Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Monster Eggs


What's more Halloween than dressing as a monster and later throwing eggs at that old lady who keep's giving out those gross peanut butter things house? Well, not much, but speaking of peanut butter, know how it's so special when Reese's mixes peanut butter and chocolate? Well Bandai put the egg and monster together for Tamagoras Egg-Monsters! Mixing classic monsters and kaiju into the egg robot formula for pure magic.

One fall day in my early 20's I accompanied my mother to the hospital for a light surgery. I had spent the night at her place and drove her to the hospital. Hanging around the hospital, and driving her back home... I was getting pretty bored. Fortunately a run to the local drug store to pick up her prescription gave me a much needed escape. While waiting for the pharmacist to open the bottle of pills behind the counter and carefully count them out, I was happily looking through the Halloween aisle.

There they were, hanging from one of those ... hangy things with clips that stores put things... on... the hell are those even called? Was glow in the dark skeleton eggs! I quickly bought one and a Pepsi before heading back to my Mom's house with her medicine. While waiting around her place a little longer before going home I transformed my egg into a skeleton. Overjoyed with my new toy I made a point to stop back by the store and grab another (and a Pepsi) before going home. Later on that evening I was looking up egg robot toys as they were fresh on my mind. Turns out I got a bootlegged Tamagora Egg-Monster! Turns out these were what Meteorbs were made from! Turns out I made a post about egg robots into two and tied one into Halloween!

Meteorbs and Tamagoras aren't just words that drive autocorrect crazy


I've briefly talked about Meteorbs here before... and dammit I'm gonna again. A cool and overlooked addition to Masters of the Universe, Meteorbs were comets that transformed into little robot and animal dudes to fight with or against He-man. Transforming comets were a thing on Eternia, so why not?


The toys were made from Bandai's Tamagora line of egg based robots. If you're into transforming toys, chances are you've come across your share of toys that transform into eggs. Bandai pretty much makes the best ones as evident in the more recent Hatch 'N Heroes toys.


Tamagora and other egg robot toys are often bootlegged, so if you can't find original versions of the toys, chances are a knock off is sitting on the rack at an odd discount store or gift shop.

 

While they may not be for everybody it's hard to deny their charm. Simple fun little toys full of charm. Even Takara got into the egg game in Microman. Those molds got used later in Transformers Beast Wars and Kiss...*shudder*.



While I'm not very wordy on how great egg robot toys are here, I think that's because it's a pretty simple concept. Egg turns into something, simple fun toy, neat. Though I absolutely have to show you this Tamagora commercial featuring the batch that got made into Meteorbs.


We are all a little better for seeing that. Even if just for the little peep peep at the end looking at the toy wondering if it's food. The toys are commonly found in gashapon machines and oddball (egg?) stores. Like I said, if you're into transforming robot toys, chances are you have a few or at least came across some. Honestly, I'd love for Bandai to sell these here in America.



Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ain't nothin but a Monster Party


If you're like me, you like to play 'spooky' games all year. However, if you're also like me you celebrate Halloween all year. So basically, we're cooler than everyone else. Though Halloween time sure is a great time to enjoy some 'spooky' games and there's one slightly obscure game for the NES that's practically made for the season. Monster Party was released by Bandai 30 years ago this year and it's a damn shame it doesn't have a bigger legacy than it does. If you watch the video above you'll see not just the attract screen, but also the intro. Mark is recruited by Bert to help him save his world from evil monsters. Fortunately Mark was on his way home from a baseball game and was carrying his trusty baseball bat. Monster Party is a platform game (my favorite type) where Mark must save Bert's world from those evil monsters with additional aide from Bert by means of changing from one to the other. What's so Halloween about that? Well...


As you can see, it's a scary place. It's all sorts of nightmarish and gory. This would make the average person wonder how it got by Nintendo during a time when they censored such content. If you've ever played this game, you know that the first level is pretty tame until halfway through when suddenly all hell breaks loose. According the urban legend, the developers were banking on whomever at Nintendo was checking these games only looked at the game for a minute or two before approving it. Which pretty much lines up to the game play. One minute it's all happy and cheerful, then lightening flashes and the game just goes straight to hell.


The Japanese version of the game was called Parody World: Monster Party and featured more direct references to classic monsters. For whatever reason that was canceled and what we have as Monster Party was released in North America. Thanks to some crafty types out there, reconstructions of that original game are floating around the emulation scene. Believe it or not, it's even more gory. For awhile there was rumors of an unreleased sequel, but it looks like that was a prank unfortunately. I could really see a Monster Party sequel on the SEGA Genesis. They always played loose with gory stuff, I mean the system originally came with Altered Beast with bad guys exploding into chunks. Just for the record, Monster Party even ended pretty screwed up.



Monday, October 14, 2019

Starcom was pretty rad


Starcom was a pretty neat short lived line of toys with a matching short lived cartoon. If you read off the list of companies involved it sounds more like an itinerary of presenters at a merchandising expo. Toys by Coleco, cartoon by DiC and distributed by Coca-Cola Telecommunications (sometimes big companies own other big companies), and developed with the help of the Young Astronauts Council to get kids interested in NASA. Under all that was actually a really neat bunch of space toys.

Starcom would fight the ill intended Shadow Force in another epic struggle of good vs evil. Toys were smaller space themed (like the name would suggest) vehicles with small scale figures. The figures has cool little guns that your mom would tell you would get sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. The figures were pretty dang cool with the NASA inspired good guys vs the evil sci fi fantasy inspired bad guys. Because things you find entertaining are bad in the eyes of things you find boring.

The most dominant play gimmick was the 'Magna Lock'. If this was a fan wiki, I'd make a bad joke about that. This is a fan blog, so I'll make a bad reference. The Magna Lock was a series of magnet plates on the vehicles and play sets as well as on the feet of the action figures. This was meant to simulate the gravity boots of the space explores as they fight in zero gravity. What happened more often was the figures got stuck on the refrigerator.

Starcom had a pretty short life, according to Wikipedia the cartoon only had 13 episodes. Also according to Wikipedia the line only lasted around two years, though it did get a second life when Mattel released the toys in Europe and Southeast Asia and was apparently pretty popular there. From my own memory, I remember liking the cartoon quite a bit. I'm sure I could find a few episodes on DVD thanks to budget releases as seems to be the home for old cartoons. Which isn't a bad thing,  video racks at discount stores have long been a staple of my entertainment.

I had a few of the toys, bought on clearance at Kay-Bee toys. Like a lot of oddball sci fi toys of mine, they'd find their way in a weird homogenized city made of such toys. They were the perfect scale to interact with my Transformers and often found themselves operating under the command of Hi-Q. Hi-Q was a fair leader who made sure everybody got their 15 minute break every 3 hours.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Something Spooky at 5 past the hour


I'm from Georgia and I was raised in the suburban areas that surrounded Atlanta. Being a child in the 80's and a teenager in the 90's put's me in a very odd spot. You see, when I was a kid, TBS was a local channel. Yes, the same TBS you probably watch Conan O'Brien on now used to be local UHF television when I was a child. Back then, all it ever seemed to show was old syndicated reruns, local sports, WCW wrestling, old movies, and old cartoons. All starting 5 minutes after the hour, to give you time to flip from what you were watching before the show started.

While this may sound bogus, it wasn't, it was bad ass. They'd arrange the shows into odd blocks. Tom and Jerry's Funhouse on TBS was like a mix tape of Looney Tunes, Fleischer, and Tom and Jerry shorts with Kid's Beat news segments hosted by Josh and Audra. Most kids were pretty big fans of the show as it came on in the afternoon and in the morning with odd local news interlaced. Therefore you could watch cartoons before getting on the bus. IF anything I had to sit through five minutes of local news before it got flipped to TBS. The news was really just the weather because nothing ever happened back then. Except Jonestown.


The cartoon block was so popular that it sprung various specials. Which brings us here today. Above is the bumber segments from the Tom and Jerry Halloween Special. A special that came on approximately 900 million bazillion times all through October every year. The segments aired between various 'spooky' cartoons and... in the video preview up there I swear Josh is smoking a joint.

Even with the hokiness of local television productions, they really put some effort into the special. Josh and Audra have a different costume in each segment and they filmed it at The Rhodes Hall Haunted Castle. For the record, that's not a haunted attraction... we just have a haunted castle in Georgia for some reason. Georgia's pretty weird.



Age of Dehydration


One of the great things about the Transformers live action movies is the absolute TON of licensed merch from around the world. There's literally a Bumblebee on just about anything everywhere. I love this kind of stuff and it could be one of my favorite things when a new TF movie gets released. It's super fun to get a TF drink, burger, and buy some TF band-aids for the cut I got opening my new TF flash drive key chain. It's not just here in America either, it's all over the planet. In Indonesia for example, they got cool special bottles of Nu Green Tea for Age of Extinction. I drink a lot of green tea and if I had the option of getting Stinger on a bottle of it, I'd buy out the store.

Friday, October 11, 2019

DAMMIT SHEP


Shep is a simple dog who hates Halloween. Admittedly that mask was stupid and that damn kid needed to be taught a lesson. A Shep lesson. Did anyone else wonder where the Halloween parade actually was? I just saw a few kids skipping around in terrible costumes for what? To win a few balloons? At the end I though Shep was going full Cujo and was about to kill everybody in sight. Which... probably would have saved the movie. This was some sort of school educational film which is odd considering the lack of any kind of lesson. Well, other than don't mess with Shep. Shep will just ruin you.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Robocop loves fried chicken


Robocop is fucking awesome. This is a fact, there's no arguing that. Water is wet, green means go, Robocop is fucking awesome. I've never had Lotte ham fried chicken before, and honestly I didn't need Robocop to make me want some. That sounds amazing and next time I'm at H-Mart I'm gonna try to get some. Though, having Robocop sell me ham fried chicken by Lotte? Simply amazing, I'm there. Man... there's literally NOTHING that dude can't sling.

Grandpa Munster will fart for money


Al Lewis was a well known TV actor best known as Grandpa Munster. He was best known as Grandpa Munster as at some point he started doing literally ANYTHING as the character. Personally my favorite of this time was his stint on TBS's Super Scary Saturday hosting various horror and monster movies. Though in later years it got completely insane.

Who could blame him? Appear as his famous character and get paid. Easy money. This lead to various hotline commercials where he at some point started introducing himself as Grandpo regularly. After a while it got weird. The video above is a VHS release from 1989 where Grandpa hosts various trailers for Universal Monster movies dog shit drunk.

I rented the tape when I was a kid, hoping for more of that great TBS Saturday action... nope. What I got was Grandpa rambling to an off screen Igor, who was probably the guy with the camcorder, and tying it into the various trailers. There's a point where he clearly hits the wall and is just trying to stay awake. It's weird, it's bizarre, and yes I own it on DVD.


Korean GIJOE childrens sneakers


It sure has been a while since I delved into the world of Korean licensed children's shoe commercials. I don't know why either, each time I do it's completely amazing. Here in America, licensed characters on shoes hardly get a spot in a stores sales papers, let alone a TV commercial. These productions alone are worth the view and man this one is some kind of wonderful.

Our host is on an adventure for some sweet new kicks. Fortunately he's in the exact jungle that has a pair of velcro GIJOE sneaks that feature Falcon about to shoot a fool just lying around. I assume it's Falcon, could be Flint... soldier man in beret YO JOE! What's really notable is that dope hard plastic carrying case the shoes come in. It seems as if the shoes come with a sticker and the host implies we can put other stickers on the case... that just blew my mind. Though, what am I to wear while carrying my shoes in that carrying case?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sell me Strider... or yell at me


I was just thinking about playing some Strider on my Genesis Mini when I get home from work. The Mega Drive commercial for Strider Hiryu doesn't exactly help with that. How in the hell did they sell a single copy with that?


Jiffy Pop: Season of the Witch


I think we've all come to understand that Jiffy Pop is damn near impossible to make correctly. You put it on the stove, follow the directions, and in exactly one second the popcorn is burned. Now I understand that's because it's actually witchcraft. So when you're settling down to watch the horror marathon of only Friday the 13th part 5 on AMC... maybe get a bag of pork rinds instead.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Transform Squadron 14 Trick X Treat


On this glorious October edition of the show, Rob talks Halloween duh. Actually he briefly talks Rangerstop Atlanta 2020, Transformers Earthrise, and new Bandai Godzilla toys and then talks Halloween!