Monday, November 29, 2010

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Grizzlor By Mattel


The last couple of weeks have been crazy action figure-wise. Everybody is unloading their hot, new Christmas stuff. Also, not only did I get two figures from completely different lines that both came with what basically look like science-fiction dildos; I also got two figures whose appearances are greatly enhanced by fur.
Friday’s Gammorrean Guard was the first; today’s Grizzlor from the accursed Mattycollector.com is the second.
Lord knows I’m getting tired of doing Matty rants every time I get a new figure from those incompetent boobs, and chances are I’m working on another one as you read this. You see, Matty is putting a ton of older merchandise up on their site today in very limited quantities. They are also offering Battle Cat again, so I’m planning on ordering him and the Adam Strange/Starfire 2-pack. Since I spent a record seventy-five minutes ordering Grizzlor, I don’t expect this to go well. This is the one that I’m going to be trying to do from work on my phone. The Roboto sale went fine from the phone, but for Grizzlor I was trying on my phone and on my PC and the PC got through faster. I’m sure I’ll have a magnificent new rant for you tomorrow.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say I ordered Grizzlor as sort of a joke. The character has no special attachment for me (like, say, fellow Horde member Leech; who I hope they get to in 2011), but he’s all furry. Like Sean Connery. The production photos on Matty were hilarious so I had to have him. I can enjoy ridiculous toys just as much as straight-up awesome ones. But once I opened Grizzlor up, I realized he actually leaned more towards the awesome side.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Toy Review Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Gammorrean Guard By Hasbro

I said earlier that Admiral Ackbar was the figure I had been anticipating the most from this assortment. While that is true, this Gammorrean Guard had ended up being the jewel of the bunch. As far as a fat, slobbering pig-man can be a jewel anyway.

Toy Review Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Admiral Ackbar By Hasbro

Admiral Ackbar was by far the figure I was most excited about from this wave. He’s always been one of my favorite alien characters, and not just because of the ToyFare attention. Part of his appeal to me comes from how great and important his character ends up being in the Expanded Universe, the other part comes from the fact that he just looks awesome and weird and out there.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I tend to skip weekends and not bother posting on evenings. The reason is that the rest of you people seem to only use the internet while you’re at work, so posts during those times get very little traffic. I get that – I don’t want to sit around reading some jerk’s blog when I’m at home and could be hanging out with my family or watching movies or playing video games or pretty much anything else. The whole reason blogs are so prolific online is because people hate their jobs and want to do anything they can that isn’t their job until quitting time rolls around and they can go home to their families or get shitfaced at TGI Friday’s or whatever.

So you might wonder why I’m bothering to post anything on Thanksgiving, a day when people will be eating and watching football and pointing out the perceived failings of their loved ones.

Because I’m at work, jerks.

Sorry. In all honesty I really don’t mind working on Thanksgiving. The holiday has never been one of my favorites and I’m getting paid a lot to be here. Tomorrow I get even more (this is weird because I’m actually writing this last Friday night, so please excuse any strange tenses or continuity weirdness. Lord knows, the aliens might come between now and Thursday. The planet might not even be here.).

But I do want to produce a holiday post, if only to break up these reviews of the new Star Wars figures. So I’m going to try something shocking and original: I made one of those hand-turkeys:
Happy Thanksgiving, Phantomaniacs!
-Phantom

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Toy Review Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Wicket

I am a fan of Ewoks.
I get why people don’t like them, I just don’t agree. Ewoks are savage little brutes that were going to eat not only Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, but the mighty Chewbacca as well. And people scoff at the fact that they played such a big role in the Empire’s loss at the Battle of Endor. You know what? That generation of Imperials has been proven to be the most incompetent of any, while the Ewoks were wild savages backed into defending their homes and their way of life from invading aliens. If Randy fucking Quaid can save Earth from the Independence Day aliens, the Ewoks can damn well do the same from a bunch of poorly trained morons who can’t even shoot straight and think the most efficient weapons of war are a giant dog robot that explodes when it gets tripped and a giant robot chicken that is apparently made of the Star Wars galaxy’s equivalent of tin foil.

Toy Review Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Rebel Commando (Endor) By Hasbro

I’ve never been too excited by the Endor Rebel Commandos. I think they’re just a little too mundane when compared to pretty much anything else in Star Wars. A bunch of camouflaged soldiers running around in the woods just doesn’t compare with the Falcon blowing TIE Fighters to pieces. When Sideshow produced three of the Commandos from Jedi I specifically remember thinking, “Why?”
I had a couple of the Kenner ones when I was a kid and they were always Greenshirts for GI Joe. That couldn’t hold their guns. I also bought the one that came out a couple of years ago, but e can barely stand up.
But this new Vintage Collection release looks just cool enough that I felt I needed him. Was I right? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toy Review Star Wars: The Vintage Collection R2-D2 (Jabba’s Sail Barge) By Hasbro

How could anybody possibly get excited about a new R2-D2 figure? We’ve got over eleven billion variations on the world’s most famous astromech, with no end in sight. It’s unlikely we’ll ever get a definitive R2-D2 figure in this scale, because for a little white garbage can he does a whole lot of different stuff over the course of the Star Wars saga.
But this release is one of the better ones. This little R2 unit features a new, more accurate size and shape. It also comes equipped to perform all of the tasks you saw in Return of the Jedi. This is a fairly impressive accomplishment when you consider that in the sixth chapter of the saga R2-D2 was a bartender, a champion saber-tosser, a lockpicker and a co-pilot. 

Toy Review Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Wooof By Hasbro

The newest wave of Star Wars Vintage Collection figures is the first in over a year that has offered more than a couple of figures I felt compelled to purchase. The wave is made up of characters from Return of the Jedi and fills in a lot of holes in the modern collection.
Today’s figure is one of those characters that Kenner screwed up the first time around. He was released in the 80’s as “Klaatu”. This is inaccurate in the same way that releasing a Phantom Troublemaker figure and calling it “Human” would be inaccurate. This guy’s species is Klaatu, but his name is Wooof; which is a stupid name, but what are you gonna do?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Platinum Championship Wrestling 11/18/2010

Shit. I had about half of this written and saved it wrong like a dumbass, so I’m going to skip my original preamble and go straight to the event.
Last month Platinum Championship Wrestling had their debut event at The Masquerade. Me and Angry Matt and JTW were there and it was awesome enough that I switched my work schedule so that I would be able to see the second show last Thursday. The schedule change meant that I would miss WWE’s Survivor Series pay-per-view Sunday night (last night), but I’ll take a live indie show over a PPV from a boring company that doesn’t know its ass from a hole in the ground any day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Toy Review – Back to the Future Part II: DeLorean Time Machine By Diamond Select Toys

I hate to start this review on a negative note, but there’s no getting around the false representation involved in this toy. The box proclaims it to be the time machine from Back to the Future Part II. It is not. If it were, the tires would fold down for a flight mode. They don’t.
I’ve been pretty excited about this toy ever since Diamond first announced it. I’m 34 years old, so the Back to the Future trilogy is somewhat sacred to me and the second movie will always be my favorite (though the third is kind of special too since it was one of those rare movies I saw with my dad). And besides the nostalgia and just general high quality of the franchise; who wouldn’t want a toy of that DeLorean?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Toy Review – Doctor Who: The 11th Doctor’s TARDIS By Underground Toys

I think this is my first actual review of any Doctor Who toys, which is ridiculous because I have a ton of ‘em.
This is the second TARDIS playset that Underground has produced, and only the third ever made. That’s kind of insane when you think about the fact that Doctor Who has been an international presence for almost fifty years now. I’m talking about actual TARDIS interiors here, not the police box exterior. To their credit, Underground has produced at least four or five completely different sculpts of the police box at different stages of its existence, many of which have been released in a few different sets. If you want a TARDIS and don’t have one, you just haven’t looked. They’re everywhere. Toys R Us even had a set, albeit briefly.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11-17-2010 Comic Book Wednesday

Comics are pretty good now, so maybe I’ll be writing these a little more frequently. I’m not going to cover every single title I buy this time, just the stuff that I feel deserves specific attention, be it bad or good.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toy Review – Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt & Throne (Walmart Exclusive) By Hasbro

I honestly thought that the search for this set was going to drive me nuts. It’s a Walmart exclusive and that means one of three things:
1) Every Walmart on the planet will get absolutely deluged with the things. They will get marked down again and again and you will be able to buy one for around twelve cents before all is said and done. Of course, your dumb ass bought it the first time you saw it and therefore paid 75% more than everybody else.
2) We in Georgia will hear for months about how whichever exclusive item it may be is showing up all over the country. It will be plentiful but expensive on eBay. After months of watching the Walmarts in your area (I have five in my normal driving circuit) you will finally give in and buy one off of eBay for almost twice the retail price. Naturally, the next day option 1 will happen.
3) You will never, ever see the item at a retail location near you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Troublemakers Go to Walt Disney World (Part 2)

I guess I do have some more to say about our Disney trip. I was just running out of gas big time towards the end of Part 1. The tail end of a thirteen hour shift will do that to you.
Before I get to the story I want to mention a big, huge thing that I neglected last time: I got new shoes.
This is my first pair of grown-up shoes, by which I mean they are not skate shoes or boots that were purchased from a store that also sells hair dye and punk CDs. I bought them at Sears. And they are AMAZING. We did more walking in our week at Disney than I have probably done all year, and I did not suffer any back or knee problems at all. I feel like an old, old man having to write that; but it’s just how things are now. I need arch support. So know this: Phantom Troublemaker now officially endorses New Balance sneakers and if the New Balance company would like to send along a few pairs in, say, a nice purple and green; I will gladly produce a song about them. What the hell rhymes with “balance”?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Troublemakers Go to Walt Disney World

            We took Lil’ Troublemaker to Walt Disney World a couple of weeks ago for his third birthday. I’ve been putting off writing about it for two reasons - 1) Not a lot of anecdotal stuff happened, and 2) The trip itself - for reasons that I’m not going to explain here – was not how I would have done it.
This is as much as I’m going to say about #2: Do not let somebody else plan your Disney trip. Ever. Especially not your son’s first one (I said 3 was too young and I was right). About a year ago a very different experience was proposed than the one that ultimately occurred, which is the only reason I agreed to it, and that’s as much as I can say without hurting anybody’s feelings. Just know that the three of us had as much fun as we could and none of the negative came from the missus or Lil’ Troublemaker. I got pretty pissy a couple of times, though. That’s just how I react to false advertising. Sue me.
Now a bit of time has passed and all of the things that pissed me off so much relating to the circumstances of the trip have paled in comparison to the good times we had.
So, despite me being a prick on a couple of mornings, we ended up doing all right. Lil’ Troublemaker got to meet Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Goofy. He got to pet Pluto and made a valiant attempt to get through an extremely long line to see Buzz Lightyear. We’ve got pictures of him hugging Mickey’s Gang that make me just a little misty every time I look at them. That little kid is so happy and full of love and we aim to keep him that way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Toy Review – Marvel Legends: Deadpool & Warpath By Hasbro

Go ahead and just skip this opening part if you read my review of Black Widow and Winter Soldier. I just recycled since they’re from the same series and I don’t have any other generic comments to open with except to say that I do not understand the Marvel Select figure line.
Okay, don’t skip just yet. Marvel Select recently put out a Deadpool figure that doesn’t look very good. Actually, they just put out two Deadpool figures that don’t look very good – a seven-inch scale (who the fuck does seven-inch scale? That’s as stupid as DC’s thirteen-inch scale…) and a 1/6th scale. I don’t like either of them because Marvel Select clearly has very little skill at designing fun action figures. They are very good at designing large characters, though. I was tempted to buy the Hulk and Ben Grimm figures they put out and did buy a Watcher. I guess they’re good at zombies too, because those Marvel Zombies figures are great. I guess Select should avoid the standard heroes and villains. Just leave it to Hasbro, guys…
You can skip to First Glance now.


Toy Review – Marvel Legends: Black Widow & Winter Soldier By Hasbro

I love it when I lose track of when toys are supposed to be coming out. Sometimes the internet is a pain in the ass, what with letting us know when toys are hitting the rest of the country so we can waste countless hours dropping in on our favorite (and not-so-favorite) toy retailers to check the shelves.
The last time I heard anything about the newest series of Marvel Legends 2-packs was back in February after Toy Fair. I’m not sure I even remember them being mentioned at SDCC. Then I get a message from Evil the other day letting me know that he’d gotten them and that Valkyrie didn’t look so great. I had no idea they were coming out, but managed to get them on my very next trip to Toys R Us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Roboto By Mattel

I was on the fence about Mr. Roboto, here (c’mon – you would’ve said it too). He’s a great concept and definitely stands out among the other Masters, but those primary colors just don’t do it for me.
So here’s what I decided to do:
I used it as a test subject. You see, Mattycollector.com is having a special sale (They call it a “sale” despite the fact that nothing is marked down, it’s just re-offerings of old stock; but what do you expect from those people?) on 11/29. They haven’t revealed everything that they’ll be offering that day, but they have announced that as the date for the Battle Cat reissue. And I want a Battle Cat. The problem is that I’ll be at work that day. Somehow or another I have been extremely lucky all year long and have been off on the days that Matty has put up their products. This is the first time since last year that I will be forced to order using my phone, and traffic since those those on-sale dates appears to be up about a billion percent.
I was recently informed that phones might be a more successful way to order from Mattycollector on the on-sale dates. This sounded like ridiculous bullpucky to me, but since Roboto was a figure I didn’t mind waiting for a reissue on I thought I would give it a try to see what I would be in for on 11/29.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Movie Review: Splice

Man. I’m not sure how to go about reviewing this weird fucking movie.

It was one of those films that I had heard a lot of positive things about and then waited too long to check it out. I don’t think anybody had anything negative to say about it, and that is usually a bad sign because my expectations tend to get too high.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November Comic Book Update

I really want to write about comics. That’s fortunate considering I need an article for Wednesday, the day I only occasionally manage to make comic book themed.

So here’s another one of those sporadic updates where I run down how the books in my pull are, quality-wise. Sorry I don't have any pretty pictures today. My November malaise has rendered me too tired to scan or even Google.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NOvember

November is fucking bullshit. It means Halloween is over and Christmas is still a ways off. And honestly, who gives a shit about Thanksgiving? Yeah – I’ll do a post about things I’m thankful for or whatever, but I have never been able to work up a single shred of enthusiasm for this stupid holiday. You have to hang out with your loud, boring relatives and you don’t even get any presents out of it. It should really be called Tolerancegiving.
I’ve been bummed out all day and I finally figured out that this stupid month was to blame.