Thursday, October 5, 2017

Vacation Toy Hunt Finds

Just came back from a week long vacation in the state of Indiana, and my idea of an awesome vacation was hitting vintage used toy shops every day in a different town. My first day was in Chicago, Illinois where I got to hang out with two favorite podcasters from Optimusprimecast, Dale and Eric, who showed me, and my wife around town, taking us to all the great toy shops in their area, except Quake Collectibles that sadly closes on Tuesdays which was the day I arrived.

Our first stop was Namaka Toys, this was an awesome place, not a vintage store, but dealed in high end pricey imports merchandise, mostly Japanese imports including Gundam model kits, and Takara Masterpiece Transformers which had me drooling. Didn't pick up anything for myself there, but did find an awesome birthday present for a friend.

Toy de Jour was where I got my first find. Dale, and Eric was digging through a box of recently acquired Transformers, and who is sitting on top the pile to which I had to quickly pick up, and examine to check quality, and completeness, but Transformers: Prime First Edition Voyager Class Optimus Prime complete with both weapons and virtualy no damage or missing parts. What puzzled us, and the store owner was that his head was not what it should of been of Optimus with his face plate up, but a nicely detailed plate-less face, so we were thinking perhaps it was customized or a foreign variant we didn't know about. To find out after some research later that the head is a third party part swap: Dr. Wu DW-TF06 Sage Maskless Face.

We also hit another toy shop called Rad Vintage, a comic shop, and a gaming card shop called The Dice Dojo, where I did find two Planeswalkers cards I was looking for a very price. With only a few hours to hang with Dale and Eric, and to roam around Chicago it was time to drive out to Indiana.

Our first stop in Indiana was D's Toys in Indianapolis where I acquired my very first Beast Wars Transformer figure with Transmetal Optimus Prime, he dosen't have his weapons, but is in superb condition. My other great finds there was loose McFarlane Toys Youngblood Die Hard with all his accessories, and found the first three brothers of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leo, Don, and Mikey, all in fantastic shape, and complete with their weapons fueling the need to find Raph in my continued hunting.

Stop #2 in Indianapolis was The Toy Pit, which after much digging and deliberation I only walked away with a carded Playmates WildC.A.T.s Grifter, starting me down the path of having to complete the team, but did find another great addition to go with my present for my friend I got at Nakama Toys the day before.


Kokomo Toys in Kokomo, Indiana I can only describe as Vintage Toy Heaven, this was the shop I was at the longest digging through pegs of loose bagged figures, and probably spent the most money. Very happily here was where I found the Raphael to complete my 2007 TMNT team. I checked off two rare-hard-to-find figures I was looking for off  my list with Marvel Legends Commander Steve Rogers, and DC Universe Classics Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, both complete with their accessories. Surprisinly also found the recently released Marvel Legends Death's Head II, loose with his extra hand just not in the official package, and paid less then retail, Score!

In Mishawaka I ran in to Tom's Vintage Toys, which i almost walked out with nothing until I came across a Playmate Star Trek: The Original Series Tricorder, but it wasn't until I pressed a button and heard that 60's tv show sound effect that I knew I couldn't leave without it.

Added another Playmates WildC.A.T.s member with Zealot at Corn Coast Comics in Huntington.

My final hunting spot was the furthest to get to, but what I found there was truly worth the travel time, because at Sewer Lair Toys in Terre Haute I found one of my Holy Grail Transformers: Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime. He's not 100% complete, missing the disc launcher form the tanker, ripped stickers on the chest, the sword has part of the handle broken off, and some paint scraped off his hands, but damn did I pay a fraction of what I probably would of paid for a similar condition off Ebay. Just got to get some replacement stickers, track down a disc launcher,and hopefully maybe a replacement sword, and he'll look great along with my G2 Megatron.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Star Wars Episode VIII Title Reveal


I like it, they broke away from the old sci-fi serial sounding titles of the previous second entries. This title sounds more like a chapter in a book, which I say is kinda fitting for the second to last installment of the overall Skywalker saga. The title of course refers to the self exiled Jedi Master who was finally located at the end of the previous film, Luke Skywalker, who was referenced as such in Episode VII's opening crawl and a couple times in the movie.

I really loved that the teaser poster is nearly identical to the teaser poster from two years ago just with a different color logo and the new title, well done. Another great touch is the color red for the Star Wars logo, which to a lot of long time Star Wars fans is meant to invoke memories of 1983's Return of The Jedi which a great amount of it's advertising and merchandise feature an all red logo. A nice connection signifying that after the death of The Emperor Luke thought he could create a new Jedi Order, only to have tragedy strike once again making him The Last Jedi as Yoda told him he was before his death.

"When gone am I, the last of the Jedi you will be."- Master Yoda


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DC Rebirth Batman & JLA Review

DC Universe Rebirth Batman One-Shot & Batman #1-6
At  first I wasn't gonna pick up this series cause I didn't know anything about the writer Tom King, but then I started hearing how good the the second story arc "I Am Suicide" was, and regretted not getting it from the start. So I hunted down the one-shot and the first six issues, and I have to say I really enjoyed it, it has a nice balance of action, drama, and humor, and David Finch's art wasn't too extreme as it's been in the past. All-Star Batman is still the superior Bat-book, but I can't wait to read the "I Am Suicide" arc, and see the return of classic worthy intelligent Bat-villain Bane.

Justice League of America (4th Series) #1-4, 6-10
Oh yeah!, I waited to read this storyline until I had every issue, and it was a wait, cause of delays there was months between issues, taking a year and a half to gather all nine parts of the arc. To me it was worth it, I love Bryan Hitch's work and I know he likes to do year long stories, and with how fricking good this story was; it would of killed me reading and waiting through the delays. By waiting I just picked up every issue as I finally saw it on the shelf and put it in a box cherishing the thought of one day reading an epic 12 part Bryan Hitch Justice League run, though in the end it turned out only to be 9 parts probably cause the story had to be changed to fit in with DC's Rebirth launch.

I really loved that the team was split for most for most of the story, and that there were parts in the past , present and future all happening at the same time with some issues just focusing on one member at a time. Sucks Hitch couldn't draw issue 10, but he was probably too busy starting to write the new Rebirth Justice League ongoing at the time. Solicitations still shows two issues, and an annual are coming out, so hopefully we'll still get those cause I love getting more League action with Hal Jordan still on the team.