Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Still cooking, still collecting

Oh wow, long time no see. It's been nearly five years since I last updated Toys and Bacon, but people still click in to read old articles and see old pictures. So here's an update - and a promise to share stuff occasionally. At one point I updated the blog three times a week. I can't promise that. I can't promise more than a handful of articles and entries a year, but I will at the very least keep this blog alive - because in my honest and humble opinion: Some of the stuff here is worth reading.

But yeah, let's see. Still collecting.

Right now, I have a rather diverse collection. Still lots of G.I. Joe, Transformers, MOTU, StarCom, LEGO. Since the heyday of this blog I have gotten heavily into Battle Beasts, Bionic Six, Silverhawks, Thundercats. Dipped my toes into Tigersharks, Photon. Nearly completed rather obscure toy lines such as Golden Girl, COPS, and.. hmm Combat Commandos. Comment if there's something you want to see featured.

And still cooking.

Making spice blends, and trying new techniques, without really taking big risks. For me, cooking the last five years has been mostly about keeping the fun with making food, while also managing a rather busy life as a father, husband, house owner, and by appearance: an adult with regular boring adult responsibilities.

Here's a small selection of good stuff that's been going on recently. The figures are among my favorite additions from 2019.

Noodle soup/Ramen. Home made broth, flour coated meat, and my personal favorite: Brussels sprouts. 
Taco is our national dish here in Norway, I'm not even remotely joking. I make my own seasoning. Tastes infinitely better than the store bought seasoning. Healthier too. I think. 
Brainstorm, Transformers G1. Lovely colors. A favorite from back in the day. 

I have gotten heavily into MOC Joes, specifically the sub groups of the 90s. I love the oversized cards and the variations on the "explosion". The EVIL HEADHUNTERS consisted of exactly two figures. Both with lovely 90s pink lazers in the background. 

In the years since I blogged, prices on G.I. Joes and pretty much every vintage action figure has sky rocketed. I remember you could pick up a WORMS for like $20 tops. Now, the antenna alone is like $50-60. I lucked out on this example at $40. 

Photon from LJN is as obscure as toy line gets. Leon here is a rather rare piece. My example is not complete, but I really like this guy. Anyone seen the show? 

This Scare Glow was literally a wedding gift to me from the collector community in Norway. 

My son is at this moment 8 months old. When he stops putting chewing on everything, he has lots of cool figures waiting for him. Like this Star Convoy. 

Duke Nukem from Captain Planet,. A lovable radiation glowing, hawaii-shirt wearing, mohawk rocking, yellow scaled weirdo.  

A strange toy line that I have started collecting: Supernaturals from Tonka. Impossible to appreciate from pictures alone, the magic here comes from the holograms, the feel of the figures and the glow-in-the-dark weapons. 

Snakebite from Supernaturals, possibly my dark horse favorite figure of 2019. 

Paid top dollar for Doc Walro of the Tigersharks. I'm consuming almost every LJN toy line, but collecting the Tigersharks is extremely expensive. 

A cute little one, Mainframe from Transformers Action Masters. Still unsure about the Action Masters, there's something very un-transformersy about these figures. 

This here is a screen dump of my instagram account. It's definitely more updated than the blog, so head on over to https://www.instagram.com/retrotoybox/ and follow.

All right! See you around in 2020!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

I've done reviews of several of the other Marvel movies, and while I don't plan on making a habit out of it, I do like to share some very short thoughts on the new Avengers movie.
And rest assured, absolutely no significant spoilers below.

Yes, I've talked before about how incredible it is to see all my favorite superheroes band together in one single film. In some ways it's almost become such a familiar occurrence, that I barely think of how awesome it is. For instance when Captain America shows up in Thor 2 - yes, it was cool - but considering how Marvel Studios has run things, it was almost expected. 

And that's really where we are, it's cool to see all of them. Literally all of them, in one movie. But do we really appreciate how amazing it is? And do we really appreciate how impressive it is to do that, and not have a movie that sucks? Because Avengers 2 definitely didn't suck. 

Yes, it was not as surprisingly good as Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And it wasn't as fun as Guardians of the Galaxy. But I feel that that isn't the idea of the Avengers movies either.  

The idea of the Avengers movies is to gather all of them, and have cool fight scenes and explosions and stuff. Have buildings collapse, have skyscrapers collapse, have entire cities collapse. Stuff like that. And all the while ALL OF THEM are looking cool, while doing cool stuff. And it's just so damn awesome to see the Marvel cinematic universe in this place, where it's familiar, expected and natural. And that's the strength of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

It's like reading a Marvel comic book, but in cinema.

Yes, I could talk about details, and there were tons of them in this movie. Interaction between Ultron and Vision, interaction between Hulk and Black Widow. Interaction between Tony and almost everyone else. Most of the stuff involving Hawkeye. It seems they wanted to round out a few characters a bit more than they have done in previous movies, and it works fairly well. But this movie is about seeing all of them together, and explosions. 

Ok, some details. Holy shit, Vision! I like. Hulk riding a Quinjet alone made an impact for some reason. Ending shows promises, but also challenges for Marvel Studios. Post credits scene somewhat boring, but not necessarily bad. Also, regarding Hawkeye, thank god they didn't follow Ultimates storyline, or I would never be able to drag my girlfriend to another Marvel movie. Ok, that last one may have been a spoiler. 

Marvel is at an impressive - and some what dominating position these days, and I just fear they won't be able to keep up the pace, and that they won't put as much effort into the "individual" movies as they have done so far. If they do continue to make an effort, I'll gladly accept the occasionally mindless, but still glorious action from future Avengers movies. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Masters of the Universe Board Game... In Norwegian

Yes, so I got invited to a facebook group for people who collected G.I. Joe figures in Norway. I didn't know there were more than 2-3 of us, but it turns out there is.
Come to think of it, I'm not that surprised. G.I. Joe - or Action Force - was a big thing here, and it had to leave a lasting impression on more than just me and my friend, Runar.
So, one of the guys contacted me and said he was collecting anything 80s, but preferably specified to Norwegian releases. He asked if I had anything cool lying around. I gave it a thought, and realized I actually had a very specific item he would appreciate. I had just been digging for treasures in the attic, and managed to find a vintage board game set to the Masters of the Universe universe. -_-

Anyway, it's not nearly complete, and it's missing box, lid and rules of play - in addition to several pieces. But the cardboard of the playing field looks to be intact, as does Castle Grayskull. The interior is made to be elevated an inch, and this function seems to still work. All though I didn't want to break anything, so I just left it lying flat on the floor.

You could play as the heroes, and I managed to find He-Man, Teela, Man-at-Arms and Stratos. When playing, you could end up literally stumbling onto villains, represented by square pieces, but of these I only found Mer-Man.

The more I look at this game, the more nostalgic I get. This was, for some reason, a big deal. It has obviously survived longer than my original collection of MOTUs.
I believe I could make some proxies for some of the missing pieces, and this could easily be a functional game. If my memories serve me well, it was far from the worst game I have played.
I have a vague sense of how we played this game, and regardless of its state, this has to be one of the coolest items I own.

Of course, the guy I was talking with wasn't particularly impressed, as he already had like five of these (among other seriously impressive treasures). But hey, we all have our thing, and that's great.

Here's some more pictures.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Collectible Minifigures Series 13

Wow.. 13 full series of this amazing toy line. And they're still not running out of ideas!

Or are they...?

The first image is directly from Lego just now, and the second image resurfaced earlier November 26 We see the lineup of Series 13. It's obvious we have a few absolute hits here. The Hot Dog Dude is completely out of the ball park, and the carpenter, with a 2x4 is amazing. I also like the Egyptian warrior, the Evil wizard and the Unicorn costume. Fencer and Fakir are also nice.

But just stop with the female counterparts! Female cyclop, female disco enthusiast, female samurai, female explorer. Surely the designers of Lego can make female characters that isn't just "the other half" of a couple? It goes the other way as well, easily the most boring figure in Series 12 was the male lifeguard. We already have a lifeguard! Why not make the carpenter a woman instead? Or the fencer? Or something new?

Oh well. I guess I shouldn't rant. Truth is, the Hot Dog Dude makes up for the entire set.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Marvel Phase 3

These are great times.

Nearly three decades ago, I picked up an issue of Secret Wars, and I was instantly a fan. Many kids of my generation grew up reading the comics with the Marvel superheroes. And sure, we dreamed of watching movies with our heroes, but as we aged, we realized that they very well could be similar to Street Fighter the Movie, or the TMNT movies. With this kind of quality as an alternative, I'd say it was a better option to not have superhero movies at all

Back in the late 90s, we actually started getting the superhero movies. Blade, Spider-Man, X-Men, followed by Hulk, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider and sequels to the first wave. Some of these were good, a few of them were great, most of them were just awful.

Hindered by technology, but even more so a lack of scope and ambition.
You see, one of the reasons I fell in love with the Marvel universe was that any and all hero and villain could have some sort of link to the others. After all, the first comic I consciously read was a massive team-up between the heroes and villains.

And up until Marvel Studios, we just haven't seen this. They managed to team up four superheroes that easily could be the sole superhero franchise at any other movie studio. And they're building the story lines towards a goal.

Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men - maybe the most popular Marvel characters at one point - are locked at other studios. But that kind of doesn't matter.

You see, another impressive feat with Marvel is that they're not afraid to take chances with lesser known characters. Iron Man? Sure, every comic book reader knows Iron Man, but at the time the first movie came out, he wasn't the most popular Marvel character, probably not even top ten. Guardians of the Galaxy? Popular in the comics the last few years, but in the mainstream? Not even remotely.

Now, look at that line-up of movies. Captain Marvel. Black Panther. Doctor Strange. Inhumans. This is sick. This is insane. These are ridiculously awesome times to be a fan. I'm so glad I grew up with these comics to build the enthusiasm, and I'm so glad I'm around now to see them come alive like never before.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Star Wars Episode 7 Concept Art

A handful of concept art pieces leaked the other day, and I thought it was worth talking a bit about the value of these illustrations.

Me, and many of my generation are probably as excited as it's possible to be for a movie. I even knowpeople outside my generation are excited for the new movie. The popularity of Star Wars extends far beyond the kids that grew up watching it.

And we just can't wait. We have to know all the information right away! Every little piece of news regarding the JJ Abrams directed movie has the internet buzzing. Now that Lucas is out of the picture, we shouldn't have to worry about repercussions should we leak secret information. It's not like the new owners are overly protective of their copyrights.
Well, except if your image sort of resembles one of their million trademarked logos. 
Anyway, I don't fear any C&D letters, simply because I have nothing to gain from sharing these images. And to be fair, these illustrations does nothing but get fans more excited, so for all I know, the leak may be fully intentional.

But for the sake of the fans that want to go in to the theater with zero knowledge of what's coming, I'll put a break.

So hop on in for Star Wars Episode 7 concept art!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

LEGO Jurassic World

I guess the news is out there, so I can safely report without breaking a promise. This summer I visited a friend in Billund, where he works. For Lego. He was so excited about this new project they were doing, but couldn't really tell what it was. After a few guesses, I landed on Jurassic Park - or Jurassic World, as the new movie is called. Me and him both grew up watching Jurassic Park in the mid 90s, and believe me - going to the cinema to see that movie definitely made an impact.

And here it is. Lego are making sets for the movie. It will be exciting to see how popular the movie - and the sets will be.

Here's the Brickset report, based on a press release from Universal Studios.

See! I could keep the secret!