Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Awesome leftover toys

Chelsea and I made the long, long drive to Buffalo, NY this past weekend for a friend's wedding. It was actually a lot of fun, even if I did spend most of the time eating way too much food. One of the best things about visiting my wife's family, is we usually don't need to spring for a hotel room while we're there. Almost all of them have a room or two to spare, and they offer much better service than any hotel ever could. The last night of our trip was spent at Chelsea's aunt's house, in her cousin's room.

When my father in-law first opened the door to the cousin's bedroom, it looked like your normal spare bedroom setup. There was a desk with an iMac, a set of book shelves and a dresser, and a large futon mattress in the floor. Since I was pretty exhausted, it took me a few seconds to notice all the relics hiding in plain sight. The excitement I felt gave me the energy to stay up at least another hour, giving me a chance to document some of the cooler stuff before I finally passed out.
If you follow me on Twitter, you saw the treasures I discovered in that room. If not, then keep reading, and get a more detailed look at my findings.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pop Culture League Assignment: Shelfie


The League of Extraordinary Bloggers is dead. Long live the League! The Pop Culture League has risen from the pile of cast out toys, comics, and movies to take its place. So, what's this week's assignment?


Shelfie! Snap a picture or two of your favorite shelf.


I'm sure I've posted photos of my display case before, and I'm sure that things haven't changed much since then. Some pieces have gone on to other homes, while I've welcomed a few new additions. How about we get a closer look of dem shelves?


Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Force has awakened. Thoughts on Star Wars and Episode VII

Hey guys, I'm not sure if you've heard, but there's a new Star Wars film that's just been released. I had told myself that I was going to wait a while before I went to see it, in order to let the crowds die down. Then, curiosity got the best of me, and I discovered a theater that allowed you to reserve seats. I probably don't need to tell you that my mind was quickly made up, and my tickets were soon ordered. Sure, it was an hour and a half away, but this was going to be my first time seeing a Star Wars movie in a theater, and I was willing to make the trip.

That's right, my first Star Wars experience in a theater. I was only two when Return of the Jedi was released, so I was still a bit too young to go see a movie in a public place. In fact, I wasn't even introduced to the series until 1989, when Return of the Jedi was the Sunday night movie on NBC. Even at the ripe old age of 8, there were still parts that scared me. I'd have nightmares about being chased by the Rancor, all while Jabba's laughter echoed through the hallways. I still enjoyed the film, but it never really made an impact on me. I didn't pretend my G.I. Joe's were Jedi's, and Cobra Commander never teamed up with Darth Vader. It never bothered me that the movie seemed to start in the middle of the story. I had skipped to the last chapter and didn't even realize it. It would be another couple of years before I would see A New Hope, and even then, I never put the pieces together. That movie was Star Wars. The one I'd seen years earlier was Return of the Jedi. Why would I think they were connected? It wasn't until my early teens that I was introduced to the trilogy as a whole, and that's when my love for the series began.

It's strange to think that I "discovered" the series so late in life. I began to see just how influential it had been. It also opened my mind to a whole new world of toys I never knew existed. At that point, it became a yearly tradition for me to watch the entire trilogy either the day before Thanksgiving, or on Christmas Eve. Sometimes I would watch it on both holidays if I had the free time. It's funny, but my late discovery of Star Wars sort of set a precedent for me always being late to the party. I had missed out on the craze, and the only toys to be found on store shelves were a handful of Bend-Ems.

That trend would continue through the release of the special editions, and the prequel trilogy. By that point, I was too busy with work and college to worry about a galaxy far, far away. When I finally saw the new movies, it didn't just feel like someone had let the wind out of mysails. I felt like they rolled them up, tossed them in a fire, and scattered the ashes. Over the next few years, there would be rumors of a new movie in the works, but after the travesty that was the prequels, I wasn't sure I wanted more Star Wars films.

Fast forward about 10 years, and I found myself sitting in a theater Thursday night with my wife and 65 other people, watching Episode VII scroll up the screen. I had been cautiously optimistic over the teasers and the trailers, and I had managed to avoid seeing any spoilers. In my mind, Star Wars and I had been broken up for a while, and I was giving her one more chance. I'm glad to say, that it was a great date, and I'm looking forward to seeing her again. In other words, Star Wars is back.

I loved the new characters, especially Rey, Finn, and the ace X-wing pilot, Poe. There was a chemistry there that was sorely lacking from the last batch of movies. It was great to see Han and Chewie again as well. They felt like an integral part of the story, rather than being shoehorned in as fan service. The new Sith Lord, Kylo Ren, actually felt like he posed a threat to the heroes, and I'm looking forward to seeing his character grow over the next couple of films. Everyone seemed like they were having a great time, and it showed in their performances.

If I had one complaint about The Force Awakens, it's that it didn't really introduce anything new to the story. The First Order, though it seems to be a much smaller entity right now, still feels like the Empire. I don't want to give anything away, but the Imperials really do like ball shaped weapons.  The whole deal kinda felt like A New Hope 2.0, but I would gladly take that over A Phantom Menace. I've seen some people complain that there was some contemporary humor that seemed out of place, but I can't say I remember seeing anything that jarring.

In the end, The Force Awakens looked, sounded, and played out like a Star Wars movie should. It was like seeing an old friend that's been away for twenty years. And I for one can't wait to get reacquainted.




Saturday, December 12, 2015

Town of Exmore Christmas Parade

I have to admit, I've never loved parades. I've always watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it was mainly because I was hoping to get a glimpse of a float of my favorite cartoon characters. It was well worth sitting through a bunch of soap opera stars or daytime tv hosts, for a chance to glimpse live action versions of He-Man or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Okay, and it was always kind of cool watching the Spider-Man balloon crawling high above the crowds.

This being the Eastern Shore, our parades are just a bit smaller. And you're more likely to see Santa wearing waders than you are to see Spider-Man floating overhead. 


The route is only a mile or so long, and runs down Main St. in Exmore. Many years ago, even before I was born, that road was part of the main highway that ran the entire length of the Shore. Now it's little more than a side street, home to the handful of businesses that still occupy the streets of Exmore.

The majority of the parade was made up of fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars from the local stations. It makes sense really; they're already covered in shiny chrome, and lit up like Christmas trees. All they have to do is give the trucks a good cleaning, get in line, and flip a swtich. Instant Christmas! 



It's not just emergency vehicles that take part in the parade though. Many of the local businesses and churches also put together floats. Obviously, they're not as elaborate as their Macy's Thanksgiving Day cousins. Most aren't much more than tow behind trailers with a few pieces of garland and folks wearing Santa hats. Still, it's nice to see folks getting into the holiday spirit. 









This year also saw the inclusion of a few classic muscle cars ( I badly wanted to snatch the driver out of that Camaro and ride off into the moonlight), and a couple of motorcycle clubs. Sure, they aren't very Christmas-y, but then who doesn't love a good burnout? Nothing says "Happy Holidays!" like clouds of burnt rubber floating down the street. Even the town's employees took part in the fun, showing off their donut skills on their zero turn mowers. 


You know, when I said you shouldn't expect to see floats full of characters in the Exmore parade, that wasn't completely true. There was one truck that caught my eye as it drove down the street, and it wasn't just because it was completely covered in lights. 



Oh my god, there's so much to love about this float, from the large inflatable R2-D2 and Yoda on top, to what appears to be a Stormtrooper masked Darth Vader. Or maybe it's Captain Phasma. Shit, why did my photos have to turn out so blurry? Either way, there looks like there's at least three of them on there. I'm not sure who the portly fellow is to the left, but if I had a guess, it would be Uncle Owen. A bit of an obscure choice, but I'll go with it. There's a couple of Leia twins as well. Apparently Queen Amidala isn't the only that uses doubles to throw off her enemies. My favorite costume of them all, has to be that Chewbacca, who seems to have started dressing in Obi-Wan's robes, and carrying a lightsaber. If that happens at any point during the next trilogy, I'll likely get kicked out of the theater for squealing loudly with delight. Sure, they may have been a little off on the details, but at least this group had fun with it.


Santa wasn't far behind the Star Wars group, and I have to say, it was a bit of an underwhelming finish. Then again, it would have been hard to follow up that float with anything but an actual flying sleigh with magical reindeer. And really, that was about it. There weren't as many participants this year, which makes me worry about the parade's future. Hopefully there will be enough people to keep it going for next year.

If not, at least I got to see Chewbacca become a Jedi Knight. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

5 Things I want from PropStore.com

I've spent the past three days trying to get this post done. Hopefully you're reading this on my blog page. If it hasn't posted and you're still reading this, get from behind my chair. It's not nice to sneak up on people.

This is going to sound like an ad for Propstore.com, but I promise you, I'm not making any money from this. That's not to say I wouldn't like to have a few bucks thrown my way. I just want everyone to know that wasn't the motivation behind this post.

Up until tonight, I'd never heard of Prop Store. My mom, of all people, sent me a link to one of their auctions, which led to me spending the last 5 hours browsing movie props and memorabilia. Some of the items are crazy spendy, which I expected. Still, I was able to find some deals hiding on there. So, without any further delay, here's my shopping list from the Prop Store.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Krispy Kreme Glazed Key Lime Pie

My original intention was to post a lot more Star Wars stuff this month, but work and life have sort of taken the lead right now. So, in a fit of desperation, I'm tossing in random snack foods. In a bid to keep it somewhat Star Wars related, I've enlisted Greedo, the green skinned bounty hunter himself, to give me a hand.



Friday, May 15, 2015

A Guide to the Star Wars Universe

I don't think I truly started to appreciate Star Wars until the early to mid 90's. That's when I finally saw The Empire Strikes Back, and I managed to catch an old "Making of" special on the Sci-Fi channel. It gave me a new appreciation for just how much work went into creating the creatures and ships of the original trilogy. It's also when I discovered a handy little guide, hiding on a friend's bookshelves.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lost lightsaber? Time for an upgrade Obi Wan!

You know how it goes. You're just sneaking around on a Death Star, minding your own business, when a powerful Sith Lord challenges you to a lightsaber duel.




Monday, May 4, 2015

May is Star Wars month! Have a drink with Ellorrs Madak!

That's right, since today is officially Star Wars Day, I've decided to do nothing but Star Wars posts this month. What better way to get started, than to talk about a random alien from the background of "A New Hope".



Friday, December 26, 2014

Stunt Zombie's Christmas Haul!

I can honestly say, I've never had a bad Christmas. There have been leaner times, but my family still managed to provide for me. This was yet another great Christmas, and I'm here to share some of my favorite gifts from under the tree.


First up we have the DC Comics Multiverse Batman, TMNT Newtralizer, and Star Wars Black Greedo. I'd like to think this just goes to show how weird and varied my taste is in action figures. You can look forward to seeing more of these three in the coming months.


I can't believe I finally own this movie. As much as I've grown to love it, I never managed to pick it up over the years. Things are finally right with the universe, and now I can watch it any time I want. Take that all those channels that only show the edited version!


I recently became a fan of Opinel knives, mainly because of their low cost and high durability. They're light, and due to their extremely thin blade grinds, they get ridiculously sharp very, very easily. Of course, when I saw they were offering them in blue painted handles, I had to add it to my list. I've got to reprofile the edge on this one, but I don't mind doing it on a knife that normally costs less than $20.



Chelsea also got me a USB powered turntable. It came with software allowing me to record vinyl to MP3 format, which means I'll be able to better preserve music from what is a rather fragile format. It also gives me an excuse to check out some of the current music being released on vinyl these days. Just what I needed, an excuse to collect something else..


Chelsea's parents introduced me to this wine a little over a year ago. It's called Chili Dawg, and it's a bit spicy and sweet, but the magic really begins when you add some Easy Cheese to the mix. Add a squirt to the back of your hand or to a Ritz cracker, take a sip of the wine, then eat the cheese. I kid you not, it tastes exactly like a chili dog. And a good chili dog at that. I'm sure some folks would see it as a novelty, but I've never been one to turn my nose up at something delicious.


This is the gift I was anticipating the most. I've known bits and pieces of the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but this book definitely filled in all the blanks. It's a great read, and it really gives you a good idea of how hard it is for creators to maintain control of their properties, while trying to make them profitable. I actually managed to finish this one yesterday afternoon, but I could easily read it again and again.

Those are just a few of my favorite gifts this year. Chelsea also picked me up a couple of awesome Die Hard and Guardians of the Galaxy holiday themed t-shirts, and her parents gave me a much needed pair of sneakers, along with rather nice sweater. I also got a much needed watch, since I seem to be so hard on them. And of course, there was the usual mix of candies, snacks, K-cups, TMNT themed bath products and warm winter socks. All in all, yet another great year.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Some thoughts on the Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens Teaser

I'm sure everyone has seen this by now, but it won't hurt to post it in one more place.




I still remember when the teasers and trailers for the new trilogy were being released, and this one seems, different, somehow. Granted, this was just a teaser, so we don't really get any story details, but what we do see has certainly piqued my interest.


My first question is, who is this guy, and what has him so frightened? From the little bit that I've read, at least part of the movie will take us back to Tatooine. So, there are any number of things, from Krayt Dragons to Sandpeople, that this guy could be worried about . Also, if he is actually in the employ of the Empire, it seems that they've exhausted their clone army and are actually taking recruits now. I seem to remember that being the case in the original trilogy, so I'm sure they definitely need warm bodies now, 30 years after Return of the Jedi.


Here we have another shot on Tatooine, this time of a tiny wheeled droid speeding through what appears to be a used spacecraft lot. He sounds a bit like R2, what with his worried sounding beeps and his nervous nature. Again, we have a character that looks like its on the run from something, but what?


The Stormtroopers are back, and going by this pic, I have a good feeling the clone army is no more. Check out the fourth guy back, and you can see how much taller he is compared to his comrades. I'm digging the new helmets as well. They look less bulky and more streamlined than the older versions, and seem to take some cues from the Clone Wars troopers. The eyepiece is a bit more intimidating, and it actually reminds me of a scene in "Saving Private Ryan" where the Germans' helmets shaded their eyes, making them look almost inhuman. I'm just hoping the quality of the Stormtrooper armor has improved, along with their aim.


Yet another scene on Tatooine. It seems like the desert planet is to Star Wars what New York City is to the Marvel Universe. Everything happens there. It's also another shot of someone either rushing to or away from something else. Everybody is in a hurry in this movie. I'm not sure who this girl is, but I'm going to guess it's one of Han and Leia's kids. Han was quite the racer in his youth, so it would make sense for at least one of his kids to take after him. That speeder actually reminds me of the engines used on the pod racers from the first prequel. It's basically all engine with a seat and controls, but no weapons. That leads me to believe it's just for personal transportation or racing. The speeder bike scene in Return of the Jedi is one of my favorite parts of the original trilogy, so I'm a little anxious to see if there will be something similar in Episode VII.


This is easily my favorite scene from the teaser. The X-Wing is one of my favorite fighters from the Star Wars universe, so it's nice to see them again. There appear to be some minor changes to the design, such as how the wings come together, but it still looks like the classic ship that I've grown to love. The best part about this clip is that we get to see a planet other than Tatooine. I don't know exactly where they are, but there's just something awesome watching a squad of X-Wings kicking up spray as they skim the water. I've seen some complaints about the Rebels using fighters that are at least 30 years old by this point, but then the US and other countries are still using planes designed almost 40 years ago. And none of our stuff is anywhere near as awesome as an X-Wing.


Gee, I wonder if this guy is evil? The Star Wars universe isn't exactly known for its subtlety, and there's no better example of this than the Sith. There are some exceptions to the rule, but in most cases in this world, black and red means bad guy. We never get any clues to this guy's identity in the short time we see him, but going by his body language, he looks rather determined to track someone down. The way he powers up that lightsaber gives me the impression that he may have found them.

Speaking of that lightsaber, I'm loving the design. I know some folks are calling it impractical, but I think practicality has always taken a back seat to intimidation when it comes to Sith lightsaber designs. I'm particularly fond of how "dirty" the blade looks. No longer is it a featureless beam of light. Now it's jagged and more flame-like. I like it.


Last, and certainly not least, we get a little clip of the Millennium Falcon performing some evasive maneuvers on what can only be Tatooine. Again. I know Han is a good pilot an all, but I actually wonder if he's the one flying in these scene. I know Luke is quite the pilot, and he's got that whole Force thing behind him, so perhaps he's the one in the captain's chair? Either way, they're pulling off some fancy flying for a ship with no wings in the atmosphere.

The presence of the Tie Fighters raise a few questions as well. Even with the destruction of the Emperor and the Death Star, it seems like there could still be a lot of Imperial Forces scattered throughout the galaxy. But, with the Emperor gone, who is leading them now?


The teaser did its job, and got me excited to see the next trailer. I've always been hard on the prequel movies, but honestly, I can find something I like in all of them. From the little bit I've seen, it looks like the continuation of the series is in the hands of someone more than capable of making Star Wars great again.

So, I'll just be sitting here waiting patiently for December 15, 2015 to get here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Some of you are a positive influence. Imagine that!

I've been following Brian, Mason, and Laura as they take part in the Minimalist Game. You start the first day by getting rid of one item. The next day two items, then three and so on. By the last day, you're giving up 31 things that were originally adding to the clutter in your life. Watching their posts on Instagram sort of inspired me to go through my stuff, and start thinning the herd. Here's what I came up with, 
















There's still a lot more to go, but this has made a visible dent in my office, closets and bookshelves. Next up, the dreaded garage!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

League Assignment: Express your shelf!

This week’s assignment from the League: Shelf Expression

It's been a long time since I participated, but I couldn't resist taking part in this week's assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers:

Shelf Expression. Take a picture of your shelves, featuring a few of your favorite things.

The nice thing about keeping my collection small, is that most of it will fit inside one little display case.





I actually just thinned the collection out a little bit, and kept my favorite items. The Lego sets you see at the bottom are mainly just the Star Wars models. The rest are stored in a Tupperware container. These are my favorites, but I may rotate some of my other sets into the case in the future.




Bazooka has that "Not this story again" look on his face. 

Michelangelo looks way too happy for being a prisoner.



I like having a collection like this. It doesn't take up much room, and if I ever needed to move it, it would all fit in one container. Some of you guys have amazing collections, but if I had all that stuff, it would probably give me a daily anxiety attack.


Down the wall from my display case, I have an end table where I keep my magazines, comics, and catalogs for upcoming projects. It also makes a handy platform for taking photos when I need it.

So there you have it, my little collection of shelves. Let's see what some of my fellow bloggers had to say.

Jason Bucky Roberts' from Nerdy Life of Mine has an awesome computer desk and shelf set up.

jSarie from Revenge of the Toy Box shows off some shelves from the past.

Brian of Cool and Collected has gone bananas for Planet of the Apes.

Derek of Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks shows off an impressive mix of properties.

Erik Johnson Illustrator uses his book shelves for..well, books.

MonsterFink from the Midnight Monster Spookshow shows off a Universal collection.

George of G.I. Jigsaw shows off his giant Star Wars collection.

Kal from Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool has enough toys to open his own store.

Primordial Badger's Transformers collection is a masterpiece.

Rich from The Nerd Nook has some carded treasures.
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