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.