Sunday, April 17, 2016

Toy Biz X-Men Series 1 Wolverine and Magneto!

It's the spring of 1992. I had just finished competing in an Odyssey of the Mind competition in Va Beach, and my parents and I are getting ready to head home. "Is there anywhere you'd like to go before we go home?", they ask. I could only think of one place, a place that had been occupying my mind since I first saw it earlier in the day. That place was Children's Palace.

Now, this post isn't really about Children's Palace, but it certainly could be. I had been to Toys R Us a few times, but it was mostly with my neighbor and his family, which meant most of the time we were there was spent in the video games section. I would only get a quick glimpse of the action figure aisles, as we made our way over to the NES and SNES games on display. This time, it was just me and my parents, and I was the one leading the way. I honestly don't think I was prepared for just how amazing Children's Palace was. Back at home, we had a couple of aisles that were full of my favorite action figures. Here, there were 5 or 6 aisles, and it seemed like they went on forever. I had never seen so many toys in one place before. It was a bit intimidating, and I could tell my parents were getting a little impatient, which only added to the pressure. I stood in the middle of an aisle, nearly overwhelmed by all the choices, when a familiar logo caught my eye. Shortly after that, I was back in the car, playing with my two new figures.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flea-ing the Eastern Shore



A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those rare weekends where I was off from work, and the wife and I didn't have any plans. She was going to be working all day, and I really didn't want to spend the whole weekend in the house, so I decided to go on a little field trip. I decided to to go to the Shore Flea Market.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Nintendo Power's Ninja Gaiden II Strategy Guide

It was, I'm assuming the Christmas season of 1990. My parents and I had just driven to one of my friend's house. I'm not exactly sure why we were there, but as it turns out, they had a couple of gifts for me. One was one of those little Flipsiders games, the kind shaped like a cassette tape. The other one was this lovely bit of reading material right here..


The Nintendo Power Strategy Guide for Ninja Gaiden II. Now, this isn't the same one from that day, at least I don't think it is. This is a copy I found on Amazon, and I'll be damned if it doesn't look exactly like the one I had many years ago. You tend to remember random things like the folds on a magazine's cover. I initially thought it was an odd choice for a gift. I had a decent selection of games for my NES, but I didn't have Ninja Gaiden II, at least not yet. Had my friend's parents accidentally spoiled one of my Christmas gifts for me? Well, as it turns out, they didn't. Ninja Gaiden II wasn't under the tree that year, and as far as I can remember, I never actually owned the game. I rented it a few times, but the difficulty of the game always frustrated me to the point of controller throwing anger. Yet, that still didn't keep me from reading through the guide at least 170 times. 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Zero Lives Remaining: A mini review and a giveaway



Late one night, I was browsing through Twitter, and I came across a tweet for a book called Zero Lives Remaining by Adam Cesare. Usually I would ignore what was basically an ad, but the book's description intrigued me. A horror story set in an arcade? Sounds like fun to me. And a lot of fun it was.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

We got a wedding gun.

I used to be a bit of a gun nut. I'd read every gun magazine I could get my hands on. I had a book that covered all of the military small arms of the 20th century. In fact, I think the title was Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. You couldn't watch an action movie without me blurting out the different guns that showed up on screen. Yeah, I was a little weird.

By the time I was 15 or 16, I had a decent little collection, with a few shotguns and a couple of rifles taking up space in my gun cabinet. The first few guns were gifts from my parents and family, while I actually bought the others on my own. With permission, of course. There was never much thought put into them as weapons. Sure, I knew that they could seriously hurt someone, but to me, they were just a means to go hunting, or to go shoot some targets at the farm. It was always exciting to try a new gun, even if it meant I was going to be dealing with a sore shoulder for the next few days. It was a hobby, if a bit of a dangerous one.

As with most things my parents got me into, firearms were promoted as collectibles, things I should hold on to so they'll go up in value. Then I can pass them on to my kids, and they could give them to my grandchildren, etc.. They said the same thing when they got me into comic books in the early 90's. I'm not sure which is worth more these days, the guns or the comics, but I'd probably get more enjoyment out of the comics. Over the years, my collection has grown and shrunk, and I was at a point where I didn't really care to add anything else to it. I already have a cabinet full of guns that don't get shot. I feel like I spend most of my time chasing away the rust.

In other words, I've handled guns a long time, so I feel pretty comfortable being around them in sane and responsible hands. I'm also used to getting them as gifts, since that's how I came to have most of my little arsenal. And that leads me into the second part of the post..

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Enter, THE ZULLBEAST!

Hi there. I'd like to introduce you to a short, slimy, green homicidal monster.



Folks, Zullbeast. Zullbeast, folks. Try not to devour everybody.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Stunt Zombie's Christmas Fallout 2015!


Hello all! I hope you all had a merry Christmas or happy holiday. I know I sure did, even if I had to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to work the day of. That's okay though, because when I got home, my lovely wife had a nice big Bloody Mary and a delicious breakfast waiting for me when I walked into the door. You can't ask for much more than that. 

This year, we decided to go a little lighter on the presents. As we get older, we find ourselves wanting less and less stuff. Closets and bookshelves are already full to overflowing, and I hate adding to the clutter. So, the Christmas haul was a bit smaller, but by no means was it less awesome. 


The stocking's always come first. It's been a tradition since I was young, and it continues to be one among Chelsea and I. This year, I got a fancy new Star Wars stocking. It's even in my favorite color! Double win! And, where there's a stocking, there's candy..


There's a little bit of everything in there. My perennial favorites, Reese's Peanut Butter trees, as well as some Star Wars Jelly Belly, TMNT chocolate, candy pizzas and tissues, Avengers chocolate and sour straws, and Justice League fun dip type stuff. It's enough to either rot my teeth, or give me a heart attack before New Year's Eve. Probably both. I'm just a little ashamed to admit that there was a lot more in that stocking when I first opened it. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, that box of Star Wars gummies is empty. 


I also got my yearly allotment of Royal Dansk Butter Cookies. I sang the praises of my favorite cookies last year, and my feelings toward them haven't changed. I can't bring myself to eat them any other time of the year, and it really doesn't feel like the Christmas season if I don't have a tin of these to munch on when I'm watching Christmas Vacation. Chelsea also gave me one of those sausage and cheese sampler packs, another one of my seasonal favorites. Speaking of sausages and cheeses..


My mom gave us two more of those Hickory Farms packs, along with what has to be the largest cheese and sausage sampler packs I've ever seen. This pack came from a company called The Swiss Colony, and it looks like it has enough to feed a village. This isn't even everything, since we've been munching on it since Christmas Eve. Oddly enough, even though it contained no less than 4 pounds of pasteurized cheeses and salted meat, they didn't include any crackers. Weird. The Swiss Colony sampler also included various snack cakes, chocolate covered nuts, jellies, and some Christmas colored gum drops. It's a one stop shop for your entire cocktail party. 


We also got three large containers full of nuts. At this rate, I won't have to buy any snacks until April or May.


Okay, this is the last of the food, I promise. You can't walk into a grocery store without tripping over something with Star Wars plastered all over it. Even Campbell's got into the act, slapping droids and Stormtroopers on cans of chicken soup. The small tin in the middle is full of cotton swabs, not mints as I originally expected. Last, I got a small tumbler emblazoned with characters from the original trilogy. That's one thing I've noticed about all the promotional tie-ins. They don't seem to feature any of the new characters. Strange..



If this year had a theme, it would definitely be Star Wars. This shirt was a gift from one of Chelsea's friends, and it's already becoming one of my favorites. It's sort of a mashup between Darth Vader's helmet and the Death Star. I'm realizing how much of a missed opportunity it was for the Empire to not make the Death Start's look like a giant Vader head. There's no way a ragtag bunch of Rebels would ever mistake that for a moon. Now I can't stop thinking how awesome it would be to have a gigantic planet destroying Vader face flying through space. 


He died 15 minutes into Return of the Jedi, but that hasn't kept Boba Fett from showing up on just about everything. I normally get annoyed by these kinds of mashups, but I'll make an exception for this one. I can sort of picture Boba tearing around Tattooine in his roadster, listening to some tunes, and just letting his helmet air out. Note to Disney: There's no need to go back and add this to the original movies. Don't make the special editions more special-er. 


Books! Not a year goes by without me getting books, and you won't hear me complaining. I wanted Archie Vs. Predator because it sounded utterly ridiculous, and it really was. Don't go in looking for a smart read, because you won't find it here. What you will find is a lot of stupid, gory fun. The unbeatable Squirrel Girl collects the first few issues of her regular series, and it has quickly become my favorite new comic. It's nice to be able to read a comic about a female superhero, and not feel perverted because her costume only covers her crotch and nipples. If I had one main complaint about comics, it's that some of them take themselves way too seriously. Not a problem with Squirrel Girl. It's easily the funniest book I've ever read. I laughed out loud quite a bit while I was reading it, prompting my wife to ask me what was wrong. You'd think I never laughed around her..

The book on the bottom is the comic adaptation of the first TMNT movie. I've owned the adaptation of the second movie since it came out, but this one always eluded me. This is the hardback version, and I'm looking forward to seeing if there were any scenes that weren't in the movie. I, Zombie isn't based on the show of the same name. Rather, it's told from the perspective of the undead. I haven't had a chance to crack it open yet, but it sounds like it's going to be a fun read. Maybe I'll do a book report when I'm done. 


Moving on, we have something sharp and something...sharp? My old digital Casio is still ticking, but it's looking a little rough. So, Chelsea bought me a watch that can take a licking and keep on ticking, and look good doing it. She also gave me the little Buck knife there, because it's not always polite to whip out a machete when you need to slice some sausage and cheese to put on your crackers. 


Last, and certainly not least, an Amazon Kindle! I actually already have a Fire, but trying to read books on the damn thing gives me a headache. If you're outside, you might as well forget about it. So, Santa Chelsea was nice enough to slip one of these under the tree for me. I'm a voracious reader, so it'll be nice to not have to worry about stacks of books sprouting up all around the house. 

So, there you have it. Another year, another Christmas gone by. The day after is always the worst. The radio stations stop playing Christmas music, stores start putting out Valentine's day crap, and all the turkey stuffing is gone. It's like waking up from a dream where you're rolling around in money, only to wake up and find you were just lying in a pile of bills. You shouldn't let that diminish the love for the day. If anything, we should embrace it, and try to pack as much enjoyment in as possible.  

If you'd like to see some other Christmas fallouts, the go check out these other blogs. Some haven't posted their hauls yet, but you should just go check out their blogs anyway. 







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