Totally forgot to post these pics of a bunch of folks that showed up to our Grand Re-Opening party back in January. Photos taken by the talented Jeremy Hill. Check out his work here.
These pics were NOT taken by Jeremy. They were taken by a shitty iPhone by some very sober people...
'Thundercats Roar'. At the time of this entry we're left wondering if the internet backlash made this series quietly disappear, as it was originally slated for a 2019 release and we're now halfway through September with no news of an actual release date and it's still listed as 2019 on all noted sites such as Wikipedia and IMDb. Which is a shame, I was really looking forward to it and it getting Thundercats back into the mainstream.
It makes me sad to think that people are insanely so short-sighted not to see how this fun & funny new show would generate not only its own new fans, but get the original (and stellar reboot) some new love and attention.
- But I guess the Netflix She-Ra was a flop and cancelled after one season.
- Teen Titans Go! (which some of you probably never heard of cause it also was pulled after just one episode) wasn’t able to find its audience and would have never gotten a new comic readers into the shops.
- The Netflix Voltron series also a horrible failure and didn't get us a set of new Voltron fans for life. It would have been cool if the series did well enough to eventually get us newly-tooled versions of the original Voltron lions at mass market while the new series toys were also on shelves.
- The success of the Nick TMNT helped keep the fire of the Turtles going which got us tons of non-Nick TMNT figures and merchandise, but the poorly received ‘Rise of the TMNT’ cartoon caused an immediate, almost military-style, shutdown of all fun Ninja Turtle items not related to that show. I would have loved to get that NECA Slash figure but that’s not going to happen now because they just haaaaad to make Raph the leader in Rise.
All sarcasm aside, it’s quite selfish for people to think that a new, different version of something somehow would negate anything that came before it, change what already exists, and wouldn’t proliferate the brand at question.
Having people in the shop on a daily basis say things to their kids like “these are the Transformers / Trolls / Strawberry Shortcake / Ninja Turtles / Power Rangers I had when I was little” shows me not only the magical moment that is parents relating to their kids about a brand (HOW COOL IS THAT?!) but that the kids know what the brand is BECAUSE of all of those variations that have kept those brands alive and in the limelight.
And then there's G.I. Joe. While several attempts to bring it back into the collectors market and get new blood invested in the brand have been made; the major motion pictures, the Renegades cartoon series, Resolute animated feature, Sigma 6 cartoon series, and the two CGI animated features 'Spy Troops' & 'Valor vs Venom', it ultimately ends up getting scrapped, iteration after iteration leaving fans and those just starting to get into G.I. Joe without anything new to consume. While this has more to do with Hasbro's inability to put faith into the brand (and internal power struggles and politics within the company - but that's none of my business and you didn't hear it from this blog), it still shows that not having a brand on the shelf does little to help keep the collectors market strong because of the lack of new fans. Since the last G.I. Joe movie we've seen the toys disappear from retail shelves, only to be replaced by generic military toys at Target and Walmart (so there's definitely a market for them), the G.I. Joe Collectors Club has shuttered its doors and we no longer have an annual official G.I. Joe convention.
I know, I got pretty sidetracked there, but Thundercats fans need to heed my warning; No mass market representation of your favorite brand is a bad thing.
And sure, the Thundercats Classics have returned thanks to the determination and persistence of the fine folks at Super7, but I have to wonder if these will also fall victim as so many other Thundercats toy lines have before them and end before we're able to get even the core team and villains.
To illustrate my point and give weight to the notion that that may happen, here's a few examples of how/when Thundercats fans have been burned by trying to start collecting a new series.
I'm sure there's more than what I could think of here, but this should illustrate my point that I'm a bit cautious of getting my hopes up when it comes to completing a Thundercats toy line.
This seems pretty simple to me and I can't understand why people can't see this; If you provide something that skews to a younger audience, it's going to help the brand financially. The products made for a younger audience are going to be bought by parents for their kids as well as by collectors willing to support the brand. Not just by those crazy completist, bless their souls. And guess what? When companies see that a brand is making money for another company - they tend to be more willing to produce items themselves for that brand in hopes of getting some of that money. In no way, shape, or form would 'Thundercats Roar' been bad for the brand. It's existence would have only brought new fans to the brand, fans that could ultimately end up going back and finding all the old toys, comics, cartoons and collectibles, thus bringing that new blood into the brand's collectors market that we all can't seem to figure out how to do.
But luckily a bunch of angry fanboys took care of that...
“What do you mean you're bored, young daughter? Come, look upon this horrible trailer. For it was I and my brave companions that vanquished it from the land with our mighty keyboards as you can see here on in the comments section.
Always read the comments, daughter. For it is there... that battles are won.
Wait, you LIKED that? Honey no. I did you a favor.”
There's a lot of people that may think that all we do when an item comes into our shop is turn around and sell it right off the counter with little-to-no work put into it, which makes it very hard for them to understand why we're buying at a fraction of the price we'll sell it for.
You don't have to read this whole thing - just scan it and be impressed with how much I wrote and assume there's a lot that goes into what we do. I mean, that's what I'd do. But for those of you actually going to hunker down and read it all, here we go!
Getting an item into the shop includes most, if not all of these steps, which is what the money we make on an item goes towards. Any shop that buys from individuals directly (collectible stores, record shops, comic shops, etc.) will all know what we're talking about, though some of the steps might not be applicable to all of them.
Then when a person selling brings an item in here are the steps taken from then on are:
These steps could take 10-15 minutes or up to entire days depending on the size of the lots brought to us and our familiarity with them. And that's for each individual that comes in. What most folks don't realize is that this usually isn't a scheduled event, but rather people showing up at random. Which means this whole process could happen numerous times a day, and often overlap one another.
It's also worth mentioning that we are a small business and bringing in high-priced items is tricky for us. If an item comes through that retails for hundreds of dollars, taking that risk to pay for it upfront may be a blow to our cashflow that we may struggle to come back from if the item doesn't sell right away. Moreso if a large collection of items comes through and it means selling numerous cheaper pieces to start seeing some return on our investment.
Back to the process!
Once a buy-price has been agreed upon and we've now purchased the item, any of the following can, and usually do, happen in order to sell the item(s):
Then there's things not specifically related to the items themselves that any store needs to take into account when buying such as:
Back to a few things that are item-specific to getting the same item out the door after it came in oh so long ago in this write-up.
Bonus chapter - Determining what an item will sell for in our shop:
This is something we wish everyone would know how to do. When we look up items online, we usually look at the sold listings on eBay which gives you a better idea of what the going rate for an item is, versus looking at Amazon or items currently listed on eBay. Because while someone could list a $20 item for $2,000 on either of those sites, that's not necessarily reflective of the current market value. Looking at recently sold items is the best way to gauge what an item sells for.
Even doing this takes some skill, as you have to see how many things are selling for around the same price with a Buy It Now price vs how many items went to auction. If you see an item that's sold a few times at auction for $20, but one item has recently sold with a Buy It Now price of $80, that could mean a few things. Such as, the buyer may hate dealing with auctions, and losing them constantly. Or it could mean it was the only item of it's kind listed at the time and the buyer didn't have the patience to wait around for another one to pop up.
On the other hand, if you're seeing that one item sold with a Buy It Now price of $20, but all the other sold listings are auctions that have ended around $80, it's safe to say that the seller either didn't know what they had, or didn't care and wanted to list it at a price to get rid of it.
Worth noting as well, we try to make our price lower than what is readily available online. Because if we're posting something for sale on our social media, we want folks to chose our item instead of running to Amazon or eBay. We also sell on eBay and know we can get a higher price there, but doing so is even more time consuming than what's listed here.
We know everyone's seen shows like Pawn Stars so they think they're supposed to argue price with us, but we're not a TV show and we're not trying to low-ball anyone for entertainment value. We set our prices and know how and why we've done so, but now we hope maybe what you just read will give some insight as to our reasonings and process.
Hopefully this was informative and didn't come off too snarky, again we love what we do and couldn't do it without the countless folks that have brought stuff into the shop for the years we've been a store. We truly couldn't do any of this without you all!
Trump is a bitch.
Came to a weird realization recently and this may just me connecting dots that aren't there, however I'm going to show you all the evidence and let you connect your own dots (in the privacy of your own home).
I have no connection to Micronauts, having been born in the late 70s I missed this whole amazing line even though I had two older brothers that did their part to introduce me to things like Star Wars, fart jokes and the ability to cut someone out of your family for good. Too dark? Okay let's get back to these crazy alien dudes.
These three Alien figures were released later in the Micronauts line, 1979, and became fan-favorites, usually showing up in collections such as ours that don't feature any other Micronauts action figures. From left to right in the photo above you have Membros (the orange gentlemen named so because of his massive brain that looks a bit like a decent 70s hairstyle), Repto (in the green with orange wings and probably named that because of his green skin), and finally Antron (in the purple with the four well-armed arms).
These figures are simply amazing and usually found very loose because of how much kids loved playing with them. Finding a mint, complete figure in good shape without loose limbs is not an easy task. We got these guys in the shop not too long ago and even though they're in great shape with good joints, our Membros suffered a broken cord that goes from his gun to his backpack which is pretty common due to the brittle plastic that was used on that cord.
We also have a variant of the Repto - one figure with an orange brain and another with a white.
So this is the part where I start to assume stuff so I may lose some of you (this is usually where Liz stops paying attention...) but I'd think that it's safe to say that someone who was in their late 20s/early 30s in say, 1993 would have come across these 14 years earlier, especially if they're into toys to the point of eventually becoming a toy designer themselves. Which is why I personally believe that these figures directly inspired the three Lunartix Empire aliens that were released as part of the original G.I. Joe toy line in 1993.
Micronauts Aliens, meet the aliens from the G.I. Joe universe. It's no secret that as the Joe brand saw sales decline, Hasbro did their damndest to chase whatever fad was hot at the time. Neon colors of the 90s, 'Dino Hunters' (Jurassic Park), 'Star Brigade' (Star Trek/Aliens), and even 'Eco Warriors' (Captain Planet).
I first found out about these guys from the James Desimone guides when we got back into collecting around 1998 or so. I stopped collecting Joes around 92 so those last couple years completely snuck by me. But once I saw how crazy they went with some of the later figures I was instantly in love with these turds. From left to right in the photo above you have Lobotomaxx (with the neck/tail/exposed brain in the green), Predacon (with the four arms, blue skin and white pants), and Carcass (in the orange with the green guts and green accessories).
These figures were released in the last year of G.I. Joe's original run, 1994. So these were most likely designed by an in-house designer around 1993 or so. I stand by my math above, with the thinking that whoever worked on these most likely was at least aware of the original Micronauts aliens and used them for inspiration. Some of the similarities are too much to ignore.
I posted Carcass with both Membros and Repto since he shares some attributes with both of them, but in my pairing, I'd say he goes more with Membros since Repto pairs well with Lobotomaxx.
It's also nice that all of these figures have really really beautiful card art. Art on the older figures was always amazing and did most of the work of selling the toy that could barely live up to what the art was portraying.
So I may be completely off here and these six figures may have absolutely nothing to do with one another, however I have one last thing I want to mention about these guys. Back in 2004 I was attending my first JoeCon in Orlando with Devil's Due. At one point in the hotel I get onto the elevator with my friend Tim and he notices the other gentleman that gets on with us is Kurt Groen (Hasbro designer 1989 - 1998) and introduces him to me by saying "Kurt's the guy responsible for designing those awesome aliens we love" to which the Kurt replies; "I hated all of that stuff." Him saying that only made me like the figures even more. But to think whoever helped design the figures didn't really want to would put some weight into them borrowing from the Micronauts figures that came out about 14 years earlier.
But what really kicked me into gear to post all of this was this three pack of weird robo-alien figures that I found at Ross last week. I've seen this around before, I may even already own them in other colors, but finding them in a three pack of blue / orange / green felt like a sign that I should get all these bros together for a few photos. I believe these guys are part of the "M.A.R.S." action figure line that's usually found at Family Dollar or Dollar General.
Now I'm going to say that whoever is designing cheap figures for this line is probably not immersed in the toy world and most likely didn't draw inspiration from either the Micronauts or the G.I. Joe aliens, but that's pretty arrogant of me and may be completely false. Heck, this person may be a huge toy fan and may already know about the similarities between the two previous toyline aliens, whereas my theory about the Joe designer may be way off and that person may have never even laid eyes on the original Micronauts figures before putting pen to paper for designing the Lunartix aliens. Whatever the facts may be, all of these figures are now all best friends and plan on traveling the galaxies together (or sit on a shelf in our house).
With the beginning of the new year in 2018 we are gearing up for a new line of TMNT figures along with its accompanying show. And since the new figures & show means we saw the end of the previous series and toyline, we thought it'd be a good time to look back at the Nick TMNT figures and post a bunch of our favorites that have been released over the past few years.
The list is presented in no particular order, basically it's posted in the order in which we took the photos, which was actually the order in which the figures were laying on the counter next to the photobox.
It's worth mentioning that our favorite characters from the first TMNT toy line didn't make the cut here in their updated incarnations which pained us terribly. But we just weren't too happy with Slash and Metalhead's updated designs. But that might just be because of how much we liked the originals. You seem to see a lot of that in pop culture as a whole. While those figures may be great in their own right, they don't make an appearance on our list.
So scroll on and check out our weirdly color-balanced photos to see who did make the cut!
Starting things off with this great version of Futatoid. The Nick TMNT series contained two Fugatoid figures that shared the same mold. There was this one that was released as a normal carded figure and a chromed figure that was released as a Target exclusive in a box set with chromed versions of the Dimension X space suit Turtles. With this release that makes five (?) Fugatoid figures that have ever been released, starting with the original, one from the 2003 toy line, a special edition chromed version of that 2003 figure and the two that were released in the Nick TMNT series.
This Fugatoid hangs out displayed with our original Slash figures which is where he picked up some of those bad habits such as threatening people with a 'psycho sai'.
The detail on this figure is great from the thin fingers, to the thick robot feet, to the seemingly constant-happy eyes. Love the pearl white on him too, all-in-all a really fun figure for play or display.
He's a SHARK, wearing SHARK ARMOR! Hard to leave Armaggon out of the "best of" list just for that alone. Look at those veins sticking out of his neck! He's got roid-rage and he's gonna take it out on the turtles.
Armaggon has pretty good articulation for both coming out near the end of the line as well as being such a thick figure. I'd say the only thing going against him is how hard it is to remember the correct spelling of 'Armaggon'.
Yellow space suit! This April is displayed at home with our set of Slimed Heroes Ghostbusters figures, as it fits in very nicely with their colorful jumpsuits. It's hard to not have a homerun with a figure that has a huge dome space helmet. She also comes with a laser gun that looks like a freakin camera! A nice little nod to her original cartoon design when paired with the yellow outfit.
It wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world to give her some more articulation, but after seeing all the figures in the line, she's far from lacking when it comes to movement.
Often, Playmates will start a subgroup of the Turtles and end up not finishing it before giving all four of them the same treatment. Usually it's Leo that will get the release first, followed by Mikey and then finally Raph and Don rounding out the end.
That's exactly what happened with the Shadow Ninja Color Change figures. The Shadow version is just a straight repaint of the original figures from the Nick TMNT line, so it seemed like a no-brainer that all four would see release, but apparently it wasn't in the cards for Raph and Don to become Shadow Ninjas like their brothers.
These two are seriously some of our favorites to have out and just mess with while watching TV or looking at our phones while listening to TV. The gimmick is neat too, but we don't play in water too much while sitting on the couch, so the black shadows are always present.
We should mention that Leo actually has TWO Shadow Ninja figures, the first was released as a SDCC exclusive that did not have color-change action or any articulation. Which is pretty annoying that a better version came out at mass-retail for less than $10 when some people probably paid quite a bit for a figure that became somewhat obsolete soon thereafter.
Between filming insurance commercials Mondo Gecko likes to tear it up at the local skate park.
This update of Mondo looks like it could actually be a Gecko that Playmates packaged and hoped nobody would notice.
The look of a skateboarder has changed since the last time Mondo Gecko had a skating figure (don't forget he had a hippie rock n roll look in the early 90s too) and this update to the character has followed suit. His board lacks any sort of branding or detail and reminds us of those Muppet Babies figures that were released by McDonald's in the 80s. Playmates probably didn't do this to cut corners, it was most likely to allow for fans to customize the board as they saw fit.
This guy is really fun to pose and give him random accessories - right now he's displayed with the discman that came with the Austin Powers 2 Scott Evil figure, that paired with some nunchucks from Mikey.
TOY REVIEWS & SUCH
We have a lot of toys.