Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Toy Biz Batman vs NECA Batman

When I discovered that NECA would be releasing this 7 inch Michael Keaton Batman figure along with the newly released 25th Anniversary blu ray, you can say I was beyond excited. Keaton has and will remain my favorite Batman. And NECA's idea to emulate the classic Toy Biz look and packaging from their '89 toy line got me even more excited. I mean, this is badass! For a number of reasons! Most notably the fact that there was always an issue with using Keaton's likeness for an action figure. It was a big deal, and I don't know the exact details of all that, but I do know it was an issue. Even when NECA first used this same exact mold for their ever popular 8 Bit Classic Video Game Appearance line, they seemed to have been able to get away with it because the coloring of the figure was blue and purple. But here, they seemed to have found a loophole, or worked out their license issues because it seemed out of nowhere, they surprised us all with the announcement of this particular figure, which sold out online immediately, but not before I was able to put my order in.

It was really weird too. You could only order this as part of the Blu Ray Anniversary combo pack, not just the figure alone. And you could only order it through their eBay store, which seemed rather suspicious to me right from the beginning. Apparently NECA set up this eBay store solely for the purpose of selling this Blu ray/Figure combo pack. So there was no feedback. And when I first saw the eBay store, shipping was cheap at $8 or something like that. Then when I went to place my order later in the day, shipping was hiked up to around $15 if I remember correctly. So I was concerned all around, but I placed my order anyway.

They sold out within a day. So then word came that Toys R Us and Toys R Us only was selling these, but only when you bought the Blu Ray. But fortunately for a lot of collectors and flippers, most employees were not aware of this, and were selling the figures by themselves. You can bet your ass that flippers grabbed every last one of them and immediately threw them on eBay for $50 and higher. I hate fucking flippers.

In the end, I got mine at retail price, along with that killer Blu Ray. It's a great figure, and NECA did a bangup job on Michael Keaton's likeness.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Robocop VCR Game (1988)

Robocop VCR Game (1988)

Back when I was 12, Robocop had just come out in theaters. The following year, this VCR Home Game hit store shelves. I don't remember if it was a hit or anything like that, but I do remember seeing this at my local Service Merchandise (remember that store?!) behind the glass and begging my parents to buy it for me. They were hesitant of course, stating that it's not really a game for kids, but of course, I wouldn't listen. It was Robocop, and I had to have it. And of course, they were right. For a 12 year old kid, this game was trying. From what I can remember, you'd play the board game, stopping at specific moments to play a minute of the VHS tape, which were scenes from the film, and then using those scenes to progress somehow in the game. I didn't have that kind of patience, so it sat on my shelf for years unplayed, before I ultimately sold it at a garage sale many years later.

I was reminded about this game recently on Instagram through a friend, and so I set upon looking for it again. I was more than shocked to discover that this game typically goes for anywhere from $50 to $100. I mean, it would have been nice to get this again just for nostalgia sake, but I didn't need it that bad, especially when you consider that it's just going to sit on my shelf. I kept my eye out though, doing random searches when I would remember, and one day I lucked out. A seller was offering it for just $10 as an auction, so I bid early. A week later, I won it and I'm one happy geek. I think what tripped people up is that when the seller listed this, the image he chose to represent the game was of the board game, and not this sweet box cover. So I'm sure a lot of people probably just passed this by without realizing it was actually the old '88 VCR game. Win for me!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Gobots RoGun Cap Rifle Robot (1985)

In my quest to reacquire pieces of my collection when I was a kid back in the 80's, I quickly discovered that one of the most awesome robots in the Gobots universe (IMO), while easy to find loose, was nearly impossible to find complete in box. Checking online on a daily basis for the better part of a year proved fruitless. Even the numerous toy and collectors conventions I hit up within this past year turned up nothing, let alone hardly any Gobots in general. 

When I decided to track down a Rogun Cap Rifle Robot in it's original box, I had no idea it would be one of the hardest toys I'd have to hunt down. Hell, even doing a google search of this sucker proved to me how hard my hunt would be. I believe there's maybe 1 or 2 images online of this guy complete in box. So if it wasn't for those images, I would have not even known what the original packaging would have looked like. In any case, I shockingly found one on eBay about a month ago in Very Good condition. It was funny too. While I make it a habit of looking daily for specific items, with this being one of them, I had actually forgotten to do so for a few days, or even a week. And one day when I was getting ready to leave work, it hit me, and I did a quick search and holy shit! There it was. Complete, never opened, in great condition. While I suppose I should have tried to haggle with the seller a bit, or even read the entire description, I impulsively bought the thing, all within the span of under a minute. I was that excited. So this beauty sits on my shelf, a testament to patience and dedication to looking for that one piece that you just have to have.

Friday, February 27, 2015

New VHS Scores: Halloween and Escape From New York Slipcases

Apologies for the absence. It seems that while I had anticipated most of my time being spent on this particular blog sharing my collection of VHS, toys, and whatnot, I just can't stay away from movies, my #1 passion. And so while I did my best to take a break from reviews on my other blog robotGEEK'S Cult Cinema, I just couldn't stop cold turkey. So, a lot of my time recently has been dedicated to reviews. But! I'm here now, so here we go.

First up is John Carpenter's Halloween. As you all know, it's been released countless upon countless times on VHS, then on Laserdisc, DVD and now Blu ray. So it's not a hard film to get your hands on for your collection. It just depends on which one you want. I'd imagine though trying to collect every single version out there would be extremely time consuming and expensive. But hey, everyone needs a hobby right?!

Die-hard collectors know that probably the rarest VHS version out there is the mythical MEDA VHS version. It was spelled MEDA before it was changed to MEDIA on a yellowed cardstock slipcase. I honestly don't know why or the story behind that and haven't done the research yet, but needless to say, the MEDA yellow slipcase VHS is insanely rare and goes for thousands on the internet.....if you're ever lucky to find one. Personally, I've always loved this particular cover. I love the black with the
MEDIA big on white at the bottom. I also found it strange and interesting that there's also a bottom flap. So everytime you intend to take the tape out, you essentially slowly begin to damage and put extensive wear to that bottom flap. So I'm not surprised that they quickly did away with that.

When I was going through my VHS collection recently, I was kind of shocked to discover that I've never owned a version of Halloween on VHS. Gasp! I was lucky to find this one fairly cheap for $10 on eBay with the bottom flap in tact and in excellent condition. Happiness.

Here's another recent eBay score. While I prefer Embassy's insanely badass, yet very hard to find black VHS clamshell release from 1982, this is a close second. I love that the poster encompasses the entire cover. And I love the white spine with the extra large font. It's just beautiful.

Much like Halloween, this film has gotten countless VHS releases, as well as many others on every format. It's just one of those films. However, there is another early US slipcase release that I've only recently become aware of. Of all the years I've been collecting VHS tapes, I never came across one and didn't know it existed. It's a rather interesting design. Released by Embassy, the top half is white, and the bottom half is black, with the poster image floating freely in the center. The film title is large, also floating freely at the top above the cover image. A strange design for sure, but one I feel I must own at some point as I collect random Escape From New York VHS tapes from around the world. I'm also finding a new found love for VHS slips. I've always been more drawn to clamshell cases, but I'm finding an appreciation for slipcases in my old age.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Alien 3 NES Nintendo Game

Alien 3: NES (1993)

Much like Total Recall, I had no idea this was ever made into a game, much less an original Nintendo NES game back in 1993. But they did, and then again for the SNES, and then Sega Genesis also released a game based off of this film, all generally within a span of just a few years I think. But needless to say, when NECA announced they would be releasing a new 8 Bit figure to go with their awesome 8 Bit Retro Video Game Appearance line of figures, I knew I had to track this original game down, which wasn't easy.

Not sure if it's just the demand, or the simple fact that NECA decided to immortalize the "dog" alien from this film, but the game suddenly became hard to acquire at a decent price. I generally don't like to spend more than about $20 on an old NES game if I can help it, so I had to wait this one out for awhile until I came across one in decent shape, and CIB (complete in box) for a reasonable price. The waiting paid off, and I was finally able to acquire one for my collection.

I have yet to play the game itself, which I will do eventually shortly, but everything is in excellent condition, considering it's age. The manual has seen better days, but I'm thoroughly impressed at how well the box has been preserved all these years. It didn't come with any advertisements it may have originally had, but everything else is included.

After getting this and also the SNES game, I guess you can say I've been on a bit of an Alien 3 kick, so I decided to revisit the film (workprint version) yesterday and I love it every bit as much as I always have. While David Fincher has disowned the thing entirely, I think it's a gorgeous looking science fiction film, and along with a myriad of reasons, consider it an excellent Alien film. But that's just my opinion.

Friday, February 6, 2015

A piece of my childhood recaptured: Go-Bots "Psycho" Action Figure

Words cannot explain the excitement I got when this arrived in my PO Box. You see, while I was primarily a Transformers fan as a kid in the 80's, I also loved the Go-Bots as well. Essentially they were a cheaper version of Transformers and also their arch nemesis in the toy and cartoon market. I have to admit, I have always loved these guys just as much as I loved Transformers, which is why I collected both as a kid.

As a kid in the 80's, I had my fair share of toys, and honestly, I think we can all agree the 80's was the BEST decade for toy collecting, or just being a kid in general. M.A.S.K., Transformers, He-Man, GI Joe, Go-Bots, Thundercats....all incredible lines of toys that were made much better than anything we can get on a toy shelf these days, save for NECA I suppose. But seriously, how great was it to be a kid back then? Personally speaking.....it was amazing. I was the prime age to enjoy and immerse anything the wonderful decade of the 80's had to offer, and Go-Bots were one of them.

There were 3 or 4 Go-Bots that I distinctly remember having growing up, and this was one of them. I always thought he was the coolest looking one out of the bunch, and such a rad looking sports car. I even remember trying to duplicate this style with my Lego's, with varying degrees of success. When I decided to try and track a few of my "former" toys from my childhood down in my recent collecting resurgence, one of the first ones I went after was this particular figure. Little did I know that of all the Go-Bots figures out there, this is one of the most sought after ones. 

You can easily pick up a loose one from anywhere between $7 - $30, depending on the seller. But one in it's original box, which I don't recall them coming in a box to begin with, especially in good condition will run anywhere form $50 - $100....at least. I quickly learned vintage Go-Bot figures go for much more than I imagined. I also don't recall them being so small.

But I knew I had to have one. I kept my eye on eBay doing random searches here and there and never finding one anywhere near within my budget. Then one day a seller offered one in Near Mint Condition at a starting bid of .99. I jumped on it, and when it was all said and done, even though several others tried to outbid me in the last minute, I ultimately won out for a very reasonable price. This particular figure is now easily one of the crowning jewels of my collection and I will be on the hunt for the other few figures from this line that brings back so many fond memories of my childhood.

Nintendo's Cancelled Hellraiser NES Game

Apparently back in 1990 there was supposed to be a Hellraiser NES Nintendo game based off of Clive Barker's 1987 low-budget masterpiece of the same name. I had no idea this was ever even in the works! Can you imagine  how awesome that would have been? And not only that, just because it's Hellraiser, I'm sure it would have ultimately become a rare and highly sought after game indeed. The possibilities.

Recently as I was scouring Google for some old vintage ads, I happened upon this one and my jaw literally dropped to the floor. As you may know, I've begun to collect old original NES games as a hobby, and well this just got me all kinds of excited. Assuming they would have used the same poster art for the film as their box art for the game, it would have been a beautiful addition to any NES collection for sure.

Doing some digging I found a great article over at Wikia that explains in stunning detail what ultimately led to the demise of this promising game, which you can find HERE.