My Stuff, Toys

Daryl Dixon’s Chopper (Funko Pop! Rides review) – The Walking Dead

It’s a slippery slope, buying vinyl Funko figures. They’re so affordable, ubiquitous, and highly collectible. As a geek, it’s near impossible to avoid having one. Recently, I’ve fallen off the deep end and snatched-up pretty much the entire run of American Horror Story and The Walking Dead Funko Pop! Vinyl collections for my office at work.

Luckily, I can turn this obsession into something more productive – such as doing some fun videos for the new action figure review site, GoFigure. I won’t usually post the videos here, but I wanted to share the news. This week I’m showing off the completely badass Daryl Dixon’s Chopper (terrible sound effect not included).

comic-con, My Geek Adventures

I survived The Walking Dead Escape

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Over the past week since San Diego Comic-Con 2014 wrapped, I’ve often been asked what was my favorite part of the action packed weekend. It’s difficult while still in the Comic-Con haze to answer that question without blurting out a half-dozen crazy things. But now that I’ve had some time for my mind and body to recover, I can now say without hesitation that it was running through The Walking Dead Escape.

The event, which shoves participants into a massive zombie themed obstacle course, has been a staple on many of the “best of Comic-Con” lists for the past few years. I decided, “No more excuses!” I was determined to get chased by fake-Zombies this year, even if it killed me. And after three days of Comic-Con, it nearly did.


Read my complete awrap-up over on Movieweb.com

Growing Up Geek, Music

It’s always been ‘Cruel Summer’

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“Hot summer streets, and the pavements are burning. I sit around, trying to smile, but the air is so heavy and dry.”

The hot summer breeze drifts into the Valley, carrying along with it the promise of recreation and a respite from the daily grind. My own adventures begin when I lace up a fresh pair of black Converse sneakers and hear my favorite summer jam on the radio. Sometime near late May, radio stations mercilessly shuffle and repeat playlists until a single track – through sheer tyranny of will – conquers the national zeitgeist, becoming the unofficial ‘song of summer.’ For me, it happens to be Bananarama’s Cruel Summer.

It’s always been Cruel Summer.

The song always crashes into awareness, releasing a flood of nostalgia flavored endorphins swimming throughout my mind. Just as that kooky xylophone melody kicks in, I’m sent back to warm summer nights. Mini golf and water slides. Stolen glances and awkward hand holding. Excitement, mixed with regret. While these memories are mostly unorganized and complex, they’re not all awash with the abstract.

“It’s a cruel, cruel summer. Leaving me here on my own.”

For each generation, there’s various culture defining moments that weave together a shared experience of their childhoods. Today’s youth have the advent of social media and the rise of the mobile internet. For those of us that were rad enough to grow up in the eighties, we cut our teeth on the early days of music videos, blockbuster movies, and video gaming.

I have an insanely vidid memory of the song from the summer of 1986. While on vacation, I wandered into a strange Michigan video arcade. Down to my last quarter, I was absolutely crushing the high score on a particular game. Blaring at a murderous volume from the crackling speaker above me was Cruel Summer, which in that moment might as well have been divine mana beaming down from Asgard. For those few, seemingly endless minutes I was the Last Starfighter, moving to my favorite jam while vaporizing wave after wave of alien ass. Those fleeting three minutes were as pure in splendor as anything could ever hope to be. It’s funny because I can remember nearly everything from that night, but can’t say for certain exactly what game I was playing – that’s how much of a strange power this song has over me.

 

 

Much of the melancholy I experience stems from the growing pains of early youth, but I also recognize that part of it is deeply rooted in nearly 30 year obsession with The Karate Kid. In a strange way, Daniel Larusso’s troubles have either mirrored, or in some way become my own. I’m not a troubled person – at all. In fact, I lead a rather charmed life. But that song, and several other from that decade, will always sway me back to those strange days.

And the song isn’t what it seems either. While it speaks from a place of loneliness and boredom, the song, Cruel Summer isn’t completely tragic. Left alone to your own devices, the song’s story is only takes place at the beginning of summer. Anything is still possible. You just need lace up your sneakers, and get out there before another next summer fades away into memory.

Growing Up Geek, Movies, Music

The Pool Scene from “Let The Right One In”

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Everything is calm just above the surface. I squirm nervously in my seat, helplessly watching as young Oskar is led into a watery trap.

While I found the whole film to be brilliant, it’s the final moments of Let The Right One In that forever sealed it in my subconscious. Apart from all the bloody dismemberment, there’s something quite haunting about the pool scene. It’s a flawlessly executed sequence, with slow-burning tension. The part that left a lasting impression for me was the synth-pop tune “Flash in the Night” playing on the radio. It’s this one small added detail that lent a haunting realism to the moment. The song immediately triggers for me a flood of nostalgia and emotional triggers.
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Collectibles, Unboxing

Unboxing the June Lootcrate

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Before FedEX even had time to update the shipping information the Lootcrates arrived with the morning mail. This time around, the receptionist at work insisted on watching as we ripped open our boxes at the front desk. She laughed and kept saying “You guys are too funny!” as we enthusiastically unpacked each item. All the while, the new security guard glared at both of us, silently passing judgment on how much we were grown ass men acting like middle-school nerds. None of that mattered, as this month’s them was TRANSFORM, which we hoped contained some robots in disguise.

Here’s the breakdown of this month’s epic items:

There’s an exclusive t-shirt designed by Nathan Davis & The Hundreds entitled “Marty McPrime”, sporting a Transformers/Back to the Future mashup. Love the design, but red’s certainly not my color.

I just knew there would be a Loyal Subjects Transformers blind box figure in this crate. I was thrilled to get Megatron while my co-worker Ryan got Starscream. Each of received an opposing Autobots or Decepticons vinyl sticker – which we quickly used to customized our 8TB external hard drives.

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Also in the box were Transformers Hexbugs, various MLG items (including a sweatband), and some super-sour Warheads candies. There was also this month’s collectible Lootcrate button and the mini-magazine, that was cusiously absent in last month’s package.

Verdict: 9/10