Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vintage And Obsessed

Chronicle Books has released two books that comic book lovers are sure to want.

The Art Of Vintage DC Comics consists of 100 postcards featuring covers of the ‘best of the best’ of vintage DC Comics covers stacked n alphabetical order.

Celebrating 75 years of DC Comics the postcard collection recreates classic covers in miniature. Printed in brilliant colors or a coated, heavy paper stock the cards are beautiful as well as durable.


Encased in a flip open reinforced display box complete with ribbon marker the entire package make a welcome addition to any collector’s library.

Look for such classic covers as Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27 and dozens of other Golden, Silver, Bronze and some modern cover reproductions of key issues.

Test your knowledge of the Marvel Universe using Chronicle’s hardbound book, Obsessed With Marvel, containing 2,500 questions formatted for one or two players.



Use the electronic book in random or selected mode to see just how much you know or think you know, about the Marvel Universe of characters and events.

Of the questions I faced I was able to answer about 75%-not bad, but I thought I knew more. How much do you know? Are you a true Marvel Zombie?

The book contains not only questions but randomly placed artwork and some expanded questions that provide some interesting Marvel info bits. Make Mine Marvel!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Archie #610

After Archie is kicked out of Pop’s for a balancing act gone bad, he bumps into his ‘investigative reporter’ cousin Andy. Later he spots him again and after rushing to greet him Archie discovers that his cousin is not a reporter but an international spy.


His current assignment involves a mad scientist who has a formula to turn everyone into the “the walking dazed!” It’s up to Archie to stop him and his henchmen especially when they kidnap Pops, Betty and Veronica and plan on using them as test subjects.


Archie #610 begins a 4-part storyline that introduces readers to Archie Andrews: The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. Look for cool spy flick references, a spectacular and explosive front cover and off course: lots of gadgets, girls and goons. Archie is definitely shaken and not stirred in Archie Comics latest release.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Art and Faerie X 2

Abrams Books presents a triple treat of reading pleasure with the release of three new book titles.

First up from author Dan Nadel comes Art In Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures, 1940 - 1980.

Fourteen artists are represented in obscure reprinted comic book adventure stories. Ranging from Westerns to Romance stories each explore the printed media of comic books and offer unique art styles, coloring techniques and innovative story-telling.
 Artist bios are also included in this handsome, oversize hardback book containing both black and white and color comic book stories.


Artist Brian Froud is represented in two new works from Abrams. First up is the Deluxe Collector's Edition of his award-winning illustrated masterpiece: Fairies. New art, essays, frameable prints and a pull-out poster are just a few of the extras included in this special re-issue by Brian Froud and fellow artist Alan Lee. It's a beautifully crafted book with a new cover and a special sleeve for the prints.
Brian and his wife Wendy collaborate on the long-awaited sequel to their Faerie's Oracle. In The Heart Of Faerie Oracle, 68 Oracle cards, illustrated by Brian, are complemented by a small hardbound book written by Wendy.

The book explains the card illustrations and invites readers to join in the fun, love and wisdom of the Faerie folk. Open the door to the Enchanted Realm with this new box set containing the book and cards wrapped in an illustrated protective sleeve.



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Art Of Drew Struzan

My all-time favorite movie poster artist is Drew Struzan. You may not be familiar with his name but you're certainly familiar with his work. The Back To Future, the first trilogy Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Bladerunner, Hellboy, Hook and dozens of other movie posters art are his work.


Drew Struzan and David J. Schow, with foreword by Frank Darabont, and Titan Books have collaborated to give a visual chronicle of Struzan's work in The Art Of Drew Struzan.

Inside you'll discover how the artist comes up with a poster concept using carefully crafter penciled and sometime colored layouts. Accompanying each series of drawings and the final poster prints are production notes, anecdotes and observations by the artist.


The book makes for a fascinating look into the creative mind of one of the industry's top artists. As an artist and graphic designer I appreciate and applaud his talent from concept sketches to finished pieces.



Pop Sculpture

Unless you've been living under a rock for about the last ten years you're aware that toys have changed a lot in that time period-toys and collectible statues.


Whereas toys used to be crudely molded and sculpted pieces of plastic with sloppy paint application (if any), the new generation of toys are marvels of engineering and sculpture.


Toy and collectible statue sculptors and artists have made them miniature works of fine art. The figures are realistic, clothing looks natural, hidden articulation makes toys almost look real when posed and sculptures bristle with details, finely crafted accessories and boast superior paint application.


Tim Bruckner, Zach Oat, Ruben Procopio and Watson-Guptill Publications present Pop Sculpture: How To Create Action Figures And Collectibles Statues.


Inside readers and sculptor hopefuls learn all about the various skills, materials and production techniques it takes to make today's modern statues and toys.


Pages are filled with actual photos of completed pieces along with step-by-step visual aids of the sculpting, paint and manufacturing processes. Artists share their secrets and offer helpful advice in each pictorial lesson.


If you are an aspiring sculptor who wants to enter the collectible toy and statue field then this is the guide for you.



Monday, September 20, 2010

Cutlass, Hustler, Mongoose, Ice 'T', Bandit, Biarritz, Tano And Hawker


Revell/Monogram rolls out eight new models for the car lover, Star Wars fan and aircraft enthusiast.


Six new car models in the 1:25 Scale category starts off with the classy '72 Olds Cutlass Supreme Custom 2 'n 1 Revell Muscle series. This classy chassis can be customized as black and maroon open canvas top and a fire red convertible with chrome trim. Both version s of the car feature full engine details, custom wheels, luxurious interiors, full front end twin grill and bumper in chrome and more. The black and maroon model also includes a rear airfoil, full black interior and chrome wheels.


The Chi-Town Hustler '69 Dodge Charger NHRA Funny Car is a wedge shaped bundle of horse power with its custom flame paint and decal job, oversize chrome rear wheels, eight bottom mounted exhaust pipes, trimmed down bumper, custom cockpit with driver-side collision windshield, rear airfoil, detachable body and chrome engine mounted on a reinforced frame. Zoom!


The Motor Sports series presents The Tom Mongoose McEwen '75 Plymouth Duster NHRA Funny Car is a candy stripped bundle of speed. Like the Hustler, the Mongoose, features a detachable body that separates from the frame and reveals the full chrome engine and frame. Check out the huge black pipes extending out of its sides! Double zoom!


Chill out with the Ice 'T' custom hotrod in 1:24 Scale. Painted a bright yellow, the Ice 'T' is a bevel shaped auto with balloon tires, swept over roof covering the cockpit and an air scoop pushing its chrome head out of the engine compartment. Brrrr!


Ed Roth's The Beatnik Bandit is another custom hotrod painted yellow and white with a bubble canopy, barracuda body style with custom headlights, oversize whitewall tires, huge chromed out engine fully revealed through the hood, flat rear with four rear lights and so low to the ground the groundhogs can hear it coming.


For the ultimate driving luxury be sure to take a look at the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. This oversize tail fin beauty is oozing chrome, features a full red and white leather interior, oversize canvas canopy, whitewalls, partially hidden rear wheels and has enough room to carry as many people as most modern mini-vans. Extras include a customized front seat, a huge V8 engine and an extra long body. Classic zoom!


Star Wars fans are sure to want the Ahsoka Tano's Jedi Starfighter as seen in The Clone Wars. This easy kit comes fully painted and detailed and requires no glue. Youngsters can build their dream complete with a pilot, interior instruments and twin energy weapons.


For a flying machine of an earlier vintage crawl into the cramped cockpit of the Hawker Mk IB Typhoon with two wing mounted twin machine guns, full bomb load, custom paint and decal application, pilot and retractable landing gear. As a ground and high altitude fighter it proved to be unstoppable.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taskmaster #1

One of my all-time favorite Marvel super villains is Taskmaster. First introduced in Avengers #195, the Taskmaster (in his outfit designed by George Perez) has captivated my imagination.


With his photographic reflexes, Taskmaster can watch any hero or villain and copy their fighting style instantly. He proved his fighting skills when he went face-to-face against Captain America!


Since then Taskmaster has faced many a super hero and always managed to fight them to a standstill and inevitably escape. Up until recently Taskmaster has been the brains behind training various individuals as subordinates and lackeys of high power super villains. Someone has to do it!


In Taskmaster #1 by Van Lente, Palo and Beaulieu, Taskmaster has lost most of his memory and is attempting to recall his past life. Unfortunately for him various super villain groups prefer him dead along with his memories. Yeah, like that's going to happen.


In his own unique style Taskmaster takes on and defeats each group and in the process starts to piece together his life. With the help of a waitress he met and rescued a short time ago he intends to find out who is trying to kill him and why.


This is pure Taskmaster: the cynical, dark-humored super bad guy who can take on anyone and win! For some fancy fisticuffs, over-the-top action and just plain fun be sure to read the 4-part Taskmaster series.

DC Legacies #5

Who better to illustrate the DC Legacies issue about the Crisis On Infinite Earths than the original artists of the ground-breaking series, George Perez!? No one can illustrate universe-spanning and multi-character stories than George. And in issue #5 of DC Legacies, appropriately titled, Crisis, George does not disappoint. He draws literally hundreds of characters-all with their own look and facial features.


Written by Len Wein, the story starts off when the DC Universe suddenly steps over to the dark side as illustrated by the sudden homicidal change in the Joker. Soon the dark infection spreads across all of DC's multiverses ultimately culminating in the destruction and merging of all the multiverses into one.


Look for lots of characters shifts and changes, the introduction of new super groups, both good and bad, new threats, new foes, the dead alive again and much more. It's pure George Perez action that takes your breath away.


A special back-up story illustrated by Walt Simonson about Adam Strange, Tommy Tomorrow and Space Ranger is an additional nostalgic treat.

Archie's Haunted House

This special Archie & Friends All-Stars TPB, does Halloween right with a plethora of stories that will both scare and delight Archie fans.


See what happens when the Archie gang meets up with Hallie who transforms them into Halloween monsters. An old house is about to be demolished and the Archie gang attempts to stop it. Too bad a certain ghost doesn't want their help and proceeds to scare Riverdale's residence until things get a little too 'hot' to handle.


Is there an Axe Murderer on the loose in Riverdale and Archie and the gang crashes a monster only party. Also look for some Halloween fashion tips and stroll down Halloween Memory Lane with Archie in Volume 5 of Archie & Friends All-Stars.

Archie Marries..

Abrams Comicarts has put together a hard back book compilation of the Archie Marries... storyline that recently ran in Archie Comics. In the stories Archie takes a walk down Memory Lane and suddenly finds himself married to Veronica and then Betty.


The hardback book contains not only the stories but interviews with the artists and writers, penciled art, color guides and all sorts of production notes and information. Included in the die-cut double heart slipcase is a special sleeve for a comic book containing classic Archie stories from decades gone past.


All-in-all the entire package makes for a fine collection to any Archie Comics or comic book lovers collection.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions


Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions


For the first time ever, Spider-Man fans can pick and choose to play Spider-Man as he appears in four separate dimensions. Choose Amazing Spider-Man, Noir Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man or Spider-Man 2099. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses and unique foes to fight. Many foes have the same name but appear strikingly different. Some are more vicious, others even more cunning.


In a desperate attempt to stop the magical energy of the Tablet of Order and Chaos, Spider-Man finds himself transported to different dimensions, guised in a different costume and facing some familiar, and not so familiar, foes.


Players may switch from genre to genre, with each environment designed to fit each Spider-Man persona. For the first time gamers can get up close and personal during battle. Listen to the killer soundtrack and sound effects and be prepared to be dazzled by the digital effects, environments and characters.


Look for plenty of surprises, such as new abilities and bonuses. Game play is fast, fun and frantic with smooth scene transitions, no lag time and detailed packed scenarios. Look for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions for Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, Windows PC and Nintendo DS from Activision and is rated 'T' for teen.


Also look for the special digest sized book of The Art Of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions that contains concept and design art for all four Spider-Man persona and environments.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Buckyballs

OK, this is way too much fun! Must put them away. Must write review. OK, OK, time to write. But, they're so much fun! Just a little more. Look at the cool things I can make. Put away, put away! Stop! Must write review....arrrgh!


That's the kind of inner turmoil you'll feel once you get your hands on Zoomdoggle's Buckyballs. They are hard to put down.


Buckyballs is a cluster of small magnetic balls that come in an attractive clear plastic container complete with an inner sleeve and snap shut orange transparent box to store them in.


Two hundred and sixteen rare earth magnets let you form all sorts of 3D objects from boxes to tubes. String Buckyballs together to make a magnetic necklace or wristband or do what I do and place one Buckyball hidden between your fingers. Slide your hand over any small metal object and watch it follow your hand! It drives kids crazy!


You'll spend hours forming Buckyballs into different shapes and you'll discover what a stress reliever they are. The possibilities are endless. It's just you, Buckyballs and your imagination!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Legends Of The Canyon


The mid to late 1960s was a time of change in America. The Viet Nam War, Nixon’s White House, environmental and social concerns, equal rights and poverty were just a few of the issues facing the American people.


Young people, teens and early twenties, began to question social norms and the ‘establishment’. Folk music was on a high and the British Invasion with its sweet upbeat tempo clashed with the more socially conscious Folk crowd. Then something remarkable happened.


A small group of American musicians and songwriters began to infuse Rock and Roll with Folk, Jazz, the Blues, Country/Western and even mystical Far East music to create a whole new genre of music.


Chiefly inspired by such notable Folk singers as Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie a new generation of performers formed groups that would revolutionize American music. Remarkably a huge portion of those performers took up residence in Laurel Canyon just outside of Los Angeles.


The Mamas and Papas, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, America, Buffalo Springfield and dozens more drew their inspiration from nature, each other and of course, drugs and sex.


In Image Entertainment’s new DVD ‘Legends Of The Canyon’, hosted and narrated by photographer Henry Diltz, many of the surviving members of each band recount the exciting and often turbulent times they lived through. Hear first-hand accounts of the power struggle behind the bands, the lavish and hedonistic lifestyles and the tragic young deaths and altered lives of many of the young performers.


Relive the days of Woodstock: peace, love and freedom as seen through the eyes of those who witnessed and took part in it all. Along with the film documentary and music clips the DVD also includes seldom or never-seen-before concerts and interviews, photos and a 20-page color booklet.


It’s far out man!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Man Behind The Nose

Most young people today have no idea who Bozo The Clown is or how important or famous he was. But, older folks, like me, still fondly remember his live action and animated shenanigans.


With his flaming red hair, big red bulbous nose, huge smile, outrageous outfit and trademark laugh of yuh-yuh-yuh, Bozo loved kids and was adored by him.


For years the late Larry Harmon donned his Bozo disguise and through gentle humor, moral centered anecdotes and a sweet gentle manner taught a whole generation of kids the value of friendship, honesty, integrity and moral uprightness. At one time over 200 TV stations around the world carried his show.


Just before his death in 2008 Harmon finished his autobiography: The Man Behind The Nose: Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals And Other Stupendous Tales with the assist of Thomas Scott McKenzie.


He reflects on his long career and life starting with his childhood growing up n Cleveland and how he went on to be named an international ambassador of safety by President Kennedy. The book looks at his adventures both in and out of costume from looking for New Guinea cannibals to suiting up as an astronaut. Throughout his life he maintained his sense of optimism and good cheer.


Learn how he started a Bozo camp, trained as a firefighter and survived two assassination attempts when he ran for President in 1984. In spite of his many setbacks and accomplishments Larry “Bozo” Harmon kept his sense of humor, humble spirit and unswerving sense of purpose to make a difference.


The Man Behind The Nose is published by It Books.

Stinky

A talking garbage truck toy!? Now I’ve seen everything! Will kids like it? They’ll love it!


Stinky The Garbage Truck from Matchbox is a garbage-gobbling gold mine and trash hauling treasure. This heavy duty plastic truck with six oversize rubber tires not only talks (boy, does he talk!) but he’s a great toy all around. Rugged and able to take anything a toddler or young child can dish out, Stinky stands up to hours of play without so much as a scratch.


Stinky is a truck with personality as evident by his colorful sayings and body movement. You heard right-body movements. When Stinky talk his whole body gets into the act. His front bumper opens and shut like a mouth, his front tires extend and wave like arms and his entire body balances on his back four wheels. He jiggles, rolls, rumbles, shakes and shimmies and flashes his lights.


By moving him different ways or pressing certain parts of his body Stinky reacts in lots of ways. Roll him back and forth to activate his lights and sounds. Press down his smoke stack for different phrases. Pull it and you get even more Stinky sayings and open his rear door or press his belly button and there’s no telling what he’ll say or the sounds he’ll make.


If you press his smoke stack until he tells you to make some noise and you respond-he’ll sing! No fooling! He’ll even give you a high five. Now that’s truck with personality!


Stinky is a lot of fun and kids are sure to get a kick out of this lovable truck. Did I mention that if you feed him garbage he’ll eat it and then dump it out? And after a hard day’s work (or if left alone too long) Stinky will fall asleep. But be careful, he snores!


Matchbook has created a real winner with Stinky. Is it any wonder that kids love him? For the first time ‘trash talk’ means good clean fun. A free Big Rig Buddies DVD also comes with Stinky.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ramblings And Reflections

Have you ever noticed how things have become so specialized and compartmentalized?  Nothing is simple anymore.  Every pursuit (leisure or work related) has been so specialized that by the time you figure out what you want you've wasted a lot of time.

Case in point:  tennis shoes.  It used to be (please don't write me off as an old fuddy duddy) that when you went to the store to buy a pair of tennis shoes the only things you had to worry about were if they were high or low tops and what color you wanted: red, blue, black or white.

Now when you go to the sports shoe store (notice that the selection is so huge that  'tennis shoes' have to have their own store) there are literally hundreds, if not thousands to choose from.  There're walking shoes, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, running shoes, etc., etc. and each pair has little extras such as shocks, lights, reinforcements, special inserts-the list goes on and on.

Another example is electronics.  I don't have to tell you the vast selection of cell phones out there.  A side note here.  Why does cell phone service cost more than a land line?  Shouldn't it be the other way around?  After all cell phones have no wires, telephone poles (except the occasional tower) or other parts or structures associated with them.  All they have is a satellite link-up.  Why such a high cost?  Just a thought.

How about stereos or TVs?  Have you ever seen such a collection of features, accessories, functions and styles?  Cars, clothes, food, houses: ever aspect of our lives have become so complicated and multi-functional that we're loosing our ability to think.

As much as I love the Internet it has dumbed down our population.  People seldom read anymore.  Students in school use the Internet as their primary source of information for everything-too bad most of it is garbage.  Just because it's there doesn't mean it's correct-Wickipedia is a perfect example of this.  For a time anyone could put anything into Wickipedia as fact.  And people believed it.

Social networking has just the opposite effect it should.  Instead of people communicating more (Communication is more than typing words.  Real communication should be face-to-face.  Talking is only part of the equation.) they are abreviating their conversations  I have students in my high school classes that talk or text and never say anything of importance.  Making noise or forming words does not a conversation make.  Conversation also involves listening, paying attention to another person's body language and empathizing with them.  Hard to do when you text.  

In a society that prides itself on individuality we've actually becoming a nation of drones-a country of lemmings.  Wherever the popularity winds blow we follow.  Privacy is quickly disappearing.  The more people share their every move and thoughts the more information about them is floating around in the Internet for anyone to read.  Frequent a certain restaurant or go out a certain time of the week?  You've just set yourself up for burglary.  Share your personal information or highly suggestive photos?  Congratulations, decades from now when your grand children catch a photo of you half naked on an old site how will you explain it?  Political aspirations?  Be careful what you post on the Internet.  It will come back to haunt you.

I don't own a cellphone.  I know, shocking isn't it?  Why?  I don't want someone calling me whenever they want.  When I go on a long trip I buy a disposable one just in case of an emergency. Do I have a Facebook account?  Yep.  Do I share my deepest darkest secrets or my daily routine?  No way!

My point, or points, is that just because something is new, doesn't necessarily mean it's good.  Granted the Internet and certain improvements in products and services are beneficial.  But, if you've been paying any attention you'll discover our lives have not become easier.  No, just the opposite-they are far more complicated.  Instead of saving us time, many 'improvements' have cost us more.

I'm not suggesting we go back to the 'good ol' days'.  That would be foolish.  What I am recommending is that we think before we act.  Do we really need many of the things we want or have we become victims of brilliant ad campaigns?  I used to work in advertising and marketing and I tease my friends and colleagues by saying, "With the right copy and visuals I could sell you a rock and make you believe that you couldn't do without it."  Create a false need and fill that need-it's an old marketing ploy that works everytime.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fangoria #297, October

Fangoria #297 for October shambles along with The Walking Dead in the new TV series that proves that a showing rating can be in the grave. Hatchet takes another swing in the sequel movie, Barbara Shelley of Hammer movie fame talks about her career, get read to see Saw in 3D and check out the rest of this very special Halloween Special.


Monster Invasion looks at some newly released films and merchandise including The Ward, Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell, Let Me In and more. Revisit Psychomania where you're Born To Be Undead, visit the New Darkhouse, beware the Suck Factor, get ready for some patriotic mayhem in Red, White & Blue Nightmare, the Devil takes you to new highs and lows in an elevator and never date a woman who will Spit On Your Grave. After Dark Originals has some Bloody Fresh Frights and there's a few movies that deserve to go to the Trash Compactor.

Friday, September 3, 2010

OO7: Double - O - Seven Magazine

I’m a huge James Bond fan. Specifically, I’m a huge Sean Connery as James Bond fan. To me Sean is James Bond. His wit, sense of style, rugged manliness and charisma personifies Ian Fleming’s superspy.


To be sure other actors have done stellar jobs playing James Bond, but Sean created the Silver Screen 007 and must be given credit for making the film series such a huge success. Of all the actors that have played James Bond, Sean Connery will always be identified with the roll he pioneered.


That’s why I was so excited when I received 007: Double - O - Seven Magazine’s Archive Files Sean Connery As James Bond File #1.


On the cover is a photo of Sean as Bond clutching a pistol in one hand and a drink in the other. Can you guess what kind of gun and drink? His sly smile and the twinkle in his eyes personify Bond. On the back cover is Sean dressed as Commander Bond.


Inside the magazine is filled with photos of Sean as James Bond taken from all of his six ‘official’ James Bond films and his one “unofficial” Bond Film: Never Say Never Again. Photos include production stills, candid shots and behind-the-scenes images. Included are movie posters and interesting text info tidbits. It’s a stunning magazine worthy to be part of any James Bond collection.


For Bond Lovers Only comes the official 007: Double - O – Magazine Issue #53. In each issue the magazine highlights news, reviews and interviews all centered around James Bond, his world, woman, gadgets, films, books and memorabilia.


In this issue the magazine staff looks at the 100th birthday of Bond’s creator Ian Fleming, a James Bond/Ian Fleming exhibition including photos, memorabilia and more, the sale of the most famous car in the world: James Bond’s Aston Martin (look for a cool two-page spread of the car with gadgets displayed), vintage ads, the new 007 Bloodstone video game and finally a look at Roger Moore’s best Bond film: For Your Eyes Only.


This is Bond at his best as seen in this issue packed with lots of photos, art and interesting copy that delves into the world of James Bond. Pick up a copy today!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Marmaduke

Long before a certain mystery-solving canine appeared another Great Dane was born. Marmaduke, the master of mischief, has delighted comic strip readers for decades with his cocky attitude, take charge determination, silly antics and huge heart.


20th Century Fox brings Marmaduke to 3D life in its new Marmaduke computer animated/live action movie starring the voice of Owen Wilson as Marmaduke and fellow actors George Lopez and Kiefer Sutherland as supporting animated cast members.


It’s surfing action and love as Marmaduke and his furry companions hit the waves and cause their own waves in this hilarious comedy that’s just doggone fun!


Special DVD features include a featurette on surfing dogs, deleted scenes and how they movie producer cast some very impressive canines. Marmaduke is a movie for the whole family-including pets! So don your sunglasses, put on plenty of sunscreen, wax up that old surfboard and hit the waves as Marmaduke serves up some surfing shenanigans!

The First Doctor And Electronic Tardis

Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate and dozens of other science fiction movies and television series all owe a great debt of gratitude to the granddaddy of all science fiction broadcast series, the BBC’s Doctor Who.


Nearly 50 years ago the series began with the adventures of the displaced Time Lord and his intergalactic and time-spanning adventures. Highly eccentric, the first Doctor Who set the stage for many subsequent Doctors and an entire series of stories.


Popping in and out of time and space using his Tardis machine (disguised as a London Police Box) the Doctor continues to thrill audiences today with his wildly unpredictable adventures and his encounters with both friendly and hostile aliens.


I have never had the opportunity to watch the first Doctor Who adventures (I started the series when Tom Baker played the part) but with the assist of Underground Toys I feel as if I’ve been watching the Doctor from the start.


Recently Underground Toys released an incredibly detailed reproduction of the first Doctor in its new The First Doctor And Electronic Tardis toy set. Did I say toy? No, it’s much more than that-it’s a work of art!


The Doctor figure looks as exactly like the first time traveler. Dressed in checkered pants, long dark blue coat with blue stripped scarf, black shoes, black shirt and deep blue old-fashioned bow tie and black Russian cap, the Doctor also comes with a walking stick and a human skull. The sculpting and paint application are superb with no flashing or paint slop over. The figure is articulated and stands easily on its own. Special attention has been given the face sculpt. Sharp features, piercing eyes and long gray hair capture the essence of the actor portraying the Doctor.


Included with the Doctor Who figure is the deep blue Police Box. The disguised Tardis has front doors that open and snap shut, eight white trimmed windows around its sides (two per side) Police Box lettering, a panel detail, decals and a silver handle with door lock. On top of its tiered roof sets is an encased red light.


The recessed panel Tardis also has some surprise features that are sure to thrill Doctor Who fans. Insert three AAA batteries into the back section of the Tardis, flip the on switch and when you lift the Tardis off a hard surface it gives off its signature time swooshing sounds and the roof light flashes.


Hold the Tardis aloof and the light continue to flash for up to five minutes. Place the Tardis back down on a hard surface and the light stops. To activate the sounds and lights all you have to do is lift it again.


The Doctor Who figures fits easily into the Tardis. Both the Doctor Who figure and the Tardis are displayed in a clear front and top panel box with full color illustrations and photos decorated all sides. On the back of the box is a short biography of the Doctor. The first Doctor figure is fashioned after his appearance in An Unearthly Child, as is the Tardis.


If you’ve never had the opportunity to purchase any Underground Toys Doctor Who figures and accessories now’s the time to start. All of Underground’s products are of the highest quality and workmanship and deserve to be part of any collection.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prince Of Persia

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Disney’s Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time movie soon to be released on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates Of The Caribbean) lends his incredible talent to produce a visual spectacle right out of the Arabian Nights. The movie is vast, with sweeping vistas, exotic locations, mysterious encounters, intriguing characters and a pulse-pounding storyline.


A rogue prince teams with a rival princess to safeguard a magical time altering dagger and to keep it out of the hands of rogues, rapscallions and renegades. Along the way they experience an incredible adventure ripe with action, magic and romance.


You’ll marvel at the fantastic sets, mind-blowing special effects and stunts and all the little “extras” seen on the DVD and Blu-Ray discs. Don’t miss it.

Previews, September

Just when you thought that there couldn’t possibly be more popular culture collectible items to be purchased along comes the September Diamond Previews catalog that is jam-packed with all sorts of new goodies. Sigh, I guess my operation will have to wait!

There’s a whole rack full of new comic books coming out and here’s just a sampling: Vampirella, Dungeons & Dragons, Utopian, Generation Hope, Batman: The Dark Knight, Kull: The Hate Witch, Hellboy: Double feature Of Evil, Batman, Inc., Batwoman, Superboy, Nightmaster, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Doorways, Dead Space: Salvage, 27, Spider-Girl, Captain America: Man Out OF Time, Astonishing Thor, Osborn, Chaos War, Bullseye: Perfect Game, The Traveler and Northguard.


Magazines and books to read include: Star Wars, Star Trek, Spyda’s Creations, Comics Shop, Krazy Kat and Forry.


Rittenhouse has a new set of SGU trading cards and some toys you might want to check out art DC Heroes, X-Force, Back To The Future, Naruto, Green Hornet, Spider-Man, Prince OF Persia, Star Wars, Doctor Who and Tron.


A few games to play are D&D, Dust Tactics, DC HeroClix, Small World and Talisman.