Friday, August 14, 2015

Show and Tell August 2015

Welcome to a new feature everybody. This will serve as my monthly chance to write about items that don't warrant an entire entry of their own. Yes I've done these sort of grab bag posts before but from now on it's going to be a monthly tradition. It's the perfect kind of feature for August as it's allergy season which makes me tired and loopy as all hell. Just keep that in mind in case I veer radically off topic during this article. This month we've got some toys, snack food, and the big cinematic blunder of the summer.

Skeletor Funko Hikari
As you all may have noticed over the past few months, I've rekindled my old love for toys. Never became a toy collector as an adult due to the fact that most figures are just too damn pricy. There are a few exceptions here and there like the few Funko Pops that I actually like (just wait until you see the one on pre-order). There are a few other Funko product lines out there ranging from the fairly inexpensive to the somewhat extravagant. This belongs to the latter category.
The Hikari line is made up of taller figures with some truly wacky paint jobs. On top of that, each one has a limited amount of figures from 200 or so up to around 5000. As you might expect from a limited figure, there's a pretty mean price tag attached unless you've got the patience to search out a deal. As someone with a very slim budget, it was important to stay as far away from the $50 MSRP as possible. Spots like ebay and Amazon can provide much more reasonable marks in the teens and twenties. That's a checkbook saver as I had to have this Skeletor. Not quite sure why, just really wanted it. $15 and a few days shipping made it happen.
There was a downside to the low price point as wherever these things had been stored dried out the glue holding the box together. This means that if I want to keep him in his very pretty packaging, sticky surgery will be required.
All in all, he's a beauty and a highlight of the corner shelf. Not sure what the chances are of me ever getting another Hikari but at least I got my neon sorcerer. Skeletor was a sorcerer, right? Necromancer maybe? Somebody help me out here.

Fantastic Four (2015)

Oh yeah, I couldn't resist going to the tiny local theater to check out this steaming pile nor was I disappointed by its awfulness. This seems like a product of the 90's. A time when unfaithful, miserable comic movies were the norm. Nowadays when something as relatively low-profile as Ant-Man warrants a good movie, flicks like Fantastic Four are downright inexcusable.
I was tempted to write a full article on this one, possibly comparing to the past attempts at bringing FF to the screen. I even watched the unreleased 1994 version (thanks internet) and for all that film's weaknesses it may actually be the most faithful and loving treatment the team has gotten on film. The reason I didn't go through with the full article is that as we continued discussing everything we'd seen, more and more issues would present themselves. Deconstructing this mess is a never ending chore. Much as the director may want to blame studio interference for the failings, he deserves just as much blame. How can I feel so confident saying that? Because you can easily distinguish which scenes are his and which are reshoots (usually thanks to hairstyles like Kate Mara's terrible wig) and all of them are lame. The story structure is anemic, character development is non-existent, issues and plot points are brought forth only to disappear with no resolution of comeuppance. Pacing, tone, art direction, special effects, it all ranges from sub-par to downright horrific.
Don't get me wrong though, we had a great time watching it. Haven't laughed that much in a theater for quite some time. Since it didn't need to be seen in a spiffy theater, we were able to support our little local joint in the process.

Food and Drink

There must have been a distribution shake up in my area recently as seasonal products are actually hitting the shelves on time. Naturally this has me extra excited for the oncoming assault of pumpkin spice and caramel apple treats guaranteed to invade this fall.
Finding Ice Cream Pebbles at the local Wal-Mart was an absolute revelation. More than any other foodstuff, seasonal/specialty cereals frequently pass by my neck of the woods. Last year I didn't encounter the summer pebbles until Thanksgiving, and never saw a hint of the candy corn variety.
As for this new flavor, it's good so long as you've still got a youthful taste for abundant sweetness. I mean this stuff is off the sweet charts and delivers sherbert flavor in full. I was tempted to make treats out of them if not for the fear of having to eat an entire pan by my onesies.
Lay's is in the heart of another chose-a-flavor competition. Overall this new batch is a significant improvement over previous incarnations. Nothing quite so vile as the cappuccino chips. Here's a brief rundown.

Rueben – Pretty tasty but fails to give you a complete Reuben sandwich flavor. Leans more towards cheese with just hints of the other ingredients.
Gyro – Now this one lives up to it's name. They hit all the notes of Gyro flavor from the crazy sauce and farty meat down to the lettuce. It's good but difficult to eat in mass quantities.
Biscuits & Gravy – If any one variety needed to marked as a failure, I'd go with this one. It's not a terrible chip by any means. It just falls so short of what it could be. Every time I eat one, I just wanna head downtown for real B&G.
Truffle Fries – Honestly these are my pick of the litter. There's an abundance of flavors and aromas within this bag, making for a complex and nearly overwhelming chip experience. If you don't really care which variety wins, could you do me a solid and vote for this one?

Like clockwork, we've gotten our......what is it...forth? Maybe fifth special Oreo for the year in the form of Brownie batter. These one were a tough sell for me due to a bad experience with pot brownies a few years back. As you might imagine, even the smell of the things can make me a lil ill. The cookies are ok though, not up to the level of some others, but still a good treat. Have yet to try them with coffee as is my ritual but I assume they'll pass that test swimmingly.

Birthday fun

There's a few birthdays to work into the budget this month. A tough prospect when one hasn't been paid in weeks. Got a few fun items for people. The different Buffy figures are for my sister as is the art book which will probably garner it's own individual post soon. It's by an odd guy named Brandon Bird who does lots of pop-culture influenced paintings involving Nick Cage, the cast of Law & Order, Mr. T. You get the point. It's fun stuff, and there's one print I really want from him. Might be a reward to myself once I finally get a second job.
Already started on a birthday box for my nephew who turns..Christ, 16 next month! And he's the youngest one since his cousin just reached that number a few days ago. Haven't gotten anything for her yet but seeing as she's not getting back from California until a week after the big day tardiness can be excused.

So that's some of the random junk that's been flying through my life this month. You'll have to excuse me now as I'm at a critical juncture. I'm either going to sleep for maybe five more hours...or mow the lawn and sleep for ten. Oh and now I just remembered the three e-mails and job app I have to take care of but my head's so itchy! See you all soon with....honestly have no idea. With something. Until then, you all have a good time.

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