01st Nov2013

West Week Ever – 11/1/13

by Will

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Happy Half Price Candy Day!

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Last weekend, the wife and I went to a Halloween party where one of us put a lot of thought into their costume, while the other simply wore stuff he already owned. Everybody wins! Anyway, Lindsay almost won the costume contest for hers, so there’s that.

I found this hilarious because I would react the exact same way as Andy:

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To follow up on last week’s post, I did get LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, but I haven’t played it yet. I ended up getting it from Toys “R” Us, ’cause you just can’t shake a stick at free $15! At first, the card wasn’t working, so they were about to just give me $15 off the game. I, however, preferred having the card to spend at a later date, so they ended up putting the $15 on a gift card.

So, my daily traffic for the past few months has been sustained by a post that I wrote called “Reboot That Bitch: The Fall Guy”, in which I cast an imaginary reboot of the cult TV show. I never really understood why the post got so much activity until I Googled “The Fall Guy Reboot” and found that I’m one of the top results for that. What was even more surprising is that The Rock is actually slated to star in a cinematic version of the franchise, which was announced last month at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here’s an MTV UK story about the whole thing. Look at me, predicting the future! I think The Rock is a horrible choice, though…

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So, the X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer hit this week. I’ve gotta say that I’m tired of dark comic movies AND Bryan Singer. These movies require so much from the viewer that they’re exhausting. Also, it’s really hard to “believe a man can fly” when you see it every 3 months. The magic is gone in terms of WOW Factor. Will I see it? Probably. I mean, I still haven’t seen Man of Steel or The Wolverine, so it’s not like I’m a complete hypocrite. I just want something light and fluffy. Sure, that’s not worth the $150M budget, but I’d love to see a movie about Superman rescuing cats and shooting rainbows from his fingers – a real Silver Age Superman movie. Instead, it seems like grim and gritty rules the cinema, and I’m just too tired of it to care anymore.

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CBS announced plans for How I Met Your Father, which is exactly what you think it is. I don’t see this project getting off the ground, as they have already severely tested the patience of their audience for 9 years. Nobody’s got it in them to go on this ride again. I think it’d be a cute episode arc if this season weren’t consumed with the wedding weekend. I mean, I’d love a Roshomon tale of what the Mother was doing in between the adventures of the series regulars, but that does not a full series make.

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Anyone remember Movie 43? I had completely forgotten about it until it popped up as a Netflix suggestion. I had nothing to do, so why not? The trailer made it look horrible, and I was convinced that everyone involved had been blackmailed into it. I mean, we’re talking Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, and more. Why would they agree to be in Kentucky Fried Movie 2000 unless it was under duress, right? Well, I was surprised to find that it really wasn’t that bad. Yeah, I’m surprised I’m typing that, too. Like all anthologies, some entries are stronger than others, but the stronger ones are pretty strong. Hands down, the best skit was the Schreiber/Watts vignette about homeschooling. I won’t spoil it here, but the movie’s worth watching just for that alone.

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Once I finished Movie 43, I got an odd recommendation for a movie called A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy. I was gonna skip it until I looked at the cast: Jason Sudeikis, Nick Kroll, Tyler Labine, Will Forte, Lake Bell, Leslie Bibb, Lindsay Sloane and more. They had me at Sudeikis. Basically, Sudeikis and his circle of friends from high school throw these huge ragers at Sudeikis’s dad’s house in the Hamptons. When dad decides to sell the house, Sudeikis plans one final blow-out for the house – an orgy with the group of friends. It’s the kind of movie Vince Vaughn would’ve made 10 years ago, and Sudeikis is a great leading man. I’m not sure why this never hit theaters, as it was certainly good enough. I guess theater owners would’ve been scared off by “orgy” in the title, the same way they had to shorten it to Zack & Miri, removing the Make A Porno for marketing purposes. I don’t wanna spoil any of it, ’cause I really loved the whole thing, so I highly recommend it if you’re looking to kill 90 minutes.

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Finally, I watched Young Adult (can you tell I have problems sleeping lately?), starring Charlize Theron. I’m not sure what I thought this movie would be, but I remembered wanting to see it when the commercials were out. Written by Diablo Cody, Theron stars as an alcoholic children’s book author who returns home to try to win back her married ex-boyfriend. That’s pretty much all you need to know. While it’s probably best described as a “dramedy”, it has moments that are downright cringe-inducing in the level of discomfort they generate. I will say, however, that it’s the first time I’ve liked Patton Oswalt in a long time. Still, I don’t really recommend it unless you’re a hardcore Theron or Oswalt fan.

Links I Loved

Why S.H.I.E.L.D. Is This Season’s Biggest Disappointment – TV Guide

Justin Timberlake Tells Jessica Biel No One Will Believe Her – The Onion

21 Lazy (and Fake) Spinoff Concepts that are No Worse than ‘How I Met Your Father’ – UnderScoopFire!

Washington Redhawks – Brand Proposal – Behance

Michelle Obama Responds to Kanye West’s Recent Comments – Grantland

One’s a video game, while the other’s got a whole lotta game. One is something that’ll never see the light of day, while the other just became official. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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I wrote about this a few weeks ago, so I hope you contributed to the Kickstarter. In any case, a couple of my pals, including Brian at Cool and Collected, Cody at Crooked Ninja, and Howie at UnderScoopFire! are behind the creation of Cool and Collected Magazine, which hopes to fill the void left by the late ToyFare Magazine. The gang needed $6,000 in order for the first issue to go to print, and that goal was reached yesterday – with another week to spare! It’s not too late to chip in, as all additional monies will help their case for future issues. From what I’ve seen, the magazine looks like it’s gonna be great, but it couldn’t have come to fruition without the crowd-sourced support of the internet community. So, for that, Cool and Collected Magazine had the West Week Ever.

On Twitter yesterday, I teased that this might be the FINAL West Week Ever. That was a lie. I just wanted attention on the fact that next week will mark the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of West Week Ever! So, there might be some tweaks and changes, but it’s not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see ya next week!

24th Oct2013

West Week Ever – 10/25/13 – Trekkies CAN Be Warsies!

by Will

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This is a special West Week Ever this week, as I decided to tackle one of my pop culture blind spots: the original Star Wars trilogy. I can’t remember if I’ve ever actually seen them before, as I have no real lasting memory of them. So, I’m taking the “born again virgin” approach: I’m saying it didn’t happen, and just acting as if that’s true. I’ve had a bit of free time on my hands lately, so yesterday I watched the whole trilogy in one sitting. Now, before we get to that, I’ve always had a bit of a “hate/hate” relationship with the Star Wars franchise. First, I hated it because I was a Trekkie (well, more of a Trekker, based on more recent definitions), and I grew up believing that Trekkies couldn’t be Warsies. You had to choose your camp, and stick with it. Next, I had no real desire to get to know the Star Wars franchise, as it seemed so daunting. Sure, there were only 3 movies (6 now), but there’s also the Expanded Universe, the comics, the video games, etc. It just seemed like I had missed the boat. Still, you can’t dabble in pop culture without coming into contact with Star Wars references. At this point, I know all the major players, all the quotes (without context), and the general gist of the franchise. Still, I needed to bite the bullet and finally sit down and watch the movies, even if just to know what I’m looking at on toy shelves. So, what did I think? Well, here are my thoughts as I was sitting through my Warsathon:

A New Hope

Rebel security is just a bunch of retirees in penis helmets

How do they take Vader seriously? I mean, look at him!

R2 is clearly not built for this Tatooine’s  terrain

That bugfaced droid looks cool, but that other one is clearly a cafeteria trashcan

Luke’s whiny line about picking up power converters makes him come off as such a douche. Great first impression.

Ha! The “help me obi wan” line

How come Aunt Beru is still dressed like a 70s housewife?

The score really is amazing.

That’s right, Luke. Just play with the sword made of lasers like it’s nothing

They’re burning the Jawas’ bodies? That’s kinda cold

Kinda fucked up that Luke didn’t defend the droids at Mos Eisley. “We don’t serve their kind!” “Sorry, guys. wait outside.”

Are there no women on the Imperial side? Even though stormtrooper suits have those little titty wells on the chest?

Leia wields a blaster like she’s never held one before. Which is probably the most accurate way to play that scene

I knew all the quotes. I just didn’t know the context

They really don’t mourn their dead in this universe

You knew Biggs wasn’t making it back when he wouldnt listen to Luke’s stories

Obi Wan suffered something of an anticlimactic death, huh?

Empire Strikes Back

Yeti!!!

This franchise would be a lot funnier if John Ritter had been Han Solo. They even had the same hair.

R2 and 3PO – best friends, like Bert and Ernie? Or lovers, like Bert and Ernie?

Lando’s perm should’ve been enough to let everyone know he was gonna turn on ’em

Did the lightsaber instantly cauterize the wound?

Kind of a non-ending, huh?

Return of the Jedi

Nappy Chewie!

There are way too many creatures in this movie

Defrosted Han looks like Jerry O’Connell

I know he was in that car accident and all, but Hamill’s Luke is starting to look like Miss Jane Hathaway from the Beverly Hillbillies.

How come all the blacks seem to work for Jabba?

Boba Fett went out like a bitch. I’ll never understand why you people love him so much. He died in such a slapstick manner that would squander any cool points he may have amassed up to that point

All the women in the galaxy, and Luke immediately knows Leia is his sister? Oh yeah, “The Force”…

Ewoks!

I wanted Leia to say, “But I KISSED You!”

I kinda miss bratty Luke. Now he sounds too much like Jesus, with all this “Father, don’t let me die” stuff.

“It’s a trap!”

Black X-Wing pilot!!!

Ewoks care more about their dead than any human does in this entire trilogy

Those Skywalkers love losing hands, huh?

I know he’s old, but you mean to tell me that the Emperor couldn’t fight off being picked up and tossed away like that?

I have no clue how Wedge survived all 3 movies.

I have to say, I loved those movies. I honestly did. It may also have something to do with the fact that the Abrams Trekverse has really soured me on that whole franchise for the moment. Still, I finally feel like I’m in the club with the rest of you guys! All I had to do was watch 3 movies, there’s no pesky television show to keep up with, and there were no real weak spots. While A New Hope is a great complete movie, Empire had more going for it – if only it had a proper ending instead of the whole “To Be Continued” vibe. ROTJ was OK, but it had too damn much of a Jim Henson thing going on. And it needed more bratty Luke. So, there you have it. I’m one of you now. So, where do I pick up my lightsaber? Will they mail it to me? Anyway, Star Wars had the West Week Ever.

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Lately, I’ve found myself fascinated by fast food – more accurately, I’m curious about the fast food outposts on military bases. Who runs those? Are they individually owned franchises, or are they owned by corporate? And the civilians working there, are they locals or were they shipped over? Are there top gun cashiers just waiting to be deployed to the Taco Bell in Kuwait? “I’m getting deployed next month.” “Oh, really? What branch?” “KFC.” Anybody reading this have any knowledge on this subject? I have SO many questions!

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Speaking of fast food, I hate when I get a Frosty at Wendy’s, and they give me a straw. A Frosty ain’t a shake, bitch! It’s a frozen dairy treat. Now give me my friggin’ spoon!

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On the Netflix front, I watched Jeff, Who Lives At Home. I can’t really describe it, but it was enjoyable enough. Great cast, with Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, and even Rae Dawn Chong.  I was drawn to it not only for the cast, but also because it was from the Duplass brothers (The League).  Segel’s character lives his life by looking for signs, and the movie follows what happens on one particular day when a ton of storylines converge. It’s a tight, contained little movie, but nothing that’ll blow you a way. There are worse ways to kill an hour and a half.

I think LEGO Marvel Superheroes is going to be the first video game that I buy during its release week. I loved LEGO Batman, and this one seems like a bit of a no brainer. Right now, though, I’m trying to figure out where I should buy it. If I go to Walmart, I get a cool War Machine LEGO minifigure (which I really want). If I go to Target, I get a Loki keychain (I’d probably just rip off the chain part and put him with my other minifigures). Toys “R” Us, however, seems to have the best deal, as you get a $15 gift card with purchase. I want that War Machine, but, c’mon, 15 free dollars?! I think I’m going to TRU later today.

Links I Loved

We Do Not Need a Wonder Woman Movie – The Nerds of Color

The 100 Sexiest Men on Television – UnderScoopFire!

04th Sep2013

Thrift Justice – Walk On By

by Will

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I’m back! Thrift Justice has been on a mini hiatus, but I figured it was time to get back to basics. By now, you’ve come to realize that I simply can’t buy everything I see “out in the wild”. So, here’s another one of those posts of things I chose to leave behind.

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I never had SNES, so I had no real affinity for the Super Scope 6. I do have one particular memory about it, though. You see, when it first came out, Nintendo took it on tour to various shopping malls so that kids could demo it. Locally, it came to White Flint (you’re not supposed to add “mall” to its name, snooty bastards), and I remember they had promo eyepatches to wear while sampling the gun. I really wanted one of those eyepatches, not realizing there was a scourge known as pink eye. Anyway, I didn’t get the patch, but I did end up with a Nintendo Game Journal that I still can’t bring myself to throw away 20 years later. I didn’t need the gun, and I didn’t think I could make any real money off of it, so I left it behind.

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I’m usually a sucker for a carded vintage action figure, but not this time. I, like most of America, never saw The Last Action Hero. I used to have a poster for the movie that came in an issue of Superman/Batman Magazine, but I know next to nothing about the film. Plus, the thrift store has moved to a different price tag that I felt would damage the card if I tried to remove it. So, I kept on walking.

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If you know Aaron Carter, you probably just know him as Backstreet Boy Nick Carter’s little brother. Oddly enough, though, Justin Bieber owes more to this guy than you might realize. Aaron was the prototypical Bieber AND he beat Shaq! Anyway, it looks like Aaron’s party is over, as this guy never even made it out of the box. I guess someone gave up on it ever being a “collector’s item”.

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This is a Mattel music box from 1968. The thing I love about it is that it shows Matty, Mattel’s mascot, during happier times. Nowadays, he looks like a smug asshole, but this is a Matty who truly seems to be about fun and customer service. I miss this Matty. Based on the date, though, be may not be too fond of Negroes. So, I guess you win some and you lose some.

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As a bonus, I thought I’d show you a couple of thrift fails I experienced recently. You can’t win ’em all, and there are situations where I most certainly lost.

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I’ve been on a board game kick lately, and tend to gravitate towards any that catch my eye. I found this at a church sale while I was with Special Forces, and I was sure a church wouldn’t rip me off. Well, that’s what I get for my naivete. I’d say that only about 30% of the game was present, and none of the electrical components were there. So, I immediately redonated it. Some folks might think that’s dick, but there could be someone out there who needs those particular parts. I’d much rather give them a shot than banish it to the landfill.

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I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a Bonkers, but I remember them advertising all the time in old comics. Candy tie-in games aren’t something you see every day, so I jumped at it. And then I realized it wasn’t complete. There were more pieces present than the Super Spy game, but not enough for me to waste my time. So, back to the thrift store it went.

So, as you can see, things haven’t been all that exciting in the land of Thrift Justice. I’m not sure what’s going on, but the pickin’s ain’t as sweet lately. Many of my thrift stores have reset their layouts, and that always causes problems. It’s like it takes a good few months for things to settle into a groove again. So, maybe things will be better as we get closer to Halloween, but things are slow now. What kinds of things have you all been finding. Let me know in the comments!

20th Jun2013

So That Was Injustice…

by Will

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This morning, around 12:15, I beat Injustice: Gods Among Us on XBox 360. This may not be a big deal to most, but this is the first video game I’ve beaten in about 16 years. You see, I’m not much of a gamer, and the last game I powered through to the end was Super Mario Bros 2 (I beat them out of order: 3, 1, 2). If you’re a long time reader of the site, you might be saying “What about Power Rangers Super Legends?” Well, technically, I never beat it. It just glitched and took me to the ending. Anyway, now that I’ve got this win behind me, I’ve got a few thoughts on the game and the experience.

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-When did games become so easy? As I said before, I’m the furthest thing from a “gamer”. Remember, Super Mario Bros 2 came out in 1988 and I didn’t beat it for 9 years. That’s not because I was a slow kid, but mainly because I had no real interest in it after a while. I think Nintendo contributed to my anger management issues, so I’d take year long breaks at a time. Still, NES games took at least a week to beat, and that’s if you were A) GOOD and B) did nothing other than play the game and scour Nintendo Power or the Game Player’s Guide for hints. I, an XBox novice, managed to beat this game within 5 hrs of gameplay. That must mean it took about an hr for the typical gamer. $60 for an hour of fun? I know whores who’ll give you a better return on investment than that!

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– I love the Batmobile’s ability to travel anywhere, simply to run over your opponent. In space? No problem. The Batmobile can get there!

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– This game made me like Cyborg. He was more…”urban” to me than he ever came across in the comics. Not that that did it for me, but he seemed to actually have more personality than I’d experienced in Titans comics.

– I get most of the alternate universe: good guys are bad, bad guys are good – except Batman. That said, how did Superman get both Black Adam AND Captain Marvel on his side? Hell, how did he get Black Adam on his own? Do I need to read the comic to understand that?

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– If you’ve never respected Aquaman, play this game and your opinion will change forever. He is AMAZING.

– I’m really bad at memorizing and executing combos, so I was sure that would keep me from getting far in the game. I couldn’t have been more wrong, which seems almost like a failing of the game. I feel like Doomsday should be harder to beat than simple punches and kicks. I should’ve needed to pull out all the stops, but he was no more difficult to defeat than Sinestro or Grundy. In fact, the only two real challenges are the Batman vs Batman fight, and the Superman vs Superman fight.

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– As shitty as the Mattel figures look, the new character designs actually work for me within the confines of the game – even Joker! All of their looks (with the exception of maybe Flash) are functional and make sense within the plot. Like Star Trek‘s Mirror Universe, everything here is dark and “war-ier”, so they should have spikes, armor plates, etc. Mattel just did a terrible job translating them into plastic representations.

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– During Wonder Woman’s speech to the Amazons, I got a glimpse of what her fans see in her. It’s probably the best writing she’s had in years, but it still wasn’t enough for me to think she deserves her own movie or TV show. It just goes to show she’d be an integral part of a team project, like a Justice League movie.

-Did NOT see that Nightwing twist coming. If they expand on that in the Injustice comic, I may just have to grab it once it’s collected.

Well, that’s my take on things. I’m new to the whole “next-gen” gaming experience, but I know I need to play more to unlock stuff and earn achievements. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. Keep in mind I got the 360 as a wedding gift. The wedding was in October, and I’m just now getting around to testing it out. So, check back in a year or so, once everyone has moved on to the X Box One. Ha! I barely got that sentence out. Anyway, what were your thoughts on Injustice? Have you read the comics?

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!

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!

06th May2013

Monday Musings: Underestimating Batman’s Sheer Brutality

by Will

batman lurking in shadow

Confused by the title? That’s really just me using a bunch of words to say “Batman’s a badass.” More appropriately, he’s a dangerous badass. In recent years, especially due to his many cartoons and animated appearances, two things have become prevalent about Batman: he doesn’t use guns AND he doesn’t kill. That’s all well and good, but this had led somewhat to what you might call “the Pussification of the Bat”. People seem to forget that there are fates worse than death, and Batman has dealt out this kind of justice time and time again. After all, why else would criminals be afraid of him? Anyway, this is just my way of saying that Chris Sims isn’t the only one devoting more thought that necessary to the legacy of Batman.

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One thing that leads folks to forget about Batman’s brutality is his public persona. I’ve said it time and time again, but Batman doesn’t really work as a public character. It’s not in his best interest to be in a group like the Justice League because it not only requires him to go out in daylight, but it also makes him look like a hero. Yes, Batman works alongside the GCPD, but he shouldn’t be seen as a “hero” – at least not the same way that Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman are seen. If your primary goal is to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, you’re not going to accomplish much when you’re publicly known as Superman’s friend. Sure, criminals might be afraid of his powerful friends in that case, but they wouldn’t necessarily be afraid of him. That’s why I feel Batman works better when he’s considered an urban legend.

batman66 outside

The comics go back and forth on this, but his most effective “mode” is when the majority of Gotham see Batman as the boogeyman. He’s not necessarily “real”, and he’s seen more as a story told to frighten. He doesn’t operate in the daylight as his 60s predecessor did, and the only ones to actually see him are frightened victims and criminals caught in the act. Sure, he fights Arkham villains, but most of his time is spent dealing with street level thugs and henchmen. He never really inflicts much damage on a Penguin or Joker, but he does all sorts of terrible things to their henchmen. This is why “The Bat” is only discussed in frightened whispers amongst that set. He may not kill, but he leaves them with more than memories. The cartoons depict a Batman who ends things with one punch, but that’s not true of the Urban Legend Defender of Gotham. The “real” Batman operates from the shadows. He tends to leave thugs unable to walk, in traction, or worse – usually dependent upon the severity of the crime. Just look at this example:

Batman Thug

And that’s just Comic Batman. Don’t even get me started on the movies. Cinematic Batman hasn’t even clung to the “doesn’t use guns” thing, so surely some of those thugs died – if not, they wish they were dead! Let’s go back to the very first Tim Burton movie. When Batman is fighting his way up the belltower, thugs are being knocked off and thrown down the shaft. This isn’t Spider-Man, where he quickly webs up a safety net, so they’re stuck until the police arrive. The Joker Thug body count was at least at 3 by the end of that movie.

Taken from http://batmancity.over-blog.com/article-batman-the-movie-series-2-145-leap-from-the-belltower-topps-usa-1989-58578862.html

Taken from http://batmancity.over-blog.com/article-batman-the-movie-series-2-145-leap-from-the-belltower-topps-usa-1989-58578862.html

And before that, he blew up the whole chemical plant – you know, the one that surely had a night crew in it, even if they weren’t all thugs.

1989batmobile_spec

Taken from chickslovethecar.com

Speaking of the Batmobile, it had guns, and there’s no confirmation they were rubber bullets. Yes, Batman gets in his car and shoots the fuck out of people! NOW do you understand why criminals are scared of him?

batmanm

Taken from the ComicsAlliance Batman ’89 review where they were bewildered by the same thing

In Batman Begins, he made no real attempt to save Ra’s Al Ghul, AT ALL.

"Use of of your 'many talents' to save you from THIS, asshole!"

“Use one of your ‘many talents’ to save you from THIS, asshole!”

Finally, if you doubt Batman’s brutality, play Arkham Asylum or Arkham City for just five minutes. I worked at TRU when the first AA demo came out, and I almost needed a towel while playing that thing! The bones crunching beneath your fists, the noises being made. Bottom line: Batman ain’t playing around!

batman-arkham-city_ thugs

So, what have we learned today? Well, first off, they say Batman won’t kill you, but that’s only true if no one’s filming it. Also, even if he lets you live, he will Fuck. Your. Shit. Up. And something tells me the DC Universe doesn’t have Obamacare yet…

22nd Mar2013

West Week Ever – 3/22/13

by Will
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One of these people had the West Week Ever. Which one? Read on to find out!

oie_922142seDasWF9

I have a hard time with people who blame video game violence on today’s social ills. This was made even clearer to me last weekend. Why? I watched Death Wish IV and Death Wish V. First off, can I say that I fucking LOVE Charles Bronson? Something about a 55 year old man wrecking shit is so much more refreshing than Action Star du Jour. Anyway, I witnessed a guy killed by a grenade launcher, a guy killed by exploding remote controlled soccer ball, a guy fall into a pulp grinder and more. People saw this stuff and didn’t go on killing sprees (well, except Bernie Goetz). Movies today aren’t half as violent as they were 25 years ago. I’m not sure if the MPAA has simply become a bunch of pussies, or if ticket takers have become more lax in letting in minors. All I know is that the same restrictions supposedly exist for video games and movies. It’s time to blame society’s ills on factors other than the entertainment sector.

Being the boyband fiend that I am, this was probably my favorite video of the week. I loved the Hell out of JC Chasez and, from a musical standpoint, he was the most talented member of *NSYNC. Justin’s more famous because he was more charismatic, but he wasn’t the best soloist. Anyway, this is JC singing “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers to USC’s Tri Delt chapter. Here’s what sticks out to me, though: a college freshman would have been born in 1995. *NSYNC’s debut album came out when they were TWO YEARS OLD. They were 6 when *NSYNC’s last album came out. Outside of America’s Best Dance Crew, JC hasn’t really been relevant to this generation. This is almost like if Daryl Hall had come to sing at Cornell while I was there. Do these girls even know who he is, other than “hot guy singing that weird hippie song”? Anyway, I feel so old…

Speaking of Justin vs. JC, this Billboard article is an EXCELLENT exploration of how and why Justin pulled ahead in their pop solo competition.

I had a great time last night, joining @timdogg98‘s Comic Book Chronicles Live. So far, it’s a weekly-ish Google Hangout sponsored by The Kliqnation, and it’s a great comic book discussion with a “barbershop” feel. I’ve been lurking in the rafters for most of the episodes, but I was tagged in last night. If you’re a comic fan, definitely check it out!

Sponsor Update –

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This may come as a surprise to some, but WilliamBruceWest.com is sponsored by Will’s World of Wonder. Recently, my corporate overlords have decided they should have more of a voice on the site, so here’s some new stuff that’s been listed in the store:

Preorders:

There are none. Really, why would I buy up a case of something you could buy cheaper at a big box store? That wastes both our time. Go buy that shit at Target!

New Arrivals:

Young Justice Invasion 6″ Batman

This is the RARE 6″ Young Justice Invasion Batman figure. These never hit wide retail release in North America, and they are pretty hard to find.

Figure is MIB, and includes diorama and accessories. (Limited Supply!)

http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17521263/young-justice-invasion-6-batman

LEGO DC Universe Super Heroes Catwoman Catcycle City Chase

Everyone’s favorite heroes have joined forces with everyone’s favorite building toy!

http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17482086/lego-dc-universe-super-heroes

Iron Man Marvel Legends Classic Iron Man

To coincide with the upcoming release of Iron Man 3, this Marvel Legends subset fits perfectly with the rest of your Marvel Legends collection. Includes alternate helmet, as well as BAF piece for Iron Monger.
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17481885/iron-man-marvel-legends-classic

Power Rangers Samurai Mega Mode Rangers Lot

Now that stores are filled with Megaforce product, it’s not as easy to find these guys anymore. If you want to celebrate the season that brought Power Rangers to Nick, here’s your chance!
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17481914/power-rangers-samurai-mega-mode

Batman: The Killing Joke Deluxe Edition HC

By Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, this monumental storyline depicts Barbara Gordon’s final confrontation with The Joker as Batgirl.
This anniversary edition hardcover features all new coloring, and the short story “An Innocent Guy”.
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/p/17482104/batman-the-killing-joke-deluxe

Our Vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stock has been replenished! Show your whippersnappers where it all began by buying them something from this assortment!
http://willsworldofwonder.ecrater.com/c/1513721/tmnt

This Week’s Posts

Thrift Justice – Power Rankings

My (Alternate) Reality

Before we handle wrap things up, I need to address something. So, yesterday I prefaced a post with a description of my depression. Much of that was hyperbole, as a framing device. Mainly. I’ve had anxiety for a LOOONNNGG time, but I have experienced happiness since the age of 12. I just threw out an age there (although that IS what I told that nurse). Why did I say 12? Well, I feel like that’s when the anxiety train started. Changes start happening. Next thing you know, you’ve got to do well on the PSAT, ’cause it’s an indicator of SAT success. Then, you have to do well on the SAT, ’cause you need it to get into a good college. Then, you need to get into a good college so you’ll get a good job. Then, you have to successfully graduate from said good college. Then, you graduate and there are no jobs. Then you work retail, while waiting on people who can’t understand why you don’t have a better job. Then you feel like a failure because you wasted that degree and tuition. Then, you get dead-end jobs that still aren’t really backing up why you went to school. I finally have a job that I love, but it wasn’t an easy process. For me, at least. Lots of people have it WAY worse, but I don’t deal well with stress. So, that, conceptually, is how I came up with that age. Still, that hurt people who know “real life” Will.

I’ve never really delved into this, but it’s my site, so I can do what I want. Over on facebook, my pal Chad was wondering if anyone had written about their success with online dating. He met his girlfriend that way, and wondered if I or Vincent had ever written about our experience. Maybe it would take the “geek taboo” off things. If you don’t know, I met my wife on Match.com. It’s funny because I wasn’t looking for anything. I had gotten out of a 3-ish year relationship with a trust fund baby who had no real life aspirations. Yet she dumped me. Go figure. Anyway, a friend of mine signed up for Match, and a bunch of us signed up too so that we could vet his choices. If there’s one thing I love it’s judging people, and this gave me a front row seat. In the meantime, I just liked the attention. I was probably a good 40 lbs lighter, and I woke up to emails from random women telling me they liked my smile. I didn’t even have to do anything. It was AWESOME.

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I didn’t communicate with anyone I found on there ’cause I’d have to PAY. Ain’t nobody got time for that! One day, however, I got an email from a girl that said something I liked. I don’t remember what it was, and I don’t feel like going through my email to figure it out. Whatever it was, it caught my attention. And like that, I actually paid and we emailed back and forth. She was a reader, and to paraphrase Chris Rock, she “spoke so well.” Since I wasn’t yet the net whore that I’ve become, I didn’t really think you could have any meaningful association with someone digitally. Now, I’ll tell you that some of my good friends are folks I’ve never met, but things were different in the Wild West days of 2008. So, I was fine just keeping it online. It was like having a pen pal, and I really didn’t know how to make the transition from web to reality, anyway. I’d never asked anyone for their number, and I wasn’t some cool pimp daddy “gettin’ da digits”. All my attention from females came from singing, whether I was doing a musical or a cappella stuff. So we had a great time emailing, but that was enough for me. And then I just stopped. I don’t really know why. Maybe I thought it was weird, or I just didn’t know how to be cool over email anymore.

Life went on. She ended up dating some other dude from Match (man, it must be awesome to be a woman. Free dinners for simply possessing a vagina). I probably went back to bitching about the death of Captain America and blogging about how that Big Bang Theory show would never last. Other stuff happened, like I had a death in the family, and I was just all over the place. Three months passed, and she emailed me out of the blue. She wondered why our emails had just stopped, seeing as how we seemed to have a real connection. Since I’m a doof, she ended up having to ask me out. This was a Monday. The date was set for Wednesday. That Tuesday, we finally talked on the phone…for 3 hours. When I got home from Wednesday’s date, I called my friend Keith, and I said “I’m gonna marry that girl.” Our next date was that Saturday, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her everyday since then. Shit’s crazy, son! Most of the time, I would just be excited to get off work, so I could go play Rock Band with her. Apparently, while she wasn’t being wined and dined by Match dudes, she had worked her way to Expert on most of the songs. And I was happy. For the first time, in a very long time, I was happy. And I’m happy now. In 2 weeks, we’ll have been married 6 months, and October’s our 5 year anniversary. So, I lied. I’m very happy. Oh, and internet dating works! Try it! Take it from your buddy, Will!

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So, one person’s mugshot count is up to a half dozen, while another is going through some odd, drag transformation. One person twerked it like a unicorn, while the other reeeallly has bad luck with keeping the women in his life alive. But only one of them had the West Week Ever.

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He killed a dude by shooting a fucking grenade at him. ‘Nuff said.

22nd Feb2013

West Week Ever – 2/22/13

by Will

oie_922142seDasWF9

Today in Black History, Aunt Jemima discovered Uncle Ben’s affair with Mrs. Butterworth, thus splitting Black America’s first power couple.Benmima

Last weekend I had the pleasure of finally meeting Twitter pal LamarRevenger! Lindsay and I were doing a belated Valentine’s Day of wineries and antique shops in Hershey, PA, which put us in Lamar’s back yard. We met up at Crossroads Antique Mall, and had a great time exploring the place. I love meeting you online folks, and Lamar put me at 3. Who’ll be #4?! Only time will tell!

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It was announced this week that game developer Harmonix will stop releasing new music for Rock Band by April (The Robot’s Pajamas has a nice writeup about it). I haven’t touched my Rock Band games in a good 2 years, but this announcement still saddens me. You see, Rock Band was very important when I first started dating my wife. Her roommate had the game, so she spent a lot of her free time getting up to expert in most of the songs. When we met, I’d never played the game, so the formative days of our relationship consisted of her schooling me in interactive classic rock. There was a band featured in the game called Bang Camaro; I claim to be a music aficionado, but I still can’t tell you one of their songs. Anyway, we thought it was the dumbest, yet funniest name, so we dubbed ourselves “Sex Corvette” in the game. Whenever I needed to practice on my own, I had my own side project that I called “Fornication Wagon”. It’s been years since Sex Corvette and Fornication Wagon went out on the road. With this announcement, I think it might be time to get the bands back together. Ya know, for old times sake.

Speaking of music, last week, Shezcrafti and I discovered our shared love of Ace of Base. No, I’m not talking about “All That She Wants” or “The Sign”. Get out of here with that Top 40 shit! I’m talking DEEP cuts Ace of Base, from the albums that most Americans ignored. Sure, everyone owned The Sign (Happy Nation, for you international folks) but their second album, The Bridge, was one of THE BEST POP ALBUMS of the 90s. I’m not even lying. I’m pretty sure I wrote a tumblog about it awhile back, but “Ravine” is one of the most beautiful ballads of the past 20 years. It’s even more impactful when you learn it was written in the wake of a knife attack from a stalker. It turns out we both own all the AoB albums, including the recent one with the new girls. All this time, I thought I was alone, but I was wrong. I’m so, so glad I was wrong!

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People seem to be losing their shit over news that Michael Bay cast Megan Fox in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I say “so what?” Think of today’s “starlets”: Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa Vega? You’d hate all of them, and it ain’t like Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence is gonna ruin her career with this on her resume. I mean, it’s not like this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. People have hated Bay since he took on the Transformers franchise. The same people who are saying “I’m fucking done with this Turtles movie now!” are the same who were supposedly done when it was announced he was helming it. At what point do you just walk away and stop caring? To complain now, is akin to going “Oh man, Hitler’s killing blacks now?!” Yeah, I invoked the dreaded internet use of Hitler. Anyway, no one ever said this was a movie for old school fans. One thing I’ve never really gotten about TMNT fandom is that the 80s kids think it’s theirs. That’s somewhat true, but there’s also the 2003 run, as well as the new Nick run. Turtles belong to several generations now, and this could just be its introduction to a newer generation. As much as people hate Bay, a lot of folks were paying money to see those “Bayformers” movies, so I guess this movie is for them. It’s not for you. I’m amazed at people’s inability to just say “You know, I don’t think this is for me” and walk away. It took me a while to learn that, but it’s much less stressful!

I hate to be some hipster/old fogey, but I’m tired of the media’s ability to scare us about some shit, and then just move on to the next thing. We’re never told whether or not these things have been cured/stopped/defeated. It’s just on to the next crisis. Here’s a list of things I’ve been instructed to fear in my lifetime:

Radon

Acid Rain

Old Men With Candy

Carbon Monoxide

Mad Cow Disease

Bird Flu

SARS

Super Gonorrhea

To my knowledge, none of these problems have been “solved”, but ain’t nobody talking about them anymore! Did the Super Gonorrhea take out the candy-bearing child molesters? I NEED ANSWERS!

This has been a bittersweet week online. It started great, with me and Lamar meeting up. Then, once I got home, all the crazies came out. I found myself leaving a bunch of toy centric facebook groups because of one bad apple. I’m not sure if you’re all “in the know”, but there are shit tons of toy groups on facebook for trading and buying toys. The problem, however, is that the same people are in ALL of these groups. I talked about it a bit more in-depth in this post. Basically, some one gets accused of screwing over someone, gets kicked out, and then forms his own group. Well, I joined these things to drum up attention for Will’s World of Wonder, but those people are either trying to lowball you or get something for free. Over time, I came to realize it wasn’t worth the hustle over there, but I stayed on in case some good deal came up. The other day, I posted an item I was selling, and specifically said “PM offers”. Some guy decided to start asking questions on the actual post. “How much did you pay for it? Is it the same scale as Soundwave?” At first, I indulged him, but he finally signed off with “OK, just checking”. So, after wasting a bit of my time, I told him “That was a lot of questions for ‘just checking’.” He proceeds to tell me not to get “butthurt about a $20 toy” and that “there are more important things in life to worry about.” I replied that I wasn’t “butthurt”, but didn’t appreciate him using me as his Google research stand-in, ON MY THREAD. Then, he and some other guys start making a side deal, again, ON MY THREAD. Any group with a halfway decent admin would’ve stopped that (trust me, facebook toy group admins are like the goddamned Gestapo. It’s like they were all the last kids picked for sports or some shit), but no one stepped in. When I called him on it, again, he tells me to “stop getting butthurt”. I told him he was being an asshole, and his condescension wasn’t needed. Eventually, like I pointed out above, I realized “ya know, this isn’t for me.” I muttered a “fuck this noise”, and quit the group. I pride myself on not being a “quitter”, but sometimes you just need to realize when something isn’t worth your time and effort. Work smarter and not harder. The decent people I met in those groups are already facebook or twitter friends, so I didn’t lose them. I just cut off the folks who were, apparently, leaving me “butthurt”. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I’m such a jerk – last week, I forgot to include the link for my guest spot on the Cereal Killas episode of The Cold Slither Podcast. You’re all smart, savvy folks, so I’m sure you found it. If not, you can listen to it here.

Also, the Black Dynamite ep of the Traumatic Cinematic Show has gone live, and you can listen to me and the guys here.

This Week’s Post

Thrift Justice: The One With All The Books

Before I wrap things up this week, I wanted to point out UnderScoopFire’s State of the Site/Show Address podcast that went up this week. I love these kinds of posts, as I love to know what’s going on in the minds of the folks I admire. Plus, they serve as a good time to take stock of my own stuff. I’m really happy where I am in regards to podcasts. I always kinda wanted to be a “professional guest”, and I’ve had the honor of being invited on some great shows, having fun discussions with new folks. I never thought I’d get to this point so quickly, but I’m having a lot of fun. As for non-audio stuff, though, I’m still not where I want to be. There are folks out there who can get 10 comments on a post without even posting a link to social media. That is the definition of a “destination site”, and I think that’s where we’d all like to be. I’ve been doing this TEN YEARS. There are more blogrolls I could be in. There are more of your friends who could know about me. I’m harassing Twitter timelines with my links, and I still don’t know if it makes a difference. Hell, maybe folks have learned how to say “Yeah, that’s just not for me”. Who knows? Anyway, it just gives me something to think about. See ya next week!

 

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.

Pizza-Protector1

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!

Pizza-Protector2

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.

F8GUUOYH15N8ZQ0.LARGE

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)