Saturday, February 27, 2010


Plaid Stallions, one of my absolute favorite blogs, ran this yesterday: It's about a toy company I previously knew nothing about called Shindana, that specialized in toys for the African American market. According to this story, they were the first company to make African American dolls that accurately reflected ethnic facial features, rather than simply recasting existing Caucasian dolls in brown plastic. Unknowingly, I did purchase one of their products in the past, a "doll" (it was more like a pillow, honestly) based on 70s comedian Flip Wilson, which depicted Flip on one side and his alter ego Geraldine on the other.Jesus, what is it about black comedians and drag?! Also, that looks TOTALLY like Loni Love! P.S. I heard on like Access Hollywood or something along those lines, that Tyler Perry will be presenting at the Academy Awards and my immediate reaction was, "Wonder what his gown will look like." Also, Tyler Perry really ought to be the host of RuPaul's Drag Race. Medea is WAY more successful than RuPaul who had one hit on the Club charts back in 1993!
Okay, so I don't really know who Flip Wilson OR Geraldine is. It was a present for Richard. Apparently, he had one as a kid and talked about it all the time. It originally talked, but I think most talking dolls from the 60s and 70s no longer function. Something about the plastic they used degraded over time. (Seriously, you get more useless information from this blog than one of those "random fact" books people keep in their bathrooms!)
They did, however make a doll based on J.J. Evans from Good Times and I remember the shit out of that show! ("Damn! DAMN! DAMN!")
STRONGEST! BLACK WOMAN!! EVER!!! (Screw J.J.! I want a Florida Evans doll!)

So anyway, I thought I'd share some of my reactions to the Shindana toy catalog from 1976. It's a damn shame this baby will grow up with Mo'Nique as her abusive mother and have two babies by her own father. (Topical!)I want the one in the belly tee! All baby girls should wear belly tees! Way awesomer than Raggedy Ann!Who wants to come over for Game Night? We're playing the great new board game, Feel The Soul! I can't imagine how that translates to a board game. Is the winner determined by whoever can make the white person next to them the most nervous? Do you win if they get up and cross to the other side of the game table? And, I shouldn't have to ask but I assume dancing is involved, right?So THAT'S how my Barbie got dismembered.

Ladies and gentlemen... the most BAD ASS TOY EVER!!!Holy shit! I need that RIGHT NOW!!! Apparently, they didn't want to pony up the cash for the rights to make an actual Shaft doll, so instead the COMPLETELY RIPPED IT OFF!!! Who's the black, hunk of plastic who's a sex machine to all the chicks? SLADE! Damn right. (In the parallel universe of AWESOME, that was the actual toy jingle.) HOWEVER, way to totally ruin the Bad Ass-itude with that ridiculous Baked Potato foil outfit! What the hell is that even supposed to be? Are those shoulder-length opera gloves?! UGH! Foul, Shindana! FOUL!!! Even so... I think I'm in love!

Friday, February 26, 2010

My-Tee Obscuri-Tee

This site has the freakin' awesomest geek-wear you can possibly imagine: My Tee Spot. I just popped by to see if anything new and cool had come out and OH MY has it ever! On the one hand, SWEEEEET! On the other, Ooops! Maybe this was a mistake.

Now, of course there are MILLIONS of different Superman and Batman tees. There are also probably nearly as many The Flash and Green Lantern tees. There are even a sizable number of Aquaman tees. I know. I own them. And for the ladies and scrawny bird-chested males like myself, there are almost as many Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl tees... which sucks for me, because that just doubled the number I NEED to own.

But as a TRUE dork, I pride myself on owning not just tees based on the household names, but more obscure characters. I have a Bizarro tee and Hawkman and even The Wonder Twins! So I popped over to My Tee Spot and saw what I thought was a tee featuring the logo of The Atom:
However, upon closer inspection, The Atom actually appears above the "T" in the logo, just really tiny, which is appropriate since his power is to shrink down to micro-size.
The Atom?! Wow, that's right up there with Hawkman! Maybe I should get that! Little did I know that The Atom was (no pun intended) just a delicious amuse bouche to whet my appetite for the delightful geekstravaganza to come! (Did NOT buy... maybe on a slower new tee day, but it didn't measure up to the other riches I found.)

Next I saw a shirt featuring Firestorm!
No way! Now, both The Atom and Firestorm are somewhat obscure, BUT they've both starred in their own comic series and they were both on the Super Friends. (Especially Firestorm who was a focal character the last two seasons.) (Did NOT buy... I look awful in black!)

But...The Red Tornado?! Aw HELL!!! I GOTSTA get me one of those! Plus, it's red so I can wear it to work! Red Tornado never had his own comic and was never on the Super Friends! (He DID have his own Super Powers action figure though, which I assume is why he gets his own tee.)(BOUGHT!)
But these could not prepare me for what came next. Aqualad, Aquaman's sidekick! That takes the cake! Now Robin is the king of sidekicks and often gets his own tees and appears on quite a few others alongside the other big names. I am also the proud owner of THREE shirts featuring Wonder Girl, buried in crowded group shots, but nonetheless, there she is and YES her presence is the ONLY reason I got them! But the rest of the Teen Titans have never had a high enough profile to warrant this type of exposure!
That one went right in the Shopping Cart. I wasn't waiting and running the risk of it selling out! (Okay, that's not going to happen any time soon... however, I will point out that Robin tees always sell out of the smaller sizes first, so maybe other scrawny geeks like myself also relate to the eternal teen sidekicks moreso than to the strapping lead heroes.)

Also, may I point out that at one point in the 60s, Aqualad was BUMPED from the Teen Titans (because they could never find a use for him in stories... sigh, such is the curse of the Aquas) and replaced by Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy? HA! Take that, Boy Bowman! Where's your tee?! (Obviously, BOUGHT!)

So that's all well and good, but this next one BLEW MY FUCKING MIND!!! This surpasses the El Dorado Valentine's card!
Samurai! WHO?! Like El Dorado (and Black Vulcan and Apache Chief), he was an ethnic super hero added to diversify the all-white Justice League on Super Friends. That's right, he's not even a REAL comic book character! Power-wise, he was sort of a replacement for Red Tornado, able to summon tornado winds. He could also turn invisible, burst into flame, and wield a lightsabre-esque lightning katana. (Yep, the writers were making it up as they went along.)
He DID receive his own action figure in the Super Powers line, because it was cheaper to reuse the Red Tornado figure's tornado twisting waist mechanism than create a new mechanism for a different character with a different power. (Also, I'm not sure how you'd get a small plastic toy to mimic El Dorado's ability to pull whatever super power he needed out of his ass.)

ASIDE: I never relate to the Asian super hero, because they are usually actually FROM someplace in Asia. Like Samurai had that accent and was dressed like a pagoda. He had to say magic words in Japanese to activate his powers. Instead, I could definitely relate to the Wonder Twins, even though they were technically from an alien planet, Exor, because they had dark skin like me, but spoke normal "American." Even so, I can never dress like a super hero for Halloween, not just because I'm built like a skeleton, but because #1. there are like 2 Asian super heroes and #2. I can't be one half of the Wonder Twins without the other. Such is my dilemma. (BOUGHT!)

But it wasn't just a super HERO extravaganza. Ho no! There are probably nearly as many Joker tees as there are Batmanand also even a FEW Catwoman tees, but I don't think I've ever seen a Two Face tee!
There probably have been tees featuring him based on his movie depictions by Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart, but I'm pretty sure I've never seen a comic book Two Face tee. There was also probably a tee or two made based on The Governator's performance as Mr. Freeze in the shiteous Batman & Robin, but I don't think I've ever seen a comic book Mr. Freeze on a tee... until now!
Once again, this ties into the Super Powers toy line, as this is how he looked in that collection. He hasn't worn this overly detailed suit since that time period, but I'm sure he's happy to wear anything, so long as he gets his own tee shirt! (Did NOT buy. I respect that they were made, but neither is a particular fave of mine.)
Sinestro HAS had his own shirts, because as of right now, Green Lantern is the hottest hero in DC Comics' stable and Sinestro is his arch enemy. Even so, I'm digging this "vintage look" Sinestro. Plus, I DO look great in yellow. (However, did NOT buy. Maybe later. I'll put it in the Wish List.)
I already have a Bizarro tee, featuring his image from the Super Friends, but this is a comic book image of Superman's evil duplicate. It irks me, though, because his S logo should be sdrowkcab. Needless to say, me no am going to get this. (That's how he talks.) Actually, since he usually says the opposite of what he means, I suppose that should be, "Me am getting shirt with frontwards logo." (Did NOT Buy.)
Are you KIDDING me?! Mr. Mxyzptlk?! Never... NEVER! NEVER in my wildest dreams did I imagine anyone would EVER produce a tee featuring this 5th Dimensional Imp, who uses his magical powers to constantly punk Superman until the Man of Steel tricks him into saying his name backwards! Hell, can anyone say his name FORWARDS?! (It's Mix-yez-pit-ill-ick.) (BOUGHT... even though I know every time I wear it, I'm going to get asked, "Mr. WHO?" a million times.)

And there was no way I was able to resist the feline feminine appeal of:
Wonder Woman's arch nemesis, The Cheetah!Sigh. Okay, so Cheetah will always be the other feline femme fatale, but she was a member of the Legion of Doom and her depiction, smokey, purry voice and all, beats Catwoman's appearance on the Batman cartoon, with her helium voice and ugly green jumpsuit. What's so catlike about that? I've never seen a green cat before... well, except Battle Cat. But that's neither here nor there. Hello Junior XL! Reow! Hiss! (BOUGHT! I mean it's WONDER WOMAN'S archenemy!)

What was even more delightful was that not only did they offer tees based on famous heroes' foes, but one borderline obscure hero's. Meet Captain Marvel:
It says "Shazam!" because that's the magic word he says to turn into a super hero and Marvel Comics would sue the shit out of DC if they dared put out anything with the word "Marvel" anywhere on it. Leading to an entire generation thinking that this character's NAME is Shazam. Now Shazam/Captain Marvel isn't a complete unknown, as he starred in a very popular 70s live-action Saturday morning series that is quite fondly recalled today. He often muscled his way onto licensed merchandise during that time in place of Super Friends star Aquaman. (Read a blog all about it from the Aquaman Shrine here.) Bastard. But in the ensuing years, Captain Marvel has faded into the background. He's not even a member of the Justice League like Firestorm and Red Tornado. So it's mind-blowing that not only does he have his own tees, but so do his wacky villains!
Just as Captain Marvel is a poor man's Superman, Dr. Sivana is his poor man's Lex Luthor. No powers, unless "evil" counts as a power. Or "ugly." That's a pretty dynamic design for a tee for such an UN-dynamic character! (It kinda looks like he's letting loose a powerful fart, doesn't it?) But wait! There's more:
Mr. Mind is Captain Marvel's enemy, a genius hypnotic WORM! Captain Marvel is actually probably Mr. Mind's second arch enemy behind tequila manufacturers. (I should get that for St. Patrick's Day! Er, the shirt not tequila... that would be like holiday mish-mashing.) (BOUGHT Captain Marvel's... hey, it's red, I can wear it to work! Did NOT buy the two villains, but may come back for Mr. Mind.)

And finally (almost), once again spawned from the Super Powers toy line... which, by the way, didn't even have this many tie-in products back when it was out! Ahem... spawned from the Super Powers toy line come three shirts based on Jack Kirby's New Gods. First:
Super escape artist Mr. Miracle. Real name: Scott Free. LOVE a terrible pun! One of THE. UGLIEST. SUPER SUITS. EV-ER!!!
Orion, son of evil overlord Darkseid, constantly caught between the struggle of light and darkness. And I know what you're thinking, but this all happened like 10 years before Star Wars came out! Also, this was how the Orion action figure looked, which is different from the way he normally looked in comics:I effing hate Orion. You know his ONE character trait? He's angry ALL. THE. TIME. And you know what his power is? Super strength. THAT'S IT. Like there aren't 20 billion other super strong heroes out there already! Needless to say, I will NOT be adding this to my collection, even though I am impressed that it was made. Also, I hate wearing black anyway, which is why things will never work out between me and the Firestorm tee.

And finally, Darkseid himself:

Ruler of the horrific planet Apokolips and uber-foe of ALL of the DC super heroes, Darkseid sashays into the world of fashion flanked by his two most famous servants, his brutish son Kalibak and the nefarious DeSaad (as in the Marquis...) as well as one of his army of Parademons, all four rendered... you guessed it, like they appeared in the Super Powers toy line. (Did NOT buy any of the three.)

I've saved the most obscure for last. The absolute cherry on top of this sundae is:

Robotman. WHO? Answer: NOT a member of the Justice League. NOT on the Super Friends. NOT a Super Powers action figure. Then who... he was a member of an odd-ball team called the Doom Patrol in the 60s, until they were all killed in action (supposedly). He was revived in the 80s as a member of the new Doom Patrol, until all of THEM were killed (except him again). He's still clanking around. I think the original Doom Patrol is back... I'm not sure. They're kind of hard to follow. At any rate, there's a book out now called the Doom Patrol and he's in it. (Until it gets canceled which ought to be any day now because no one cared about them in the 60s and no one cares about them now. Seriously!) AND YET here he is, posin' it up on his very own baby blue cotton tee! I want to buy it just for the shear absurdity! (I probably won't though.) But as I've said before, EVERY super hero is someone's die-hard fave, so I'm sure someone, somewhere shit his pants when he saw this! I almost did... but that was a whole other issue. I had my own things going on. (Did NOT buy.)

Yup! So YEAH! Viva obscurity! Hopefully, this will lead to a whole slew of wacky tees featuring
Metamorpho the Element Man! or...Bwana Beast! (Who can combine two different animals into one hybrid creature... you can't make stuff like that up!) Or what about...
Black Lightning! Oh PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make Black Lightning next! C'mon insane tee shirt maker! Make my blaxploitation dreams come true!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Somehow Captain America Got Even Hotter

There are certain super heroes that gays seem to instinctively lust after. Aquaman, although I will go on the record as stating that this is NOT the reason he's my favorite male hero. I think I just like his orange shirt.

There's also Green Lantern (Hal Jordan):And Nightwing (formerly the first Robin, Dick Grayson):
And joining the ranks most recently, as rendered by Nicola Scott, former Z-List super villain-turned-antihero Catman:
He's the bulge on the right.
I, on the other hand, prefer more wholesome, slightly square but still beefy do-gooders, so my dream hero is none other than Captain America.
Who, it just so happens, is slated to get his own movie in a couple of years. Now sadly, this movie is being made NOW, so the one man perfect for the role, the most beautiful man ever is... well, deceased. R.I.P. Paul Newman.Plus, he makes the yummiest pasta sauce you can buy, Sockerooni. Look for it at your local grocery store.

Alas, opportunity missed. The latest casting rumor is that Chris "Captain Kirk" Pine is in negotiations to play the Star-Spangled Avenger.
Judging by that underwear scene, he'd "fill" the role of Cap perfectly! Note:
Yup, looks about right.

It's funny, because Chris Pine is a little bit all-American, but slightly quirky. He's not an Adonis like Kellan Lutz, but he's sexier. He has a certain swagger and raffish charm. I am giving this casting rumor my stamp of approval, now hurry up and make it happen, Hollywood, so I can see Chris Pine in tights!

Interestingly, Chris Hemsworth has been cast as Thor.Chris Hemsworth played George Kirk, James T. Kirk's father in the opening scene of Star Trek. So that would be a funny coincidence, when they get around to combining all of Marvel's heroes in the planned Avengers movie, you'd have both father and son playing opposite each other. Chris Pine + Chris Hemsworth = a whole lotta yummy man candy.

Most people aren't aware of this, but this will be the THIRD live-action Captain America. Reb Brown starred in two made-for-TV movies as Cap in the 70s. That costume is... certainly... something.
Most people are also unaware that there was a live-action Captain America movie made, shortly after the 1989 Michael Keaton/Tim Burton Batman movie. It was so terrible that they didn't even release it in theaters. It went straight to VHS.
This version of Cap was played by Matt Salinger, son of J.D.! Seriously! The movie was a turd, but the suit doesn't look bad at all, and Matt's got the requisite blond/blue eyed all-American look.

So, well see what happens with Chris Pine, but I'm rooting for him! Let's make this happen, Marvel!