Needless Things Podcast 295 – May the Toys Be With You

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-jz5zb-ca4198

Dave and Head of Research Ryan Schweck dive into everything that’s happened in the world of Star Wars toys since Triple Force Friday, as well as sharing some thoughts on The Mandalorian!

October 4th, 2019 was the launch date for the newest barrage of Star Wars merchandise, only this time Disney was tying their products into not just one, not two, but three new media projects.
The first, obviously, was December 20th’s Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. This is the latest cinematic Star Wars release and the conclusion of the so-called “Skywalker Saga” that began with Star Wars in 1977.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a new video game from publisher Electronic Arts. It was released on November 15th, 2019 and so far has seen a positive reception.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, after decades of speculation and false starts, the first-ever live action Star Wars show debuted on the Disney+ streaming service on November 12th.
Each of these landmarks in the era of Disney Star Wars has waves of merchandise currently available. Starting with the main rollout in October and followed by seemingly weekly additions by way of exclusives and new reveals, Hasbro, Funko, and many other manufacturers have flooded the market with new and exciting products.
PLUS! A very special Christmas memory from Dave’s Mom!
Listen in as Ryan and Dave take a close look at the last two months of Star Wars on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast!
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!
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The Geeky Gift Guide

Someone at work was trying to talk to me about this year’s Oprah’s Favorite Things list and using it to do their holiday shopping. I could not make her understand how much I don’t care what Oprah does or doesn’t like. I’m a nerd and I don’t need whatever throw blanket or lounge pajamas she likes this year. Or any year for that matter. I checked around for lists of gifts for nerds, but most of those had too much un-fun tech stuff. I kind of want a robot vacuum, but I definitely don’t want one for Christmas. I decided to put my own geeky list together for anyone who needs help picking out a present for their favorite dork. Okay so this is a list of things that I really want for myself, but I think a lot of this stuff is universal. I’m not getting paid to advertise anything here. I just included links in case any of these goodies strike your fancy.

Continue reading “The Geeky Gift Guide”

Previews December 2019 “Comics No More!”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition! Continue reading “Previews December 2019 “Comics No More!””

Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series Mandalorian, Cara Dune, & IG-11 from Hasbro

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE DISNEY+ PROGRAM THE MANDALORIAN

As you’ll be seeing over the course of the month, Triple Force Friday got me a little more than I expected.

Due to the impending conclusion of the Skywalker Saga and the recent launch of The Mandalorian. Star Wars is going to be getting a little extra love here on Needless Things. And I’m glad I did get seduced by the marketing because I’ve ended up with some of the best Star Wars toys ever. Unfortunately it’s a mix of Black Series and Vintage Collection, but in this day and age you take what you can get or you stop collecting. And I think we all know that I’m not about to stop collecting.

Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series Mandalorian, Cara Dune, & IG-11 from Hasbro”

Toy Review – DC Artists Alley James Groman Batman from DC Collectibles

Today’s review is something a little different. It’s not a toy or an action figure; this Batman is more in line with the hyper-expensive, limited run vinyl pieces that artists release. These items are not typically mass-produced and are usually very limited runs.

The artist who designed today’s subject, James Groman, has released several incredible vinyl toys this way. More on him in a minute.

This figure has more in common with those collectibles than with most of DC Collectibles’ releases, but it is still a mass-produced item. The price point reflects that, and that’s important to remember. This fella retails for $65.00, while a comparably sized independent release would likely be twice that or more. And possibly unpainted.

As for James Groman, he’s a legend in the toy industry and a personal hero of mine.

From the sadly unfunded Don’t Cuddle the Krampus Kickstarter page:

In 1986 Jim was working with the American Greetings Entertainment and Toy Concept Division: ‘Those Characters from Cleveland’, where he had a hand in the development of brands like My Pet Monster, Madballs, Care Bears, Popples, Blurp Balls, Barnyard Commandoes, and Ring Raiders.

That’s an amazing pedigree, and since then James has been continuing his work in the toy industry, as well as releasing mind-blowing projects like his Kaiju Killer.

For more on Don’t Cuddle the Krampus, check out episode 82 of the Needless Things Podcast where I interviewed Bryan Katzel of Warpo Toys.

For me the bottom line on this Batman – and the accompanying figures of Joker, Two-Face, and Killer Croc – was that I wanted a Groman vinyl toy, but have never wanted to pay the price associated with them. I think the prices that creators like Groman and Tim Clarke charge for their limited edition works of art are more than fair, but as well all know I’m as basic as can be and would rather buy ten Marvel Legends than one huge vinyl toy.

Wow. When I put it like that I feel like a real piece of trash.

So what I’m saying is that this line gives cheapskates like me the opportunity to own works of art from one of the greatest minds in the history of the toy business.

Was it a worthy addition to my Batman shelf or should I have saved my pennies for a King Korpse? Read on and find out!

Continue reading “Toy Review – DC Artists Alley James Groman Batman from DC Collectibles”

Toy Review – The Office Michael Scott & Dwight K. Schrute Action Figures from Phat Mojo

Thanks to the internet and collectors’ voracious appetite for any and all toy news it’s not often that I am taken by surprise in the wild by a completely new toy line. Not one that interests me, anyway.

Today’s subjects mark the second time that Phat Mojo – the toy company with the most 1998 name ever – has snuck something into the retail scene that I had no idea was coming. The first was an entire wave of Pennywise figures in this same style from IT: Chapter Two. I thought that was an odd decision, but whatever.

These figures are a whole other proposition, though.

The Office is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, and while I never thought of the characters as particularly toyetic, this is the sort of line that collectors and casual fans alike can enjoy. The figures are simple, recognizable, and priced right(ish).

Michael was at the front of the peg and I’m happy to have him, but Dwight was the one that sealed the deal. He’s the hero of the show and I probably wouldn’t have bothered with these if the third figure had been Toby or – ugh – Ryan Howard.

Ryan Howard is the absolute worst. What a jerkbag.

Pam was also available, but as adorable as Jenna Fischer is both as the character and, apparently, in real life, I cannot condone Pam’s relations with the villain Jim Halpert. So I picked up Michael and Dwight and brought them home for review.

Would the legendary NBC show have been better off with larger figures from the likes of McFarlane or NECA or does it turn out that four inches is enough (that’s what she said)? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – The Office Michael Scott & Dwight K. Schrute Action Figures from Phat Mojo”

Comic Book Wednesday: Previews November 2019 “Oh, The Internet”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

NOTE: This month I am back to using Previewsworld.com for this post. As such, things don’t grab my attention in quite the same way. I’ll be interested to see what catches my eye once I do get my hands on a physical copy. Also, things are going to be way out of their usual order.

It’s an interesting experience because without the trappings of splash pages and ads I actually can’t tell what’s “hot” and what the publishers are pushing. On the website all things are relatively equal, aside from the occasional listing for something with twelve variant covers that is obviously a big deal. Continue reading “Comic Book Wednesday: Previews November 2019 “Oh, The Internet””