Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #727, September/October

A special David F&SF Gerrold issue!

NOVELETS
TALKING TO DEAD PEOPLE
THE GREEN-EYED BOY
THE VOICE IN THE CORNFIELD THE WORD MADE FLESH
A MELANCHOLY APPARITION
ANYTHING FOR YOU
CUPID'S COMPASS
THE SWEET WARM EARTH


DAVID GERROLD SECTION
THE AMAZING MR. GERROLD
THE FURTHER ADENTURES OF MR. COSTELLO
THE DUNSMUIR HORROR
MY LIFE IN SCIENCE FICTION


POEMS
THE DRAGON


DEPARTMENTS
EDITORIAL
BOOKS TO LOOK FOR
MSING ON BOOKS
FILMS
COMING ATTRACTIONS
CURIOSITIES
CARTOONS

Star Talk and The National Parks

  
How would you like to know the answer---to everything?!  Well, almost everything-or at least what we know or have theories about.

National Geographic presents the companion book to Neil deGrasse Tyson's fascinating podcast and TV series 'Star Talk'.

Filled with full-color photos, graphs, charts and illustrations the book takes a good hard look at what fascinates mankind.

Starting out with Space, the book expands its in-depth coverage about Planet Earth, Being Human and Futures Imagined.

Get ready to travel to Mars, learn all about storms, the solution to pollution, evolution, creativity, God, zombies, future technology, aliens and time travel and so much more in this fascinating and captivating book that is guaranteed to open your mind to fantastic possibilities and the wonder of the universe around us.

Talk about perfect timing!  My wife and I are in the beginning stages of planning our big cross-country vacation next summer.  We plan to hit a number of National Parks and roadside attractions.

Author Kim Heacox, along with National Geographic, presents The National Parks An Illustrated History:100 Years Of American Splendor, a companion book to the PBS TV series.
What a great way to learn about our nation's parks!

Take a historical visual tour of each National Park complemented by archive and contemporary photos, historical facts, interesting tidbits on key attractions and sights and suggestions as what to see and search out.

Travel our great country without leaving the comfort of your living room.  Better yet, pack up and discover America's National Parks!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Previews, September

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
Motor Girl #1 l ABSTRACT STUDIOS
Pink Panther Volume 1 TP l AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY PRODUCTIONS
WWW: Then. Now. Forever. #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
SLAM! #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
Belladonna #2 l BOUNDLESS COMICS
Grand Passion #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Flash Gordon: Kings Cross #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Disney Frozen Comics Collection TP l JOE BOOKS INC.
Motro #1 l ONI PRESS INC.
Trish Trash: Rollergirl From Mars Volume 1 TP/HC l SUPER GENIUS
Vampire Hunter D: Message from Mars #1 l STRANGER COMICS
The Mummy #1 l TITAN COMICS
Assassin’s Creed: Awakening #1 l TITAN COMICS
Harbinger Renegades #1 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Legendary Edition HC l VIZ MEDIA LLC
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Volume 1 HC l VIZ MEDIA LLC
BOOKS
Jamie Hewlett: Inside the Mind of Jamie Hewlett HC l ART BOOKS
Spectrum 23 SC/HC l ART BOOKS
Doctor Who: The Twelve Doctors of Christmas HC l DOCTOR WHO / TORCHWOOD
Goliath Storybook HC l FICTION - YOUNG READERS
MAGAZINES
Horrorhound 2016 Fall Annual Special l HORROR
Ever Figureter High Special #0 l TV & MOVIE MAGAZINES
Star Wars Magazine 2017 Special l STAR WARS
TRADING CARDS
Topps 2016 Star Wars Card Trader Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY
Topps 2016 Sw Rogue One Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY
Topps 2016 Dw Extraterrestrial Encounters Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY
Topps 2016 Walking Dead Survival Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY
APPAREL
The Joker: “Vitruvian Man” Green T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
2000AD: Judge Dredd: “ Grud Drokk Stomm” Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Doctor Who; “Tenth Doctor Laser” White T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Batman: Moon By Turner T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS
TOYS & STATUES
DC Superhero Best Of Special #1: Batman Batcycle l EAGLEMOSS
Lord of the Rings Chess Collection Complete Set Two l EAGLEMOSS
One-12 Collective: Marvel: Yellow Daredevil Figure l MARVEL HEROES
One-12 Collective: Marvel: The Punisher Deluxe Figure l MARVEL HEROES
4D Cityscape: Batman: Gotham City Puzzle l BATMAN
Fantasy Figure Gallergy: DC Comics Collection: The Joker 1/6-Scale Resin Statue l DC HEROES
POP! Lights: Marvel: Captain America l FUNKO
POP! Red Sonja Bloody Version Vinyl Figure l FUNKO
Marvel: Deadpool 1/4-Scale Figure l MARVEL HEROES
Scott Pilgrim: Ramona Flowers 9-Inch Collectible Vinyl Figure l SCOTT PILGRIM
Sons of Anarchy: Clay Morrow 1/6-Scale Figure l SONS OF ANARCHY
Sons of Anarchy: Jax Teller 1/6-Scale Figure l SONS OF ANARCHY
IMPORT TOYS
Marvel Ultimate: Spider-Man Artfx+ Statue l KOTOBUKIYA
DC Comics Variant Play Arts Kai: Batman Rogues Gallery: Two-Face Figure l DC COMICS
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone: Draco School Uniform 1/6-Scale Figure l HARRY POTTER
Kingdom Hearts III Play Arts Kai: Sora Figure l KINGDOM HEARTS
Daft Punk Discovery Ver 2.0 RAH Figures l MUSIC
Soul of Chogokin GX-71: Voltron Defender of the Universe Figure l SOUL OF CHOGOKIN
Suicide Squad: Deadshot MAF EX l SUICIDE SQUAD
Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn S.H.Figuarts Figure l SUICIDE SQUAD
COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES
Dragon Ball Z: Goku And Vegeta Car Shade l ANIME
Suicide Squad: Belle Reve Prison Logo Decal l DC HEROES
Suicide Squad: Pandaman Logo Decal l DC HEROES
Suicide Squad: Daddy’s Little Monster Bumper Sticker l DC HEROES
Captain America 75th Anniversary Decal l MARVEL HEROES
Howard the Duck Decal l MARVEL HEROES
My Little Pony 3D Lights l MY LITTLE PONY
GAMES
Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game l STEVE JACKSON GAMES

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dice Masters: Heroes In A Half Shell Box Set l WIZKIDS/NECA

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Herculoids and iZOMBiE

I was born in the mid-1950s but most of my childhood and young teenage years were spent in the 1960s.

As the youngest of four sons, I was pretty much was an only child since all of my siblings were gone and married by the time I was six.

This meant I had a lot of time by myself on my hands.  My Mom (who raised me) pretty much left me alone to my own devices.  This meant I tended to entertain myself.

Kids Saturday morning cartoon TV shows were pretty much in their heyday and being an All-American kid, I, like so many other kids my age, loved watching them.

My favorites tended to be series put out by the Hanna-Barbera Studio who were responsible for such series as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound, Tom and Jerry and dozens of other cartoon shorts and TV series.

When the superhero craze hit in the mid-1960s Hanna-Barbera was quick to jump on the bandwagon and was soon producing several outstanding superhero animated TV series.
One of my all-time favorites was The Herculoids.

Taking place on a distant planet The Herculoids consisted of Zandor and his wife and son accompanied by Tundro- a hybrid rhino, Gloop and Gleep-two protoplasmic shape-changers, Zor-a dragon and the rock ape Igoo.

Together they protected their utopian planet from space invaders, despots and other planetary and interplanetary threats.

Each exciting episode is included in Warner Bros.' The Complete The Herculoids Classic Collection DVD Set.  

For a completely different type of 'superhero' TV series be sure to check out The Complete First Season and Second Season Blu-rays iZOMBiE collection.

Olivia 'Liv' Moore is your typical Millennial-ambitious, young and full of life.  Until, she gets turned into a zombie!

Lingering between life and death Liv abandons her friends, calls off her engagement and moves away from home.

As a medical assistant in a city morgue Liv survives on the only thing that staves off her zombie flesh-eating tendencies-eating recently deceased corpse's brains.

Unfortunately there is a serious side-effect-Liv get glimpses of the memories of the deceased-including how they died or were murdered.

Encouraged by her boss, she uses her unique ability to help solve crimes.

Along the way she tangles with other 'undead', monsters and terrifying supernatural and all too human killers.

For a truly unique take on the detective genre combined with the macabre check out iZOMBiE.  Here's an important suggestion.  Never try to hide a murder from a mind-reading zombie-your crime will be found out-it's a 'dead' give away!


Blu-ray extras include featurettes, deleted scenes and more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Collectible Television Memorabilia, RO-RO Handbook and Enter The Drones

I love watching TV, especially old TV shows from the 1950s to the 1980s.  The 1960s is my favorite era.


Even at a young age I collected TV show memorabilia.  My favorites were science fiction and Western TV shows.

Regardless of your TV show memorabilia fixation the new book fro Schiffer Publishing and author Dian Ziller's 'Collectible Television Memorabilia' is the book for you.

Inside full color photos spotlight TV show memorabilia from every genre.

Sci-fi, Western, Drama, Suspense, Comedy-they're all there along with informative text, prices and color photos.

It's a veritable cornucopia of TV goodness all wrapped up in an oversize softbound book that is sure to please the most diehard TV show fan.

Have you ever wondered how the biggest bulk of foreign goods arrive in the U.S. and the world?

We've all seen photos of the big container ships, but they can only transport certain types of cargo.  What about vehicles, special shipments or fragile/delicate cargo?

RO-RO Ships (Ride On, Ride Off) are self-contained, enclosed ships that sail the world's oceans

Super-sophisticated and modern day mechanical and engineering wonders RO-RO are giant ships that are warehouses on water.

Running a RO-RO takes a special type of crew who maintain and repair the giant ships and their precious cargo.

Constructed to withstand the most testing situations the ships are designed to carry the maximum payload under the safest conditions.

Capt. Delyan Mihaylov Todoroy shares his may years of experience piloting the massive ships in a fascinating and extremely detailed account of RO-RO.

Drones. Not that long ago drones seemed like something out of a futuristic science fiction book or movie.

The military depends more and more on its long-distance strike and surveillance drones.
But how did the drone technology come about?  When did the military accelerate its drone programs?

Restricted at first to military applications the drone technology has migrated to the private sector.  Small drones can be bought relatively inexpensively with surprisingly advanced capabilities. 

New laws and regulations are being  formulated to control the burgeoning industry. Enter The Drones: The FAA and UAVs in America by Bill Carey examines this new phenomenon and the whole drone development history. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Jeopardy!, Tension, This That & Everything and Urban Myth

Has your 'life' become nothing more than a 'trivial pursuit'?  Has your time become 'monopolized' and mundane?  Are you ready to take a 'risk' and take-on a new 'operation'?

The best way to do that is to expand your mind, face new challenges and increase your knowledge.

Forget TV, movies and video games.  What you need is a good old-fashioned dose of game play and Outset Media has just the games for you!

Each and everyone is guaranteed to test your knowledge, perfect your gaming skills and hone your competitive edge.

Four new games will challenge you and your entire family, ages 12 and up.

My wife and I are big fans of the TV show Jeopardy!.  Most evenings we sit and watch and match our knowledge against the contestants.  Unfortunately Jeopardy! only comes on once a day so its not always convenient for us to watch as we may have other things to do that take up our schedules.

Never fear! Outset Media has the answer with its new Jeopardy! Deluxe Edition that proves every bit as exciting and challenging as the TV version.

One player is the host while other players take on the tough questions derived from all different areas of knowledge such as history, popular culture, etc.

Just like the TV series players play Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy!-all of which are timed.  The game includes 252 Cards, 6 Game Stands and 1 Bell.      

Feeling a little tense?  You ain't seen nothing yet! The Tension game ups the ante as it challenges you to make 10 correct matches in under 60 seconds!

All gamers have to do is match the answers on game cards!  It's fast, fun, frantic and frustrating!  It's Tension. Two hundred Double-sided Cards, an Answer Tracker, a 1 Minute Sand Timer, a Game Board and 2 Pawns are included.

Is your team up to the challenge?

So you think you know it all?  Want to prove it?  This That & Everything will put your knowledge to the test as you attempt to describe six people, places and things in 30 seconds!

It takes a real team effort and lightening fast answers to win this game.  Do you have the brains to pull it off?

Game contents include 396 Cards, a Score Pad, a 30-Second Timer and Instructions.
Are you ready for the truth?  The truth is in here with Urban Myth.

Not everything you've heard or read it true.  Many of the things we take as facts are nothing more than hearsay and products of overactive imaginations.

In Urban Myth you're tested to determine if you can tell the truth from myth.

Two or more players must differentiate between pop-culture myth and fact in a game that is sure to challenge just how savvy gamers are.

Completely unique, Urban Myth includes 6 Game tokens, 6 True/Myth Voting Cards, 500 Game Cards, 1 Game Board and 1 Instruction sheet.

As with all the new Outset Media games Urban Myth comes packaged in a heavy paper stock box that will stand up to years of play, colorful game pieces and cards and easy-to-follow instructions.

I can't wait to play each game with my friends and family.  All the game provide a great way to learn new facts while having a wonderful time with those we love. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Star Trek The Official Guide To Our Universe

Star Trek The Original Series aired for three years on NBC TV from 1966 to 1969.

At the time of its broadcast it wasn't a particularly poplar show.  In fact it was almost canceled its second year if not for the outcry from the fans it did have.

It wasn't until a number of years later when Star Trek became a rerun sensation did the NBC network, and the world, realize just how popular and influential the series had become.

A whole generation of young people took inspiration from the show and grew up to become the scientists, mathematicians, technicians, etc. who were responsible for many of the technological advances we enjoy today.

Star Trek's exploration of space (in the original series and its four follow-up TV series, and soon to be a fifth, and its movies) opened up the possibility of life 'out there' and the phenomenon that the universe holds.

Author Andrew Fazekas, with a foreword by William Shatner, and National Geographic present 'Star Trek The Official Guide To Our Universe, The Science Behind The Starship Voyages' on this 50th Anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek.

In this 'fascinating' book readers discover the planets in our solar system, starting with the Moon. and expanding further and further out into the unknown regions of space traveling unimaginable distances.

Discover strange new worlds, travel to the stars, learn how to navigate using the heavens as a guide, witness the birth of stars and nebula, black holes and other strange and mysterious galactic phenomenon.

Hard facts meet fantasy as each section is complemented with photos from the various Star Trek TV series and movies sprinkle among charts, graphs, photos and episode listings.

Star Trek may be a space fantasy but it has successfully introduced the ever expanding and once hidden universe to our senses and minds. Fiction has transformed into fact.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Scheer, Curtainside, Le Centaure and Operation Cobra

As a young boy I loved putting together ship model kits.  At the time I could purchase 10-cent ships and within a few minutes have a whole fleet of ships.  As I grew older I graduated to larger ship models that required more skill, patience and time to put together.

The Admiral Scheer battleship model kit from Italeri brings back many fond memories.  Like the more complicated model kits I assembled as boy the Admiral Scheer is a miniature replica of a famous military ship complete with full hull, deck, accessories and weapons that are all easy to assemble when using the comprehensive directions included with the model.

Paint it up, slap on the decals and before you know it you have a 1/720 Scale ship model that would make any sailor proud. 

Take a minute to appreciate the details including deck guns, conning towers, radar, antenna and cranes and other ship's equipment along with a small bi-wing airplane, deck railings and more.

Where would a semi-truck be without its trailer? The Curtainside Trailer "Schoni.ch" trailer is a heavy duty (and I do mean heavy!) model kit that features the trademark Schoni red color scheme along with real rubber tires, an undercarriage storage compartment, side panel protection, heavy load capability, a superior brake system, heavy and tough gauge fenders, bumper and wheels and carefully integrated lights and reflectors.

All are built on a rugged frame which are perfectly duplicated in 1/24 Scale.  Very little painting is required but look for lots of decals-and I do mean a lot!

Speaking of semi-trucks... The Berliet 356ch/ Renault R360 "Le Centaure" semi-truck is a chromed-out monster truck with so many extras it boggles the mind.

Look for full upper and lower lights, a twin-level bumper, an environmentally designed diesel exhaust pipe, roof-mounted horns and lights, large side mirrors, three windshield wipers, an extended cab, full interior details, ten tires on chrome wheels, a large windshield and side windows, an aerodynamic design that cuts down on wind resistance, a large bed for easy trailer hook-up, a rigid frame with brake and fluid lines and much, much more.

Talk about details!  Seasoned model makers are sure to love this finely-detailed model.  Like all Italeri model kits this truck features precision fittied parts, easy-to-follow instructions and full paint and decal instructions that make putting together this 1/24 Scale model kit a trucker's dream.

Way back, a long time ago, when I was about ten years old, my friends and I used to gather together all our plastic soldiers, play tanks, jeeps and other WWII toys and create huge battle scenes right out of the war.

We'd play for hours eventually gathering up all our separate items and go our merry ways.
As much as we enjoyed playing soldier it was difficult for all of us to get together at one time so we could pool our toy resources.

Never fear! Italeri recognizes the little boy in military model makers.  Its 1/72 Scale Operation Cobra 1944 Battle Set has made playing war fun and easy to set up.

Included in the Play Set are two tanks (Sherman and Panther), two Half Tracks, 64 figures (Allied and Nazi) and two French House/Shops. 

What a great way to make up a WWII battleground diorama!  All it takes is  some glue, paint, decals and the willingness to create a scene right out of the war!  Allied and Nazi vehicles and soldiers are packed separately from each other in individual plastic bags making them easy to recognize.


Modify the buildings to look whole or bombed out and with a little tabletop shrub and dirt decor its WWII all over again in 1/72 Scale! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Impossible Has Happened The Life And Work Of Gene Roddenberry Creator Of Star Trek

Dubbed "The Great Bird Of The Galaxy' by his fan, friends and foes, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was either a sinner or a saint (or both) depending on who you talk to.

Headstrong and highly motivated since a young child as a restless young man Gene floated between jobs on the railroad, became a railroad detective and when his family moved to L.A. he became a police patrol officer, a position he held for 25 years.

During his tenure as policeman the writing bug bit Gene in a big way.

Determined to exploit his newfound writing capabilities Gene pounded the pavement landing jobs as a screenwriter for various Detective and Western TV series at the time.

Frustrated that TV censorship did not allow him to expound of the social injustices and events of the times he decided to create his own TV series so he could obtain (in his mind) complete creative control.

His first TV series, 'The Lieutenant' only lasted a year but it taught Gene an important lesson.
Social relevance must be camouflaged in order to air on TV.

Pitching his idea for a science fiction series abut a exploratory spacecraft as 'The Wagon Train to the stars." Gene managed to get NBC to spring for a pilot episode.

Deemed too cerebral, the pilot episode of Star Trek: 'The Menagerie' , impressed NBC executives enough for them to make the unprecedented decision to foot the bill for a second -pilot, 'Where Man Has Gone Before' with William Shatner as Captain Kirk.  The show showcased more action and was green-lighted b NBC.

From the beginning the show was steeped in problems: a low budget, censorship restraints, network interference and the biggest obstacle to the series: Gene himself.

Extremely protective of his creation and its message (shades of liberalism, socialism and a utopian view of the future) Gene constantly rewrote scripts, conflicted with cast and crew and eventually was forced off the series during its last year.

During his time on the series Gene began to show his true colors: a womanizer, authoritarian, a manipulator, self-serving and often difficult to work with.  Yet at times he could be very warm, forgiving and generous.

This dichotomy haunted Gene for the rest of his life all the way through the Star Trek movies and his final Trek creation: The Next Generation-which he eventually was dismissed from.
Author Lance Parkin and publisher Aurum Press delve into the enigma that was Gene Roddenberry and his (often drastic) up and downs which he experienced during his lifetime.


Friends and associates give witness to the complex nature of Gene in a no-holds barred examination of the man responsible for a world-wide phenomenon.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Code Black Season One

CBS/Paramount presents the entire first season of the hit TV medical series: Code Black.
Imagine working at the most hectic and notorious Emergency Room in the nation. 

The staggering wave of humanity that enters the doors pushes the facilities, its supplies and especially its doctors, nurses and staff to the breaking point.

The mass of emergency admissions strains both nerve and body as medical personnel attempt to treat each and every patient admitted and to save lives.

Dubbed Code Black, the emergency facility houses the Center Stage trauma center for the most critical of patients.  Four interns, a veteran nurse and several doctors orchestrate the madness and somehow manage to save lives.

The DVD/Digital also includes deleted scenes, extended scenes, a gag reel, featurettes and more.

Five discs include the pilot episode and the highly acclaimed Black Tag episode that recreates a horrific car accident.