Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Showin' Off The Swag-Iron Man

After writing this blog for a while, I thought it might be time to start showing off the swag I have accumulated over time. Originally, I wanted to wait until I was able to display everyhing, but unfortunately, life has other ideas. So, for now, all the swag is boxed up, waiting for the day they will get to be displayed in the man cave I have dreamt of.

So, from time to time, I will be showing off pieces of the collection. One day, it might be a super hero, another it might be a sports team. Cards, toys, bobbleheads, all of it will be shown. So today, lets start off with something small. A collections I just started to build.

I had the Marvel Legends Iron Man ever since it came out in the first wave. I recently picked up the Marvel Universe Iron Man and the Avengers Iron Man at a toy show, blogged about earlier. The Mini Muggs Avengers Iron Man was a gift and the 2 smaller Iron Men were bought from Brian over at Cool and Collected. Would love to pick up the Wal-Mart Exclusive Iron Man figure as well as a statue or two and a figure of my favorite armor, the Mark III, which had the horned helmet. That's just off the top of my head. Also, not shown here, are 2 Iron Man T-shirts I bought from Old Navy.

I have always liked Iron Man. I remember first noticing Shell Head as a kid, watching the Marvel Superheroes on WPIX-TV. Yes, the animation was crude, there was barely any movement by the characters in this show, but it had some of the catchiest themes and Iron Man's was no exception. You can see for yourself if you don't believe me:


I really need to learn how to attach video on my blogs.

But, to be honest, I really didn't really gain an appreciation for the character until the Iron Man movie. It was just so well made and, aside from Christopher Reeve, no one was born for a superhero role like Robert Downey Jr was. Seriously, I can't imagine anyone else playing Tony Stark but him and that to me is a huge plus when it comes to comic book movies. Seeing the armor on the big screen and what it can do has made me want to learn more about Iron Man. I just finished reading Marvel Essentials: Iron Man Vol. 1 and Avengers Vol 1. I need to grab the next volumes of both as well as the Iron Man Guide Book I saw at Barnes N Noble. I flipped through it and it's a must get for me. Once I seen Iron Man 2 and then The Avengers, I knew he would be a hero I would be collecting.

The collection is small, but it will be growing. I have my eye on some Iron Man goodies I hope to pick up in the upcoming months.  I don't think it will be as large as my Spider-Man or Batman collections, but there will definately be an Iron Man pressence in my display case and I can't wait.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Today's TTM Sucesses

One thing I promised myself was I would be on top of showing off the autograph successes, posting them here as soon as I got them. So, being the good sexy geek, I have 2 successes to show today.

Tim Allen signed 1/2 photos. I sent this as well as a Toy Story 2 movie poster with Buzz Lightyear and he only signed the pic of himself with the Buzz Lightyear toy. This is the one I have seen returned signed, so I wasn't surprised to see this one signed. I might wait a bit and resend just the movie poster and see if it's returned signed.

Got another Artist Card back today. This one is from Herb Trimpe, best known for his work on The Incredible Hulk, The Defenders and was also the first artist to draw The Wolverine. He also worked on Captain America, Iron Man, G.I. Joe and Godzilla. This return took just under a week and I can't be more thrilled with it. I hope more of these come in this week.

I will be sending more Artist Cards out this week. I want to start a new project with these cards. I'm currently looking for some kind of list were I can see every artist who has drawn Spider-Man and Batman and send out, requesting their take on the characters. Been looking on Google, but so far, nothing. If anyone knows where I can find such a list, I'd appreciate the help.

See you on the flip side!

League Of Extraordinary Bloggers Assignment: Show Some Green

This weeks assignment form our fearless leader, was to show some green. Really? I smiled and was told that wasn't the type of green they meant. Nor should I attempt to open my wallet because it's well known that there isn't any green in there. Well, they were mistaken. I had a piece of gum left from the other day. HA!

No, I was told to show off the green in my collection. There enlies a problem. I don't have much green in my collections. I have way to many collections running that there isn't much room for green in it. With my Spidey, Batman, Iron Man, Luke Skywalker, Beatles, KISS and Back To The Future stuff, you can see that finding a place for green is well, difficult.

That doesnt mean I don't have any green.

I don't have a lot of Hulks, aside from these two from an early wave of Marvel Legends. Looks like Dr. Banner forgot to get undressed before Hulking up again. That is a cool figure. After seeing Brian's vintage Hulk collection, I think I'm wanting to pick up some more Hulks.

As much as a Spider-Man collector, my Green Goblin collection is pretty much non exsitant I have these two pieces because they are pretty bad ass. The one on the left depicits the cover of  Amazing Spider-Man #38 when The Goblin learns Spider-Man's secret Identity

The piece on the right is a Marvel Legends Masterworks of Spidey fighting Gobby. That one was inspired by The Marvels #0, The Battle For Gwen Stacey. I'm currently reading the Marvels. If you have not read it, I urge you to do so for Alex Ross's art work alone.

So, Sinestro is standing, John Stewart is hard at work, yet Ryan Reynolds decides to take a siesta? Stand up, Hollywood! You work for me now!

Then I remembered I had an Alan Scott Green Lantern figure and am kicking myself for not including him with my other Lanterns. Oh well, There will be another time, I'm sure.

Ok, Ok! No need to shake your ring at me. I'll get you into another blog, I promise. Shesh. You would think mariage would have settled him down

If this is not enough green for you, check out these fellow League members. Maybe Alan Scott will have his day in one of them:











Friday, July 27, 2012

Recent TTM Autographs

I know what your thinking. You're thinking, "Hey, geek! Where are the autograph successes. We know you're sending them out still. Put down the Spidey figure, turn off Raw and show them". Well, in my defense, they just haven't been coming in. I have a bunch out there right now and I have only been getting 1 in. Maybe 2. But that really about it. It's frustrating because I watch youtube and I see these guys getting in 7 packages at a time and I only get 1 and that's per week!

Well, I am not giving up! I will continue to send out requests and be happy with the one success a week, dagnabbit!

So, here are the more recent successes:

Not sure if I have shown this one already, but just in case. This is legendary comic book writer/artist Walter Simonson. Notable works include Thor, X-Factor, Fantastic Four, Superman, Star Wars, Batman and Battlestar Galactica. He introduced Beta Ray Bill to the Marvel Universe and turned Thor into a frog for a bit, Walter drew me a quick Thor sketch and signed it in about 2 weeks.

I gotta tell you, I love getting these cards back from the artists. They are so cool when you see them in person. I have about 7 requests still pending. Hope I get them back.

Bobby Shantz was kind enough to sign this photo for me in a few days time. I had originally sent out 2, but I was unaware he had a brother who also played for the Yankees. I did find a pic of him in a Yankee uniform so I will be sending another request out to him soon.

I have always been a Burt Reynolds fan so I was thrilled to get a nice return from Mr. Reynolds. Loved him in movies such as Deliverance, The End, Cannonball Run, Boogie Nights and even Sharkey's Machine. But to me, he will always be the Bandit. I was pleased he signed these 2 photos for me as well.

Those will stay in my collection, I can assure you.

When I heard Steve Garvey was signing through the mail I quickly jumped on the opportunity to send out this photo. As happy as I am that I got it back, I am a bit upset that who ever opened the letter in his end left a long scratch on the photo.

Yes, even the Fonz knows I am powerful!

I was thrilled when Henry Winkler signed my photos. I have been a fan since I was a kid, watching Happy Days and clutching my Fonzie Mego doll. God, I wish I still had that figure. And his Jalopy too. Also loved Night Shift. I can still hear Michael Keaton's obnoxious humming to "Jumping Jack Flash".

I was able to get the Honkey Tonk Man to sign these 2 photos for me. Had to get one of the longest reigning Intercontenental Champion holding the belt and I like how it came out. I miss the days when that title ment something.

Former Knicks guard Richie Guerin signed these 2 photos for me in about a weeks time. Guerin was a star for the Knicks in the 1950's and 60's, becoming a 6 time All Star. and became the first Knick to score 2,000 points in a season when he scored 2,303 in the 60-61 season. He also signed a bookplate for me so I could start my Knicks project.

I was able to add another legend to my collection when Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat signed these 2 photos. I wasn't the biggest Steamboat fan growing up. All my affections were for Roddy Piper. But I always respected "The Dragon". I watched that thrilling match he had with Randy Savage at WrestleMania 3 and was blown away. I think that was the greatest match in wrestling history and it's a shame the WWE doesn't give it the proper respect as such.

I marked out for this guy in the 80's. Ted DiBiase had one of the greatest gimmicks in the business as well as one of the greatest heel laughs of all time. His theme song still cracks me up. Money, Money, Money, Moneyyyyy. The WWE really should have let him be the champion for a little while. Not only was he a great heel, but he was also a great technical wrestler. A match he had against Bret Hart was one of the best and it wasn't even aired on TV. Mr. DiBiase signed these 2 photos sent in care of his ministry.

I have also had my share of failures:

I was thrilled that I got this return from Richard Dreyfuss, until I saw i didn't match up with any certified autographs of his. Upon further investigation, I found out his autos in the mail are secretarial.

This one is up for debate

I have heard that these are phonies while some say that they match up with some in person autos they have seen so who knows. I need to do some further investigating to come up with my own conclusion on if they are real or fakes.

I hope to be able to show off more through the mail successes in the very near future. I have a bunch of requests still pending and I plan to send off a bunch more this weekend. Hopefully, the mail will start picking up shortly and I will have my own 7 return days as well. There is nothing like the thrill of finding one of your self stamped addressed envelopes in your mailbox. Its why I continue to send out requests and I hope you too will experiance it for yourselves. Once you get that first return, you will never stop.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Top 5 Favorite Batmobiles

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the Batmobile. I'm not talking hearts and flowers and cherubs dancing along side my head, shooting arrows at me as I run toward it in a meadow with "Love Is A Splendid Thing" singing in my ears. I'm talking heart pounding, eyes wide open and drool dripping off my chin when I see one.

I'm not even a car person. I couldn't tell you what racken pinon steering is or if I even spelled it right. All I know is I love that car.  If its a toy, I want it. It it's featured in a comic, I'm reading it. To me, The Batmobile is the greatest vehicle in pop culture history. Everyone knows what it is and who drives it. It is the most pimped up car in comics history, period.

With everyone excited about Dark Knight Rises opening up Friday (Me included) and posting Batman related blogs left and right, I decided to post one myself spotlighting my five favorites of the many incarnations of the Batmobile.

So, as Casey Kasem, who was the voice of Robin in the Super Friends, used to say, on with the countdown.

5-Batman The Animated Series Batmobile

When you first see it in the opening credits, you realize that this is one cool car. Designed by Bruce Timm, this Batmobile was designed combining elements from the comics and the Tim Burton Batman films. It was dark, with a gothic feel to it, like the cartoon. It also was, like the movies, getting back to Batman's roots where he drove larger vehicles. It had a lot of those wonderful toys Batman is known for like an ecjection seat, tear gas launcher, missile rack, among other things. To me, this Batmobile is way cooler than any of the movie ones.

4-1950's Batmobile

This awesome vehicle first showed up in Detective Comics #156. In the book, Batman had plans for a Batmobile that was 10 years ahead of it's time. The car was modeled after a Studebaker and possibly a Cadillac. As a kid, I read the Batman Encyclopedia and I remember seeing a breakdown of what this particular Batmobile had inside it. It had a complete lab with, yes, stools. Imagine Robin trying to work in the lab while Batman is tearing down the streets of Gotham. Not getting much done, I assure you. The front had a steel nose to cut through barriers and the top had a searchlight, but what I love most about this car is it screams 1950's with the bubble dome and the huge fin on the back. This car is classic cool and one I need to add to my growing fleet of Batmobiles.

3-1940's Batmobile

I'm sure when kids picked up Batman #20 and saw this new Batmobile bursting out the cover, they must have thought they seen the greatest thing ever. The bullet holes in the windshield suggests that they were chasing some bad people and that Batgrill up front is just nasty. Dick Sprang drew this iconic image which was based on a previous Batmobile drawn by Jerry Robinson, with some noticable diffrences like headlights and the red trim. There were diffrent versions of this car drawn by Bob Kane, but this car seems to be the definitive Batmobile of that era.

2-Super Friends Batmobile

As a kid who grew up watching The Super Friends and it's many incarnations throughout the 70's and early 80's, I love this Batmobile. I have fond memories of siting in my jammies watching Super Friends while polishing off a couple bowls of cereal. This car, which was designed by Alex Toth, was based on the Futura 1966 Batmobile, with some obvious diffrences like the lack of red stripping and the oval Bat symbol on the doors. The front of the car has a Bat head on it's grill that the live action car didnt have either. When the show changed to Challenge Of The Super Friends, they did away with this car for one that was more hard edge, but I like this one a lot better.

1-1966 TV Series Batmobile

Come on, could there have been any other choice for this spot? This, to me, is THE Batmobile. I was not lucky enough to have seen the show when it aired (on account of my not having been born just yet), I can only imagine how thrilled the kids were back then to have seen this Batmobile coming out of the Batcave, tearing down the streets of Gotham, parking in front of Commisioner Gordon's office, getting stolen by various villians. The car became a character in the TV series. Designed by George Barris in just 3 weeks, he used Ford's abandoned Futura concept for the car. It already had the fins, which he modified and the bubble canopies. According to Barris, he modified the nose of the car to look like a bat mask, as well as open the wheel wells. Some of the cool features the car had was lasers, a telephone, rockets, ejector seats, an alarm system,and a mini batcomputer in the trunk. When I saw a replica of this Batmobile at Super Mega Show, I had to tell you, my heart was ponding and I had to really fight the urge to jump into the drivers seat and haul out of there. One of the things I do regret is not getting George Barris to sign something for me at a Hollywood Car Show he appeared at a few years ago. I hope I can get the opportunity to meet the creator of arguably, the most famous car in pop culture history.

Well, there you have it. My 5 favorite Batmobiles. I'm sure you guys have your own favorites and please, list any you feel I might have missed. I would love to read any and all opinons on the subject.

I'd also like to give props to a site I stumbled upon while doing my research for this particular blog. Head over to http://www.batmobilehistory.com This web site has so much information on the history of all the Batmobiles as well as pictures, fan art and, my favorite, a collectors page. I was in awe of some of the collections I seen and I haven't even seen them all.

As a pop culture geek, I cannot think of a car that is better than the Batmobile. Maybe the Black Beauty or the Deloran from Back To The Future, but thats it. Not The Mystery Machine or KITT. Not The A-Team Van or the truck from BJ And The Bear. None may be privlaged to have the honor of parking itself next to this extraordinary machine. There can be only one and that one is the Batmobile.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8th 2012-Long Island Toy Show

Today, my buddy and I decided to hit the road and attend the Long Island Toy Show, which was held on the campus in Hofstra University. I have never attended the toy show here, only the card shows and Jets Camp before they left for Cortland. I honestly wasn't expecting to pick up much today when I arrived.

When George and I arrived and paid our admission, we saw the show was being held in a smaller room then we were used to seeing at a toy show.

But, we were fooled. There were dozens of dealer tables peddling their wares. Fom vintage to not so vintage. To broken to brand spaking new. T shirts, autographs and much more were being sold at this show. There was a very good crowd as well.

I actually didn't see that vintage Yankees bobblehead. Would have inquired about it if I had.

I didn't walk out with that Secret Wars Iron Man, but it's on my want list.

Already have a Mego Superman, but that one is a beaut. Hope he went to a good home.

Nice looking Tie Fighters. The vintage GI Joe's were very cool to look at in public.

Nice selection of autographs were being sold by this dealer. I try not to buy autos without a certificaton from a reputable company like PSA, Global, etc.

Airplanes and a vintage Mickey Mouse Club drum.

Check out that vintage Beetle Bailey puzzle back there.

I'd like to say that I held back from buying and did a walk around first. But no. I bought at the first table I visited. There deals today and we made out like bandits. Some of the stuff I bought were in the 5 for 2 bucks category.

Before I arrived, I made a mental list of what I wanted so that I had something to focus on and not go crazy buying anything. I would buy only Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man, and Luke Skywalker/Star Wars goodies. I think I did a good job of sticking to the game plan.

Some great pick ups here. The carded Luke Skywalkers were 3 bucks each. The vintage 1977 Kenner Luke Skywalker was 50 cents. Missing the lightsaber, but there is very minimal paint loss and I can pick up a repo lightsaber. Btw, I almost walked away from this because of the missing lightsaber. But picking it was a smart move and it saved me the wrath of George.

Added another Batmobile to my growing Batmobile Army for 2 bucks and the Super Sized Batman figure for 10 bucks. Another figure I almost walked away from, but my better judgment took over. Especially when I bundled it with another figure.

Some solid pick ups here in this Spidey lot for my Spider-Man collection. Managed to pick up my first Peter Parker figure and a 1980 Spider-Man pencil sharpener for 50 cents. The sharpener was something I was keeping an eye on ebay at the 7.00 price range and 3 bucks shipping. I did well. Again, my buddy gets the credit as he pointed it out to me.

A couple more adds to the growing Iron Man collection. Remember I said I bundled that 12 inch Batman figure with another? I was able to get the dealer to sell me the Avengers Iron Man for the same price as the Batman. I saved 2 bucks on it and got my very first Avengers figure.

And finally, a Flash figure, all by his lonesome (universal Awwwwwwwwww). He was a throw in, but it will go with the Super Powers Flash I picked up from Brian.

And there you have it. A great day of toy shopping out on Strong Island. And I spent under 30 bucks total. I love a deal, especially on my toys. This is a toy show I will definately be attending this show again.