Friday, February 27, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Ninja Warrior (Ninjor) from Mattel

I was really stoked about Ninjor.

Okay, first – this is Ninjor. He’s called “Ninja Warrior” due to some of the legal copyright nonsense that sometimes causes such things to happen. The same thing happened with Flipshot (called Icarius in the MOTUC line) and Double Trouble (called Double Mischief). “Ninja Warrior” is just a couple of words on a box, so I’ll be referring to this guy as “Ninjor” for this review.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Movie Review – Planet of the Vampires by Jerry Chandler

On a World Strangely Devoid of Vampires, We Found the Planet of the Vampires

A word of warning here- There be spoilers ahead. I’ll clearly mark when the spoilers start and stop, so you can skip them if you so choose.

A group of space explorers move carefully across the surface of an unexplored world. It’s a foreboding place, seemingly eternally shrouded in darkness and shadows, with thick fog banks rolling across a surface covered in jagged mountain peaks.

They come upon an alien spaceship, broken, rusted, and showing signs of having long ago crashed there. The ship is unusual. Not just in the typical way of being alien in design, but in scale. The entry hatches, the hallways, the locations of the various control panels all indicate a race substantially taller in physical stature than man.

They make their way into the ship, carefully navigating the dark corridors towards its long dormant heart. Once there they find, still seated at a set of controls, one of the long dead crew. The body is enormous, easily more than twice the size and bulk of a human. Its cause of death will ultimately be revealed in the film to be from an alien species that uses the bodies of other creatures as host forms so as to continue to spread itself across the galaxy.

What, you’re thinking 1979’s Alien? Well, while that certainly describes a lot of the first half of that film, I’m not talking about Alien. Lots of people discuss the fact that some of Alien’s roots trace back to It! The Terror from Beyond, and at least a good chunk of trivia buffs also cite A.E. van Vogt’s The Black Destroyer. But there was another film that influenced Alien, the entire sequence I described above being from that film, and that was Mario Bava’s 1965 sci-fi horror Planet of the Vampires.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Comic Book Wednesday – Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: The Little Mermaid #1 from Zenescope

As our loyal readers know I have recently become an official reviewer for Zenescope Comics. This means that I receive PDF copies of everything that they release. Obviously I can’t personally review everything that they release, but as long as I hit a certain number each quarter they’re cool with it.

In this Comic Book Wednesday I’m taking a look at The Little Mermaid #1. It’s available today at your Local Comic Book Shop, so ask for it now!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Guest Toy Review: Movie Maniacs series 3 Blair Monster (The Thing) By Black Arbor

Greetings, fellow Phantomaniacs! Long time lurker, first time (but hopefully not the last time) guest reviewer! Today we’re going to be doing something a little different: See, me and Phantom share a common bond over our love of John Carpenter’s cinematic masterpiece, “The Thing”, so today I figured we’d embark on a trip back to the early 2000’s, and take a look at a slightly older figure, the “Blair Monster” from series 3 of McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs. Everybody ready? Then let’s hop to it!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Toy Review – The Simpsons: 25 of the Greatest Guest Stars – Weird Al from NECA

I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to own an action figure of one of my heroes, Weird Al Yankovic.

Okay, well – a figurine.

But I am excited nonetheless! Because this is one of my favorite musicians of all time and definitely one of the fathers of my own dorkiness!

Even if it is a Simpsons figure and I haven’t really dug The Simpsons in around a decade.

But this is Weird Al! I had to have it!

Friday, February 20, 2015

New York International Toy Fair 2015 – Phantom’s Thoughts

Note: Pictures will be somewhat limited in this post. Most of the reference pictures from the weekend came from individuals taking pictures at Toy Fair and I don’t want to steal their work. Where I do have pictures they will be from official press releases that the manufacturers put out. Since they haven’t all done this, there are several items that I don’t have pictures of at all.

I highly recommend you follow ActionFigureAttack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. I found that Action Figure Insider had some of the best in-person shots.

Welcome to my initial reactions to what happened at the New York International Toy Fair over this past weekend! I wasn’t there, obviously, because nobody’s going to pay for me to go to New York, but I followed along thanks to the magic of the internet.

Thanks, Al Gore!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 46 - Batman ‘66

Phantom Troublemaker and the ESO Network’s “Howdy” Mike Gordon convene to discuss a common favorite topic – the live-action Batman television show, now commonly colloquialized as Batman ’66.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Chat with Bill Mulligan, the Writer Behind the Surprise Convention and Festival Hit 400 Ways to Kill a Vampire - by Jerry Chandler

Indie filmmaker Bill Mulligan isn’t really anti-vampire, but before starting on his short film script for 400 Ways to Kill a Vampire he certainly wasn’t their greatest public advocate either. When hosting convention panels up and down the East Coast convention scene or participating on blogs where the topic of the vampire came up, he was known for describing their biggest problem as being that they were the “big whiny pussies” of the monster kingdom. He would also occasionally make fun of the vampire’s susceptibility to a seemingly endless array of ways to die, from the forcible intrusion into their chest of a well placed stake to the accidental tripping and falling into the wrong kind of bush. Being a vampire fan myself, though admittedly not of many of the pop culture vampire stories of the last 15 years that have seemingly worked so very hard at living down to his criticisms, I was a little skeptical when I’d originally heard that he was working on a short film about the killing of vampires. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Toy Review – SDCC Exclusive Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile from Mattel

I’ve been going through my picture files and trying to play catch up with some toys that I’ve had for months but haven’t reviewed yet.
Factors affecting the timing of these reviews include other time-sensitive posts coming up, newer toys that might be more exciting or relevant, or just the subject toy being something a little bigger and more complex so I know the review is going to be more of an effort than usual.
While I was – and am still – totally stoked about today’s toy, it was one of those that qualified as a bigger subject and I wanted to wait until I played the related video game before I reviewed it so that I could relate the toy to the Batmobile in the game. But now the game isn’t coming out until June (if then) and I want to clear out this mass of months-old toy pictures.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Toy Review – WWE Elite Collection Series 32 Rey Mysterio from Mattel

This was supposed to be my Toy Fair recap, but I realized this morning that Toy Fair has two more days. So that doesn't work. Enjoy today's review of a Rey Misterio, Jr. figure! 
Tomorrow I'll be reviewing Mattel's SDCC Exclusive Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile, Wednesday we've got a new contributor with an interview, Thursday I'll put up the Toy Fair post, and Friday will be an all-new episode of the podcast with me and Mike Gordon talking about Batman '66!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine’s Day Special – WWE Valentines

My wife got me a box of WWE Valentines from Dollar Tree. If that’s not the best way that anybody has ever told me, “I love you”, then I don’t know what is.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Needless Things Podcast 45 – Christopher DePetrillo of Figures Toy Company

On today’s episode, Phantom Troublemaker talks to Christopher DePetrillo, the Chief Marketing Officer of Figures Toy Company!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Don't Be Nice: Lessons of The Walking Dead

If there's one thing the latest episode of The Walking Dead has taught me it's that you won't last very long in the zombie apocalypse if you're a good person trying to do the right thing. It also taught me that the zombie virus taking over your body makes you trip balls and have conversations with dead people (the Buffy fans will get that), but that's just a side note.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Earth Station Who Episode 94: Love & Monsters

It’s somewhat telling that Underground Toys released an action figure of the Hoix monster from the beginning of Love & Monsters but not the main alien, the Abzorbaloff. 
The Abzorbaloff was designed by nine-year-old William Grantham by way of a Blue Peter contest. I’m sure Mr. Grantham – now seventeen if my math is right – is well into regretting this particular victory. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

Toy Review – ReAction Creature From the Black Lagoon from Funko

I sure did take my sweet-ass time getting around to reviewing this guy, huh?

I swore that I wasn’t going to start collecting Funko’s ReAction figures. I didn’t need to start another scale and style. I didn’t want to pay ten bucks for minimally articulated, 3.75” scale action figures. I didn’t want the sheer hassle of trying to hunt down a new line that may or may not receive solid distribution to regular brick and mortar retailers. Because then you’d have to add shipping on top of the already exorbitant ten dollar price tag.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Björk and Stuff

I want to write about music today. I’m not sure where I’m going with this one, but I know where I’m starting – with Björk.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews February 2015: How DC Convinced Me to Buy More Comics

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Product Review – December 2014 Loot Crate

Preface: Sorry this is so late. Honestly, after I opened this thing up I forgot all about it. Then I saw something about Loot Crate on Facebook and I was like, “Wait – I got one of those…” and had to go look for it. There’s really no point in reviewing it because it’s not like you could get one even if I had posted this the day it came. But I guess this can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from the service if you’re thinking about subscribing.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Toy Review – Reel Toys Aliens Bishop from NECA

Lance Henriksen has been in so many different genre things over the years – Aliens, The Terminator, Near Dark, Pumpkinhead, and so many more – and despite the fact that he’s pretty much always Lance Henriksen, he’s great.