22nd Apr2013

Mail Call Monday – Batman, Empowered, Joes and More!

by Will

Check my swag, yo! I just felt there had been such an influx of goodies through the mail that warranted some mention. I don’t typically do this, as most of my stuff tends to come from random eBay sellers. The past 2 weeks, however, have brought stuff from Facebook and Twitter friends, so I want to share those with ya.

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First up, Kevin over at Team Hellions took me up on the Trader Will’s Deal-O-Rama post that I wrote for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. I was glad he came forward, as I was starting to feel like the kid picked last for sports. Well, he did not disappoint!

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As you can see, I got the first 2 volumes of Adam Warren’s Empowered, as well as a deck of Star Wars playing cards. His wife also sent along something nice for my wife, but she ran off with it before I could take a picture! I read the first volume of Empowered years ago and loved it, but never got around to actually buying any of it. Needless to say, I can’t wait to read these. Thanks, Kevin!

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Next up, I bought this from my buddy Vincent over at Dinosaur Toy Vault/The Robot’s Pajamas. He went to Joe Con, and ended up buying the Exclusive Night Force Nocturnal Fire boxed set. He’s selling off the figures to pay for his trip, and I just had to get Psyceh-Out. Even though I think he gave me a good price, I paid more than I ever should for a G.I.Joe figure. Still, Psyche-Out holds a special place in my heart, as he was the first G.I. Joe figure I ever got. I hadn’t seen the cartoon at that time, so I didn’t even realize he wasn’t important. I just loved that he had satellite dishes all over himself, and that Woolworths only had him and Raptor. I sure as Hell wasn’t buying Raptor! In the years to follow, I would lose all his dish accessories, snatch the antenna from the back of his head, and bite off his fingers. Who knew I was training for a job at GitMo? As maimed as he is, I still have that figure, as he suffers from PTSD in my Joe case at my mom’s house. One day, he will stand side by side with his updated version, and see that it truly does get better (NOTE: It always bothered me they spelled his name – typically that’s pronounced “SY-kee”, making his name pronounced “SY-kee Out”).

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Some more eBay acquisitions to bolster Operation Trade-Up. That X-Statix Omnibus gets rid of an entire longbox for me on its own. That thing retails for $125, but somehow I found it for $32. And if you’ve never heard of it, definitely track down The Last Days of American Crime by Radical. There’s a Bruce Willis-starring movie just waiting to be made!

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Next up, Twitter/Facebook pal @kngfu71 was selling off some action figures, and I snagged this movie Reed Richards off him. Little known fact: I’m not an avid Marvel Legends collector, but I’m trying to track down all the movie versions of Marvel characters on the cheap. I had a Reed body and accessories that I found at a thrift store, but he didn’t have a head. I actually bought this to cannibalize it, but he’s so cool that I think he gets to live, and I’ll just put that other Reed body on the site for a customizer to buy. If I’m not mistaken, I believe I’ve also got a Sue Storm on the way from Michael, so that will complete my movie Fantastic Four!

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Finally, everyone was raving over this figure, and I knew I would need it for my Batman collection. That said, it’s not that easy to find, and I really don’t have time for a toy hunt right now. Luckily, I ended up getting an Amazon gift card for cashing in some bank rewards points, and I couldn’t think of a better way to waste it! Actually, I thought of several different ways, but it was burning a hole in my pocket. Though I probably wouldn’t buy from them directly, this ended up coming from Big Bad Toy Store via Amazon. It was cheaper than I was gonna find at retail, and when everything was said and done, I only spent $1.38 out of my pocket. So, what can I say about him? He’s a big fucking hunk of plastic! The New Plastic Smell was so full and robust that I just huffed his card bubble once I finally extracted him. I saw many colors, and I think I learned Chinese! Since I’ve never owned an MOTUC figure (the line from which the body was borrowed), I wasn’t really familiar with the different articulation. His rubber undies obstruct full movement of his hip joints. I haven’t seen an other review reference that, but that’s how mine turned out. Too bad he’s not a pegwarmer like Penguin – I’m sure a lot of customizers would love to have a field day with that MOTUC body at a lower price than the Matty Collector store charges!

Well, there ya have it. Would you like to be included in a future Mail Call Monday? Then send me some shit, fool! It’s just that simple. I’m out.

12th Apr2013

West Week Ever – 4/12/13

by Will
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Who had the West Week Ever? KEEP READING!

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We took a week off, but we’re back! Why am I saying “we”? I’m the only one here… Anyway, it’s been an interesting week online, to say the least.

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Anyone remember back when The Craft came out, and every white girl you knew decided she wanted to be a witch? This was right before her “Lesbian, For The Attention” phase. I’ve been thinking about college lately, as I’m avoiding committing to my 10 year reunion. One thing I laugh about every time I think about it is the time my friend Ted and I got two girls to kiss. Not just a peck, but full on making out. They were SUCH attention whores, and I was such a douche. Anyway, I said, and I quote, “No one will ever take this away from us!” How sad was it that I considered that to be a high point in life? Now I think about it and just laugh and laugh. At myself.

My pal Jon over at Double Dumbass On You sent me this clip last night:

I have so many issues! First off, this kid’s belly button makes me retch. I’m sorry for any of you guys with outies, but it looks like a tumor or something. I’m also really curious about the cultural distinctions in the video: only the “white bitches” (that’s not derogatory – that’s their music video rank) actually pop their booties near the kid. The black girls keep their distance, probably because he’s their cousin or something. And how hard up for meth do you have to be to perform in such a thing? Take a look at that one chick – sure, she’s poppin’ her cheeks, but it looks like no one told her she’d need waterproof mascara. And what’s with that other chick?! SHE AIN’T GOT NO BOOTY TO POP! Did she win a contest or something? Or was this community service? Was she being held hostage?

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He’s the biggest boss that was fired this week: Rick Ross lost his Reebok deal after rapping about rape. Not sure why you’d have a fat guy promoting your athletic shoe, but whatever. America. So, with this precedent, I bet we’re gonna take a whole bunch of other shit off the shelves and out of the iTunes store, right? RIGHT? Oh, this was just an isolated incident? Even though hip hop’s been saying fucked up shit forever? Oh, OK. I’d get some heat for this if I actually had a sizable black readership, but I’m constantly amazed by the shit Black America gets mad about. No, I’m not justifying rape or rape culture. I just don’t get how hip hop culture chooses its battles. I mean, how does Rick Ross even still have fans to be angry? Everybody makes fun of his weight, everyone makes fun of his titties, everyone makes fun of his dislike for wearing shirts. Hell, everyone mocked him when it came out that he was a fraud and former prison guard. There were MANY chances to get off that train, and folks stayed on. What he said was wrong, but he’s targeted because America’s on High Rape Alert in the media. Once the focus shifts over to gun control, the entire hip hop community better be scared. Oh, They don’t rap about guns and getting shot anymore? Fuck, what is hip hop about these days? Oh, right – they rap about going to Cuba.

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OK, I need some help with this one. I’m not exactly loved in the G.I. Joe circles of the internet, for whatever reason, but I need someone to clear something up for me. You see, my love of G.I. Joe came from my older cousin, Oliver. He lived in New York, and was about 6 years older than me. I eventually inherited his Joe collection once he discovered girls, but I have a very distinct memory that I can’t back up. One year, in the mid 80s (I know it was mid, as this was the ONLY time I’d ever seen Knight Rider toys at retail), his family came down to visit and we all went to Toys “R” Us. He got one of the most recent Joes, as I couldn’t wait for him to open it so that I could play with it. Here’s where it gets weird: I remember him taking something out of the pack, and pop it in his mouth. Originally, I thought it was a backpack, but it was an odd purple color at a time when G.I. Joe hadn’t journeyed too far from actual military colors. I remember going, “Ew, why did you put that in your mouth?!” and he told me that it was candy and began to chomp away. Now, since then, I have noticed many different G.I. Joe pack-ins, from body transfers to standard mail-in pamphlets, but I’ve found no reference of a candy promo. I always thought it was a Bonkers chew, but I can’t any proof of such a pack-in. So, was he just fucking with me OR was there actually a candy pack-in for G.I. Joes back in the 80s? Help me, Internet!

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While I’m help from the Internet, I’ve got another question: do any of you have music in your iTunes that you’ve never heard? Here’s my dilemma: I am a music HOARDER. I’ve forgotten all the stuff I have, but I feel like I have to give everything a “once through” before it gets synced to my iPod. That way, I can weed out tracks I don’t like and save some space. At least, that was the original intent, when I still had a 30 GB iPod. About a year and a half ago, my wife got me the 160 GB iPod where space isn’t an issue. But I’ve never taken it out of the box. Why? Well, I got a new computer during that time, and all my music is scattered across multiple external hard drives. Every time I have an extended break, my plan is to finally get everything on the new iPod, but it never happens. A bigger problem is that my music comes from the back alleys of the internet, so I have to clean up tags and album art; it’s the OCD in me. So, I’ve probably got as many gigs of music I’ve never heard as I have of music that’s already been vetted. So, do I suck it up, throw everything on the iPod and discover the songs that way, or do I continue on my “preview” path, which just prolongs my getting the iPod set up? Anyone else deal with this? Thoughts?

My posts this week have been all over the place, so we can’t go with the usual list format. First off, I threw together the rare Sunday post in order to submit my uber popular submission for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers’ weekly topic. Then, I felt guilty for missing last week’s West Week Ever, so I pseudo made up for it on Monday with The Week That Wasn’t. Then, I brought back Thrift Justice Road Trip to talk about the antique mall that I explored with @LamarRevenger. Finally, I was welcomed to pen a guest post over at The Cold Slither Podcast’s site to commemorate the start of the Masters Golf Tournament. So, be sure to check out all of those links!

Speaking of Lamar, I’d like to congratulate him for his winning prediction in the Cold Slither Podcast’s Slither Madness Tournament! It couldn’t have happened to a greater dude, and he’ll be receiving something from Will’s World of Wonder. Be sure to check out the site yourself, as I’m sure I’ve got something you’d love to add to your collection! Why catch waves or fill yourself with rage when I’ve done the legwork for you?

One set race relations back to House of Buggin’ levels, while one set off the boners of fanboys everywhere. One punked everyone with a tweet, while the other is the world’s most famous Kim Jong-Il impersonator. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever!

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Sorry, America, but it’s my site. I could’ve gone with LL and Brad, but they released a newer song by week’s end. I couldn’t give a shit about Carrie Kelley, and I REALLY don’t care about Morris Chestnut. So, that leaves us with Psy. This week, he released “Gentleman”, which everyone expects to replace Gangnam Style. It won’t, but people can still dream. Apparently, there’s a dance with it, but the video isn’t out yet. Anyway, it’s got a good beat, and the man shouts “Westside!” More appropriately, he correctly shouts it as “West SaYEED!” Get this man a Green Card! You can listen below, but for this, Psy had the West Week Ever

UPDATE: The video has arrived! If only I’d waited 24 hours…

07th Apr2013

LOEB Presents Trader Will’s Deal-O-Rama!

by Will

LoEB

So, here we are. If you listened to my most recent appearance on the UnderScoopFire! podcast, then you heard my discussion about the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Basically, I said that it didn’t do much for me. Don’t get me wrong – it has strengthened relationships I already had, but some of you new cats won’t give me a second glance. Maybe you don’t get my humor, or maybe I’m too “blue” for you, but that’s how I see things. I’ve visited and left comments on your sites, and you’ve never darkened my door with a plate of cookies and a “Welcome to the neighborhood.” So, I guess I’ll just have to buy your friendship.

This week’s League topic is Trading Post, where different members are offering up things they’re willing to trade. Of course this was right up my alley, and here’s some trade fodder that immediately came to mind:

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If you’re a Hot Wheels enthusiast, then you’ll recognize these are the highly coveted Pop Culture series. They have real rubber wheels!

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If you’re into RPGs, then I’ve got this brand new, hardcover Warcraft Manual of Monsters.

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If you’re a Motown fan, I’ve got this unopened 4-disc set of Motown classics!

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For the goth kids out there, I’ve got this 3-book Lenore set, each SIGNED by creator Roman Dirge!

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!

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If you’re not familiar with me, I run a little collectibles site called Will’s World of Wonder. It’s got new and used toys, comics, what have you. Anyway, ANYTHING on there is fair game. ANYTHING.

So, what do I want? Nothing, really. What I mean is that I’m never looking for anything in particular. I just know when I like what I see. So, impress me. Welcome me into this community with your best wares, and let’s make a deal.

NOTE: This deal is only available to LOEB members who participate in this week’s topic.

Here are some other Leaguers offering cool stuff:

Team Hellions – Trading Post

ShezCrafti – For Trade/Sale: My Catwoman Comics

Cool & Collected: Come Visit The Ol’ Cool and Collected Trading Post

15th Mar2013

LOEB Presents West Week Ever RED – 3/15/13

by Will
Who had the West Week Ever? Keep reading!

Who had the West Week Ever? Keep reading!

This has been a week! First, the elephant I shoved into the room late Wednesday night on Twitter: I did undergo a “procedure” yesterday, but everything seems to be OK for now. I can’t say much about it, but I assure you that I’m still fat and my penis is the same size it was when the week began. I can say, however, that I was really touched by the outpouring of tweets I got. It means a lot to me that a group of “strangers” can basically become a digital family. Thanks to @OAFE @T16Skyhopp @MeisterShake @JohnDoctorKent @timdogg98
@avenuesalamode @exveebraun @MattGuzy @monsterfink @RavingToyManiac @LamarRevenger @teamhellions @thebrandi @classickmateria @Brock626 @howardthedeck @chapmanrunner and @ponderiss for their concern 🙂

I also wanna thank @sharepointjoe @smurfwreck and @T16skyhopp for the awesome packages they sent me. I’m building a Kre-O army!

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I’m gonna try something different here. I’m not even sure of it’s allowed, but we’ll see. I haven’t been as involved in posting for The League of Extraordinary Bloggers as I should be, and the weeks sometimes speed by. Since I’m contractually obligated to do a West Week Ever each Friday (my sponsors at Will’s World of Wonder can be a bunch of dickholes sometimes), the only way I can do this week’s LOEB post is to fit it in here. So, this week’s topic is a photo challenge called “I see RED”. I thought about doing a huge shot of all my Red Rangers (ya know, to pander to the demo that drives the most traffic to this site), but I really don’t feel like digging all those out. Then, it dawned on me. I could use this:

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You may remember this shot from earlier this week on Twitter/Instagram. Check them out if you wanna see my hilarious yet racially insensitive caption. Don’t worry – there’s a story here. Ya see, I went to college with the Arizona Iced Tea heiress. For realsies, she exists! And she had the biggest rack I’d ever seen. So big that I dubbed her “racktacular”. My buddy used to date her, and somehow felt the need to tell her of her new moniker. Instead of getting mad, she jokingly wore it as a badge of honor…until her later reduction. A moment of silence for those magnificent titties. I always think of her when I see any beverage from Arizona.

Anyway, I was thirsty and didn’t feel like soda since it was 8 in the morning. So, my inner Spirit Negro said, “Watuhmelon?! Lah-dee-dah!”, and I tapdanced my way over to the counter. I’d never had it before, so what did I think? It smelled like Fruit Rollups, which is ALWAYS a plus. I’m not sure of the taste, though. I tend to hate synthetic watermelon, but this wasn’t bad. Know what it tastes like? Stay with me here, as I’m about to lose a few of you. It tastes the way a female rapper would describe the taste of her vagina. You know, they’re always comparing it to something good like Pop Tarts or Pepsi, but you know the real deal. Yeah, like that.

Here are some other Leaguer posts on the topic:
21 Red-iculous, Random Things About Me – ShezCrafti
I’m Seeing Red (You Big Dummy) – Flashlights Are Something To Eat
I’m Seeing Red – Cool & Collected
Welp, if that was the first time any new Leaguer has stopped by, thanks for playing our game and I understand if you’d like to leave now. For the rest of you, we’ve still got work to do.

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I used to dream about working for Wizard Magazine, but I guess it wasn’t in the cards. Not that I really tried. I made it to Diamond, but had friends who’d applied to Wizard. Basically, you were lucky to make $20K, while living in Congers, NY (where the median income was about $75K). Looking back, this isn’t so odd when you think of it in terms of “start-up culture”: to get an idea off the ground, folks tend to work long hours for little-to-no paycheck. The thing with Wizard, though, is that even once it “made it”, it doesn’t seem like life got better for the employee. That’s all from an HR/contractual side, though. In practice, it seems like the bunker mentality forged a lot of great friendships, and seeded the comic industry with the PR power players that it has today. Anyway, with all this in mind, I really enjoyed this Where Are They Now? article about a few Wizard staffers.

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This may come as a surprise to some, but I’ve spent next to no time on TV Tropes. It’s a timesink, and it just seems too…easy. I mean, why read these things when you could just watch them and identify them yourself? Still, they put names on phenomena that otherwise didn’t have titles; I’ll give them that. So, I think I’ve boiled down the essence of the typical 80s/90s sitcomto 13 episodes. Think of it like the British TV model – even if it gets canceled after one season, it has accomplished its mission. Anyway, here’s how it would be mapped out:

01. Pilot Episode Where Illogical Conceit For Series Is Introduced

02. Episode Packed With Character Development

03. Episode Featuring Pillow Fight OR Argument Steeped In Sexual Tension

04. Episode With Appearance By Then-Contemporary Pop Star

05. Very Special Kidnapping Episode

06. The UFO Episode

07. Lie Told When Parent Comes To Town Episode

08. Episode Where Someone Ends Up On A Ledge

09. Episode Where Someone Gets Amnesia

10. Locked In Freezer Clip Show

11. Backdoor Pilot for Spinoff That Will Only Last A Fraction As Long As This Show’s Run

12. Episode Where Fan Favorite Supporting Character Leaves Show

13. Finale Where Final Scene Cleverly References Opening Scene In Pilot

I should do a Kickstarter, where I’d probably burn it off all at once on Netflix, cast Lena Dunham in it, and sit back to collect my accolades.

Links I Loved
Children Around the World Show Their Most Prized Possessions – The Robot’s Pajamas

Retcon – Hooray For the Bad Guy

“The Living Unicorn”.. when Ringling Bros. lied to me. – The Cold Slither Podcast

Have you cast your votes for Slither Madness yet?

This Week’s Posts
“I Wanna Xup, Baby” AKA Anyone Else Remember Xuxa?

This Week’s eBay Auctions

One put on his suit & tie to dust off SNL, while the other was ushered in with white smoke. One danced all over the Pandora’s Box of crowdsourcing, while another felt his heart go “pop!” Only one, however, could have the West Week Ever.

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Earlier this week, I was cleaning off the DVR and noticed I’d recorded Music and Lyrics. In my mind, I think I’d assumed it was American Dreamz (a lesser Hugh Grant vehicle spoofing reality shows), so I was never in a rush to watch it. Boy, was I wrong! To boil it down, Hugh Grant basically plays The Other Guy from Wham! who gets a second chance at his career when Not-Ke$ha asks him to write a song for her new album. He can’t nail down the lyrics until his neurotic plant waterer turns out to have a gift for words. Collaboration and romance ensue, yadda yadda yadda. I liked the movie because it kinda swatted away some of the romantic comedy tropes. I was left with a lot of questions that probably would’ve been poorly answered in a Nora Ephron film. I’ve always loved Hugh Grant, even if he does always play the same character. As the cool kids say, he “could get the D”. Well, on second thought, let’s strike that from the record. My rep is bad enough as it is. Anyway, his West Week Ever status was solidified the moment the movie started with this video:

I’m a big fan of parody done with heart. This video is PERFECT. From the actual song, to Hugh’s directional nod at the lyric “Let’s go”. The last time I’d seen something this reverential of 80s pop was the first Robin Sparkles video, and then it was all downhill after they repeated it without instilling any heart to the endeavor. Sure, the other people in the running may have had more real time success this week, but most of that involved stuff that made me mad. This video clip, however, brought me nothing but sheer joy all week. And since it’s my site, and I discovered it only this week, that’s why Hugh Grant had the West Week Ever.

07th Feb2013

LOEB Presents: Collectibles of Tomorrow

by Will

LoEB

I haven’t done such a great job keeping up with my League of Extraordinary Bloggers “dues”. I guess I didn’t really have an opinion on recent topics (I HATE pirates!). When Brian came up with this week’s topic, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to throw something together. Plainly put, Brian asked us what we thought would be considered “collectibles” in the years to come. From the posts I’ve read, most people had some thought out, logical answers to the question. I’m going to take another route. Toys and video games are fun, but I’m always more intrigued by the things that catch on when they have no right to be sought after as collectibles. After all, a lot of what we consume is sold to us on the premise that it’s unique or “worth” something. I’m more impressed by the phenomena that catch us by surprise. Pokemon? That wasn’t a surprise because collectability is built into its business model. I was, however, surprised by Pogs. For anyone not around in the mid 90s, Pogs were collectable, circular cardboard discs, and the game was played by flinging heavier discs called “slammers” at the main discs. It’s essentially a Biblical stoning, with cardboard discs standing in for people. The game is thought to have originated in Hawaii at the beginning of the 20th century, and the original discs were those little caps that cover milk and juice (ya know, under the plastic top). This was essentially a game for poor kids and savages! I kid, I kid…At some point in the 90s, some marketing executive said, “You know what would be totally rad? If we put cool pics on these little milkcaps, and sell ’em like baseball cards! That’s a market that’s NEVER gonna die! Tubular!” Thus, the Pog Boom began. They were kids meal premiums, there were porn pogs, and you could make your own. Meanwhile, slammers were made from anything from plastic to friggin’ iron (confession: I once spent about $20 on a slammer. What? It had a hologram on it and weighed 3 lbs!). So, where am I going with this? I think the next collectible is right under our noses, possibly on top of our dinner: Pizza Box Tents.

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Pic courtesy of pizzahh.com

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of pizza box tents. That’s why I’m here – to educate you. You’ve seen them before, but probably never knew their name. Most people call them “the little pizza table” or something like that. After all, they make pretty good tables for when your G.I. Joes are having a cookout. Well, if you have seen them, then you realize what they’re for: keeping the box lid from being crushed down into the cheese and toppings of the pizza. It’s like rudimentary scaffolding. Still, it serves a purpose (just like the original milk caps), but also has a lot of “real estate” for marketing. Just look at the tops of those things. It’s basically a smooth surface, just begging to be adorned by Power Rangers and Spongebob Squarepants!

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Artist’s Dramatization. These are paid pizza protectors.

 

In order to give these things a “purpose”, I guess there’ll need to be a play component. Here’s how the game works: It’s mainly a stacking game. Ultimately, you’re trying to build the tallest tower. In the place of a slammer, you would use the cheaper version of the box tent, without the flat surface, as support beams.

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These were the box tents who were picked last for sports. Guess they have the last laugh!

OK, so we’re still working out the rules. It’s not like anyone’s actually gonna play the game. Hell, the only reason people played Pogs was that broadband internet wasn’t widespread at the time. The hobby will be built on the back of merchandising. To further the whole pizza theme, there will be carrying cases shaped like tubes of pizza dough. Oh, and did I mention what these little things would be called? ZABLES! Let it sink it. Sounds kinda space age, but it’s got two syllables and rolls off the tongue. “Hi, do you all carry Zables?” will be the most asked question during the Christmas season of 2017!

I know what you’re thinking: “That’s pretty farfetched, Will!” Well, plastic’s getting more expensive and toys are getting smaller. One of the smartest moves a toy company could make would be to restrict itself to a 2″ product that already exists in another industry. They wouldn’t even have to foot manufacturing costs! Hell, I’m about to create a Kickstarter to do this damn thing myself! I don’t suppose you wanna go into business with me, do ya? OK, well, I’ll leave this prospectus here, and just think it over, will ya?

Before I go, I want to leave you with this Pog-centric exchange that occurred a year ago. That’s right – I sit on ideas THAT long! Anyway, last February, I saw this on Craigslist:

POGS (reston)


Date: 2012-02-02, 11:26PM EST
Reply to:  [Errors when replying to ads?]


 

i’ve got a gallon ziploc filled about half way with pogs, slammers, a pog board, pretty much everything you need to get started. at least one tube maybe two for storage or travel. i will take just about any offer, ever since the accident i haven’t been able to pog anymore…. this isn’t code for drugs or anything…it’s really pogs… from the 90’s…POOOOGS.. i don’t want them…

  • Location: reston
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interest

I think I was hopped up on cold medicine or something (I was pretty sick 1st quarter 2012. I remember it like it was a year ago), so I just had to reply to him with the following:

Hi,

I saw your ad on craigslist, and, I hope you won’t take this the wrong way, but I MUST know your story. As a former POGger myself, I spent countless hours playing the game back in the day. It’s just that you mentioned an accident, and then promised that the ad wasn’t a cover for selling drugs. Naturally, my mind began to wander. What accident precludes one from the joy of POGs? Did you ever experience a classified ad for POGs that WAS a front for drugs? Like I said, SO many questions. In any case, thanks for your time. I don’t mean to offend or anything. I just feel like you’ve probably got a pretty interesting story to tell, and I just had to ask.
Thanks!
Will West

 

He actually replied with this:
comical sales pitch…i now feel guilty about the real injured, drug dealing, ex-poggers…oh the huge manitee!
A month later, I saw this:

POGS – $1000000 (nova)


Date: 2012-03-03, 11:12AM EST
Reply to: xxxxxxxx@sale.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]


 

i’ve got a gallon ziploc filled about half way with pogs, slammers, a pog board, pretty much everything you need to get started. at least one tube, maybe two, for storage or travel. i will take just about any offer. ever since the accident i haven’t been able to pog anymore…. this isn’t code for drugs or anything…it’s really pogs… from the 90’s…POOOOGS.. i don’t want them…1,000,000.00 or whatever… fresh megamillions tickets… i will accept just about anything…except pogs

  • Location: nova
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

 

I don’t know if he ever got rid of those Pogs. I just know I’ll never forget what we had.

For a look at other LOEB Collectibles, check out Cool And Collected & Fortune & Glory (Days)

12th Oct2012

LoEB Presents The State of the Site Address

by Will

It’s funny that this week’s topic for The League is a “state of the site” address. You see, about a month ago, I posted a total emo rant over on Tumblr during a bout where I wasn’t feeling so great. If you’re interested, it’s here, but it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. I think my problem is that I’m constantly trying to figure out that one thing that’ll put me over the top. I’m a funny dude, I’ve got a cool name, and I like the same stuff that you do. So, why do I not have disciples?! My blogging role models wouldn’t surprise you: X-Entertainment/Dinosaur Dracula was my first geek blog reader experience, and I admire the empire that Rob Bricken has built over at Topless Robot. At the end of the day, I want what they have. I want to be the defining opinion on nerd culture. I want to be a frequent guest on podcasts. I want to be able to throw up a Kickstarter and meet my goal in a matter of hours. I WANT POWER!!!! I’ve been striving to find my niche, like the period of time I decided I wanted to be America’s Top Blerd. Then, I stumbled upon Black Nerd hanging out with actual nerd-lebrities, and realized he’d already claimed the title.

Honestly, I think it’s a bit different than that. I mean, power sounds fun and all, but one thing that people don’t realize is that I live on the internet. Recently, I’ve come to realize that I have Aspie tendencies, and I don’t like reality too much. My IRL friends call me and I avoid the phone, for reasons I can’t really explain. Over the past couple of years, some of my most meaningful friendships have been online. For some, Twitter and Instagram and the like are just pastimes, but I honestly consider you people friends. When you disappear for a period of time, I worry. When you get married or have a kid, I celebrate. Sure, I’ve never met any of you, but that doesn’t matter. So, the blog is a bit of an extension of that. I’m sharing myself with you, so I like to know that it’s at least being accepted. Comments, retweets, blogroll addition – all of these make my day. Sure, that sounds sad to some, but that’s really where I’ve found myself lately. There’s always the whole “we can agree to disagree” thing, but if you reject my site, you’re rejecting me. I put more of myself into it than expressing myself in everyday life.

There’s a guy on Twitter. Most of you know him. Hell, he’s probably the coolest guy to you. He likes to tweet his thoughts, which range from “random” to running commentary. Recently, he thought it was deplorable that people would no longer care about your opinion if you unfollowed them. This hit close to home to me because he had unfollowed me, and his opinion had pretty much faltered in my eyes. Sure, Twitter doesn’t have to work both ways, but it should. Every now and then, you might accidentally follow the wrong person, and then have to come up with a digital equivalent of “it’s not you, it’s me” to get out of it, but I can see that line of reasoning. If my words no longer matter to you/annoy you, then why should I put up with your words? We’re no longer having an exchange, so what’s the point?

All of this probably sounds like rambling, but this is what I think about when I think of the site: What is my reach? Have I done anything that has gained traction? Does this feel like it did when I started back in 2003? What do I get out of this process? Over the past year, a few things have stood out to me. I think I’ve settled into 4 basic themes/features that seem to work:

Thrift Justice/Thrift Justice:YSE – The place where I showcase things I find at thrift stores and yard sales. This has been more successful than I could’ve imagined. I’m far from the only one doing this stuff (Flea Market Finds over at Toy World Order, Goodwill Hunting for Geeks), but I certainly struck at the right time. With shows like Collection Intervention and Toy Hunter, it’s a good time to be in the “buried treasure” game. I could honestly write these forever, based solely on the amount of stuff I’ve already found. I could never set foot in another thrift store, and still keep that feature going for another 2 years.

Comical Thoughts – I’m hesitant to make this a “feature”, per se, but it serves as a nice umbrella under which to discuss comics. I’m not as comic-focused as in the past, as the thrift stuff has taken over my life. Still, I’ve been able to have some good, focused discussions on events in the comic industry.

Adventures West Coast – This one is harder to do than it seems. Ya see, I got laid off a couple of years ago and found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a lot of unread graphic novels on my shelves. So, AWC was where I’d review all the graphic novels I read during that stint of “funemployment”. The problem is that I was reading more than I was writing. Once I started working again, if I read a graphic novel, I just folded it into the stack read during the unemployment. THEN, I got laid off again. Rinse and repeat. Long story short, I now have an IKEA Billy bookcase filled with books I’ve read but haven’t reviewed. Many of those books were terrible, while others weren’t memorable. I have a Gotham villain-like tic, where I swore that I HAD to review it if I read it, even when there wasn’t much to say about certain books. I’m currently trying to figure out where to take that concept.

Best of the West – I’m a collector. This comes as no surprise. This segment is where I showcase the absolute BEST of my collection. The holy grails, the white whales, the black Republicans – ya know, rare stuff. So, these shouldn’t be too frequent, but shouldn’t disappear altogether. I’m trying to figure out a logical schedule for those.

Upcoming Ideas

Track Star – I’ve really lost my grasp on bubblegum pop. Music has always been important to me, but it hasn’t been a big focus of the blog in recent years. The problem is that it’s hard to find people who actually want to read about “bad” music. Everyone wants to be ahead of the curve, blogging about The Next Big Thing, but I actually like to focus on gems that fell through the cracks. I dwell in the world of “guilty pleasure” music, like boybands, UK pop groups, and the like. My last attempt was Westlife Wednesday over on Tumblr, but I’d be lying if I said I’d ever figured out how to get Tumblr to work for me. I think I’ve come up with a great angle for this, but I’m waiting on the graphics department before I unveil it.

Book Retort – Contrary to popular belief, I do read “real” books. I don’t, however have an outlet to discuss those. Since I get my fiction from comics, I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction and biographies. Lately, I’ve been on an “autobiographies by comedians” kick, so a lot of Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, and Chelsea Handler. I need to find a way to sneak this into the rotation somewhere.

Real Life – yeah, this isn’t really a “feature”, but I don’t talk about my life much anymore. Despite the narcissistic nature of using all my name for all my screennames, I’m still a somewhat private person. Still, this flies in the face of the former nature of this site, as I jokingly say that it used  to read like a Livejournal. Then, I revamped the site, deleted about 100 posts to retcon certain people/events, and then threw myself into geekdom. I know that my wife (wow, that’s the first time I’ve typed that), Lindsay, would like to be mentioned more so I need to find a happy medium of “how much do you need/want to know about me outside of geek stuffs?” I think this will happen organically, but it’s still on my mind.

Visuals – I wish I knew graphic design, or at least had a designer in my pocket. I need a header, I need logos, and few people are willing to work for free. I really need to figure out what to do there. I’ve got ideas, but no way to bring them to fruition. I am, however, happy with the general layout of the site for the first time. I’d like to take that to another level.

Don’t let the introspection fool you, though – It’s been a good year online.

-Guested on the General Geekery, Nerd Lunch, Super Hero Time, and PowetCast podcasts.

-Launched my e-store, Will’s World of Wonder

-Finally compiled my Black History Month calendar

-Made lots of new friends

So, thanks for reading, and here’s to another year of this mess. 2013 marks my 10th year of blogging, so it should be pretty exciting. Until next time, check out these other great blogs to see what they’ve been up to recently:

http://shezcrafti.com/shezcrafti-then-now-the-state-of-the-site/

http://goodwillhunting4geeks.blogspot.com/2012/10/day-24-state-of-site.html

http://that-figures.blogspot.com/2012/10/feature-loeb-state-of-site.html

14th Sep2012

LoEB Presents Thrift Justice: The Series!

by Will

My name’s Will, and I wish to be an extraordinary blogger. My pal Brian over at Coolandcollected.com came up with idea for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers a few months ago, and it has really taken off. Essentially, he lists a topic every week, and the members of the league run with it. I’ve never contributed, but I’ve lurked since the beginning, learning about a lot of great bloggers along the way. I’m not always the best team player, but when Brian suggested that we all present our ideas for a reality show starring ourselves, I had to jump on. I’m a bit narcissistic (williambrucewest.com, anyone), but not in the bad way. It’s not that I think highly of myself, but it’s that I’m always VERY self-aware. With that in mind, it’s not hard to spin that into how I would look in a reality show about myself.

So, recently I’ve been having discussions about the “reality” of reality shows in the comment sections of certain sites. To boil it down, folks are insisting that shows like Toy Hunter and Collection Intervention are staged, and that we’re fools for believing they’re not. I get this line of reasoning, but is it wrong to wish that they were real? I mean, there was a time, before the genre took hold, when what you saw was really something that had happened. No one looks back and says that Cops was fake. Was that not a reality show? Anyway, this got me to thinking about what my reality show would be about. They say that you should stick with what you know, but I decided to give it a TV twist. I give you Thrift Justice: The Series!

Archival set photo from unaired pilot

Here’s how Thrift Justice: The Series is structured. The premise is that I’m a lawman who hits thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets when he’s not hitting perps. Am I actually in law enforcement? No. Here’s what I’d do: I’d get in one of those programs where I’d become a sheriff’s deputy, but really only have to be on duty one weekend every six months. Remember how Shaq did that? Most of the time would be spent thrifting, but I’d still probably always have my taser and my Oakleys on me. The title has “The Series” appended on it to show that it’s a natural extension of the Thrift Justice segments that I already do on this site. Basically, I’d be creating cross-platform synergy, where the site feeds the show, and vice versa.

My cast of characters would include my common law wife Robyn, my thrifting pal “Special Forces” (not pictured, for his protection), and my mom, “Bruce” – who actually got me into the world of secondhand stuff, but now thinks I’m in too deep. Each episode would start with me coming off a bust (by framing it this way, it makes it look like I’m constantly bringing criminals to justice, though you’d rarely need to see them), and I’d stop by a thrift store or yard sale on the way home.

On location shot

I’d stick to my normal haunts, but sometimes there would coincidentally be a suspected criminal at these venues. I’d stumble upon something like a vintage Transformers Metroplex, and begin to educate the audience.

“Metroplex is one of the most sought-after Generation 1 Transformers. It’s rare to find him in such good condition. There’s even fan speculation that he was originally meant to be Optimus Prime’s father. (It’s good to throw in something false/outright lie to A: cause the fans to question my experience and B: it’ll fire up the message boards).

Watch the guy in the cowboy hat!

During my little soliloquy, out of the corner of my eye, I’d see someone notice me and they’d run. Innocent people don’t run. I’d have to run after him, catch him, AND hope that Metroplex is still on the shelf when I get back. Once the justice has been dished out, I’d return to my exposition:

“Manuel Garcia was wanted in 2 states for armed robbery. Based on the condition I left him in, he won’t be holding a gun for a long time. Anyway, I’m picking up this Metroplex for $5, but he easily goes for around $50 on the secondary market (note how I didn’t check anything to verify this price, plus I’m already suspect due to that incorrect nugget about him being Optimus’s father). That’s ten times my original investment, and I’ll take that kinda action any day of the week.”

My show would air on Spike or TruTV, as it would really appeal to the demographic that loves Bar Rescue and Lizard Lick Towing. In my mind, Thrift Justice will be Dog The Bounty Hunter meets American Pickers. I’d be followed on the schedule by Pegwarmers, starring my Twitter friend @Th0r4z1n3, a toy collector who runs a gentleman’s club. That’s actually a true story; follow him if you don’t already! The lineup would also include the following shows by fellow “extraordinary bloggers”:

What’s In The Box?: originally an adult program in the UK, the American version will be decidedly different.
Penny Hunter: during sweeps, they plan to have guest appearances by Kaley Cuoco, Cree Summer, AND Janet Jackson!
Mike’s Bunch of Crap: The #1 show amongst Yankees fandom!