Friday, March 29, 2013

GI Joe Week Day 5: Toy Review – Slaughter’s Marauders Box Set (BBTS Exclusive) By Hasbro

I am now going to talk a bit about Sergeant Slaughter despite the fact that he is not a part of this box set.
Actually, it just struck me how irritating it is that two figures that should have been essential parts of this box set and the Dreadnoks box set that I reviewed on Wednesday came out as SDCC Exclusives. Extremely limited exclusives. I had to pay top dollar for Sgt. Slaughter in 2011 and just about had an aneurysm from trying to order Zarana from in 2012. And I couldn’t find the variants of either for any kind of reasonable price. The Dreadnoks set could have easily replaced the unknown Burn Out with Zarana and this Marauders set has even more chaff that could have been replaced or eliminated. As things stand I have Slaughter and Zarana up on the wall in their packaging because they’re special figures that I hate to open. Yes, even I – the great opener and destroyer of packaging – keep things in the box from time to time.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

GI Joe Week Day 4: More Recollecting

When I first started taking the bus to school there was this older kid that was mean to me. I don’t remember exactly how, but he was being a jerk. I went home and told my mom about it and she – ever the good-natured optimist – said I should talk to him and ask him why he was being mean and tell him I didn’t think I deserved it. Ridiculous, right?

Only it wasn’t. Because I did exactly that and I guess something got through because we ended up hanging out. It turned out he collected GI Joe just like I did. Not only that, he was a member of some sort of fan club that got special magazines and offers. One of those magazines had an article about using a Sharpie to color in some of the unpainted details on GI Joe figures like sculpted pistols and grenades.

That kid’s name was Peyton and he ended up being my best friend for years. His house had a huge playroom in the basement and we would set up the Joes on one side and COBRA on the other. We’d take turns being one or the other. GI Joe would send out patrols looking for COBRA and COBRA would attempt to either ambush the patrols or attack the base. We staged some epic battles and launched some memorable missions.

And then the first animated GI Joe: A Real American Hero miniseries happened and blew my little mind.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

GI Joe Week Day 3: Toy Review – Dreadnoks Box Set (BBTS Exclusive) By Hasbro

Note: A few of these pictures do not look how I want them to look because Photobucket is being a dick. Also, some are kind of fuzzy because I hadn't figured out how to photograph packaging yet when I took them.

 I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do this one.

I’ve always felt very strongly that I need to review sets of toys as sets of toys since you’re going to have to buy the whole thing even if you just want one or two pieces (barring waiting for split up sets to show up on eBay). Normally this is no big deal. I think the largest box set I’ve had to review so far was the Slave-1/Mace Windu’s Starfighter set from a couple of years ago. That was two vehicles and a few figures and was a big task, but seemed easy enough at the time.

But now we have these big honkin’ seven figure sets from and for some reason seven figures seems like a more daunting task. As a matter of fact, I remember skipping reviews for the GI Joe Arctic/Desert sets for just that reason.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

GI Joe Week Day 2: Memories of Joe

Okay, so I need to write about GI Joe. And boy, do I. We finally recorded the GI Joe episode of Earth Station One last week and in my eternal enthusiasm for all things Joe I ended up with hosting duties. I hosted the 2012 Halloween episode and of course have now hosted two NeedlessThings podcasts. I’m not concerned about the hosting itself - I just want to make sure I do justice to the material. So I needed to do some thinkin’. And you get to watch. And listen because by the time I post this the podcast will be live:

Side Note: The third episode of the Needless Things podcast is coming together and I am so excited about it but don’t want to say anything yet. Episode 3 is the one that I had in mind before I recorded episode 1 and before I had really decided that I was definitely going to do my own podcast.


Monday, March 25, 2013

GI Joe Week Day 1: Joelanta 2013

Welcome to GI Joe Week here on Needless Things!
I hate to do another theme week so soon after Predator Week, but that’s just how things shook out. I had enough Predator material and desire to write about Predator-related things to fill out a week (and more), so I decided the Friday before to do so.
Now GI Joe: Retaliation is (finally) coming out and if there’s anything I can do for a whole week it’s talk about GI Joe. So I kind of had to do a GI Joe week. Not only that, I hosted an episode of Earth Station One that is all about GI Joe! I did an awesome job and we all had fun with it. Me, Mike Faber, Bobby Nash, Mike Gordon, and JD spent a couple of hours talking about the history of GI Joe and our personal feelings about it. I could have gone on a lot longer. Please give it a listen, it’s a good one.
But before I get to the usual reminiscences, reviews, and whatnot I want to talk about the GI Joe convention we went to a week ago.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Toy Review The Three Doctors Box Set By Underground Toys

Ever since I took in all of Jon Pertwee’s run as the Doctor I have been eagerly anticipating figures of Jo Grant and Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. Of course, there was no guarantee we were actually going to get those figures, but as long as the Doctor Who Classics line continued they seemed like a safe bet.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Toy Review DC Signature Collection Saint Walker By Mattel

I’ll go right ahead and say that I am just not as enthusiastic about Lanterns as I once would have been.
After hearing about Geoff Johns’ work on the Green Lantern books for a couple of years – and Flash before that – I dove into that stuff to prepare for Blackest Night before it happened. And I absolutely loved it all. Johns’ retelling of Hal Jordan’s origin was especially engaging for me. While I knew Hal’s origin, I had never actually read a comic about it. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t read much in the way of Green Lantern comics at all.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Toy Review DC Signature Collection Phantom Stranger By Mattel

I’m delirious. I worked from 5 AM until 5 PM yesterday, got home at 7 PM, ate dinner, hosted the GI Joe episode of the Earth Station One Podcast, and didn’t end up falling asleep until after midnight. This meant I was able to download the new Le Sexoflex album as soon as it went live, but it also meant I ended up getting less than three hours of sleep. And now I have to work 5 to 5 again, get home at 7 PM, and take Mrs. Troublemaker to see Bad Religion for her birthday.
So know that as this goes live today I am in a deep slumber form which I will never awaken until Lil’ Troublemaker runs into my room and jumps on my head.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Toy Review Jango Fett’s Slave I By Hasbro

I’m sure Hasbro had this on display somewhere at Toy Fair, but I don’t remember seeing it. The first time this adorable little starship came to my attention was when I saw the box in a Target. At that point I vaguely recalled seeing something about an assortment of smaller-scale, lower-priced vehicles. But I don’t think it occurred to me that the elder Fett’s Firespray (soon to be the junior Fett’s) would be among them.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Predator Week (Extended) – Everything Else

I ended up going over five posts for Predator Week, but I’m sure you guys won’t mind. Because today is the day that I talk about all of the other stuff. This is going to be even more stream-of-consciousness than usual, so bear with me. I did some last-minute viewing and perusing for this one, so I’m going to write as it comes to me.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Today was supposed to be the day where I covered everything else – the comics, video games, and those two AvP movies. And then I remembered there was this whole other Predator movie. That I saw in the theater. And own on Blu Ray. Oops.
Robert Rodriguez had been wanting to do a Predator movie for a while. This sounded like an excellent idea to me (though not as excellent as him doing Barbarella; but much more excellent than him doing Barbarella with Rose McGowan as Barbarella) and I couldn’t wait for it to happen. I don’t remember how many years we were hearing about it before it actually did happen, but it was a while.
Rodriguez didn’t end up directing Predators – some guy with an even more Latin-sounding name did – but he was heavily involved in the production.
I wrote a review of Predators after I saw it in the theater. I really need to get a couple more posts in the bag. I’m behind right now. And I feel obligated to cover Predators during Predator Week. So here’s my review again:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Toy Review Big Red Predator By NECA

I think I first saw this guy back during Sand Diego Comic Con and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on him. The contrast between its yellowish skin and that bright red armor was striking. The plate mail… loin cloth? Codpiece? I dunno. Whatever. It all looked good put together. This was a Predator I was going to buy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Predator 2

I think it’s absolutely crazy that Predator 2 happened the way it did. Not only was megastar Arnold Schwarzenegger absent from the sequel, they chose to replace him with Danny Glover. At the time I only knew Danny Glover from the first two Lethal Weapon movies. Now, those are great action movies and you’d think one of the two main actors from such a great franchise would be a great star for another action franchise. The big stumbling block for fourteen-year-old me was one of the most famous catchphrases in the history of the universe:

I’m too old for this shit.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Toy Review Toys R Us Exclusive Predator 2-Pack By NECA

This thing was fucking elusive (an elusive exclusive). For a while there I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find this set.
I finally found one on my way to a great Platinum Championship Wrestling show, but before I get to them I want to talk about Predator.
Ha! Just kidding! I did that yesterday. Well, I talked about the first one anyway. And I’ll be covering the rest of the Predator-related movies and probably the comics a bit as well over the rest of the week. So now I have no intro.
Except that I can talk a bit about the history of Predator figures.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I think the first time I saw Predator – the original one with Arnold Schwarzenegger – was at a friend’s birthday party. I’m not positive that’s right, but we saw a lot of R-rated movies at his house, so I’m guessing that was it. His name was Wayne and his parents were super cool. His mom spoke English as a second language and his dad worked a lot, so there was a little less parental guidance in the “what movies are appropriate for these eleven-year-olds to be watching” department. Dude’s parents weren’t neglectful or anything; stuff just slipped by a little more easily.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Earth Station Who - 5 Doctor Who Episodes for a Newbie

We had an assignment for the most recent episode of Earth Station Who. I hate assignments, so I balked and fussed and waited until the last possible minute to do it. And not only do I hate assignments, I wasn’t all that crazy about this one in particular.

You see, we’ve run out of Regeneration stories. The first year of ESW was devoted to covering each Doctor’s first and last story. But we covered “The Eleventh Hour” two weeks ago and that was that. So Director Faber had this idea that we should talk about five episodes we would recommend to a Whobie (my term – a new Doctor Who fan, obviously) since Doctor Who is something of a worldwide phenomenon and there are so darn many of them right now.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Jitsu By Mattel

Jitsu was a guy I was happy to be getting. I don’t feel that way about every Masters of the Universe Classics figure, certainly not the humans. But throw in a cool samurai-looking head, a couple of Ninja-Turtle weapons, and some slick red and gold armor and I’m sold.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weird Al Yankovic

(Picture courtesy of
Okay, so Weird Al.

The first time I ever experienced Weird Al Yankovic was when I saw the video for “Eat It”. I was familiar with Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and thought that I was about to see that again, when all of a sudden there was this white guy on the screen instead of Michael Jackson. This was not the last time I would be surprised to see a white guy in a Michael Jackson video, it’s just that the other times it was Michael Jackson.

This curly-haired guy with a mustache and glasses proceeded to mimic pretty much every second of Jackson’s video while singing about food. And then got Thriller Eyes at the end, which actually freaked me out a little bit despite the fact that I had seen the full-length video for “Thriller” by that time. I think it was the context. But other than the creepy Thriller Eyes I absolutely loved what I saw. I also couldn’t believe it was on MTV because it seemed far too silly. The fact that such a thing was legitimized by actually appearing on the channel made me happy in a way I didn’t understand at the time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Toy Review – DC Unlimited Batgirl By Mattel

I like Barbara Gordon. I like her as Batgirl, I like her as Oracle. Obviously I liked her when the mind-blowingly hot Yvonne Craig was on screen in short dresses and go-go boots or that amazing, skintight, sparkly purple bodysuit. 

Not so much when she wasn’t actually Barbara Gordon and Alicia Silverstone was playing her; even if Batman and Robin is one of my favorite movies ever.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Green Section 1 – War Goddess

This is another brilliant idea I put up on Facebook. I asked if anybody thought it would be a good idea for me to review some random book from Previews’ “Green Section”.
For those that don’t know, the Green Section is where all of the independent publishers solicit their awful books. Whether it’s some random collection of drawings of fetuses, pervy stories about haunted vaginas (really!), or high-minded art school crap; the Green Section is somewhere I never go. Ever. I’m sure there are a few decent books in there, but it just isn’t worth slogging through all of the huge ads for “Princess Razortits, Queen of Cum” and “Milo the Sad Boy Comix”.
But if somebody else wanted to pick something out for me to review, I figured it might make for a worthwhile post. As often happens on Facebook when I think I have a really good or hilarious idea, I got exactly one response. It was from Varis, who liked the idea and promised to have a book waiting for me when I went to the shop on Monday.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Damian Wayne

If you haven’t read Batman Incorporated #8 (and plan to) and have managed to avoid the internet since… a month or so ago… DO NOT READ THIS!