Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Triple H vs. The Rock (Action Figures)

When I was young, toys were a huge staple of my childhood.  Specifically action figures.  Batmans, Spidermans and Space Jams were just a few of the action figures I owned.  I had one specific passion when it came to action figures though.

I loved wrestling action figures.

I went all out too.  I had the wrestling ring, the Titan-Tron entrance with music, weapons and a large selection of wrestlers to pick from.

These things were the focus of my life for a long time.  I went as far as creating my own Federation and logging my wrestler's wins and losses in a notebook.  I'd create a list of matches I'd perform for the upcoming weeks.  Sometimes I'd even go as far and have them act out little skits and sketches, just like in "real-life" wrestling.

One day my cousin Cory was over and we were playing with the action figures.  It was a World Championship match (the belts were handmade out of paper of course) between Triple H and The Rock.
Triple H
The Rock

The Rock started out strong, gaining HUGE momentum for the crowd.  The fans hated Triple H after all.  Soon enough The Rock had Triple H down on the mat ready to deliver the ever-so-feared People's Elbow.  The crowd (aka Cory and myself) were going nuts.  But then just as The Rock was bringing down his elbow, Triple H dodged it!

Triple H took control of the match.  He was beating The Rock all the way around the ring.  Soon enough he had him up on the turnbuckle and suplexed him right onto the mat!  Triple H went in for the pin.  1..2..3!! The match was over and Triple H was the World Champion!

But that didn't go over well with my cousin.

"Little does Triple H know, he has another match for the title right now!" he exclaimed.  "Against Cory the Giant!"

My cousin then got up and stepped into the ring.  He put all of his weight onto his foot and CRACK!

My ring was ruined.  I taped it up hoping it would help, but that ring was never the same. 

Moral of the story? Don't let your cousin play with your toys.  He'll ruin them.

I eventually got creative and found ways that I could play with the toys without the ring.  We had a laundry hole in our bathroom closet.  It was a great place to throw clothes down to the washing area.  It was also a great place to have the wrestlers throw their opponents down.

Aaah, the memories.  I keep looking up pictures of these wrestling rings and it makes me want to go find a new one and relive those memories all over again.

Anyone have any toys that they remember from their childhood?  Specifically from the 90's?  I know there's a ton out there, and I will more than likely be covering some other toys of the time later on.

Girls I Found Attractive in the 90's

I surprisingly had a harder time figuring out this list.  I blame it mostly on the fact that I was only ages 0-10 in the 90's and my hormones weren't necessarily brewing.  Alas, I created this list:

Danielle Fischel aka Topanga from Boy Meets World

Britney Spears
Jennifer Aniston

Spice Girls

Edit:  Please note, this blog was published on December 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dinosaurs...The TV Show

I had never heard of the television show Dinosaurs until a few weeks ago.  My girlfriend saw the TV series at Movie Village we finally picked it up this past weekend.
Dinosaurs ran from 1991-1994
The show was created by Jim Henson (you'd best remember him from the Muppets and Sesame Street).  The most amazing thing about this, was yes, Henson did create the concept of the show, but he died a year before it went to air.

According to Henson's son Brian, Henson wanted to create "a sitcom with a pretty standard structure, with the biggest differences being that it's a family of dinosaurs and their society has this strange toxic life style."

The idea was weird, especially for the late 80's, but after The Simpsons took off, dysfunctional families on TV became quite popular.  Therefore the Sinclairs were created, and Dinosaurs began.

From l-r: Charlene, Fran, Baby (top), Ethyl (bottom), Earl and Robbie
Do they look familiar to you?  I vaguely remember the TV show as a kid, but not very well.  

The show is very interesting because it's not scared to poke fun at itself.  The family is addicted to TV and Fran (the mother) always tries to get them to communicate as a family.  Instead, the characters decide to watch TV despite knowing what it does to their brains.  They will outright talk about how it doesn't stimulate the mind and why people would ever watch it in the first place.

Dinosaurs LOOKS like a children's show.  That could not be any further from the truth.  In one episode, Earl talks about watching a TV show featuring sock puppets with his child, Baby.  He loves the show because of the adult content in it.  Baby likes the show because of the fun characters.  Earl steps out of character and looks directly into the camera to talk about how there are many shows out there that feature fun characters that attract attention, but are filled with tons of witty dialogue that means more than one thing.

That couldn't be any more true.  Here are some of the issues that Dinosaurs have touched on in their four seasons:

  • Environmentalism
  • Women's Rights
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Censorship
  • Civil Rights
  • Body Image
  • Steroid Use
  • Masturbation
  • Drug Abuse
  • Racism
  • Peer Pressure
  • Corporate Greed
  • Homosexuality
Earl Sinclair's boss, B.P. Richfield, on the "Happy Plant" drug.

Not so much a children's show now, is it?

Dinosaurs is a social commentary on how human's live their lives today.  They got away with a lot of issues that many TV shows weren't able to talk about in the early 90's because they weren't coming straight out with it.  They disguised a lot of the facts so that they were never mentioned, but it was still quite obvious.

For example, masturbation wasn't called that.  It was called the Mating Dance: a specific dance that a man and a woman would do together before they, well, you know.  Robbie, the son, was caught doing the Mating Dance alone, UH OH!

Drugs were not drugs.  Instead, Robbie and his friend find a plant and decide to eat it because they are hungry.  This leads to them getting high off it.  They name it the Happy Plant.  Robbie lets his dad and sister try it.  Robbie's dad, Earl, gives some to his boss.  By the end of the episode everyone is high as kites.  

I could never imagine allowing my child to watch this show.  I'm glad I discovered it now though.  I can appreciate it so much more.

So if you remember the show as a child, give it another watch.  If you have never heard of it, but are curious, please check it out.  

It can be rented from Movie Village in Winnipeg.  Just be aware that the first disc is missing from Season 1/2.  Plus I have it rented out, sucka.  But check back soon!  Just please don't rent out season 3/4, I want to rent that one next!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Life and Death of the VCR

The Videocassette recorder was a stroke of genius at the time.  Although these beastly machines became popular in the 70's they were still the most modern and efficeint way for people to record Married...With Children on a Tuesday night while at soccer practice and watch it Wednesday.

Some people would just record shows for the sake of recording them and then watch them right after they air.  Red Forman anyone?  That 70's Show?

My first memories of the VCR were thanks to my Aunt DeeDee.  She would record episodes of "America's Funniest Home Videos" for my sister and I.  The idea of being able to rewind and watch something all over again was new to me.  What better show to experience the joys of rewinding than watching one hilarious video over and over again? 

Also, just so everyone is aware:  Bog Saget's version of AFV is way better than Tom Bergeron.  There's no discussion...whatsoever.  I'd much rather record Bob's face than Tom's.

Other VCR memories I had as a child was recording the movie "Good Burger" off of Pay Per View.  I remember this was the first movie that my family had ever ordered off of Pay Per View.  (Remember those days when you had to wait for a certain time for it to air?  It wasn't instant back in the day)

We beat the system by throwing an old VCR in and taping the whole thing.  Would that be considered piracy??  I sure hope not.

In the early 2000's DVD came along.  I always thought DVD was pretty lucky.  You know, there was that chance that the world was going to end.  Y2K?  Anyone remember that?  Just think, if that happened DVD might have never been invented and we'd still be living in the days of VCR...I wouldn't mind though.

DVD took the world by storm.  At first it was a product for the elite (much like how BluRay is today), but as soon as it was affordable it was out with the old and in with the new.  I always liked DVDs, you never have to worry about rewinding, you can select scenes, fast forward super quickly.  The downside?  DVD get scartched WAY to easily.  I don't know how many DVD's I've had to lay to rest over the past years.

VCR will always hold a special place in my heart.  Downstairs at my Parent's home there is a bookshelf.  The bookshelf is lined with Disney cassettes. A few years ago I dusted off the old VCR and grabbed my favourite childhood movie, Toy Story.  I put the tape in the VCR and was filled with excitement.  I was going to be 7 years old all over again!

The tape made a funny noise.  Something was getting wound up in it.  I hit the eject button but it wasn't working.  The tape was getting wound up in the VCR with every second that passed.  Eventually I forced the cassette out.  All that was left was the empty black shell and yards of brown film tangled up on the floor.


Maybe there is a reason we don't use VCR anyone.