Friday, December 30, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 140 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story



Join the Needless Things Irregulars for a discussion about the newest entry into the ongoing Star Wars franchise – Rogue One!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christina's The Best (And Best Attempts) of 2016

By Christina


What did I like about this year?  What did I read or listen to?  Who did I think did it best or worst?  Let’s find out, shall we?  Here is my 2016 year end review!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Immanentize The Eschaton: Best Of 2016




There's only a few more days left in 2016, and while a lot of you are dwelling on the worst, Optimist Prime here is going to break down the best. Well, my personal best that is. Everyone here at Needless Things is doing it so be sure to check out the other "Best Of"' lists being posted this week. I know 2016 has killed a lot of famous entertainers, but as they say, life goes on. For all the crappiness that 2016 may have brought you, it brought me one of the nerdiest years ever. It was so nerdy in fact, that compiling a list of absolute best has been extremely difficult. To remedy this I've added more categories than I originally intended to, just so I can spread the love a bit more. So here we go, The Best of 2016:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Beth's Best of 2016

Oh 2016 I will not be sad to see the end of you. Sure some cool stuff happened along the way, but too many great people keep dying. Not to mention all the horror and madness in the world right now. So yeah, I’m ready to move on. And for once I’m going to try and be positive by talking about the good things that we did get out of the year. Phantom gave us a lot of ideas on what to talk about this week, but I’m guessing mine will look a bit different since I’m not into quite the same stuff as he or our other contributors are (I do not have a pick for best toy line or company). I’ll list my nominees, and follow with my pick for winner along with my reasoning why (just to let you know how this will work). So without further ado let’s talk about my picks for The Best of 2016.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 139 - Christmas in Disney



Phantom Troublemaker talks about Christmastime in Walt Disney World with his family!



Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

You can follow Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!


If you enjoy podcasts, Disney, or Needless Things, you might enjoy SupportPhantom.com.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Break


I'm in Walt Disney World for Christmas break. Consider me on vacation.

Jerry will have something on Thursday and Friday will be a Very Special Episode of the Needless Things Podcast.

Everyone will be back next week with a series of Best of 2016 posts, the idea of which is much harder to convey than you'd imagine.

You can follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to see what happens on my family's Disney Christmas adventure! 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

If you enjoy Christmas or Needless Things, you might enjoy SupportPhantom.com.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 138 – Batman Returns Needless Commentary



Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Grimm Tales of Terror 2016 Holiday Special from Zenescope


By Phantom Troublemaker

In this Comic Book Wednesday I’m taking a look at the Grimm Tales of Terror 2016 Holiday Special. It’s available today at your Local Comic Book Shop!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays – it’s time to return to Zenescope’s Grimm world for four tales of Yuletide terror (and one wraparound story)! Each of the stories represents a different aspect of the holiday season; ones that we’re a familiar with. There’s a mall Santa, the office Christmas party, the temptation of peeking at gifts, and caroling. What could possibly go wrong with Christmas carolers?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What's Next for The Walking Dead?


By Beth

I know that hating The Walking Dead is the cool thing now. Phantom has been hating it for a while so he's ahead of the curve. What a trendsetter! I don't hate The Walking Dead. I've put a lot of time into this show, and I really want it to be good. After two 90 minute episodes in a row that gave us probably a total of 60 minutes of decent content though...well I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Phantom on Marvel – Agents of SHIELD


By Phantom Troublemaker

Since I started the Needless Things Podcast the frequency of my commentary and speculation pieces has been dwindling. I enjoy talking a lot more than I enjoy writing and I enjoy conversation more than I enjoy tossing lengthy essays out into an unresponsive void.

Plus, now that I have paying supporters on SupportPhantom.com (few though they may be) I feel a little more obligated to post stuff there when I am taken with the desire to write.
But every once in a while I still get the itch to post something here that’s a little broader and more interesting than a toy review. Which is why I’m here today.

I want to talk about Marvel – comics, TV shows, movies; everything. Or at least, everything I’m qualified to talk about. Obviously I can’t read every comic book Marvel publishes and right now I’m choosing to read even less than I normally do because a lot of them seem to be terrible. And I’m going to discuss that, too.

Today I’m going to write about Marvel TV. Live action TV, that is. I’m not getting into cartoons because they’ve been around so much longer and also because Spectacular Spider-Man and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were so perfect and what has replaced them is, in my opinion, hot garbage.

Superhero Squad was great, too.

This post was originally going to encompass everything – Agents of SHIELD and all of the Netflix stuff – but it turns out SHIELD gave me plenty to go on about on its own. Stay tuned for what might be individual pieces for the Marvel Netflix shows.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 137 - Winter Break: Invasion, Madness, & Hellfire!


Phantom Troublemaker and Head of Research Ryan Schweck discuss the current seasons of Agents of SHIELD, Gotham, and the CW DC shows!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Coherence



Recently I've been obsessing over the Mandela Effect and it's different theories, so this week's installment is inspired by that. Unless of course, you are in an alternate timeline, then for you this will be a review of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. For those of you who are fortunate enough to be reading the Coherence review but don't have any idea what the Mandela Effect is, then keep reading cause it's gonna get weird. It's always weird in Devlin's Domain.

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews December 2016: “Remember December”


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 are typically about three months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in February.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Toy Review – Arkham City 1:10 Scale Harley Quinn from NECA


“Over the last few years Harley Quinn has become one of my favorite characters.”

Is a statement that pretty much every comic book nerd in the world would make, except they wouldn’t admit to the “last few years” part. They’d claim she was their favorite from the start.
Don’t get mad at them. It’s not their fault. That sort of thig comes from the toxic environment created by the self-appointed gatekeepers of our pop culture. You almost have to qualify every statement you make about your fandom, lest some hoary hobgoblin emerge from the nerd strata above yours to crush you with their psychopathic, encyclopedic knowledge of the matter at hand, thus proving that your fandom is fraudulent and that they have once again triumphed over a lesser being.

This sort of thing is why I don’t discuss Doctor Who in public anymore.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Phantom on DC Rebirth So Far


By Phantom Troublemaker

I was discussing comics in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook group the other day and our pal Rich said that DC’s Rebirth IS “one of the best things done in my lifetime for comics”. My immediate response was to think that was a bit hyperbolic, but it did prompt me to examine what, exactly, DC has managed to accomplish with their latest publishing initiative.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 136 - Beastie Boys

A very special episode of the Needless Things Podcast dedicated to the Beastie Boys!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Toy Review – Batman Begins 1:10 Scale Batman from NECA


The first thing I have to address is the fact that you guys probably know how I feel about Nolan’s “Batman” movies and, as such, are probably wondering why I would buy a figure from one of them. Especially after rage-selling all of Mattel’s Movie Masters a few years ago.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Increasingly Confusing Star Wars Chronology

by Beth

I was at work the other day when I heard a coworker about 10 years younger than me trying to explain Star Wars to a much younger coworker. The second girl is in her early 20's, and had never seen any Star Wars anything. As shocking as this was to me I was even more surprised that the girl explaining the correct order was 4,5,6 followed by 1,2,3. I felt forced to jump in at this point of the conversation and tell them that chronological order would make more sense than order of release for someone who knows nothing about Star Wars. Then I got to thinking about all of the media, and the order everything should go in. I'd still suggest chronological, but suddenly things were a lot more complicated.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Phantom on Marvel – The Comics


By Phantom Troublemaker

Since I started the Needless Things Podcast the frequency of my commentary and speculation pieces has been dwindling. I enjoy talking a lot more than I enjoy writing and I enjoy conversation more than I enjoy tossing lengthy essays out into an unresponsive void.
Plus, now that I have paying supporters on SupportPhantom.com (few though they may be) I feel a little more obligated to post stuff there when I am taken with the desire to write.
But every once in a while I still get the itch to post something here that’s a little broader and more interesting than a toy review. Which is why I’m here today.

I want to talk about Marvel – comics, TV shows, movies; everything. Or at least, everything I’m qualified to talk about. Obviously I can’t read every comic book Marvel publishes and right now I’m choosing to read even less than I normally do because a lot of them seem to be terrible. And I’m going to discuss that, too.

Today is comic book day. I’m going to write some about my history reading Marvel comics and some about what I think of Marvel right now.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 135 – BlackFriday/Hollywood


Phantom Troublemaker tries something new with an audio version of Vintage Troublemaker!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Toy Review - The New Batman Adventures Firefly from DC Collectibles


Firefly is a character that I honestly don't even remember being used in The Animated Series or The New Batman Adventures all that much. I like his design but I could swear he wasn't on more than one episode. But he's cool and he has a history from the comic books and is definitely more badass than Killer Moth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vintage Troublemaker - The Unborn and The Haunting in Connecticut


By Phantom Troublemaker

Originally posted in 2009 on the Phantom Troublemaker MySpace page.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Giving Thanks

By Phantom Troublemaker


This is the time of year when we gather together with our friends, family, and neighbors to give thanks and to take some time to appreciate the things that we might take for granted in our day to day lives.

It is a time for reflection and contemplation. A time to embrace the wonders of life and find the joy in simply  being. Whether you believe in a god or fate or simply the power of your own life force, this is a special time of year that crosses denominational and cultural borders.

Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that is relatively untouched by crass commercialization and can be appreciated as simply a time to commune with others, oneself, or the universe.

As such, I’m going to take this opportunity to write about toys and wrestling and stuff.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 134 – ThanksKilling Needless Commentary



Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Toy Review – The New Batman Adventures Nightwing from DC Collectibles


I’ve gone back and forth over which Robin is my favorite (right now it’s Tim), but Dick Grayson will always be my favorite Nightwing.

Yes, I know. Dick is the only Nightwing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An Hour With Brandon Sanderson

by Beth
The coolest thing I saw at Dragon Con (besides the Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show of course) was the Brandon Sanderson panel. I think I've already mentioned how great it was, but I took the trouble to record it to share with all of you. I didn't get any interviews this year so this was as close as I was going to get to an author that I really enjoy and respect. Unfortunately I had major issues with my recorder, and hadn't been able to recover the audio. I was pissed since it was a really long, and extremely in-depth panel. I couldn't possibly remember everything that he talked about well enough to relate accurately to you. At long last I have gotten my audio back (and will be buying a new recorder for next year), and can at last bring you some of the many highlights of this great panel.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Rebooting the X-Men

By Phantom Troublemaker


In the world of comic books, the X-Men are second only to Batman to me. I’ve loved Marvel’s (not so) Merry Mutants since 1988. If I had to list my top ten favorite comic book stories, I’d be willing to bet that the X-Men are in eight of them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Phantom on Marvel – The Movies

By Phantom Troublemaker


Since I started the Needless Things Podcast the frequency of my commentary and speculation pieces has been dwindling. I enjoy talking a lot more than I enjoy writing and I enjoy conversation more than I enjoy tossing lengthy essays out into an unresponsive void.

Plus, now that I have paying supporters on SupportPhantom.com (few though they may be) I feel a little more obligated to post stuff there when I am taken with the desire to write.
But every once in a while I still get the itch to post something here that’s a little broader and more interesting than a toy review. Which is why I’m here today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Toy Review – The New Batman Adventures Killer Croc from DC Collectibles

By Phantom Troublemaker


I have a love/not-totally-satisfied with relationship with DC Collectibles’ animated line.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Christina's DragonCon2016 Wrap-Up: Part 2

By Christina Sizemore


The shenanigans continue.  Well, the milder variety, anyway.  But hey, still cool DragonCon stuff regardless right?  Time to wrap-up my DragonCon wrap-up, guys!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 132 – Dragon Con 2016 – Big Trouble in Little China



A presentation of the Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics Track! It’s the final podcast from this year’s Dragon Con - a live panel celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of John Carpenter’s classic Big Trouble in Little China!

Also, Phantom breaks down the benefits of SupportPhantom.com and how you can help keep Needless Things independent and free.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews November 2016: “The Previews Challenge”


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 are typically about three months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in January.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

32nd Day of Halloween: Give Me Back My Monsters

By Beth V

I'll admit it, I was sick of goofy monster movies. As much as I love cheesy shit like Lake Placid, Deep Blue Sea, and Deep Rising the SyFy moster movie machine churned out silly monsters faster than I could keep up. Certainly faster then I wanted to watch them too. I got sick of zombies for God's sake. Me, sick of zombies. What kind of a world is that for a horror fan like me to live in?

Monday, October 31, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Devlin's Domain - The Devils




Halloween is finally upon us! Here in Devlin's Domain I will be celebrating by talking about the true horror of religion as framed by director Ken Russell. Religion is often the enemy of Halloween, but it is also part of the appeal. If there was no light to hide from, the darkness wouldn't be so comforting. Religion has created all the evil monsters that people have been afraid of throughout the centuries. It feeds the darkest parts of the human psyche with its demonic imagery. I'm here to bite the hand that feeds.


31 Days of Halloween: Christina Reviews The Vamplets Vampire Babies


Most little girls love their tea parties and teddy bears.  They're so cute and cuddly...oh, just so adorable.  But what if you're a nerd or a geek or a Goth or just straight out not a normal?  Well then teddy bears just don't cut it.  Vampires, zombie ponies....ahhh, there's the sweet cuddly-wuddly you want.  Luckily someone thought of that.  Today I'm going to introduce you to the most adorable undead plushies you've ever seen.  The Vamplets are the simply the cutest, gore-fest cuddlies you'll ever want to squeeze.  And unlike the non-plush variety of undead you see in movies and TV,  they don’t squeeze back.

31 Days of Halloween: The Phantom Channel Listings for October 31, 2016


Welcome to the final day of 31 Days of Halloween here on Needless Things!

This month has been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed putting together programming over the weeks. I’ve managed to watch quite a few of the shows and movies that I’ve listed in the past four Phantom Channel posts and it’s definitely enhanced my season.

I love television. More than I should, probably. And I’m not talking about just any old shows – I don’t watch just to watch. But the format itself has fascinated me my entire life. Whether it’s weekly storytelling, game shows, sitcoms, cartoons, or talk shows I have always been interested in this never-ending source of entertainment.


Friday, October 28, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 131 – 31 Days of Halloween – The Final Chapter


Phantom Troublemaker, Beth V, Rad Ranger, and Derek Tatum talk about Halloween and spooky stuff!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Spooky Toy Review – WWE Zombies Undertaker from Mattel


Happy Halloween and welcome to the last spooky toy review of the season on Needless Things!

What better way to wrap up the Halloween toy reviews than with the Deadman, the Phenom, one of the all-time great wrestlers and great gimmicks, The Undertaker?

31 Days of Halloween: Vampire Hunters and Gothic Fairy Tales- Sherrilyn Kenyon and Alethea Kontis

By Christina

Every vampire story out there is the same.  They get old- no pun intended- and frankly I’m kinda over them.  Evil wants to be good, good girl falls for bad boy, forbidden love ensues followed by lots of kinky sex, etc. etc.  Only difference so far is that one sparkled.  And let’s face it…we all all wanted that one dead.  Fairy tales growing up were much the same for me.  With the exception of the Grimm versions, everything was happy ending and all the Damsels needed saving from distress.  They could have helped themselves in the time it took them to constantly scream for help; why did those brain-dead chicks never realize this?

Every once in a short while, however, someone gives you back the spooky and the beautiful.  You get the romance, sure…but it isn’t the main plot point.  You get the action, the drama, the horror, the gore, and occasionally the immortal walks away with the girl.  Sometimes you get the Fairy Tale with a great dark and Gothic twist.  A retelling or a fresh concept where the Princess doesn’t sit on her petticoats, uses her brain for a change, sacrifices and even suffers losses…and things can go dark very fast before the happy ending comes close if it even does for anyone except the villain.  Or maybe, the villain was the hero of the fable after all.  How cool is that?  A world with no Cullen in sight, I say?  A world where the Princess picks up her own sword in a world of dark and macabre fun, I say?  You want to know more, you say?  Well allow me to elaborate, my friend.  Authors Sherrilyn Kenyon and Alethea Kontis bring these concepts to life in their worlds of the Dark-Hunters and in the adventures of the Woodcutter sisters in the country of Arilland.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Skip the Store Bought Prosthetics - by Beth

My brother manages a restaurant in Charleston, SC that turns in to a haunted house every Halloween. For the first time ever I'll be visiting at just the right time to attend. Having a background in makeup though, I've been roped in to helping out. Back in high school I played around with some theatrical makeup, but after that it was strictly beauty makeup for me. It's been years since I've done anything even close to the Freddy Krueger-esque burns he wanted me to do on their bartenders. Since I was offered a bar tab in exchange for my help I was determined to try. And to help you try to save yourselves some time and money with your Halloween costuming (makeup can make or break a costume) I thought I'd share the results. I promise to offer more than just making a good burn so there's plenty of other advice here for all your scary makeup needs.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: The Phantom Channel Listings for October 24, 2016


Welcome to the fourth week of 31 Days of Halloween here on Needless Things! We have all kinds of stuff in store for you guys this year, ranging from creepy to kooky to mysteriously spooky to gory and unforgettably disgusting. We’ll look at spooky toys, horror movies, and all manner of things that go bump in the night.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 130 – 31 Days of Halloween – Found Footage


Phantom Troublemaker is joined by Beth V and by Doc Rotten from Horror News Radio to talk about found footage horror movies!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Devlin's Domain - Troll 2



The horror genre has delivered some of the greatest films of all time, but has also delivered some painful, pathetic excuses for movies. It's these stinkers that have given the genre a bad name over the years. To think it was kicked off with classics like Nosferatu and Vampyr. Horror used to produce films with class, and then someone figured out that audiences will watch anything with gore and tits. This week I'm taking a look at one of the worst ever. It doesn't even have tits.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Spooky Toy Review – WWE Zombies Triple H from Mattel


Happy Halloween and welcome to the newest spooky toy review of the season on Needless Things!

I’ve already reviewed the undead versions of Paige and Bray Wyatt. We’ve got two more to go before the end of October, and today’s review is of Zombie Triple H!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Spooky Toy Review – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Ultimate Freddy Krueger from NECA


Happy Halloween and welcome to the latest spooky toy review of the season on Needless Things!

Freddy Krueger is my favorite of the horror movie “slashers”. He’s the only one that had a real personality and I latched onto that when I was a kid. Also, he was using the whole supernatural gimmick before the rest and I found that much more interesting than “big, scary dude in a mask”. Don’t get me wrong – I love Jason and Michael and Leatherface and could write whole posts about how great they are, but Freddy is my guy.


Monday, October 17, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: The Phantom Channel Listings for October 17, 2016


Welcome to the third week of 31 Days of Halloween here on Needless Things! We have all kinds of stuff in store for you guys this year, ranging from creepy to kooky to mysteriously spooky to gory and unforgettably disgusting. We’ll look at spooky toys, horror movies, and all manner of things that go bump in the night.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 129 – 31 Days of Halloween – The Puckin’ Fuppet Show



Phantom Troublemaker welcomes Mr. Beau Brown and puppeteer Gavin Cummins to the show to discuss the upcoming Halloween Puckin’ Fuppet Show, taking place at the Village theater in Atlanta on October 22nd!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: Spooky Toy Review – WWE Zombies Bray Wyatt from Mattel


Happy Halloween and welcome to the newest spooky toy review on Needless Things!

In last week’s review of Zombie Paige I explained how I had unloaded most of my wrestling toys but that the strangely appropriate combination of horror and wrestling in the form of the WWE Zombies line had hooked me back in.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

31 Days of Halloween: The 10 Best Treehouse of Horror Segments - by Beth


The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror episodes are in institution dating back to 1990. They're usually gory, and often fun parodies of horror movies and TV shows. I've enjoyed them for as long as they've been on, and even though the past few years have been a little lackluster I still look forward to them every year. As we get ready for the 16 year I thought it might be nice to take a look back at not the best episodes, but the best segments from those episodes. I went with segments rather than episodes because honestly there are some great segments hidden in otherwise not overall fantastic episodes.