Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Wrap-Up!

So, today at Olympic Cards & Comics, Gabi hosted a big "52" event, with writers Mark Waid, Greg Rucka, and Geoff Johns in her store, answering questions and signing autographs. The event started at noon, and I'm not sure how long it went.

I'd been planning on bringing Krypto along, because I'd told Waid about Krypto at Emerald City Comic Con, and of course, Krypto had to wear his cape!

Silly me, however, I didn't make sure I could find his complete costume until late Friday night... and I found his cape and the shield (which had to be reglued on, because it came off in the wash last Halloween), but I couldn't find the collar! This collar, yellow with two rows of studs (which was the closest I'd been able to find) also had an S-Shield tag, naturally... but it was missing.

So, I did the next best thing... I took one of his other collars, cook the S-Shield tag off of it, and then I pulled out the belt for my Superman costume, cut off an appropriate length, and fed the collar through it (meaning, of course, I'll have to make a new belt for the next time I wear it... which is OK, I wanted to redo the cape, too).

This morning, after we had breakfast, Jessi indicated she didn't want to be stuck at home while I went to the 52 event, and none of our friends were available to walk the dogs with us, so we decided to go to garage sales instead, then stop at OCC. So we did so... with the cape and makeshift collar ready to put on Krypto just before we went in the store.

Garage sales were decent enough... most of what we bought were children's books, although I did find a Justice League DVD for a buck (not that I know which episodes are on it, mind you)... and I did find the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 10 Best DVD set (the first one I worked on) at a different garage sale (but I didn't buy it, since I already had it... plus I didn't see a price on it).

Anyway, just before noon, Krypto, Jessi, KO and I entered Olympic Cards & Comics. Since I had picked up what had been held for me on Friday, and discovered some stuff was missing, my first priority was to see which of the missing issues I could find, bought them, and headed upstairs with Krypto (after Jessi told me she and KO were going to walk to PetSmart, which isn't far from OCC).

Krypto was a HUGE hit with my fellow fans... I think he got his picture taken at least a dozen times or so, and when Mark and Geoff sat down behind the table (Greg was running late), they noticed him immediately. I reminded Mark that I'd told him about Krypto at ECC, and things clicked for him... and then Geoff got up and came over to give Krypto some attention, which was cool (apparently Geoff used to have a boxer himself).

The first hour's question and answer session went all right, but Krypto wasn't quite used to having to sit in one place for all that long, so after half an hour, he was getting fidgety, so I took him outside so he could do some business (which he took his own sweet time doing), and then when we came back in, they were just taking a break for some autographs. Krypto was still fidgety at that point, and I figured Jessi would want to head home anyway (I figured it'd be about an hour at the shop), so I went looking for her... assuming she was still at PetSmart, but she and KO were down in the shop already (I nearly drove off to "find" her, just barely hearing her yelling my name so I could turn around).

After that, we hit a few more garage sales, made a stop at Big Lots, and then headed home for some lunch, and to pretty much relax the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, along with Mother's Day, we're celebrating the May birthdays for my family... but I don't expect there'll be much to report from that. Instead, let me just say that I hope you'll take the time on Sunday to treat your own mother nice (assuming she's still around... and if not, keeping her in your thoughts would be appropriate)... and if your wife, girlfriend, daughter, or someone else in your life is a mother as well, treat them good, too!


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


Remember I was talking a few days back about ads in comic book format? Well, here's one for a bicycle company that I don't think I've heard of outside the comics ads themselves. It's from the June, 1969 cover-dated DC books.

I wonder if the Lee Jeans people saw these ads and realized that they could make equally-specious claims in their ads in the 1970s? Here, the kids with the bikes become an impromptu escort for some honchos... and in the 70s, the kid in the Lees (I think it was Lee) would always be assumed to be older, and would be sitting in the cockpit of an experimental radio controlled automobile, or something like that, because they looked older...


Classic Collectible of the Day!


Yes, it's two different Bewitched costumes, both manufactured by Ben Cooper Costumes... and they illustrate something that's bugged me for a long time now.

Namely, that I'm amazed that Ben Cooper was so successful in the costume biz for so long! I mean... look at those... the mask aside, does it really look like wearing this, you'd be disguised as Samantha Stevens? It was rare, if ever, that a Ben Cooper costume would actually be designed to look like the character they were selling you. Heck, I remember the Batman costume said "Batman" in yellow letters over the bat-insignia, and that's just wrong!

Most of their costumes would have a drawing of the character, maybe with a logo, on the chest... and yet, as kids, we would eat them up (figuratively speaking, of course). And why was this?

Well, the obvious reason is that Ben Cooper was aggressive as hell when obtaining licenses... and apparently none of their licensing agreements indicated how the costume was supposed to look (more likely than not, the licensors didn't care, they just wanted their money).

Today's Halloween costumes (at least, from what I've seen) are much better designed... but you know, sometimes I do kind of feel a bit nostalgic for the Ben Cooper era, when the shelves would be piled with costumes of all kinds of characters (and there'd be a LOT of costumes for sale at Kmart and stores of their ilk).

Not that when Jessi and I have a child, we're planning on buying costumes for them each Halloween (well, unless the costume the child wants is beyond my means of creating for them).


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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You know, the Five-Star Super-Hero Spectacular here was probably DC's last gasp at the anthology reprint format... I think DC Special had already gone away, as had Super-Team Family (although I could be wrong in both cases)... and it's too bad that this book didn't last longer.

Chances are, if you've been reading this blog for some time, you'll realize that I really like reprint books... from the 80-Page Giants from DC, Marvel Tales, Fantasy Masterpieces, and Marvel Collector's Item Classics from Marvel, all from the 60s, to the 100-Page Super-Specs, Marvel Tales, Marvel's Greatest Comics, Secret Origins, Superman Family (well, it started with one new story and the rest were reprints), Marvel Triple Action, and all the rest in the 70s and beyond, I love 'em all.

But I especially liked the ones that gave you a nice mix for your reading enjoyment. The thicker books, with a great variety of stuff (although to be fair, Secret Origins and Wanted: The World's Greatest Villains were standard-sized and offered a variety) were always a treat for me. It'd give me stories of several characters, some of whom it would be the first time I'd ever read a story with that character... some would be the first time I'd ever heard of the character!

So it's a shame we don't have any books like that these days. I think the closest we've come was DC's one-shot promoting their Silver Age Archives books.


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Wolf Man!

Here's the last of the Wolf Man images in my library...


Well, perhaps I should say the last of the images that I've scanned in, anyway... there may well be more to come!


Friday, May 11, 2007

Comic Book Advertisement of the Day!

Speaking of DC Special (as I am two or three posts below this one)...


This June, 1969 cover-dated house ad appeared in the DC comics for issue 13 of DC Special, and the theme was very appropriate, wouldn't you say?


Classic Collectible of the Day!

Here's a Bewitched coloring book...


...and I can guarantee you that today, you'd never see a coloring book for kids featuring someone getting their cigarette lit... not on the cover, the insides, or anywhere! My, how times have changed...


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

Just to show that I'm not going to just post issue #1's, as I continue with comics starting with the letter "D"...

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I think the reason I chose this particular issue of DC Special to post here is because of the presence of Detective Chimp on the cover. Carmine Infantino has always said that Detective Chimp was his favorite feature to work on!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Wolf Man!


It's the penultimate Wolf Man photo today!

Let's see, I was talking about Lon Chaney, Junior. Well, most of you probably know this already, but he wasn't originally named Lon Chaney, Junior. His father, the master of make-up Lon Chaney, named him Creighton Chaney, and didn't especially approve of his son going into the movie business.

If I recall correctly, Creighton changed his name to Lon Chaney, Junior in order to get work in movies... and you know, as marketing, it definitely makes sense!

If you've ever seen the movie "The Man of a Thousand Faces," starring James Cagney as Lon Sr., you probably remember the last scene, in which the dying Chaney calls his son to his bedside, picks up his famous make-up kit, scrawls something on it, and then hands it to his son before he passes it away... and what he'd scrawled was the "Junior" after the embossed "Lon Chaney" name on the kit.

Obviously, that bit was complete fabrication.

Interestingly enough, in his later career, Lon Chaney, Jr. actually dropped the "Jr." from his stage name, being billed simply as "Lon Chaney"!

I suppose we should be thankful that there were no "Boris Karloff, Jr." or "Bela Lugosi, Jr." making their way into the movies. Not that I've got anything against Lon Jr. (he was actually a pretty good actor, and received quite some acclaim for "Of Mice and Men"), mind you!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

If You Like Superman Video Games... might want to hie thee hence to your local Grocery Outlet store, which is where I found the Superman Plug and Play TV Games with 5 games built inside for $9.99, a $5 savings!

The games include Meteor Strike, Brainiac Blast, Battleship Blitz, Metropolis Quake Rescue, and Warworld Armageddon. I haven't played any of these yet (the thing's still in the package), but for ten bucks, it's worth it!

I just checked on eBay, and the only people selling it there are asking twice as much (and that's not including shipping, naturally)... It's about 60 cents cheaper on Amazon than what I paid, but you know, there's the shipping thing there.


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Wolfman!


Got a few more Wolf Man pics for the next couple of days... well, two of them, anyway! I'm not sure what's up after that.

You know, there's not all that many actors who are so identified with one particular character as Lon Chaney Jr. was with the Wolf Man... but that was far from his only genre movie work! In "Son of Dracula," he played Count Alucard, aka Dracula himself... and he also played the Frankenstein Monster at least once!

Plus he was in Frankenstein Vs. Dracula (which I've never, ever seen)... and was Lenny in Of Mice and Men (reportedly his favorite part), guest-starred on an episode of the Monkees, two Route 66's, a bunch of TV westerns... and the list goes on and on. The Internet Movie Database lists 195 different movies or tv shows he appeared in... over 200 parts in all, given how many shows he appeared in more than once as different characters, I'm sure.

More about Lon Junior tomorrow!


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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Here's DC 100-Page Super-Spectacular DC-3... because I don't have a cover scan for the first issue!

It's a very moody, spooky piece of artwork, isn't it? For some reason, I'm thinking this might've been reprinted a while back when DC was doing their "softcover" 100-Pagers (most of which were "fake" Super-Specs, rather than reprints, but I still like 'em anyway).


Classic Collectible of the Day!


Here's a Bewitched card game... and looking at this photo, I'm guessing (purely guessing, mind you) that it's the Dick York Darrin pictured there. The fact of the matter is, the art is so stylized here it's difficult to say for certain!


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


Here's a DC house ad from the June, 1969 cover-dated comics... note that in this single house ad, they basically promoted the entire line without all sorts of hype involved... just "Dynamite's Coming!"

There's a lot of great books there... just don't think too much about how few of them are still around in the original numbering... or even in a different form!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

This 'n That Time!

Item! Recently read here was Peter David's third Sir Appropos of Nothing book, "Tong Lashing." I finished that last night, and am on the third of PAD's King Arthur books, "Fall of Knight." Good reading, all!

Item! So, yesterday, since things were slow at work in the evening, I took a few minutes to work on an idea for that special publication I've been griping about (the one I redesigned, but we've got some customers who are using the old format, so the thing will look like crap). Basically, the major difference in the format originally designed and mine is that the old uses a vertical (tall) format photo, and mine uses a horizontal (wide) format. Oh, and fonts and colors are different, too. Anyway, since apparently some of our customers spent way too much money getting professional portraits shot to fit the vertical format, I came up with a design based on my new design to give our sales people the flexibility of selling a horizontal or vertical format while still maintaining a similar look and feel. Probably too late to change things this time around, but we're doing it again in October.

Item! Want to annoy a graphic designer to no end? Give them a photo of something white, and ask for a clipping path to be put around it... so the photo can be put on an ad with a white background, so it's virtually impossible to see what you're looking at. We've been getting photos of real estate agents where that happens, but tonight I worked on an ad with a big white van that needed a clipping path. It's not quite that bad when it's a color ad, but for black and white, it's a pain.

Item! This weekend, at Olympic Cards and Comics, they're having a big 52 party of sorts on Saturday, at which Mark Waid and other creators of 52 will be apppearing! Krypto and I are going so that Krypto can meet Mark.

Item! Heroes was another great episode this week, definitely an Act One of Three episode, as the series starts finishing up the first season's story! I can hardly wait to see how things turn out!

Item! I still haven't seen this week's House, and avoiding spoilers is difficult!


The Latest on the Foster/Adoption Thing!

So, as I posted last night, today was our last Home Study meeting with our Adoption licensor... and it went very well indeed... even moreso than we expected!

At the end of our meeting, she told us about this girl, 14 months old, who "everyone in the office" seems to feel we'd be perfect for. We don't know much about her except that she's Caucasian and is perfectly healthy. After she left, Jessi and I talked it over for a bit (we were really leaning towards getting a boy, but we can always get a boy for our next child... maybe even older than her), and we decided we'd see where things go there.

So Jessi called the case worker assigned to this girl, and let her know we were interested. We're waiting to hear back from her about when we can see this child in person.

I do know one thing for certain: If we get her, we will be changing her name... because her first name is a completely made-up, ridiculous name, that looks like someone wasn't paying attention when her name was written. I can't let you know what that name is at this time, because we aren't allowed to do so, but I can tell you that our current plan is to rename her (if we get her) Alexandra Morgan, or Allie for short. This is a name that we'd already decided upon when we were trying to conceive (we never managed to come up with a name for a boy, however).

Anyway, we're hoping to hear something about that soon.

So far as the foster licensing thing goes, latest word is we're "on the cusp" of being licensed.


Classic Collectible of the Day!

Yes, it's another Bewitched item!


Now, I'm going purely by memory here, but in the 1960s, Golden Books produced a whole line of books like these, hardback novels based on various TV shows of the day... I remember seeing an Annette book at a swap meet not too long ago... I guess they were bigger books for readers (presumably pre-teens) who had outgrown Big Little Books!

What's interesting to note about this cover (and isn't that a groovy image there?) is that it features the second Darrin, Dick Sargent. That would help to date when this came out (to be honest, I always preferred Dick York's Darrin).


Comics Cover of the Day!

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Here's Defenders #1, which is a series that I loved when it first came out... especially when the Valkyrie came along a few issues later!


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Wolf Man!


Here's an obviously-posed publicity shot for The Wolf Man, which did not appear in the movie!

Let's see, where was I before? Oh, yes, in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, the monster and Larry Talbot's hirstute alter ego were "killed" when the villagers blew up the dam, which washed Castle Frankenstein away (although apparently not all that much of it, because some of it was still around in the next movie).

In House of Frankenstein, if I'm remembering the order directly, we learn that Larry and the Monster weren't drowned or crushed, but were instead frozen solid in suspended animation, having been washed into the caverns below the castle, which were apparently very cold. They're discovered and thawed out... but by the end of that movie, both are supposedly killed again!

Except that they (as well as Dracula, who doesn't have much interaction with the two in HoF) are alive and well in House of Dracula, as Dracula and Larry seek medical treatment for their conditions! (In HoF, Drac's skeleton was discovered in a traveling House of Horrors, until someone pulled the stake out, which revived him, until he was destroyed by being exposed to sunlight)

Obviously, that didn't work out, either... but again, by the end of the movie, Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, and the Wolf Man are all supposedly killed off...


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


Here's a back-cover ad from the June, 1969 cover-dated DC comics, and it features a product from Aurora that I don't recall ever seeing in my life, outside of this ad, of course!

So this is all conjecture: It appears to be Aurora's effort to directly compete with Mattel's Hot Wheels line. Aurora, if I recall correctly, already had the slot car market (or at least a large portion of it) to itself, but slot cars were more expensive than Hot Wheels (hey, as a kid, I had Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and other stuff of that type long before my first slot car set... well, my only slot car set, but I had the Batmobile slot car!)... so I guess it makes sense they'd want the lower-budget racing fans' money, too!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Coming Tomorrow... our third (and final?) home study meeting with our adoption licensor. Depending on how quickly we can get through the answers, it may be a short visit!

Meanwhile, we still haven't heard that we've been foster licensed yet...


Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Wolf Man!


If I'm not mistaken, the image above is from near the end of the movie... the man with the cane is Larry Talbot's father, and I'm sure you've already figured that the top of the cane is solid silver, which is the only thing that's supposed to be able to kill a werewolf...

...and I'm sure I'm not spoiling anything by revealing that said cane is the instrument of Talbot's doom at the end of this movie.

Not that it was permanent, mind you... in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, grave-robbers open Larry's coffin, exposing his well-preserved corpse to the full moon, and Larry's alive and well and transforming again! And at the end of that movie... well, I've got to have other stuff to talk about in the rest of these posts, don't I?


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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You know, aside from the Fourth World comics, sometimes I think that the Demon must be Kirby's longest-lasting 1970s DC creation. I mean, the guy has appeared all over the place... even in the DC Animated universe (both Batman and Justice League)! He's had miniseries and other revivals...

By comparison, the much longer-lasting (in its original run) Kamandi, aside from a few Brave and the Bold appearances and a DC Comics Presents, a pretty lousy (as I recall it) Elseworlds miniseries, and having his continuity revised at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths (so that he became Tommy Tomorrow instead), Kamandi's been pretty much missing entirely!

But I'm talking about the Demon. It's been written elsewhere how Kirby was inspired by a Prince Valiant Sunday when creating the look of the Demon, so I won't repeat that here (oh, wait, I already did!).

During the all-too-short original run of the Demon, one never really knew what to expect, as was the case with all of Kirby's 70s stuff... anything could happen! Too bad there's not enough issues (so far as I know) for a Showcase Presents or Archives... but then again, there would be enough for a full-color TPB, wouldn't there?


Classic Collectible of the Day!


Yep, it's another Bewitched item, this time two Bewitched annuals! I believe these were produced in Great Britain, where they would produce a hard-back comic book annual for all kinds of TV shows, as well as American comics characters!

What I don't know at all is if these were all-original stories, or if they were reprints of the Dell comics issues.

Pretty nice cover paintings... but what's up with that white cat? The Stevens didn't own any cat, much less a white one!


Comics Ad of the Day!


Continuing with the March, 1980 cover-dated Marvel comics ads, here's one for a candy company that seemed to be trying to compete with Reese's, and trying to surpass them by putting other stuff in chocolate or other candy cups!

But that's not the main thing I want to call your attention to... look there at the bottom of the ad, with the mail-in offer. It's for a light-up Cylon pen! And as if that's not interesting enough, if you click on the image for a larger view, you'll see that it's only called a Cylon pen in small print, and then claims it's from the 21st Century!

21st Century? Really? I mean, according to the spin-off Galactica 1980, the Cylons reached Earth in the 20th Century. Still, I guess if they were never defeated during the 20 years following that, then it could've been from the 21st Century.

But even more interesting than that... no mention whatsoever of Battlestar Galactica, no copyright notice from Glen Larson or Universal! Weird, isn't it?


Monday, May 07, 2007

Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Wolf Man!


Along with the Bewitched toys you'll be seeing here the next few days (see post below), this will be the first of several Wolf Man images going on here!

I love the classic Universal horror movies... and it's been way too long since I've seen this one! Sadly, the only DVD set I own is the Frankenstein Legacy set... but I do want to get the others (and not that I have anything against the Frankenstein movies, either... although I do wish they'd manage to include Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein on that set).


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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Yes, it's Detective Comics #1, and as you might've guessed, the current trend here is to post first issues of comics in something remotely resembling alphabetical order... well, at least books starting with the same letter will appear on subsequent days (that's why E-Man #1 was before any of these).

Looking at this cover, it's kind of amazing to me that it would end up being DC's longest-running comic book, not only giving its name to the company, but also bringing us Batman (some years after this). The cover art isn't really all that great... just an evil-looking Fu Manchu type... no action whatsoever.

Contrast this with Action Comics #1, which was truly an amazing cover, one that any comic book fan can picture in his or her head at any time.

Still, I'm glad for whatever reason the book managed to last before the Dark Knight showed up!


Classic (TV) Toy of the Day!


OK, I'll have to beg your indulgence, as for the next bunch of days, the Classic Toys will be Bewitched toys and related stuff!

You are probably aware that I'm a big fan of Bewitched... although it's been quite some time since I've seen a single episode. Elizabeth Montgomery was gorgeous, intelligent, funny... and so was Samantha! How could any heterosexual male not find Sam the ideal woman? Well, some may have preferred Jeannie, but for my money, Sam was the magic maiden (at least, on TV) of my choice!

Hmmm... you know, I wonder if Samantha was any kind of influence on Zatanna? Sure, they looked nothing alike, and to the best of my knowledge, Sam never wore fishnets (but perhaps her cousin Serena might have)... but one has to wonder...


Just Because It's The Coolest Car Ever Built...'s an image of the 1960s Batmobile.


Say what you will about the Adam West Batman show... no matter if you liked it, loved it, hated it... if you're a Batman fan at all, you had to appreciate the Batmobile!


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


From the March 1980 Marvels, here's a Heroes World ad, which for some reason, I never remembered as still appearing in the 1980s (having written that, I'm sure it'll turn out they were more active in the 80s than the 70s, but so it goes).

Lots of neat stuff to be had in this ad... like all those great Simon and Schuster trade paperbacks! This was, in my opinion, the start of the TPB revolution that we enjoy the fruits of today. In the 60s, there were standard size paperback books that reprinted some comics, but were in black and white, and each page usually only featured a few panels per page (so that maybe four issues would be reprinted in one paperback). But it was Simon and Schuster, beginning with Origins of Marvel Comics, that really started the ball rolling!

Although, to be honest, the standard paperback book reprints still continued sporadically, especially reprints of the newspaper strips of Spider-Man and the Hulk... and there's some of those paperback reprints offered here, too!

Then there's the Marvel Novels... which are a very cool collectible. I used to have most of these (as well as the two 1960s Marvel novels, The Avengers vs. the Earth-Wrecker and the Captain America book), and nowadays, the only one I have is the Doctor Strange: Nightmare! one. I wouldn't mind seeing these books reprinted these days... but then, there don't seem to be too many novels based on comics out these days (save for adaptations of the movies).

It's only semi-surprising to me that I never had a single one of the Star Trek items for sale here... I used to be a major Trek fan, but I think after the 70s, I must've curtailed most of my Trek collecting.


Weekend Wrap-Up!

So, today finished off our foster parenting practice run... after breakfast, Jessi, Daniel, KO, Krypto and I went off to meet our friend Kathy and her boxer, Jaeger, and her dachshound, Emily, for a walk. Thanks to their playing with Joe boxer yesterday, our dogs were tired enough after only two laps (we usually do three) to go home.

Then it was back home to relax for a little bit, and keeping Daniel occupied while we waited for his mother to pick him up. Right after she did and left, I made lunch for us (low-calorie chicken quesadillas, in case you're wondering), and then we caught up on some stuff that had accumulated on the DVR.

And that's about how the rest of the day went, save for pizza for dinner!


Almost Forgot to Mention...

This week's Cover Stories column at World Famous Comics (see link on the linklist) celebrates my second year of that weekly column!


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Genre Movie Image of the Day: One Million B.C.!


Here's another still from one version of One Million B.C. or another (I must be setting some kind of record for posting pictures of T-Rex's in a blog, eh?).


Comic Book Cover of the Day!

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Here's the cover for Gold Key's Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom number one -- and looking at this cover, you wouldn't have any idea what kind of book it would end up being, would you? I mean, this looks more like a cover for a science fiction novel of the late 60s/early 70s instead of a superhero comic, eh?


Classic Toy of the Day!


Here's the Spidey motorcycle toy from that Secret Wars toy line... which I still can't recall who was the manufacturer (was it Tomy, perhaps?).


Comic Book Ad of the Day!


Normally, I don't tend to go beyond the 1970s when posting comics stuff here in the Random Thoughts, but I decided I should go ahead and make a few exceptions, such as this ad (and a few others, no doubt).

Rom, Spaceknight... I remember seeing these ads fondly, and thinking that it was a very cool-looking toy (at least until I saw the thing in real life... instead of being made with a cool chrome covering, it was just dull gray plastic). Unfortunately, there wasn't all that much play value for Rom... I mean, there were no other figures made to go with him, so what do you do with the toy?

Well, when I had a Rom in my collection, I just had it standing on a shelf.

Too bad that they didn't take a cue from the Rom comics (which lasted far beyond the toy), and produce some Dire Wraiths or something!

You know, it's funny... over the past several years, I've often thought it would be cool if Ideal (or whoever owns the rights to Rom these days) would team up with Marvel and produce a Rom and the Spaceknights action figure line, featuring the other Spaceknights from the Rom comics, as well as some Dire Wraiths (both versions)... and maybe even have the Spaceknight weapons built with some kind of black lights in them so that when they're aimed at the Dire Wraiths, it causes a unique glowing or something!

I do seem to recall that a Dire Wraith was included in one of the Marvel toy lines somewhere along the way, though.