Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nice Twice. Two Goodwills.

So we recently made a trip out to Bangor, ME. On the way I hit the Nice Twice thrift shop in Ellsworth, and both the Brewer and Bangor Goodwills. Here's what I brought home from those three stores: 

First, at Nice Twice I found this trio of "Origami Yoda" books. I've been curious about them for a very long while now, and seeing all three of them there for a buck apiece? I couldn't resist. So I'll let you guys know what I think of them at some point in the future. But the exceptionally odd premise (a series of middle-school mysteries based around Star Wars paper-crafts? Yes please.) is more than promising.  

The other item I brought home from Nice Twice was Big Top Pee-Wee: Life on the Farm which is a children's adaptation of the 1988 film. I don't remember loving this movie as much as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure... but I was pretty crazy for anything Pee-Wee Herman appeared in back in those days. I haven't seen the film probably since I was 10 or so, so I can't really comment on the quality. But hey. a Pee-Wee book for a buck? Yep. 

All I found at the Brewer Goodwill were these two books. I've picked up a Finding Nemo LGB in the past only to get it home and find it ripped up beyond readability on the inside. So I found this replacement. And a vintage Dr. Who novel from 1980 (this is a reprint of the original 1977 book) is always welcome on my shelf. Both of these set me back .99 cents. 

At the Bangor Goodwill, things got a little more interesting. I found this truly bizarre book about Cryptids (And Other Creepy Creatures). And when I say bizarre, I don't mean because of the subject matter, necessarily, I mean the art and production values for this thing actually had me scratching my head. Here's a shot of a page from the interior: "The Hookerman's Light" (And yes I picked this particular one because "Hookerman" made me laugh). 

Gasp. Shrug?
Look at these folks. Could they BE any more NOT terrified of that disembodied hand and lantern?

Found some pretty great Little Golden Book finds here, with a Disney book (Not LGB brand) Mickey Mouse Flies the Christmas Mail. A "Big Little Golden Book" of Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails: Silkypup's Butterfly Adventure. And a "First Little Golden Book" of Disney Babies: Happy Halloween. These are all AWESOME additions to my LGB collection! This lot has it all: three different sizes of books, Disney licensing, baby versions of characters, a semi-obscure 80's property, one "off brand" LGB, and holiday themes! 

I may have mentioned before that I've started snapping up novelizations of movies like a madman. So picking up these adaptations of Benji and Honey I Shrunk the Kids were perfect for me! 

One of these is a kids book based on one of the most reviled super-hero films of all time. The other is a nonsensical story about giant robots draining oil supplies from the planet in order to pull all of the continents on Earth into one big Pangea. I had to own them both. HAD TO. 

Next up I found a grab bag for .99 cents that contained these five finger puppets/cake toppers/whatever-the-heck-they're-supposed to be. Almost all of them have seen better days. I already have a couple of the Bert and Ernie ones, but THESE ones have rooted (albeit melted) hair on top. Oscar and Cookie have sustained some fairly serious eye damage, leaving Grover seemingly the only one relatively unscathed by time. Let me make something RIDICULOUSLY clear: I LOVE THESE THINGS. Nothing shouts "Retro Sesame Street" to me as much as these things. I am SO happy to own them. 

I also found a Grab-Bag with these two Happy Meal items in it! A Lord Business cup from the LEGO movie (which I admittedly already own, but didn't realize when I picked this one up) and a BMO from the recent Adventure Time promotion! 

Both of these toys are lenticular, and therefore a complete PAIN to photograph... but I manage. I am now very close to owning the entire Adventure Time set of toys... and still have a few more LEGO cups to track down before I'm done there. 

And my final find was this BEAUTIFUL THING: a Prince and the Revolution's "Purple Rain" record! It's in great shape... and my instincts tell me it's probably NOT from the original release... but I don't care. I now feel like I own a piece of HISTORY. If you don't know already I am a Prince FANATIC. love Love LOVE him! And this is my absolute favorite Album from him and the Revolution. This is going on THE WALL OF MY CAVE. 

Well. There. That's all I've got for tonight kids! I'll be back soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies soon enough! Until then, Happy Hunting! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Trip to Dreamcatcher (From Last November Actually)

Do you ever lose pictures on your hard-drive and just completely forget about them? I do. I do a lot actually. And that is how I forgot to post about a trip I made to the Dream Catcher Antique Mall last November, and it's a real shame too. I found some AWESOME stuff on this trip. But instead of just letting it be a shame, I decided to go ahead and talk about it anyway! So let's hop into the wayback machine and check it out shall we? 

I don't remember the prices I paid for anything at this point... but I know I got a pretty good deal on these two Fisher Price Adventure People from the early 80's. These fellas are, from left to right, Clawtron and Brainoid. I can honestly tell you that I LOVE the Adventure People line, even the standard "civilian" type characters... but ESPECIALLY these trippy Star Wars knock-off characters.

I wanted to get a bit more of a close-up of Brainoid's... well... brain here. I discovered that he is incredibly hard to photograph clearly, and this was the best I could do. The brain sort of rattles around in the helmet if you shake it, but not completely, as it is attached to a loose peg that allows it to move without letting it go completely crazy. I am hard pressed to tell you about another action figure as old and as awesome as this one. I am completely in love with this guy! 

Similarly goofy and gorgeous is this green bendy alien character! His name is Hondu and he is from "The Other World" line of toys from Arco back in the early 80's. This picture of him is just terrible and believe it or not, this is after I tweaked the colors a bit to make him not-quite so luminescent. (You can see him a little better in the group shot at the end). I love Hondu and I really like The Other World Toyline. It never fails. Just when I think I know all about all the different, weird, out-there action figure lines of days past... something like this pops up and reminds me of my ignorance. 

This familiar looking fellow is a 1994 Alien Vs. Predator 2-pack figure. He originally came with a PRedator to face off against. Up to this point I had not had a nice iconic-looking basic Xenomorph to put on my shelves. I really like the look of this toy, from the sculpt and detail down to the pose. He's actually not super poseable, as him limbs are all angled to pretty much just let him stand in one position. You can see from the photo that he desperately needed a good cleaning as well. Overall he makes an awesome addition to my monster shelf.

And finally, I picked up a couple of great Little Golden Books! Big Bird's Red Book and Mrs. Brisby and the Magic Stone! I owned the Big Bird book as a kid, and I was thrilled to find a copy of it out and about! The illustrations took me back to my childhood so completely. And the Rats of NIMH book was a very weird and nice surprise. I would not have guessed that this film would have gotten the LGB treatment! I love surprises like this. I try not to trawl through the LGB collecting communities too much because I'm always delighted when I find something like this, (like an Inspector Gadget LGB, or a Darkwing Duck LGB, or a Donny and Marie Osmond LGB...) in the wild!

So here's the whole pile! If I were to hazard a guess back, I would say I probably spent between 10 to 13 dollars on the pile you see above. I remember being pretty pleased to bring them home for whatever I paid. 

That's all I have for tonight kids! Next time around I'll most likely be blogging about one of a couple of awesome packages I've received in the mail recently, so keep your peepers peeled for that! Then I'll be back soon after with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

(Return of) The Yardsale Bin!!! Pt. 3: MotU edition

So... last September I started writing about a bin of toys I picked up at a yard sale (Part One can be found here, and Part Two can be found here). A bunch of other stuff happened fairly soon after that, and then the blog sort of went on a hiatus... and then I sort of started another blog... and then I restarted this one... and then I basically FORGOT about the whole thing... and long-story-short (too late!) I never really got back to writing about it. I just realized this recently. So I'm going to FINALLY get caught up on writing about the contents of this bin I found at a yard sale I found just down the street from my house: 

This time around I am going to focus on one of the properties that made me so excited about this bin in the first place... Masters of the Universe! There was a BUNCH of MotU stuff in here that grabbed my attention, and I'm going to show it ALL in this one post!

Let's start with all of the royalty in the box, shall we? 

My King Randor is missing his crown (his crown people!) and he appears to have a bit of damage to his nose that a dermatologist should probably look at... but he cuts no less of a stunning figure! 

Prince Adam is a figure I never owned as a kid, but he's one I'm thrilled to have now! I always found it bizarre that they put so much effort into dressing Adam in shades of pink and lavender and then gave him a hot pink sword. I feel like there was some effort on the part of the toy designers to make Adam feel like a more feminine He-Man? Am I crazy? Anyway, he's a fun figure to have tracked down. 

Finally here we have King Hiss, who is missing his shell body. But hey, I don't care! I like the snake version better anyway! This guy always makes me think of the Marvel crossover event of 1989, "Atlantis Attacks" with its serpent god and Serpent Society fighting the X-Men, etc. He looks like some sort of mortal in mid-transformation into Set. 

Here's a group of heroes (and one arguably "neutral" character)!

This Ram Man has seen better days, and I already owned one, so he eventually ended up being a part of a trade I set up. Ram Man was one of my favorite heroes as a kid in the MotU group. So cool that he butted things with his head as his power!!!  

I think he's this kid, all grown up. 

Another hero who uses her head (but in a different way), and another I already owned, heeeeere's Teela! I kept my own Childhood Teela longer than almost any other Masters of the Universe toy as a kid. She and April O'Neil and Janine Melnitz were a small handful of the only female action figures I owned as a kid and I treasured them, since I was following the X-Men model of team superheroics and I NEEDED a strong female presence for that to work. My Teela developed Dazzler powers at one point if I recall. 

Buzz-Off is yet another character I already owned, but he is one of my absolute favorite guys from when I was a kid. So really, the first three out of this particular group all turned out to be childhood faves, and not ironically, I already owned all three! (All three have moved on to new homes at this point as well) Buzz-Off was a freaky enough hero that I wanted to play with him all of the time when I was little, unlike most of the other heroes, who I thought were pretty boring.  

I did not own a Zodak (or Zodac... or whatever) at this point... do getting this guy was a coup... and I even had his armor kicking around, although someone else was using it at this point:

Uh... hey, I think you have something of mine.


Agh! So embarrassed!
It almost seemed a shame to cover up all that luscious, Tom Selleck-caliber chest hair though... 

Next up we have a couple of villains. I already owned both of these as well, and these two have ALSO gone on to new homes!

Webstor was a figure I never owned as a kid, and in fact creeped me out to NO END and therefore would never have been my toy as a kid. Hence me not having a ton of nostalgia for him, but I like having him now. 

And Hordak was the supreme ruler of absolutely ALL my villainous toys when I was a kid. He just seemed like such an ultimate badass to me back then. I hadn't seen much of the She-Ra show as a kid at all, so I was never really aware that he was supposed to snort like a pig a lot when he talked.

Now we get into the truly exciting finds! All three of these guys were new finds to me at the time. Two heroes and a villain!

Rio Blast! I never owned this toy as a kid, but as an adult I ADORE him!!! His leg blasters are missing, but he's otherwise in pretty great shape! What a weird concept to add to He-Man! A bionic quick-draw character teaming up with a magical barbarian? Perfect. 

Mantenna's eyes have seen better days, but I'm still delighted to add him to my shelf! He is one of the even weirder concepts (IMO) to have made it to plastic, what his his eyestalks and doubled-up legs. But any member of the Evil Horde is awesome in my book. 

And finally Stratos, whom I was never a huge fan of as a kid or as an adult. This one's in pretty bad shape, facially, but I managed to replace him just a couple of months later with another great MotU find

Honestly though, I think the absolute best MotU find from the bin was this trio of figures from the New Adventures of He-Man line. That line got a pretty bad rap when it was released but as an adult I kind of like them. As a kid I only ever owned Optikk from this line, and he was another one of my absolute favorite action figures of ALL TIME. The other characters didn't really do a whole lot for me, conceptually, and I never saw the show. Optikk was not included in this bin unfortunately, but a handful of his foes and allies were. 

First up is He-Man himself! If I couldn't get Optikk, this would be the only other figure I would have outright wished for. He's just perfectly indicative of what you were in store for when it comes to this action figure line, and as the main hero and "icon" I'd want him. Skeletor? Not as much, but sure, I guess. But He-Man is really the star. 

Depending on the packaging you bought him in, apparently this fellow was either Icarius or Flipshot. I just think of him as Dave Coulier because I feel like that's EXACTLY who he looks like. 

You decide. 

And finally we have the alien badass Flogg, a villain from the series. I'm sort of full-on in love with this guy, from his color scheme, to the robotic-looking armor, to his ridiculously-sculpted alienoid head. I've seen pictures of the helmet he's supposed to have, and I'm glad mine doesn't have his because I WOULD NEVER PUT IT ON HIM. I love him just the way he is. 

There's actually two more installments planned to finish off the contents of this yardsale bin... but don't expect them all back-to-back-to-back. I'll be back with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies real soon! Until then, Happy Hunting! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

League Post: It's Just Not Summer Until...

I'm finally getting my butt in gear and doing another League of Extraordinary Bloggers post! So what is the topic this week you may ask?

This week’s assignment from the League: It’s just not summer until…

What is it that defines "Summer" for this Goodwill Geek? Hmmm... let's think. I have a few I can think of right off the bat. Like... 

The constant hum of fans around the house! Maine in the summer time is actually pretty hot. Not as hot as the southern states, sure, but we're not the frozen tundra that people seem to think we are. Day or night at our house, we keep these things going as long as we're home and in the room we're trying to cool off for any period of time. We sleep with them going all night long, which makes it so that when Fall comes, and we pack the fans away, I actually have trouble falling asleep without the white noise going in the background.

The doors of our house stay open pretty much ALL the time, except when we're either not there or sleeping. What's weird is how much like a sauna the house gets when it is several degrees cooler outside some days.

Tiger lillies! These things are ALL around our house, and exploding this time of year. And they're one of my favorite flowers. There are also a handful of songs that just never fail to make me feel like Summer is HERE. I don't have as many of these as I do Halloween or Christmas songs... but here's a few. I realize some of these feel a bit "On the nose" when it comes to Summer listening... but that's the kind of unsubtle guy I am.

They Might Be Giants are an all-year sort of band for me, to be sure... but this song is LITERALLY about the Sun. Doesn't really get much more summer-y than that. And I love jumping around with my kids to this song!

Yes, it's SUPER cheesy and cliche... but I can't hear anyone even SAY the word "Summer" without bursting into this song. I mean this almost as near-literal as I can, too. I'm one of those weirdos who finds lyrics that match almost everything people around me say and then just... sort of... belt them out. 

I am a HUGE Louis Armstrong fan. And this version of "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess is slow and sleek and sexy. Ella Fitzgerald's vocals are like nothing else on this planet. This whole song makes you feel the slow, sweaty, tired pressure of a Summer heat. 

Sandals. I pretty much wear nothing but sandals until Fall comes. Same for my wife. My daughter is all about the flip-flops, and my two boys are pretty much barefoot unless we make them put shoes on.

The pets spend a lot more time outdoors this time of year, especially since Pumpkin the bunny lives in a pen upstairs in our daughter's room, and would probably bake if we left him up there all day long.

Pumpkin and the AT-AT I've brought into the family have been getting to know each other pretty well actually.

In the Summer we also pretty much relinquish our backyard to the ants. They get REALLY bad and REALLY aggressive. These two pictures are from the kids' SLIDE in the backyard.

Mowing the lawn is a test of fortitude in the sweltering heat and wave upon wave of fire ant attacks. It's for real a total Empire of the Ants back there:

I posted this for both of you. You know who you are.  

The sweet, delicious taste of freezer pops. Whether you call them Fla-Vor-Ice or Otter Pops... these things are a STAPLE of Summer. As is...

I am always sad to see these tubular freezer pops (seemingly filled with various types of automotive fluid when you pick them up unfrozen) disappear from the grocery stores every year. I should really stock up. The sweet golden one pictured above is pineapple flavored. 

And speaking of pineapple flavored... here is my new favorite Summer beverage. ACE Pineapple Cider. Adults only. This is hard cider of which I have become a fan. I'm all about the Fox Barrel, the Angry Orchard, the Original Sin, the Johnny Appleseed, and now the ACE. Please drink responsibly.

Or don't. 

I'm not your mother.

You will be hard pressed to find a day when the Goodwill Geek's family doesn't go swimming. We have a pond called Webb's which is just a seven minute drive from the house. So we spend quite a bit of time there. The boys got new floaty rings this year, and they LOVE them.

And finally, it's not really Summer until we've made one of our trips out to Sand Beach. Sand Beach is out on Mount Desert Island, and takes us about an hour drive to reach. We don't go every weekend, but we go fairly often. It is deliciously cold, and salty, and sandy, and refreshing. Here's a poem I wrote for my daughter about 4 years ago about our trips to Sand Beach:

Sand Beach

Sandy beach and sandy butts.
Sandy feet and sandy guts.
Sandy eyes, and sandy hair...
We are sandy everywhere.

Sandy beach with water cold.
Only swim if you feel bold.
Better off in warm lagoons,
to splash and laugh like crazy loons. 

Sandy beach and sandy fun
seems to fly... and then its done.
In the car, we wave "adieu"
Sleepy. Happy.
Sandy, too.

--Derek Ash, 2010

There's actually so much more than all this that just screams "summer" at me... but I'm just glad that Summer actually IS HERE. It was such a long and painful winter for me that the Summer is such a relief. And of course another Fall and another Halloween is just around the corner... but for now I am content to sit on the beach in my sandals with my ice-pop running down my arm. 

Let's see what says "Summer" to the rest of the League, shall we? 

- Go Play Listen shares some Summery tunes. 
- The Nerd Nook takes us on an entire tour of Summer!
- Jathniel talks about Summertime in Sin City. 
- Our fearless leader over at Cool & Collected talks about the Summer necessity of the Big Budget Summer Blockbusters!
- The Geeky Vixen has her own (kick-ass) list of Summer essentials, including movies, roadtrips, and to hunting! 

That's all I have tonight kids! I'll be back soon to show off some Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting! 
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