Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Sweet Bee

Hey toy fans. Toy Chest Tuesday is starting right now, so hurry and get your refreshments and snacks. Right now I am enjoying a bag of Sweet Tarts Heart Gummies. They are so good and are only available around Valentine's Day. I love them. Seriously, if it was legal to marry food this is the candy I'd be with for the rest of my life.

Anyways enough of awkardness, let's discuss the toy for this Toy Chest Tuesday! The Princess of Power toyline is no stranger to this blog, so I thought it would be fun to look at Sweet Bee, a real honey of a guide. Released in 1986 Sweet Bee was a part of the illustrious second series from the POP toy line. Mattel spared no expense with this figure because she came with quite a few cool features. Let's check out some pictures!

As you can see Sweet Bee came with a whole lot of pink. And bright yellow. I found nothing wrong with this as a child and in all reality thought the world would be a better place if most of us looked like a gaudy bee lady. The package displayed Starburst She-Ra and Crystal Swift Wind on the upper left corner. Sweet Bee also came with reversible wings, antennae headdress, skirt, shield, comb and a comic. The comic included was entitled A Born Champion. And she was!

Here is a bigger photo of Sweet Bee with even bigger hair. Somewhere Cher and Dolly Parton are dying for a wig like Bee's massive curls. She had a lot of hair that rivaled most of the hair metal bands of the time. Her eye shadow was also bright green, which is probably why some people are scared of her to this day. Most He-Man fans are absolutely terrified of her eventual inclusion into the Masters of the Universe Classics line. Poor Sweet Bee, where is the love?

The back of the card features quite a few things. There is the unique photo of Sweet Bee at the top with brief bio. Below are photos explaining all the greatness of her accessories. Of course no toy would be complete without a full line up of other items to buy. As a child I learned so much about capitalism from Mattel.

The drawing of Sweet Bee on the back was very nice. I really liked all the drawings for the POP gals on their cards. They were full of whimsy and the use of color was always lush. The bio also did a nice job of detailing exactly what Sweet Bee was all about.

"I guide She-Ra and our friends on many adventures. Often I buzz on ahead to find shortcuts. And when it's time to go, I lead us safely home. Even after dark, my glowing antennae and wings guide the way."

The bio makes it sound like she is a car. Anyways do not adjust your screens, her antennae and wings did glow. The three bottom pictures show exactly how awesome Sweet Bee is. Her wings have a pink side and a gold glittery side. The pink side glows in the dark when held in the light. Her fancy antennae piece also glows in the dark. Can I just say toys that glow in the dark are so much fun. MOTU and POP both had numerous characters and pieces that had glow in the dark parts. Love it! 

This last photo shows all the other great toy options for the She-Ra fan. For details on those items head on over to Toy Chest Entrapta.

Sweet Bee of course is much more than just a honey of a guide. She-Ra fans will fondly remember her as being the foil between any notion of a would-be romance between Frosta and He-Man. Poor Frosta had to work it for He-Man to even notice her and we all know how that type of behavior turns out. The most powerful man in the universe does not like a pushy woman. Of course no one really cares who He-Man ends up with, we were all more interested in the claws coming out between Frosta and Sweet Bee. (Truth be told I was always rooting for Frosta. I'm a pushy broad too, what are ya gonna do?)

So that is about it for this week's Toy Chest. If you find yourself wanting to watch some good tv, check out the She-Ra cartoon episode Sweet Bee's Home. It is truly a classic that I have mentioned a few times already. Anyone who thinks that Sweet Bee is a crappy addition to the MOTU mythos needs their reality checked. Until next time!   

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dorkette Book Club: The Last Vampire series

Vampires are an interesting group. When I was a grunge goddess teen I actually had a crush on a guy who briefly believed he was a vampire. He would point to a star and say that was his original home world. He thought my legs were delectable. The whole thing was exciting and moody, like a dark gothic romance novel. That is until he coughed up blood and wanted to give it to me. (I bet Elizabeth Taylor never had to deal with that.) Needless to say things did not work out. At. All. Quirky romance is cute and all until it turns into an episode of CSI.

Why is it that vampire stories insist on being connected to some morose depressing love story? I completely get the draw with the first bite. Titillating as that may be, I do find myself growing restless. These tales always involve some vampire guy who either wants to bed a human or eat everything in sight. Binge eating vampires are boring (I wanted to like the new Fright Night, honest) and I am quickly losing interest in sparkly guy, sad girl, and the freaky hybrid baby.

Enough of this mess, and the solution is not a change to all things zombie or all things ghosts. I think we can all appreciate creepy monster stories and do not have to rely on the whole, "Zombies are in right now. No wait, now it is killing cyborgs." I want to see it all, but please make it good. I love my vampires, zombies, ghosts, crazed robots, all of it. I even like a good silent story. (I don't think my local theater will ever be showing The Artist. Sigh squared.)

A solution to all this nonsense is for more people to look into the classics. The Last Vampire was written by Christopher Pike and it was a 6 part series that chronicled the life of Sita/Alisa the last vampire on Earth. Of course there have been recent added editions to the series, but I have yet to read them. The first 6 came out in the early nineties and I ate them up.

This series was so exciting because the main character was a 5,000 year old ass kicking female vampire that was always trying to solve a mystery. She'd thirst for revenge. Also there was always someone, or something, wanting her dead. Being the last vampire and all, that never really sat well with her. So through six books Sita made friends, experienced love(s), faced all kinds of enemies, came to terms with having an evil child, became a human and then vampire again, this is all just a brief skim over the surface folks. I loved these books so much, there was so much action, suspense, and even some romance. More importantly the story involved a strong multi-faceted female, something that I think there should be more of in this world.

Of course the ending of the 6th book was a total shock. One of Sita's friends throughout the series was a nerdy guy named Seymour. He was always helping Sita gather information that she needed for her missions. He was also HIV positive and dying. In a touching moment Sita gave some of her blood to cure him (this occured in a previous book.) Seymour was going to live, which was rare in this series because most everyone died. By the end of the final book though everything was turned upside down.

The whole series wasn't real. Sita was merely a made up character by Seymour. He was writing his latest, and possibly last, story while trying to live with HIV. It was a beautiful story and I was completely overcome with emotion. For six books I had been reading about this heroine who was not real! I was also made aware of certain realities of life. At that time I had never read a thing about HIV. Look, I was a clueless pre-teen living in the suburbs. Whatever I knew was from the news, and the news had done everything to scare and stereotype the issue at that time. This story was so amazing because it got me to work on not being as clueless about life around me; to realize that there was a much bigger and more complicated world out there than just my little slice of suburbia. Here's the thing, that clueless pre-teen suburban girl would eventually grow up and as a young woman become friends with a guy that would end up contracting HIV. And I like to think that I was able to be a source of support for him instead of being scared and judgmental. Not what one would expect from a scary vampire thriller huh?

To top everything off, word on the street is that there is a movie in the works. Now this is something I could really rally around! I would love nothing more than for this series to be turned into a really awesome movie. Of course with the ending of the 6th book, I have no clue how the 7th and 8th novel tie into the whole series. Either way I will be looking forward to any news, because I think it is about time that this series got its chance to shine in the spotlight.

Here are some pictures from some of the books in the series!

Front of a collection of the first three books

Back of the book

Cover image to the 3rd book: Red Dice

Cover to 4th book

Back of the 4th book

These books are still out now, though they currently have very different covers. If anyone out there likes a good vampire story and has yet to read these, give them a shot! Granted you now know how they end, but don't let that stop you! The ending didn't stop Christopher Pike, he went ahead and made two new ones.

I also have a fun new announcement! Diary of a Dorkette is on Twitter! I'm tweeting like that yellow bird from Loony Tunes. This is gonna be a hot damn mess! Follow me @DorketteTweets. The world is just not going to be ready for this. (More like I am not going to be ready for this since I am so ass backwards with technology.) Anyways, until next time!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Captain Planet's Dr. Blight!!

Remember when it was cool to protect the planet? Where our greatest resource was Earth itself and poor rain forests were being wiped out entirely? How were we going to breathe? We needed a savior. A hero that was ready to save Earth, the ultimate damsel in constant distress. Jesus was busy. Enter: Captain Planet and the Planeteers!!!

Captain Planet and the Planeteers was an interesting cartoon. I can't think of any other time in my life when I wanted to defend Earth from pollution more. What better way to do that then by collecting plastic figures? But hey, at least some of the toy packaging was made from recycled materials. These toys were green before going green was even a "thing."

I loved the cartoon and toy line. First of all it was so cool to see a cast of Planeteer heroes hail from various countries with different ethnicities. I really liked learning about all the multi-cultures instead of everyone looking like they came out of a bag of Wonder Bread. Each teen had their own special ring that called upon Captain Planet and controlled one of the elements including a new fifth magical element called Heart, which was pretty lame even for my standards. I mean the heart is my favorite shape for crying out loud, but let's be real. Either way it all just seemed so eco-cool though didn't it?

Enough of the do-gooders! The villains were just as cool, which is why this Toy Chest Tuesday we'll be looking at Dr. Blight, the devious and demented biochemical genius! (And is this ever a hot mess of a toy!) Let's check out some pictures!

Isn't she just pure fun? Decked out in a magenta jump suit with rubber looking gloves and boots, this chick means business. She wants to wreak Earth like a lusty Bree Van de Kamp in a dive bar. Dr. Blight also comes with her evil accomplice, the Mal Evil Computer!  

My favorite thing about Dr. Blight is her hair action feature. I love that behind that sultry hair is a charred toxic mess. I really felt like an edgy rebel owning this anti-pretty toy with missing eye. Can I just say though that I have always loved the idea of hair covering part of the face all seductive like. Jessica Rabbit had the look down and I always wanted my hair to do that too. Until, of course, I actually did and then it just looked goofy. (As much as my heart breaks, I am no Jessica Rabbit.)

Here is a better picture of the Mal Evil computer. The face actually looks like that Dr. Wily alien thing from Mega Man 2. And here are some interesting factoids: Meg Ryan briefly voiced the vile Dr. Blight in the cartoon for some episodes while Tim Curry was Mal Evil for a couple years too. How cool is that? I mean this cartoon had a touch of gravitas to it!

This picture shows all the interesting stuff occurring on the back of the card. As you can see Dr. Blight was the only female from the first series in the Captain Planet toy line. Of course she was. Why on Earth would a toy company release numerous females in a 1st series toy line? That would just be crazy. Le sigh. 

At the top of the card Captain Planet wants to give us all a friendly environmental tip. (Feel free to read it over.) I like how this tip predates the whole concept of stores selling reusable shopping bags for $1.99. Along with the eventual obsession of bulk buying at Sam's and Costco. Oh Captain Planet you were so on trend.

"Collect them all!" the yellow banner says with excitement. Here were the offerings for the 1st series Captain Planet figures. There was:

Captain Planet- Powerful environmental super hero with mullet.
Planeteer Wheeler- With the power of Fire! (He also had power over the butterflies in my stomach.)
Kwame and Ma-Ti- Planeteers Kwame and Ma-Ti with the power of Earth and Heart. Goodness that Heart element was really goofy, though not as goofy as my seductive hair look.
Verminous Skumm- King size sewer-rat villain who just happens to look like Vincent from Final Fantasy VII, with a need for a nose job stat.
Dr. Blight- Devious and demented biochemical genius.
Duke Nukem- Walking nuclear radiation accident and no relation to the Thing or the video game action star (honestly!)

This trading card also gives out a brief bio of Dr. Blight. God I love trading cards with bios on them. This bio has got to be the best bio in the history of toy bio cards. Seriously. Check it out for yourself but here are a few of my favorite quotes...

"She has previously tried to create the perfect human, and has tested some of her experiments on herself first." (That's a bad bitch.)

"Dr. Blight is now so demented that she even flirts with her computer..." (Holy cow this is a hot mess and totally addresses most people in the 21st Century.)

Dr. Blight was truly one of my favorite toys. In fact when I was younger I had two and just recently nabbed this mint version. What a great toy from a great cartoon. Now the biggest question of all is when will we see this cartoon and toy line return? I want a reboot, because the Earth is silently crying, waiting for a hero; with green mullet hair. Just remember folks...  

The Power Is Yours!

(see you next time)

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Ghoul

Do girls ever grow up wanting to be dorky? Let's ponder this quickly, shall we? I don't really recall there being dorky female role models when I was younger. In fact after a certain age it was expected that I would grow up and get over my issues with wanting to own toys and comics. The messages were loud and clear, "Only people with no lives end up collecting toys for the rest of their pathetic days. You are a pretty girl, you'll make someone happy one day, but not with that collection. Grow up."

I never really grew up. My crazy white girl self still gets a thrill out of the newest She-Ra release or finding that rare item on a Toys-R-Us shelf. I keeps it real. Real dorky. And though some Toys-R-Us cashier folk look at me kinda strange when I buy stuff and do not require a gift receipt, it is all good. People should be able to collect whatever they want no matter their age.

In fact it would appear that as of late there has been some recent movements to have dorky girls be cool and a regular fact of life. Thanks to Zooey and her show New Girl there has been this "adorkable" moment on television right now. But is it really dorky? I watch her show and I just have to say, she could be dorkier. To start with I love the show, but really Zooey? Really? The only dorky things her character Jess does is act goofy, sing her own theme songs, and wear hipster clothes. I need more! I need to see her geek out in a toy aisle because they reissued some vintage figure. Or she needs to have a serious conversation regarding her thoughts with the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men and if Jean Grey will be coming back or not. She must have a comic in her hand at some point. Because that is real dork stuff ok folks? Hipster dresses does not a dork make.

There is a point to all of this dear readers. As I mentioned, when I grew up in the Dark Ages there were no comic clutched dorkettes for me (and other mini-dorkettes) to look up to. I grew up believeing I'd be shunned from society because I insisted that mermaids were real. What the hell! However we are no longer living in the Dark Ages. Mini-dorkettes have many more possibilities for living a nice healthy dork lifestyle well into their nineties. This is all thanks to certain items that are on shelves today. Might we really be finding ourselves in the Dork Ages? (It's happening all around us.)

Monster High dolls, made by Mattel, are these "scary" creature dolls that are the children of famous monsters (i.e. Dracula, the Werewolve, and the Mummy to name a few.) There are the dolls, each with their own pet and personality that plays off the typical high school archetypes; play sets featuring things like a coffin bed; and extra clothing sets for the monstrous teens. One particular clothing set offers outfits for certain "School Clubs." There is the Fashion Entrepreneur's Club that Clawdeen Wolf is a part of. Draculaura is a member of the Newspaper Club, which is so funny because the vampire's age is ancient. Just like the newspaper. Sports fan Abbey Bominable enjoys the Snowboarding Club. However I think the Comic Book Club is by far the best.

Ghoulia Yelps (daughter of the Zombies) is the character that goes with the Comic Book Club attire. She is a zombie and according to her bio is one of the smartest teens at Monster High, though she only speaks zombie and moves incredibly slow. (Didn't we all move slow in high school? I just wanted to sleep.)

Let's look at the Comic Book Club item.

This set comes with a head band, t-shirt and denim skirt. I love that the headband and denim skirt have a real "brainy" look. Miss Yelps also has a pair of ankle boots, bangles, and glasses to round out the outfit, though nothing is complete without her Deadfast mint on card action figure and Deadfast comic. How funny that she loves reading about a hero named Deadfast when she is dead slow. (Ah the joys of zombie humor.) Oh, a trading card is also included.

If we take a peek at the back of the box we can see the other outfit choices for everyone's favorite Monster High students.

I think Ghoulia is my favorite. How cool is it that mini-dorkettes (and full grown dorkettes) have the chance to collect something that is like a love letter to dorky folk everywhere? When I was younger there was nothing on the shelves that could celebrate and make cool the idea of being in a Comic Book Club. How awesome would it have been to go to Comic Book Club meetings in high school? I mean we would have all been made fun of until the end of time, but it would have been worth it!

Anyways these dolls are really fun even if the actual sculpts look like they could use a brain sandwich or two. They do bring forth a nice alternative to the pretty normal dolls out on the market right now and I think that is a good thing. Though the verdict is out on what the Hardcore Goth Society thinks about them. (Are they friend or foe?) Either way I just hope that kids these days know it is alright to be dorky and to never stop collecting to their hearts content! Now if everyone else could get that message...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dorkette Shopping 101

Oh dear readers, where do I even begin? I guess I could start by saying I'm not really good at many things. Horrible does not even describe how clumsy I can be. Brain wise I am kind of clueless and highly gullible. I am not good at athletic things. I only run if someone is chasing me or there is a major sale. I suppose I do deserve an award for the heights my feet will go in a terribly nice pair of shoes. None of this truly matters though as I do have one really good thing going for me, I know how to shop. And I don't mean, "Wow! I just spent $5,000 at Gucci on a bag and heels!"

No, I mean the type of shopping that is methodical and full of training. Almost like the Predator creature from the movies. I have the ability to cloak myself with invisibility and get shit done. These days certain dorky items can be found in various places at varying prices. It can be very overwhelming for dorky folk. Some people panic and spend double (or triple) on an item that can be found for pennies elsewhere. So let's get started on some Dorkette Shopping 101.

Location truly can make or break a dorky purchase. First of all do your best to avoid buying something on ebay unless you have patience for the right price to show up. Now I know what you are thinking, "But Miss M, you love ebay. Why would you mutter such a thing?" I may love ebay but sometimes the prices are silly, especially in regards to something that is still currently in stores. Scalping is so common, don't fall victim to it.

Sidebar yes? Scalping may not be illegal, but there are times when it just seems like kittens are being killed with each scalped purchase. I dislike it when someone goes to a store and buys everything on the shelf only to put it up on a secondary market at astronomical pricing. I mean who wants to be high jacked? It is one thing to part with a vintage collection at a high price that cannot be found anywhere else, that is just the nature of rare items. Some things demand a high price with old age. Like a Vegas Cher concert. But seriously there is no reason to try and sell a brand new Cheetara for $29.99. I'm not saying for people to not scalp (hey everyone has the right to get their entrepreneur on) but be reasonable! Otherwise you'll end up selling nothing.

Take this story into consideration. Hasbro had a special Transformers Prime set for $29.99 at the New York Comic Con. This set consisted of Bumblebee and a pink Arcee with two little figures based off the new cartoon. Needless to say this was an awesome set and people were going nuts over it. The problem was that one could only buy this set at the Comic Con. Hasbro would eventually release the set on their online store too, but people must have glossed over that.

So a bunch of sellers put the sets on ebay for really high prices, like ranging from $49.99 to $99.99. I saw this and pretty much gave up on wanting to own one. Until I found the sets on Hasbro's online store for $29.99. And as of this post, those sets are still available. I have no idea why anyone would pay for the overpriced version on ebay. It just makes no sense! Say no to scalping! There are other ways to get a clean and healthy fix!

So here are some more tips. Check as many sites as possible online. You would be surprised at how low certain items can go. Even ebay will occasionally have in demand items at low prices. Buyers just need to be vigilant. Hold true to yourself and never over pay unless there is an absolute emergency, like a mint on card Entrapta for eighty dollars. (There are some items that aren't good at doing the limbo ok?)

For those that dislike stalking online shopping sites looking for the best deal, there are certain stores that are begging for your business. We all know the virtues of Toys-R-Us (those reward points!) Wal-Mart (those low prices!) and Target (those prices and selection!) However where do the toys from those stores go when they have been evicted? Enter such greats like Marshalls, Tuesday Morning and Big Lots. I do not know if these stores exist in your neck of the woods, but if they do, they have fantastic toy aisles.

I just recently started my excursions into Big Lots. Sure I knew of the place, but I never had a reason to step in one. Until I saw an add for a slew of discontinued Barbie dolls for really low prices! I put my Nancy Drew skills to the test and investigated. What I found was truly shocking. Big Lots had a toy aisle consisting of items from like years ago! I had actually stepped back in time. They had all these collectible Barbie dolls for a fraction of the price! I even picked up a lone Golden Compass figure for four dollars! No one recalls the movie but damn was that a great line of figures!

I'm sure some of you dear readers already know this information, but I feel it bears repeating. I've heard too many horror stories from folks who paid an arm, a leg, and a kidney for an item that had no business costing that much. Look, the world economy is melting like the icebergs in the Arctic. We all want our plastic fix but we also need our arms, legs, and kidneys too. So beware out there! Shop smart.

Ok folks, be here next time for the smartest zombie on Earth!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Mortal Kombat's Sonya Blade

Hello toy fans! I know it has been awhile, but Toy Chest Tuesday is back and ready to kick some butt! Today we will be looking at a Mortal Kombat gem from the turn of the century. I have always enjoyed the Mortal Kombat series. I remember the local Pizza Hut (when they were sit down restaurants) had a MK arcade. I never really played it there but I would watch other people play. I loved Raiden and his hat. There was something interesting about the rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Of course there was all that blood and controversy too. I love a scandal. I also found myself drawn to these characters and their stories that really took on a larger world than just the fighting tournament portion. I found myself immersed in what would happen next in the character bios. (Mileena was a psycho killing clone?! Sindel was Kitana's mom?!) The gaming was fun too, though the movies... not so much.

Of course the video game sequels rolled out one after the other and there have always been a few constants within the MK series. 1) The MK female's breasts get bigger and more obnoxious with every new game. For real, Kitana started out as a B and has now moved up to a HHH. 2) Johnny Cage always remains a d-bag. Always. 3) Typically there is an action figure line to correspond with any new game, and they tend to feature the usual suspects only.

Seriously, the last few MK action figure lines have been rehashes of the same four characters with a few updates. Needless to say I find myself growing restless with every new line. One of the best things MK has going for it is all the unique and interesting characters that are begging for really cool action figures. I'm just gonna throw this out there: the toy world needs to see some awesome female MK figures.

Take a look at this Sonya Blade, quite possibly one of the best Sonya Blade figures ever made. She was a part of a short lived and rare MK line from Infinite Concepts that came out in '00. At the time it featured new patent pending technology called Center of Gravity Joint Integrity Technology, i.e. C.O.G.J.I.T. (That is a Tarkatan mouthful.) Basically these figs had a great deal of articulation and never fell over. Let's look at some pictures!

"I plan on giving Johnny Cage a kiss. Of death. Muah!"

"I don't think we're in Earthrealm anymore."

Sonya vs. Goro
As you can see this Sonya Blade is really tall, perfect for an action figure based on a fighting video game. The sculpting looks good, though the legs are maybe a little too long and her feet look like hooves. Seriously, this Sonya looks like she was the love child of Motaro and Golden Girl. Feet sculpts have thankfully come a long way.
Giddy up.
There have been a few other Sonya Blade figures made, but they have not been that great. I have them all and would normally feature photos of the whole batch if only they weren't hidden in the archival room somewhere. Trust me though when I say that toy companies need to do better.
Now let us take a look at the back packaging of Miss Sonya Blade:

There is a brief summary of MK along with the details of the C.O.G.J.I.T.

Prepare for Mortal Kombat!
Do not adjust your screens because what you are seeing is very real. This MK line had a really cool Mileena figure as well! I mean look at this Mileena! When I first saw this I just about died. (Rumor has it that her face mask is removeable and features her monstrous grill.) This is what MK fans want. By MK fans I mostly just mean me. There needs to be some really great MK female figures, I can't type it enough. I urge whichever company has the rights to this line to hop on it and get to sculpting a Mileena, Kitana, Sindel, and Sheeva (to name just a few.) I find it appalling that we have to sit by and see the 18th Scorpion roll out on shelves when so many other characters are waiting for their chance. MK needs an uppercut of women's rights stat. (Because this is exactly why feminism was created right? Ignore me, I'm a mess.)

Anyways that is about it for this edition of Toy Chest Tuesday. Enjoy the pictures and be sure to write letters to your local toy companies urging them to pass the green light to make better MK figures with more badass females. That is all.

Wondering what is up next? I've got some great posts in the works involving dorky shopping tips, a look at a smart zombie, and some other great surprises!

And! Before I forget, if you are a fan of She-Ra and want to update her friend's list, go to Matty Collector and order a set of the Star Sisters! These gals may have some haters (and a high price point) but they are really great! Think of it as an investment in colorful plastic!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Did you see...

... any television this weekend? There were some interesting bits of programming that I feel should be addressed. First off Napoleon Dynamite aired on Fox. I am in love. The show is so funny. If you aren't watching it, than hop on it! The Goof Nuts Band is a total mess. I am so happy that the powers-that-be decided to bring Mr. Dynamite back. (Now there just needs to be some sweet action figures and this dorkette will be a happy camper.)

Let's move on to the Golden Globes. I totally watched from the arrivals to the end. Ever since I was little awards shows have been a family affair. We all meet up and gather round the television to make comments about the nominees and what everyone is wearing. It's a good time. This year's Golden Globes did not disappoint either. There was a lot of stuff going on from Elton's catty-fest with Madonna to Angelina needing just a few bites of a cheeseburger (seriously her arms looked like twigs.) The fashion was good too, and how gorgeous was Michelle Pfeiffer? I really hope I look flawless like her one day. It will be my life's mission. Anyways, I loved it all.

One of the things I think about when I watch awards shows is this: do any of the stars collect action figures and dolls? Am I the only one that wonders this? I want to know who makes trips to Toys-R-Us for the latest Lego Minifigures. I am dying to know which actors fight the drama on a Matty sale day for a She-Ra doll. I mean at least a few of those people have got to be dorky, it just makes statistical sense. Why else buy those big mansions? Dorky collections need a lot of space to grow. 

I digress, I've got one more thing to discuss about weekend television. Back in September there was an episode of Ringer that featured a clip of a really great song. I completely went into obsession mode over this song and while using my Nancy Drew skills quickly found out the singer. The title of the song was Video Games and it was sung by Lana Del Rey. Once I found this out I went to her youtube station and completely found myself immersed in the songs and homemade music videos. The songs were great with this dash of vintage Nancy Sinatra. I was hooked.

With a new song and video out along with a debut album set for release at the end of the month I have been really looking forward to where this singer goes. Even more so when I found out she was going to perform on Saturday Night Live (which aired this past weekend.) I was telling everyone to sit and watch, this was going to be a killer performance. Well it killed alright. Put simply her voice sounded really off. Now I'm not sure if it was the acoustics, stage fright, or maybe Lana was recovering from a drunken bender the night before, but it was not pretty. I felt so bad for her.

More so after I went online and read some of the comments that people were ready to type about her performance. People can be so mean. There was legitimate comments about how her voice sounded bad but those comments were usually backed up with something to soften the blow. There were other comments that were just scathing from how her lips are too big all the way to her personal background and how her voice is studio manufactured. Just wow. If Lana wanted a second butt hole, she certainly got one. I believe in opinions but I also have never understood the concept of ripping someone to shreds.

Who cares about her past? Does it really matter if she was poor or comes from a really rich dad who may have bankrolled her musical aspirations? Or a bit of both? I don't care! What does it even matter? I don't even think I could tell you all the life stories of most of the musical acts that I like. I typically am in the here and now. Just let me listen to the music.

The other thing that drives me nuts is the whole, "That artist is manufactured, their voice is completely created in a studio." Ok. So? Does any of that really matter? We live in a world where there are movies with giant transforming robots, green screens, and air brushed photos on every corner. I think the days of us wanting anything to be real and not manufactured are over. If a singer needs some studio magic to sound better than they might actually be, what is the big deal?

All Lana needs is a voice coach and someone to teach her how to shake off the nerves. I am looking forward to her new album and hope other people are too. Folks need to lighten up. With that said I am off. I am going to do some research on celebrities that are really big nerds. I just have to know the dirt!

So make sure to be back tomorrow folks, because there will be a brand new Toy Chest Tuesday! It is going to be awesome!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Farewell One Life to Live

As I type this my eyes are doing their best to dry. I've been a sobbing hot mess for most of the day. Today was the last episode of One Life to Live, and what an amazing episode it was. Where should I even begin? The past two weeks have been building up for one of the best endings to a show that I have never wanted to see end. The final episode was full of romance. Characters got endings that were not completely final, one could see and imagine where the story may have gone had the cancellation been nothing but a dream. Of course good soap is only as good as the Friday Cliffhanger, and OLTL did not disappoint. I am truly at a loss. My life next week is not going to be the same.

Why is this so important to me? Essentially All My Children and One Life to Live were just television shows, right? What is the big deal? Everything ends at some point, nothing can truly last forever. I really thought it would though. The characters on these shows were like extended family to me. In fact I'm pretty sure I spent more time with the denizens of Pine Valley and Llanview than I did with some actual real life family members. These shows are so important to me, I can't help but feel a great loss.

Of course it is not the same kind of loss from losing someone to death, or bad fashion choices, but still a big loss. The kind of loss that really only other soap fans can truly understand. Soap fans are a rare and special breed. We have our fingers on the pulse, of what I do not know, but we have them on the pulse. No matter the age or background, we all share a kindred existence. We even get the chance to see certain talent before it becomes hugely popular to everyone else. But more importantly we get to experience family.

Viki (Erika Slezak) summed it up really nicely on Thursday's episode. She gave this voice over that was an excellent social commentary on soaps and why people love them so. I wish these shows were still going to continue. I do not understand why a network would just squash two shows that have such a rabid and dedicated fanbase. I have always been ready to follow AMC and OLTL to the ends of the Earth.

My heart goes out to the actors, writers, camera crew, makeup artists, costume designers and everyone else who made these shows possible day in and day out. There was so much work that went into making these fabulous shows and now sadly so many people are out of work. I hope that everyone can find new work and won't fade away. I just want to throw a party and do my best to cook a nice feast for everyone. Thankfully this will never occur because my cooking would probably make everyone sick. I can see it now, "Obsessed dorkette poisons entire soap cast with icky food."

Hopefully some video company will come in and at least put some great episodes on dvd. I've read that a company is doing that with the defunct As the World Turns and Guiding Light. I am ready for it. Bring on the dvd sets. I will gladly march into any store and buy them up. I read recently that the original episodes and storylines of OLTL were erased, something like the first 10 years are no longer on tape. That is just such a travesty.

This show has a rich history and I hate that part of it is just gone never to be seen again. That is crazy! Martin Scorsese makes such a big deal about movie preservation, well what about soap preservation? I think someone needs to get on the ball with that and get it together real quick, ok?

Spoiler Alert! Do not read this paragraph if you have not seen the final episode of OLTL! Ok here is the dirt on the final episode. Destiny gave birth to a baby boy. Matthew finally showed up ready to be a part of the experience. Unsure of what to name the lil bundle of joy Matthew eventually decided on the name Drew, after his brother who was Bo's son that died way back when. It was a regular episode of Maury when Viki found out that Clint was indeed Jessica's biological father thankfully correcting a storyline that has long been sore with many fans. Clint also proposed to Viki. Happy moments all around! I especially liked the brief scene with Jessica and Brody (it would seem that the two former lovers would one day rekindle something in the future.) Starr relocated to Los Angeles and was temporarily sharing space with Langston and Markko. Starr also got the surprise of a lifetime when her father sent a body guard to protect her, and by body guard I mean her true love Cole. Blair and Todd finally tore the sheets up only to have John McBain bust in during the after glow announcing Todd's arrest for the murder of Victor Lord Jr. And the big cliffhanger was that Victor Lord Jr. was very much alive and tied to a bed no less by cray-cray Allison Perkins (or so it would seem, I actually have no clue how Victor ended up tied to a bed.)

So what happens next? I will still hold out hope for a cable company or some knight in soapy armor to ride in and find a way to continue these great shows. Until then there is always my little journal of my soap fan fiction, because I have no life. My dorkette behavior has also equipped me to see my favorite soap opera characters in certain Barbie dolls. It is like when people see Jesus in a bowl of soup, except more like, "OMG! That red haired Barbie looks like a great Natalie Buchanan!" (Best believe there will be pictures soon! Exciting, I know!)

Of course there is some really exciting news, certain OLTL characters will be moving to General Hospital, the only ABC soap left. Blair Kramer (Kassie DePaiva) Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson) and John McBain (Michael Easton) will be bringing the drama to Port Charles. So that will be very interesting indeed and looks like I will probably be watching another soap. (Let's hope all that mob mess gets mopped up real quick)  Here's hoping that a few other Llanview faces decide to relocate as well!

And with that, I say farewell One Life to Live. I have a life time of memories and thankfully some memorabilia too. (As if I wouldn't? After all, I am a dorkette!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Trashy or Timeless? Wonder Woman

So here is the thing, as of this writing I am close to being caught up on the final episodes of One Life to Live, and I have to say the show is on fire. Spoiler alert: no one will be visiting Eterna, but there are a few that will be visiting heaven. I am just at a loss for words, the show is out of control. Prisoners are running around with guns. Todd is looking damn good and the show's main character might actually die.

Enough of all that though, I thought now would be a great time to sit back and ponder the important things... Like is Wonder Woman trashy or timeless? Now I don't mean Wonder Woman in her original duds, we all know how iconic and timeless the Amazonian goddess is. However 2011 wasn't exactly a banner year for the super hero. Her own tv show was set to air, only to be brutally scrapped. She has still been patiently waiting for her own cool blockbuster Summer movie. Then there was this: DC Universe Classics Series 17 Star Sapphire Wonder Woman. A truly interesting variant if I ever saw one:

There is a reason why Wonder Woman is dressed in such a vivacious ensemble. Now as I have mentioned before I am all about Marvel, but there are a few characters I really like from the DC world. With that said there is a lot that I simply do not know about all the various story arcs and characters. From what I do understand this costume is from a storyline where WW becomes a member of the Star Sapphire and works alongside another Star Sapphire, Carol Ferris. (This is all connected to a Green Lantern story, wiki Blackest Night for more.)

Star Sapphire- "Bitch stole my look!"
Alright folks, so what is the verdict? Trashy or timeless? My vote is going to go for trashy. Before anyone starts to think, "Why Miss M? Jealous of Wonder Woman's revealing costume? Snark, snark." No, I have no problem with WW being so scantily clad. I am fully aware that super hero females, and males, are going to wear next to nothing at times. He-Man wears a loin cloth and harness for goodness sake. I mean a super hero can't save the world in a billowy number from the latest Jil Sander collection ok?
Here is why this version of WW gets the trashy vote. I can't help but think that this WW is getting ready to try out for the latest Cirque du Soleil production. She needs to be wearing a glittery mask and doing freakish acrobat tricks, not saving the world in outerspace. Am I wrong for this?

I am all for creative ways for iconic super heroes to change their look up, however this look is Wonder Woman's experiment with an acid wash jean jacket, or a foray into Z. Cavaricci jeans territory. Twenty years from now she is going to look back and say, "I actually wore that?! What was I thinking?!"   

It is alright though Wonder Woman! We have all been there. (I used to be platinum blonde and loved bare midrift tops, I knew better.) Let's go to the sidebar for a second though, shall we? Fashion is fun, but for some reason I feel that people get duped into anything. For example this past year all anyone could talk about was the whole colorful denim craze. Everyone and their mother was sporting red, lilac, or hot pink (to name a few) denim jeans. People from here to Etheria were acting like they had never seen this style of clothing. We need to stop injecting ourselves with amnesia and really remember that literally everything comes back every year in some form or another. A couple years ago we were all going gaga over colorful denim. We've been doing it since the '80s, possibly longer (I can't vouch for anything before '82.)

I digress too much. I must be retiring for the time being. My soaps are calling and I have said pretty much all there is to say about this Wonder Woman variant. I hope everyone is doing well. I will return with more fascinating dorkette posts soon! And...

Get ready dear readers, an all new Toy Chest Tuesday will be returning next week and I have been workin' up something that will scream out the virtues of friendship, babies, and kisses of death. It will feel like someone is practically ripping your heart out. I've said about all I can. Until then...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

All My Children turns 42!

Hello dear readers! I thought I would take this time to celebrate what would have been All My Children's 42nd Anniversary had the show not been canceled. On January 5th, 1970 AMC debuted and the world got hit upside the head by Susan Lucci playing Erica Kane. Now I wasn't around in the beginning of AMC as I was not even alive yet, but I did watch with my mom in the mid to late '80s and did my best to keep up ever since. I was a steady every day recording watcher from '98. That is longer than most of my relationships.

I wish AMC had not been canceled. For me though the show does live on (in my heart and fan fiction journal, don't judge me!) so I think the perfect way to celebrate AMC's 42nd Anniversary is to take a brief trip down memory lane, courtesy of Mattel.

It is crazy to think that just a little over ten years ago soaps were still popular enough to warrant a Barbie Collector series of dolls called, "The Daytime Drama Collection." Soaps were still so popular, I can't understand what went wrong. The daytime landscape looks like a barren wasteland today. Either way it only seemed appropriate that Erica Kane would mark the first doll in the Daytime Drama series. Actually aside from a second Erica kane doll (a nod to one of her weddings) the only other doll in the series was Days of Our Live's Marlena.

Here is the first Erica Kane Barbie doll. The whole design paid tribute to Erica's reintroduction into society life at the Crystal Ball. (That is a long story best saved for another day.) 

The Crystal Ball was always a fun event in Pine Valley. First of all, any soap watcher worth their weight in soap knows full well that a ball is never without scandal or drama. In fact if you ever find yourself in a soap be sure to prepare yourself for any shocking revelations at balls, weddings, and grand openings. Also never get into a car. Whatever you do never ride or drive a car. You will more than likely end up in a really awful wreck.

If we look at the Erica Kane Barbie doll we can really see the dedication to making her face look very close to the real Erica. Her gown was also a really great representation of what she wore on the show. 

Here is the back of the box. There is a really great picture of her and it has her signature at the bottom in true red along with a brief bio. Oh how I wish they had made more of these dolls in this series!

This picture shows more of the wording and bio in a larger print. The top quote is just the best. Actually the various writers of AMC have always written the best lines for Erica. I can't even begin to explain all of the great things that she has said. Maybe one day I will post some of my favorites.

Anyways, Happy 42nd Anniversary All My Children!

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2012 Heroic Hottie

Hello dear readers! As I work on some fun returning features for the new year (i.e. Toy Chest) I thought I would take this time to debut a new feature to Diary of a Dorkette. I have noticed that I spend a great deal of time discussing and addressing the awesomeness of girl toys, girl heroes, and pretty much anything related to kick ass females. (Yes I even consider Rappin' Rockin' Barbie to be totally kick ass.) I can't help it, I enjoy sharing the great things that make me happy.

However I do tend to leave the guys out. I know there may be one or two male heros or figures that make an appearance every now and then, but this is the 21st century right? Male toys should have the same amount of coverage as their female toy colleagues. We are all in this together. Hence the brand new feature: Heroic Hottie! Every month we will take a look at a male action figure and really see if he has what it takes. So get ready to drool and ogle. You can look, but you can't play!

January 2012 Heroic Hottie- Marvel Select's Gambit

Drum roll please! Feast your eyes on everyone's favorite ragin' Cajun:

January 2012 Heroic Hottie- Gambit
Now this is in no way a toy review of the awesome features of this figure from Diamond Select. If you want those details head over to Planet Oa  for a really great review and perfect reason to run out and buy quite possibly the best Gambit ever made.

So here is the thing, I have a thing for Cajun men. Gambit is just one of those characters that can do it all. He is kind of a rebel type but does do the right thing. (Barring that whole Mutant Massacre thing.) He also knows how to shuffle, which is always nice.

He also seems like the type that would get into a bar fight at 4 in the morning. Those are important qualities to possess in order to be a Heroic Hottie. (He-Man take note.) Actually one of the reasons I like Gambit so much is the long simmering relationship between Rogue and him.

There were a few great super couples from the X-Men stories during the '90s that have been informing story today. Rogue and Gambit were one of those couples and unlike the triangle of Scott, Jean, and Logan or the theatrics of Betsy and Warren, Gambit and Rogue really had this sad and depressing love story. At the time Rogue couldn't touch another human (due to her mutant powers) and Gambit was a bit aloof. However they always went back to each other and the tension they had to deal with.

Imagine not being able to touch the person you really want to touch, because you'll more than likely become brain dead? That just sounds so sad. Completely unrealistic, but still so sad. I remember always rooting for them and completely freaking out when they kissed for the first time. Of course currently the future of the two is very much up in the air because Magneto is sniffin' around Rogue. Can I just say I have never understood the appeal of Rogue and Magneto together? I mean maybe if Rogue was flirting with Michael Fassbender's Magneto, but old balls Magneto from the comics? That is just eww.  

Anyways I am rambling too much, this is all about Gambit. Diamond Select even did a great job on his face. That face sculpt has the perfect Gambit "look." Action figures have come a long way haven't they? I never would have guessed I'd be one day seeing such a great looking Gambit. He even comes with his own section of the classic Danger Room. Dangerous indeed.

This is truly one of the best Gambit's I have ever seen, which is why he needed to be the first Heroic Hottie of 2012! Now if only Diamond Select would release a brand new Marvel Select Rogue to go with him...