Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween Is Not Canceled, Thanks To Dracula

I've been hearing it all year. Halloween is canceled. Yet here we are celebrating the spooky shit out of it. Pandemic be damned, we all flew over the moon and rang in the best season of the year. 

It's not Halloween yet, at least not until we all watch my favorite Halloween Special of all time- The Halloween That Almost Wasn't! Seems a little more fitting this year huh? The video attached above is a pretty good copy of the VHS release (with alternate 'The Night Dracula Saved The World' title).

I'm not ashamed to admit I watch it throughout the year. Just like old Halloween commercials and a few other choice specials, it's some of my favorite things to watch. I love it so. 

The season is winding down, I know. Soon I'll have to pack the pumpkins away and wait another year for... who am I kidding? Everyday is Halloween on Zone Base. They'll be spooky shit all year. It's even in the sites description. It's a site about robots AND monsters. Duh.

If you watch the video from my site, or later on TV, enjoy Dracula and the gang saving Halloween. They had to save it from a fed up Witch. We had to save it from a freaking pandemic. Admittedly he probably had an easier job.

My Energon Goes To Work, I Hear Thunderhowl

I wasn't concerned with getting the deluxe Cyberverse figures. I get warrior class and Turbochangers then call it a day. Focusing my fancier Transformers buying on Earthrise, Siege, and the sort. Then they went and made a deluxe Thunderhowl and I couldn't say no. New characters are rare these days .

Thunderhowl is a Knight of the Primes, giving him a very neat armored look. His design is a mixture of knight armor, his wolf alt mode, and some good Euro G1 style flourish. He looks awesome. 

Being a knight, Thunderhowl has a sword and shield. The sword has a wolfs head in the hilt for a little extra style. Speaking of style, they really added some to the robot mode with various flourishes. He's got a cape and other adornments that really sell the knight theme. Not just a new character, he has a fresh look as well. It's really appreciated. Like really. 


Transformation to wolf mode is a lot more involved than I thought it would be. Instead of the generic lay down transformation, there's a bit of folding and rearranging the body. That cape in robot mode becomes a tail and his shield is the wolfs back. The arms and legs become wolf legs as you could guess, but the way it gets there wasn't the way I thought I'd go. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

As a wolf, Thunderhowl is angular and robotic. His mouth opens and you can arrange him into a few different wolf poses. As far as articulation goes there's a decent amount. More as a robot than a wolf. You can't roll him up into a ball, but maybe a wad. 

Thunderhowl has a few extra parts included in the box. A neato energy effect and Maccadam's head. Because he cut it off. Or if you've been collecting all the Cyberverse deluxe figures, it goes into the build-a-figure Maccadam. I haven't been, so he just has a severed head. Don't fuck with Thunderhowl. The energy effect can be either placed on the sword or on a connector in the wolf's mouth. This gives a fire breathing attack or a cool energy attack. 

 

The  effect came bent on mine, so it kinda looks like the wolf is puking. Which as a pet owner I can promise will happen. All over the damn couch. It does make for a cool energy sword, which frankly a Transformer would need. All the other dudes have guns and he's waiting for them to get close enough to whack with that thing. Needs to be a powerful whack to make it count.

Tunderhowl is a... did you see that, I made a typo. Thunderhowl is a good toy. It's nice to see a new character that's also creative. I like his dark blue and gold colors too. Nice and sharp. I hope more like him are on the way. Not that I don't like what they've been doing, just this knight wolf robot is a breathe of fresh air.

 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Trick Or Treating With Michael Myers

While the bag of Chucky capsule toys was pretty great, the best of NECA's surprise offerings is the Halloween II bag. Not only because Michael Myers is better than Chucky, but also because they made a better set of treats. Literally the perfect bunch of prizes for Halloween. As it should. It's the name of the fucking movie.

This bag is specifically themed after Halloween II from 1981. Considering the 2018 film reset everything after the 1978 movie, it's nice to see the original sequel get some love. It may not be the most critically praised film of all time... but movies people actually like never are. 

As much as I love the original movie, it never quite feels like it takes place on Halloween. Despite a few looks at kids in costume, it could be on any day. They captured that feel of the spooky season much more in all the sequels and I've always really loved them for that. 

The capsules are orange and black again, but this time with the Halloween II logo molded on them. I can't tell you just how much I appreciate that. It's just a little thing, but they could have just did a sticker or nothing at all. Mold toolings are expensive, considering the two different capsule logos when they could have just been plain is impressive. Inside each capsule is an individually wrapped prize.

I got shoelaces, a lanyard, a magnet, an eraser, a pin, a keychain,a patch, and two mini masks. The masks and the patch are the most awesome. Most of the stuff has a general Halloween/Michael Myers theme. The eraser has the Halloween II logo, but the patch takes it a step further. It's the patch an employee of the Hadonfield Memorial Hospital would wear on their uniform. Super cool way to go a little more in depth of the bags theme. But the mini masks? Those are the absolute best part of the whole set.

There's Michael's mask perfectly recreated and the skull Silver Shamrock mask from part III. Despite the set being themed after part II, they threw in a little love for good old Season of the Witch. The little masks are REALLY great considering they're tiny plastic toys based on 40 year old movie props. 

The skull mask looks just like the Don Post mask used in part III. It's hollow, has eye holes, and even the little slit on the back that most masks have so you can fit it over your head. The Michael mask though was the best. The same real mask touches as the skull, but they NAILED they was it looks. 

NAILED IT. 

WITH A HAMMER.

For those who may not know and for those who just like hearing things they already know, I'll go over the history of the Michael Myers mask. When they were making the original movie, the crew had a hard time finding the perfect Halloween. Eventually they took a William Shatner mask, altered it a little and spray painted it white. Voila, scary boogie man mask. 

Nick Castle (The Last Starfighter Nick Castle) played Michael in the original movie (among others) and pretty much just shoved the mask in his back pocket when not wearing it. Afterwards, Debra Hill threw the thing under her bed after filming. There it stayed until the production of part II in which they used it again.

Now after years of being in a heavy smokers house and the rough handling during the first movie it was a little worse for wear. Not to mention, it fit differently on Dick Warlock. That's why it looks a little different in the movie. They captured the way it looks in part II perfectly.

A little more trivia, if you watch part 4, you'll notice a scene in the school where the mask looks weird. They gave Dick Warlock the mask after making part II and recreated it for part 4 with a few new William Shatner masks. Somebody grabbed a non altered one when they filmed that scene and the crew didn't care enough to fix the mistake. Hollywood magic.

 


Scare Glow Is A Fright Knight

I've made the joke again and again that He-Man fights an army of living Halloween decorations. Since it's Halloween week who else could I feature for my recent weekly MOTU post? Non other than Scare Glow, an actual ghost who works for Skeletor. Or is he Skeletor's ghost?

His toy's tagline describes him as 'Evil Ghost of Skeletor!', which lead folks over the years to believe Scare Glow to be in fact the future ghost of Skeletor. Since he (and Ninjor) were pulled from the future via a magic spell to join the Evil Warriors. He could be right? However the taglinewas just used to imply ownership and he just happens to be a ghost from the future employed by Skeletor. Because Masters of the Universe.

In U.K comics he cannot be seen during the day, only by night. Which kinda works and is a little less outright scary than a freaking ghost sold to children. In the early 2000's series he was used in a Halloween comic and in Origins they went more into his prior life as a bounty hunter in the toys bio. As you can see, Scare Glow is pure scary shit. The toy is a glow in the dark skeleton with a purple cape and Scythe of Doom! 

He's a popular character and has had a few toys. Original, Classics, ReAction, Origins, Mega Construx, Funko, etc. Even the Masters of the WWE Universe line has a variation of him as The Undertaker. It's kind of funny how one of the last toys released during the original Masters of the Universe toy line became on of the most popular. If you're going to go out, go out with the perfect example of a MOTU figure.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Tricks Or Treats, You're Dead Meats

Gang, we are just a few days away from the big day. Mere moments from trick or treating bliss. With this in mind, I thought it best to preach about your safety again. Also, I just like this old video. We all win today on Zone Base!

If I may be honest for a moment... did anyone ever follow any of the tips regarding masks? I mean... even the other kids in the video are happily walking around with their masks as is. I'm not saying it isn't hard to see in them, it is, but... man those things are expensive. Who's going to just cut the holes bigger? 

Nobody, that's who.

Tonight On Kate And Allicon

Sharkticon this, Sharkticon that. Where it's really at in on Quintessa is the ranks of the Allicons. An Allicon generally works guard duty for the Judges and other higher ranking Quintessons. They're squat little bots that turn into weird mutant alligator things. Quintessa is a weird place.

The War for Cybertron trilogy continues to deliver exactly the Transformers product I want. This new toy of the Allicon is part of the Earthrise line and might I say they did one awesome job.

In robot mode, it's a short and squat fellow with some spikey armor and trademark spear. Looking directly out of the 1986 movie and pretty well articulated to boot. I really like this toy.

 

It's not an unfair comparison to call the alt mode a robot Street Shark despite these little monsters coming first. That's where your mind will likely go to when you see that characterful sculpt. One again in alligator freak mode, the toy looks like it just hoped off my TV screen. That is awesome.

Transformation is pretty easy, but just involved enough to get everything in place. This is how most Earthrise Transformers have been and I've been thankful for that. Looks like they hired some designers who were able to get a toy from faithful mode A to faithful mode B without accidentally calling forth Pinhead. Little swivel of the waist, locking parts into place, and you've got the weird robot alien alligator mode the guards turn into. 

Quentessons are so wonderfully weird that their far out designs contrast nicely against things like a realistic truck. Groovy weirdos from space man. Dig it.

 


The tip of the space gator's tail is also an additional sword as well as the spear can store on the space gator's back. The sword blends in seamless with the tail but the spear is kinda just mounted. That's probably a strike against the toy for some, but I thought it looked like he was wearing it on his back. The spear can be mounted in either mode or held by both arms. For those moments he'd need to poke somebody. 

I wish I could find something negative to say about this toy. I'm lying, I'm glad I have nothing bad to say about this toy. It's perfectly perfect and I love it. Hasbro and Takara Tomy really nailed it this time. I'm tempted to get a few extra to troop build. The Earthrise Allicon is a great little figure that looks like the character just walked off the screen during a viewing of Five Faces of Darkness. That ain't bad y'all, that ain't bad.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Bag Of Chucky

I don't know who at Neca started reading Zone Base, but they made exactly the perfect thing. Upon first seeing the Chucky and Halloween capsule bags on Instagram I knew I had to have them. This lead to finding them just in time for Halloween! These bags contain 9 gashapon style capsules each containing a prize. I'm not certain if the prizes differ per bag, but everything indicates that each bag is the same.

Starting off with the Chucky bag and I have to say the attention to detail is great. The bag itself is in the style of a Good Guys package aside from the Chucky logo up top. A small touch maybe, but than appreciated one. This leads me to wonder if any later bag series will be themed to other Child's Play movies.

Tear the bag open and you get 9 capsules each with Chucky's logo molded onto the plastic. Another nice little touch.

 

Each capsule is orange and black leading me to believe these are a special release for the Halloween season. I don't recall seeing anywhere if they are or aren't. I'd think the Chucky balls would match his packing more if not. Each ball contains an individually wrapped prize matching the theme.

The bag contained one of each: shoe laces, lanyard, pin, eraser, magnet, key chain, iron-on patch, bracelet, and a Chucky pencil topper. Either directly featuring Chucky or based on Good Guy packaging. Honestly I really liked that. I've been required to wear lanyards at previous jobs and something cool but not completely obvious like this would have been great to use.

 

My favorite prize was the Chucky pencil topper. It's a dead on head sculpt of him that can slip right on top of your pencil or pen. I really like how it's based on his Good Guy toy more so than the scowling expression it takes on when he's not playing possum. 

While I could see where somebody would prefer that or even his more popular sewn up appearance from Bride of Chucky, following series could be based on other movies. I also prefer the original the most. Not because it's the first, but because it's a great story.  

I like the Good Guy theme overall. It's not completely obvious and makes the prizes a little more varied than just a bunch of Chucky logos. Of course there is a good balance of direct Chucky stuff as well. Neca could have went the easy route with what's basically a novelty item. Instead they put some thought and followed a general theme. The original Child's Play had that level extra thought and that's one of the things that helped make it a great movie. Remember the ending song they originally intended?



Headmaster Horrorcons Run A Scary School

Apeface and Snapdragon. Decepticons, Headmasters, Headmaster Decepticons. I just said what they are three times. If you like what I do, please ... just kidding. Maybe because it's Halloween week I'm trying to do something spooky with every post. Maybe. Also I wanted to share this cool U.K version of their commercial with you.

These two specifically are the Headmaster Horrorcons, which leads me to believe they are in charge of a prestigious school for scary Transformers. I don't specifically know what makes them the Horrorcons and why Mindwipe isn't a member but... they're pretty cool toys non-the-less. If I put dashes in between those words spellcheck doesn't act up.