Monday, February 28, 2011

Toy Review – Green Lantern Classics Kyle Rayner By Mattel

So I bought most of the first series of Green Lantern Classics over a month ago. Lantern Rayner is the only one I was missing and I was kind of stressing over it because that’s the kind of stupid shit I stress about.
I do think a tiny bit of stress was appropriate, though. Mainly because it meant I was missing Arkillo’s right leg, but also because Toys R Us jacked their prices up to an absolutely fucking absurd $17.99 apiece for these guys. That is a twenty percent price increase over what I paid. I’ll be honest – I’m about done with Toys R Us. They seem to be having serious issues getting current product on their shelves and everything in the store costs more than it does anywhere else. The first sign of this change was when the Star Wars Vintage Collection arrived at TRU priced at $9.99 each, while they were $7.99 at other retailers. Granted, everybody else has jacked them up to $8.99 now, but TRU’s still cost a dollar more.
Sorry. I got off track. Again. I just wasn’t looking forward to paying eighteen bucks for a six inch action figure, but it seemed likely that Toys R Us would get restocked before anybody else got theirs in (though they still haven’t). And the Arkillo thing was annoying because it’s one thing when you’re missing a build-a-figure’s head or arms. At least they can still stand up on a shelf somewhere until you complete them. But when you’re missing a leg it means you have this big, useless lump of plastic laying around, mocking you for your sub-par toy hunting abilities.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Phantom Troublemaker’s 2011 Oscar Picks

I don’t know what makes me think I’m qualified to make any kind of Academy Awards predictions year after year. I’ve never seen more than a couple of the movies and I am not by any stretch of the imagination a movie aficionado.
But since I am at work and have nine more hours before I can leave, here are the nominees and – least importantly – my picks for the winners!
I’m going to list my personal favorites, followed by who I actually think will win. Since the Oscars are determined by criteria I do not understand and standards I do not even pretend to uphold, I usually make my predictions based on two things:
  1. How unknown the nominee is to me. The more I have to struggle to recall it/them, the more likely it is as a winner.
  2. How gay the nominee is. When all else fails, I choose based on how much I think homosexuals will enjoy it/them. I don’t mean that disparagingly or in any kind of mean or negative manner, I just find it to be a reliable measure of what the Academy will choose more often than not.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vintage Troublemaker: Phantom Troublemaker Goes to the Royal Rumble

After linking this the other day I realized it wasn't actually here on Needless Things. Now I'm going to correct that because it really is a pretty good story. Also because I don't have anything new for today.
Enjoy!
Phantom Troublemaker Goes to the Rumble!
The Director's Cut

Pre-Preface
This was originally posted over at my new home, but was severely edited just in case the fucking nut we dealt with happened across the post. Trust me, if you'd been there you'd feel the same way. Since this blog has an average readership of about five people that I know personally, I figured it was okay to put it up in all of it's retarded glory. I hope you enjoy, or; if you're that guy – I hope you choke on a dick.


 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Toy Review – Classic Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment By Underground Toys

This one cost a lot. Granted, I got a comparatively great deal on it by purchasing from the newly discovered JRsToyworld.com; but it was still pricey at sixty-five bucks. I know that may seem outrageous to those of you who don’t share my nostalgic love of Doctor Who and the resultant addiction to Underground’s line of classic toys. It is. But I am absolutely a victim and will continue to spend way more than I should on toys representative of the franchise that nurtured my love of sci-fi long during the mighty Star Wars franchise’s dormancy of 1985-1997.
This set is from Tom Baker’s third story as the Doctor. His companions were Harry Sullivan and Sarah Jane Smith and I think a companion two-pack of the… Companions… would be nice to see down the road.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Last (not-so) Great Watering Hole

There is a band I am friends with called the Tone Deaf Pig-Dogs. You may have read about them HERE.
I’ve missed a few of their recent shows because of work, but Mrs. Troublemaker and I had the opportunity to travel to The Last Great Watering Hole this past Saturday night to see them play. And now I’d like to tell you all about it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Toy Fair 2011: The Stuff I Care About

This was supposed to go up Friday and it just didn't happen. Part of the reason for that is the logistics involved in writing about stuff that I can't access, part of it is that Toy Fair honestly kind of let me down a bit this year. Or maybe it was the coverage. Still – there is a good amount of stuff to be excited about. Let's see what we'll be blowing our hard-earned dollars on in 2011!
Since there are just too many great pictures to go through (and since I recently learned that not everybody is as free with their pictures as I am), the company name of each listing will be a link to the place where I found the best coverage. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra By Hasbro

I have done Hasbro a great disservice.
Well, in my mind, anyway. I kind of doubt the execs in Rhode Island are smashing computer monitors because they can’t find coverage of the latest GI Joe line on Needless Things. Still – I feel kind of bad about it.
Pursuit of Cobra is the follow-up to the GI Joe: Rise of Cobra movie line and it is easily the highest quality series of action figures that came out last year. The vehicles were not quite as impressive, and those stupid mechs (okay, they’re not exactly stupid – they’re actually pretty awesome – they just don’t belong in the GI Joe line) were a mistake from the start; but the figures themselves are the absolute best 3 ¾” scale offerings I have ever seen.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2-16 Comic Book Update

Sorry, folks. No pictures this time. I am a bit pressed.
For the first time pretty much ever I’ve got two months in a row of comic book stuff. Amazing. Well, provided I actually finish this before Wednesday.
I feel weird not opening with some sort of collection or graphic novel this time, but I haven’t picked anything up lately. I mentioned IDW’s collections of the Marvel GI Joe comics at the end of the last update and I’m still enjoying those. Mrs. Troublemaker got me the first two volumes of Special Missions. I’m excited about reading those, as I remember them being self-contained, action-packed stories about fringe Joes that you didn’t get to see in the main comic. I also seem to remember the art being somewhat superior to A Real American Hero.
 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Toy Review – Star Trek: USS Enterprise Retro Playset By Diamond Select Toys

As evidenced by my article last week on the resurgence of Mego-styled toys, I am really into 8” clothed figures at the moment. I’ve got the Venture Bros. releases and the Real Ghostbusters (which are pretty much what sent me over the edge into full-on collecting) and a few other odds and ends. There’s one line that caught my attention when it was first announced but that I never bought anything from - Star Trek.
When I first saw the reproductions in Previews I thought they looked awesome, but I wasn’t in the market for a new line to collect at the time. Every successive release has tempted me, but I knew I would be getting into a whole new world of toys if I got started. I mean, it’s not like you can just buy one member of the crew and call it a day. I almost gave in when Diamond solicited the reproduction of the original Enterprise playset by Mego.

Monday, February 14, 2011

(Married) Love, Troublemaker Style

Today is your lucky day! It’s the one day a year where you might be able to get your wife to wear matching underwear instead of that sexy tan bra/white “over-the-navel” panties combo she normally wears. The days of crotchless Frederick’s panties or sexy corsets may be long gone, but you might still be able to coax your lady into a matching pink bra and panty set from Target. But only if you do exactly as I say.

Love, Troublemaker Style

If you're like me and a happily married fella, check back in a couple of hours for your tips. You have a whole lot less work to do to get your piece of poontang.
There is still time. If you’re one of those sorry schlubs or schlubettes who is just now remembering that today is the day that all of the corporations agreed on to force you to obtain flowers, candy, jewelry and pieces of paper that proclaim a monetary value on your love for that special someone; well – I’m here to help. You, too can show your girl exactly how much she’s worth to you in just a few simple steps.
I can help.
Read on, and learn how to guarantee a night where all of your wildest passions are fulfilled.
Obviously, you’ve got some work to do. You should’ve been planning this months ago – like, before Thanksgiving – but all is not yet lost. Just know that it ain’t gonna be cheap. True love never is.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Toy Fair 2011: Preemptive Strike!

Toy Fare starts this Sunday. If you’re not a collector, this means absolutely nothing to you. As a matter of fact, if you’re not a slave to the plastic you probably didn’t even know such a thing existed. To those of us who stop by Walmart at five in the morning to check out the toy aisle, or who know what day Toys R Us gets their trucks; well – Toy Fair is a pretty big fucking deal.
Every year around this time toy manufacturers from all over the world gather in New York to showcase their lines for the upcoming year. We’ll see what movies are getting toy lines and how extensive they’re going to be, which is often an interesting thing to look back on once the movie has been released. Avatar and Star Trek both got HUGE lines that are still currently clogging up aisles. The movies made crazy money; the toys failed utterly. But that’s a whole different article.
Toy Fair also gives us a look at new licenses and original properties, as well as how toy companies plan to reinvigorate existing lines. It’s always fascinating to see how years-old toy lines get freshened up year after year.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Next 13 (26) Doctor Who Classics

Early in December Character Options announced a new Doctor Who Classics 2-pack. This is not big news. These guys are cranking out great, quality sets at an average of, what, probably two a month? The big news is that this set consists of Peri and the creature Sil. Peri – whose real name is absurdly Perpugillium Brown – was a companion of the Doctor at the end of his 5th incarnation and beginning of his 6th until she was mercifully murdered during the Doctor’s trial on Gallifrey. This marks the first time a companion (assistant, whatever) from the pre-2005 Doctor Who continuity has been produced; which is actually HUGE news.
Granted, we still don’t have a great Rose figure, but they may well have lost the rights to Billie Piper’s likeness at this point. I’ll gladly take Leela, Romana II or Jo Grant in her stead.
So, with the intention to start producing Classic companions relatively clear I thought I would write a piece about who should come first. In the interest of fairness, I should mention that Topless Robot did this first here before Peri was even announced. After reading their entry, I think it’s worthwhile for me to publish my own.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Toy Review – GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra Snake-Eyes (Ninja Commando) By Hasbro

First off – thanks to Veidt.com for bringing this amazing figure to my attention. There’s a better than good chance I would have overlooked yet another Snake-Eyes figure on the pegs if not for Sherry pointing this one out.
Which brings me to my point – do we really need another Snake-Eyes? This is something like the thirtieth version of the guy. I understand the need to keep popular characters available, but the Pursuit of Cobra line – still in its infancy – has already given us three different Snake-Eyes figures. Three!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Who Needs A Good Bif!Bang!Pow!?

Just in the last year or so we have seen an amazing resurgence of MEGO-inspired action figures. All of a sudden we’ve got Universal Monsters, The Real Ghostbusters, The Venture Bros. and now even the very first American produced line of Doctor Who toys (coming later this year from Bif!Bang!Pow!). These 8” scale figures with cloth outfits and classic blister cards fire up the nostalgia in thirty-somethings like no other toy can. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

NOFX and a leak

I apologize for the lack of pictures in this one. I didn't remember my camera for reasons that will be clear by the time you finish reading. I did take a bunch of pictures with my phone, but since it is a stupid piece of crap they got deleted somehow. The videos survived, so I put a couple of them on here. So here's a bunch of words:

I don’t know how much I really have to write about this, but that usually ends up meaning 3,000 words or more.
I’ve mentioned before that one of the bands I have never seen but would really like to is NOFX. I may hate their politics and a lot of their songs might suck, but they’re one of my favorite punk bands for some reason. Every time they’ve come to Atlanta some circumstance has kept me from going to the show. Whether I’ve been working or sick or out of town or whatever, the timing has just always been wrong.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Eternian Palace Guards By Mattel

 
I had been eyeballing these guys for a little while. I was initially happy that they were not going to be part of my subscription, but the more I looked at them – and all the variant-enabling gear they came with – the cooler they seemed. The sale date came and went at Mattycollector.com, and I asked around to get opinions on them. Evil agreed with me and thought they looked cool. Mrs. Troublemaker declared them stupid-looking. As much as she tends to be right (like with that Godawful Superman that is up to $80 on eBay[!] as I type this), I didn’t agree with my wife this time. So I finally broke down one day and ordered them. I didn’t want to decide one day too late that I had to have them and then be forced to wait for the re-issue.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Vikor (He-Man of the North) By Mattel

I have to give MattyCollector credit for making their Masters of the Universe Classics subscription service seem worthwhile. I got the notification that Vikor had shipped the Friday before he went on sale, meaning he would have arrived the day after the sale (Wednesday) if not for the lingering effects of Atlanta’s catastrophic snowstorm.
But the biggest benefit as I see it is that I got to avoid the ridiculous ordering process through Digital River’s inferior and broken website, now “improved” by the addition of a Captcha prior to checking out. I don’t know if this helped any; and hopefully I never will. The only time I should have to use the website at all is for re-issues and you can typically wait until after the sale madness is over to order those. They tend to linger for a couple of days.