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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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 120: Be Thankful…

Please remember to be thankful for the things that people do for you. From the small things like packing your lunch or serving you a burger, to much larger things like preserving your freedoms. It is Memorial Day after all. A day to remember those brave women and men who have fought and died so we can do pretty meaningless things like amass small armies of plastic figures. And while our hobby may not hold a lot of significance in the long run, the things people do to make our lives better should never be taken for granted. So the next time somebody does something for you, don’t just passably throw a thanks their way, take a second, engage them and give them a meaningful THANK YOU.

After having to edit this beast, I am truly thankful for all the work Vern does. Our apologies for taking almost two months to release it, but hopefully you’ll find the wait worthwhile. We have a very special guest. Not to mention we’re almost twice the length of a standard cast. So take frequent breaks and be thankful, you never know when the next one will be posted. Spoiler, it’s already been recorded. Another spoiler, Celebration was last month. Yeah, that happened again. There was a lot of news, but perhaps the most exciting was the return of the second most beloved line in Star Wars history in 2018. In another throwback, Takara kills it by revisiting Targetmasters. The vintage nostalgia continues with Super7’s new vintage-era MOTU sculpts. Unfortunately there is no reverence for Joe as Hasbro looks to reboot the movie franchise again. Remember to be thankful for what you’ve got.

You’re welcome…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 119: The Perfect Storm…

Sometimes there’s a confluence of events that dictates the worst possible outcome. Welcome to our Toy Fair episode. Just under two months in the making, this should be our masterpiece. However, it is far from it. It is a cobbled together, multi-hour, mess of an episode, but it is ours and we love it. I dare to say you may love it too if you can make it all the way through. Please do not judge it by its timeliness, its length or lack of team cohesiveness for it is a miracle of circumstance.

Perhaps one of the best examples of circumstance has been Super7 taking the helm of Masters Classics. While the first effort was ideal, pre-orders of only what you want, even the “savior” of the line has understood that it requires an all-in or nothing approach. Which are you? Star Wars gets the award for one of the best ideas, the 40th Anniversary line and one of the worst ideas, Titanium 3.75 inch figurines. Transformers continued to make one of the strongest showings. Even if you’re not a movie fan, the CHUG line or Titans Return line as they are referring to it has some pretty great reveals. As per the usual, Joe is nowhere to be seen outside of a pitiful 3rd-party showing.

May patience be with you, always…Slick

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Open Your Toys Cast - Episode 118: Under Pressure…

Have you ever felt under pressure? Of course you have. We all have. It’s how you deal with it that matters. A lot of people fold. Some people mutter their way through it. Far fewer people shine. Who do you want to be? Sometimes it’s as simple as just making a decision. If you’re constitution makes it more difficult, it just means you need to work at it. This can be as simple as rehearsing if you have the opportunity. For some it can take years of training. The best thing you can do is understand how you handle it and choose if you rather it be different.

Speaking of people that shine, the Four Horsemen, sculptors of MOTUC, are absolutely killing it with their Mythic Legions 2.0 Kickstarter. In the most amazing thing that no one in their right mind or at least no one with a budget will ever buy is Generation Toy’s Green Shadow. Absolutely beautiful translucence. Another thing that is absolutely beautiful, that everyone can afford is the new Lanard Kong. While they made some choices I don’t necessarily agree with, I love it for what it is. Unfortunately, we hardly ever get any “3rd Party” Star Wars stuff, but we did get a pretty exciting official release, the name and logo of the next movie in the Star Wars saga.

May the calm be with you…Slick

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