Saturday, December 31, 2011

Trashy or Timeless? 2011

Hello dear readers. I was all set to share one final post of 2011 detailing the ultimate question regarding the timeless or trashy appeal of a certain super hero, only I decided against it at the last minute. Yesterday's Cliffhanger Friday for One Life to Live was amazing, which got me thinking about 2011. A great deal of things went on this year. There was of course the personal and global issues that were sad, terrible, and life changing, but I am not going to tackle those issues here. If you haven't already noticed yet, She-Ra is plastered as wallpaper on a loop for this site. I'll just stick to the fluff and fun stuff. It's what I know, what can I say?

Anyways, back to 2011. I found myself asking that all important question, was the year trashy or timeless? There was a great deal of timeless stuff that happened. Catra was released as a POP Classic. Jem and the Holograms finally made it back on dvd. I rocked some bangs all too briefly during the summer. There were some truly great moments of 2011.

However we all had to endure public marriages that were clearly on Planet Mercury time. There was Kim K. Followed by, "Sinead O'Rebellion," shock me shock me shock me with that deviant behavior. Of course now we have that extra terrestrial to add on the list. Not a good year for marriages. Unless you were gay in New York, than you had a lot of reasons to celebrate.

Of course do the dissolutions of quicky celebrity marriages really qualify 2011 as a trashy year? Every year we will see some celeb couple end in a cloud of dust. No, I don't think we should hold those events accountable for much. But let me be clear, I Miss M, find 2011 to be guilty, of total trashiness.

Why? Because ABC Daytime pulled the plug on two of the best shows on television. Back in April I received the awful news that All My Children and One Life to Live would be canceled. I didn't even know how to process that, but I did the best I could by way of signing online petitions, sending emails, and calling ABC Daytime to let them know what was really up. I had been watching both shows for over 25 years. That is a long and fabulous time of following Erica Kane ok? I was ready to follow both shows until I died of really old age.

And for a second I thought I actually would. The company Prospect Park rode in on a white horse with dazzling armor. The soaps were going to be saved and given new homes online. I was going to buy an iPad 2 just to watch my stories online ya'll. That is sad, but I was totally dedicated to an artform of storytelling that is just the best.

Now I won't be buying an iPad 2 (Did I ever really need one? 3 and 4 are probably already in the works.) After months of all these plans and actors signing on with such a prospectful deal, PP decided to suspend further plans to continue with the soaps. Sadly this means that All My Children fans didn't truly get the ending we deserved since the show finale had a shocking cliffhanger added in at the last minute to keep us biting at the quick for the now nixed online version.

I recently read an interview in Soap Opera Digest where Walt Willey (he played the dashing Jackson Montgomery) said "My dream would be to have Pine Valley Revisited, a 90-minute movie in the summer to wrap things up." Umm sign me up please! Put this movie in theaters or make it for tv, I don't care! Just bring these characters back so I can find out who got capped and to see if Erica and Jack stay together or go their separate ways.

This all brings me to One Life to Live. As I mentioned, yesterday's Cliffhanger Friday was out of control. It was like a Batman story arc or something. The power grid goes out in Llanview and the local prison experiences a jailbreak. So apparantly a group of past characters are coming back to the fold to make some mayhem for the denizens of Llanview. Love it.

Word on the street is that with a couple weeks left of this awesome show, an iconic storyline is going to be revisited for the final week. I'm not going to bet any real money on this (that would be illegal) but if I was betting in some sort of soap opera casino in Vegas my hunch would be that OLTL will be revisiting Eterna in some way, shape, or form.

Back in the late '80s OLTL had some really awesome sci-fi storylines. Viki went to heaven and it was like a space ship. Clint traveled back in time to the Old West. Though nothing at all could compare to the Eterna storyline. Eterna was this huge underground city under Llantano Mt. A campy fun mess ensued with all sorts of drama going down. Click here for the tv promo. How could anyone not want to watch this?

How am I going to say goodbye? 2011 was just a trashy year, end of story. I am ready for 2012 to start and see where it takes us. (Fingers crossed that my soaps will still somehow have some more life in them.) I hope that everyone has a safe and fun New Year's Eve, and wish you all a great New Year. Thank you to everyone who has been reading and even to those who have just casually stopped by. 

There will be more dork ass things coming your way in the new year. Toy Chest Tuesday will return, though maybe in a couple weeks. I need to map out which great toys of yesteryear we will be looking at. I also owe you all the original Trashy or Timeless I was going to post today. Spoiler alert, it involves a really popular female super hero. Take care folks!

P.S. Is it sad and dorky that I have been buying certain Barbie dolls that resemble my soap opera characters? The Barbie Basics line has pretty much the entire cast of One Life to Live in it. (I'll post pictures in the new year!) I know, I know. I have issues. And subscriptions.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Night of the Living Roach 6: New Blood

A new installment in fear is about to begin, but if you are feeling lost, click below to catch up on the scariest series to grip the internet since... well ever.

Night of the Living Roach 5: The Hunger

And now without further delay...

Night of the Living Roach 6: New Blood

On the third floor of an apartment complex by Sunny Lakes our lovely heroine, Miss M, is helping a close friend with a particular sad move. "Milton, I just don't understand why you are moving into the city. It is so far."

Milton (M.B.) is taping up a box and looking at his friend. The two have known each other for many years. They met through a mutual friend (Paddy) and instantly became close over their shared sense of humor and affinity for the cable series Dead Like Me. "M, the city isn't that far. You act like I am moving to another planet."

Miss M jumps up, "Well you might as well be! The new place is on the far north side." Miss M stops the packing and hops onto Milton's couch. Milton laughs, "What is wrong with the north side?"

Shrugging her shoulders upwards Miss M looks over some compact discs in an unsealed box, "Oh there is nothing wrong with the north side, unless you count moving next door to a Correctional Facility."  

"Actually it is a probation site and it could do you good to hang out there. Those men will be fresh out of jail and they may need a woman's touch, and girl, you are in need of some touchin." Milton smiles raising an eyebrow at his friend. Miss M shakes her head, "Oh please, that is all I need. Some convict slitting my throat, having his way with me and then dumping my body in a lagoon..."

Milton laughs out loud, "I don't think it works that way." Miss M jumps up from the couch ready to express her next point, "And let's not forget what we saw on the way to your new place. How could anyone forget the lovely crack lady standing in the middle of the road with her legs wide open looking at the ground for something that wasn't even there! I just don't understand why you are moving there." Miss M had no concept of the various workings of a city.

"Ok. So the neighborhood is eclectic, what's the big deal? Why are you being so judgemental? As for those hot prison guys on probation, suit yourself. That'll just be more for me." Milton smiles. Miss M groans out loud, "Oh Lord, why does everything have to be an Oz episode with you?" The two friends look at each other, there is more going on than just the move. 

"M, I think you need to start being honest with why my moving is bothering you so much. My moving means you'll be down to one gay friend and then what will you do? You'll have to stop relying on your gay friends to be your surrogate boyfriends, and maybe find a real one?" The truth hits Miss M right in the chest, the after shock visible on her face, "What in the gay hell are you talking about?"

Milton gives a look full of faux attitude, "Don't steal my line!" The two laugh to break some of the seriousness, "M, you've been burned by too many guys. So you have relied on me and Paddy to be your stand-ins. I'm sorry hon, but I frequent the beef buffet. I'm never going to want to eat a fish sammich." 

Throwing her hands in the air Miss M shakes her head, "This is all ridiculous! I do not think of Patrick and you as surrogate boyfriends. What does that even mean? And for the record, I am not dealing with some third degree burns from a slew of exes. I have had a bit of a rough spell, but I am fine. I am content being single and enjoying hanging out with my friends, one of which is a gay guy talking all sorts of mess to me right now!" Miss M knows where Milton is coming from, but she did not want to play along with the conversation.

With eyes narrowed Milton says pointedly, "When's the last time you hung out with your girl friends? Huh? You spend all your time with Paddy or me. I can't even bring a guy over because you are attached at my hip. I love you girl, but you need to figure your shit out. And for the love of Buddha, stop collecting all those action figures. That is not helping your cause." Miss M's mouth is hanging open in pure shock, Milton has never been this honest with her, "Whatever. I can't believe this. I spend plenty of time with my girl friends. Just the other day Glo and I went for soft serve at D.Q. She taught me how to eat ice cream off a cone and believe me, if that stunt can't get me a date with a guy that wants a bite outta my fish sandwich, I am worse off than I thought!"

Getting very animated Miss M continues, "If you want a damn booty call just tell me! I have no problem leaving you to it. I know you have all kinds of needs. I get it. I've just been through a lot lately, you just can't possibly understand. And now with you moving, I know I won't be seeing you as much. I guess I just wanted to spend as much time as I could, before everything changes."

The two look at each other, highly aware of the truth lingering in the air. Life was going to change. Milton walks over and hugs his neurotic friend, "I'm sorry M. I know I was harsh. I am not moving far, but I guess things are going to be different, and I want you to be ok. I still love you, you're my fruit fly. That will never change!" Miss M has tears in her eyes and let's out a laugh, "Thanks I guess. And you better not find some new city fruit fly to take my place!" Milton laughs, "Never!" Miss M wipes her eyes and smiles, "Ok enough of the melodrama." M points to the items and boxes, "I need to get some of those boxes packed."

Milton laughs, "Well that phrase sums up your life..." Miss M playfully slaps his arm, "Shut up!" The two go back to working. Miss M is putting some more items in a box and taping it shut. Milton is by the fireplace removing some large candle holders. He pauses, "What in gay hell is this?" Miss M looks up, "Something the matter?"

Calling her over, Milton cautiously says, "Look at this. What is it?" He points to a lump hidden under a lot of dust and cobweb. Miss M shakes her head, "I can't tell with all the dust and cobwebs. It almost looks like a corpse." Milton looks at his friend and rolls his eyes, "M, it isn't a body. It almost looks like a dead insect."

That last sentence lights a bulb in M's brain, a bulb filled with dread, "Oh God. Leave it alone, it could be a Roach." Groaning out loud Milton looks at the lump, "Shit, don't tell me this is going to turn into another one of your Roach stories. M, the first five was really more than enough. I'm being serious." Miss M closes her eyes and nods, "Look I know you think I am crazy but these creatures have put me through hell and back. Just leave it alone Milton." 

Milton is not listening and looks closer, "We don't even know for sure that it is a Roach. Let me wipe away some of the dust." Grabbing a dust rag off the table, Milton tries to wipe way the debris. He reveals a very old dead Roach, "Would you look at that?" Miss M looks over his shoulder, "Great, we're a regular couple of paleontologists, let's send it to the Smithsonian and call it a damn day." Miss M is filled with dread, something does not seem right. Milton looks closer, "Wow this thing has been here for a long time!" Staring just a few centimeters away from the Roach, Milton jumps back as one of the legs quickly moves with a slashing effect.

"Shit! That thing is still alive! It cut me!" Milton's right hand wipes his cheek, feeling blood on his fingers. Miss M is horrified, "Oh no, it drew blood." The two friends turn to look at the Roach as it starts to mutate and change, becoming larger. Miss M backs away panicking, "Oh no, it sounds like a Michael Bay film. This isn't going to be good." Screams erupt from both their mouths as the Roach appears taller than them both. Letting out a roar the Roach bellows, "Relic." The Roach repeats the word again and Miss M whispers, "I think he is telling us his name." The Roach lets out a howl and lashes out at Miss M. A Roach leg flings the lovely heroine into the living room wall. She crumples to the floor. Milton dodges a deadly attack and runs to the bathroom.

Sitting up in a daze M calls out, "Don't leave me alone with this thing!" The Roach loomes over M, nasty drool hanging from its mouth. M wants to gag, but quickly rolls over. She has not given up yet, and won't start now. With a swift kick M knocks Relic back. Looking for any way to survive M notices a heavy duty vacuum near the kitchen entrance. While crawling towards the vacuum, Miss M feels the Roach grab her by the ankle, dragging her towards her imminent death. "NOOO!" She screams.

Milton races back in the living room, "Hang on M! I've found a weapon!" Milton pulls out a can of his nice hairspray. Popping the cap off, he takes aim and sprays into Relic's face. The Roach staggers back momentarily blinded. Miss M gets up and races towards the vacuum, "Milton, hurry! Plug it in!" Relic lumbers towards the two humans, thrashing about and making contact with Milton's neck. Screaming in short breaths Milton is afraid he may actually die as the Roach lifts him in the air.

Miss M screams and turns the heavy duty vacuum on, aiming the gun attachment towards the giant Roach. Relic lets out another howl as he feels the suction make contact with his legs. The grip around Milton's neck is loosened. Falling to the floor, Milton rushes next to M. The vacuum is on full blast and within a few seconds begins to take Relic apart piece by piece. Soon the howls stop as Relic is finally and fully sucked into the vacuum. Milton reaches over M, "Here, press the incinerate button. It'll burn what's inside." Miss M is impressed, "I've never seen a vacuum do that before."

Milton catches his breath and sits on the couch, "Ok, I believe you now. If anyone thinks you have lost it, I'll back you up. Roaches are truly after you." Miss M nods, glad that her friend believes her, "I know, but I've got a little something for them. I've set my own special traps back home, they won't be attacking me anymore and I have Entrapta to thank for that." Milton looks at his friend, he is glad to know her, but he can't help but find her really odd, "Ok I didn't understand any of that. Wanna order a pizza? I'm hungry." Miss M shrugs, "Works for me."

Deep in Attic #3 at Miss M's home the Prince of the Cock Roaches, Roach Clip, is slowly scurrying over boxes with his aid, Vegemite. Roach Clip looks around, "Man we need to find a place to rest really fast. I also need something to eat, I'm hungry." Vegemite looks at the prince, "Master Roach Clip, we must hurry, your sister is awaiting us. There is news about the humans, we don't have time to rest. I never should've agreed to join you on this... excursion." Roach Clip coughs, a billow of smoke coming out of his mouth, "Yeah whatever man, you had a good time." The Roach prince stops and scans the area, resting his sights on a black building with a neon sign on the roof that says, 'Motel.' "Dude, let's stop by that motel before we see my sister. I bet they'll have food. And cable." Roach Clip slowly makes his way to the motel and Vegemite shakes his head, "Oh Master Roach Clip wait up!"

The two Roaches make their way into the motel, a gorgeous doll with pink and purple braided hair greets them, "Would you like a room?" Roach Clip nods, "Yes, my aid will take care of the bill. I just need to rest for a little bit." The doll nods. Vegemite and Roach Clip slowly walk down a hall passing all sorts of closed doors. Vegemite is slightly scared, "Master Roach Clip, I don't like the looks of this place." Roach Clip enters a room and plops on the bed, "Look around Vegemite! This place is awesome! I think I'll light up too one last time, my sister hates it when I smoke."

Vegemite looks around and gasps. Next to the bed is a dead Roach on the floor, "Master Roach Clip!! Look!" Roach Clip puffs from his goods and looks down shrugging, "Some people can't handle a good time. Now where's the remote?" Roach Clip flips the television on, "Awesome! Night of the Living Dead is on!" Vegemite shakes his head, "No I think we should leave." Vegemite tries to reason with the prince, but Roach Clip won't budge. 

Having had enough of the whole bit, Vegemite quickly leaves with the promise to return. His plan is simple, call for Rita the Roach and have her get her lousy brother out of the motel. Only Vegemite notices something strange start to happen. The windows and doors to the motel all start to have gates close down over them. Vegemite rushes to find the doll, only she is nowhere to be found. "Oh what have we gotten ourselves into?" Vegemite says out loud. Moving as fast as he can, Vegemite scurries out from under the closing main door. Vegemite's antennae move furiously, he is calling out for any and all help.

Back inside the motel, Roach Clip is oblivious to a strange poisionous gas being released throughout the building. He coughs a little bit between puffs, "Man this is some good shit." Roach Clip sits back and continues watching the movie until he hears a voice call out, "You should have left with your friend." Roach Clip pauses and looks around, finally pausing to stare at the dead Roach, "Man this really is some good shit! I thought you were dead!" The dead Roach sits up and stares at Roach Clip, "I am dead you moron. And so are you, you just don't realize it yet." Roach Clip shakes his head and looks at the Roach. The Roach is most certainly dead, "What is with this place?" Roach Clip says to himself. He gets up and leaves the room, "I am so hungry, where is the food?"

Walking down the hall Roach Clip notices that everything seems shut down, "What?" Soon the prince starts to see multi-colored clouds of gas swirl around him. "Aww man, someone mixed something in my stash!" Roach Clip starts to run around looking for a way out. He soon makes it to the main door and tries to open it. The door won't budge.

On the outside of the motel Vegemite is relieved to see the Cock Roach leader, Rita the Roach, approach with an army of Roaches. She snarls, "What is the meaning of this, where is my idiot brother?!" Vegemite explains the situation and Rita is not pleased, "Can't any of you ever listen to me? This was a death trap!" Rita races to the front of the motel. The doll from earlier is at the front, "Can I help you?" Rita screams, "Let me in! My brother is in your establishment and I want him back!" The doll grins, "I'm sorry but he paid for a room, and is not ready yet."

Rita screams and lashes out at the doll. The doll starts to blink and then disappears. "A damn hologram! This has been a trick! Gaurds! Open the door at all costs!" The Roaches work at trying to get the motel open. Eventually the gates lift up as a ton of smoke seeps out. Rita gets everyone to halt, "Nobody go in there. Wait. I see something." The Roaches stand by silently as Roach Clip slowly makes his way out of the Motel. He stumbles a bit and collapses in front of his sister. Rita looks down, "Roach Clip? Are you alright?" She touches her brother, he feels incredibly dry and crispy. Roach Clip looks up at Rita, "Puff, Puff, Gi--" The Roach Prince lets out one final cough before disintegrating in front of everyone. Rita howls in pain. First her parents, and now her brother.

Looking down at her brother's remains Rita screams, "Sky-Spy! I need you! I know that bitch was behind this. I want answers. Hurry! Miss M is going to pay for this!" Rita the Roach screams in the hot Attic air...

Meanwhile again...

Tucked away in her bed, Miss M is talking to Gambit, a member of the Action Figure Heros. She has been catching him up on the recent events of the day, "I just don't know what to do Gambit. Maybe Milton is right, maybe I do need to change."

"What is dis petit? Gambit think you are fine just the way you are." Gambit smiles. Miss M is touched by that, "Gambit, you are very sweet, but I haven't been on a date in ages. The last relationship I had ended so badly, I humiliated him on the daytime news! Maybe I need to just make a huge change in my life, become a whole new person."

Gambit is concerned, "What you mean petit? You plannin on gettin rid of us?" Miss M shakes her head and smiles, "Of course not! I can't get rid of you all!" Miss M motions towards the Action Figure Heros, "I would rather be old and alone than get rid of you all for some guy. No, I don't know what change will need to be made in my life. Maybe I'll go blonde again?" Miss M thinks about that idea until Emma Frost pipes up from the shelf, "Darling, do us all a favor and don't. There is no need for us to relive that tragic mess again." Miss M laughs, "I guess. Anyways folks, I am going to bed now. Good night, see you all tomorrow!" The Action Figure Heros say goodnight back.

Meanwhile... (for the last time)

Huddled over a computer in the dark, Milton is looking up articles on the internet. He has found startling information that will shed light on the experiences that Miss M has been going through. Placing the information on a disc drive, Milton grabs his phone and makes a call, "M, it's me Milton. I know it is late, but when you get this message please call me back. I have found something important that will change everything. I'll explain over the phone or over lunch. Call me! And thanks again for helping me pack up, you are a great friend by the way. Bye."

Milton hangs up and walks towards his bedroom. He looks around all the boxes, they got a lot of work done that day. Suddenly Milton hears a screeching sound. Looking around the apartment, Milton can't seem to find out where the noise came from. Except the noise is now getting louder. Running into his bedroom Milton locks the door behind him. He makes his way to his landline by the bed but stops after he hears a hissing sound. Turning around Milton shouts as he is face to face with Sky-Spy. "What is this?" Milton asks and looks around for something to protect himself with.

Sky-Spy hisses, "Don't worry Milton, I'm not going to hurt you. I want you to give me information, about your friend Miss M..." Milton is not believing this, "I don't know a Miss M." He lies, inching away from the flying Roach. Sky-Spy hisses, "Lies! Now tell me again, what do you know of Miss M?" Milton shakes his head, "I told you, nothing." M's friend tries to jump out of the way and through his bedroom window, but he can't move. Hordes of Roaches have gathered around his feet, rendering him immobile. Sky-Spy tilts his head back and hisses, "Wrong. Brainiac, come here!" Another Roach flutters into the room, "Yes Sky-Spy?" 

"He doesn't want to give us information, so I would like you to extract some for me. Get what you can on Miss M, I want her strengths. Her weaknesses." Sky-Spy looks at Milton and asks one last time, "Well? Is there anything you would like to tell me about Miss M?" Milton realizes this isn't going to end well, "I'll say this much, Miss M is going to find out what you have done, and she is going to kick your ass." Sky-Spy hisses, "I'd love to see her try. Brainiac, now." Milton tries to run, but it is to late. Brainiac flys under the human's nose. In an instant Brainiac flutters up inside and is gone. Milton squirms doing his best to fight. He can feel the Roach in his head. Soon Milton's eyes roll up into his head.

Sky-Spy nods, "Good. Alright Roaches! The human is turned off. Now you can feast." Milton's body falls back as waves of Roaches race out from every inch of the apartment. The Roaches have not gotten a taste of new blood in quite awhile. And it tastes good...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Ten Toys of 2011

Hello toy fans! With the end of the year quickly approaching I have been doing some time reflecting upon some of the best toys from 2011. Needless to say 2011 was a good year for toys, not a good year for everything else, but toys were totally wrapped up in awesomeness. There was more royal '80s toy revival treatment, some nice surprises, and of course a lot of cute. So let's start counting down and looking at the Top Ten Toys (this includes toylines) of 2011!

(I am in no way the ultimate authority on something like this, but just go with it. You'll be glad you did!)

10. Marvel Products

A few years ago the Marvel brand would have been closer to number one on this list thanks to the Marvel Legends line, quite possibly one of the best toy lines ever. However 2011 saw Marvel fans with the Marvel Universe line which has been so-so. Thankfully there were two really cool Diamond Select Marvel Minimates sets. One featured an awesome looking Betsy Braddock who many of you know as Psylocke. I love this version of Betsy. I also was glad to see X-Men First Class have a figure related release with a Marvel Minimate set as well. Emma Frost is one of my faves. In the middle is Polaris from Hasbro's Marvel Super Hero Squad, a really cute line of Marvel heros that stopped making new product this year.

Let's go to the sidebar real quick shall we? I love Polaris. Since I am a bit neurotic and quick to go cray in a flash I love strong female characters that are also one breath away from boiling a rabbit or eating a star. I'll never forget the X-Men arc where Polaris finally finds Havok and they plan on getting married, only Havok is hot for this homely nurse. This doesn't sit well with Polaris who sort of snaps on her wedding day (and in her wedding dress no less) and really just tears a lot of shit up. I loved it.

What's in store? Here is hoping that 2012 will be a better year for Marvel products. One thing I know for sure that will change the Marvel tide is that Hasbro is bringing Marvel Legends back! I see great things with that bit of information!

9. Princess Peach

It is no surprise that I am a fan of Nintendo. Princess Peach is one of my favorite characters. A) She is a princess and B) she knows how to be a damsel in distress. Princess Peach makes her man work for her rescue. Mario hopped and stomped through how many castles just to end up always saving Toad? Homegirl made him work for it, that is all I can say. Plus she has a lot going for her; a kingdom full of strange beings that wear fungi as hats. She can float in the air. Peach even had her own really cool video game, which is why I am glad that 2011 saw this really cool figure come out.

Now there had been a smaller version of Peach released as well, but she was too small. I like that this Peach was slightly taller. I'm not four years old. If I were four I wouldn't mind having some small two inch figure, but I'm old folks. I need to see what I'm buying. I can't keep buying these tiny little products with my old vision trying to make out all the tiny details. There is a reason why companies make big television remotes for old folks right? We need to see our crap. Listen up toy companies, you all need to make bigger action figures.

What's in store? I'm not exactly sure what Princess Peach will be doing in 2012, but since Nintendo has always been this huge marketing machine, I am sure there will be plenty of Peach in the new year.

8. Disney- I'm a sucker for Disney movies. This should come as no surprise because my inner child never really grew up. She just sits by patiently waiting for the next new Disney movie to come out and then with some sort of mind control trick tells me, "M, I know you are totally getting up there in age, but we are soo going to watch The Little Mermaid tonight. Cool?"

Anyways enough of that awkwardness, let's look at why Disney toys made it on this list. A couple months ago the fabulous folks at Funko released a series of Disney characters from their POP! line. This line of toys features various properties from the Wizard of Oz to superheros in this cute bobble head like vinyl mold. They are simply the cutest things ever but also are oozing street cred. This Disney series just happened to feature two of my favorites, Maleficent and Cruella De Vil.

Don't these just look so cool? Word of warning though, the paint applications are crappy on some of them. It took me a couple hunts to find the perfect two. I have major issues with messy paint applications. If I wanted a toy to look like a child had painted it, I'd just go ask my baby cousin to make everything for me. Anyways, Maleficent has always been such a great villain to me. She can turn into a dragon and practices magic. In Once Upon a Time she is also played by Pam (Kristen Bauer) from True Blood. So much awesomeness I can't stand it.

And then there is Cruella. Oh Cruella. How do I even begin? I mean first off you can't be mad at her, she is just a slave to fashion. It isn't her fault that she just really enjoys wearing puppy fur coats, hand bags, and shoes. Sure PETA may want her dead, but in all reality doesn't Cruella just represent that fashionista in all of us that just wants to look stylish and classy? Though riddle me this toy fans, why was her coat always yellow? I thought she hunted down dalmations? Either she needed a new dingy-less coat or that pelt was something else altogether. Grody.

What's in store? Well since the back of the box says Series 1, let's hope that Funko will be gracing us with more Disney series. I could really go for a POP! Ursula.

7. DC Lego- Ok let me be very clear, I am a Marvel girl through and through. I was born a Marvel girl and I am going to die a Marvel girl. Nothing is better than a good issue of X-Men except maybe All My Children and One Life to Live. However, DC has two things that Marvel does not. (1) Catwoman and (2)a partnership with Lego. With a new Batman movie rising this summer, toy fans should be lucky to see a ton of new Batman product. This will hopefully include Catwoman. I have Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman to thank for learning how to be a vixen. Catwoman is just a great character! Here is hoping that the latest version of the people's vixen will be great, because we all remember how terrible the last Catwoman was on film. (Halle= hot, Catwoman movie= mess)

How much fun is this Batman Lego set though? Out at the very end of 2011, this toy makes the list for the sole purpose of featuring a Lego Catwoman minifigure with a bright purple catbike. I love it. I also love that Lego is releasing this new set, because a couple years ago Lego released a similar set that is now reaching astronomical prices on the secondary market.

What's in store? More Batman and DC themed Lego sets I'm sure. There is also a set with Wonder Woman! Now if only Marvel could get in on this...

6. Rita Repulsa- Some of you may remember me posting about Rita awhile ago, and here she is making another appearance on this list! This toy completely caught me by surprise this year and though she is a little too small, I am still happy to have her.

What's in store? I doubt we will see another new Rita in 2012, but if we do, I hope we see a larger sculpt with a better face application. Dots for eyes only really work on Lalaloopsy ok?

5. Lego Minifigures- Actually here are some toys that are perfectly fine having dots for eyes! 2011 was a fantastic year for Lego Minifigures. With five series already in our greedy hands, Lego Minifigures pulled out all the stops this year. My favorite was the Cleopatra knock off and the work out girl with boombox. So much fun, though I have to say, I miss the days when each different minifigure had its own unique barcode. Now you have to work to find the ones you want. Of course I wouldn't have it any other way.

What's in store? I predict that 2012 will see blockheads with even more Lego minifigures. No I am not a psychic, I just happened to come across the latest series on the Lego site. They just keep getting better!

4. Final Fantasy Dissidia Terra- A long time ago in a decade I like to call the '90s, there was an epic game that crashlanded into the Super Nintendo. Called Final Fantasy III in the U.S. the game was actually Final Fantasy VI in Japan. This game was filled with amazing characters and an opera scene that makes me cry to this very day. One of the main characters (Terra) from Final Fantasy VI also made her way into a newer game called Final Fantasy Dissidia. This year finally saw her released as a figure thanks to a line of toys from the Dissidia series. Terra has finally arrived.

This toy pays total respect to her original debut and I was so thrilled to finally have the chance to see her in plastic form. Such a beautiful figure. Old school Final Fantasy fans will also be glad to know that other Final Fantasy characters are also covered in the line!

What's in store? I don't know what to expect in 2012 in terms of Final Fantasy characters. I would like to see more figures made from the older Final Fantasy games though. I think that Celes from Final Fantasy VI is long overdue for a figure. Right?

3. Zarana- I wasn't a huge collector of G.I. Joe growing up. I watched the cartoon and it was good, but G.I. Joe was not something that was particularly driving girls crazy. I have come to appreciate the Joes more as I have gotten older and my love for all things '80s has simply evolved. There were some really strong kick ass females in G.I. Joe that I absolutely love. And I think when I was younger I was maybe slightly aware of that. Zarana was one of the few vintage G.I. Joe toys I had, and that was mostly because she was wearing hot pink. I remember thinking, "Why is she in the boy aisle? Shouldn't she be a part of My Little Pony or something?" Only Zarana is not sweet. Don't let the pink fool you, she is vicious and will cut your eye balls out.

So this past summer Hasbro decided to make a whole new Zarana and make her an SDCC exclusive. I instantly knew she would be one of my most sought after toys of 2011. She is such a great figure! Basically they took the old design and just updated it, and maybe toned the pink down a bit, but I guess that is ok. She looks a little rough, but what else would someone expect from a member of Cobra?

What's in store? With a new G.I. Joe movie blowing up theater screens this summer, I have no idea what to expect by way of releases. I am hoping that Zarana makes an appearance in the film. That would be pretty cool as it would also mean another release. Fingers crossed!

2. Thundercats HOOO!!! I swear if I didn't know any better I'd think we all went back in time in 2011. Thundercats clawed their way back into our hearts with a new cartoon and toyline. I was over the moon with this, because it has been a long time since we last saw the 'Cats. The cartoon is really good, but the toyline is  icing on the cake.

Even though there were some slight issues with the line, Bandai did everything in their power to really make some great Thundercats products. I am loving the 4 inch line (and you all know how I feel about small things.) I also like the 6 inch series along with the 8 inch Classics line. The Classics series is just amazing. The dedication made to remaking the original vintage figures is just perfect.

What's in store? I have no sight beyond sight, but I'm going to guess that 2012 might be interesting for Thundercats. Bandai has already announced that they are trimming their Classics line down to 6 inches instead of 8. However there will be a 6 inch Cheetara soon, and that will be more than enough to make me happy while Bandai figures out what they are going to do with everything else.

1. Masters of the Universe Classics- This toyline had quite possibly the best toys of 2011. Now I know I am biased on this because of my love for He-Man and She-Ra, but how could anyone not like this line? Yes there are issues that are not going to be addressed here, but the fact still remains, if you are a fan of He-Man and She-Ra this line is seeking to give fans every character possible in the best sculpts poseable.

This year saw the release of Bow, a huge improvement over his vintage counterpart. The Catra release had some fans calling her the Catra they had wanted all along. Bubble Power She-Ra has been one of the best She-Ra figures to be made, and finally Swiftwind. A large flying unicorn. Simply the best.

There were of course many other great releases from the MOTUC line this year, but I can't mention them all. I'm just glad that this line brought out some amazing stuff this year. From beginning to end, I was experiencing every dorky emotion possible!

What's in store? More MOTUC! The full 2012 lineup has not been mentioned yet, but there have already been some great release information consisting of Shadow Weaver all the way to the Star Sisters. (Naysayers can talk the talk, I love the Star Sisters.) I only hope that 2012 will also see the release of some more members of the Great Rebellion. She-Ra is getting a little lonely fighting the Horde all by herself, well that and Bow keeps makin' the moves left and right with his harp.

So that is pretty much it for the Top Ten Toys of 2011. There was a lot of great stuff made this year and I hope that everyone out there has been able to find the items and characters that they have been clamoring for. I am off to catch up on One Life to Live. The show is pure brilliance and I am dreading the final air date on January 13th. Anyways folks, enjoy and keep it here. There is still some more dorktastic posts to come before 2011 takes its final bow. And then it will just be a new year with even more dorky stuff.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Toy Chest Tuesday! Dedication to She-Ra!

"I am Adora, He-Man's twin sister and defender of the Crystal Castle."

"This is Spirit, my beloved steed. There is no plastic version of him. Let's move along."

"Fabulous secrets were revealed to me the day I held aloft my sword and said...." (with an impossibly cool catchy song in the background)

"For the honor of Grayskull. I am..." (wait for it)


Hello toy fans! Most of you know what happens next in that classic opening of She-Ra: Princess of Power. If not by all means youtube it. It is just the best. Anyways it is time for a new special edition of Toy Chest Tuesday! This will be the last Toy Chest of the year and I thought what better way to cap off the last one by showcasing all the amazing She-Ra figures that have been made! Now the original Bubble Power She-Ra will not be making an appearance and there won't be any images of She-Ra's knock off Golden Girl. Knock offs are never in style, or at least that is what Harper's Bazaar always says.

Let's look at the first She-Ra figure made!

Here she is folks. She-Ra: The Most Powerful Woman in the Universe. She made her debut in 1984. I vividly recall opening her up. She was a birthday present along with her special friend Bow. I was ecstatic. I was already head over heels for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, but for some reason She-Ra just seemed really special to me. I felt like I too could raise a sword aloft in the air, chant the familiar words, and totally do anything I could ever imagine.

This She-Ra is missing a few pieces as they are located deep within the walls of my archival room, but she did come with a sword and really cool necklace. Her cape had this shiny red material that helped create a magical effect around her. With real rooted hair, this line of toys was aimed at girls on the stylish go. Because honestly, it is important to save the world with great hair. Oh and don't for a second think that only girls liked She-Ra. I had a few boy cousins that had a She-Ra as well. Everyone did. This toy was just flat out awesome. Oh and for those wondering, those new boots were made for walking thanks to a nice coat of gold acrylic paint. Poor She-Ra was practically looking barefoot for awhile.

Alright up next is Starburst She-Ra! (No relation to the candy.)

Released in 1985 this was She-Ra's first variant. She came with a few upgrades, like a new face. Her skirt was longer. The tiara was a different color, more sparkly glitter and pink than the original gold. This She-Ra also came with a brand new sword. The biggest change was the cape though. With just a lift of the arms...

We see She-Ra's really cool starburst effect cape. This effect further created the imagery of Adora's transformation into She-Ra. I was hooked as a kid. At first glance I had been like, "Give me a break. Why am I going to ask my parents to buy me a whole other She-Ra doll when I already have one?" I tried to rationalize to myself that I would do better to have an Entrapta or Sweet Bee as my next purchase instead of a second She-Ra. Needless to say my thirst for collecting variants can totally be traced back to seeing this version of She-Ra in stores. I simply had to have this new She-Ra with her starburst cape. Here is hoping that Mattel will release an updated version one day!

With the passing of time, She-Ra would not have a new figure until 2004, 20 years after the original came out.

In the early '00s He-Man got the royal reboot treatment with a new cartoon and toyline. Dubbed by some as the 200X He-Man, a whole new generation got to experience He-Man with a hyper anime stylized look. Princess of Power fans had their fingers crossed for an incluson of She-Ra and her friends into the mix, but all we got was this special She-Ra from the 2004 San Diego Comic Con. As you can see this She-Ra paid homage to the original as well as fitting in with the look of the MOTU series at the time. 

I was thrilled to see this She-Ra. The 200X He-Man cartoon had pretty much been over and there didn't seem to be any sign of He-Man or She-Ra coming back in a big way, so for me this was a very important figure to own. I bought her as a gift to myself for graduating college. I don't know what other people buy themselves to celebrate finishing college, but it only made sense that I treat myself with an important character that has been a part of the majority of my life.  

The current status of She-Ra? Alive and kicking!

I thought the last time I'd ever see She-Ra was in 2004. She was in desperate need of some life support and thanks to the 4 Horsemen (the fabulous toy sculptors that helped make the 200X toyline) She-Ra has come back. In 2008 Mattel started the Masters of the Universe Classics line. An amazing toy line that encompasses every aspect of the MOTU mythos, including She-Ra and her friends. In 2010 She-Ra was released in full Classics treatment with two swappable heads! One head was in reference to her vintage toy version while the new head finally resembled the cartoon version. This was a perfect She-Ra and my heart did flips of joy when she came out! (Though she did sell out before I could get her the first time.)  

She-Ra eats a shrinking mushroom and parties with mini-Mario...

This past summer Mattel decided to merge two of its properties to create a special set of She-Ra items for the 2011 San Diego Comic Con. Polly Pocket as She-Ra was a cute way to introduce new fans to the line as well as giving She-Ra fans yet another reason to froth at the mouth. Some were annoyed by the set whereas others thought it was cute and fun. I loved the set as it also came with Polly Pocket's friends as Frosta and Catra. Absolute perfection!

Here comes another variant!

The must recent iteration of She-Ra is Bubble Power She-Ra. From the vintage toyline, Bubble Power She-Ra was a part of the third and highly sought after series of POP toys/dolls. I never had the chance to own BP She-Ra, mainly because I never saw one in stores. She was like the Chupacabra, only a few have seen one. Luckily this new Classics version was made for the rest of us. This variant pays total tribute to the vintage version. Her arm cuffs and boots are similar to the vintage design. Her bubble canon is just perfect. The tiara places POP fans on opposite sides of the Crystal Castle, some dislike the nod to the toy while others find the tiara to be a perfect addition. Either way this She-Ra's removable head, cape, and pink "armor" can be swapped with the other Classics She-Ra. This new She-Ra variant also has a new body sculpt, but that is a whole other story best saved for another day. 

What is in store next?

Who knows what the cosmos have planned for She-Ra? I guess Mattel and the 4H might know a thing or two, but either way there has been a lot of really great She-Ra releases as of late. It feels like 1984 all over again. Except now I'm old. Either way you all best believe this dorkette will be ready for any new releases. I am a She-Ra fan for life. Nothing could be better. Except maybe a Mermista in the Classics line. I can hope can't I?

Until next time toy fans! Though Toy Chest may not be coming back until 2012, fear not, I will still be rambling at the mouth, er, keyboard. Stay tuned for more awesome dork talk!

There are end of the year lists!
Horrifying stories of Roaches party rockin' in tha house!
And all kinds of other great things! Diary of a Dorkette is just getting started!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fraternity Row is canceled!

I saw such a great episode of One Life to Live today. I don't know what I am going to do when this show ends. Life just isn't going to be the same. So the soap is having this meta moment where the characters of Llanview are distraught that their favorite soap (you guessed it) Fraternity Row is getting canceled. Roxanne Balsom is the biggest soap fan ever and decides she is going to do her best to save Fraternity Row.

What happened today was one of the best hours of television. Roxanne and David Vickers visit the set of Fraternity Row (which is actually the real set of One Life to Live) to try and save it. Roxanne then passes out when she finds out that Fraternity Row taped its last show and sadly there will be no more new episodes.

After coming to, Roxanne wakes up and finds herself in her favorite soap Fraternity Row! She also finds out that she is now very, very rich. What an amazing treat! Most of the OLTL heavy hitters played against type and got to just have flat out mayhem and fun. Viki and Clint played the hired help. Gutsy attorney Téa Delgado played a clueless cop against Blair's vixen detective. Soulmates John and Natalie played lovers who may or may not be siblings. The Buchanan butler Nigel played Nigella. I mean this is just the tip of the iceberg folks.

It was a blending of the real soap inside a fake soap telling the tale of what we soap fans are all going through. Roxanne eventually wakes up, back in Llanview, and realizes that it was all a dream thanks to David. He tells her that the soap is over. Reaching behind her ear, foxy Roxy pulls out one of the jewels she was wearing in the dream. A part of her is like, "It had to be real." They both end up walking off the set, and I just don't know what I will do when this show goes off the air.

That was just a brief description of how awesome the episode was today. If you have ever watched this show or were always interested in watching a soap (and honestly, how could you not) than you must start watching One Life to Live. For those who have been keeping up, amazing right? This show is an important piece of television history and just like that it is going to be gone. January 13th, 2012 will be the final episode. Everyone better go out and watch this show right now!

And be ready folks! Tomorrow's Toy Chest Tuesday is going to be one for the books!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bring it back: Zombies Ate My Neighbors!

Video games are a curious beast. Some people don't understand the appeal while others are more than happy to purchase the 8th re-release of Final Fantasy IV like it is nothing. Video games are a huge cultural phenomenon. They have created loveable and recognizable characters while also stirring up immense controversy. There are magazines devoted to the latest releases much like Vogue addresses the latest fashion shows. Video games have a way of bonding people together.

When I was little Atari was enjoying its final years and the world was waiting for the next big thing. Enter Nintendo. Everyone wanted this thing. My parents. My cousins. Me. There was so much curiosity about this Italian plumber calling himself Mario that really got everyone talking. Maybe it was because my family is Italian and there was this sense of pride for the soon to be mascot, I don't know. The only thing that mattered was that the system was on pre-order.

The plan was that we'd do the pre-order and get it in time for Christmas. My parents and I were all so excited. Christmas came and went with the pre-order lasting longer than anyone would have thought. Everything changed though once we saw the system in the stores. Why wait for the pre-order when we could just purchase one right there?

Having the Nintendo was such a strange experience. Super Mario Bros. was on the tv, and my parents and I were controlling the little plumber. We were experiencing something new and completely life changing. There were no strategy guides at the time, so we had no idea what the hell we were doing. Every night we'd all try to work together to get past World 1-1.

That was when things changed one night. My parents were getting pretty close to the end of 1-1 but I needed to get ready for bed, which was difficult because I desperately wanted to know what was going to happen. The next morning I woke up with so much anticipation, "What happened after I went to sleep? How far did you both get?" My mom was ecstatic, "Oh we went to a new part of the game where everything was blue. The music was different. I think we were inside a castle." They had made it to what we now know as the dungeon area of World 1.

Now things have changed so much. My parents would have no clue how to play a new video game today, and truth be told there are some games I'm not even sure I would know how to play. That is ok though, I tend to love the classics anyway. Like Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Released on the Super Nintendo in 1993, Zombies was one of the best games to play. There were a slew of levels and the player could choose between two teens with an arsenal of kooky weapons. With the choice of one or two player fun, the teen characters fought their way through zombies, werewolves, chainsaw maniacs, and other types of B-movie horror monsters. The goal was to try and save babies, cheerleaders, and other quirky neighbors that were just standing around waiting to be killed or eaten.

Oh and the levels had cute names, like "Weird Kids on the Block," "Mars Needs Cheerleaders," or "Dances with Werewolves." How cute is that? I love it! The game was just pure fun.

Here is the box cover:

 And here is the back of the box:

This game was so much fun. Doesn't it look like a ton of fun? The best part for me was the whole horror movie feel. I love horror movies. Good horror movies. Not some of the garbage that is made today. Let's go to the sidebar for a bit shall we? Has anyone seen or heard of The Human Centipede? I don't understand this world, there are so many wonderful stories to tell and yet someone thought it'd be a great idea to make a movie about some deranged surgeon that sews three people together, mouth to butt, so that they have to basically become one long digestive track. As in someone is gonna be eating someone else's fecal waste. Super grody.

Thanks to Beavis and Butthead I got to see a few clips from that movie and I had nightmares of flat out grodiness all night long. I was nauseated. What a horrible experience! I'm sure the makers of this movie were trying to use the concept as a metaphor to tackle the problems of over eating, but look folks, I'm catty. Not scatty. Give me a good scary movie, preferably with Gale Weathers in it, ok?

Anyways back to the topic at hand, Zombies Ate My Neighbors was simply the best. The sad thing is that this game has not seen a re-release or update at all. This is truly a disservice for those that have never even played the game. I understand that the game is available on the Wii's virtual console, but I don't own one of those. I'm not trying to throw my shoulder out playing video game tennis, thank you very much.

So I need Konami, or whoever owns the rights to Zombies now, to step it up and make some nice anniversary edition game. I miss playing this game and would love nothing more than to shoot some zombies with an uzi squirt gun. Like the back of the box says: Play! Zombies Ate My Neighbors. But don't be surprised if your friends are missing when you hear the sound of the chainsaw hissing!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Misfits Are Gonna Get Ya!

Hello toy fans! I'm tired of driving. Holiday drivers are out in full force and ready to run their cars into anything to get to the next sale. I'm ready for Santa to arrive, pass out everyone's shit, and go. Either way let's talk about Jem and her enemies the Misfits, shall we? I bet Pizzazz never would have put up with anyone's crap on the road. She would have likely sped up in her Misfits Van and tried to drive folks off a bridge or something. All while singing a catchy tune to boot.

So as most of you know I have had my fingers crossed for a new Jem line. Sadly it doesn't look like Hasbro is going to release any new Jem product. The dvd cartoon series will probably be all we get. This travesty has propelled me to put together my very own custom Jem dolls. I'm tired of waiting.

While Hasbro continues sitting on their thumbs baking pies, Mattel has been releasing all sorts of Barbie product that has aided me in my quest to make really great Jem dolls. The Misfits have been a tad bit difficult though. Apparently no one wants to make a Barbie doll that could be the basis for Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, and Jetta. I have been looking and combing the streets high and low, and there is nothing.

Until very recently... Mattel has helped me out again and practically finished most of the work for me. I found a new doll from their line of Barbie Fashionistas that is going to be the perfect Jetta! In fact she could pretty much be Jetta as is, but I may add a few more bells and whistles to her. More is always more right?

Here is a before photo of the original Jetta doll (courtesy of Ghost of the Doll)

Jetta is to the left. She has jet black hair with strips of metallic fibers woven in. Her outfit was typical '80s rocker chic, tight pants and a true-to-form Dynasty top. Her instrument of choice was a saxophone. Clash is to the right, but who cares about her anyway? She was so annoying.

And now let's look at my new custom stand-in Jetta doll. (Technically she isn't much of a custom as I haven't added anything to her, but she is totally Jetta for the 21st Century.)

As you can see this Jetta has some skinny rocker pants and some super fun sparkly platforms. Her top is a bit Dynasty-ish, but the pink may not be exactly what '80s Jetta would have worn. This Barbie doll is also lacking the awesomely bad tacky face paint like the original. I have no clue how to paint on a Barbie doll's face. I'm afraid I would ruin everything. And that is the truth, caps on the lock.

I just can't stand Jem! She should really cover that face of her's! Ha!
 So there are some things I need to work on with her. She needs a bitchin' saxophone. Like something Lisa Simpson would play. I also need to find a way to really get her hair poofed up and ready to rock out with the other Misfits. That is once I can find suitable updates.

Jetta was the troublemaker of the Misfits. Well they all were troublemakers really, but Jetta was the kind of troublemaker that would also upset the other Misfits. When Roxy thinks you have gone too far, you have gone too far. Ya know what I mean?

I think this doll can really make a great Jetta, which is very interesting. How funny is it that I am getting inspired to "create" Jem dolls from Mattel's Barbie brand? Hasbro, get with the program! Your competitors are helping me out! Hurry it up and make some damn new Jem dolls. What else is it going to take? A petition? I'm a soap fan, I know how to roll out a petition.

Anyways, good luck out there everyone. Be careful on the roads. Misfit drivers are out and ready to rumble. Ah the holidays.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Toy Chest Tuesday! Enchanta

Alright toy fans it is that time of the week! Another Toy Chest Tuesday is here and ready to take to the skies. What shall we be looking at this week? Enchanta of course! One of the things I love about the Princess of Power toy line was all the vehicles and playsets for She-Ra and her friends to use. Swiftwind may have been She-Ra's main ride, but let's be real, unicorns are so passé. If you really want a pimped out ride you need a flying swan with pink hair. Seriously.
Enchanta was a part of the first series of POP toys. She also had a fantastic appearance in the POP cartoon episode #85 entitled: Sweet Bee's Home. Possibly one of my favorite episodes ever, this is the episode where Frosta has a mad crush on He-Man. Sadly for Frosta, He-Man only has eyes for Sweet Bee. Oh, and Enchanta gets zapped and makes the funniest noise ever as the poor dear plummets to a frozen piece of ice. This is a truly wonderful record of cartoon history so go check it out on iTunes or something.

Now let's look at the toy!

As it stands right now Enchanta is still living inside the box. I can't help it, I am just to worried about opening her up. What if she has not aged well all locked up in a pink colorful box? I prefer thinking of this item as a delightful pristine vintage find. Maybe I will open her when I am 98 and on my last gasp.

As you can see She-Ra and Glimmer are flying through pink and purple clouds on the majestic Enchanta. They look so happy, Glimmer has her arm waving in the cool Etherian air. Doesn't she know that flying on a large swan is dangerous? She could slip and fall. A Horde ship could shoot them down. It just isn't worth it. Below Enchanta's name is a nice description "Beautiful sawn "flies" She-Ra and her friends on amazing adventures!"

I always loved the idea of the different adventures She-Ra and her friends could go on with Enchanta. It just seems like if a person is on this swan they must be on a serious and legit adventure. If we look at the back of the box we can see what Enchanta really looks like.

She has this shocking pink mohawk and a whole lot of silver, pink, and pearly accents. I wish real swans could look like this. I would actually be more prone to visiting a zoo or any other sort of nature themed place. I typically dislike being outside. Everything smells. I have to always be careful where I walk because people think it is common to just throw any old piece of nasty on the ground. Why should I have to worry about dodging dog poo, used gum, or broken beer bottles? I just think being outside is overrated.

Anyways, we also can see the other characters from the first series of POP toys.

There is:

She-Ra- The most powerful woman in the universe!
Catra- Jealous beauty!
Frosta- Ice empress of Etheria!
Castaspella- Enchantress who hypnotizes!
Double Trouble- Glamorous double agent! (I didn't realize that being a spy was glamorous.)
Glimmer- Guide who lights the way!
Angella- Angelic winged guide!
Bow- Special friend (i.e. She-Ra's booty call)
Kowl- The know-it-owl!
Swiftwind- She-Ra doll's magical flying unicorn
Storm- Catra doll's powerful flying horse
Enchanta- Swan friend of She-Ra
Arrow- Bow doll's noble flying horse
Crystal Castle- Home of Princess Adora (This is the ultimate playset ever)

That is it for the lovely Enchanta. What else can I say? I think the toy pretty much speaks for itself. Enchanta is flat out awesome! 

So another Toy Chest Tuesday is over and dear readers we are quickly approaching the end of the year. I tend to think of this time as a moment of great reflection about the important things. As in what was the best toy of 2011? Or what is there to look forward to in 2012? (Besides the "end of the world" and the fact that I turn 30, funny that those are both happening in the same year.)

The point is this, get ready for some fun posts coming up. There will be some end of the year lists. There will also be the much highly aniticipated dedication to She-Ra! I will get to it if it is the last thing I do. There may also be some other great stuff as well, so check back often! And readers please be on the look out for flying swans.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Gift Guide for Dorks 2011

Do you smell that? Take a moment and breathe in your surroundings. Is there some apple spiced cider in the air? Or some hint of peppermint candy canes and vanilla sugar cookies? Or pine. I'm sure some of you can smell pine right now. That can only mean that it is the holiday season! And no matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year there is no hiding the fact that at some point you will have to buy something for someone. And if you have been spared that fate, please, don't rub it in. That is just rude.

So here is an interesting statistic brought to you by the University of Higher Dorkette Knowledge. Three out ten people you know are dorky. You may even be one of the three. Don't panic, there is no reason to freak out. I don't think dork is contagious. Though you never really know these days.

With that information out there, let's look at a real stone cold fact. Non-dorky people find themselves completely perplexed at what kind of gift to give to the dorky person in their life. It is even more difficult when the non-dorky person has no idea that they are even amongst dorks. Now I could break down all the tall tale signs to see if that person you know is dorky, but I don't have the time. To save a minute of your life let's take a look at some really great gift ideas for that special dorky someone be it a friend, family member, lover, or whatever. Feel free to also leave comments with other ideas as well!

1. Comic Subscription- Reading comics is a process. A long time ago you could take a gamble and walk into a convenient store to see if the latest comic story was out. The plan was always simple enough, hold your breath and live on a prayer. Then you'd quickly walk into the corner store, buy some Sprees and get the latest issue. Unless of course some other dorky person had already been there. As for finding independent comics? Forget it, that might as well never existed. Now with the advent of comic stores everything is much easier, unless you live far away from one. I am truly sorry if you live far from a comic store, it must be very hard. This is why a comic subscription would be a great gift for a dorky person. The subscription could come directly from the comic company (i.e. a Marvel subscription) or there could be a subscription set up with a local comic store. Most dorks probably have this set-up already, but if you know someone that is wanting to start, this could be perfect! 

2. Animation on DVD- What would the world be like if we didn't have dvd and blu-ray? How would we ever remember our favorite moments in cartoon history? I guess there'd always be youtube, but come on, nothing beats watching an old cartoon on a dvd whenever you want. So if someone in your life is obsessed with a particular cartoon from yesteryear chances are that show is out on dvd (and even blu-ray in certain cases.) Got a fan of Transformers? Or how about My Little Pony? Jem? Even He-Man and She-Ra have their own shows on dvd. I even hear that the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special is quite popular this time of year. My goodness they even have the Reboot series for crying out loud. Of course the perfect accessory to any old cartoon would be the third item on this guide...

3. Cereal Geek- Know someone who loves animation from the '80s? Well head on over to Cereal Geek and prepare to hand out one great gift (or two, or three.) Cereal Geek is a fantastic glossy magazine brought to you by James Eatock and features great photos and articles from many talented people. There are no ads in the magazines, which means more content. They are perfect for anyone who is a fan of '80s animation. And really, who isn't?

4. Books- Forget the Nook. There are just certain books that must be physically in your hands. Here are some favorites for all kinds of dorky folk-

  • Just Can't Get Enough by Matthey Robinson and Jensen Karp. A fabulous book that breaks down many cool things from the '80s. Toys, games, and even scented stickers are covered!
  • Totally Tubular '80s Toys by Mark Bellomo. A larger book that covers toys from the decade of excess. We really collected a lot of shit back then didn't we?
  • The Lego Book by Daniel Lipkowitz with extra book entitled Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 Years of the Lego Minifigure by Nevin Martell. Quite possibly the greatest compilation of Lego information ever.
  • Barbie Doll Photo Album 1959 to 2009 Identification & Values by J. Michael Augustyniak. This book contains tons of Barbie information.
  • Barbie: All Dolled Up by Jennie D'Amato. This book celebrates 50 years of Barbie. Homegirl looks pretty good all these years later.
  • The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy by Yoshitaka Amano. This book isn't out yet but can be pre-ordered. It covers all the art from the Final Fantasy series.
  • All My Life by Susan Lucci. 'Nuff said. Why this book isn't on everyone's must read list is beyond me.
Gift cards- Forget trying to find action figures or dolls for a dorky person. Unless you have been properly schooled in the ways of a toy master it is really difficult to come across hidden joys of plastic, which is why I find it very important to know thy local Toys-R-Us. A gift card can never go wrong and this year's crop of plastic cash cards are super fun. I am thinking of purchasing the unicorn card for myself. (They make excellent bookmarks.)

Get artsy- Are you good at making things? Well some dorky folk might appreciate a custom made doll or action figure. No I don't mean running out to sculpt and mold the plastic into an actual product. That would just be excessive and it would make everyone else's gifts look like crap. What you do is take already existing products and customize them to fit the needs of the person you are giving the gift to. For example I am done waiting for Mattel to stop scratching their back sides and get to making a special edition set of She-Ra Barbie dolls. So I made my own custom Glimmer Barbie doll below (and am working on other members of the Great Rebellion too!)

She was real easy. I simply studied the vintage toy and took notes for what types of items I would need to make a fun updated version. The doll itself was new. I just used a Swappin' Style Barbie body and bought the head which was perfect! Next I simply went about searching for the right clothing to make this doll look the best she possibly could to the vintage Glimmer. It wasn't that hard, it just took awhile. However the holidays are upon us so this gift idea might be pushing it timewise. There is always next year though!

I think that is good for now on the gift guide. There are many wonderful gifts out there to give to a dorky person. I have only mentioned a few, so get out there and look around! Access those hidden dorky areas of your otherwise non-dorky brain! Show that person in your life that you care about them and their love of all things dork. Make it the dorkiest holiday season yet!