Archive for the ‘General’ Category
G.I. Joe toys at Target: fighter jet
Image by Chris Devers
These toy sections aren’t for kids, they’re for us, the parents.
I thought this jet was so cool when I was about 10, but I don’t think I ever had one of my own. It was the successor to the original GI Joe jet that was an F-14 tomcat by another title; this one was based on some NASA prototype plane or another.
There was also the big blue Cobra Rattler based on the A-10 Warthog that was pretty fun. Maybe they’ll start selling those again, too.
Abandoned Toys “R” Us
Image by Evan Wohrman
This old Toys "R" Us still stands empty at 2232 South Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim, California, a few blocks down the street from the Disneyland Resort. I can’t remember exactly when this particular store closed, though I do remember going here when I was little. It closed circa 2000, I’m assuming.
In 2011, the building was gutted and converted into a dinner theater attraction called Battle of the Dance.
Toy Story LaserDisc Box Set
Image by insidious_plots
To repeat some of what I said on Twitter, this box set includes not only the movie but all of the Pixar shorts made to the time of the set’s release, including the original un-altered version of 1989′s Knickknack, which was re-released with Finding Nemo (wherein it is spelled "Knick Knack") and changed to be a bit more family friendly. Pixar was not always about just family-friendly stuff. For that matter, the commentary has a bleeped word or two. And, the commentary that is on this LaserDisc of the film was copied directly to the eventual DVD release – in the beginning they even say "welcome to the LaserDisc commentary for Toy Story". If you did not do the LaserDisc thing, you waited a few years to get commentary or extras. (or a DTS soundtrack, which was available on DVD only YEARS after the DTS LD was out.)
This set comes with the movie and a lot of bonus material that was not available on DVD until years later with the release of the "Ultimate Toy Box" DVD box set in 2000 (the look and packaging of which are directly copied from this LD set). And most of the shorts were not available any other way until the "Pixar Short Films Collection" DVD and Blu-Ray in 2008(?). Though, again, "Knick Knack" has been altered on that release.
Also in the set is a lenticular artwork (ya’ know, one of those ribbed 3D picture thingies), which you can see laying on the left – and a book called "The Art of Toy Story", laying on the right, that has some very cool high-res original concept art, etc.
See, LaserDiscs were very expensive (the last LD was released in 2001) and so they gave you "feelies" – books, soundtrack CDs, lobby cards, maybe even a paperback of the novel the film was based on. There are some fantastic box sets for The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dances With Wolves, ET, Jaws, The Rocky Horror Picture Show – and those are just the ones I own. But, yeah, you really have to be a slobbering fan of movies to collect this stuff. But, there is still so much on LD that has not yet made it to any other format, so, though the video quality does not compare to DVD/BR/etc. (though, LaserDisc DID have Dolby Digital 5.1, (and a few DDEX releases – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, for instance), and DTS 5.1), there are still viable reasons to collect LaserDiscs. Or at least not throw your collection out
BTW, if you know little or nothing about LaserDisc, I’ll just mention briefly that LD (and The Criterion Collection, specifically) started the whole idea of bonus material, commentaries, digital sound, the THX standards – everything we now take for granted, starting with the DVD era. But they were very expensive and so only the hardcore home theater people messed with them. As an alternative to VHS, there was no comparison. And DVD took a couple/few years to catch up to the quality level. The first DVD releases of, for instance, The Abyss, Contact, Titanic were terrible when compared to the best LaserDisc releases. I still own over 350 LDs, but all but the rarities, box sets, personal favorites, and stuff still not available on any other format are currently in storage. So, that’s less than 50 here in the living room and that count includes repeats – stuff like every quality (eg. not full screen, bad transfer, etc.) U.S. LaserDisc release of Star Wars (4 sets), Toy Story (3), and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (3).
But now I’m just showing off
Robot Toy Making Bubbles from Soap
Image by epSos.de
This giant teddy bear robot toy was making soap bubbles at the local supermarket in Puerto Cruz de Tenerife.
The robot appears to have fun, because his arm moves up and down with a regular motion of a machine.
The kids and children had a lot of fun watching this bubble making robot.