Friday, October 22, 2021

Upcoming!! Diamond Previews, November 2021


Lost In Space Diecast

Before Star Trek came along my favorite science fiction TV series was Lost In Space.

I especially liked the first season, which was a lot more realistic.  Seasons two and three got silly but I still turned in to see the latest exploits of Doctor Smith, Will Robinson and the Robot.

Johnny Lightning/Playing Mantis
produced a series of four heavyweight metal and plastic miniatures of the Robot B-9, the Space Pod, the Jupiter2 and The Chariot.  

Duped the Lost In Space The Classic Series, Johnny Lightning /Playing Mantis did an outstanding job of recreating all four mechanisms in perfect miniature form.

Each vehicle and the robot come with film clips from the original series as an extra-added bonus.

By far the Robot B-9 is my favorite of the series.

Who can forget his most famous line, “Danger Will Robinson, danger!”?

The miniature Robot figure has his rubberized tread base (cleverly masqueraded as simple wheels underneath the tread mechanism) and his sectional rubber legs with knee plate.

The rounded chassis also has miniature dials and lights, a fluted voice section and swivel base.

Both red clawed arms are made of the same material as the legs and the clear plastic head bubble sits on its metal stalk atop a clear circular base.

The bubblehead of the robot is clear and has inner workings.

Twin sensor antenna of red and yellow are attached to the lower clear base.

I remember watching the first episode of the original Lost in Space TV series.

When the Robinson’s spacecraft the Jupiter 2 took off it blew my mind.  Suddenly it started to glow; the triple legs pulled up, the doom light began to glow and rotate spin and whoosh, off it went!

The Jupiter 2 diecast features the craft’s characteristic saucer shape.

The silver disk has a transparent dome at it center on its top, three landing legs, several circular ports for sensor extensions, a triple panel viewing window, double panel access door and a small porthole.  

Underneath the Jupiter 2 is a transparent circle in segments representing the unique propulsion system of the spacecraft.

Landing on an unknown planet is one thing but getting around on it is something else all together.

In order to traverse rough terrain the Robinsons had a vehicle called The Chariot.

Consisting out of a clear passenger compartment the vehicle road about on treads, (very much like a tank).  This allowed The Chariot to climb, slosh through or endure all sorts of travel conditions.

It’s clear passenger compartment allowed the riders to see 360 degrees around the vehicle thus alerting them to danger or obstacles of all sorts.

Inside was seating for six people on custom orange seats; some supplies were carried inside with the majority housed on a rack on the top.  A hoist hook was included for heavy objects.

The tiny miniature recreates all of this in perfect detail.

Also in the diecast are a driver's console and various instruments.

The outside of The Chariot had four high power headlights, twin reflectors in the back, along with two lights.

An orange ladder leads to the top where there is an observation bubble and radar and sensor antenna mounted on a heavy black reinforced metal strip.

To survey the surrounding landscape and for short trips into space the Robinsons had a Space Pod.

Configured much like the Lunar Lander the Space Pod has triple windows on its front, a series of small jet nozzles for maneuvering, sensor and radar equipment, an entry door, three landing pads and a large lower transparent propulsion unit mounted underneath.

The Space Pod also has twin lights, several detection devices and exterior equipment attachments.

The entire vehicle is silver save for the front panel, which is orange/brown.

Johnny Lightning/Playing Mantis did an outstanding job of recreating all four miniatures.

Sculpting is in scale and precise.  Coloring has sharp well-defined edges with no slopovers and the packaging not only protects each piece but also displays it to its best advantage.  

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Suicide Squad

Leave to director James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy 1 and 2) to come up a movie with a unique take on DC Comics’ 2nd tier villains and make it a hit.

Not to be confused with the Suicide Squad movie released a few years back, The Suicide Squad movie fires on all cylinders when it comes to action, humor and just plain fun.

A motley crew of villains who are ‘recruited’ by Amanda Waller as members of Task Force X to infiltrate the island of Corto Maltese and stop the mad plans of its dictator.

They encounter Starro, a giant starfish with the ability to kill people and take over their minds.

The action is intense as the Squad, led by Rick Flag and consisting of King Shark, Peacemaker, Bloodspot, Harley Quinn, Savant, Captain Boomerang, The Detachable Kid, Weasel, Mongal, Javelin, Black Guard, Polka-Dot Man, Rat Catcher 2 try to stop Starr from taking over the world (or at least some of them do).

Harley Quinn is captured, rescued by the Squad, the Thinker (who is the scientist in charge of the project) assists the Squad, he reveals that the U.S. Government plans to use Starro’s ability.

Rick Flag plans to reveal the plot and Peacemaker is a secret government plant and all hell breaks loose as the Squad battles Starro. A few members never make it out alive.

It’s a violent bloodiest as bodies are flung far and wide, plenty of blood and guts are spattered about and ultimately the Squad pulls together as a team to defeat Starro and to threaten to reveal the U.S. government's part in the plot.

The Suicide Squad is unlike any DC Comics movie before it and is a visual romp, full of surprises and downright fun!

Be sure to check out Shark King voiced by Sylvester Stallone and John Cena’s over the top performance as Peacemaker.

Warner Bros. presents The Suicide Squad on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Code that also includes a gag reel, deleted and expanded scenes, several featurettes, a director commentary and much more.

The Suicide Squad-it’s to die for! 

Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV) “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

Walt’s Disneyland

When Walt Disney decided to pursue his dream of creating a theme park unlike any other that featured rides the whole family could enjoy, he was taking a huge risk.

Disney developed technology and themes unseen at that time and was placing his reputation and future career on the line.

Walt Disney stayed true to his vision, despite the detractors, and ultimately proved such a concept was viable and extremely profitable.

Walt’s Disneyland A Walk In The Park With Walt Disney
, written by Marcy Carriker Smothers and published by Disney Editions, looks at the creation of the amusement park.

Archival photos showcase the design, construction, technology, the rides and the tremendous creativity and innovation it took to make Disneyland a reality.

Learn about the rides, the people behind the scenes who made the park possible and so much more.

Every Disneyland fan is sure to want this wonderful historical account of the greatest theme park ever created and that spawned an entire industry and empire.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Superman The Complete Animated Series

There was a time, not too long ago, when Warner Bros. superhero animated TV series ruled the airways, much like their live action superhero shows do today.

Batman: The Animated Series, Superman, Justice League, Teen Titans, Young Justice, Legion of Superheroes and others were huge hits and rightly so.

All were extremely well written (many by professional comic book writers) and the animation was simplified but dynamic.

Each series paid serious homage to their comic book namesakes and fans loved them.

While new WB animated series are not as plentiful as they once were, many of the series produced years ago are seen in repeats and are still incredibly popular.

Twenty-five years ago the Superman animated series premiered and caught on instantly with fans.

All of the classic Superman supporting cast members were there along with Superman’s most diabolical villains such as Darkseid and Parasite and a few new bad guys such as Live Wire.

Warner Bros. proudly presents the Superman The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray/Digital Code Collection containing six discs and some very special features such as commentaries and five featurettes.

This is classic Superman before he changed to fit the times as in The New 52, Rebirth and the new socially conscious DC Comic Book characters.

It’s Superman as he was meant to be: timeless, classic and the grandfather of the superheroes that followed.

John 1:1-2 (KJV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Rudolph And The Island Of Misfits Toys

Considered a Christmas classic the stop-motion animation Rudolph And The Island Of Misfit Toys has thrilled kids young and old on TV for decades.

Memory Lane produced a number of partially articulated action figures based on the show.

Look for Clarice (with rabbit), Santa Claus with a misfit toy and his bag of presents and King Moonracer with misfit toy.  All are faithful reproductions of the original stop-motion figures.

All of the figures come in clear hanger/standup packages with the Rudolph logo displayed predominantly at the top.

The Clarice figure with four animals (like all the figures) is held in place in form-fitting clear plastic cocoons.

Clarice with painted alight tan with white belly, large black eyes with eyelashes, a red hair ribbon and a cut pug nose set n a white muzzle.

Her legs and head move.

Two small white rabbits with long ears and fluffy tails and two dark gray raccoons with the characteristic black masks and pointed ears make up the set.

A Clarice banner with the image of Frosty The Snowman decorates the bottom of the package while on the back (of all the packages) the entire set of toys ion the Rudolph set re shown--and there are a bunch of them!

The Santa figure look like you would expect it to with a red coat and pants trimmed in white fur around the waist, collar and sleeve cuffs, a large black belt with a silver buckle, black boots, white gloves and a large red cap with fur trimming.

Santa has two black bead eyes, heavy white eyebrows, bears and mustache and rosy colored complexion.  He is fully articulated in the torso, arms, neck and wrists.

A small white elephant with pink polka dots elephant toy with black eyes and a blue nose and Santa's brown cloth bag of toys completes the set.

King Moonracer is a large furry and fuzzy figure with a large black nose, whiskers, expressive black eyes an impressive tail and two large wings.  His head pivots and legs move slightly.

The same elephant toy as mentioned above is included.  The only difference being is that it wears a red bellboy cap with a black chinstrap.

All of the figure are expertly sculpted, feature great coloration or texturing (such as the lion) and articulation is smooth, form and well hidden.

I picture all of the figures on a fireplace mantel or grouped around a Christmas tree during the holidays.  Kids will love them!

John 1:1-2 (KJV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Sunday, October 17, 2021


A lot of people did not like the third Terminator movie: Rise Of The Machines.

Personally I enjoyed it and its introduction of a female Terminator: Terminatrix.

More powerful and versatile than the T2 it was sent to the past to kill John Connor as a young man.

The Terminator 3 Rise Of The Machines Terminatrix Endoskull from Sideshow Collectibles is made from a shiny golden/silver metal much like the real T3 figure.

Standing about three inches tall the small bust is mounted on a square base with the T3 logo embossed on the front.  

Beneath the base is a piece of felt to keep the bust from sliding on surfaces.

Like the real Terminatrix the head and neck are segmented with slight tinges of blue showing through duplicating the inner blue glow of the cyborg.

Hold it up to light and the blue areas are translucent.

Details include seams, a segmented neck and a face that looks more insect than human.

The small bust comes in a plain white box with descriptive text on one side.

Flip the lid of the box open and a split gray box of Styrofoam (with a T3 logo) opens up revealing a form-fitted cradle for the bust to sit in.  A single piece of foam paper covers the bust protecting it from scratches and damage.

A large bust from Sideshow was also available.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

No Time To Die

The latest James Bond movie has sparked a lot of controversy.

Originally meant to play early in 2020 the film was delayed several times because of Covid concerns.

Up until its release not much was shared in the way of information about the plot or story.  It wasn’t until early reviews were posted that fans discovered just how different No Time To Die was compared to other James Bond films.

This is the last film Daniel Craig plays as Bond.  After watching the movie it’s easy to see why.

No Time To Die changes everything where it concerns James Bond. Some Bond fans will love it, others will hate it.  It successfully created discord amongst viewers.

From Titan Books comes No Time To Die The Making Of The Film, by Mark Salisbury.

The beautiful hardbound book includes a black and white photo of Bond and his latest lady love on its dust jacket and a gold foil stamped 007 logo on the cover of the book.

The inside is filled with black and white and color photos of behind the scenes of the making of the film.

Readers are given a tour of locations, see how scenes are set up, discover the incredible hard work it takes to create some of the spectacular physical effects and stunts and the tremendous amount of hard work it takes to make such a massive film.

Learn how chase scenes were choreographed and what interiors and exteriors were chosen. Actors, actresses and production team members give insights into the film and every aspect of the making the film is examined.

From set dressings, to lighting, costumes, weapons and accessories, transportation and to the heart-break final scene it’s all here in one impressive collection of photos, art and text.

Where will Bond go from here?  Stay tuned, Bond will be back but who will play the character and what changes can moviegoers expect?

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Charles Addams A Cartoonist’s Life

They’re creepy and they’re kooky
Mysterious and spooky
They’re all together ooky
The Addams Family
Their house is a museum
When people come to see 'em
They really are a screaming
The Addams Family.
So put a witch's shawl on
A broomstick you can crawl on
We're gonna play a call on
The Addams Family
They’re creepy and they’re kooky
Mysterious and spooky
They’re all together ooky
The Addams Family
The Addams Family

If you were alive and watched TV in the 1960s you’ll recognize these lyrics.

The Addams Family TV series ran for several years on ABC TV and was extremely popular.  Decades later they would star in a number of films, both live and animated.

The series was based on the single panel cartoons illustrated and written by Charles Addams.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Addams Family, they were a spooky, weird and macabre clan that occupied a creepy old house and lived an ‘unconventional’ lifestyle, to say the least.

The new oversize softbound book: Charles Addams A Cartoonist’s Life, by famed author Linda H. Davis and published by Turner Publishing Company, looks into the life of The Addams Family creator, Charles H. Addams.

It turns out he was as colorful and strange as the characters he illustrated.

Rumors were rampant about Addams when he was alive.  Often outgoing and congenial Addams kept his private life under wraps.

Because of the strange nature of his The Addams Family cartoons people often assumed he was a strange as his characters.

In some respects he was, although not quite as out there.

It was rumored he slept in a coffin, subsisted on a strange diet and had hidden dark secrets best left kept secret.

What is known is that he loved women, had no qualms about ruffling the establishment’s feathers and lived his life on his own terms.

Get ready for a remarkable journey as you examine the strange, fascinating and unusual life of one of the world’s most unique and captivating artists.

Filled with photos and art the book is a kooky, crazy and captivating excursion into the mind and life of a genius.

Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Art Of The Last Jedi

The next to final film in the original 9-part Star Wars saga had mixed reviews: some fans love it, other loathed it.

Many blame the writer/director who made the unusual decision to ditch much of what was established before and mix things up.

While the film was a total mish-mash of chaos and altered continuity the special effects and look of the film were first rate.

The book: The Art Of Star Wars The Last Jedi, written by Phil Szostak and published by Abrams, contains informative text about he making of the film and its pivotal moments.

Filled with color paintings, sketches, computer renderings and 3D model images it examines costume designs, environments, vehicles and every other visual element in the film.

It’s a complex book with tons of information about the film making process, demonstrates the incredible amount of working going into such a film and spotlights the amazing artist of some of the best craftsmen, builders and artisans in the business.

Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Incredible Hulk #200

The Incredible Hulk #200 from Marvel Comics cover says it all as The Hulk is spotlighted amidst some his greatest friends and foes.

It a desperate attempt to save the mind of Glenn Talbot The Hulk (with Banner’s intelligence) agrees to be shrunk down and injected in Talbot to save his life.

Unfortunately for The Hulk/Banner, Talbot's mind is none to happy about the diminutive Green Goliath’s presence.

While inside The Hulk/Banner is barraged by physical manifestations of Hulk’s greatest foes.

This issue offers a good recap of the Hulk’s troubled life with certain occurrences and characters highlighted.  Those unfamiliar with The Hulk’s past are provided a quick catch-up.

Readers can expect to se Doc Sampson, The Missing Link, Juggernaut, The Abomination, The Leader, Sandman, The Mandarin, The Silver Surfer, Ironman, The Sub-Mariner, Hercules and ultimately Glen Talbot’s rage, fury and hatred for the Hulk manifested in a gigantic, pulsating blob of fang, tooth and flesh.

It the ultimate Hulk slugfest and battle not only with Talbot’s demons but The Hulk’s as well.

The issue also has the distinction of having one of the top 'floating heads' covers ever seen on comic books.

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Superman & Lois The Complete First Season

For decades Warner Bros. has struggled to make Superman more human and in so doing to make him more relatable to audiences.

Don’t get me wrong.  There have been some great Superman films and TV series but they tended to focus primarily on Superman the superhero or too much on his civilian identity as Clark Kent.

When Superman was introduced in the current various CW  TV series as a guest star something clicked with audiences.

Never one to pass up the opportunity to cash in on a good thing, Warner Bros. gave the green light a new TV series: Superman and Lois.  The series premiered in early 2021 and was an instant hit.

Everything about the show clicked.

Clark Kent finds himself out of job the same day his mother dies.  Sometime before he revealed his identity as Superman to Lois Lane, they marry and have two sons.

They decide to move back to Clark’s hometown: Smallville, where Clark is reunited with his childhood friend Lana Lang.  She’s married and she and her husband have tow daughters of their own.

While in Smallville Clark and Lois’ sons discover Clark's spaceship.  He reveals to him that he is Superman with mixed results.

As the story regresses, the Kent's discover one of their sons has super powers, Superman encounters fellow Kryptonians, goes up several super-powered foes, encounters the Eradicator and more.

During this period he and Lois must contend with typical family problems and situations and desperately try to balance their lives as parents while Clark still fights evil as Superman.

Superman & Lois The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and Digital Code contains all 15 extended episodes and lots of fun extras.  They include several featurettes and a DC FanDome Panel, all of which contain a few surprises.

Finally a Superman series that successfully combines the dual life of Superman and Clark Kent, both superhuman and human.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

DC Animated Movie Injustice

The DC Animated Movie Injustice is adapted from the acclaimed video game set in an alternate reality.

When the Joker kills Superman/Clark Kent’s wife Lois Lane and their unborn child and destroys Metropolis it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Enraged and devastated Superman kills the Joker and sets out to make all things right.

He does this by taking total control to make sure peace exists-but at what cost?

It’s up to his longtime ally Batman and other members of The Justice League to stop Superman and return freedom to the people of earth.

The Warner Bros. DC Animated Movie Injustice 4K Ultra Had/Blu/ray/Digital Code Combo Pack also includes a featurette about the making of the powerful and disturbing story and two bonus DC animated shorts.

It’s a violent, hard-hitting animated film with equally powerful performances by its voice cast.  The animation is first-rate, as is the soundtrack.

When justice fails, will Injustice prevail?

Psalm 19:1 (NKJV) “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The James Bond Omnibus Volume 001

Fans of the James Bond movies might be surprised to discover the true nature of James Bond should they choose to read one of the original James Bond novels by his creator Ian Fleming.

In the books Bond is little more than a paid assassin.  He’s tough, rough, not above playing dirty, a womanizer, a bit of a fascist and not particularly handsome of sophisticated.

Titan Books reprinted a collection of James Bond novels translated into daily comic strips around the time the James Bond movie craze hit the world in the 1960s.

In The James Bond Omnibus Volume 001 comic strips reprinted include Casino Royale, Goldfinger, Dr. No, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia With Love, Risico, From A View To A Kill, For Your Eyes Only and Thunderball.

Packing out at over 300 pages the book compiles the complete comic strip adaptations of the famous Bond books as originally written by Ian Fleming.

The comic strip originally appeared in the British's newspaper The Daily Express in the late 1950s and early 1960s and are faithfully reproduced by Titan Books.

Relive the action, adventure, danger and intrigue as Bond womanizes, uses various clever gadgets, drives fast and exotic cars and enjoys the occasional martini--shaken not stirred.

In my opinion Timothy Dalton's take on James Bond is the closest to the Bond books with Daniel Craig coming in a close second.  His Bond was much more moody as well as deadly.

The original Silver Screen James Bond: Sean Connery, set the standard for all 'Bond' actors to follow.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Times Two

Can you believe it!?  Walt Disney World opened 50 years ago!   Unbelievable!

Birnbaum’s celebrates the occasion with not one, but two softbound books: one for adults and one for kids.

Both the Walt Disney World The Official Guide 2022 and Walt Disney World The Official Guide 2022 For Kids from Disney Editions are chock full of photos and  information about special 50th Anniversary events, places to eat, attractions, rides and fun activities to enjoy.

Look for clues for cool things to see, little known facts abut the various Disney World Theme Parks and so much more.

For more detailed ‘adult’ information choose the Walt Disney World The Official Guide 2022.  For some fun activities, simplified explanations and kid-centered fun pick up a copy of Walt Disney World The Official Guide 2022 For Kids.

Either way kids and adults are sure to enjoy flipping through each book’s pages to see and anticipate the great things Disney World has planned for its 50th Anniversary.

Web Of Horror #1

Way back in 1969 a new horror magazine came out spotlighting the work of up and coming artists and writers.

Web Of Horror #1 from Major Magazines introduced to the world some of the future’s most famous comic book and book illustrators at the dawn of their careers.

Somewhat amateurish compared to today’s slick publications Web Of Horror was still a respectable and well-crafted magazine.

Issue #1 featured some of the earliest work in mainstream comics by Berni Wrightson and Mike Kaluta along with entries by more established creators such as Syd Shores, Ralph Reese and Wayne Howard.

Berni Wrightson had a huge influence on my art growing up.  Although I never met the man I did have the privilege of seeing his art posted in an art gallery at a comic book convention in the late 1960s.

Mike Kaluta's art on DC Comics' The Shadow was a favorite of mine as was Ralph Reese's work in the Warren publications.

Similar to Warren Publications' Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella magazines Web Of Horror offered an anthology of horror stories in black and white.

All of stories were done in ink and wash.

I especially enjoyed The Game That Plays You by writer Dick Kenson and artist Bernie Wrightson and the cover by Mike Kaluta.

Dubbed ‘America's Nightmare Magazine’ Web Of Horror only lasted a few issues but is highly sought after by horror magazine enthusiasts.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. “

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Marvels #1

Although artist Alex Ross had drawn a few comic book projects he was relatively unknown by most.  All of that was about to change.

With Marvels #1, from Marvel Comics, published in the mid-1990s, Alex Ross suddenly found himself the new comic book artist sensation.

More than a comic book artist Alex is a classically trained painter (primarily in watercolor) and Marvels (except for a Dark Horse Terminator mini-series) was his first fully painted series.

What makes Marvels such a great story is that is told from the perspective of an ordinary man of the street, reporter Phil Sheldon.

Sheldon recounts the first appearance of the Marvels beginning with the Golden Age heroes.  The story progresses over the years as more and more Marvels appear and the effect they have on the general population and world.

The first issue features a clear plastic cover with the title superimposed over a full color cover painting of the original Human Torch bursting into flame.

Readers meet a young J. Jonah Jameson, witness the birth of The Human Torch, and encounter Namor-The Sub-Mariner and their first fight.

Captain America appears as America enters World War II and the combined might of The Invaders end up the first issue.

Kurt Busiek provides the story.  It’s hard to imagine that Alex Ross was barely in his twenties when he illustrated the series.

He has since gone on to be one of the most prolific, respected and well known artists in the world.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Tales Of Courage And Kindness

While I agree that both males and females have the capacity for courage and kindness, it is in my experience that girls and women have a higher degree of kindness than most males.

I know it sound sexist.  Trust me, it’s not.

As a general rule most men tend to be rougher around the edges when it comes to kindness.

Anyway, back to the book review.

In Disney Press’s Disney Princess Tales Of Courage And Kindness, young readers (both male and female) are gifted with a collection of short stories showcasing the courage and kindness of Disney's Princesses and Frozen Queens.  

Original art is provided for each tale by artists from all over the world.  Twelve Princess stories and two Frozen Queen stories make up the contents of the book.

More than a book about ‘girl power’ the book provides much needed lessons about cleverness, generosity, daring, strength, confidence, toughness, smartness, curiosity, caring, boldness, loyalty, bravery and fearlessness.

The beautiful small hardbound book also includes small prefaces to each story listing the qualities the characters display, their dreams and heroic moments, their sidekicks and famous quotes.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

TV Guide November 8-14, 1997

The Women of Star Trek are spotlighted in the November of 1997 TV Guide Magazine.

Star Trek in all of its forms has always been known to be populated by some of the most beautiful and intelligent women in the galaxy.

This TV Guide issue comes with two covers: Dax (Terry Ferrell of Deep Space Nine) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan of Star Trek: Voyager).

I have the Seven of Nine version.

It’s interesting that the Picard Star Trek TV series reintroduced Seven of Nine in its first season and it appears she will become a regular cast member.

It’s been over 20 years since she was last seen and in that time she has regained her humanity and leads a campaign to save other Borg from the Collective.

Star Trek was one of the first TV shows to give women the opportunity to portray women in high levels of command, important professional positions and as equals to men.

Other than the Star Trek article the magazine consists of the usual TV listing and fluff articles.

Still it’s a great tribute to the ladies of Star Trek and deserves to be part of any Star Trek collection.

Matthew 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

If early reviews are any indication the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

After the disastrous 2016 Ghostbusters relaunch starring an all-female cast, the hope of having a true Ghostbusters film sequel to the two-blockbuster Ghostbusters films from the 1980s looked pretty slim.

But, the son of the original director of the first two films took it upon himself to rejuvenate the franchise, bring in new characters and situations and still pay tribute to the beloved films.

The Ghostbusters film franchise looks to be in good hands.

Hasbro Toys acquired the Ghostbusters: Afterlife toy license and the company was kind enough to send me some review samples of its toys.  It is much appreciated.

The Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Playset consists of a replica of the famous ambulance created for kids four years old and up.  I’m 68 years old and I think it’s great.

The vehicle is made of sturdy and rugged plastic and comes in several pieces that require assembly.  Don’t worry, even an old codger like myself had no problem piecing it together. Kid’s will have it together in no time.

Once the chassis and body are assembled you’re ready to hunt and capture ghosts.

Everything your expect to be on the Ecto-1 is there including the lights and equipment strapped to the roof, heavy chrome bumpers, doors that open and white wall tires mounted on wheels that actually work.  No kidding, this baby can move!

Where would the Ecto-1 be without its trademark Ghostbusters logo, red strips and other exterior markings?  They all come on a decal sheet.  decals peel off and attach to the car wit no glue or fuss.

The passenger twin doors open and presto the side seat flips out ready for a Ghostbusters team member to fire their Proton weapons.

Figures made specifically for the vehicle fit easily inside or on the swing out seat.

A specially designed attachable Proton firing mechanism attaches to the lower right of the seat and actually fires a plastic Proton beam!

The rear door opens revealing a drop down chamber housing a small mobile four-wheel Ghost Trap.  Ghosts don’t stand a chance even if they dodge the Proton beam they can still be trapped by the mobile trap.

It is an awesome vehicle that comes packaged in heavy-duty cardboard box decorated with photos and art of Ecto-1.  Instructions come inside with the vehicle.  Four figures to use with the Ecto-1 can be bought separately.

Where would the Ghostbusters be if there were no ghosts?  Exactly!   That’s why Hasbro Toys has created not one, not two, but three Ghostbusters Fright Features ghoulies action figures packaged in hanger/stand-ups.

Muncher is a four arm, two leg, aqua colored eating machine that has white eyes, a large gaping mouth with jagged teeth, a translucent belly and an appetite that won't’ quit even though sometimes his tummy can't hold all that he eats.

If it’s metallic, he'll eat it.  But be careful if you frighten him-puke! He’ll upchuck a round ball of rusty metal.  Simply hold down his upper left arm and whammo-the ball flies out of his mouth!

Like all three of the ghostly ghoulies Muncher is nicely crafted, has clever articulation and smooth consistent colors with not bleed over or sloppy edges.

The packaging is clear with the figure held in place by a form-fitting clear plastic cocoon and a Ghostbusters logo and image of the character decorate the front without obscuring the figure.  

Instructions for using the figure are on the back with text and an illustration.

The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man is a fan favorite.  Originally from the first Ghostbusters film he makes his return appearance and is featured in a new toy.

Sugary, gooey and soft the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man is anything but sweet.

All white and plump the figure wears a sailor cap with a red fringe, a large blue collar and a red bandana.

His fat arms are held high and his face is soft, fluffy and angry.

Push down his arms and the figure splits at the waist as it spins and reveals its gooey innards. S'more anyone?

Ya gotta love Slimer.  After all he's the one who slimed bill Murray in the first film.

The Slimer toy brings back the green, ravenous ghost with the huge mouth, red beady eyes and fat face.

His bulbous body is accented even more by his long arms, and large hands with long fingers.

The toy figure’s mouth opens up almost the entire height of the figure when is arms are brought up to the height of his head.  

Talk about a big mouth!  Check out his huge white teeth, large tongue and huge cavernous moth with slim flowing down from the roof!  Yuck!

While there are five Plasma Series 6-inch Ghostbusters action figures of the new cast members Hasbro sent me two to review: Podcast and Trevor.

Both come dressed in classic Ghostbusters jumper suits albeit they are a bit dirty and grimy.

They come in standup/hanger Ghostbusters Afterlife Plasma Series boxes with clear front panels, a large Ghostbusters logo on the lower front with the name of the character predominant besides it.  

To remove a figure from the box simply pull out the blue background scene that consists of a schematic/blueprint of the Ecto-1, Proton Packs and other Ghostbusters equipment images.

The schematic makes a perfect background for the posed figure.

The figures are beautifully sculpted.  I suspect they were 3D scanned from the actors themselves.

Both are fully articulated with cleverly hidden joints and swivel points.  The rumpled clothing hides the joints.  The figures also include pieces of the Sentinel Terror Dog that when all combined together from the five new cast members and the three original Ghostbusters figures make the complete Sentinel Terror Dog.

Included with the raven hair Podcast figure are a pair of ghost goggles, a remote control/communication device, a skull candle, two blobs of Protoplasm made from miniature Stay Puff Marshmallow figures and a single miniature Stay Puff figure.  All fit snuggly in a clear plastic form-fitting cocoon.

Sculpting-as with all the Plasma Series figures, is first-rate as is the coloring, articulation and especially the likeness tot the actual film character.

I am amazed a the facial features on the figures with the careful attention given to the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth.

The wrinkles and folds in the clothing look real, as does the texture, shoes, belts, armbands and undergarments.

All of the figures’ hands are preset to hold the accessories with no slippage or wobbles.

Trevor is the second new character figure.  He’s slightly taller than Podcast.  He has longer dark hair and a slimmer face.

Included with the figure is a rolled up map on parchment paper, a string of partly formed Stay Puff miniature figures and an incredibly detailed Proton Pack with complete details and wand that straps to the figure's back.

It is remarkable example of miniature sculpt work with lots of dials, wires, tubes and weird tech.  

As with the Podcast figure the sculpt, coloring, articulation and execution of the figure is superb.

I about fell out of my seat when I saw that the original Ghostbusters characters of Venkman, Zeddemore and Stanz made up the balance of the Plasma Series figure. All told, eight figures make up the set.

Zeddemore, Stanz and Venkman look just like their movie namesakes only older or course.

All wear their classic Ghostbusters uniforms with name badges, utility belts, black shoes and gloves and multi-pockets.

Each comes with Proton Packs just like Trevor’s only theirs come with an attachable Proton stream of translucent blue.

Zeddemore come with a classified newspaper section, Venkman has his infamous mind reading set of cards with symbols and Stanz the Necromancer book.

It’s great seeing the old team back together again.

All of the Plasma Series figures stand on their own, easily hold their various accessories and are exact likeness to their movie counterparts.

What a great set of toys! From the Ecto-1 to the ghost figures to the Ghostbusters figures the entire Ghostbusters Afterlife series of toys are sure to be a big hit with toy and Ghostbusters fans and collectors. 

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”