Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Arctic Circle's Amazing Square Pumpkin

I live in Georgia, which means I've never had an Arctic Circle restaurant near me. I've never been to Utah or any of the other states in which Arctic Circle has locations in. Which means I've never had a Square Pumpkin meal. One of the greatest disappointments of my life. Have you seen it? You get the Square Pumpkin box, with haunted house game on the back. I will not mince words, that is fucking bad ass.

Of course you also get food, but dude, square pumpkin with haunted house game. A Google search shown me years of amazing Halloween kids meals from Arctic Circle. I can't believe just how much I've missed out. I didn't I even know about this place until I found this commercial. I'll be honest, I kinda forgot Utah existed too. Working the graveyard shift for 10 years has have altered my world view a bit. I'm not kidding, the first time I see the sunrise in spring scares the shit out of me every year.

I'm pretty sure if Arctic Circle was available to me the Square Pumpkin meal would be a hotly anticipated item each year. It's pretty badass. McDonald's can't decide if they want to do Halloween pails regularly or not. Starbucks kinda shit the bed with the Halloween drinks after 2018. It'd be nice to have something like a Square Pumpkin to look forward to each year. I crave annual fast food spooky shit. I don't even want the food, just the haunted house game.


A Barrier For Sound

I picked up Soundbarrier in June shortly after moving. Like other toys bought during that time, I've just gotten around to opening him up. Soundbarrier is a Battle Master from Earthrise which makes him a tiny bit different than the ones from Siege. Instead of a weapon, he turns into a shield and a connector for Micromaster bases. 

I had been looking forward to this guy as he just looks neat. The shield kibble on his back looks like wings giving him a much cooler look than somebody who turns into a dock plate should look.

The bright blues with the grey robot parts with accenting red makes for a sharp looking little robot. I'm sure this mold would look good in almost any color you throw on it. He looks like he turns into a jet almost.

Almost.

I mentioned he turns into a shield right? Two things, he does in fact turn into a shield and I've had to right click on shield every time I've typed it. Clearly cannot spell that right. Considering it's basically just a dock plate that doubles as a shield, it doesn't look too bad. 

He comes with one of those blast mark thingys and two places to connect it. So you can have him being a barrier for blasts as well as sound. 

There's some silver paint here that's pretty nice looking and dresses it up a bit. It mainly dresses up dock plate mode and adds to the appearance when connected to Micromaster bases. 

Not to mention is helps hide the robot hanging off the other side in clear view. You think Micromasters flip him the bird when they drive over? You know they do. 

Jerks.

In dock plate mode, he can connect to any Earthrise Micromaster base or so they say. He can serve as a connector to provide a road from one to another or a ramp for driving up or off. You can still plug the little blast effect thingy on here to make it look like somebody is shooting at Big Daddy. 

He's Autobot in Hasbro releases or on the Japanese side a Selector like Smashdown. Considering his alt mode, it's a good fit for the new group. I could imagine a dock plate having enough of others bull crap and revolting.

He's pretty great. I'd love to see recolors in blind packaging. 

I say that about everything.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Unfortunately Peter Cullen Was A Werewolf

There's probably more forgotten Halloween specials than fondly remembered ones. While that's mostly a tragedy, in the Case of 'Boo!', it's for the best. It's not a bad idea. Take the classic monsters and put them in a silly variety show together during the formats heyday. Couple of musical numbers, a bunch of silly skits. Sure fire idea right? Unfortunately it's probably the worst thing ever made. I would say it's arguably worse than the Star Wars Holiday Special... but I've been able to watch that in it's entirety. I can't get through the first 15 minutes of this. Sure I've skipped around and watched a bit here and there. But straight forward? No way. It's fucking horrible.

If you can make it to minute marker 9:16... or just skip forward... you'll notice who gets top billing. Peter Cullen as the werewolf. The Peter Cullen? Maybe there is another? Possibly. But I can't find any other with a Google search. I also can't find this credit on any of his profiles either. Would you put this on your resume? It's fucking horrible.

The special is only an hour long, which you probably won't watch the entirety of. If I haven't been clear enough, it's fucking horrible. I first ran across it last summer while digging for material for the site. You guys think old Pop Secret commercials just fall out of the sky? I sat through 10 minutes before passing out thanks to that way Dracula kept singing 'do' rendering my brain incapable of thought for a full 10 minutes. Know what can happen in 10 minutes? You can hit the back button on your Roku remote, that's what.

It's fucking horrible.


Patrol Of The Race Car

Micromasters are a wonderful thing. Purple Robots are a wonderful thing. Bright yellow on robots... These guys are wonderful. In fact, you could call them majestic. I do. 

The Earthrise Race Car Patrol is an update of Roller Force (purple guy) and Ground Hog (blue guy) who were members of the Race Track Patrol in G1. Things change, names change, sometimes colors change. Ground Hog was purple in G1 for instance. They also change into robots, it's the gimmick of the toy line. I'm ok when things change.

I got these dudes last week and was pretty happy to do so. I'm gobbling up all the Micromasters and Battlemasters I can until the seeming end of tiny robots in mainline TF for the time being. Assuming the individual Titanmasters don't get re-released in that upcoming Headmasters thing. If that happens, then game on. Either way, I'm enjoying them while I got them. Surely there will be new tiny robots in TF sooner or later. Humor me.


These two turn into, you'd never guess, race cars. Weirdest thing right? The two can combine to form what's supposed to be a gun, like other newer Micromasters. I didn't take a picture of that. Sorry. I kinda forget they can do this as it just looks like two robots stuck together. Like the designers were told by higher ups to do something like that and they did whatever they did out of spite. "Fine, here's a fucking gun."

The two are pretty faithful recreations of the original toys (aside from colors) with improved articulation. I really can't find anything bad to say about these toys. If this was an email, I'd end it with a bunch of hearts. Like this. <3 <3 <3 <3



Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bios- Sgt. Hound

Watchful attentiveness launches triumph.
Sgt. Hound, as a scout for Optimus Prime throughout the third Cybertronian war, was instrumental in the victory of the Autobots over the brutal Decepticons. Along with Special Operations Officer Autobot Jazz, Sgt. Hound presented the General with precise intelligence that allowed the newly-reconstituted Autobot Firestormers to route Megatron's expansion of the Decepticon Star Empire before it could attack any other worlds. The battle ended when the experimental energon refinery that Sgt. Hound had forewarned about was struck by a Decepticon missile. The Decepticons destroyed themselves, but the explosion also cast Sgt. Hound and General Optimus Prime through a rupture in reality.

 

With the war over in his own universe, Sgt. Hound attempted to find peace in his new home. Unfortunately millions of years of conflict, honed military skills and alertness prevented him from finding it. When General Optimus Prime joined Security Administration Officer Cheetor's task force, Sgt. Hound once again enlisted under his commanding officer. Even with war and military service being all that he can remember, Sgt. Hound is still as friendly and compassionate as the day he came online. He befriended many Low-Techs, including fellow former soldiers Dia and Cline.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Hasbro PulseCon Ghostbusters Programming!

GHOSTBUSTERS PANEL!

Join us as we celebrate the Ghostbusters franchise in a three-part panel filled with HUGE surprises and reveals!

Part 1: Classic Ghostbusters Panelists: Ernie Hudson, Hasbro Ghostbusters Brand Team We’ll begin by celebrating the iconic 1984 film. Tune in for ghostly surprises, classic toy news, and a visit from a very special guest: Ernie Hudson, otherwise known as Winston Zeddemore from Ghostbusters! Get ready to hear him answer your fan questions! 

Part 2: The Making of Kenner The Real Ghostbusters Toys Panelists: Mark Boudreax, Hasbro Ghostbusters Brand Team We’ll continue our journey through the 80’s with an inside look at the making of The Real Ghostbusters toys from original Kenner toy designer, Mark Boudreaux. Next, you’ll see behind the scenes of sculpting with Dave. Finally, meet the Hasbro team that relaunched the Kenner Real Ghostbusters toys in 2020. Hear about how they answered the call to bring this beloved toy line back for the fans and be the first to see the next Kenner Real Ghostbusters toy to hit shelves! 

Part 3: Ghostbusters Afterlife Panelists: Jason Reitman, Hasbro Ghostbusters Brand Team We’ll end our celebration with a nod to the future… the new Ghostbusters Afterlife feature film, coming to theatres in March 2021. Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning filmmaker Jason Reitman, director of Ghostbusters Afterlife, will take you on a tour of the Ecto-1 that was used in the new film. He’ll end his tour with an exciting reveal! You’ll then hear from the Hasbro team about the next toy inspired by the Ghostbusters Afterlife film to hit shelves!


Thanks to Rogers & Cowan for providing Zone Base Readers with this awesome news!

Hasbro PulseCon 2020 Guest Line Up!


HASBRO UNVEILS ALL-STAR LINEUP FOR HASBRO PULSECON, GIVING FANS A VIRTUAL FRONT ROW SEAT TO PANELS, CELEBRITY GUESTS, MUSIC AND MORE

Special appearances by John Cena, Joe Manganiello, Ashley Eckstein and Henry Golding, music performances by Fall Out Boy, Lights and Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D, and 2-days of interactive experiences, new reveals and exciting guests behind Hasbro’s iconic fan brands; Only on the Hasbro Pulse YouTube Channel

 

PAWTUCKET, RI – September 18, 2020 – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) officially revealed its programming slate of immersive fan experiences for the first ever Hasbro PulseCon today, featuring a dynamic panel lineup, top celebrity guests, and must-see music appearances all free of charge. Top stars including John Cena (Bumblebee), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Matthew Lillard (D&D Fan, Scooby Doo), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Jason Reitman (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and more will make appearances during the course of the two-day event, along with a special message from Henry Golding (Snake Eyes) and unique experiences from musical guests including Fall Out Boy, Lights (featured artist from eOne’s roster) and Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D. The event will be available exclusively through the Hasbro Pulse YouTube Channel on September 25-26, 2020.

 

Attendees can expect one-of-a-kind access to their favorite franchises during Hasbro PulseCon, and interactive experiences connecting fans with the creative talent that help bring them all to life. Brands including Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Magic: The Gathering, Power Rangers, Transformers as well as premiere partner brands Marvel, Star Wars™, Ghostbusters, and more will be featured in an exhilarating panel and activity lineup that spans two days, giving fans a livestream experience to celebrate with special guests, receive exclusive access to exciting brand reveals, purchase Hasbro PulseCon merch, and participate with interactive elements such as live Q&A, trivia and even virtual ‘ghost hunting’ in celebration of National Ghost Hunting Day! For every viewer of Hasbro PulseCon, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots up to 100,000 pieces. Through the gift of a new toy, Marine Toys for Tots helps bring hope and joy to America's less fortunate children.

 

While the 2-day virtual event hosted by SYFY Wire on-air correspondent, writer, and producer, Jackie Jennings, begins on September 25, fans can expect a few fun surprises leading up to that date – including an advance sneak peek on the Hasbro Pulse YouTube Channel September 22 at 12pm EST. In addition, Hasbro and eOne are thrilled to be launching a PulseCon Spotify list which will be available on Friday 25th and consists of a number of songs from eOne artists, including The Lumineers, Powfu, Brandy, Alice Ivy and Lights.

 

Included below is a peek inside the programming that will be available exclusively on the Hasbro Pulse YouTube Channel. Programming takes place on Friday, 9/25 at 11am EST and Saturday, 9/26 at 10am EST, with each day ending around 5pm EST for exciting musical experiences with its lineup of artists. 

Will Vinton Sends A Pig To Castle Frankenswine

After the assault from the past few days of Kidding Around, I felt like you all would appreciate something... better. Will Vinton's Claymation Comedy of Horrors is a claymation Halloween special that aired in the early 90's. I didn't see this on Halloween though. My first exposure to it came from a random re-airing of it in the middle of the summer. On a local CBS affiliate no less! Back in those days I'd regularly look through the TV Guide for something cool and usually tape it.

I was always nuts for Halloween, so I had started a Halloween special tape that summer. Most sitcoms would rerun holiday episodes regardless of the time of year. This doubled for shows that had went to syndication. TV Guide was pretty dependable for a brief synopsis of what episode was coming on, so I was able to curate a tape full of specials pretty easily. 

From summer break to the actual season, I somehow made a full 8 hr VHS of Halloween specials that year. The tape is still in my Mom's possession, but I have no clue if it's even watchable. It was on regular rotation in my bedroom throughout the years. Last time I watched it the auto tracking couldn't keep up and it kept making weird squiggly noises. If you lived through the VHS days, you know the ones I'm talking about.

On it is this little show that I saw listed on a random summer evening on CBS. It's pretty fun. Basically a pig and his snail employee find a treasure map which leads to Frankenswine's (pigs, get it?) Castle on Halloween night. They encounter all sorts of monsters in a pretty great looking production. It's pretty obscure, I don't think it has much of a fan following like other Halloween specials. That's ok, not everything has to be a cult classic. I suppose anyway.

Another Final War For Godzilla

Playmates Godzilla toy line matches the definition of kaiju in that it is a strange beast. You've got a mix of Bandai soft vinyl released through the brand as well as hard vinyl original creations by Playmates. Add in the newer Kong vs Godzilla movie action figure line and you've got a weird mixture of toy types hanging on your Walmart shelves.

I've said before how the hard vinyl figures are visually similar to the soft ones. Aside from varying sculpt quality, you might not notice the difference when they're next to each other. I've chalked it up to a mixture of whatever deal they have with Bandai and Playmates own facilities for the differences in the lines. Admittedly I'm being a nerd about this, but when you collect these things, it tends to be a sticking point. 

I've grown quite fond of the Playmates figures regardless and even find the random sculpt issues pretty funny. It's fun to point out something and just say Playmates. It's just their thing. Then they go and release a soft vinyl figure on their own and we're back to square one. However instead of focusing on that for too much longer, I'm just going to relish in the fact that they made a pretty decent one. 

A little while ago, I talked about Playmates Shin Godzilla figure. This particular toy was subject to a lot of poo pooing in various kaiju groups. Fair enough, despite growing on me, he definitely isn't for everyone. I don't know what the plan was at Playmates, but they swapped him out in newer shipments with a new Final Wars Godzilla figure. A soft vinyl one to boot! I've seen various discussion on the source of the mold and some have speculated it's a laser scan recreation of a Bandai figure. Maybe. There's a little rounding of the edges. 

The only really iffy point is those eyes. I don't mind them as it's different and reminds me of older dinosaur toys. Final Wars may not be everyone's favorite movie, but folks tend to like the movies designs and they find their way to toy form often. Especially with Godzilla, it's a pretty defining look for the gorilla whale. 

It's a pretty good figure of Godzilla regardless of all that nerd stuff I just said. You've got the standard amount of articulation for a figure like this. Shoulders, legs, neck, with a little bit of tail. Don't be gross. 

For me he hit's all the points and like I said, I kinda like the cludgy Playmates vinyl toys. I don't know why either. If you don't like the eyes, I'm sure you could probably fix it with a little paint. I've seen some pretty good fixes on other Playmates toys recently. 

I'm keeping mine stock though.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Kidding Around About Halloween 1984- Hell On Earth

We now come to the final installment of the Kidding Around Halloween episode trilogy of terror. A year has passed and now it is 1984, a new co-host has joined since the ritual consumption committed by the Looney Ballooney Band last year. However the atrocities of the past have not been forgotten as the forever yin and yang of morality is presented by the hosts in their devil and angel costumes. We can all sleep well at night knowing that the FBI raided the shows production and shut everything down. We can hope anyway. 

Horrors inflicted upon decency in this last episode include.

  1. Horrific offerings to the dark lord via pumpkin art including an uncomfortable moment between a gourd and the young co-host.
  2. Another Halloween dance routine performed by the souls of the damned.
  3. An animal presentation including a crow flipping the fuck out and another fucking tarantula.
  4. An uncomfortable cooking segment.
  5. More viewer submitted 'art' and 'jokes'.  
  6. The host displaying the children he has held prisoner to produce this show.

 

Smashdown Is An Allstar

I picked Smashdown up in June shortly after moving, but just got around to opening him up. Life found a way. I was happy to get him as the Siege version never shown up in my area, so when he was re-released in Earthrise. I uh, got him. I really like Battle Masters. A nice evolution of the Targetmaster idea, where not everyone has to be a gun.

Speaking of variety, I really like it when there's variety in robot modes. Keeps things fresh. Smashdown has a bulls head instead of a standard robot one. No real reason either and I'm not complaining. He looks like a Battle Beast and I freaking love Battle Beasts.

Smashdown turns into a hammer. Which seems pretty pointless in a gun fight, but so does a sword and we're all ok with those. The idea here is that he's an ideal weapon for one of The Wreckers. On the Japanese side of things, Smashdown is a type of Selector, another faction of Transformers. 

Selectors are a race of Transformers created by humans using Angolmois Energy as a working class for construction needs. Smashdown is a type of Selector that turns into a hammer. Get it?

Whichever fiction you prefer, Smashdown is a great little toy.  The handle from hammer mode can be used as a gun for bot mode. In hammer mode that handle can be held by most Transformers toys in case they see some watermelons nearby. 

Like most (all?) Battle Masters, Smashdown comes with a little energy special effect piece. This is to emphasize the force from a good whack from that hammer. Considering his body is that hammer, I wonder if that hurts? It's a neat little extra that I'd like to think is appreciated more by those who like to display their toys in action poses or in dioramas. Smashdown is a neat little Minotaur robot that turns into a hammer. I don't think I can find enough words to explain how great that is, it's pretty a pretty universal idea. Go buy one.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Kidding Around About Halloween 1983-Hellbound

In case 1982 wasn't enough, Kidding Around struck back in 1983. This time the Halloween episode was an all out assault on decency. The hosts present the half hour of madness under the guise of new wave rockers. There's a lot to take in, somewhere between listening to Men at Work for a minute and the sent in "art" I have no clue what I just watched.

In this Halloween edition of the show from 1983, you'll bare witness to the following things.

  1. A pumpkin being eating by a pig while the hosts shit themselves laughing.
  2. Child labor laws broken at a pumpkin patch.
  3. Cult members display offerings to the devil made from pumpkins. 
  4. The Looney Balloney Band performing a demonic ritual in which they conjure hell on earth.
  5. Animals presented by a lethargic 12 year old.
  6. Possessed by the demons summoned from their ritual, the Looney Balloney Band storms the stage and devours Jenny the co-host. If you listen closely, you can hear her scream.

Eternia Minis Series 2

There's a problem with Eternia Minis, and that problem is that you have to strike when the iron is hot. They don't languish on the shelves. When news of series two already hitting Walmart shelves, I mobilized. Thanks to the help of an patient wife, I managed to track down the entire batch last Saturday across two different Walmarts.

Something I wish I had done with the last series, I did this time. I took the display box home. Just look at it. It's majestic. Before any of you get the wrong idea, I just got one of each figure. I left the rest behind on the shelf. 

One of the more cool things about this line is the castle themed capsules each figure comes blind in. Series one was Castle Greyskull. Series two, Snake Mountain. These little capsules are perfect little recreations of the original castles. I've been seeing folks get creative and give them paint jobs that look great. They also make a good stand for the figure.

As you could expect with the Snake Mountain theme, this is a villain heavy set of toys. There's two repeats from last time here. Regular He-Man and Skeletor, it's safe to say variations of the main two will appear in each batch. This time it's almost double as you get Faker and Golden Armor Skeletor is the set as well. Faker is a different character, but still basically He-Man and Golden Armor Skeletor is a straight repaint. If repaints bother you, there's only two molds that haven't been released already in this series. You also get First Appearance Trap Jaw and Snake Armor Man At Arms which are straight repaints from the last set. For me funky colored recolors are part of the fun in stuff like this.

Trap Jaw appeared in a slightly different color set in his mini comic debut and that's fully represented here. Snake Armor Man At Arms is a throwback to the snake armor variations of the Heroic Warriors from the 2002 MOTU line. The two new molds are Beastman and Stinkor. Stinkor is one of my favorite classic MOTU characters so having a little one of him here is awesome. No signature stinky smell unfortunately. Can you imagine opening that little capsule and getting a face full of skunk funk? I think about it all the time. You can probably tell by the picture mine got a little over spray on his face. I may take a sharpie and fix that eye later. The original Stinkor was a Merman repaint with Mekanecks armor. These are solid body molds with parts swapped, so I'm guessing both Merman and Mekaneck are on the way.

Beastman looks great. I've always liked his armor and everything just comes together perfectly here. I'm pretty surprised he wasn't in the first series as he's one of those main guys you expect in a first batch. I wonder how many repaints his mold will get as the upper body is pure Beastman. The original mold reused parts to make Stratos and flocked without armor to make Mossman. These solid body parts throw a wrench in that old method, so we'll have to see where the parts end up. I kinda hope they make Grizzlor and later use his head on this mold to make a movie Beastman figure. 

As with series one, these are great figures. So far I love collecting them even though it can be a headache. I hope after the Walmart exclusivity ends they'll be easier to get. Something like this has Walgreens or Five Below all over it and I'd be all over that. There's a pretty easy code system of letters printed on the bottom of the capsule. You can either go by the list I've got for you here or just keep count of A-H.

A: Faker

B: Golden Armor Skeletor

C: First Appearance Trap Jaw

D: Snake Armor Man At Arms

E: Beastman

F: Stinkor

G: He-Man

H: Skeletor

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Kidding Around About Halloween 1982

I'd apologize for the pun in the title of today's post, but it's part one of a multi-part post. I've posted cursed videos, videos with heart attack warnings, and even that damn clown cereal commercial. None of that compares to this. Something wicked that way went.

I'm not from Chicago, so I never experienced "Kidding Around" when it was on. I however have sat through it's various Halloween episodes and cursed. Loudly. 

In this Halloween edition of the show from 1982, you'll bare witness to the following things. 

  • Uncomfortably costumed hosts. 
  • Arts and crafts with visibly nervous children.
  • An allegedly Halloween dance routine set to "Eye of the Tiger".
  • A cooking segment hosted by a child whose apparently married and using the most melted stick of butter ever created
  • Viewer submitted "jokes".
  • A Halloween animal segment in which the bat may be taxidermy. 
  • Hell on Earth.

Astro Squad Shuttle To Earthrise

I was pretty happy to find the new Earthrise Micromasters at Target this weekend. I know I don't have to explain my love for Micromasters. I'd hope you've figured it out by now. As the norm since Siege, current Micromaster teams are released as a two pack. 

Fuzer (Phaser in G1) and Blast Master are members of the Autobot Micromaster Astro Squad and combiners as well. Instead of a bigger robot though, the two combine to form a vehicle together. In this case, a Space Shuttle. Duh.

These two are pretty great. I loved the original Astro Squad and I'm really happy with this update. The updated articulation of modern Micromasters is really good here. Not to mention, the space shuttle colors and kibble makes for good looking robots. The additional reds and blues with those little hints of grey really pops.

While I really love Fuzer's molded in pistols, I like Blast Master a little more. The proportions from being the rear section of the shuttle makes for a great looking bot. It's a slim fraction in his favor against his team mate. Both are  great.

If I have any complaints, it would be limited more to my big fingers and folding together everything to make the combined shuttle mode. Which isn't any fault of the toys. I promise it comes together better than it does in the picture. Somebody just didn't take a new picture once he had them better assembled. Whoops. Once again, it's a great set and a solid update of an older couple of figures. If you're a fan of Micromasters, then you're going to be happy with these two. I sure am.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Weekend Report, Do You Copy


The weird thing about a normal weekend after a holiday one is completely obvious. It's shorter than the one you just had, so it just kinda vanishes on you. However it was still a pretty good weekend. Saturday morning after I got home, the wife and I headed out to check out a few things. I had two missions in mind. Find Shawn a Slitherfang and find myself Eternia Minis series 2. 

After a quick Wendy's breakfast in the Dollar Tree parking lot, the Mrs. and I went inside to discover all they had to offer us. We bought quite a bit of Halloween treat bag supplies. Let me clue you in to our Halloween plan. Two different buckets of treats for the kid to choose from. They can pick candy or toys. That way we can account for allergies or various issues with candy. Also, so the wife can spend her Sunday's putting together little treat bags. She loves that sort of thing. We're going to have the best house in town.

We then went to Target which had a halfway set up Halloween section. More treat bag goodies were bought as well as odd decorations. We'll wait a little closer to the date for candy. Because I will eat it. Upon approaching the Transformers area... no Slitherfang. A ton of Rung, but no Slitherfang. Dammit. Nothing else I needed either (or was allowed to get, Christmas). Oh well, off to Walmart!

Walmart had a lot more Halloween stuff stocked and we spent a lot of time looking through it all. Some more decorations were grabbed. They have a cool 18" blow mold that's the same sculpt as a mini one I got last year. I plan on grabbing him next weekend. My plan is to get a little at a time so I don't go home empty handed all spooky season. The blow mold is a recreation of a vintage one that I admired quite a bit as a child. I've been content to have the mini one, but there's no way I'll miss big one.

As far as Transformers go, Walmart had stuff I already have. Dammit. No Slitherfang. As for MOTU, they had a ton of Skeletor and 4 series 2 Eternia minis. All four were the same two guys, so I grabbed one of each. There was no new Star Wars I was allowed to buy (Christmas, yo) but they did have the new Playmates Final Wars Godzilla figure. I've been taking my time with the Godzilla vs Kong figures since the movie isn't' out for a few seasons and to be honest. Christmas. These are easy things to tell my Mom I don't have yet. Yes I'm 42, but for the rest of my family my interests are confusing. I try to make things easy for them. It's this or get random "do you have this" texts all December.

The Final Wars Godzilla I mentioned? It's part of the Godzilla/Kong line Playmates has been selling at Walmart which took the place of Bandai's line (it's a weird business deal or something). The Shin Godzilla they had in the assortment was swapped out with this new Final Wars figure that's surprisingly really good. It gives me vibes of older vinyl figures and yes, it's a normal vinyl. Not hard vinyl. Neat. We got other things while there, but you don't care about my socks. I hope you don't. Please don't.

We then headed to the neighboring town (it's maybe a 20 minute drive) and the Walmart and Target located there. That Walmart was completely Halloween stocked. It was great! We bought more shit. They also had a full shelf of He-Man and only He-Man. The MOTU Origins figures come one character per case. Stores tend to stock one case at a time. They also had an entire shelf display of series 2 Eternia Minis. I picked out the ones I needed and put what was left of the boxes content's on the shelf. I took that beautiful Snake Mountain display box home with me! I really should have done that with Castle Greyskull. The Transformers, GI JOE, and Star Wars? You guessed it, Christmas. 

Target was kinda a wet fart for Halloween stuff. This one always takes forever with any seasonal stuff other than Christmas. They did have this years Halloween cat scratch houses though. We get one for Halloween and Christmas every year. It won't last the entire season, the cats will destroy it. Target also had none Slitherfang. None. But they did have new Micromasters that I was allowed to buy.

I checked with Shawn to see if he was in need of those micro dudes and no, he was not. My quest for a smol robot snake continues. I will be victorious. Even if he already has one by the time I find another, he's getting it. We got some Subway and went home. They have a BOGO on subs BTW, was eating that shit until this morning. We ate our subs and watched some TV before I needed to take a nap, which turned into waking up around 8am Sunday morning. Dang. To be fair, I decided to take that nap at 8PM Saturday night. I has been up since 2:30PM Friday afternoon.

Sunday was filled with some household work, a visit from Mom which resulted in a massive Olive Garden take out order, and watching a lot of spooky shit. Between ghost videos and me taking a look at some more Halloween content (I make a point to watch it first, you can never be cautious enough yo). Today was full of errands and posting toy pics on Instagram. The same pics that will be used for future posts here. Happy fall y'all! 


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Bios- Megaplex

The skies belong to me!
Megaplex was built by Jhiaxus as a clone of Megatron, copying the Decepticon tyrant’s aggression, cunning and battlefield skills into a brand new body ready for the modern age. Charged with leading an assault against the planet Cybertron and securing the heart of Jhiaxus' new, unified Cybertronian Empire, Megaplex uses the traits he has inherited from Megatron with chilling efficiency as he smashes through planetary defenses and culls the planet below.

Megaplex must be cautious, however, since under his armor plating he can feel Megatron billowing to the surface, screaming to be let free. The chaos and destruction wrought by the invasion of Cybertron has fed the psyche once buried by Jhiaxus' tutelage, and it may only be a matter of time until Megaplex can do nothing else but let Megatron loose against his enemies. Whoever they might be.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Kinder Surprise Trick Or Treaters

As a bling bag toy addict, I don't have to explain why I like Kinder Surprise eggs so much. The combination of random toy surprise and pretty tasty candy is usually just the thing for not a lot of money. Not just content for regular changing assortments, Kinder also jumps on holidays. When they do, they absolutely kill it. Which brings us here.

I honestly didn't think they could beat last years awesome Halloween monsters figures (which I should have wrote about... dang). They were these great little figurines with plenty of character. I was wrong, they completely out did it this year.

This years Kinder Surprise Halloween theme is amazing. Y'all ready for this? Trick or Treating mini-figures with removable glow in the dark costumes. I know, it's wonderful. I cried.

You can get the eggs individually or in a cool box set of four. The box set is themed as a little street full of houses our little gang can trick or treat at. Wanna know about something called the extra mile? You can tear each house off individually and it's got a little from/to spot on the top for gift giving. You get enough of these little houses and maybe a decorative tree or two. You've just built a neighborhood for your toys to spend Halloween night at.

The costumes are a gallery of Halloween's greatest hits. A skeleton, werewolf, ghost, etc. The gangs all here. The costume can snap off and be exchanged with other figures too.

Each figure is in a different color and face in addition to the costumes. It's a cool little extra touch that gives the set some variety and character. They're smiling, winking, got their tongues hanging out. They really look like kids excited for a spooky night of ringing bells and getting candy. The multiple colors remind me of "Witches Night Out" also and that ain't bad. That ain't bad.


So far I've got two pumpkins, a devil, Dracula, and Frankenstein. I've got another boxed set waiting for me at home thanks to the wife. I'm trying to complete the set, I want to complete the set. You just try to stop me from completing the set. Show no mercy.

The costumes even glow in the dark. I didn't get a good picture of that, but believe me they do. Which means the kids will be safe out there while trick or treating. That's a nice extra touch in what's already a stand out toy. It's still pretty early in the Halloween season to call something the stand out of the season. If this is just the tip of this years Halloween iceberg, then we're in for a record year.

The Return Of Battle Convoy


Takara's Diaclone reboot series has been going strong for awhile now and it's pretty dang impressive. Really sharp looking bots and that classic Diaclone story line updated for the modern world. It's really cool. They recently announced something really special though. DA-65 Battle Convoy V-Max is a re-imagining of the classic Diaclone Battle Convoy toy, which we all know as Optimus Prime. It's big and it's badass. I want one.

It's weird after all these years of various Optimus Prime toys, a redo of his toy's original use is so appealing. It's hard to believe so much fresh air can be breathed into such an old concept. It's still Battle Convoy without a doubt, but looks so new. Well, admittedly it does resemble Sentinel Maximus quite a bit. Actually, a whole lot. I still want one.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Dracula Is A Dickhead

Real talk, I love Pepsi. You might have noticed. You might have noticed I love the Universal Monsters, or even the reason we're here right now. Halloween. I love all three. For a while in the 90's Pepsi and Universal Studios had a partnership with some sort of promotion usually around Halloween. It was great. Normally you could win tickets to Halloween Horror Nights or free snacks. Pepsi products even had great clip out art of the monsters. Times were good. 

The point I'm about to make isn't about the good times, it's about Dracula needing his ass kicked. I hope you've already watched the above clip. There's Frankenstein (let's not be that guy) carrying a Pepsi truck. Really struggling too. Sure he's strong, but you know that thing is heavy. As a big guy, I often get stuck carrying the heavy thing while the others just walk the fuck off. I feel your pain Frankenstein. 

Then he gets to the party where everybody else is having a good time. He brings some soda and chips and what does Dracula say? "What? No dip?" Look at his face, I felt that. I FELT THAT. FUCK YOU DRACULA AND YOUR STUPID CAPE. Take your fake fancy ass down to Kroger and get some your own damn self. Fucking asshole.

What did the Wolfman bring? Weed? Great, like a small portion of the party is going to enjoy that while the rest just try to pretend they aren't uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the Phantom is really upset about it. What if the cops come? What if I get a random drug test at work tomorrow and that second hand shit makes me fail it? I have bills man! You know the Mummy brought a snack tray and everybody saw the Aldi label. He's like royalty or something. I'm not saying he should have went to Whole Foods or anything, but come on. Seriously.

Know what Dracula brought? Jack shit. He just showed up acting like Mr. Cool and everyone just loved him. He's that guy who shows up late and just takes charge after everyone has been working the whole time. Did you decide to bring everybody donuts? He's the one who's going to complain that it's not another brand. Know what, I hope Frankenstein got some dip with a lot of garlic. Fuck that guy.


Bios- Banzaitron

Decepticon Banzaitron is a master of at least seven different martial arts for one reason, and one reason alone -- his fighting skills easily allow him to defeat and dismantle his opponents. Then he gathers up the pieces and sells them to the highest bidder. No one's parts are worth more than the Autobot leader's. He looks forward to commanding the highest prices imaginable for even the smallest piece of Optimus Prime.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Transform Squadron 24- Robot Devil's Night

The Spooky Season is upon us and Zone Base has its pumpkins on the porch! This month Rob talks Transformers Generations and random thoughts on figure sizes before talking about the days leading up to Halloween!

Your Mummy Wants Some Ice Cream


Who doesn't love ice cream? Despite the normally cooler temperatures of fall, a ice cream cake from Carvel shaped like a pumpkin is just the thing for a spooky dessert. The wife and I often get one ourselves, they're great. We're definitely getting one this year, especially after last year's Baskin Robbins Halloween Ice Cream cake fiasco.

What happened? Pure incompetence when trying to order one lead to a corporate complaint and a complimentary one. I'd like to say all was well, but even the act of picking it up was a nightmare. So, we're gladly getting another Carvel this year. Unfortunately we don't have access to a Carvel store here in Georgia, but they're readily available at most grocery stores. 

You think the mummy is overdue for some ice cream goodness? He's been in that tomb for what, 50 billion thousand years? You know his dry ass could go for that pleasant vanilla taste and he'd probably savor the coldness after being buried in the hot desert for so long. I'll tell you what, though. No matter how cool I think the mummy is, that fool tries to steal a piece of my Carvel and I'd have to whoop that old ass. He's like a King or something, he can buy his own.

Robots In Chocolate Disguise


This was an unexpected surprise. Readers know how this is specifically something I'd go nuts for, so you can be sure that I'll be hunting for these. It doesn't hurt that I specifically prefer Hershey's chocolate to supposedly superior fancy brands. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A Weekend Report Of 3 Days

A glorious three day weekend has passed and alas now I must resume my normal schedule. Much rest was had as well as much put off household work had been done. There's a lot of details about housework below, you've been warned. Details you probably do care about would include some shopping Saturday morning.

We looked at what Halloween merchandise Target and Walmart had out. Normally they're fully stocked by Labor Day Weekend, but since last year it's been the weekend after. Weird considering At Home starts stocking Halloween in June, but I'm sure there's a reason. I'm sure it's stupid. Regardless, some stuff came home with us including some of the new Halloween Kinder Surprise Eggs. This years theme is these great little trick or treating mini figures. I'll be posting on those later this week.

I also grabbed a bag from the new Godzilla bag clip figures wave. This series is Heisei era themed and lucky me, I got the chase Mothra! I then finally found both Slitherfang and the last wave 2 Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changer I needed. Thinking about it, I didn't open Slitherfang yet. I'd been really looking forward to him too, what the hell self?

Grabbed Origins Skeletor at Walmart as they had a pile of him and nobody else. I just hope I can find wave 2 of the MOTU Minis easily. I had all the Transformers they had, so I just didn't buy any Transformers at Walmart. My Vintage Blaster should be showing up next week, so there's that. They also had the glow in the dark Dino Strike balls, so I grabbed one. Got a pterodactyl with cool glow in the dark armor. 

The rest of Saturday was a mix of sleeping and watching ghost videos on YouTube. Ok, also watched some Trvl channel. Which is just ghost shows. I like ghost shows. Somewhere in the middle I ate some frozen chicken wings and fires, don't worry, I cooked them first. 

I'm totally at work right on my computer and the cleaning dude just farted. Nasty ass.

Sunday was a mixture of household chores. Both regular and long overdue ones. Several things we've put off since moving in and some just needed to be done. Got most of the put off stuff done, though there's a weekend of putting up curtains upstairs in my future. In between the work was a massive order of Red Lobster as the wife hadn't had it before and we had decided on ordering a ton of food for Sunday. It was a good idea. So many cheese biscuits.

After a long food coma induced nap, I assembled some matching bookshelves for the wife's hobby room. Afterwards I was a little worn out from sitting on the floor for a few hours. So I spent the rest of Sunday night playing my Turbografx 16 Mini. I kinda needed that. 

Early Monday morning was spent doing some organizing in my toy room before lunch lead to a long ass nap. I woke up and started the grill for some burgers and hot dogs. It was Labor Day, you kinda have to grill out. I'm usually looking for an excuse anyway. The said food was ate while watching more ghost videos and Halloween stuff. Which I also watched while doing house work. Some people's favorite thing to watch is Gilmore Girls, mine is ghost videos and old Halloween stuff. I'm exciting.

We got halfway through Trvl Channels special on Ed and Lorraine Warren before the need to go to bed hit. The wife works a normal persons schedule and I was somehow still sleepy. We'll finish it up next weekend and probably won't delete it from the DVR. We're both fans of the Warrens. I've grown up enjoying their stories and we both like the Conjuring movies. I'm not too concerned on the legitimacy of them or anything, I just really like the stories. BTW, have you seen Trvl Channel's Ghostober commercials for this year? They are awesome.

Tuesday was my Monday and I spent it as I normally do a Monday. Odd chores, watching TV, and napping before work. I recorded this month's Transform Squadron and hope to have it posted soon. Just waiting for it to go up on the network. I spent a lot of time with those Kinder Surprise Egg toys, which is probably why I didn't play with Slitherfang. Holiday breaks have a way of throwing everything off.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Happy Labor Day!

It's Labor Day Weekend and I am super happy for the much needed break. While I normally take the weekend off on posting, I'm sure you all can guess that I'll be doing the same for Monday. Normal posting will resume Tuesday. Pinky swear.

I'm sure most people would understand my taking a holiday off. I also follow things regularly and when there's a disruption in the schedule, I'd like a little heads up. That's what I'm doing here.

Thanks everyone for reading Zone Base. I really appreciate each and every one of you for your support. Please check me out on Instagram, I'm sure to update it during the holiday.

Friday, September 4, 2020

The Conjuring Halloween Special

I've got something to admit, I was terrified of Raggedy Ann as a child. While The Conjuring movies are great, most people don't know those "true stories" they're based on happened somewhat recently.

Thanks to The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror, paranormal and occult stuff was pretty much all over the place during my childhood. Add in 80's Satanic Panic and you've got the recipe for much needed therapy. One popular ghost story was the possessed Raggedy Ann doll.

I'm of course talking about the real life Annabelle, which was an object of terror to a generation of children. It doesn't help that Raggedy Anne dolls were still everywhere at the time and some asshole gave her a Halloween Special. It's about the doll bringing a lonely pumpkin and child together. You read that right.

Seacon Saga 2: The Beginning

This morning I found some time to play with my new rainbow colored Seacon set and man, what a time I had. Like I said yesterday, it's a downsized set. Meaning, it's much smaller than the original toys. 

Whenever these knock off toy companies make a Transformers set, they tend to get creative. There's molded over parts, sometimes new parts made to compensate for deteriorating molds. Or in these downsized sets, they seemingly have to re-engineer some of the parts a little. 

The Seacons were a Scramble City style combiner team, meaning any of the limbs would work as any limb. That wasn't the case here, or from what I could tell after a lot of fiddling. Not to mention, the neat 6th member could be a gun wasn't universal either. Which didn't matter as Piranacon doesn't have fists to hold it with. I opted to keep Tentakil out of the combiner since I just love his weird sea monster mode so much. Thanks to ample peg holes and guns, you can fashion a blaster type hand easily. Honestly in combined mode, I really like this toy. The wacky colors look sharp and the sculpt looks really good in a smaller size. 

Going back to the individual team members, the sea monster modes look really great. Snaptrap is as small as the limb bots, which is funny as the smaller size makes for good proportions when combined. They're really good copies of the original toys as well.

In robot mode, some of that knockoff toy new part magic comes in. Leg/mid-sections are serviceable, but are clearly where the company has had to get a little creative. It's still a really nice looking set. While a few parts were omitted and not all the accessories are there, they've all got weapons. Aside from scale and color, they're pretty close approximations of the team. 

The quality is always in question with knock off toys. Sometimes it's a near perfect replica, sometimes it's kinda ok. Sometimes it's apparently made from old soap and turns into powder instantly. For the most part these guys were pretty good. Some of the joints are really loose, while one of Snaptrap's legs was impossible to move. I'm no stranger to knock off toys and some of my old tricks came into making a more stable set.

I absolutely love the Piranacon this set makes. That smaller Snaptrap makes for a different looking torso and the proportions are absolutely wonderful. Normally with Scramble City style combiners, you have a big body with stumpy limbs. Everything is more evened out here and it makes for a better looking robot. I can't help to look at other combiners and imagine them with similar builds.

It was a total surprise when Shawn sent me this and made for an interesting week. I'm pretty grateful for it. I've got a ton of toys, but the ones with stories I really appreciate. Shawn's an awesome friend as is, but dude gets me. He saw some weird shit and knew I would not only like it, but would turn into a week of site content.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Stoners Need Costumes Too

When I think of places to get a costume for Halloween, I think of places like Walmart or Spirit. A Smoke Shop? It's not my thing, but if it's your thing, then I guess you've figured out a pretty cool way to score some munchies on Halloween. 

A word of advice. When Mrs. Edna asks what you're supposed to be, just tell her. She doesn't need to hear how trippy the one dollar bill is. She's got glaucoma, she already knows. I must give credit where it's due, that is one extremely well done commercial. Nothing compares to old school local TV ads. Especially around Halloween. 


Seacon Saga Part 1

Ever have a story that takes two different posts on two different days on your fan blog? Me too! This particular one of those instances began Monday afternoon when Shawn messaged me. He asked if I had checked my mail since Saturday and said maybe I should. 

Before I go any farther, let me explain. I live in a town home neighborhood. The mailboxes are similar to an apartment set up, with them being at the front. Little mailboxes and storage lockers for packages, though usually those are left on door steps. 

So when Shawn says something is waiting for me in a storage locker. I check and... nope. I let him know, he double checks tracking and same info. So, I used the little tracking tool on the Post Office website to let them know something went wrong. I get a generic 'looking into it email' back and when the mailbox was checked, there was a key for a storage locker. Ok, no problem, whoever did the Saturday run must have forgot. Inside the storage locker was... wait for it... another key. The hell?

This key however is not like the other... because it doesn't work on any of the lockers. I get to work and reply to the email. This morning, I call the Post Office and... the manager who wrote me the reply had went on vacation. I think this is actually a Rascal Flats song, your Mom loves them. BTW, ever notice the singer of those dudes looks like the guy who played Duke on old GI JOE commercials? 

Now you and your Mom have something in common. You can talk about how knowing is half the battle and that life is a highway. Speaking of talking with Mom, tell her the Star Brigade toys in that commercial had Action Master Shockwave's art used to represent Hawk. Also tell her that I need her dog to stop shitting in my yard.

So my wife suggests I ask to speak to a manager and I get the supervisor! Who then calls the employee who handles my neighborhood (and usually leaves packages at the door), who then says which box my package is in. Great, because I don't have a key that first and ... know what I'll just check again... still didn't work. So the supervisor has the employee to bring it to my door (as they normally freaking do) when they come. Which they do... without knocking and I have this key that I have no clue what to do with. Guess I'll mail it back?

So what was in the box? A red foil zip-lock type bag with a label that you can zoom in and read. Or if your the type to figure out the title of my posts normally have something to do with the subject, you may have already guessed.

Indeed inside was something amazing, a scaled down set of Seacons in the most pleasant rainbow colored pattern one would never expect. It's a worn out meme to label anything with crazy colors 'G2', but a G2 set of Seacons probably would have looked like this had one been made. That or some random European version of the molds like Rescue Force.

The toys themselves? They're fantastic! Big thanks to Shawn for thinking to send me this rad set. I'll talking about the actual toys tomorrow in the action packed conclusion to this post. Spoiler warning, it won't be that action packed. This is just a blog.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Devil's Video, Blockbusters Video

If it's one this I particularly miss about the bygone days of video stores, it's the horror section at the local video store. Nothing could beat those Mom and Pop stores with their cardboard standees of Nightmare of Elm Street faded from the sun next to the wall of VHS horror. When Blockbuster came on the scene, they outdid everybody. Bigger stores with bigger selections. Even their horror selection spanned a few aisles.

Blockbuster even outdid Mom and Pop stores with the holidays. Instead of a generic decoration or two, they'd generally have some sort of promotion. For a while you could get Blockbuster branded tapes of classic horror at Halloween time. You've probably guessed by now that I loved it. I still remember fall of 1995 and their specific release of Halloween. Truly a magical time.

Later they added more movies to the Halloween display, which didn't always have the branding, but had the sweet sale price. Friday the 13th for a few bucks, heck yeah! I wish pictures of their Michael Myers display were easier to find. You could see him peeking at you through the windows into the parking lot. Damn creeper.


I Just Want To Talk About Jurassic Park

I like Jurassic Park. It's a franchise about a theme park full of dinosaurs and incompetent management. It's a franchise based around one really great movie and a bunch of high budget B-Movie sequels. It's big, dumb, and a ton of fun. 

It's not a hard concept to like, everyone loves dinosaurs. I don't think anyone would not love the chance to see them alive in person. It would be amazing. A theme park full of actual living dinosaurs would be something everyone would love. Dinosaurs are cool.

But dinosaurs would eat everything they saw and cause chaos, so an actual dinosaur theme park would result in anarchy. Which is literally the plot of the movie.

I think one of the things I like best about these movies is the additional media/merchandise. This is something I've liked best about other things as well. I grew up with Star Wars. It wasn't until I was an adult until the prequels and sequels came out. 

Know all those cool Kenner toys? Well, what the hell was that guy who was in one second of the movie somewhere in the background supposed to do? In fact, what was all these other guys supposed to do? There was 3 movies and they had a definite end. Darth Vader was dead and not even a bad guy anymore, and here I was with his toy on Christmas morning. I wanted more and you know where more came from? Those goofy little story books and oddball video games. 

So the first JP comes out and honestly it's not like it took forever for the second movie to come out or anything, but I wanted more and what I got was things like video games and weird other stuff. Then more movies came out and really felt more like other media more than anything. I kinda like that.

The closest to a thematic sequel is the ride at Universal Studios. It began development before the movie began filming, so it's got that same time juice going on. When riding it, you're at the now open Jurassic Park and of course things go wrong. Because if they didn't, it'd be another franchise. Like Steel Magnolias.

The park was open in Jurassic World and I really liked that. But I found myself appreciating that little touch the prior sequels had, the wreckage of the original unopened park. I don't know why I like seeing that so much, but I do. I guess what could have been is the overall theme to to movies and something we can all relate too. That and dinosaurs eating people on a toilet is pretty awesome.

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Light Your Way At Burger King

I've said it a few times and for land's sake I mean it. You need a good light when out trick or treating. It's just the right thing to do. There's this weird paradox in which driving a car on Halloween night makes the driver unable to see people not normally in the street dressed as Power Rangers. All caution is to the wind and the only thing keeping you safe is a good light. 

Fortunately Burger King is here with free flashlights and treat bags to use when you go trick or treating. Assuming the manager didn't take them all home. In all honesty, that's a pretty great freebie for a fast food place. Those are the type of flashlights normally sold at stores. Not too shabby Burger King! You might recognize it as the old flashlight your grandmother keeps by her bed.

So take your flashlight and be safe out there. Later, your parents will happily take your new flashlight and keep it by their bed. Another word of advice, wait until it's night time to use your flashlight. That damn kid's going to run out the battery before sunset.


Bios- Huffer

With Caliburst by his side, Huffer is just as inclined to grumble as he's ever been, but he's also faster, stronger, and smarter, which means the Decepticons have a lot more to complain about than he does.