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My nerd loot from SDCC 17

By July 24, 2017 Collectibles, My Geek Adventures

It’s time for my annual tradition of posting photos of my loot from the latest nerd convention, something I’ve been doing since way back in JR high school.

This year, I ended up with a kick-ass Star Wars 40th Anniversary Darth Vader doll, The Will and Lying Cat figures (from Saga), convention exclusive comic books (most signed), half-dozen t-shirts, Dragon Ball Z scopes for the kids, and eleven Twin Peaks prints from Josh Howard, and then all the small random stuff that ends up in the bag along the way.

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My minor Twin Peaks collectibles obsession [Updated]

By July 4, 2017 Collectibles, Twin Peaks

It’s a weird feeling being a Twin Peaks far for the past 25 years, especially seeing a sudden explosion of merchandise after decades of nearly nothing.

Okay, there’s been a lot of fan-created stuff and the occasional Blu-Ray release, but nothing, well…official. But, my how that’s changed. Here’s a quick (updated) look at how far I’ve gone off the deep end. Read More

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Star Wars action figure variant covers – UPDATE 1

By May 1, 2017 Collectibles, Comics

Here’s an updated look at my insane collection Star Wars action figure variant covers, of which I have all but Mr. Boba Fett. (I’m pretty sure) Back when they were first released I quickly scrambled to jump on-board, and now I’ve been steadily collecting them ever since. They just show up in my weekly pull list, so it’s been a very passive experience. But now that I look at them, scattered about on the floor, I feel a nerdy sense of shame accomplishment.

At this point there’s no reason to ever stop, so expect another one of these posts 2 years from now -most likely after I come to my senses and attempt to sell them off them on eBay.

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My nerd loot from SDCC 16

By July 25, 2016 Collectibles, comic-con

I had another rad trip to San Diego Comic-Con this year, and I’ll load up some photos and impressions shortly. Until then, here’s the traditional photo of my loot, spread out on the hotel room bed.

You’ll find the usual SDCC stuff like bags and programs, and there’s a small amount of promotional books at items. I’ve gotten really good and just not accepting any weird, free thing someone hands me. Anyway, I got another unicorn t-shirt, Saga action figures (!!!) and some signed comics. It was a rather lean year for swag and collectibles.

However, my kids left the show with a TON of stuff, so mucf, in fact, that i was worried about our luggage weight for the return flight home.

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My nerd loot from SDCC 15

By July 12, 2015 Collectibles, comic-con

It’s been My nerd loot from StarFest ’89 to snap a pix of all the just I acquired at a convention, spread out on the hotel bed. Here’s my assortment of junk (much of it free swag) from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. I snatched up some exclusive comics, including Avatar’s Mercury Heat #1 (Limited Edition). I added two more Superfight expansions to my already overcrowded deck (I passed on the Anime set). I grabbed a lot of killer items at Super 7’s ‘Skeletor’s Lair’, and a bunch of indie graphic novels that have been on my list.

And believe it or not, this all somehow fit into carry-on luggage. FTW!

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Unboxing the June Lootcrate

By June 21, 2014 Collectibles, Unboxing

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.


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

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Unboxing Adventure Time Mystery Minis

By May 21, 2014 Collectibles, Unboxing

I had known that there were soon-to-be released Adventure Time Funko Mystery Minis about to hit the shelves, yet I was completely unprepared when I stumbled across them at the comic shop. Gathered around a display box were a small group of collectors, speculating on figure assortment and trying to graph how the individual figures were packaged. I think that’s when someone said, “Hey, JL! Why don’t you buy a full case so we know how the figures are packaged?” It was in that moment that I had to make a hefty decision. I was most certainly going to buy some of the figures, and I wasn’t really in the mood for a lot of blind box hunting . And since I was guaranteed one of each figure, I went for it (my subscriber discount helped soften the blow to my wallet).

Honestly, the figures are just okay. I like the stylized, blocky style, but would have preferred something more cartoonish. I also feel like there’s less build quality than most Funko figures. They seem like cheap 3D printer knock-offs. However the tin containers they are packaged in are ridiculously awesome and make the whole purchase worthwhile.

Here’s the blind box layout! Every display box has one of each figure, spread out across the eight different tins. The tin boxes are randomly placed, but the figures fall into the same place on the grid.


How do I know this? Both my display case, and the one at the comic shop matched up perfectly for character placement. You can get every figure you want by either buying a full box, or grabbing the tin from the right spot in the box – provided someone didn’t shuffle them all up.

Happy hunting!

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Unpacking the March Lootcrate

By March 20, 2014 Collectibles, Unboxing

It’s that time of the month: Lootcrate day! Despite waiting a whole month between boxes, at least some sting has been removed in getting the crates within a day of shipping – rather than watching folks post photos of their Lootcrates for a week on social media.

Speaking of which, here’s what’s in this month’s crate…

The theme is “Titan” which is significant due to the FPS juggernaut Titanfall dropping onto gaming servers this month. The biggest item in the box is no doubt, the exclusive Titanfall t-shirt. However my world was rocked this weekend by the inclusion of the Attack on Titan manga novel and sweatband. I’ve already watch a bunch of AoT episodes on Netflix this week, in what’s sure to be my latest addiction. There was also a magnet, Titanfall lanyard, and some St Patrick’s Day candies. I give this month’s crate a solid 8/10.

We shot an awesome unboxing video, which I’ll be posting here ASAP.

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Opening an entire case of Funko “Game of Thrones” Mystery Minis

By March 18, 2014 Collectibles, My Stuff, Unboxing

This just happened (last week). Being a Game of Thrones superfan isn’t easy, especially if you’re Ryan, who is compelled to acquire every Funko figure released. We each bought a few individual boxes, competing on video to get the better figure. It ended in a draw, so Ryan used his ‘nuclear option’ and threw down money for a whole case. I setup the cameras and recorded the whole thing.

It’s easy to daydream about buying a case of figures, romanticizing about getting a complete set and unboxing a bunch of valuable eBay collectibles. The reality is much more disappointing, once the thrill of tearing into the entire case fades away – which is right around number 23 or 24.


Here’s a shot of the studio floor after the unboxing mayhem. In a previous entry I posted a behind the scenes photo of our studio unboxing setup. We might throw down on some more random boxes, otherwise our next video will be next week when we get our March Lootcrates!

MERCH! Get individual “Game of Thrones” Mystery Minis on Amazon:

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Preparing to open and entire case of Funkos!

By March 10, 2014 Collectibles, Unboxing

Here’s my officemate, and fellow geek, Ryan as he readies himself for battle against an entire case of Funko Game of Thrones Mystery Minis. Multiple cameras will be rolling as he unboxes 24 figures, scouring Westeros for the elusive rare figures. Let’s just hope it went better than our recent Blind Box Battle.

I was hoping to work “Winter is coming…” somewhere into this narrative, but I’ll just end with “I’ll be posting the video in the next few days.”

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The State of my Desk – March 7

By March 7, 2014 Collectibles

I’m nearly 40 years-old and my desk is covered in nerdy toys. It’s pretty obvious that in my insanely kick-ass office (which I’m preparing to share later in a video tour), when you’re standing over my desk, it’s pretty obvious that a manchild works there.

My first photo is shot from the approach vector, as you get drawn towards my workstation.

Read More

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Blind Box Battle – Funko GoT Mystery Minis

By March 5, 2014 Collectibles, My Stuff, Unboxing

As you know, I’m a sucker for blind box figurines, especially when they’re in a fandom that I care about. So when I heard that Illusive Comics had the new Funko Game of Thrones Mystery Mini figures in stock, I grabbed my officemate (and GoT superfan) to sag a few boxes. We ended up challenging each other to a blind box battle, to see who could get the coolest and/or rarest figure.
Read More

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Cracking Open the February Lootcrate

By February 25, 2014 Collectibles, Unboxing

I had originally planned to produce a video when cracking open my first Lootcrate, alongside my geek officemate Ryan who also subscribed. However, we ended up being so busy that we had scarcely enough time to even open the boxes and snap the following iPhone pics!
Read More

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I finally drank the Funko kool-aid

By January 22, 2014 Collectibles


For just over a year now, I’ve been holding back my primal collector urges from going full werewolf on the Pop! line of Funko vinyl figures. However, last week must had a been a full moon because I ended up on Amazon, clawing down the number of Pop! figures I threw into my shopping cart.

It’s not that I haven’t been interested in the figures, but rather there were just too many awesome figures and mini-collections to get. I could easily end up with fifty of these things in no time. I’m already feeling the pressure to get the newly-released Mass Effect line, or go all out on the Adventure Time sets. Don’t even get me started on The Walking Dead ones either.

Anyway, i think after seeing my co-worker Ryan’s Game of Thrones collection in his workspace (complete with custom shelving – below, after the jump), I lost it and decided that I just absolutely needed an assortment of my own. Rather that going with a specific set, I assembled a team of masked hard-asses who each deliver their own brand of street justice. My crew thus far: Judge Dredd, RobotCop, Rorshach, and the Batman.

Expect more figures to spontaneously take over what precious desk real estate I have left. Zod help me.

Read More

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Rolling in Phantom Menace collectibles (1999)

By January 22, 2014 Collectibles, Growing Up Geek, The Vault

Here’s a somewhat embarrassing photo from 1999, just a few weeks before the eagerly-anticipated Star Wars: The Phantom Menace premiered in theaters. I was a TV news photographer and we were doing a live remote from a local Target store which just received the first shipment of Phantom Menace toys. I was overjoyed to be among the first nerds to be handling the figures. Looking back now, it’s kinda weird to me that this photo was even taken, considering that it wasn’t immediately going up on Facebook or Instagram. Posterity, I suppose.

Now mind you, I wasn’t allowed to purchase any of these figures. There was a hard street date release on these toys, and this Target wasn’t going to be open until 9am. Luckily, I had a backup plan. I hauled-ass back to work, parked my live truck, and then raced to the nearby Toys R’ Us, which happened to be holding a midnight release party.

Actually, it wasn’t so much a release party, as it was an opportunity for a mob of unruly toy collectors to trample each other in order to get a JarJar Binks action figure. I rolled up on the scene, where a line stretched around the store and met-up with my buddies from The WB, who got me in the store, just ahead of the line. The clock struck midnight, the doors flung open, and then it was complete mayhem for the next hour as all the Star Wars displays were stripped bare. I managed to snatch up a full set of action figures and went home deliriously happy.

The next morning in the clear light of day – I recall glancing over the figures thinking, “I reallydon’t think I’m that into this Star Wars movie” and returned all but Darth Maul to the store. The Force was definitely strong with me that day.

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Packing Up My Cobra Commander Junk

By July 7, 2013 Collectibles

I stopped packing up my junk and stopped to take a few Instagram snaps of some of my Cobra memorabilia. Too dorky?


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Finally unboxed a Cobra Commander!

By June 12, 2013 Collectibles


It’s amazing how much progress you’ll have in finding a blindbox figure by just throwing money at it. Luckily, I got Destro and Storm Shadow in the process, so it was geek money well spent. (Geek money isn’t like real money).

Previously: You may remember my first foray into unboxing The Loyal Subjects vinyl Gi-Joe figures didn’t quite go as I had hoped.

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Getting Within Range of ‘Arrow’

By May 16, 2013 Collectibles, My Geek Adventures

interviewing Arrow! (Stephen Amell)

The great thing about attending the CW Network upfront event over all other network upfronts is that most of their shows are in the geek genre, so you don’t have to wait long for someone supernatural – or superpowered to come along. I was thrilled to meet Stephen Amell, known to everyone as Olliver Green on CW’s Arrow.

And after the event, as he came back down the green carpet, I managed to get my copy of Arrow #1 autographed by the man!

got Arrow to sign my 'Arrow'! #cw #arrow

Of course, the moment I posted this photo on Instagram I started getting comments about the condition of the spine. Let’s just say that it was MINT going to the event and ended up coming home as completely fucked in FAIR condition.

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Gi-Joe Blind Packs Are Annoyingly Addictive

By May 15, 2013 Collectibles

Just what I need in my life: another foil blind pack collectible. As if Disney Vinylmations and Lego Minifigures aren’t enough, now I have Gi-Joe vinyl figures from The Loyal Subjects to worry about.

The moment I saw these things on the shelf at Midtown Comics, I knew I was in trouble. The sales guy said that he had good luck in finding Cobra Commander and Destro – which was all I needed to push my decision making over the top. I eagerly ripped into my package (several feet from the register) and this is how it went…

Leatherneck, really?
I snapped up another box and got our of the store before my impulse control got the better of me. And then this happened… Read More

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