Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Countdown Day 20: A Package from Laura of Boobobby Blog!

So let us reach again reach a tender, defenseless hand into the gaping maw of... The Goodwill Geek's Mailbag!!! This time around, I received a package from my friend Laura of the BooBobby Blog! She's a great blogger-buddy from way back and she always sends me the coolest stuff. Let's take a look at what she sent! 

It was a Halloween-themed package! Here's the whole pile of wonderful goodies included, but let's get a closer-looksee. Be not afeared... but march onward with me!

First up is this Dracula Burger King Kids' Club meal from 1997. He looks debonair and deadly no?

And he goes rather nicely with the other two monsters I have from the set. Now I just need Frankenstein's monster and I'll have the complete set of four! 

She included this awesome roller-coaster post card for "THE BEAST" that is perfect for Halloween too! She always includes a nice, hand-written note in all of her packages... a practice I NEED to get into the habit of myself!

This book is awesome! Georgie is one of those kids' book characters I've been aware of almost all my life. For some reason though this is the first one to make it into our Halloween reading collection. And its adorable! We received the package today, read the book to the kiddos at bedtime tonight, and now  here I am blogging about it about 45 minutes later. Such a great read! There are about 13 books that star this little ghost, as far as I can figure, and I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more of them in the future!

Next up we have the AMAZING "Ghostly Sounds" vinyl record! This thing is gorgeous to behold! Love the fanged green guys on the back and front.

Then we have the equally if not EVEN COOLER "Sounds to Make You Shiver!" with its army of monsters flooding from a mouldering castle! These things are being hung up somewhere in the cave and displayed proudly! 

Laura also included these Fisher Price Adventure People, because she felt my "Becky the Diver" figure from the same line might be getting lonely. But she also cautioned me that these guys seemed a little sketchy... like a couple of seedy jerks at a Halloween party. (I'm NOT going to do it... but how easy would it be to head-swap blue-jumpsuited fireman guy with this guy:

And make an Adventure People Michael Myers with just a little paint? Like I said, I'm not doing it... but a guy can dream some Halloween dreams can't he? 

Finally, there was this adorable, slobbery guy. Barkley from the Sesame Street Mini Beans line! I can't even BEGIN to pretend this has a tie to the Halloween theme here... and that is exactly okay with me. Barkley just is. He doesn't have to be Halloween-y. He's pure, orange, fuzzy, manic LOVE!!! Aw Barkley. One of my fave Sesame Street Muppets.

Well kids, that's all I've got for tonight! I can't thank Laura enough and I can't stop reeling over her generosity. THANK YOU LAURA!!! I'll be back soon with more Grotesque Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Halloween Countdown Day 19: Ellsworth Goodwill Finds

We are creeping sooo close dear readers. The Day of Masks is less than two weeks away now. So much to do! I took a trip to the Ellsworth Goodwill very recently, and I brought home some new Halloween items. 

This little Halloween lantern cost me a dollar (all my local Goodwills are transitioning from .99 cent price-points to 1.00 price-points so you'll see a mix of them here) , and he looks magnificent hanging above my porch with the others!

I've been eyeballing this little plastic jack-o'-lantern for nearly a week and I finally brought him home. He was .99 cents and I'm pretty sure he's just the head to some of flashlight thing... but I love the green and white paint on the garish orange plastic, so he finally made it.

This Jack Skellington bowtie was 1.99. I'm  too portly to do a convincing Jack Skellington for Halloween but I'm thinking about trying to talk one of my sons into dressing up as Jack Skellingtion sometime, if not for Halloween then maybe for a Christmas card photo...) and this would be the hardest part of the costume to reproduce.

I've been tracking down spooky-themed anthologies for next Halloween (or for Halloween in general I guess) and this book of young readers nautical ghost stories looked fun. I picked it up for 2 dollars and this thing is kind of massive. 

I usually don't buy multiple copies of books for no good reason... but I bought two copies of Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth by E.L. Klonisburg because I couldn't decide if I wanted the older edition or the one with the cover art I like better. So... I picked them both up and at some point I will be giving one copy away.

I love a good John Bellairs story around Halloween. Last year I read about 4 of his books as a part of my Halloween reading pile. This year I've only found one new book I didn't already own (I don't count the ones finished by or written whole-cloth by Brad Strickland... they're just not the same) although I have been hunting NON-STOP for a nice copy of Eyes of the Killer Robot all I turned up was The Treasure of Alpheua Winterborn which is one I've never eve heard of before, and doesn't star Johnny Dixon or Lewis Barnavelt (and co.). Still ANY John Bellairs book is better than NO John Bellairs book. One can also never have enough of Roald Dahl's books, and I think this is one I don't own yet...? Either way, it;s perfect for a Halloween post, so I snapped up Revolting Rhymes for both potential reasons.

Drifting slowly out of the Halloween territory we are still kind of waving to it from a distance with these two books, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet which is a trippy old sci-fi book, and a young-reader novelization of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: A Tale of High Adventure which has color photos included throughout the entire book, not just in a little parcel of pages stuck in the middle. This is how it should be done people. We get to see pictures of a few of the dishes served during dinner, for instance. Awesome.

This Double Dare Game Book is from the heyday of the Nickelodeon show. I can't think about Double Dare without thinking about the fact that the host of the show Marc Summers suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. I try to imagine the absolute horror show that Double Dare would be with the slime and mess and human element... and shudder to think how hard that must've been for Summers. I still have super fond memories of the show from when I was a kid, even though it wasn't exactly the kind of show that kept me glued to the tube. 

I already own a copy of Circus of Fear which is one of TSR's Endless Quest books based on Dungeons and Dragons. But these things are just so cool I almost never don't pick them up when I see them. I'll give this one away too at some point. 

Since I recently became obsessed with finding out more about the illustrator of all the 80's-era editions of the Ramona-verse books, I've started exclusively picking up the editions with the artwork of Joanne Scribner. I love Love LOVE the whole scene depicted on the cover of this one. From the can-headed robot kid to the indian war-paint on Henry, to the werewolf mask on Ribsy... this one is just gorgeous. Tony DiTerlizzi did a post on his site a while back dedicated to the influence Scribner had on his work, and Joanne Scribner read the post and replied SEVERAL times in the comments. It is an amazing read. This is mostly what has prompted me to seek out all of these books with Scribner's art on them. 

As is becoming my new habit, I also picked up a couple of cassette tapes. The reasoning behind the TMNT cassette should be fairly obvious (because TMNT) but "The Last of the Mohicans" may be less so. Honestly, I don't think I ever watched the entire movie, but back in 1993 I was dating a girl in highschool and she bought me this tape for my birthday. Honestly "dating" is a hilarious term for it, because I didn't know how to act around other PEOPLE much less a girl who was interested in me. I was... awkward to say the least. The relationship didn't last long. But I honestly didn't mind that because it was pressure off. AND I ended up with this great soundtrack that was actually very moving and nice to listen to while I was writing or just laying around daydreaming as I often did as a teenager. This is a true blast from the past.

The final item of this post is as far from Halloween as it gets, but is still pretty great. "Pizza Party" is a sort-of-board-game-sort-of-memory-game-sort-of-card-game-you-get-the-point from Parker Brothers, put out in 1986. I dreamed of owning the game because they advertised the HECK out of it, and I got to play it a couple of times at a friend's house.

The copy I found is (of course) missing some tokens, rendering it unplayable. As you can see above, there is a green pepper, an onion, and two pepperonis missing in action, in addition to one of the green and one of the yellow "switch" tokens. Sigh. I am now making it my life's mission to track down another incomplete version of this game and get these six tokens BACK. I want to play this with my kids!!! Plus the theme song from the commercial is a brain-worm that I sing the chorus to EVERY time we order pizzas: 

So that's all I've got for tonight kids! I'll be back with more Ghoulish Goodwill Goodies soon enough. Until then, Happy Haunting!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween Countdown Day 18: Scottie's Books Finds!

So last year around this time of year, I went to Scottie's books, a used book store in these here parts, and found a pile of spooky books to share. Well this year, I've done the same thing again! 

Scottie's is just a little more overpriced than I prefer in my used books... but I still like going in there, especially if I'm looking for fun genre books like the ones I'm about to share. Overall the average price of the books I picked up was around 1.50. 

First up, I went looking for anthologies. This was my main goal in going to Scottie's in the first place. Some of my best Halloween-season readings in the past couple of years have been short story collections, and I want to make sure I have a nice pile to choose from for next year. So I picked up three collections in all. Historical Hauntings edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg. I'll be honest, I am probably the least excited by this one, as it focuses mainly on historical figures and time periods. But it promises some stories of vikings, the Civil War, Iwo Jima, Harry Houdini, Jimmy Hoffa, and Helen Keller... so I'll give it a shot. Next we have Peter Straub's Ghosts which is an anthology edited by Straub but has 13 other contributing authors as well. Peter Straub's story "Pork Pie Hat" is actually a really creepy little Halloween story so I thought I'd give this anthology a try. Finally we have Night Visions: In the Blood which is a weird collection (IMO) in that it is a book eidted by Alan Ryan containing three collections of stories from three different authors, Charles L. Grant, Tanith Lee, and Steve Rasnic Tem. This is the book I'm probably the most curious about out of the three.

This book quite possibly has some of the worst illustrations I have ever seen. I am sorry for being so blunt about it, but I honestly think Napoleon Dynamite may have drawn the pictures for this book. Either way, it was super cheap, and it is a collection of monsters from mythology. So I couldn't leave it behind just based on aesthetics unfortunately. 

It wouldn't be a book post without some novelizations and so I picked up these two little gems. The first is Frankenstein: The True Story which turned out NOT to be a novelization but instead the script for the teleplay. So hm. Not sure how I feel about that or if I'll actually read it now. The second is probably one of the more exciting finds of this lot: It Lives Again! which is a novelization of the sequel to the movie "It Lives". It is amazing to me when sequels of obscure horror films get novelizations. It gives me hope for humanity (Not really. Kind of the opposite is true... but I still love this). So many claw-handed babies...

I think my absolute lose-my-s**t moment happened when I found this book however. This is a novelization of not one but TWO of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies together. The Nightmares on Elm Street might not be the most clever title... but I don't love it any less for that. This book incorporates both Part 4: The Dream Master and Part 5: The Dream Child. This makes sense as both of those movies featured Alice as the Final Girl and it follows her out of highschool as a dreamy teen and into her adult life and motherhood. A little disappointing is the fact that the "8 pages of skin-crawling movie photos" only include shots from Part 4, and I would have liked to have seen some shots from Part 5 for sure.

I may be stretching things a bit with this one, but (1.) I always consider pirates a valid part of the Halloween festivities around here and (2.) I couldn't leave this behind, and I didn't want to try to shoehorn it into a different post. So here we are. I find this either hilarious or a little sad because The Druid of Shannara has lettering almost as big as the title, and probably takes up as much space either way. They're really selling the adaptation by TERRY BROOKS more than the movie, Hook.

The final book I brought home I may actually try to read this season before it's too late. Scared Stiff by Jahnna N. Malcolm is one of those cheap-looking Apple Paperbacks from the late 80's to early 90's. This one came out in '91. And it stars a bunch of kids who straight-up have to deal with a walking corpse.

It is probably awful, and if circumstances had played out differently, this would probably have just ended up as one of those filler books for a knock-off Goosebumps-clone-series. But I like the cover art, and the fact that it deals with a real-live dead guy wins my heart. This thing looks like a Ramona book starring a toe-tagged zombie. I can get behind that.

So here's the whole pile I brought home from Scottie's books. If the place is still around again this time next year, I'll go back and do it again. For now though, that's all I have for tonight kids! I'll be back with more Gut-Wrenching Goodwill Goodies soon enough... So until then, Happy Haunting!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Countdown Day: A Package From Brian "The Trash Man"

So my friend Brian, "The Trash Man" over at Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture and I often exchange mail. And it's almost a cheat to include his packages in this countdown because he almost always sends me something that could be construed as Halloween-y. But hey, it's my blog, so I cheat. And besides, there are some pretty overt, directly Halloween-y things in this package to share. 

Like for instance, these two. First up we have an INCREDIBLE McDonald's plate featuring the McDonaldland Gang having a Halloween hoedown! I actually have no idea if its a hoedown or a sock-hop but based on Birdy's and Grimace's costumes, it could go either way. Next, the jack-o-lantern tin on the right which is cool enough in its own right, but once opened was revealed to contain a veritable ARMY of mini-figure toys and other goodies. So lets look at those next. 

Still staying firmly in the theme of Halloween, we have these Monster in My Pocket figures. I had almost ALL of these (well, series 1 anyway) when they came out back in 1990. Nowadays my MiMP collection is getting respectable again, but is a shadowy echo of its former glory.

Next a squad of LEGO-style guys, ranging from LEGO and Mega-Bloks to KRE-O and whatever that little yellow space-guy in the front is from. First we have the INCREDIBLE Man-Bat figure which I LOVE!!! and Havok from mega-bloks. Havok is one of my favorite X-Men. I now own a LEGO Krang-bot from the new TMNT Nicktoon, and Dr. Mindbender from G.I. Joe KRE-O.

Next up are an assortment of toys from various different MUSCLE-related lines. The teal and orange guys are from the original Kinkeshi line that spawned MUSCLE Things here in the states. The Blue and red guys are hard plastic MUSCLE Thing toys, and the guy in the center is from the Ultimate MUSCLE line.

Mini-figures were really like my own personal crack as a kid. I collected the hell out of both of the pictured lines above. Battle Beasts and Army Ants!!! Between all the MUSCLE Things, MiMPs, Garbage Pail Kids Cheap Toys, and the ghosts and sidekicks from the Real Ghostbusters and TMNT lines, plus just other random mini-figures from other lines... I had an army of mini-figures! The Battle Beasts pictured above are "Danger Dog" and "Fleet-Footed Ante-Lope" The Army Ant is is called "Heave-Ho".

Tiny plastic robots, dinosaurs, and firefighters were also included! I placed the two I loved the most in the foreground. The Orange robot and the weird gray "dinosaur" with two ridges running down its back and a snout like the Luck Dragon from the Neverending Story.

More plastic goodies included these "cowboys and indians" figures (I know that's not P.C. but it feels weird calling them Cowboys and Native Americans) and a set of plastic pirates that I believe are probably cake toppers. The pirates have taken up residence on my Pirate/skeletons shelf, even though they are clearly not skeletons.

These two figures are from the Trash Bag Bunch line, which I missed out on, but would definitely like to track more down of nowadays. These guys remind me of Bebop from TMNT and Mutant Zero from the Initiative in a ridiculously vague way. 

Another pair of my near-favorite toys from the whole pack were these two. A Panthro eraser!!! I was (and still am) a huge lover of Thundercats. And Panthro was one of my favorite characters from that show as well as my favorite action figure from that line. The crocodile is from old Super Golden Crisp cereal commercials featuring Sugar Bear. I am also a huge fan of advertising mascots (and their nemeses) so this hungry guy is a perfect addition to my collection.

On the military side of things, The Trash Man included this mega-sized army man and a Cobra Commander action figure! C.C. ended up on my Joes shelf. He's the classic 80's villain and I love both the hooded and helmeted versions of the character.

So Brian and I share an enthusiasm for the Rock Lords. I had most of the toyline when I was a kid, a receiving Granite here made me rush to eBay to see how much it would cost me to fill out the rest of my collection. Turns out... kind of a lot. It's weird to think that a series of toys that had warriors transforming into lumps of rock can go for so much money these days... but if I love 'em, obviously a lot of other people out there probably do too. The fella on the right side there is Taco Terror, one of the Refrigerator Rejects from the Food Fighters line of toys from back in 1988. I've been seeing these things make a huge comeback lately due to nostalgia and the bizarrely awesome concepts and designs of the toys themselves. This was another line that I had a BUNCH of as a kid.

In the category of "items that made me gasp out loud when I removed them from the box" we have this Kermit mug. And not just ANY Kermit the Frog... but his Muppet News Reporter role from Sesame Street. Brian has had some amazing success sending me breakable items via the sometimes-questionable postal service. This is one of my absolute favorite versions of Kermit EVER. As this news reporter Kermit would go out and interview the characters from famous nursery rhymes and fairy tales. It was brilliant. The PEZ dispenser is from 1991 and makes a great addition to my current muppet PEZ collection.

It wouldn't be a package from Brian without some sweet wax-packs (Technically the Beetlejuice cards are not in a wax-pack, I know. Don't worry about it.) and this package did NOT disappoint! I opened the ALF pack to see who the Bouillabaisseball Card featured. The other two remain sealed.

There is probably a very quantifiable laundry-list of items that people have discovered that I love just from reading this blog. Very close to the top of this list is any kind of Choose Your Own Adventure books (or "gaming books" if you're hardcore). And Brian is always hooking me up with these things. The Third Planet From Altair is the 7th book in the CYOA series and Famous and Rich (I'm assuming Robin Leach has the copyright of "Rich and Famous"?) is the 4th book in the "Which Way Books" series. Both look like they will be fun to read.

One of the other most surprising items to come out of this package is this VHS tape featuring the Madballs. I don't talk about Madballs enough on this blog, because frankly I find them next to impossible to find around my area nowadays. Madballs were not the most durable toys when I was a kid, and none of mine survived my childhood whatsoever. I have exactly two Madballs in my vast collection at this point, Slobulus and Crackhead. I would rent the video tape you see above from a local rental place obsessively as a child, as well as its sister-tape Madballs: Gross Jokes. I think they were collectively to be the beginnings of some sort of Saturday morning cartoon that simply never took off.

It was interesting in that it took place in a dystopian world inhabited by ball-shaped organisms (and by interesting I mean "bizarre"). The world was ruled by the evil "Badballs" (all of the second-wave-released characters, led by Wolfbreath who was heart-breakingly one of my favorite Madballs, and VERY hard to watch acting evil) and there was a resistance building to escape the oppressive world led by the good Madballs (all of the first-wave-released characters led by Screamin' Meemie) who just wanted to have fun, which was illegal on their home planet of ORB. Ah the 80's.

If anything sums up a package received in the mail from The Trash Man better than the phrase: "From Trash to Treasure" better... I can't think of one. So the title of the first of three Little Golden Books that Brian included in the package is more than fitting. I am of course a rabid collector of Little Golden Books which is either endearing or creepy depending on who's reading this. In the pile is a book starring one of my favorite Disney Afternoon properties: Chip n' Dale's Rescue Rangers! The Big Cheese Caper. And a Woody the Woodpecker Takes a Trip which stars the main character and his obligatory child-versions of himself that are named Knothead and Splinter.

Also included in the package were some comic book treats! Marvel's STAR imprint was always good for some toy-licensing fun, and here we see Air-Raiders and Silver Hawks representing! Brian of course knows from this blog how much I love my Air-Raiders figure that I salvaged from childhood:

As demonstrated in this picture of Baxter Stockman KILLING him...
I never played with him properly, calling him "Vocal Chord" instead of the much more accurate and unwieldy: Tyrants of the Wind Soldier.

And the comic book includes this KICK-@$$ picture of "Vocal Chord" in all his glory! This sight gave me LITERAL goosebumps.

There's nothing not-awesome about these three issues as well. We have an Inferno tie-in that I actually don't own yet, a Marvel Holiday Special (LOVE the Holiday specials from back in the day!) and a Marvel Super-Heroes Super Heroes Summer Special with the tagline: When Balls Collide!!! That right there is worth the price of admission.

Brian also included this TPB of Rocketo which is a comic I have always been curious about, but too lazy to track down on my own. So now I can finally check it out! It looks amazing.

And when I had heard that he was getting rid of his Shadowpact trades due to the evil, Evil, EVIL minimalist game... I stuck my hand up in the air and said "mememememe!!!" because I liked the team back when they were introduced. These stories are of... mixed quality, and I can see why Brian had decided he no longer needed them in his collection. But I ASKED for them, remember. It was incredibly gracious of him to acquiesce. 

So there you have it kids! The contents of a package from Brian "The Trash Man" Farrell, of Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture fame! That's all I've got for tonight. I'll be back soon with more Gross Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!
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