Open Your Toys Cast – Episode 140: Don’t Be Down on Yourself…

There are enough exterior forces in this world working against you. The last thing anyone needs is to contribute to them. Life is hard enough. Why would you ever want to help it by thinking you’re anything but amazing? Now, of course, we have all things we would like to change about ourselves. Change is hard. Many times it is so much easier to maintain the status quo. The key is to not come down on yourself even if you’re not killing it. Be happy with small steps, hold your head high when you stumble and never, I mean never, give up. Tomorrow is always another day, another chance to be the you you want to be.

I guess there is always another day, unless your Toys”R”Us. Their last day is coming. We talk about what that means and what the first day of the liquidation looked like. IDW’s Transformers run is also coming to an end. It’s a conclusion to an era and I’m excited for the next incarnation. Another thing that is approaching its last day is G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club. You can now purchase their last incentive figure. Something that looks like it has many days to come is HasLab. Their flagship product has been back by over 5,000 people. The Star Wars 3.75 community came together and crowdfunded a 2.5 million dollar project. Another thing that continues to have its day is Power-Con. This small but passionate convention consistently brings it and this year is no different. 3 Filmation exclusives are coming our way. They definitely have the power.

Excited to be the me I want to be, well, almost…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast – Episode 139: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up…

I can still remember vividly several trips to Toys”R”Us as a kid. Now, of course, I probably went there over a hundred times, but if you’re like me there are just a handful of times that really stand out. One is very sad. I was 12 years old My grandma passed away while I was in Wyoming. My aunt came and got me and on the way to Albuqueurque, my home town, we stopped at a Toys”R”Us in Denver. I bought a Starriors Cosmittor Deadeye. It was a remote-controlled T-Rex that shot discs. Come on, what’s cooler than that? It was on clearance (of course) and I played with it non-stop for the next 2 days during all of the services. When I purchased a boxed version a few years back, it brought a huge smile to my face. Inversely, my other most vivid memory is the classic sprawling shelves of every figure you can ever remember, or at least it seemed like it. This makes all us extremely happy right? It was when I first started discovering Transformers and all I wanted was the Devastator boxset. Of course, I didn’t ever get it, but the visit sold me on combiners and they became an obsession for me to this day.

I actually appreciate obsession. I feel it can be healthy if taken with a grain of salt. Kind of like this Hasbro Abominus. It looks amazing, but that’s probably not the truth. It’s most likely going to be very mediocre. If your Star Wars EU obsession hasn’t been satisfied, now you can buy Darth Revan by the case. With Super7 not really pushing the envelope, or even maintaining the quality of MOTUC, Masters fans may find their new obsession in these upcoming Mondo figs. Finally, it’s an interesting paradigm when one boxset has figures you are completely obsessed with and figures you could completely care less about. Great job G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club.

No matter what, we will always be Toys”R”Us kids…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast – Episode 138: Why All the Hate…

Lately, negativity has just been really getting to me. I think it was a little easier to overlook it when my life was on an upswing. Now that my life is less than perfect, my sensitivity to it is magnified. I don’t know if it’s because I am trying my hardest to maintain my own positivity or if I just feel everyone has it better than I do. Now, of course, the latter is a ridiculous exaggeration. I am blessed. My life has been, is, and will be amazing. Some days it’s just harder than others to feel that way. I think the main thing is just being able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. You have a certain view on basically everything, but another person, based on their upbringing, prior experiences and even what is going on right now, has their view. It’s okay for the views to be different. I just wish people could focus on what they like, again about essentially everything. I’ve never understood why anyone wants to dwell on the bad, but that in of itself is contradictory to my point. People are going to do them, you do you and lets just all try to get along.

Negativity really seems to rear its ugly head when there are new reveals. Our community seems to thrive on love and hate. Either loving to love or loving to hate. Something I really love is the new Black Series Gamorrean Guard. What I am kinda hating right now is the proliferation of stylized collectibles. Funko, Loyal Subjects, and now What Not Toys with their new Joe line capitalize on this need to express fandom. However, I do love that we’re getting more of these little stylized Masters guys. Something I’m saving my hate for is Hasbro’s new Cyberverse cartoon and corresponding figures. I’m sure I’ll find something positive about them.

Put a little love in your heart…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast – Episode 137: What’s Your Hurry…

So Toy Fair is this weekend and it always brings a rush of news. I remember being in that rat race. Not that we were ever a contender, but I still felt the pressure to get you guys news as fast as possible from the cons we frequented. There’s something that feels so good about being one of the first to know something. It’s very similar to being one of the first people to get a new figure. Why do we care? What’s this a big deal? I think there are two reasons at play for many of us. The first is a sense of accomplishment. That is easily equated to latter scenario, but what about the previous? I feel you do have a similar sense of accomplishment being in the know. You understand the references, the jokes and in our community especially, the complaints. The second reason is far more dubious and you need to be conscious of it to make sure it’s not why you feel so good. That is a sense of superiority. Unfortunately, we see it every day in our community. Having something first, whether it is a material possession or knowledge does not make you better than anyone else, ever. What you do with it is what matters. Share your knowledge freely, help others and above all do it out of a sense of kindness, not supremacy.

Are we talking about Toy Fair this show? No, not yet, we’re still a couple weeks behind, but that’s okay. However, we still have some amazing news this time around. I’m absolutely loving this year’s JoeCon set. While Marauders aren’t my thing, the club is absolutely killing it. Hasbro is also killing Star Wars, literally. They are killing the line with all of their superfluous crap. Is the Masters movie dead again? Not necessarily, but David Goyer is definitely out. Something I can’t wait to come out is MMC’s Bruticus. If this Vortex is any kind of precedent, MMC’s Bruticus will kill it.

Cool it now…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast – Episode 136: Your Platform…

So there is a lot talk about using your platform. A platform can really be anything. It doesn’t need to be a national stage. It can be something as simple as parenting your kids. It’s an opportunity for your voice to be heard. What you do with that is key. There are universal truths all of us, well most of us, believe in and stand up for. How about when something you believe in isn’t the most popular stance? Do you still represent? Do you use your platform? Whether you’re speaking with co-workers, posting in an online community or maybe doing something much more public, are you being a force for good? There’s a big movement to be “woke”. Now I’m not saying go out and topple social injustice tomorrow. However, there are a lot of causes that could use our help. I used to volunteer a lot when I was younger and I really miss it. The world can be a better place. All it takes is you, using your platform.

The G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club has had an international platform for 25 years. Not that they’re using it to end hunger or anything, but I for one will miss them. They released their last JoeCon brochure and I was ecstatic about Python Patrol, but a little sad too. The creators of the new She-Ra cartoon are using their social media platforms to spread some news about the upcoming Netflix show. The Star Wars team at Hasbro has another chance with The Vintage Collection and this is the best Wave 1 they could come up with? I was really hoping we would have a Transformers story about Hasbro hitting it out of the park to counter my previous link, but alas it’s all 3rd party. At least this TLK Hound upgrade kit is an example of using someone else’s platform.

Use it or lose it…Slick

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