At 10:47AM this morning, I got a text message from a friend of mine saying “on a side note, Nintendo just announced EarthBound for the Wii U Virtual Console.” I’ve known people that have waited over thirteen years for this news, from all the way back in the days of the Nintendo 64, so for those of you who haven’t played EarthBound or haven’t played it in a while, I figured now would be the perfect time to cover what my favorite part of the SNES era was: the dialogue. As I grew older, I started to appreciate the art of writing, I believe, in part because of the dialogue in EarthBound and other SNES games. There’s a certain art and character to dialogue, and who knows, maybe I wouldn’t be a writer today without these games introducing me to a whole world of literacy. Let’s check out some dialogue from EarthBound and nine other RPG-type games that aren’t EarthBound, as a fun retrospective:
I missed the brief M.U.S.C.L.E. and Monster in My Pocket craze growing up, but now there’s a wide assortment of miniature acronym-wielding freaks, alien robots, Outlandish Mini Figure Guys, and now zombies to collect. As JAKKS Pacific’s incorrect guess to 2012′s Monster of the Year, these S.L.U.G. Zombie 2″ PVC gum miniatures ended up warming the shelves of several Targets in my area. I bought one to add to my zombie collection when they were $3, and waited patiently until their clearance prices dropped to around $1. As you can see, I bought a few:
The last few themed installments of Thrift Store Adventures turned out better than expected, so I’d like to ride the coattails of Ryan’s review of V/H/S with a discussion of VHS tapes, most commonly found in thrift stores, along with used bookstores and garage sales. To be realistic, VHS tapes are outdated, bulky, you can degrade the tape by rewinding it improperly, you can degrade the tape by watching it too many times, magnets don’t really work well around them and they’re afraid of water. Why watch something on VHS when you can watch it on Bluray? Well, “it’s not available on Bluray or even DVD” is the best answer to that. I collect VHS tapes because they’re cheap, and because I have a fondness for 90s anime. Most have made it to DVD, although when a production studio closes the distribution rights it owned may not be immediately available. Some are formally out of print, or in that græy area until another studio comes along to re-re-release the anime on Bluray. It’s an innocent “thrill of the hunt” kind of collection, where I’ll occasionally look through a thrift store’s VHS selection and see if there’s anything I recognize or anything that looks cool, and might only pay more for something I clearly owned or wanted to own. Here are seven examples of the kinds of tapes I’d buy: Read the rest of this entry
Hello, readers. In celebration of a sleepless night, day one of possibly being snowed in, without any foreseeable work options in the foreseeable future, on the first day of 2013, let’s take a look at that goddamn awful year 2012, and pick out some music that was better than Skillrex or that teenybopper shit. In 2008, I was the world’s foremost expert on new albums – or at the least, I was crazy enough to hear over 700 of them – but this time, time and interest was not on my side, so I went the more subdued route. No hipster indie crap, no poking through hype-maker blogs, just my favorite bands and some extras. Here’s a hint of what the tracklist will look like:
The first two Thrift Store Adventures took place over several visits to various thrift stores, because frankly, there just wasn’t enough oddity to fit into one occurrence. Recently, I started taking a writing class in Bellevue. There are many Bellevues across the United States and the world, perhaps most commonly, the Bellevue Hospital Center. The Bellevue in my mind is where I received my higher education and met many of my friends, but is also a rich, snotty part of the greater Seattle area. I stopped in at the Bellevue Goodwill twice, and each time found enough content for an article, so here are fourteen – rather than seven – crazy things I came across in those two thrift store adventures:
In this latest generation of TMNT, we don’t have Bebop and Rocksteady or even Tokka and Rahzar, but I think Dogpound and Fishface have the potential to be equally good villains. The complete lineup so far features the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, Kraang, Metalhead, Fishface and Dogpound. They will be joined by evil scientist Baxter Stockman, early opponent Snakeweed, and another set of the Turtles in early 2013. Until then, we have plenty of toys from the new TMNT show to dig into, including Dogpound.
For the this installment of Thrift Store Adventures, I thought it might be nice to show why I enjoy going to thrift stores. It’s not always for the lulz. Sometimes you see some really cool stuff. Here are seven of my favorite things I came across in my thrift store adventures:
Nearly 20 years ago, when a group of rappers put together a love letter to kung fu movies and one of the definitive hip hop albums of the 90s, who’d have thought that the mastermind, the RZA, would be able to release an album using kung fu samples from his own movie? Talk about a dream come true! The RZA (a.k.a RZA, Rza, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, Bobby Digital, or simply by his given name, Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) was a modern day entrepreneur when he formed the Wu-Tang Clan in the early 90s. He put together a ten-year plan to help launch the careers of the nine member crew, along with an extended crew casually referred to as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees. Some of the more creative fruits of their collective labor include a revolutionary clothing line and acting in movies as diverse as Coffee and Cigarettes, Ghost Dog, and American Gangster, so the RZA’s transition to directing is therefore reasonable. We already have a spot-on review of the movie, so let’s focus on the music. Is it any good? More specifically, how does the music on this soundtrack fit into the movie?
Part of the first wave of toys based on Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the radical rat Splinter is the sentient sensei of the tubular turtles. The complete line-up is the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, Kranng, Metalhead, Fishface, and Dogpound. How sweet is this Splinter toy? Let’s find out.