Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Quick Crappy Review: Mondo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1:6 Scale Donatello (Mondo Exclusive version)


I’ve not been so good of late - you can tell when I’m not so good because my blog content either dries up or becomes really indulgent (well EVEN MORE really indulgent), depression and panic attacks have turned me into an unproductive slug filled with despair and pain. You know what I need? A huge Ninja Turtle to turn up in the post, that’d cheer me up a bit – well whaddya know!? Also: feel bad for me!


Donatello is the second of Mondo’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1:6 Scale Collectable Figures, 10-inch deluxe action figures based (mostly) on the TMNT comic books of old. The first was Leonardo and if you haven’t read my utterly spectacular Quick Crappy Review of that figure you can read it here, it’s probably best to give it a look over, not just because it’s utterly specular like all may amazing content (so much bullshit, so little time) but because this review’ll be referring to it a fair amount. Anyway Donatello was scheduled for release in Quarter 2 2016 and has arrived in Quarter 3 2017 so yeah, he’s a bit late – for whatever reasons Mondo have taken a year to ship these figures, things happen but it’s not a great start to their move into the world of 1:6 scale action figures and has severely damaged my trust in them (though they did get their Madballs out pretty fast). Anyway two versions of Donatello were available, a regular version and a deluxe version that came with an additional accessory but if you subscribed (so you got all four Turtles) you got the deluxe version for the price of the regular version, this is what I did.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Hyper Japan 2017 Edition!

It was Hyper Japan! The premiere anime, manga and Japanese culture convention for us in the South-East, I’ve been having heavy bouts of depression with long panic attacks and had to force myself to go but I’m so glad I did. It IS still being held at Tobacco Dock though, a place I likened last time to something like ‘a Hello Kitty store exploded in a survival horror location’: my opinion of the venue has not changed because the venue and layout has not changed – you still enter though a creepy underground carpark that looks like a test map from Left 4 Dead and Tobacco Dock itself is still filled with empty rooms, dead ends and dark corners and it’s still confusing as fuck to navigate without checking your map. There are – happily – no pyramid headed rapey executioners dragging huge knives, no one cosplayed as Pyramid Head this year (which is a good thing, because dressing up as Red Pyramid is fucked up in many ways).


I had an awesome time regardless, I cosplayed for once (I was a wizard dressed all in pink, I looked fabulous, no you can’t see a picture) which generally makes me more approachable than my usual ‘scowling bald man all in black’ look (I can’t help it! Some people have resting bitch face I have resting you can’t come in here in those shoes mate face) and so chatted to many other nerds, some dressed up, some may have been or they just might have been really stylish in general -  I even got to hang out with Nick Wylde and Judy Hopps for a while. I get a bit nervous around and when I get nervous I can overcompensate so I apologize to anyone who had an experience akin to a pink hurricane blowing past. I did feel a bit sparse this time around, I know there are always less sellers than at the Christmas Market because, well, that’s a Christmas Market themed convention but I still could have done with some more stalls and they REALLY needed some more food stalls but even if the convention had been utter crap objectively and it really fucking wasn’t - multiple stages, game rooms and panel rooms were all there to enjoy, I think there was a rave room too, what as that place? Even if it was crap objectively my friend’s infectious enthusiasm would have made sure I came out of my funk long enough to enjoy myself, we were all dressed up (except Dan, tit) and all themed (Fairy Tail, judge as applicable) and everyone was so up, it was a good time and a welcome break from mental and physical exhaustion (FEEL BAD FOR ME). I never do too much shopping at Hyper Japan events because it lacks the variety of crap LFCC and (to a lesser extent) MCM have on offer but I still got enough to squeeze an Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On post out – aren’t you delighted?

Your background for these is an awesome sketch of Oswald The Lucky Rabbit  my friend bought for me from Disney World. Just to clarify: it HAS been up on my wall, I took it took it down for the new windows to be put in and haven't put it back yet. 

Smego Squirtle!
A Present! (£6/$7.86 I think)
Oh no sorry it’s a LNO Squirtle, because that’s less like ‘Lego’ than ‘Smego’. This is the first thing I bought (well it was bought for me – thanks Natsu!) because how can anyone resist this? They had all three Gen 1 Starters too so if you’re more in the Bulbasaur or Charmander camps then they had your impulse buy covered too. I’m a Squirtle man, it was the Squirtle Squad that sealed the deal for me, a bunch of hoodlum squirrel turtles who had no fucks to give and wore glasses stolen from Mouser from Super Mario Bros 2? I didn’t want to raise a Squirtle after that, I wanted to be one and then it evolves into Thor Turtle and then a fucking tank. I like Bulbasaur and Charizard is undeniably badass but it’s just Squirtle has my heart.
Anyway I have one of these for Sonic and for Raphael and they’re a bitch to put together if you have hands as huge as mine, imagine King Kong trying to pick up a Jack Russel and you have an idea of what it’s like for me to build these, but it’ll be worth if for Squirtle. I need to get an Umbreon one of something like that so I can make little sunglasses for him, I bet they make one for the demon from Death Note (*Googles*… …. He’s called Ryuk), he has enough black to make Mouser sunglasses out of, surely?   

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

X-Looks III: My Favourite Jean Grey Costumes


I there wasn't gonna be another of these for a specific X-Character: I have the theory that these are more fun for me to work out and write than they are for other people to read and I didn’t think I ‘needed’ to do another one as I thought I had one definitive look I prefer for the remaining X-Characters (or at least only one or two) but that turned out to not be the case for Jean Grey, fucking gingers.
Me and Jean Grey have never been close, Rogue’s my favourite X-Man and Storm is (for me) the hottest X-Man but I’ve always been kind of ‘whatever’ on Jean: I don’t dislike her and she (or the Phoenix Force posing as her) has had some great moments but I wouldn’t say I like her either, she’s always just kind of ‘been there’ for me. I also don’t find her very attractive, in fact I think she’s kind of uninteresting physically speaking - This is odd as I’m a massive ’redophile’ and find gingers to be the most attractive breed of white people1 but for Jean the only time I found her attractive (and not just one of her outfits) is very recently when she was played by Sophie Turner (X-Men: Apocalypse) and as fine an actress as Turner is (and as pretty as she is) I think she’s a terrible bit of casting, mostly because she looks very little like Jean Grey, or at least 616 Jean Grey (and Evolution Jean Grey too now I think about it), so what I’m saying is the only time I found Jean Grey attractive is when she didn’t look like Jean Grey. Oh the reason that’s not on the list? I don’t like her black costume; I did like her ‘graduation’ costume (that’s based on the Jim Lee designed Mutant Genesis/X-Men ’92 cartoon look) a lot more but not enough to get it on the list. So I don’t really care either way for Jean Grey as a character and I don’t fancy her, and yet I have a whole bunch of looks I like for her, I wonder if that’s more likely (because I don’t have strong feelings on her) or less so (because I don’t have strong feelings on her)?

Anyway Jean Grey is a bit complicated: Jean Grey is one of the original X-Men and one of Professor X’s first students (the fifth to officially join). As a kid her powers kicked in just as her best friend was about to be run over by a car, physically ‘in her mind’ at the time of her death, Jean spent some time in a coma before joining the X-Men. Jean Grey sacrificed herself to save the All-New All Different X-Men and some allies and pilot them through cosmic rays2, during this an extra-terrestrial sentient force called The Phoenix Force came to her, took her form and left her in Jamaica Bay to heal (the cosmic rays having already began to kill her), this Phoenix was seduced and driven unstable by Mastermind and became Dark Phoenix, killed a planet then sacrificed herself on the moon. After this the force tried to return what it took from Jean but she rejected it, so it found the next best thing, a clone of Jean Mister Sinister was working who became Madelyn Prior. By the time Jean was eventually found in Jamaica Bay by the Avengers, Cyclops had married Madelyn and had a child (who became Cable) however due to a series of events3 the two split up, Prior lost it and became the Goblin Princess and died and then the memories of both Prior and the Phoenix Force as Jean Grey were returned to Jean. Jean and Cyclops got together proper, married and got stuck in the future helping to raise Cyclops’ son, then were the X-Men’s golden couple until Cyclops sacrificed himself to save X-Man, merged with Apocalypse and then came back with some serious emotional problems, Jean was then killed by ‘Magneto’ after tapping into the Phoenix Force herself. So are you…WAKE UP!....are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll being:

 
6. X-Men: The Movie Action Figure (Version 1)
Debut: X-Men: The Movie (Toy Biz)
So this was a big deal for about two minutes in 2000 but 2000 fell right in the deepest recess of THE DARK TIMES™ when I was a comic book fanboy extraordinaire. So it looms large in what’s left of my fragmented memories of this time so this particular look for Jean Grey has become somewhat big to me. The controversy was that when Jean Grey, Storm and the Jean Grey pack-in figure that came with Cyclops were released they had a huge plunging cleavage and Toy Biz thought it was a bit much so they revised them to have a painted-on bra and then eventually to have a new torso (and head, well except the pack-in Jean, that stayed with just the painted on bra). It was a big deal for a short while with collectors scrambling to get the ‘no bra’ versions and was reported on in magazines like Wizard and Toyfare and I actually found a no-bra Jean in-store during a holiday to Chicago that year (it was in a regular toy shop, I still have it carded3). Even though this controversy surrounded both Storm and Jean I associate it more with Jean, probably because she had two figures altered, probably because she was usually the one pictured probably because my third probably because; probably because the change was more noticeable on Jean Grey’s figure thanks to costume design and pose (her chest is kind of thrust out). Because this loomed so large at an impressionable point of my life when I was very focussed on collecting I genuinely think of this figure first 8/10 times when people mention Jean Grey and have grown to have great affection for it.
That’s basically why it’s here, why it’s so low is because I just don’t like Famke Janssen’s casting as Jean Grey and never have, facially she is just completely wrong for all artwork of Jean Grey up to that point (I think they were trying to match her to John Byrne’s drawing of the character if they were trying to match her at all?). I think Famke Janssen is gorgeous, please don’t think this is a knock on Famke Janssen’s looks nor for that matter her acting ability or her ability to pull off being a psychic Mutant acting-wise, it’s just that looks-wise she looks nothing like Jean Grey and it affects my opinion of the look overall. It probably shouldn’t - this is Jean Grey in another universe after all – but at this point it does so it helps it dictate the placing: that and I basically like it by association, because it was the outfit worn by a controversial and noteworthy toy.

Monday, 10 July 2017

5 Things I Saw At Pride in London 2017

So me and a friend went to Pride in London which was held last Saturday (the 8th), I got to be the token heterosexual and it was very fun indeed. If you’re wondering why a completely heterosexual man would go to Pride the answer is a) because my friend asked me and b) a show of support, plain and simple. I do support being out, being proud of it and being able to be so and I am more than happy to turn up and show this by my presence, by my complete nonchalance and by occasionally hugging very muscular men in nothing but shiny mock-leather thongs and rainbow body paint. Actually I’m happy to show my support to anything by hugging anyone, I just like hugging.
For a bit of history nicked from Wikipedia: London Pride has been going since 1972 (though technically 1970) that’s usually held around the first weekend in July, a time chosen because it was the closest Saturday to the Stonewall Riots, an American uprising of Gay and Lesbian New Yorkers after the police raided the Stonewall Inn. It has evolved from a very militant thing to an all day party and I know its drawn accusations of selling out. I’m not a member of the LGBT community, I did grow up being ostracized and beaten up but it was for other things, so I don’t know what right I have to comment but fuck it it’s my blog so: my feelings are: being yourself is worth celebrating as much as fighting for so either should be available at Pride and it is: there are still slogans all over the place and still organisations in the parade that aren’t there to shill for supermarkets AND there are crowds of half-cut people out dancing in the streets to some surprisingly listenable techno cuts and, having a bit of an interest in modern history, especially the 1950s upwards, I am somewhere between pleased and amazed that we’re got to the point where it’s seen to be better for a company’s image to support Pride than to not to.
Anyway I had a fucking great time and I clearly wasn’t alone in that, the event attracts around a million people and easily 80% of them were delighted of course 60% of them were pissed but... anyway here are five random awesome things that I came into contact with, so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll being:

 
Rainbow Ice-Cream!
This was a special, put on by a shop called Yorica! - which is a free from shop with a branch in Soho. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan and have no allergies or moral issues with eating anything - I’d eat human if it came curried - and shops like Yorica are very expensive BUT if you tell me that 1) there’s a promotional food item on sale and 2) it’s fucking rainbow then my ass is there. For all I know you can now mix sorbet and ice-cream perfectly with today’s new-fangled technology but if you can’t then eating this is the experience that would give you if it were possible, it was teeth-shatteringly sweet and reminded me of the time I crushed a whole packet of Refreshers and put it all in my mouth (we won’t go into why shall we?) – none of these observations are to be taken as a negative; it was good ice-cream.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

X-Looks: My Favourite Storm Costumes


Toldja I’d do Storm
The point of these is that unlike many other characters where I have a definite preference for one look or costume there are some characters there’s a bunch I like with only very small gaps in preference between them and thus I made them into a countdown for my own benefit and amusement and I’m sharing it with you because you don’t get a choice, cool? This is truer for the X-Men’s Storm than just about any other character I can think of. When I internally debate such things the same thing happens: I think of my number one then in brief succession all the rest and end up with a pile of favourites.
So Storm is a Mutant with the ability to control the weather (except for the time she lost her powers for a while), her mother was Kenyan and her father was African-American but she was orphaned at a young age and grew up in Cairo as a child thief before being worshipped as a weather goddess by a small Serengeti tribe (as you do). She joined the X-Men in Giant Size X-Men 1 as part of the big All-New All-Different X-Men shake-up (which also introduced Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus to the team) and has stayed with them pretty much since except for a while when a racial supremacist married her off to Black Panther. After Cyclops quit the team following Jean Grey’s ‘death’ Storm became leader of the group and even fought and bested her predecessor to remain in the role, when he eventually returned about a decade later she became leader of the X-Men Gold Squad and still leads squads when the writers remember to have her do so. Storm was long-time X-Men writer Chris Claremont’s favourite and he was VERY unsubtle about this in the pages of the books he wrote, as such Storm has a LONG history of being very badass and having villains fall for her, now it’s just an established fact in and out of universe that Storm is made of pure awesome. Rogue’s my favourite X-Man but Storm’s probably the X-Man character I fancy the most on a purely physical level so I’m going to really try and make this not too pervy but even if I fail: know that I have never (allegedly) paid a woman to dress up like Storm and do very rude things to me so at the very least I’m still less pervy than Chris Claremont. So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll being.         

7. Outback
Debut: Uncanny X-Men issue 230
There is one reason for me liking this costume so much, it’s not a very good reason but it is the definite reason why I’m so into this look: it’s the outfit used for Storm’s first action figure in the original wave of Toy Biz’s X-Men line. I have a huge (some might say disproportionately huge) respect for the first two waves of X-Men toys, because there’s a crudeness, a toyness to them that I find very charming but also because they’re the start of it all, a pretty blatant case of ‘first instalment wins’ and y’know what? I don’t think some characters (Cyclops, Sauron, Weapon X, Blue & Yellow Wolverine, Iceman and Colossus) have ever been done better. So yeah its…hmm…how to put it?... it’s number 7 by association.  

Thursday, 6 July 2017

X-Looks: My Favourite Rogue Costumes


I was bored and couldn’t sleep, this is the result, I apologize in advance.
Rogue’s my favourite X-Men, I’ve gone into it before but the combination of wanting to hug her, her nice hair and enjoying seeing her kick arse makes her number 1 in the world of AFB, X-Men wise. She’s had a lot of looks, all the X-Men have, even ones you’d never think like Iceman, she’s changed body types (and then changed back for some non-comics media), she’s had a whole slew of hairstyles (and nicely she actually just grew her hair out as Uncanny X-Men progressed, no big jump, just a gradual growing of hair – just like a real person) and she’s had a lot of costumes. I was thinking about my preferred look/costume for various characters today because…I have no idea why, I was spending the whole day shifting furniture on my own with no music, my mind had no distractions and wandered to all sort of things. Anyway, with some characters there’s either no debate and no competition for me (She-Hulk, it’s all Dan Slott-era purple) or not a lot of choice at all (Blue Beetle II & III) but for some characters there are multiple looks or costumes I like and I like ‘em all a real lot < I decided on this sometime between the mattress and the second glass cabinet.    
One of the characters that’s true for is Rogue, in fact I ended up with 6 looks and decided to make you a countdown, I’m sure you’re delighted. So just to get you up to speed if you’re not: Rouge is a Mutant from Mississippi who ran away after her mutant powers kicked in while kissing a boy she liked (Cody) and was adopted by villainess Mystique and her lover Destiny. She absorbs someone’s psyche, skills, physique and (if appropriate) powers through skin-to-skin contact - this is (usually) something she cannot control and were she to touch you for too long it could kill you - so she can’t risk any accidental skin-to-skin contact – this has left her with a few issues. After touching Ms. Marvel for too long she permanently absorbed her physical powers – flight, invulnerability, strength – and got even more guilt. Mystique sent Rogue to the X-Men to help her control her powers and she’s stayed with the team pretty much ever since, even leading her own squad at times. With that are you sitting comfortably? Then this won’t take long, don’t worry. 

 
6.  X3: The Last Stand (X-Uniform)
Debut: X3: The Last Stand (20th Century Fox)
I didn’t get Anna Paquin’s casting when it was announced, over a decade and a half’s worth of comics portraying Rogue as a leggy Amazonian made hiring this little cute girl seem ridiculous to me but looking back at Rogue during her early days with the team (when the first X-Men film was set and when she was a similar age), specifically how Paul Smith drew her during that time, Paquin’s a pretty decent fit - especially facially. Thus my love affair with Anna Paquin began (True Blood is like a dream come true, it’s like a month worth of Anna Paquin). Anyway this is pretty shallow really but I just like seeing Anna Paquin poured into a mock-leather all-in-one jump suit, I’m such a sad little perv for Anna Paquin in this get-up that it gets voted above other outfits and looks that many fans would consider classic, pathetic I know. I choose this particular movie’s version of the look even though the costume’s pretty much the same as it was in the previous film1 for the following reasons: Anna Paquin had matured considerably since her debut as the character with a body and more so a face that’s a closer fit to the Jim Lee/Andy Kubert/Brian Hitch drawings of Rogue that I think of when I think ‘Rogue’ (mostly because of my age and when I came into the franchise I grant you) and her wig had gotten much longer with a lot more white stripe and was being worn down - again making it a closer fit to Lee/Kubert 90’s Rogue but and also just being something I find more attractive than having it up in a ponytail like she did when in-costume in the first two films2.  

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Quick Crappy Review: Neca Superman vs Muhammad Ali


This review has taken me weeks to post, I got this set at the May MCM convention, that’s over a month ago. Why has it taken so long? Well the last picture in this review came out blurry (all of them I took, around 15) so I had to retake it – yes this took me a month to do. I lost the figures, I couldn’t get to the loft, I had a birthday, I had various small bouts of depression, I’m a lazy fuck, all kinds of shit. Now I have the pictures and with very little other content to post because I’m super busy with other stuff (including replacing all the pictures in over half of the posts on here) so I’m finally posting this bloody thing. SO… I went to MCM’s May convention, in was quite frankly better than it’s been in years, two rooms of dealers, a much bigger list of guests (doubly impressive as another convention was happening the same weekend) and just overall a better experience. Sadly my cosplay fell apart before I got in the damn place but that meant I got to walk around the whole thing in ratty clothes and socks, treating the place like it was happening in my living room, it was very satisfying. I came home with two sacks of stuff, some for my birthday (paid for by others), some for myself to enjoy at the time, such as this: Neca’s Superman vs Muhammad Ali two-pack.


It dawns on me that if you don’t know about this then you’re likely confused as to why anyone would make a two pack of figures featuring a boxer and a superhero. Well once upon a time, roughly 1976, DC Editor Julie Swartz came up with the idea of having the most famous person in the world team up with Superman. Celebrities have crossed over with superheroes more than you might think, even by this point, sometimes because they had their own books (like Bob Hope and Jerry Lee Lewis), sometimes because the celebrity wants it and is big enough to get it (like Eminem) and sometimes just because DC/Marvel thought it would sell or be cool (like this), Kiss and the Saturday Night Live crew have appeared in comics so Muhammad Ali shouldn’t be too ridiculous to comprehend. It took a lot of negotiations and behind the screens fiddling (rumour has it that Ali wrote his own dialogue) but the book finally came out as a huge coffee table sized $2 comic in 1978: All New Collector’s Edition C-56, complete with a tag-line to get some sales off the back of Star Wars (I kid you not: the ridiculously clunky phrase ‘Star Warriors’ is nearly as big as the two leads’ logos). The cover has become somewhat iconic in comic book circles and the book is one of my favourite Superman tales of all time; produced by one of comics’ best duos – Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams – it delivers on its concept and the hype that surrounded it, helped by the fact that Ali is one of the few real-world people who I believe could and would have done something like, oh, say, boxed an alien and won if given the chance. Usually the celebrities in these things feel out of place, or worse the book feels like double-sized issue long blowjob for them (read the Punisher/Eminem special for such things) but Ali was so big and so good and known for being so good that his involvement as Earth’s Champion in an alien pissing contest feels as normal as Superman’s, in 1977 they’re easily the first two people the world would have chosen, with Luke Skywalker being number 3.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Ten OTHER Great Songs By... The Damned

No Bootsale Report, because I honestly can’t muster enough enthusiasm, instead have an article on a punk band.
Ladies and Gentlemen – how do.
Welcome to the fourth instalment of Ten Other Great Songs By… where I gush about the songs you’ve never heard of by bands you don’t know the name of but would recognise if you heard them, eschewing the one or two hits the act has to tell you about 10 other great songs they recorded. We also ignore what I’ve taken to calling a band’s Teenage Kicks – songs that weren’t successful (or even singles sometimes) but are now as well known, if not more well known, than those top selling singles - just like The Undertones’ song Teenage Kicks, which far more people know than their highest charting single My Perfect Cousin. Because I just watched their excellent documentary Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, today it’s time for The Damned.
God just explaining the Damned’s line-up changes is going to take a paragraph. Ok the Damned were one of the first wave of British Punk bands who formed out of the atrociously named rehearsal group the London SS (along with The Clash, Generation X and The Pretenders). They eschewed the more socio-political focus The Clash and the Sex Pistols had to sing songs about, well, just about anything they felt like and were formed by Brian James (Guitar) and Rat Scabies (Drums). The band have a habit of breaking up and reforming with the same regularity that most people change cars, even their most iconic member Captain Sensible (Guitar) was out of the band for a few years in the 1980s  after his solo success as a novelty act made it genuinely difficult to sell the band (no, really). The only member of the group who’s been in every line-up is front man Dave Vanian (vocals) as such, no matter what Scabies and James say, I consider wherever Vanian is to be the Damned (except when he was performing with the Phantom Chords obviously, they’re not The Dammed, they have their own name). The bass player was originally Sensible but after he switched it’s been a revolving door of various people that are sometimes people who got cancer, sometimes Dave Vanian’s wife and sometimes Lemmy; Paul Gray and Algy Ward are probably the two most noteworthy. Vanian and Sensible have both had bitter fallings out with Scabies so Scabies hasn’t been with the band since their last reformation, however Pinch (Drums) and the utterly wonderful Monty Oxymoron (Keyboard) have. Got all that? Right, the band were the first British punk group to have a single (New Rose), album (Damned Damned Damned) and American tour (all courtesy of Stiff Records because they’re the best record label ever) and have actually had a few hits – Love Song, Smash it Up and Eloise, so we’ll be ignoring them and their two punk anthems New Rose and Neat Neat Neat which is fine by me as I’ve never really liked Neat Neat Neat as much as I think I’m supposed to.
On a personal note I’m a pretty intense Damned fan, for me they form a kind of unholy trinity of British Punk with The Jam and The Clash and I’ve seen them more times live than any other act bar Alice Cooper, even more than Billy Bragg – who I would happily take a bullet for. I’m happy to see them finally getting the same sort of recognition as The Clash, the Buzzcocks and even the Sex Pistols because while The Clash just beat ‘em for me they’re as good as all three. So are you sitting comfortably? Then mine’s a large one landlord

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Pictures

Photobucket won't let me us them as a 3rd Party Hosting site anymore, apparently it's not allowed 'oh my plan'. This is probably my fault for always being 10 years out of date with everything.
This blog currently has over 200 posts with over 2000 images, how I DO have all of these backed up on my harddrive but it's sill gonna take me some time to replace all the images. I could pay Photobucket but they want over $300 dollars. I feel a bit like I'm being held to ransom and even if I had $300 to spend on a file hosting site I wouldn't give it to Photobucket.
SO. If you see a page title with an asterisk that means I've replaced the images, if a page title has no asterisk, the images aren't back yet. I'm sorry all my imaginary chums,
I have a mega busy week coming up too with some windows being put in so images won't be replaced as quickly as I'd like but after this time next week images'll be back much faster. Thanks all.   

Friday, 16 June 2017

Examples of Crap I Waste Other People's Money On: Birthday 2017 Edition*

It was my birthday this week! And as I’ve not gone to a bootsale this weekend nor will I be going to one next weekend I thought “oh no, my imaginary readers might not be able to survive without a post about the random shit I now possess” so I’m writing a birthday special of Examples’, yay right? Yay? Please?
I had a really nice birthday by the way; I suppose ‘effortlessly enjoyable’ sums it up. Everyone came over for a barbeque – two of my mates did the cooking (one for meat, one for vegan) and no-one fell in the pond (sadly) – then on the day I went to my beloved Southend-on-Sea and to their Sea-Life Centre Sea-Life Adventure which now has that well known aquatic species: the meerkat (I’m not joking, they genuinely have meerkats) but also mega adorable otters and FUCKING PENGUINS, the best of animals and my nan bought me a penguin that plays the Venga Boys and is wearing deely boppers. The girl who served us was utterly adorable – so of course I was with my nan buying a penguin that plays the Venga Boys and was wearing deely boppers, if you’re reading girl who served me at Sea Life Adventure, I’m not that sad it was just my birthday! Honestly! Of course if you are reading this then you will know how exactly how sad I am and in what ways. Oh well, at least I’ll be single with a musical penguin, I find most things are more palatable with musical penguins.
Present wise I fucking made out, which means that this post will probably be less amusing than it could be because I’m a bit short on random silliness this year, I’d feel bad but I really, really don’t, sorry.

Convention Fund!
Ok I do have a couple of random things. I probably should be highlighting the awesome Rocky Horror Picture Show script the couple (not the two pictured, only Lady Deadpool is part of the couple who gave me this) also gave me but I figure a picture of two girls in cosplay kissing might get me more hits than me going on about how much I love Tim Curry – again. The girl who made this is the one dressed as Lady Deadpool, the one dressed as All New Wolverine is my unofficial little sister, the latter relationship really ruins the titillation for me a bit. Apparently there is another picture taken a second after this where the fellow standing between their heads noticed what was going on at his right, the decision was made to use the shot that didn’t feature a turned on Black man. This is just ingenious - it’s a picture but it’s also a money box and it’s a money box for something that’s related to the picture – sorted. I’m sure they’re all over Facebook or whatever but I’ve never seen one before so I think it’s neat.  

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Gulliver's Alive!: A Sentimental Ramble About the Large Fiberglas Gulliver currently in Southend-On-Sea's Adventure Island*

Gulliver’s back!

 A quick and, perhaps, an odd little post but I needed to put this is on the internet.
Never Never Land used to be a small tourist attraction at Southend-on-Sea; it was built into the Shrubbery, a sloping hillside that’s the other side of the road to the beach. It’s worth noting here that there were in fact two Never Never Lands, the first that operated from the 1950s until 1972 and the second that operated from 1987 until 2000, they were both on the same land and the same sort of attraction but with virtually completely different content - what I’m about to say only pertains to the ’87-’00 version which is the one I went to, the one with castle full of He-Man figures and the creepy always-shocked fibreglass mice everywhere.

These things.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Trio, Kinder Egg, Pokemon and Centre Parcs present: A Chocolate Extravaganza!*

I had a review written but I need to do some shit for it and don’t have time, so instead: here’s some chocolate
And so I realised that I’ve got a shitload of noteworthy chocolate hanging around my house, mostly in my extension. Do I usually keep chocolate in my extension? Yeah, actually. Isn’t this titillating? By ‘noteworthy’ I mean chocolate you can’t just walk into a paper shop and buy all year ‘round, stuff that’s limited to a specific place or time of year or stuff that’s just unusual, special chocolate. Some of it I’d been meaning to talk about on here, some of it is getting featured to pad out the post – so yes that’s what we’re doing today, talking about some assorted nummy treats, so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Centre Parcs Chocolate Bars!
These have been sitting in an alcove waiting for their AFB Tribute since I got back from Centre Parcs this year, but depression was there and when I my mood was a little bit better I still couldn’t think of a way to stretch my love for these out into more than a paragraph or two, oh well, they can shine here. Centre Parcs has been having exclusive chocolate bars made for them since I’ve been born and although the packaging has changed - when I was wee they came dressed like a Kit-Kat used to, foil covered with a paper wrapper worn like colourful pull-over now they come in these very upmarket art-deco boxes with a sealed-for-freshness wrapper because fun is now allowed when you want to appeal to adults -  but the bar inside has remained mostly the same, eating one in the little kitchen area of a Centre Parcs villa is a straight passport back to childhood. No, wait, can I just rant for a moment about changing the Kit-Kat packaging? Because I’m not over it, I know that it keeps them fresher; I know that they’ve been like in America for years, I also don’t care because 1) I don’t like change 2) replacing something iconic with something practical is never satisfying 3) they’re less satisfying to open and harder to share/break, two things that Kit-Kat had going for it and the latter being a major factor in the bar’s concept and advertising 4) Kit-Kats that aren’t slightly stale and chewy taste weird 4) I don’t like change.  
Back to these holiday camp bars then: The best way to describe these is if a Yorkie and a Toblerone had a baby but the offspring was creamier than both, Centre Parcs is very much a European holiday resort and their chocolate bars are very much European chocolate, a little bit more cocoa, a fresh feeling in your mouth afterwards even from the ones that aren’t mint, they somehow manage to taste like walking in Centre Parcs. I actually bought four bars to bring home with me for me (I bought bars for my family too, I’m not a bastard, just a pig) but I couldn’t hold out until after I wrote the article and one of the standard milk chocolate ones disappeared. I’d like to say it was because my willpower was lowered by heavy depression but we all know that’s bullshit so I’ll tell the truth – I just couldn’t wait any longer, I needed to taste Centre Parcs. I made that sound way dirtier than I wanted it too.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Bootsale Report 14!*

It’s that time again!

Didn’t do a bootsale last week because I went to a convention, the reason you didn’t get one of these for that convention is because a lot of what I bought is for my birthday so I in fact don’t yet have it to photograph and waffle on about while you all pretend to look interested (thanks for that by the way). As a nice change of pace, this weekend’s bootsale was lovely, Saturday had been beautiful weather to Dunton was big and busy but Sunday itself was, while warm and sunny, warm and sunny with a cool breeze and the occasional cloud to provide respite. A shocking thunderstorm Friday kept the dust down, coming at the end of the half term school holidays kept the number of regular families selling up (rather than market stall like sellers who do this for a living/second income), I’d had a good amount of sleep and felt fine, so happily wandered through isle after isle of stalls buying a surprisingly large amount of small toys:

click to enlarge, it's quite fun to stare at
So it’s a very vertically challenged ‘haul’ this time but a very full and pleasant one, the ratio of genuine collectibles to utter rubbish that only I would be this enthusiastic about isn’t any different of course but what do you expect? I worry these articles may be getting redundant but goddammit they help justify my expenditure on other people’s old junk and I need that, I think I’m gonna go question my life for a minute.
Right, yes, how about some enthusing about toys ‘n stuff? As always these are just the items that I can squeeze a paragraph out of and I’m not necessarily saying they’re the best things in that photo, except when i explicitly say they’re some of the best things in the photo. So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll being:

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Super Quick Crappy Review: Eliminator Super Hero*

Just a quick one, but we need to talk about this knock-off figure.



B&M Bargains are a chain of large discount stores from Lancashire whose logo looks like a brand of 1970s washing powder. They sell a wide variety of crap from mainstream American food brands to home furnishings to crap knock-off action figures. Chelmsford has a B&M the size of a warehouse (it used to be a Tesco), into which we popped and I bought today’s study, meet the Eliminator Super Hero!


I’m a fairly large fan of Toy Biz’s Marvel figures from the 1990s, especially their 10” lines, Eliminator Super Hero has almost certainly been manufactured to cash in on the sales success of the 12” Titan Heroes line (y’know, the really cheap 12” figures Spider-Man and Star Wars have?) but his stance, proportions and just overall width make ESH feel far closer to those old Toy Biz behemoths than any current product. He’d deliciously retro; though I think it’s more a case of being behind the times. Anyway according to his box he was made for B&M though it doesn’t say who buy, which I believe is a clever ploy to avoid the inevitable summons. Speaking of the box, I don’t normally do packaging but with knock-off toys they’re often one of the best parts and this one’s surprisingly professional, it features two images of our Eliminator Super Hero in two poses traced from stock images of Iron Man taken from Google Image search and while the colouring is completely different (it’s the colours scheme for the Iron Patriot, who appeared in Iron Man 3 - that is not a coincidence) the actual armour is spot is on to the figure. Given the usual quality of bootleg packaging it’s surprising it’s not a picture of Batman, getting pieces of accurate commissioned artwork (I’m guessing they also sell this in the Iron Patriot colours scheme) you might as well consider this a Marvel Legends release.


The figure itself is wonderful, when knock-off toys get to this size they feel like humanoid Easter eggs and I love that shit, this is especially true on ESH’s hips, you can’t stroke an Easter egg for too long, it’ll melt, but I can stroke fake iron man’s thighs all day. He is exceptionally metallic too and very shiny, in fact he look and feels like Christmas and I may even use him as a decoration, of course paint has worn off just through the non-contact sport of being in a box but then what’d you expect? I’m just pleased he has paint-apps, let alone this many and this many that stay (roughly) in the lines – he’s painted back and front too, this is truly an elite knock-off. Design wise he’s there to do the job – look like Iron Man but not enough like Iron Man to incur lawsuits, I’d truly like to meet the man who looked at the Iron Man suit and thought ‘what that really needs is an Iron Vagina’ – the man needs me to buy him a beer. Also if he’s not a robot – and honestly I want him to be – his helmet is impossible, the wearer would have to have no nose, or chin, or skull. Articulation wise he’s really vey functional, he has swivels at the neck, shoulders and wrists and hinges at the thighs, that’s not only a lot for the type of toy he is but more than the Titan Heroes line has. Really there’s very little to complain about, his hands are huge but they’re also far more robot-y than Iron Man’s so it kind of evens out, also his shoulder armour is supposed to look hi-tech but it really just looks like something from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Shall we go onto accessories?


Oh yes, a £2.50 Iron Man knock-off has accessories, in fact he has three and they’re all huge (and undoubtedly reused). What I’m assuming to be his primary weapon, as it was packaged next to the c-grip hand and I used to play Iron Man and War Machine a lot on Capcom’s fighting games and they produced some big-ass weaponry, is a gun so huge it’d even give Cable penis envy; he can hold it but he really can’t stand while doing so unless you point it down and use it to balance him, so unless EHS spends all his career hunting down rouge DIglett gangs it’s not that functional. His other gun can only be described as a deluxe Super Soaker -  after the brand was absorbed into Nerf, this one our hero can stand up and hold but the handle’s too small for his gargantuan robot mitts so it just swings ‘round and either hits him I the face or shoots him in the chest. I do like it though and I like the idea of Iron Man going into battle with a Super Soaker even more so I may resort to Blu-Tac. His final weapon, the one that’s both functional, practical and cool looking is a melee weapon I’m going to describe a space wizard’s swordspear. It looks a bit like an ostentatious light sabre and I have absolutely no doubt that Mystery Company X has cast it in c-thru plastic and used it for exactly that. Iron Man’s not known for using melee weapons, mostly known for blasting the fuck out of things, which is absolutely why I enjoy it’s inclusion so much, I expect knock-offs like this to obey the following line of thought ‘kids will think it’s cool, it doesn’t matter how utterly incorrect, nonsensical or inappropriate it is to the source material’ and the more it does this the more I’ll like it, and that is why there should be knock-offs of King Kong riding cheap rubber dinosaurs and wielding space wizard swordspears.

A conclusion for such a rambling, ridiculous review of an Iron Man toy with the serial numbers filed off? If you like this sort of toy, you have no reason not to buy it, it’s currently £2.50 and for that you get a 12” shiny metallic figure with three accessories and an Iron Vagina. If you think knock-off toys are the disgusting you will hate this, should probably burn B&M and possibly me also. Or you could just not buy it and use that £2.50 for a large box of Cheerios or something like that.    

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Kiddicraft Webster - Webster's Sports!*


Welcome sports fan to Webster’s Sports!
I know I used sports twice in once sentence, shut up.
Webster’s Spots is one of two playsets for the small but awesome Webster line from Kiddicraft, the other was the bigger but actually less awesome Webster’s Playhouse, which looked a bit like the Nerfuls’ playset but with angles, I respect that you may have no idea what I just meant.  Here it is and here are its two exclusive pack-in spiders:


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Six Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Bootsale Report 13!*

This morning wasn’t that great. I know I usually open these this year with amusing but ultimately insignificant woes attached to bootsailing but y’know, they’re not THAT bad, it’s mostly just comic exaggeration to get a laugh out at you at my expense (except Collier Row bootsale, that really is that shitty), being dusty or temporarily bored can be funny but it’s not a terrible situation. This bootsale sucked though, not because of the bootsale itself (though it was somewhat unproductive) but because I ended it by having an hour long panic attack, now I did have a surfing shark to cuddle so it wasn’t the worst panic attack I’ve ever had but it really does put a damper on an outing, it’s also pretty hard to concentrate on, or care about, stalls full of other people’s old crap, it’s hard to concentrate on to care about anything actually. You’d think that, as I have them once a week at least, I’d be able to recognise panic attacks coming on way in advance, but it still takes me a good five minutes of thinking ‘I feel really weird’ before I cotton on because sometimes I’m fucking daft, anyway I’m very used to having panic attacks and can suffer them well but that doesn’t mean I like having them and I like having them in public places even less and in public places I visit regularly even less than that, I feel very self-conscious next time I go even though I know, rationally, no fucker noticed in the slightest because they were all too busy looking at old crockery and second hand handbags but y’know if the rational part of me was in charge I wouldn’t have random panic attacks in fields. Today’s take-home was also fairly middling, not terrible and certainly not un-exciting, just meh. Maybe it’s the lead-up-to and after effects of panicking for an hour, it’s hard to really enthuse about Flintstones candy containers when you’re acutely aware of how terrible and worthless your life is and that most people think you’re a loser. I will try though, and also to those people: I’m a loser with a surfing shark to cuddle actually, bitches. I took a photo anyway, not because  it was an impressive haul worth commemorating but more because I just wanted to see a group shot that included Master Splinter, Will Smith, Bart Simpson, an evil clown and the happiest Venom ever:


I was right wasn’t it? It’s delightful. Venom agrees with me, but then he thinks EVERYTHING is delightful. So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:  

Thursday, 18 May 2017

AFB's Top 13 Favourite Wrestlers in American Professional Wrestling


While ill I watched a lot of YouTube, and it left me in the mood to write a bunch of indulgent top 10s – which lead me to dust this off. I did a bunch of work on a Top 30 Wrestlers list as one of last year’s 30th Birthday Top 30s but it never got finished, no real reason, it just didn’t. But I looked about the messy teenager’s bedroom that is my documents folder and had enough material and enough inclination to turn it into a top 13 and so I did but… it still felt a little too indulgent so I’ve decided to recommend four matches of each entry on the list, that way if reading some bald bloke you’ve never met enthusing doesn’t float your boat you’ll still have 52 wrestling matches to look up on DailyMotion.
Anyway criteria was simple: the wrestler had to have had a career in America but didn’t have to be American (Canadians are coming). The reasons for this? Simply I know very little about Mexican or Japanese Wrestling so I felt if I was excluding them I should also exclude British Wrestlers too. Backstage bullshit and out-of-the-ring behaviour isn’t being taken into account when it comes to numbering, I’ll bring some of it up but it wasn’t used to judge the wrestlers for this list, I’m just referring to it for some other bullshit reason, probably attempts at humour or because it’s relevant to something other than the numbering. Wrestling for the WWF/E wasn’t a necessity but as so many American Pro Wrestlers do over their careers it shouldn’t be surprising that all but one on this list have done just that.  So anyway, ready for some barely clothed sweaty mean and poor and vague reasoning why I like them? Great!  Then are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin like a thorn in your eye: 

13. Bayley / Becky Lynch
Who? Two femael wrestlers who came up through and out of WWF's NXT division (and show) together 
Why? So why are they tied? Well for the really silly reason that I figured out that I like them equal, I like them both for the same set of reasons: they’re great wrestlers, they’re attractive and I want to hang out with them, can you imagine going shopping with Bayley? It would be immense, I imagine she’d just run from store to store and buy an armful of awesome t-shirts, funky stationary and soft toys and I Lynch is just cool, I think it was Paige who asked what her purpose was as WWE Diva? My answer: to be the really undeniably likable one you want to chat with before and after you see them beat the piss out someone. The difference really is that (and sorry to both girls in advance) I find Lynch more attractive (and more… my sort of person) while I think Bayley is a better wrestler, to me those things even them out (shallow I know).
Sasha Banks vs Bayley - NXT Takeover: Brooklyn (WWE NXT)
Charlotte vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch – NXT Takeover: Rival (WWENXT)
Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch – TLC 2016 (WWE)1
Asuka vs Bayley – NXT Takeover: Dallas (WWE NXT)1

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Bootsale Report 12!*

Today I went to a bootsale in the rain. If you can’t see the problem with going to an entirely outdoor market with absolutely no cover when its pissing out let me enlighten you: you get wet, and everything you might want to buy either gets wet or gets covered up so it doesn’t get wet so you spend a lot of time walking around, getting wet, looking at nothing. It’s not exactly harrowing but it is fucking boring. “Oh we’re up now” the rest of the people I was going with said “we might as well go, it’s only supposed to be showers” it was showers, about three altogether that lasted for about half the time we was there, in-between it was very sunny, turning the field – and the inside of my coat – into a tropical climate… but I’m glad I listened to them:

It’s not a great haul, but given that it was the exact opposite of bootsale weather, coming home with anything at all is worth being chuffed about, let alone coming home with Mr Pricklepants! And of this meagre selection six of them (the dinosaur, the white guy, the van, the police bike and the robot respectively) are top buys, items that I’ve been looking for for a while and genuinely collectible with a notable resale value, or tl;dr they cost a lot at conventions. Also Wolfcop on DVD. So are you sitting com…oh, no hang on, I totally have to show you these:


I didn’t buy them because even I have limits but I had to take a picture, they’re not quite on par with the Anti-Terrorism Super Gun in terms of sheer shameless cluelessness but I think we can all enjoy the Samurai Gun Special, y’know a firearm for those warriors who didn’t use firearms and the brutal simplicity of FIGHT GUN. Now with that shared, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.   

 
Reader’s Digest Gets Morbid!
50p (64¢)
A child bullied me into buying this.
She caught me flicking through it and just kept telling me it was 50p, moving closer with each announcement, I thought she was going to square up to me. Her mum was on the phone meeting my eyes with a look of ‘I dunno, I can’t control the creature, just give her money and maybe she’ll back off, it works 7 out of 10 times with us’. So to avoid getting into a fight with (and almost certainly loosing too) a four year old (she was little but wiry, like a mongoose with a ponytail) I just gave her the 50p and scampered away, hoping she wouldn’t follow and duff be up ‘round the back of the chemical khazis. Thankfully she stayed to extort money from more unwary buyers and I was able to regain my composure and work on convincing myself that I am, in fact, an alpha male.  The book’s actually quite good, ranging from the generic (famine in Africa) to specific catastrophes (the Titanic) all in that Reader’s Digest style of writing and even as dirty as it was (this is after a few wet wipes and some Fairy Liquid) it was well worth 50p of protection money. 

Enemy!
£3 ($3.87)
This alone was worth getting wet for, to pay less than a fiver for a Robo Force figure I’d let it bloody hail on me. This big house clearance stall had three Robo Force figures, three, but only Enemy was in good enough condition for me to buy (they had Hun-Dred, the Skeletor of Robo Force and easily one of my top 100 action figures but his arm was broken, it made me sad, I lovingly touched his angry beetle head in tribute, then washed my hand). This was not a clean toy, in fact it was a dirty week in general, the mixture of rain and accumulated dirt from various attics and sheds is not a pleasant one but even as mucky as he was, and with a peeling sticker (I’ve since stuck it) Enemy was a fucking steal and he is my new best friend. If you’ve never owned a Robo Force toy and can’t see the appeal I would like to tell you that they are big, angry, chunky, give hugs and those suckers they stand on are like fucking super glue, they can and will stick to anything: Enemy stuck fast to an old trunk when all I did was put him down to give the stallholder (who was wearing a bowler hat and shorts - good man) the money, these are the all-terrain vehicles of action figures.  

Stone Cold Steve Austin!
70p (90¢)
If y’wanna see dwitefry spend a whole paragraph doin’ a bad Stone Cold impression gimme a hell yeah! Have you seen this figure? Je-sus Christ son get serious, they made ol’ Stone Cold look like a confused Simon Pegg and then had him write his name across his jeans because apparently Austin 3:16 says “I sign mah own crotch”. The whole thing’s so goddamn ridiculous and yet so goddamn awesome there weren’t no way we was leaving without it an’ anyway even when he’s comically out of proportion the Rattlesnake’s still the meanest son of a bitch that ever lived and that’s the bottom line, cos Stone Cold said so.

Joker Van!
£4 ($5.16)
While certainly in ‘played with’ condition I’ve wanted one of these for years and having one in my hand that was an affordable price I just couldn’t put it down. It’s more of my ‘so ridiculous it’s awesome’ thing, it really does look like for all the world that The Joker has given up being the Clown Prince of Crime and become the Crown Prince of Furniture Removals or possibly just taken to transporting the forty cakes Lex Luthor steals. It’s just so silly but then it’s The Joker, if any villain was going to steal a bakery van, paint it bright purple then slap giant stickers of their face on it and then actually use it for larceny then the Joker’s than villain. Hell he probably has a fleet of them and made sure to use actual baked goods in the crimes he uses them for, just for the sake for theming. This is why The Joker is better than most other supervillains, yes purple vans make you superior to robots who’ve killed countries and alien robots that have bottled cities, I don’t make the rules, I just live by ‘em.

Odds & Sods!
Approx. £2.20 ($2.84) the lot
The thinness of this week’s haul allows me to spotlight a constant in all my bootsale shopping, The Odds & Sods. If you look through all of the haul photos in the Bootsale Reports on this site you’ll see that they’re all padded out with a number of random, worthless and often small toys that are sometimes Pokémon. They rarely-to-never get spotlighted and you might not even consciously notice them (if you existed) but they make each Bootsale special, you never know what they’ll be and they never disappoint. How they get bought ranges from me actually going to the stall purposefully to purchase them to thinking ‘well I’m already buying five things from this box, I might as well make it six’ they’re not stuff I actually ‘collect’ or things that I’d ever buy new or search for on eBay but they do usually tie into some obsession I have. Like the Pokémon, I only really ‘collect’ the Gen 1 & 2 toys but I’ll buy any Pokémon that I half-way like if it’s cheap, the little hollow Pokémon (represented in this photo by a super deformed Zekrom, the black lizard thing in the bottom right corner) are always cheap so it’s common for me to come home with one. Bootsales are generally a lot more productive if you’re easily pleased, I think that’s why children like them so much, I am very easy to please FOR EXAMPLE: that Playmobil skeleton is, to me, perfect - it’s the reanimated skeleton of a Playmobil figure, think about that for a minute - and the lady gave it to me for free (I bought some other stuff from her). That genuinely cheered me up and made the rain feel a little warmer during the next shower, sure I was wet, cold and muddy but I got a free Playmobil skeleton, man. FOR EXAMPLE: I will buy any gorilla that looks remotely King Kong-esque but as for the shark, I was chatting with another bloke looking through the Dirty Stall (that was something this week, the rain had turned the inexplicable dirt to inky ecto-plasm, but apparently I’m happy to dig through black slime if there’s the off chance there might be Ninja Turtles there and so was this bloke) and I said to him “if that shark squeaks I’m buying it” “squeeze it” says the other nerd - now invested, the shark squeaks, we were both genuinely happy, I bought him, god he was filthy but now he’s clean and I have a small squeaky shark in my life, I think I’ll call him Shawn. It pays to find joy in little small things, especially squeaky rubber sharks.

 
Space Precinct Police Bike!
£5 ($6.44)
Man I wish this bloke had had all of his stall out, he had this and rows of carded Legends of the Dark Knight and Phantom Menace stuff, if that was the shit he was willing to let get wet I’d’ve loved to have seen what else he had. Anyway I used to have a complete set of Space Precinct figures and vehicles but they all disappeared, perhaps victims of the Great Crush Dummies Box Disaster, so now I’m gradually reacquiring the set. It’s not too difficult because it seems nobody but me likes or even remembers the show (which I consider to be Gerry Anderson’s Babylon 5) or their toys so there’s not really any competition and sellers have no respect for them thus you can, for instance, get a carded vehicle for a fiver off some bloke at a bootsale, or pay 50p for a figure off another bloke from a bootsale. You can’t do that with Masters of the Universe, or even the other Gerry Anderson toylines of the 90’s like Thunderbirds of Captain Scarlet (which I’m also having to rebuy, having lost nearly all of them too). So what I’m saying is, learn to respect Space Precinct but not before I buy a boxed Police Cruiser.

Two Foot of Dinosaur Magazines!
£5 ($6.44)
So these were those scam magazines you see advertised every January: “buy a magazine for a fiver reach month and build a scale model of the Titanic, first issue only 50p” those things. I totally bought into that as a kid and between Dinosaurs! and How My Body Works my mum was putting our newsagents kids through college. Each issue of Dinosaurs! was focussed on a specific dinosaur and was filled with a bunch of stuff like 3D double page spreads, ‘Ask the Expert’ pages full of facts and even little comics (the one in the first issue was the discovery of the Iguanodon) and yes this is all from memory.  These 9 binders contain nearly 100 issues of Dinosaurs! and all but 1 of the trading cards that came with them, I don’t know how two 14 year old girls came to have these (or why 14 year old girls feel the need to wear nothing but strappy tops and short shorts in a downpour) but in terms of buying back my youth this is the fucking motherload. Of course once you’ve bought 9 binders full of magazines you now have to figure out what to do with them and how, luckily the uncomfortably scantily clad jailbait had many a Tesco’s Bag for Life but we were miles from the car and the rain was starting and they were heavy and you fuck around for five minutes getting rained on before just deciding to take them back to the vehicle and get wet. It was so worth it, this is a better collection than I ever had a child and I am going to savour pouring over them, living on Toffee Crisps and Fanta I will not being leaving my room until Thursday, I will once again know everything that there was to know (in 1993) about Pachyrhinosaurus.     

In fact I’m starting right now, thanks for reading another one of these, see yourself out.