Thursday, April 30, 2015

Books and a Grab-Bag (More Than) Two Bits!

Hey there guys and gals! Today I'm just doing a little one. Focusing on one grab-bag and some books I picked up a while ago. 

Here's the obligatory "pile pic" so let's get digging in shall we?

A couple of lovely Halloween-themed Little Golden Books... which you can never have too many of! Here we have Scooby-Doo! The Haunted Carnival and Walt Disney's Mickey and Friends Haunted Halloween! Yes, Scrappy makes an appearance in the Scooby-Doo book... But I've decided finally that I do NOT hate Scrappy-Doo the way most of the population seems to. I never had a real problem with Scrappy. I think it's funny how much of a punchline he's become these days, sure... but I don't think he deserves all of the ire he seems to inspire. I have no real strong feelings about Mickey and Friends to share with you at this time. Sorry.

This is quite possibly the most exciting itme I picked up at Goodwill on this particular trip. A "Hawaii Five-O" novel Top Secret! No idea if I will EVER read this book, but look at how GORGEOUS IT IS. Hawaiian Crime is better than ANY other crime. Because it's prettier.

Here are the contents of the grab-bag. Pretty junky as you can see, but I picked it up for .99 cents specifically for one item and one item alone. (Not the Spongebob, I already had that one...) There's a bunch of this junk you're not even going to get a closer look at... and I apologize in advance if that's really what you find disappointing about this post.

Nope, not this army of plastic bugs... though they are pretty sweet.

Nope. Not this AWESOME bubble watch with a dinosaur floating around in what is undoubtedly "dino-brine" as we watch a chuckling crowd of dinosaurs in the background certainly awaiting their extinction level event to erupt. (My fingers. They are wrinkly.)

Not... this stuff... either. (Although Star Wars slinky? I ain't complainin'!)

It was this cold-hearted bastard that I was after!!! Mr. Freeze from the LEGO Batman Happy Meal toy line! Doesn't he look just exquisite? I LOVE him! Totally worth the .99 cents just on his own, nevermind the other tchotchkes in the bag! Not bad for a little quicky post huh!?

That's really it kids! All I've got for now anyway! I'l be back soon enough with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies though! So until then, Happy Hunting!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Funny Books and Comic Books... Sort of.

Hey! Here's some stuff I think I actually bought sometime this year! There's an almost-but-not-quite-theme running through this post... with a couple of significant exceptions that greatly just f--k things up for me trying to write this. 


Well here it all is. As you can see, there's some pretty fun stuff in this pile. Let's get started so we can get with the fun... right?

So, based on the stuff I found in this haul, the theme I thought I'd go with was "Funny Books and Comic Books" and for the most part, I succeed. This MAD Power book is one of those rare gems that I love to find: A MAD Magazine comics print collection. These are ALWAYS a sure take-home item for me.

The holy triumvirate of 80's newspaper funnies for me are "Calvin & Hobbes," "The Farside," and "Bloom County" (along with "Outland" and "Opus" which are just continuations of Bloom really). While I am a fun of Garfield, it's mostly his animated adventures that catch my attention. Although many a happy hour were spent as a child poring over my Aunt's VAST Garfield collection, which included EVERY Garfield stri ever collected in book form. 

What was I talking about? 

Oh yeah! Bloom County! This copy of Billy and the Boingers Bootleg still has the plastic record-sheet inside that came with every copy of this book. 

Here. Give it a listen. 

The last book in the pile that without a doubt, unquestionably follows the theme that I am more than a little bit unhealthily obsessed with tonight is this one. Work is Hell by Matt Groening of "The Simpsons" fame. Many do know, but just as many don't know that Groening did a series of funny books back in the 80's starring a bunny named Binky and his zany cohorts, Sheba, Bongo, Ackbar and Jeff. I find these strips fantastically amusing, so any opportunity I have to pick some up for cheap is... a good opportunity that I take right away. Huh. Not sure where I was going with that, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't where it actually ended up. Anyway... I like this book! 

All right... my theme starts to get a bit shaky here. With Choose Your Own Adventure book You Are Invisible we could TECHNICALLY argue that the kids in this young-reader book by Susan Saunders actually have COMIC BOOK superpowers... but I'm not really going to fight that hard to convince you, honestly. These younger-aimed CYOA's are actually a LOT of fun. 

I really love the film based on Everything is Illuminated by Safran Foer, but I've never read the book. Here I also want to point out that I have abandoned my theme entirely. But we'll get back to it. The movie of Illuminated came out in 2005 and starred Elijah Wood. It is wondrous, heartbreaking, ethereal and yet groundedly REAL at the same time. I hope the book is as good. I've been let down in some cases, so I hope this isn't one of those times.

Finally we have this "X-Men: Crisis in the Danger Room" board game, that had me picking my jaw up off the floor when I spotted it! Almost all of the pieces and tokens are present and accounted for, and the construction of the Danger Room play area is intact and fairly easy to construct.

The game includes pawns of Wolverine, Cyclops, Beast, and Gambit. I cry foul that Storm or even Rogue or Psylocke were not also included... but c'est la vie I guess. It would also have been nice to see Cyclops touching his visor, readying himself to fire his optic blasts... but I guess I'm just a stickler that way...

This is one epic build of a board game! The platforms and balance beam still go in nice and snug, and look great put together! I love that we get Professor X there in the control booth, overseeing the proceedings.

There's a couple of towers that are a part of the build too, and I'm including them here just because I can basically. I was SOOO excited to bring this home you guys! This is LOOKs like such a neat game! Maybe when my kids are a little bit older I'll even get to play it!

Well, that is ALL for tonight kids! I'll be back with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies in the near future! Until then, I suggest you enjoy some Happy Hunting!

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Couple of Grab-Bags, A Couple of Cassettes

Hey all! Today I'll be focusing mainly on some toys I found in a couple of Grab-Bags I found at Goodwill... and then talking about a couple of cassettes I found. 

And my feelings. 

So you have that to look forward to. 

But first... TOYS!

All right, here's the first grab-bag, with all of it's contents already freed. Let's pick through the relevant items, shall we?

Here's an Animaniacs Happy Meal toy from 1993 that features Slappy, The (now retired) Slap-Happy Squirrel and her nephew, Skippy. Not in love with the design of this particular run of toys, which had the weird, extending accordion tubes as a feature in every toy. I would much preferred to have found the Mindy and Buttons toy as they were a couple of my favorite characters from this show.

Here we have a Fozzie Bear as Squire Trelawney in Muppet Treasure Island. The toy says it's from 1995 but the movie came out in 1996 so I'm not sure what to believe. Either way, it's Fozzie, and it's from Muppet Treasure Island, which I'm not a huge fan of so on one hand... meh. On the other hand... Muppets!!! So that side wins out. I really love the octopus stuck to Fozzie's barrel's left side.

A wind up Thing 1 and Thing 2 toy? Back in 2003 when they put out the GODAWFUL Mike Meyers Cat in the Hat movie, they did a series of toys at Burger King. Luckily, the toys resemble the characters from the BOOK not the MOVIE. So they're all pretty awesome honestly. These are no different.

This is a Lowly Worm toy from Burger King back in 1995. I'm not a huge fan of Richard Scarry's Busy World or anything... but Lowly Worm is a children's book icon in my mind, and the image of a worm driving a car made of a half-eaten apple has always resonated with me.

This is the first Gadget from Chip n' Dale's Rescue Rangers McDonald's Happy Meal Toys I ever found. I found more of this exact toy (in better shape) later, but this is my first. Had a whole set of these as a kid, and LOVED Chip n' Dale's RRs!!!

Next up we have a Burger King Kid's Club "Bug Rider" toy, this one being Kid Vid riding a scorpion. These were put out in 1998, and the whole gang got in on the action. Sort of a BIZARRE concept, honestly, but hey those are some of the best, right?

Finally, there was this PVC figurine of the kid from "All Dogs Go to Heaven II". I never saw that movie.. but I found this kid's existence in toy form here to be somehow significant. Apparently there was a set of these released by Subway back in 1996. I think this kid is named David (Google confirms this for me) but I would have been a WHOLE LOT more excited to find Anne-Marie or Charlie or Carface... or just about any of the characters that show up in the original movie. Sigh.

Here are the contents of the second grab-bag. I'm not going to bore you to tears with all of the contents, instead...

I'll just focus on these ones. There's a Goof Troop toy that I passed on to a friend, a Birdie the Early Bird pull-back car from 1985, a Koopa Paratroopa toy from back in 1989, and the BEST TWO ITEMS: A McDonald's Employee Barbie from 2001, and an... old looking Big Bird Toy from I-don't-know-when (there are no markings). But I LOVE HIM IN HIS LITTLE SAILOR HAT.

All right... when I picked up these tapes, it was before the big Bill Cosby controversy had hit. I was genuinely exited about these comedy tapes starring Mr. Cosby. But now... I don't know how to feel. Have you guys found yourselves soured on things like the Cosby Show? Or Ghost Dad? Or Jell-O Pudding Pops? What do you think? Do we look past the artist and still love the art? Myself, I'm having a hard time doing that, and frankly, a BIG part of my childhood is withering in my heart because of it. C'est la vie I guess.

Well that's it for tonight kids! I'll be back soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies, so until then: Happy Hunting!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Golden Books and Plastic Dinosaurs!

Alright so it's another fine edition of "Look What I Picked Up Sometime Last Year Everybody!" This post is going to be about a trip where I brought home a pile of Little Golden Books, some cassettes, and most importantly, some bizarre old plastic dinosaurs! Be sure to check those out at the end of the post! So let's get to it shall we? 

Before I delve into the LGBs, I'll point out I brought a couple of kids' chapter books home as well. The book on the left, The Christmas Tree That Ate My Mother, you might recognize from my 2014 Creepmas countdown extravaganza... if you read that. If not... well, there' this book about a mother-eating Christmas tree. And since I've been trying to track down Ramona books, I was delighted to find this old copy of Ramona the Brave with a Joanne Scribner cover! 

All right! I happen to be koo-koo for Little Golden books! The older the better honestly, and I found some oldies-but-goodies this time around for sure. First we have Mad Hatter's Tea Party from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. This is an awesome little book that focuses on just this one part of the story. Next we have The Lone Ranger Little Golden Book. I think I was most excited to find this particular book as it is really the only piece of vintage (antique?) Lone Ranger merchandise I now own. 

I was a little less excited (but still please) by these older Golden Books that I also brought home... an adaptation of Cinderella (A "Little Golden Activity Book" that once included paperdolls), Count to Ten, and Hi Ho! Three in a Row which sounds more inappropriate than it actually is. Trust me.

Finally, I was excited to find this very old copy of Hanna Barbera's Cindy Bear featuring Yogi Bear, and a not-a-Little-Golden-Book-but-just-as-exciting Mickey Mouse Club book, Goofy: Movie Star. Which was put out around the same time as the rest. 

As usual, I also picked a couple of old cassettes to bring home as well. This time around I brought home Billy Idol's self-titled album and U2's album, "War". Billy Idol's song "Hot in the City" always makes me laugh, especially when paired up with its video... the feel of the song is so NOT bad-ass. It just feels really old-fashioned to me... like a shoo-wop song or something... but then the video has Billy in usual fashion, snarling, punching holes in walls, stripping off his clothes, etc. It's all just so incongruous with the feel of the song itself. It feels like a song by Huey Lewis or Billy Joel or someone.

The only songs off of "War" that I'm really familiar with are "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Years Day" and they're both pretty punchy, high-energy stomp-and-kick ind of songs... but they're probably waaay more political than I really want to dwell on.

Finally, there were these weird plastic dinosaurs! There were doubles of everyone, and two of the designs even look like really dinosaurs! I'm less interested in the brachiosaur or the dimetrodon however, and want to tell you how much I love "Opera singing but can't stand on my own" dinosaur, and "patient bulldog puppy with a spike-nose sitting" dinosaur. They are by far my favorite dinos in this pack.

So that's it! That's all I had on that particular trip. Some fun stuff by and large however! I'll be back soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Goodwill Finds from Last June???

Wow. I am just getting further and further behind in my blogging. Maybe I'll have all this posted and shared with you guys before it's time for me to hit the holiday season and get behind all over again. This is a pile of stuff I brought back from Goodwill in June of last year, and it may be a bit anti-climactic after the last post touring the Geek Cave... But let's take a look anyway! 

My movie novelization collection continues to grow as I add things like Benji to the mix. Apparently Benji's adventures are not only heroic... they're spooky too! I distinctly remember being expected to enjoy Benji movies when I was a kid. But really I only kind of cared about them in a very general "I'm a kid so I-guess-a-movie-about-a-dog's-adventures-are-okay-at-least-it's-not-sports-again" kind of way. 

I've thought this series looked interesting for a while, so I thought I'd pick up the first book in the series. Picked it up LAST JUNE. Still haven't read it yet. Sigh.

I TOTALLY FORGOT about the TV special starring Puff the Magic Dragon!!! So this adaptation of it into book form (with a TON of stills from the show) was a real blast from the past. REALLY bizarre deja-vu nostalgia from this one, I tell you. The whole thing is available on youtube if you want to track it down.

This was a genuinely exciting find for me. A storybook by Gary Larson of "The Far Side" fame! There's a Hair in My Dirt! is a ridiculously unromantic take on fairy tale tropes that injects a healthy (or in some cases extremely UNhealthy) dose of both science and (dark) humor into the proceedings. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for any fans of Larson's work out there.

Look at this amazing toy! This is a beautiful piece, and was put out by the fine folks at Illco once again. I believe this is meant to be a version of Oscar's "Sloppy Jalopy" which went through several different face-lifts on the show over the years. There is no date on the toy, but researching similar toys on the Muppet wiki tells me this was probably produced somewhere between 1988 to 1992.

Found this Donatello TY Beanie Ball for .99 cents and let my son have it because Donatello is his absolute favorite.

This book looked interesting. It's a sort of catalogue for obsessions. There's a whole collection of things for people to geek out about. I was kind of hoping it was going to be an exploration similar to Shari Caudron's book Who Are You People? which I found endlessly entertaining, even when she was talking about fans of Josh Groban, messenger pigeon trainers, and competitive ice fishermen. This is a bit more dry, but still fun to flip through.

A Choose Your Own Adventure book about The Haunted House? Uh... yes!!! This is designed for younger readers than the typical CYOA, sure, but that doesn't make it look any less fun! R.A. Montgomery, you are missed!

I'm a little less excited about my find of this "Ghost Dad" Novelization this year than I was last year... but hey! Cheesy 90's supernatural family comedies... right?

And finally... THIS. A "Rover Dangerfield" frame-tray puzzle from the merchandising STORM that was the 1991 film of the same name. This has got to be one of the weirdest and most wondrous things I have ever found at Goodwill (maybe not but I'm in a good mood).

That's it for tonight kids! Hope you enjoyed this look back in time to last summer! I'll be back soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Tour of the "Geek Cave": This one's a doozy folks!

Welcome to a very special edition of Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks!!! Today I'll be walking you through the Goodwill Geek Cave as it currently exists (I've done this before... but the cave has had SOOO many facelifts and other cosmetic procedures since then that it's overdue time sharing the new look with y'all...). Because this post is going to be so VERY picture heavy, I'm actualy going to try to keep my comments brief so I don't end up writing something A Game of Thrones in length here. 

So let's get started! 

First view here is one of my favorites. It's the corner of the room I spend most of my time gazing at from my desk. This is definitely the bulk of my collecting space, though there are SEVERAL other shelves that you can't see from this angle.

Turning slightly to the right you can see the shelves where I keep my personal collection of DVDs, my boxes of comic books, and some other various sundry collectibles that we'll get to in a bit.

Keep turning to the right, past the entrance to the cave, and now you're looking behind where I sit at my desk. More shelves and more toys, all over every surface!

Final big shot of the corner where my desk resides. As you can see, my desk actually houses even more shelves full of toys, and is surrounded by tiny curio shelves on the walls, filled with even more.

Next to the desk I keep a DVD player and TV if I feel like having a move going in the background. This is also the current home of my Adventure Time and Doctor Who toys. Below the A.V. setup are various games I have found at Goodwill, been given, or collected from other sources. Bigger games lean against the shelf to the left, and a few have even invaded the bookshelf to the left of that.

Speaking of, here's a shot of that shelf. As you can see, the top shelf is dedicated to my vintage Masters of the Universe collection.

Here's a closeup of what I think of as my "Random 80's" shelf. Not everything there is legit from the 80's, but everything there celebrates the 80's, and that's what really matters to me. 

Here's my G.I.Joe Shelf... with several different versions of the Joes (and Cobra) from several different toy lines. 

Down on the very bottom shelf we have mostly toys from the 90's. Other miscellaneous, homeless toys hang out here too.

Up above the TV you'll notice some of my Halloween goodies, and an assortment of art and cards and things from my family and online friends.

Creeping now over to the desk territory, we have curio shelves packed with Toy Story Buddies and my ROYGBIV shelf dedicated to toys that get found at the bottom of the toy box. 

Next to that is my Monster 500 collection. So sad to see these discontinued. They had such plans!!!

Here's a full bore shot of my desk. Let's take a closer look at some of the collections that live here, shall we? 

Tipp-top shelf we have LEGO movie, and a handful of other random favorites. Shelf below that has some kick-ass vintage toys, including a TON from my very own childhood!

California Raisins and The Simpsons (plus some random Army Ants and Food Fighter toys).

On the very bottom shelves (behind my laptop) an even more random assortment of toys, including my Perry the Platypus collection, my Wall-E collection, and too many awesome toys to recount them all. 

Scooby Doo Mystery Mates, Ghostbusters Mini-Mates, and Green Lantern Action League toys! 

Some of my absolute favorite Halloween toys, Christmas and Creepmas toys, Ice Age toys, and mini figure Avengers, TMNT, and Astonishing X-Men! 

This corner of my desk is again, kind of random. Funko Fabrikations, and a bunch of other objets d'art. 

Window dressings above the desk include Halloween decorations and the Christmas stocking I used as a little boy. (You can also get a better look at my Rock Lords, Battle Beasts, and various other action figures here!) 

The top of the shelf right next to my desk is dedicated mostly to Halloween, but any horror toys are welcome. 

Right below Halloweentown you will find a shrine dedicated to one of my favorite films in recent history: Guardians of the Galaxy! I absolutely adore these guys. Below the shrine is my cassette collection, which is in part inspired BY GotG, so they go nicely together.

Directly ABOVE Halloweentown is my Star Wars collection. This is something I am constantly reworking and refining, and trying desperately to unclutter. I just recently made a semi-formal rule of "no prequel toys" on this shelf. I gave those all to my kids to destr-- play with. It may be controversial I guess, but I've decided I'm an "OT Man all the way". I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the new movies will be good, but if not, there's not exactly a dearth of Darth to keep me interested in collecting the original stuff.

The shelves above Star Wars are all dedicated to Marvel. Up top we have the near-entirety of my SHS collection (believe it or not, there are a couple of items still in storage that just don't fit... like the Helli-carrier), and the shelf below that has everything else, including my Marvel Mighty Muggs, my vintage Toy Biz X-Men, Funko Pops, and other stuff. You can see my Hot Wheels collection has sort of crept in behind the Marvel shelf... which brings me to:

The wall of Hot Wheels! I prefer to keep my toy cars carded. I like the packaging, and I like that they don't constantly roll off onto the floor like when I set loose cars up on shelves. You might notice a heavy focus on Batman related cars, and that's not by accident.

Corner shot of my various other little collections... robots, pirates, little plastic men, kaiju, Sesame Street, Transformers, and Scooby Doo! The Scooby Doo shelf is another one that has kind of become a home to other toy refugees, like Monsters Inc, Archie, Tailspin, Stretchy Screamers, and The Walking Dead Funko Pops. I feel like there's a nice sense of logic to the assortment that works though.

Thundercats, a handful of AD&D and other 80's toys too big for the other shelf, and advertising mascots all get squished down into this corner. This is also where all of the Batman and DCU toys end up, because I don't love them nearly as much as I love Marvel (but don't tell them that).

I hate Hate HATE the way these two shelves lean away from each other... But it's either because the floor is uneven or the shelves themselves are warped... not sure, and I can't fix it... so oh well. Up top there is another collection of misfit toys, stuff to big or too weird to go on the other shelves. We then have my Big Hero 6 action figures, my Bumble (from the Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer special) collection, four-- count the FOUR shelves all dedicated to Spongebob Squarepants, a shelf dedicated solely to Pixar PEZ dispensers, a Nick Jr./PBS shelf (I would love to blame this on nostalgia for my kids, but I honestly just like some of the characters, and the riot of colors) and well as a knights/castles shelf, and another sort of random shelf at the bottom.

Top shelf is almost completely dedicated to vintage TMNT from the late 80's or early 90's. The shelf below is TMNT from the current show or from the early 2000's.

The vintage shelf stretches on the left.

Below that, Real Ghostbusters toys and books!

Below that Fisher Price Little People!!!

And to the right of that... McDonaldland Happy Meal Toys!

And finally, my wall of PEZ.

Hoo boy! That's it for tonight guys! I hope you liked taking this ten-cent tour of the Goodwill Geek Cave! I'll be back soon with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies to share, so until then... Happy Hunting!
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