Wednesday, October 31, 2018

CHiPs - "Trick or Trick"


"Trick or Trick"
CHiPs - Season 2, Episode 6
Original Airdate: October 21, 1978

Trick or Trick

It's Halloween, and Ponch and Jon are on patrol in the suburbs, looking to keep the trick-or-treating kiddies safe on the streets.  During the night the duo hunt down a liquor store robbing ghost, search for a runaway boy, nab a candy-snatcher, and explore a haunted house.  Kind of amusing, but maybe somewhat less "action-packed" than a typical episode of CHiPs, but it could be fun to watch if you need a dose of 1970s Halloween nostalgia.

"Put your hands where we can see them, and step away from the candy!"
Ponch Walks Under a Ladder

Grossman's Jack-O'-Lantern

Ponch Breaks a Mirror

Officer Jack

Pumpkin Problems

Ghost Makeup

I totally wore that same Batman costume for Halloween in the 1970s!  Heck, I had that kid's haircut, too!

Haunted Patrol

"Pink elephants!"

'70s Costumes in All Their Glory

Ponch and Jon Explore a Haunted House

Ghost Robber

Run-DMC - It;s Tricky

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Scooby-Doo "Mystery Machine" Playset - Character Options (2017)

Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine Playset by Character Options
The Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine Playset from Character Options is available from various online retailers right now.  It contains three action figures and a Mystery Machine that unfolds into a sort of "Mobile Command Center" type deal.  The Mystery Machine can fit two figures in the front seats, although Scooby doesn't really fit in there very well unless you hang his head out the window.  Any of the human Scooby gang will fit in there just fine.  There is also some room for more figures in the back of the van, so if you don't mind cramming them in there awkwardly, you could probably transport the whole Scooby Gang.

In the Box
The three action figures are Freddy, Scooby, and a ghost.  The Scooby figure is the same one that I reviewed earlier this month, and the Freddy figure feature the same articulation as the Shaggy figure from that review, so check that review out for more information.  ( The third figure is the ghost, but calling it an "action figure" would not be accurate, because it has no articulation, it's just a solid piece of white plastic with two eye holes painted on.  That was kind of disappointing, although it does make a nice looking prop.  It's probably just best to think of it as an accessory to the playset rather than an actual action figure.

Scooby and Freddy Encounter a Ghost on the Road
The Mystery Machine has wheels that actually roll.  The front doors don't open, but there is a flap above the seats that opens to make it easier to position the figures in the driver and passenger seats.  The back of the van unfolds into a multi-level playset.  It has some sculpted mechanical  details and instrumentation, and some stickers ot add more details.  The actual purpose of the sculpted and sticker details is undefined, which is fine.  It mostly just left open to a kid's imagination.

Mystery Machine Command Center

These Scooby-Doo toys seem to be constantly repackaged and resold under different configurations, so you should shop around to get the best version of this toy.  For instance, as I write this review, there is a version of this that comes packaged with just the Freddy figure, and has no stickers inside the van, that is priced at $41.94 on Amazon, while another listing has the version I reviewed with all three figures and the stickers for just $17.99.

The Ghost is Just a Hunk of Plastic

The Ghost

Uhh... ghost radar?

I don't know... a flame-thrower?

The Sccoby Gang Needs to Clean Their Van

Fred Behind the Wheel

"Whew!  I'm glad we finally ditched that ghost!"


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Samantha from "Bewitched" and The Wicked Witch from "The Wizard of Oz" 8 Inch Retro Action Figures - Mego Corporation (2018)

Samantha from "Bewitched" and The Wicked Witch from "The Wizard of Oz" - Mego Corporation (2018)
This October, two Mego witches can be found haunting the aisles of local Target stores.  One is The Wicked Witch of the West, which is a recreation of the figure Mego first produced in 1975.  It's part of a "Wizard of Oz" 2 pack that also comes with Dorothy.  The other witch is Samantha from the classic 1960s TV show "Bewitched."

The two figures share the same witch hat, but are otherwise unique.  Samantha comes with a cartoon cat that Bewitched fans will recognize from the animated opening credits of the TV show.  The Wicked Witch comes with her broom.

Wizard of Oz 2-Pack
I'm not really that big of a Bewitched or Wizard of Oz fan.  I mean, I liked them both when I was a kid, but not enough to want to collect merchandise from the properties as an adult.  That being said, I am a fan of Mego Monsters, especially around Halloween, so I couldn't resist adding two new witches to my collection.

The Wicked Witch

Samantha and Her Accessories

Bewitched Package

The Wizard of Oz Figures Come With a Diorama Backdrop

Classic Monsters

Friday, October 26, 2018

Beavis and Butt-Head - "Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest"

Beavis and Butt-Head

"Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest"
Beavis and Butt-Head - Season 6 Episode 1
Originally aired Halloween Night, October 31, 1995

Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest

"Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest" was the Beavis and Butt-Head Halloween Special that aired on Halloween night in 1995.  It starts out like a normal Beavis and Butt-Head episode, with the boys sitting at home watching TV.  Eventually, trick-or-treaters coming to their door alert them to the fact that it is Halloween.  The boys decide to throw together some quick costumes so they can go out trick-or-treating and score some candy.  Beavis puts underwear on his head and says he is a "nad."  Butt-Head pours hot cheese sauce over his head and says he is "nachos."

"Trick or Treat!"
What follows is some typical Beavis and Butt-Head comedy as the boys travel door-to-door and interact humorously with the people in their neighborhood, including regular characters like Mr. Van Dreissen, the hippie high school teacher, and old man Tom Anderson.  But things take a dark turn into horror when Beavis ingests so much candy that the sugar rush transforms him into his alter ego "Cornholoio,"  and his insane meanderings lead to a series of violent incidents culminating in his own death.

Beavis is Unwilling to Share the Candy
I remember watching this when it originally aired and being very impressed by the dark turn it took towards the end, perfectly setting the mood for Halloween horror.

Cornholio Wanders Through a Graveyard

Highland Texas Chainsaw Massacre
 Music videos featured in his episode:
  • Alice Cooper - Teenage Frankenstein
  • Paul Broucek - Hollywood Halloween
  • King Diamond - The Family Ghost

Paul Broucek - Hollywood Halloween (Commentary by Beavis and Butt-Head)

See the other music videos featured in this episode, plus more screencaps after the break...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Frankenstein 8 Inch Retro Action Figure - Mego Corporation (2018)

Frankenstein 8 Inch Retro Action Figure - Mego Corporation (2018)
After 35 years, the all-new line of Mego action figures continue to roll out at Target!  Earlier this month I reviewed Mego's new "Bela Lugosi as Dracula" figure from Wave 1 of the new Mego figures.  Today, I'm reviewing "Frankenstein" from Wave 2.

To start off with, this is not a licensed "Universal Monsters" Frankenstein, but it's supposed to be a "generic" public-domain type Frankenstein, which is totally cool, as far as I am concerned.  Mego did the same thing in the 1970s with their "Mad Monsters" series of figures, and I love those.  But... yeah this totally IS the Universal Monsters Frankenstein, just without the neck-bolts.  I'm actually kind of surprised that Mego's lawyers approved this (if they did), and I really hope they don't get sued by Universal Studios.  Also, the sculpt, paint job, and costuming on the Wave 1 Dracula figure was phenomenal.  The Wave 2 Frankenstein however, is not of the same level of quality.  I still think it's a good figure, but it's not really the highlight of Wave 2 the same way Dracula was for Wave 1.

The face sculpt is actually the same sculpt that was used on the officially licensed Universal Monsters Retro Cloth Figure Frankenstein that Diamond Select and Emce Toys released in 2010.  That's not really a surprise.  Paul "Dr. Mego" Clarke of Emce Toys is also one of the people behind the relaunch of Mego, along with Marty Abrams, and they have been repurposing a lot of the Emce sculpts for this new line of Mego figures.  The only difference in the sculpt is that the neck-bolts have been removed.  But it has the same facial features, the same scars, the same flat head -- it is clearly still the Universal Monsters Frankenstein.  The other difference is the coloring.  The Emce Toys version was painted a grayish-green, where this one is molded in almost lime-green plastic. The original grayish-green actually did a better job of showing off the facial features.  The facial features on this figure, with it's lighter green color, look softer and less defined, but I think that's all down to the color, not the actual sculpt.

There are a few other features missing form this newer figure.  The 2010 version had black painted fingernails, and metal hinges on his wrists, while this one's hands and wrists are just solid lime green.  Also, the 2010 version had a pair of awesome platform boots that really helped to nail that classic Frankenstein look.  The new figure just has some standard issue Mego boots.  These omissions may have been to make it visually distinct from the official Universal Monsters version, or maybe they were just cost-cutting measures.

Another strange thing is that the package features a black and white drawing of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein.  The neck-bolts have been erased from the drawing, but it is still clearly, unmistakably Boris Karloff in his Universal Monsters makeup as Frankenstein.  Again, I don't know why Mego would do that, because it seems like they are asking to be sued, by either Universal Studios or the Karloff estate.  For the record, I don't want them to be sued, I love the new Mego Corporation, I'm just worried for them on this score.  The back of the package features a "generic" painting of Frankenstein, with bolts in his forehead instead of his neck, I'm not sure why they didn't just use that art for the front.

Summing it up, my thoughts on this figure are that if you already own the 2010 DST/Emce Frankenstein, you probably don't need to buy this one.  It's really just a downgraded version of that same figure.  That is unless you're like me and are nuts for Frankenstein, in which case you will buy practically any Frankie figure.  And honestly, this is a good figure on it's own merits, and especially for the low price of $12.99.  If you don't already own the 2010 version, there is no reason why you should hesitate to pick this up if these type of figures are your bag.  Good luck finding one, though.  This figure is probably the hardest one to find from the Wave 2 Megos.  It sold out on the Target website right away, and it took me nearly a month of constantly checking my local Target stores before I finally found one, AND it was the last one in the store, AND the card was damaged.  You can find them on eBay, for 3 to 4 times as much money as what it sells for in the stores.  But I wasn't willing to pay that.

Next up for Mego monster fans is Wave 3 of the figures, which have not OFFICIALLY been released yet, but are still popping up in the stores.  Target is really bad on that front, these toys start to trickle out weeks before their street date, and then other times don't go up on the shelves until weeks after.  Pretty much all you can do is buy what you can from, and then constantly check back in the stores to see if the ones that weren't available online have been stocked yet.  Wave 3 features "The Screaming Werewolf" from the movie "Face of the Screaming Werewolf" which was a particularly bad movie, being made by editing together two unrelated Mexican monster movies, dubbing them in English, and combining them with some newly shot footage of American actors.  The film was a mess, but it did feature horror icon Lon Chaney, Jr as the werewolf.  I'll be looking for that one in my frequent trips to Target in the coming months or weeks.