Thursday, April 9, 2015

Robocop and the Ultra Police.

I know I've mentioned it before, but I was way too young the first time I saw Robocop. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, I just think the parts of the movie that didn't involve Robocop shooting large holes into criminals went way over my head. There were some terrifying moments as well, such as when Mr. Kinney learned he should have ducked, or when Emil discovered the dangers of swimming in toxic waste.


Still, the ultraviolence and lack of action figures based on the movie didn't keep me from wanting to play "Robocop". I would just pick the G.I. Joe figure that looked the most like the cyborg, and pretend he was half man, half machine, and all cop. Then, about a year after the movie's release on VHS, Kenner put out a toyline based on a movie that was almost rated "X" for violence.

I was just walking down the toy aisles in Rose's, trying to figure out what I was going to blow my allowance money on, when a familiar silver cyborg caught my eye. I pulled Robo off the peg, and scanned every inch of his card. No longer would I have to deal with a poor facsimile when I could have the real deal. Robocop wasn't alone, though. He had a whole gang to fight, and a few friends to lend him a hand. Possibly the greatest thing about the figures was the fact they could fire caps. Just load a roll into their backs, pull the lever, and enjoy as you slowly lose your hearing.

Let's have a look at a few of  the figures from this line.




Robocop

You can't have Robocop and the Ultra Police without Robocop. This was the first, actually the only figure I ever owned from this line. In my excitement at finally seeing a Robocop figure, I completely ignored all of the other toys in the line. It wasn't until I got home and reread the back of his card that I realized there were other characters available. Still, once I saw them on the pegs, I was underwhelmed. These guys weren't in the movie, so why would I even care about them?




Robocop came with a rather odd interpretation of his Auto-9 pistol, and a removable helmet. I never understood why his gun ended up looking so funky, but it works, I guess. When all the crime had been stopped, and all the bad guys had been shot, the pistol could be fastened to the left thigh. So it wasn't a cool retractable holster like the movie, but you could only expect so much for a figure that cost less than $5.


 Murphy removes his helmet several times in the Robocop movie, so it only made sense for his action figure to be able to do the same. The helmet goes on pretty tight, so it's not like it'll just fall off when you're playing with him. Take it off and squint your eyes just right, and I guess you could say that it looks like Peter Weller. The cheeks are as sharp and he has a bit too much forehead, but it's still a decent likeness for a toy from 1989.

As you can see, this particular Robocop was well loved by its previous owner. There are small scorch marks on the front and back, almost like someone was adding their own battle damage. I'm not going to lie, I did the same thing with mine. I actually ended up with a spare Robo somehow, so I used a lighter and a paper clip to add some bullet holes to one of them. I was quite crafty in my younger days.


Chainsaw

If you didn't grow up in the 80's, one thing you'll quickly learn is that bad guys' names almost always tell you what they do. Looking like he takes his fashion and hair styling cues from Billy Idol, Chainsaw here is a perfect example of the 80's villain naming scheme. I guess you could argue that he's technically using a circular saw, rather than a chainsaw, but then you'd be a jerk. Let's just all agree that it's a saw, okay? Along with his saw, Chainsaw also came with a boxy pistol that he can hold, or fasten to his left leg. He actually has quite a few sculpted details, especially those chains around his arm and on his leg. I'm not sure what purpose they serve, wrapped around his shoulder like that. It looks like that would be a bit uncomfortable. I wanted to talk about the shirt, but first I have to mention something I just noticed. Dude has a belly button. It's a little hard to see, but look right under his shirt. They actually went through the trouble of giving him a belly button. You realize now, that I'm going to have to spend the rest of my days seeing how many shirtless figures come with a navel.

Before I forget about it, that shirt. I love that shirt. The bright yellow with the red Vandals symbol on it, it actually looks like something I would wear, mainly because I don't think dog and cat hair would show up on it. Also, I'm not entirely sure if it's a skull with fangs, or an ant head. Either way, I dig it.


Nitro

If there was a Vandals member that was a complete doofus, and always screwed things up, I bet it would be Nitro here. I mean, just look at that face:


I can't tell if he's supposed to be a racist caricature of an Asian or a Native American. His eyes are shut so tight, I'm not sure how he's supposed to see anything. Perhaps he just witnessed a big ass explosion. That would explain the grimace, at least. I wish I had taken a photo now, but he actually has wrinkles sculpted into the back of his neck. He's scowling so hard he's giving himself a facelift.



I just got done talking about how villains' names always relate to their weapon or specialty, and Nitro has to come along and screw it up. Sure, his card calls that thing a Nitro-Pincher, but that's pretty weak. That's probably what his grandmother called her hands when she grabbed his cheeks. As you can see, it's not effective at pinching anything. This is why I say he's the idiot of the gang. They probably let this fool run around trying to pinch stuff, while they break into banks and just do altogether evil crap.

That purple thing on his thigh is supposed to be a Dyno-bomb, whatever that means. Oh wait, I get it..Nitro, because he likes exploding things. Great idea, give the moron the explosives.


Dr. McNamara

Hey, this guy was actually in the movie....sort of. I don't remember movie McNamara sporting a large submachine gun or those kick ass shades. With a face like every 80's action movie henchman, McNamara is the only Vandal that actually looks like he would be a match for Robocop. It's gotta be the arms. At some point, the Dr. got tired of getting sand kicked in his face, and gave himself some cyborg arms. Now he can go around punching bullies and cyborgs with reckless abandon. Speaking of cyborg arms, I've never been able to figure out if he just replaced his arms altogether, or if that is some sort of Robo-armor that he's wearing. If anything, it looks like he's wearing a Robo-cardigan. Along with his machine gun, McNamara also came with a Robo Scanner. Because it's so hard to find a guy that my grandmother could outrun.


Along with his metal sweater and cyborg arms, McNamara also has some fancy steel toed boots. If I was trying to kill a cop that was half machine, and I'd already built some upper body armor, I might spend another week or two and make some pants to go along with it. It's kind of hard to bury those steel toes in someone's ass when you've been capped in both of your knees.


Scorcher

Scorcher here is from the second wave of Vandals figures. He's supposed to be a pyro maniac, though his suit looks like it would fit right in at a fetish club. Armed with a flame thrower just as big as he is, half the fun is balancing him so he doesn't fall over. Unlike the other figures in the line, Scorcher's cap firing mechanism is located in his weapon, rather than embedded in his back. Pull back the metal lever, let it go, and not only does it set off a cap, but it also launches his missile.  Scorcher also comes with a removable mask, that makes him look like a scaled up figure from another popular Kenner line, M.A.S.K. Though his comrades aren't the handsome st bunch, Scorcher's face will likely give you nightmares.


See what I mean? That's the kind of face that makes Nitro up there look like Bradley Cooper. Whoever sculpted that visage hated children, and wanted to make sure they never slept again if they removed that helmet and gazed upon that image. I've yet to figure out if he's screaming in rage, or in the throes of ecstasy. I do know that it's probably not safe for someone with a unibrow that bushy to play with fire.




Sergeant Reed

Like McNamara, Reed was a character in the first movie. Actually, I think he made it all the way to the awful, awful tv series. In this case, he's been recruited for Robocop's Ultra Police, which means he gets some shiny blue chest armor, and a fancy helmet. The figure's likeness isn't too bad, though it looks like the previous owner tried to add some sideburns. I guess we all like to jazz up our toys in different ways.

I was thinking about how boring of a figure he was, until I realized that his uniform reminds me of the Ghostbusters' coveralls. If this whole Ultra Police thing doesn't work out for him, he could try out the whole chasing spirits business. All he would need is a proton pack and a Fright Feature and he's ready to go to work.


Of course, if the Vandals ever find that crime doesn't pay, they could just tour as an awful 80's hair band. They already have the name and the look, I'm sure Dr. McNamara could come up with some rockin' hits.


Navel.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

McDonald's Lego Motion Wind Whirler

If you were a kid in 1989 and you ate at McDonald's, there's a chance you got a Lego set in that thin cardboard box stuffed with fried potatoes, questionable meat, and grease. Tonight, I'm taking a look at one of those sets, the Wind Whirler.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chili Dawg Wine

Not everyone is a wine drinker, and I can definitely understand that. I wasn't a huge fan of it myself, and I even worked at a vineyard for a few years. I like to think Chili Dawg is for those people that don't necessarily like the juice of fermented grapes, but still want to look like they're drinking like an adult.






I was first introduced to Chili Dawg during a trip to the future in-laws' house. As we sat around imbibing and talking, they told us we just had to try this new wine they found. Since they're much more experienced wine drinkers than I, I gladly accepted a glass. They said it was like nothing else they've ever tasted before, and I'm inclined to agree. I ended up finishing the rest of the bottle on my own, and spent the rest of the night passed out in a drunken stupor. Ah..good times..


I was lucky enough to get a bottle of my own this past Christmas. I never really noticed the label before, but it definitely has the look of something from a small operation. Starring what looks like Clifford in a blue suit holding a flaming glass of wine, most would likely steer clear of this wine. I definitely think they're missing out. Sure, it looks a little rough, but that's part of the charm isn't it? I guess I'd rather they spent their time crafting a tasty beverage, and let the fancy shmancy folks worry about their pretty labels. Besides, what it lacks in flash, it more than makes up for in flavor. As they say, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover..

Chili Dawg is made up of a mixture of apple wine and chili pepper wine. Apples into wine, sure, I can get behind that. Turning fruit into alcoholic beverages is something people have been doing for thousands of years. Chili pepper wine though, that just sounds like insanity to me. I'm not even sure how something like that is made, but sometimes it's best to not know what's going on behind the curtain. If you're confused as to why there's a can of Easy Cheese sitting there, keep reading. It will all make sense soon enough.


One of the best things about Chili Dawg is its aroma. Popping the cork releases the scent of fresh apples, with a bit of jalapeno pepper mixed in. The flavor is akin to a lighter apple juice, and it has a sweeter taste that normal wines and ciders. It's definitely not syrupy, like other sweet wines tend to be. There's also a bit of spice, enough to remind you that there is chili pepper wine mixed in, but not so much that you'll burn your mouth. Chilled, I could see it making a nice refreshing beverage. However, the magic doesn't happen until it's mixed with a little Easy Cheese.


Now, I don't literally mean you mix the cheese and the wine together. Just the thought of what that would look like makes my stomach clench. No, what you do is spray a little Easy Cheese on the back of your hand. Hopefully your hands have been washed, because the next step requires you to lick the cheese off before taking a sip of wine. Now, I've always been told certain wines go great with certain foods, and I usually find this to be a load of bullsh*t. For the most part, a sommeliers main function is to upsell you on the more expensive wines offered in a restaurant. That's not to say that some wines don't taste better with certain foods, but for the most part that taste is entirely subjective. Just because some guy says that the $25 a glass wine goes best with the choked goose with ham jelly doesn't mean you'll absolutely agree. Still, even taking all of that into account, I can tell you Chili Dawg goes with Easy Cheese like peanut butter and jelly. Take that lick of cheese, follow it with a sip of wine, and your mouth is instantly filled with the taste of chili dog. Thankfully, your mouth won't actually be filled with chili dog, because that would just be weird, and utterly confusing.


Curious if this phenomena was isolated to just the Easy Cheese, I tried a couple different varieties. Sadly, the sliced American cheese product and cheddar didn't create the same magic. Maybe it's the difference in consistency, or perhaps it's the cocktail of chemicals that makes up spray cheese, but these just didn't work for me. Still good, but it's rather unappetizing having wine and cheese chunks floating around in your mouth. Lesson learned, stick with the cheese in a can.

Chili Dawg is available from Peaks of Otter Winery in Bedford, Va. You can actually order it online, but they can only ship it to Virginia addresses. For  everyone else, you have to go through a store licensed to ship out of state.

So, go get  some Chili Dawg wine, a can of spray cheese, put on some sexy music, and have yourself a party.



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Check that logo!

Thanks to Matt, the fine gentleman that runs The Toy Box, my blog finally has a logo! And what an awesome one it is. The only thing I added was the explosion in the background, because Stunt Zombie can't help but cause explosions wherever he goes. He tends to be a bit clumsy, being undead and all.

I'd like to thank Matt again for the awesome logo. If you don't already know about his site, it has one of the most comprehensive digital photo collections I've ever seen. The posts are pretty damn informative too. You should definitely check it out: http://thetoybox1138.blogspot.com/

Stay tuned later today or tomorrow for another post.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Transformers Universe Powerglide

You guys remember that thing I won? Well here's one of the figures from that really big box.




Change of address!

I probably should have posted under this URL first, but oops! I'm really not going anywhere, but my new address will be www.thestuntzombie.com. Update your bookmarks and your blog lists if you want to continue to follow my insanity. Thank you much. Over and out.

Monday, March 16, 2015

You may have noticed..

A little change in the address. When I first started this blog, I learned the hard way to pay attention to what account you're signed in with, and to check for spelling errors. That's how my blog address came to be stuntzombies.blogspot. It's always bugged me, so I decided I would eventually just buy "stuntzombie.com" and be done with it. Well guess what, about 6 months after I started my blog, the price of that domain skyrocketed. We're talking a jump from $7.50 to over $300. I'm not saying I had anything to do with it, but I'm sure I totally did. So, I resigned myself to always being a plural.

Until today that is. No, I didn't spend $300 on a domain, I'm not that crazy. Besides, if Chelsea learned I spent that much on something that doesn't actually exist, I'd probably disappear in a horribly painful way that I totally deserved. Thankfully I was able to get a much more fitting address, for the price of McDonald's combo. From this day forward, I am THE stunt zombie.

There are still some bugs to work out, but hopefully I can get them figured out before the end of the week. I'm also hoping to have a couple posts written by then. Shit's been busy around here, and I finally feel like I'm getting my mojo back. Prepare to be entertained.

Oh, and if you aren't already, you can follow me on Twitter @stuntzombie.

You can also find me over on Instagram: stunt_zombie

And of course, don't forget to update your bookmarks. My new web address is thestuntzombie.com.

Unless of course, none of you can actually see this. Then I really will be talking to myself on the internet.


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