Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dork Horde Hiatus & Other News!

Hey kiddies! I just wanted to let everyone know that the Horde is going quiet for a few days because as of this morning, I will be flying through the air, on my way to enjoying 5 days of non-stop fun at the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland!

Your mighty Lord of Dorkness is about to turn 40 years old, and to celebrate that, my gorgeous wife has surprised me with first class tickets to California, complete with a pair of 3-day park hopper Disney passes, a full day at Universal Studios, dinner at Medieval Times and 5 nights in a 4 star hotel!

This is going to be EPIC!

Sooooooo, I'll be too busy having loads of fun to get any blogging done.

HOWEVER, I'll have a State of the Horde post up on Dec. 3rd or 4th which will include everything you'll all need to know about the Dork Horde Secret Santa Gift Exchange and the 2nd Annual Action Figure Nativity contest! So stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

League of Extraordinary Bloggers Weekely Post: Shelf Expression!

This week's assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers: Post a photo of a shelf of items that displays your love for pop culture.

Here's a quickie of a shot of just one of my display shelves at work, showing off a pretty odd assortment of collectibles. Enjoy!

From the rest of the League:

Brothermidnight's toys are bouncing here and there and everywhere.
Goodwill Geek loves his California Raisins!
Random Nerdness has a MOTU collection worthy of my jealousy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Groo the Wanderer from Eclipse Comics! Wait... What?

I guess this post should technically be listed under Tales from the 25¢ Bin, since this is where I found this comic book, but since it's just the one, and since it blew a hole in what I thought was my wall of Groo knowledge the size of a bowl of cheese dip, I figured it deserved its own post.

So, I present to you, Groo the Wander #1, from Eclipse Comics...

Now, I've collected a ton of Groo comics and followed the character from his original PC Comics, then on to his long run with Marvel, then during his stint at Image and onward into his tenure at Dark Horse, but I had no idea that the sword-wielding mendicant was ever published by Eclipse Comics.

But as it turns out, for one issue at least, he was.

The blurb to the left pretty much sums up the situation; Pacific Comics went down the crapper and didn't have any money to continue publishing, so the "final" issue of Groo was kindly printed by Eclipse, while Sergio and MArk waited to start at their new home, Marvel.

Had I known about this issue when I was 12 years old, and full-blown Groo crazy, I would have flipped.

This issue is pretty much what we could always expect from a Groo comic, but this one was a bit more special...

Because it reprints the very first Groo story!

He really looked different back then. Yet, somehow the same.

But the real treat for me was the section in the back that included the absolutely brilliant cutout figures! For a long-time Groo fan, who also happens to be in the papercraft business, this is like finding a long buried treasure.

You can jolly well count on me making color copies of these, printing them out on cardstock and cutting them out to adorn my desk at work. And then I will have tons of Groo adventures! And even more tons of cheese dip!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Yeah, I Broke Down and Bought a Mcfarlane Football Statue...

I couldn't help myself! Me and my co-worker, Amos, went to lunch the other day and we decided to stop in this sporting goods store looking for more NFL collectibles (he's a massive Dallas Cowboys fan), but the only thing I found was this Jay Cutler action figure (statue).

I know, I know, he's often a cranky jerk, and he's been out for the past few weeks, and most McFarlane figure suuuuuuuuuuuuuck, but he's our QB and it was on sale for $9.99 and sometimes you just gotta add to the collection.

After having finally bought one of these McStatues, I can't deny that the detail on these are riDORKulous! They even got his little five o'clock shadow on his face. No wonder people go nuts over these. Don't worry, I'm not going to turn into a maniacal McFarlane collector, but maybe one or two more won't kill me.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vintage Space Cake Topper Toys!

So, this guy I work with, Bob, who is our photography/Photoshop wizard and is the one who makes all of our catalog stuff look awesome, has this girlfriend who works in a bakery and she came across this big, dusty box full old cake topper toys that her boss, who hadn't seen this box in decades, thought was easily from the 1960s.

They were going to toss them out, but Bob's girlfriend saved them all and gave them to Bob because she knows that he works with a bunch of nerdy, toy-loving man-children, and he brought them to work and gave a bunch of them to all of us and we were all like, "Woooooo Hoooooooooooo! Old space toys!"

Check out my haul...

Say, that "Space Ship" looks a bit familiar...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Top 5 Friday! My Top 5 Favorite 2012 Macy's Parade Balloons!

Ugh. Is it me, or is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade getting a little too singy and dancey? I couldn't give a rotten cranberry who's got some new sappy single they need to promote or what Broadway musical is the new talk of the town. But every year, I sit through such insipid warbling just so I can see the two things I love the most about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; floats and balloons!

Every year I watch the parade, and I swear that I just don't feel like my Christmas holiday has started off right until I see the great and all-giving Santa Claus himself wrapping up the festivities.

I don't know what it is about the balloons that still hold a sense of wonder for me, as they have ever since I was a kid. Maybe they are a sort of helium-filled countdown timer for me, ticking away the morning of Thanksgiving day, leading to the official kick-off to th greatest timne of the year. Or maybe I just like giant, floating cartoon characters.

Either way, here are my top 5 favorites from this year...

1. Charlie Brown
Sadly, there was no Snoopy in this year's parade, but the inclusion of everyone's favorite blockhead, who is shown determined to finally kick that football, completely made up for it.
2. Kermit the Frog
When I was 6 years old, I got an amazing stuffed Kermit for Christmas and loved him dearly. Seeing this balloon reminded me of that.
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
I don't know if any of you out there have read these books, but I have and I loooooooooooove them! Greg Heffley is one of the greatest characters ever written. I'm totally not joking. Congrats to him for making the big time.
4. Papa Smurf
I don't care who knows it. I have loved the Smurfs my whole life. Watched the cartoon every Saturday and collected tons of Smurf figurines as a kid. And Papa Smurf is the grand patriarch of it all.
5. Spider-Man
Do I really need to go into why he's on this list? Exceslior!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One, Two, Funko Movie Monster Pops Are Coming for You...

Three, four, I'll probably collect many more...

Just thought I'd take a quick second to show off a few more Funko Pops that I have added to the collection lately. Who thought these little serial killers, mass murders, burn victims and cannibals could be so cute?

And for those of you that want a peek into what I do for a living, check out this little piece on Funko that recently aired on a local TV news magazine show. You even get to see the back of my head!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tim Mee Cavemen & Battle Mountain!

Many of you probably remember the reissue Galaxy Laser Team toys that came back out a few months ago, thanks to the efforts of Jeff Imel and company. Well, they're at it again and this time, they're pulling no punches with their re-releases of the classic Tim Mee Cavemen and Battle Mountain playset.

Jeff was kind enough to send me some samples for review.

Let's take a look at the cavemen first. I don't care what you say, there's nothing like a big, fat bag that's almost bursting with 48 plastic cavemen! As soon as I saw the bag, my brain immediately began to develop a strange story line in which the Galaxy Laser Team crew crash lands on a prehistoric Earth and then has to deal with these grunting (yet beautifully sculpted and molded) Neanderthals.

The cavemen come in 4 different poses, in two colors each (light sandy brown and a deep red). You have rock throwing guy...

Paleolithic hatchet throwing dude...

Spiked club swinging chap...

And who I like to call, Alphonse "Big Club" McWalloper...

As I was looking at these guys, it occurred to me that they all look like they could be playing a rousing game of Boulder Baseball...

It goes without saying that these figures are just fantastic and molded with the quality that we have come to expect in these reissues.

Now let's move on to the piece that will probably earn a permanent place in my toy display, Battle Mountain.

This thing is friggin' HUGE! I never had this mountain as a kid (I had one similar that I think was a knock off that came with a military set), but man oh man, am I glad I have one now. The sheer playability is self evident and I can imagine myself as a kid centering hours of adventures around this piece.

But as an adult collector, I was stunned by the possibilities for the Battle Mountain as a general display background. I strongly suggest, even if you're not an old school Tim Mee freak, to get this piece anyway as it makes an awesome display for any of your favorite knick-knacks and gew-gaws.

Jeff was also kind enough to include one of their  Armored Military Scout Vehicles. Holy guacamole, does this take me back! I totally had one of these in both tan (which I always made to play the part of the Japanese) and olive green (the Americans).

This beauty is exactly like I remember it! 

Truly a gorgeous piece of toy history.

Unfortunately, the Tim Mee Cavemen have confused it for some sort of large, plated prehistoric bison or something and immediately tried to kill it and eat it...

I love the fact that the classic Tim Mee toys are being re-released, and I sincerely hope that they make more military figures because today's plastic Army Men are just horrible. Besides, I need soldiers to quell the heated battle between Earth's prehistoric forerunners and the invading Galaxy Laser Team.

Get yours today by clicking on any of the links below!

Battle Moutnain
Tan or Green Army Scout Vehicle
M48 Patton Tank
Military Jeep
Galaxy Laser Team

Monday, November 19, 2012

1983 Return of the Jedi Marvel Comics 4-Pack!

There is a spot in my memory banks reserved for family trips, and a good section of those fond memories is taken up by little vignettes of a much younger me carefully picking out a small pile of comic book packs from highway oasis spinner racks and later spending the quieter moments of whatever trip we happened to be on sinking deeply into the worlds of Flash Gordon or haunted ghost stories or even the silly technocolor adventures of Bugs Bunny.

Thanks to these memories, polly-bagged sealed comic book packs will always hold a special place in my heart. But had I found today's example out in the wild when it was first released, it surely would have been the king of all comic packs.

I'm sure I don't need to go into how crazy I was about The Return of the Jedi when it first came out. And I truly treasured my Marvel Comics adaptation of the film, but I only had the large magazine format release (a publication that caused many ooohs and aaahs in my 4th grade class), and I never did find the individual issues.

Had I gone to a Toys R Us back in '83, I would have dropped $1.72 on this 4-pack faster than Boba Fett dropped into the Sarlaac.

The covers on these are just beautiful. The three-figure portraits are far classier that the usual Marvel covers.


But it's the art from the inside that instantly takes me back. I remember poring over these illustrations over and over again back in '83. I would carefully examine and redraw several of my favorite panels.

I remember thinking that Han would have totally broken his hand if he had punched a Biker Scout. Even at 10 years old, I started to wonder about the quality and effectiveness of Imperial helmets.

I also remember especially loving the below splash page. The final fight scene between Luke and Vader was amazingly tense for me and had me on the edge of my seat. So I guess that deep feeling of excitement translated well in this comic page.

And here's an extra added bonus... no Hayden Christensen...

May the Force Be with You.