Friday, 16 June 2017

Examples of Crap I Waste Other People's Money On: Birthday 2017 Edition*

It was my birthday this week! And as I’ve not gone to a bootsale this weekend nor will I be going to one next weekend I thought “oh no, my imaginary readers might not be able to survive without a post about the random shit I now possess” so I’m writing a birthday special of Examples’, yay right? Yay? Please?
I had a really nice birthday by the way; I suppose ‘effortlessly enjoyable’ sums it up. Everyone came over for a barbeque – two of my mates did the cooking (one for meat, one for vegan) and no-one fell in the pond (sadly) – then on the day I went to my beloved Southend-on-Sea and to their Sea-Life Centre Sea-Life Adventure which now has that well known aquatic species: the meerkat (I’m not joking, they genuinely have meerkats) but also mega adorable otters and FUCKING PENGUINS, the best of animals and my nan bought me a penguin that plays the Venga Boys and is wearing deely boppers. The girl who served us was utterly adorable – so of course I was with my nan buying a penguin that plays the Venga Boys and was wearing deely boppers, if you’re reading girl who served me at Sea Life Adventure, I’m not that sad it was just my birthday! Honestly! Of course if you are reading this then you will know how exactly how sad I am and in what ways. Oh well, at least I’ll be single with a musical penguin, I find most things are more palatable with musical penguins.
Present wise I fucking made out, which means that this post will probably be less amusing than it could be because I’m a bit short on random silliness this year, I’d feel bad but I really, really don’t, sorry.

Convention Fund!
Ok I do have a couple of random things. I probably should be highlighting the awesome Rocky Horror Picture Show script the couple (not the two pictured, only Lady Deadpool is part of the couple who gave me this) also gave me but I figure a picture of two girls in cosplay kissing might get me more hits than me going on about how much I love Tim Curry – again. The girl who made this is the one dressed as Lady Deadpool, the one dressed as All New Wolverine is my unofficial little sister, the latter relationship really ruins the titillation for me a bit. Apparently there is another picture taken a second after this where the fellow standing between their heads noticed what was going on at his right, the decision was made to use the shot that didn’t feature a turned on Black man. This is just ingenious - it’s a picture but it’s also a money box and it’s a money box for something that’s related to the picture – sorted. I’m sure they’re all over Facebook or whatever but I’ve never seen one before so I think it’s neat.  

I got a really good selection of collector’s figures this year and most of them I didn’t choose myself, people must be getting to know me after 30-odd years. Me and the young lady who gave me this are…I’m thinking of the correct descriptive… a bit bonkers for Pacific Rim, we don’t kid ourselves it’s high art we just love watching giant robots beat the shit out of giant monsters with Tron lines on ‘em, she really fancies the male lead, I really fancy the female lead and everyone in the world fancies Idris Alba so it has become a kind of mystical totem to us. Knifehead is my personal hero in the film; he’s based on Guiron from Gamera and I just lap up shit like references to obscure movie monsters especially when those references have giant knives for faces. Knifehead’s completely his own man though, looking like a hybrid of a shark, a gorilla and the Cloverfield Monster more than a dog-lizard with a giant knife for a head and that just makes me appreciate him even more – the reference it still there but it’s combined with an original design. Neca are on top form here too, in an attempt to not turn this in a Super Quick Crappy Review his articulation is great (his jaw is blocked by the tongue but any jaw artic is good imo), his texturing is superb and his paint has a weird chalk-like feel to it with some particularly delicious colours on the battle damage (this is the battle damaged version).

This is from my eldest cousin and…it’s amazing. It’s a little cuddly Wampa that speaks (it doesn’t shout WAMPA! it makes noises from the film, you can decide if that’s a better or worse thing because I sure can’t) and as if that wasn’t good enough it arm comes off and it’s attached by red Velcro so it looks like he’s bleeding when that arm is off. It’s…I…just…do I need to go on? I mean just describing it illustrates why it’s amazing right? It’s also really expressive, here it looks devastated (you would too if your arm had been lightsabred off) but with a slightly different angle and maybe a quick brush of hair and he looks so happy to be here. I’ve annoyed many people by treating this Wampa as my small assistant. My other cousin (her sister) bought me a pair of pirate socks:

Everyone gets socks for their birthday/Christmas and everyone hates it, I hate that too, except when they’re pirate socks!

A Wall of POP!
The ones with the prices still on them are from my dad. POP Vinyl has become the new gift voucher, they cost roughly the same and Funko have so many licences for them now that it’s virtually impossible to not find something the person likes, even if you hate fun there’s the new Twin Peaks wave (I kid, mostly), and I am utterly ok with this, I get a little plastic figure from something I like. To prove my point this isn’t all the POP I got this year either, this is just the POP I had by the morning of my birthday. There’s BRIAN BLESSED (his name must always be written like that, sorry for shouting) who is in POP form thanks to Dino De Laurentiis’ Flash Gordon and I enjoy that this picture also includes a King Kong from a much better Kong film than said director’s shameful take on the character (Kong Skull Island = Apocalypse, Now + Kaiju, it works way better than it sounds). Elvira is amazing, ‘nuff said. I don’t think I’ve had a chance to really rave about Jim Henson on this blog yet though, I’m a BIG fan of his work and especially The Muppet Show and his ‘serious’ fantasy epics The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, they’re enthralling and I’m actually legally bound to shout this now: PACKAGE.  My friend who did the vegan cooking bought me Ludo because I kinda am Ludo (well I’m a little bit sharper than he is, I can control rocks though), he’s the perfect choice but even though I like to just have one POP from each thing I like (so one Ninja Turtle, one Power Ranger, one Ghostbuster etc) with there being so little figural stuff from Labyrinth I’m tempted to pick up Sarah and Sir Diddymus this con season, especially as Sarah comes with the Inexplicably Cockney Blue Worm. Although now I say that, the makeshift background for a lot of these uses Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History which explains why the Blue Worm is a cockney: Terry Gilliam decided it would be so in his script (there were many scrips for the film), the first to feature the Blue Worm – of course it still doesn’t make sense but Terry Gilliam doesn’t work on our earth logic so nothing he does makes sense, yet always makes sense to Terry Gilliam.  

Stick & Switch!
Yeah this is a tape dispenser – remember that same friend who gave me the giant Chap Mei octopus and Izzy the Eater of gentiles? No because you don’t exist? Well it’s that girl again, and she is the only person who would think ‘dwitefry would really enjoy a cellotape dispenser that’s pretending to be a 4X4 tire’ and do so knowing she is absolutely right. She is right, I think this is great. The package touts this line as a ‘gotta catch ‘em all’ style product with 3 great versions to collect and swap, I hate to ruin your lives Sellotape but… it ain’t working, even kids have limits (though very high ones, are the kids in other countries obsessed with Fidget Spinners at the moment too?) and I think cellotape is probably beyond that limit, hell I’m openly delighted by this concept and have the impulse control of a five year old on Supermarket Sweep and even I think one is enough. That said, I love this.    

Smash Cake!
Smash Cake may well be the best birthday cake ever devised:  for the clueless it is a tall (three layer) chocolate cake that is deliciously soft and light, walled in little crunchy milk and white crunchy chocolate balls (I’m sure they have a name, I just don’t know it) and then covered in a milk chocolate dome, upon which is drawn an explosion effect in icing. Inside the dome and on top of the cake is a pile of not-Malteasers, tiny not-Smarties and Dolly Mixtures. The gimmick is you aim for the explosion effect, crack the top like an egg, stuff your hand in to get sweets and then you still have cake. It tastes great and it allows you to be violent - I had one last year and headbutted it on a dare, I regret nothing (and it’s not like I have hair to get Dolly Mixtures caught in now is it?), we didn’t break this one open at the BBQ because one of my friends (the one who gave me the Convention Fun box) brought a cake made of two giant cookies and ice-cream and so we all ate that until we felt sick and never got to do the cake. So on the morn of my birthday I punched this bastard in the head and now have a whole Smash Cake to myself moo hoo, ha ha.        

Disney Princesses!
Canningdale’s has been in our parade of shops for as long as I can remember and I’ve been relying on it to buy gifts for my elderly relatives for that long – I got these two in the closing down sale and sure while it was nice to get these at something like a third of their regular retail price but *sigh* our Llyods bank has just closed, the bathroom store has
closed, The Shack has been knocked down, Cole’s is a fucking Costa, 7-11 is gone, our Nat West (which has been there for longer than Canningdale’s) is closing down and looks very likely that our post office, which has been there since the parade of shops was built (or nearabouts) looks like it’s going too - as silly as it sounds it doesn’t feel like my town anymore and it’s fucking bumming me out.
In an attempt to rescue this from misery, or at least turn it from a Radiohead song into a Cure song, self-deprecation: one of my friends recently expressed complete shock that not only was I not gay but that I wasn’t even ‘a bit’ bisexual (his phrasing), I wonder why friends and acquaintances think this of me – do you think my collection of fashion dolls and Disney Princesses might be part of it? On the figurines themselves - I’m usually very OCD with accuracy for figurines but these two both had something that made me get over it (in conjunction with being a third of the price) – for Jasmine it’s literally just her sleeves, it’s simply achieved with c-thru resin but it works so well, also I’m  a bit on love with her. For Belle the masquerade line has been fantastic with a real sense of logic to the masks, the Beast and Maleficent are probably the most sensible and the only reason I haven’t bought the latter is because I have that that giant jelly commanding statue I bought from Disney World, I think a second Maleficent in the same room might be overkill, so instead I opted for Belle, she’s from my favourite Disney movie, her mask makes total sense and the changes to her outfit fit so nicely with it that it seems like there was actually a purpose to frigging with her design and this is turning into a Super Quick Crappy Review. 

Giant Leonardo Playset!
That’s its name, well I think technically its ‘Mutations Giant Leonardo Playset’. This is just too impressive not to feature, my mum is such a fucking enabler – worse here because I think I’ve only mentioned how much I like this playset maybe twice, and in that wistful ‘it’s great but I’ll never own it and I’m ok with that, it’s so expensive, it’s too big, I’m too old, let’s move on’ because I really was ok with not owning it because it IS so expensive, it IS too big and I AM too old for it. So mum got around it by a) buying it second hand (I think she doubled back at bootsale and bought it from a regular seller there) b) buying it for me and c) actually suggesting a place to put it (she’s right too, it’ll fit lovely). I was going to take a picture of it on its own but then my own R2-D2 Desk Vacuum reminded that he was almost entirely obscured in every photo I’d taken so far and so I left him in the shot and if I couldn’t be arsed to move him I couldn’t be arsed to move anything else. Anyway this was presented to me (wrapped in about a mile of wrapping paper) about midday on my birthday by which time I was absolutely filled with sugar and enjoyment so naturally I grabbed every figure nearby and put them on the thing (after using YouTube to figure out how to transform it, it didn’t come boxed), please enjoy my stupid diorama knowing full well I was SO pleased with it:

I particularly like how Iggis is about to play a prank on Leonardo.

I’m done. Well almost, I’ve mentioned this before but to reiterate: these type of posts are actually very weird for me to write because IRL I never do shit like this, I am VERY self-conscious about what I buy and own and it’s even worse at Christmas and even worse at my birthday where I feel guilty guilty about receiving gifts when no one else is and receiving gifts in such a quantity and such quality, I’ve always been this way and so even though I do make fun of these it’s strangely enjoyable to be able to do this without guilt, embarrassment, mumbling or avoiding eye contact, so y’know, without looking like a mad person. Also, because he didn’t get to be in the POP picture (he only arrived this morning) - a pissed off chimp with a gun:

Yes I know its Caesar from War for the Planet of the Apes. Anyway thanks to everyone who gave me a gift, card or just said happy birthday on Facebook, I really do appreciate it and by not appearing on here I’m not implying that those things suck, I liked every gift I received (and every card too actually, even the one from my mum’s religious fanatic friend – it had elephants at sunset on it) these are just the ones I could get a paragraph out of easiest (one unmentioned present, for instance, was a lucky cat that was also a Weeble, the girl who made the Convention Fund picture spent a good 20 minutes trying to make it fall down – the Cat-Weeble won – that is not inferior to anything).

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