Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 130: Reality…

Sometimes the harshest mistress is reality itself. She is real and inescapable. Trust me, I’ve been running from her for months. Well, she has caught up with me and it’s finally time to do what I need to do. You know what? It feels good. I think we can rationalize just about anything to ourselves. I know I’ve done a great job these last few months. I don’t know if it’s a mid-life crisis or just the thought of I will probably not have this again for another 25 years. Whatever it was, I kicked ass last week and I can’t stop even if I want to. There, are you happy reality? Me too!

How good is the new Solo movie? The reality, at least Lucasfilm’s, is 20%. Can Ron Howard “save” the other 80%? The G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club FSS 7.0 is real and it’s spectacular. Something less spectacular, but still incredibly welcomed is the return of WTFWTK or now simply known as the Super7 Q and A over at He-Man.org. Being old school, there is definitely something very real about print. That’s why all of those Takara rumors never seem like reality until the newest Figure King scans.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one…Slick (or more specifically, Albert Einstein)

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 129: Doomed to Repeat It…

Every year about this time I really regret not doing something more elaborate for Halloween. More elaborate decorations, more elaborate costume, just a more elaborate Halloween in general. After all, it is my second favorite time of year. For my first favorite, Christmas, I go crazy. Mrs. McFavorite loves Halloween too. It’s probably her favorite time of year. However, just like being on time, I think my apathy just has finally ground her down. We have done a family costume in the past. So that took at least some coordination and creativity. This year, we let Lil’ Miss McFavorite pick her own costume, the cutest little witch you’ve ever seen. So that meant the Mrs. and I were on our own. She rehashed one of her sexier costumes. Me, I did the whole t-shirt and beanie costume thing. Every year, as soon as we hit that first party, I regret my decision to do the laziest, albeit most comfortable costume possible. By that time it is too late to do anything really creative, at least while remaining affordable. Maybe one of these years I will remember that most important history lesson.

Speaking of Halloween decorations, I think this “life-size” Skeletor is possibly my favorite yet, with that ridiculous 9 foot T-Rex skeleton a close second. Something I do have a little history with is God Fire Convoy. Granted it was the American version, but this is not a good toy and at almost $300, please know your history. Do you want to do an homage? This year’s exclusive Cobra Missile Command Center killed it in my opinion. Find out about all the love that went into this thing. Lastly, while I really enjoyed The Force Awakens, I feel the fanboys’ concern of it being a little too similar to A New Hope. Now with The Last Jedi looking to be a return to the “Dark Side”, critics are all jumping on the possibility of it mirroring the Empire Strikes Back. All though still my favorite, I for one hope we see this trilogy blaze its own path and not repeat history, even if it is a beloved, successful history.

Remember, remember, the 31st of October…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 128: TFCon DC 2017…

Fuckers fuckers fuckers! Yeah, that’s right, you heard me. I don’t even like using profanity when I write, but in this instance, it serves two purposes. The first goes along with what I was saying in my last post. The sense of community was insane at TFCon and just like Stifler’s little brother we were ready to party. Like him, we thought we would just be accepted into a close-knit group of friends. Finally, similar to him we quickly got a dose of reality when even though we knew a few people, it was painfully obvious that we weren’t part of the in-crowd. That brings us to our second purpose. I really wanted to get your attention so you would understand what a FUCKING AMAZING trip it was. I mean, god damn. I had the time of my life. Similar to the prolonged time I got to spend with Bruce, Brad, Michael and all my other extended family I have shared cons with. If you’ve never done it, put it on that bucket list. It doesn’t have to be a whole week of imposing like I did with Vern, but just a few days of sharing meals, laughs and life.

While there were not many new reveals, seeing the most 3rd party stuff I’d ever seen in one place, really got my juices going. Vern’s too, but that’s something for the next episode. Here are some things that are now on my bucket list after TFCon. First is FaaaaansToooooys Terminus Giganticus. That is a MP-scaled Grimlock coming up to his knee, HIS KNEE. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the cutest Bruticus you have ever seen. Iron Factory killed it with that one. I’m kinda like Bobby Skullface when it comes to Tetra Jets, something about the first episode’s designs just does it for me. Even Soundwave’s goofy lamp post alt-mode. So it’s nice to see someone else focusing on that aesthetic. Last, but certainly not least, is this Ultimetal Ultra Magnus. This behemoth is almost indescribable, except Lotus does an amazing job of it in his almost one hour review of this collection centrepiece.

Til all are one fuckers…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 127: Community…

So this was supposed to be up about a week ago, but in retrospect I’m glad it wasn’t. Why? Simply because what I witnessed this weekend was perhaps the greatest proof of why this so important. We have been meaning to start / promote our new Open Your Toys Group. The Realm of Collectors (ROC) and Shattered Cast Uncut (SCU), literally killed it at TFCon. There were like over 50 members in attendance. It was such a feeling of family, not that I was necessarily a big part of that, but I did get to witness it firsthand. I really want that for OYTC. First Swage and now AAA is getting a lot of reach on their Facebook posts. Whether you like it not, Facebook is really becoming the adult collector’s social network of choice. With that said, please join the group and start participating. I would love to see our family grow to the kind of community, ROC and SCU have fostered.

Hascon is definitely cultivating a new community. It will be interesting to see how they follow up what could be considered a very successful first run at the con biz. The Star Wars community has spoken (or maybe just Kathleen and Lucasfilm) and Abrams is back for the conclusion of the sequel trilogy. Oh hey, Masters fans, remember bitching about the price hikes on MOTUC? How do you like the now consistent $35 dollar price tag? Yeah, I don’t like it either. Just think if we could have been a kinder more gentle community in the first place. With no new product next year for a crazy big community like G.I. Joe, is Marauder John’s stuff our future? Time will only tell.

Remember, that’s what it’s all about and I ain’t talking about the Hokey Pokey…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 126: Why the Hell are These So Long…

We have had a record-breaking lack of news for the last couple of shows. Even in light of some big cons, there just really hasn’t been that much out there. So how the hell are we still at 3+ hours? Because we love this shit. I mean, LOVE IT! Even though the show has gone through a lot of change in the last couple of years, the one thing that has stayed consistent is the love. Love for toys or maybe just a love of collecting. As we get older everything seems to change, either by necessity or by taste. That evolution creates different points of view. That love and those views are why these are so long and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On this show we talk about some things I would have definitely done differently. Take the Takara Tomy 10th Anniversary Movie line, please? Really, only a couple of hard to find figures? What about all those other hard, nay, impossible-to-find figures like DOTM Deluxe Soundwave or Leadfoot? Something else I would like to see done differently is the news updates from Power-Con. We didn’t even get some real confirmations until the hardest working man in the community put out his video. Considering the only two figures I really want from FSS 6.0 are Sub-Zero and Dojo, man, those head accessories. Could a hood and mask look worse? Lastly, something we won’t know about for at least a year, but something Kathleen Kennedy would and did do differently was the Han Solo movie and now Episode IX. I personally can’t wait for their releases so we can hopefully hear the dirt. However, considering Disney contracts, it might be much, much longer.

See what I did there…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 125: In Harms Way…

When a storm was approaching Houston, a place where I have friends not too far away, I thought, “How bad could it be?” Then came the pictures and videos. Literally post-apocalyptic kind of stuff. Similar to Katrina, but what seemed to be in wide open spaces, like interstates. Now Irma is on her way. We have a host in the direct path. He messaged me a few days ago about possibly not having power or access to the Internet. I again dismissed it as easily, even with Houston only 2 weeks ago. Now as Irma becomes less of a possibility and more of an inevitability, I’m really worried. The more AAA posts about packing up his collectibles, shopping for food and water when there’s none on the shelves and in general preparing for the worst, the more I think about what I would do. You have 5 days until you may possibly lose everything, I mean everything, what do you do? Cut and run with as much as you can carry? Batten down the hatches and barricade yourself in? What do YOU do?

What do we do when we have possibly the shortest show ever? We talk, and talk, and talk and still go two and half-hours. What can I say, when talking toys the time flies. We gab about the Galaxy Meteor cancellation or not. I gush about James Eatock publishing an unreleased vintage minicomic for Power-Con. We get a little insight into likeness rights from a Tonnika Sister. And even Joe had a story. It may not be the end times, but your prayers and positive thoughts are always welcome.

The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 124: Expectations vs. Reality…

So this is a little bit of an experiment. I am writing this first part just before we head out to view the great total eclipse of 2017. There are so many expectations. We have been planning this for months. It’s our first full-on family trip with wife, daughter, father-in-law, and cousin in-tow, headed to stay with uncle and girlfriend/aunt. They are a couple hours from the totality line. Uncle is in charge of where we are going to view it. He says don’t worry about traffic, but all I’ve heard is to worry. We’ve had cool glasses for months, then we get a recall from Amazon a week ago. Guess what? Denver was completely sold out of eclipse glasses by then. People say this can be a life-changing event. As you guys know, I try to manage my expectations, so yeah, we’ll see.

Well, that was certainly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen even if it did only last 3 minutes. Not only from an astrological sense, but more so from a humankind perspective. We saw literally thousands of cars pulled over as we headed toward the line of totality. Almost any place you could pull over in that 20 miles there were 1-15 cars full of people. We didn’t even make it to the zero point, but we still were in an area with hundreds of people in the middle of nowhere. When totality hit there were cheers. It was truly visually astonishing. We hung out for the entire three-hour event. While we had next to no traffic heading up, now we are in the middle of nowhere in bumper-to-bumper traffic. After almost an hour we are still in stop and go gridlock. Would I do it again? Definitely. Would I spend thousands of dollars and travel around the world? Nah. I feel blessed that I got do it while spending time with family and financially spending next to nothing. I just don’t think I will become an avid eclipse chaser.

As it turns out, we spent about 5 hours to get there and about 8 hours to get back from our total eclipse experience. Spending about $200 total. Beyond worth it in my opinion. On this show we have something that is definitely worth it, Colorado Springs Comic Con. Just check out that guest list. Mattel continues to try to make what is quickly becoming their tired product worth it with their new subscription service. Something that is finally almost worth it is the AT-ACT. When it comes to Transformers, don’t ever pay secondary market prices, it’s not worth it and we talk about why.

Lowered expectations…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 123: I try so hard…

In this episode, we learn that I got laid off last month. Now while for a lot of reasons, this isn’t the worst thing that could happen. However, it still is a little hit to my ego and starts a whole concern about money thing. It’s slowed the toy buying thing, but not completely. I have picked up some super hard to find figures at retail. In doing so, I use every discount, sale and coupon I can. I do this with everything I buy, groceries, commodities, tech, etc. Sometimes literally saving only pennies over a different option. This last weekend was Mrs. McFavorite’s birthday and this weekend is Lil’ Miss McFavorite’s. To say we spend a little money on these activities is an understatement. Now we’re not jet setting off to the Keys or Cancun, but we are just less concerned about money. Usually, that is. Being unemployed makes it a little harder, but I was trying my best. So what happens on the last night of the Mrs.’ birthday weekend, I accidentally leave my 3.5 month old iPhone on the train. By the time we got home, whoever took it had powered it off. The telltale action of someone going to profit from your lost phone is powering it off so it can’t be tracked. Why would did I specifically put .5? We always keep insurance for three months on our new phones. Guess what I canceled a couple of weeks ago? Yup. It’s just a kick in the balls and not the kind where you’re like “come on, do it!” (I have a friend that does this, believe it or not), but it’s the kind where you’re in the fetal position pleading “please don’t”. It’s just killing me that I spend hours on a regular basis to save pennies on the dollar and in 15 seconds I lose $600.

Feel like joining me in throwing away hundreds of dollars? Check out the “Super Fan” experiences for Hascon coming up in less than a month. Other things that would have cost you hundreds of dollars are these amazing test shots of canceled Joe figures. They had to be snow-themed, tear. Something that adds a little value, but still brings a tear to my eye for what they could have been are the gorgeous faux mini-comic covers accompanying the new Ultimates. Lastly, probably the best way to use hundreds of dollars is going to be visiting Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. This looks like it is going to be amazing!

Don’t sweat the small stuff…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 122: Insane in the Membrane…

Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we should be back to a more regular schedule after this episode. The bad news is that’s because I was laid off last week. Yup, after ten years with my company we simply didn’t have enough work to sustain my entire team. It’s partly my fault. I introduced innovations to our product that literally reduced our requests by 75% in the last year. In the end, it becomes a numbers game, unfortunately. However, that has nothing to do with our title. The title refers to the fact that even in this circumstance, I still can’t seem to stop buying toys. I know I need to, but a great deal on Prime Day (Amazon, not Optimus) still made me order something I didn’t really need. What kind of insanity is that?

You know what is really crazy? This Shiva Force Box Set from Skybound. Is it infringement? Is it an homage? Either way, it will be mine even in my current state of employment. Another couple of exclusives that will test my level of sanity and the definition of infringement are the Four Horsemen’s Power-Con exclusives. Luckily, there’s one major release that everyone is crazy about that holds no interest for me and that’s Takara’s MP Sunstreaker. No matter your economic situation, theft should never be an option. Especially this kind of theft.

Don’t you know I’m loco…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 121: Andale, andale, arriba, arriba…

Here we go, hurry up, hurry up, let’s go, let’s go. It’s summer time and it’s time to hurry. There is lotsa stuff going on so not a lot of time to muse. I’ve brought it up before, but I think I need to harp on this. Empathy, please learn it, love it, live it! I think back in 50’s if Warner Bros. would have had any level of empathy Speedy Gonzalez would have never been born. While I loved him growing up, primarily because he was a reflection of the culture I was raised in, looking back I can see the lack of empathy from a culturally insensitive time. However, we have the opportunity to move forward. Please whatever you do don’t look back. Empathize! Hurry up, hurry up, let’s go, let’s go.

Something you needed to move fast on was Hasbro’s Fan Favorite Figure vote. However, it looks like comic fans won this year considering I have no idea who Doctor Aphra is. Another thing winning that I will not be participating in is this year’s Power-Con. Val Staples of He-Man.org fame continues to kill it with the premier MOTU convention. Something not killing it is the new Transformers movie. Even with a pretty impressive final trailer, it’s been pretty much universally panned by critics, again, with a whopping 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes so far. The last thing is not quite killing it, but is about as good as we’re going to get, at least officially. The G.I. Joe Collectors Club announces FSS 6.0.

Figuras de accion por vida…Slick

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