Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yardsale Bin Pt. 4: The Rest of the Best (?)

All right... this bin I found at a yard sale last September has been an EPIC in the making for this blog. This is the fourth installment in the series, and believe it or not, I still have one more to go!!! (Be sure to see what I included in parts One, Two, and Three)

The last two posts had a certain kind of focus or theme to them, and this one is much the same. I'm going to showcase the last of the super-hero action figures that were in the bin, be they Marvel or DC. 

First up we have a couple of classic characters from a couple of classic lines.

Here is Captain America from the Secret Wars toy line in 1984. He was originally packed with a lenticular shield, but mine is sans this accessory. His paint job has also seen better days, but I still can't help but smile when I look at this guy. I had an Iron Man figure from this line when I was growing up, and he was a favorite member of the forces of good, fighting against the legions of Hordak. Seeing Cap here in the bin got my hopes up that I might also find good ol' shell-head, but alas, he was not included. Still, a pretty welcome addition to my collection. 

Here we have a Mr. Freeze from the third series of DC Super Powers action figure line. I don't have a lot to say about this one as I didn't have it as a kid and I wasn't a huge Super Powers fan, unfortunately. I had a few of the ones pertaining to the Batman action figures, like the Joker, Penguin, Robin, Two-Face, and a few others. Unfortunately this Mr. Freeze is missing his helmet, some hoses, and his freeze ray. 

All right! Here are a trio of Marvel action figures! 

First up we have this Toybiz Archangel. I also received one of these from Miss M about 2 months after buying this bin. The one she sent me was in MUCH better condition, so this one flew off to a new home shortly after that. (True story: I found ANOTHER Archangel action figure at Goodwill only about a week ago, missing his wings completely. I opted to leave him there... but it has almost literally been raining Archangels around here for a while.)

This handsome devil is the Hulk villain, the Leader! I really like the idea behind the Leader. The idea that the gamma radiation that made the Hulk a rage monster and gave him super strength could do the same thing to someone else's BRAIN. I love this guy's translucent head! My research online revealed that he was from the 1997 Smash & Crash line, and was originally included with some sort of battle-bot. He used to have juice in his head that would pump around and make his brain look all gross but it has long since leaked out or dried up. Either way I really like the color and look of this action figure! 

This is X-Men 2099 villain Brimstone Love! He was the creator of the Theater of Pain... a sort of torture-as-performance-art sort of thing. He was a badass and possibly a mutant who had... devil? powers? He could summon magma, create illusions, was super strong, and looked the part physically... so the whole thing was very Dante-does-DUNE-ish. I have a soft spot for this villain as a big fan of the X-Men 2099 series. The cape you see him wearing here was a random one included in the bin, and not his actual red cape (though it is very similar, so he's keeping it). 

Here's another pile of 90's Marvel might... but this time it's ALL X-related. I lumped these all together because they sort of epitomize the 90's x-machine, with its buckles and pouches and extra padding galore. I'm not really in love with any of these figures, to be honest.   

First up we have X-Force era Cannonball, in his Externals-period costume. This is not really my favorite X-Era by any means. I collected and read X-Force through this period, but it was far from my favorite book even back then. This figure is even less impressive to me than the design in the books at the time. I NEVER understood the aviator goggles (even though they have survived through several costume changes right up to today). Sam Guthrie is invulnerable to harm when he is blasting through the air. Why would he need eye protection? And those ones on his forehead are so tiny I doubt they'd do much... and they can't move down off his forehead as they are sculpted on. I'm just picking now, I know. 

One of my absolute LEAST favorite X-Villains of all time, Omega Red had tentacles and basically killed people with his B.O. (Sorry... "Death spores" Suuuure.) He was also russian. I never liked him and every time he showed up he just made less sense and was less relevant than the last time. 

Cable is one of those characters that I have always had a love/hate relationship with. He heralded the end of everything I loved about the New Mutants, and was the absolute epitome of the 90's bad-ass with giant guns, cybernetics, and a costume made up more of pouches and straps than anything a superhero would normally have worn. The character's main saving grace was the fact that he wasn't a complete moron, and he has been put to much better use in the years since then he was at inception. This action figure is both hideous and kind of cool in even parts. 

Another 90's gun-toting badass, Bishop here is a tiny die-cast figurine from back when that used to be a thing. Believe it or not though, I do actually like Bishop quite a bit. I think because he put a new and interesting dynamic into the X-Men at the time. He wasn't the leader of the team, and instead was forced to get his militaristic attitudes and his comfortability with murder and suicide as battle tactics under control. I remember a Danger Room session where simulation-Apocalypse has Bishop in his clutches and is using him as leverage against the other X-Men. Bishop simply places a gun to the side of his OWN head and tells faux-Apocalypse he is more than willing to blow his own head off rather than be used to force his team-mates into compromising. The exact line evades me right now but at one point Bishop tells holo-Apocalypse that he'll be tasting Bishop's brains on his lips. That kind of stuck with me. I hate that he has now been turned into a homicidal maniac villain. That's so cliche.

Next up is this legion of Batmen, possibly a mix of figures from both the first and second Tim Burton films. These are all those famously ridiculed variant costumes the 90's became famous for: 

As demonstrated awesomely by this clip from Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Front and center are the two Batmen from the first Tim Burton Batman film. The one on the left here is the original "fat-face" Batman that I personally felt like looked more like Michael Keaton in the movie. He was the one I actually had as a kid. The one on the right replaced fat-face after a while because they supposedly wanted a sculpt that looked more like the actor. The capes in the other picture here don't go to ANY of the capeless Batmen pictured in any of these photos as far as I can tell. 

In the first picture, from left to right, we have what I believe is Thunder Whip Batman, Air-Attack Batman, and another Batman I simply couldn't place. In the second picture, on the left, we have Tec-Shield or Aero-Strike Batman. On the right, Deluxe Blast Shield or Bola-Strike Batman. (Thanks to the Legions of Gotham web-site for their awesome action figures archive!)

 Here are a trio of somewhat less identical-looking Batman action figures. 

This charming fellow is "Future Batman" from the Legends of Batman line. Instead of a cape he had a sort of exoskeleton piece that fit down over his head and shoulders. 

From the figure line for the Batman Forever film, Neon Armor Batman. 

And finally, this frigid figure from the Batman and Robin Movie line... Ice Blast Mr. Freeze

Here's a freaky-tiki foursome! A mix of characters from DC and Marvel! 

I smell tuna melt!

I didn't bother to look up what line this Night Wing figure is from. I have never really been terribly interested in Night Wing. He always seemed like a character that got too big for his britches, got new britches, got replaced by someone who fit the old britches... and then sort of lost relevance. He was kept around because people liked the guy more than they just like Robin... and the problem with that sort of story-telling is that you end up with guys who all used to be Robin stacked up like cord-wood all over your universe. 

Her bewbs have antennae.
Hey! Remember when The Wasp was a weird insect lady all the time? Me either. I had to look it up. I mean... I sort of remember seeing the design back in the day (This version of the Wasp debuted in 1996) but I was never an Avenger fan back in the day, and that was around the time I was quickly losing interest in most of the comics on the market at the time. Apparently this action figure was actually from a Spider-Man line of figures that all featured insect-armor as accessories. The armors could be removed from the characters and put together to create large mutated-looking insects as well. The Wasp's armor/ally was a big mutant lady-wasp that also included her wings.

Groin strain!

A character with some similar issues is Kyle Rayner. He's one of... how many human Green Lanterns in a literal LEGION of Green (and other colored) Lanterns? I count at least 5 different completely human Green Lanterns from Earth. And while I have a soft spot for the character, and the GL legacy... that's just way too many characters to actually keep them all relevant and thriving and vital in our universe. Then add the dozens upon dozens of other alien Green Lantern characters... plus the Red, Yellow, Blue, etc. colored Lanterns, all vying for your time and attention and poor Kyle just kind of looks like a reject from a reboot in the 90's. But I really like the sculpt on this action figure! 

I know... I'm not Magneto. :(

Here is Joseph. Joseph is a young clone of Magneto. That isn't enough to make him into an action figure. So they stuck a sabertooth skull to his shoulder and packed him in with Amphibius of the Savage Land Mutates (whose name they correctly misspelled as "Amphibious" on the package). I don't give a crap about Joseph, honestly. He was a dumb sort of plot development that didn't really seem to have much point. If I had found an Amphibius action figure in this bin however, I would have completely peed my pants:

Oh... what could have been. 

All right. We've come to the end of this post. The last trio of figures this time around (Don't forget, there's one MORE installment in this Yard Sale Bin saga before it's done) are from the animated Batman series of action figures.  

This is Street Jet Bruce Wayne, who came with a racecar-esque vehicle. 

This is Ninja Robin. Sans ninja cape. His right arm is stuck like that. It's spring-loaded so when you push it down it flicks right back up again. I'm guessing to throw something ninja-y. 

And finally... Man-Bat! Man-Bat is a sort of favorite Batman character for me, regardless of how on-the-nose he seems to be, metaphor-wise. But there's just something kick-assingly groovy about anthropomorphic bats, be they Batman villains or TMNT allies or whatever. I think this was one of the most exciting finds for me out of the entire bin, to be honest. I mean, there were a lot of great finds in there... I mean a LOT... but I loves me some Man-Bat. This guy is currently suspended from my ceiling by some string, in mid flight.

All right kids! That was fun! That's all I've got for tonight though. And believe it or not, there's still ONE MORE WHOLE POST worth of toys out of this Yard Sale Bin! But before we get to that, I'll be back with some more Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Goodwill Geek Mailbag: Starlog Magazines!!!

I may have mentioned in the past that I am VERY lucky to have met some incredibly generous people while I have been blogging. And because of this, I have been given, completely free of any obligation, several awesome packages, filled with lots of awesome stuff. Well, this post is going to detail one of those exact packages. I've been meaning to make sure I got around to this post sooner rather than later, and I'm just now getting it done! 

I started Instagramming maybe... 3 months ago or so (@thegoodwillgeek btw if you feel like checking my stuff out) and I have found that the Instagramming community is just as geeky, wild, and NICE as the blogging community has been! Case-in-point, a user who goes by the name of @fourekkks who found my blog through my Instagram... well... not THIS blog... the OTHER one... specifically a post I had written about a couple of old Starlog Magazines that I bought from Scottie's Books. 

So what did @fourekkks do with this information? She contacted me via e-mail and offered me a set of Starlong Magazines! Seems she has several duplicates in her collection, and she offered those duplicates free of any strings attached. I had only to contact her with information regarding the issues I wanted (I told her anything from the 80's), an address to send them off to, and my social security number (My SSN is fake anyway as I am not from the plane of existence) and a valid credit card (which I did NOT give because that stuff is impossible to get off your credit score) and a blood sample. A very short while later a box arrived at my house containing these: 

There were 19 issues included in the package, and 17 of them were Starlog magazines from the 80's! I'd like to turn my specific attention on the 2 magazines that were actually not Starlog magazines from the 80's. The first one was this:

"Cracked Collectors' Edition Vol. 4 "Those Cracked Monsters" Which was SUCH a pleasant surprise!!! I used to like Cracked magazine even more than MAD magazine as a kid. The Halloween and superhero themed issues especially. I am fairly certain that I owned a book just like this one as a kid, because I distinctly remember gags where they took stills from old black and white horror films and added funny speech bubbles like this: 

Admittedly, most of the jokes are pretty goran-worthy, but 9 to 11 year old me was HIGHLY entertained. 

Also included in this package was another Starlog issue indeed, but NOT from the 80's! This one is from 1978, and has an article dedicated to how Hollywood special effects artists do it up for Halloween around their neighborhoods! It included awesome stuff like this:

Which goes into great detail documenting all the great haunts that these guys put together. @fourekks knows from my blog(s) that I am a big Halloween fan! This magazine from the year I was born was just the perfect addition to the box! Now, there were a total of 19 magazines in the package, so I'm not going to go through and talk about each and ever issue. I haven't even had time to flip through them all yet. But I am included shots of all the front covers, and then down below, some of the awesome back-cover ads as well! 

Battlestar, Close Encounters, Flash Gordon, and Star Trek all make appearances in this batch! 

Some of my favorite covers here, between Boba Fett, Hawk from Buck Rogers, Medusa from Titans and Scanners all checking in! 

Blade Runner, Heart Beeps (?), Time Bandits (!), and a Special 3D issue in this group. Nice to see the Time Bandits love... never HEARD of Heart Beeps before. 

Still not sure what the cover art on the first one there is... but then we have Blade Runner and Superman III. Plus an interview with the man who killed Spock!?!?

And finally, a pair of Return of the Jedi issues! Love me some Jabba! Honestly though, if you go back through all of these covers and read all of the little sub-headings for the articles held within you get an idea of what a geek-tastic time-capsule these issues actually represent! There are articles on Escape from New York and the Thing, on Altered States, War Games, E.T., Dark Crystal, Heavy Metal, and Swamp Thing! And that's just the MOVIES!!! These are so incredibly cool that I am chomping at the bit to get a chance to really pore over each individual issue. In the meantime, I wanted to look at some of the back-cover ads that caught my eye the most:

I don't know about you guys but I would have easily KILLED to get my hands on an Aughra mask. More importantly though is... where's the Skeksis mask? 

I have this movie in my Netflix queue currently. I don't REMEMBER ever seeing it... but now I simply cannot wait. 

Advanced Dungeon and Dragons first edition books! I own all of those old monster manuals in the bottom left of the ad. Some of my absolute prized role playing possessions. And you can't beat an ad with a classic Larry Elmore painting!

A James BOnd game for the Atari 2600? I bet it was SUPER high tech! 

This LED light-up Star Trek duty jacket (or T-Shirt) is "perfect for: Discos - Conventions - SF Parties - and School Activities"? This was the 80's so the only school activities this thing would be perfect for is getting your butt kicked all over the playground.

I want to take another moment to thank @fourekkks once again for her generosity, and to point you not only to her instagram account (check it out by clicking her username in this post!) but also to the Tumblr she maintains over at Brainpan Malfunction which you should also bask in the glory of. 

That's all I've got for tonight kiddos! I'll be back soon with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nice Twice. Two Goodwills.

So we recently made a trip out to Bangor, ME. On the way I hit the Nice Twice thrift shop in Ellsworth, and both the Brewer and Bangor Goodwills. Here's what I brought home from those three stores: 

First, at Nice Twice I found this trio of "Origami Yoda" books. I've been curious about them for a very long while now, and seeing all three of them there for a buck apiece? I couldn't resist. So I'll let you guys know what I think of them at some point in the future. But the exceptionally odd premise (a series of middle-school mysteries based around Star Wars paper-crafts? Yes please.) is more than promising.  

The other item I brought home from Nice Twice was Big Top Pee-Wee: Life on the Farm which is a children's adaptation of the 1988 film. I don't remember loving this movie as much as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure... but I was pretty crazy for anything Pee-Wee Herman appeared in back in those days. I haven't seen the film probably since I was 10 or so, so I can't really comment on the quality. But hey. a Pee-Wee book for a buck? Yep. 

All I found at the Brewer Goodwill were these two books. I've picked up a Finding Nemo LGB in the past only to get it home and find it ripped up beyond readability on the inside. So I found this replacement. And a vintage Dr. Who novel from 1980 (this is a reprint of the original 1977 book) is always welcome on my shelf. Both of these set me back .99 cents. 

At the Bangor Goodwill, things got a little more interesting. I found this truly bizarre book about Cryptids (And Other Creepy Creatures). And when I say bizarre, I don't mean because of the subject matter, necessarily, I mean the art and production values for this thing actually had me scratching my head. Here's a shot of a page from the interior: "The Hookerman's Light" (And yes I picked this particular one because "Hookerman" made me laugh). 

Gasp. Shrug?
Look at these folks. Could they BE any more NOT terrified of that disembodied hand and lantern?

Found some pretty great Little Golden Book finds here, with a Disney book (Not LGB brand) Mickey Mouse Flies the Christmas Mail. A "Big Little Golden Book" of Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails: Silkypup's Butterfly Adventure. And a "First Little Golden Book" of Disney Babies: Happy Halloween. These are all AWESOME additions to my LGB collection! This lot has it all: three different sizes of books, Disney licensing, baby versions of characters, a semi-obscure 80's property, one "off brand" LGB, and holiday themes! 

I may have mentioned before that I've started snapping up novelizations of movies like a madman. So picking up these adaptations of Benji and Honey I Shrunk the Kids were perfect for me! 

One of these is a kids book based on one of the most reviled super-hero films of all time. The other is a nonsensical story about giant robots draining oil supplies from the planet in order to pull all of the continents on Earth into one big Pangea. I had to own them both. HAD TO. 

Next up I found a grab bag for .99 cents that contained these five finger puppets/cake toppers/whatever-the-heck-they're-supposed to be. Almost all of them have seen better days. I already have a couple of the Bert and Ernie ones, but THESE ones have rooted (albeit melted) hair on top. Oscar and Cookie have sustained some fairly serious eye damage, leaving Grover seemingly the only one relatively unscathed by time. Let me make something RIDICULOUSLY clear: I LOVE THESE THINGS. Nothing shouts "Retro Sesame Street" to me as much as these things. I am SO happy to own them. 

I also found a Grab-Bag with these two Happy Meal items in it! A Lord Business cup from the LEGO movie (which I admittedly already own, but didn't realize when I picked this one up) and a BMO from the recent Adventure Time promotion! 

Both of these toys are lenticular, and therefore a complete PAIN to photograph... but I manage. I am now very close to owning the entire Adventure Time set of toys... and still have a few more LEGO cups to track down before I'm done there. 

And my final find was this BEAUTIFUL THING: a Prince and the Revolution's "Purple Rain" record! It's in great shape... and my instincts tell me it's probably NOT from the original release... but I don't care. I now feel like I own a piece of HISTORY. If you don't know already I am a Prince FANATIC. love Love LOVE him! And this is my absolute favorite Album from him and the Revolution. This is going on THE WALL OF MY CAVE. 

Well. There. That's all I've got for tonight kids! I'll be back soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies soon enough! Until then, Happy Hunting! 
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