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.