Monday, February 29, 2016

Toy Review – Batman: The Animated Series Harley Quinn from DC Collectibles

I’ve fallen off a little bit with these DC Collectibles Animated figures.

After six years of reviewing action figures and toys, the thrill isn’t what it once was. I still like reviewing stuff, but I have to switch it up a lot more frequently. Regardless of how many different characters inhabit any given line, there’s a certain sameness that gets old. I actually have to give this line credit for keeping my interest as much as it did last year.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 96 – The X-Files Season 10

Phantom Troublemaker and Beth talk to New Legend Productions’ Mike Gordon about the comeback of the 90s genre hit television show, The X-Files!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hey, Deadpool, Who’s Your Daddy?


Collaborative mediums can lead to some interesting situations with regards to credit owed. Things can be even more prickly when ego gets involved. As Deadpool was breaking records at the box office over the Valentine’s Day weekend, we got to see quite a bit of that with discussions of credit over Deadpool’s origins.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Phantom Troublemaker on Video Games – Nintendo Entertainment System

In my last post about video games I wrote about my first video game console – the Atari 2600 that my dad inexplicably brought home one day.

The Atari was fun and certainly a landmark in my life, but the subject of today’s post was literally life changing in more ways than one. Today I’m talking about the video game console that changed the world forever – the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Toy Review – iZombie Liv Moore from Diamond Select Toys

iZombie is a great television show.

Well, maybe it’s a very good television show with a great cast. There are times when the procedural elements get a little repetitive and dull, though the second season has been much better about balancing that stuff with character growth and zombie action. The cast, however, has been phenomenal from day one. Led by the irresistible Rose McIver, every character on the show is interesting and is portrayed by an actor that’s fun to watch. Aside from McIver as Liv, my favorite is Rahul Kohli as Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, one of the most delightful characters currently on television. I would watch him in his own spinoff show even if it didn’t have zombies or Rose McIver.

Obviously I am hoping that a Ravi figure is coming soon.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Movie Review – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

From Illustrated007.blogspot.com – fantastic site!
I recently picked up the James Bond Collection box set from Amazon:


I put it on my Wish List when it came out and have been watching the price ever since. Just last week it dipped into my comfort zone, so I jumped on it. It includes the twenty-three (canon) Bond films that were released at the time as well as a spot for the Sprectre Blu-ray, which I own because I loved that movie. I think it’s my favorite of the Craig films (and I actually appreciate it even more now thanks to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).

But I’m not here today to talk about Spectre.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Can the “Netflix Model” Truly Remain Viable?


In what seems like a different universe rather than just a different decade, the powers that be in entertainment media didn’t think much of the concept of streaming movies on the web. You can’t really blame them either. Sure, YouTube was making a name for itself, but who would want to watch big screen movies on tiny computer screens? Beyond just the issues the majority of the population had with reliable streaming of large content, the idea of people wanting to watch television and movies on smaller screens was counterintuitive to the trends most of the people in charge were used to. For decades the goal of home entertainment system building had been to go bigger and better. Larger screens and better and more complex sound systems for bigger images and louder sounds were the coveted items of many a shopper.

Why would anyone pay good money to look at a little screen when they had a big screen sitting there waiting to be fed a DVD with better overall video and audio quality and none of the loading and buffering issues? It just didn’t make sense to the old guard, and they saw the idea as a surefire flop. So, when the brains behind Netflix came a calling, the various owners of so much of the entertainment content out there were happy to let these fools part with their money without really demanding more than they were offering for the streaming rights. Then Netflix became a massive success and the game changed entirely.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New York International Toy Fair 2016 – Phantom’s Thoughts

Note: Pictures will be somewhat limited in this post. Most of the reference pictures from the weekend came from individuals taking pictures at Toy Fair and I don’t want to steal their work. Where I do have pictures they will be from official press releases that the manufacturers put out. Since they haven’t all done this, there are several items that I don’t have pictures of at all.

I highly recommend you follow ActionFigureAttack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark did most of the heavy lifting for me this year, with tons of fantastic galleries. They got great pictures without posting the same figures six times from slightly different angles and then overlooking another figure entirely. Most of the links in this article will take you there. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

It is time again to gaze in wonder upon the magic and marvels that the toy world will be unleashing upon us over the next year or so. That’s right, Phantomaniacs, the New York International Toy Fair happened this past weekend, and I am ready to deliver the highlights of the show!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool

There are times when your anticipation of something really lets you down. A big build up to an even bigger let down. Like any Fantastic 4 movie, or the feature length version of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, or the recent Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There are also those times when you're really torn between the love of the source material and the deep flaws that make you unable to forgive what you're seeing. Like World War Z or that third X-Men movie we don't talk about anymore. Then there are those oh so rare times when your belief in something finally pays off. Your excitement and patience are rewarded with something that fully lives up to the hype that's been built up around it. The first X-Men movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, and now Deadpool.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Toy Review – Previews Exclusive One:12 Collective Judge Dredd from Mezco Toys

I am by no means an expert on Judge Dredd. I’d say I’m a casual fan at best.

My first exposure to Mega-City One’s most famous law enforcement officer came by way of my favorite heavy metal band, Anthrax. Their 1987 album, Among the Living, featured a song called “I Am the Law”, a literal biography of Judge Dredd:

Friday, February 12, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 94: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1

Valentine's Day is this Sunday and love is in the air! Join Phantom Troublemaker, Beth V (for Valentine), and Chad J. Shonk as they begin Needless Things' series on a show all about love - Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bad Sequel/Remake (or Even Just Plain Old Bad Film) Warning Signs


So, my article on when sequels go bad is in the can and I’m scratching my head, looking around the pop culture landscape, and looking for something to strike my fancy as a topic. Playing in the background, initially on to just drive my wife insane, is Phantom Troublemaker & Beau Brown's 37 hour epic podcast Masters of the Universe Classics 2015. Mixed in with toy line talk, why not to spit take on a touchscreen computer, how not to clean that spit take, and bad lunch choices; Phantom & Beau momentarily cover how Mortal Kombat was a solid, enjoyable movie while Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a movie you should run screaming away from.

Oh, there’s my topic. We’ll start with those films, but we’ll hit some others along the way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Why Dont You Play In Hell?



I have managed to find yet another great Japanese film to cover in Devlin's Domain. They really produce some great, quality entertainment. This one isn't a horror flick but there is plenty of blood. I mean gallons of blood, and it's oh so pretty. Are you ready to see what wonderful things come from over the seas?

Vintage Troublemaker - The Night I Met Bruce Campbell

Custom me by Ghouella DeVille! Ash bobblehead by NECA
I got confused about the days and realized at 2 AM we didn't have a post for today. Also last weekend was really lousy (work). I remembered that I had all of these articles that I went back and pulled off of my old MySpace blog with the intention of polishing and reposting here under the “Vintage Troublemaker” heading. This one required the least polishing of any that I looked at. Sadly I don't have the accompanying images from any of them.

For reference, “The Psycho” is my ex-girlfriend. I used to refer to her more than I do now, which probably shows growth or something.

What follows is my account of the night I met Bruce Campbell. There is a picture of me with him, but this was pre-mask era and also I look like shit because I was probably high and definitely dressed like a slob. That's what happens when you leave your house in a panic.

Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a genre in possession of a good following must be in want of yet another movie. Sadly the charm of the 2009 mash-up book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been forgotten - especially by the people who made this movie.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Ancient Toys of Yesteryear – Madballs!

My mom freaking hates Madballs.

Okay, technically she probably doesn’t currently hate Madballs and might need a reminder as to what they even are, but back in 1985 she hated them. I know this because owning a Madball was the most important thing in my life.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 93 – Comic Books on TV

Phantom Troublemaker is joined by Needless Things' Head of Research Ryan and award-winning writer Bobby Nash for a conversation about the current crop of television shows that have been adapted from comics!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Were They Thinking? When Sequels Go Bad…




I’m not an anti-sequel or anti-remake kind of guy. Despite the kneejerk reactions some have to those words, I’ll freely admit that, yeah, there exists in the pantheon of films both sequels and remakes (and reboots for that matter) that are as good as the original films or even better than the original films. The idea that either of those two words automatically dooms a film to the fate of being a wretched piece of celluloid hell is based less on fact and more on cynicism parading around as “cool” in film geek circles. The ultimate reality of the situation is that any film has the ability to be as good or as bad as any other film whether it’s an original, a remake, a reboot, or a sequel.

But, yeah, on the other side of that discussion there are indeed some films out there where a single viewing makes you question not just the creative ability but the actual sanity of the people involved with the project. There exist in the history of film some sequels so misguided and poorly conceived they almost make you question whether the original was as good as you remembered it being. There are even sequels so utterly divorced from the concepts of their source film you can’t begin to work out how they’re even supposed to be connected to the original film or a part of the same overall story.

These are some of those sequels. Some I suggest seeing over large quantities of your favorite recreational substance of choice for a “so bad they’re good” movie night. Maybe you could even have friends over and end up doing a DIY MST3K night out of some them. Others on the list you may want to avoid like the plague. I’ll leave those decisions up to you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews February 2016: “Dark Horse Rising Up!”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Toy Review – Doctor Who “The Night of the Doctor” Eighth Doctor from Underground Toys

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed any Doctor Who toys. Also, that’s the most times I’ve used the same word in a title.

Doctor Doctor Doctor.

Doctor.

Why Smashing Clay Pots Is Sexy: A Legend of Zelda Retrospective




Picture credit to my persona copy of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia.
When I was nine years old I developed my first crush.  Granted I was only nine, but that’s when girls start thinking about boys.  The trouble was that my guy was not your typical crush.  He was tall, pale, with dark brown hair and ears that were more pointy than normal.  He didn’t live around here; he was from…very far away.  He was quite the heroic lad, always running around saving damsels in distress and breaking clay pots while scaring chickens.  He killed monsters and slashed at bats with boomerangs and swords, fished in lakes and dungeon crawled for gems of all colors as he looked for clues to solving the puzzles that would save the world.  He was also a bit of a lazy and loud mouthed slob at times, but that only made him more charming to me.  Did I mention that he was a cartoon character from a video game that I had played since I was six?  I guess I left that part out…

Nintendo originally existed as a company that created trading cards.  Most notably, cards that included the face of a now famous Italian plumber we know and love.  When they expanded into the video game world they gave us the ability to have a new realm of reality and a new gamer geek level of awesome.  Of the many games they created, two icons stuck out:  our lovable, high jumping plumber Mario, and a green clad elf.  This elf would become Nintendo’s most famous adventurer and live on in many games, timelines, age ranges, and alternate realities.  Thanks to the game titles, many non-gamers call him “Zelda.”  That would be his lady fair.  His name is Link, and for a dude that wears such a weird hat he is scary tough, man.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Phantom Troublemaker on Video Games – Atari 2600

Our console had the “Difficulty” toggle switches as well.

Today I’m going to talk about video games because kids today like their video games and I almost never talk about video games.

This will totally drum up some traffic.