Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas on Monster Island

So I spent this morning in a meeting and returned to find that office elves had decorated my cubicle for Christmas. I really need one of those turrets from Portal to guard my workspace from coworkers. That's twice this week I've been vandalized.

How tall is Mole Man's tree if Giganto has to hang the ornaments on it?

My "Grinch on a Cubicle" beats your "Elf on a Shelf"

Mechagodzilla Jr. prepares to escort Santa's sleigh through heavy resistance

It's just not the holidays without zombies

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jurassic Ark

So I sent this email to a few coworkers yesterday:

Check out these actual pages from a Louisiana science textbook:

The part about Noah saving dinosaurs from the Great Flood makes me want to write a screenplay for one of those Christian movies (like Fireproof or Facing the Giants) about the 2 T-Rexes and the 2 Velociraptors wreaking havoc on all the other pairs of animals. The title? “Jurassic Ark.” Writes itself.

And this morning I arrived at work to discover this carnage on my desk, courtesy of my boss:


Ah, I love my job. Now I need to dig up the photos of what they did to my cubical wall after I put up the "Post No Bills" sign...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Munchkin Apocalypse

An ad for Munchkin Apocalypse caught my eye this week thanks to the giant Godzilla-style monster shown destroying a city (as they tend to do).

From the World of Munchkin:
Game Design by Steve Jackson * Illustrated by John Kovalic

168 regular cards, 12 square Seal cards, a unique six-sided die, and a rulesheet.
Suggested Retail Price $24.95 * Stock #1503 * UPC 837654321560. In Production.

It's the end of the world!

In Munchkin Apocalypse, every possible natural (and unnatural) disaster has happened... or will happen during the game. You are a rugged survivor in a world full of people – and things – that want to kill you and take your stuff. So do it to them first!

This set introduces four new classes and a new, yet eerily familiar, card type: Disasters!

And what's with all these seals running around? Don't they know the world's about to end? You should really keep an eye on that seventh one in particular . . .

Munchkin Apocalypse will be available in Fall 2012. That should give you a few weeks to play it before the world really ends, at least if the Mayans are right . . .

There's also a +6 Bag o' Radioactive Munchkin d6, which comes with 4 bonus cards:

 And as if that weren't enough, there will be a Mars Attacks! booster:

From Steve Jackson Games:
The Topps Company and Steve Jackson Games announce Munchkin Apocalypse: Mars Attacks, bringing the pulpy sci-fi action of the classic card set into their newest Munchkin core game.
Created by Topps in 1962, MARS ATTACKS is in the midst of a contemporary revival. In addition to celebrating the brand's 50th anniversary, Topps is reintroducing the property through an all-new comic book series from IDW that serves as the launching point of a new MARS ATTACKS universe.

"We've always been huge fans of MARS ATTACKS and it's been a thrill to see it return in such a big way," said Andrew Hackard, Munchkin Brand Manager for Steve Jackson Games. "The brand's outrageous sci-fi action and off-beat, dark humor will play very well within the World of Munchkin and we can't wait to show fans what we've got in store!"

Adds Steve Jackson, "We are going to be completely faithful to the original MARS ATTACKS concepts. We are going to blow things up without reason or mercy or even very good aim. We will continue until the squashy Earthmen force us back to make a last stand on our dying desert home. It's them or us."

Munchkin Apocalypse drops players into the end of the world and challenges them to acquire loot and level up. Its humorous text and cartoon art make it only the latest hit game in the best-selling Munchkin line.

"While it originated as a trading card series, this will be the first time MARS ATTACKS will be seen as a card game," said Adam Levine, Topps' Licensing Manager, "and we can't think of a more perfect world than The World of Munchkin for our Martians to invade."

Munchkin Apocalypse: Mars Attacks will be a 15-card booster for Munchkin Apocalypse, using art from the original 1962 trading cards. It will be in stores in Summer 2013.
So far I've only played the original Munchkin, but I think this is a variant I'll have to pick up. I need to know whether there are cards that allow you to destroy meteors with oil drillers, or outrun freezing temperatures on foot, or wipe out alien motherships with your Apple Powerbook.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Bug, A Slug, and a DVD

Two more monsters for the stuff on my desk collection arrived yesterday: Megalon, the giant cockroach villain from 1973's Godzilla vs. Megalon, and Namegon, the giant Martian slug from the TV series Ultra Q, the predecessor of Ultraman. The newly-released Godzilla vs. Megalon DVD arrived a couple of weeks ago, because I'm such a nerd I pre-ordered it from I still remember watching it on television when NBC aired it in prime time in 1977, then going to school the next day and reenacting the monster battles on the playground with my friends.

While I've never actually watched any of Ultra Q beyond some clips on YouTube, I added Namegon to my collection because, well, how can you go wrong with a giant slug?

The original Japanese trailer for Godzilla vs. Megalon:


Friday, August 31, 2012

New Monster Hatch Acquisitions

Latest additions to the stuff on my desk collection:

Ultra Monsters Gomess (left) and Jirass (right) attend the first meeting of the League of Substitute Godzillas. (Gomess was created for the TV series Ultra Q, and Jirass for Ultraman, from modified Godzilla costumes.)

These two kaiju both came to Earth from outer space, but couldn't be more different: Seabozu (left), who just wanted to go back to the peacefulness of the Monster Graveyard, and Spacegodzilla, who just wanted to kick Godzilla's ass.

I've finally acquired Giganto the Mole Monster (the big green guy above) to round out my collection of Marvel monsters. This display represents part of Mole Man's kingdom beneath Monster Island, made up mostly of Heroclix figures.

There is (in no particular order) Mole Man, a Moloid, the Mad Thinker and his Awesome Android (a.k.a. Awesome Andy), Bi-Beast, Sasquatch, Man-Thing, Man-Wolf, the Lizard, a Brood warrior, one of the Mindless Ones, Dragon Man, Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy, and the Hulk. And to drive home that this is a mash-up between the Monster Island of the Marvel Comics Universe and the Monster Island of the Godzilla movies, there is also a Destoroyah creature out front, and a Baltan alien (from the Ultraman universe) hiding in the back. The gorilla ripping open his cage door is from Horrorclix and is there because he reminded me of Konga. And the 2 human females are Elsa Bloodstone (daughter of the monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone) and her Nextwave team member Monica Rambeaux (formerly Captain Marvel, Photon, and Pulsar of the Avengers).

Like the rest of my Monster Island collection, I'm still adding to this one, but now that Giganto is in place, I felt like it was time to post a picture.

Giganto is of historical importance to the Marvel Universe because he was on the cover of Fantastic Four #1, reproduced for the FF Omnibus below:

And here is his first appearance immortalized by Alex Ross:

 A Giganto by Art Adams:

And my current desktop wallpaper:

So here is the layout, with the subterranean area of Monster Island on the left, the surface of Monster Island in the center, and NYC on the right:

And that's your Monster Hatch update.

Know Who Else Talked to Chairs?

Here you go: I created this template so that everyone can design their own Twisted Toyfare Theatre cover commemorating Clint Eastwood's historic conversation with a chair at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Just add word balloons!

If you post yours on Twitter, please include the #TwistedToyfare and #Eastwooding hashtags. Enjoy!

(For those that are unfamiliar with Wizard Magazine's Twisted Toyfare Theatre, it was the precursor to Adult Swim's Robot Chicken, and consists of comic strips made from posed Mego action figures.)

And considering the topic of today's blog post, for some reason I find it highly amusing that the only Clint Eastwood action figure I could find on the internet is for "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly."

Also, I'm just going to leave this here as the last piece of the puzzle:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Behold the Kuratas Mecha

This is why I love Japan. While Americans stockpile handheld weapons and survival gear for the zombie apocalypse, the Japanese are preparing for the REAL threat: giant radioactive monsters.

Kuratas is a 12' 5" tall, nearly 10,000 pound, fully-functional Mecha built by Suidobashi Heavy Industry at a cost of 1.4 million dollars. It can be controlled from within its one-man cockpit or remotely from a 3G smartphone. It fires both rockets and 6000 rounds of ammo/minute.

More details about the debut of Kuratas at WonderFest 2012 here and here. These guys are definitely ready for Godzilla Wednesdays:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Muppet Labs' Mechani-Kong Revisited

Yesterday I blogged about the Muppet Labs' Gorilla Detector, and the confusion that the toy version of it brought me.

But today I found myself wondering if perhaps the REAL question should be: How did Dr. Bunsen Honeydew get his hands on the severed head of Mechani-Kong in the first place?!?

Is it possible that he is, in fact, in league with the evil genius Dr. Hu, Mechani-Kong's creator? Muppet Labs always struck me as an awfully shady operation. This would explain a lot.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Muppet Labs' Mechani-Kong

So when I was sorting through the odds 'n' ends I acquired in the Bucket o' Godzillas I purchased from the antique store, I really thought I had the severed head of Mechani-Kong.

Mechani-Kong is of course the giant robotic gorilla from the movie King Kong Escapes:

And this is the toy component in question:

However, no amount of Googling would turn up a toy Mechani-Kong with a head that looked like this. Here are a couple of examples:

Finally I stumbled upon this discussion thread, which included a picture of a customized action figure that someone had created by mounting this head onto the body of Iron Monger, the villain from the first Iron Man movie:

Thankfully, the discussion itself also solved the mystery. This was NOT the severed head of Mechani-Kong, but rather the Muppet Labs Gorilla Detector:

Not sure how I missed that episode of The Muppet Show, but here is the relevant clip:

So now my desk is as safe from gorillas as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's Muppet technology can make it...

Update: Muppet Labs' Mechani-Kong Revisited

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Not Available in Stores: The Godzilla vs. Barkley Playset

To commemorate the days when Sir Charles Barkley used to keep Godzilla off the streets by challenging him to the occasional basketball game, I created this display for my desk by modifying a metal bookend and a Playmobil goal:

I photographed it on the file cabinet (above) before making a place for it on the shelf over my desk:

You'd think all those people would have moved their cars out of the parking lot before the day of the big game. This doesn't look like the sort of activity their insurance is likely to cover.

And because this video never gets old:

By the way, I really wish someone would make a figure of Godzilla with his sports goggles...

...and Nike shoes:


Sir Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla (and Mitt Romney)
Sir Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla II
Kingdom of Monsters: Godzilla, Lady Gaga, and the Giant Armadillo of Texas (includes the Barkley/Godzilla success story)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Godzilla cameo

As far as I know, this cameo is the only appearance of a CGI Godzilla in a Japanese movie (no, I'm not counting Zilla in Final Wars):

Always: Sunset on Third Street 2

Although I'm not wild about the design of Godzilla's head, I have to say, this is an awesome scene. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don't Call It A Comeback!

Legendary Pictures' presentation at the San Diego Comic Con for Gareth Edwards' upcoming Godzilla remake has generated a lot of excitement. While those of us who were not at the SDCC wait for the teaser trailer to be released at some indeterminate point in the future, here is a reminder of what Godzilla has already accomplished in the past:

Mama Said Knock You Out!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bucket o' Godzillas


Last weekend my friend Amy alerted me to a local antique store that had a big plastic tub of Godzillas they were selling for ten bucks each, and today I finally got a chance to check them out for myself. I didn't count to see how many figures there were total, but some of them seemed rare enough to be a decent investment. My wonderful wife offered them $100 for the whole box, and they accepted. It wasn't until I got home and sorted through them that I realized how many figures there were all together.

First of all, there 15 Godzillas:

Additionally, there were 4 King Kongs, 2 Rodans, 2 Minyas, an adult and a larval Mothra, Anguirus, MechaGodzilla, Titanosaurus, Jet Jaguar, Gabara, King Caesar, Gigan, Gamera, Manda, a giant octopus, Ultraman, and Zetton, for a total of 37 figures averaging 6-8 inches in height.

Plus there was a plastic bag containing Mechani-Kong's severed head, assorted island natives and other tiny human victims, and a variety of giant insects and miscellaneous unidentified bits and pieces. (Any help identifying this stuff would be greatly appreciated).

So it was definitely a good deal. Now I have to sort through them and decide which ones I want to keep for my collection, and which ones I'll put up on eBay to recoup my investment (and hopefully turn a profit). 

(Although my wife is convinced that I won't part with any of them and is already referring to the card table I sorted them on as the Church of Godzilla, bowing whenever she walks past it).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Clones vs. Aliens

Discovered another active Dharma Initiative station today. It appears to be located about 200 miles southwest of Costa Rica in the Las Cinco Muertes island chain.

Like the Kaiju Station here on Monster Island, Clonus Station was established to research effective methods of repelling alien invasions. But instead of studying giant radioactive monsters, they focused on a wide range of genetic engineering techniques, such as cloning scientists and using recombinant DNA to create dinosaur armies.

That one collaborative project between the Kaiju and Clonus stations in 1998 was a disaster for everyone involved.
The most interesting thing I was able to find in the Clonus database was this file on a special breeding program the Dharma Initiative carried out in the early 1950s... 20 years before the organization was founded.

The file explains that in the 1970s, after Dharma scientists became aware of an alien invasion occurring in the United States, they quarantined themselves on an unnamed island in order to avoid contact with any extraterrestrial influence. Using the island's unique properties to travel decades into the past, they set in motion a plan to defeat the aliens before they got a stranglehold on the planet. They would create a new line of defense specially designed to protect humanity from alien invaders.

Taking DNA they'd developed specifically to produce a scientific genius, the Dharma scientists cloned seven embryos and secretly implanted them in seven different mothers. The women were selected from seven different families spread across the United States -- Bellicec, Brundle, Goldblum, Levinson, Malcolm, Ripley, and Zweibel -- in hopes that at least one of these varied homes would provide an appropriate environment for a scientifically-inclined child.

The results were, suffice to say, impressive. Three of the seven clones were instrumental in stopping alien invasions in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Three others performed advanced scientific research leading to discoveries that Dharma was able to capitalize on in multiple Initiative projects. The seventh applied his genius to the arts, becoming a successful actor and accomplished jazz musician. As of 2012, five of the clones are still alive and well.

Clone #1: Jack Bellicec was the first person in San Francisco to discover that humans were being replaced by extraterrestrial duplicates. If not for his ultimate sacrifice, we would all be emotionless pod people now.

Clone #2: Sidney Zweibel exposed Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems, a defense contractor in Grover's Mill, NJ, as the staging area for an invasion by aliens from Planet 10, whose vanguard had been living among us since 1938.

Clone #3: Seth Brundle successfully teleporting a baboon across his lab in 1986 paved the way for Dharma's eventual teleportation of a polar bear from a tropical island to the Tunisian desert.

Clone #4: Ian Malcolm had no idea how close he was to "home" when he traveled to Isla Sorna at the request of John Hammond. Just a few islands over was Isla Matanceros, location of the Clonus Station, where his DNA was originally fabricated by scientists who later went to work for the genetics firm InGen. Malcolm may never know how much he has in common with the dinosaurs that have plagued his career.

Clone #5: The book Donald Ripley wrote about Jeremy Reed's electromagnetic mutant powers informed much of Dharma's later research on the effects of massive amounts of electromagnetic radiation on the human body.

Clone #6: Just as Sidney Zweibel realized that Orson Welles' 1938 "War of the Worlds" broadcast was not a hoax but a report of an actual invasion, David Levinson discovered that the 1947 Roswell incident was not merely a downed weather balloon but in fact a crashed alien spaceship. From Area 51 he was able to mastermind a counterstrike against the subsequent 1996 alien invasion that left the locust-like aliens' ships vulnerable to attack from Earth's forces.

Clone #7: Jeff Goldblum is not only one of the greatest actors of our time, but is also the man singularly responsible for society's perception of the field of science, based entirely on his perpetual portrayal of scientists throughout his long career. His greatest role was in The Race for the Double Helix in 1987, in which he portrayed James D. Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist who co-discovered the structure of DNA in 1953. Ironically, the real Watson was the source of some of the DNA that Dharma scientists used to guarantee the seven clones' scientific acumen.