Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 7/26/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo
The TMNT are teleported to a world of talking animals-the world of Usagi Yojimbo! When the samarai rabbit embarks on a quest to save Japan and the deadly Jei blocks his path, a Turtle team-up may be the only chance for survival!
(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
SRP: $7.99
Synopsis provided by

Friday, July 21, 2017

Autographed TMNT Flying Disc!

If you have been recently visiting the official Mirage Licensing website, you have seen that Peter Laird has been holding ebay auctions each week for vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items. These range from hard to find items like a sealed Scratch action figure to McDonalds Happy Meal Toys. One item that caught my eye was this TMNT Flying Disc from the early 90s!
The artwork on the package is classic Turtles and the neon pink color of the Flying Disc is totally a signature color of the 90s! I placed a $10 bid and one week later, I had won this amazing TMNT relic straight from the Mirage Studios headquarters archives in Northampton, MA!
The coolest thing about this item is that it came autographed by Peter Laird himself!
Yes, that Peter Laird! Co-creator of the Mean Green Machine and father of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Being a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles since I was a child, I had always wanted to own a piece of memorabilia that had been signed by the Turtles creators. This was an inexpensive way to do that.
But that's not all, while paying for my item through PayPal I put in a request for Dan Berger to sign the Flying Disc also! And he did it!
For those of you not familiar with Mr. Berger's work, he worked on the early issues of the Archie published Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures series before moving to the main TMNT title in 1989. Berger also created the independent comic Gutwallow and came up with the TMNT character Merdude! He is currently Managing Editor of Mirage Publishing and maintains The Mirage Group Website.
As a lifelong fan, I am extremely happy to have this item in my ever growing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection. I am very careful with it though. Since the guys signed on the plastic wrapper, any little poke or tear could ruin it! Gotta keep this baby up high and on display in my man cave/kids playroom.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 7/19/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
DuckTales (woo-hoo) returns! Featuring beloved characters like Uncle Scroohge, Donald Duck, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie, this new #0 issue is the perfect jumping-on point for fans old and new in anticipation of the brand-new Disney XD TV series coming Summer 2017! Experience the wackiest, quackiest hijinks in two brand (Duck) Tales!
(W) Joe Caramagna (A) Gianfranco Florio, Paolo Campionoti, Andrea Greppi, Roberta Zanotta (CA) Marco Ghiglione
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by

Monday, July 17, 2017

What is going on here?

This has to be the worst Baseball card photo of all time! I mean seriously, what is going on here? This is Andre "Awesome" Dawson! One of the best sluggers of the 80s, a hall of famer and an all-time great. Why did Classic choose this picture out of all the shots I'm sure they had? Why are Dawson's legs so oddly posed? Is he really taking a fastball to the head? What happened after this shot, did a fight break out? So Many Questions!
My theory is that Dawson approached the plate and in a moment of both cockiness and craziness he decided to perform the Funky Chicken dance to insult the pitcher. Earlier in the game the pitcher, let's say it was Bret Saberhagen, threw a curve ball that Dawson took over the fences. In retaliation Saberhagen throws at Dawson's head as his body flails from his epic dance moves. The pitch connects and Dawson goes down! A huge fight ensues and the game is called due to every player on the field being knocked out by each other's wild haymakers. That is what I choose to believe happened on that infamous day in Chicago.
Sorry to waste your time with this post. I got this card out of a pack and so many questions blew through my mind! Let's all celebrate Andre Dawson and his wackiness in this video from his outstanding MLB career as a Cub!

Friday, July 14, 2017

GI Joe Real American Sunglasses

The year was 1987 and some of the hottest toys on the schoolyard were G.I. Joe action figures! Every one of my friends had G.I. Joes. The thing that was so great about this toy line was that there were so many Joes to choose from, so everyone had different commandos to send into battle against the evil of COBRA! Since me and my older brother were big into these guys, one year we each found a pair of G.I. Joe Sunglasses in our Easter Baskets. We thought we were as cool as Sergeant Slaughter in those babies!
Unfortunately for me that feeling of unbridled awesomeness and badassery would end all too soon! I foolishly took my G.I. Joe Sunglasses to school and they got lost somewhere? A few days later a kid by the name of Mikey came to school wearing the very same glasses I had. Naturally I thought he stole mine and we got into a fight. Parents were brought in and it turned out Mikey's parents had bought them for him! The mystery of the missing G.I. Joe Sunglasses was never solved, but I think my brother had something to do with it?
Last year I was able to put the heartache of the 80s behind me when I purchased a pair of G.I. Joe Sunglasses off of ebay for around $3!
I am totally okay with them still having the old Bradlees and Clearance stickers on them. I believe these just add to the charm. Now I can cross these off of my wish list and Mikey if your out there, I am sorry for fighting you over a pair of plastic sunglasses in grade school...unless you really did steal them, in that case I am not sorry and you got what you deserved. I feel better now and that is half the battle...Right?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 7/12/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Based on the classic Atari game! When a terrifying creature from beyond the stars attacks his planet, Dale's journey begins. But he is not out to save his world. It is already too late for that. As the lone survivor, the only thing he wants is revenge! Writer Max Bemis (Worst X-Man Ever, Foolkiller) and artist Eoin Marron (Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original) bring you a tale of survival and vengeance like you've never seen before.
(W) Max Bemis (A) Eoin Marron (CA) Dan Schkade
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dollar Tree Incredible Hulk!

I got suckered in again by the Dollar Tree! This recurring theme may become a problem. But seriously when you see a 1984 Incredible Hulk Annual for $1, could you pass it up? I obviously couldn't. The story inside is kind of ho-hum. The Hulk ends up on a tropical planet, a symbiote spine attaches itself to Hulk, hilarity ensues and in the end the spine sacrifices itself for the better good.
Not the best Hulk story ever told, but the 80s advertisements inside were amaze-balls! 1984 was a time when Atari ruled the world and this is reflected in the ads. We not only got the insane back cover Star Wars Arcade Game ad, but the original Mario Bros. ad! This was before the Brothers became Super and were just cleaning crabs and turtles from pipes to earn a buck. So simple, but so much fun and look at those retro drawings. That is Mario at his best!
The next ads were a whiff of nostalgia as they included Secret Wars figures for $5.99 each, a Captain America Shield & Spider-Man flying web for the low price of $4.49 and an All-New black costume Spider-Man shirt for $10! All OUTSTANDING BUYS!!! The next page featured an ad for the Tomy toys inspired comic series Starriors! I had one of these guys growing up and they were pretty cool. Definitely one of the more underrated toy lines of the 80s.
These next ads I added because of the oddity of them. I did not know the NYCC went back this far. In 1984 tickets cost only $9 and the show was held at the Omni Park Central Hotel! A far cry from what the con is today. The other ad for Military Diamond sales just seems so odd and out of place. In 1984 comics were still geared mostly towards kids, so what was an ad for $700 diamond rings doing in this comic? Who bought the ad space? And why is that sketch of the two people so damn creepy?
Am I the only one who liked ads like this? Yes they were trying to sell me something, but they were also a fun activity. Fig Newtons always had the best ones. I always viewed ads in comics like commercial breaks during cartoons. You had to hold my attention to keep my eyes on your product and these ads did just that!
I guess there was one more cool thing in this book....A FREAKIN SPLASH PAGE OF HULK GETTING CRUSHED BY A HUGE DINOSAUR/DRAGON THING!!!!! RAARRGHH!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 7/5/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
"Aftermath"! Gotham City is at peace...but a war is coming. Armed with the terrifying knowledge gained from the mysterious button, Batman prepares for the coming storm by making a proposition to one of his enemies-one that will change everything for the Dark Knight and his allies!
(W) Tom King (A) Clay Mann (A/CA) David Finch, Danny Miki
SRP: $2.99
Synopsis provided by

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July America!

Enjoy your 4th of July everyone! See some fireworks, attend a block party, play some baseball, enjoy a hot dog and relax with the smooth sounds of New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen performing "Born in the U.S.A".

Friday, June 30, 2017

GPK Card Review: Adam-Geddon

I don't know how many times I can state this, but I am a sucker for Garbage Pail Kids cards. I collected these stickers back in the 80's during the height of GPK Mania! So, every time I see a new series by Topps on the shelves, it gives me a nice warm feeling inside. It brings back the nostalgia of stopping at the local corner store with my Dad and picking out a pack. Naturally I recently purchased a pack of GPK: Adam-Geddon cards. Here's what was inside:
Stuffed Stephan, Whipped Kareem, Noah Room & Francis Fungus. I did enjoy the Whipped Kareem & Noah Room cards. They seemed like they could have fit into any retro GPK release. The Francis Fungus, just seemed lazy to me. I understand after all these years it is gonna be difficult to come up with fresh ideas, but I expect a little more out of my Garbage Pail Kids. I was not too happy to receive an A & B variation card of pretty much the same character in a 4-card pack, but it's not unheard of in a pack of GPK. I'll let that slide.
Here's where my biggest beef was with this new Adam-Geddon release. The backs are so plain and terrible! GPK is famous for their great backs that included everything from puzzle pieces to mini comics to fake awards. This unoriginality drives me nuts. I will not spend anymore money on this Topps release. Let's forget this nastiness and bask in the greatness that is the 80's GPK card backs!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 6/28/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
EDGE of VENOM-VERSE starts here!
The series that sets up the epic VENOM EVENT of 2017 STARTS HERE! Each issue introduces another major Venomized character that will feed into VENOMVERSE itself! THIS ISSUE, the young mutant clone designated X-23 collides with a cryogenic tube containing a strange alien symbiote during her frenzied escape from The Facility, . Bonding with the alien enhances her already considerable abilities, and aids in her escape, but it begins to alter her mind! On the run from the very people that made her, can X-23 hold it together or is she doomed to give in to Venom!
(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Roland Boschi (CA) Francesco Mattina
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by

Friday, June 23, 2017

My Faves: Figure Collection #4

 I have a fairly big collection of loose figures from the 80s & 90s. I would like to share a few of my faves with you at this time. You ready? Here we go!
 Bartman: The Simpsons (Mattel, 1990)
I purchased this figure just recently off ebay for a few bucks in an action figure lot sale. These 1990 Mattel Simpsons figures have been on my wish list for a long time. I remember seeing these on the shelf at toys stores back when I was a kid, but unfortunately for me I chose Beetlejuice toys over them. I am a huge Simpsons fan, so I am always looking for early products from the 90s and these are on the top of my list. Only 8 figures and the "Sofa & Boob Tube" play set were released from Mattel.
Prince Adam: Masters of the Universe (Mattel, 1984)
I was 4 years old when I first laid eyes on this Prince Adam action figure. I remember to this day because I met a friend at the park while my older sisters were playing a soccer game. He brought his Masters of the Universe figures and when he opened his case...out came Prince Adam. I had never seen him before and had to have him. Well, pretty soon my taste in toys changed over to the Thundercats and Ghostbusters and Prince Adam was forgotten. Then there he was, in a thrift store grab bag with some McDoanlds toys and plastic dinosaurs for the low price of $5! I grabbed him up and he stands in a special spot on my shelf of collectables in the basement and will stay there forever!

Snoopy aka Joe Cool: Peanuts (Schleich, 2015)
There is not too much to say about Joe Cool here. He was in the clearance bin at Barnes & Noble after the 2015 holiday season, he looked cool and I picked him up. I am always a sucker for cheap Peanuts merch!
Wilykit: Thundercats (LJN, 1986)
Thundercats ruled my world from 1985-1988. Me and my brother accrued quite a collection of the action figures and even had the Cats Lair and Mumm-Ra's Tomb play sets! I even dressed as Lion-O for Halloween in Kindergarten. We never had this Wilykit action figure though. We had the PVC figure of her that was included with the Cheetara figures in 1985. I stumbled upon this 1986 Wilykit figure by pure luck. I found an old green McDonalds pencil box at Goodwill. It was taped shut, but I could kind of see what looked like action figures inside. I bought the pencil box for a few bucks and opened it when I got home. To my surprise there was Wilykit along with Cheetara, a Mario figure and some Berenstain Bears & Muppet Babies Happy Meal toys. I call that a score!
Lola Bunny: McDonalds Happy Meal Toy (McDonalds, 1996)
The smash hit movie "Space Jam" starring Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters was all over the place in 1996! There were candies, posters, clothing items, video games and best of all a McDonalds Happy Meal dedicated to the film! Not only was this the film debut of his Airness, Michael Jordan, but an all new character was introduced by the name of Lola Bunny. I find these spinning figures at thrift stores all the time for around a quarter a piece. I loved this movie and anytime I see anything Space Jam related out in the wild, I grab it. Still looking to complete this Happy Meal set 20 years after it's release.
If you missed the first few parts of the 20 Years Before 2000 "My Faves: Figure Collection" series you can view them at the links below!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Comic Book Pick: 6/21/17

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
Not since the twelve labors of Hercules has a Greek warrior faced as great a danger and as destructive a peril as the Tasmanian Devil! And the bonus Looney Tunes backup story features DC characters with story by Tony Bedard and art by Ben Caldwell!
(W) Antony Bedard (A) Barry Kitson, Ben Caldwell (CA) Byron Vaughns
SRP: $4.99
Synopsis provided by

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fathers Day 2017 Recap!

I know I'm a little late, but I hope all the dads out there had an amazing Fathers Day this past weekend! I know my kids did a great job of planning out my day and made me some fantastic art for my office!
My day started off by watching cartoons with the kids. Each kid and myself got to pick one show to watch. The kids selected LEGO Marvel Superheroes: Maximum Overload, Pokémon XY and Barbie: Life In The Dream House.
My pick was Troll Hunters! This DreamWorks cartoon is a Netflix original adapted from the books written by Guillermo del Toro. I love this cartoon! It features a great cast that includes Anton Yelchin, Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman and Tom Hiddleston. Each Saturday me and the kids watch a new episode of the show. We are almost finished with the first 26 episodes of season one and are looking forward to season 2! I highly recommend watching it!
After cartoons we got ready and the kids took me out to the bagel shop for some breakfast and they surprised me with a CGC graded copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1!
With our bellies full of carbs and cream cheese we headed off to play 18 holes of mini-golf and some sweet arcade games! The wife and myself kind of kept score and we decided it was a tie, due to some circumstances involving kid interference. One of which blocked me from a hole in one! We hit the arcade and played some Skiball, air hockey fishing games and Fast & Furious racing! The kids won a whoopee cushion, some pull back cars, a mini basketball hoop, hackey sack and a ton of Tootsie Rolls!

We got home and played some crazy games of catch, badminton and Nerf Guns outside while I barbecued up some teriyaki & jerk chicken and beef kabobs. These were marinated for over 24 hours and tasted great! Stubbs Beef Marinade is AMAZING!

My wife also surprised me with a 6-pack of Zima to go along with our dinner. It tasted just like I remembered from the 90s. It had a citrusy, muted lemonade flavor. I've heard people compare it to a lighter version of Mike's Hard Lemonade and they are correct. This brought back so many memories!
The night was capped off by a viewing of Space Jam! This has become one of my kids favorite movies and I must say I'm okay with that! I had a great day with my wonderful kids. Now it's Monday and back to the grind...UGH! Why can't every day be Fathers Day?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Foil Pack Revolution: 90s Edition

A recent obsession of mine has been collecting old foil packs of trading cards from the  90s. Sure, I have a ton of these non-sport cards from when I was a kid, but the artwork and design of the packaging is something I missed. When you would buy one of these packs you would tear it open and throw away the wrapper. Never giving it a second thought. Seeing these again brings back memories of feeling the slick paper in your hands, seeing the simple artwork and hearing the foil crinkle as you tore open a fresh pack of trading card nirvana. Let's dive into a few of these packs that I have on display...AGAIN!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (Fleer, 1995)
 I remember taking my little brother to this movie when it came out in 1995. About halfway through the movie the power went out in the theater. We were given the option of waiting for the lights to come back on or get a refund. With a 7 year old Power Ranger nut with us, we stayed and enjoyed every minute of Ivan Ooze's reign of terror over Angel Grove!
Popeye Trading Cards (Card Creations, 1994)
I worked at a store that sold these cards and every now and then when things would get slow, I would open a few packs hoping to track down some of the chase cards randomly inserted into the packs. These included Character Foil Cards (1:9), Evolution Chrome Cards (1:36), and Popeye Power Cels cards (1:360). I never got one, but the chase continues thanks to the Dollar Tree!
Guinness Book of Records Cards (Pro Set, 1992)
I never collected these as a kid, never had any desire to collect the set, but when old foil packs of trading cards can be had for $0.50 each, I'll add them to my collection.
Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures (Upper Deck, 1996)
Oh Jonny Quest! In 1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest debuted on Cartoon Network. The show was actually pretty entertaining as I remember, but only lasted 52 episodes. It had a mix of traditional animation and computer graphics that added to the new look Jonny. I never knew these cards existed until recently and when given the chance, I grabbed a pack for my collection. Chase cards in the set include Action Quest Pop-Up cards and Heat Activated Hadji's Clues inserts.
Youngblood Trading Cards (Comic Images, 1992)
Lastly we have a pack of Comic Images Youngblood cards featuring art by Rob Liefeld. Back in the 90s Liefeld's art was the hottest around. Looking back now, not so much. I've talked about Comic Images card sets before and this follows the same pattern of basic art, little to no backgrounds and Prism Foil cards as the chase set. For all it's fallbacks, this set still takes me back to the 90s comic book boom that helped me fall in love with comics.