Monday, December 31, 2012

2012’s Best Stuff

Ladies and gentlemen and Phantomaniacs around the world! It is time once again for the Phanties! The non-existent awards that I hand out via blog post at the end of every year since 200… something. Probably “9”.
2012 was a great year. I don’t even really have anything snarky to say. Lots of good entertainment, lots of good toys, lots of good times. Probably one of my favorite years so far. This is the year I became the co-host of a podcast, I was on panels at TimeGate and Dragon*Con, I became the ring announcer for Monstrosity Championship Wrestling, and I hosted my own podcast for the first time. As I write this I am just a couple of days away from possibly even recording and producing my own podcast about Masters of the Universe. By the time you read this we’ll all know if that happened or not (it did).

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012’s Worst Stuff

I’m posting this one now because I want to start next week – the first week of the new year – on a positive note. So my “Best of 2012” list will go up then.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

All of My Podcast Appearances (so far)

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while but kept putting off for reasons I can’t explain. And now I’ve put it off so much that it occurs to me it would actually be a really good year-end post. Well, maybe not “really good”, but sensible.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Toy Review – Toys R Us Exclusive Prometheus Trilobite versus Battle-Damaged Engineer By NECA

I thought I’d make my final toy review of 2012 a special one. So put on some Al Green or Prince or Barry White or maybe even some KMFDM, pour a glass of wine, and dim the lights. Things are about to get… weird.
I’ve watched Prometheus a few times now. I’m not any closer to understanding everything that’s going on, but I enjoy the movie and it sure is nice to look at. I love the design of every single thing from the Engineers to the spaceship to the spacesuits. Because of that I am thrilled that NECA has the license to make toys from Prometheus and that they seem determined to crank out as many as possible before interest wanes. Personally, I’m really hoping for a playset of the medical chamber thingy with an Elizabeth Shaw figure.
Toys R Us is pretty much your best source for NECA figures. The prices are surprisingly reasonable compared to other toy lines and the stores get them in a timely manner. I can usually pick up new stuff within a week of when NECA’s Twitter feed indicates they’re available. But regardless of all that TRU is going to be the only place to find today’s subject – the Trilobite versus Engineer 2-pack. It’s an Exclusive item that just hit a couple of weeks ago.
Also, the Trilobite has a penis that fits perfectly into the Engineer’s open mouth.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Note: This post ended up being pretty gross towards the end. For a Christmas post, I mean. You can just quit after the main thing if you want.
All I’ve got today is the thing I made for the Monkeys’ annual Christmas party. I got the idea from a Facebook post, but the execution is all mine. This is the first example of such a thing I’ve seen that wasn’t just Photshopped and posted online. This is the real deal, a physical Wreath of Khan:
Merry Christmas, bitches.
Note: This is the place to quit if you want to. I won’t hold it against you.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Special – S.L.U.G. Zombies Christmas Series By JAKKS Pacific

These things popped up out of nowhere.
One of my favorite resources for toy news is 16Bit.com. The guy that runs it works for or is associated with Entertainment Earth, so he has good information and gives great heads-ups about what’s coming out. It was on that site that I first saw Christmas SLUG Zombies mentioned.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Toy Review – Nicktoons Stimpson J. Cat By Jazwares

I talked yesterday about rediscovering Ren & Stimpy recently, and I intentionally left my initial exposure to the show for today.
I’m almost positive that I was there for the premiere of The Ren & Stimpy Show in 1991. I seem to recall that Nickelodeon was promoting it heavily and I think I made a point of tuning in. Something about the look of the animation really appealed to me.
Whatever the case, I was absolutely addicted. I was fifteen years old, and while I was an admittedly innocent and naïve fifteen, I was old enough to get how subversive the cartoon was. It was weird and intentionally off-putting. It both mocked and paid tribute to all of the cartoons that I had grown up watching.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Toy Review – Nicktoons Ren Höek By Jazwares

Jazwares is kind of irritating the crap out of me. They have a tendency to produce extremely flimsy or otherwise low-quality action figures like yesterday’s Space Ghost, but they keep nabbing licenses that interest me.
The fact that they have the Hanna-Barbera license is irritating. They also have the license for Regular Show, which bothers me. And Adventure Time. That’s just… ugh. The one that I didn’t care one way or the other about was their Nicktoons license. Or at least, I didn’t care until I saw the Target Exclusive Ren & Stimpy merchandise.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Toy Review – Hanna-Barbera Space Ghost By Jazwares

I love Space Ghost. Not just from the excellent Cartoon Planet or Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, but the original cartoon. I am a huge fan of Alex Toth and all of his old designs from Space Ghost to the Herculoids to his work on Super Friends. He is one of the animators that made me love the medium. Even as a kid I recognized certain qualities of animation and knew what I liked.
I bought all of the Space Ghost toys that Toynami produced years ago. Space Ghost, Brak, Zorak, Moltar, and even Space Spectre.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Special - They Might Be Giants Holiday Value Box!

A few weeks ago I received one of those digital missives informing me that if I Acted Fast I could take advantage of a Very Special offer. But this one was different. Rather than telling me about ways to make my penis larger or offering discrete sex with lonely locals, I was informed that for the bargain basement price of forty-five American dollars I could be the proud owner of one box full of They Might Be Giants merchandise.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The M.U.S.C.L.E. Tree

Side Note: I wrote this last week when I thought I would be over this crappy illness by now.
I usually try to maintain a 1,000 word minimum here on Needless Things. It’s the standard I requested of my Guest Stars last week and I adhere to it myself as best I can. Sometimes when I have a lot of particularly good photos or I have drawn stuff I don’t worry about it. Other times I feel like there’s something I just really need to comment on and want to post even though I may not have my minimum to say about it.
This time what I have is so awesome I felt like it didn’t matter how many words I got out of it because I knew everybody would be like, “Holy shit – that’s awesome.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Frosta By Mattel

I’m not necessarily a fan of She-Ra and never have been. Right or wrong, it comes down to the fact that it’s girl stuff. Yes, it all fits right into the Masters of the Universe mythos and you could even argue that there is barely a noticeable difference between the He-Man and She-Ra cartoons. I don’t dislike that side of the Universe, I’m simply not inclined towards it.
That being said I am not at all opposed to these characters showing up in the Masters of the Universe Classics line. There are some truly great designs that make for awesome toys. If the Four Horsemen can nail them, they are solid additions to the MOTUC shelf. Both She-Ras are cool and Catra is one of my favorite female figures. Okay – wait – we haven’t gotten a whole lot of Princess of Power figures, have we?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Platinum Championship Wrestling 12/1/2012

I was finally able to return to Porterdale, Georgia for some Platinum Championship Wrestling action two Saturdays ago. PCW holds shows there on the first and third Saturday of every month and that night’s action included a three-way match featuring De La Vega and Supernatural facing Empire/PCW Champion Shane Marx for his title(s) and the exciting return of Johnny Danger in a match against his former Priority Males stablemate Quasi Mandisco. I wasn’t going to miss it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Guest Post: My Twilight Confession - Beth V

Let me preface this by assuring you that I will not be discussing anything that happens in either the Twilight books or movies. Sure I read the books and saw the movies, but that isn't what this is about. I am not a Twi-hard a Twi-mom a Twi-twink or any other crazy thing with a “Twi” in front of it. I will admit that I am predisposed to like vampires (I blame Anne Rice for starting me down this road). I'm sure many ladies out there will be able to relate to why I like Twilight. And even if you can't relate maybe you guys out there will at least understand this whole Twilight thing a little better after this.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Guest Star Week: Comix with Scott!

Welcome to Guest Star Week here on Needless Things!
I put out the call to the Phantomaniacs a few weeks ago for a few guest posts. I have something I really want to work on, but it’s just going to take more time than I normally have to write. It’s a pet passion project – something which may not ever even get published – but I have to do it. I’m really excited about it and have already put it off more than I care to.
Thankfully, I had a few creative and talented people step up with some truly cool entries. I told them they could write about whatever they wanted to that wasn’t religion or politics. I didn’t even want to know what they were writing about beforehand. I said write it, send it, and I’ll post it.
Today’s post comes from Scott Stripling, who makes comic books. Scott was my best friend in high school and for a long time after. Life happened and things changed and we lost touch. We reconnected - in the casual, fakey way people do - on Facebook a couple of years ago. Scott self-publishes his comics through Shoot the Moon Studios. He also has an etsy store where you can order his stuff. I love this guy and the work that he does. He's stayed committed to his art all these years and I think that's awesome.
Also, I'm really hoping we can go see The Residents in February. 

           

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Star Week: HOW TO WRITE FEMALE CHARACTERS IN TWO EASY STEPS (FROM A DUDE WHO DOES IT PRETTY WELL) by Chad J. Shonk

Welcome to Guest Star Week here on Needless Things!
I put out the call to the Phantomaniacs a few weeks ago for a few guest posts. I have something I really want to work on, but it’s just going to take more time than I normally have to write. It’s a pet passion project – something which may not ever even get published – but I have to do it. I’m really excited about it and have already put it off more than I care to.
Thankfully, I had a few creative and talented people step up with some truly cool entries. I told them they could write about whatever they wanted to that wasn’t religion or politics. I didn’t even want to know what they were writing about beforehand. I said write it, send it, and I’ll post it.
Today’s post comes from Chad J. Shonk. I know Chad from the time he beat me so badly at Star Wars trivia that I spent a whole year questioning my fandom. I will always hate Chad for that. Chad moved out to Hollyweird and wrote an amazing movie called Dakota Skye. It's on Netflix and you should all go watch it because it's really good. I also hate him for that a little bit because who really likes seeing their friends living their dreams?

Just to rub his talent in my face even more, Chad offered to write one of these Guest Posts for me. It is, of course, awesome. What a jerk. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Guest Star Week: Wrestling is a Variety Pack: How pro wrestling appeals to different people for different reasons

Welcome to Guest Star Week here on Needless Things!
I put out the call to the Phantomaniacs a few weeks ago for a few guest posts. I have something I really want to work on, but it’s just going to take more time than I normally have to write. It’s a pet passion project – something which may not ever even get published – but I have to do it. I’m really excited about it and have already put it off more than I care to.
Thankfully, I had a few creative and talented people step up with some truly cool entries. I told them they could write about whatever they wanted to that wasn’t religion or politics. I didn’t even want to know what they were writing about beforehand. I said write it, send it, and I’ll post it.
Today’s post comes from Alicia Stockton. She's a lady who knows a thing or two about wrestling. Her site - WrestlingFanGirl - features more recaps of indy wrestling than you can swing a chair at. I am very jealous of the amount of shows Alicia gets to attend. She has a unique voice and a good perspective on my favorite sport and I think you guys are going to have fun with her today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guest Star Week: Camping With John

Welcome to Guest Star Week here on Needless Things!
I put out the call to the Phantomaniacs a few weeks ago for a few guest posts. I have something I really want to work on, but it’s just going to take more time than I normally have to write. It’s a pet passion project – something which may not ever even get published – but I have to do it. I’m really excited about it and have already put it off more than I care to.
Thankfully, I had a few creative and talented people step up with some truly cool entries. I told them they could write about whatever they wanted to that wasn’t religion or politics. I didn’t even want to know what they were writing about beforehand. I said write it, send it, and I’ll post it.
Today’s post comes from John and the timing is pretty amazing. I was just speaking to Mrs. Troublemaker the other day about the possibility of camping. I hate camping and always have, but I know at some point my son is going to want to go. I said if we do, we’re doing it right. Tents, sleeping bags, fires. If we’re going to be freezing cold, uncomfortable, and scared of being eaten by wild animals we’re going to do it right.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Guest Star Week: The Girl Who Watches Anything or How I'm Ruining Horror Movies


Welcome to Guest Star Week here on Needless Things!
I put out the call to the Phantomaniacs a few weeks ago for a few guest posts. I have something I really want to work on, but it’s just going to take more time than I normally have to write. It’s a pet passion project – something which may not ever even get published – but I have to do it. I’m really excited about it and have already put it off more than I care to.
Thankfully, I had a few creative and talented people step up with some truly cool entries. I told them they could write about whatever they wanted to that wasn’t religion or politics. I didn’t even want to know what they were writing about beforehand. I said write it, send it, and I’ll post it.
Today’s post comes from Beth V, an old friend and roomate of mine. She used to write semi-regularly for the site I technically got my start on - MC4TR. Well, I had my MySpace blog before that, but getting the post up there and all the responses I got from it are what made Needless Things happen.I also did my first podcast there.

Beth is a sharp lady who shares more interests with me than is probably healthy for the average female. Plus she has a fairly high tolerance for the worst movie of all time, THINGS. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Equal Time: 13 Questions With Quasi Mandisco of the Priority Males

I hope everybody read my excellent Q&A with Platinum Championship Wrestling’s Johnny Danger on Wednesday. It was a fun and informative read and I got a lot of positive feedback.
And then I got a call from Quasi Mandisco.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Dekker By Mattel

Okay, I have to admit to something because that’s what I do here. I try to be as honest as I can be and not ever act like a know-it-all. Just about everything here on Needless Things comes straight out of my head. Every once in a while I do look something up, but only if it’s so I can even talk about it in the first place.

I’ve watched the 2002 Masters of the Universe cartoon series in its entirety probably two-and-a-half times now and I don’t remember this guy at all. Like, not even in a “Oh, yeah – he looks kind of familiar,” kind of way. So I had to look him up. Which in itself was a somewhat difficult task.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

13 Questions With Johnny DANGAAAAAAAAAA!

Johnny Danger is a red-hot babyface. At least, he was when he got all jacked up at Platinum Championship Wrestling’s Sacred Ground Chapter 3. Danger was poised to make a huge impact in The Main Event in Porterdale, Georgia taking on his former Priority Males stable mates. But misfortune intervened and Danger was stuck on the sidelines, mentally ready but physically stalled.

Well now he’s back to let you know he can really shake ‘em down…

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We spent November 17th Around A Lot of Folks Who Probably Smoke Weed

I didn't get to post this last week like I had intended. This is all about two weekends ago.

As amazing as last Friday night was, Saturday was pretty great, too.

Lil’ Troublemaker had stayed with his grandparents the night before so that Mrs. Troublemaker could come and watch me be great, so after we picked him up we headed downtown for the ICE (Indie Craft Experience) Holiday Shopping Spectacular.

It was held at Ambient Plus Studios. I don’t know exactly what Ambient Plus Studios normally is, but it was a huge loft-like room with tons of room for over a hundred vendors. There were a number of food trucks outside, but we had already had an extraordinarily shitty experience at El Torero.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Cy-Chop By Mattel

In my opinion these 30th Anniversary figures have been a success. We only have one more to go after Cy-Chop here and I can already tell you that unless they manage to fuck him up really bad, Castle Grayskullman is a big winner.

I’ll do a round-up of opinions on them next time. For now, let’s take a look at Cy-Chop.
Cy-Chop is the creation of some dude from the Matty design team – Terry Higuchi. Terry Higuchi is clearly a lunatic. There are so many things I hate about Cy-Chop, but they all come together in such an absolutely insane way that I ended up loving the figure. It’s just the wackiest damn thing to come out of the Masters of the Universe Classics line. That’s really saying something for a line that includes a man with a robot elephant head and another guy with a magical cyborg neck.

As impressed as I was with the batshit craziness of Cy-Chop, I wasn’t sure I was going to buy him until I hit the “Submit Order” button. I don’t like his head. I specifically dislike those pointy cone things on top, as they remind me of Kevin Nealon’s character in Little Nicky. I know they’re not at all breast-like, but that’s what my brain does. I’m also really bothered that he doesn’t include regular hands. I mean, how does he wipe his ass with those things? Or do anything for that matter? With the technology available to the citizens of Eternia, I can’t imagine why this guy couldn’t have at least one normal hand.

But when sale day came I just couldn’t resist. I sat and looked at this goofball for a couple of minutes and decided I would just be too disappointed if I let him get away.

Side Note: Although I did predict that all of the 30th Anniversary figures would be available again at some point; possibly as soon as Black Friday. Sure enough, every single one of them was up for sale as of last Wednesday. Even Castle Grayskullman, who “Sold Out” in less than an hour on his sale day. I guess they had more made really quick. Right?

Anyway, this guy came along with the King Grayskull I was (finally) able to get that day. I can’t decide if I want to open King Grayskull or not, but I opened Cy-Chop as soon as I was able.
First Glance: What an absolute fucking mess this guy is. I feel like a ten-year-old designed him, and I mean that in the best way possible. From the colors to the nutso combination of parts, I can’t believe this toy got made. He is the Axe Cop of the MOTUC line (the comic as a whole, not Axe Cop himself).
Articulation:
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows –pivot
Wrists – swivel
Choppers – pivots at the base of each blade
Waist – swivel
Hips – ball joint
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Ankles – rocker joint

Cy-Chop’s ankles might as well be pivots. Like most recent MOTUC figures, the rocker is almost unnoticeable. The forward/back motion is fine, but the side-to-side almost doesn’t even work. I’m not sure why this is, but it kind of sucks.
This guy is also missing the calf and abdominal joints, but for good and obvious reasons.
All of the existing joints work quite well. None are stuck – which (knock on wood) seems to be a thing of the past. All of them hold a pose well.
Sculpt: That head… man. I don’t know. It’s very unique. It has a definite sci-fi look. Almost like something out of Metropolis. But it’s scary in its dullness. And I just don’t like the cones. The execution is competent though, so when you take the issue of personal taste out you can’t really complain. It isn’t straight-up bad, it’s just so odd. That almost looks like Panthro’s jaw. I think I could like it more, but I’ll get to that in the Coloring section.
Cy-Chop uses Roboto’s chest shell, but the insides are actually… insides. Well, sort of. It looks like there’s a pile of intestines at the bottom, but there’s some kind of disc up top. It’s really weird and off-putting and I like it. It reminds me of Mutagen Man, one of the greatest action figures of all time. If there is any justice in this world, we will get a new Mutagen Man figure in the current TMNT line.

The figure has Beast Man’s legs and upper arms. This is also very odd. I guess Higuchi went with those for the texture, but it makes me curious as to what Scychor (Cy-Chop’s name pre-cyborging) looked like. But the hairy appendages work. Not in a way that makes sense or works for the character, but in a way that adds to the insanity of the design.
The forearms are Roboto’s and I love how they are done. That’s also for the Coloring section.
And now for the big, new things – the claws. Or choppers. Or mega-scissors. Whatever. They’re just too darn big. It’s absurd. If you’re in a battle and have the ability to cut a guy’s legs, arms, or head off that should be enough. There’s no reason to have appendages large enough to bifurcate a man at the waist. Especially when you can’t even stand with your arms hanging straight down. The size of these things is just overkill. That being said, I’m fine with it. Clearly, Higuchi sat down with this design and decided to go “Full Retard”, if you will. The actual design of the choppers is great. The fact that they’re articulated and functional is great. Plus they’re sturdy. I was afraid we were going to get some flimsy, rubber blades. But these things are pretty firm. Each blade has a full range of movement. Mattel didn’t impose any unnecessary limits on the amount they could open. There’s just enough detailing on these that they look cool, but not so much that they’re overwrought. 

The choppers detach from the forearms easily and can be switched out with most of the other arm accessories from the line – Trap-Jaw’s, Roboto’s, and Spikor’s.
Coloring: I particularly like Cy-Chop’s overall color scheme. The orange and the blue work well together and the blue tint on the chest casing is a nice difference from Roboto’s. The problem is that his color scheme is heroic. It took me actually sitting down and writing this before I could remember that Cy-Chop is a bad guy. Just looking at him, he looks like a hero. Yes, his giant blades of doom might contradict that, but hasn’t everybody seen Edward Scissorhands? I think this guy would have looked great in black, green, and silver. And he also would have complimented his best pal, Kronis (Trap-Jaw). 

So the head is a bland hunk of crap. I don’t know what happened here. At least the lower portion of his face could have been painted. Or some detailing on his helmet. This is easily the worst thing about the whole figure and it feels like laziness or a cost-cutting measure rather than a design choice.

The interior of the chest looks good – the parts have different and distinctive colors.
The blue furry parts are detailed about like Beast Man’s, with some shading to bring out the sculpted fur. Cy-Chop also has the requisite colored toenails, which are always a nice touch.
The forearms look great. I love that the design calls for blue going down into the circuitry to give the visual idea that the orange parts are grafted onto Scychor’s arms. It’s a nice touch and something that could have been overlooked. There are some nice touches of color on the orange portions and overall I feel like these forearms are the most exciting portion of the figure.
The choppers look very good, with plenty of detailing and a variety of colors to keep them from looking like big, silver hunks of crap. You know – like his head.
Flair: Cy-Chop’s belt and loin cloth are basically Trap-Jaw’s but with a Horde crest on the belt. It looks good. The loops on the side are kind of pointless, but I like the shape of the belt a lot. It works. The pieces are pained well, with shading on the furry parts and nice, tight coloring on the Horde crest. This is one of the places where black would have been better. It just seems so weird that all of the other Horde members have black and red crests and this guy’s is orange and gold.
Accessories: Nothing. Not a sausage. I fell like this guy should have come with a pair of hands. I would bet money that was the original intent and Matty cut them out (pun sort of intended). I think this is the first MOTUC figure since Stratos that has not come with any accessories and I think that’s bullshit. It’s not like each appendage is even different. The choppers are the same sculpt. Boo, Matty, boo.
Packaging: It’s the regular MOTUC blister card. Still neat and still effective. Here’s his bio:
And this is where they really got me. They made this goofball pals with my favorite MOTU character – Trap-Jaw. I couldn’t very well pass that up.
Value: $28.70 (including shipping) is too much for this guy. He seems like he has a lot of value-added stuff, what with his huge choppers and the chest, but that’s all a bunch of flash drawing your attention away from the lack of paint apps and accessories. Don’t be fooled.
Overall: (That's Horde Prime's left hand) Ch-Chop is a mess of design. I like him on my shelf, but I also like bootleg toys a lot. He’s a terrible value and, quite frankly, one of the biggest gyps of the whole line. He probably deserves a “2”, but I really do like looking at his silly ass.

3 out of 5

You can go to MattyCollector right now and buy one. They’ve stated they had a whole separate budget for the 30th Anniversary line and I’m thinking they made a shit-ton of these things.

-Phantom


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I don’t normally post on holidays – especially Thanksgiving – but I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

And let me start off by being clear – I am thankful to God. I believe in God, I believe He created this universe and everything in it and I believe there are blessings in everything around us. I am tremendously bothered by this new antitheist movement that is directing so much hatred and derision toward the faithful, but I’m not going to get into all of that now because this post is about things I am thankful for, not about social media trends that concern me greatly.

But yeah – I believe in God and I always have. Never doubted, never questioned. I simply can’t accept that all of this is an accident. That there was no intention or design. And I’m not disputing evolution or biology or any other science. I think that science and faith fit together just fine. Without faith, there would be no scientific advancement. Yeah, it’s a different kind of faith, but I feel that the spiritual and the intellectual are not mutually exclusive despite the fact that parties on both sides seem to like to do their best to make it so.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monstrosity Championship Wrestling 11/16/2012

(All pictures courtesy of Headlocks and Headshots unless otherwise noted. All video courtesy of me.)
 I got to live a dream this past Friday night.

Granted, I sort of got to live it once before last year, but on Friday night it was the real deal. I had the honor of standing in a real wrestling ring in a real venue in front of real fans, holding a real microphone to introduce real wrestlers and essentially MC a legitimate professional wrestling event. It was one of the greatest nights I’ve ever had.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Rattlor By Mattel

I never cared much about the Snake Men until the 20002 cartoon, which presented them as a massive threat to both the good citizens of Eternia and Skeletor and his evil minions. The faction made a huge impact and would have been an ongoing menace had the series progressed past a second season.

General Rattlor, in particular, was a favorite of mine. He was the guy that took control of operations after Kobra Khan freed him from captivity and he essentially remained the figurehead of the Snake Men for the remainder of the series. King Hssss made very few appearances, as I think they were sort of saving him for later.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Mekanek By Mattel

I’m not entirely sure how excited I was about Mekanek. I never had any particular feelings about him when I was a kid, but he also wasn’t one of the ones I disliked. I guess the more human a character seemed the less interested I was in them. Granted, a dude with a twenty foot long cyborg neck isn’t all that human. Until you compare him to the fish man and the giant, anthropomorphic leech.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monstrosity Championship Wrestling Week: Pandora

Calm Like A Bomb” Pandora is the toughest woman I have ever seen inside of a wrestling ring.
That’s not hyperbole. That’s fact.
I have to admit, the first time I saw Platinum Championship Wrestling at the Masquerade I didn’t have a very high opinion of women’s wrestling. Let me be clear – I said “women’s wrestling”, not “women wrestlers”. At the time WWE and TNA were both doing pretty shitty jobs of managing their women’s divisions. You know, kind of like they are now. There was definitely talent in both companies – Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, Nattie Neidhart, Mickie James, and Tara just to name a few – but they were typically only used well for a few weeks at a time, if at all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monstrosity Championship Wrestling Week: The Undead Luchador Supernatural

As soon as I got the call to do some posts to promote Monstrosity Championship Wrestling this Friday night, I knew I wanted to try and snag an interview with one of the most mysterious wrestlers to come out of Platinum Championship Wrestling – The Undead Luchador Supernatural!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monstrosity Championship Wrestling Week: Casey "Phantom" Kincaid

The first time I really became cognizant of Casey Kincaid was during a match that was part of his Phantom Invitational. It was against Vandal, who at the time was still getting his shit together (it’s together now). Kincaid was still under the Phantom hood and had been a part of every PCW show I’d seen at the time (which probably numbered less than ten – I will always regret not being able to see more of the shows in Avondale). But this match was awesome. I’m not going to say Vandal was bad, but he wasn’t where he is now. And it was apparent that Phantom was making the match awesome. Don’t get me wrong – Vandal was doing everything he was supposed to do. But Phantom was the guy running the show. And I realized at that point that every match I’d seen him in had been that way to one degree or another. I had to do a sort of mental inventory and go, “Shit – this guy is always good.”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monstrosity Championship Wrestling Week: Dragula

Welcome to Monstrosity Championship Wrestling Week here on Needless Things!
One dream I’ve always had since I was a little Troublemaker was to perform in a wrestling ring. As I grew older I came to understand that I did not possess the drive, coordination, or athletic ability to be wrestler. But I still dreamed about performing in the ring. Not in an arena. Not in Madison Square Garden or the Omni. It really didn’t matter the setting; I just wanted to be standing on that canvas surrounded by ropes, steel, and fans.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Sy-Klone By Mattel

This primary-colored goof has been sitting on a shelf in my office since the day he arrived over a year ago.
I don’t know exactly what my problem was with the Heroic Lord of Blustery Days, but I just did not want him. So when he arrived I took him out of the white mailer box, got a picture, and promptly listed him on eBay.
And then after seven days listed him again.
And seven days later, again.
2011 Masters of the Universe Classics figures are nigh impossible to move on eBay because every citizen of the planet Earth had a subscription. My dog had a subscription. So unless you are willing to take a deep loss on your figures, you’re not getting rid of them. I am not willing to take such a loss. I’ll break even, but I’d rather have the most ugly, stupid, ridiculous figure ever sit on my shelf for at least a year than lose money on a MIP toy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Sir Laser-Lot By Mattel

And here’s another overdue review. Dragon*Con really threw me off. I’m way behind on my September stuff, which is getting dangerously close to me getting behind on October stuff and that simply cannot happen. And now October’s over and I still haven’t posted this.
I actually had to give up on my posts over on the ESO Network. I just can’t do eight a week. Sometimes I can’t do five a week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Disney Bought Star Wars

By Phantom Troublemaker

I don’t know that I have anything worthwhile to say about this, but I wanted to get some thoughts out of my head.

The gist of this whole thing seems to be that Disney bought Star Wars from George Lucas for four billion dollars. This is everything – the movies, the books, the toys, The Clone Wars, Jar Jar. Lucas will still consult, but the new head honcho for the Star Wars universe is a lady by the name of Kathleen Kennedy. I don’t know anything about her, but I have to admire her moxie for coming right out and announcing that Episode VII is on track for a 2015 release, followed by new movies every two to three years after that.

That is absolutely fucking crazy pants and in my opinion is the most earth-shattering news of my dorky lifetime.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Snake Men By Mattel

You know what I like best about the Snake Men? They hate everybody.

These serpentine humanoids are foes of the Masters, Skeletor, and Hordak. And led by their King, Hssss, they succeed in being a pain in the ass for all of the other factions. I think there are two reasons for this:
  1. They are all snakes. Rather than being a disparate horde of assorted carnival freaks – guys with giant fists, super-long necks, or enchanted club feet – King Hssss’ subjects are all one big, fangy family.
  2. Everybody hates snakes. Historically, there is no more insidious or reviled villain than a snake. Indiana Jones hates them, they are basis for an entire religion of evil in Lair of the White Worm, and just look at all of the villainous characters with snake-based motifs:
    1. Kobra
    2. Viper
    3. The Serpent Society
    4. Jake “The Snake” Roberts – Not always evil, but when he was he was the best heel in the business
    5. Copperhead – Definitely the creepiest villain to be featured on Justice League Unlimited.
    6. (Sssss) – What is the only thing that could possibly make blatant misogynist Dirk Benedict even more evil? Turning into a damned, dirty snake.
    7. COBRA – A terrorist army who were so dedicated to the evil that serpents represent that they code-named everything after snakes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Video Game Review: WWE ’13 First Impressions

Note: I’m writing this after only playing this game for about eight hours. I’ve just played matches and created a couple of characters. This is by no means a comprehensive review. It’s just something where I get my thoughts down and maybe give you a heads-up on a few things if you’re on the fence about buying WWE ’13.

Now that I'm posting, I've played a bit more. I've added a few things below, but my impressions remain pretty much the same.

Also, If you don’t care to read about why you should care about my opinion on wrestling games and just want to know what I think of WWE ’13; go ahead and skip to the next green section. But I think this next bit is a pretty good read about wrestling games and might bring back some memories for you. I certainly enjoyed writing it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Boycott Walmart

After years of growing dissatisfaction with service, selection, and pretty much every other aspect of their business model; I am finally quitting Walmart. They have crossed a line that I simply cannot tolerate. As a business, they are attacking a facet of my lifestyle that I hold dear and that defines my very character. Walmart has gone too far and I absolutely cannot tolerate it any longer.