Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Movie Review - Oculus

I’m a big fan of Karen Gillen.

Well, I suppose I’m a big fan of her Doctor Who character, Amy Pond. Because until recently I had never seen her in anything else and I didn’t have much to base fandom upon. But she’s a nice looking lady and a redhead.

I’m such a fan that I was willing to go and see a movie that 1) didn’t necessarily look great, and 2) was a WWE Film just because Gillen was in it. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve liked WWE Films movies in the past. I was one of the few fans of See No Evil. But it isn’t exactly a mark of strong quality.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Toy Review – Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Doctor & Dalek Box Set: Evil of the Daleks from Underground Toys

I didn’t know how the heck to title this one.

Over the course of 2013 – the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who – Character Options/Underground Toys released eleven box sets to commemorate the Doctor’s regenerations and his oldest, most constant nemeses – the Daleks. I was very excited about these because they were newly repainted versions of each Doctor alongside mostly new versions of Daleks from each era. It was by far the most exciting toy-related occurrence of the Fiftieth.

Unfortunately these sets were prohibitively expensive and I had to pass. I think the first time I saw them listed they were something like fifty bucks a set. I can’t go for that. No. No can do.

But then, as sometimes happens, the first three sets got listed in Previews for a more affordable price. Subtract from that the discount I get for being a loyal patron of my Local Comic Book Shop (try it – you’ll like it!) and these became more do-able. Especially now that I’m not throwing money away on DC action figures that I don’t even like every month.
As with all things from Diamond these took a while to start trickling in, but the Second and Sixth Doctor sets have arrived. I’ll get to ol’ Sawbones Hex next week(ish), but for now I want to discuss Doctor Two.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Phantom Troublemaker on Star Wars: Episode II - The Expanded Universe

When I sat down to post this I remembered that I had written sort of a general Star Wars post before. Oddly enough, it was almost exactly a year ago. If you want to check that one out, it's here. Also, after I looked at this picture I realized there are a few non-Star Wars books in there. Whatever. You get the point.

***Warning: This article will contain spoilers for things that have occurred in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. If you haven’t read the books but intend to, don’t read this. Also, Disney has said that none of it matters anyway. So whatever. This post is about how I feel about that.***

Before I start, let me clarify that this article addresses my personal experiences with the Star Wars Expanded Universe. That’s how I do everything here on Needless Things and it’s how I’m going to do this. I don’t write via Wikipedia. As such, I’m not going to be talking about the role playing games despite the fact that they are the basis for a massive portion of the EU. I never played them. I also won’t be discussing the video games very much, as I have never been a big gamer (despite working in video game retail for six or so years). This is mostly about the comics and the novels.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Needless Things Podcast Episode 19: Masters of the Universe Classics 2013 Year in Review

Yes, the picture is correct - this is Episode 19 of the Podcast. We recorded it back in January, but for various reasons I have not been able to publish it until now. This makes the image for the Stephen Platinum episode incorrect, but the numbering is right on everything now.

2013 was a huge year for Masters of the Universe and now it's time for me and Mr. Beau Brown to finally get together and talk about it. Or time for me to post our talk about it anyway. We actually recorded this back in January, but I haven't been able to put it up until now because of the restrictions I had on my hosting. Thanks to you Phantomaniacs I have finally been able to upgrade and I can do more podcasting than ever before. We'll see how that goes. I have lots of big plans for the future.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Modulok from Mattel

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, Phantiomaniacs. I had to leave work a few hours into my shift on Tuesday night because I was having intense abdominal pain. I was afraid it was a kidney stone. I had one interrupt my Dragon Con weekend a few years ago and haven't had one since. I am very thankful fir that.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Toy Review – Game of Thrones Legacy: Tyrion Lannister from Funko

Lest you think I forgot about these new figures from Funko, let’s return to the land of Westeros and take a look at my favorite character on television – Tyrion Lannister.
Before I talk about the sole member of the Lannister family that isn’t an intolerable shitbag, let me update you on the status of my damaged Game of Thrones figures.

Monday, April 21, 2014

1000th Post! Needless Things Podcast Episode 22: State of the Phantom Address

In which Phantom Troublemaker discusses matters of health, finance, and rocking the mic.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Toy Review – Pacific Rim Jaeger: Cherno Alpha from NECA

I didn’t realize how memorable the score from Pacific Rim is until I started editing pictures for this review. It immediately came to mind and is now stuck in my head – and I don’t mind at all. I don’t even own the score (though I probably will by the time you read this), but I’ve definitely watched the movie enough times by now to know the key music.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Toy Review – Batman: Arkham Origins Anarky from DC Collectibles

I’ve always thought that Anarky was kind of stupid. Of course, I’ve also long held the belief that anarchy is kind of stupid. Once you get past the cool looking “A”, the core belief system leaves a lot of room for poop in places where poop does not belong. And I can’t get behind that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Was A Double Dare Reject By R.T. Ewell

When I was young, Nickelodeon was my channel. I LOVED it. There were so many great shows on. From Doug to Clarissa Explains It All. I can't forget to mention its flagship show for a long time, You Can't Do That On Television. Not to mention the game shows that were strictly for kids. Finders Keepers, Legends Of The Hidden Temple, and GUTS. I thought GUTS, which was a kids American Gladiators, was a show that would have been cool to be on. Of all of these awesome shows there was one show that ruled them all. Double Dare.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Captain America: The Winter Soldier Winter Soldier from Hasbro


Man. These post titles just keep getting sillier.

Also, I am sick and fucking tired of these figures breaking on me:
Yep. That’s Bucky’s damned arm lying on the ground.

Monday, April 14, 2014

More Fundraising – The Best Random Posts

This was supposed to be posted almost two weeks ago, but other things kept coming up. Among them are the fact that my external hard drive crashed and I do not have access to my recorded podcasts. Or my music or pictures or videos or anything else.
What the fuck is up with technology? I have tried two different backup programs and I can’t ever get them to work. I keep my stuff on an external hard drive because I thought that would be better, but apparently there is no “better”. Is the only solution to pay some exorbitant fee to one of those cloud backup services?
Anyway, I’m writing this on Saturday and there’s a possibility my data can be recovered. We’ll see.
On a brighter note, as of last Saturday I have raised enough money to upgrade my plan with Podbean. I want to offer my sincerest thanks to John, Chris, R.T. Ewell, Beth V, Sharron, John & Ashley, Heather, Gregg, and the Coopers. You guys are outstanding.
I want to give extra-special thanks to Lori of Third Half Studios for not only helping out with a donation, but for providing the even more valuable support of advice and encouragement. I don’t know what I did to earn such a good friend, but I’m glad I did it.
As for the rest of the Phantomaniacs, I want to thanks you guys for checking in every day. Not everybody has the ability or desire to throw money at some stranger’s website and podcast, but your continued interest means a lot to me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Best Cartoon Ever (of the Month) - Conan the Adventurer by Kalan

FORWARD NOTE: Now, I have to warn you fellow toonthusiasts, it was incredibly difficult not to compose this month's edition of Best Cartoon Ever (of the Month) in all-caps – with the hope that you would more thoroughly comprehend how utterly excited this cartoon can make me. I am always easily excitable when it comes to talking toons, but this one makes my ADHD shoot through the roof and I'm sort of like that loud, ridiculously annoying kid you really wish was in a Ritalin coma. My enthusiasm for this show makes me want to grab you by the shoulders and yell at you how absolutely amazing I find it and recount the entire story line to you at an absurd volume. So, reader dearest, if you could do me a favor and yell a little in your head while you're reading this, it'll make it that much more enjoyable experience. Now on to said experience....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Streak Is Over. by R.T. Ewell

Before we get into today's excellent post from Richard, I just want to take a moment to express my sadness over the passing of Warrior.

I say Warrior because that was his name. Not Jim Hellwig, because that guy had his name legally changed to "Warrior" and I feel like I should probably respect that.

Anyway, when he was the Ultimate Warrior in the WWF the man was pure fire. He was this force that could not be denied. No matter what you thought about him he was like nothing else that had ever been in the ring. He was possibly the most singular professional wrestler that has ever been. He had a vision for what he wanted to be and nothing - not even Vince McMahon - was going to change him. I respect the heck out of that.

His death is tragic and strange and remarkable. The timing is probably perfect, though. As outspoken and undeniable as Warrior was, he was still this enigma that defied description or easy definition. I don't know how or why he is no longer on this plane of existence, but it has people thinking and talking and wondering. And I think that's just the way he would have wanted it.

Godspeed, Warrior. May the next realm be as awed by you as we were.

If you are a wrestling fan then you instantly know what that title referring to. Even if you aren't, it is very likely that you know what the streak is concerning professional wrestling. The streak is a staggering, amazing, achievement that the phenom known as the Undertaker has had the privilege to hold in the WWE. It is something that has become a part of wrestling tradition. Every year at the show of shows, WrestleMania, the Undertaker puts the streak on the line because as of this year he had won 21 years straight. That's right; he is 21-0 at the “Superbowl” of wrestling events. Every year, the streak match is almost more important than any of the championships that are put on the line that night. It's a big deal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Movie Review – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I feel like every time I do a movie review it’s a different format. That’s not good or bad, it’s just that I have different ways to express how I feel about different movies. Sometimes I want to do a full recap, sometimes I just want to talk about stuff the movie made me think about, and sometimes I just want to make fun of it. I do know that I won’t be doing the latter today, as The Winter Soldier was no laughing matter.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Captain America: The Winter Soldier Red Skull from Hasbro

That’s a ridiculous amount of words for the title of one action figure review. 
Being that he comes from the Avengers side of the Marvel Universe (as opposed to the mutants side), I didn’t have much interest in Red Skull until he showed up in Captain America: The First Avenger. Back in the days when Marvel Legends were relatively easy to find and cost a third of what they do now, I would still pick and choose which ones I wanted. Unless there was a build-a-figure I had to have (Apocalypse, Mojo, and the Sentinel are the only ones that fit that bill) I never bought a full wave. Or series. Or whatever.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Captain America: The Winter Soldier Movie Captain America from Hasbro

As far as comics go I’m not an Avengers guy, but I’ve always loved Captain America. I love this country and was raised with a pretty strong sense of patriotism, so Cap was always the one non-mutant and non-bitten-by-a-radioactive-spider superhero that I had a soft spot for.
The first Captain America movie was, in my opinion, perfect and is still my favorite of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Evans’ portrayal of Steve Rogers is immaculate. Of course, a lot of that credit goes to the writers as well. Evans’ purity, earnestness, and determination made Cap every bit the awe-inspiring superhero that Rob Downey made Tony Stark.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Toy Review: The LEGO Movie Glider by R.T. Ewell

I was going to write up an intro to Richard's intro explaining what he was doing today, but he did a way better job than I could. While I'm here, though, I want to express my sincerest thanks to every single one of you that has bought stuff or donated or just spread the word. I'm close, Phantomaniacs. Really close.

I want to give an especially big thank you to Richard for what he's doing today - going way above and beyond. Thanks, man.

Okay, on with the post.

Before I get to my latest LEGO review I would like to tell you guys about yet another way to help this wonderful site that we all love so much, Needless Things.
You all know by now that Phantom needs our help. What many people don't understand about blogging and podcasting is that it can get expensive. Yes, it all starts out mostly for free but the more you do, the more costly it gets. Phantom blogs a lot with a ton of pictures (& he wants to do more podcasting) which is totally amazing for us but a bit pricey for him. So he has called upon us for help and I am here to offer you guys something special. As some of you may know, I am a horror author and I have put together an auction to help out the cause.
I have put together a very rare item that will help support Needless Things. On eBay right now is your opportunity to get ahold of a copy of Fat Trapped with 100% of the proceeds going to the Needless Things site! Not only do you get the book (plus some other goodies) but it will definitely be a one of a kind item. Along with being signed, I have gone through the book and doodled on select chapters. I sometimes draw in the books but never to the extent that I have here. Please spread the word and let’s help ol’ Phantom out so we can keep this awesome, nerdy site going even stronger than it was before!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews March 2014

Believe it or not, I’m back with the second installment of a hopefully ongoing series!

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

13 Questions With Scott Nietlich of Mattel

As many of you might know, I have been trying to make inroads into various toy companies for quite some time now. I suppose it’s a pipe dream of mine to interview somebody from each of the major toy companies, as well as some professionals who have spent time working in the industry.

Over the last several months I have been sending e-mails and messages out to various names that I come across. I’ve communicated with people from DC Direct, Funko, NECA, and a couple of smaller companies. I’ve also exchanged messages with a guy that has sculpted for Mezco and DC Direct. We should be recording sometime in the next two weeks.

But the larger companies have taken some time to work with. I’m not sure if they’re wary of bloggers or hesitant to spend valuable time talking to what is probably a smaller presence on the internet. Everybody has been very nice and cooperative, but I have definitely felt like they’re sort of stalling or something.

The last thing in the world I expected was to hear back from one of the most consistently persecuted personalities on the internet – Toy Guru himself, Scott Nietlich.