Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thrift Store Adventures Volume 4: Bellevue is Crazy

The first two Thrift Store Adventures took place over several visits to various thrift stores, because frankly, there just wasn’t enough oddity to fit into one occurrence. Recently, I started taking a writing class in Bellevue. There are many Bellevues across the United States and the world, perhaps most commonly, the Bellevue Hospital Center. The Bellevue in my mind is where I received my higher education and met many of my friends, but is also a rich, snotty part of the greater Seattle area. I stopped in at the Bellevue Goodwill twice, and each time found enough content for an article, so here are fourteen – rather than seven – crazy things I came across in those two thrift store adventures:

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Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dogpound

In this latest generation of TMNT, we don’t have Bebop and Rocksteady or even Tokka and Rahzar, but I think Dogpound and Fishface have the potential to be equally good villains. The complete lineup so far features the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, Kraang, Metalhead, Fishface and Dogpound. They will be joined by evil scientist Baxter Stockman, early opponent Snakeweed, and another set of the Turtles in early 2013. Until then, we have plenty of toys from the new TMNT show to dig into, including Dogpound.

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Thrift Store Adventures Volume 3: Seven Favorite Finds

For the this installment of Thrift Store Adventures, I thought it might be nice to show why I enjoy going to thrift stores. It’s not always for the lulz. Sometimes you see some really cool stuff. Here are seven of my favorite things I came across in my thrift store adventures:

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The Man with the Iron Fists Soundtrack: Good Enough But Uneasy

Nearly 20 years ago, when a group of rappers put together a love letter to kung fu movies and one of the definitive hip hop albums of the 90s, who’d have thought that the mastermind, the RZA, would be able to release an album using kung fu samples from his own movie? Talk about a dream come true! The RZA (a.k.a RZA, Rza, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, Bobby Digital, or simply by his given name, Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) was a modern day entrepreneur when he formed the Wu-Tang Clan in the early 90s. He put together a ten-year plan to help launch the careers of the nine member crew, along with an extended crew casually referred to as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees. Some of the more creative fruits of their collective labor include a revolutionary clothing line and acting in movies as diverse as Coffee and Cigarettes, Ghost Dog, and American Gangster, so the RZA’s transition to directing is therefore reasonable. We already have a spot-on review of the movie, so let’s focus on the music. Is it any good? More specifically, how does the music on this soundtrack fit into the movie?

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Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: April O’Neil

carded

No TMNT line would be complete without their link to the human world, April O’Neil. Since I collect April figures, there’s no way I would pass her up, but was she worth it?

Zombiepaper: The complete lineup so far features the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, Kraang, Metalhead, Fishface, and Dogpound.

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Super Mario Large Figure Collection: Koopa Troopa

carded

On a recent stop into Kmart I was quite surprised to see a Koopa Troopa from the 5″ Super Mario figure line looking down at me from the top shelf. I love these Mario figures and new ones are so few and far between. I had to have it.

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Wreck-It Ralph: More than just a nostalgia trip

As a huge and lifelong video game nerd forged in the days of the Atari 2600 and ubiquitous mall arcades, Wreck-It Ralph is, even more so than other animated films, targeted more or less directly at me.  Featuring cameos by characters straight out of real-life games from Q*Bert to Street Fighter, it’s more or less the movie concept that would have topped my wishlist around junior high.  Unfortunately a lifetime of gaming has planted me squarely in a demographic targeted primarily by Doritos and Mountain Dew, so I was slightly skeptical of pandering.  Worst case scenario, it would have been 90 minutes of being nudged sharply by pop culture references until my very understanding of those references culminated in terrible shame.  As it turns out, I didn’t have anything to worry about-this one is Disney, not DreamWorks.

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Skyfall: A movie about when Bond films used to be cooler

Skyfall, the 23rd film in the venerable 007 franchise and third for current Bond incarnation Daniel Craig, opened this weekend to greater financial success than any in the series thus far.  It’s a rare foray into the action genre for director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road), and a more reflective story than is typical for a Bond film, interested primarily in the rift between the good old days of firsthand espionage and the growing role that technology plays in that field.  So far we’ve seen Daniel Craig in both one of the best Bond films of all time with Casino Royale, and one of the worst with its direct sequel Quantum of Solace.  This one wisely starts fresh with an unrelated story, but how does it stack up against those two entries and the rest of the 007 lineage?

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Masters of the Universe Classics: Cy-Chop

Cy-Chop mailer

A creation of Mattel designer Terry Higuchi, the penultimate figure in the MOTUC 30th Anniversary subline is Cy-Chop, joining Fearless Photog, Draego-Man, The Mighty Spector, and Sir Laser-Lot. This has to be the most unusual figure in the bunch. So let’s take a look.

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Masters of the Universe Classics: Rattlor

Rattlor mailer

Rattlor is one figure that I’m not entirely sure I remember having as a kid. He seems really familiar and yet unfamiliar. I know I had King Hiss and Tung Lashor and liked both of them a lot, but I probably just remember Rattlor from their packaging and minicomics. Well, I definitely have him now, but this time he’s bigger, has more articulation and a better paint job.

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