Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Goodwill Finds: Egyptian Netherworlds, Mad Scientists, and Bubble Bath!

Hey everybody! I'm back with another pile of junk I found at Goodwill! I don't remember exactly when I would have picked up this load of stuff but I do believe it was last fall sometime. I'm going to kick things off with a board game:

"Passing Through the Netherworld: The Meaning and Play of Senet, an Ancient Egyptian Funerary Game" while being a ridiculously long name for a board game... is at least very efficient and accurate in its description.

Back when I was in high school, I was OBSESSED with mythology. I loved to read all I could about Greek, Norse, and especially Egyptian mythology. I would spend my entire study hall some days, poring over books on mythology, or reading whole sections of the ACTUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA to glean what details I could about ancient cultures and religions. I would photocopy whole stacks of pages from said books and encyclopedias to bring home with me to pore over more in my room at night. These would become the fodder for short stories, poems, role-playing adventures, comic books that I would start to write and never finish, you name it. So finding a game based on the beliefs of "the cult of the dead" from ancient Egypt...?

Yes please.

I was delighted to find that everything the game was supposed to contain was still in the box. I was less delighted to discover that absolutely no one in my family is interested in playing some creepy old Egyptian death-cult board game with me. Sigh.

Found the second collected volume of Mike Bullock's "Lions, Tigers, and Bears" from Image comics. I've never read this series, but had heard good things, so am hoping I can find the first book in the series on the cheap at some point. 

I love Love LOVE the idea of stuffed animals transforming into powerful night-time guardians of children, protecting them from bogeymen and nightmares. This idea is such a great concept. I hope it is executed well. 

I always have my eye peeled for old Sesame Street books, and this trip to Goodwill did not disappoint. "Ernie's Little Lie" is a real Raymond Chandler-style pot-boiler of suspense and intrigue as the titular protagonist digs himself deeper and deeper into a seedy world of shadows and illusions where nothing is what it seems and identities are as blurred as melting wax. Also it has a great "don't tell lies" moral for the kids. 

Harry McNaught's illustrations are the main draw for me in "The Sesame Street ABC Book of Words" This is a big, bulky, and old Sesame Street book that brings me back to the good old days. 

I don't have a TON to say about "Scrooge's Silly Day" except for the fact that it came out the same year that Ducktales was in its final season. It is certainly an unofficial but certainly legitimate Ducktales book in "Mickey's Young Readers Library". 

I discovered another of these incredible "Twisted Journeys" books, which is a hybrid graphic novel AND choose-your-own-adventure. Couldn't pass it up. And it's "Horror In Space" number 18 in the series! There are at least 16 more f these that I don't own yet! (I found another Twisted Journeys book back in 2012). Then there is the "Which Way - Secret Door Book: The Inch High Kid" which is another knock-off CYOA.

A quartet of genuine-article CYOA's including "War With the Evil Power Master," "Prisoner of the Ant People," "Hyerspace," and "House of Danger." All awesome finds, but I am especially excited about the first two.

There were two grab-bags full of toys on this trip as well. Let's take a look at the first one shall we? (There's some stuff here that doesn't make the cut...)

This Mad Scientist is from the 2003 "Stretch Screamers" McDonald's Happy Meal premiums line. In addition to the Mummy and the fin-man I now have three of the eight in the set. There is another one that looks like a brain floating in a jar with a robot body... some sort of yellow-vomiting orange creature... Oh they are all so beautiful. Looking back up at the "screamer" at hand though, if you tug the Mad Scientist's arm, it makes his pink-jelly brain expand up into the clear dome of his skull. It's very impressive.

This Halloween edition of Marge Simpson from a Burger King Kids' Club meal is AWESOME. Speaking of ancient Egypt...

And here we have Groundskeeper Willie, "The Grim Sweeper" also a Burger King Kids' Club Halloween toy. He... really seems to be stroking that broom handle. Like really caressing it.

Love the show Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but never owned a single one of the full-sized action figures. This is an interesting translucent plastic variant. Not sure if it's meant to be "stealth" Batman or "ghost" Batman... or what... but he's pretty nifty, and he looks great on the shelf with my other Batman action figures.

One of my favorite finds from this trip has to be this "Collectors' Guide to Bubble Bath Containers" Flipping through this thing just brought a huge grin to my face. I was even able to find my He-Man bubble bath bottle inside!

Here we have an assortment of "My Little Pony" books. I picked them up because I have a home in mind for them already. I have a hard time leaving any 80's licensed property books behind, even if they aren't the kinds of things I used to collect as a kid.

Same with "Pound Puppies" books. I was never a HUGE Pound Puppies fan... so these books are most likely going off to another home.

"An American Tail" and "Muppet Babies" books from McDonald's however... THESE ARE AMAZING AND ALL MINE BABY!!!

And here we have the second grab-bag of the haul, which contains just four items. But I liked all four! 

First we have Sultan Spongebob from the "Lost In Time" series of Happy Meal toys, from back in 2004. This was a truly inspired series of Spongebob figures, featuring the character as he would have appeared in various times throughout history.

This spinner toy is from a 2002 series of Burger King Kids' Club meal premiums, from the "Nintendo Superstars" series. Not really sure what it's for... but it's fun to push the button on top and watch Bowser chase the Princess around and around and around.

Here we have an Imperial Guard Star Wars LEGO keychain. I had no idea that these guys were popular enough to warrant their own keychains, honestly. But I'll take it!

And finally, a baby Po toy from the Kung Fu Panda 2 line of McDonald's Happy Meal toys. I'm a sucker for Kung Fu Panda, even if I didn't care for the 2nd movie nearly as much as the first. This toy is CRAZY cute though.

So there you have it folks! The entire haul! This was a bigger trip than I've been having as of late, and if you're still reading this thing, then kudos to you! You now have bragging rights.

I'll be back soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Father's Day Flea Market Finds: GEEKING OUT!!!

Welcome to Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks! This is the blog where I talk about geeky stuff I've picked up secondhand and then wax poetic about nostalgia or the pure love I have for purely ridiculous things. This post will be no different than most, as I have some pretty exciting stuff to talk about. 

And timely as ever, I would like to talk about Fathers' Day... FROM LAST YEAR. Yes that's right folks... I am just finally getting around to blogging some stuff I picked up very nearly a whole year ago. 

For Fathers' Day last year, my wife took me out on a shopping spree. We hit some Goodwills, and a few other places on our way out to a town called Rockland here in Maine. We even stopped off at a Flea Market, which are kind of few and far between here in Maine, and I am sooo glad we did! 

Let's take a look at what I brought home! 

I was really excited to find these Return of the Jedi Burger King glasses in such great shape! The only one I'm missing now is the battle scene between Luke and Darth while the Emperor watches. Love these things! I spent many a summer drinking out of glasses just like these as a kid. I think my most vivid memories are of the Ewok glass. Man I LOVED Ewoks as a kid.

There was also this complete set of The Empire Strikes Back glasses too! I like these ones even more. They. Are. GORGEOUS. I am a Boba Fett fan in theory. I know he doesn't really do much blah-blah-blah whatever. I love the design of his suit and his helmet. I love the design of this glass. And seeing him side by side with Darth Vader makes this one of my absolute prized possessions.

This was a really interesting find. I had never heard of the "Spirits of the Earth" storyline by Charles Vess. I still haven't actually sat down and read this book.. but it is so naggingly familiar to me that I can't help but assume I've read it before, so long ago that I'd all but forgotten about it. Apparently Spider-Man is in Scotland for this tale, and he is battling the Scottish branch of the Hellfire club. I am a fan of Vess's work on books like Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and the bits of the Sandman he did were just stunning... and I know he did "The Cry of the Wendigo," a back-up story in Amazing Spider-Man #277 which I loved, so I expect no less from this book.

This was another exciting find for me as it was a book that I DEFINITELY owned as a kid. This was published as a part of the media blitz surrounding the release of Tim Burton's Batman in 1989. Love this book! It is a semi-detailed history of Batman's first fifty years. Lots of history, lots of pictures, lots of cool details inside. Again, I haven't sat down to re-read this bad boy yet, but I can't wait to!

Of all the things I found at the flea-market, it was this guy that made me the most excited! I know he's filthy, and I know he's not complete... but I LOVE HIM. The AT-AT walker, to me is one of the most iconic Star Wars vehicles of all time. I picked up the AT-AT, the seven Burger King glasses, and the two bucks for 15 bucks total.

It was later that same day that I found these "Star Wars Kids" magazines at Goodwill.

I lucked out because they had the half-price color (the green price tags) so I got them all for .50 cents! I would have usually posted these in a Goodwill post, but felt it appropriate to share them along with all the other Star Wars stuff I found on the same day. (There's my boy Greedo!)

I think I'm going to have to do a more in-depth look at these magazines sometime in the future. They're from a happier time before the the words "Prequel Trilogy" were even a thing.

I also visited a used bookstore while I was out for Father's Dayand thought I'd quickly toss those finds in here as well. It was an eventful day. I mostly found books dealing with some of my favorite newspaper comic characters, collected in book form. There was this, "The Indispensible Calvin and Hobbes" which pretty much finishes off my Calvin and Hobbes collection.

I found the third and final Outland collection, "One Last Little Peak," which also finishes off my Outland collection. (I'm a huge Berkeley Breathed fan)

And I found my first copy of "A Garfield Christmas" which is adapted from the Christmas special of the same name. I later found another copy at Goodwill, but I was SUPER psyched to find this one on this particular day. Next to the Garfield Halloween special, this is one of my very favorite holiday specials of all time.

And finally I found a copy of Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man". I've been looking for this one for quite some time now and I was pretty pleased to find it in paperback for such a cheap price. I've recently become something of a Ray Bradbury nut and this was one of the few books of his that I don't already own. So yay me!

Well that's it kiddos! I'll be back with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies soon enough... so until then, Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Books N' More from Brian Lapsley

Hey everybody! time for yet another incredibly overdue thank you to someone who sent me something fantastic in the mail! This time around it's from Brian Lapsley of Awake Oh Sleeper fame. He is a blogger, podcaster, and artist extraordinaire. AND he is an incredibly generous soul who has gifted me with far more than he should have up to this point. 

I have some serious catching up to do. 

But for now, let's see what Brian sent me in the last parcel of goodies (and one more at the item that he sent me separately because he knew how thrilled I would be to own it...) shall we? 

This package was heavy with BOOKS! And not just any books... these are all adaptations of movies! OR... books that have been adapted into movies. Either way. Movies or... TV shows as you can see from the book above. This is a Star Trek novel "Yesterday's Son". Spock discovers his own son-- living 5000 years in the past! And I thought my family had problems! HAH!

Ahem. Moving on.

Next we have perennial favorite, "Jurassic Park" by Michael Crichton. This is a case of book first movie second. But I've never read this, and I'm quite looking forward to it.

Now, "Four Past Midnight" I have read before. It's an interesting case. "Secret Window, Secret Garden" is the story adapted into a film here, "Secret Window" (and another story from this book was also adapted into a TV mini-series "The Langoliers" but the less said about THAT the better...). I have always thought that Secret Window was a weird one to choose to adapt as it was arguably one of the weaker stories in the collection in my opinion. Now "The Library Policeman"? That one was FANTASTIC and it doesn't seem like it would have been that hard to make into a movie at all. Where is my Library Policeman film you guys???

The novelization of Tim Burton's Batman film is always a favorite. I already own a copy of this one, but it is beat. So this much nicer copy is a welcome replacement. I read this as a kid because I bought and ingested anything and everything to do with Batman around this film. And I thought my family had problems! HAH!

Wait... Uhhh... moving on.

I... there are no words. This movie hurt me DEEPLY. And now I own a novelization of it. So... I'm going to read it at some point and see if the book improves on any of the stuff I didn't like about the movie (Actually, I feel like I need to go back and watch the movie again at some point... just to see if I've softened on it at all.)

And finally, THIS GUY was sent to me at a different point in time. This was ridiculously generous of Brian to give me as this is the Loot-Crate exclusive Groot Funko Pop! with a glow-in-the-dark hand and that beautiful mossy detail paint. This thing is genuinely a prized possession of mine now, and I can't thank Brian enough for him. I am OBSESSED with the Guardians of the Galaxy film, and there was just no other way I would have gotten my hands on this piece of PURE MAGIC since I am not a Loot-Crate subscriber. Oh man... I am still reeling from this one you guys.

I want to shoot one last big THANK YOU out to Brian Lapsley, and remind folks to check out his blog over at Awake Oh Sleeper. He is also one of the hosts of the Nerds of the Roundtable so be sure to check that out too!

All right kids, that's all I've got for tonight. I'll be back soon with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies... so until then, Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Blog As A Mixtape: A Completely Stolen Idea

This used to be a blog where I would occasionally just talk about stuff I like from time to time. For a while I felt like I had to do that in a whole separate blog, and I even stopped writing this one for period of time because of how I felt I "had" to produce content for Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks.


I would like this to get back to being a place where I talk about more than just the stuff I bought this week, or stuff someone sent me in the mail. I want to put more of the "Geek" back in "Goodwill Geek" and with that in mind... I've found an interesting topic that is arguably blog related (because it is) but also just stuff I like that I want to talk about.

And that topic is this:

Image courtesy of Joie Fatale

"What would your blog sound like if it was a Mix Tape? 
Five songs on side A, and Five on B."

So back in May of last year, Steph over at Nerdjoy posted something awesome (she does this a LOT actually, so be sure to check out the rest of her blog too... but this particular instance informs the post you are about to read, so I'm singling that one out). She answered the question above. It was a question originally posited by Joie Fatale over at the Confessions of a Book Pimp blog, but it was through Steph that I discovered the idea.

Mixtapes were a HUGE deal for me back in highschool. I made them for ALL of my friends. I would make myself twenty or so just to listen to in the car, and I would carefully select tracks based on the kind of mood I was trying to achieve. I put a ton of thought into them, and I would often use collectible art cards as "cover art" for my mix tapes, taping them to the front of the liner notes, inside the case.

Might be why THIS resonated so strongly with me...

Making a mixtape that would represent my blog seemed like an awesome challenge that I wanted to try. So I sat down and thought about it. One really obvious song popped into my mind immediately. The rest I really had to go looking for. I discovered one of my new favorite songs by searching for songs for this mixtape. I want to clarify of course that this mixtape is supposed to represent the mood, philosophy, aesthetic, etc. of the Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks blog. It is only meant to represent my musical tastes filtered through this blog. If I were making a mixtape for a friend with all my favorite music on it... I might go with a completely different 10 songs for instance.

Just wanted to throw that out there.

Below I have listed the songs, posted a video to accompany each one, and given a few brief reasons for why each was selected. I hope you don't hate them.

- Side A -

1. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

This one was the one... I mean ONE no-brainer for this list. I have sort of adopted this song as a theme for my blog anyway. Making thrift-shopping cool in a song? Yes please.

2. "Raspberry Beret" - Prince

They're not allowed to have this song on Youtube
so I found this picture that I think may have inspired Prince to write the song.
Now, I went with SEVERAL different Prince songs before settling on this one. I almost went with "Starfish and Coffee" just because it's so fun and upbeat. But ultimately I settled on Beret because it's one of my favorites from back in high school. I actually went so far as to name a role-playing character from Vampire: The Masquerade "Raspberry Beret". But ultimately (eye roll) it was the mention of a second-hand store in the lyrics that made me slap my forehead and add this one.

3."Birdhouse In Your Soul" - They Might Be Giants

Again, this is another band that had too many songs to count that I wanted to include. I could almost make an entire mixtape out of only TMBG songs to represent this blog... but I didn't want that. I VERY NEARLY went with "Seven Days of the Week (I Never Go To Work)" (and also the Mesopotamians, I'm Impressed, Dr. Worm, Man It's So Loud In Here, and ROY G. BIV) but I just love Birdhouse here so much more. It's been my favorite for longer and has such an upbeat message that I HAD to include it. Ignore the intentionally confusing video and just focus on the lyrics.

4. "Everything is Awesome" - Tegan and Sara

Because the LEGO movie was amazing, and this song is incredibly fun and everything IS awesome. That's why.

5. "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" - Annie Lennox and Al Green

So this one I picked because I wanted something that made me think of the holidays without being an overt Christmas song. This one comes from the movie Scrooged, and as 80's supernatural comedies starring Bill Murray go, this one's a winner. I'm justifying not having anything Halloween-y on here (Like say... "Ghostbusters") because of this song from one of my favorite Creepmas classics.

As the uplifting swell you got from "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" starts to die down... you hear the tape-player click as it automatically switches directions and begins to play:

- Side B -

6. "Lonely Little Thrift Store" - Jonathan Richman

I am literally only aware of this song thanks to this blog post. I was curious to see if there were any other songs about thrift shopping, or antique stores, or secondhand stores out there that were also in ANY way worth listening to. And I stumbled upon this song about a lonely little thrift store. 

As tasteless as it is, I can't help but count: 

"Well the avocado green appliances/
with the smell of domestic violences/
and the dusty Farberware/
and the rusty dinette chair..." 

as one of my favorite and most surprising lyrics ever written. Awful... I know. But you have a pretty distinct image in your head now, don't you?

7. "Hooked on a Feeling" - Blue Swede

Yes I am obsessed with Guardians of the Galaxy. But there's more to it than that. This song also screams "Reservoir Dogs" at me, and that memory is more deeply ingrained in my membrane than my fondness for Chris Elliot being brutalized in an alien prison is. The Reservoir Dogs ST was one of my MAIN draws for mixtape fodder in highschool. Soundtracks almost always were. (Great Expectations, The Crow, Pulp Fiction, Batman Forever, the list goes on and on for weird soundtracks with hidden gems amongst the track lists). Aaaaand... it also just happens to be in the Guardians of the Galaxy, which doesn't hurt. (But damned if there wasn't a bit of aural inspiration given to GotG's Awesome Mix, taken directly from Tarentino's own playlists).

8. "Frank Sinatra" - Cake

Cake is one of those weird bands that I played to DEATH. There's just not enough trumpet rock out there IMO. I had a hard time picking a song by them too... but finally settled on one that always evoked hauntingly clear pictures:

"We know of an ancient radiation
That haunts dismembered constellations,
A faintly glimmering radio station.
While Frank Sinatra sings Stormy Weather,
The flies and spiders get along together,
Cobwebs fall on an old skipping record. 

Beyond the suns that guard this roof,
Beyond your flowers of flaming truths,
Beyond your latest ad campaigns,
An old man sits collecting stamps
In a room all filled with Chinese lamps.
He saves what others throw away.
He says that he'll be rich some day."

Sounds like someone I'm growing old into.  

9. "On My Way" - Rusted Root

I desperately wanted to find a video clip of this song being played in the movie "Ice Age". I really liked this song back when it originally came out. It's a feel-good song. But it perfectly illustrates one of the things I loved the most about the very first Ice Age film: It was quirky and unexpected and ultimately it made you feel good without being too manic. This song appearing in a kid's movie exactly a DECADE after it was released as a popular song was bizarre and unexpected... but it fit the movie perfectly. I love this song for its carefree feeling but I kind of hate this video because it makes the band look like a bunch of douchey idiots dancing on rocks and hopping around like they're being spontaneous when they're really just not. And of course now they use it as a Rental Car company's theme... but I forgive it.

10. "The Rainbow Connection" - The Muppets (2011)

And I'm going to end the mixtape on the Muppets. I love this version of the song because of the way it builds and includes so many members of the cast. I almost went with "It's Not Easy Being Green" but I wanted something with a little more oomph, a little more pizzazz, a little more excitement to the lyrics. "Rainbow Connection" while still feeling a little wistful, is definitely the more upbeat of the two numbers.

So that's it! I thought this was a fantastic idea, and so I chose to grab it and run with it. I hope if you're a blogger, and you're reading this, that you'll do the same! I'll be back with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies another time... so until then Happy Hunting!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Package From Miss M!

So since I am still playing catch up with my back-log from last year's posts. I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to write about this terribly over-due post about a a package sent to me by none other than Miss M of "Diary of a Dorkette" fame, and my awesome co-host over at Geek Fallout

This was a semi-sort-of-Halloween themed package that unfortunately arrived the day after Halloween. So it didn't make it into that countdown, and it got buried under my November break, and the December countdowns for Creepmas and Christmas. But there was a hand-made card by Miss M, which I adore!

Also included were some Halloween-y accessories and decor. This awesome Trick-or-Treat sack, and ghostly bandana for example! 

I handed this item off to my daughter who hung it up in her bedroom. Dig that black cat!

Some random books and other fun items included: A Wizard of Oz LGB, a Jetsons Activity PAd, and a dart and target for Boom Co.

This Mario Bros. Wii U Happy Meal set I let my boys play with, as they are both Wii U obsessed, and love them some Mario Brothers. You fire the colored koopa troopa shells out of the Wii U Remote and into the target!

Blind-bgged mini-figures! I got Scooby Doo's Frankenstein's Monster and Cylindria from Pac-Man's ghostly adventures! I think my favorite guy is the blue ghost!

Slinky dog! This is a Burger King Kids' Club meal toy put out in 1996. I honestly can't believe that Toy Story was put out in 1995... making it a 20 year old film now. 20 YEARS.

Also included were these Mortal Kombat action figures! Rayden, Sub-Zero, Smoke, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and Liu Kang! All my favorites!

Then we have the Street Fighter action figures Ken, Chun-Li, M Bison, Guile, and Sagat (With a Cobra Alley Viper from 1992 on the far right).

From the old Toy Biz X-Men line, we have GIDEON!!!! armored Wolverine, and Sauron (I found a Sauron at Goodwill already, but his limbs don't move because he was a part of some display piece thing that he was glued into once upon a time. It's nice to now have a poseable one). I think I was the most excited to have Gideon since he was one of my favorite villains back in the 90's.

One of the coolest items to appear in this package from Miss M was the Toybiz Magneto vehicle, "The Magnetron". Simultaneously goofy and cool in equal measures I want you to now stop for a moment and let it sink in that Toybiz made a CAR for MAGNETO. Not only that... but a CAR with GIANT U-SHAPED MAGNETS ON IT. This thing is a work of art. A true masterpiece. 

But the items that literally stole my breath away? These fellas. From the Kenner-produced 80's toy line "Superpowers" featuring the heroes and villains of the DCU... Aquaman, Lex Luthor, and (Hal Jordan) Green Lantern!!! I never owned any of these as a kid... but honestly if I could have picked out ANY three characters to track down and own now, it would probably be these three (Although Firestorm and Brainiac would round out my top 5). I always LOVED Lex Luthor in his watermelon color-schemed battle suits. Aquaman? Yes. Just yes. And I want to see Funko put together an entire set of Chromatic Lanterns in their ReAction line. Because I and obsessed with the ROYGBIV Lanterns. So any version of Hal is welcome on my shelves.

That's it for tonight kids! My thanks to the always generous and gracious Miss M for her donations to the Geek Cave! Be sure to check out her blog Diary of a Dorkette, and to listen to her on the Geek Fallout Podast! I'll be back soon with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies... so until then, Happy Hunting!
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