Friday, July 31, 2015

Stuff I got in the mail

Buying things in stores these days is overrated, let's check out what I got in the mail recently.

Amiibo!


Of course I can't not talk about my ever expanding Amiibo collection.

"I'll only get the ones I like," I said. "I'll only buy my mains." You get the idea. But it's not not my fault Nintendo made all my favorite characters impossible to find! And I have a lot of favorites. I can understand not making a lot of the less popular characters, especially in the first few waves. Nintendo didn't see the popularity of these things coming, but they really, really should have. 

It's the first time many Nintendo characters outside of the Mario Bros or Pokemon groups have merch of any kind, especially little high-detail figures that unlock content in games. Especially the Fire Emblem characters. Sure, they're from a franchise that isn't as well known over here as it is in its native Japan, but within the Smash Bros community they're quite popular. 

So of course Nintendo considers them "low stock" characters. Back in the first wave, this meant stores only received four of these. And since there are four characters represented (Marth, Ike, Lucina, Robin, and soon Roy), they're quite sought after. It doesn't help that they're the only kind of Amiibo compatible with Codename S.T.E.A.M. Which, you know, makes those special features inaccessible to anyone who doesn't have them.

What you see above is Robin, one of the aforementioned Fire Emblem characters and he's one of the rarest Amiibo of them all. As in, stores only stocked two or three of them only once, if stores received him at all. Sure, Nintendo World in NYC finally restocked him, but that's only one store in one part of a very large country.

He was also the last Amiibo I needed before any new ones come out in a few months. So I got desperate to complete my collection and decided to go to r/AmiiboSwap and trade one of my Ike's (I had two because I imported one while waiting on a Gamestop preorder that took months to get filled. Yeah). After paying a crazy shipping charge and a week of waiting he was finally in my hands.

Of course, with other hard to find Amiibo, I decided to import from Japan. Sure, they cost slightly more than if I tried buying them in stores, but it saved me a big headache while trying to find these things.


Like Purin, er, Jigglypuff. If you're asking "why didn't you just buy these online," I will give you a sarcastic laugh in return. Trying to buy them from American sites like Amazon or GameStop ranges from "good luck" to "we're not even bothering to carry these anymore since the site crashed every time new ones are released." That's in addition to the low stock numbers I mentioned above. Five waves later and Nintendo has yet to learn.


In order to beat the crowds, I imported Palutena (Amazon exclusive) and Dark/Black Pit (Best Buy exclusive). Turns out Amazon Palutena was pretty plentiful and I STILL bought one. I'm thinking of offering it on AmiiboSwap when other Amiibo come out. 

As for Dark Pit, I'm not going to wait at a Best Buy in the ass end of the morning before work to find out they sold out five minutes after the place opened.

And here's Japanese Lucina:


All in all, I feel accomplished, yet sad. I feel like this cat: 


Comics!


Back during Free Comic Book Day, I found the entire run of Bob's Burgers comics. You don't really need me to recommend them if you love the show, but you should totally pick them up. Alas, there were only five issues, of which my Local Comic Shop only had four (2-5). So began my quest: Where's number one?!

Turns out like any comic, Issue One is the sought after one. And after looking through eBay, I found that there's as many as a dozen different covers for it. I had soooo many chances at NYCC to get at least one, but no I had to forget about them! So against my better judgement to buy all of them, I only bought two:


Yes, that's Tina hugging a zombie horse because Tina is awesome.

Fun Packs!


I've been an avid reader of Dinosaur Dracula for years, and recently its creator Matt started selling monthly Fun Packs, boxes of fun nostalgic crap to keep his site going. (Find info here

This month's fun pack included a Changeable, one of the best Happy Meal toys McDonalds ever put out. These guys, especially the dinosaur series, were a definite favorite of my childhood. You can read more over here.

In my pack, I received the Chicken McNuggets Dinosaur. I was happy since I still eat dinosaur chicken nuggets because I'm an adult, dammit. But this was one of the few Changeables I actually had as a kid and I know for a fact that my old one is sitting in a box in the basement somewhere. But still, the legend of the Changeables continues for generations to come and I couldn't be happier.

Opus!


This not just a sweet plush of Opus the Penguin from Bloom County, it's a plush Opus that was once owned by Paul Dini! You might recognize that name from shows such as Batman: The Animated Series and, well, most of DC's animated output since the nineties.

So how did this get into my hands? A simple eBay garage sale and ten dollars later he was mine. Paul Dini, if you're reading this, he's in good hands.

Simpsons Gift Exchange!


A few months ago I participated in Reddit's secret Santa gift exchange. Outside of Christmas, there's a wide variety of gift exchange themes dive throughout the year, and when I saw that there was gonna be a Simpsons exchange I couldn't pass this up. What you see above is what I got.


A lunchbox


A few patches, like the blue ribbon in Knifey-Spoony, my personal favorite piece in the whole set.


And a few key chains.

As the rules go, I had to send a gift to someone else. Here's what I put: 


Two vintage Simpsons cars from the early nineties. I picked these up at NYCC last year and I finally found an excuse as to what to do with them: give them to someone else!

I love how old Simpsons merch was designed as well as how no shits were given to show accuracy, these two Hot Wheels toys are cheesy as hell. These were cars that never appeared in the show that had a little window you could peek through to see a special slide. This was interesting for all of five seconds, I hope they're happy in their new home.


Five packs of Simpsons minifigs! Series 2 had just come out and I decided what the hell and just send a bunch? From what I heard, my giftee got some good pulls like Comic Book Guy and Groundskeeper Willie.


I also threw in this handwritten letter. If you can't read it, it says: 



Dear meowymcmeowington,

Hi diddly ho, Match-arino! (great, he actually wrote “diddly.”) 

I’ll admit that it was quite difficult to find decals or vinyl figures or grizzly bear underwear, but I hope you’ll be satisfied by what I enclosed. I picked up the toy cars at New York Comic Con, where they got these really huge pretzels and gtjagfbgf FIVE DOLLARS?! Get outta here…

It might not be the Dallas Cowboys, but it’s a start. Please forgive the lateness of my reply.

And so let us part with a love that will echo through the ages,

-Steve aka Galileo908 aka Miguel Sanchez

PS: In answer to your question, yes we do have hamburgers and fries in England. But we call French fries “chips.”

And oh yes, I really hate yo-yo’s.


Plus this little note for good measure. From all reports, my giftee really enjoy what she got. I certainly loved mine.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Few More Items Crossed Off The Bucket List

Man this month was full of surprises. A few months back, I mentioned my "I'd Never Think I'd Ever Get To Do This" bucket list when I met the Soup Nazi. That was great and all, and this past month I got to cross a few more things off that list! I'd give you guys the full list, but since it's full of stuff I'd never think I'd get to do, its stuff that I never think to put on that list until it happens. 

But anyway...

I got to be a Power Ranger! (Kinda)


I'll admit that this had been on my regular Bucket List for most of my life, but at 28 years old I realized that I had let that dream fade away after I realized that I was now only 5 years older than the people who actually play the Power Rangers.

But imagine my shock that four of the original MMPR team was going to be at Eternal-Con this year. Well three and a half, Karan Ashley was the second Yellow Ranger, but it still counts. I'll go into detail with that con at a later date, but as you see above, I got to do the morphing pose with them! And I'm holding a vintage morpher in my hands, not that overpriced cool looking Legacy version. My face seems to simultaneously say "I look ridiculous in front of some childhood icons" and "best $140 I ever spent." This took all of two minutes, but this was a pretty damn good two minutes.

I was briefly Turd Ferguson!


This is all thanks to SNL: The Exhibit (site is here http://snltheexhibition.com), a thirty dollar museum dedicated to the forty years of Saturday Night Live's history. The exhibit details the process of creating a single show, from the pitch, to the writing, to the acting, to what happens behind the scenes when the show finally goes on. The only thing this place was missing was the part when someone like me goes online and says "What the hell are they thinking?! Worst episode ever!"

You can visit various sets, like Wayne's World 


The home base of the original cast 


And as you can guess from above, the Celebrity Jeopardy set.


Well, part of the set. The real set was in a different part of the exhibit.



In that section, you have a podium from the Black Jeopardy set, plus the tricked out podium used by Burt Reynolds, er, Turd Ferguson during the 40th Anniversary Show (since it recently happened, there's a lot of 40th Anniversary representation in here). And yes, you can take pictures with all of it. That picture made me the envy of everyone around the age of 25.

And that's not all, there's a whole exhibit on props from all your favorite fake commercials.


Colon Blow and Uncle Jemima's Madh Liqour!



Little Chocolate Donuts, with the Bass-O-Matic!



And my personal favorite, the Nerf Crotchbat! While it saddens me that these were all sitting in a prop closet for decades, I'm very happy that they were kept at all, and they're a part of a real museum where they belong. There's wear and tear on all these things, ensuring you that these are all the real deal. Although I'm not so sure about Little Chocolate Donuts, I'm pretty sure that the Box Tops logo wasn't around during the seventies.

Oh yeah, there's costumes too. From King Tut to Laser Cats to Mr. Robinson to Astronaut Jones, just about all your favorites got representation here.



Even Master Thespian's outfit is here! It sits on a rack with a Five Timer's Club robe, the Coffee Talk outfits, Brian Fellow's duds, and even...ugh, Garth and Kat. Yeah, there's a bit of Kristen Wiig's presence around here, but she's no more in the spotlight than anyone else. 

The exhibit ends with a wall of pictures of every single cast member. The original cast is on top while the current folks line the bottom.



See if you can spot Gilbert Gottfried! Don't worry, I already did that for you: 



Top left corner, third from the left.

If you're in the NYC area within the next few months I highly recommend checking it out!

I saw the Pez Dispenser from Seinfeld!



Holy crap, I never thought I'd see the day when I could see THE Tweety Bird Pez dispenser from that Seinfeld episode "The Pez Dispenser" up close!

Well, it wasn't the ONLY Seinfeld relic that was on display in Manhattan last week. Hulu set up an entire recreation of Jerry Seinfeld's apartment.







Holy crap!! It's like I'm on the tv! I got to sit on the couch! Pretend to toss George's toupee out the window! I even got to snoop in Jerry's fridge!



Empty. Kramer must've gotten to it first.

It's been a while since I watched Seinfeld on a regular basis and I don't know if this is the exact set, but I assure you that this was 99.99% close enough to the real thing. There's Junior Mints strewn everywhere and the computer in the corner was a PC...until super fans complained and they brought in an old fashioned Mac, just like 90's Yuppie Jerry intended.



And if you ever wondered what was on Jerry's bookcase, let me show you:





Sim City! Sadly it's not the real box, but none of us could tell anyway so screw you. I'm glad they stuck real movies in there because if they stuck VHS copies of some of their fake movies like Chunnel on there they would be missing one fake VHS box.

And here's Jerry's CD collection:



Nice detail with Big Willie Style. It's the one where Jerry got jiggy with it!

And among other Seinfeld relics, they had Fusilli Jerry!


Again, not sure if this was the real thing. This was just sitting there while other Seinfeld props were sitting behind a velvet rope or behind glass. Like so:



God I love that. If you were able to catch this last weekend, you were one of the many lucky ones. And if you didn't, well, you got me to see it for you! Hell, I didn't even know this was going on until the day before I went to see it!

So all in all, I had a pretty good June. Let's hope July doesn't suck.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stuff I Should Have Bought At That Flea Market Yesterday

It's summer once again and that means flea market season is upon us yet again. My friends over at Dinosaur Dracula and The Sexy Armpit had their own flea market adventures recently so I figured it was time to join in on the fun.

I've written about past adventures at the Bellmore Train Station Flea Market here and here and yesterday's trip did not disappoint on the goods. Good weather on Memorial Day weekend always guarantee good vendors coming out and there was plenty of great stuff. Sadly, I've been running out of room to put random junk so stuff really had to tickle my fancy enough to justify buying it. Sadly, not much did but I took plenty of pictures to give me enough buyer's remorse to write about it. Well, not buyer's remorse. What's the kind of remorse you have for not buying something? I have that kind.


When people ask me if I had Prince Albert in a can I'd actually have an answer, but I couldn't justify any kind of price tag on a joke older than my parents.


Hey, a genuine chemistry set that is sure to put some smiles on your kids, and this picture on a few government lists. Can't believe Sears used to sell My Little Bioterrorist sets back in the day. Kids today can't be trusted, I guess. Did I say kids? I meant meth addicts.


Ooh, Second Edition. I'm not that big of a nerd, I have enough giant spiral notebooks full of stuff I'll never read again, thanks.


You want old Disney stuff? Well, there were plenty of tables selling plenty of odd things with Mickey's face on it, with a candy box from...I wanna say China? amongst those tops and that box with Sleeping Beauty on it.


From that same table, a few books, a bank, that sweet Disneyland tin box (looks Mexican), and a Sword in The Stone trash bin. It could have been one of those big popcorn tins but who didn't use those for a makeshift wastebasket?


Old Disney stuff sometimes crosses that blurry line between really crude crafting or equally crappy bootlegs. I see a copyright on the top of the box, it must have been made during that time when toy manufacturers weren't paid enough to give a shit about keeping to character design. Seriously, Minnie's dead eyes are gonna haunt me for a while.


These kids really have that "I wish we were playing with an Easy Bake Oven" look on their faces.


Or maybe they were pining for these awesome electronic football games sitting a few feet away. The games around here all seem to suck but man I miss how awesome box art used to be. They used to set us up for disappointment.


And this neat Disney China set used really old Mickey and Minnie designs and didn't really want to know the price tag. Since there's a lot of Chinese packages on this table, I'm calling bootlegs.

By the way, if you can't read it, the Great Flying Boat at the top of the picture says "Go action with da da sound." That's just enough broken English to be charming and I wish I didn't notice that until just now.


This looked old and legit. And most likely expensive. Seriously, it was under glass, I'm sure artwork that good would have set me back a few bucks.


This, however, was just laying out in the open on a stack of cels from things even I couldn't identify. While having a cel from some forgotten Sugar Bear commercial would be pretty neat to have, I kept getting reminded of what Comic Book Guy told Bart about the value of a cel of Scratchy's arm: 

"This is a drawing of nothing, drawn by nobody. It is worth nothing."



A Pink Panther cel WITH the original artwork?! And you're telling me this is one of THREE on sale?! And that they were going for $20 each? Man I wish I was a big enough Pink Panther fan to buy that. If it was Looney Tunes or Simpsons artwork, then you'd have my full attention.


The vintage video game sellers were out in full force today, too with just about every platform under the sun. If you were looking for Blast Corps for the N64 or Rainbow Six for PS1, that's was your lucky day. That mostly MIB NES you are above was probably the best find that day. The gray zapper alone makes it valuable.


The seller had a lot of games in rental boxes, too. Sure they're not the original box but those big plastic boxes are pretty neat in and of themselves. At least they had the artwork on them.


Oh snap, Rad Racer! Yeah, I'm hoping that this'll be the only page on the internet where that sentence has been typed.


Now we're really getting into the "stuff I really wish I went home with" part of the entry. A big, red metal S has a dozen uses, many of those uses involve being mounted on my bedroom wall. My big problem would've been lugging it home and explaining to my folks why I would've spent money on this.

When I was taking the picture, the last guy looking at this said "I would be like Flavor Flav and wear it around my neck" as he walked away. Now I REALLY regret leaving that behind.


Since I'm in New York, memorabilia from the 1964 World's Fair is a common sight at flea markets (there were certainly two or three booths selling stuff from it), so anything from any of the other World's Fairs is a rare sight, even a glass from the Knoxville fair from 1982. I figured I had enough glasses I don't drink out of, and I don't really trust myself around fragile things (I dropped a glass I bought in Vegas for a friend not two minutes after buying it, but that's a story for another time) so I took the picture and left it behind.

Of course the Simpsons fan in me loves it for the association with "Bart on The Road," where Bart and his friends take a road trip to the Knoxville World's fair, only to find the site in ruins and the iconic Sunsphere filled with wigs. 

And of course a fellow fan out there already ran the picture through photoshop:


Beautiful. I have a friend who lives in Knoxville who hates it whenever I bring up this episode and even she told me she wanted this glass. And now I'm thinking about scouring eBay for it, and they happen to be plentiful.


And now for the one thing I did buy, this Simpsons thing from 1990! From what I was told, this was a promo card that stores would stick up to advertise it, I guess. I've said it before but I just love the crudeness of early Simpsons merch, it's only here and in bootlegs where Bart wears blue shirts. This was only a dollar and since the guy had like twenty of these I just couldn't pass it up! That guy also told me that these things had been going for $10-20, but I wouldn't pay more than a dollar for this anyway.

I also bought this: 


I've been loving Hot Wheel's "let's make tiny versions of classic pop culture cars" series, and finding the BTTF DeLorean is a hell of a score, even if it was in a pile with about eight of the same one. It joins the Flintstones Car, the Jetsons Car, the A-Team Van and The Homer in my collection. I just need to track down the Mystery Machine and I'm good to go.

And with all the stuff I did get pictures of, there was plenty of good stuff I didn't get, like stacks of Jet magazine, license plates from 49 states (Hawaii was nowhere to be found), and genuine Nazi memorabilia. I don't believe in the cause, I don't like them, but man that stuff looked awesome. Please don't take that last sentence out of context. I feel like I'm on enough lists as it is with that picture of the chemistry set.

(EDIT: The pictures in this post were originally posted with the "Instant" filter left on; the colors have been corrected and now look much nicer. Compare the two World's Fair glass pictures, the old pictures were too bright.)

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