Thursday, March 31, 2011

WrestleMania Week: WrestleMania Weekend

I have an extremely busy weekend ahead of me. Obviously WrestleMania – the Grandaddy of Them All, the Showcase of The Immortals, WROSSLEMAYNYA! – is Sunday night at Phillips, but there is a massive shit-ton of stuff going on between now and then.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WrestleMania Week: My Favorite WrestleMania Matches

Regardless of the quality of the matches or the amount of setup involved, WrestleMania is the biggest wrestling show of the year. WWE may have forgotten years ago what it means to be a entertaining wrestling company, but they still know how to bring the thunder one Sunday out of 52.
The first WrestleMania I watched live was XIV. It was amazing and exciting and the thing that rekindled my love for the sport after a few spotty years where I only half paid attention (kind of like what I’m going through right now). I have watched every WrestleMania since then live as it happened and have also gone back and checked out the previous ‘Manias just to see what I had missed. I remember watching WrestleMania III when I was a kid. I don’t know if it was a replay or maybe we rented it when it came out on video or what, but I remember watching the whole thing. My dad left the room before the first hour was up. I can’t say I blame him. If you’re not already a fan, the first hour of that particular event is not going to entice you with blockbuster draws like the Can-Am Connection and Billy Jack Haynes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Toy Review – WWE All-Stars 2-Pack “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs John Morrison By Mattel

Normally I would lead off a review of wrestling toys with my Vintage line: “I had no intention of buying these, but…” but I’m not doing that today. I saw these online somewhere before they came out (probably at Toy Fair) and kind of wanted them from the start.
You might be wondering what “these” are and what makes them so darned special that I would (once again) buy wrestling figures after stopping that collection several years ago. They are 2-packs of Mattel’s WWE figures that are being sold to tie in with (and promote) the forthcoming WWE All-Stars video game. Each of the three sets reflects a “Dream Match” between a current Superstar and a Legend, and I think Mattel did a pretty good job with the matchups. You’ve got John Morrison versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage, CM Punk versus “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Randy Orton versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts. I passed on that last one.

Monday, March 28, 2011

WrestleMania Week: Phan Request – The Top Ten Black Wrestlers

Welcome to WrestleMania Week here at Needless Things! It's time for my first ever Phan-requested post! This one comes from young Phantomaniac Carlito via Facebook:

Dear Phantom Troublemaker,
Will you please list the top ten best black wrestlers? Then the top ten Asian, Hispanic and white?
Thank you so much – you are my very favorite masked blogger!

Of course I will! Since you gave me no guidelines this one will be easy as pie. Awesome pie!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Toy Review – Green Lantern Classics Series 2 Medphyll/Naut Kei Loi By Mattel

While I was excited about another figure with multiple heads/hands like Low and Maash from Green Lantern Classics first series, this one seemed like a lesser offering somehow. I’ve always liked Medphyll and you could toss a fishbowl helmet on pretty much anything and I’ll love it; I guess the standard Green Lantern uniform is just a bit played out in the DCUC world at this point.
The good thing about that generic Corps uniform was that it meant I could use one of the extra figures from the GreenLantern’s Light box set for either Medphyll or Naut Kei Loi depending on which one came from BigBadToyStore. Or at least, I hoped it did. I wasn’t actually sure if it would work. Mattel could easily change the connection points or neck size or who knows what else to make my little plan not work.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Toy Review – Green Lantern Classics Series 2 Carol Ferris By Mattel

After rambling on for so long in Tuesday’s intro I find I don’t have that much to say today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toy Review – Green Lantern Classics Series 2 G’Hu By Mattel

I was kind of torn about Mattel including a movie-style Green Lantern in the second series of their Green Lantern Classics line. While I would have liked to have another comic-styled ring bearer too add to my collection (preferably Atrocitus), it was neat to be getting a preview figure for a movie that I am getting more excited about by the day. Especially a crazy alien. Obviously this is an attempt by Mattel to lure you into buying their Green Lantern Movie Masters line. Will it work? Let’s see…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toy Review – Green Lantern Classics Series 2 Sodam Yat By Mattel

I didn’t become a fan of the whole Green Lantern thing until a few years ago.
I’ve never really gotten into any of the more cosmic-oriented space opera stuff from comic books. Despite my love of most things Star Wars and Trek I prefer my superheroes be more concerned with terrestrial matters. I’m sure that’s something I could spend an article investigating, but for now let’s just say the only time I didn’t love Claremont’s run on X-Men was when they were in space. And most people cite that stuff as their favorite. Once comic book storylines exited our upper atmosphere I tended to lose interest.
But then DC Comics started making a big ol’ stink about this “Blackest Night” thing they were doing. I had been hearing about the event’s architect – Geoff Johns – for a little while at that point. My wife – who is about as jaded a comic book aficionado as you’re going to find – had raved about his work on The Flash and several friends had been recommending his Green Lantern work. Which apparently was leading directly into “Blackest Night” and had been for a couple of years. And I am an absolute sucker for years of build-up.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Outer Space Men

I’ve been struggling a bit with how to write about these guys. I didn’t want to do regular toy reviews since they sort of defy standard conventions. I also didn’t really want to just write about them as a whole because 1) I am not as familiar with their history as some other corners of the internet and 2) there are four distinct characters to discuss (so far) and each of them is very unique despite sharing formats and even specific parts. Certain other lines I cover do the same thing (DCUC and MOTUC), so it didn’t seem fair to treat the Outer Space Men any differently. But I’m going to anyway.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Random Stuff - 3/2011

It’s time for some rambling because I have got to stay awake today.
I’m going to start with Trish Stratus because she is still my favorite female wrestler ever and just happened to be on the RAW I watched last night looking better than she ever has. She’s not dyeing her hair anymore and I do believe she’s either had her implants reduced or taken out entirely. Both of these things have made her about 1000% hotter. My preferences lay towards smaller-boobed brunettes (or redheads if you could somehow extract the crazy), but Trish was always so awesome she made my list anyway. Which I’m sure she would be just thrilled to know.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Bow By Mattel

The Club Eternia Subscription has not worked out exactly like I had planned.
That’s not to say that I’m sorry I signed up, I just didn’t think my whole plan through before doing it. My genius idea (obviously it’s a good one, because LOTS of other people apparently are doing it as well) was to subscribe and then just put the figures I didn’t want up on eBay for the price plus what I paid for shipping (around $28.00 for the regular figures). This would come out cheaper than what I have seen a lot of the figures go for.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Movie Review: Jackass 3

No, I didn’t mean “Jackass 3D”. We didn’t watch it that way, so I can’t honestly review it that way. Due to my eyes being weird, most kinds of video 3D don’t work for me. The dual-colored kind has never worked. I remember going to see Jaws 3D when I was young and just getting a headache. I had corrective surgery on my eyes when I was in high school (not to see 3D movies, there was a more significant issue) and thought that might help, but it didn’t. I got contact lenses after high school, but there was a dearth of 3D movies for several years and I didn’t have the opportunity to see if they helped before finally swearing off the damned things about ten years ago.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Toy Review - DC Universe Classics/Masters of the Universe: Hawkman Versus Stratos By Mattel

One thing I forgot to mention in the Aquaman/Mer-Man review was that I called these sets long before they came out. Because, clearly, I am a genius. I believe I had suggested Cyborg versus Roboto at one point. Not that that was a good suggestion – I think I saw a Cyborg figure the other day marked down to five cents.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Toy Review - DC Universe Classics/Masters of the Universe: Aquaman Versus Mer-Man By Mattel

I’ve started a few articles off with this statement now, but it is always true:
I had no intention of buying these.
Or the other set that came out at the same time – Stratos and Hawkman. I mean, I already have Mer-Man, Aquaman and Hawkman. And Stratos has never been one of my favorite Masters, even when he looked a lot cooler in 2002. But as tends to happen, a number of disparate factors came together to gnaw away at my geek resolve and I finally gave in and bought both sets.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Toy Review – DC Universe Classics - Green Lantern’s Light Box Set (Walmart Exclusive) By Mattel

I know I sound like a broken record, but here it is: I had no intention of buying this set.
I originally found this Green Lantern set when it showed up on Walmart’s site several months ago; right around the same time I had to pony up for something else pricey (I think it might have been the HOT TOYS WHISTLER figure) and I decided to pass on it. Guy Gardner was the only figure from the set I considered a must-have and I really didn’t want to shell out sixty (I think it was – might have been fifty-five) bucks for him. I sort of wanted the Tomar Re too, but he appeared to be 100% farmed parts (none of which were entirely appropriate) and not very exciting. As for the other three figures – Jordan, Stewart and Sinestro – I don’t need more of any of those guys. We’ll get into the specifics of the issues each figure has below.
So with all of that, you might wonder why I bought this set. Fair enough. The second series of Green Lantern Classics has a Green Lantern figure with additional heads and hands; like Low/Maash from the first series. It will cost between fifteen and twenty-three dollars to buy a second one of these. I found the Green Lantern’s Light box set on Amazon for 41.99 with free shipping. Once I applied this simple mathematical equation:
$42 - $15 (Guy) - $15 (Tomar) = $12 for three figures I don’t want
$15 + x (unknown quantity to represent the ridiculous markup on this guy) + hassle = Purchasing a second figure to get Medphyll/Nautkeloi.
Or something like that. I plan to use Hal’s body for Medphyll and sell Stewart and Sinestro on eBay. Or at least I did, until… we’ll get to that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Movie Review: Rubber

So I’ve been reading about this movie – Rubber – for a while now. If you don’t know, Rubber is the story of an automobile tire that gains sentience and discovers it has the ability to make things explode. Say what you will, but that’s a premise that gets me excited. It sounds fresh and ridiculous and awesome. And that’s pretty much what everybody was saying about it.
I was totally looking forward to seeing Rubber. Not in the theater or anything, but definitely when it got a home release.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Poo Nightmare

A tower of poo made by Jaycee the Italian Greyhound. Those Italians and their art.
I have more stories about poo than I am entirely comfortable with. Here’s one of them.

Well, two actually. See, I was telling the guys at work about Lil’ Troublemaker’s potty training progress. He’s pretty much good to go at this point whether we’re out or at home. We’re very proud of him and how it went down was basically one day he just decided it was Big Boy Underwear day and has rolled like that ever since. It’s awesome.

But before that, in the times where things were a bit sketchy, he gave me a poo story.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Toy Review – DC Universe Classics Series 16 - Azrael Batman By Mattel

Mattel had a tough decision to make when naming this figure. “Jean-Paul Valley as Batman” is obviously correct, but there are all kinds of reasons you might not want that hanging from a peg. While “Knightsend Batman” would have technically been more appropriate than “Knightfall Batman”, I think Knightfall is more likely to be familiar to the general public or lapsed fans as the story where Bane (this series’ build-a-figure) broke Bruce Wayne’s back and then Wayne found the one insane sociopath in all of Canada to appoint as his successor. Way to go, Bruce. So of course, Mattel chose "Azrael Batman", which really doesn't make any sense given that Azrael was a different crime-fighting persona entirely and probably isn't as recognizable as Knightfall. Whatever.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Toy Review – DC Universe Classics Series 16 - The Creeper By Mattel

Of the three DC Universe Series 16 figures I ordered, The Creeper is the one I was most excited about.
The first Creeper story I ever read was the one from The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told collection. I liked the idea of sort of an anti-Joker and he certainly had a memorable look. The Creeper might have popped up now and again in the intervening years, but my next major memory of him was his appearance on The Batman & Robin Adventures. We got a figure thanks to that episode and I still have it on my Batman Animated shelf. Even though the cartoon deviated from the comic book origin, I think it was the best characterization of The Creeper.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Toy Review – DC Universe Classics Series 16 - Riddler By Mattel

So the batch of DCUC Series 16 figures that I preordered from Amazon months ago finally came. The series consists of Jonah Hex, Mercury, old-school Robin (with two different heads; both equally gay), Riddler (in his tights like the Super Powers version), Jean-Paul Valley as Batman and the Creeper. The latter three are the only ones I really wanted. Jonah Hex is okay but doesn’t really fit in with my collection well enough to spend fifteen bucks on, I haven’t bought any of the other Metal Men and while I really like Dick Grayson as Nightwing and Batman he’s probably my least favorite Robin (Tim Drake will always win that contest).
We’ll get around to Knightfall Batman and Creeper in the next few days. Today we’re taking a look at Riddler.