Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Eight HOT Titles

With the plethora of existing comic book movies and TV series, and upcoming projects, certain character first appearances in comic books have escalated in price.

How many do you have? 

They include:


First Gambit: The Uncanny X-Men #266
First Apocalypse: X-Factor #6
First Deadpool: the New Mutants #98
First Rocket Raccoon: Incredible Hulk #271
First Thanos: The Invincible Iron Man #55
First Harley Quinn: Batman Adventures #12
First Suicide Squad: Suicide Squad #1
First Luke Cage: Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #1

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Husky and Walkie Talkies


What waddles, hops, walks in funny ways and chases a ball?  Why it's Spin Master's Chubby Puppies Husky of course!

This adorable chubby pooch comes in its own cut-out igloo packaging along with a ball sitting in front of a cut-out snowman.

Approximately three inches long, the Husky has an egg-shaped body, tiny little legs and big flexible ears.  Big blue eyes look out over a short snout and a big movable tongue can be seen through its Husky smile.

Gray and white in color this lovable arctic pup has a cute little curled up tail and with the simple flip of a switch its little legs move and it even follows its ball or pushes it around when it moves.

Everything moves on the Husky when it walks, hops or waddles: its tongue, tail and ears.

This is an adorable toy is well-made, durable, nicely sculpted and colored and comes in a cute package kids can put their Husky in when they finish playing with it.  Nineteen Chubby Puppies are available.

Kids love to play spies.  Spy Gear makes all sort of cool spy gear but one of the coolest is the Spy Video Walkie Talkies.

Good for up to 160 feet the Walkie Talkies require no WIFI and feature actual miniature screens.

Equipped with front-mounted cameras, speakers, LED screens, full volume control, on/off switches and interrupter mode, this twin set of Walkie Talkies delivers super spy capabilities.
Two kids can transmit video and sound back and forth to each other or one kid can hide one Walkie Talkie and watch and listen on the other Walkie Talkie's screen and speaker.

Sized to fit perfectly into a child's hands the Walkie Talkies are heavy-hinged, feature a silver SG logo, front screens with controls and can snap shut to make them even more inconspicuous.

Made of high-impact plastic the Walkie Talkies are tough and durable, easy to use and in a flash are ready to use just moments out their see-thru front panel box.

James Bond would approve.

Corkscrews, Apothecary and Furniture

I love looking at old things and antiques.  Maybe it's because I'm an antique.  I'll be 63 this January.

There's something comforting and attractive about old items.  Maybe it's the memories associated with them, the quality of workmanship and appearance-or all three.

Schiffer Books has just released three oversize hardback books about collecting old things-some small, some large.

World-Class Corkscrews by Donald A. Bull, Joseph C. Paradi and Bertrand B. Giulian is a must-have book for anyone who enjoys 'spirited' drinks.

I never knew there were so many corkscrews in so many varieties.  Plain, elaborate, multi-use, wood, metal, ivory, plastic and everything in between has at one point or another become part of a corkscrew.

Filled with full-color photos of corkscrews spanning the centuries, each variation includes a concise history of the pieces along with interesting information about each.

It's fascinating how many variations were made and have survived.

It's hard to imagine that medicine varieties and distribution in the past were not as sophisticated and easily available as now.

For years medicine was not ready-made in tablets, pills and liquids, pre-mixed, pre-measured and easily available.

Pharmacies were known as Apothecaries and required waiting for medication as the 'chemist' mixed ingredients, both manmade and straight from nature.

Historical Apothecary Compendium: A Guide To Terms And Symbols goes into the history of Apothecary.
Daniel A. Goldstein provides exhaustive detail about apothecary and medical terms, listed alphabetically, including photos and illustrations of ingredients along with symbols used and full-color photos of Apothecary Jars.

So say, "Ahhh!"  Get ready to take your medicine and discover where modern medicine originated from.
My wife and I have a few antique furniture pieces from the last couple of centuries.  We love our old furniture.  It's sturdy, attractive, well-built and really sets off any room they happen to occupy.

Although we can't afford furniture from the 19th Century we both appreciate its beauty, elegance and appearance.

Rainer Haaff presents a huge book dedicated to Magnificent 19th Century Furniture: Historicism In Germany and Central Europe.

Hundreds of full-color photos of beautiful furniture, for all uses, are accompanied by text sections about the history of each region and time they come from.

Individual pieces offer short information lines about their country of origin, time period, manufacturer and current price range.


It's a 'magnificent' book furniture lovers will appreciate.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Star Wars Quintet

Scholastic Books takes young readers to "A galaxy far, far away."

Young readers are sure to get a kick out five new Star Wars books featuring everyone's favorite Star Wars characters.

First up are two books from Scholastic's Jedi Academy series: Return Of The Padawan and Jedi Academy from writer/artist Jeffrey Brown.

Using a simple cartoon style, Jeffrey presents the continuing adventures of Jedi wannabe Roan Novachez as he attempts to navigate through the Academy.

Along the way he deals with alien cooking, pilot testing, bullies, the Dark Side, meeting Yoda, bumping into aliens and robots, Jedi mind powers and more as he struggles to make it through the most unusual middle school in the galaxy.

Every grade school kid can identify with Roan even though his school is full of aliens from all over the universe.

Star Wars ABCs and Star Wars Colors teach young children their alphabet and to identify colors by using colorful characters from the Star Wars films.

Thick heavy bound paper pages are filled edge-to-edge with color photos and simple text to help young Jedi learn.

Die-hard, older Star Wars fans will appreciate the books for their huge color photos.
Bump up things a notch with the Star Wars A Galactic Pop-up Adventure by Matthew Reinhart that includes a Working Lightsaber!

You read right! Packaged in a protective plastic sleeve the Galactic Pop-up Adventure.
Open each page and a huge pop-up unfolds before your eyes chronicling the legacy of Anakin Skywalker leading into his eventual downfall as he transforms into the infamous Darth Vader wielding a working lightsaber!

Additional small pop-ups are on each page spotlighting certain characters and locations.
It's the ultimate 3D Star Wars adventure!  "May the Force be with you!"

Disney PIXAR Art Studio

There was one important thing I learned while teaching drawing at a local high school: unless what you're drawing is interesting to students they will become bored and uninspired.

Thunder Bay Press has taken the doldrums out of drawing by creating a really cool art kit that is sure to inspire young and old kids alike to draw and create.

The Disney PIXAR Art Studio includes everything young, aspiring artists need to create some cool art.

Packaged in an attractive front clear panel box the kit includes three watercolor paints, two paintbrushes, a palette, a drawing pencil, seven colored pencils, a fine line marker, a kneaded eraser, a sharpener and a 128-page project book.

The project book goes into basic details about penciling, colored pencils and water color techniques.  Color mixing is also discussed and with the helpful tips from Disney PIXAR animators young artists will be drawing PIXAR animated figures in no time!

The Disney PIXAR Art Studio is a great way to introduce kids to drawing and painting!

The World According to Wonder Woman

Back in the late 1930s and early 1940s National Periodicals shook up the publishing world when it presented the fist super hero comic book character: Superman.  Not long afterwards Batman hit the newsstands and then came Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman was created to attract young girl readers.  And she succeeded-phenomenally!

In fact, Wonder Woman influenced the creation of a score of other strong female comic book characters and her influence is felt even in today's comic books.

Over the years there has been a plethora of Wonder Woman tie-in merchandise, an animated adaptation and a TV series.

In the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman movie Wonder Woman makes her big screen premiere, soon followed by a solo movie and a spot in the Justice League movies.


Wonder Woman has been a symbol for feminism ever since her creation.
To celebrate Wonder Woman's legacy Insight Editions and author Matthew k. Manning and artist Paul Bulman have created The World According To Wonder Woman hardback book.

Inside readers are privy to information about Wonder Woman's origin, her family tree, the Amazons, her powers, how to fight and prepare for war, the Justice League, gods, monsters, villains, allies and much more.

Throughout the book Wonder Woman reveals her philosophy of life, her adherence to a warrior's creed, her honor, weapons of choice, her association with other superheroes, her fight against evil in all of its myriad forms, being a role model and how to work with a group of single partner.


It's an inside view of what makes Wonder Woman tick complete with inserts, foldouts, maps, schematics and capped off with a final word.


Friday, December 18, 2015

DC Comics, Star Wars and Board Game

Workman Publishing presents a trio of titles that promise to please comic book, Star Wars and game fans.

DC Comics Super Heroes and Villains (75 Icons From The DC Universe) is a cool flip chart that comes in a box spotlighting the premiere heroes and villains of the DC Universe.

Individual pivoting pages feature one hero or villain on its front, die-cut in the shape of individual characters.

On the remainder of the front and on the back is extensive information about the character, their history, pivotal events and more. 

Behind each hero page are the supporting cast and villains from that particular hero's title.

For example: Batman's cast includes The Joker, Night wing, Robin, Batgirl, Oracle, Batwoman, The Huntress, Catwoman, Two-Face, The Penguin, Ra's Al Ghul, The Riddler, Mr., Freeze, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, Killer Croc and Harley Quinn.

Cast and villains follow suite for Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Green Arrow, Hawkman and Hawkwoman, The Atom and other second-tier DC heroes.
There's even an artists listing on the back page.

Star Wars movies have always 'moved' audiences.

Now there is a book, by Rufus Botler Seder, that recreates eleven iconic scenes from the movie serial that brings to life a 'Galaxy Far, Far Away.'

Bound in heavy silver paper stock this small hardbound book features a die-cut cover highlighting the first iconic scene: Luke and Darth Vader in a lightsaber battle.

The Scanimation Book goes on to recreate unforgettable scenes, beloved characters and climactic duels from all six movies-not including The Force Awakens.

"Impressive, most impressive!"

I've always loved board games.  Growing up I enjoyed playing Monopoly, Parcheesi, Sorry!, Life and dozens of other board and strategy games.

While video games have their place, there is nothing like going one-on-one with a friendly game board competition.

The only problem is that they take up a lot of space a
nd are inconvenient to take on trips.
Never fear!  Workman Publishing has the solution.
The Infinite Board Game has everything you need to play hundreds of piecepack games.
Think about it.  What are the main components to board games?

Suits, Banks, Coins, Tiles, Pawns, Dice, Orthoconal Movement and Diagonal Movement components come packed in a study box that also includes instructions for hundreds of games.
How can you go wrong?  For a fraction of the cost of multiple board games you get hundreds of games you can play anywhere!


So whenever the urge hits you to face off against a fellow gamer or play a quick solo game you're set to go.  You can also go online and discover more games or even invent your own!

Some Kind Of Hero

Long before popular fictional literary works became mega-movie franchises, there was James Bond.  Written by one-time British covert operative Ian Fleming, James Bond - 007, the master spy with the license to kill, thrilled both book and film fans.

I've always considered myself somewhat of a James Bond semi-expert.  I found myself slightly taken aback by Matthew Field's and Ajay Chowdhury's new book: Some Kind Of Hero, published by History Press/Trafalgar Square Publishing.

I was totally surprised about how little I knew about the film franchise.

I've read a lot of books about James Bond and I have to say that Some Kind Of Hero is the ultimate book about 007's film legacy.

Filled with interesting (and sometimes little known) facts about the 007 film franchise the book includes cast and crew interviews, insights from insiders, behind-the-scenes tidbits and secrets..

007 has led a long prestigious film career.  Much of today's blockbuster films owe a great debt to the James Bond films. 

Intriguing storylines, spectacular physical and visual effects, powerful film scores, incredible stunts, tight and tense action, fast-editing and expansive marketing are just a few of the hallmarks established by the films.

Today many films profit by licensing to merchandisers.  Often a film can fail, but succeed when it comes to merchandise.  The James Bond films have always been intelligently marketed, offering viewers everything for toys to colognes.

To quote Carly Simon's song, "No body does it better."

If you love the James Bond films, then this is the book you'll want in your collection.  M, Q, Moneypenny and Felix Leiter would be proud.


Even Goldfinger, Oddjob and the other James Bond villains have to admit James Bond is the best and so is this book about his Silver Screen career.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

GlowCicle

It's not often that I give such a 'glowing' review...and tasty too!

'Light up' any holiday or special event with GlowCicles™, the frozen party treat in six glowing colors, one great taste, that are sure to please and entertain kids and party goers.

You can even have them personalized!

Turn out the lights and watch them glow!

Buy the party pack and really 'light up' any party with the included glow sticks that will 'brighten up' your GlowCicle™  display.  Glow sticks make perfect necklaces, headbands and bracelets.  Glow sticks are not edible.

Things really 'get 'bright' starting this month.  Be sure to support GlowCicle™  on Kickstarter at: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/glowcicle.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sleeper and Willys

Italeri presents two new vehicle models, one classic and one modern.

During WWII the U.S. military would have practically been at a standstill if it wasn't for the tough and tried and true Jeep.

This powerful little workhorse was small on comfort but big on delivery. 

Built to withstand harsh conditions and easy to work on and maintain, the Willys Jeep 1/4 Ton 4X4 carried soldiers, hauled equipment and even saw combat when equipped with appropriate firepower.

Olive green, four-wheel drive and loaded down with field equipment such as spare gas containers, shovels and whatever else that might be needed in combat conditions the Jeep could be driven open air or with a canvas canopy that provided some protection during harsh weather conditions.

Italeri's two model Jeep Kit features two Jeeps that are easy to assemble at 11 parts each, allows modelers to select from six decal options and provides a full-color guide on the back of the twin models' box for proper paint application.

Take a moment to appreciate the historical accuracy of each model both inside and out.  Set up your own diorama and pack on the details.  The Willys are here!

For the ultimate in semi-truck design and streamlining the Volvo FH16 520 Sleeper Cab is the pick of the litter.  Introduced in 1993, the Volvo Sleeper Cab has undergone vast upgrades and improvements from electronics to the transmission.

This monster of a truck has smooth lines, completely integrated grills, headlights, venting, mirrors, upper and side lights and reflectors, storage compartments, step-ups, set in front windshield and sloped upper wind sheer.

Emblazoned with a huge Volvo logo on each side, this Sleeper Cab is all class and more.

Compartmental lines signify various access points to the engine and cab with the Sleeper Cab tucked in discretely just behind the driver's cab.

Look for precise engine recreation, luxurious interior details, six tires and wheels, heavy undercarriage and everything you would expect from a high class Volvo Semi-Truck.

Even the trailer hitch adds to the overall design.

Scaled at 1:24, this puppy is large enough not to skimp on the details.


A little glue, paint and decals and before you know it you'll be hitting the road in style.  "Breaker!"  "Breaker!"

Preview, January

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
Mercury Heat Volume 1 TP l AVATAR PRESS INC
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
Turncoat #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
Vampirella #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Army of Darkness: Furious Road #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Lords of the Jungle #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Star Wars: The Original Trilogy HC l DISNEY LUCASFILM PRESS
The Birth of Kitaro HC l DRAWN & QUARTERLY
Dan Clowes’ Patience HC l FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
Rick & Morty #12 l ONI PRESS INC.
Independence Day #1 l TITAN COMICS
Goodnight Punpun GN l VIZ MEDIA LLC



BOOKS
Batman Character Encyclopedia HC l COMICS
Powers: The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim HC l COMICS
DC Super Hero Girls: Wonder Woman At Super Hero High HC l COMICS YOUNG READERS
Rocket & Groot: Stranded On Planet Stripmall HC l COMICS YOUNG READERS

MAGAZINES
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Official Magazine l MOVIE/TV
The Walking Dead Magazine #16 l MOVIE/TV

TRADING CARDS
Star Trek: The Original Series 50th Anniversary Trading Cards l RITTENHOUSE ARCHIVES

APPAREL

Legends Of Cthulhu Dark Heather T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
DC Swamp Thing Flip Mask Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Adventure Time: “Scream Queens Nighosphere Tour” Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Marvel Deadpool 3930 Flex Fit Cap l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Marvel: Weapon Plus Rogers Navy T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
DC Heroes: Constantine Graveyard Charcoal T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Batman V Superman: False God T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS
Batman V Superman: Symbol T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

TOYS & STATUES
Marvel Fact Files Cosmic Special #6: Drax l EAGLEMOSS
Marvel Fact Files Special #12: The Vision l EAGLEMOSS
Marvel Fact Files Special #13: She-Hulk l EAGLEMOSS
Back to the Future Miniature Hoverboard Desk Toy l BACK TO THE FUTURE
POP! G.I. Joe Vinyl Figures l FUNKO
POP! Star Wars: Rancor With Luke & Slave Oola 3-Pack l FUNKO
The Hateful Eight 8-Inch Action Figures l MOVIE/TV
Power Rangers Legacy Morphers l POWER RANGERS

IMPORT TOYS
Dbz Dramatic Showcase Series 1 Volume 1 Figures l DRAGONBALL Z
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 1/6-Scale Figures l HARRY POTTER
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: Severus Snape 1/6-Scale Figure l HARRY POTTER
Kingdom Hearts II Play Arts Kai Action Figures l KINGDOM HEARTS
Freddie Mercury “Live at Wembley” S.H.Figuarts l MUSIC
Super Mario Bros.: Bowser S.H.Figuarts l NINTENDO
Super Mario Bros: Diorama Playset E S.H.Figuarts l NINTENDO
Metroid: Other M: Samus Arun “Zero Suit” PVC Figure l NINTENDO
Sailor Moon Proplicas l SAILOR MOON
Final Fantasy Series 2016 Plushes l VIDEO GAMES
Rise Of The Tomb Raider: Lara Croft Play Arts Kai l VIDEO GAMES


COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES
Attack on Titan: 3D Maneuvering Gear Handle Molded Mug l ATTACK ON TITAN
DCU Batman: Bad Blood Blu-Ray/DVD l BATMAN
Arrow Season 1 Statue Bookend l DC HEROES
Jessica Jones: Alias Investigations Coffee Mug l MARVEL COMICS: MARVEL KNIGHTS
Stark Industries Laser Etched Glass Tumbler 2-Pack l MARVEL HEROES
Marvel Heroes: SHIELD Carnage Containment Unit Lava Lite l MARVEL HEROES
Deadpool Vinyl Decals l MARVEL HEROES

GAMES
DC Dice Masters: Worlds Finest l WIZKIDS/NECA
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles HeroClix l WIZKIDS/NECA

ChChChCh...anges!

It's just been short of seven months since I retired at age 62.  I've been receiving my retirement pay from work and starting this January, when I turn 63, I'll begin to receive my Social Security checks.

Susan's Social Security benefits begins this month.  Add to that the 401k I have tucked away from my years at the credit union and our saving account we'll be taken care of during our Golden Years.  By no means will be rich-but comfortable.

We've selected a health plan and at age 65 more government benefits will kick in.

Throw in the fact that we owe no debts, our house is paid off and we have our health (so far) the future looks promising.

Before I go any further it's important that I place credit where credit is due.

If it were not for God blessing our family, NONE of this would have been possible.

I thank God everyday for all that he's provided: our retirement, health, food, clothing, housing, transportation, family, friends and most importantly - our salvation.

It's one thing to live on this Earth, it's quite another matter where we'll spend eternity.  Thankfully Susan and I are both saved-both of our kids professed to be saved when they were young.  Let's hope that's true.

Things certainly have changed in my life over the last seven months.  I sleep in longer, I've lost weight, my blood pressure is down and my whole life has slowed down considerably.

Things that seemed so important when I was working seem trivial now.  I no longer feel the need to 'perform'.

I enjoy reading, putzing around the house and yard, going out with my wife to shop or eat, riding my bike, reading, relaxing and writing my website and blog.

I've met a few other collectors my age and I've even started weeding out my collection and selling things.  I'm holding off certain 'favorite' items to the last to sell.  Toys and items my kids want are sorted out and waiting for them when they want them.

One thing has surprised me though.  I no longer feel the need to draw.  In fact, I've stopped drawing all together.  It's no longer enjoyable-if it ever was.

What I mean to say is, for so many years I made my living drawing, designing and what seemed forever struggling with deadlines-whether it was when I was in commercial art or teaching high school classes.

Now that I've retired it's almost painful to pick up a drawing pencil.

I suppose that will change once I get the urge that I don't 'have to' draw.

When and if I go back to drawing, it will be because I want to, not because I have to.  We'll see.

As for now I'm enjoying spending time with Susan, visiting friends, attending church, taking trips, sorting through my various collections and generally taking life slow and easy.

It's taking some getting used to and learning how not to feel guilty about not working but I'm sure I'll get used to it.  I plan on spending my last years quietly and enjoying every minute God has granted me of  life here on Earth.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Doctor Strange #53

Back in 1982, at the tail-end of the Bronze Age, a pivotal event happened in a second-tier Marvel Comics' title: Doctor Strange #53.

In the story Doctor Strange must hunt down the shard of a piece of the soul of a young woman he loves.

The fragment of her soul is traveling back in time skipping centuries to reside in her past lives bodies.

Unless the process is stopped mankind will stop dreaming thus ending the existence of the Marvel villain Nightmare.  It is Nightmare that has sent Strange on his time-spanning quest.

Strange soon finds himself in ancient Egypt standing atop the Great Sphinx.

To his amazement he discover that the Sphinx contains advanced futuristic machinery.

Upon closer inspection the Doctor soon finds himself trapped and taken prisoner by a mechanized security system.

Freeing his bonds using his Astral Form, the Doctor travels to the Pharaoh's chamber only to discover the Fantastic Four held captive and unable to use their powers.

Coincidentally he Doctor has traveled to the same time the FF traveled to the past to witness their current predicament.

As the story unfolds Strange finds his love's past form and manages to free the Thing by focusing the cosmic rays from the Sun transforming the Thing into Ben Grimm, who escapes his bonds and in turn frees the other members of the FF.

Doctor Strange #53 shares almost an identical cover with FF #19.  If it were not for the aid of Doctor Strange the FF and quite possibly the Marvel Universe as we know it would not exist.

Marshall Rodgers and Terry Austin provide the stellar art aided by the clever Roger Stern script.

I consider this issue one of the most important comic books in Marvel Comics' history .  It deserves to be a 'key issue' in any Marvel Comics collection.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Giant King

The legend states that they were mortal enemies over 1,000 years ago.  Over the centuries they disappeared and were nearly forgotten.

When they revive they have no memory of who or what they were.  Shackled together by a chain the two robots (Zork and Pinky) set out to discover who they are. 

Along the way they make new friends, discover new places and continue their search for RAM, the creator of all robots.

But, when their memories return will they turn against each other or will their friendship stand the test of time?

The Giant King from Lionsgate is a new computer animated film on DVD/Digital that's sure to please the whole family.  Kids will especially love the mechanical shenanigans of  Zork and Pinky and their new robot friends.

Extras include a featurette about bringing the robots to life, trailers and Miniscule Bonus Episodes.

The Vinyl Detective Mysteries - Written In Dead Wax

He is a collector of records (vinyl records to be precise).  His collection is extensive.  So much so it fills his entire flat.

He's also an expert of recorded music.  He is The Vinyl Detective and his services are for hire.
One day, unannounced, a young woman shows up at his doorstep with an offer.

Her employer also collects records and wants him to find a rare Jazz record to complete his collection.  If he finds it, the finders fee will be exorbitant.

There is one condition though.  The young woman must accompany him.

The Vinyl Detective agrees and sets out upon his quest to find the elusive vinyl.

Unfortunately so are others. Others who will kill in order to get the rare record.

Suddenly The Vinyl Detective finds himself knee-deep in a mystery, intrigue and murder.
Can he find the rare record before his adversaries and live to tell the tale?

And why is the record so important?  Important enough to kill for?

The Vinyl Detective - Written In Dead Wax is the first volume in the new Vinyl Detective series from writer Andrew Cartmel published by Titan Books.

The Vinyl Detective is a totally unique character-intelligent, sharp and resourceful.
With its blend of music, mystery, mayhem and murder this first volume in the series is a real thrill ride.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pan

Get ready to experience the legend of Peter Pan like you've never experienced it before.

Pan on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD, from Warner Bros., re-imagines the world of Peter Pan, Captain Hook, The Lost Boys, pirates and the other iconic characters from the famous literary work.

In this unique take, co-starring Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard the Pirate, Peter is a young orphan who is whisked away to the magical realm of Neverland.

While there he meets and teams up with Tiger Lily and James Hook in an exciting adventure ripe with danger, mystery and fantasy.

As he tries to uncover the secret of his mother he suddenly finds himself in a full-on confrontation with Blackbeard to save Neverland.

Visually stunning in its scope and full of unexpected surprises and plot twists, Pan is the story of how young Peter becomes the legendary Peter Pan, the never-aging boy who, with his friends, defends Neverland.

Extras include a commentary, a featurettes about Peter Pan, Neverland and villains. 

Batman #251

During the duration of the Batman TV series and several years afterward into the early 1970s the Batman was considered little more than pop culture joke. 

Several writers and artists attempted to bring the 'dark' back to the Dark Knight with limited success.

Even Batman's once notorious 'Rogue's Gallery' of villains were little more than pathetic parodies of their once former villainous selves.

One of the artists who slowly and meticulously brought Batman back to his dark roots was Neal Adams.

His stellar work on DC Comics' Brave And The Bold titles. which teamed Batman with various DC heroes. garnered praise from fans.

His depiction of Batman reestablished Batman as 'The World's Greatest Detective' and 'Dark Knight'.

Adams drew Batman as a dark mysterious figure, often cloaked in shadow, who was a master of multiple forms of combat and possessed an analytical and logical mind that rivaled Sherlock Holmes.

Successive stories cemented Batman's transformation.  But one thing was missing.
Batman's arch nemesis: The Joker, was stilled depicted as nothing more than a bumbling, comical 'Clown of Crime'.  That is until writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams reintroduced him in Batman #251.

In that landmark issue the Joker was transformed back to his original maniacal, madman persona as he was originally presented when he was first created.

Literally insane, the Joker was portrayed as a ruthless, blood-thirsty killer with no regard for human life, an ego-maniac and the polar opposite of Batman. 

The concept that the Joker could not exist without the Batman and Batman without the Joker persists to this day.

In this ground-breaking story the Joker meticulously eliminated former members of his gang whom he believed let him down or betrayed him.

In a desperate race against time Batman finds himself one step behind the Joker ultimately resulting in a near fatal final meeting with the mad menace.

Many credit this issue ushering in the new 'dark' era of the Batman and elevating the Joker to the head of the list of classic villains.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Get Fuzzy: Clean Up On Aisle Stupid!

They're back!  Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy some domestic bliss Bucky Katt, Satchel the dog and their owner Rob (along with the usual gang of human and domestic animal weirdoes) are back in the brand new Get Fuzzy Collection: Clean Up On Aisle Stupid!

Writer/artist Darby Conley and Andrews McMeel Publishing have just released a new comic strip collection of insanity on an unsuspecting public.

Join Bucky, Satchel and the rest as they take on free will, secret keeper Codex, Jazz, sleep, gourmet cooking, superpowers, rats, exercise and just about every other conceivable subject their devilish little minds are set upon.

It's a whole new game of cat and dog with us poor humans stuck in the middle and suffering the consequences....and yet it's so funny!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

War, Dynasty, History and Bible

Lionsgate has brought out the big guns this holiday season with four new DVD collections that are sure to keep DVD junkies happy for many, many hours-dare I say it, "Days?"

Polish up your glasses.  Put in your extended wear contact lenses. Prep your snack food and drinks.  Get plenty of pillows and comfortable clothing because you are about to embark on a DVD marathon unlike any you've experienced before.

Fans of war history as sure to get all the facts, fights, photos, charts, interviews, videos and interesting tidbits about the most pivotal military conflicts over the past 200+ years-both domestically and abroad.

"Here come the Redcoats!"  Viewers get to experience the American Revolutionary War-it causes, its conflicts and its ultimate conclusion that signified the birth of our nation.

The Civil War pitted brother against brother in a conflict that culminated in the freedom of slaves and the reunification of a nation.

World War I was christened the 'War To End All Wars' that tore Europe asunder and was responsible for millions of deaths.

World War II took its toll on an ever-expanding world stage with the Allied Forces facing off against the ultimate evil: the Axis Powers.

The Korean War costs millions of lives and left a country split in two until this day and the Vietnam War forever changed the face of war and ushered in a huge split in the American psyche.

All six wars are examined in-depth along with other 'minor wars' such as the War of 1812, the Mexican/American War and other skirmishes.

For some good down-home common sense, strong family values and homespun humor be sure to check out the 18-Disc Collector's Set of Duck Dynasty featuring all 8 Seasons.

It's bearded Louisiana First Family shenanigans brought to your small screen where the entire Robertsons clan make their living, hunt, raise their kids and make more than a little ruckus.

History buffs with go gah-gah over Lionsgate's 17-Disc Collection of DVDs that examine the history of mankind, war and America in six DVD series that take viewers back through the corridors of time.

With over 43 hours of programming learn about Mankind, the Story of America, The Men Who Built America, WWII In HD, Vietnam In HD and The World Wars.

The Best Of History Gift Set is history-making.

For and in-depth look at the most-read book in history be sure to watch the 16-Disc Collector's Set of the Bible Collection.

Starting with the Genesis of mankind through the Old Testament to the New Testament the DVD Set examines Judaism, Christianity, the Bible's Heroes, Mysteries, Jesus, Mary, Cults, Satan, Secrets and more.

It's a DVD collection of Biblical proportions!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Go Fish!, Old Maid and War

Almost everyone (especially kids) is familiar with the cards games War, Old Maid and Go Fish!  There's nothing particularly difficult about each game.

Gamers play by discarding cards on a stack.  The higher value card wins the opponent's card.  The player who wins the most, or all, of the cards is the winner, with slight variations.

Games are played with a standard card deck of 52 for National Parks and 36 with the Battle Cards.

Fast, easy and predictable...unless you are playing with a Birdcage Press's deck of cards.
Who would ever of thought that simple card games like War, Old Maid and Go Fish! could be educational?

Why settle for ordinary card game when you can learn all about history, important facts and special events-all complemented by beautiful full-color art and photos?

52 amazing Places National Parks offers card players a panoramic tour of the most beautiful spots and awe-inspiring landscapes of U.S. National Parks complete with interesting information.  It's like going on a road trip without leaving your home!

Battle Card sets: Military Jets, Aircraft and Spacecraft not only offer full-color photos, illustrations and interesting facts they also allow game players to take part in historical flights, life or death aerial battles and explore the planets and space!

Each of the War (Battle) card games also comes with a 28-page fact book for even more historical facts and exciting game play.


What a totally unique way to pump new life into classic cards games.  Kids and adults learn as they play. They're great for the whole family!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Back To The Future The Ultimate Visual History

I am a huge movie fan-especially of fantasy and science fiction movies.  So it should come as no surprise that my top rated films fall in both genres.

Interestingly enough my favorite films all are part of a series of movies.  They are:  Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Terminator, Ghost Busters, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Aliens, Men In Black, James Bond...and my all-time favorite movie trilogy: Back To The Future.

When Back To The Future Part One came out n 1985 it turned the time-travel movie genre on its ear.

Everything about the movie struck gold from its storyline, casting, direction, movie score, special effects and more.  Originally meant to be a one-shot movie the film struck a cord with movie fans and two sequels were produced and released in 1989 and 1990.

Truthfully my favorite film of the series is Back To The Future Part Two where Marty and Doc have to travel to the future, back to an alternate present timeline where biff is a powerful and corrupt rich man, and finally back to the past where Marty once again finds himself stranded.

Recently the film franchise celebrated its 30th Anniversary and to celebrate that momentous event a new book was recently released: Back To The Future The Ultimate Visual History from Harper Design, written and compiled by Michael Klastorin and Randal Atamaniuk with Forward by Michael J. Fox, Preface by Christopher Lloyd, Introduction by Bob Gale and director Robert Zemeckis provides the Afterword.

Talk about you 'Ultimate' Visual History!

This book goes into extensive detail about all three movies:  casting, storyboarding, concept art, pre-production, post production. practical and visual special effects, costumes, scripting, lighting, conceptual art, inside information, cast and crew commentaries and so much art and photos that will make your head spin.

Also included are special tipped-in inserts recreating certain key prop pieces in the movies such as Marty's family photo, the letter he wrote to Doc Brown, a Tardy Slip, Biff money, a Jaws 19 poster and much more.

There's even a special section on the 3D Ride at Universal Studios and art from the animated TV series.

What a wonderful way to celebrate 30 years of Back To The Future magic.

So hope into your DeLorean, jump on you Hoverboard, hitch a ride in Biff's car or saddle up Doc's horse-do whatever it takes and get this book today!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Huevos: Little Rooster's Egg-cellent Adventure

Are you ready to 'crack up?"

That's good, because I have a new computer animated DVD/Digital movie for you to see that is 'egg'cellent and which you're sure to get 'egg'cited about.

Lionsgate presents Huevos: Little Rooster's Egg-cellent Adventure that is sure to become a family classic.

Join Rolo the teenage rooster who is a chicken-chicken as in frightened by just about everything.

But when a rancher threatens his home and family it's up to him to muster a little courage and deal with his 'shell' shock.

Joined by some of his fellow hatchlings Rolo 'hatches' a plan to save his family, friends and farm.

Rolo has plenty to 'crow' about along with his 'egg'centric friends.

Extras include two versions: one in English and one in Spanish and a Behind-The-Scenes featurette.

First Order Snowtrooper

If you collect Star Wars action figures my advice to you is, "Grow up!"

Grow up to larger action figures that is, instead of those dinky three inch figures.

Jakks Pacific is a 'large' Star Wars fan. So large in fact that it has created a whole new collection of oversize Star Wars action figures.

As part of its 20-inch Star Wars action figure collection the First Order Snowtrooper is one cool figure.

Partially articulated the figure moves at the shoulders, wrists, upper legs and neck.  Display in its box or freestanding-either way it is impressive, "Most impressive."

Starting at the head the figure features a variation of a classic Snowtrooper's helmet,  The upper helmet flanges over the lower helmet covering the back of the neck.

A single black horizontal strip serves as an eyepiece against frigid conditions and whiteout and twin rebreather extended ports tipped by dull gray fixtures set below the lower jaw line.

A black neck covering connects the helmet with the lower solid white Snowtrooper tunic that is partially hidden by heavy chest armor with waist control module and flap-over shoulder guards leading into lower arm gauntlets and heavy all-purpose insulated gloves.

The back of the upper armor attaches to a breather and equipment backpack complete with power couplings, communicating gear and supply nodule.

A black belt wraps the waist with a heavy white buckle and twin satchels with oversize flaps necessary for use in high winds and cold.

Heavily insulted trousers tuck in at the knees at the large arctic boots with multi-straps and ankle guards and thick heels.

A waist to lower knee wind guard hangs from the belt that is open at the front for easy movement.

Included with the figure is a blaster with scope and energy cartridge modified to fire in cold weather.

It's quite an impressive figure that is well-crafted and sculpted, cast in solid white plastic with black belt, insignia, straps and weapon components.

The figure is hollow thus cutting down on its weight.  Construction is solid, articulation points move easily, the figure is well-balanced and poses easily in various action poses.

The blaster switches easily from hand-to-hand and the backpack snaps in and out with no difficulty.


Star Wars fans are sure to love all of Jakks Pacific's Star Wars figures some of which measure over three feet tall and the cost of the figures is a real wallet pleaser. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Jude's Moon and I Wish

It's difficult to find good children's' books that give valuable lessons and help children learn.

Too often the children books are written so children have a hard time understanding them.  So too illustrations are either too simple are too complicated.

It's difficult to find a happy medium.

Author Nancy Guettier has found that balance.
Her books are easy to understand and are complemented by simple, yet colorful illustrations that hint at realism yet retain a childlike quality, whoever the artist might be.

I Wish follows the adventures of two best friends who find a magic wand that grants wishes.  The best friends think about what they would wish for.  The only problem is each wish would separate the two friends.

They conclude that the very bet wish is to have a best friend-something they already have.
The lesson: often our wishes show us that we already have what we need-in this case a good friend.
In Jude's Moon young Jude sees the Moon during the daytime.  His imagination takes hold as the book explores various facts about the Moon coupled with Jude's imaginative scenarios.

In the end Jude uses the Moon as nightlight.  It's a delightful way for children to learn interesting facts about the Moon coupled with childlike imaginings.

Jude's Moon is illustrated by Tina Cash Walsh and I wish is drawn by Meegan Barnes.

Both books are published by Morgan James Publishing.

Star Wars Jedi Master #1, December

"No try!'  "Do or not do!"

Do you think you have what it takes to be a Jedi Master?

Titan Magazines and Disney challenge your Jedi skills with their brand new magazine: Star Wars Jedi Master #1.

Yoda brandishes his green lightsaber as he jumps straight at readers on this first issue's cover
Inside you'll learn what it takes to be a Jedi Master by first learning about The Trade Federation's Trap, Planet Naboo, Naboo Queen's Royal Starship, Trade Federation Battleship and Qui-Gon Jinn.

After pondering and memorizing various facts Jedi hopefuls are given a series of quizzes and skill sets they must complete to start on their path to becoming a Jedi.

There are matching games, Q & A, questions about technology, planets, individuals, battles and adversaries and mazes to navigate.

A double-sided poster is also included along with pertinent information on The Jedi Council, Interplanetary Travel, Droids, battles, Jedi lightsaber training, the Sith and a final confrontation between the Jedi and Sith.

The magazine is chockfull of Star Wars fun facts and information cleverly intermingled with color photos and art to test Jedi hopefuls.

Star Wars fans and especially kids will love to challenge their Star Wars knowledge while learning how to become a Jedi Master.

Friday, November 20, 2015

American Ultra

Mike has always been a dork, lazy and an underachiever.

And that suits his girlfriend Phoebe just fine.

But, when events propel him into a dangerous situation Mike suddenly discovers that he is ,in fact, a government CIA sleeper agent proficient in hand-to hand combat and a plethora of weapons.

As time progresses Mike surprises himself with his new abilities, abilities he never knew he had.  And what's with his girlfriend?  She turns out to more than he expected.

When Mike finds himself the target of hired hitmen his dormant abilities kick in and he and his girlfriend fight to survive.

American Ultra is filled with surprises as viewers discover at the same time as Mike his CIA agent abilities.

It's action -packed, full of dry wit and filled with unexpected surprises throughout the film, courtesy of Lionsgate.

Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD extras include: A Documentary, Featurette, Gag Reel and Commentary.