Saturday, June 30, 2018

Still a Toys R Us Kid

We've all seen the news: Toys R Us officially closed for business (at least in the states) yesterday, June 29th, 2018.


I think we've all seen the famous picture by now and whoever took this picture lacks a soul. I'm sure they had good intentions, and I know that TRU is planning a comeback, but they knew this was gonna go viral.


This is the one I went to on Thursday, in Carle Place. My attitude since then was like Milhouse right here:


So what was left in that giant store with one day left in business?


Not much, I'm afraid. Literal crap in baskets. This is the only picture I took inside because the rest of the store looked this empty, and also it was too depressing. If anyone wanted the Duck Dynasty game for PS4, the store still had half a dozen copies in what was left of the video game section.

I did, however, not leave the store empty handed.


I don't even know if I actually have this amiibo (not likely), but I liberated it from the store for two bucks and change.


Someone asked me if I walked away with this poster, but I'm sure that some employee already had dibs on it. I'd like this to go to someone who actually worked for the company. If this store had handbaskets with the logo on them, they were long gone, not to mention I wasn't able to haul one of the shopping carts home with me.

My childhood store was this one, in Massapequa.


So many memories in that store. I know I bought my SNES there, among many, many other toys.


The last toy I bought there was this Funko Pop of Sprocket from Fraggle Rock, knowing (correctly) that I wouldn't get a chance to get one once the actual clearance sales started. It sucks knowing that TRU is one less trusted Funko retailer, and that its exclusives (usually the Teen Titans Go line) have either become commons or went off to other companies. Also, yeah, it's stacked with a few of the rarer Pops that I have, be jealous.

But enough of the depressing present. Let's look back at some fond memories, shall we?


Remember Geoffrey Money? Yes kids, before gift cards were the norm, Toys R Us gift certificates came in the form of actual dollar bills. To teach kids how actual money worked, we were given this fake money that was only good at one store to spend at our leisure. Every birthday and Christmas I looked forward to getting cards stuffed with these, and I swore off any relatives that decided to get me something else instead (that weren't already toys or the like, of course). I was seriously bummed when this got phased out, but I know it was for the best. If you lost even one of the bills, there was no getting it back. I wish I saved at least one of them for posterity, though. I can always assume a trip to eBay would indulge me, but I'm afraid to look what the asking price is for one these days.


On that note, Kids R Us used to be a thing, too. I don't have much nostalgia or a lot of fond childhood memories for this place. For those not in the know, this was Toys R Us' foray into kids clothing stores, and were usually situated near other Toys R Us, much like how Babies R Us stores were usually nearby to the mothership.


Because if there's nothing kids love more than toys, it's being forced to shop for clothes with mom! It could really explain why most of them closed down in the late nineties, with the last of them shuttering in 2004. Before empty storefronts were as depressingly common as they are now, my association with dead stores were Kids R Uses that closed twenty years ago and still remain empty to this day. Well, it's not true. Out of the The two I knew of, one stayed vacant for years before Circuit City took it over, and when THAT closed, it stayed empty again until an Aldis moved in about three years back; the other was under a Bally's Fitness and when it closed in the late 90s, stayed empty until the gym finally took it over about a year or two ago. Both were host to Spirit Halloween stores on and off for a few years, but seeing nothing in that space for most of your life really stays with you.

Before Geoffrey became that cartoony giraffe, he used to look like this:


He's got my vote. Geoffrey actually had a number of looks over the years.


The 1988-1999 versions are what I remember the most. I was not a fan of that freaky live-action giraffe. All I remember from that era is this one commercial:


And Geoffrey used to have a family!


In case you're wondering, the wife is Gigi, the son is Geoffrey Jr., and the daughter is Baby Gee. They got phased out over the nineties, but most old stores still had them plastered everywhere well into the last decade. Newer versions of Geoffrey made him a swinging bachelor, the fools.


And who could forget how you bought video games back in the day? You took a slip for whatever you wanted, then brought it over to the window in the corner of the store and then the guy went through that dungeon and brought out your copy of Donkey Kong Country. I was both scared and really intrigued by that little window.  It's a shame that the video game section became open air by the time I could drive myself to these places. You could actually SEE all those games behind the glass case, but it wasn't the same.


And I REALLY miss when aisles looked like this. The 80s/early 90s was a magical time, long before three toy companies owned everything and kids actually BOUGHT toys. It's so stuffed with toys, I love it! It's a shame I can't find any pictures of the old school Transformers section, but it looked exactly like this.

Farewell, Toys R Us. We'll always have the commercials.


The reason why I refused to grow up was I always wanted to remain a Toys R Us kid. I may be growing older, but I'll always be a Toys R Us kid...

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Absolute Units

Starting earlier this year, you might've seen folks describe big ol' things as "an absolute unit." I myself, can't get enough of the term.


The meme technically starts here, back in December, and this guy definitely earned that term. The English definitely have a better way with words than we do, eh?


But THIS is when I believe the term officially entered the lexicon. It's also my favorite variant of these. There's fluffy, and then there's...this. It's like if a cloud could kick your ass.

And of course they dug up the source like any good museum would:


"Black Welsh Mountain" certainly has a ring to it.


And this really represents the four elements: Air (Ram), Fire (Tiger), Earth (Raccoon), and Water (Seal). I don't know what it is about really fat or really buff animals, but I'm just really delighted by this.


Or just really tiny. Or any Bearded Dragon, really.


They introduced Alolan Form Exeggutor to Pokemon Go the other day and this is seriously what it looks like when you encounter one. Its Pokedex entry doesn't even show its head!


And speaking of Pokemon Go, I managed to catch this absolute unit during this month's community day. I managed to catch eight(!) shiny Charmander, but this was the only one good enough to evolve. June's community day is gonna be Larvitar (yay), but it'll be on the day I'll be at a convention (boo).


You might've seen this picture of a really buff cat making the rounds the past few days, and I seriously can't take my eyes off of it. Fat cats are common, but one like this makes we want to know its backstory. It reminds me more of a clip art picture of a bulldog.


You joke, but this clip art was my high school's mascot. I'm not kidding, this is the official one.


And finally we end on this nonsense. I caught this just earlier tonight while watching the National Spelling Bee finals. We finally managed to find a single word for "absolute unit" and it's of course German in origin. I couldn't for the life of you tell you what this word actually means (it's a medical term of some kind), I just had to rush to take a picture of this and share it all over the internet.

When the spelling bee is down to the last two spellers, it delves into the obscure pages of the dictionary and starts the "okay, you clearly made that one up" round. The past few years have had finals go on forever, and from 2014-16 there were ties. Scripps wanted to go to bed early this time and pretty much ended the competition right here. This was the VERY FIRST WORD in the round, and Naysa of course messed it up, allowing the winning word to be this:


From the pronunciation, I wouldn't have guessed that spelling in a million years (I assumed a Q was in there somewhere), but if you asked anyone watching, he was pretty much given the equivalent of "apple." PRONOUNCER SAYS WORD doesn't help at all, either.

You got hosed in favor of a kid on his last year of being eligible, Naysa. I hope you continue to kick much absolute unit ass later on.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Marvel and the Fancy Glove Man Magic Beans Movie

So how about that Infinity War, eh?


Unlike the rest of the internet, I'm gonna leave this space with as few spoilers as possible, but that picture pretty much sums up everything.


Speaking of spoilers, with a movie as hyped as this one, I didn't take any chances and muted as many trigger phrases as possible on Twitter. You can thank Lindsey Ellis for "Fancy Glove Man Magic Beans Movie." It was hard enough trying to avoid anything about it until Saturday afternoon, and now spoilers are EVERYWHERE. Seriously, any post on the internet not even related to Avengers will have someone detailing every single plot point as the first comment. People are asses, folks. I got spoiled for the past few Star Wars movies mere hours before seeing Force Awakens and Last Jedi, and I'm actually proud of myself for being able to go in to this one as blind as possible.

It was good, but ultimately left me incredibly wrecked. You know there's an Avengers 4 and several other sequels coming and that cushioned the blow, but an manipulative emotional ending was still an emotional ending. Seriously, I was a wreck for the rest of the day, I don't know when a movie did that to me. Maybe Logan?

I also can't believe that this movie made me sympathize with Thanos. He is crazy nuts, wants to genocide half the universe, and has a warped view of love, but damn it, I didn't want to root or him, but I did.

And you know what? I thought it was freaking cool seeing so many characters on screen at the same time, and in some all-out brawls to boot. We're all sick of the "most ambitious crossover" meme, but man, did this movie deliver. I did want to see more of the Guardians of The Galaxy with the other characters (maybe next movie), and Black Panther needs to be formally introduced to Thor, he's like the only A-Lister Thor didn't meet yet. Well, I guess when they filmed the movie, Black Panther didn't make like eleventy billion dollars at the box office yet, but I know Marvel's got more screentime for T'Challa coming our way now.

And speaking of screentime, this sums up my feelings for another character:


You just know Hawkeye is the one that's gonna save the universe in Avengers 4, I'm putting my money down on it right now.

With that out of the way, there's my usual monthly update on the cool stuff I did.

And I did do cool stuff, like I went to the flea market again last week and saw some things.


Like this chair! It doesn't look like much, but these weird, round chairs are everywhere in motels up in Lake George and these yellow ones were used at the motel my family stayed at every summer, the Dutchess Motel (RIP). I honestly can't believe I found two of these things right at the local flea market! Well, if they weren't $100 apiece and if I was able to fit it in my car, I would've taken one home. It's not every day you find a literal piece of your childhood just sitting around with a price tag, but it happened that day. The guy told me these were Italian in origin and normally run for $200 for some reason. They're a bit heavy, but I'm calling bullshit either way.

I also went to Big Apple Con in Manhattan and found some cool, weird comics!


This infamous Flash cover was only $35, but it was in terrible shape, so I put it back.


THIS famous Superman comic was only ten bucks, and picked this up! The story inside is fairly straightforward, where Superman reveals his identity of Clark Kent to a dying boy, and he's upset that Superman even has a secret identity, so Superman shows him that, yes, he's somehow two different people to make him feel better.


Speaking of ambitious crossovers, DC once had not one,


But TWO Jimmy Olsen comics with Don Rickles in them. If you notice, these issues are issues 139 and 141, and might be wondering where #140 is. I thought the same thing, but after some research I found that issue 140 was a giant-sized issue filled with one-shot stories, so these two comics are all there is. I haven't read them yet, but they're probably disappointing. The Silver Age was weird.


And THIS was my favorite find of the day. For the past few years I'd been looking for an issue of Archie Meets The Punisher, one of the most famous comic crossovers of all time. In recent years, whoever's been running Archie comics have been getting lax to what can happen to the Riverdale gang, like killing off Archie, making them star in an edgy murder mystery on the CW, and crossing over with the Ramones, Sharknado, Predator, and Batman '66 (coming soon!). This comic predates all of that, and is considered to be better than you expect it to be. Sure, I could've bought a copy on eBay, but that takes all the fun out of The Hunt. I just found it in a longbox with random comics, and bought it the second I found it. And then I found two other copies, both cheaper than this one. Such is life.

One personal holy grail down, many to go. Now I'm looking for that Spider-Man team-up with the Not Ready For Prime-Time Players, the one where the Avengers team up with David Letterman,


And the comic with all the Colonel Sanders teaming up Green Lantern style.


I think I've made it obvious that I'm a fan of weird crossovers. One of my favorite comics is the issue of Ren & Stimpy comics where Powdered Toast Man fought Spider-Man for crying out loud.


As for anything else...I'm just not that up for it today. Oh, I had this whole, grand plan to make an even longer, more detailed post with more of the stuff I saw and what a weird week this past week was. But today kinda sucked as a profound disappointment, on top of a week that was mostly a downer. You guys understand, right? Okay. Thanks. I'll be back really soon, I promise.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

31

So I turned 31 last week. It's not a special birthday, although that does make me as old as Hans Moleman.


I only asked for one gift this year: Kirby Star Allies for the Switch.


Sure, it's a pretty short Kirby game by console standards (only 4 worlds!), but it's super fun.


The gimmick with this game is that through Friend Hearts, you can befriend up to three helpers, of just about every ability in the game. The old standards like Sword, Ice, and Parasol are back, but also some older, obscure ones like Yo-yo and Cleaning make a return, too. New abilities like Spider, Artist, and Baton are also here. Since this game is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Kirby, abilities can be combined, too.



Like, you can add fire or electricity to Sword to make it a lot cooler and stronger. Not all abilities can be combined, though (boo), but some abilities have other special techniques. Spider makes a giant web to bounce on, Parasol gets bigger, and Artist summons a fridge that gives out food.



There's also guest characters to befriend, too, and they're the most broken characters in the game. Yes, that's Marx from Kirby Super Star among them, and he's playable!


Obviously, as a final boss, he has the best powers in the entire game. Man was not meant to play as him, but I'm happy. Hell, he could be in the next Smash Bros. game with the moveset they give him here. Seeing as there's a Switch game coming soon, it might be more possible than we think.

I also managed to snag this as a birthday gift to myself:


This cel from Beavis & Butt-Head! Yes, this was an impulse buy on eBay, but I managed to snag it for 40 bucks, which is a steal considering how popular this show is. Most cels from this show have a going rate just starting at $80, so I was lucky to snag such a clean picture.

If you're looking for cels, they're very common on eBay, and they range in price to incredible cheap to super freaking expensive. The show or movie itself tends to set how valuable it is, as are how many characters are in it, how complete the characters are, and if the episode it's from is recognizable. I honestly have no idea which episode this cel hails from, but it's a complete picture of Beavis & Butt-Head themselves, and that's good enough for me knowing I can now say that I own a physical piece of them. It joins cels that I have from Ren & Stimpy and Rocko's Modern Life. My dream is a cel from the Simpsons, and anything good is pretty hard to come by these days. Sure, there's lots of production art floating around, but I want a cel like this one! I know I'll find one eventually.

So, that was my birthday. I hope you have a happy Easter and April Fool's Day! It's the first time they fall on the same day in 62 years!

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ten Years Old!

This past month has had its ups and downs, but I always manage to make time to write an entry for this blog, once a month on the last day, at the dead of night. Like clockwork.

February is when I celebrate the blog's birthday, and I was combing through the archives earlier, and I realized something: Yesterday, February 27th, was Beaming For Bunnies' TENTH BIRTHDAY!


This is simply an unreal milestone. A lot's happened in ten years. People were born, people died, Idiot Presidents were replaced by better presidents, then replaced by a bigger idiot, you know the deal.

It's been so long, that blogging isn't much of a viable platform of online expression anymore. Hell, Blogger itself is pretty much obsolete, the mobile app (which I used to update this site for a long time) stopped working about a year ago. And I only started here because it was free, it was easy to use, and more legitimate than Myspace blogging. Thankfully, that old blog is lost to time.

The rise of social media, especially Twitter and Instagram, changed how we communicated our nerdy interests to the rest of the cosmos. No longer do we see anything composed, thought out, or properly formatted. Just pictures and strings of 140 (and now 280) characters are enough to get the point across. Hell, it's certainly killed my patience for writing, and it's a damn shame. The immediacy and (former) brevity of Twitter was a game-changer for all of us. What took me hours to write down my thoughts, I could now do in minutes. And with smart phones showing up, I was no longer tethered to a PC, and could blog from my pocket.

It really doesn't help that formatting this thing changed several times over the years, making posts look uneven and weird. Seeing all my embedded videos being blank and robbed of context also makes me sad as hell, but that's time for you. And remember blogrolls? Ah, good times. I finally updated it after a few years.

These days, "blogging" is usually reserved for scorn, from film critics, to political mudslinging, and, more positively, to my dear friends at Dinosaur Dracula, who not only inspired me to start writing in the first place and continues to inspire me to this day, but it still going at it for at least the last 15 years.

Here's the link to the very first entry! It was so tiny!

Here's some of my favorite entries of the past ten years:

The Letters series!

The Soundtracks For Summer series!

The Greatest B-Stories From The Simpsons

The Dennis series! Especially A Very Dennis Thanksgiving Special! and A Very Dennis Christmas Special! Man, I had like 5 arcs planned out for the Dennis adventures, and only got two entries into arc two and never went back to it. I think that I couldn't break the story for Arc 2, and that might be why I stopped updating. And back then, actually taking all the pictures and uploading them was a much bigger pain in the ass than it is now.

Arc 1 was a Christmas adventure starring Dennis and some Transformers (complete!). It was inspired by X-E/Dino Drac's old Plymobil Advent Calendar adventures of old.

Arc 2 was going to be about a new group of Decepticons taking over and a new MacGuffin hunt.

Arc 3 was about time travel and fighting Daleks. I bought a lot of Dalek toys for this, and they've been collecting dust. LEGO James Lipton was our stand-in for The Doctor.

Arc 4 I honestly forgot was gonna be about. Maybe fighting Thanos and other Big Boss villain toys I had? I foresaw a Legion of Doom. Since the last entry was from 2012 and Nekron from DC's Blackest Night being told to buzz off, I'm more than sure he was gonna show up here and be the big bad.

Arc 5 was the final arc, the Macguffins from arcs 1 and 2 leading to the final boss, Unicron.

Minor Monsters Tribute

The Better Know A Christmas series

13 Underrated Simpsons Episodes

The Best Cosplay I Ever Saw

Jim Nabors is Way Cool

June in July

Be A Good Neighbor

Anything Can Happen At Comic-Con

My Flea Market entries!

The License Plate Game

Let's Get Spoopy

Food Bucket List

And finally Blog-A-Day, where I wrote an entry every day for two straight months.

Youtube links are likely to be dead, you have been warned.

Before I say anything else, lemme tell you stuff about my own February:


I finally got to try Taco Bell's Nacho Fries! Well, to be honest, they're okay at best. They don't really taste like anything, and Taco Bell tries to make up for it by covering it in Dorito dust and giving you nacho cheese to dip it in. I've had better fries...but I've also had much worse. I'll be honest that I've never been a fan of fries with gimmicks. I don't want to season them, I don't want gravy, I don't want aioli or whatever the hell that is, don't waffle them, no truffle oil, and especially no sweet potatoes. Just give me potatoes cut into sticks and some ketchup, sometimes ranch or Russian dressing, and that's it. And be good!

You know what? Here's my favorite kinds of fries:

Shoestring


Steak


The fries from 5 Guys


McDonald's (yeah, they're really good)


Bottomless (the only reason to go to Johnny Rockets or Red Robin)


Speaking of disappointment, I missed out on seeing the Weinermobile the other day.


I was at work last Friday, doing my thing, and one of my friends on Instagram mentioned that the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile just happened to be parked at a nearby Wal-Mart. Like...pretty much across the street from my job nearby. And I only found out about it around 7pm, well after it left for the day.

Is it weird that I got profoundly sad about that? It's just a giant car shaped like a hot dog, but seeing it in person has been on my bucket list for a good part of my life.

I also forgot that Szechuan sauce came back.


A year ago, Rick and Morty reminded us all that McDonalds had Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce back in 1998 to promote Mulan and that it was supposedly the best sauce ever created. Unlike something like the Arch Deluxe, this was a McDs promotion that flew under my radar for whatever reason. But since that episode aired, I, like everyone else on the internet, wanted to try it for themselves.

It came back briefly last October, but since I was at NYCC when it came back and knew every McDonalds in the city was gonna be crazy for the demand for how few packets there were (spoiler: it was), I decided it wasn't worth the hassle. But a while ago, McDonald's announced that the sauce was officially making a (limited) comeback on Monday, February 26th.

Well, Monday came and I was even at a McDonald's for lunch...and I just plain forgot about it. I saw so many people with the sauce, and I just forgot about it! It's Wednesday now and it's a miracle if there's any left. I've made my peace with it, I don't even really like teriyaki sauce anyway, and my curiosity would just lead to even more disappointment. It's like Rick loving an obscure terrible flavor of something was a joke in and of itself.

Before I bum myself out again, here's something cool:


Last Saturday was Community Day in Pokemon Go, and the special Pokemon they were giving away was Dratini. And, oh my god, they were EVERYWHERE. Three straight hours of catching as many as I could, and I even encountered a few shinies!


Four of them, to be exact. And I managed to evolve three of those, and two others, too.


As you can see, I don't have a lot of strong Pokemon, but now I have a small army of Dragonites to give me a leg up on the competition a bit.

So what plans do I have for the next ten years? Gonna be honest, I'll be shocked if Blogger itself lasts longer than a few more years.

In more realistic hopes, I want to start up a podcast. I want to talk about forgotten cartoon shows, especially Saturday Morning cartoons from the 80s and 90s. Sure, there's lots of podcasts talking about cartoons these days (my favorite being We Hate Movies' Animation Damnation), but either they suck, or they don't update frequently enough, which is perfect for a guy like me to swoop in and fill that niche. Stay tuned, people!

So happy ten years, Beaming For Bunnies. You aren't dead, and I hope to keep writing in you.


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