Archived entries for Toys & Collectibles

What’s this? A TMNT Valentine Watch!?

It was love at first sight, you guys.

There I was at my local Walmart doing some underwear shopping (TMI, I know) when I spotted this thing. If you’re familiar with how Walmarts are laid out, you’re forced to walk past the displays of seasonal crap to get to the clothes, and my eyes locked on that unmistakable combination of purple and green like a laser-guided missile. It didn’t hit me until I was standing in the checkout line how sad and pathetic it is to buy myself a valentine, but whatever, TURTLES! On a cheap watch! In a heart-shaped package!

TMNT Valentine's Day Watch

I think this thing may have been surrounded by other licensed, gift-ready Valentine’s Day watches, but I only had eyes for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were flirting with me. Look at that flirty little red bow. Such a tease!

NickTurtles Valentine's Day Watch

Can you imagine being a kid and getting this watch from someone in your class? This is the kind of valentine that would have made me kiss you behind the bleachers AND let you copy my homework. That’s worth the $5 price tag, right?

Here’s a close-up of the face, which is encircled by orange plastic. I don’t know if this is the only color available, but it’s all Walmart had. I was kind of hoping for different watch designs in each of the four Turtle’s mask colors–how cool would it be to be able to gift your crush his/her favorite Turtle on a watch? But that’s probably asking too much from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Valentine’s Day watch. I’m ecstatic a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Valentine’s Day watch even exists.

Closeup of TMNT Valentine Watch

This is so much cooler than those Nickelodeon TMNT candy valentines. Someone blew a golden opportunity to make those lollipops pizza-flavored.

 

Ninja Turtle-izing my iPhone 5

So, I just got a shiny new iPhone 5 (I know, I never thought it would come to this, either) and it was looking rather naked, so my immediate goal was to transform it into the most Ninja Turtle-iest phone possible.

Until they come out with real T-phones (and not this plastic piece of crap which doesn’t even use the real voice actors), or at the very least, some kind of cool case that transforms your iPhone into a ShellCell, I have to settle for the next best thing.

Nick Turtles iPod 5 Case

This case is meant for an iPod 5, not an iPhone 5, but dammit, it’s the only official Nickelodeon TMNT case that exists, which means I HAD TO HAVE IT. I asked around on Twitter to see if anyone knew if iPod 5 cases would fit iPhone 5, and ya’ll gave me some terrible advice because this thing totally fits my iPhone 5, and pretty snugly at that. I’m glad I decided to ignore you and go with my gut. At Toys ‘R Us this thing costs $19.99 and doesn’t count as electronics, which means the 90-day return policy still applies, even for open items. You can tell I really took a big risk here.

We Are the Turtles of Justice! iPod 5 Case

TMNT iPhone Case - Back Cover

TMNT iPhone Case Front

The iPod 5 case fits my iPhone 5 surprisingly snugly, however the iPhone is a tad thicker than the iPod, so there is about 1.5mm of exposed hardware. But I don’t care because OMG NINJA TURTLES!

TMNT iPod Case on iPhone - Thickness

TMNT iPod Case Ports

T-Phone Ringtone

Next order of business was to customize the ringtone. A TMNT fan over at the Technodrome Forums had the good sense to upload an MP3 of the exact T-Phone ringtone that’s used in the Nickelodeon show, which can be heard whenever the Turtles call each other. You can download it from FileDropper right here.

Here’s what it sounds like:

NickTurtles Wallpaper

And lastly, I needed some iPhone 5-sized (640 x 1136) wallpaper. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any official TMNT iPhone wallpaper online, and as far as 5 minutes of Google-searching tells me, nobody has bothered to make any. So I had to get creative and make my own. I made two designs–one for the home screen, and one for the lock screen.

Feel free to download these and use on your iPhone 5.

(Click to enlarge)

TMNT iPhone 5 Wallpaper

(Click to enlarge)

TMNT iPhone 5 Wallpaper

Bonus! Booyakasha Ringtone

One of my Twitter buddies and fellow TMNT fans, Justin Edwards (@DUSTINDUSTRIES), made an awesome “BOOYAKASHA!” ringtone for me, which I uploaded to SoundCloud:

You can download it here: Booyakasha! Ringtone

Thanks Justin!

Toddler Turtle Raph is now the cutest toy in my collection.

(Well, you know. That collection I keep insisting I don’t have.)

When my good Twitter buddy Eric Stettmeier a.k.a. @BubbaShelby, who is an avid toy collector (AND awesome artist, by the way), offered me his extra Toddler Turtle figure for the incredibly generous price of free, you know I was all over it. Eric must have seen my Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles post awhile back–the one where I wished there was an entire Muppet Babies-style show about toddler-aged TMNT getting into kid-friendly shenanigans–and it was super cool of him for thinking of me.

A full set of these Toddler Turtle figures go for ridiculous prices on Ebay, so I’ve been holding off on picking them up. I would have been excited about getting any of these little guys, but Eric hooked me up with my favorite Turtle, Raph!

LOOK HOW CUTE!

Baby Raphael TMNT

We actually had a semi-nice day here today, so I was able to take these shots outside on my deck. By his expression, I have to assume Toddler Raph is a much happier, more well-adjusted individual than Teenage Raph. I wonder at what age he went wrong?

TMNT Toddler Raph

Thank you, Eric, for sensing that I needed Toddler Raph in my life, and for the always awesome #TMNT banter on Twitter!

So effin’ cute: NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles BATSU Figures

Working title for this post: “I’m Not a Toy Collector, I Swear!”

Neca TMNT Batsu Figures

I didn’t know about these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles BATSU figures from NECA until I saw them over at Top Hat Sasquatch (sup, Tommy?) a few months ago, while randomly browsing old TMNT-related posts. And then last month Amazon had Donatello on sale for only $10, so I picked it up as a Geekmas gift for my buddy Wes of Turtle-a-Day, and I thought it was such an insanely cool toy it took everything in my power not to keep it for myself. (Yeah, you almost got shafted, Wes. Sorry.)

I wasn’t really planning on buying these for myself, but I had a bunch of Amazon credit left, and I’ve already pre-ordered the two video games I’m most anticipating this year (Ni No Kuni and The Last of Us, in case you’re wondering), but something about these just spoke to me.  I mean, they’re ridiculously cute, obviously, but so characteristically Japanese. I would watch a whole anime of the Turtles done in this style. I also like that they’ve all got red masks, like in the original Mirage comics. Classic.

I took each Turtle out of the boxes so you can get a closer look, but honestly, I like the design of the boxes so much I think I’ll leave them in there. For now…

Leonardo

Leo’s making the classic double gritted-teeth “TMNT face” and comes armed with his deadly katanas. Remember that one time when he sliced The Shredder’s head off? That was awesome. (Sorry. This blog could very easily regress into The Chris Farley Show.)

NECA BATSU Leonardo

Leonardo Box Description

BATSU Leonardo Figure

Michelangelo

Mikey, unsurprisingly, is making the most ridiculous face. It’s half delighted, half embarrassed–like he just made a terrible joke. One that probably involved a groan-worthy pun. Why does Mikey get to be the only Turtle whose weapon is described as “lethal”?

NECA BATSU Michelangelo

Michelangelo Box Description

BATSU Michelangelo Figure

Donatello

Donatello is more dignified-looking with his closed-mouth, self-satisfied smirk. I love the way his staff looks, with the “tape” wrapped around it. He’s super cute.

NECA BATSU Donatello

Donatello Box Description

BATSU Donatello Figure

Raphael (a.k.a. The Best Turtle*)

Raphael, predictably, has gone full rage-face here. WHY IS HE SO ANGRY!? Probably because those short, stubby sais don’t look like they could hurt a marshmallow, let alone enemies. They are, however, adorable. And this is my favorite figure of the lot, for obvious reasons.

*Yes, I’m trolling you non-Raphael fans.

NECA BATSU Raphael

Raphael Box Description

BATSU Raphael Figure

The cool surprises in the mail just keep coming. (I heart UnderScoopFire!)

HashyWhen I came home this evening after nine grueling hours at the office (ten if we’re counting my commute) and saw a package in my mailbox from UnderScoopFire, one of my most favoritest places in all of internetlandia, my crappy mood melted away and it was almost as if I hadn’t just spent all day in a drab, fluorescent-lit server farm with no windows, which is totally what it’s like where I work now, but hey, I’m not complaining because it pays my bills and keeps me in video games, and damn this sentence is getting kinda long.

If you’re a regular around these parts, you should already be familiar with UnderScoopFire.  Headed up by Howie Decker, UnderScoopFire is one of THE greatest websites for children of the 80s–you know, us cool kids who grew up during the raddest decade in pop culture history and now have these things called “jobs” and “grown-up responsibilities.” It’s like, a total drag, FER SURE. That’s why I love Howie’s site so much. It reminds me of the days when my biggest worries were not having a cool lunch box and missing cartoons on Saturday.

Howie sent me a really kind, personal, handwritten note, which I won’t share, but (spoiler) it basically says I’m awesome. The feeling is mutual, Mr. Hecker Decker. Here’s what else was in the package:

UnderScoopFire Package

  • 2 packs of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie cards (because, well, I’m me)
  • 1 pack of Marvel Universe Grab Zags, Series 1
  • 1 pack of Avengers Grab Zags, Series 1
  • 2 loose Marvel Grab Zags: a Wolverine Light-Up Projector, and a Hulk Pen (totally awesome!)
  • …and an UnderScoopFire sticker, with its mascot Hashy looking particularly menacing as he wields The Force

This also happened:

Cat > UnderScoopFire

My cat Simon Belmont knows cool stuff when he sees it. Or sniffs it…

I decided to leave those TMNT movie cards in the pack because I have a complete set of them, but don’t have any unopened packs, so these are perfect to keep with them.  But you know I couldn’t resist opening up those Grab Zags right away. Here’s what was inside the Avengers pack:

Avenger's Disc Launcher

An Avengers Disc Launcher! It may not look like much, but this little baby is POWERFUL. I was half-expecting the thing not to even work when I squeezed the trigger, but damn if it didn’t hurl that disc all the way into the next room, much to my cat’s delight. So much fun. I’ve already had to confiscate it twice.

Moving on, here’s what was potentially inside the Marvel pack:

Grab Zags Collection

And here’s what was actually inside:

Hulk Pen

It’s…another…Hulk Pen. (Wah wah wah.) I had a 90% chance of getting something different than the loose items Howie already put in the package, and this is what I got instead. But it’s all in good fun, and honestly, the best part is ripping that little mystery package open! And hey–my extra Hulk Pen is up for grabs to anyone who wants it. First person to email me their mailing address gets it.

And naturally, this is the first thing I thought to do with it:

UnderScoopFire is Awesome!!!

Those triple exclamation points are TOTALLY deserved.  Thank you, Howie, for this totally cool and unexpected box of goodies. I’ve told you this privately before, but it’s worth repeating here — UnderScoopFire is such a great podcast and blog, and one that gives me a real sense of belonging. You’ve built a community of like-minded, nerdy 80s adult-children that I wouldn’t trade for all the Garbage Pail Kids stickers on Earth! It is truly awesome.

P.S.

By a strange twist of fate, the latest issue of Game Informer also came in the mail today, which I’m sharing because, well, besides being extremely relevant to what Howie sent me, JUST LOOK HOW FREAKING COOL IT IS:

Game Informer - LEGO Marvel

Game Informer - Front & Back Cover

 

Oh hello, huge box of TMNT & Nintendo Stuff!

Have I told you lately how much I love The League of Extraordinary Bloggers? Just look at this big box full of cool stuff that our great leader Brian of Cool and Collected sent me:

Care Package from Cool & Collected

Getting this truly awesome care package in the mail put a huge smile on my face and really helped take the edge off the painful breakup I’m still recovering from. (Protip for any potential suitors: Most girls would tell you the way to their heart is through flowers and jewelry. The way to mine is Ninja Turtles and video games.) So thank you, Brian, for helping to cheer me up!

Here’s a closer look at what was inside:

TMNT Board Game

I’ll start with my favorite thing first–a board game from the 4Kids era ofTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

TMNT Board Game Box

I love the fact that “SHREDDER” is written excessively in all caps in the games’ description. Oroku Saki means business, you guys.

“In the heart of the city, a towering skyscraper houses the evil SHREDDER, finalizing his plans to take over the world. Four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles know they must find a way into the skyscraper in order to battle the vicious SHREDDER and stop his plans. But as they make their way through the sewers and along the city streets, they encounter SHREDDER’S henchmen trying to stop them. A ride on the subway can help the Turtles get closer to their goal. A side trip to Baxter Stockman’s lab will slow them down. Which Turtle will make it past their enemies and defeat THE SHREDDER? Will it be you?”

SO INTENSE.

Hey look, It even has all the pieces!

TMNT Board Game Pieces

TMNT Pencil Case

Here’s a badass-looking pencil case, also from the 4Kids TMNT era:

TMNT 4Kids Pencil Case

I know it’s meant for pens and pencils, but I’m going to use it for makeup. Now that I’m single I have to, like, actually try to make myself attractive. When you look like I do, that shit takes work.

Nintendo Adventure Book

Here’s something fun–a Choose Your Own Adventure-style book about Mario. You have to make decisions and solve puzzles to stop Bowser from–SHOCKER!–taking over the Mushroom Kingdom. Doesn’t that guy ever have anything better to do?

Nintendo Adventure Books - Double Trouble

Super Nintendo Player’s Guide

This thing is a straight-up nostalgia bomb from the SNES era. It’s full of guides and screenshots for all those 16-bit gems like Super R-Type, ActRaiser, Super Castlevania IV and my personal favorite, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. There’s a reason for that animated GIF of Link you see at the bottom of my homepage. I also love that they chose to put the terrible-and-not-even-in-a-good-way Home Alone game on the front cover as a selling point.

Super NES Player's Guide

Nintendo Game Boy Strategies Guide

Another nostalgia bomb, but for the Game Boy handheld. I’ve owned every version of the Game Boy since the original, which I still have (sadly, it doesn’t work anymore, though) and I just recently bought myself a 3DS. If you’d like to see some pics of my video game and console collection, that post is here.

Nintendo Gameboy Strategies

TMNT Fanny Pack

Who remembers these things!? I’m not gonna lie, I totally wore a fanny pack back in the early 90′s, when I was in fourth or fifth grade. But they were in style back then. It was a thing. Trust me.

This one is meant for a child, sadly, or else I’d single-handedly attempt to bring fanny packs back, like Justin Timberlake did for sexy.

TMNT Fanny Pack

TMNT Duffle Bag

I love this thing, and how it’s designed like it’s a sewer tunnel. And just look at those bright colors. It’s a little worn in places and the zipper is broke, but I’m going to repair it and use this bag for…something…I don’t know what yet. Maybe my next business overnighter. Because I’m professional like that.

TMNT Duffle Bag

TMNT McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

Inside the duffle bag were some loose TMNT toys. I’m not much of a collector of TMNT toys beyond the new Nickelodeon stuff (which probably surprises you), so I wasn’t even sure what these were, apart from their obvious connection to TMNT film from 2007, based on the sculpts. I had to ask my buddy John from the Technodrome (who, by the way, is selling a bunch of awesome TMNT stuff on eBay, if you’re interested) who let me know these are actually McDonald’s Happy Meal movie tie-in toys. And that makes me wonder what the hell I was doing back in 2007 to have missed these.

4Kids TMNT Happy Meal Toys

4Kids TMNT Happy Meal Toys

McDonald's TMNT Toys 2007

Brian, thank you again for making my days a little brighter with this care package, and as always, for giving us the great community of bloggers that is The League. Seriously, you rock!

You guys are the best. (More Christmas stuff & thanks!)

Over the holiday break a number of different packages arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep–Christmas gifts from some of my favorite people! This has been one of the hardest holidays I’ve ever had to get through, but coming home to these little surprises really helped cheer me up. For real, you guys–it meant a lot.

Thanks Shawn!

Shawn from Branded in the 80s sent me a box full of awesome. I’ll start with my favorite thing first:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Poster Book

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: man I love being a Turtle  this TMNT poster book (still shrink-wrapped!) is one of the best gifts I got this year. My favorite TMNT collectibles come from the era of the first movie, which for me represents the height of Turtlemania. Not to mention Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is hands-down my favorite movie of all time.

TMNT Movie Poster Book

TMNT Shot Glasses

You know what else helped get me through the holiday? Booze. This pair of Raphael shot glasses was just what I needed.

TMNT Shot Glass - Front

Fact: vodka tastes better out of a Ninja Turtle shot glass.

TMNT Shot Glass - Back

Pac-Man Arcade Candy

Have you ever seen a more awesome candy tin? The candy inside is even yellow and shaped like Pac-Man.

Pac-Man Candy

Garbage Pail Kids & TMNT Stickers

Shawn’s packages are the best because he always includes stickers. Not just any stickers, though–the really good shit that would have gotten front-page treatment in my sticker book back in the 80′s.

Garbage Pail Kids & TMNT Stickers

Thanks Kal!

Kal, my friend and Ambassador of all that is Cool from Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Cool, sent me this totally rad Foot Clan vehicle with “Destructo-Disk!” Sounds highly dangerous. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Kal, who’s always introducing me to Things That Look Unsafe. My TMNT collection is seriously lacking in anything from the 4Kids cartoon era, especially the toys, so this was perfect.

TMNT Razorjet

Thanks Derek!

Derek, a.k.a. The Goodwill Geek, surprised me with a care package full of great stuff, including some original Christmas-themed poems.

Goodwill Geek Gifts

McDonald’s Christmas Ornaments = McAwesome

I especially like The Grimace, who just can’t seem to manage those lights with his pathetic, stubby little T-Rex hands.

McDonald's Christmas Ornaments

A Christmas Story Cookie Cutter

I can’t wait ’til next Christmas. My neighbors and all my friends are going to get a tin of homemade “Electric Sex” cookies.

Leg Lamp Cookie Cutter

Operation Adhesive Bandages

I don’t think these will mend my Broken Heart, but they’re an awesome addition to my collection of pop culture Band-Aids.

Operation Bandages

Michelangelo Happy Meal Toy

This Mikey racer, along with the other TMNT Happy Meal toys I picked up, plus the others I got in my stocking on Christmas morning, make a complete set for me. BOOYAKASHA!

Michelangelo Happy Meal Toy

Thanks Wes (& Emily)!

Last but not least, my buddy Wes and his lovely wife Emily sent some homemade goodies from their kitchen. I have no idea what these things are, but they’re freaking delicious. (And Wes–you guys are totally a “Hallmark couple,” by the way. That Christmas card photo is ridiculous.)

Christmas Cookies

 

Belated thanks to my Dork Horde Secret Santa!

As you know, I’m recovering from the flu (among other things) which means I haven’t gotten around to posting about any of my cool Christmas gifts, or thanking everyone I need to thank.  If you sent me a package, rest assured it’s on my to-do list to post about it here, and also know that you helped bring a smile to my face in what has otherwise been a pretty joyless holiday.

First up–my Dork Horde Secret Santa gift! This was the first year The Dork Horde did a Christmas gift exchange and it seems everyone is pretty happy with the way it turned out. I know I am. My Secret Santa was Kevin from Team Hellions, who I don’t believe for a moment actually wrapped these gifts himself:

Dork Horde Secret Santa Gifts

I mean, LOOK AT THEM! Was this your wife’s doing, Kevin? These gifts are far too pretty to have been wrapped by a man. So pretty, in fact, that I’ll forgive you for spelling my name wrong.

Spelling fail!

I always go for the biggest gift first because that’s just that kind of person I am. Inside was the newest addition to my collection of Nick Turtles toys…Fishface! We haven’t seen much of Fishface in the new show yet (outside of his human form Xever), but that hasn’t stopped this figure from disappearing from toy shelves in practically every store I’ve been to. I was beyond thrilled to get him as my Secret Santa gift and he’ll look perfect standing next to Dogpound with those crazy mechanical legs of his. That should be a fun episode…

Fishface

Inside the smaller package was this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ready-to-Read book from the 4Kids show era. This one is called “Comic Book Heroes,” and the story centers around Michaelangelo and Casey Jones on an adventure to track down the last issue of Mikey’s favorite comic, Justice Force. Do I care that this is meant for five-year-olds? No, no I do not.

Comic Book Heroes

Last but not least, Kevin also included a drawing of my favorite turtle, Raphael.  I’m starting to amass quite a nice little collection of TMNT pictures hand-drawn by my blogging friends. You know this is getting framed, right?

Raphael Drawing

Nickelodeon TMNT Toys Now at McDonald’s!

I swung through the drive-thru of a McDonald’s on my way to work this morning (for a breakfast burrito–it was delicious, thank you for asking) and was ecstatic to see they finally had the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Happy Meal toys. (Thanks again to Cody of Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang for the head’s up about them.) None of the McDonald’s around where I live have had them yet, so this was a cool surprise.

And no, McDonald’s hasn’t started selling Happy Meals for breakfast (though that’d be awesome), so I bought these toys individually for $2 a pop. Sadly, they only had two varieties available–the Michelangelo action figure and Donatello vehicle.

McDonald's TMNT Toys Sealed

There’s a button you can press on Mikey’s back to make his chucks spin around. It works really well.

Michaelangelo TMNT Happy Meal Toy

 My one complaint about him is that his head is tilted too far downward, so it’s kinda hard to see his face unless you hold him up close, which is a shame because he has this cute little smirk:

Mikey's Face Close-up

Donatello looks pretty pimp in his sewer cycle. It’s one of those pull-back racers that propels forward, and it too works really well.

Donatello TMNT Happy Meal Toy

Here they both are on my new work desk:

2012 TMNT Happy Meal Toys

I’m now on a mission to complete both sets. There’s a lot of different McDonald’s in this area–would it be terrible to have McD’s for both breakfast AND lunch today?

Update: Yes. It is terrible. But I did it anyway, and scored Donatello. I like that his pose is indicative of a victory, which is exactly how I feel right now.

Donatello Happy Meal Toy

Oh, I forgot to include this picture too:

McDonald's TMNT McWorld Code

I have no idea what “McWorld” is–I assume some kind of McDonald’s branded social network/virtual game for kids. But I love the cute little Turtle-costumed cartoon kid, so I decided to preserve him on this page for all eternity.

All praise Baby Jesus Kraang!

This is my submission for the 2012 Action Figure Nativity contest that’s going on over at Lair of the Dork Horde.  I don’t have many toys besides the new TMNT stuff and some odd Mario and Homestar Runner figurines, so I had to get a little creative.

(Click to enlarge)

Action Figure Nativity

Here’s a breakdown of everyone’s role:

  • Baby Jesus = Kraang (or one of the Kraang, I should say)
  • Joseph = Master Splinter
  • Mary = April O’Neil (before you start going “Ewwwww!” just remember it was immaculate conception.)
  • 1st Wise Man = Leonardo, offering the gift of katana.
  • 2nd Wise Man = Raphael, offering the gift of sai.
  • 3rd Wise Man = Michaelangelo, offering the gift of nunchucku. (He’s third because he’s not very wise, you see.)
  • Shepard = Donatello, shepherding his terrapin livestock as well as The Cheat, who I think passes for an animal.
  • Angel = Shredder. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
  • Little Drummer Boy = Strong Bad, because he’s got the phat beats.

And majestically looking over this miraculous scene is Kraang’s empty robot body, shining down the Power Star of Bethlehem.  Oh yeah, also there’s Strong Mad in the center there, holding up the cradle for Baby Jesus Kraang. His role is more utilitarian in nature, which is perhaps why he’s so mad. And Strong Sad is sad nobody noticed him.

I Back to the Future-Proofed My Christmas Tree

I didn’t realize there was a startling lack of Back to the Future representation on my Christmas tree until I received this DeLorean ornament today. I got Star Wars and Ninja Turtles covered, but Back to the Future? Nothing, I’m ashamed to say. But I feel better already knowing this little beauty is hanging on my tree now, making up for years of sins of Christmas past.

DeLorean Front

Hallmark Back to the Future Ornament 2012

DeLorean Back

This ornament is a castaway from someone in my family who clearly doesn’t appreciate the movie as much as I do. Yeah, it’s essentially a re-gift, but when the re-gifted item is this cool, who cares? It didn’t come with a box, though, so I had to do some Googling. I discovered this is actually the 2012 Back to the Future Hallmark Keepsake Ornament, appropriately called “OUTATIME” which you can see on the license plate in that last pic above. It doesn’t light up or make any sounds (sadly) but the wheels turn, so you can drive it around like a Hot Wheels car if you want to. Not that I spent a few seconds doing that or anything. And I definitely didn’t yell “1.21 GIGAWATTS!” while doing so.

Here’re a couple of shots of it hanging on my Christmas tree:

There's a time machine hanging on my Christmas tree!

Hallmark Delorean Ornament

And here’s the whole tree, in all of its Christmas-y glory. If you’re really bored right now, you could play a fun game of “Spot the Delorean on ShezCrafti’s Christmas Tree.” It’s a new tradition.

ShezCrafti's Christmas Tree 2012

Three of the Coolest LEGO Creations I’ve Seen Lately

Ordinarily I’m no LEGO Maniac, but between LEGO Lord of the Rings and the news that we’ll be getting LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets next year, I’ve been going crazy for this stuff. Not crazy enough to actually buy any fancy high-end LEGO sets, mind you (that shit’s expensive, yo) but crazy enough to bury myself in Google image searches for cool LEGO creations while lamenting that I lack both the skill and creativity to build any of my own.

(And yeah, this is totally filler content because between Thanksgiving, two podcasts, and everything else I haven’t had time to post anything substantial lately…not that my typical inane ramblings are anything to write home about.)

LEGO Pitfall!

Possibly the only thing more relevant to my interests than LEGO TMNT is the combination of LEGO + old school video games, especially Pitfall. I recommend checking out the full gallery for lots of other retro-y LEGO-y goodness.

LEGO Pitfall

LEGO Bonsai Tree

This exquisitely detailed little tree was created by botanical artist Makoto Azuma. It would go great with that life-size LEGO Mr. Miyagi I’ll probably never build.

LEGO Bonsai Tree

LEGO Record Player

This is an actual working record player made from LEGOs. Impressive! The sound quality, however, is not so impressive. It’s somewhere between Notability (who remembers that game?) and those annoying musical birthday cards. But still, IT’S A RECORD PLAYER MADE FROM FREAKING LEGOS!

My search for the perfect Christmas gift has ended.

True, it’s the perfect Christmas gift to myself, but still…

Those cunning bastards at ThinkGeek have done it again.  I don’t think $40 is too unreasonable for a USB-powered motion-detecting Portal turret gun that looks and sounds just like the ones from the game and actually does cool things. Sadly, one of those things is not shooting real lasers.

I’m posting this on the slim chance someone in my family will see it in time for Christmas.  One time I tried to explain to my family what a blog is. Never again.

Speaking of The Great Pumpkin…

…I want to thank my personal Great Pumpkin for sending this awesome box of Halloween goodies my way:

The Great Pumpkin Gift

I have two things I want to say to you:

  1. I know who you are. The candy corn was a dead giveaway.
  2. You did good, kid. My eyes lit up when I saw all those mummies! The squishy, eye-popping one is my favorite. A+ for taking notes.

I have been munching on caramel apple taffy (you can see it’s already half gone in the picture) and reading my new collection of books and poems. The mummies will look right at home on a shelf with my other wrapped undead friends, illuminated by the soft glow of my mummy string lights.

Thank you, again, for all of this great stuff. It made my week! I tried to pay it forward in the gift I sent my own patcher.

One for the mummy…

I’ve been all about mummies lately. I don’t really know why, but I am! Especially cute mummies. I was inexplicably drawn to this package of Mike & Ike Mummy’s Mix at the grocery store the other day, I think mainly because of the cool-looking cartoon mummy on the package. If there was a toy or figure of some sort that looked like him, I would totally buy it. And then I remembered that last year my sister had given me a set of LED mummy string lights, and these photos were born.

Mummy Mix & Mummy Lights

The packaging is cool, but the candy itself is nothing to write home about. They look and taste just like regular Mike and Ikes, but with the addition of two different flavors. How un-fun. I was so underwhelmed I couldn’t even bring myself to write  a proper review of them. The mummy string lights were a necessary addition so that I wouldn’t bore you to tears talking about them.

Fruity Mummies

I have to agree with Shawn over at Branded In The 80s that Mummy’s Mix is pretty fail. I fully support his idea that these Mike and Ikes should be all white and come in mystery flavors. They could even go the extra mile and dot the all-white bodies with two little black eyes. That would take these from “meh” to ah-meh-zing. Are you listening, people who make Mike & Ike?? You need to step up your game.

Handful of Mummies!

Also, I dug this little wind-up guy out of my Halloween stash to star in this blog post. Just look at that face. It makes me indescribably happy. As if it were possible to love him any more than I already do, he also glows in the dark! I would have taken a picture of his glow magic, but my phone takes crappy pictures on a good day and I wouldn’t want to short-change him like that–he deserves better. Trust me though, it’s a breathtaking sight.

Wind-Up Glow-in-the-Dark Mummy

And lastly, I’ll leave you with my favorite groan-worthy mummy joke:

Q: What do you get if you cross a mummy with a CD?

A: A wrap song!

P.S. — 29 Days ‘Til Halloween

29 Days 'Til Halloween

It’s my party and I’ll play with Ninja Turtle toys if I want to.

So, I turned 31 today. I was kinda hoping the day would fly under most people’s radar because getting old sucks and I’ve never enjoyed being fussed over. It’s bad enough that there’s mandatory cake and singing at my office whenever it’s someone’s birthday (although we do get a day off as a birthday gift, which is pretty great). Plus, the older I get the more glaring it becomes that I’m just a child pretending to be an adult. I’d much prefer to bury myself in video games and Ninja Turtle cartoons and let the day pass by without any fanfare…except Facebook makes that nearly impossible–but thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!

And then there was this message from fellow Leaguer Team Hellions on Twitter:

[tweet https://twitter.com/TeamHellions/status/249514112873283584]

Oh Kevin, you so silly! You don’t know how true that is. Last night my boyfriend surprised me with a couple of awesome early birthday gifts:

Awesome Gift #1 – Power Sound FX Turtles

Power Sound FX TMNT

These guys are about two-thirds bigger than the basic Nick Turtles figures and shout out battle cries like “HIIIIYAAAA!!” and “BRING IT!” when you pull their arms and legs. As far as I can tell, the voices are all contributed by the same actors who voice each Turtle on the new show. I’m a little bummed that Raph doesn’t have the notch missing from his shell, however.

 

Basic Raph vs. Power Sound FX Raph

Their faces are also much more detailed–for example, they have painted-on eyes as opposed to the all white eyes that the basic figures have. One of the unique things about the new show is that the Turtles have all been designed with different eye colors–Leo’s are blue, Mikey’s are blue, Raph’s are green and Donnie’s are brown. I like that you can see that on these toys.

Power Sound FX Leonardo

Power Sound FX Michaelangelo

Power Sound FX Raphael

Although I do think Donatello looks mildly constipated:

Power Sound FX Donatello

Minor complaints aside, these are awesome toys that’ll be right at home with my now “serious” Nickelodeon TMNT collection. Now I just need Power Sound FX Shredder! Yes, I need him.

Awesome Gift #2 – Sewer Spinnin’ Skateboard

Sewer Spinnin' Skateboard

The Sewer Spinnin’ Skateboard was the only vehicle I didn’t have yet, so this worked out well. I’d say my boyfriend did pretty good for not knowing jack about the Turtles or what all I had in my collection already. The decals, particularly the wheel stickers, were kind of a pain to peel off delicately (but nowhere nearly as difficult as what I had to go through for the Shellraiser) but other than that, no problems.

Unassembled Sewer Spinnin' Skateboard

Mikey seemed pretty happy with the final result.

Mikey Skateboard

Ninja Turtles + Cupcakes, but not Ninja Turtle Cupcakes.

The Turtles decided to throw an impromptu cupcake party for me! Really, cupcakes are the only possible thing I can think of that makes Ninja Turtle toys even better.

TMNT Toys and Cupcakes

Here’s what I’m guessing is happening in this picture:

  • Leonardo, ever the valiant warrior, is proudly protecting my cupcakes with his mighty katanas.
  • Raphael, always eager to show off, is demonstrating his signature Statue of Liberty move.
  • Donatello has scientifically analyzed my cupcakes and decided the ratio of sprinkles to cupcake was insufficient.
  • Michaelangelo, meanwhile, is attempting to sneak off with one unnoticed.

Mikey Sneaking Off with Cupcake

Happy birthday to me and stuff.

You weren’t cool in the 80s & early 90s unless you had these bike accessories.

How to Be Awesome

Unless we’re counting my Cabbage Patch Big Wheel and that fugly red and yellow Little Tikes car that nearly every child born in the early 80s had, my first ride was a bitchin’ rainbow-covered Care Bears bike with handlebar streamers and training wheels. Over the years many other bikes came and went in my life, each one cooler than the previous (or so I was convinced at the time), including a hot pink cruiser with a banana seat, a pastel 10-speed, and of course my Ninja Turtles BMX.

But back in the 80s,  having a nice bike–even if it was plastered with socially acceptable licensed characters–wasn’t enough. No, in my neighborhood, your ride wasn’t cool unless it was tricked out with at least one or more of these pimp bike accessories:

Spokey Dokeys Bike Beads

This was your entry-level vehicle customization in the 80s. Spokey Dokeys were little plastic colored beads, usually neon, that clipped onto your bike’s wheel spokes. As your wheels turned, they slide up and down your spokes making a delightfully raucous noise that was sure to annoy all the neighbors. The really cool kids had glow-in-the dark Spokey Dokeys.

Spokey Dokes

(Image credit: Tons-of-Toys.com)

80s Hipster Kid

Handlebar Streamers

Completely useless but 100% necessary (for girls, at least). The hard part was finding streamers that coordinated with your bike’s design and color scheme. You couldn’t get away with primary-colored streamers on a neon-accented bike. Mismatched bike accessories were a major fashion faux pas.

Handlebar Streamers

Reflectors

Bike safety was uncool back then, so manufacturers had to make it more appealing to kids with popular licensed characters and gimmicky freebies. Whether you bought SnapOns or got them out of a cereal box, bike reflectors were a must-have accessory for expressing your personal style. Nobody cared that they also helped you not to get by cars.

Kellogg's Fruit Loops Garfield Bike Reflector

(Image credt: bolio88 Flickr)

Garfield Reflector

Handlebar Radio

Only for the true ballers. These clunky AM/FM radios attached to your bike so you could listen to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown as you cruised by all your less fortunate friends’ houses, praying that a really cool song would be playing. The rest of us had to fake it with Pocket Rockers fastened to our handlebars.

Bicycle Radio

(Image credit: nhwilber Flickr)

Bike Horn/Siren

Though useful for asserting dominance over younger kids on their Big Wheels and cutting paths through crowded sidewalks, your basic bike horn was pretty boring. That’s why you had to have a cool one that made police noises or had your favorite cartoon and comic book characters on it, like Batman, Spider-Man, or this bad boy:

TMNT Bike Horn

(Image credit: The Sewer Den)

I only ever knew one kid in my neighborhood who had a replica tiger bike siren just like Pee Wee Herman’s. Legend has it he could beat the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES game without dying once and also, this one time, he made out with two girls at the same time.

Pee Wee Herman Tiger Bike Siren

(Image credit: Rat Rod Bikes) 

How Not to Be Awesome:

To achieve maximum cool status, these bike accessories should be avoided:

  • Flags
  • Old-timey bells
  • Baskets, especially if it had flowers woven into it
  • Helmets, knee pads, or any other wearable safety gear. We lived on the edge back then.

Questron: The Fun Way to Bring Learning to Life

Here’s some Information Age math for you:

The internet + the human mind’s amazing powers of recall = your childhood rediscovered.

For the longest time I’ve been searching for a lost relic from my own childhood, an educational toy I just recently learned was called Questron. (No, not the 1980s role-playing game of the same name.) Does anyone remember it? For some reason, I kept incorrectly remembering the name as “Quiztron” and thus my Google searches never turned up anything relevant and leading me to believe I had possibly dreamed the thing into existence. And then last week I stumbled upon this old blog post by Copywrong and my sanity was restored!

Questron Electronic Answer Wand

Questron was a battery-powered “answer wand” that worked with a series of specially-printed educational activity books. The books were full of questions that had multiple choice answers, which you’d use the wand to select. If you touched the wand to a correct answer, it lit up green and rewarded you with a happy-sounding alarm. If you touched a wrong answer, the wand lit up red and buzzed annoyingly.

Questron Books

It was all very high-tech for the mid-eighties, or at least it felt that way at the time; kind of like video games meets homework. I think my mom brought this home thinking it would deter me from playing so much Nintendo, the silly woman. I don’t remember if Questron actually taught me anything I didn’t already know, but it sure was fun to move that wand around on the colorful pages and pretend I was smart. Of course, once you knew which block to touch for the correct answer, it was easy impress mom and dad with your amazing knowledge.

Today I dug a little further and unearthed this old Questron commercial (in surprisingly great quality) that someone uploaded earlier this year. I don’t remember ever having seen this on TV, but the British accents probably have something to do with that. Now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t recall ever having seen any commercial for Questron.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKKQID7AYck

I’ve seen a couple of wands and book sets going on Ebay for around $50. I don’t think I could bring myself to pay that much, but if I ever come across one of these things a yard sale or flea market, I’ll be all over it.

What about you? Do you remember this toy, and if so, what books did you have?

These Fake ‘Mad Men’ Barbie Dolls are Better than Mattel’s

If you’re a Mad Men fan, you may have already seen Michael William’s fantastic Mad Dolls creations for Haute Doll magazine that instantly captured hearts back in 2010. Each painstakingly detailed diorama, created with restyled Barbie Dolls and tiny mid-century modern furniture, is like a perfect snapshot of Mad Men in miniature.

Though originally created in celebration of Mattel’s new (at the time) line of Mad Men Barbie dolls, I don’t think I’m alone in saying I like Williams’ version better than Mattel’s official line.

Back in June, Williams returned with yet another brilliant collection of plastic Mad Men, this time paying homage to Season 5, and they are nothing short of perfect. They even come with accessories! (Be careful if you’re not caught up on the show yet, though–some of the images and descriptions contain major spoilers!)

Take a look, but try not to fall too deeply in love:

Mad Men Dolls

 

Don Draper - Ken Doll

Roger Sterling Ken Doll

Pete Campbell Ken Doll

Michael Ginsberg Ken Doll

Joan Harris Barbie Doll

Peggy Olson Barbie Doll

Megan Draper Barbie Doll

Fat Betty Francis Barbie Doll

Sally Draper Barbie Doll

I don’t collect Barbie, but I’d totally buy Williams’ Mad Men dolls if I could! That’s really my only complaint–that I can’t buy these.

To see more of Michael Williams’ photography and other fabulous pop culture-inspired doll creations, visit MyLifeInPlastic.com and follow him on Instagram @MyLifeInPlastic.

Through the Years: Ken’s Raging Metrosexuality

As a male fashion doll, Ken has always been quite the metrosexual, but these decade mugshots really emphasize his questionable sense of style through the years:

Ken Through the Years

Let’s start with 1970′s Ken. What do you suppose that scarf is hiding? I have a few NSFW theories but I’ll leave them to your imagination. His healthy, perfectly manscaped eyebrows are enough to make Brooke Shields weep with envy.

I’ll let 1980′s molded plastic hair Ken off the hook. The only thing he’s guilty of is looking like a smug, yuppie asshole, which was the pinnacle of male fashion back then. The only thing he’s missing is a Lacoste sweater draped delicately over his shoulders, sleeves folded in a tidy knot.

Other than dressing like he raided Joey Gladstone’s wardrobe, 1990′s Ken wouldn’t be so bad if he could just get that bouffant under control. If there was ever such a thing as the exact opposite of cool, it is this Ken Doll’s hair. On the bright side, he’ll probably never need Rogaine with Minoxidil.

By the 2000′s, Ken has been completely emasculated, possibly on purpose, as his drastic change in appearance indicates a possible shift in strategy for Mattel, who are clearly trying to capitalize on the disposable income of the expanding GLBT market. As a suitable male companion for Barbie–or any woman, for that matter–frankly, this shit is just not acceptable.