Saturday, April 29, 2017

Route 66 Adventure Handbook High-Octane Fifth Edition

Well if you ever plan to motor west
Travel my way, take the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66

Well it winds from Chicago to LA
More than two thousands miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66

Of all the highways and byways that run through the Continental United States Route 66, that traverses from the East Coast to the West Coast, is the most popular and well-known to American motorists.

There’s something about Route 66 that oozes Americana. 

Whether it’s its historical significance, funky attractions or its winding and meandering trail through America’s small towns and cities, Route 66 is sure to captivate any traveler.

Author and photographer Drew Knowles and Santa Monica Press present the ‘High-Octane Fifth Edition’ of their ‘ Route 66 Adventure Handbook’ that now offers GPS coordinates and city maps.

This book is the ultimate guide to ‘America’s Main Street’ from coast to coast.

Pages are filled with black and white photos of offbeat roadside attractions, vintage motels and cafes, natural wonders and much more.

Jam-packed with fascinating text detailing historical facts and travel hints and suggestions of great places to visit the book is a ‘must have’ for any serious Route 66 fan.

So, be sure to ‘get your kicks’ from this ‘Route 66’ handbook that explores America at its best and quirkiest.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Aurora Model Kits With Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis

Mention Aurora Model Kits and any model maker worth their salt (or an old guy like me who made Aurora Model Kits in the 1960s) immediately have various images come to mind.

Aurora, among model makers, brings up memories of monster, TV, movie and superhero plastic model kits.

As a young boy and teenager I made my share of Aurora Model Kits, among them ALL of the Universal Monsters, All of the superhero figures and All of the sci-fi model kits, including the vehicles.

Original Aurora Model Kits (especially in their boxes) are some of the most sought after and prized model kits.

Model kit collectors are guaranteed to pay high prices for these coveted model kits.

But, did you know that Aurora made model kits of all types?  Cars, planes, ships, animals, historical figures, military vehicles and every other conceivable type of model kits were created by Aurora.

In Schiffer Books' and author Thomas Graham’s new book ‘Aurora Model Kits With Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis’ the history of the company is examined including interviews with former creators and employees of Aurora.

Sadly Aurora is no more, having gone out of business.  But, Aurora’s legacy lives on through the efforts of model kit companies: Polar Lights, Moebius and Atlantis.

The book offers full color photos of ALL of Aurora’s model kits including current prices, along with photos and prices of other company products that carry on Aurora’s proud legacy.

This book is a real feast for the eyes as readers travel down model kit Memory Lane.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Previews, May

Miraculous Adventures #1 l ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
Dreadful Beauty: The Art of Providence TP l AVATAR PRESS INC
The Mystery Knight GN l BANTAM / SPECTRA
Lady Mechanika: The Clockwork Assassin #1 l BENITEZ PRODUCTIONS
Go Go Power Rangers #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
Sisters of Sorrow #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
Belladonna Annual 2017 l BOUNDLESS COMICS
The Phantom: President Kennedy’s Mission #1 l HERMES PRESS
Rick & Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It #1 l ONI PRESS INC.
Robotech #1 l TITAN COMICS
The Death of Stalin HC l TITAN COMICS
Disney Manga: Tangled GN l TOKYOPOP
Faith and the Future Force #1 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Volume 1 GN l VERTICAL COMICS

Bernie Wrightson: Art & Designs for the Gang of 7 Animation Studio HC l ART BOOKS
Kirby: King of Comics Anniversary Edition SC l COMICS
Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Publisher Edition Revised l HOW-TO
Back to the Future: Sculpted Movie Poster & Ultimate Visual History l MOVIE/TV
Steven Universe: Art & Origins HC l MOVIE/TV
Doctor Who Magazine #514 l DOCTOR WHO
The Creeps #11 l HORROR
The James Bond Films Exhibitors Campaign Books Volume 1 TP l MOVIE/TV
Star Trek: The Women of Star Trek 50th Anniversary Trading Cards l RITTENHOUSE ARCHIVES
Star Wars Han Not Solo Softhand Ink Px Silver T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Marvel: Venom Full Overhead Adult Deluxe Mask l COSTUMES & PROP REPLICAS
Marvel Gallery: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 PVC Figures l DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES
Street Fighter Knockouts Series 1 Vinyl Figures l CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: Dancing Groot 12-Inch Feature Figure l MARVEL HEROES
Mazinger Z 12-Inch Light Up Figure l SD TOYS
Toy Story 3 Miracle Land Statues l TOY STORY
Dragonball Z Master Stars Piece Piece Manga Dimensions Figures l DRAGONBALL Z
Marvel Now: Venom Artfx+ Statue l KOTOBUKIYA
Godzilla 12-Inch Series: Godzilla 2014 Blue Dorsal Figure l GODZILLA
Godzilla 12-Inch Series: Final Wars Mecha Gigan Figure l GODZILLA
Aliens: Colonial Marines 1/18-Scale Figures l ALIEN
James Bond: Goldfinger 1/6-Scale Collector Figures l JAMES BOND
Marvel Universe Variant Play Arts Kai: Magneto Figure l MARVEL HEROES
Halo: Master Chief Light-Up Ultra Prestige Adult Costume l PREVIEWS ARMORY
Halo: Master Chief Adult Light-Up Deluxe Helmet l PREVIEWS ARMORY
The Dark Knight Rises: Batman Special Edition Cowl Replica l DC HEROES
Godzilla Inflatable Costume l GODZILLA
Gremlins: Evil Stripe Puppet l HALLOWEEN
Gremlins: Gizmo Mogwai Puppet l HALLOWEEN
Nintendo: Mario And Yoshi Adult Inflatable Costume l NINTENDO
Dragon Ball Super Collectible Card Game l BANDAI
Rick and Morty: Anatomy Park Board Game l CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT
My Little Pony: Tales of Equestria RPG Sourcebook HC l NINJA DIVISION GAMES
The Terminator Official Board Game l SPACE GOAT PUBLISHING

Go! Go! Smart Wheels, Baby Beats Monkey Drums and Light & Lullabies Travel Mobile

Nowadays babies have it made!

It used to be babies (or young children) had a very limited selection of toys to play with, let alone educational toys.

A ball, rattle, plastic keys on a plastic key chain, building blocks and other assorted simple toys fit the bill.

Not anymore!
Today babies and kids have a vast plethora of educational and fun toys to play with.  They make sounds, move, talk, flash lights, ring bells and are animated.

Perhaps no other toy company has more of a selection of electronic toys than V-Tech.
If it moves, talks, flashes lights, sings, makes noises and keeps kid occupied for hours then more likely than not VTech has created and manufactured it.

Just this week I greeted my first grandchild into the family.  Vance is a healthy little boy who, if he is anything like his mother and father, will be a very inquisitive and active child-curious about everything.

What better way to introduce him to the world than to provide him with some exciting and educational toys?

Imagine-playing and learning at the same time!

VTech’s ‘Go! Go! Smart Wheels’ toy vehicles, made for 1 to 5 year olds, are cleaver little ‘Press & Race’ vehicles that scoot along the floor or flat surface with the simple push of their rear body that sends their rear wheels spinning, propelling the vehicles forward.

The ‘Race Car’ will say his name, make sounds, play music and teaches the letter ‘R’ all by the simple flip of a switch.

The ‘Fire Truck’ teaches the letter ‘F’ for Felix, talks, makes fire engine sounds, plays music and it even has a small extension ladder that works!

The ‘Dump Truck’ flashes its lights, teaches about the letter ‘D’ for Dump Truck, sings, plays music, talks and makes Dump Truck sounds.

All of the Go! Go! Vehicles are made of tough and durable plastic, for rough play, are brightly colored and sure to be a big hit with small children.

Felix the Fire Truck has all sorts of exterior details such as fire fighter supplies and there’s even a fire fighter in the front window.

Dale the Dump Truck also has a driver, a large exhaust pipe on its side, a small rear dumping area and more.    

Ray the Race Car has a rear spoiler and a fancy roof scoop.

Kids love to drum on things and make noises.  What better way to satisfy a young child’s energetic outbursts that to let them play with the ‘Baby Beats Monkey Drum’?

Made for 3+ months the Monkey Drum features an adorable brown monkey that beats the drum when the large drum top is pressed.

The colorful drum lights up and makes drum noises along with music, talks, sings and laughs.
Press the purple, green or blue light-up buttons and the Monkey Drum asks kids to play the drum, sing, dance and other activities that are sure to wear out any active kid.

The buttons also asks questions, challenging kids to follow their instructions.

What a fun and educational toy that provides sound, movement and physical activities.

The ‘Lights & Lullabies Travel Mobile’ is a handy little toy that can be used at home, in a car and on the go!

Easy to set up the Travel Mobile spins and plays up to 30 minutes of music.

It provides soothing music and sounds for babies, plays nursery rhymes and spins showing off its three soft stars decorated with animal motifs.

It’s a ‘4-in-!’ bundle of fun for carriers, cribs, strollers and more.

Soft lights flash and music or sounds play.  There is a night-light, volume buttons, a timer switch for 10, 20 or 30 minutes and it even responds to a baby’s cries by playing soothing music and sounds. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

C-3PO 3D Deco Light

Everyone’s favorite, prime and proper; Protocol Droid from the Star Wars Saga is now a 3D Deco Light courtesy of 3DLIGHT FX.

That’s right! The to-scale C-3PO head, in all its glorious golden sheen, is perfectly duplicated as 3D Deco Light and it is awesome!

Simply stick the cracked wall (or surface) decal on a flat surface, attach the C-3PO head to the wall with a couple of screws, put batteries (not included) in the head, flip the switch and C-3PO’s eyes light up, just like in the Star Wars movies!

Wow!  Is that cool or what?

3Dlight FX has done an excellent job of translating the golden Droid to perfect 3D, right down to his slit mouth, two, round, eye ports with vertical slats, two-piece Droid head, neck swivel and more.

With its LED lights the head never gets hot, is child safe and makes a perfect night light or nifty room decoration and a killer addition to any Star Wars collection.

Displayed in a clear-front box, with color photos on the back and a list of features, along with photos of other Star Wars 3D Deco Lights, it makes for an eye-catching combo that jumps out from store shelves.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Deluxe Glow Creatures and S.T.E.M Challenge

I’ve said it before, “I was born in the wrong decade!”

I feel cheated!  When I was a kid in the 1950s and 1960s all we had to build with was what we could find around the house or yard.  Sure, it was fun.  What I would have given for a box of ZOOB BuilderZ!

Monsters and creatures!  As much as we want to avoid nasty critters they fascinate us.
Why just be fascinated by them when you can build them?

ZOOB BuilderZ’ Deluxe Glow Creatures includes 300 pieces.

Snap the pieces together, activate the blinking lights and watch them glow.

Build creatures right out of nightmares or make some cute, lovable critters that move and pose, stick to walls and even hang from the ceiling.

You get everything you need with five different types of ZOOB snap together parts, each color coded for easy identification.

Here’s what you get: 279 ZOOB pieces, 4 Suction Cups, 14 Glow Pieces, 1 String, 2 Flashing Blinking Light-Up Eyes (Batteries included) and Easy Building Guides.

All the parts come in a heavy-duty plastic tub with snap on lid for easy storage.

The ZOOB BuilderZ S.T.E.M. Challenge ups the ante when it comes to construction.

Pop and snap ZOOB pieces together to make all sorts of vehicles that move and roll.
Encourage children’s creativity.  The sky’s the limit!  The S.T.E.M. Challenge includes 35 challenging opportunities to create some of the most outrageous and clever contraptions imaginable.

Kids get all this in the set: 175 ZOOB Pieces, 2 Foam Building Pads, 4 Wheels With Axles and Rubber Tires, 1 High-Bounce Rubber Ball, 23 Rubber Bands, A 20 Foot Nylon String, 14 Cards With 35 Challenges and Easy Building Guides for 40 Challenges.

Are you up to the Challenge?  

Friday, April 14, 2017

American Comics, Daniel Craig, Bee Gees and Led Zeppelin

When it comes to comic books different collectors consider certain eras more important than others.  I, for one, like the Silver Age, primarily because I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s.  Others prefer the Bronze Age, Copper Age and so forth.

But, none of the aforementioned ages would have existed unless there had been a Golden Age.

Most comic book historians agree that the Golden Age started with Action Comics #1 with the introduction of Superman.

Granted, comic books got their start a few years before Action Comics #1, but mainly as reprints of Sunday newspaper comic strips and some other rather non-descript and minor stories.

In ‘The Classic Era OF American Comics’ writer Nicky Wright and publisher Carlton Books examine the Golden Age of comics beginning in the late 1930s to its end in the mid-1950s.
During that time period a great deal occurred.  Superhero comics hit it big, especially during the war years.

After WWII comic books began to branch out to humor, detective, sci-fi, horror, funny animal and other genre.
Horror comics become so prolific that the general public took notice and almost destroyed the comic book industry until a self-censorship board was established.

Superheroes waned, sales started to falter and it wasn’t until superheroes were reintroduced that sales picked up.

For a thorough examination and explanation as to the importance of the Golden Age be sure to pick up a copy of this fascinating and enjoyable book packed with full color art.

‘Bond, James Bond.’  To most modern movie audiences that is the phrase and character actor Daniel Craig is most associated with.

Granted Craig is an excellent James Bond.  His portrayal of the famous spy has rejuvenated the franchise and brought in a legion of new fans.

But, Craig already had a successful acting career long before the James Bond films established him as a mega-star.

Born and raised in North England, Daniel was bitten by the acting bug at a young age.
He started his career in the theater, moved onto TV and film and has been on the ‘A’ list of actors for the past decade or so.

In ‘Daniel Craig The Illustrated Biography’ written by Tina Ogle, fans of the handsome Brit will learn all about his early life, family, acting chops and his eventual rise to superstar.

Packed with photographs, the book makes for an engrossing examination of the newest James Bond and his long and impressive acting career.

Yes, I admit it.  I lived through the Disco Music years.  I was attending The University of Miami at the time at the height of the Disco Craze. 

Miami was the epicenter of the music, fashion and culture of the Disco Mania years and I was a part of it.

I may even have my old platform shoes and sharkskin shirt around here somewhere.
The Brothers Gibb, or as they are affectionately known as: The Bee Gees, were the main architects of the Disco Craze.

Their hard-hitting and catchy tunes tuned in a whole generation to the beat of Disco.
However, did you know that they actually got their start as young boys performing in Australia, evolved to a somewhat comber ‘message; Rock and Roll band and eventually hit it big with Disco?

Sadly only one Bee Gee survives but the group’s music is still popular to this day and with their talent of changing with the times the Bee Gees successfully survived the Disco Era and carved out a career for themselves in popular music.

‘Treasures Of The Bee Gees’ written by Brian Southall is a heartfelt Memory Lane trip from their beginnings to their eventual disbandment.

The slipcover hardbound book is chockfull of photos, recreated memorabilia and detailed historical text chronicling their long and illustrious careers.

Now where is a good Disco Night Club when you need one?  “You should be dancing!”
When I was in high school I worked evenings at a local store.  Part of my job was to order and restock the record section.

One day while looking through the record order catalog I spotted a rather odd looking album featuring a stark black and white photo of the Hindenberg Zeppelin in flames.

The album was by a group called Led Zeppelin.  When the album came in I bought a copy, mostly out of curiosity.

I took it home, played it on my stereo and was immediately hooked.

Their music was like anything I had ever heard before.   Before long Led Zeppelin caught on with other teenagers and their songs were playing on all the local radio stations.

Their music was dubbed ‘Heavy Metal’ and it influenced a whole generation of bands.

Author Chris Welch has assembled a cornucopia of photos, memorabilia facsimiles and in-depth text that follows the group through its origin, spotlights its members and goes in to great detail as to why Led Zeppelin is considered the ‘Biggest Band Of The 1970s.’

The hardbound, slipcase book is a treasure trove of Zeppelin memorabilia including a coloring book!

For all you Led Heads out there, this is the book you gotta have!  Why it’s almost like taking ‘A Stairway To Heaven.’

My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage

Fairies: small, humanoid and magical creatures, with wings, that  live primarily in woods and forests.

Hidden away in trees, behind mushrooms and other forest plants and fauna they live secretive lives and are very seldom seen by humans.

As protectors of nature they tend to stay around flowers and other blooming plants.

What kind of dwellings do they occupy?  It is said that their dwellings are fashioned very much like human dwellings but are incorporated into the plants and forest landscapes.

Quiet, shy and peaceful, Fairies tend to plants, befriend forest fowl, animals and insects and are spirits of nature, preserving and protecting wildlife and plants.

‘My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage’ from Play Monster/Interplay have created a facsimile of a Fairy home complete with plants and landscaping.  In fact, it’s so authentic looking that, who knows, a fairy just might take up residence in it. 

Imagine setting up your own Magical Cottage with flowers and plants blooming all around it and even in it!

This adorable Magical Cottage comes in two levels. 

The top level features a large mushroom surrounded by flora that you plant yourself that are included with the magical Cottage.

Sprinkle water onto the mushroom and watch the water trickle down to water the plants.

The entire Cottage sits in a large circular base where kids can plant small flowers and plants.  
The pop-top cottage allows kids to see the interior of the Fairy Cottage that includes furniture and a fully decorated interior.

A small, blond hair, female Fairy comes with the set, all dressed in purple with blue wings. 
She can be displayed standing or floating by the use of an enclosed cord.  Her pet chipmunk likes to stay by her side.

Also the Magical Cottage comes with a shovel, rake, hoe, watering bucket, decorative porch posts, a large plastic tree, seeds, soil and instructions.

All of the Magical Cottage accessories are made of durable, colorful plastic, as is the Cottage itself. 

The Fairy is partially articulated, easy to pose and a little over two inches tall.

Check out the two chairs, table and umbrella that can be used as an interior furniture set or as outside d├ęcor.
Dress up your Magical Cottage set with stones for a path going to the twin swinging front doors and landscape with various plants and flowers and whatever else fits your fancy.

Kids will love it, Fairies will love it and parents are sure to love its durability, fun features and its clever way to teach kids about gardening and plants.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Teen Titans The Judas Contract

One of the most famous and far-reaching series within a series in DC Comics’ ‘The New Titans’ comic series, drawn by George Perez and written by Marv Wolfman was 'The Judas Contract.’

In it the New Teen Titans were betrayed by one of their won employed by Deathstroke The Destroyer.

DC Comic Book fans have clamored and begged for years for the intense mini-series to be adapted to a TV series, movie or animated feature.

Rejoice!  DC Comics and Warner Bros. have listened and they proudly present ‘Teen Titans The Judas Contract’ animated feature film via Warner Bros.’ ‘DC Universe Original Movie.’

Much has changed with The New Titans since the story was originally presented in the early 1980s.  The team’s roster has changed, the Titans have grown up and the DC Universe is much more convoluted and intertwined.

Taking some creative liberties, ‘The Judas Contract’ nonetheless follows the basic basis of the original storyline.

Many of the changes are simply cosmetic, while other changes introduce new elements to the story thus making it more relevant and coherent within the DC Universe.

That being said the heart of the story is intact and it is every bit as intense, surprising, shocking and earth-shattering as the original.

As with all DC Universe animated full-length movies ‘The Judas Contract’ in beautifully illustrated and animated and gorgeous to watch.

With its superior script, first-rate animation, killer soundtrack and state-of-the-art effects ‘The Judas Contract’ promises to be an instant classic just like its comic book namesake.

Extras included in the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Combo Pack include several featurettes, two classic cartoons and a special Sneak Peek.

Also, a special Teen Titans three-inch figure is included with the Limited Edition Gift Set.

The Greatest Adventure #1

It all started when writer Alan Moore presented ‘The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ via Wildstorm/ABC Comics.  In the two mini-series, Moore selected famous literary characters and combined them as a team that went on adventures.

The mini-series were a resounding success. 

Never one to let a great concept go to waste, various comic book companies attempted to duplicate Moore’s success.

Unfortunately none were able to recreate the magic of such a concept-until now.

Dynamite Entertainment and writer Bill Willingham and artist Cezar Rezak present 'The Greatest Adventure #1’, that combine the characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Join John Carter, Jason Gridley, Tarzan, Dejah Thoris, Korak, Jane Porter and over a dozen other literary figures as they team to thwart a would-be world conqueror.

Things start out with a bang when an alien spacecraft crash-lands in Tarzan’s domain.
Rushing to the crash site Tarzan rescues the pilot, Jason Gridley, who escaped from a madman who plans on using his Gridley’s Gridley Wave device to conquer worlds.

Fortunately Gridley escaped in a desperate attempt to gather others to help him stop the madman.

Together he and Tarzan gather heroes from around the globe to pilot their own spacecraft to stop the threat.

I don’t want to give too much away other than to say that the story had me hooked from the first panel and kept me glued to its pages through the issue.

I can hardly wait for this epic to unfold.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Water Warriors Air Pressure Outlaw and Colossus 2

Usually when someone tells you. “You’re all wet!” it’s a put down.

 With Buzz Bee Toys’ The Original Water Warriors Air Pressure Outlaw and Colossus water guns, it’s a compliment.

Half the fun is getting wet.  The other half is getting others wet.

The Original Water Warrior Air Pressure Water Blaster Colossus 2 holds up to a whopping 74 ounces of water.  Talk about ammo overload!

It’s high pressure, two tank blasting power shoots water up to 40 feet!  Take that you other wimpy water guns!

There’s even a gauge that lets you know the distance you can expect to make when you use its three adjustment nozzles.

Other water guns tend to shoot in pone direction.  Imagine how surprised your opponents will be when you shoot them at an angle!  Who says water on shoots out straight?

The easy to handle and cradle Colossus 2 is just the right size for young warriors.  A few pumps with its hand front mounted Pump Handle, a simple pull of its Trigger and SPLASH!, you’ve soaked another foe!

Just as impressive is the Outlaw Air Pressure Water Blaster.  Easy to hold in one hand the Outlaw shoots a water stream up to 42 feet and holds plenty of water in its single Tank.

Adjust the Nozzle, fill it up through its handy top mounted Fill Cap, pump up the pressure, pull the trigger and it’s soaking time!

Are you ready for a little wet water fun, then check out the Colossus 2 and Outlaw from Buzz Bee Toys/Alex Brands!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Peppy Pups and Splashlings

Kids love puppies.  They’re cute, cuddly and adorable.  They are also a chore to take care of, potty train, feed, groom and meet their medical needs.

What if I would tell that kids can now have a puppy of their own that requires no food, no baths, no doctor visits and best of all-no potty training and no fleas!

TPF Toys’ new adorable Peppy Pups are as cute as real puppies and they walk and run!
Made of soft cloth for cuddling, Peppy Pups are the pet kids are sure to love!

The lovable brown puppy has long, dark brown ears, a head that wobbles and moves as it walks, a short tail with a white tuff at its end, four large white paws, big green eyes, a short snout with black button nose, a long red tongue, and comes with a blue collar with bell and leash.

Kids lead their Peppy Pup by its leash and its special flexible legs cause it to walk or run, depending on how fast it is pulled.  Special grippers on the bottom on its paws allow it to walk or run on any surface.

It goes where you go, is kid powered and has bouncy walking action.

The world of the Splashlings has grown.  With Wave 2 the Splashlings have even more adorable and cute undersea creatures.

With over 100 creatures to discover the Splashlings come in a variety of packages.

The 12 Pack Splashlings bubble pack includes a partially articulate mermaid, seven sea creatures and four additional Splashlings hidden in sea themed pop open containers.  You never know what you will get!

The 6 Pack contains a hidden Color Change Mermaid, two hidden Splashlings and three Splashlings.

Get ready for an ocean full of friends with these adorable bubble pack Splashlings that are cute, extremely detailed and fun to collect.

Are you ready for a little undersea mystery?  Are you ready to take a chance?

If so, then the starfish hidden surprise Splashlings are just what you need.

Buy them, unwrap them, pop open the starfish and get ready for a big surprise.

Splashlings are small and best kept away from children three years old and younger.  You’ll be impressed by the variety, the colors, textures and sculpt of each Splashling.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kong Skull Island

They did it!  The creative team behind the ‘Kong Skull Island’ film finally got it right!

The original ‘King Kong’ movie set the standard for the giant ape phenomenon.
There have been some sincere and good adaptations of the ‘Kong’ franchise, most notably the 2005 movie by director Peter Jackson.

Kong Skull Island is a follow-up to that film but, in my opinion, is a much better film.

Kong Skull Island showcases the sheer size of Kong, his intelligence and power.  Kong is more than a giant ape.  He is an icon and myth brought to life.

Placing him on his island home: Skull Island, the film makers showcase Kong’s survival skills, mastery of his environment and the other oversize creatures on the island.

The actors do a great job of underplaying their roles preferring to spotlight the true star of the film: Kong.

Titan Books presents ‘The Art And Making Of Kong Skull Island’ in a spectacular hardbound book that delves deeply into the massive amount of work and creativity required to make the new film.

In the book readers are treated to production art, cast and crew interviews and spotlights, set designs and construction, visual and physical effects, creature designs, costumes and all things pre and post film production.

The book is brimming with photos and full-color art, lots of inside and behind-the-scenes information and some cleverly inserted art and photos foldouts.

It’s a massive and informative examination of the Kong phenomenon.

For the full story adapted of the film be sure to pick up ‘Kong Skull Island, paperback novelization by Tim Lebbon.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Star Wars: Rogue One

It’s here!  It’s finally here!  Disney’s Star Wars: Rogue One Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Combo Pack has arrived and it’s awesome!

‘Rogue One’ is my favorite Star Wars movie just after ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’
Unlike the previous twin trilogies, Rogue One does not feature iconic characters (albeit there are brief cameos) and takes place just before the events of ‘A New Hope.’

A ragtag group of misfits is sent to scout out the Death Star, find its weakness and return that information back to the rebels.  Sound familiar?

The film stars a ragtag bunch of rogues, among them a reprogrammed Imperial Droid, a traitor, two Jedi wannabes, a tough-as-nails pilot and a young girl whose father is the architect of the Death Star.

Together they unite to stop The Empire.  It’s a rough and tumble, gritty and realistic struggle where the thin line between the tactics of good and evil blur.

Filled with spectacular digital and physical effects, intriguing new characters, amazing ships and weapons, dastardly villains (both old and new) and a storyline that keeps you glued to your seat, Rogue One delivers on all accounts.

Included with the Combo Pack are a plethora of featurettes and much, much more.  It’s a killer of a combination that Star Wars fans will rave about.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

I can remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1967.  I was 14 years old.

Like other boys my age I was interested in girls, cars and Rock and Roll music.

Most Pop music of the time was either teenybopper or bubble gum.  Few ‘message’ songs were popular. The British Invasion was in full swing.

The Beatles were the head runners of the British Invasion and up until that point most of their music was about love and growing up.  There were tinges of social commentaries and observations, but overall the gist of their music was fairly conventional and non-threatening.
The group stopped performing live and were producing only studio albums.

Then ’Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was released.  It was a revelation and a total departure from anything that had been done in the Rock and Roll music genre.

Phenomenally produced and orchestrated (literally) the album was an instant success.  Young people (particularly the hippie and flower power crowd) lauded its lyrics, hidden meanings, drug undertones and psychedelic imagery.

Remember this was the time of rampant drug experimentation with the youth of America and the world.  Pot and LSD were the drugs of choice.  Throw in anti-establishment mentality, counter-culture lifestyles, free sex and anti-war protests and it was easy to see why Sgt. Pepper struck such a cord with young people.

Considered one of the most influential albums ever produced, the record album is a classic in ever sense of the word.

It’s been 50 years since the album was released and in commemoration of the event Carlton Books and author Brian Southall have released a brand new tribute book called ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Album, The Beatles and The World In 1967.’

Inside readers are treated to vintage photographs, intriguing text and more.  As colorful as the album itself, the book is divided into both a ‘Side A’ and a ‘Side B.’

Side A offers an up-close-and-personal look at the personalities involved in the making of the album, its production, how it was received and how it has shaped popular music since its inception.
Side B looks at the world between the years 1966-68.  Learn about how societies were shifting, priorities changing, conflicts arising and how The Beatles played a part in the transformation of so many levels of society, especially in the Western World.

The book makes for a fascinating trip in time when everything was changing and The Beatles were at the forefront of the changes.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team

Misfits, rogues, castaways, outsiders-call them what you will but sometimes society’s outcasts may be the only hope society has to survive.

In the ‘Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team’ Blu-ray, containing episodes 1-12 of the popular Anime series, the Federation is just about to learn a valuable lesson when it sends out Commander Shiro Amada and his misfit MS Team out to stop the latest Zeon plot.

The Zeons have developed a secret project that may tip the tide of the war.

But can the MS Team arrive in time, defuse the situation and save The Federation?

Discover what happens in this brand new Anime from RightStuf!.  It’s high adventure and danger sprinkled in with a little off-kilter humor that makes for an explosive Anime classic.

Extras include promos, clips the Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team movie and much more!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Trailer Trash, Urban Decay 2 and World War II Posters

Trailers.  There seems to be a stigma associated with living in a trailer.  Or as it is now politically correct to refer to as ‘Mobile Homes.’

We’ve all seen the stereotypical depictions of those who live in trailers: country bumpkins, mentally challenged, reproducing like rabbits, slothful and peculiar.

You read such descriptions in popular literature, see it on TV and movies and other popular social media outlets.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

When I was growing up ‘Trailer Parks’ were just beginning to become popular.  I had a few friends who lived in ‘Trailer Parks’ and I always thought it was cool. 

Most had their won laundries, swimming pools, parks and even some small stores.

Early ‘Trailers’ were really miniature homes.  Everything was present: fully equipped kitchens, bedrooms, full baths-all that were cleverly designed to fit into a narrow and long, pre-assembled homes on wheels.

Truthfully most early ‘Trailers’ were made better than most homes you buy today. 

Maybe that’s why more and more people are hunting for and remodeling early ‘Trailers’ and residing in them.

‘Don't Call Them Trailer Trash’ written by John Brunkowski and Michael Closen and published by Schiffer Books, offer a complete, ‘Illustrated Mobile Home Story.’

Everything that is even remotely related to Mobile Homes is included such as advertisements, toys, Mobile Home Parks, license, furnishings and there’s even a brief history of the genesis of Trailers and their evolution.

Tow ‘em, live in ‘em-Trailers are cool and this book is the coolest.

What is it about decrepit and decaying places of business, worship, retail and education that fascinates us so?

Is it the feeling of nostalgia for days gone past?  Does it remind us of how the passage of time changes such structures and in turn ourselves?

Author/photographer Martin ten Bouwhuijs presents, ‘The World Of Urban Decay 2’, a fascinating look at decay and disintegration.

Beautiful, full-color photographs lead readers through control rooms, schools, warehouses, churches, military bases, hospitals, cars, theaters, residents, and dozens of other interior photos of long abandoned and decaying structures-some furnished, some not.

I enjoyed looking at each and every photo.  I imagined now crumbling buildings full of life as people lived in and worked in each.  Now both the structures and most of the people who populated them are crumbling into dust.

World War Ii was an ever-present memory when I was a lad of eight.  The war had ended a mere 16 years earlier.

Most World War II veterans were in their 30s.  Many lived and worked in my hometown.  Most kept quiet about the war.  But, occasionally one would tell tales of the war-none of them pleasant.

Growing up in the 1960s I was fascinated by the war.  Kids in my neighborhood still played soldiers-most as WWII soldiers.

Much of WWII memorabilia was easy to come by-including posters.

In ‘World War II Posters’ by David Pollack, readers are treated to posters from both the Allied Forces and in a lesser degree from the Axis Forces.

Page after page is filled with patriotic images, recruiting posters, homeland security warnings and much, much more.

For a real visual treat about the history of WWII, as chronicled by artists and designers, this is the book WWII fans will love.

It’s a great collection, taken from a long gone era.