.

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I’m totally the kind to kiss & tell, but I’d like to think I might have something in common with Colt Seavers. I mean, I’d love to jump my truck over shit, and I’d hire Heather Thomas if given the chance. Anyway, I had to buy this. I love this show, and this was only $4. This was one of the first shows where they did they “Season 1 Part 1” shit, so it’s a nice deal to get the entire first season without having to buy 2 different sets.

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By this point, the “cool kids” had moved over to Fox Kids on Saturday mornings, but NBC ran all the steam out of the Chipmunks franchise. Once the whole pop star angle got tired, they decided to have the Chipmunks doing movie parodies, and the show was retitled Chipmunks Go To The Movies. It didn’t last long, nor was it very memorable, yet I had one episode on VHS – “Batmunk”. I had to get this DVD, as it has “Batmunk”, as well as “Star Wreck: The Absolutely Final Frontier”, and “Funny, We Shrunk The Adults”. I can finally get rid of that VHS tape! Yeah, I still have it, along with 21 tapes of Power Rangers episodes…

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I’ve never  understood why everyone raves over this show. Sure, I watched it, but it was never “destination television” for me. It was simply “the show Fox hasn’t gotten around to canceling yet”. I enjoyed it when it was on, but I’m amazed it has this rabid following now, signing up for Netflix JUST to watch the upcoming season. So, clearly I missed something. I found these for $3 each, so I had to do it. I found Season 1 a few months ago, so now I just need to carve out some time to get through them.

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This is basically “Knight Rider In The Air”, right? Children of the 80s love to reference this show, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it – this or that show that was “Knight Rider on a Motorcycle”. Sorry, but actual Knight Rider was good enough for me. After I did What’s the Scoop on UnderScoopFire’s podcast, I was mocked by the Twitter community for not knowing who “Stringfellow Hawk” was. Anyway, I swear I found these the very next week and figured, “Why not?” I mean, it’s worth is just to see that dude with the blacked-out glasses lens. He’s really on the show, right? Why he thought that was a better look than a regular old eye patch, I do not know.

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Surprising to many, I’ve only seen about 1/3 of Pixar’s output. I like 2D animation, I don’t go to many movies, and when I do go, I don’t want to deal with the squeals of children. At this point, I’ve only seen Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.,The Incredibles, and Up! That’s it. No Finding Nemo, No Wall-E, no Toy Story 3. Nothing. So, when I find cheap Pixar movies, I pick ’em up, even if they’re just investments in my future “Shut The Fuck Up On This Roadtrip, Kids” stockpile. I’m really weirded out by the concept of this movie, though. Who drives the cars? If they’re sentient, were they built, or were they put on this Earth by some kind of Car God? Are Click & Clack: The Tappet Brothers their Car Gods? Are there people in the stands, or are other cars the spectators? So many questions!

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If you’re new here, I like “bad” pop. No, I LOVE it! One of my favorite groups from the past 15 years was S Club 7/S Club from the UK. Over there, they had a weekly TV series, sold out tours, and movies. Here, their show aired on the Fox Family Channel (before ABC bought it), but they were nobodies here, so it didn’t really have any resonance. Well, right before they broke up, they released Seeing Double, a movie about clones or some shit. Their TV series was just as cheesy as The Monkees, so a movie about S Club clones doesn’t seem that farfetched. It’s unbelievably hard to find UK stuff in the US, as half the torrents don’t work, and the streaming sites are being taken down every week. I still haven’t seen The Inbetweeners Movie. Anyway, I think this was $2, so it was worth it to me. Even if it’s horrible, it can’t be as sad as half the group’s recent “comeback” attempts:

They didn’t even lure back any of the hot members! It’s just token black guy, chick who got kicked off Big Brother for calling someone a “Paki”, and the one who pulled a “Geri” a quit before the group broke up. Let’s just say folks weren’t exactly lining up to support them.

Welp, that’s it for this installment. Until next time, continue looking for treasure, but keep your hands off my shit. It’s mine!

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