Monday 1 August 2016

Eight Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: LFCC Summer Edition!*

I bet you thought all this Sonic the Comic madness would keep me from boring you to tears with another Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On post didn’t you? Well more fool you because I’ve just got back from the summer London Film and Comic Con and I am so happy about all the shit I bought that I had to show you it, photographed on my front room floor – also note the birthday cards in the background of most shots because I am so professional. 

The con experience itself was fun and effortless, it wasn’t packed and everything I bought was under eBay prices (though I accidentally bought a broken Rock Lord). Actually pricing on things was odd, even on the same stall – one bloke wanted over a fiver for a broken Mutant League figure yet charged less for that boxed DC Direct Eclipso or my swanky new replacement Granny Gross Ghost figure, in fact the price of both combined was only slightly more than that broken Mega Drive game tie-in toy – this was pretty much the same throughout the show with prices seemingly chosen at random, if it costs you more to buy Ron Simmons than it does Granny Gross there’s something very strange going on. I won’t tell you how much I spent overall, I’ve not ashamed personally but I have this strange feeling that telling you will make you ashamed for me and I don’t want you to feel bad.  What I will do is once again highlight several items that I was able to squeeze a paragraph of bullshit out of, so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Bubble Bath Container!
£5 ($6.62)
I have been after one of these for so long. My mum doesn’t throw much away but at some point she chucked out all my old bubble bath containers, which is collector heresy. I may not like to define myself as a collector but it’s still bloody heresy to bin a man’s TMNT bath goods. I’ve been slowly buying them back here and there (they’re pretty pricey) but the Red Ranger had eluded me until today, I was… noticeably happy upon purchasing this. The woman running the Power Rangers stall was a little bewildered, I don’t think she ever thought a faded, dirty, dusty empty bubble bath bottle could make someone that happy, Famke Jansen was there was I was happier about seeing this piece of shit, my priorities are very VERY wrong. Also, if you raise his arm it looks like he’s doing the Nazi salute, why don’t designers notice this? Sainsbury’s was selling a whole range of giant gnomes earlier in the year that were all doing the salute, there’s a wood carver in Devon who’s signature product is a bear doing the salute, they’re not waving, they’re Seig Heiling, this should be caught before production.
Thundercats Print!
£10 ($13.23)
Many years ago I had a stall in Camden Market, but I was severely emotionally and mentally unwell and that kind of ruins your staying power, the lovely fellow next to me did not have these problems, or if he does it didn’t affection his staying power, and he continues on. His name is David Bircham, he’s a decent bloke and a very talented artist and he’s started doing the convention circuit selling prints, I bumped into him today (he was right by the entrance the lucky bugger) and ended up buying this. I’ll be honest this wasn’t the best thing he had on sale – and it says a lot for his body of work that THIS wasn’t the best thing he had for sale - he had a fantastic Dr Who Last Supper and a great Deadpool but it’s Thundercats and the ‘cats have been on my mind lately, what with Mattycollector cancelling the Thundercats Classics line before it’s even started – though I’ll be honest Thundercats is often on my mind. Anyway nobody else has ever managed to make Tygra look this badass. Normally I reserve my print buying just for the beautiful work of the beautiful Destiny Blue but its Thundercats, it’s awesome and drawn by a great bloke who I’ve known for years, I think I’ll put it in the empty space once reserved for Mattel’s action figures.

More Raphaels!
£12 ($15.88)
What is wrong with me? Let’s be clear, I do no not need more Raphaels, NO ONE needs more Raphaels than I have at present but noooooo, as soon as I get anywhere selling anything if I see a new Raphael I’ve bought it. I ask myself afterwards “why did you buy this, you have many Raphaels with which to play?” and my brain says “but this is a different Raphael” and even though I know this a crap answer I shut up at once. So I bought two more Raphaels today, a new Raphael plush from a maker I don’t know and Funko’s Dorbz Raphael which is absolutely precious; I’m not all in on the Dorbz or Metals like I am with the POP! Vinyls, I want a POP of a character from all my favourite things (and thanks to Funko having every licence ever you can pretty much achieve that now and if you can’t, it’s coming in the next 12 months, case in point: Labyrinth and Dark Crystal POP should be shipping any time now) but I only want a few of the Dorbz or Metals (She-Hulk is coming to Metals, that I shall have) but make an exception for Raphael, because I always make an exception for Raphael, there’s more red bandanas in my house than there are plug sockets.  And you know what? I’m going to order ANOTHER Raphael with some eBay money I made too.

£25 ($33.08)
I have a friend who has developed the uncanny ability to get me hooked on anime she herself has become hooked on and wiled away many hours watching drooling over boys in. She first managed it with Attack on Titan but has recently achieved it with both Sword Art Online and Fairy Tail and this just ends in me spending more money. In case you haven’t guess I’m a very merchandisey person, especially with figurines of some kind, I like to have a little plastic representation of something if I like it – part of that is because I hate ornaments and like to use pop culture merch as a replacement but the rest is probably better elaborated on by a physiologist and I’m not one, which is about 48% of the reason for the current suicide rate in Essex not being about 48% higher. Anyway I have completely fallen for Asuna in Sword Art Online, I rarely go for the main characters (I far prefer Bunnie Rabbot to Sally Acorn and Pumyra to Cheetara to use two examples both COMPLETELY COINCIDENTALLY involving anthropomorphic animals) but I really like Asuna, I like her as a person and I like her awesome white and red outfit. While this isn’t quite as good as the box art would have you believe, they eyes are a little heavily done and she has a bit of a flat face it’s still a bloody nice Asuna and her body is perfectly done. Also the background of this shot is an unintentional joy: it looks like Honky Tonk Man and the Crimson Guard are having a friendly chat while Granny Gross noms a set of trading cards and the crocodile from Hook eggs her on.

Teeny Tiny Golem!
The same friend mentioned above gave me this today because she says it reminds her of me. Being fair to her, I do look a lot like this Pok√©mon and my obsession with Ninja Turtles makes it a pretty good fit for me. I have no idea where she acquired it, I was off at another stall looking at toys (as I often am) but it was very nice of her and I thank her. He is super tiny though and I’m worried about him getting lost, I think I’ll put him in the mini-figure tub to keep him safe and then he can make friends with Japanese wrestlers, Hindu gods and vomiting Boglins – he’ll be the happiest Trade-Only evolution in the land. For bonus points, my friend was dressed as Wolverine today and Golem’s standing on a Wolverine trading card, that was completely unintentional but can we pretend it wasn’t?

Space Jam Toys!
Fuck Knows
Come on and SLAM! And welcome to the JAM! Space Jam is not a good film, I know this, I did an A-Level in film studies, but somehow this doesn’t matter when Bugs Bunny and Bill Murray play basketball against aliens. I’m spotlighting these mostly because I like to mention when dealers do nice things for me without being asked – in this case I bought such a pile of vintage figures from this stall that he a) just charged me an approximate amount, hence ‘fuck knows’ being a price 2) offered to give me a fiver off that 10” Marvel Universe Polaris you can see in the background of these photos, which brought her down to a tenner and I snapped up and III) threw in a free Marvin the Martian even though the rocket ships that came with Marvins were £2 dearer and he was already charging me a cheaper price and charging me £5 less for Polaris. It was the last day of the con, it was fairly late on the last day of the con and I had just bought an armful of 1990’s cultural flotsam and jetsam from him but that was still three nice things to do and came without any hint of haggling from me. I already have a Marvin the Martian from this line (I have several Marvin the Martians, he’s my Raphael for the Loony Tunes), hence why I was buying a rocket ship without him, but who turns down a free Marvin the Martian? 

Bend ‘Em Royal Guard!
£3 ($3.97)
This is a boring story but I think it says a lot about me: on a recent edition of Five Random Action Figures at the greatest blog ever Dinosaur Dracula I posted that I owned a bendy Royal Guard as part of a far too wordy comment. Later I checked and found that in fact I had lied, I didn’t own a Crimson Guard of any kind, I used to own a bendy Royal Guard but I must have temporarily forgot, what I used to own when it comes to Star Wars really isn’t worth dick as I sold most of it off and half of what I kept (including my beloved Wampa) was lost in the Great Crash Dummies Box Mix-Up. I was annoyed at myself, after all who’d lie about owning a Star Wars Bend ‘Em? It’s one of the least impressive Star Wars things to lie about. So at today’s convention I became determined to rectify this and actually succeed fairly quickly, which was nice. This amounts to me spending £3 on something so I could stop being a hypocrite in a comment that not a single person will take any notice of, as I say, it says a lot about me, I just wish I could figure out what it says about me and if it’s good or bad things.

Teddy Fucking Ruxpin!
£20 ($26.46)
GREAT DAY! I loved my Teddy Ruxpin, it was a bear that talked to me and told me stories and for a very lonely little boy with a lot of imagination who was very easy to please this was my shit. Obviously Teddy Ruxpin becomes less enthralling once you discover Sega and though he received less usage he did not receive less love and was one of my most fondly thought of stuffed toys, I think the last thing I used him for was to play a Smashing Pumpkins cassette because it is still fun to have a cute bear play completely inappropriate music, this new one shall be singing Cannibal Corpse by morning. Then something terrible happened – his bottom jaw fell off, I literally worked my Teddy Ruxpin into disability, and a Teddy Ruxpin without a bottom jaw is bleeding creepy! I’m glad Five Nights at Freddy hadn’t been released when I found him because I would have very likely have given out the Wilhelm Scream. So I decided to throw him away during a big clean-up of my loft, figuring I could easily replace him at a bootsale, after all everyone owned a Teddy Ruxpin once, he’d been the hot toy for Christmas that year, they couldn’t keep the bear in stock. I was wrong, the minute I threw him away every Teddy Ruxpin in England ceased to exist outside of overpriced eBay auctions. And throwing him away genuinely pissed me off btw, I threw a few old things away that day but only Teddy Ruxpin’s death actually affected me emotionally, though clearly not enough to pay over £20 for a new one.  Today things are right in my house once more, Teddy Ruxpin has returned and as a fully working model he will be my only method of playing tapes (which I still have many of, of course, I’m so fucking retro and hip – or I throw way too little away), meaning his repertoire will now mostly be The Ramones, Glen Campbell and the first TMNT Movie soundtrack. Oh and not a single person I was with today knew who or what Teddy Ruxpin was – I feel SO old.   

Fun Fact: Teddy Ruxpin is partially responsible for the success of the Nintendo Entertainment System in America. Teddy Ruxpin was one of two smash hits for Words of Wonder (the other being Laser Tag) and these hits were why Nintendo approached them for a deal, they basically paid them to show off and sell the NES alongside Laser Tag and Teddy Ruxpin so if you wanted them, you got the NES too. It worked and soon the NES was the most popular thing Worlds of Wonder had to offer, ultimately leading to their demise (which is sad) but also being a leading factor in Nintendo circumnavigating American stores complete disinterest in video games following the crash of ’83 and the NES being huge (which is good).

I’m off again now, I have POP! figurines and a Skeksis to open and arrange while Teddy Ruxpin serenades me with Hammer Smashed Face. night all! 

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