Mr. Nostalgia: Always look on the Vulcan side of life

Posted on: May 31, 2014

This past Friday was my and my twin-sister’s, thirty-ninth birthday.  There was a time I wanted to live to be 111 years old like Bilbo Baggins. To be honest, it might happen, my Grandfather is 95 and still going, so I might make, or even beat, old Bilbo one day.

I’m seventeen minutes older than my sister, which means 17% more of the day should be dedicated to me; of course, my sister doesn’t see it that way. Growing up we shared birthdays, which was easy since we went to the same Catholic grammar school and our buddy Rich was always there.  But, when we hit high-school and went to different ones, things got a bit weird.  Suddenly there were high-school girls at these parties, pool parties.  But, despite that, Rich was there and we survived.  Hey, we were two nerds who knew more about War of the Worlds than girls, what chance did we have?

Like I said, Rich was always there for every birthday.  He never missed a party, he never missed the day to call and wish me a happy birthday.  I was born at 4:40 in the morning, and one year, my buddy Rich, the thousandth man, even called me at 4:40 to wish me a Happy Birthday.  For 29 years this went on. From the age of 9 it started, and the way we were going, I was sure he’d be there for 39. This would have been the 30th birthday he would have been at.  Having Rich at every birthday sort of made him like the un-official Nostalgia triplet. Even though it wasn’t his birthday, having him there made it feel like a real celebration.

Last year, after two brain surgeries, lots of medications, and before they realized his skull was filling with fluid, Rich was at our birthday.  He was skinny like an old man and frail, and when I went to pick him up, I had to have him hold my arm like my Grandfather does whenever he comes over.  We walked down the flights of steps and I’d tell him how many he’d have left, but he never let the sickness get to him.  As we walked down the steps he quoted National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, “Now don’t throw me down the steps, Clark,” he said.  “Is Rusty still in the Navy?” I replied.  Even the day of his surgery, while he lay in his hospital bed and the doctor walked in, the first thing, Rich said to the doctor was, “Did you have your coffee today, Doc?”

I don’t blame God for Rich getting the brain tumor. I’m not mad at God either. He didn’t do this to Rich. I just miss him. I’d say there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or go to call or email him something, or think we’d be going to see the new Godzilla movie in the theatres together.

He was, and still is, my brother. So this year, knowing it was to be the first of the rest of my life’s birthdays without him, I knew it was going to be tough. Thursday night, the Eve of my birthday, I went to bed early like I always do Sunday through Thursdays, since I go to work early. I remember praying to God, asking him to please let me see Rich while I slept.

But I didn’t.

I woke Friday morning at 4:30, one half hour before the alarm was supposed to go off.  I couldn’t fall back to sleep, so I laid in bed, waiting for 4:40 to hit, but my eyes were closed and I missed it.  I made sure to see the clock hit 5:47 when my sister was born and wished her a happy birthday. I then dressed, said thank you to my wife for wishing me a Happy Birthday, kissed her good bye, pet my dog, and was out the door driving to work by 5:20.

As I drove to work I couldn’t help but think of Rich. I was thinking of him in general, about the days we hung out, the things we did, and of course all the times he shared my birthday with me, when I began to sense a strange presence in the car. I never believed in these sort things, but I truly believe Rich was there with me that morning, right there in my car, in that Obi-Wan-Kenobi-Jedi-ghost-form, driving to work with me on my birthday.

I got out of work early that day.  My sister had the day off, so we planned on going to dinner together.  She met me at my place, and my wife, my sister and I went to Chili’s.  The dinner was good, the service poor.  Let’s just say my sister never got her broccoli. We then went to Target to get a few things my sister needed, and while there, I saw these Hot Wheels cars of Star Trek.  Right away I thought of Rich.  In grammar school Rich was a Star Trek fan thanks to his cousin, and my friend, Bobby.  Rich would try to get me to watch them but I wouldn’t.  Seeing these cars, I took the Spock one and showed them to my wife and sister. If Rich resembled anyone from Star Trek it was Mr. Spock. It was nice seeing these toys, sort of a way for Rich to be there without being there.

Saturday was calm, Sunday my wife and I saw Spider-man before going to my parent’s house for a barbecue.  Tommy, who writes here at the blog, the Toy-Line equivalent of The Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson, had just moved back to NJ, and was there.  It was the first time I had seen him since Toy Fair and was great. Rich was missed a lot. It was a nice day and barbecue. On our way home we stopped at my in-laws home where they gave me a gift certificate to Chili’s.  I called my sister that night and told her since she always treated us to lunch, I was treating her to Chili’s tomorrow, and we could stop at Target to get some things we both needed.

The next day we went to Chili’s.  The food was great, the service was excellent.  The three of us sat there eating our lunch, our waiter, Patrick, coming back to check on us several times, seeing how the food was, if we needed refills.  When we were done eating he brought us the check.  As I figured out how much tip to leave I noticed he wrote on the bill “Live Long and Prosper”.  Mr. Spock.

I showed this to my wife and sister who smiled.  I asked a passing waitress to send Patrick over.  She asked if anything was wrong and I said everything was fine.  When Patrick came back I asked him, “Did you write this?”

“I did,” he said and did the Vulcan hand sign.

“You’re a Star Trek fan?” I asked.

“Yes, and Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.”

This guy was certainly the type of guy Rich and I would have been friends with.

“My fiancé and I are having a sci-fi themed wedding,” he said.

I smiled.  “When my wife and I were getting married, we came out to the Throne Room theme from the end of Episode IV,” I said.  Patrick began singing the tune.  “I wanted, instead of flowers for the archway the bridal party to hold, for them to use light sabers, but she kept saying no, it will look stupid.  So, on our wedding day, as they announced us, we rounded the corner and there was the bridal party standing with light sabers.”

“Oh cool,” Patrick said.

“I just wanted to tell you, my friend was a Star Trek fan, and he recently left us.  Seeing you writing this was like having him here with us.”

“Well, I’m glad I could make you guys happy.”

We then wished him the best for his wedding and thanked him and went onto Target.  Of course, that day, they had all the cars there except for Spock. So, our birthday started and ended with Chili’s, Target and Star Trek cars, though my sister never did get her broccoli.

Tuesday, driving to work, I thought about what Patrick had written on the bill, about having Rich in the car with me on my birthday, and about the Star Trek cars.  It hit me.  Rich did spend my birthday with me.  He was there driving to work with me, there in Target looking at the Star Trek cars, and there, that final holiday day, giving me a message through Patrick.  “Live long and prosper.”

It was Rich’s way of telling me he’s OK.  That he wants me to be happy, to have a good life, a nice long life with my wife and family and to have a joyous one.  It was Rich’s way of telling me all this through these things.

I miss Rich more than I can say, more than anyone. But, this past birthday, he gave me the best present he ever could.  He let me know that he’s still here with me, he wants me to be happy, and that he’ll be there every birthday yet to come.  It’s OK to miss him, it’s normal to, but I just need to remember those four words he sent me and know he’s right there by my side.

Mr. Nostalgia

Pictured are what they had in stock that day, all but Mr. Spock & McCoy.














star trek


If you’ve ever thought what Rich and a young Nostalgia looked like, it was something like this:

This would be Rich on the left and a young Nostalgia on the right:



Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 1:22 am

Funko’s Magic the Gathering

Posted on: May 29, 2014

Funko is excited to bring you the newest series from The Legacy Collection…
Magic: The Gathering Planeswalkers!
Funko is excited to expand the existing licensing agreement with Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) to produce Magic: The Gathering Planeswalker Legacy Collection Action Figures.

“We are deeply honored and very excited that Wizards of the Coast chose Funko as a partner to develop truly cool collectibles for Magic: The Gathering. I know the fans of Magic have been waiting nearly 20 years to get their hands on some fantastic Action Figures and stylized Vinyl figures. I promise that we won’t disappoint them!” said Brian Mariotti, CEO of Funko.

“We are excited to bring the world’s best strategy game to life with these figures,” said Elaine Chase, Brand Director for Magic: The Gathering at Wizards of the Coast. “Funko has been a great partner, and we’re looking forward to giving players yet another way to enjoy Magic: The Gathering.”

This is the first time fans will be able to have all of their favorite Magic: The Gathering characters in action figure form.

“In Magic: The Gathering, a Planeswalker is a powerful mage who is able to travel across the planes of existence. There are infinite worlds across the Multiverse, and Planeswalkers are unique in their ability to move from one world to the next, expanding their knowledge and power through the experiences they collect there.

The Multiverse—a boundless expanse of worlds, each different from the last. These worlds, called planes, differ as widely as the imagination. One plane might be covered entirely in dense jungle, for example. On another, city has replaced nature entirely. Still others are volcanic, icy, barren, or more like our own world, with many varied elements.”

The Magic: The Gathering Legacy Collection is a line of deluxe action figures featuring 20+ points of articulation and removable accessories.
These figures have highly detailed and premium sculpts. This allows for each Planeswalker to feature a very accurate and realistic design.
The line features the same iconic Planeswalkers that were released in the Pop!: Magic: The Gathering series.

We are now accepting pre-orders for this highly anticipated line!

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Coming in September

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 8:21 pm

Fans choose the Mini mates in Disney’s Infinity Box set for Toys “R” Us

Posted on: May 29, 2014


One of the biggest events in the Marvel Universe last year was Infinity, in which the Avengers protected Earth from imminent destruction even as the world-conquering Thanos cut a path through the galaxy in search of his mysterious son. This year, Diamond Select Toys is excited to announce an all-new Marvel Minimates box set based on the crossover, and you get to pick who’s in it!

The box set will be available this fall exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores and online at, and will include four different Minimates. You’ll get to pick which four by casting your vote below. Pick four out of the six possible characters — Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Thanos, Thane and Ronan — and the four with the highest number of votes will be included in the box set! Check out the control art below, and get voting!


roundcube-5 roundcube-4 roundcube-2 roundcube roundcube-3 roundcube-1  You can vote right here!!

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 8:18 pm

Funko’s Disney Characters including Roger Rabbit

Posted on: May 29, 2014

Disney Mystery Minis Series 2

When you wish upon a star…
You will get another series of our loveable Disney Mystery Minis!

We took our favorite Disney characters, new and old, and shrunk them to adorable petite figures!
This series features characters from Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, Wall-E, and Wreck-It Ralph!

Each PDQ includes 12 unique pieces.
The rarity scale is the same for each character!
Collect them all!



Coming in July

Pop! Disney: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Presenting the most wacky, toon-tastic toys this side of Toon Town…
The Who Framed Roger Rabbit Pop! Series!

We have beloved toon and framed murderer…Roger Rabbit!
She’s not bad, she’s just drawn that way…Jessica Rabbit!
Last but not least…the treacherous Judge Doom and his sidekick Smarty Weasel!


Available in August

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 8:11 pm

Funko’s DC Comics Vinyl Cubed

Posted on: May 29, 2014

DC Comics Vinyl3

Vinyl³ is a line of 2.5” interchangeable magnetic vinyl figures!
Each figure features removable parts that have the capability of attaching magnetically or by peg to other figures in the Vinyl³ line.

You know what that means…

How about a SUPERBAT?
Superman meets Batman!

Or if you’re into super villains…
Bizzaro meets Joker!

The possibilities are endless!

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Coming in July

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 8:05 pm

Matty Collector announces June offerings

Posted on: May 29, 2014

June brings the chance to expand your MOTUC collection with Extendar™, plus we’ve got a new Minis 2-pack with Scareglow™ & Stratos®. DC Universe fans give a warm welcome to Ice (finally joining her partner Fire!)and we’ve got Total Heroes™ Black Manta. Then mark your calendars…

We’ve got two big events on the way, the SDCC Voucher Sale and the 2015 Club Eternia® Subscriptions. Check back here for all the details, coming soon.

Early Access 6/12

  • MOTU Mini 2-Pack with Scareglow & StratosThursday, 6/12 from 8 a.m. PT to Friday, 6/13 at 8 a.m. PT (subscribers only)
  • Products Available: DCU Black MantaDCU FireDCU Ice, MOTU Mini Scareglow™ & Stratos®, MOTUC Icer™, MOTUC King Randor®, MOTUC Lord Dactus™, MOTUC Sea Hawk

All Access 6/16

  • Monday 6/16 at 9 a.m. PT (open to everyone)
  • DCU Black Manta
  • DCU Fire
  • DCU Ice
  • MOTU Mini 2-Pack with Scareglow™ & Stratos®*
  • MOTUC Extendar™ (Club Eternia® monthly figure)
  • MOTUC Icer™*
  • MOTUC King Randor®*
  • MOTUC Lord Dactus™*
  • MOTUC Sea Hawk*

*Subject to Early Access sellout.

June Subscription Key Dates

  • Subscriptions Renew/Cards Charged: Starting Wednesday 6/11
  • Subscription Orders Ship: Starting Wednesday 6/11

SDCC Voucher Sale

  • Early Access:6/23 8 a.m. PT (subscribers only)
  • All Access: 6/24 9 a.m. PT (open to everyone)
  • Ends:6/30 11:59 p.m. PT

2015 Club Eternia® Subscriptions

  • 6/27 9 a.m. PT Subscriptions open, club figure not revealed
  • 7/25 Subscriptions club figure revealed, final date/time TBA pending confirmation from SDCC
  • 8/19 11:59 p.m. PT subscriptions close
Filed under: Articles — admin @ 8:01 pm

I Geek Disney: New Star Wars Mickey Ears

Posted on: May 28, 2014

Released June 13th, we get a Jawa & a Droid as a Mickey Ear.  Each is priced at $29.95 with an edition of 2000 made of each.

jawa    droid

Filed under: Blogs,I Geek Disney — admin @ 10:56 pm

I Geek Disney: Talking Darth Vader & Stormtrooper figures

Posted on: May 28, 2014

The Disney Store & has talking Vader & Stormtroopers.  Ordering from the website of course has the 2 per order limit.  Vader is priced for $29.95 and says lines from all three original movies, but the thing is, it doesn’t sound like James Earl Jones.  Since the Han & Luke figures have the actual voices of the actors, lines directly from the film, they didn’t do this for Darth Vader. Instead it sounds like some actor poorly reciting lines.  The Vader doll is 14 ½ inches tall.



The Stormtrooper is priced at $29.95 with recorded lines from Episode IV A New Hope.  He stands at 13 ½ inches tall.


Filed under: Blogs,I Geek Disney — admin @ 10:54 pm

Funko! Presents TRUE BLOOD

Posted on: May 20, 2014


New line of True Blood® Pop! Vinyl Figures of fan-favorite characters available at stores nationwide in July 2014

EVERETT, WA – May 20, 2014– This summer, the HBO® phenomenon True Blood will bid farewell to fans in its seventh and final season. To celebrate the success of the series in its closing days, Funko and HBO Global Licensing® are excited to announce a new line of True Blood® Pop! Vinyl Figures.

This series will include some of the most popular characters from the show. Each super stylized True Blood® Pop! Vinyl Figure will stand 3.75” tall and come in a window display box. The figures are Ages 17+.






True Blood® Pop! Vinyl Series

· Sookie Stackhouse

· Eric Northman

· Alcide Herveaux

· Lafayette Reynolds

· Pam Swynford De Beaufort

· Bill Compton*

The final season of True Blood will debut June 22, 2014 on HBO.

*The Bill Compton figure will arrive a few weeks after the initial series launch.

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Filed under: Articles — admin @ 11:22 pm

New from Gentle Giant

Posted on: May 20, 2014

Just like they were when you were a kid, only BIGGER! Gentle Giant is proud to bring you the latest addition to our exciting line of vintage Kenner-inspired Star Wars Action Figure reproductions with the release of the classic Biker Scout Jumbo Figure.

Digitally scanned from mint 3 ¾” Kenner originals and reproduced at a Jumbo size, no detail has been overlooked. Roto cast and made of durable plastics, this jumbo figure includes a faithfully reproduced  Scout Blaster accessory! It even comes fully articulated!

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Han Solo and Princess Leia lead a crack strike team of loyal Rebels to storm the Imperial Base on the forest moon of Endor. Lightly armed and without backup, these brave souls fought fiercely to destroy the outpost and bring down the energy shield protecting the second Death Star. Their efforts helped save the galaxy for a New Republic.



Gentle Giant Ltd. is proud to bring you the Endor Trooper Mini Bust! Digitally sculpted by our master artisans, using actual archival footage and designs, each Endor Trooper Mini Bust is rendered using the highest quality polystone, and hand painted. Each piece comes individually numbered and is paired with a matching certificate of authenticity. May the Force be with you.

License: Star Wars
Item Number:  80450

UPC: 8-71810-01082-0
Dimensions: TBD

Release Date: Q1 2015



Each limited edition Lucky statue is hand-painted and comes individually numbered with a matching certificate of authenticity. Also included are Lucky’s dog tags and an exclusive Honey Trap charm. The perfect centerpiece for the displays of statue collectors and art aficionados alike!

LuckyStatue1 LuckyStatue8

License: Honey Trap
Item Number: 80444
UPC: 8-71810-01074-5
Dimensions: 11.5” W 14” D 14.5”

Release Date: Q1 2015



While Leonidas lead the Spartans against the Persians at Thermopylae, Themistocles lead the Athenian forces at the Battle of Salamis against Artemisia and the Persian fleet. While few foes underestimate Themistocles’ ferocity on the battlefield, many are not aware of his skill and cunning in the arts of politics and diplomacy. Not only did he manage to rebuff Artemisia’s varied advances, but Themistocles forged an alliance with Sparta, a goal once thought unachievable. Together with his new allies, Themistocles managed to turn back the tide and thwart the Second Persian Invasion soundly.


From 300: Rise of an Empire, Gentle Giant Ltd. is proud to bring you the dramatic Artemisia Statue! Digitally sculpted using actual three-dimensional scan data of actor Sullivan Stapleton, and cold cast in the highest quality polystone, the 18” tall Themistocles statue is simply stunning. Each limited edition hand-painted statue comes individually numbered and includes a matching certificate of authenticity. Aroo!

License: 300: Rise of an Empire
Item Number: 80411
UPC: 8-71810-01084-4
Dimensions: H 20” W 12” D 12”
Release Date: Q1 2015



Dr. Ted Sallis was a humble biochemist doing research in the Florida Everglades. His goal: to recreate the legendary Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America. When terrorist organization A.I.M. tries to steal the formula, Dr. Sallis destroys it and injects himself with the only samples. Tragically, he crashes his car into the swamp while attempting to escape. Left for dead, a combination of science and magic saves him, but he emerges from the bog forever changed into the monstrous MAN-THING!



Gentle Giant Ltd. is proud to bring you the gigantic Man-Thing Statue! Inspired by artist Mike Ploog, this dramatic limited edition statue renders the monstrous Man-Thing, denizen of the Everglades, as he was depicted on the cover of “The Night of the Laughing Dead.” Digitally sculpted by our master artisans, each individually-numbered limited edition statue is rendered using the highest quality polystone and hand painted, then paired with a matching certificate of authenticity. Make Mine Marvel!

License: Marvel
Item Number: 80344
UPC: 8-71810-01083-7
H 19.75” W 12” D 11” 
Release Date: Q1 2015


Filed under: Articles — admin @ 11:20 pm

I Geek Disney: Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot Talking Figure

Posted on: May 20, 2014 is selling the Talking Luke Skywalker Figure for $29.95. 12 ¾ inches tall, the figure says 15 lines from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope with the actual voice of Mark Hamill.  The blaster tip lights red when the button is pressed. has a 2 figure maximum per order.


Filed under: Blogs,I Geek Disney — admin @ 10:36 pm

More SDCC 2014 Exclusives

Posted on: May 19, 2014

Batman™ Arkham Knight Batmobile ($85)

Batman Arkham Knight BatmobileIn the video game, Batman™ battles all-new threats in Gotham City with the help of an arsenal-equipped vehicle. This Batman™: Arkham Knight Batmobilefeatures premium, highly-detailed deco and authentic sounds straight from the game, and much more!

The tires can do a complete 360-degree spin, allowing the vehicle to turn on a dime… very handy for pursuing villains. When the top of the vehicle is pressed downward the firepower is revealed: on the left side, a riot suppressor rubber bullet gun, and on the right side, a high-powered Gatling gun, both with sounds and light effects – straight from the game! Hold the activation button longer than three seconds to create a red glow, simulating heat transferring, and press the rear button to turn on the headlights and play the game’s iconic Bat-swarm sound effect. There are also controls to rev the engine, to see the exhaust light up, and for the sound of the cannon. The vehicle comes with an articulated DC Comics Multiverse Arkham City Batman figure with a fabric cape allowing Batman™ to sit in the driver’s seat!

This product will be available for pre-order at on June 24, 2014, to be picked up at San Diego Comic-Con. It will also be available for purchase at the show.

DC Comics™ Total Heroes™ Ultra Cyborg ($25)

DC Comics Total Heroes Ultra Cyborg Tech-equipped Cyborg joins the Total Heroes™ lineup! As homage to the Super Powers Cyborg figure, this figure has silver VUM deco, and arrives with two interchangeable heads, his classic look and an updated stylized version, as well as three sets of hands. This hybrid of man and machine brings with him a tool and gear for just about any job he might encounter, including a Mega Blade, a Concussion Cannon and a Sonic Scrambler (all  of which fit onto his arms), and a Jetpack with Airfoil Wings so he can take to the air!

This product will be available for pre-order at on June 24, 2014, to be picked up at San Diego Comic-Con. It will also be available for purchase at the show, then at on August 5, 2014.


Disney•Pixar Cars 2014 Special Edition Neon Racers Gift Pack ($50)

Disney•Pixar Cars 2014 Special Edition Neon Racers Gift Pack Welcome to Japan! Shu Todoroki is hosting an endurance night race from Mt. Fuji to Tokyo’s colorful Ginza District. Get ready to experience the exciting world of neon racing!

In Japan, the presentation of a gift is as important as the gift itself. You can experience this Japanese tradition with the 2014 Special Edition Neon Racers Gift Pack. The specially designed furoshiki, Japanese wrapping cloth, features comic book-style illustrations of the Neon Racers story. Open the wrap and you’ll find a racing diorama with die-cast characters Lightning McQueen and Shu Todoroki illuminating the streets of Tokyo in their amazing customized lighting and neon deco.

Please enjoy! Tanoshinde kudasai!

This product will be available for pre-order at on June 24, 2014, to be picked up at San Diego Comic-Con. It will also be available for purchase at the show.

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 8:11 pm
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