Sunday, September 30, 2012

State of the Horde Address - October, 2012

Hail fellow Hordytes! It's time once again for another update from here in the inner halls of the Lair.

First order of business, everyone please join me in welcoming the Horde newest member, the legendary Rondal Scott III from The Strange Kids Club! Welcome to the Horde, brother!

Now onto the second order of business. Usually, I post the Horde Address on the first every month, but I'm posting a day early, because as of tomorrow, October 1st, the Lair is going into countdown mode for this year's 2012 Halloween Countdown! And this year, I'm sort of cheating a little. I'm basically reposting a Halloween countdown I originally did way back in 2007 on a little blog called Geek Orthodox. It was just so much fun and I just came across all of the pics again, so let's call this an "encore presentation". This will also give me a bit of a blogging break, which will give me time to build up some more stuff to blog about when I return and also get some other projects started.

And finally, not to make a big deal about it, but to our fellow Horde member, Brother Midnight, from Green Plastic Squirt Gun, I want you to know that the Horde is always keeping you in their thoughts and if there is anything you need, we are here for you, brother. Stay strong, amigo.

That's it for this month, kiddies! The 2012 Halloween Countdown starts tomorrow!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Ghosts for the Collection!

I'm so excited about the Halloween season, I can't stand it!

The best part about this time of year is all the new spooky goodies in stores. During a recent stop at Target, I found myself adding to my much beloved (by me, anyway) toy ghost collection, which hasn't seen a new addition since last year. If you'd like to see my ghost collection you can check out my posts from last year's Halloween Countdown.

Now let's check out the new recruits...

First up, we have one of those Rose Art colorable (is that a word?) artsy vinyl type figures that you're supposed to customize with markers and stickers (included).

But I just wanted a plain white ghost with a couple of big round eyes, so two stickers later, I'm done with my "custom"...

Next, we have a nice little addition that is a triple threat; he's a ghost, he glows in the dark and he's a candy dispenser. I love all three of those things.

See? You just twist the bottom part, tip him over and he throws up Skittles. I once threw up Twizzlers when I was a kid. That sucked.

This guy ain't all that exciting, but he's a ghost and he was like two dollars or something.

And finally, this little cutie came is a 4-pack of tiny little Halloween finger puppets. Look at his goofy little teeth! I fell in love with him immediately.

Well, that's it! The Nerdatorium is now 20% more haunted! Happy Halloween, kiddies!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Top 5 Friday! My Top 5 Favorite Halloween Treats!

There are certain treats that you only eat around Halloween. And that's mostly due to the fact that they're only available around Halloween. But that's what makes them so special. They're here for a limited time, so you better get your fill before the 31st rolls around. I, of course, have a few favorites and have gathered up the top 5 right here. Here we go...

1. Candy Corn

Despite some people's absurd feelings on this perennial treat (I'm lookin' at you, Shezcrafti), this candy is the king of all Halloween candies. Every year I buy a giant bag of candy corn and spend the entire month of October munching on the little sweet kernels. And at least once, I take two and stick them in my mouth like vampire fangs. You know you do it, too.
2. Halloween Oreo Cookies

Yes, yes... I know. They're basically regular Oreos with orange food coloring, but I don't care. They also have little bat, ghost and jack-o-lantern motifs on the cookies, so that counts. And yes, I have tried the new candy corn flavored Oreos and they are glorious, but the basic orange cremes are practically a tradition with me now.
3. Peanut Butter Kisses

Not everyone's favorite, I admit, but these little bundles of joy are like peanut butter flavored taffy with actual peanut butter in the middle, wrapped in orange and black wax paper. It doesn't get more Halloweeny than that for me.
4. Caramel Apples

I only eat one a year, but when I do, it's a rapturous moment. I like mine simple, a green apple in plain caramel. No nuts or sprinkles or chocolate for me. And I can't stress the green apple thing enough. Any time I see red apples dipped in caramel it's like a little mini crime against Halloween.
5. Popcorn Balls

These days, you just can't hand out home made treats to trick-or-treaters, despite all of those razor-blades-in-candy myths being nothing more than urban legend, but when I was a kid, there was one lady in our neighborhood who made killer popcorn balls wrapped in orange cellophane and we would always hit her house first, lest she run out early. Plus it's fun to giggle at the word "balls".

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Second Funko Pop!

Well, considering that I work surrounded by Funko Pops five days a week, 8 hours a day, I've managed to pace myself pretty well. I'm only on my second Funko Pop!, even though there are about a hundred or so that I want.

I have decided, however, that I need to complete my Monsters Cereals Pop! collection, and that's why my second figure is the one and only Count Chocula!

Personally, I think that this Pop! is one of the cutest ever produced by Funko. I love his little wavy eyebrows. Then again, i think Count Chocula has always been my favorite of all of the monsters from general Mills.

Now my Boo Berry isn't so lonely...

It's seems like I'm developing a bit of a Monster Cereals shelf, so I better hunt down a Franken Berry Pop! real soon!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

League of Extraordinary Bloggers Weekly Theme: Young Guns

This week's topic: In the spirit of Young Indiana Jones, Young Frankenstein, or Young Einstein, come up with a “Young ___” prequel or series.

Get ready, boy and girls for Young Conan!

Okay, this may be rather expected of me, but thinking back on the recent remake of Conan the Barbarian (which I didn't love, but I far from hated), and considering that my favorite part of that movie was the beginning scenes in which we see a very young Conan give a roaming gang of Picts a Cimmerian-style how-do-you-do, I think that I would love an entire series about the youthful barbarian.

There have been very few glimpses into Conan's life in his village as a boy in the comics and the novels, but I've always really liked the look at his early years.

I also realize that I'm pretty much the only person on Earth that would really be into this show, but I think if done well, with plenty of action and detailed sets, solid action and and exciting story, this show (and yes, I'm picturing it as sort of a gritty cable channel show, along the lines of Game of Thrones) could be a massive hit.

From other league members:

Please see the complete list of posts from the Extraordinary League of Bloggers and show their blogs some love. Thanks!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Minimates Knight Rider K.I.T.T. & Mcihael Knight!

I'm not a huge Minimates collector. In fact, the only ones I own are a couple of Batmans (Batmen?) for the Bat-shelf and the Back to the Future Delorean & Marty McFly set which I gushed about HERE.

And since we're on the subject of Minimates toy vehicles, that brings us to today's toy, the Minimates Knight Rider K.I.T.T. and Micheal Knight!

Much like the BTTF set, you get K.I.T.T. along with a Michael Knight figure, in a brilliant little set that is clearly aimed at the nostalgic hearts of us aging '80s children. Not that i have a problem with that. As far as I'm concerned, companies can just keep coming out with toys and collectibles based on our favorite TV shows, movies and cartoons of yesteryear. Bring it on.

The set comes with a small sheet of stickers and diagram sheet evoking the vehicle sets of Kenner from 30 years ago. I'm a sucker for a decal sheet.

The Minimates figures themselves have never really grabbed me. I don't why. There's just something about their faces or their hands or whatever that just don't honk my horn. I mean, when I do the math, I should be crazy about them, they're like far more posable Lego minifigures, but something just leaves me all "meh" about them.

But to me, this set is all about this beautiful little K.I.T.T. vehicle! This piece is beyond adorable, with all it's chubbiness, while still maintaining the mandatory level of cool that a car like K.I.T.T. requires.

Unlike the Mezco Batmobile, which I hated, this car is stunningly designed.

And you can't have a K.I.T.T. without a Micheal Knight, so I guess I do to appreciate the figure to some degree. Besides, the figure is a nice little reminder of how I gave David Hasselhoff a high five at SDCC this year. That's pretty dope.

And the best part? I can now act out that classic Knight Rider scene from that episode when Micheal and K.I.T.T. ran down a bunch of zombies. What's that? That never happened? Hmmm... I could have sworn that happened...

This toy brought to you by the Jboy Pacman Toy care Package of Awesomeness. Thanks again, Jboy!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

One Seriously Awesome 25¢ Bin Score!

I have found some gems in my day in the 4-for-a-buck bin, but today's find deserves a post all unto itself.

There I was, flipping through the usual unwanted issues of X-Factor and anything from valiant comics, when I found myself staring right at this particular comic book...

I thought, "Oh cool! An early issue of Swamp Thing! I'll take that for 25¢!", but then I noticed something scrawled across the cover...

That, boys and ghouls, is the one and only Bernie Wrightson's autograph. In ink. On the cover.

KA-BOOM! You just don't find stuff like this in the cheap-o bins! I have been a massive fan of Wrightson since middle school when I first got my hands on a copy of the Creepshow movie adaptation. heck, the only reason I read Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf was because it was illustrated by Bernie.

I would have bought this comic anyway, but the fact that it was signed just blew me away. Someone stood in a line, possibly shook his hand, said hello to the man and then got this well-read issue of Swamp Thing signed, and somehow it ended up in a use book store cheap bin.

Well, it's mine now, and will take a place of honor among my collection.

Besides, I'm excited to read about Swampy and Bats' meet-up!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ladies & Gentlemen, Playmobil Elvis! Thankyouverymuch...

I didn't have a lot of time for a post this morning but when I did a quick scan of the Nerdatorium for something to do a quick write-up about, my eyes fell on yet another awesome toy from Jboy Pacman's last toy-filled care package (that box just keeps givin' up the goods!), so without further ado, ladies and gents, put your hands together for the one... the only... Playmobil Elvis!

When I heard that Playmobil was going to start doing blind-bagged figures, I avoided it like the plague. I was already neck deep in Lego Minifigure blind-bag fever and needed another toy line to collect like I needed a staple gun to the eye, so I didn't even look at them in stores.

But, good gravy, is this figure adorable! 

Now, I'm going to try my best to not let this push me over into full-blown Playmobil collecting. Maybe I can just be happy with just this one.

Maybe. We'll see. Oh, no....

Friday, September 21, 2012

Top 5 Friday! My Top 5 Favortie Football Toys from My Youth!

Well, I think I've made it pretty clear that I'm suffering from a major case of football-fever this year, despite the Dork Horde's last place standing in the Madball Football League.

As Fall just begins to set in this year, the cooler air and the smell of turning leaves causes me to be even more nostalgic than usual (if you can believe that), and with football on the brain, I started thinking back about all of my favorite football toys. So, let's get started with my top 5 favorite football toys of my youth.

And here goes the kickoff...

1. Nerf Football

You just weren't properly living life as a kid if you didn't have a Nerf football. I had a few over the years, but my favorite one was an all brown one with white pad-print over the "laces" that was actually a Nerf knock-off. The best thing about these were that if you were as bad as a wide receiver as I was, they didn't hurt so bad when you caught them with your face.

2. Electronic Football

I never actually own an electronic football set, which basically allowed you to spend a half hour carefully placing your players on the line of scrimmage and then flicking the on switch which made the little players vibrate into each other. My brother had one, though, and I have fond memories of busting it out once, only once, on a cold November afternoon and having a blast playing it. I wish we would have played it more.
3. Schaper Super Toe

I've written extensively on my fond memories of the Schaper Super Toe set, so I won't too into it here. But just the fact that this one toy keeps popping up in my posts should tell you how awesome it was.
4. Mattel Electronics Football

Again, this was one of those things owned by my brother, but I remember getting my grubby little mitts on it several times and playing it for hours. It's amazing how some flashing lights and few bleeps and boops could keep us mesmerized back in the day.
5. Paper Football

This. Game. Was. King. It is scientifically impossible to have more fun with a single sheet of notebook paper. I learned how to play paper football in 2nd grade, but it wasn't until 3rd grade that we got crazy into it. I would gain a modicum of cool points one Fall day in school when I made our school's very first paper football out of brown construction paper with stripes and laces painted on with White-Out. I would eventually take several sheets of green construction paper, some tape and some white chalk and make and entire field that covered two desks face-to-face, that we would fold up and store when we were done, only to unfurl once again the time time too much rain or snow kept our recesses inside. One of my best friends made a pair of goal posts out of some taped-together pencils and our little lunch-time/recess gang was the paper football hub every football season.

Just writing about it makes me want to play right now. I think I have some brown and green construction paper around here somewhere.

That's it for this week's Top 5 list! Tune in next week for another episode!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My First Funko Pop Custom!

One of the best aspects of my new job is the massively creative environment I'm in, being surrounded by some of the greatest designers in the toy world. One way that this manifests is through custom Pop! figures. They are all talented customizers and have inspired me to get in on it on the action. Now, I'm not exactly an experienced toy customizer, but I've always wanted to do it and now I seem to have found the nudge I needed to dive right in.

After throwing some ideas around, we all decided to team up and take a Pop! Batman figure and customize it any way we wanted. Sort of a group exhibition sort of thing, with the possibility of selling them as a set online. Apparently, there is a healthy collective of custom Funko collectors out there, so we wanted to see [if we could put together a set that would really wow them.

That remains to be seen.

But here's my first attempt at customizing a Pop! Batman, and I decided to zombify the poor Dark Knight.

Here's how it went down...

First thing I need to do was to obtain the right parts. Originally, I was just going to do a bsimple repaint, maybe mess up Bats with some gashes and melty spots. But I was inspired by our new Walking Dead Bicycle Girl figure and one look at her told me I had the rotting dead parts that I needed.

So, one Batman, one Walking Dead zombie and a spare head from a Mars Attacks figure (graciously provided by a co-worker) and I was ready to go...

First up, a little boiling. This breaks apart the glued-on piece very nicely and makes the plastic very soft and pliable, making it easier to cut through and whatnot.

Next, a lot of cutting and gluing. For me, this was the hard part. It took a lot of trial and error to get the pieces cut to the right size and the glue I bought was just making me angry.

 Eventually, I got the basics of the figure together...

I cut out some sections of the head and added some brains on the inside and "exposed" and ear and added the lower face section to give Bats a grody zombie mouth. I even gave him some gross zombie hands.


Then, all that was left was to paint it! I'm not super skilled at painting toys, so I worry it looks a little ham-fisted and amateurish, but I had fun and I'm sure I'll get better in the future with enough practice.

A little blood, some icky green mold and a little graveyard mud around the feet and feel like we got ourselves a Walking Dead Batman! Gods forbid if Rick Grimes and the gang run into this little biter in the woods. Still, Dark Knight Detective or not, one shot to the brain is all it takes.

That's if they see him coming...


Anyway, there it is, my first, but certainly lot last, Funko Pop! custom figure. Hope you all dig it. Get it? See what I did there?