Throwback Thursday: Micro Machines

Micro Machines: Where’d They Go?
     I had so many of these tiny little cars, and trucks, and planes, and ships. I loved Micro Machines. All of a sudden it seems like one day they vanished. Without a trace they were no longer in stores. I couldn’t find them at Toys R Us, Walmart, Kmart, KB Toys, or anywhere. I was devestated. A few years later, as I accumulated some on eBay from the ones I lost as a kid, I noticed online that in 2006 they were canceled. They were canceled by the now defunct Galoob company.
     Hasbro owns the rights right now and have yet to set a release of anything new. I noticed some repackaged Micros at Walmart in the Discount Toy section of the “Gift Idea” area, but they are just not the same. No matter who puts tiny scale cars out, there will never be anything like opening a 5 pack of Micro Machines.
     Who knows? Maybe one day they will make a triumphant return to our lives. But right now they have gone the way of the Popple. Gone without a trace, like a faint rumble I can hear the fast voiced commercial announcer whispering in the wind, “If it doesn’t say Micro, its not the real thing!”

Fantasy Justice League (Repost from 12/2013)

Fantasy Justice League: The Game

 

A bunch of us play Fantasy Football and some of us don’t. It was always boring for some of us to try to sit around and talk to each other in between some of us talking about Fantasy Sports. So we decided to do something about it. We combined the best of both the Fantasy Sports and the Comic Book world to create: Fantasy Justice League.

It starts out very similar to Fantasy Football in that you have a draft to set your rosters. You can pick from anyone in the known comic book universes. You have roster positions on your team such as: Leader, Magic, Mutant, Elemental, Villian, Acrobat, Rogue, and Heavy Hitter.

You hold a draft based on number of players in your league and you each take turn choosing a character that fits these categories. You can choose how long your season goes and if you want to have back up or “Bench” characters to interchange before the weeks starts.

You put your players into divisions based on the number of people you have playing. Minimum of 4 players and a max of 12 will make this optimum for fun and enjoyment. Each week you will go head to head with someone in the league based on the schedule that you make up.

Points are pretty easy: Appearing on a cover is 1 point for that character. You also aquire points by taking the Number of Pages Your Character Appears On in a book and divide that by Number of Pages in the Book. You add up all of the points for each starting character and you get your weekly total.

This was amazing and a ton of fun when Warner Swopes and I did this at work with 4 other people. Here is an example of how a team would be made up:

 

Leader –           Captain America
Magic-             Zatana
Mutant-           Beast
Elemental-       Swamp Thing
Villian-            Magneto
Acrobat-          Nightwing
Rogue-             Casey Jones
Heavy Hitter-  The Thing
This is something that we all hope catches on because it was so much fun and we hope to do it again, but it takes a lot of hardwork for the correct scoring to happen. It also takes an honor system of each player to gather their own scores but if you use diehard fans than you will have no problems.

Monday Feature: How Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Helping and Not Hurting (Repost 11/2013)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

Why is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (AOS) single handedly saving Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? I’ll tell you why. They are bringing in the demographics that wouldn’t normally watch superhero genres by putting the one-hour procedural on TV and on a network channel none the less. With direct tie ins to the MCU and specifically Phase 2 movies such as Thor: Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Many fans had a really hard time coming to grips with how the show was going to be. Was it going to be like Lost? Since its on ABC was it going to have twists, and turns, and great storylines? Was it going to be like Breaking Bad, where the main protagonist is an antihero you love and root for? Or was it going to be a big name filled show that through around Disney’s money with cameos out the wazoo?

Well since it was a take it slow and easy approach the fan base was overrun with nasty critics from the comic book world wanting to see how badly it would fail and with people who genuinely love the show. The ratings even though they are slowly falling to normal rating lines, has been high for its day and timeslot only losing out to NBC’s old person crack: NCSI procedurals.

Every episode from 3 to 5 before the 1 week Halloween break, has been exponentially better. There is character development and laughs and overall greatness to the show. The tie ins to the MCU Phase 2 movies start November 19 when the AOS team have to deal with the fallout from Thor: Dark World’s invasion of the Dark Elves on Earth. I am anxiously awaiting to see what kind of magic they will make. Like the Samuel L. Jackson cameo it will infuse some not-as-much need life into this show with fan boys everywhere.

This show has its flaws and is trying to find its way but it is bringing a whole new audience to the table for the MCU Phase 2 and Phase 3 in the future. With AOS the Marvel Movies will only get better and better because now they will have a larger budget to do so. Marvel has done us a favor with AOS and we need to be happy that we have a TV that we can watch and complain about. They are clearly listening since they have already changed some gripes that the fans had on messages boards on the internet.

So if you have stopped watching AOS because you are a truist and you don’t think that they should deviate from the source material then you should ask yourself one thing… Don’t different writers have different ways they want to portray characters? Isn’t there an Ultimates universe that have similar characters? The AOS is in the MCU and its contents are alive inside the universe that Marvel has set down and said is their MCU. Why would you want to change something as a purist if it is supposed to be a part of what is already there?

Who Makes the Best Comic Book Movies!? (Repost from 11/2013)

What Studio Does it Best?

With the huge success of Comic Book themed movies today, there is a big question that is brewing all over; who makes the best Comic Book movies? Is it Sony with the Spider-Man franchise? Is it Fox with the X-Men Universe led by Bryan Singer who is single handedly saving that franchise. Is it Marvel Studios led by Feige and crew who are creating a huge Movie-verse that is ever expanding? Or is it Warner Brothers who have had miss and miss with terrible Superman movies and hokie Batman movies in the 1990′s; but with recent hits such as the Nolan Batman trilogy, and the huge success that was Man of Steel have turned it around and look like that are a major contender for Comic Book movie studio studs.

They have all produced disastrous flops such as Fantastic Four (Fox), X-Men: Last Stand (Fox), Daredevil (Fox), Wolverine: Origins (Fox), Spider-Man 3 (Sony), 2 Separate Hulk Movies (Marvel), Batman Returns (WB), Batman Forever (WB), Superman Returns (WB), and let’s not forget Green Lantern (WB) which was panned by many as the worst Comic Book Movie in the 2000′s.

But with every flop each studio has also produced gem after gem. X-Men, X-Men 2, and X-Men: First Class from Fox were absolute gold, which isn’t surprising since they were touched by Singer (Midas himself). Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man from Sony were chart toppers, Marvel has just a plethora of recent homeruns with the end of Phase 1 and so far all of Phase 2 stuff being goldmines. Warner Brothers and DC Comics have come to play too, with the huge success that was the Nolan Batman Trilogy and the recent success of Man of Steel, they have regained a foothold in great Comic Book movie making.

I think we know who does it worst… With what it seems like a passion Fox puts out some poopers with the Fantastic 4 franchise in the 2000′s and now that the reboot sounds atrocious as well. X-Men: Last Stand was so bad that is still leaves a terrible taste in my mouth. Wolverine: Origins butchered almost every aspect of many fan favorite characters, Daredevil was so terrible they got their license for it taken away. Basically everything that Laura Schuler Donner touches turns to crap.

But could the studio that makes the worst comic book movies, also make the best? There is no rule against that I guess. If you make such great comic book movies that they offset the horrible ones that you have also produced that is legitimate. Fox has upped the ante with the latest trailers for X-Men: Days of Future Past and with the success of X-Men: First Class and the classic X-Men 1 and 2 all of which is Bryan Singer’s doings. It may be safe to say that even though Warner Brothers/ DC is such a big part of the landscape right now, and even though Marvel is just pumping out Money Makers from Phase 2; Fox may be the leader in Great Comic Book movies.

Walmart Nerds: A Necessary Evil (Repost from 10/2013)

Wal-Mart Nerds: A Necessary Evil

            Wal-Mart Nerds, a term coined on the podcast: Nerd Management to label someone who thinks that they are nerdy; but exhibits no or little knowledge of Nerd-Like genres such as: Comic Books, Video Games, Movies, Graphic Novels, Toys, and other similar Mediums.

Wal-Mart Nerds are people who perpetuate fads or Pop-Culture Hipsters. No one really knows why things that used to be nerdy like: Black Framed Glasses, comic books, video games, and toys have gone mainstream as of late. It could have something to do with the hit TV show on CBS The Big Bang Theory. It could be that in the past decade comic book themed movies have been hitting record numbers in the movie theaters. One thing is for certain without Wal-Mart nerds some of the things we hold so dear may not have actually happened.

Yes it is annoying when something that has been cult or not trendy all of a sudden explodes with popularity and you can convince people that you were a fan the whole time. For example Deadpool in Marvel comics exponentionally grew in popularity and being a diehard Deadpool fan from the days of New Mutants it was hard seeing his image diluted among the comic book world. However, it was nice seeing him everywhere and finally getting recognized for being a great character.

With that being said Wal-Mart Nerds are a double edged sword. They do both good and evil. Our comic book movies are coming out as heavy hitters every summer and it is due to the money that Wal-Mart Nerds are willing to spend as well as normal diehard Fan Boys. The industry tries to tread the line of pleasing both and sometimes they can do that very (The Avengers) well and sometimes they can’t please everyone (Marvel’s: Agents of SHIELD).

This is OK however, because the depth of this fad and the enormousness of the comic book movie universe both from Marvel and DC it doesn’t look like Wal-Mart Nerds are going anywhere. So yes we will have to put up with them wearing our style and yes we will have to put up with them cluttering our movie theaters not knowing really what they are watching. But remember this. We may not have a million choices of movies if it weren’t for them. We may not have as many different choices of Toy Lines if it weren’t for Wal-Mart Nerds grabbing extra ones off the shelf. Back issues of comics and graphic novels are no longer sitting stagnant in comic book stores around the country and the comic book vending industry continues to grow every year.

This helps us all out tremendously. Because even though we complain, they give us something to complain about by giving money to our favorite things and they are keeping our way of life (Nerd) around a little longer.

Wal-Mart Nerd (n.) – Someone who follows the current trend of being Nerdy, while exhibiting no known toy, comic book, or Nerd collection of any kind by buying their “Nerdy” clothes at such places as Wal-Mart because they saw someone “Nerdy” wearing it.

Throwback Thursday: Might Max

Might Max was a cartoon that centered around Max, a not so adventurous boy who mysteriously recieves a hat in the mail with a note that tells him he is the new “Cap Bearer.” The amazing Rob Paulsen plays Max, because Paulsen. Each episode there was a different quest that Max and his 2 allies Virgil and Norman had to complete to try to stop the evil Skull Master from ruling the world.

There were 40 episodes over 2 seasons of Mighty Max and well over 25 playsets and vehicles for the Toyline to go with all of the episodes from TV as well as 4 playsets that were in McDonald’s Happy Meals. These were basically the boy equivelant of Polly Pocket for girls. That was from the time where political correctness and marketing said boys get their own toys and girls get their own.

Check out Retro Junk’s Mighty Max Page for an in depth look at many of the Mighty Max playsets.

 

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