Archive for minimates

odds and ends: aliens minimates, marc maron

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

This past week, The International Toy Fair was held in Manhattan. This is a business convention for toy makers and purveyors to show their wares to stores. In recent years it’s become somewhat of a bonanza for toy collectors who wait breathlessly for announcements of they new action figures and accessories to add to their collections. I’m always interested in seeing what new toys are on offer for the year, but I haven’t had a lot of disposable income in recent years. Most of the stuff in my collection is either an individual figure cherrypicked at full price, a gift from someone, or (most often) something bought on clearance.

Having said that, there is one toy line I manage to follow with some regularity, and that’s Art Asylum’s Minimates. Again, I don’t buy EVERY Minimate Diamond Select Toys puts out… but I buy a lot of them and enjoy the blocky style. I have a fairly decent collection. Although DST has produced some mighty tempting offerings recently including their series based on The Walking Dead comics, I haven’t been bit by the collector bug since the introduction of their Ghostbusters line. All that’s about to change however. This weekend, Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum announced Minimates based on one of my favorite movies of all time, 1986’s Aliens.

While I’ve seen no pictures as of yet, the press release says that their license will cover Minimates of major characters AND vehicles. I’m hoping this means we’ll not only get a full platoon of Colonial Marines, but a Drop Ship and… dare I hope… a Power Loader.

I’m assuming a lot of the excitement for this line will be born out of the soon-to-be released Aliens: Colonial Marines video game, which isn’t getting a lot of great reviews. Hopefully that game’s performance won’t affect these Minimates.

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Last night, Ellen and I went to see Marc Maron perform stand-up at Bogart’s in Cincinnati. Maron’s become the poster boy for the podcast generation and for good reason- his WTF is a medium-defining program and one I listen to every week. I’ve been a fan of Maron’s since I was a teenager and he did regular work on Comedy Central.

(Digression: While many people remember him from this era for his run as the host of Short Attention Span Theater, I particularly remember the dude from the thankless job of hosting a “town forum” when Comedy Central stopped airing Mystery Science Theater 3000 every weekday at midnight. Fans were pissed; Maron was kind of the go-between on this weird half-hour segment where the president of the network explained the move. It was the kind of segment that would NEVER happen now that the Internet is a thing.)

Maron’s always used his stand-up and podcast as a forum as a kind of therapy to exercise his demons and I think that’s one of the reasons the guy’s so appealing today. Although I remember watching the guy on things like Stand Up Stand Up and SAST as a brash young comic, middle age suits Maron, his persnickety personality and obsessiveness.

Anyhow, the show was good; Ellen and I both enjoyed it. It was interesting to see Ellen’s reaction, as she’s not a regular listener to WTF. After the show, she remarked about what a communal thing the show seemed to be for Maron and his fans, with people shouting out their favorite bits and Maron directly referencing stuff that happened on the podcast. This is probably a good thing; Maron knows his audience and realizes most of them will immediately get it when he starts talking about Boomer or Pete Holmes. Ellen was lost on that stuff but appreciated the rest.

I didn’t stick around for the meet n’ greet after the show. Although I appreciate that Maron does that stuff, I’ve always found the fan impulse to get a picture with whoever they’re a fan of vaguely icky. The best way I can be a fan is support the artist with some cash (I did buy the iPhone app, thanks much!) and leave him alone. I know if the situation were reversed somehow, that’s what I’d want.

unreasonable birthday wishes

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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Tomorrow’s my birthday, folks. As such, I thought I’d take a break from writing about things I’ve bought at thrift stores for myself and move on to more important matters; things I WANT to buy for myself… but haven’t the capital.

Perhaps there will be some kind, rich benefactor reading this will decide to gift one of these “Holy Grail” items to me.

Or more likely, this was just yet another excuse for me to indulge myself in some nostalgia. Either way, these are the Top Five Things I search for on eBay but will never buy for myself.

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odds and ends: my halloween decorations

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Last year, I showed off all my Christmas toys and decorations… so this year, I thought I’d do the same with my Halloween stuff!

I love the Universal Studios Monsters and this is my shelf dedicated to them. The three busts came with a special edition of Universal’s Legacy Collection of Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and The Wolfman. They’re absolutely gorgeous and while two of these go into storage the other 11 months of the year, ol’ Frankie stays out year-round.

I’ve been keeping up with the Universal Monsters Minimates for the last few years, more ore less. I buy the heavies, as you can see here… but it’s an impressive collection Art Asylum  has put together. The only biggie I’m missing from years’ past is The Bride of Frankenstein and of course, this year’s offerings: The Mummy and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I’ve gotten a couple of good deals on LEGOs in the past few months, the best being this huge version of Hogwarts! Although it’s not precisely “Halloween” I still think it’s a nice fit as a decoration. I decided to throw the Ghostbusters and Doctor Who in here because… why not?

When I was in college, my girlfriend and I collected these Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Happy Meal toys. They’re surprisingly durable; although they’re almost 10 years old now, most of the light up features in these bad boys still work! I’m always meaning to add to this collection; I’d like some more of the Simpsons clan… but I guess that’s something to think about for next year.

I could use a couple more Nightmare Before Christmas toys in this display, although the ones I have, I love. Even the Jack Skellington is a favorite, even though his legs constantly separate from his hips. The Mer-woman and Igor I picked up last year for $4 bucks apiece online.

Windup toys are a small collection I have that have snuck up on me. I bought one for myself when I was living in Brooklyn. Before I knew it, I had more than two dozen. They’d end up in my Christmas stocking, or as a gift from a student. My favorites of these are the Halloween/monster windups my mother ends up finding and sending to us every year.

Elliot and Henry LOVE these, so they’re on a lower shelf. They can play with them whenever they feels like it.

odds and ends- i’m a minimate contest winner

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 23, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Check out this sweet prize I won. Some of you might remember, I collect Minimates on and off. Diamond Select Toys and Collectables, the company that distributes Minimates, had  a contest a few weeks ago. You could enter simply by posting a link to their website on your Facebook page. I did, and I won!

The first part of the prize was awesome but… unwieldy.

I got two GIGANTIC posters. Seriously, their eight feet long and three feet wide. Here’s one of ’em.

I have no idea what I am going to do with either of these things, but they’re quite cool. I also received a box full of Minimates:

A bunch of them are from the recent Marvel v. Capcom line of Minimates. I should say, this is a line I wouldn’t have bought myself, as I already have all the Marvel character I want/need and I don’t have much interest in video games. Having seen the toys now, I am really glad I got these. The Marvel characters are quite well-designed and although I don’t know many of the video game guys, I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the characters was Arthur. He’s the knight from the Ghouls and Goblins game I used to play as a kid. I also received a really cool stealth jet from the Minimates M.A.X line. It’s quite a neat toy, with removable wings that attach to an included Minimate-sized backpack.

To be perfectly honest with you… although the big posters and toys were great, I was FAR more excited about the other part of the prize. Art Asylum sent me a couple of pieces of control art they use to design and finalize the toys. They sent me two of these drawings and I couldn’t be more pleased with them. They’re all drawn in pencil.

The first one is clearly Wolverine, in his civvies.

…and the second is Zuul, a.k.a. Dana Barrett!

Anyone whose read this blog for longer than a week knows how big a fan I am of Ghostbusters. This control art is really cool, especially since I happen to own the Zuul/Dana Minimate, and I could compare and contrast.

At any rate. many thanks to Art Asylum, Diamond Select Toys and Collectables, and Zach Oat for the cool prizes.

sketchbook: x-mas loot 2011

Posted in sketchbook with tags , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

So here’s my haul:

I got lazy and just typed stuff on these doodles. Here’s a snapshot of the rest of my loot:

I was really really lucky this year and if you’re jealous I totally understand. Here’s a video of those Doctor Who micro figures. It’s cute: