Saturday, August 31, 2019

Harmony Gold's Frankenstein


Harmony Gold, yes THAT Harmony Gold, whom you probably know better from making Robotech from various anime (Macross, Mospeada, Southern Cross, the occasional KFC commercial) and all the assorted stories that's gone with it since. Yes, that Harmony Gold at some point dubbed 'Kyōfu Densetsu Kaiki! Frankenstein' a production by Toei into what's commonly referred to as 'The Monster of Frankenstein' or 'Frankenstein Legend of Terror'. It's called two different names because they didn't actually name it anything, but it was advertised as one or the other. Yep.

Frankenstein and all the other cool kids come out to play on Halloween. Though I'm going to go ahead and give full disclosure. This is a pretty depressing movie intended for more mature viewers. It contains themes of suicide and religion, so be advised if those are things you might be sensitive about.


Friday, August 30, 2019

Kabuto Mushi Wave 33 Diorite Apocalypse

APOCALYPSE KABUTO MUSHI
The Godbeast has updated the Kabuto Mushi line with the all new wave 33! These new colorways of the awesome Kabuto Mushi and Nemesis are available in the ultra impressive Apocalypse and Diorite versions!

APOCALYPSE NEMESIS
Like all Kabuto Mushi figures, these use the Glyos system, which is compatible not only with other Kabuto Mushi figures, but other Glyos system toys! You can make your own awesome creations by mixing and matching parts.

DIORITE KABUTO MUSHI
Don't miss out on this newest wave. The figures are by an independent artist and quantities are limited. Once they're gone, they're gone!

DIORITE NEMESIS

Super 8 Haunted Mansion


When the crypt doors creak
And the tombstones quake
Spooks come out for a singing wake
Happy haunts materialize
And begin to vocalize
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize


Back dat Unicron up

TRANSFORMERS fans – it’s not over for The Lord of Chaos quite yet!
 
We’ve been reading your comments and listening to your feedback about wanting more time, and we’re excited to share that we are officially extending the campaign date for the TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON UNICRON HasLab project through New York Comic Con, ending Sunday, October 6, 2019.
 
We wouldn’t be where we are in the campaign without our fans and we are so appreciative of the overwhelming support on the project thus far. We want to make this dream item a reality just as much as you and feel that this extension will help get us to the 8,000 backer goal!
 
For those that have already backed the project, your card will not be charged until the new end date – October 6, 2019. Also note that you can still cancel your order if you no longer want to be part of TRANSFORMERS history. Just log into your account on HasbroPulse.com to cancel your order.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Monster in every Pocket


One of the better keshi lines to celebrate Halloween with is Monster in my Pocket. If you've never checked the line out before, I highly suggest you do. A mix of monsters based on mythology, folklore, and cryptozoology with a dash of famous fictional monsters makes for one AWESOME set of figures. There's a wide variety of colors and sculpts in the various series. Personally I prefer the Super Scary series, though I'd love to pick up some of the wrestlers and neon figures. 


Super Surprise!


I love mini figures and keshi is my favorite format. From M.U.S.C.L.E to Decoys to other little rubber guys, it's just perfect for a blind bag or vending machine. Super 7 is a great company I've been a fan of sine discovering their magazine in the early 2000's. Clearly on the same wavelength I'm on, the company makes great products that I love. Their various keshi lines are perfect. Great sculpts in a variety of colors and characters. While I'm focusing on Transformers here, their other lines are just as wonderful. Universal Monsters (heart), Masters of the Universe (awesome), The Worst (their own rad creation), and Peanuts (so awesome) are just some of the epic selection they offer. They do keshi right.


The toys are usually available in various multi-packs or in blind boxes under the Keshi Surprise! line. Keshi Suprise! come in great little boxes (I appreciate good looking packaging). Inside the box is a little baggie containing your figure and a cool sticker of the character similar to buying keshi in a Gashapon machine. Super 7 has street cred, that's legit dope. Gashapon machines are not a common thing here in America sadly. Occasionally a specialty shop will have them (I used to clear a local shops machine out until the place eventually closed), but the closest we normally have is gumball style machines which results vary.


While I'm ok ordering from the Super 7 store, boy I'd love to grab a handful of these at Target or Five Below (which depending on your location, has carded M.U.S.C.L.E). Going out and hitting up my favorite blind toy spots is a good time. There's toy hunting and then there's blind toy hunting. Finding them at a store is only half the battle, there's also the gamble of whats inside. If there a code? Hope there's a code, if not I'm just grabbing a ton. Some people tour the world hunting for rare treasure, I scour the suburbs filling my drawstring backpack with little rubber dudes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Evil in a Residential area


I love the original Resident Evil. Love it. Hands down my favorite 'scary' game to this day. One thing my wife and I had been talking about lately is what to put in each others Trick or Treat pails this year. She'd like a copy of the new Luigi's Mansion while I'm finding myself drawn to the new Switch re-releases of older RE games. Sure would be a great way to enjoy Halloween night.

What if Unicron came with some other stuff?


Transformers War for Cybertron Unicron Reveals New Accessories! Just a few more days to reach the 8,000 campaign goal.

Hasbro is introducing more movie accuracy to the Bringer of Chaos. Just revealed, the legendary Unicron will come with interchangeable chins, allowing fans to switch back and forth between a smooth chin and a goatee-style chin, just like in the 1986 Transformers The Movie. Now, the infamous Planet Eater is ready for any scene!

The colossal Unicron will also come with a Galvatron slug figure so fans can pose out epic movie scenes with the two villains. The Galvatron figure is a slug that stands 3.75 cm (1.5 inches) tall, ready for battle with his iconic blaster and just the right size to fit in Unicron’s hand as seen in the 1986 film.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

16 Bit tears


I've had a rough time lately. Nothing major, normal stuff. Crazy week or two at work. I look at the upcoming weeks and the impending release of the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive Mini and I see a beacon of hope. A light shining bright telling me everything will be alright, soon I'll have my Genesis Mini and my tears will be swept away by the sweet release of 16 bit glory. Now I just got to find a way to score the Mini Tower.

Time to make the Halloween


A yearly tradition of mine is a dozen (hundred) Hallowen donuts. Dunkin' brings it every year with their multitude of options. Maybe I love for the holiday, maybe I just happen to love donuts, and mmmaaayyybbbeee I just happen to be a sucker for crazy colored food. But something about the spooky decorations make these donuts taste better. Donuts are amazing enough, but random crazy flavors and colors on a doughnut that kinda looks like a jack 'o lantern... well man. That's the best doughnut ever. The best.


Super Armor Bros. Cyberverse Show


Cyberverse season 2 is starting in some parts of the world, I'm sure it'll start in mine soon enough. I'm really looking forward to it, I liked the first season quite a bit. The additions of the Spark Armor (which I've been calling Armor Bros... so now it's official, that's how this works right?) looks to add a lot of fun to the show as well as the added characters. Since the first seasons arc is over, I'm hoping for more direct into the action storytelling as now Bumblebee remembering stuff has pretty much caught us up to this point.

This past weekend (and earlier today) as I was hunting the G1 cassettes at local Walmarts, I passed up a few Cyberverse toys that I will most definitely get soon. I need more Armor Bros., I want that big ass Grimlock, Turbo Changers (mostly the Tiny Turbo variety, but a regular Hot Rod), and that's on top of the Siege stuff I want. It's nice to have so much on the shelves I want and also a little bit of a pain. There's a strange place between needing things and the store having nothing you need. That's usually reserved for a few months after Christmas, but it's weird feeling. "I'd like to buy something new, but there isn't anything new". Of course right now I'm swamped in stuff I want, so that weird feeling won't return anytime soon.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

That damn witch scary as hell


This commercial looks like it's from the dark web. I'd recommend the game for a good Halloween activity, but ... I'm genuinely unnerved by this commercial. You saw that right? It opened with what appears to be a cursed video sure to bring whomever watched it pain and suffering and I'm pretty sure those kids are in a red room somewhere. I've talked about Satanic Panic when I was a child before, but... they might have had a point with this one... You sure the game isn't in a dybbuk box? That box looks like a dybbuk box. It's a dybbuk box.

He-Man and his Adventures


Not long after Master of the Universe ended, Mattel reintroduced He-Man in a new more sci fi themed line named simply 'He-Man' with a new cartoon series called 'The New Adventures of He-Man'. While I'm pretty much a G1 guy with MOTU, I did get some of the toys and watch the cartoon as a kid. It doesn't have the goofy charm of the original line, it's still pretty fun in it's own right. This promotional video is pretty weird, you got late 80's CGI putting the toys in random adventures. Of course it hasn't aged amazingly, it's pretty novel in it's own right outside of selling He-Man toys. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Go whoop Dracula's ass


One thing I've always loved about the earlier Castlevania games is the emphasis on classic horror. I've made no secret my love for Universal Monsters and incorporating other monsters like Medusa into the mix made for a smorgasbord of monstery goodness. I've always loved a good platform game that utilized things like swords and such. Taking this warrior on an adventure throwing axes and snapping whips through Dracula's crazy monster castle... it was perfect.

The commercial for the Japanese version of Castlevania serves up that classic horror wonderfully. Dracula's castle highlighted by lightning before the main man himself arrives and flashes his fangs. Halloween in it's purest form.

Bubble Bots From Space!


Leader-1. Cy-Kill, Turbo, Crasher. These are all names that come to mind then you think Gobots. Coptur, Scooter... yeah sure, though one Gobot practically everybody had whose name never comes up in most conversation would be Bubble Man. I don't know you, but I'm pretty sure if you have one in whatever random color you got him in.

Looking a whole lot like Tank Tank, Bubble Man was one of the various licensed Gobot toys that somehow was a bubble pipe and still an action figure. This was pretty a cool common feature among Gobots licensed toys. Conversion was pretty easy as noted in the picture above. Basically you fold Bubble Man in the same manner Jason killed the sheriff in Friday the 13th part 6. Fortunately Bubble Man is a Gobot from space, so he can withstand such a maneuver and now is a bubble pipe! You dip those now exposed tubes in the bubble solution and blow through the piece in his feet and bubbles ahoy!

I had a blue Bubble Man like the one pictured above. Thinking about it, it would be neat to get one of each. I don't remember the most impressive bubbles coming from him, but had a good time regardless. Most of the time he was just another member of the team fighting the good fight. Though one time when we were blowing bubbles in the back yard, my cousin attempted using him and didn't understand his complex robotics. This resulted in bubble solution being poured down the pipe and him somehow drinking the solution when trying to... he puked. Fortunately not on my Gobot!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Remco X Universal


Nothing better than to get some Universal Monsters in the perfect scale for an adventure this Halloween. These days Super 7 has you covered with their excellent ReAction line, but back in the day Remco brought the noise with these superb figures. At that scale they can pilot the Millennium Falcon. Think about that. Gillman behind the wheels with Phantom manning the guns. Somebody give Dracula a light saber!

Thinking about these toys and Halloween gives me warm memories of those lucky years when Halloween was on the weekend. Spending all Saturday playing in anticipation of going trick or treating later in my Kooky Spooks green face with black eyes and robe costume. What the hell was I supposed to be? Who knows, but I damn sure was it and damn sure got some candy. I can't think of a better way to spend Halloween day than with some sweet Universal Monsters action figures. Or any day for that matter.


Unicron Conversion Video part New


Just 10 days left! Order yours today!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Zimaween


Spirits come out for Halloween and since you're feeling spirited, may I suggest zomething zifferent? That was stupid, but you can't really talk about Zima without trying the 'combine words with Z' gimmick of the old commercials. Zima is pretty much long gone aside from special promotions, though it's still available in Japan from what I understand. Those guys are lucky to still have it, I loved the stuff. This type of adult beverage is more popular these days and it's easy to see why, it tastes great! Turns out people prefer to enjoy what they consume.

I don't really drink as much as I used too. I occasionally get a six pack and drink it over a weekend while watching tv. Halloween is great tv watching time. Specials, horror movie marathons, and just anything they can crowbar a pumpkin into. Sure there's Halloween themed beer, but I could go for a Zima this Halloween. Hey, ever drop some candy in one of these mofos? It's pretty good and chances are you're going to have plenty around.

That darn cat bot


The other day I was playing with my Spark Armor Cheetor. It's a pretty fun little toy and for a Beast Wars fan it's nice to buy a Cheetor at Target again. It's not uncommon for my mind to race through potential repaints for the mold. There's the obvious Ravage (I'd go nuts for a Shadow Panther version) and Tigatron. That's always going to come up. Then my mind went to CatScan and Panther, which is a little more under the radar, but something I'd be all for. Though something I'd love would be a homage to the Fox Kids Transmetal Cheetor.

Beast Wars was a syndicated show here in the US that later aired on Fox Kids. New releases of some of the toys were made available to go along with the show now getting seen by a new audience. These Fox Kids versions had different paint jobs to differentiate them from the prior versions. Some a lot more extreme than other, like Transmetal Cheetor. Now in a darker red and black scheme dominating the toy, Cheetor looked like someone else.


It's a lot different than you'd expect Cheetor to look. Despite the weirdness of it, I've always liked the repaint and just thought it looked great. Spark Armor Cheetor, while looking more like the original Cheetor toy, is pretty angular and I'd like to think could pull these colors off pretty nicely. I'd be pretty happy with a million recolors of the toy in a million different cat bots. It's a great figure and one I'd love to see homage random versions of... Hey, you know what would also look great? The Armada one!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Make yo Scary Ass House with Play Doh


When it comes to Play Doh, I'm either here or there. I don't mess with it too often, maybe the occasional can for fun. When I was a kid, sure, I got my clay on. Even had a few sets. Scooby Doo, Return of the Jedi. Good stuff. Play Doh is good stuff, generally fun to play with. I always hear about how wonderful the scent is, and yeah, it smells great. After the Kenner designer panel at Toylanta this past year, turns out it's just vanilla. Also they apparently had a problem with rats eating it. Which is gross and kind of creepy, which leads us here. Play Doh is cute, but can it be scary? Well, in a cute way. But that's ok! Halloween is cute as well as scary! Halloween is everything it damn well wants to be.

M.U.S.C.L.E MAYHEM

It was sometime in college that I learned more about M.U.S.C.L.E figures origins. I had bought quite a ton of the little guys as a kid, which lead me to being interested in other similar figures. Monsters in my Pocket, Transformers Decoys, random little rubber figures in vending machines and ticket redemption booths at the arcade (hey, this one's He-Man!). Turns out they were a type of figure called keshi with roots in Japan (it's by absolute coincidence that so many things I like come from there). M.U.S.C.L.E was based on a series called Kinnikuman but here in America was given a sort of Garbage Pail Kids treatment (larger packs of the toys even came in garbage cans).

Kinnikuman is kinda similar to Dragon Ball in ways (light comparison, don't come at me) while M.U.S.C.L.E just gave the figures a basic story of weirdo creatures (Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere) that just happened to be wrestlers who fought a lot. Even though the early 2000's U.S reintroduction of the series (Ultimate MUSCLE) was a pretty direct adaption of Kinnikuman (boy I bought a ton of those), I'll admit to preferring the M.U.S.C.L.E setting. No real reason I suppose, it's just a fun light setting for these little weird dudes to exist in. Not to mention, whenever I get newer M.U.S.C.L.E figures, it's cool to see Ric Flair to enter the wrestling anarchy.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

You're not you when you're dead in a well


So... yeah... The whole Ring thing doesn't work the same in today's world huh? I mean, sure, it's not like there isn't allegedly cursed videos floating around the internet as is. Though I'd think it'd be a whole lot easier to get that sucker watched by someone else and the curse off you quick. I mean, just email that sucker to a co-worked you don't like. Man... if that joker makes it to Facebook, we're all screwed.


Corpse Convoy


I haven't talked about this weird commercial in a while. Usually when I do, it's joking and mainly just pointing out how weird it is. Though, I do admire it some. It's intention was to help introduce TF 2010/Season 3. They didn't get the movie when we did, so a little explanation was needed for the changes happening to the show. This pretty well done live action clip pretty much informs us that Convoy/Optimus Prime has died. Though man, I really dig the helicopters air lifting his body up. It has the overall presence of a Toho production and I honestly want more of it.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Get your Kooky Spooks on


It's mid-August, summer's almost over and the back to school stuff is making way for Halloween goodness. Well, before this year when stuff started mid-summer and I'm not complaining one bit, but work with me. The early stuff is usually odd craft things, some candy here and there, and they start stocking the make-up kits. Sure it's just a few tubes of white and green at first. Maybe black, that random eye patch that nobodies going to buy. By September it'll all be there. Various kits from .99 cents to a million dollars. You can be a devil for a dollar, a witch for a little more, or even those crazy glue on scars and stab wounds for a good twenty. However among the many, there are a few stand outs. One such was Kooky Spooks!


Let's talk about Kooky Spooks for a moment shall we? I don't know if you caught the 'when it dries it cracks' bit in the commercial, but that was indeed a selling feature. Sure all the make-up did the same and there was a good chance the bottom half of your face would of flaked off by the end of the night assuming the rest didn't sweat off. Kooky Spooks had the damn gall to sell that common costume malady as a freaking feature. I kinda admire that. Let's take a second to look over the directions.


Now before you study this too hard, don't get too excited. No matter how hard you try, you're just going to have whatever color the kit's primary color is and black around your eyes. You might have some black on your nose, maybe some on your lips if you can stand the taste. If you're really good, you'll have some of the other color around that black eye thing you've got going on. Maybe smeared somewhere else. You're parents will tell you the ones on the package were done by professionals, you look great, don't worry. It doesn't matter, half the other kids on the planet will have the same make-up job.


Now you know you'll need more than your Kooky Spooks, you're going to need a robe. The same damn robe every store has that's either a garbage bag with sleeves for 99 cents, or cloth for twenty. Chances are you might be wearing the one your older brother wore before that somehow didn't get thrown away. I think the costume of solid color face with black rings around eyes and robe is probably the official costume of Halloween. It doesn't matter who you are, you will rock that shit at least once. Chances are there's going to be some sort of reflective strip/sticker/glow stick attached to that robe as well. That's important, because there's always that random Ford Taurus just plowing through the neighborhood like it's not the one night of the year all the kids are in the street. You'd think they'd at least see the kid with the glow in the dark make-up... who am I kidding, that crap don't work.
 

Genesis/Mega Drive Terminator French Edition


Whoa


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Haunted Abandoned Chapel


Urban Exploration/Urbex videos can be really fun. An abandoned house here, a dilapidated store there. The urban decay and relics of the lives formerly lived there can be fascinating, not to mention the elements of danger like the floor falling out from under you or random drugged out freak. Then there's where it gets scary. Sometimes they find body parts, blood, random ritualistic markings or remains of a ritual of some sort. In some videos there's paranormal threats and that's just freaky. I watch a lot of paranormal videos on the weekend. Can't say I 100% believe everything I'm seeing,  but I am usually 100% entertained. Often my favorite type of these "real sightings" videos are things like urbex, trail/dash cams, and CCTV footage. There's something about accidentally capturing something on video while doing something else. It's spooky and fun.

Honestly I relate with the guy making this video. If I'd seen that crap, I'd probably book it right out the door as well. Could it have been fake, yeah, but here I am still alive and not risking it in some abandoned building with whatever that was. Not to mention, what was that on the ceiling towards the end? That's probably even creepier. Sure the jump scare was pretty good, but whomever/whatever was in there, it was making sure he got out. Seeing something scary is one thing, realizing you're being profiled is another story.

Trans-Techincal Specifications


I sure do love Beast Wars. It was an imaginative line with great toys and an awesome cartoon. Still to this day it remains my favorite time to be a fan and it was just generally all around awesome. One small tidbit from the line I loved (among the millions of things) was these cool little tech drawings that would be on the back of Transmetal boxes. Similar in ways to the Power Plans from Action Masters (loved that too) packaging, these little drawings would add something special to the toy inside the box.


I love a good cross section, this is known, I also love line art. I don't know why, I just do. Probably because it usually looks great and boy does it here in greens and yellows. Beast Wars had pretty sharp packaging and that art on the grid background just proves that a little more. As you can see, features of the toy would be highlighted. Usually little fictional things like force field generator or actual toy gimmicks like missile storage. Just an extra bit of information about the toy that just adds so much to the overall presentation.


Toys still have a text blurb here or there on the packaging like "firing missile" or "7 step transformation". I could really see something like this on a Studio Series or Generations toy. Something that adds to that overall presentation and sells the character. Considering most bio's these days are limited to a sentence or two, I'd like to think it'd be a great addition to even Cyberverse figures. It doesn't need to even bee a drawing, just pointing out things on a picture of a toy would work pretty well. Imagine "high speed tires" next to a picture of Hot Rod's wheels. Wouldn't that be cool?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Seen and not Hurt




Nothing say's it's Halloween like local businesses giving out treat bags and reflective safety strips/stickers. Of course they never give out bags with the safety reflective crap printed on them, you get one or the other. Something to carry around all those Tootsie Rolls you're going to throw away in or a magic sticker that somehow will keep crazy Mr. Harmon from running you over in his beat up La Baron. In the early 70's McDonald's gave out cuffs, not strips/stickers for this very purpose. Called the Safety Cuffs, Ronald let your parents know you'll be safe as long as your rocking these stupid looking things. Did you catch the little bit Ronald said at the end of the commercial? I've seen this commercial for years thanks to my ridiculous habit of watching old Halloween commercials all year and just recently realized he said 'children should be seen and not hurt'. It's even printed on the cuffs.


For the longest I thought he said 'seen and not heard', which just made no sense. I mean, if you can't see them trick or treating, I hope you can hear their screams before you commit vehicular manslaughter Mr. Harmon. Anyone else find it fishy so many adults are just driving around carelessly on the one night they know children will be out and in the streets. Oh sure, tonight's the night the headlights just don't work, right. It's cause of this bullshit that Dracula had to wear that crap.

Probably shouldn't trust Ronald entirely too much either.

New Unicron Robot Mode trailer


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Dracula Bam-Bam

 

Dracula Bam-Bam doesn't look like the type of game you'd play for hours. More like a few minutes after the kid down the street who somehow is always it throws a tantrum and all the fun has to stop to console his cry baby ass. Who keeps inviting Craig to come over?  We're trying to have a Halloween party and we can't watch any scary movies because Craig has nightmares and wets the bed. Can't wear scary costumes because Craig has nightmares and wets the bed. Had to stop trick or treating early because Craig got scared and shit his pants. Now we can't play Dracula Bam-Bam anymore because Craig... WHO'S FRIEND IS HE ANYWAY? FUCK CRAIG.

Spark Armor, POWER EXTREME

Earlier today (Monday to you) I went out for some errands. Well, one errand, I had to drop off some donations to the Goodwill. I then went to Target for a visit in hopes of new stuff as lately I've been coming up empty handed at my local stores (late summer stock clearing). Boy did I hit the jackpot! They had a bunch of new stuff, most importantly the Micromaster 10 Pack I've been needing so and Cyberverse Spark Armor Cheetor! In fact they had quite bunch of Spark Armor toys and man they got me excited. I've been pretty hyped for Spark Armor stuff as is, but seeing it in person was a real treat. As much as I wanted to take them all home, I just bought my Micromasters and Cheetor promising the others I'd come back for them (and I will). Let me also take a second to say how much more I want Alpha Trion after seeing his toy. I shamelessly want that. So good.


I've been bubbling with Spark Armor excitement all day ever since. It's hard not to like these guys, specially for someone who loves smaller toys and partner gimmicks. It doesn't hurt that thanks to the simplified nature of Cyberverse toys, these guys have that wonderful old school chunky Super Robot vibe running wild. Take a shot. I already liked the Cyberverse cartoon, but knowing the new episodes will follow this line is exciting. I'm hoping for some far out fights with the bots in their awesome Centurion ass armor.

I'm 41, I'm not concerned with being cool. I just want to go to Burger King and fortunately there's Spark Armor themed kid's meal toys currently. They're the standard non-Transforming figurines that kid's meals have had for the past decade, but they're pretty good looking. Hoping I can grab one or two before the promotion vanishes. Though admittedly I'd make some sort of scene ordering 50 kids meals and a Whopper (because I love Whoppers) and have some sort of battle across the restaurants floor before discovering they stuck something from a past kid's meal in the 50th one and OH HELL NAW.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Fear the Mad Scientist


One of the coolest toys of the late 80's was Mad Scientist by Mattel. Everybody loves slime and incorporating it with monsters was perfect. The Monster Lab was one of the most popular sets. Essentially you'd take a plastic skeleton, cover it in flesh, and create your monster. Then you murder it by dropping it in a vat of chemicals that melted the creature before your eyes. You gave the monster life and then took it away in morbid fashion. That is fantastic.


Just take a look at the Japanese version of The Monster Lab's packaging. I'm a fan of Japanese logos, kanji, and Asian horror as is. The straight J-Horror visuals of the box are just wonderful to me. In Japan the line was called 'The Laboratory of Mad Dr. Fear'. It's pretty hard not to love that. Unless you're some sort of monster, and we kill those horribly in this laboratory. Suddenly that names pretty amazing huh?


Another popular set was the Alien Dissection kit. If the commercial above doesn't clue you in to it's amazing nature, let me explain. You have an alien filled with internal organs and slime. Then you rip it out. That's it. The play feature of Mad Scientist was torturing monsters to death in violent and horrible ways. Dammit that's awesome. There was other play sets of varying horror and grossness. Though the last of the line was only released in Japan and worth taking note here. It's pretty great.


Ma-Ba Zombies were a sub-line that followed the initial play sets with tiny rubber freaks and monsters. The figures were hollow with the intention that you'd fill it with slime. Squeeze the monster and watch it ooze out. Pretty simple, but simple usually works the best. There were a few series of these on their own outside of the main line. Mad Scientist was a collaboration between Mattel and Bandai that often gets swept under the rug in most peoples memories. I suppose a toy line of gross monsters that you effective murder violently would be a touch too much for the more lame members of society. I do see various homages to the monsters (mostly the alien from the dissection kit) in the occasional designer toy though. I'm pretty jealous of those lucky kids of the late 80's in Japan. I'd love to have had Ma-Ba zombies.

Hitler no Fukkatsu/Bionic Commando


Whoa


Friday, August 9, 2019

Ronald's the scariest thing in this Haunted House


Honestly, I don't think I've ever just walked into a haunted house. Every one of these type commercials, the gang just happens to walk inside a haunted house. Though admittedly, Ronald seems to lead the way this time. You know, the ghosts are really the victims here. What in the hell was Ronald even doing? Just outright barging in and looking around... wait... they were going to rob the place weren't they? DAMMIT RONALD, STOP STEALING FROM GHOSTS!

I don't care if he Bugly, he's got a great personality


Somethings been bugging me, and that's the lack of a Bugly update. I know he's not in the main event and maybe not even near the middle of the card. But he's one of the Pretenders that I've always loved and have always hoped to see a new toy of. Pretenders are one of those oddball G1 series you either love or hate. These days they do tend to get a more positive outlook, but that wasn't always the case. I know, I know, I love everything. That's not true, I just prefer to spend my time with things I love instead hate. Especially when it's something I do for fun. Because I'm not stupid.

Pretenders fill a niche for me. Let's think about it, shall we? I might like Transformers a little bit (did you notice?). Might just have a thing for monsters (could you tell?). Then in the case of the Autobot Pretenders, they sure do resemble characters from video games or that way cool show on USA Night Flight. The timing of them couldn't be any better either. Hasbro is a really big toy company and they tend to market their products to the customer base. Because duh.

At the time kids were all about toys like Ghostbusters (ever see the ghost figures?) and TMNT (M is for mutant). Various freaky gross things were all the rage and Hasbro plans to make every cent that they can. That's how business works. Then you add in Takara's market and really if you want to give it a small amount of thought, Masterforce sure was like a Sentai show huh? It's just a logical progression. It also just so happens to appeal to my specific tastes. Not just my cup of tea, but my whole jug of drank.

I got Bugly in the sixth grade. The local Big Lots had Pretenders in stock and my Mom grabbed me Bugly. It was great! You see this cool bug monster? I loved his colors too. They sure did fit in at the time with other toys and really I still love them. They just look good and really pop. I've always loved the later G1 Decepticon colors. Teals, blues, blacks, purples, and whatever neon shade that you wouldn't immediately think of for a villain.
While I lament the lack of a new Bugly toy... there was a little something that did happen. Little as in a tiny little TF toy. During the time that Legend class figures came with a tiny partner figure, Venin came partnered with Acid Storm. A repaint of the Waspinator toy that came with a Starscream figure, Venin sure does look like Bugly. He's a different character and the resemblance could be a coincidence. Though it's hard to deny he could have been Bugly if the folks at Hasbro decided to make it so.



Thursday, August 8, 2019

Switch Online August 2019 NES games


Dracula's dope ass Haunted House


I'm sold. Let's go!

Saber Win...ger.. and the.. something something... IN THE SKY

Sometimes I'll like the damnedest things. One such Transformers is Wing Saber from Energon. Wing Saber is a sort of homage to Japanese late G1 robots in design as he absolutely fits in with toys from Victory, Battlestars, or even Brave. This is pretty intentional as his design is meant to invoke Star Saber and Predaking visually. Wing Saber is a super good looking toy, though admittedly a brick by means. His articulation is limited to elbow articulation and if you want to split hairs, his knees swivel. This has given the figure a certain level of stigma through the years as such a old school toy stood out around other figures in Energon. Articulation is a funny thing to me I can either take it or leave it. Sometimes I wish a toy might have more, others I couldn't care less. Wing Saber is in the later category. I think he's great.
His vehicle mode is some kind of spaceship that kinda looks like a bird. The flying bird has firing missile launchers for shooting fools. If that was all there was to Wing Saber, then this post would be a lot shorter. If you've noticed the seam running down the center of the toy, then you've noticed a key point to it's existence. The figure comes apart in four parts to create not just one, but two different armor modes for the Energon leader class Optimus Prime.

This formation is called cannon mode as it gives Prime some heavy firepower. Perfect for dealing with the waves of Terrorcons, Optimus could now unleash a flurry of lasers and look good while doing it. I always thought this made Optimus look like Powered Convoy. Not exactly, but a little. It's the blue.
Though if you really wanted to deck out Optimus, in flight mode armor Prime has a set of wings as well as a bulkier look. This is probably my favorite of the two armor modes as it just looks great. The colors mesh well and man the super robot nature of Energon is in full force here. Energon featured a few toys that could combine with this Optimus figure and they all looked great. Though Wing Saber probably worked the best as he's basically God Bomber in so many words. The flight mode is basically God Ginrai... gee, wonder why I like it huh?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Frankenstein is an alcoholic


When I was younger, my local mall had a restaurant called Frank 'n' Stein. Turns out it was a 'cleverly' named place that sold beer and hot dogs. Now, obviously with a name like that it should have at least a castle theme or maybe a Frankenstein monster somewhere right? You name the damn place Frank 'n' Stein and stick it in a mall food court some asshole kid is going to have expectations. House of lies.

Anyway, look this commercial for Heineken staring a Frankenstein monster who can only be brought to life via a pint of beer. Despite any connections one could make about a monster brought to life from drinking, let's just take a moment to observe the commercial. It's charming and maybe even cute. Fit for the Halloween season or anytime really. Though I think we all see that actor under the Frankenstein make up drinking that beer and all know it's the directors brother who spends too much time at the bowling alley after work.

Unicron Conversion video!


The villainous Planet Eater has intricate conversion steps as impressive as his size.
 
Reminiscent of the iconic Unicron conversion scene from the 1986 film, comes a Transformers War for Cybertron Unicron conversion video worthy of the legacy. For the first time, fans can see the massive Chaos Bringer go from his immense planet mode to detailed robot mode.
 
Watch as legendary Takara Tomy product designer, Kunihiro, performs complex conversion steps with style in this unique take on a Transformers conversion video. Kunihiro also take the viewers to show assembly of the planet mode after the figure has been taken out of the package.
 
The Transformers War for Cybertron Unicron figure is part of Hasbro's crowdfunding platform, HasLab. Remember, if the project doesn’t reach 8,000 backers by August 31st, the product will not move into production. Also, orders for Unicron will no longer be accepted after August 31st. If you want to add this once-in-a-lifetime figure to your Transformers collection, you must back this project before the deadline. You can back this project at HasbroPulse.com

Thanks to Rogers & Cowan for providing Zone Base readers with this information.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tokyu Sportswear inside a Haunted House


Admittedly I don't know anything about Tokyu Sportswear as it's heyday was when I was a child and just like today was happy in Fruit of the Loom hoodie most of the time. But what I'm getting here is these guys are sporting their Tokyu Sportswear in a haunted house full of creepy creeps. I don't know if that really matters, but it's likely more easy to run like hell away from a ghoul in sportswear than other outfits.

Transform Squadron 12: Back to Ghoul


This month Rob talks back to school supplies leading into the beginnings of this years Halloween season. That’s before we go to crazy town with a ‘what if’ scenario for Cyberverse!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Latam Fan Summit Studio Series Reveals


 
Transformers Studio Series –51 Deluxe Class Transformers: Dark of the Moon Soundwave (HASBRO/Ages 8 and Up/ Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/ Available:01/01/2020)The 51 Deluxe Class SOUNDWAVE is a 4.5-inch collectible action figure inspired by the Transformers: Dark of the MoonSerengeti Hideout scene where SOUNDWAVE and LASERBEAK patiently await orders from MEGATRON. This Studio Series 51 Deluxe Class Transformers: Dark of the Moon SOUNDWAVE figure is highly articulated, features vivid, movie-inspired deco and converts from robot to car mode in 19 steps. Fans can use the removable backdrop to pose and display the SOUNDWAVE scene with their own style. Also included is 1 detailed LASERBEAK figure accessory that attaches to SOUNDWAVE’s arm. Reach past the big screen and build the ultimate TRANSFORMERS collection with Studio Series figures, inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the TRANSFORMERS movie universe. Each Studio Series figure sold separately and subject to availability at most major toy retailers on01/01/2020

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Haunted House at Camden Park


There was once a time where haunted houses had a charm to them that they just don't have anymore. It's hard not to see this commercial and not want to drop by Camden Park to ride the Haunted House. Obviously the perfect thing to do this Halloween season. You might just end up riding with the Wolfman! What happened to the guy? He was wearing a different outfit, so he couldn't have changed into the Wolfman. So... did the Wolfman kill him before taking his place and date? She seemed pretty happy about it. Who could blame her? The Wolfman was dressed pretty sharp. Bet the other guy smelled like farts.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Little Black Truck

 
It's said that dynamite comes in small packages, and I don't know if that's true but... that was a horrible start. Whatever. Robots in Disguise (2001) was the Transformers line that brought Autobots and Decepticons back into the fray and ended the beast era. Some like to argue that RID was part of the beast era due to the Predacon characters. I've also seen people argue with the cashier at Arby's that they sold cheeseburgers, sssssooooo....

Any who, RID was a unique line in the history of Transformers. Transtech was intended to follow Beast Machines as a hybrid beast/vehicle series. For whatever reason is given today plans were changed and the decision to go a new route was made. That new route ended up being Armada and needed a little more time to develop. In Japan Takara had already experimented with a more traditional TF show called Car Robots. Hasbro fast tracked Car Robots into Robots in Disguise to have a Transformers series on shelves and on TV to fill the time needed. Car Robots was a relatively short anime with a small toy line mostly consisting of repainted toy molds and a few new toys. Hasbro took that and added more repaints to fill out the line. One of the new Decepticons was a evil clone of Fire Convoy/Optimus Prime named Black Convoy/Scourge whom was a black and teal repaint of the G2 Laser Optimus Prime toy.

Hasbro expanded the Spy Changer by releasing same sized versions of the shows main characters. This was probably the most direct beginning of the Legends/Legion style of toys offering lower priced figures of the main characters. It was in this assortment that we got the really neat Spy Changer version of Scourge. Spy Changers were originally made from the G2 Gobots toy molds and were really great little toys. Basically you had a Hot Wheels size car that was even compatible with a Hot Wheels car track! They'd transform into simple robots full of charm. It's not hard for readers to guess I loved them.

For a short time it looked like this was the only toy of the character getting made and the Spy Changer versions were flying off the shelves! Unlike other Spy Changers, Scourge didn't come with a weapon, nor did he have his trailer. During this time there was a ton of people creating their own custom weapons and trailers for the toy. It was pretty fun to take in and watch.

In what has to be the only time it happened, a toy based on a repaint of another character got repainted into the original toys colors. Later a Spy Changers version of Optimus Prime was made from the Scourge toy as part of a line of Spy Changers based on the classic G1 characters. That was a mess of words that barley formed a coherent sentence and I'm not sorry for it. This little line was available as a discount line at Family Dollar type stores, though a year prior were exclusive to Kay Bee Toy stores in different packaging. Laser Optimus Prime was a good looking toy, Scourge was a good looking toy, so it goes without saying this was a good looking toy.


This little series was fun to collect, easy and cheap, you couldn't help but to acquire multiples without thinking or worrying about it. At a small local sci fi con, I had ran a Transformers panel and had them on hand as raffle prizes. I don't think I know anyone who hated them and if anyone did hate them... how? This great little mold got another use just a short while later in a really fun way.


I don't have to tell you the 2007 Transformers movie was a big hit. It's just a fact and there's no arguing that. Unless you're stupid and well, you're on your own there dummy. A movie meant to sell toys is going to have a ton of merchandise, it's why they made it. One such thing was a the pictured above pre-order exclusive for the DVD in Japan.

That pre-order exclusive was the last version of the great little mold, but what a way to go out! Now as the movie version of Optimus Prime the toy looks awesome. I distinctly remember the summer before the movies release (which is an awkward was of saying 2006) pictures of the movie characters first started hitting the internet and everyone was talking. Optimus's truck was shown before his robot mode and while some were hung up on G1, several thought they looked cool (money walks and bullshit talks). I saw the long nose truck and hoped for a repeat of the Laser Optimus toy as it was excellent and man those flames looked cool. While the actual toy was pretty different, I clearly wasn't the only one who had that idea.