18th May2015

Thrift Justice: YSE – Holy Deal, Batman!

by Will

thriftjYSE

Well, welcome back to Thrift Justice: Yard Sale Edition. If it’s your first time here, this is where I share my hauls from yard sales, as opposed to the regular Thrift Justice, which is where I showcase my thrift store hauls. Anyway, I had a pretty nice weekend, so I thought it was time to dust off this column and get down to business. There are tons of yard sale haul posts out there, but there’s only one Thrift Justice. Well, two Thrift Justices. You know what I mean.

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The day started out slowly enough, as I found myself at a sale that looked promising on Cragislist. In the pics, I had seen a LEGO storage head and something that I was pretty sure was a Kenner The Real Ghostbusters Ghostzapper. I got there just in time to see a guy walk off with a Star Trek: The Next Generation Enterprise-D in the box. Curses! After looking around a bit, I realized that they weren’t exactly charging “yard sale prices”. I should’ve known when I saw a guy with a trailer set up in the driveway, selling antique dolls. Those never go cheap! The LEGO storage head was empty, and not much cheaper than retail. Oh, and the Ghostzapper was actually the Ghostpopper, but they wanted $8 for it without any of its foam ammo (which can’t really be replaced in 2015). They also had a bunch of Thermoses, but nothing too exciting. I didn’t want to leave emptyhanded, though, so I took a look at the books. That’s when I found this Marvel 75th Anniversary magazine. Apparently, it was free when it was originally released, but I’d never seen it before. I hate paying for things that were meant to be free. Still, I like a good anniversary book, so I forked over the dollar. Trust me, the day gets better after this.

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Next, I found myself at a church sale, which can really go either way. I find that church sales really depend on the denomination. Baptist sales won’t sell anything that goes against their beliefs. I once went to one that had taken some dinosaurs off the sales table because, well, dinosaurs. Luckily, this was not a Baptist church. I found these G1 Transformers in a quarter box near the door. What we have here are Insecticons Shrapnel and Bombshell. I wonder if I could’ve found Kickback if I had gotten to the sale earlier. Anyway, this was a good sign that I had stumbled upon something special.

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My latest thing is collecting really old games, especially board games. Even if the pieces aren’t all there, I’m fascinated by the box art. If you get them cheap enough, you can get a good pic of them and then donate them or something. This is Don’t Break The Ice, which was released by Schaper Manufacturing in 1970. The game is still being made, as part of Milton Bradley’s Cootie Games brand, but the box art isn’t nearly as groovy. I got it for a dollar, so it seemed worth it. Here’s something I find interesting: 45 years ago, this game was suggested for kids ages 5-10. Now, however, it’s recommended for kids ages 3-6. We’ve gotten smarter, America!

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The church had quite the vintage game selection, so next I picked up Tip-iT. This is the 1965 edition from the Ideal Toy Company. This game is still being made by Mattel, but it doesn’t look anywhere near this cool. That little girl is enthralled by what she sees happening, while the little boy is tackling the game with the precision of a bomb squad member. There’s another boy who apparently never learned that you never turn your back to the audience.  Meanwhile, Dad is just glad that Mom’s in the kitchen making his dinner. Hey, it was a different time!

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I love games like this because I’m a glutton for punishment. This Manhunt game is described as “The Electric Computer Detective Game”, but that probably means that the batteries have corroded in the “computer”, or it’s missing a battery cover or something. I have no faith that this thing works, but it’s like the lottery: you’ve gotta be in it to win it. Plus, look at the lapels on the kid on the box! I like how the box art is split between actual gameplay and the fantasy of gameplay. The left side looks nowhere near as exciting as the right, but they’re hoping you won’t figure that out. Anyway, it, too, was a dollar.

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This really isn’t all that special. I just kinda liked the 1970s idea of “wealth”. I mean, look at those skyscrapers! They were so state-of-the-art at the time, but so dated now. Again, I grabbed it because it was a dollar. I was making it RAIN up in that church!

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This I had to have because the box was huge by board game standards. It’s basically Battleship, but with a 3D board. Again, I have no idea if it’s complete, but it was so 70s that I just had to have it. Again, like the Manhunt game, I like the splitscreen showing fantasy versus reality. As big as the set up game looks, however, it actually seems to be more interesting than the fantasy of the gameplay. This was three dollars, but so worth it. At least, that’s how I feel without having taken inventory of all the parts. Out of all the games I bought, it has the most value on the secondary market, so I’ll flip it if it’s complete enough.

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I went hardcore on Saturday, going to nearly 20 yard sales once everything was said and done. As these things are wont to happen, my greatest item came near the end of the day. I found myself at a Knight of Columbus sale, where everything was being sold under tents. There was a little house on the property, which served as the “boutique”. Everything under the tents was some garbage, so I didn’t expect to find anything great inside. Looking around the little house, I was right. The most promising thing I found was the Double Dare home game, but the box was kinda busted up. So, I decided to take one last look around, and that’s when I found this high up on a shelf.

Yes, it’s the recently released complete DVD collection of the 1966 Batman television series. And it was still sealed. Of course, it had a $100 price tag on it, so they were going for close to retail. That just didn’t seem to fit with the general ambiance of the sale, so I grabbed it and held it tight as I contemplated my next move. The devil on my shoulder told me to just peel the tag off so they’d have to figure out a price on the fly. They had tons of stuff there, so surely they wouldn’t remember what they had on there, right? No, that wouldn’t have been right (and no, I’ve never done that before!). So, I decided to just check and see if it was their final offer.

I went up to the guy manning the cash register, and asked, “Is this really $100?” He said, “Well, that’s what they sell it for online. In fact, they ask $200 for it.” I pretended to be surprised. I’ve had my eye on the set for a few months, so I knew what it went for. As I was putting it back on the shelf, as he said, “You could make me an offer.” I said, “Nah, I trust ya.” That’s when he surprised me. He said, “I’ll tell ya what – I’ll sell it to ya for $20.” Yes, the bill that everyone wants to put Harriet Tubman on. TWENTY DOLLARS. Instead of ONE HUNDRED. That’s cheaper than one season of the series on DVD, and here he was offering me the whole series for $20! “SOLD,” I told him! I quickly fished a twenty out of my pocket, gave it to him, and shuffled to my car before he realized he’d made a mistake. My eyes darted both ways, as if I’d stolen something. I couldn’t believe it. I love me some Batman, and I’d pretty much resigned myself to never getting this set, since it was so expensive and I had a convention bootleg set I’d never finished watching. I drove off and met my wife and kid for some well-deserved Chipotle. I did the right thing, and I was rewarded for it. Or I kinda robbed that guy. I don’t know. I guess it depends on where you stand.

08th May2015

West Week Ever – 5/8/15

by Will

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The only thing I watched of note was Avengers: Age of Ultron for a second time. I’ve got to say that I enjoyed it much more upon the second viewing. I still think Strucker was wasted, but that’s what happens, I guess. On a related note, it was neat how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Theta Protocol tied into the movie, but it was pretty lame how the show just vomited out an explanation before the opening credits. Anyway, the movie made $191 million last weekend, so I’m sure I wasn’t alone in my multiple viewings.

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Now, it appears that the AoU cast is gearing up for Captain America: Civil War. Despite the title, this is clearly Avengers 2.5. In fact, there are so many people in this movie that’s it’s easier to say who isn’t there: Hulk & Thor. Anyway, the official press release from Marvel describes the movie as follows:

Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

The big question is whether or not Spider-Man is going to make his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this film. All signs point to yes, but it remains to be seen how he would figure into the story.

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In the DC movie universe, they released this cast photo from the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Someone on Twitter put it best when they said that some of the characters look like those Homies figurines you get in vending machines. I HATE this photo. So much. And the fact that there are people out there who like it really grinds my gears. It looks like an updated high school production of West Side Story. If nothing else, this cemented my thoughts that I don’t want DC to “pull a Marvel”. They don’t need a shared universe. In fact, I think I’d prefer they make their movies with very few connections, if any, to each other. I don’t like the tone that DC is setting with these initial movies. I get that some heroes need to be dark, but what are The Flash and Cyborg going to look like in this world? I just don’t like it.

Supergirl

In TV news, CBS officially ordered Supergirl to series, expanding the Greg Berlanti-led DC TV universe to 4 shows (including The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, and the spinoff now officially known as DC’s Legends of Tomorrow). As much as I like Berlanti’s shows, nothing about this series excites me. After all, Supergirl has no real rogues gallery. Then again, that could’ve been said about Green Arrow, and they seem to have figured that out. I just don’t know if CBS is the right home for it. CBS owns half of The CW, so why not just put it over there and let it join its “brethren”. They said that the door is open for crossovers, but it seems like there could still be some red tape. In other DC TV news, The CW has officially picked up the afore-mentioned DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which will debut in January 2016.

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Josh Trank was fired from the standalone Star Wars film he was set to direct. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Trank’s erratic behavior on the set of Fantastic Four spooked executives. It also didn’t help when he failed to show up to Star Wars Celebration, although it’s rumored that he was actually asked not to attend as Disney decided their next steps. According to sources, Trank is talented, but still has a lot to learn.

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Character descriptions were released for the Fuller House kids’ roles. Most interesting to me, Kimmy Gibbler’s daughter, Ramona, is biracial. And immediately I thought, “That makes perfect sense.” Instead of being half Black, she’s half Hispanic, and embraces her Latina heritage. She’s into boys, social media, and selfies. In other FH news, Dave Coulier has officially signed on to reprise his role as Uncle Joey.

It’s been a big TV week, as this is when we find out the shows that didn’t make the cut for a renewal. The information is still coming out, but here’s what we know so far:

Cancellations:

Hart of Dixie (The CW)

The Messengers (The CW)

Cristela (ABC)

Forever (ABC)

Revenge (ABC)

Resurrection (ABC)

The one that hits me the hardest is Forever. If you remember, it had the honor of having the West Week Ever and it was near and dear to my heart. Starring Fantastic Four‘s Ioan Gruffudd as a man who can’t die, I looked more forward to it on Tuedays than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Luckily, the finale didn’t exactly end on a cliffhanger. It was definitely a springboard for future stories, but I’m satisfied with how it will be left.

Surprising Renewals

Agent Carter (ABC)

American Crime (ABC)

Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

The Middle (ABC)

Galavant (ABC)

None of the above shows had stellar ratings, so I’m pretty surprised at all of their renewals. Agent Carter is a welcome surprise, but American Crime seemed like a done-in-one limited series, as the case it follows ends next week. Fresh Off the Boat is a surprise because creator Eddie Huang was doing everything in his power to sink the show, and the ratings had taken a dive since the premiere. The Middle is surprising because it showed all the signs of a show winding down, especially since 2 of the kids will be in college next season. It also doesn’t help that the actor who plays Axl (Charlie McDermott) has already been cast in a CBS’s Super Clyde (which hasn’t been officially picked up yet). The most surprising, however, is Galavant. ABC had NO faith in that show, burning it off in one hour chunks over a four week period in January. The ratings weren’t great, but I’m amazed it made enough of an impression to gain a renewal in MAY. Curiously missing from the list of new shows are the rumored Marvel shows, including the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Mockingbird spinoff and the John Ridley Ms. Marvel show. There’s still a chance that they weren’t ready, and could debut midseason or next summer, but that remains to be seen.

MADCAST_LOGO

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining Corey again for the MadCast Podcast. This time, we discussed the past TWO Mad Men episodes, so be sure to check it out.

Things You Might Have Missed This Week

-Sony has renewed Powers for a second season. I have no clue why, but it clearly has a budget of about $1,000 so it’s cheap to produce.

-Fox has canceled The Mindy Project, however Hulu is in talks to revive the show with a 2-season order.

-The CW has renewed iZombie for a second season. I’ve got to give that show a shot one of these days…

-Disney announced that Phineas & Ferb would be ending in June. Never seen it.

The Simpsons has been renewed for the next 2 seasons, taking its episode total to 625.

-Hugh Jackman has officially confirmed that he’s walking away from the role of Wolverine following Wolverine 3.

Links I Loved

Trivia and References in Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Robot’s Pajamas

Don Draper, Maverick Ad Man, Dead at 88 – MediaPost.com

WWF Hasbro Happiness! – Horror Movie BBQ

Hamburglar_Pose_3-1.0

Ya know who everyone was talking about this week? The new Hamburglar. Yup, McDonalds’ sales are suffering, so they decided to debut a new, live action Hamburglar. Because that’s what’s gonna make people eat more burgers. Anyway, the chain is debuting a new line of Sirloin Burgers, and they’re banking on nostalgia to help them move that beef. While most folks would probably prefer the return of Grimace of the Fry Guys, Hamburglar is what we got. And he looks odd. Seriously, his whole outfit looks like it was pieced together in a Goodwill. At least we know why he’s stealing the burgers. He simply can’t afford them. Based on the commercial I’ve seen, he’s got a kid now, and had left his burglar days behind him until the appearance of these new Sirloin Burgers. So, will his son follow in his footsteps? Will he abandon his family in the pursuit of hamburgers? SO MANY QUESTIONS. Anyway, it was a pretty slow week, so the new, hipster, pedophile-looking Hamburglar had the West Week Ever.

20th Mar2015

West Week Ever – 3/20/15

by Will

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First off, thanks to everyone who read my Batgirl post, as I had my best traffic in over a year. Who knew that something I wrote in the middle of the night would garner that much discussion? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click the link!

hasbro-transformers

This week, I caught the series premiere of Transformers: Robots In Disguise and I don’t really know what I saw. Taking place years after Transformers: Prime, it features Bumblebee (voiced by Will Freidle) as the leader of a ragtag group of Autobots trying to recapture some Decepticons who had crash landed on Earth. I love Will Freidle and I love Bumblebee, but I I’m not sure I love Will Friedle as Bumblebee. Also, it was kinda jarring that the sequel to the CGI Prime is a standard 2-D animated show that looks more like the sequel to Transformers Animated. I’m not the biggest Transformers fan, so I kinda don’t have a horse in that race, but I still thought I’d check it out. It didn’t hold my attention, so I can only imagine how kids are gonna feel about it.

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On the cable front, I checked out Tammy. Yes, I know that some people hate Melissa McCarthy and, yes, I know that they trailer did a horrible job explaining what the movie was about. Still once it hit DVD, I knew I was gonna watch it. I’d meant to get it from Redbox, but it premiered on HBO last weekend. So, what is it about? Well, after a really bad day – where she finds out that her husband’s cheating on her and she’s fired from her job – Tammy (McCarthy) sets out on a road trip with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon). Was it funny? I thought so. It’s produced by Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions, so you’ve kinda got an idea of the type of humor that it contains.

FMarvel.0

Speaking of movies, some drama’s been going down concerning upcoming Aquaman, Jason Momoa. Apparently, he signed a fan’s poster with the words “Fuck Marvel”. While some folks are saying this was unprofessional, others are happy that he’s igniting a true cinematic rivalry between Marvel and DC. DC fans say that the Avengers stars run their mouths about how their movies are superior, so why is this any different? I think it’s more a case of the fact that Marvel’s proven its worth. Momoa’s untested and hasn’t even acted in anything yet in the DCU, yet he’s already knee deep in a “rivalry”. If Henry Cavill had said it, I’d take it, since he’s already gotten his feet wet with Man of Steel. As it stands, however, Momoa really doesn’t have anything to back himself up. Someone on Facebook tried to say that Momoa passed on being Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, so clearly he must have more faith in DC by taking the Aquaman role. I beg to differ. I think he realized he’d made a mistake when GOTG went on to be HUGE and he jumped on the next train that came along. Anyway, let’s see who’s laughing when Dawn of Justice finally comes out.

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On the comics front, I got my hands on an advance copy of Archie vs. Predator #1. Sadly, I probably know more about Archie than I do the Predator franchise (I’ve never seen any of the movies). So, I’m sure some Easter eggs were lost on me. Still, the story should still be rather accessible, right? Wrong. It just doesn’t flow well. The characters’ personalities are off, as they seem to exist at extremes. Reggie’s REALLY a dick. Betty’s REALLY a dumb blonde. If Jughead had more than 2 lines, I’m sure he’d be REALLY hungry. It felt like a book made by someone with little familiarity with Archie for someone with little familiarity with Archie. On top of that, the level of gore that we get at the end of the issue doesn’t fit tonally with the rest of the issue. It reads like a “My First Archie Story” for kids, and then ends with eviscerated corpses hanging from trees. There are 3 more issues in the miniseries, but this one didn’t leave me with the desire to read more. I was expecting them to pull it off, like Archie Meets The Punisher, but this wasn’t on that level. If you love Archie or Predator, you’re gonna hate this.

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In the video game world, it’s rumored that game developer Hideo Kojima has left Konami. Now, I’m the furthest thing from a “gamer”, but I do know that he’s behind the highly successful Metal Gear franchise. That game series holds a special place in my heart, as I almost beat Metal Gear Solid II: Sons of Liberty, and that game’s theme is what I want played at my funeral. Seriously, just listen to it:

Anyway, if Kojima has left Konami, this will be a huge blow. Apparently, there’s been a falling out between Kojima Productions and Konami, and Konami has lashed out by removing Kojima Productions branding from Twitter and the Metal Gear website. For now, if he hasn’t left already, it’s believed that Kojima Productions will leave following Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes, as well as what happens to the Metal Gear series.

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It’s been confirmed that Toys “R” Us won’t be renewing their lease for the well-known flagship store located in the heart of New York’s Times Square. TRU has been in the space since 2000, and they occupy 110,000 square feet. This is a sad development that shows the current state of the toy market. In fact, the brokers are convinced that they won’t be able to find a single tenant for the entire space, so it’ll end up being divided. It’s rumored that TRU might actually lease retail space at the nearby Marriott Marquis, but I’m not sure if they’re going to take the giant dinosaur and the Ferris wheel with them to the new location. The move should take place next February.

Things You Might Have Missed This Week

-In the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, one of the turtles was killed this week. Hint: It’s not the one who leads, the party dude, or the one who’s cool but rude.

-The series finale of Glee airs tonight. I’ve seen, like, no fanfare for this thing, so I wonder who even knows about it.

-a well known comic blogger was accused of cyberbullying a former comic editor, driving her to the point of PTSD. I’m not naming names ’cause at least one of them seems like to type to Google her name. Yeah, the blogger was a dick, and the editor never really seemed screwed on too tightly. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

EmpireFinale

-One of my tweets was used in an Essence.com recap of the Empire season finale.

-I joined the guys at Nerd Lunch to discuss TV series finales. The episode will go up Tuesday, and I’ll post a link in next week’s post.

-I’ve been obsessed with the ’60s group Jay and the Americans lately. Here’s their hit “Cara Mia”:

– The California Raisins are coming back in a live action/CG film

-President Obama might be buying the Magnum P.I. house

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Ruth Negga has been cast as Tulip in AMC’s Preacher adaptation.

Links I Loved
Batgirl Variant Cover Glorifies Sexual Violence | #CancelTheCover – Reappropriate

MTV Spring Break Used To Rule – Deadspin

The 100 Sexiest Women on Television | 2015 Edition – UnderScoopFire

Ranking Marvel’s Superhero TV Movies – The Robot’s Pajamas

community-season-6-cast

Community is the little show that could. After 5 seasons on NBC, it seemed like all was lost. Then, Yahoo stepped in and picked the show up to be featured under the Yahoo Screen banner. Well, the first episodes hit the Internet this week, and it was good to see the gang again. It was also kind of jarring to realize how much they’ve lost over the years. Troy’s gone, Pierce is dead, and now Shirley’s gone to her own spinoff (it makes sense when you watch the episode).

Certain things didn’t work. For example, Abed didn’t seem like himself. It’s like he’s trying to be a new person, and he no longer seems interested in imagining that they’re all characters in a sitcom. Also, things didn’t really work on a technical level, either. You see, Yahoo Screen can be viewed via a browser, but it can also be used through an Android or iOS app. The Android app is pretty janky, as it was constantly buffering – sometimes for periods up to 5 minutes. I thought it might’ve been my connection doing it, but I’ve read that others had the same issues. So, with that going on, it took about an hour to watch a 27 minute episode.

Certain things did work, though. The writing is still there, and it definitely feels like Dan Harmon work and not the episodes from the “gas leak season” (the one during which Harmon was fired). I also enjoyed the addition of Paget Brewster, as I’ve loved her ever since Joey and Chandler were fighting over her on Friends. Her character, Frankie Dart, seems like she’s there to keep the show grounded, but it’ll be fun to watch her get sucked into the madness that surrounds Greendale.

The show’s joke was always #sixseasonsandamovie, and they just might pull it off. It nothing else, they might get another season on Yahoo Screen. Either way, I was glad to see it back, so Community had the West Week Ever.

20th Feb2015

West Week Ever – 2/20/15

by Will

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At the top of the week, I watched A.C.O.D., or Adult Children of Divorce. It stars Adam Scott as an adult whose parents divorced when he was young, though he’s still feeling the effects of it. His mother and father haven’t spoken in 20 years, but Scott tries to bring them together to celebrate his younger brother’s wedding. And, of course, nothing goes according to plan. The thing I loved about this movie is that Adam Scott is working with a ton of people he’s worked with before, so they already have proven chemistry. Richard Jenkins plays his dad, while he played his stepfather in Step Brothers. Amy Poehler plays his stepmother, while she plays his wife on Parks & Rec. Jane Lynch plays his therapist, while they worked together on Party Down. And Clark Duke plays his younger brother, and they worked together on the upcoming Hot Tub Time Machine 2. So, the movie is almost one big Adam Scott: This Is Your Life. In all, it’s a cute little movie, and a decent way to kill 90 minutes.

wet-hot-american-summer

I also caught the cult comedy classic Wet Hot American Summer. I’d seen parts of it before, but never the entire movie. There’s been renewed interest in the movie since Netflix just greenlit a prequel series. First off, who isn’t in this movie? While the movie’s from 2001, the cast is chock FULL of people who’d go on to bigger and better things. That said, I don’t really get the hype behind the movie beside its stellar cast. Sure, it had its moments, but it wasn’t as hilarious as I thought it was going to be. Right now, On Demand, it’s being marketed as “From the Producers of Role Models“, and I’ve got to say that Role Models had me rolling in the aisles. This movie? Not so much. I would watch it again, though, as I feel like it might be an acquired taste, and it seems like the kind of movie where you notice something different each time you watch it. For now, though, all it did was remind me of my crush on younger Janeane Garofalo.

TAAHM

Last night saw the series finale of Two and a Half Men. Say what you will about it, the show had an impressive run over 12 seasons and 262 episodes. Everyone thought the show was doomed when Charlie Sheen went crazy on tiger blood (#winning), but it managed to reinvent itself into something with a lot of heart. Ashton Kutcher’s Walden Schmidt was a welcome reprieve from Sheen’s lothario Charlie Harper. Where Sheen’s character was lecherous and without a conscience, Kutcher’s Schmidt was naive and optimistic. He wasn’t out to take advantage of people, but this also meant that he didn’t always realize when folks were taking advantage of him. Later in the run, the show lost its “half man”, as Angus T. Jones found God and decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of the show. The show circumvented this by adding Amber Tamblyn as Charlie’s long lost daughter. Every time something came along that could end the show, they found a way to keep it going. It still averages about 11 million viewers a week, and could probably last another 3 seasons, but it’s just time for it to end. I won’t go into the finale, but let’s say it’s meta and pokes fun at the fact that it knows it’s a TV show. To many, the quality of the episode comes down to whether or not Charlie Sheen returns one last time. I won’t spoil that for you, but I was very satisfied with the finale.

Power Rangers Imaginext

Last weekend was the New York Toy Fair, where all of the toy buyers gathered to see what would be the hot new items throughout the year. As you may remember, I attended the show last year, but couldn’t make the trip this time, due to my baby shower. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t look like I missed much, as something about this year’s offerings just seemed sort of lackluster to me. To me, the most surprising announcement is that Fisher Price will be adding Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to its Imaginext line. I didn’t really think that Bandai would allow something like that to happen, but it’s happening! For full coverage of the show, however, be sure to check out Awesome Toy Blog.

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Announced some time ago, there’s a Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon coming to Disney XD. Well, this week, news started trickling out regarding the voice cast for the show. If you follow animated series, a lot of these names will sound familiar. For example, Kevin Michael Richardson will be voicing Groot. Outside of Phil Lamarr, Richardson is the workingest Black man in animation. Meanwhile, Boy Meets World‘s/Batman Beyond‘s Will Friedle will be voicing Star-Lord. I haven’t checked out any of the Disney XD Marvel series, but I might give this one a shot.

Links I Loved

Norm Macdonald tells the story of #SNL40 – Storify

Isn’t the internet big enough for more than one “Angry Asian”? – Reappropriate

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This week also saw the celebration of Saturday Night Live‘s 40th season. Airing over the course of 3 and a half hours Sunday night, the special was a welcome look back on past sketches like Celebrity Jeopardy and Wayne’s World. A lot of the original sketches fell flat, as the Super Bass-o-Matic felt like a Leno-era Tonight Show skit, while I’ve never been a fan of The Californians. To me, the best parts of the night were the true retrospective parts, such as the montage of audition tapes from the likes of Kevin Hart and Zach Galifianakis. There were a few awkward parts of the night, such as the tribute for he’s-not-dead-yet Tracy Morgan (accompanied by a dreadful impression by Alec Baldwin). Also, there’s the debate of whether or not Eddie Murphy “freaked out” onstage. I don’t think Eddie has stage fright, but I do feel like he’s uncomfortable in public. And I kinda can’t blame him, as he’s had a lot of bad luck over the years, from the string of box office bombs to the male prostitute incident back in the 90s. Like Marshawn Lynch, he’s clearly a man who just doesn’t really have a great relationship with the media these days.

Spartans

Anyway, half the fun of the special was watching the crowd, as you never quite knew who you might see. There was even a rumor that *NSYNC would reunite, and I have no idea who started that one. Most of them, with the exception of JC Chasez, were in attendance, but it just wasn’t the venue for such a thing. I was more surprised by some of the SNL people from whom we got nothing, like Cheri Oteri. Say what you will, she was just as instrumental to the rebuilding era as Molly Shannon and Maya Rudolph. Sure, the other two have had stronger post-SNL careers, but I figured they could’ve given Oteri a line to say. Hell, even Ellen Cleghorne got a line!

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Anyway, I felt like there was too much emphasis on extremes – either the first season stuff or the recent stuff. A lot of the “in between” years got lost, especially the late 80s/early 90s bunch. In any case, SNL is an institution, and 40 years is an impressive feat. I’ve been wondering if we’ll get an SNL50, seeing as how Lorne is 70 but doesn’t really have a successor. That’s another 10 years, and it just might be too much to hope for. So, we have to appreciate what we do have, which is 40 years of something that has touched a lot of lives. That’s why Saturday Night Live had the West Week Ever.

As a “bonus track”, here’s a pic of the awesome cake from the baby shower:

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24th Oct2014

West Week Ever – 10/24/14

by Will

photovisi-download (3)

 

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It’s gonna be a light one this week, folks. The internet and cable went out at my place on Saturday night, and wasn’t fixed until Tuesday. So, I missed anything that would’ve aired during that time. This included the Black Dynamite premiere, the American Dad premiere, and the lack of internet prevented me from continuing my Arrow bingewatch. We finally got everything fixed Tuesday afternoon, but my car wouldn’t start in a random parking lot and, waiting for AAA, I ended up missing Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Forever. So, needless to say, it’s been a crappy week, and I have little to show for it.

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Walking home yesterday, I came across a Redbox that had recently been restocked, and I picked up 2 movies that I’d been wanting to see. I thought I was getting comedies, but the jury’s still out on that one! The first one was Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. In the movie, new parents Rogen and Rose Byrne are mortified to learn that a fraternity has moved into the house next door. The frat makes too much noise, which keeps Rogen’s newborn up at night. Rogen and Byrne want to confront the frat, but don’t want to seem like old fuddyduddies. You see, they’re still trying to cope with “Adulthood” and their newfound status as parents. They want to still be “cool”, even though they now have different priorities and responsibilities. After having the cops called on them, the frat retaliates by sparking off a prank war with Rogen and Byrne. Underneath all of the pranks, there’s a message about fear of growing up. Rogen fears he’s no longer the cool guy, while Efron is scared he won’t be the cool guy once college ends. By the end, they both seem to have come to terms with where they are in life. In all, it was a serviceable, yet pretty forgettable, movie. I’d say wait for it to come on TV, but I don’t know how they’ll air it with all the dildos and whatnot.

Sex Tape Poster

The next movie I watched was Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. If you’ve ever wanted to see Cameron Diaz’s ass and/or sideboob, this is the movie for you. The whole movie is basically given away in the trailer, but in case you never saw it, here we go: Segel and Diaz used to have sex all the time, but now they have kids and responsibilities and the spark seems to be gone. On a rare night alone, they decide to film themselves performing every move from The Joy of Sex in an effort to be wild and crazy. Well, Segel doesn’t delete the video like Diaz told him to, and it ends up being uploaded to a bunch of iPads that Segel has given to various people, including the mailman. Let’s take a break here and examine that little plothole: who the Hell just gives away iPads to random people? Do you know how much those things cost?! Before they can get all the iPads back, someone decides to blackmail them for $25,000 or else they’ll upload it to YouPorn. As you can imagine, “hilarity ensues” as they race around trying to track down every copy of the file. In the meantime, Segel almost kills a dog with a treadmill, Nat Faxon makes a cameo with his weird teeth, and Rob Lowe appears as a creepy cokehead. Let’s take another pause here: I’ve noticed that recreational coke use is all the rage in “edgy” comedies these days. It seems that white people are giving up on weed, and going straight to the cocaine. Is this true? Is it now as prevalent amongst the early 30s set as Hollywood has depicted lately? Anyway, the movie’s pretty predictable, although it journeys into the unbelievable near the end. At its heart, though, it’s a movie about how a relationship can break down to the point where the partners feel they need something like a sex tape to save things. That aspect was kinda heavy.

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What I’m learning is that the whole Judd Apatow set is growing up with me. When I was in my 20s, they were in their 20s and had goofy movies like Superbad and Pineapple Express. Now that I’m in my 30s, they’re in their 30s, going through the same stuff I am. Right now, a lot of those movies are about how much it sucks to get old. This includes This Is 40, Neighbors, and Sex Tape. That’s sort of scary. I look to movies as an escape, but they’re just kinda adding to fears I already had. And the answers they provide aren’t very reassuring. Oh well, I guess that’s what we get when we look to Hollywood for answers. Anyone got any coke?

scottneitlich

It was a big week for toy folks to get their Underoos in a bunch. First off, Scott Neitlich, AKA “ToyGuru”, resigned from Mattel. This is a big deal, as he was basically the face of the company’s collector lines, such as Masters of the Universe Classics and DC Universe Classics. As the face of the company, he also had a target on his head, and every questionable decision made by the company was squarely blamed on him. The message boards were on fire over the weekend, as people either wished him well at his new company or cursed the ground he walks on for ruining their childhoods.

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Now, this next little piece of business. So, this chick in Florida, Susan Scrivjer felt that Breaking Bad figures had no place in Toys “R” Us, as they glorified the drug trade. So, she started a petition which reportedly got around 9,000 signatures. What did TRU do? They acquiesced and removed the toys. This enraged adult collectors, as it seemed like it was just an issue for a small minority (until the 9,000 signature petition), and it sets a precedent that nothing’s safe. It also seemed hypocritical, as they sell Mature-rated video games, but have a problem with simple, shittily-made (in my opinion) action figures. I’ve said my piece on Twitter, but I guess it bears repeating here. See, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I kinda don’t think those should be in TRU. I’m a bit of an old fogey, I know. I remember when those toys were comic shop only, and I was a bit surprised when I started seeing them at TRU. To be honest, I’m kinda surprised it took this long for there to be backlash. I never thought it would be the Breaking Bad toys, though. I kinda thought it would’ve happened with the HB Hellboy figures or the KA Kick Ass toys. I mean, if you can’t even put the name of the property ON the toy, then maybe you’re not selling in the correct marketplace. But now we’ve got a slippery slope going, because anything is fair game to pull and a precedent’s been set.

T2

 I think it’s more about industry clout than it is about subject matter. Terminator 2 toys came out because of Kenner, and TRU needed the revenue from other Kenner wares. Sure, T2 was an R-rated movie, but Kenner was a major player, so it’s not like TRU could say no. They pulled the Breaking Bad toys ’cause they were from Mezco. This never would’ve happened with Mattel or Hasbro; they need that money too much. Other decisions would hinge on it. Plus, those companies would never waste their time on “staction figures” based on a cable drama.  This was a slap to the little guy. Anyway, the toys have been put on an “indefinite sabbatical” according to a TRU statement, so Scrivjer and censorship won. At the end of the day, though, kids wouldn’t even know who Walter White was if it weren’t for shitty parenting. He’d just be a figure of “some old guy”.

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Next month, they’re releasing the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix on cassette. So, good luck finding a tape deck!

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This week, Peyton Manning, of the Denver Broncos, made history as he broke Brett Favre’s 509 touchdown record. I’m not really a football guy, but Lindsay will kill me if I don’t mention it.

There was some good news this week: we found out the sex of the baby! Lord, give me strength…

Links I Loved

I watched WWE for the First Time in 15 Years and It Was Confusing as Hell – deathandtaxes

The Last Twisted ToyFare Theatre Ever – JustinAclin.com

Halloween Web – Holidaze – AEIOU…and Sometimes Why

After These Messages….the Slow Death of Saturday Morning Cartoons – Raging Nerdgasm

Are we gonna even pretend that the Age of Ultron trailer didn’t have the West Week Ever? I mean, just look at it!

Yeah, the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer had the West Week Ever. ‘Nuff said.

12th Sep2014

West Week Ever – 9/12/14

by Will

photovisi-download

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Last week, I mentioned that I’d wait til this week to cover all the Netflixin’ I’ve been doing lately. Well, first up is Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. I wanted to see this film when it was first announced, but there was no way I was going to watch it in a theater. It’s a four-hour story, broken up into 2 two-hour volumes. It took me a little over 3 weeks to get through it all, as I needed some time to digest volume one before I tackled the second one. Where to begin with this? Well, it starts out with Stellan Skarsgard (the old scientist guy from the Thor movies) finding a beaten up Charlotte Gainsbourg in an alley, and he takes her home to nurse her wounds. As she recuperates, “Joe” regales him with tales of her life as a nymphomaniac. The tales range from awkward to hilarious (especially the Uma Thurman chapter). Despite the sex, it’s not a sexy movie. In fact, her life as a nymphomaniac wasn’t very fulfilling, as she pursued sex to fill a void inside herself. There’s still some hardcore sex, though. Whether you want to or not, you even get a glimpse of Shia LeBeouf’s “La beef”. If you’re a 13 year old boy, and you’re reading this, most of the sex is in volume 1. There, I saved you 2 hours of your life so you can go play Destiny or whatever.

Volume 1 focuses on Joe’s youth, and has most of the sex, but the real character development starts in Volume 2, as you learn more about Joe and Skarsgard’s Seligman. In fact, there’s a reveal pretty early on in Volume 2 that telegraphs how the movie is gonna end, even though you really don’t want it to happen. Anyway, there’s more to the movie than sex, and it’s a really engaging story. I especially enjoyed the interplay between Gainsbourg and Skarsgard. She educates him about sex, while he educates her about philosophy and history. Even though they met the night before, you really see their friendship develop. Apparently, there’s a 5-hour cut of the film, which debuted at the Venice Film Fest. I enjoyed the saga enough that I’d actually be interested in seeing what the extra hour holds, but I hear it contains a scene of Joe performing her own abortion. Jay-sus! If you like artsy fartsy erotic stuff, I highly recommend Nymphomaniac.

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One thing I didn’t expect to like, but grew to love, was Bojack Horseman. As a Netflix original series, Bojack Horseman is an animated series that focuses on the titular Bojack, a washed up former star of a TGIF-esque sitcom in the 90s. As the series begins, he’s teamed up with a ghostwriter to help him write his memoir. In the 90s, Bojack was the star of Horsin’ Around, a sitcom where he took in 3 orphans and hilarity ensued. He hasn’t done much in the 18 years since the show went off the air, and he’s something of a Hollywood joke. The problem, however, is that he doesn’t seem to realize just how much of a joke he is until his ghostwriter starts working on the book. Will Arnett is perfect as the voice of Bojack, and the voice cast also includes Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul. After so much time on Breaking Bad, it’s refreshing to have Paul in a comedic role, and he’s great as stoner with the heart of gold Todd.

At first, it was hard to get into the world of the show, as humans coexist with talking animals, but I got over that quickly. One thing I loved about the show is the continuity, as you really feel like the 12 episodes are one big story, instead of typical episodic television. For example, Bojack’s former costar sets fire to his ottoman in the middle of the season, and the ottoman remains burned for the rest of the series. The events build off of each other, leading to a satisfying ending that I didn’t see coming. I felt that Bojack was gonna lose all his money and be forced to get a job. I’m so glad I was wrong about that. It’s already been greenlit for a second season, and those new episodes can’t come quickly enough for me!

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Zack Snyder revealed the Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Batmobile the other day. Man, am I sick of tankish Batmobiles! I’m ready for something sleek again. I know this is supposedly influenced by The Dark Knight Returns, so I can understand the need for a Bat Tank, but it’s not necessarily what I want. I’m not even gonna get started on the guns…

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They’re making 23 Jump Street! This isn’t much of a surprise, as I’m pretty sure everyone involved likes money. That said, I’m scared they can’t eke out a 3rd movie. After all, the second one is basically the same as the first, but a lot of the humor came from them acknowledging that. I can’t deal with another Rush Hour 3, though. I don’t know how they can do the whole “This is the same movie as the first” a second time. I’ll watch it, and I eagerly await it, but I’m scared.

Che

It was announced last night that Cecily Strong is out as co-anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Last season, when Seth Meyers left to helm Late Night, he was replaced with Colin Jost. While it’s true that Jost and Strong lacked chemistry, I hardly believe that she was the problem. Everyone I know hated Jost’s delivery, though most felt that he would eventually ease into the role. I know that Lorne probably wants to shake things up for season 40, but this hardly seems like the way to go. In any case, Cecily will remain as a cast member, while her Weekend Update seat will be occupied by comedian Michael Che. Apparently, Che comes from The Daily Show, so he’s got a resume, but time will tell on whether or not he’s the right fit for the Weekend Update desk.

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There was a Married…With Children reunion this week, as the cast reunited to celebrate Katey Sagal getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They look good, and I’m glad to see Sagal getting some recognition. In related news, E! is reporting that MWC may get the Girl Meets World treatment, as Sony wants to do a spinoff focusing on Bud Bundy and his family. It’s just in the pitch phase now, so nothing may come from it.

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Speaking of questionable moves in the television industry, there’s word that TNT is close to picking up a live action Titans series. I really don’t know what they hope to do that 10 seasons of Smallville didn’t already accomplish. I mean, by the end of that show, hadn’t we basically seen everyone they could possible give us in a DC TV series? According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show will focus on Nightwing as he sheds the Robin identity and strikes out on his own to lead his own team. So, we’re basically getting another Batman Without Batman show. I mean, most of the budget will be spent on Beast Boy’s transformations anyway. Anyway, it’s just pilot talk, and nothing will probably ever come from it. Plus, TNT seems like a horrible home for this project. They know drama, not capes.

Nev

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw punches. Everyone and their mom had an opinion on the Ray Rice situation this week, and the media made sure that we got all the celebrity reactions. Well, one such reaction came from everyone’s favorite Internet detective, Catfish‘s Nev Schulman. He tweeted a selfie in an elevator, with the caption, “Real men show strength through patience and honor. This elevator is abuse free.” Ugh. He sounds like the kinda douche nozzle who calls himself a feminist just to help him hit on women. Why do I say that? Well, in his recently released book, In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age, he recounts the time he was kicked out of Sarah Lawrence College for punching a girl in the face. He paints it as a situation where he lashed out at someone who didn’t want him taking her picture, whom he didn’t realize was a woman until after he hit her. Other accounts claim he just whaled on this chick. You can even read the victim’s account of the whole matter. Whatever happened, Schulman was arrested but the case was dismissed. Still, he was kicked out of Sarah Lawrence, so I guess he feels like he “did his time”. Either way, he probably should’ve kept his mouth shut this week, as his book has been available for months, yet nobody said anything about this event until he decided to put a spotlight on himself. So, either his fans were willing to give him a pass, or nobody read his book until this week.

apple-watch

Apple introduced the Apple Watch this week, which is basically the Galaxy Gear with the battery life of one day. So, have fun with that, Apple Disciples!

boba

I’d bet that Walgreens has never had as much foot traffic as its stores have gotten over the past week. Why? Well, Walgreens has entered the exclusive toy arena by carrying the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Agent Venom figure, as well as the Star Wars Black Series 6″ Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) figure. I live in CVS country, so there are only a handful of Walgreens stores, but I’ve been making the rounds for the past 2 weeks trying to find these figures. Luckily, I found Agent Venom last week, and stumbled upon Fett last Sunday on my way back from Baltimore Comic-Con. I haven’t opened either, as I plan to sell mine, so I can’t really offer a review of the figures. I just wonder how many Walgreens employees thought I was stealing, considering I walked in, looked around, and walked out several times a week. That HAD to look suspicious!

Links I Loved
10 of the Worst Ideas for Board Games Ever – The Robot’s Pajamas

13 New Fall Shows That Will Be Cancelled by Christmas -UnderScoopFire!

In Case You Missed It This Week
Baltimore Comic-Con 2014 In Pictures

tmz

Oh, to go from Ugly Duckling to Belle of the Ball! That’s what it must have felt like to work at TMZ this week. Typically, people hate TMZ and its paparazzi tabloid journalism. That changed this week, however, as TMZ’s reporting led to the release of Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens due to domestic violence. The incident happened months ago, but it wasn’t until TMZ released the security footage that shit got real. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, the Ravens released him, and now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will probably be fighting for his job now that the truth has come to light. Some people are applauding the NFL for its swift action, but that’s wrong as the NFL could’ve acted sooner, and it wasn’t until the footage went wide that they finally felt pressured to do something. So, TMZ comes out looking like the hero in all of this, and even if you hate to admit it, they were exactly what this situation needed in order for justice to be done. Anyway, I hope the TMZ crew is happy with all of this good press, as folks will probably just go back to hating them next week. For now, however, TMZ had the West Week Ever.

05th Sep2014

West Week Ever – 9/5/14

by Will

photovisi-download(5)

 

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lavelle

On the Netflix front, I’ve watched a few things, but we’ll get to most of that next week. This week, however, I did watch Lavell Crawford: Can A Brother Get Some Love? Most people are familiar with Lavell due to his role as Huell in the later seasons of Breaking Bad, or as a contestant on season 5 of Last Comic Standing. I’d heard about 1/4 of the material before, but it was still funny, as Lavell’s a funny storyteller. He does the usual “White people do this, but Black people do this” thing, but it’s not as trite as it usually is. I definitely recommend it.

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My pal, Keith, came to town and we had an Amazing Spider-Thon. I’d never seen The Amazing Spider-Man, so we started out with that, and the next night we watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Why, exactly, do people dislike those movies? I really enjoyed the first one. I’d even go as far as to say that Andrew Garfield was a better Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire. I really liked his performance, and even though I’m a Mary Jane guy, I dug Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. I mean, the reboot was completely too soon, but I liked what they did with it. I was telling Keith that I was dreading the familiar beats, like the death of Uncle Ben and the stupid wrestling part, but the movie threw a curveball at me and changed both of those aspects of the origin. I will say that the sequel wasn’t without its problems – mainly that I didn’t completely understand Electro’s motivation. I mean, he was invisible to people as a person, so he just wanted to matter. I get that, but why become evil? Considering he idolized Spider-Man, why not team up with his hero rather than try to fight him? It also suffers from Too-Many-Villains-Itis. I didn’t hate it, though; it just wasn’t as good as the first one.

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Speaking of comic movies, The Rock finally confirmed what he’d been hinting at for months: he’ll be portraying the villain Black Adam in a Shazam movie. With everything being so PC these days, are they just gonna call him “Adam”? I don’t know anyone under the age of 60 who’d want a Shazam movie, but good for him.

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In comic TV news, Matt Nable has been cast as Ra’ Al Ghul for Arrow‘s 3rd season. One of these days, I really need to get back to watching that show. Anyway, I’ve never heard of Nable, and folks are just gonna whine that it should’ve been Liam Neeson, in order to create some fantasy shared universe that doesn’t exist.

The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story aired on Labor Day, but I forgot about it. Luckily, I was able to DVR it later, but I still haven’t gotten around to watching it, so look for my thoughts next week. For now, though, what a terrible title! Couldn’t it have been something like “Behind The Bell: The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story”? It needs a name with some gumption to it!

Selfie

If you curious, Karen Gillan’s Selfie is available to stream on ABC.com. I took some time out of my day last Friday and checked it out. I’m not quite sure how this is going to work as a series. I mean, it would’ve made a decent rom com, but a full fledged TV series? I have my doubts. Basically, it’s an update of My Fair Lady. Eliza Dooley (instead of Doolittle here) is a bit of a social media addict, with tons of Instagram followers. After one really bad day ruins her social media presence, she seeks out the help of a coworker (John Cho) to help rebrand her image. At the beginning, both characters are pretty unlikeable, as Dooley is more vapid than your average teenage girl, while Cho’s character seems to have a hard time fitting into the world around him. By the end, however, there are traces of heart in both characters, but I don’t know if we’re supposed to stick around for Eliza’s transformation or for the inevitable Will They/Won’t They they’re building up between the characters. I don’t see this getting a second season, but we’ll just have to see.

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It was announced that Rosie Perez and former Bush communications chief, Nicolle Wallace, will be joining Rosie and Whoopi on The View this season. Rosie Perez? Really? So, half the hour is just gonna be folks trying to understand what she’s saying, right?

toy-hunter

Multiple outlets are reporting that Toy Hunter may be over. I’m not shedding any tears. While I initially liked seeing all of the rare, old toys, I just couldn’t get past Jordan. In the first season, he was really lowballing folks. He improved over time, but then the show became saturated with D-list celebrity guests who didn’t really fit the show (DMC?). I love toys, but I never really loved the show (I did love the brief period when Julia Collier was his “assistant”). Hopefully, this will end the Toy Hunter Effect of making people think all their worthless attic junk is actually some priceless artifact that ever collector must have. There was definitely an increase in sale prices at toy shows and comic cons because of this mentality, and I’ll be glad to see it go. I know some folks will miss the show, but I’m sure something will come along to fill that void soon.


While he was in town, Keith introduced me to Kung Fury.There was originally a Kickstarter in order to help them raise the funding to make the full short film. They ended up making around $630,000, so something should be coming soon. As a fan of all things ’80s, I can’t wait to see the finished product.

 

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Do you love Ghostbusters? Who doesn’t?! Be sure to head over to The Robot’s Pajamas, as this week is Ghostbusters Week, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the franchise. They’ve got a lot of great features, and they even dusted off the Robot’s Pajama Party Podcast to take part in the festivities.

Links I Loved

4 Reasons Chris Pratt is Totally the Next Tom Hanks – UnderScoopFire!

Marvel Legends X-Men Infinite Series Storm Review – Preternia

TMNT Targetgate – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

In Case You Missed It This Week

Jimi Jamison : 1951-2014

boys computer

Ugh, I don’t really know how it came to this, yet here we are.  Over Labor Day weekend, someone hacked into iCloud and leaked nude pics of several female celebrities, including Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lawrence, McKayla Maroney, Victoria Justice and more. These pics were posted on 4chan, and later on reddit, under the heading “The Fappening”. While several of the nudes have been reported as fakes, many more were the real deal, exposing moments that were meant to be private. This has sparked debate on whether this was a simple invasion of privacy in the digital age or if this could even be considered a sex crime. I’m not Judge Judy, so I’m not here to get into all that. I will say, however, that it was like having Christmas, your birthday, and your Bar Mitzvah all at the same time if you were a net savvy teenage boy. The threads have since been taken down, but the damage has been done, as PR reps had their work cut out for them this week. Looking past all of the laws broken to get here, this was the stuff that teenage dreams are made of. Which is pretty sad and pathetic. People’s lives were derailed through an invasion of privacy, but these kids just don’t care. To them, it’s just “Yay, titties!” So, that’s why 14 year old boys had the West Week Ever.

06th Aug2014

Thrift Justice: YSE – Special Forces

by Will

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Man, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, so let’s hope I still remember how it goes. If you’re new to this site, Thrift Justice is where I showcase all the crazy stuff I’ve bought at thrift stores. Meanwhile, Thrift Justice: Yard Sale Edition focuses on the crazy stuff I get at yard sales. Got it? Good. This yard sale season hasn’t been very action packed, much to my dismay which means that I haven’t had the chance to write many of these posts. This season, I’ve turned my focus more on bulk LEGO, as I can flip those and make a nice little profit. I figured you wouldn’t want weekly pics of bricks, so I’ve just kinda done that in secret. I, however, am not the only member of the Thrift Justice: YSE team, as my trusty partner Mike, AKA “Special Forces”, is always along with me for the adventures. Mike’s a good friend of mine from my Toys “R” Us days, and he’s the video game guy in our operation. Oh, why do I call him “Special Forces”? That’s a long story for another time. Anyway, Mike’s had a great season so far, grabbing some stuff that has made me jealous. So, this time, I thought we’d look at some of the cool stuff he’s picked up over the past few months.

Artist's rendering of Special Forces

Artist’s rendering of Special Forces

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First up, we’ve got this Nintendo game cabinet. As I’m usually driving, I didn’t even notice this thing on the side of the road. We were driving around a pretty lackluster neighborhood sale when Mike noticed this in some woman’s driveway. It seemed to be kind of an anomaly, as the rest of her items were old Ronald McDonald toys. I didn’t even think the cabinet was official, as Mario looked kinda janky on it, but Mike knows his video game stuff, and quickly looked it up online to verify what he was looking at. He ended up walking away with it for a cool $10, which isn’t bad for a vintage Nintendo piece.

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I’m still kinda mad about this one. Ya see, since I’m driving, I don’t get to see some items as quickly as Mike, as I’m trying not to hit people and other cars. We pulled into a neighborhood sale, and some kids were running a sale in their driveway. Mike saw this Bose Acoustic Wave system and was hopping out of the car before I’d even stopped. Bose is pretty damn nice for your home audio system, and it’s especially hard to find cheap. The kids clearly didn’t know what this was, and totally needed adult supervision to make this sale. They said they wanted $40 for it (which is about 10% of its original retail value), and Mike had the balls to haggle with the kids. He walked away with it for $30. I was mad when I thought that he was gonna resell it, as I knew what he could get for it. Since he decided to keep it for himself, I’ve found it in my heart to be happy for him.

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This Electronic Dream Phone game was an interesting pick, as it was more in my wheelhouse than Mike’s. After all, he’s the video game guy, while I try to make money off obscure board games. We found ourselves at this OVERWHELMING church sale. I mean, this place had multiple buildings, tents, the works. Mike found this, and thought I’d be interested. Looking at it, I didn’t think it was complete, because the box was kinda smashed in and it just felt too light. So I passed on it. Still, it was only $1, so he decided to take a chance on it. Not only did it turn out to be complete, but I think he played it a few times before he sold it. I heard Tyler thinks he’s dreamy!

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The top three games still kinda piss Mike off. Ya see, we went to this sale where a guy was selling all of his GameCube games. The problem, however, was that he had no prices set. Instead of trying to figure out something on the spot, he asked Mike what he was willing to pay for him. Negotiation 101: Don’t throw out the first number. So, already, Mike was at a disadvantage. On the spot, and not taking the time to go off and research on his phone, he gave the guy $20 for the three games you see up top. Once he got home and finally did the research, he realized that they were basically worthless. Like I said before, he usually knows his video game stuff, but this was one of those times when his powers failed him. He still thinks back on this sale and gets mad when he thinks about how he should’ve negotiated a better deal. The bottom game isn’t too clear because of glare, but it’s Videocart-9 for the Fairchild Channel F Video Entertainment System. I’m not a huge video game guy, so I’d never heard of the Fairchild system before we found this game. Apparently, it’s from the late 70s, and would cost around $700 adjusted for 2014 dollars (Thanks, Wikipedia!). I know Mike doesn’t have a Channel F, so I don’t even know what he plans to do with this. Maybe he just wanted a video game relic of the past. Maybe he’ll chime in in the comments.

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This was a product of my benevolence. Ya see, we went to a sale where a guy was selling off his childhood DIRT CHEAP. How cheap? I got an original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Lair Playset for $1. He also had a ton of vintage Power Rangers zords and role play toys, with their original boxes. I ended up getting the original Megazord, Dragonzord, Thunder Megazord, Tor: The Shuttlezord, White Tigerzord, and the Power Dome for about $40 total. He also had this set here. About 2 years ago, this was a $150 set on the secondary market, but then Bandai released the Legacy Morpher, which sent prices for this down the crapper. Still, it was a pretty cool set, and Mike was clearly interested in it. I figured I’d had enough of a field day with my other finds, and I wanted to make sure Mike walked away with something cool that day (even though this was our first sale of the day), so I let him take it. I thought he wanted it for his personal collection, but it turns out he was gonna sell it. Well, that’s when he discovered what I also discovered when I got home: the guy had left the batteries in all of these toys. These 20 year old toys. Yeah, you can see where this is going. In the morpher, Mike found that the battery acid had corroded the poles, so he tried to solder the contact points, which resulted in him melting a piece of the backing plastic. Yeah, that story didn’t have the happiest ending. But I still look like a prince ’cause I shared my spoils with my friend. Which he proceeded to melt. Anyway, he’d already listed it on eBay, so he was forced to swap it out for his own childhood morpher to complete the sale.

Well, that brings us to the end of this installment, but it’s certainly not the last you’ll hear from Special Forces. If you want to follow his exploits on Twitter, he’s @trooperlite. Meanwhile, be sure to tune in next time, when we look at the crazy board games I’ve been finding lately.

01st Aug2014

West Week Ever – 8/1/14

by Will

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guardians_poster_via_marvel

Like a good fanboy, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy last night and I LOVED IT. A little known fact about me is that I hate Space Marvel. Even though I started reading comics in the era of The Infinity Gauntlet and all that, that stuff just never clicked with me. So, I’ve never cared about Thanos or the Infinity Gems or any of that. So, I went into this movie with its subject matter being a little out of my wheelhouse. That was probably for the best, however, as it meant that I didn’t have the typical fanboy quibbles that tend to arise with comic movies. The cast was superb. I mean, Zoe Saldana got lost in that role, while Chris Pratt is gonna be a big star. Batista was thoroughly entertaining, and Rocket did exactly what Rocket was supposed to do. The 3-D was incredible. I hadn’t intended to see it in 3-D, but I mistakenly thought there was a midnight showing when the last show was a 10:45 3-D showing. There were parts when I really thought weapons flying at me were gonna hit me. Anyway, it’s a great movie and I can’t wait to see it again. I am, however, curious to see how they tie all the “spaceness” of this movie into the “real worldness” of the other Marvel films. Sure, they fought aliens in The Avengers, but those were faceless grunts and haven’t really been dealt with since. Whatever. I’m sure I have nothing to worry about.


While waiting for Guardians to start, I saw the trailer for Annie starring Quvenzhane Wallis. It actually looks really cute, but I’m dreading all of the comment sections of websites I’m gonna have to avoid once that trailer hits TV. It’ll be a whopping “Why are they remaking Annie?”, with a smattering of “Why are they making her black?” Yeah, it’s gonna be a riot…

sdcc

San Diego Comic Con came and went, and there were no real clear winners or losers. Marvel didn’t reveal any of their upcoming “mystery” movies, while DC didn’t announce the movie slate that Nikki Finke had leaked a few months back. The omissions were more glaring than what was present. There was no Star Wars Episode VII news, no Jurassic World footage, and nothing from the Fantastic Four reboot. I’m not gonna do a full-scale SDCC recap, as there are other sites for that. I’ll touch on a few things, though.

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Following the debut of some Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice footage, we finally got our first look at Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman suit. I don’t hate it. I just hope it’s her introductory suit and that she eventually ends up in something with some color to it. Twitter was on fire Saturday when the photo was released, but it didn’t move me one way or another. It’s kinda Xena-esque, but isn’t that what it should be? Maybe she comes to Man’s World in this suit, and adopts her more colorful suit later. Who knows? I still haven’t seen Man of Steel, so that shows how much I care about that whole movie universe right now.


Shout Factory announced that they would be distributing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger on DVD in the US. This is the show from which the original Power Rangers footage came, so this is a pretty big deal. Up til now, fans were forced to watch subtitled versions that were encoded by other, more die-hard fans. Contrary to the kids show that we got in the US, Zyruranger is a much darker product, and I’m looking forward to finally being able to watch it without having to resort to torrents.

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I finally got around to seeing The LEGO Movie. Man, was that good! I didn’t expect to like it, as I didn’t think any of the trailers looked that funny, nor did you get a good idea of the plot. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the disc from Redbox. Did I mention that Chris Pratt is gonna be a big deal? And I LOVED Will Arnett as Douchebag Batman. Anyway, I’m slowly starting to realize that I’m a LEGO fan, which is surprising to me. Up til now, I’ve considered myself more of a LEGO Broker – I find them cheap, and I sell them high. I never stop to think about my personal collection unless it concerns minifigures. I loves me some minifigures. Lately, though, I find myself going to the LEGO Store when I don’t have to, and I found myself disappointed when I realized I’ll be out of town for BrickFair. What’s happening to me?! Am I becoming an Adult Fan of LEGO?

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Did you catch Sharknado 2: The Second One on Wednesday night? If not, you missed a great time. Sure, it’s a bad movie, but it fostered such a sense of community with folks online. I haven’t had that much fun livetweeting since Catfish‘s season ended. If you missed it, try to catch the rerun, as it’s worth it just for the D-list cameos.

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Since I finished The Cleveland Show, I’ve been looking for another light show to binge-watch on Netflix. I ran across a show called Trailer Park Boys that looked kinda interesting. This Canadian show lasted 7 seasons, so it must be good, right? WRONG. I couldn’t get through 2 episodes of this thing. Basically, it’s a mockumentary, like The Office, that focuses on the residents of a trailer park in Nova Scotia, so there’s a lot of dudes talking directly to the camera. This is a big Canadian franchise, with movies and stage shows and everything, but it just goes to show that there’s a different type of humor across the border. Sad, ’cause I really liked other Canadian comedies, like Corner Gas. Anyway, I might give the show another shot, but I might just move on to Better Off Ted.

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Speaking of TV, next week sees the debut of two perplexing shows. The first one is Partners, airing on FX. What’s so odd about it? Well, it stars Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as legal partners. Yes, Frasier Crane and Marty-Mar, in a buddy comedy. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be like Nothing To Lose (anyone remember that movie?), but I don’t expect much. This is another example of a 10/90 deal, which is all the rage in television right now. Oh, you don’t know what a 10/90 deal is? Well, allow me to educate you. 10/90 deals were created by production company Debmar-Mercury, where 10 episodes of a show are created as a sort of “test drive”. If those episodes reach a certain ratings threshold, they will then make 90 more episodes, which basically gets the show to instant syndication. Tyler Perry’s comedies House of Payne and Meet The Browns followed this model, as well as Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management. Anyway, I can see why Martin needs a job, but does Kelsey owe that much in alimony that he’s got to keep working? I mean, he made a shitload of money there at the end of Frasier, yet he’s been working on failed shows ever since (Back To You, Hank, Boss). Anyway, I miss seeing Martin on TV, so I’ll at least check out a few episodes.

The next show that’s already got people riled up is Black Jesus, from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. If you haven’t heard of this project, here’s the trailer:

Do I really even need to say more? I mean, blasphemy aside, it doesn’t even look funny. Early episodes of The Boondocks had a cleverness to them, while this just seems like it’s an attempt to see how many groups it can offend. Conservative Christians? Blacks? Mexicans? They’re all there. Maybe the trailer wasn’t cut to show us the funniest  material, but I had come to expect more from McGruder. Just looking at the YouTube comments, I can already see problems looming that are reminiscent of Chappelle’s Show. Dave once said that he quit the show because he realized that folks had started laughing at him during some of the skits instead of with him. There is a difference, and I could see that happening here. Is the audience getting the same joke that McGruder is trying to tell, or are they laughing at the whole farce of it? This show is gonna be problematic…

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

In toy news, Hasbro showed off Marvel Legends figures of Maria Hill and Agent Coulson from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since I collect movie-specific Marvel Legends, I will DEFINITELY be getting these. I fear that they’ll be pretty hard to find, though, since Hill’s a female figure, and Coulson comes with that suit body that customizer’s are gonna want to snatch up. So, I may have to turn to Twitter connections in order to track these down.

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

 

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This week, *NSYNC released a new double-CD collection and the group didn’t even know about it. Ya see, it was one of those cash grab “Essential” collections that doesn’t contain any new material. Still, it entered the charts in the Top 10, so it’s got people clamoring for a reunion again. It’s got some deep cuts on it that were never on albums but, being a true *NSYNC fan, I’ve had those songs for years. Yeah, I’m a boyband snob.

Links I Loved
NEW EP: Reappropriate: The Podcast – Ep. 2 | “Thinking Man” Superhero Movies – Reappropriate

5 Ways to Bring G.I. Joe Back to Television – UnderScoopFire!

Meet The Guardians of the [LEGO] Galaxy – Double Dumbass On You

ATB

I may not talk about him, especially since I assume that all of my internet friends know each other, but there’s one friend in particular who’s my favorite person on the internet. Matt Guzy runs AwesomeToyBlog.com, and he’s always my go-to source for San Diego Comic Con news, as he seems to be able to get closer to some companies than other sites. Why is he my favorite person on the internet? Well, there are so many reasons (he designed my website banner, for one), but he solidified that status when he did this:

Those are the Power Rangers! THE POWER RANGERS SAID MY NAME!!!!!! Matt got the chance to meet the current cast of Power Rangers Super Megaforce for a Q&A session at SDCC. Before leaving for the show, he’d asked me for some ideas on questions to ask them, but I had no idea they’d actually find out my name. I may be heavily biased, but it’s my site and I can do what I want. If you want to see some great galleries of the toys from SDCC, head over to AwesomeToyBlog.com. But because he got the Power Rangers…the friggin’ POWER RANGERS to say my name, @MattGuzy had the West Week Ever.

25th Jul2014

West Week Ever – 7/25/14

by Will

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So, I finally finished The Cleveland Show from the bingewatch I mentioned a few weeks ago. All I can say is I really miss that show. It’s too bad TBS couldn’t pick it up when it took American Dad from Fox. Here’s hoping the Tubbs-Brown family gets some kind of spotlight on Family Guy now that they’ve moved back to Quahog.

Satisfaction

Three summer series started last week that have got me thinking. The first show is Satisfaction on USA. If you’re not familiar with it, investment banker Neil Truman is having something of a midlife crisis when he discovers that his wife has been paying another man for sex. He’d been busy with work, but had no reason to think that his marriage was in any kind of trouble. After a confrontation with the other man, Simon, Neil ends up with his cell phone – which includes Simon’s contacts for the other women he sleeps with. Neil, then, starts taking jobs as Simon, sleeping with married women who love their husbands but are unhappy with their sex lives. If you ever watched Nip/Tuck, then you won’t be surprised to hear that Satisfaction is from one of the producers of that show. It has the same feel as Nip/Tuck, and the same sort of “everybody’s got secrets” vibe to it. Both Neil and his wife are doing what they feel they have to do in order to save their marriage, but you have to wonder if it’s even worth saving. After watching the 90 minute pilot, I couldn’t wait for the next episode. It’s that good, and it airs Thursdays at 10.

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While we’re on the subject of marriage, the next show that caught my attention was Married on FX. Starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer, it’s a comedy about, well, marriage. In the pilot, Faxon’s character wants sex, but his wife (Greer) just doesn’t feel like it. So, she kinda gives him permission to go elsewhere to fulfill his needs. This show also airs Thursdays at 10, and I found it odd that two shows aired at the same time, in which a man sought out sex with others in order to save his marriage. Is that really the state of marriage these days? Man, that’s depressing. I enjoyed Married, as things don’t go exactly as planned, and Faxon eventually realizes that his wife wasn’t really being serious.

I’m not sure how I feel about Nat Faxon, though. On the one hand, he’s got a likability to him almost like a poor man’s John Ritter. On the other hand, I don’t think he’s TV photogenic (something with his teeth), and he’s got a face that I kinda wanna punch. I felt that way when he was on the short-lived Ben & Kate and I feel that way now. Still, I’ll keep watching ’cause I generally like FX comedies, and I’d like to see where this goes.

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Finally, I HAVE to talk about You’re The Worst, which airs on FX Thursdays at 10:30. As an aside, it’s becoming clear that Fox clearly created FXX as someplace to put Simpsons reruns ’cause they’re not using it for anything else. FXX was supposed to be the FX comedy channel, but the only thing they cast over there was Sunny. Chozen was meant for FXX, but they instead aired it on FX after Archer. Archer didn’t make the leap, nor did Louie, and neither did the two series I’ve mentioned today. More and more I find myself questioning why FX ever split into two networks. But I digress…

You’re The Worst is about two damaged, despicable people who realize they’re probably perfect for each other. What makes it notable, however, is the sex. When the show started, it had the usual “This show is rated TV-MA for…blah blah blah”, but I figured someone would just say “shit” a few times. No, I was in for the most explicit sex scene I’ve ever seen on basic cable. This was more intense than anything on Nip/Tuck, and that show kinda broke the basic cable mold. They went from cowgirl to missionary to doggiestyle to oral, and the only catch was you never saw nipple. I don’t know if every episode will be like that, but my inner 12 year old demands more. So, I guess I’ll keep watching it.

Aya

Oh, and co-star Aya Cash favorited my tweet last night!

Purple Zord

In Power Rangers news, toymaker Bandai of America seems to have lost its shit in its ongoing gender war. Recently, they’ve shied away from making female-centered toys, as they maintain that Power Rangers is a boys toy line. This was first evident when they neglected to make Ranger Keys based on female rangers to be used with the Legendary Morpher. There was fan outcry about this, but Bandai didn’t really seem to care. Recently, more of the females have been released, but nowhere near as many as there are of the male rangers. The most recent blow, however, just took place at the San Diego Comic-Con, as the Bandai booth has samples of the toys from the next incarnation of the show, Power Rangers Dino Charge. Though the Dino Charge team will include a pink ranger, Bandai has decided to recolor her zord to purple. Ya know, ’cause pink is a girl’s color.

Someone else must be at the wheel over there these days, as this sort of thing wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago when the line launched. In fact, if you look at something like the Shogun Megazord, the White Ranger’s zord was actually recolored pink for the American version – a move that’s the opposite of what’s going on now. As a male PR fan, I don’t really have a dog in this race. I could get upset about it, but I don’t really know Bandai’s motivations behind their decisions. I remember when they used to make PR toys specifically for girls, and I don’t think those did too well. Maybe making Barbie-esque ranger dolls wasn’t the way to court a female audience, but it’s something that they tried. The whole recoloring pink to purple thing does seem pretty foolish, however, so here’s hoping they reverse the decision before these toys hit retail.

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Last week, I talked about the Marvel diversity initiatives that include Blaptain America and She-Thor. Well, my friend Jenn wrote a great article about what tends to happen when this, as she calls it, “cowl rental” takes place. Hint: it ain’t good. Anyway, you should really go check out her post as she knows her comic history and seems to have a good argument as to what this means for Sam Wilson.


Speaking of the Marvel changes, check out this podcast I did with my pal James. We discussed comic publishers’ problems with diversity, as well as our thoughts on Blap and She-Thor. It’s a good way to kill an hour, so check it out.

sdcc

I’m not even gonna pretend like the biggest thing going on this week isn’t the San Diego Comic-Con. It officially started yesterday, so the announcements are still trickling out. Still, these are the things that the geek world will be talking about for the next year. It’s already been confirmed that the Dawn of Justice Batsuit will be present, plus the cast of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is expected to be in attendance Saturday. Plus, since Sony vacated the release date they had for Amazing Spider-Man 3, Marvel has swooped in and snatched the date. Many feel we may get a hint as to what they plan to do with that date. In any case, even though I have nothing huge to report at this time, the internet will be burning up with con reports and announcements from the floor. So, for those reasons, SDCC 2014 is having the West Week Ever.

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