Triple T #2: Play With This Toys and Collectibles

What’s going on folks? In our second edition of Triple T, I’ll be focusing on Play With This Toys and Collectibles. Walking through the store, it was clear that this would be an excellent location for Triple T.

If you aren’t familiar with Triple T, it is short for Time Traveling Today and shows some of the original ads/photos of older toys you may find in a lot of shops today. With that in mind, let’s get started!

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Photo by Stephen Huff

First up we have the Robo Force Command Patroller. Check out this 1984 TV Ad or the command patroller uploaded by YouTube user D Heine

Next up we have Voltron Defenders of the Universe. With a reboot of the show currently on Netflix, it is interesting to look at the original ads for Voltron.

 

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Photo by Stephen Huff

In this ad uploaded by YouTube user Australian Television Archive, the skull tank and other figures are shown in the advertisement.

 

Lastly, we have this Batman “Surf’s Up Joker” Variant figure.

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Photo by Stephen Huff

Based off of the classic Batman show, it is one of the most ridiculous segments of TV. Rather than showing an advertisement for the toy, I think it would be best to just show the clip from the show uploaded by YouTube user IBatman1966I. If you’ve seen it already, you know that you could watch it for days. If you haven’t, please enjoy the clip.

Take a trip to Millennium Hobbies and The Gundam Kitchen

Located in Blackwood, NJ, Millennium Hobbies and The Gundam Kitchen is an interesting place. Living up to the name of “The Gundam Kitchen,” the store has everything you need when it comes to putting together Gundam figures.

The store’s merchandise goes beyond just Gundams though. The store has other sorts of merchandise that you can put together, as well as pins, magnets, manga, and board games such as Krosmaster Quest, among other things.

When I personally went, I picked up some Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Pins, as well as a Gurren Lagann magnet.

On top of all this, the store even has some snacks available for customers.

To see more of what the store has to offer, you can check out their website, their Facebook page, and some photos from my time there. As always folks, stay tuned for more content on the way.

 

Take a trip to Play With This Toys

Located in Merchantville, NJ, Play With This Toys and it’s owner Scott have been a fixture in New Jersey’s toy collecting community for quite some time.

Retro Station’s owner Jerry likened Scott’s success, as well as that of Frankenstein Comic’s owner Bill Bead, as to having the “Willy Wonka Quotient.”

In that time, Scott has accumulated a vast and impressive collection of toys. To give you guys a small taste, the store’s inventory includes Star Wars, Transformers, Batman, GI Joe, Godzilla, Ultraman and more.

Not only does Play With This Toys contain a wide array of toys, but what impressed me as well is the depth of the collection. Walking through the store almost feels like walking through a museum in that you can all sorts of different toys from different time periods.

Take, for instance, all the different Batman toys on display in the store.

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Adding on to this, the store’s Star Wars collection goes above and beyond figures, including everything from books to mugs and even patches.

For more photos of the store, you can either scroll down or check out our Facebook/Instagram page here.

Recap: Camden Comic Con

What’s going on everybody?

Today I had the chance to go to Camden Comic Con and I had a blast there. As somebody who is a college student, I appreciated the fact that it didn’t cost anything to get in and that a lot of the vendors had fair prices. In addition to picking up some comics, stickers, and a Stranger Things print, I snagged a ton of photos of vendors for you guys.

Unfortunately, due to having a boat load of schoolwork on my plate, I only really had enough time to check out the vendor hall. Hopefully next year I’ll have more time to check out everything else that was available at the convention.

There was plenty of cool stuff on display in the vendor hall, and I found a lot of people that I hope to talk to and share their stories with you guys in the near future. I have a few other photos, but I’m trying to double check the specifics on who the vendors are. before posting those. Enjoy the photos below guys, and be sure to check out the different vendor’s/artist’s stores/social media pages. Peace!

Conquest Comics

Located on 659 Route 9 in Bayville, NJ, this store had an absolutely massive amount of Funko Pops for sale.

Website: www.ConquestComics.com   Email: Conquestcomics@Yahoo.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConquestComics/

Dumb Bows

Mentioned in an interview post here, Dumb Bows had a nice collection of merchandise at the convention.

Facebook: facebook.com/DumbBows 

Etsy: etsy.com/shop/DumbBows

Ryan G. Browne

One of the artists whose stuff I really enjoyed, Browne had a variety of items including prints, pins, and more up for sale. For myself, I bought a Stranger Things print and really enjoyed a Calvin and Hobbes one he had for sale as well. Check out the online site to see the prints available for sale.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ryangbrowneart/

Email: zombiepetz@gmail.com

Storenvy: ryanbrowne.storenvy.com

The Encounter Comics & Games

Located on 811 Union Blvd. in Allentown, PA, The Encounter Comics & Games was a godsend for a college student like me. They offered discounted hats, graphic novels, and more at the convention, and I managed to pick up two novels for $10.

Facebook: facebook.com/EncounterComics

Frankenstein Comics

Located next to Retro Station in Woodbury, NJ, Frankenstein Comics had a ton of comics set up at the show. I picked up several comics from the dollar box, including a copy of Flaming Carrot Comics.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FrankensteinComics/

Website: http://www.frankensteincomics.com/

Stronge Designs

With a variety of merchandise such as prints and shirts, Stronge Designs caught my eye as I walked around the convention hall. Shout out to the Pokemon designs, as well as the Edgar Allen Poe.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strongedesigns/

Website: strongedesigns.com

Plunder Palace

Mentioned in a previous post, Plunder Palace was also set up at the convention. Among the inventory available was comics, wrestling figures, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/plunderpalacecollectibles/

All Things Fun!

All Things Fun had one of my favorite items at the event, with that being the Joker shades that they had.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllThingsFun/

Website: http://allthingsfun.net/

All Things Videos Games

Had I not spent a good amount of money already, I may have picked up some of the plushes that were for sale. I think I overheard one of the guys working the table saying that they had a One Punch Man figure for sale earlier too, so I may have to visit the store to check that out.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allthingsvideogamesnj/

Website: http://allthingsvideogames.com/

Mark Holmes

Holmes is involved with a comic series called Femforce. According to Holmes, this was the first series to feature an all-female superhero team. As you guys can probably imagine, this caught my attention and is something that I will be trying to update you guys on in the future.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/femforce/

Check out Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of my favorite animes at the moment and something that I think more people should get into. Creator Hirohiko Araki’s series is one of the longest running manga at the moment, with this year being the 20th anniversary of the series. With part 4 finishing up a few months ago and it being one of the recommended mangas for people to read at Cherry Hill Public Library Comic Con, what better time to talk about why people they should watch Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Changing it up

Part of what allows Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure to stay fresh is the fact that the series isn’t afraid to switch things up. While the series follows the Joestar family and the bloodlines fight against evil, the way in which that story varies from part to part helps prevent things from becoming stagnant. In addition to featuring a different member of the Joestar bloodline in each part, the series setting changes from places such as Egypt, Italy, and Japan, among others. As if all of this wasn’t enough, each part also has a distinctive art style. The changes allow for the series to stay fresh while not straying too far away from what makes Jojo Jojo.

Ridiculous with a capital R

For the same reason action movies like Total Recall are so much fun, the absurdity of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is part of what makes the show so fun. Jojo is a show that only starts to embrace the humor aspect in the second part and runs with it from there.

For instance, here is one of my favorite scenes of the entire anime as of this point.

On top of hilarious scenes like this, there’s the ridiculous poses the character’s make, as well as the fact that for the first three parts pretty much the whole cast is insanely ripped.

Stands

Jojo does something unique in that starting from part 3 on in that it makes a change that completely changes how characters fight. Specifically, part 3 is when stands are first introduced. Basically, a stand is a near invisible figure that can be summoned and fight. I say near invisible because of the fact that only stand users can see stands.

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Gif courtesy of Imgur user actuallydio

While this may sound strange, it works wonders for the series in that it opens the door for almost anybody to be a stand user. It could be a jacked guy, but it could also be an old lady, a baby, or an orangutan. Not only does it open this door, but stands could have essentially any ability. In part 4, for example, stand abilities range from repairing any sort of broken objects, to completely changing what a person looks like and being able to erase matter from a certain distance away.

Dio and the Joestars: The Yin and the Yang

It would be criminal to mention Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure without mentioning Dio Brando. One of the show’s main villains, Dio is the perfect incarnation of evil. Without giving too much plot away, Dio is the type of character who you think they can’t make him more evil and yet time and time again they do. To give a small taste, he steals Jonathan Joestar’s first kiss with his girlfriend and also murders his dog. Suffice to say, that is only the beginning of Dio’s evil ways.

No breaks on the JoJo hype train - DIO's WORLD has began - Imgur

Gif courtesy of Imgur user DIOSWARUDO

A Creator’s Vision

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is something that is clearly the creation of Hirohiko Araki. Part of what makes the series fun is that Araki incorporates the things he loves. Araki’s love for western music, for instance, can be seen in the names of stands and their abilities.

To prove this point, let’s look at one of the characters in part 4: Yoshikage Kira. Kira’s stand name is Killer Queen (shown below). One of Killer Queen’s abilities is Sheer Heart Attack. In case it isn’t clear, these are all references to the band Queen.

Killer Queen is just one of many references within the show, and all the more reason to check it out.

So should you watch Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure? There’s only one answer:

KotoriCon: More than just a convention

What’s up guys and gals,

Today we are going to be doing something a little bit differently. While I usually do pre-event and event day coverage of conventions, I’m going to be talking about a local convention that took place a few months ago.

Kotoricon, dubbed on its website as “the little anime con with a big heart,”  is an event ran by students at Rowan College at Gloucester County, with the goal of the event being to raise money for various charity organizations. First started in 2010, the annual two-day event is jam-packed with fun things for attendees to do, including everything from checking out vendors, panels, and screenings of various anime shows.

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A screenshot from https://kotoricon2017.sched.com showing off the schedule for the first day of KotoriCon 2017.

For those interested in how things such the programs and panels are selected, here’s a quick soundbite from an interview I had with Amanda Cancelmo, who was in charge of the of the volunteers and programming at KotoriCon.

To me, there are several aspects of KotoriCon that stood out to me after talking to some of the members of the KotoriCon team.

In addition to the programming, one of the biggest things that stood out to me was the guests that show up to KotoriCon.

This past event, for instance, attracted voice actors such as Tiffany Grant, Michele Knotz, and James Carter Cathcart. These names may sound unfamiliar, but to break it down, they voiced characters such as Asuka Soryu in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Jessie from Team Rocket and Weevil Underwood in Yu-Gi-Oh. (Shout out to YouTube user Anouk van Waardenburg for making this compilation video. I couldn’t help linking to it.)

When I talked with Kelly Terry, who is in charge of guest relations, she mentioned some interesting things about the guest selection process. Here’s a snippet of the interview.

While having a variety of panels and guests is nice, it doesn’t fully touch on what makes KotoriCon special.

KotoriCon is a charity fundraiser with “over $28,000 donated since we started in 2010,” according to the organization’s website.  At this most recent convention, donations went to groups such as Liberty in North Korea, Childs Play, and Seabrook Buddhist Temple, among others. They even raised enough money to rescue two people from North Korea.

Andrew Reeve, one of the members of the KotoriCon team discussed the fundraiser aspect of things with KotoriCon.

While KotoriCon won’t take place again until 2018, this is a convention that should definitely be on everybody’s radar. To find out more, you can check out this page on their website which breaks down the history further.