Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First let me say...KHAAAAAAAAAAN!

And that's how the weekend ended! Man talk about being busy, a couple of freelance projects at night, catalog photo shoots durning the day, and the weekend with preparing for our first Halloween Party (more on that later). So the posts might be a little sparse for the next couple of weeks while I get everything under control.

Khan by EMCE, I was taking a little break Sunday night and what do I see on Doc Mego's site, Khan up for order. I've been watching the site in hopes he would get some, being as these were a Hastings and PlanetX exclusive. I missed the PlanetX pre order and the Hastings that I found in the next town said they were not ordering any. I was as excited as finding the JLU Hawkman in the store a while back. So, I put a couple in the cart and hit purchase, a trip to PayPal and BAM! I ended up with some other stuff from his site as well (isn't that how it always is), like my Flea Market Bats now has a pair of gloves coming, and I outfitted my original Mego Spock with some long lost equipment. I'm going to snap some pics when he gets his new stuff in the mail.

So what are you waiting for? Gets over there and gets you a Khan, support the good doctor!

As I get more free time I'll post about the GI Joe toy hauls I have amassed in the past few days, a visit from my best friend, and of course more on the party. Till then say it with Mego Kirk... KHAAAAAAAAN!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Sounds of Cowboy Bebop

I thought I would take a little break from the toys and talk about my love for one of the greatest sound tracks of all time. It's the sound track to a little Anime known as Cowboy Bebop, more specifically the Box Set for Cowboy Bebop. Now I like a few Anime, I grew up on a mixture os Starblazers and G-Force (the American names I believe) along with my usual American/British fare Super Friends, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Thunderbirds. My son loves Anime; Gundam, Dragonball Z, old stuff, new stuff, you name it, he knows it. So one evening he tells me there was this show I should check out on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, Cowboy Bebop. It starts like this... go ahead I'll wait.

The title sequence had me at hello, the story of futuristic bounty hunters called cowboys living the hard life had me as well, but the music, the sweet , sweet music of this Anime was the deal clincher. This show was full of amazing songs from the introduction featuring the song Tank! to the ending credits rolling the song the Real Folk Blues, and everything in between. The moods of the animation are perfectly reflected in the music and the music fits the show so well, it has to be considered the best that Anime has to offer.

So I had to get ahold of this music, not an easy feat living in Texas, might as well be on Mars when it comes to anything other than Country or AC/DC, not that there is anything wrong with either of those, it's just hard to get the imports. So I started searching the web and found that they did indeed have soundtracks for the different Sessions (Sessions are what Cowboy Bebop calls episodes) Oh Joy, oh wait a minute not available. Ebay... nope, nothing there either, or at least the days I looked. I did find a few poorly mastered WAV files, they just didn't cut it. So I was left hungry for some of the coolest music on the planet.

The day came that we would make a trip, three hours to be exact, to Houston. My son was with us and we decided to stop at a cool little mall this side of Houston for some food, it had a Rainforest Cafe sticking out of it, he had never been there so my wife and I thought we would treat him. We decided to walk off our meal and take in this really cool indoor mall, it seemed like it had everything and then we found it, tucked away by a burger stand and a Sam Goody a little Anime shop. Nothing but Anime movies, toys, banners, and CD's. Like a comic shop for people who loved Japanese cartoons. My son ran for the Gundam section and I thought I would strike up a conversation with the shop owner about Anime soundtracks. He pointed somewhat casually when I mentioned I was looking for Cowboy Bebop music at a wall were the CD's were kept and said he pretty much had the whole catalog, I didn't know where to start. I picked up a couple different CD's , and had to leave this box set where i saw it because of the price. It was running about 80 bucks at the time, a little expensive, but man I wanted to get it. He told me that the Cowboy Bebop music wasn't too popular with the kids, but he thought it was some of the best around.

Over a period of a year and a half we made a few trips to Houston, and every time we would stop in the Anime shop, the owner recognized us every time, even though months had past. Every time I would pick up a few more CD's for the trip home and drool over the box set. Then on one such trip I was again looking over the box set, pretty much the last of the Cowboy Bebop catalog he had in stock and the owner walked over and said "well, we'll be closing at the end of this month" I was deflated, I didn't know what to say I was standing there thinking how I would miss this shop when we made our trips, he looked at the box set and said "how about half off?"..."huh, what?" snapping back to reality. "how about half off for the box set, you pick it up every time you come in, and I will just half to pack it up when we move." "You mean 40 bucks? Really?" I said, he replied "Sure, consider it a thank you for shopping with us!" Now I'm sure this set could go for about that overseas, but being imported here in the states that was a hell of a deal, I was actually thinking when he told me they were going out of business if I had enough to cover the full price. So was it worth it? Would it be worth 80, 100, more? I would say yes. Four Cd's, 96 songs including live tracks, easily worth it. Is the series worth even tracking down the DVD's? Yes, and I have, it is really that good.

So here's a little that I found out researching the music of Cowboy Bebop. The easy was that the music was by Yoko Kanno and a group called the Seatbelts. A Japanese band formed by Yoko Kanno for the purpose of producing the music for the show. I had read that she made a trip across the U.S. and was inspired by all the variations of music she heard on busses, planes, in parks, on the streets, that this was her inspiration for the music in the show. I have imagined this young lady making a trip to a foreign country and being so taken by all the forms of music that she goes home to write music better than what she heard in the first place. What a wonderful story. I'm always interested in more info on the band, so if anyone can clue me into current happenings with the Seatbelts and Miss Kanno, drop me a comment. I hope my readers, if not familiar with the voyages of the Bebop and her crew, go rent or watch a session. I guarantee you will not be disappointed in the show or the music. Till then... See you space cowboy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Returns of the Batman Die Cast

Not too long ago I featured the Batmobiles that flew across the screen in the original 89' Batman and 92' Batman Returns with a promise to show more of the Returns Vehicles. So with out a moments delay here are the other die cast that make up the Batman Returns Vehicles.

First up the Bat Jet Ski Boat, don't look at me, that's what they called it, I would have just called it a Bat-Hydrofoil or something.

This boat that looks more like a submarine made it's appearance towards the end of the movie, when Batman was jet ski boating through the sewers of Gotham to the Penguin's hide out.

Next out of the gate is the Batmissile, which is really a different configuration of the Batmobile. Who didn't think it was cool when the Batmobile ejected it's fenders and reconfigured it's wheels to form this sleeker version to get through the tight alleyways of Gotham? The only thing that bugged me was what happened to the fenders, or what was left of them? Did Alfred have to go pick them up?

Finally the villains ride. A huge Duck. I believe this was supposed to have been taken from what was left of the old abandoned zoo that Penguin lived under. I always got a kick out of the scene where Penguin returns to his hide out and this thing sort of six wheel drives out of the water and up a ramp, just looked funny to me.

So there we have it the Die cast vehicles of Batman Returns! Jet Ski Boats, Missiles, and Duck, oh my!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Space Suit Spock

This is the Playmates Toys 9" Spock in Space (or Environmental) Suit form that classic episode "The Tholian Web". If you are not familiar with the episode here's a link to a short synopsis from Basically Kirk gets trapped in "Interphase", between his space and another time and space, when investigating another starship that was left drifting. The Enterprise stays to help Kirk, but is in turn trapped in a web of energy generated by Tholian ships.

The Environmental Suits were worn by the Crew when they had beamed over to the other starship (the U.S.S. Defiant) in the beginning of the episode. These 9" figures were released as Target exclusives, this one was picked up at that time. The set would have included Chekov, Spock, and Kirk; but the times were tight and I decided to only get one, Kirk not being on the shelf it was between Spock and Chekov, so Spock it was.

At the time I didn't even think twice about setting this figure free, the space suit was just too damn cool to keep packaged, plus it reminded me of the silver firefighter suit from the old 12" GI Joe days. So this could be considered the first of the open 9" Spock's in the Spocklection.

Another cool thing about this episode was that we got to see a cool head shot of a Tholian, now I always thought tit would be cool to see a Mego style figure with the Tholian head, even a custom, but then Enterprise came along and tied into this episode and reveled the Tholians to have crystal like spider bodies...WTF, that just ruined it for me. I still like to believe they have these funky heads and humanoid bodies, like the good people at Mego would have done it! Maybe I'll make a custom figure, never tried it, but it would be worth some sculpty to see if I could pull it off.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Now I wish I picked up Namor!

While we're talking about the Invaders, a few weeks back I left a comment on in Toyriffic about finally finding this First Appearance Captain America, now I'm wishing I picked up that Marvel Legends Fantastic Four Series Namor so I would at least have the beginnings of a Invaders Team in the Marvel Legends scale.

Let's face it I can find a Human Torch easy, there are still tons left over from the last Fantastic Four Movie, plus it doesn't matter if I don't have Buckey, I always liked the team when the line up was Captain America, Namor, and the two Torches.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Invaders

A little update on my “Mini Collection” with the Invaders Box set. Back in May I saw these and knew I was going to order them, which is not my usual M.O. I usually say I’m going to order a con exclusive and then forget about it. But since I was picking up the next set of EMCE’s I saw this and added it to the ole’ cart.

I have to say that this set is plain sweet! The decos are all really nicely done, usually it’s hit or miss with the paint on Minimates, not as bad as the recent rounds of Justice League figures, just that sometimes you can tell they were a sleep in the line.

Beside the decos, this set excels in accessories. There are three shields, holders for the shields so you can pose Cap with his shield on his back, extra hair for Cap, a modern and vintage mask, hands for poses with shields, the possibilities seem endless as to styles. I really dig this feature and Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys would just incorporate this into all Minimates. But then again they couldn’t sell multiple copies of characters if you had all the different pieces to make costume changes.

Okay so besides Cap and Buckey’s Sheilds, what makes this set cool is a Transparent Human Torch (not Johnny Storm, before him) and Namor has these little wings for his feet. This I wasn’t really expecting to be so cool, I mean he is Spock in a Speedo after all.

The only thing I could think of that would make this set cooler, or hotter, would be one of those “jump” jets they flew around in. I think I might have to try and make one, if I do it’ll find it’s way up here.

Enough with the words and pictures I’m off to find my old Invaders comic, I gots a jet to make!