Saturday, November 03, 2012

My Toys: 10" Batman and Green Lantern (Justice League Animated)!

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So, have you ever started collecting some toys because you found a few cheap, and afterwards, you can never find them that cheap again and as such, never add any more to that collection?

That's the situation with these beautiful action figures. I think I found Green Lantern first, at a garage sale, for a buck... and unless I'm mistaken, that same weekend, I found Batman at a Goodwill and paid a buck for him, too!

I knew it was a good deal, although I didn't know how good -- I haven't been able to get any of the other Leaguers in this scale because I can't find it in my heart (or wallet) to spend the kind of money people are asking for these! Oh, I looked at Emerald City, and only saw one figure in this series (aside from Batman, that is) at the entire show, and they were asking $30 for that one!

And it's a shame, because I love these figures! Just to give you an idea of how good a deal these were -- as I write this, someone's asking $25 for a Batman (unless I say otherwise, figure these are all in the packages), $19.50 for Aquaman, $35 for Flash, $40 for Wonder Woman, $40 for Hawkgirl, $9.95 for a loose GL, $45 for Martian Manhunter... and no Superman figures. On the other hand, the prices actually paid for these seem to be $15 to $20 each, although someone paid $45.00 for a ten-figure lot that I would've absolutely jumped at). Now, I certainly don't need these mint in package -- I got my first two loose, I might as well stay with that! But for figures that are only nine years old, they're darn hard to find! Heck, 30-year-old GI Joes are more plentiful than that!

Anyway, while I'm writing this, here's my plea: If any of you have other figures in this line that you'd be willing to part with cheap, feel free to post it in the comments, okay?

Friday, November 02, 2012

CBT: Visionaries, Knights of the Magical Light!

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Geek TV: Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles!

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Concept: Frankenstein, Jr.: In Civic City, boy scientist Buzz Conroy and his father Professor Conroy battle supervillains with a powerful robot named Frankenstein Jr. The Impossibles: A rock music band is, in reality, a superhero group!
Total Episodes: 18

Original Air Dates: September 10, 1966 – September 7, 1968

Original Network: CBS

Geek Factor: 8

Characters:

frankjr2Buzz Conroy (Voice of Dick Beals): Boy scientist and adventurer, he built Frankenstein Jr. and activates “Frankie” through an energy ring.

Frankenstein, Jr. (Voice of Ted Cassidy): Giant robot, powerful and heroic savior of Civic City.

Professor Conroy (Voice of John Stephenson): Father of Buzz Conroy, and a respected scientist.

Multi-Man (Voice of Don Messick): Can create identical copies of himself.

Fluid Man (Voice of Paul Frees): Can transform his body into any fluid.

Coil-Man (Voice of Hal Smith): Can form into a super-springy coil

Big D (Voice of Paul Frees): Contacts the Impossibles via a receiver in Coil Man's left-handed guitar to give them their assignments.

Geek Guest-Stars: N/A

frankjr3Geek Pedigree:

Writer Eddie Brant had previously written episodes of Matty's Funnies With Beany and Cecil, and would later write episodes fo Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor, Young Samson & Goliath, and Cattanooga Cats. Writer Phil Hahn would later write episodes of Birdman, Fantastic Four (1967), Get Smart, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and many other shows. Writer Jack Hanrahan also wrote episodes of those shows, apparently in partnership with Hahn, and later wrote episodes of The Mouse Factory, The Flintstone Comedy Hour, The All-New Popeye Hour, Inspector Gadget, and many other programs.

Michael Maltese also wrote episodes, and of course, the crowning achievement of his career was writing Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies cartoons from 1941 and into the 1960s (and in that run, classics like “What's Opera, Doc?”, “Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½ Century,” and “Duck Amuck”). In that latter decade, he also wrote episodes of Quick Draw McGraw, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Secret Squirrel Show, The Atom Ant Show, and many others. He would later write episodes of Abbott & Costello (1967 cartoon), Wacky Races, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Cattanooga Cats, Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines, Harlem Globetrotters, The Funky Phantom, and others. From the 1970s to about 1988, he received credit for the cartoons that were incorporated into various Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck TV specials, and probably some newer stories as well written prior to his death in 1981.


Paul Frees, of course, has had a long and distinguished voice career up to his death in 1986, and I've covered him before (look for a refresher on him in the future). Ted Cassidy, of course, has also been covered in-depth, and I'll likely get back to him sometime in the future! Don Messick is another of those voice artists that I really need to cover in-depth, and I may hold off on that until I get to Jonny Quest, The Jetsons, or some other show. John Stephenson is another voice artist who I'd just covered recently, and will revisit in the future.

Now, Dick Beals, on the other hand, I haven't covered before (or at least, not in much detail). He was the voice of Ralph Phillips in the classic cartoons “From A to Z-Z-Z-Z-Z,” “Boyhood Daze,” and “Adventures of the Road Runner” (I think the latter had him watching the Road Runner on TV and talking about why the Coyote wants to catch him). He was the voice of Davey on Davey and Goliath, one of the voices of Gumby, voiced Yank and Dan on Roger Ramjet, and later voiced Tiny Tom on The Lone Ranger (1966), Birdboy on Birdman, as well as various roles here and there, most recently Baby-Faced Moonbeam in two episodes of Duck Dodgers. He was also the voice of Speedy in the Alka-Seltzer commercials!

frankjr1Hal Smith had along career, beginning with on-screen roles starting in 1946, although his first real geek role was being one of the voices of Gumby in The Gumby Show (1957). In 1959, he started doing voices for Hanna-Barbera along with his on-screen roles, being heard in The Huckleberry Hound Show and Quick Draw McGraw (as the voice of Hardy Har-Har and others). He took over the role of Elmer Fudd at Warner Brothers for a short time in the early 1960s, and had many other roles... and that's a bit more on him than I had when writing about him fort the 1978 Fantastic Four series!

DVD Release: Complete series.


Website: http://www.toonopedia.com/frank-jr.htm is the Toonopedia page on this show, and is the best site I could find!

Notes: Believe it or not, in pre-production, the Impossibles were going to be called The Incredibles! I enjoyed this show, and for some reason, I never caught on that Frankenstein, Jr. was very similar to Gigantor!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Beatles Animated Series, Episode 7!

07-01The first segment of this episode is called "I'll Get You," and it opens on a jet plane landing at an aiport in Africa, where the Beatles look forward to a week away from screaming fans, but of course, fans there are at the airport, and they're all screaming! John spots a baggage cart, and they make a run for it, displacing the driver and the luggage it was carrying to drive off with it, because (as George put it), "It's an emergency!" Paul points out a convenient ramp, which they drive up and into an airplane, with Paul leaping out just before it goes in, while the other three ride into the airplane and out the other side! After the fans rush in, both doors are closed, and Paul yells, "Okay for takeoff!" and the plane takes off. John compliments Paul's quick thinking, but Paul says it's nothing any other genius would've thought of.

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Suddenly, the cart (which has driven way off of the airport by now) crashes into an elephant, sending the cart out between its legs, while the Beatles are somehow placed on top of the elephant. They've also knocked out the elephant's owner, a big game hunter named Allan Watermain (obviously, a joke based on Alan Quartermain, the lead character of She and other books). Watermain leads them to where they'll be staying, but the hut is completely black inside! John asks who put out the lights, and Ringo asks hasn't he heard of "Darkest Africa!" Suddenly, Ringo feels teeth on his arm, and when a flashlight is turned on it, he sees his arm is in a tiger's mouth! Admittedly, the tiger's head is mounted on the wall! George shoots the tiger, which disappoints Watermain, as that was his finest tiger head, and he wonders why he agreed to this.

07-03John tries to convince him that they're just a bunch of fun-loving musicians, and then Ringo spots a flute on the wall! He reaches for it, but Watermain tells him it's not a flute... but it's too late! Ringo blows into it, and we see it's a blow tube for a poisoned dart, which strikes the mounted head of a buffalo (which shrinks in response). Ringo jokes that half a head is better than none. Later, Watermain drives the Beatles into the jungle to hunt game, and they soon spot Simba the lion! John thinks it would make the perfect rug for his living room, and he and Paul go off after it, despite Watermain's warning that the lion's a man-eater (Ringo jokes, "It's a good thing they're still teenagers!" -- an odd joke to make, given that this was 1965, and John and Paul would've easily been at least 25!).

07-04Then, George spots a tank -- actually, an enraged rhino (George jokes, "Enraged? She looks a bit young to be married!") that charges the car! And then the song starts, "I'll Get You," skipping over the opening bars and even the first verse and chorus, starting up with the second verse's "I think about you night and day..." John and Paul climb a tree to get coconuts to use against the lion, which is clearly afraid of them, as he's running away and hiding! It's no use, however, as John and Paul swing on vines in pursuit! Then, the lion thinks he's safe at last, but then looks up to see the duo in the trees! The chase continues, observed only by an odd bird in the trees, ending when Simba trips over a fallen log.

07-05Then, John pulls out... a camera, and takes a picture! Suddenly, a zipper's pulled down on the lion costume, revealing two men inside (?!?!?)! They're hired to keep things interesting during the tourist season. Picking up the now-empty lion skin, it gives John an idea! Back at camp, George and Ringo wonder how John and Paul are doing. Ringo jokes that mangy lion couldn't chew his way through a bag of marshmallows, when there's a sudden roar, and Ringo climbs up a pole of their hut (or whatever they're in) as John and Paul enter, in the lion costume. They soon reveal the gag, and Ringo claims he knew it all the time. Suddenly, Watermain leans in through the window with his gun and starts shooting! John and Paul (still in costume) run away! The men who were originally in the costume ask Ringo when they can get their costume back, and Ringo jokes, "I'm sorry, the lion is busy!"

07-06Next, it's time for the singaong, and the first song is "You've Really Got a Hold On Me," and it's introduced by George. Ringo's told the song is wild, and comes on like gangbusters, and Ringo goes offstage, and soon returns dressed as a gangster, and starts firing a machine gun at George! When George says the number comes on like gangbusters, not him, Ringo doffs his coat, revealing a prison uniform underneath, complete with his number there (681, if you're curious..., with 186 on the back).

07-07The singalong begins with the instrumental lead-in cut off entirely. The background features a riverboat, followed by a uboat, both on a river. They are followed by an alligator, a canoe, another alligator (which swallows the canoe, which Paul is piloting), a WWII mine (swallowed by the gator, which blows up). The scene then goes to a building that a giant gorilla enters, there's a fight, and a wobbly Paul stumbles out.  We also see the Beatles performing, although Ringo's playing a tree stump instead of his drums. There's a number of other edits in the music, making it rather jarring, with the lead-in added in place of the regular guitar solo, a line cut out of a verse... but at least there's no lyric mishaps on screen!

07-08After the song ends, it's time for George to introduce the next song, and Ringo is told to create an atmosphere that will get the folks back home to sing up a storm. Ringo runs off-stage, and in moments, a mechanical cloud comes onstage over George's head, pouring water on him! George complains to Ringo about it, and when Ringo then squirts him with the gag flower on his lapel, George punches Ringo in the eye! Ringo had joked about April showers bringing May flowers, and with his black eye, he jokes, "See? There's a black-eyed Susan already!"

07-09"Any Time At All" is the second singalong, and the backdrop involves an old western train. The only odd thing about this singalong is that the instrumental solo in the middle gets cut in half, but otherwise, no lyric mishaps -- that's two for two this episode!

07-10The final segment is called "Honey Don't," and it opens at a rodeo, which has a poster advertising a bull named Honey. The Beatles are there for the rodeo, Ringo wearing a cowboy hat and implying he's a regular cowboy. When John and George discuss the proper pronunciation of "rodeo," it gets two real cowboys arguing and fighting over it! Ringo decides to pull out his rope and play with it. Suddenly, the word goes out that a bull is loose! It manages to run into Ringo's lasso, pulling Ringo behind it, but when Ringo wraps himself around a pole, it puts a stop to the bull's rampage! Ringo's congratulated on his fancy rope work, and Ringo's only too happy to accept the compliments.

07-11Of course, when Ringo's asked if he's good at cow punching and riding, he manages to talk himself into participating in the rodeo, riding Honey, the fiercest bull in the west! John, Paul and George bring Ringo over to the bull, but before they place him on the bull's back, Ringo spots a horseshoe nailed to the fence, which he pulls off, kisses for luck, and tosses it over his shoulder -- landing square on Honey's head, stunning him! Ringo's tossed in, and everyone sees Ringo bouncing up and down behind the gate, but when the gate is opened, we see it's just Ringo jumping up and down. John and Paul come out with guitars, handing one to George, and start playing "Honey Don't."

07-12Ringo starts singing to the stunned bull, trying to get him to awaken... successfully! The bull's in a cheery mood when it wakes, and licks Ringo's face... then bucks him into the air, and onto his back! Ringo shoves his cowboy hat on Honey's head, and that gets his temper flaring, and he runs out of the gate and starts throwing Ringo up and down into the air (just in time for the chorus). When Ringo lands on the ground, he pulls out a polka-dotted handkerchief that he uses like a bullfighter! One of Honey's passes ends up tearing out the seat of Ringo's pants, and of course, Ringo's boxers are red. But when Honey charges him that time, Ringo ducks, and Honey crashes into a pole. Ringo tries to flee the arena, but Honey gets him back on his back anyway. In fact, shortly, he gets George on his back, too... and then somehow ends up riding on a wagon that Paul and John are using to try to flee, and then all five of them crash into a convenient Wild Bee Honey stand!

Ringo's congratulated on his bullriding, and Ringo says that they can handle anything but one thing. When he's asked what that is, he says, "That!" and points to where some screaming fans are rushing towards them! The Beatles run off, past the two cowboys who are still fighting over the proper pronunciation of the word "rodeo."

So... this was a pretty fun episode overall, but it seems like the Beatles spend way too much time in Africa, eh? Especially going big game hunting, and shooting stuff, which doesn't really fit their personalities. I'm also rather disturbed at the whole George punching Ringo thing in the singalong.  The giant gorilla that appeared briefly reminded me a bit of the cameo appearance of King Kong in the animated movie Yellow Submarine, and of course, Ringo's being the cowboy enthusiast really fit him quite well, given his fondness for country music.

Government Comics!

This time around, Dennis the Menace teaches us about poisons! governmentcomics01300001

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Dog of the Geek: Zero the Ghost Dog!

Zero-nightmare-before-christmas-226972_719_434Breed: Ghost Dog

Original Appearances: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Other Appearances: Assorted merchandise, no doubt!

Biography: Zero is the pet ghost dog of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Zero's glowing nose resembles a Jack O'Lantern.

Powers: Standard ghostly abilities

Group Affiliation: Zero lives in Halloweentown, if that can be considered a Group Affiliation

Miscellaneous: Of all of Tim Burton's creations, it seems that Zero and his master, Jack Skellington (as well as all of the Nightmare Before Christmas stuff) will be the longest-living creations of all, having become incredibly popular! They even take over the Haunted Mansion every year at the Disney parks for the holidays.

Countdown to Halloween: Comic Reading Library - Ghostly Tales #62!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cover Redux!

184 First up this time around, we have Avengers #34 and Marvel Triple Action #26... and this is a really weird one... I mean, at first glance, it looks like the image was just shifted down, and then some of the art on the top was whited out, but that's not quite it... look at the Living Laser's left hand -- it's different on each picture! The Grand Comics Database says the cover is from an unaltered stat, which I guess means it's really the original on the reprint!

Countdown to Halloween: Comic Reading Library: Gorgo 14!

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The Indexible Hulk #38!

Tales to Astonish 082Issue: Tales to Astonish #82

Title: “The Battle Cry of the Boomerang!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, layouts by Jack Kirby, finishes and inks by Bill Everett, letters by Art Simek.

Supporting Cast: General Ross, Major Talbot, Rick Jones, Betty Ross.

Villain: Boomerang.

Hulk Intelligence: Dumb brute!

Guest-Stars: None

Plot: The Hulk materializes on the surface, and immediately there is a series of explosions, because the Hulk has arrived in the middle of a missile testing range (good thing that's not where Major Talbot, Rick Jones, and Betty Ross ended up at, right?). When the soldiers spot the Hulk, they stop firing, and the Hulk leaps away, just before General Ross arrives on the scene. Ross has decided that the Hulk is responsible for Betty's disappearance, but then Talbot and Rick arrive, and Talbot tells Ross what happened to Betty. Ross puts Talbot personally responsible for Betty's safety, but it's Rick who suggests that the Hulk is the only one who has a chance against Boomerang! Meanwhile, at the Secret Empire, they watch Boomerang flying off with Betty. Number five wonders if Boomerang can be trusted, but he's assured that no one would dare cross the Secret Empire! Number Five goes to a console to contact Boomerang, but a hidden jet of gas sprays from the panel, killing Number Five instantly, and Number Nine is suspected! The others decide to be careful and wary of Number Nine, who's vowed to lead the Empire. Meanwhile, as Boomerang flies off with Betty, they cross paths with the Hulk! Betty calls to the Hulk for help, and the Hulk recognizes her voice, and changes course to intercept Boomerang. Boomerang maneuvers and dodges as best as he can, but the Hulk keeps coming at him, and never tires! Boomerang lands, sets Betty down, and pulls a number of magnetic discs on his costume, which he puts together into a larger disc, which he throws at the Hulk's left leg, where it adheres. A second larger disc strikes the Hulk's right leg, and the magnetic force causes the Hulk's legs to be forced together, toppling the green goliath. Boomerang then pulls out his electric boomerang, and sets it for maximum discharge before throwing it! The discharge barely stuns the Hulk, but succeeds in loosening the magnetic discs. Boomerang figures it's time to split again, grabs Betty, and activates his boot jets again... but the Hulk still follows him! Meanwhile, a plane has spotted the Hulk and Boomerang, and reports to Ross! Ross tells Talbot to order the strike force that they move out in 30 seconds, but Talbot isn't going with them to get Boomerang (didn't Ross just put Talbot responsible for Betty's safety?), instead he's to guard the Orion Missile! Rick, of course, doesn't have to wait with Talbot, he climbs onto one of the army trucks heading out! Meanwhile, Boomerang finally realizes that the Hulk will not quit, and tosses Betty away! The Hulk catches Betty, and immediately loses interest in Boomerang. Boomerang enters a waiting Secret Empire helicopter and flees. The Hulk, landing on the ground, sets Betty down gently, bellows out “Hulk beat Boomerang! Hulk beats everything! Nothing can stop the Hulk!” which makes Betty wonder why she ever thought the Hulk could really be Bruce! Then he looks down at Betty, and frightened, she looks in the Hulk's eyes for any sign of Bruce within!

Invention Exchange: Boomerang's magnetic discs.

Reprinted In: Marvel Super-Heroes #37, Essential Hulk #1

Notes: Adapted as episode 38 of the 1966 Hulk animated series. This issue was the first time the next issue box uses the word “Hulkinued,” although I think usually it's hyphenated, i.e, “Hulk-Inued”!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Comic Book Ads!

alarmingadventures03_33 Time for another bunch of comics ads! Above is an ad page from Alarming Adventures #3, and as you can see, both ads are for similar products... those infamous flat soldiers, knights, and so forth. It's amazing to me that these guys got away with this for so long!

Countdown to Halloween: Comic Reading Library - Forbidden Worlds #110!

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Cliffhanger! The Adventures of Captain Marvel, Chapter 11!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Toy Spotlight: Battle of the Planets Toys!

OK, before I get to posting these photos, I honestly have no idea if either of the toys in these photos actually represent anything that was in the show itself... besides, the version I'm familiar with is G-Force, as it aired on Cartoon Network back when they aired older shows!
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First up, it's the Skyplane!

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I'm pretty sure that this intercom set was manufactured under all sorts of licenses!

Countdown to Halloween: SHOCK! Pressbook!

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This book was sent out to potential TV stations who would show the Universal horror films back in the day!

Give-A-Show Video Feature!

Here's a couple of double-length videos featuring the comic strip Robotman!