Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Eve once Again!!!

Hey there kids! This is it! The blog has already undergone a few Halloween-y changes as I've re-dressed for the season! October starts tomorrow and so does my Countdown to Halloween! I get ridiculously excited for this spooktacular time of year, as you can see in 2012, 2013, and 2014, I always ring the October Eve bells, and this year is no different!

I've got a few fun ideas up my sleeve for Halloween this year, and one of the major focuses is going to be Horror Anthologies! That's right kids! I'll be looking at books, comics, TV shows and movies that all follow the horror movie anthology format!

I looooove me some anthology horror, as the stories are often fun-sized and colorful! Like momma always said: "Anthology Horror is like a box of chocolates. You never know if there's a razor blade in with the nougats, or a cockroach in the toffee!" Something like that.

There will be some appearances by this guy... Just... be prepared.

I can't think of a better time of year to enjoy short-form horror than Halloween. They really are one-bite-and-you're-DONE style storytelling, and so baaaad for your teeth.

There will of course be posts about my fun Halloween-themed Goodwill finds, and general Halloween posts where I talk about Halloween traditions, fun, and other stuff, but my plan is to post something every single night until Halloween itself! I'm going to try NOT taking a break during November this year and just keep blogging right up until December, when I will then plow right on into... well we DON'T have to talk about that just yet. I'm sure the department stores will be reminding us VERY soon what is coming up in December.

Meet Gaspar and McGillicutty.
They are having NONE of this Christmas in October BULLS**T.

Anywhoo... I'm participating in the official "Countdown to Halloween," run by the blog of the same name, and you'll notice I'm proudly sporting one of their boo-riffic badges in my sidebar again this year (you can scroll down and see the ghosts of countdowns past if you're curious). Be sure to click that link and check out all of the other countdown sites that are celebrating as well!

While I'm plugging stuff, I'll just remind you all that I'm also on Instagram and Twitter as @TheGoodwillGeek so if you want even more holiday hijinks be sure to follow me there, and be sure to "like" the Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks Facebook page for updates on what's going on here, as well as at a bunch of my blogging buddies' blogs.

ALSO the podcast I am part-founder of, Eclectic Mayhem, just so happens to be putting out a Halloween episode this month! Imagine that! We'll be doing our very own Horror Anthology where each of your three creepy hosts will lead a different Halloween-themed conversation... so be sure to check that out when it drops around the middle of October! We're on iTunes so be sure to subscribe and leave us a review!

So sleep well tonight kids! Upon the morrow this blog will be ready for Halloween festivities to begin! October 31st isn't enough Halloween for me! I must have 31 days and no less of that old orange and black magic! So stay tuned! I'll be back with Halloween-Themed Goodwill Goodies soon enough, and until then Happy Hau... Hunting! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Package From the Trash Man!

So on the exact same day that my package from Miss M arrived, ANOTHER awesome package from another of my Podcasting comrades (and honestly one of my very best friends) Brian Farrell, of Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture fame, arrived! 

So here's a preliminary glance at the contents of said package. But as usual, we shall plumb these depths together! Dive! Dive! 

Brian knows that I am an educated gentleman of some distinction. So he always includes reading materials that will educate and elucidate. In this case, he sent me a Choose Your Own Adventure gaming book, "Return to the Cave of Time" (which is the 50th book in the series, and a sequel to the very first book in the series, "The Cave of Time") AND "HOBGOBLIN," a HORROR NOVEL that combines HALLOWEEN and ROLEPLAYING GAMES. This has given me an idea for next year's Halloween countdown... Let's just see if I actually remember to carry through with this plan as next October creeps towards us. 

Included were these licensed books as well! Check out this awesome vintage Go Bots coloring book! Brian knows my INTENSE loyalty to the Bots. I think it's mostly due to the fact that I realized as an adult that all the toys I owned as a kid and loved, and had been told were Transformers... were actually GoBots. So they're what I know. 

I have a very clear and distinct memory of my Grandmother buying me a Turbo as a kid (one of the red car robots) and breaking him on the way home from the store, She exasperatedly turned the car around and exchanged him for a new one, which I got all the way home before breaking him a second time, at which point my Grandmother told me I was s**t out of luck. 

I know that I got Baron Von Joy, Leader 1, and Flip-Top as gifts at some point... and I think Future Machine. And of course I had (and LOVED) a crap-ton of Rock Lords, which I may have mentioned in passing once or twice or a MILLION times. 

Another toyline I was obsessed with back in the 80s was the California Raisins! I loved the Raisins. I had their cassettes, I had their Commodore 64 video game, I watched their clay-mated Christmas special and actual please-buy-raisins-to-eat-them-PLEASE commercials with a kind of rabid fanaticism I can only describe as "Intense". I also had a veritable army of the PVC figurines put out by applause. I did not however, EVER own a California Raisins comic book (put out by Blackthorne Comics in the late 80's) which had me nearly peeing my pants when I pulled it out of the box! 

Also in the package were these They Might Be Giants cassettes! FLOOD is probably one of if not THE ONE favorite album put out by TMBG for me. With songs like "Birdhouse in Your Soul," "Particle Man," "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," "We Want a Rock," and the self-titular "They Might Be Giants," you really can't go wrong with this one. 

Apollo 18 is not as EPIC in scope, but the cover art is AMAZING and with songs like "I Palindrome I," "Spider," "Dinner Bell," "Which Describes How You're Feeling," and "Hypnotist of Ladies," you definitely get some hardcore TMBG classics. 

Now we're into the toys! Going from right to left (as people do...) we have a Big Boy Caprice action figure from the Dicky Tracy line put out by Playmates in 1990! I really enjoy this line, probably more than I liked the actual movie itself. I mainly liked the hideously deformed villains in the line, like Lips Manlis, Flattop, The Brow, Rodent, Pruneface, and of course, everyone's favorite, Steve the Tramp. I basically used these guys as extra villains for my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to fight. Big Boy here is one I never actually had as a kid. But boy does he look swank on my shelf next to Flattop! 

On the left we has Sully from the Spinmasters line put out (I believe) to promote Monsters University. I am a BIG fan of the first Monsters film, Monsters Inc. And this figure is deee-luxe! Take a look at him compared to the Happy Meal version of the character: 

And you can see why I'm struggling with whether I should toss my old Sully for this one (I settled on keeping them both because I am a hoarder and will most likely be found dead under a giant pile of collapsed toy shelves someday... IF I'M LUCKY!!!

Next up... THESE guys. I've already gushed over the California Raisins, so that giant bendy guy should come as no real surprise as something I would love.

The Ronald McDonald hijacking a United Airlines plane is also a gem, as I love random cross-pollination of brandings when it comes to my Happy Meal toys! I've seen message boards that claim back in the mid-to-late 90's these were served in-flight First Class in branded McDonald's Happy Meals. Other sources say they were from restaurants in the airports. I want to believe these were given out on the plane, as a bizarre version of a kids' mile-high club.

But let's all face facts: The real star of this picture is that carded Ms. Pac Man toy from Tomy, circa 1982. That s**t is the BOMB. "Wind her up and she gulps, gobbles, and wiggles around. She's got cute little shoes and the biggest mouth in town," Now THAT is a write-up my friends!!! Once again, I will remind everyone that I wrote my very personal feelings about Ms. Pac Man in a post on this very blog about two years back... and I will leave it at that.

 Finally, we have these guys. I think these may top the list of favorite items in the box, believe it or not. These, for your information, are two action figures from the old 80s Advanced Dungeons and Dragons line. The tallest and blondest of the lot is Northlord, who was a giant (literally a giant, that was his race) barbarian. He was one of the "Battle Masters" of the line. I've seen pictures of this guy with all of his included gear, and have to admit I prefer him the way he looks above. The helmet he originally had looks a bit silly in my opinion. The horny short guy is a dwarf named Elkhorn. The dino on the far right is not actually from the same toy line. He's a hollow plastic dinosaur from Marvel Trading Corp. There was a whole series of these put out, but this is by FAR the most gorgeous one of the line. Look at his color! Look at his eye! He actually looks like a perfect fit to fight these brave warriors. Here's a look at my entire AD&D action figure collection, including some of the solid rubber monsters I've collected as well:

 They really put out some fantastic (and fantastically weird!) toys for this line back in the day!

A big HUGE thank you to Brian for the great package! Be sure to check out his site at Pop Pop It's Trash Culture, check out his Facebook Page for the site, and be sure to listen to us say witty and amazing things to each other (and our friends Miss M and Jason) on the Eclectic Mayhem podcast!

Welp! That's it for tonight kids! And probably that's it for September! I'll be dropping one more post the day after tomorrow for October Eve, and then with October 1st I will be full-on into my Halloween countdown for the month. So it might be a while before I'm back with the "Geeky" Goodwill Goodies (at least until November) but I won't be gone, that's for sure. Until I talk to you again kids, Happy Hunting!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Package from Miss M!!!

I have been a little MIA blog-wise for a little longer than I usually like to be... and there are several reasons for that, some real-life in nature, others blog related in general, as October creeps closer and closer. But it was not my intention to fall completely off the face of the earth in the meantime! I still have some content I desperately want to get posted before the last day of September... and I fear I won't get to it all. I will be trying to blog through November this year, so hopefully I'll get to a bit more of it before December and its prerequisite countdowns kick into gear. 

For now, I want to post about this awesome package that came to me in the mail from one of my absolute best friends on the internet, and my podcasting comrade-in-arms, Miss M!!! We along with our other good friends Brian (The Trash Man) and Jason are the forces combined behind the Eclectic Mayhem Podcast

Let's take a look at what the amazing Miss M of Diary of a Dorkette fame sent me, shall we? 

Here's a quick peek at the box itself. (Miss M always includes a card or handwritten note, which is extra awesome) Now let's look inside!

First up, M knows I have a lot of love in my heart for The California Raisins. So to express this love, she sent me a box of Valentines featuring the raisins, and four of the classic PVC figurines, two of which were Valentine's Day themed as well! I owned both of these heart-hugging heroes as a kid, and having them back in my collection really has me pleased. The two mallrat Raisin gals on the right were Hardee's premiums from the period of time near the end of the Raisin's run. These were some of the last figures produced as their popularity was beginning to wane. LOVE THESE!!!

Miss M also knows ho much I LOVE Sesame Street, and not only did Applause do some great PVC figures for the aforementioned Raisins, they also did a wonderful line of figures for the Street! I think my absolute favorite of the bunch is the Christmasy (or at least Wintery) Snuffleupagus.

Next up were these incredible Disney themed figures! I am a HUGE fan of Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, so getting Sunny and Cubby Gummi here is very exciting! That Mickey figure has an awesome retro vibe to him as well that I just love.

Next up we have this groovy Frankenstein's Monster (I think it's him anyway... this may just be a ghoul or a zombie honestly... he's holding a skull and looks suspiciously stitch-free now that I look at him closer...) push puppet. I have a Halloween collection of these things that this will go along with beautifully!  And check out this Choose Your Own Adventure book "Terror on the Titanic!" I think this is the one where you get to choose if it's Jack or Rose that freezes or floats at the end. Based on the cover, Jack floating while Rose is left to freeze just may be the popular vote.

But this guy... THIS GUY. This is the true gem of this package. I loved EVERYTHING, don't get me wrong, but this is the item I was most tickled to receive. I mentioned wanting this guy on the episode of Eclectic Mayhem where we discussed Robots in pop culture. Miss M said she had an extra one she would toss my way, and MY DAY WAS MADE. This, for the uninitiated, is a Z-Bot from 1993. This specific one was from the series of Z-Bots given out as Burger King Kid's Club premiums:

And honestly, because of this, these are the only 5 Z-Bots I am interested in owning. Thing is, this guy here, "Bugeye" was the fifth and final Z-Bot I needed to complete the quintet! 

Back row, left to right: Skyviper and Turbine. Front Row, left to right: Jawbreaker, Bugeye, and Buzzsaw.
My deepest gratitude to Miss M for all the Geeky Goodies!!! She's got to be one of the most genuine, generous, honest, and friendly folks I have yet to meet in internet land. I am so lucky to be able to call her one of my friends, and I'll be putting together a little thank you package for her soon enough!

That's it for tonight kids! I'll be back sometime soonish with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies (or maybe another package...) soon enough! In the meantime, Happy Hunting!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

RETURN of the BIN OF AWESOME!!! 2015 Summer (Canadian) Edition!!!

So for the past two Summers, I have been ridiculously lucky to somehow have a bin of toys almost drop into my lap. And every year I try to chronicle the contents of the bin over the course of several blog posts, (Part 5 of the FIRST bin can be found here, with links to the previous 4 entries, detailing the rest of the bin... and Part 3 of the SECOND bin with links, etc, etc) with limited success... And both of those Bins Full of Awesome came from the same neighborhood guy who sold them to me.

You always remember your first... Bin of Awesome...
(I never got a photo of bin #2 because it was partially filled with rainwater
and time was a factor in salvaging some toys.
This summer I was lucky once again to receive a Bin of Awesome... but this time from a very unexpected source: CANADA. 

Yes, I have altered the shipping labels to obscure my address.
That's why it looks like that. Just relax. 

Yes... you read that right... CANADA. I have a podcasting friend, Chris Gaida, from my days on Geek Fallout, who I THOUGHT I was trading just a handful of comic books with. I sent him a small parcel of comic books and a couple of months later... this thing lands on my doorstep. From CANADA. Thus, saving me from a Bin-of-Awesome-Less Summer! Let's rip the lid off this sucker and see what was inside it shall we? (Oh, and FYI, I'm going to cover everything in this one post and skip the multi-part nonsense because the Halloween season is drawing near, and I'm limited in the number of posts I can crank out between now and September 30th. So you get it all one-and-done, baby!)

Right after wrenching off the lid, a gust of cold, Canadian wind puffed out in my face, temporarily blinding me. But then I was greeted by the sight above. Goodies!!!  I'll reveal the layers of the bin as they were revealed to me. I had my camera in hand as I went through everything, so you are seeing pictures of the first moments I laid eyes on everything in the bin myself.

So, without further ado, let us dig in!

On the topmost layer, I was greeted by a crossover issue of the X-Men, featuring Power Pack (more on "The Pack" a bit later) an issue of "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen" AND an issue of Amazing Stories ("Watch the NBC TV Series...") this is all EXACTLY up my alley so far... Let's keep on digging.

This was... unexpected... to say the very least. Not ONE... but TWO carded Dr. Killemoffs from the Toxic Crusaders action figure line. These were put out by Playmates back in 1991 and they were a very close rival to the TMNT in my heart. I was actually collecting these when I was 12 going on 13... so I was growing long in the tooth for action figures... but damned if I cared! One of these Doctors' blisters was separating from the card back so I shucked him and have since placed him proudly on my shelf! Dr. Killemoff was a high-ranking general in Hordak's army.

Aaaaaand theeeeen... A boxed set of the first four books in the Doc Savage novels set!!! This was one of my favorite items in the bin! I SHOULD have photographed the individual book covers because they are all AMAZING... but I'll feature them sometime in the future. There was also a news paper/magazine thing from the "Invasion" DC event, and a DVD of "Comic Book Villains" which I have never heard of but CANNOT WAIT to watch (Well, I actually can and will wait to watch it because all my spare viewing time is currently devoted to watching horror films for my October Countdown... But come... Novem... Decem... maybe January? I'll be popping this bad boy in right away!!!)

Chris also included this copy of "Star Trek: The Magazine" which features Jeffrey Combs! Chris knows I love me some Combs! Then I saw this "The Art of Star Wars Galaxy" book, which collects the art from the TOPPS trading cards. Oh man I LOOOVE me some Star Wars, and a lot of the artowork from those cards was ridiculously kick-ass.

So of course he included volume 2 as well! Chris proves several times throughout this bin that he's the kind of guy who pays attention to detail. He tailor suited this stuff to me PERFECTLY (which was the point, I know, duh... but it bears pointing out!) case in point being "Sesame Street Unpaved" which is an incredible behind-the-scenes book detailing one of my all-time favorite kids' shows. I've only had the opportunity to kind of flip through these books so far, but I'm planning a Sesame Street blog event for the future, and this book is just PERFECT.

MORE TOXIC CRUSADER ACTION FIGURES!!! This time around we get two of our verdantly virile hero, Toxie! and Dr. Killemoff's Major Domo, Psycho! I left one Toxie on his card and shucked both Psycho and one of the Toxies so they could join Killemoff on the shelf. It felt kind of wrong but it also felt kind of right. I just love playing with toys so much, I couldn't leave them trapped. Now I only have 4 or 5 more of these guys to track down before I have a complete set! But once those action figures were cleared out of the way... the most amazing thing was revealed unto mine eyes:

THIS THING. There have been hints as we've been digging all along. His purple body, his gloved hand... his.. be-spatted foot... all pointing to a California Raisin! But oh what a colossal Raisin it is!!! This thing is a monster! This is obviously one of those huge fair prizes that are almost impossible to win. Weird thing is... I think I remember these kinds of toys hanging from the ceilings of the dart games and whatnot at our own local Blue Hill Fair from when I was a kid! For those of you that don't know, the Raisins were a BIG DEAL for a few years back in the 80's. They were EVERYWHERE. SO it's no wonder that there would be questionably-licensed versions of the characters being given out as fair prizes back then. Good GAWD this thing is beautiful. And ridiculous-big. I have no idea where I will be displaying him, but its been mostly wherever he's least in the way for the time being.

But wait! We're still not done! The bin of awesome has yet deeper... depths... to plume! There was this gorgeous art print/poster of Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living! The glare on the protective plastic sheath definitely steals some of the impact, but I assure you this thing is awesome.

Also included was this awesome Joker t-shirt! Is it worth anything? I don't know! I yoinked it out of the plastic and started wearing it the next day! I feel like I'm a terrible collector sometimes... but when somebody gives me a Joker shirt I wear that s**t. 

Ugh I didn't realize how blurry this photo came out when I took it... but I DID realize I was too lazy to go tracking these back down to re-photograph them, so you get what you get. "Power Pachyderms!" "Blip!" And two... count them TWO issues of "Sectaurs!!!" Because Sectaurs KICK ASS.

Sooo... now we're getting into the Power Pack neighborhood. I. LOVE. POWER. PACK. These issues here, "Skrulls vs Power Pack," are from a relatively recent mini-series put out around the "Secret Invasion" event back in 2008. I say relatively because the original Power Pack series was put out back in the mid-to-late 80's and early 90's. It had a bit of a renaissance under the "All Ages" series of books Marvel did from 2005 to 2010, in fact this one was the 8th miniseries out of 11. These are not really part of the mainline continuity of the Marvel Universe (like that even matters anymore), but they're still an excellent read. But honestly, they pale in comparison to...

Original Power Pack!!! Chris is actively trying to help me complete my original run of Power Pack. And thanks to this handful of comics (Including #1!!!) I'm finally down to the last 8 issues I need to have them all! This was such an incredibly AWESOME package to have received! Chris Gaida's generosity was ridiculous here, and I really can't thank him enough. I can only say that I owe him MAJORLY and I will do my best in the future to repay the gesture.

Well, that's it for tonight kids! I want to thank Chris Gaida one more time for being such an awesome friend and sending me my Summer of 2015 BIN OF AWESOME!!! Be sure to listen to him and some of my other good old podcasting friends over at Geek Fallout (They are also on iTunes so be sure to subscribe and leave them a review)! You can also follow Chris on Twitter. As per usual, I'll be back very soon with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies, so until then, Happy Hunting! (Only 19 more days until October Eve!!!)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I'm Skipping SOOO Much Stuff Just To Show You Guys Harvey the Wonder Clone...

So... this is all from a very recent trip to Goodwill, within the last couple of months I would say... and I'm jumping ahead of a LOT of content in order to feature this post for a VERY special reason. I want to get through the "finds" portion of the post before I get to what I'm so excited about though. 

Here's a pile of loot! Let's check it out!

This is my second time finding a "Sharp Tooth" hand puppet from Pizza Hut. The first one I sent out in a package to a friend of mine as a gift. THIS ONE I KEEP. 2 times is probably my limit on finding Sharp Tooths.. Sharp Teeth... this puppet.

THIS BOOK. I love this book. I added "Shudders" to my Halloween Read Pile (#HalloweenReadPile on my Instagram account) which I began reading back in July. This book was SO much fun! (Ten tales calculated to give you... SHUDDERS!) Whitman classics man! I had a whole pile of these cheap-ass books as a kid I remember a paste-board copy of The Wizard of Oz that I loved poring over because it had all the illustrations of the Hammerheads and the Mice, and a bunch of other stuff that didn't make it into the movie... What was I talking about? Oh yeah! "Shudders" has so many fun old horror stories in it! If you set aside books to get you into the Halloween mood, this is a TOP PRIORITY read people!

This one was a BIG DEAL to me! This is a collection of Berke Breathed comics from his college days, "Academia Waltz," where characters like Steve Dallas and Cutter John from Bloom County were born! These books are ridiculously hard to find, and this is still only the second book. The first one is still missing from my collection.

This giant-sized graphic novel collection of "The Death of Captain Marvel" was such an exciting thing to pull off the shelf at a Goodwill! Still need to just sit down and read this classic tale.

I almost didn't pick up this copy of Chris Van Allsburg's "Jumanji," simply because I was half convinced I must already own it. Once I had disabused myself of this erroneous notion, I picked it up. It's one of those BOOKS, man. One of those books that every family should own.

Probably the MOST exciting find for me on this particular trip full of exciting finds already was this trio of 12-inch scale Star Wars figures in a grab bag with some other junk. The IG-88 is marked 2000 the Tie Fighter Pilot is from 1997, and the Clone Trooper I didn't check the date on because I gave this one to my kids to play with (MUCH more on this clone a little later... BE PATIENT).

Get a little close up. I love these guys!!!

There was a second grab bag as well, and in it were really just a small handful of items that really got me going... a LOT of this stuff went on to become part of a recent giveaway pack I did via my Instagram account. But here were the keepers:

A Garfield Scooter sans Garfield (I'll find him later) a Push-down-to-make-him-go Rex from Toy Story, a Mac Tonight driving a red sports car (yay!) a classic Super Mario Brothers PVC figure, and a space communicator Happy Meal Toy! All fun stuff that no resides here or there all over the Geek Cave!


Hey everybody. I'm Harvey the Wonder Clone.
Meet "Harvey" the Wonder Clone (His name may have been inspired by a particular Hamster from a Weird Al Yankovic song... but also maybe not...). I gave my 6 year old the Clone Trooper I found in the grab bag I featured above. Later on that same day when he was looking for something to do, I offered to let him use the camera. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. He is NEVER allowed to touch the camera. I also gave him an assignment: Take Harvey the Wonder Clone outside and take a bunch of pictures of him exploring the wilderness around our house.

I then promptly forgot the pictures were on the camera... until I started dumping the memory card onto my laptop for blog pictures. And there was ALL OF THIS. I have not edited these pictures in any way, except to add a caption or two throughout. Please check them out. It's pretty obvious in some of them that my son just ind of chucked Harvey on the ground and snapped a pic... but some have such finesse to them that they make me love them.

Harvey laying in a tree.
Just thinkin'.

Love the arms propped behind the long blades here. 

This one is kind of disturbingly like the opener of an episode of CSI or something.

More CSI.

I love this one!


The juxtaposition of the dead trooper and the bright orange tiger lily is... unintentional I'm guessing.
But striking. 

Kind of funerary.

In the clover...
Just thinkin'.

In the land of the gnomes. 

Tree climbing. The leg position in this one makes it look so lifelike! 

Sunning on a rock.
Just... thinkin'.
That's it for tonight kids! October eve is drawing ever closer! And I have yet to share with you guys this Summer's "Bin of Awesome!!!" (That might just be my next post, we'll see...) I'll be back with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies soon enough! So until that time, Happy Hunting!
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