Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Needless Things Podcast Episode 15 – Year End Wrap-Up – Zack Galligan, Andrew Lincoln, Beau Brown, and More!

Time to put together all of the stuff that I didn’t know what to do with and stick it in a podcast! I had two episodes that didn’t work out right at the end of the year, so I need to use up that storage space I’m paying for.

2013’s Best Stuff

Hey, Phantomaniacs - it’s time for the biggest awards event that Needless Things produces all year long! That’s right, just like every other site on the internet, at the end of each year I put together a list of the very best stuff.

Thank Yous

Thank You-

Mrs. Troublemaker, Lil’ Troublemaker, Director Faber, El Famoso Mysterioso, Professor Morté, Gary Mitchel, Joe Crowe, R. Allen Siler, Odin’s Cosmic Bookshelf, Billy’s Toys and Comics, Zach Oat and Diamond Select Toys, Ironman Mike Woody, Mr. Beau Brown, Beth V, Alicia Stockton, Chad J. Shonk, Gnoll, John Schultz, Kalan, Richard Ewell, Evil, Tara Lynn, “Howdy” Mike Gordon, Sara Nicole Pope, Reverend Dan Wilson, Josh Wilson, Le Sexoflex, Justin Patterson, Handmade Stuffs, Kyle Starks, Jamie Cosley, Hashim Clark, Jim Rugg, Belligerent Monkey and his wonderful family, Award-Winning Bobby Nash, DJ Spider, CALABRESE, CM Landrus, Rebecca Perry, Award-Winning Mark Maddox, Dana Swanson, Nathan Hamilton, Jen Hartshorn, Zartanamiss Prime, Deanna and everybody at the RevCast, Rick Michaels, Simon Sermon, The Casket Creatures, Jenn Wood, Matt Sweatman, Adam Throne, William Faber, Louis Robinson, Mike Troutt, Geena Phillips, William Stout, Michelle Sisco, Zack Galligan, Andrew Lincoln, and most especially Granny Troublemaker who has inspired me all of my life.

Special thanks to my Monstrosity Championship Wrestling family for giving me a venue to perform – I wish I could see all of you more. I’d list everybody, but there are a shit-ton of you people and if I left anybody out I’d feel terrible. But I do want to thank Bumplestilskin and Black Easter Bunny most of all.

Thank you to everybody that I interviewed for the site or on a podcast.

No thanks to – Wilson, Cory, Mark Stopper, and Jay. Fuck you guys. Seriously. Not really. Yeah… really.

Most of all thank you to each and every one of you – my Phantomaniacs – that read Needless Things, listen to the podcast, listen to Earth Station Who, and come up to me at cons or wherever and appreciate the stuff I do. I love you guys.

You are the reason that 2013 was so amazing and I can’t wait for an amazing 2014.

Also, go buy a fucking t-shirt. Please.

-Phantom


Monday, December 30, 2013

2013’s Worst Stuff

I try not to bitch as much as I used to on Needless Things. I want to be entertaining, not a drag. But this is the one post where I can be a cranky old asshole and complain for 1,000 words (or more).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Playlist

Merry Christmas, Santamaniacs!

I know I’ve done this before, but it was a different format and I’m pretty sure the songs were different. I could do a “Top Twenty” list of lots of different things – songs, movies, TV shows – every year and it would be different; and not just from new releases throughout the year.

Also, this is just an easy way to have a post for today, a day that I hadn’t really planned to post anything. But here’s a list (that laziest of internet devices) of my personal favorite Christmas songs. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Christmas List

Sideshow Collectibles' The Dead Subject #1206
Happy Christmas Eve, Santamaniacs!

Today’s post is an exercise in sheer whimsy. Because, you know – most of what I put up here on Needless Things is so serious. 
 
I wanted to do something I haven’t done in over twenty-five years – write a list for Santa Claus. A list of all the stuff I would ask for if I were age-eligible for a visit from the jolly old elf. Looking back at 2013, I do think I made the Nice List by a decent margin, so the only question would be exactly how much of my list would end up fulfilled. I can tell you that over the past six years I have become fairly familiar with the standards of judging Naughty/Nice criteria and the main factor seems to end up involving Santa’s resources more than anything else.

So given that, I would expect to see everything on this list under that tree come tomorrow morning. If I were eligible.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Toys R Us Fabulous 15 Christmas Toys by Evil

First off I need to apologize for my slacking off. I got through the reviews of the first two Star Wars Black figures then never got the rest. The pics are taken, I just never got to them. But I promise to be better. Originally when Phantom Troublemaker asked about Christmas articles, I had intended to do reviews of the 2013 Star Wars Christmas advent calendar. That thing is crazy expensive ($39.99) so I was waiting for it to go on sale as Target was choked with them last year. Of coarse that means that this year it sold out and now is going for stupid money on the internet. So onward and upward. Instead I decided to look at the yearly top Christmas toys as presented by Toys R Us. This year they made a list of 15 toys. I decided to go with the Toys R Us list due to the fact it’s the first that comes up in Google and the ones that most parents probably go to. So here they are with a little commentary on each, thoughts about the whole list, and what I think is missing.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Toy Review – Batman ’66 TV Masters Riddler By Mattel

Penguin might have been the most prolific villain of the old Batman TV show, but Riddler is probably the one people think of the most. Between his bright green unitard (which isn’t actually as bright as you remember) and his trademark riddles; he had the most impact of any of the male villains. And that’s really saying something when you’re talking about a cast of characters that included Vincent Price as Egghead, Victor Buono as King Tut, and freakin’ Liberace as the criminal pianist Chandell.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Toy Review New 52 Swamp Thing from DC Collectibles

Ol’ Swampy here represents the end of my coverage of the current crop of DC Collectibles releases. All of the figures and sets I’ve reviewed over the past couple of weeks should still be available at your local comic shop or online somewhere, so I hope some of you have gotten some good information out of these.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Christmas Disappointment (Sort Of) By R.T. Ewell

Even in my mid-thirties I still remember the most disappointing Christmas I ever had. Now, this particular "disappointing" is from the view point of a spoiled nine year old little boy. I look back at Christmas as a child and I count my blessings but back then, boy was I disappointed. I should have been thankful of how my holidays were spent before my parents separated, we were a family and always spent the season together celebrating. Now that seems like more of a gift than any present I could have gotten.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Toy Review Batman: Arkham Origins Bane from DC Collectibles

Wow. This picture is terrible. Sorry about that.
As much as I disliked The Dark Knight Rises, I was excited about this figure that combined that Bane’s practical, militaristic look with the slightly sillier look of comic book Bane.
Look – I am a huge fan of Lucha libre, wrestling, and general costumed spectacle, but Bane’s old singlet and wrist pump look was not the best.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Toy Review Batman: Arkham Origins The Joker from DC Collectibles

I didn’t preorder this figure. I didn’t like the lack of purple, the face seemed weird, I knew the voicing wasn’t going to be Mark Hamill, and I already had a perfectly good Joker from Arkham Asylum.
Okay, well – I had the Joker from Arkham Asylum. The quality of that figure is up for debate.
By the time this Joker hit stores I knew a few things – I had played Arkham Origins and liked the depiction, the guy that replaced Mark Hamill was fantastic, and the new clothes still should have been purple.
Then I saw this figure in the store and the deal, as they say, was sealed for one reason – this Joker could look straight ahead.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Toy Review - Batman: Arkham City Bane & Batman from DC Collectibles

This two-pack is the final in a series of three that combined an oversized figure with a repaint of re-release of an existing figure. I’m still not sure if the Harley Quinn was different, but Penguin was and this Batman definitely is.
The other sets’ oversized figures were the (formerly) conjoined Abramovici twins Sickle and Mr. Hammer. They had never been released before and were therefore must-haves for me. I didn’t need a Penguin, but I did not have the Arkham City version of Harley Quinn. This set, on the other hand, included two characters that I already owned. This is the third version I have bought of each of these characters.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Toy Review Batman: Arkham City Hugo Strange (SDCC Graphitti Designs Exclusive) from DC Collectibles

Hoo, boy was I pissed off about this figure.
Hugo Strange is a character that is oddly special to me for a few reasons. His ghost was in the first Batman comic I ever read, he’s one of those characters that is more of a mental challenge for Batman (and a particularly insidious one, at that), and he’s the only character in all of created fiction ever that I can cosplay (is that proper word usage? Even after my exhaustive Dragon Con coverage I’m not sure).

Monday, December 9, 2013

Toy Review RoboCop 1.0 from Jada Toys

I had a bit of a problem when I was around twelve years old. I was totally obsessed with RoboCop.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Toy Review Batman: Arkham City Sickle & Penguin from DC Collectibles

This two-pack is the obvious mate to yesterday’s Mr. Hammer & Harley Quinn, but it was less desirable to me because I already own a Penguin. Although I have no idea where his little cigar went, so at least I get a new one of those.
Plus, I never reviewed that Penguin because I was still didn’t want to admit that I was buying DC Direct figures again after being so vocal about how poorly made they were.
Were.
They’re much better now. Well, mostly.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Toy Review Batman: Arkham City Mr. Hammer & Harley Quinn from DC Collectibles

I was surprised when DC Collectibles offered this two-pack and two more like it – Batman with Bane and Penguin with Mr. Hammer’s brother, Sickle.
Each set consists of one new figure and a slight repaint of an old figure. It was a pretty smart way to get three oversized figures and three sold out but popular figures on the market. I’ll talk about the other two sets in the coming days; today I’m going to take a look at the first one that came in at the ol’ local comic book shop.
This first set is notable for me because I never bought this version of Harley. I wasn’t crazy about the design before I played the game, so I didn’t order it when it was offered through Previews. By the time I decided I wanted one they were long gone. So this set was the best deal of the three for me because I didn’t have either of the figures.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Toy Review Batman: Arkham Origins Black Mask from DC Collectibles

I’m going to be reviewing a lot of DC Collectibles’ action figures over the next few weeks. They timed a huge number of releases to coincide with the holidays, which was probably a pretty clever idea.
I’ve written before how I had basically sworn off of DC’s in-house action figures a few years ago, so I won’t belabor my complaints about their quality and fragility. Especially since DCC seems to have made huge strides in those areas.
But first we have to start with a bit of a throwback figure that honestly leaves me a little confused – Black Mask.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Toy Review Masters of the Universe Classics Castaspella from Mattel

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I am not the most knowledgeable guy when it comes to She-Ra and all of her flowery, fruity pals. I didn’t watch the cartoon when I was a kid because it was for girls and… well, that’s pretty much the whole story. I knew about the Evil Horde because they were so much cooler than Skeletor and his goons, but I couldn’t tell you much about the heroes of Etheria.
This, of course, did not stop me from writing over 20,000 words of a Doctor Who story that just happened to take place on Etheria. But that’s another story.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gone To Pallookaville

No post today – come back tomorrow. I’m at this place:
Well, at the all-new brick-and-mortar location of this place, located in the heart of Avondale Estates at 17N Avondale Plaza. Here’s their menu.
Wait.
Before you look at the menu I have to warn you there’s a good chance it’s going to blow your mind right out of the back of your head. Or the top, maybe. I’ve never seen an assortment of comestibles quite like what is being offered here, and I think there’s a good chance I’m going to suffer some sort of mental breakdown trying to decide what, exactly, I want to eat. The thought of going to Pallookaville without getting a corndog is ridiculous, but I keep hearing about these pork burgers. I really want a pork burger.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Whoniversary: Fourth Doctor Rave by Michael A. Gordon

The Doctor Who franchise turned 50 years old last week and in many ways it has never been bigger and better than it is right now. Since I just turned 45 a couple of weeks ago, it gives me hope that my best years may still be ahead of me. The British series has become a world wide pop culture phenomenon and yet it is still a very personal interest of mine. To celebrate the milestone anniversary I decided to go back to where it all began for me, with the Fourth Doctor played by Tom Baker.
The Fourth Doctor by Award-Winning Artist Mark Maddox

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Whoniversary: Thanksgiving Special

I wasn’t going to post anything today since not only is it a holiday, but it’s one I am not particularly fond of. But then it occurred to me that it might be fun to come up with…
A LIST.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Whoniversary: Phantom Who – The Day of the Doctor

Image from SciFiPulse.net because I thought it was neat. I hope they don't mind.
***WARNING: Here there be SPOILERS!***
Although honestly, if you haven’t seen “The Day of the Doctor” yet you probably don’t care.
Okay, so I already did my intro yesterday about having seen the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor” three times now. First during the simulcast on Saturday thirty years to the day after I first saw Doctor Who, next with a huge crowd of Whovians at the TimeGate/Earth Station Who/Forgotten Doctor event, and finally on Monday evening on the big screen in glorious 12D!
No, wait – it was just 3D. Hardly worth mentioning, really.
But just wait until the 100th Anniversary special with all 57 Doctors!
If you don’t get those references, hang on – I’ll get there.

Whoniversary: Phantom Who – The 50th Webisodes

I feel a weird sort of pressure writing about the 50th Anniversary special. I already discussed it with the ESW crew at the TimeGate celebration, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable doing it then. I don’t like critiquing a Doctor Who story after a single viewing, but I had no choice in the matter. “The Day of the Doctor” ended at 4:10 and our panel was scheduled at 5:00. That barely left time for me to get from the house to the Holiday Inn, let alone fit in a second viewing. I almost didn’t even have time to stop by the hotel bar and grab a drink.
Oh, and that panel is now LIVE as Episode 55 of Earth Station Who!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who Davros & Imperial Dalek from “Remembrance of the Daleks” By Underground Toys

I have said before that the Daleks are not my favorite. I don’t dislike them; I just feel like I don’t get the full Dalek effect. The concept is scary and the execution is well done. They just don’t scare me like some other villains do. As I told somebody the other night, I’d rather be exterminated by a Dalek than turned into a Cyberman. Or kissed by a Zygon.
But I think Davros is great and I love “Remembrance of the Daleks”. As you can hear if you go and listen to Episode 47 of Earth Station Who.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Whoniversary: Needless Things Podcast Episode 14 – Fifty Years of Doctor Who

If you haven’t managed to pick up on it in the last two weeks, I am a huge Doctor Who fan. A Whovian, as it were.
I’ve only recently accepted that word as a self-descriptor. I first heard it on PBS back in the 80s when they were showing “Trial of A Time Lord” in the midst of one of their famous pledge drives. The host used it in a manner that I was too young to recognize as pandering and perhaps even slightly condescending and I am only recalling this just now as I write these words. He would say things like, “I know all of you Whovians out there are going to want one of these BBC licensed Doctor Who canvas tote bags!” in the same manner that he might have said, “I know all of you lepers out there are going to want some of these bandages!”

Whoniversary: Who waits 8 months for new Doctor Who?: One Man's Love Affair with Doctor Who Spin Off Media by The Oncoming Josh

You hear it all the time. The frustrated call of the fan boy/girl.

"I have to wait HOW LONG for new episodes of Doctor Who?"

"They're splitting the season? I'll have to wait for months for the story to finish!"

"Why isn't Doctor Who on ALL THE TIME???"


Well, actually, it is. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who Ace from “Remembrance of the Daleks” By Underground Toys

Ace is one of my favorite companions from Doctor Who and I’ve been looking forward to the day Character Options/Underground Toys would get around to making her. I’m actually a little surprised that it took as long as it did given that Sophie Aldred has always been a big supporter of the franchise.

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Dalek By Underground Toys

EXTERMINATE!”
What? What else am I supposed to use as a Dalek quote?
Lil’ Troublemaker has this stuffed Dalek that says three or four phrases, the most commonly uttered of which is, “You would make a good Dalek”, which is creepy at first but gets really old after the thousandth time.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Today, what is here is the new tiny Dalek from Underground Toys. I saved this one for last because it’s easily the best of the series and I wanted to go out on a high note given how disappointing some of the other releases were.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Whoniversary: Doctor Who USA 1985 by John Michals

Doctor Who in the 1980's. It seems like such a long time ago. How could it be? It was a dark time for Doctor Who - though it should've been a very bright time. Here in NYC we had at least three channels broadcasting Doctor Who. That is, if you could pick them up. They were all UHF stations, NJN, WLIW and WNYC, and you needed a very well placed antenna to grab their signals. Daily doses of Doctor Who and stories edited together as Saturday night features all of different eras. Add to that the Doctor Who Traveling Museum was visiting America, or "the States" as we are sometimes referred to. This should've been a crowning jewel for a show which had just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Instead it seemed like a desperate last gasp. The show was facing cancellation. The BBC cited low ratings despite the fact that Attack of the Cybermen drew in 9 million viewers. The BBC head of programming had axed the show but fan outcry had caused him to reverse his decision and call it a "hiatus". Many, many years later, it would be revealed that he had been sleeping with Colin Baker's ex-wife. Co-incidence perhaps?

Whoniversary: What I Want From the New Doctor by Beth V

My dad told me that he started watching Doctor Who when he was a kid. He got my mom into it, and (because I had no control over the TV when I was a kid) I was indoctrinated as well. Tom Baker became the Doctor the year I was born, so he's the Doctor I remember seeing first. And even after I got to know the earlier Doctors when my dad started buying old episodes on VHS he was still my favorite. You never forget your first Doctor. Although I may have been initially forced into Doctor Who by simply being in the room while it was on I grew to love it. And I’ve loved it ever since. With a brand new Doctor just around the corner I've been speculating about what the new season will bring. I always start out skeptical when they announce the casting of a new Doctor, but Peter Capaldi could be just the shot in the arm that Doctor Who needs. I got to thinking back to Doctors past, what it was I liked or disliked about them, and what I want to see from this next incarnation of the man in the blue box. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Weeping Angel By Underground Toys

“…”
Just like many Whovians, I am suffering from Angel fatigue.
I mean, the whole hunky, sultry vampire with a soul thing. And what’s up with that hair? Are you seriously telling me that a demonic creature of the night gets up every evening and spends half an hour with a can of mousse? The guy totally knows how to dress, though.
Haha! Just a little cross-franchise nerd humor there!

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Ice Warrior By Underground Toys

Harm one of us, and you harm us all. By the moons, this I swear!
Oh, how we all longed for the Ice Warriors’ return!
Pretty much every Whovian on the planet had been in agreement since the show’s return that the return of the Ice Warriors would be very cool. Like the Silurians and Sea Devils, the Ice Warriors were interesting creatures with a solid backstory. They had a whole society that had evolved and existed beyond the Doctor’s influence, and were introduced as part of a larger universe that just keeps going on regardless of the Time Lord’s presence. The sort of stuff that great fictional tapestries are woven of.
We wanted to see them return because of these things, as well as their stolid manner and hulking, menacing forms.
But mostly I think we just wanted to see how they would be updated.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Whoniversary: Bigger on the Inside by Michael A. Goodwin

You never forget your first Doctor. That’s the saying, anyway. There are many shirts and galleries of art that repeat the phrase, though I am unclear who said it first. Of course, it’s entirely true. You don’t forget your first Doctor. You can’t. You travel the universe, past and future, whirling and bouncing through time in his blue TARDIS box. You run with him. You laugh with him. You cry with him. You can’t ever quite tell what your Doctor will teach you, how wonderful or painful the lesson will be, or how much bigger that lesson will turn out to be on the inside than it first appeared.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Whoniversary: CONFESSIONS OF AN UNREPENTANT WINO* (Whovian-In-Name-Only) by Chad J. Shonk

I grew up a nerd and am still a nerd.

(I’m not going to use the G-word because these days it carries with it too many positive connotations. Man, really didn’t see that coming.)

The proof is pretty extensive if you look at my high school resume:

Eyeglasses. Bad at sports. Bad skin. Bad hair. Bad clothes. Socially awkward, especially around girls. A victim of bullying. Gifted program. Big reader (mostly of fantasy and science-fiction). Comic books. Dungeons & Dragons. Star Wars. Star Trek. Magic: The Gathering. Chess. PC games. Axis & Allies. Monty Python. MST3K. Bowling. Heavy metal. Weird Al. A group of similarly-nerdy friends.

The only counterpoints to my nerd-cred are that I didn’t get good grades and that I was terrible at science and math.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Cyberman from Underground Toys

Upgrade in progress...”
As I mentioned in my introduction to Needless Things’ Whoniversary, the Cybermen scare me. In my opinion they are the Doctor’s most dangerous and terrifying adversaries, not just in appearance but in motivation.

Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Clara from Underground Toys

Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?
I have to admit a little something to you here – I am not a big fan of Stephen Moffat’s Mary Sue character, Clara.
I liked her a lot in Asylum of the Daleks. But then the very nature of her character and her story arc regressed Clara to the point of being a helpless and uninteresting companion. And then several sub-par episodes later we find out that Moffat has insinuated his little doll into the entirety of Doctor Who history.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Whoniversary: My Doctor by Robert McIntyre

My love of Doctor Who started way back in the swinging sixties, although the swinging part passed me by as I was only 4 when the swinging was at its height in 1965. Swinging to me was hanging from a tree branch and swaying back and forth for as long as I could, they were the days you could play out all day long and just have a bottle of water and the jam sandwich to survive on. We were out every day for as long as we could except for one day, that day was Saturday the one day you would think that we wouldn’t have to worry about the time. However on a Saturday at around 5:30pm Doctor Who - the greatest TV show ever - was on and it was a programme you just could not miss. If you did you had nothing to talk about in the playground on Monday. There was no catch up TV, DVR’s or plus 1 channels - when it was gone it was gone forever, or so we thought in those days. Now I cannot remember precisely when I first started watching Doctor Who but I recently watched the William Hartnell episode The Time Robber. While watching it I realised that I had seen it before so 1965 - the year that episode was shown - would seem like a good starting point on when I started watching the show.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Whoniversary: Timey Wimey Toy Review – Doctor Who 3 ¾” Scale Doctor from Underground Toys

Time travel is damage. It's like a tear in the fabric of reality. That is the scar tissue of my journey through the universe. My path through time and space. From Gallifrey to Trenzalore.
One of the deciding factors in my purchase of these new, smaller Doctor Who figures was the Doctor’s purple coat. I love a purple coat. I very badly want the Abbyshot Clothiers replica of the Doctor’s purple coat, but it costs $430 and I can’t spend that on a purple coat. Especially not after just spending a bunch of money on a new couch and love seat set. Imagine that conversation:
Mrs. Troublemaker: We need new couches in the living room. The sofa falls apart a little bit more every day and is possibly actively trying to murder us. The futon is… well, it’s a fucking futon.
Me: Yeah, but I want this new Doctor Who coat.
Mrs. Troublemaker: I am going to stab you in the face.
Me: Hey, we should go look at sofas!

Whoniversary: Timey Wimey Toy Review Doctor Who Spin and Fly TARDIS from Underground Toys

"All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere. Every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"
I was furious when Character Options/Underground Toys announced that they were switching scales for the modern Doctor Who line. While I was never a fan of the 5” scale they initially chose (because it means my Who collection is not compatible with anything), I now have a massive collection of Doctor Who toys in this scale.
What was even more baffling was the decision to continue the Classic line in the 5” scale. So now the Doctor Who line isn’t even compatible within itself.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Welcome to the Whoniversary- Needless Things' Celebration of 50 Years of Doctor Who

Time to write about Doctor Who.

I had been planning to solicit for Guest Posts about Doctor Who for quite some time. There are many reasons for me to do Guest Posts on Needless Things:
  1. It gives those who might not otherwise have an outlet for their stories a place to share; I don’t need credentials or anything. I like to post anything from anybody. From folks who have had movies made from scripts they’ve written to people who haven’t written anything since high school. I want this to be an outlet for anybody.
  2. I’m always interested to see the responses I get. Not just what is written, but who responds. I’m not gonna lie – it’s a bit of an ego stroke to know that people are writing something for this little site I started.
  3. It is very slightly less labor-intensive to edit and publish other people’s work than it is to write something myself. It gives me a sort of break. And after October, I really needed November to be less intense.
So I knew I would be posting a number of Doctor Who toy reviews and several works from different fans and Whovians. I haven’t reviewed all of the submissions yet, but I am already excited beyond words about what Needless Things has in store for you over the next two weeks. There are some thoughtful retrospectives, examinations of the franchise, an exciting piece about the world of Doctor Who beyond television, and one entry that quite literally moved me to tears. But obviously I would have to provide the introductory post myself. I mean, this is my site, after all.

That meant it was time to write about Doctor Who.

Again.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Best Cartoon Ever (of the Month) - BraveStarr by Kalan

As a lot of us in the cartoon world know, we lost a monolith in our community last month with the passing of Lou Scheimer. No one lives forever, but leaving behind a body of work as impressive as Scheimer's is something to be recognized. If I could accomplish even slightly what that man did, I would be on good terms with my own mortality. So many people my age and older (because I actually came in towards the “end” of his career) will always have a special place in our hearts for his creations. I just wanted to preface this month with a tremendous “thanks”, to Lou Scheimer and his family, for making my childhood cartoon watching as awesome as it was. That being said....



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Toy Review: Masters of the Universe Classics Filmation Nepthu from Mattel – Tag Team Review

“After a lifetime of searching, the Sun Scarab is mine. And with it I, Nepthu, can rule Eternia! No - the whole universe!”

I don’t dislike Nepthu like I do Karatti, but I also didn’t really feel all that inclined to give him a full review. He’s basically a guy in a towel and a dick hat. But before I even really had time to think about reviewing this precursor to Mumm-Ra the Ever Living, Mr. Beau Brown sent me his review, unsolicited.
I was ecstatic.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Toy Collecting

After Dragon Con I was contacted by a newly-minted Phantomaniac about toy collecting. They wanted to know how to start and get some tips about maintaining a collection. I was happy to help. Partially because I’m a nice guy, partially because I was flattered that anybody would come to me for advice about anything, and mostly because I thought, “Holy shit – that’s a great idea for a post!”

So I cranked out a couple thousand words and warned this person that while they got first dibs and a slightly more personalized article, I would be posting this thing come November. It was just too perfect a pre-Christmas post to not use.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Toy Review: Masters of the Universe Classics Karatti from Mattel by Mr. Beau Brown

Hey folks – I don’t normally give Beau’s stuff an intro because he’s a regular contributor now and doesn’t need it, but I wanted to mention that he actually submitted this several weeks ago. I just didn’t post it because I didn’t feel Karatti was Halloweeny enough. Heck, I wasn’t even going to review this sub-standard lump of crap at all. That’s why Beau is doing it. Here’s our conversation on the matter:
Phantom: I think I really hate Karatti. I don’t even want to review him.
Beau: I guess I could.
Phantom: DONE.
Beau: Oh… crap.
So here’s Beau, with a ton more enthusiasm than I could have ever worked up about this suck mutant from outer space.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Needless Things wants YOU for the Doctor Who Anniversary!

Calling all Whovians!

I am looking for Guest Posters for Needless Things to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who in November. If you have anything that you would like to say about this legendary science fiction program, Needless Things wants to post it! I don’t care who you are or what you do – if you are a Doctor Who fan, you have a voice! Never written before? DO IT NOW! Needless Things wants you!

Retrospectives? Yes. Episode reviews? Yes. Personal experiences? Yes. Fan Fiction? Sure! Why the heck not?

The five posts with the most hits as of November 24th will be featured on the Earth Station One Network in the week following the 50th Anniversary Special.

Submissions must be 1000 words or more. I will be happy to edit if requested. Regardless of requests I will edit if it is necessary. Please include pictures relevant to your subject matter. 
 
I would ask that everybody that participates share Needless Things anywhere and everywhere during the Whoniversary. Anybody that does not participate should feel free to do the same. As a matter of fact, everybody just go ahead and share Needless Things’ material all the time!

If you are interested in participating, message me via Facebook.

Submissions must be received by me no later than midnight on Friday, November 8th

Unless you have a TARDIS I can borrow. 
 
Happy Whoniversary to everybody!

-Phantom

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days of Halloween Presents: Pumpkin Faces in the Night (I Remember Halloween)

Halloween isn’t what it used to be.

Yeah - this is going to be a total Old Man Rant, so hang in there.

Back when I was your age we waited until it was dark to go trick or treating. We walked from house to house across every neighborhood in a two mile radius. We actually said, “Trick or Treat” to every single person that opened their door. We did inspect our candy, but only in the most cursory of ways. And nobody ever, under any circumstances, went trick or treating without a costume. 
 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days of Halloween: 17 Questions With Walker Stalker Con's James Frazier and Eric Nordhoff

Normally I keep these Q&As to a reasonable 13 questions, but when I got the opportunity to interview the gentlemen responsible for this coming weekend's huge Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta, I knew I wanted to throw a few extra in.
After all – these were tow guys that went from doing a podcast to planning and organizing a three day convention featuring not only the top stars of The Walking Dead, but also a number of luminaries from other parts of the industry – Kane Hodder, Danielle Harris, Judith O'Dea, Joe Lynch, and Giancarlo Esposito. Not to mention Zack Galligan, with whom I conducted an audio interview for this year's episode of Earth Station Boo!