Dragon Con 2019 – The Dragon Awards

It’s time once again for Dragon Con’s Dragon Awards. Just like everything else about Dragon Con this is by the people, for the people. Regular schmucks like you and me sent in nominations. Well, you might not be a schmuck, but I sure am. And these same schmucks will pick the winners. Heck, you don’t even have to be going to Dragon Con to vote. I mean I hope you are going, but if you can’t then you can still be part of the action. Between this, and the ability to stream DCTV would be just like being there. Just register to vote here, confirm your email, and you’ll receive your ballot in a few days. Voting is open until Saturday August 31st, but you’ll be busy by then. So vote early, but not often. That’s one of the rules. I’ll admit that I don’t know everything about the nominees in each category. I do know something about a least one thing in every category though. That’s enough information to vote with. So go ahead and get voting. I’ll be back soon to let you guys know where you can find me, and other members of the Needless Things at Dragon Con.

Continue reading “Dragon Con 2019 – The Dragon Awards”

Needless Things Podcast 262 – Touring the Khetanna with Victoria’s Cantina

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-gwek2-aefe1b

Hasbro – one of the most prolific toy companies in the business – blew minds when it announced an all-new experiment called HasLab at Toy Fair 2018. It was to be a place where Hasbro could communicate and solicit funds directly from customers and deliver very special products that would be impossible to market through normal retail.

The first announced project was one of the most ambitious toys ever produced – Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge, The Khetanna from Return of the Jedi. Hasbro immediately revealed an unprecedented amount of detail, for an as-yet unproduced toy and soon after opened preorders.
The hefty $500 price tag (which included shipping) was intimidating to some, but for stalwart collectors who had forty years of Star Wars toys on their shelves, it was impossible to imagine a collection that didn’t include this monolithic vehicle/playset.
One year later the true believers who invested in this dream have The Khetanna in their homes. Was it worth it?
Listen in as Dave and our special guest Victoria, from Victoria’s Cantina discuss this unprecedented toy release on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast.
Follow Victoria’s Cantina on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

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Needless Things Minicast Episode 3 – The Episode IX Trailer

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-amdj6-ade0b9

Dave and Needless Things’ resident Star Wars expert Chad J. Shonk break down the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?

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The Young-Adult World of Star Wars Books

Aright, part two of what I hadn’t intended to be a two part thingy. At this point I’ve finished Thrawn: Alliances, Bloodlines, and Kenobi. I would totally watch Ewan McGregor do an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie after that book. He’s the perfect age, and as much as I’ve wanted Disney to slow it down a little on the Star Wars movies I’d hate to let this chance slip by. I’m well aware that they can CGI people to look younger, but I really don’t think we should let that become a thing unless it’s absolutely necessary for a minor role. But we’re not here to talk about such grown up Star Wars books. We’re here to talk about why I read Star Wars “young adult novels”. If you haven’t read the first part, and maybe want to know about your more adult book options you can read that here. Or you can skip how I got on this kick and just find out whether any of these books are worth your time. Continue reading “The Young-Adult World of Star Wars Books”

I Accidentally Read Star Wars Books For Kids

(I had assumed this would easily all fit into one post. Once I got to 1,000 words without even having spoken about the book series I was planning on writing about I decided to make this a two-parter. If it takes me five hours to write it’ll probably take you two hours to read. I don’t know too many people who want to read 3,000+ words about Star Wars books in one sitting. If you are one of those people I apologize, and feel your pain. “Too long, didn’t read” is the worst thing you can say to someone who busted their ass writing something so I try to edit myself when necessary. It became very necessary with Star Wars books because I’ve been reading so many for so long.) Continue reading “I Accidentally Read Star Wars Books For Kids”

Beth’s Best of 2018

I’m back baby! That was an extended hiatus, but the end of 2018/start of 2019 was horrible for me. Sickness and death, and all manner of garbage. Seems like a good time to finally post my 2018 recap and put the year behind me. We’ve done the podcast, but given the number of people that were on (and the way that Dave looked at me for talking about Star Wars as I did) now is my chance to elaborate. There are also some things that came out in 2018 that I hadn’t seen when we recorded so I can talk about those now too. Plus, with everything that’s happened since, that podcast seems like it was recorded a lifetime ago. So here’s my good, meh, and ugly from 2018 in no particular order. Sorry if I repeat from the podcast, but I promise it’ll be worth reading even if you’ve already listened. Well, I promise it’ll have enough differences or new content. I never promise that I’ll write something worth reading. Continue reading “Beth’s Best of 2018”

Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro

Star Wars vehicles are very important to me.

If I’m talking about Star Wars toys I’m probably going to mention that the starfighters, cloud cars, assorted tanks, and the odd space freighter are critical to any toy line focused on The Galaxy.

Note: Ever since I watched the Solo special features and heard Ron Howard refer to Star Wars as simply “The Galaxy” I have thought it was absolutely wonderful. Pardon me while I obnoxiously co-opt his term of endearment.

The 3.75” Star Wars line has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade and the last few years, specifically, have seen dramatic changes in how Hasbro releases vehicles. Toy production costs have skyrocketed, so the days of getting an acceptably scaled starship for under forty bucks are gone.

Ten years ago you could purchase a (reasonably) accurately scaled Jedi Starfighter with a functioning cockpit, spring-loaded wings and missiles, a removable droid piece, landing gear, and other bells and whistles for $19.99. Since then, as production prices have risen, Hasbro has tried various methods of getting vehicles to the public – scaled-down versions, simplified models, (much) cheaper plastics, less deco, and big hunks of rotocast plastic that don’t even interact with figures.

None of these were for me and I have had to sort of accept that 3.75” scale vehicles were no longer part of my collecting habits.

Fortunately I have an eleven-year-old son who likes Star Wars, so I’ve been keeping tabs on things through his collection. Hasbro has done some interesting things since The Force Awakens and I’ve actually picked up a few items here and there (on clearance).

This past year, though, Hasbro has shown a new interest in getting collectors like me back on board.

You all probably know about HasLab and the forthcoming Sail Barge (good lord it’s less than two months from shipping and I have no idea where I’m gonna put that enormous sonofabitch), but we also got a special treat in the form of today’s subject – a Vintage Collection Imperial tank from Rogue One.

If you don’t know, Hasbro’s Vintage Collection is a line meant to appeal to collectors like me. It uses packaging based on the looks of the original Kenner line, which is a huge draw. Beyond that, the toys themselves have more articulation and deco than the current basic 3.75” releases. While I enjoy the look of the packaging, I open everything, so the quality of the toys is much more important to me. They could put a super articulated figure with great deco in a Mylar bag with cardboard stapled to the top and I’d buy it.

This Imperial vehicle – from a key scene in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – was the first modern Vintage Collection vehicle release. There is currently also a Walmart exclusive TIE Fighter that’s less appealing to me because I already own some fine TIE Fighters and don’t want to pay eighty bucks for a slightly different one.

Oh, yeah – that’s the MSRP for this tank, too.

I’m a big fan of that scene and this tank and when Hasbro first shared pictures of it (at Toy Fair, I think) I was excited. But I also knew that I probably wouldn’t buy it because it would probably cost way more than I was willing to spend. Once it hit retail that turned out to be the case, so I resigned myself to missing out if the price didn’t drop.

Yes – I am aware that waiting for things I want to drop in price probably reduces the likelihood that toy companies will produce more things I want in the future. But I’m at a point where my idea of value has been left behind by inflation. If something is too expensive for me anyway, I’m okay with it going away.

Of course, there’s the whole other issue of those One:12 figures I love so much costing as much as this tank, but that’s a conundrum for another day.

Anyway, eyeballing Amazon for dropping prices on toys I want, but not badly enough, has become a habit. Much to my surprise this beautiful tank dropped to forty bucks just before Christmas, so I ordered one. Is it worth forty or maybe even the original eighty? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro”