Showing posts with label TMNT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TMNT. Show all posts

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?

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!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Michelangelo is a party dude

I discovered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one random day in 1989. I was hanging out in the toy aisles of Ames department store while my parents were on their weekly shopping trip. Other than toys, the electronics section is the only other area of the store I would visit. Mostly I would check out the video games, and mentally mark down which ones I wanted for Christmas. I honestly can't think of a time when I bought an NES or SNES game for myself. Yeah, I was a spoiled little brat. Anyhow, since games were usually out of my price range, barring an all A's report card or a bunch of birthday money, most of my allowances were spent on action figures.

So, I entered the toy aisle, trying to figure out what piece of poseable plastic I was going to buy with my hard earned money. G.I. Joe was my usual target, but this weekend, something else caught my eye. I was scanning the aisles, top to bottom, when my eyes caught a bunch of  figures with crudely drawn art on their cards. I sauntered over to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle section, and I was immediately enamored with what I saw. I checked each figure out, looking over their weapons, and reading their bio's, and trying to figure out which TMNT figure was going to be my first. As I was trying to make my decision, my parents came through the toy section to let me know they were ready to check out. I only had a few more seconds to make my decision, and in the end, I chose Michelangelo. I'm not sure why I initially settled on Michelangelo, but it must have been the nunchuks. I was always a fan of Bruce Lee and his skill with the nunchuks just fascinated me. I guess I figured any character that used the same weapons as Bruce Lee must be awesome.  By the time I got Michelangelo home and started taking his weapons off the plastic rack, I was hooked. G.I. Joe now had some serious competition when it was allowance time. I'm not sure how many TMNT figures I ended up with, but it had to be in the dozens.

Fast forward to Christmas Day 2013, when I happened to unwrap this little fella:

It seems Chelsea was paying attention when I mentioned Michelangelo was my favorite of the Turtles. I've wanted at least one of the new TMNT figures ever since they appeared in stores. But, I still find it hard to be seen in public buying toys at my age. Nobody bats an eye when you throw a box of flavored condoms on the conveyor, but set a TMNT action figure up there and the eyes start rolling.

Like the Michelangelo of old, the current version comes rather well armed. He's equipped with a pair of throwing stars, what look like a pair of bigger throwing stars, a kusarigama, and two pairs of nunchuks. When you have more weapons than hands, then you're definitely a force to be reckoned with. Mikey's articulation really allows for some great poses, much more so than the original figures. Unlike a lot of newer figures with increased articulation, this figure still feels pretty sturdy. His huge also help keep him standing up, though any poses that change his center of gravity too much will probably result in him falling over

Just as I was looking at this picture, I noticed all the little dings and pockmarks that were molded into Michelangelo's shell. It's a neat little detail, since real turtle shells aren't perfectly smooth either. I love that Mikey's belt can still hold his nunchuks. I never really cared that the Turtles had so many loose weapons, so long as I could keep their main ones on them all the time. I am a little worried about those stress marks that appeared the first time I slid the nunchuks into his belt. I guess I better be careful how many times I pull these things in and out.

Ultimately, I think this is an amazing update to Michelangelo. They've improved everything about the original figure, without compromising its purpose as a toy. Now, if they could just find a way to curb his appetite for pizza..

Friday, June 14, 2013

I met a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

Ah, the summer of '91. I wasn't quite 10 years old, and I was still very much into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'm not sure how I found out there were going to be TMNT's at the carnival, but I remember being anxious while I waited for the big night to hurry up and get here. I think my mom must have heard about it and told me, or I heard about the appearance on the radio. Regardless of how I found out, I couldn't wait to actually meet the Turtles. In my head, I pictured them looking just like they did in the movies. I knew they were just guys in a costume, but I still hoped that they would look like they just stepped off the big screen. I imagined that the carnival was going to put on this big show, maybe having the Turtles get up on stage to rally the crowd, then having to go take care of some Foot Clan members when they infiltrated the carnival. It was going to be epic, if things went how I imagined. When the night finally came, I almost chickened out.

It's not like I didn't want to go to the carnival. I always loved playing the games, eating the food, and riding the rides. Actually, that's a lie, there were some rides I absolutely refused to ride. Make that most of them. I understand that space was limited, so it's not like they could have a roller coaster set up out there. Instead, pretty much every ride spun around, really, really fast. One time I actually got up the nerve to try the Airplanes ride. You got in this thin sheet metal compartment shaped like a plane. The attendant would slam the door and lock it shut with a bungee cord. Then, the ride would start up. It was almost pleasant at first. It was going just fast enough to create a nice cooling breeze on your face, which was a relief on those hot and humid summer nights. As the ride spun around, it would tilt, causing all the planes to "fly" up and down. Then it would start to pick up speed, until everything outside your window was flying by in a blur. I also forgot to mention that the cart was attached by the nose, so each individual plane could flip spin as well. Unless you knew the secret to stopping it, you could spend most of your ride spiraling out of control. That's what happened the one time I tried it, and I steadfastly refused to ever ride it again. It was the same with the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Spider, and even those damn swings that spun in a circle. The slowest ride there, and it was the only one to make me throw up. Go figure. That's why I kept my ass planted in the ferris wheel. Besides, that one always provided the best view.

So the night of July 3rd finally got there, and my mom took my cousin Richie and I up to Onancock. We did our usual thing, wasting allowance money on games we'd never win, eating a lot of bad food, and checking out girls from the ferris wheel. It was on one of those trips around the ferris wheel that I spotted Donatello. There were a few kids crowded around him, but he certainly wasn't being mobbed. When Richie and I finally got off of the ride, we ran over to where my mom was standing and told her we spotted the Turtles. We all started walking over there, and it was then I realized something: I was very, very, shy. I was fine around children and adults I knew, but I clammed up around strangers. Strangers dressed in costumes, like the one I was about to see, absolutely terrified me. In my head I was starting to panic. By the time we made our way over to where Donatello was standing, I had completely shut down and was ready to run back to the car. The costume the guy was wearing was nowhere near as cool as the ones they used in the movies. Hell, he barely looked like the cartoon version. Just one lone Turtle in a cheap costume, and I was too scared to speak. My mom urged me to go over and talk to him, but I refused. What was I going to say to a giant, furry Turtle? I don't think he was allowed to speak anyway. I had seen other kids talking to him, and his only response was the nodding of his head. Finally, my mom took me by the hand and led me over to Donatello, she asked if she get a photo of the two of us. He nodded enthusiastically, and wrapped his arm around me. My mom told me to smile, and I was blinded by the light of the flash. I thanked Donatello, and ran back to my mom and my cousin, hoping that she was able to get the picture on the first shot. She did, and we continued to walk around until it was time to go home. Right before we left,  I heard a shrill scream from Donatello's direction, and I saw two parents ushering off their crying child. Seeing that made me feel a little better. Sure I was a few years older than that kid, but at least I held it together.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Random stuff

Here's a random shot of Don in the snow. I took a pic of him in the freezer a while back, but I think I like this one more. The vegetation almost looks like it's to scale.

Here I am relaxing on the couch with Kirby the Wondermutt. One of these days, I need to dedicate a post to him. He's absolutely the best dog I've ever had.

Jell-O shot "watermelons". Chelsea made these when we went on vacation with some friends of ours. I'm not sure how she did it, but it must have involved magic.

Ah yes, Bob's trying to figure out how he's going to fit my new knife in his pocket. The joke's on him, he doesn't have pockets.

This weekend we're going on a little excursion, so I'm hoping to have lots of photos to share when we get home. Stay tuned..

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time to put my Foot down!

The Foot Soldiers came out in the first wave of TMNT figures, and much like Shredder, they look like they are in serious need of some chiropractic help. This one came from the lot I won from a caption contest on Toyriffic last year.

The Foot Soldiers really were odd figures. I hadn't seen the cartoon yet when I started getting these figures, so I didn't know these guys were robots in the show. To me, they always looked like some sort of alien/gorilla hybrid, with their simian stance and bulbous noggin. Thankfully, they were unlike Shredder in the fact they had two usable arms, even if they were stuck in a semi-crouching pose.

Just a bit of trivia, those gauntlets on their arms are made from the shells of their fallen foes. Since none of the actual TMNT's were ever defeated in battle, I'm assuming this means the Foot Soldiers are programmed to destroy all turtles. Man, Shredder really was one evil dude.

Monday, November 19, 2012

As the Wyrm turns

Now that's a face not even a mother could love. Wyrm was part of the 1991 TMNT figure assortment, and for me, he ranks third in ugliness behind Mutagen Man and Muckman. Tugging on his hair caused his eyes to bug out, and his head was hinged for authentic eatin' action. He even came with a bunch of tiny red worms that you could "feed" to him. I actually had a Wyrm figure as a youngster, though I still find it hard to believe I bought him on my own. He just doesn't seem like the kind of character I would have been into back then.

I actually picked this one up as part of my yard sale score. I don't know who owned him before me, but I do know they must have been one cool kid.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Arctic Donatello

That's Arctic Don hamming it up for the camera. It seems he took a wrong turn at the ice cream, and ended up next to the ice trays. This is another one that I picked up at the town yard sale in September, and he's in surprisingly good shape. I don't think I had any of the figures in this wave. By that time, the Turtles were starting to get a bit weird, and I was moving on. In fact, I don't remember having more than a couple variations on the original four. This one didn't come with any accessories, but his paint was in great shape. I just couldn't resist him for just half a dollar. Hopefully Don will get to see some play time soon when he ends up at his new home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

TMNT Series 1 Shredder

If there were a Hall-Of-Fame for 80's cartoon villians, it would be a crime to leave out Shredder. In every incarnation of the TMNT, there has been a Shredder, trying to turn the heroes into turtle soup. He was initially portrayed as a bit of a fool in the original cartoon, but he has become more and more menacing with each new incarnation. Like all of the other characters in the TMNT universe, Shredder was released in action figure form, more than once actually. This one is from the first wave of TMNT action figures, and I actually found him at a yard sale for $.50 a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, this is probably the worst figure from the first series. He looked nothing like his cartoon counterpart, and was rather poorly sculpted as well. In the show, Shredder was a tall and imposing character  and he looked like he would be a physical match for the Turtles. This guy though, looks like Shredder has hit hard times and had to sell the Technodrome to fund a drug habit. Look at those huge bags under his eyes. This is a man that spends his nights thinking of ways to defeat four teenage mutants with an addiction to pizza while he's curled up in a cardboard box in the alley.  Going by his visible ribs and overall skinny appearance, it looks like Shredder gave up his quest for turtle soup, and is on a daily quest for crack.

Shredder's odd pose doesn't help either. The one hand that can hold a weapon is too close to his body to be useful, and the one outstretched arm has an open hand that makes it look like Shredder is trying to keep warm next to a fire barrel.

Of course, Shredder does have a couple of other poses:

The "I have no idea what that smell is" pose , and...

"Raise your hand if you're the lackey of a giant brain shaped alien with unlimited technology and resources that can't even defeat four teenagers led by a giant rat that all live in the sewers" pose.

Strange as the figure may be, he still got a lot of play when I originally owned him. Of course, once Super Shredder came on the scene, this one spent the rest of his time in the toybox, holding his one hand over the fire barrel, telling stories about how he almost beat those turtles..

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Go ninja, go ninja go!

March of 1991 was a good time to be 10 years old and a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I could watch the TMNT cartoon while eating my TMNT cereal, wearing my TMNT pajamas, then play with my TMNT action figures. The Turtles had managed to infiltrate just about every aspect of the marketplace, and most of the kids I knew were sick with Turtle fever. Less than a year before, the first live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film premiered in theaters, and was an instant hit. I actually managed to see it on the big screen, with a good friend of mine, Mike L. Now, I liked the Turtles, but Mike absolutely loved them. He had the figures, the comics, the bed sheets..pretty much everything in his room had a TMNT on it. Mike's also the only person I know that owned the toy Technodrome. Our folks had taken us to see the first TMNT movie when it came to the Idle Hour Theater, and it was a blast. I still remember walking down the school hallway singing "T.U.R.T.L.E. Power".

When we learned that there was going to be another Turtle's movie, we were understandably excited. Anticipation would build with every viewing of the tv spots. I would always browse the latest issue of Starlog to try and glean as much info as I could. It was on one of these excursions to the newsstand that I came across this:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret of the Ooze in comic book form! My mind was blown. I coughed up the $5.95 cover price, or enough for two G.I. Joe figures, and proceeded to read it cover to cover while my mom shopped for groceries. Then I read it again. Then I read it again..I memorized the whole damn thing by the time she was done.

There was action,

As well as humor,

And Vanilla Ice,
Now those are some kickin' lyrics.
I just couldn't wait to see how it all played out on the big screen. I mean, there was another giant turtle, as well as a giant wolf. How were they going to pull that off? What about the giant Shredder we kept seeing in the movie previews? In the comic, he just looked like regular, every day Shredder, just drawn a little bigger.  The movie made him look much, much more menacing. Finally, the sequel made its way to our secluded little peninsula, and Mike and I were able to bask in the glory of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze. It was definitely more lighthearted than the first movie, and now the violence was more slapstick in nature. Of course, that didn't matter to us, and we enjoyed the sequel just as much as the first. I may enjoy the first movie more these days, but Secret of the Ooze will always have a fond place in my memory.

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