Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Adam West! Burt Ward! Julie Newmar! All reprising their Classic Batman TV Roles in Animated "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusdaers!"


Adam West!  Burt Ward!  Julie Newmar!  All reprising their Classic Batman TV Roles in Animated "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusdaers!"
The-One-True-Batman is back!  Adam West is returning as Batman in a new animated feature Batman: Return of the Caped Crusdaers.  West will be joined by Burt Ward as Robin and Julie Newmar as the Catwoman, with as yet unnannounced actors playing Joker, Riddler, and Penguin.  Adam West and Burt Ward first mentioned this over a year ago at a comic convention, but I hadn't heard anything about it since, and I was starting to give up hope that it was real.  But it is real!

The movie will be released on Digital HD on Oct. 11 and on Blu-Ray on Nov. 1.  For more info, including the first trailer, check out the full post at Entertainment Weekly:
http://www.ew.com/article/2016/08/17/batman-adam-west-burt-ward-julie-newmar-animated



The Outer Space Men Return!


The Outer Sapce Men began as an action figure line in 1968, which was a bit before my time, but I fell in love with them when the Four Horsemen brought them back in 2010.  Their version of the Outer Space Men quickly became my favorite modern day retro toy line.  That action figure line sadly ended a few years ago, but now it is coming back, courtesy of OSM creator Mel Birnkrant, Gary Schaeffer, and The Outer Space Men LLC.  One of my all time favorite toy lines is returning!  Woo-hoo!  Read the press release below:

MEL BIRNKRANT, GARY SCHAEFFER, AND THE OUTER SPACE MEN LLC ANNOUNCE THEY ARE CONTINUING THE OUTER SPACE MEN LINE OF ACTION FIGURES

NEW YORK CITY, NY, August 16, 2016—Gary Schaeffer has announced via social media and through the official OSM site (www.theouterspacemen.com) that, as of next week, the Outer Space Men line of action figures continues!

A brand new Colossus Rex in the vintage and rare 1968 blue variation with golden accessories will be released through the OSM website store. The details of which night and at what time has yet to
be announced; however, Schaeffer has said it is to be sometime next week and he will be personally alerting the fan base via social media and the OSM website.

Additionally, the long awaited Cosmic Radiation Edition is making its first appearance. The entire run of all OSM figures will be made in stunning Glow-in-the-Dark. Gamma X, the Man from the 4th Dimension, Cosmic Radiation Edition will appear first within booth #426 at Star Trek Mission New York Convention at the Jacob Javits Center over Labor Day Weekend, September 2, 3, & 4. Colossus Rex Cosmic Radiation Edition is next to appear in stunning Glow-in-the-Dark within booth #440 at the New York Comic Con at the Javits Center on October 4th , 5th and 6th.

With the long awaited announcement that the iconic and infamous Outer Space Men line of toys will be continuing, Schaeffer has gone on record saying “More OSM figures will now be issued, faster than ever before”.

With less than 18 months to go before celebrations begin for the 50th anniversary of the toy line, Schaeffer is guaranteeing that building up to that momentous occasion will introduce something so incredible and unique that the world will never be the same.

Schaeffer closed with the remark, "be prepared to see something so special and incredible that even Hollywood will finally admit that the OSM is a galactic force to be reckoned with!".
For more information, visit www.theouterspacemen.com
 

Star Trek Select: Mr. Spock Action Figure by Diamond Select (2013)


Star Trek Select: Mr. Spock Action Figure by Diamond Select (2013)
Since 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, I'd like to review more Classic Star Trek toys.  So today I'm taking a look at Diamond Select's Star Trek Select: Mr. Spock Action Figure.  The figure comes packaged with a diorama base of the Horta from the Star Trek episode "The Devil in the Dark," which incidentally was Leonard Nimoy's favorite episode, and thus a fitting choice for this figure.


The action figure itself is very well sculpted, with a great likeness of Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock.  It comes with two heads, so you can change his facial expression, as well as two sets of hands, one of which holds a phaser.  The phaser is not removable, but you can just swap out the hand for one not carrying the phaser if you don't want him to hold it.  It also comes with two tricorders, one with an open flap, and one with a closed one.  That seems a little excessive to me, did we really need TWO tricorders?  But I guess complaining about there being too many accessories would be nitpicking, as most of the time action figures don't have enough.  


The arms are very well articulated, and can hold a variety of positions, such as making a Vulcan mind meld with the Horta, firing the phaser, or using the tricorder.  But the legs are where this figure falls short.  There is absolutely no articulation on the legs, instead you get two pairs of unarticulated legs, one kneeling, and one standing, that you can swap out.  And the legs are not even balanced properly for the figure to stand on, you must use the base and plug the holes in the feet into the pegs on the base in order for the figure to stay upright.  So essentially what you have is not really an action figure, but a customizable diorama piece.  So if you're the kind of toy collector that likes to collect things to display on a shelf, then this works great for that.  If you actually want to "play" with your toys, then this one falls short.







Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Love - Love (1966)


Love - Love (1966)
One of my favorite bands from the 1960s was Love.  Love combined folk, psychedelia, and garage rock into a truly unique sound.  In March of 1966, the Los Angeles based band released their first album, the self-titled "Love."  They released a single for "My Little Red Book," a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and originally recorded by Manfred Mann.  Love's version of the song was raw and primitive with simplified chord changes.  Supposedly Bacharach hated it, but it was a big hit in Southern California, and a minor hit in the rest of the country, where it reached #57 on the Billboard charts, and went on to become a garage rock staple.  Love went on to even greater acclaim with their next two albums, "Da Capo" later in 1966, and "Forever Changes" in 1967.

Here's a couple of clips of Love performing "My Little Red Book" and it's b-side "Message to Pretty" on American Bandstand in 1966:

Love - My Little Red Book


Love - Message to Pretty

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Batman, Episodes 27 and 28 - "The Curse of Tut" and "The Pharaoh's in a Rut"

Batman, Episodes 27 and 28 - "The Curse of Tut" and "The Pharaoh's in a Rut"
50 years ago...
The 27th and 28th episodes of the Batman TV series aired on ABC TV.   Episode 27, "The Curse of Tut," aired on April 13, 1966.  Episode 28, "The Pharaoh's in a Rut," aired on April 14, 1966.

A Crowd Gathers Around Khnum in Gotham Central Park
These were the first episodes to feature Victor Buono as Professor William McElroy, aka King Tut.  Unlike all of the previous villains, King Tut was the first to be created specifically for the TV series.  Professor William McElroy was an Egyptologist who came to believe he was the reincarnation of King Tut after being struck in the head, and then went on a spree of ancient Egypt themed crimes.  There are some fun action scenes in this episode.  One stunt has Bruce Wayne being strapped to a runaway gurney as it races downhill towards a cliff.  Batman and Robin also get in to sword fights with the Egyptian themed villains.  It's also the second time on the series where Batman dances the Batusi.

Batman and Robin in Nefertiti's Crosshairs

Robin's catchphrases in these episodes included "holy hurricane," holy hieroglyphics," "holy whiskers," "holy asp," "holy skyrocket," and "holy taxidermy."

The Mummy's Eyes





More screencaps after the break...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bat-Music #27 - Combo Kings - Batman A Go Go

Bat-Music #27 - Combo Kings - Batman A Go Go

Combo Kings... I know pretty much nothing about this band.  There was a band known as "The Combo Kings," or "Pervis Herder and The Combo Kings" in the early 1960s that put out a couple of singles. I think this is the same band.  Honestly, I don't know.  But in 1966, the single we'll be listening to today was released.  It's "Do the Slow Fizz" by Combo Kings, with the b-side "Batman A Go Go."  Both tracks are danceable, funky slabs of Philly Soul.  Slow Fizz is the superior track, but Batman A Go Go has that Batman novelty value that makes the record memorable to this day.  Let's check them out...

Combo Kings - Batman A Go Go


Combo Kings - Do the Slow Fizz

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Amazing Heroes Series 2 Kickstarter is Live!

AMAZING HEROES SERIES 2

www.freshmonkeyfictionkickstarter.com

Fresh Monkey Fiction's Amazing Heroes quickly became one of my favorite toy lines when I received my first set of action figures earlier this year.   The  figures were made in the style of 1980s superhero action figures, such as Mattel's Marvel Secret Wars figures.  Amazing Heroes featured mostly public domain characters from the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1930s and '40s, but with a couple of newer licensed characters as well.  Check out my reviews for the Series 1 figures:

Fresh Monkey Fiction's Amazing Heroes

Amazing? Indeed! It's the Amazing Heroes Amazing Man Action Figures!

 

Some of the figures from Series 1

Now Fresh Monkey Fiction are back with a new Kickstarter campaign for Series 2 of this awesome retro superhero line.   Again, it's mostly classic Golden Age characters, but with a few licensed characters as well.  

LICENSED FIGURES

The licensed figures in Series 1 were Captain Action, who originated as an action figure in the 1960s, and Madman, Mike Allred's classic indie comics superhero.
Nexus


For Series 2, Madman is back, this time in his "Cosmic Madman" outfit.  He also comes with an alternate David Bowie tribute head that is too cool.  I might have to buy a second Madman figure so I can display both heads.  

Next up is Nexus, Mike Baron and Steve Rude's sci-fi superhero who debuted in comics in the 1980s.  I've always thought that Nexus was one of the coolest looking indie comics superheroes, and it's great to finally have an action figure of this cool character.  

The final licensed figure is Mike Grell's Jon Sable.  Jon Sable was a freelance mercenary who first appeared in the comics in 1983.  Like Nexus, this is Jon Sable's first appearance as an action figure.  This is another comic character that I have fond memories of from when I was a kid in the '80s.  I might have to start digging around through my comic collection and pull out some old issues to reread.


GOLDEN AGE HEROES AND VILLAINS


Captain Future
Of course, the bread and butter of the Amazing Heroes character from Series 1 were the Golden Age comic book characters, and it's no different for Series 2.  Series 2 has the heroes American Crusader, Wonderman, and Captain Future, and the villains Blackout and The Puzzler.  There is also a Puzzler Henchman figure, which would make a great "army builder" figure for those that are in to that.

ORIGINAL CHARACTER


There is also one original character: Chrometurion.  I think the folks at Fresh Monkey Fiction came up with this guy as an excuse to do a shiny silver looking figure (which is kind of reasonable, I guess?).  He's a blank silver figure with a black cape, and seems to be filling the slot that "The Blank Slate" held in Series 1.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE...


American Crusader
That's all the figures that are officially part of Series 2, but there will also be stretch goals if the Kickstarter exceeds it's minimum requirements.  The first one is The Black Bat, who is a bad ass looking pulp fiction hero, in the same vein as The Shadow, or his contemporary character from DC Comics: Batman.

And Fresh Monkey Fiction promise there will be more stretch goals to come, as the Kickstarter progresses, so stay tuned for those.

If you haven't already, go check out the Kickstarter page at www.freshmonkeyfictionkickstarter.com and go see it all for yourself!
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