Monday, December 1, 2014

amiibo and Me

To cap off what has inadvertently become Pokemonth, I thought I'd show you another one of my wee little purchases. As I had alluded to earlier, Nintendo's got a hot new toy on the town in the form of the amiibos. If they were just figurines, I could have resisted. However, the fun integration they have with Wii U games shows a lot of promise. I've only been able to test it out on Smash Bros, but I'm looking forward to seeing what else they are capable of.

That's my boy, Pikachu. With each battle, they grow in level, learning new techniques and traits along the way. After a few skirmishes where I smacked the little yellow guy around, he began to wise up. I came at him with a dashing attack, something he was previously quite vulnerable to, and shock! He sidestepped my assault, grabbed hold of me and flung me off the stage. After the KO, he taunted, just like daddy. Aww. ...Daddy's a dick. And now he is too. I love him.

Anyone else investing in the amiibo frenzy? If so, who did you select? A marvellous Mario? A legendary Link? An alliteration-absent Wii Fit Trainer? Show us your haul!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

#0082: Pokemon Sapphire Version

Have you bought your copy of Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire yet? I sure have, and I've been playing that sucker to my heart's content. I can never decide which generation of Pokemon is my favourite, but the third is a strong contender. The locales of Hoenn are vivid and interesting, the story and enemies are probably the series' best, and so many huge mechanics were added that changed the metagame immensely. Now that I have the remake in my possession, I thought I might pass this classic on to a new owner. After all, I also own Ruby as well, and effectively triple dipping on this game felt redundant. Also, kind of delicious when phrased that way.

The moment you fired up Pokemon Sapphire Version, you knew you were living in the new generation. An enormous colour palette! Four Pokemon battling at once! A sombrero-wearing duck creature!! Holy hell, were we truly ready? Early in the game, you see a couple of Machoke moving furniture. This, to me, was simply exhilarating. In previous generations, non-battle sprites were just ambiguous fairies/monsters/flowers/puddles, whereas here, it's as it should be: a scary, artery-brandishing behemoth. You approach it meekly, staring at it in awe. 'Guaaaffaaaahhh!' it roars at you. Possibly because you stepped on its foot.

Soon, you meet your new neighbour and rival. if you chose the male character, your neighbour will be the girl, May. I like to call her Haruka, because that's her Japanese name and I think it suits her. If you chose the female protagonist, you'll get the boy, Brendan, next door. I like to call him Douche, because he's an absolute douche.

As the story progresses, you'll do battle with the nefarious Team Aqua, who plan to cover the planet in water. Consequently, on the sister game, your adversaries come in the form of Team Magma, who, as you could appreciate, intend to do the opposite. The other team will act as foils to these dastardly plans, though frankly, I always thought the Magmas had the more wicked intentions. I mean, seriously - Team Aqua floods the world, okay, we take a leaf from Kevin Costner's book, and become a society of pirates. Team Magma turns the whole world to arid, dry land? Fuck that shit. I've been living in the desert for seventeen years, and it's shithouse. You think you can handle it, you try spending one Christmas in the summer. You'll forsake Christianity real fast. And I still haven't seen a single Regirock out here.

Anyway, in memorium of... wait, memorium isn't a word? That's really awkward. It's like the time I pronounced the word vehemently as it's spelt. Well, whatever. In memory of Pokemon Sapphire, I thought I would share with you an excellent poem I have formulated (just now) on my favourite Pokemon from this generation.


His crest is red
His body blue
Should he strike
You'll have nothing to do
But fear not, old salt
For his name is Swellow
He shan't attack you
He's a friendly fellow

He flies with great speed
And exquisite grace
His talons are sharp
I like his face
He wins in battles
He wins at life
He won many contests
That won him a wife

Special attack is abysmal
Defenceless is he
Not a physical threat
And sub-par HP
But oh, is he fast
Just watch him go
He makes the swiftest
Appear sluggishly slow

Zip, zip, zip!
So agile and clever
He's an Aerial Ace
Who shall always Endeavour
So come watch the show
Fill the whole auditorium
We honour you, Swellow
At least in memorium

...The FUCK, Internet?!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Diancie, or: how I am still addicted to 'video game perfection'

Are you familiar with this sparkly little character, by any chance? It's called a Diancie, and it's the latest in a long line of special promotional Pokemon that are not normally available in-game. Ever since the first generation of the franchise, Nintendo have locked away at least one special little critter, and though the means of distribution have changed over the years, the gist is still the same: join in, or miss out.

Diancie is the first of three special Pokemon for the sixth generation of games, and in order to get it, you have to go into a participating retailer and grab a code. Redeem the code, collect your Diancie in-game, shove it in a PC box, and wiggle with giddiness that your perfect Pokedex streak remains intact. In Australia, the promotion is running from November 10th to the 27th. Once the date is over, the codes can no longer be redeemed. That's fine, obviously, because all of the previous promotional Pokemon were also only available for a limited time.

What makes things different, this time, is the code distribution method. As I alluded to, the way you've gotten these Pokemon has changed over the years. In prior games, you needed to simply connect to the Wi-Fi network of participating retailers, collect the Pokemon wirelessly, and knick off. There I was, the creepy guy sitting out in front of EB Games with a 3DS in his lap, hacking into their system to collect a Meloetta.

Obviously, the simplicity of this wireless method meant you never really realised the sheer scape of how popular Pokemon still is. Because you never interacted with anyone, and there was an unlimited supply on-hand. It was nothing like the old days, where I was standing in line at a shopping centre for hours - an eleven year old boy at the peak of Pokemon's hype - to collect my very own Mew during PokeTour 1999.

I didn't rush into retailers on November 10th, because obviously, I'm a mature adult in his mid-20s, and I had plenty of time. The previous giveaway this generation, of a shiny Gengar, was a smooth operation: get in, awkwardly ask for the imaginary ghost in the children's video game, and strut out.

On the 14th, I had a day off, so I decided I'd take the half hour walk to the nearest EB and snag my Diancie. It's free, after all, and I'm still a completionist at heart. For some reason, I felt the need to call in advance and ask about it. You know. Just in case. ..And they told me that they had run out.

Here's where the game has changed, you see - each of these codes they give away, is effectively one Diancie. There's no 'connect to the network and generate your own'. These codes are... actual... freaking... Diancies... And there weren't any left. I called the various EB's and JB Hi-Fi's in my local area, as well as the ones in the CBD. All of the nearby stores were completely out, and the major branches had gotten a second batch from a Nintendo representative a day ago... that had also run out.

And this is when I realised that there is something in me that I can't quite explain. To simplify it, I have an unhealthy addiction with perfection in video games. Sometimes, in a gameplay sense: In Super Mario 3D Land, your file progression is marked by stars. If you've finished the game without dying five times, those stars are shiny. I couldn't risk not having those shiny stars, so on every near-death, I quit the game before it was too late. I was playing Mario ultra-cautiously for menu aesthetics.

Sometimes, my addiction grows so frantic and ugly, like it did when I was trying desperately to find the Sonic Generations collector's edition, that I'm calling up every retailer, and visiting other ones physically to try and acquire the elusive item. Not because Sonic Generations was a hard game to get, but because I felt this sense of duty as a Sonic fan to get this particular, ultimate package. In the end, I gave in to my demons and paid some bastard on eBay $527.32 to get it. That's $362 more than its RRP. I paid half a grand to validate my fandom.

And here we sat again. My video game perfection causing a feeling of great unease. Because I've gotten every Pokemon up to this point, and if I miss out on Diancie, my whole collection is ruined. Every subsequent game will have a blank spot at #719 because I didn't get in quickly enough. How is this logical thinking, exactly?

I won't beat around the bush; through constant calling and prodding, I ascertained that the Nintendo rep made the rounds on Thursdays. I called JB Hi-Fi yesterday to see if they had gotten any in. The staff member asked me, in a rather serious tone, if I was going to be able to get there that day. I answered in the affirmative, and he said that was the only way I could get one, because they had only received a limited supply. I got in, I got my Diancie, I did a little dance(y?), and I had scratched that itch once again.

Obviously, it wasn't quite so bad this time, but how long will it be until I feel that urge again? It's debilitating, in the sense that it makes me make rash, stupid decisions. Frankly, if you put the word 'limited' or 'collector's' or 'exclusive' on anything I like, it will make me consider it. For example, I recently heard about the rush on the first wave of amiibos. And though they will get more in stock, I really wanted to be able to use one when I first play Smash Bros in December.

And so... Well, you'll see.


はじめまして、僕はフシギバナ様。 日本人よ。 僕は面白いけど親切だ。そうしてとてもハンサムだね。


...That was so hard to type on my phone. Never again. Say hello to Fushigibana, also known as Venusaur. I got drunk a few weeks ago and bought him online.

I don't know what to do with him now, but my god, is he pretty. Resisting the urge to make an unboxing post... Hnnnnnnnggggg.... ダメ。。。

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

#0081: Mutagen Man

If you polled 100 people on their favourite Ninja Turtles character, the results would probably not surprise you. The Turtles themselves would command about 86% of the vote. The more edgy participants would say Shredder. True geniuses would answer Krang. One fucker would ruin the data by saying Keno.

Odds are, ain't nobody going with the Mutagen Man. Ain't nobody, and we even asked his mama.

However, Turtles was a marketing machine like few others, and because of the nature of the content, having a bevy of auxiliary characters you rarely saw on the cartoon made sense. Because a) it's a show about mutant animals. If you slap enough of a backstory on it, it's not hard to believe that an evil snake or a heroic moose might appear at some point. And b) despite our ignorance, the Ninja Turtles was more than just the 80's cartoon series. It was (and is) a comic first to many people, it just so happened that the cartoon was what made it explode. Then The Next Mutation happened, and everyone ran far far away.

But the Mutagen Man stands alone from the others a fair bit. Partly because he's hideous and smelly and nobody wants to stand too close to him, but mostly because he is just incredibly different from your typical Turtle toy. Originally mocked up as a design for Playmates, the Mutagen Man, formerly Seymour Gutz - yuk yuk - was a delivery boy who came upon some Mutagen that gave him a kind of Mortal Kombat Fatality, collapsing him into nothing but organs. If I were him, living in a world filled with badass ninja turtles and samurai rabbits, I would be mighty pissed off. Sadly, I suppose his fate was much more realistic for anyone messing around with toxic goo.

Seymour fashions himself a containment suit to hold all of his bits in, and off he goes! He's a hideous brain fellow that even Krang feels icky about. As you can see, his eyes and grey matter proudly peer out at you from within the suit. Originally filled with water, he also had a heart and other nondescript organs that would float within his casing. The water has long since dried up, so now they just rattle around like a particularly sinister castanet. I have a vague feeling that the top section opens up to give him a refill, but I'm really not that fazed about whether I ever see his spleen drifting about again.

In the cartoon, he possesses the ability to shapeshift, and the Turtles are able to give him a cure that allows him to take on any form he wants permanently. He decides on that of an attractive man, and that's the last we ever see of him. Sadly, the 'Sexy Seymour Gutz' action figure never saw the light of day, even when the toys had strange offshoots like beach Turtles, birthday party Turtles and Leonard Nimoy Turtles. Here's a funny hindsight for you: my parents never bitched once, not ONCE, about why it was I needed eight hundred different Raphael toys. It was like Malibu Stacy's new hat. I wanted it wanted it wanted it, though in all fairness, Raphael's new hats allowed him to do backflips, shoot pizzas and even talk. Those talking toys were fucking terrifying if you did it wrong.

But enough about that. Mutagen Man does none of these things. He initially came with various knick knacks that I have of course lost, including a hose and tank apparatus that plugged into his back that may actually be critical to his survival, a menacing gun of sunshine yellow, and some sort of... little hook things. I don't know what they were. They looked like thumb screws. The point is, now that I've Googled these images, I do vaguely recall seeing these things somewhere in the depths of the toy chest at some point, not realising that they were the property of Mr. Gutz.

But that is neither here nor there. I doubt some avid collector is going to see this unpackaged, mildly knicked up toy and scoff at its lack of accessories. Unless he actually intended to play with it, and simply can't get over the notion that the Mutagen Man has carelessly misplaced his gun and breathing apparatus somewhere, liable to be found by small children at risk of shooting people and breathing freely.

Of special mention is the rather gruesome little details this fun friend possesses. Excellently detailed exposed muscular tissue and a misshapen, warty layer of skin cover his arms and legs, and within his tank, bulging eyeballs and a tiny screaming little face reminiscent of a shrunken head. Honestly, he may be the second scariest figure in Turtles history, second to only the deranged Pizza Face. I suppose it depends on what makes your skin crawl more, an overweight, bedraggled chef with a pizza wheel for a foot, or Playmates' take on motherfucking Cain from Robocop 2.

If you told me the Mutagen Man was an international drug lord, I would totally believe you. Hell, if you told me Pizza Face was an international drug lord, I would totally believe you. New York, man... New York!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Hello INAKA, my old friend.

If anyone's wondering, yes, I do have machinations to someday get back into the swing of things and update this blog at least semi-regularly. The problem I've had lies within the title itself: I'm not a kid anymore.

So this means working full-time and trying to make enough to get by. I work, I come home, I eat, some days I go to Japanese class, I drink, I pass out. Weeks just whiz on by in this year of 2014, a year I would declare as ultimately one of the most disappointing of my life. I hold years ending with the number 4 to a lofty standard, and whereas 1994 and 2004 hover near the top in ranking my life, 2014 just sits in the lower third, an unfortunate victim of unrealistic expectations.

The second issue with blogging about toys is, as you may recall, I moved out of home two years ago. And unfortunately for my dad, I've left all of my junk there. It becomes more than a little odd when I visit him and devote time to frittering through tubs of toys, or bringing them back here to my apartment solely so that I can get rid of them.

But we'll see. The blog is never dead, in my mind. Sometimes, it's just a little bit like a sloth. It's covered in moss and lacking in ambition, but eventually, it will end up going somewhere. Also, sometimes I end up with things like this.

Yes indeed, TURTLE BALLS. I saw these a short while ago and thought they were too awesome (radical, even) to pass up. I don't know what I'm going to do with them. Chances are solid they will simply sit in the closet, only occasionally appearing in an effort to frighten intruders with the visage of a grinning, decapitated Leonardo.

Part of me wants to give one to each of my four children (children who don't currently exist beyond Cynthia and Morgan on Fire Emblem Awakening), passed down through the years as the line divides, a reminder of the bonds of family and the eccentric consumerism of their demented ancestor.

...But that takes too much effort, I think. Enjoy the closet, boys.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The mysterious sign

The above sign has hung on the door of my sister's room for as long as I can remember. Even when we moved overseas, it came with us, proudly displayed upon the doorknob.

At a glance, there's nothing too odd about it. As you can see, Mario is rudely barring entry, under the pretense that a Nintendo game is in progress. Is it Super Mario Bros.? Ocarina of Time? Tomodachi Life??

We may never know, but fair enough. We can't go in, because there's some serious Nintendo-ing going on in there. Should we interrupt, who knows the catastrophic consequences that could befall us? For all we know, Andross will destroy the galaxy, and frankly, that's not a risk I'm willing to take.

However, the sign then takes a turn most sinister...

Ehh??!! The other side says 'do not disturb'? What sorcery is this?! For one thing, it makes me assume that the Nintendo game that previously took place is some serious shit (fastest times in Diddy Kong Racing or similar), to the point where the occupant must be alone to recover. But more importantly, it begs the question: when can you actually enter the room??

Either an important Nintendo game is in session, or you are forbidden from disturbing all who dwell within. The end result is you, as the outside door dweller, are left to feel most unwelcome. All my childhood, this was my fate, coupled with a literal stop sign that was later lost somewhere in the folds of time. It's no wonder I have serious abandonment issues to this day. Fuck you, door, you're the genesis of my failures.

#0080: Hopper

NOTE: My sister walked in on me taking the above photo, so you'd better love it to bits. It was totally awkward. I'm so ashamed.

It's well chronicled that I have eaten a lot of McDonald's over the years, because my god, does that shit taste good. I went for a long time without it recently, spurning unhealthy food and going to the gym four times a week. Unfortunately, juggling the gym with work and Japanese classes, something had to give. Sadly, my physical progress has slowed to a crawl. And I've had a few McDonald's binges, to boot. Don't feel too bad, though. Their promotional Argentina burger tastes amazing, and makes the whole thing worth it.

But enough about me. More about toys. For I am not a toy, I am a boy! Today's figurine is a bygone from the late 90s, a Hopper figure, of A Bug's Life fame. You know what's great about Hopper? He's voiced by Kevin Spacey. You know what's even better about Hopper? He hops around like a drunken old man. Incredible. I'll show you in a moment or two (depends on how quickly I type, or how slowly you read).

Once upon a time on this blog, I used to critique the quality of the toys themselves, as if people cared. I have recently realized it's a great way to pad blog entries, so let's try that again. Frankly, I think he's quite handsome. He's marvelously sculpted, his paint job is flawless, and his carapace (thanks, WoW) is bright and shiny. Like, literally shiny. Was it shiny in the movie? I don't think so, but it makes him look fabulous. And yes, I mean that in both literal and homosexual terms.

His stringlike antennae are super fun to play with, making me surmise I was a small kitten in a previous life. With one yellow eye, and one white one that is possibly blind (don't look at his bad eye!) he looks perfectly bug-eyed - pause for laughter - and sports the appropriate toothy, sinister frown. And bonus, his hunched over posture reminds me of hideous boxer. And that is simply marvelous. A Bug's Life? More like A Balrog's Life, mofos.

Frankly, I'm quite smitten with the quality of this figure. Especially when you consider it's a Happy Meal toy, something that by it's very nature is meant to be fiddled with at the restaurant and then never touched again, at least until some idiot makes a blog about it fifteen years later.

He even has, and I kid you not, I never noticed this until now and I'm kind of freaking out about this, a second set of arms. That's right kids, Hopper is the Machamp of the miniatures. The Goro of the garden. The... fictional four-armed character of a humorously aliterate nature. Of course, they're simplistic and easily missed, but they're most certainly there. It only takes you a decade and a half to find them, so I look forward to seeing you all again around 2030. I'll be dead by then.

Excellent. Also, autocorrect wanted to change freaking into 'free king'. I think my iPhone has a political agenda I wasn't aware of. Much like Hopper's superfluous arms. Most appropo.

But wait! There's more. I promised hopping, and good gracious, hop he shall. It's not the most graceful display of athleticism, but if you've ever watched Diving With the Stars, you'll no doubt attest that you could do a lot worse. And so, hop on, you queer little Spacey bug. Afterwards, you'll no doubt do battle with Superman, before returning to your home planet. If you have a package for me, I shan't open it.

...I ran out of references, sorry. Though in retrospect, a package from a grasshopper would no doubt be rather small, and as such would likely contain no head. So I might actually accept his wee little bug delivery. I do like presents.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#0079: Thomas the Tank Engine miniature playsets

When I was a wee sprat, I went apeshit for playsets. For as much fun as it was to have my toys galavanting about the house and leap from couch to couch, or for them to wander the unknown territory of the backyard (I lost a Bebop figurine out there for a solid year), playsets allowed us to put them right in their element. Fuck you, creativity! For I have the Technodrome.

Rare were the times when you got a full-sized playset, however, because they were overpriced and, at least in my recollection, hard to find. Fortunately however, miniature figurines allowed for compact little locales that you could literally take with you on the go. In retrospect, there was a definite emphasis on the portability of these self-contained little societies. I don't think I ever really looked at a small village and said to myself, 'Man, I wish I could take this with me everywhere'. But to each their own.

Thomas and all his chums made for excellent playset fare (I'm getting sick of using that word...), because years of rich storytelling made for lots of familiar locations like the Tidmouth Sheds that children would love to have for their very own. Also, it was a show about trains - their very purpose is to travel places, so you could literally just stick a railroad track in any random location and it would seem appropriate. One does not simply walk into Mordor, but Thomas would be more than happy to take you there.

Toot-toot! Let's observe the Thomas the Tank Engine miniature p-words...

Well, shit. That's a glum-looking landscape, isn't it? Bare and vacant, like the aftermath of the bomb in Sarah Connor's nightmare. Those flowers held up pretty well, if that was the case. However, fear not! For deep within the bowels of this unassuming little burgh lurks a collection of fantastic autonomous vehicles, just ready to take you home! ...Though honestly, the fare from London to Manchester is absolutely batshit crazy expensive. I'm not even kidding you.

All it takes is a little bit of common sense, working out where to put each little feature - for example, the tree isn't supposed to go right in the middle of the railroad track, you malicious fuck - and voila! Your masterpiece is complete, and you're now a true engineer! I'm half-convinced this is the actual qualification required to drive a train in some third-world countries.

Fear me, for I am a fucking God. I have invented England.

This is, of course, the aforementioned Tidmouth Sheds. It's well-known for housing all of Sodor's colourfully quirky trains, and subsequently, the place where peer pressure and bullying runs most rampant. It's seriously bad news whenever a scene takes place here, because either someone's ass is getting teased, or someone is talking shit, and his comeuppance is imminent. The only thing for sure in this strange, sad little world is, as I've often stressed, Gordon is always the resident asshole. Always.

This particular set came with everyone's pal Thomas, as well as his passenger cars, Annie and Clarabel. You'd have to be particularly ballsy to ride in one of these coaches, considering how frequently the trains crash. To borrow an actual quote, Annie and Clarabel at one point say of Thomas: 'He's dreadfully rude, I feel quite ashamed. I feel quite ashamed, he's dreadfully rude. You mustn't be rude, you make us ashamed'.

Which is no doubt a respectable thing to say. But imagine if you were inside them at the time? You'd freak out like nobody's business.
'Daddy?' says little Wendy, of no more than four, 'Why is our carriage ashamed of the train?'
Her father holds her close, tears in his eyes. 'I'm unsure, Wendy. But you'd best hold tight - we're about to fucking crash.'
Tragic. Still better than Melbourne's public transport system, at least.

The most exciting thing about this playset is of course the fully functional turntable, which meant you could park within the sheds at your delight. Unfortunately, I've actually positioned Thomas in the wrong direction to get inside the shed, plus, all sorts of mayhem would ensue if I planted him on the turntable with Annie and Clarabel in tow. Little Wendy, she deserves better than that, doesn't she?

...Oh screw it, let's give it a try.

And let's never speak of it again.

Next, we turn our attention away from the foulmouthed locomotive, and escape to the peaceful countryside (the first photo in this entry. Damned if I'm going to recycle it and bloat my upload limit), a place where Bertie the bus is known to frequent. His best buddy good friend vaguely known acquaintance Percy often makes his rounds here, and as you'll note, this particular playset is sadly lacking in functional turntables. For this reason, it is infinitely inferior to the previous set. In its defence though, it features a bush which is abnormally large.

You might note, there is in fact a piece missing. I'm fairly certain it was a boom gate or something of that nature, because otherwise, that's a pretty deadly little stretch of road, isn't it?

There really isn't much more to say about this section of the set, unless you want eight paragraphs professing my love for the large bush. There are hinges on the side that suggest that there were four different parts to create your own perfect vision of Sodor. My world is therefore tragically incomplete, but it still has everything I would ever want.

...Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to playing.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Toy Flashback: Lowly Worm hates Nazis

In case you hadn't noticed, the 'Toy Flashback' tag is used for any photo I happened to take while I was making a blog entry, that I simply couldn't find room for in its original post. It's a nice way to recycle material.

Today, however, I was taking a leisurely stroll through the statistics this queer little blog has acquired. Predominantly, I was looking at viewcounts. As I would have guessed, entries about the Ninja Turtles occupy several of the top spots: the Turtlecycle, Invasion of the Robobugs, and Krang's Android Body rank first, fourth and ninth respectively.

Other things are a little more surprising. Scar (the once acclaimed 'king of gay') has gamely held a top ten spot for quite some time, as has Resident Evil 3 on GameCube. I can't really fathom much of a reason for either; Lion King and Resident Evil are fine franchises to be sure, but neither a simple toy nor a repackaged sequel are exactly at the forefront of your brain when you're thinking of what's going to bring in the goods.

The most absurd concept, however, is that Lowly Worm... Lowly fucking Worm... is the second most-viewed blog entry I've had. And this was an early one, from the first month, before I had really amassed many readers. So people across the Internet, far and wide, have been actively searching for Lowly Worm, and have landed smack dab on this blog. Were they disappointed, I wonder? Did they find what they were looking for? And, above all else, did they enjoy my Photoshopped picture of Lowly Worm beating the shit out of Nazis?

I may never know the answer. But because it is simultaneously a coveted entry as well as the single best 'shop I have ever produced in nearly three decades of lifetime (because I'm pretty sure I was Photoshopping in the late 80s), I salute the absolute living fuck out of this picture. I'd best just make sure it's not a Nazi salute, lest I cop a fist to the face from a Scarry worm.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#0078: Pegasus

I suppose if Chipmunks albums and socks made to look like festive pigs didn't wow you (what kind of sick monster are you??), then today could be seen as an attempt to redeem myself. For someone purporting to be doing this for the good of charity, my donation process has made me out to really be kind of a dick. Most of the things I've shared on this blog here have been, quite frankly, shithouse. They say that beggars can't be choosers, but I think we all know that's untrue. Beggars are choosy as fuck, just try to buy one a sandwich.

So now, I will try to mend the beggar's bridges, by doling out a Pegasus plush toy that is truly sexy. I mean, honestly. Look at that thing. Just try to tell me you wouldn't have sex with it. Remember, you're not just lying to me, you're lying to yourself.

This toy was purchased late in 1997 en route from Canada to Australia, a bittersweet memory of a child leaving his life and memories behind, offset by the fact that I went to the Disney Store and scored this sweet fucking Pegasus thing.

Not only is this stuffed toy very nicely crafted, but it's also pretty freaking big. It's not often you end up with a plush of such sheer majesty, and in a way, that was also its greatest curse. Because it's such an elite and expensive toy, it didn't bang around with the uglies very much. A veritable Tom Brady, its major function was to look pretty and be worth a lot of money.

As you probably realise, it's modelled after the sassy steed from Disney's Hercules film; a movie that took many necessary liberties with Greek mythology. The purists out there may cry foul, but no, Hercules is not an abusive prick who gets possessed and brutally kills his wife and children. Hera does not attempt to stuff up Hercules' birth by literally forcing the goddess of childbirth to cross her legs. Zeus does not have sex with any living thing with a vagina. Maybe in the sequel.

So obviously this Pegasus is not the hellspawn of the god of the seas and motherfucking Medusa - oh, to be a fly on the wall during that conception!

Medusa: Baby, look into my eyes...
Poseidon: Bitch, please! I'm not falling for that.
Medusa: If you loved me you would.
Poseidon: I'm having sex with a snake-haired monster in order to father a flying horsey. There is no love here.

- but instead, just a friend of Herc's from Mt. Olympus. I'm sorry about the sentence structure just then, that jump was way too huge to try and tie together with a pair of hyphens, but once I started down the path, I found it hard to stop.

So that's really all there is to discuss about Hercules' faithful mount. I could go on, but it would be less about this toy, who I frankly stopped thinking about four lengthy paragraphs ago, and more about Greek mythology. You know, Hercules killed his music teacher with his own instrument, simply because he was a shitty student. I myself had a Japanese class today, and at no point did I consider killing sensei with his own instrument (in this case, the Japanese language). Oh Hercules, you old dick, you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#0077: Chipmunks albums

I will admit, albeit not proudly, that as a young boy I was putty in the hands of marketers. Somehow in the 80s and 90s, they knew exactly what I wanted – whether it was toys that featured a bevy of accessories and vast collectability, or programming that was ‘hip’ and ‘totally in your face’. So it should come as no surprise that I was really into the Chipmunks once upon a time. The 80s cartoon series in particular was the shit, and I avidly remember scenes from various episodes as though they were yesterday. Like one time Theodore cracked the shits and climbed on top of a bookcase. His brothers cried out for him, “Theodore! Get down from there!” to which he snapped, “Why? Worried I might fall and smush you?” Fucking awesome.

And the animated feature film? Oh man, that was so friggin’ cool. The Chipmunks and the Chipettes in a race around the world, smuggling diamonds in plush toys and distracting murderous tribal enemies by singing ‘Wooly Bully’. If only Terminator 3 had just been about that, it wouldn’t have sucked so much. The only aspect of that film I look towards cock-eyed these days are the villainous Vorsteins, Claudia and Klaus. I would not leave my children alone with these people, they are seriously inappropriate.

Anyhow. Riding on the coattails of their 80s renaissance, the Chipmunks were churning out music in the 90s like nobody’s business. As a result, I listened to a lot more country music than most other kids, just under the guise of a squeaky-voiced woodland creature. These are my Chipmunks albums.

The covers of these albums are so absolutely fantastic; Chipmunks In Low Places and Club Chipmunk in particular make me piss myself laughing. There’s something so inexplicably wonderful about Alvin dressed up like a flamboyant cowboy, or with his head pasted atop those guys who did the Macarena. Seriously, if Chris Brown released an album with these covers, I’d buy every single copy. And I fucking hate Chris Brown. The only thing he’s got are some pretty good beats. Zing!

Let’s begin in those Low Places, shall we? When I think of low places, I think of Sunshine and Broadmeadows. But for the Chipmunks, it’s duets with Waylon Jennings and Billy Ray Cyrus. That being said though, Miley would go on to some pretty low places, so I suppose the world does have a way of working these things out.

I’m sitting here and listening to Alvin and the fucking Chipmunks singing Achy Breaky Heart right now, and trying to formulate some way of continuing this post. Words are failing me, and I just assume that this would be much easier to take if I were smoking weed right now. On the plus side though, the album does come with a pretty freaking awesome offer inside…

I don’t care that I’m over twenty years too late. I really want that fucking t-shirt.

We move onto Urban Chipmunk, which judging by the cover and the bold black booklet, is a more edgy collection of country music. In all honesty, there isn’t much not to like about this album: it starts off with the Devil Went Down to Georgia (though tragically they opt not to have Alvin call the devil a ‘son of a bitch’; now that would have been edgy) and goes on to have hits like the Gambler, I Love a Rainy Night, and the Coward of the County. Again, there’s a cop out in that last song, but perhaps it’s for the best: those dipshit Gatlin boys simply opt to beat up Tommy’s best friend, as opposed to violating his woman. Me personally, I don’t think I want to hear Theodore the Chipmunk introduce me to the horrors of sexual assault. I got enough of those undertones from the fucking Vorsteins.

We transition, scarred and disturbed, over to When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk. In case you needed a clue, it’s the Chipmunks singing Disney songs. Which is all well and good, except that on the back it clearly states that ‘this album is neither sponsored by nor endorsed by The Walt Disney Company.’

Isn’t there a law against that? Isn’t this exactly the kind of album that should be sponsored by/endorsed by The Walt Disney Company? I feel like I’m in ownership of some seriously underground shit here, the kind that could get me arrested by Walt Disney’s hired goons. Perhaps I shouldn’t be advertising this all over the Internet, but oh well. I like to think that Disney thugs would actually be Pete and his son, PJ. That way I could be arrested by Jim Cummings and Rob Paulsen. Silver lining to every cloud. I think that weed is kicking in, by the way.

The only other noteworthy thing about this album is that the Chipmunks’ version of Pumbaa sounds a whole lot like Mr. Bojangles, which brings up some serious racial undertones that I don’t think kids were quite ready for, unless of course they had already listened to Urban Chipmunk and were therefore hardened and jaded.

No the fuck you don’t, iTunes.

Last, but certainly not least, is the aforementioned collection of dance mixes, Club Chipmunk. It actually has a pretty awesome track list, including Stayin’ Alive and Turn the Beat Around. If it was socially acceptable for me to blast these tunes out of my car, I truly would. Maybe if I drove around in a particularly bizarre car, it would help distract from the concept that I was playing the Chipmunks, especially if I just banged on the CD player every now and then as though it was just some sort of audio issue. But that’s neither here nor there. We all know that I will never do this, particularly because I really can’t drive. I’d really hate getting into a fatal accident moments after I pass by a group of people in a bright pink car playing Chipmunks dance music. That would be kind of lame. Particularly when at some points, the album crosses boundaries that would make even Klaus Vorstein blush.

I wonder when we as a society failed? I think it coincides quite nicely with this right here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

#0076: Christmas sock pig

And so, INAKA reached it's glorious third birthday. Like all forgotten children, it's special day passed by without fanfare or adoration. It sat alone at a table, a single streamer strewn across the table in a pitiful display of futility, as it cried itself to sleep and lamented it's life. Luckily for it, however, it is not a vivified thing; indeed, it is hardly a thing at all, hence, it has no life to lament!

Excellent. So let's look at this horrid Christmas sock pig.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, keen readers; this is not an elaborately crafted plush toy from the finest sweat shops of Thailand. This is in fact the labour of love from one small Canadian boy, circa 1994. I know because I was that small boy. I am now a small man.

The task set before us that (presumedly) winter session in elementary school was to fill a sock with stuffing, and fashion it into a pig. Whereas my classmates all clamoured for the pink-coloured socks appropriate to pig-related endeavours, I opted for this nifty grey and white deal. From whence the sock came, I'm unsure. I like to think some kid stole it when this project was announced, and their bewildered uncle is sitting in a chair, looking at his bare foot and shouting 'where the fuck is my other sock?!'. To this day.

After we'd shoved the fluff up his piggy rectum and sealed it with a rubber band, we then decorated him with paraphernalia and appropriate features. The ears and the button nose are self-explanatory. The Santa hat was a bold seasonal inclusion. As you can probably tell, I wasn't exactly a glue gun dynamo. I also accidentally drew his eyes on incorrectly, and added a third one in a hasty attempt to fix my godless creation. Fortunately, I later (like, five or six years later) reestablished his proper eye positions with a Sharpie. I'm sure you are all relieved by this.

Anyway, for no particular reason other than I'm sick of having a fucking sock in my closet, I have chosen to disassemble the Christmas sock pig. It may seem sad, but I remind you, at approximately 19 years of age, he lasted a whole lot longer than most other socks. I filmed his execution (my very first snuff film), but decided it was either too gruesome/fucking boring to include here. I am considering keeping him in action though as a regular sock.

Look at him! He's chill as fuck.
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