Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Friday, January 28, 2011

Honda RS250RW

Sleek and stylish, the Honda RS250RW Scot Racing Team motorcycle is an aerodynamic bullet on two wheels. Hasegawa Hobby Kits has reproduced the classy road-buster in perfect 1:12 Scale.


This is no novice model maker’s model kit. Paint and glue are required as is a steady set of hands when applying the highly-detailed decals. Look for decals of logos, numbers and accents colors and textures to liven up the model.


Consisting of several hundred parts the motorcycle kit also comes with rubber tires and tubing and a clear windshield. As a special bonus the first production model also includes transparent cowling parts.


It’s easy to see after gluing, painting and detailing this model why the Honda RS250RW Scot Racing Team motorcycle was named the 2009 WGP250 Champion.


Take a few moments before assembling the model to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into making the model kit. All the parts are finely honed with minimal flashing (if any). Each part and component is expertly duplicated in small detail and fit together perfectly.



Parts are easily identifiable and the instruction booklet makes it easy to follow the precise diagrams through each stage of assemble. It’s an absolutely stunning piece of engineering work and it even includes a kickstand!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Best Games

Warner Bros. continues to expand its football DVD library with two new titles in its Best Games series. This time two teams are spotlighted from the 2010 regular season.


Relive the magic as the Oakland Raiders pound three powerful teams into oblivion. The Broncos, Seahawks and Chiefs never stood a chance as the Raiders speed, power and unwavering determination crushed any hopes of winning from the opposing teams.


Capture all the brilliant action and excitement with this three-disc collection of the Raiders most memorable broadcast games that lets you relive some of the greatest moments in sports history.


Equally impressive is the three-disc collection of the Atlantic Falcons 2010 season run. Efficient and with nerves of steel, the Falcons swept through all competitors and left them shattered in their wake.


Three key games are included from the regular season as seen on network TV. The Falcons faced off against the Saints, Buccaneers and Ravens in a three-set of football games that set the pace for the Falcons eventually playoff bid.


Like the birds of prey they are named after the Falcons swooped down and devoured all who opposed them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea

Producer Irwin Allen was at the top of the TV science fiction show genre back in the 1960s. His shows: Lost In Space, Land Of The Giants, Time Tunnel and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea were watched by millions of TV viewers-especially children and young people.

Cliché filled, the shows contained all the science fiction elements so many people associated with the genre: monsters, aliens, time travel, strange lands, distant planets, damsels in distress, strong heroic men, dastardly villains and so forth.


When Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea first aired it steered away from outrageous BEMs (bug-eyed monsters) and standard science fiction fare. The show was a sort of espionage series under the waves. But, as Irwin Allen’s other science fiction shows began to feature the monster of the week so soon Voyage followed.

Economics was one reason; Allen could use the same monsters and some of the same sets and props in each of his series, thus cutting costs. Sadly Voyage suffered the most of all Allen’s shows in that what started out as an intriguing and exciting premise soon degenerated into silliness. Still, as a kid, I liked and I still like it today-give or take a few episodes.

20th Century Fox presents the final chapter in the Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea DVD series. Follow Admiral Nelson, Commander Crane and the crew of the submarine Seaview as they battle a pirate ghost, a mad leprechaun, an abominable snowman and a host of other supernatural and science fiction threats as the Seaview ends its exciting four-year voyage. Thirteen episodes are included on the DVD along with the original unaired pilot.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lucha Libre

 
Playmates Toys presents its First Series of Lucha Libre Masked Warriors wrestling figures clocking in at 30-points of articulation! You heard me right-30-points! Hard to believe that Playmates could pack so much movement into 6-inch action figures but they do. Add in the excellent sculpting, hidden articulation points, clean and crisp paint application, cool accessories and clever bubble pack design and you wind up with some of the best wrestling figures ever produced.


The Marco Corleone figure captures the spiked hair, muscle bound wrestler in all his powerful glory. Marco stands with his right arm raised and fist clenched outfitted in his red leotards and black boots.

Each wrist is covered in a red wrist band; tattoos decorated his left wrist that matche the similar patterns on his tights. Included with the figure are two dumbbells that can be held in the figure’s left hand. The figure easily poses in numerous positions without the aid of any kind of stand. It truly is an ‘action’ figure.

The attractive bubble pack (as with all the wrestlers display packs) shows a full color head shot photo of the wrestler set against and embossed wrestling ring rope. The Lucha Libre logo display prominently on the top of the pack while the background image is a bright series of bands that really showcases the figure.

The Tinieblas Jr. figure is equally muscular and highly articulated. The figure is clad in black leotards, a black muscle shirt, gold boots, gold and black gauntlets and a gold and black full face mask hiding his features. Included with the figure is a working miniature folding black chair.


Six figures come in the First Series-collect them all!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dads, Simon, Thirty, Aliens, Redneck And Explosive

When 12-year old Nicole’s mother passes away, the judge assigns her to the care of two quarreling friends-one of which may be her biological father.


The two roommates have their hands full dealing with a growing girl, soon to be a teenager. Through in the mix a crusty older man who runs the local cafe, (Dick Butkus), a female judge who checks in on the family from time to time and two teenage boys who vie for Nicole’s attention and you have a family-friendly, frenetic and fun sitcom from the 1980s. Part of TV Flash Backs from Mill Creek Entertainment, My Two Dads features 10 episodes of the hilarious comedy.


Another TV Flash Backs collection includes the critically acclaimed drama series Thirtysomething. Although I did not watch the show when it aired in the 1980s, a number of my friends did and they all loved. Centered on a group of baby boomers, Thirtysomething follows the group of friends as they cope with marriage, divorce, sickness, jobs, family and friends. Think of it as serious and well-written predecessor to Friends. Season One, Volume One includes 10 episodes.


My second favorite 1980s TV show (my first is Magnum PI) is Simon And Simon. The show follows the misadventures of private detectives Rick and AJ Simon as they struggle to keep their PI service above water while dealing with each other. Rick, the tough as nails, western gear wearing, older brother and his uptight, by the book, fashionable younger brother AJ, are constantly at odds with each other, their mother, their associates and friends.


They are also first-rate private detectives and they always manage to solve every crime they're assigned to solve-only trouble is they tend to come a little worse for wear and not always financially better off. The Best Of Season Two includes 10 episodes.


For A Paranormal Documentary Collection like no other be sure to check out the Six Documentary Set called Aliens, Abductions & Extraordinary Sightings from Mill Creek. Filled with film clips and photos and eye-witness accounts the DVD set raises a number of questions and lots of speculation. Are aliens real and have they visited earth? You decide.


Redneck Comedy Roundtup 1 & 2 features the hottest comedy talent seen on the Blue Collar Comedy Tor hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, John Fox and others. It’s side-splitting country humor that will leave you laughing. Don’t miss it.


Do you like action? Do you crave the sound of guns firing, explosions and lots of violence? Then Explosive Cinema is the DVD collection for you. Twelve movies make up the set starring such big names as John Carradine, Leslie Nielsen, Cameron Mitchell and other gun-totting, take no prisoners super tough guys that take no guff from anyone-especially criminals. It’s all-out action and from this 1960s to the 1990s movie collection. It’s 14 hours of pure cinema mayhem!

Friday, January 14, 2011

SGU: Stargate Universe


Stargate Universe may have been cancelled by SyFy Network but the trading cards live on with Rittenhouse Archives' SGU: Stargate Universe Season 1 Trading Cards.

With 72 Cards per Base Set (I assembled one full Base Set with a sizable chunk for another) the five Cards per Foil Pack, 24 Packs per Box Trading Cards capture key scenes from the first season of the third Stargate series.


Noticeably darker than its two predecessors (Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis), SGU was just coming into its own when it was unexpectedly cancelled by SyFy. Rittenhouse Archives has done an excellent job of selecting images from the show featuring episode photos and behind-the-scenes candid shots.


As with all Rittenhouse Archives Trading Cards, collectors can expect excellent randomly inserted Bonus Cards.


Look Quotable Eli Cards (I received 3), Lenticular Cards (make that 1 for me), Transparent Crew Cards (2 in my selection) and guaranteed 3 Autograph Cards (Julia Benson, Haig Sutherland and Brian Smith are mine) and 2 Costume Relic Cards (Alan Armstrong and Eli Wallace came in my Box).


Special Case Cards are available as is a special Collector's Album.

Archie #616

In the first part of ‘Campaign Pains” Archie is running for class president against Reggie. Almost late for their first debate Archie is then thoroughly trounced in the debate by Reggie, who has been schooled in politics by Trula.


Disheartened and discouraged Archie is ready to give up and let Reggie win until his campaign manager, Veronica, strikes on a brilliant idea. What Archie needs is a change of image, a little polish and connections to the right people to restore his image.


After a quick trip to buy some new clothes and then a hop on Veronica’s private jet Archie is surprised to find himself face-to-face with President Obama. Using a concealed camera in her lipstick case Veronica takes a snapshot of Obama with Archie.


Once home she posts the picture on the Riverdale High’s online newspaper. The results are instantaneous-everyone thinks Obama is endorsing Archie for class president.


Furious at Veronica’s subterfuge, Trula comes up with a tricky campaign idea of her own. She proceeds to take Reggie to a Sara Palin event, snaps a photo of him with her and uses her photo as an endorsement for Reggie.


The media exposure for both candidates is tremendous and all appears to be going well until both Obama and Palin show up demanding to know who is responsible.


Archie #616 proves once again that Archie Comics is on the forefront of comic book innovation. The story is funny, timely and a brilliant way to draw people into reading comic books. “Hope and change come to Riverdale! But can everyone get along? You betcha!”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tweety, Sylvester and Foghorn Leghorn

Warner Bros. has just released two new Looney Tunes Super Stars animated short collections. Each 15 cartoon, remastered collection features some of the best of Warner Bros. animation.

Tweety the bird & Sylvester the cat are up to their usual shenanigans with Sylvester forever trying to capture and eat the cute, lovable and wickedly clever Tweety. Look for plenty of slapstick physical humor with plenty of pratfalls, outrageous situations and double you over double takes.




Foghorn Leghorn, the brash and braggart rooster, stars in his own series of 15 cartoon shorts that pits him against Doggy, Egghead Jr., Elmer Fudd and the chicken hawk-just to name a few.


Watch as Foghorn gets the upper hand (sometimes) and gets his comeuppance (several times) in these classic cartoons that are filled with comedic violence and brimming with innuendo.

Ultramarines

Based on the popular Warhammer 40,000 game produced by Games Workshop the Ultramarines computer animated feature length film follows the testing, training and turbulent and violent nature of the genetically engineered super soldiers, the Ultramarines.

Bred to serve the Emperor and oppose all that is chaos, the Ultramarines fight both human and alien heretics in a cosmic spanning war pitting order against chaos.


The Ultramarines movie follows the adventures and lives of an elite group of warriors examining their triumphs, tragedies and startling revelations.


Featuring state-of-the-art computer animation complete with realistic human and alien figures, eye-popping environments, spectacular special effects and a powerful music track the Ultramarines movie also stars an impressive cast of voice actors. Among them, listen for John Hurt, Terence Stamp and Sean Pertwee.


I was extremely impressed by the attention to detail given each suit of armor, weapon, vehicle and environment. Warhammer 40,000 fans will love this movie along with an audience unfamiliar with the Warhammer game and released by Codex Pictures.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Steampunk Palin


What immediately strikes me by Antarctic Press’s Steampunk Palin #1 is the beautiful cover art by Brian Denham. He really captures Palin’s likeness and the way he attires her in Steampunk regalia is priceless.

Flipping open its pages I am equally impressed by the interior art, especially from Antarctic’s own Ben Dunn. Is there anything he cannot draw? The story is a hoot.


Palin and her associates have championed a new form of energy, steam, to replace fossil fuels and nuclear power. At one of their meetings, a big oil terrorist blows himself up and in the process severely injures Palin. Six months later she wakes up from a coma only to find 60 percent of her body has been replaced with steam technology.



Her mission, should she decide to accept it, is to lead a strike force against big energy, headed by the maniacal Gore, and stop his nefarious fossil fuel fanaticism. Helping her is the curmudgeon McCain and cyborg sidekick Obama. It’s hilarious-especially the political puns.

The story is followed up by a gallery of Steampunk Palin full-page illustrations and a sneak peak at Time Lincoln: Apocalypse Mao.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Undersea Knight

Inspired by The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli's Commander X, Nemo Publishing presents the Commander in a new Limited Edition Action Figure.

The Golden Age Undersea Knight harkens back to the bygone age of the square jaw, straight lace heroes. The fully articulated figure stands approximately six to seven inches tall with the Commander's telltale mustached face peering out from behind a silver undersea helmet. The helmet rests on a silver sleeve that fits over the shoulders of the Commander.


Dressed entirely in a black leotard, form-fitting outfit the Commander also sports blue gloves, black half boots and a black belt with the Commander's trademark yellow 'X' on a red background.


Included with the bubble packed figure is a long lance or spear that fits easily into the Commander's hands. A full color illustration of the Undersea Knight is seen in action directly left of the figure. On the back of the bubble pack is a series of head illustrations of the Commander in his various guises.


This figure reminds me so much of my youth when I would go to a department store and marvel at the new toys on the shelf. Action figures were in their infancy and MEGO, G.I. Joe and Captain Action figures were all the rage. Thank you Nemo Publishing for this delightful trip down Memory Lane.

Shojo Manga Pop & Romance

Shojo is all the rage in the world of Manga and no one does it better than the artists at Kamikaze Factory Studio.


Collins Design’s new Shojo Manga Pop & Romance examines the Shojo phenomenon in a huge paperback edition that not only brings readers up to speed on the history of Shojo but offers dozens of art samples and shows how each was created.


Look for step-by-step instructions in how to design, draw, ink and color Shojo from many different genres such as Vintage Romance, Pop & Love, Gothic Zone, Magic Lovers and Legends.


You’ll learn about designing costumes, placing you figures in backgrounds and how to ‘tweak’ your artwork to make it the very best possible interpretations and presentations of whatever genre you choose. Extras include a gallery and a short bio of each artist represented.

Previews, January

Collectibles roar in like a lion for the month of March and Diamond Previews has all the new merchandise. Get ready to empty your wallet as some cool new stuff will soon hit shelves.


New comic books include Dark Horse’s Dollhouse: Epitaphs, Axe Cop, The Guild: Tink and The Art Of Alice, DC’s Xombi, Jimmy Olsen and Giant-Size Atom, Marvel’s Venom, Captain America 70th Anniversary Celebration, Ronin, Ruse, Sigil, Emma and Annihilators, IDW’s Godzilla: Monster World, G.I. Joe: Infestation, Ghostbusters: Infestations, Transformers: Heart Of Darkness, Suicide Girls, and Dragon Age, Image’s Butcher, Baker, The Righteous Maker, Elephantman: Man And Elephantman, Carbon Grey, Rat Bastards, The Kill Corps, Lorna, Relic Wrangler and Bob Queen All-Girl Special, Avatar’s Caligula, Arden’s Wulf, Dynamite’s Death Of Zorro and Boom’s Hellraiser.


New books and magazines to check out are The Comics: The Complete Collection, Creating Comics From Start To Finish, Japanese Fantasy Manga and Agonizing Love.


Trading cards are Rittenhouse’s Marvel: Dangerous Diva and Upper Deck’s Thor.


Toys include Toy Story, Thor Minimates, Futurama Bender, Hulk Series, The Venture Bros., Justice League, Batman: Brave And The Bold, Disney Fairies, Spongebob, Marvel Universe, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Lost, Tron, Star Wars, various video game figures, KISS and Voltron.


Game on with Giant-Size X-Men HeroClix, Pathfinder and A Song Of Ice And Fire.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Batman Beyond #1

After having defeated Hush and the Jokerz, Terry McGillis is having the time of his life. As the new Batman taking down two-bit criminal wannabes is like a walk in the park and he’s enjoying every minute-until Bruce Wayne intervenes.

Someone has broken into the Metahuman Facility at the Justice League Watchtower. That person is Mr. Jatts, a disgruntled ex-employee of the Metahuman Evidence Confiscation Unit. Exposed to who knows how many toxic substances over the year, he is dying and nothing can be done to prevent it.

But Mr. Jatts has other plans. A certain Metahuman substance has the ability to change elements. He plans on using it to cure himself-or so he thinks. What it does is give him the ability to control the elements. And he does just that when the Warhawk shows up to find out who has accessed the Metahuman Facility.

Although inexperienced with his new abilities, Mr. Jatts manages to stop Warhawk and escape. The rest of the League arrives in pursuit only to be stopped by Batman for reasons as yet to be revealed.

Batman Beyond by Beechen and Benjamin is off to a good start with a clever story and clean, crisp art. Thrown in the extra DC Universe Online Legends sneak peek and Batman Beyond #1 by DC Comics is worth every penny.

Ultimate Captain America #1

For 50 years Steve Rogers lay frozen in suspended animation. Once revived, he took up his old crime-fighting ways and joined the newly formed Ultimates.

Between assignments he does work for the United States government-usually on convert military assignments.

His current assignment finds him in North Korea where he, along with a crack military team, are on a search and destroy mission to stop North Korea from having its own super-soldier courtesy of some stolen super soldier serum.


Someone is providing the serum for the right price to whoever wants to purchase it. Unfortunately for Captain America he comes face-to-face with said person-a super soldier that was created during the Vietnam War. He’s stronger, faster and in his own twisted way more patriotic than the Captain and he proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Cap.


But not before he promises Cap that they will meet again and this time he won’t let him live. Writer Jason Aaron and artist Ron Garney turn in a tour de force story that shines a whole new light on the legend of Captain America and what he really stands for. It will be interesting to see what happens when two Captain Americas have their final battle and how their differing takes on patriotism will conflict.


Look for more Captain America titles from Marvel Comics as the premiere of his new summer movie draws near.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fantasy & Science Fiction #693, January/February

This month’s Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction packs its pages in celebration of 62 years of publication. Look for these novelets: Home Sweet home by Pat MacEven, The Bird Cage from Kate Wilhelm, The Bogle written by Alert E. Cowdrey and Matthew Corradi’s The Ghiling Blade.


Short stories include Long Time, Canterbury Hollow, Christmas At Hostage Canyon, The Whirlwind, Paradise Last and a special tale by Alan Dean Foster called Ghost Wind.


Regular features Books To Look For, Musing On Books, Plumage From Pegasus: Patton Of The arts, Films: Spare Parts With Soul, Science: Seeking Glorious Transits, Coming Attractions and Curiosities.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fangoria #300, February

It’s hard to believe but Fangoria magazine has been serving up horror, blood and guts, terror, aliens and all of the other goodies that make up horror and monster movies since the late 1970s!


What better way to celebrate such an event than to pick the top 300 horror movies of all time? Special guests (among them Robert Englund, George A. Romero and Gene Simmons-just to name a few) and Fangoria staff writers and editors pick what they consider to be the most horrific, scary and innovative movies of the horror and monster genres.
 To make issue #300 even more special look for two movie posters included with this commemorative issue. What more can you ask for: monsters, aliens, psycho killers, ghosts, ghouls, and more?!