Friday, July 29, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 118 – San Diego Comic Con 2016 Part 1 – The Toys

It’s time once again for the Needless Things Irregulars to look at the big toy news out of San Diego Comic Con!

Be sure to check out our pal, Action Figure Attack on Facebook for all of the best SDCC 2016 pics!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Bully

I'm sure I'm not the only one out there that's had to deal with bullying at some point in life. In retrospect there were a lot of different ways I could've handled the situation. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Of course at the time I would fantasize about all the brutally violent things I would like to do to my antagonist. I never acted on those impulses, but somebody has and this is what happened.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever

On July 16th the world celebrated The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever. Groups from 21 cities around the world recreated the iconic Kate Bush video. I'm up for anything fun so, of course, I was there.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Necessity of Writers Conferences: Christina Discusses The Authors Combat Academy

My bio at the end of each piece I write says it all.  I am trained for only those particular things and honestly I am not interested in learning anything new at this point in my life.  You can tell by what I usually cover that Nerdom is my headquarters, the martial arts is my place of Zen, writing is my eccentricity (writers are by nature insane while yet still being sane,) and motherhood my meaning of life.  So blend that together and it makes for an interesting human with a flair for pieces that range in various directions.  At least I can say that much about myself. 
There are many out there that want to bust into the world of writing and haven't found their voice yet.  There are many that have and they still struggle with one or more aspects:  fight scenes, sex scenes, dialogue, the muddy middle, etc.  Some are not even sure how they want to get their work out there.  Do they want to work in magazines or fanzines, novels or short stories, self-publishing or a standardized house?  These are valid questions.  They need answers.  You can't always depend on your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate for the answer (see what I did there?  Ah....Spaceballs: The Needless Things Article!)  But there are places that you can go to find this information from reputable sources.  Places with writers, publishers, agents, editors, etc., who know the game and can help you navigate the waters.  I'm talking about writers conferences, and you will never find a more valuable tool than they.  Today I'm going to discuss one that I frequent yearly:  The Authors Combat Academy.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 117 – Big Trouble in Little China

It’s time for the Needless Things Podcast to pay tribute to Phantom Troublemaker’s all-time favorite movie!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Toy Tuesday – Phantom Toy Thoughts

Here are some thoughts I had about various toy-related topics over the weekend. They were spurred by my dissatisfaction with Mattel’s 2016 Ghostbusters figures, but branch out from there.

Also, I like them better in their own shoes than in the boots. There’s something charming about Abby’s Chuck Taylors and Holtzmann's Docs.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Papaw Troublemaker Versus Battleforce 2000

Image from
As I was compiling information for my music for 1986 post I realized that many of these songs evoke memories of one of my all-time favorite places – the Jungle Rapids water park in Wilmington, North Carolina. My family is from Wilmington and we would visit frequently during my youth. I called my mother’s father “Papaw” and I don’t think I’ve ever loved anyone more in my life. He passed away when I was a young teenager and I never got to know him as an adult, but there was nothing I looked forward to more than going to visit my grandparents because I knew it meant I would get to spend time with Papaw.

He would take me all over Wilmington while we were there. We’d spend whole days together – just him and me – and they were the best times ever.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 116 – Ghostbusters

Thirty-two years after the original supernatural comedy made history and created a pop culture phenomenon, there’s an all-new Ghostbusters movie set to reignite the franchise! It’s time for the Needless Things Podcast to talk about the history of Ghostbusters!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Toy Review – Ghostbusters Select from Diamond Select Toys

I wanted to focus this review on DST’s Ghostbusters action figures and their inherent quality, but there was no way around the fact that I was going to be comparing them to’s releases from a few years ago.

Those toys just never sat right with me and left me wanting better. As a matter of fact, I wrote a whole post about how Mattel’s Ghostbusters line could have been better. My issues were with the character decisions, the price points, and the accessories. And then their laughable proposal for a $260 Ecto-1. Ghostbusters Classics was a line fraught with poor decision making that would forever stain it for me, regardless of the objective quality of the figures. And some of them were quite good. But every time I looked at that portion of my shelves, I saw missed opportunities and wasted potential.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Game of Thrones Seaon 6 Recap

Well we're a few weeks out from the end of season 6 of the most traumatic show on television, and I feel like that's enough time to be able to talk in depth about it. I mean, if you haven't finished the season by now then you probably shouldn't get too upset by spoilers. Since I wrote about everything I wanted to see (or just thought would happen) after the first episode I thought it'd be good to look at whether or not those predictions came true, and see where we might go from here. And if you'd like to remind yourself what those predictions were you can check out what I wrote after the first episode of the season here.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Christina on The History of The Thirty Minute Commercial

Every single person over the age of thirty had a collection of G.I. Joe, He-Men, She-Ra, M.A.S.K, Jem and The Holograms, Transformers, etc. Some had a few, some of us had every single one of them. Heck, many of the people that read and write for this blog can tell you every single figure in each line, their release date, and every European variant. We're just that hardcore. The question remains, however, as to how we got started? Think back on your days of getting hooked on these awesome pew-pew shooting, lala singing, "Autobots, roll out" figures. Did you see friends that these miracles of plastic and thought “Wow…so cool?” Did you see them in a store and beg/plead/cry/demand/throw a tantrum for them? Or did you see the cartoon and get hooked, and proceed to collect every piece from that show every time a new character came out on a new episode?

If you answered "Cartoons" then you fit in with most of the American populous. But get this; what if I told you that was their plan all along?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 115 – Animation vs. Live Action

Phantom Troublemaker and Mike Gordon compare storytelling in animation versus live action!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Devlin's Domain - Septic Man

You see the title. It's not a metaphor. But if you're thinking Toxic Avenger, think again. There's not a whole lot of laughs waiting for you here, only pain and suffering. As the tagline of the movie says, "shit just got surreal".

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews July 2016: “A Plurality of Ps”

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, July 5, 2016

Tabletop Game Review – Odious Lists

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was contacted by an advertising agency about promoting Odious Lists on Needless Things. I like to think that you guys are aware of my level of integrity, but I’ll still tell you that I wanted to try the game out and make sure it didn’t suck before getting involved in any shilling.

I won’t shill for stuff I don’t believe in, but I will shill the heck out of stuff that I do.
My point here is that I got this game for free for review and potential shilling purposes, so take that into consideration as you read my review.

But also take into consideration the fact that I would’ve wiped my ass with it if it wasn’t any good, regardless of any potential compensation.

Speaking of which, click on any instance of "Odious Lists" in this review to buy as many copies of the game as you like. Needless Things gets a kickback for each purchase you make!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Needless Things Podcast 114 – Nickelodeon in the 80s

Phantom Troublemaker, Ryan Schweck, R.T. Ewell, and Mr. Beau Brown share memories of the entertainment powerhouse that was Nickelodeon in the 1980s!