Monthly Archives: March 2015

Loot Crate Unboxing – March 2015

Greetings all! Welcome to another Loot Crate Unboxing!  For the month of March, we have a rather secretive bunch of stuff to fit the theme: Covert.

The March Loot Crate! - Photo by me
The March Loot Crate! – Photo by me

Starting things off this month, is another fine t-shirt from Loot Crate Labs.  I like that I, at least, have finally gotten a shirt that isn’t primarily black.  This is the fifth t-shirt I received in a Crate and the previous four have all been black.  I like that this shirt features a white suit James Bond.  It’s not often that the most infamous spy of the silver screen and paperback wears a white suit.  The shirt also features the classic ‘gun barrel’ look, with a disappointed 007.  It seems someone messed up his martini.

Next, we have the Field Agent Blink Time Wrist Watch from 50 Fifty Gifts.  The watch is covered by a protective silicon cover.  It keeps track of the time, but only displays it for a few seconds every time you push the button on the face.  It’s a great way to keep track of time without enemy spies being able to glance at your watch.

Who doesn’t love Mad Libs? No, seriously, if you don’t like Mad Libs, there may be something psychologically wrong with you.  They are a great party game!  So, to go along with this month’s theme, we have a book of Spy Mad Libs!  I mean, what spy doesn’t love being the life of the party and flaunting his or her job?  (Sterling Archer is the obvious exception to the preceding sarcastic question.)

As most people  now-a-days, I’m a fan of the so-called ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe.’  The continuity across the multiple films is quite commendable.  So, when Joss Whedon started Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I was stoked!  Now, I can finally get into one of Nick Fury’s secret bases!!  The S.H.I.E.L.D. lanyard from EFX Collectibles that comes with every Crate this month is a prop replica, complete with a Certificate of Authenticity!  Of course, your friends will have to get theirs on a case-by-case basis.

Loot Crate agents also get an exclusive Paracord Survival Bracelet.  Apparently, these things are quite the rage.  It’s made of military-grade parachute cord and can be unravelled in time of need.  You can then use it for various rope functions.  What I’m not sure about, is how to put it back together one you pull the cord.

We also have an exclusive variant cover of Issue #1 of a new comic based on a Canadian sci-fi show: Orphan Black.  I’ve never heard of the show, but the folks at Loot Crate recommend it.  I will, at the very least, read this issue of the comic from IDW Comics.  The story apparently follows a girl and her clones.  That has to be interesting, right?

Lastly, we have a couple of Special Agent Dossier notebooks from Field Notes.  The two books are strapped together with CONFIDENTIAL tape, but appear to be blank for whatever notes you might need to make whilst in training, or out on an op.  Honestly, I’m not sure how much use I will make of these, but they are a cool piece for the crate.

Bonus! Just like the ninja I assume comic to be about, the Loot Crate folks sneaked in a free download for the Valiant Comics Issue #1 of Ninjak.  I have to assume that this is full of awesome, as the description links this ninja to MI-6.  For those of you who have never seen a James Bond film, and therefore don’t appreciate the first item I described, MI-6 is British Intelligence.  Now I want to know why MI-6 has a ninja working for them.

What was your favorite part of this month’s crate?  I look forward to reading the comics and using the S.H.I.E.L.D. lanyard in an easy-to-put-together cosplay.

Indiana Comic Con 2015

This post is long overdue, but work and being a father had take up a lot of my time, as of late.  Indiana Comic Con was a much better-organized convention than it was last year in its inaugural happening.  They had much more space, bigger stars, and a great line up of artists and vendors.

I was very pleased to add two more autographs to my Season 1 Game of Thrones: Rory McCann (The Hound), and Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo).  Both of them were really cool to meet.  Rory was interesting to see smiling and happy, very unlike Sandor Clegane.  Jason was very much the bad-ass you would expect him to be, with his shades, long hair, and general muscly-bigness.

Another highlight of the weekend for my wife and I was getting some brief interaction and an autograph from Jenna Coleman.  Yes, THE Clara Oswald was in town!  It was a little exhilarating to hear her say our names with her accent.  We exchange brief pleasantries with her before moving the line along, but it was nice that she made an effort to say hi and thank us for seeing her.

My wife also took some time to meet a couple of the Disney princess voice actresses.  Paige O’Hara, who voiced Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was there, as well as Linda Larkin, who voiced Jasmine, in Disney’s Aladdin.  My wife got an autograph from each of them to her and our daughter.  Granted our daughter can’t appreciate them yet, but she will sooner than I realize, no doubt.

I was able to find a few issues of Dark Horse’s Star Wars: Legacy and Star Wars: Dark Times that I was missing.  The comic vendor selling them only asked $1 a piece!  I didn’t get to look at any of the other comic vendors, unfortunately, because it turns out I have a lot of missing issues for Legacy.

Speaking of comics, on Saturday of the con, I was dressed in my Captain America (Cap costume hoodie, jeans, nice boots, and the shield) and got to get some pictures with one of the actual shield props used in Captain America: The Winter Soldier!  And it was signed by the main cast of Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D!! I really felt like Cap for a minute…

Perhaps the pinnacle of nerd for me was a combination of a Saturday and Sunday.  Carrie Fisher was a guest of the con, so of course I had to get her autograph.  I was wrestling with what to have her sign and decided on the variant of the new Princess Leia comic of Carrie from A New Hope with her blaster.  Bonus: Mark Wade was there at the con, so I had him sign it too!  While talking to him, I mentioned I was going to have Carrie sign it and he warned me that she had been glittering people all day.  ‘Oh, boy, something weird to look forward to when I get up there tomorrow,’ I thought.  Man, was I right.

After some schedule rearranging, and time to rest and feel a little better, and lots of time in line, I finally got up to see Carrie F#@*ing Fisher!  Her con handler passes her the comic with the post-it ‘To Phil’.  “Phil!” she exclaimed.  “Hi,” I said.  She wrote ‘Love to Phil’ on the comic cover and paused to look up at me with a look of someone thinking hard.  “Help me remember,” she said.

Uh…what the hell was I supposed to say to that?!

I stood there, with this dumb look on my face, eyes wide with confusion and panic, mouth agape.  “Just say anything,” she said after a few seconds.  As I stumble around in my brain for what to say, I finally just blurted out “Tacos.” Tacos.  Really brain? That’s what we went with?!  Oh well, it’s too late now, as she’s writing.  Under ‘Love to Phil’ she added ‘Meet me at Taco Bell – Let’s ring it! Carrie Fisher.’  I kid you not.  Then, before I’m allowed to leave the table, she tells me to wait.  She stands up, gets out this gold paint-on make up and puts two spots on my left check, then adds some silver glitter.  Then she adds another gold spot to my right cheek and more silver glitter.  This is not a joke.  Here’s photographic proof.

Aftermath of meeting Carrie Fisher.
Aftermath of meeting Carrie Fisher.
Aftermath of meeting Carrie Fisher
The Taco Bell autograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, it was a great con.  We got to see some friends attend a convention for the first time, got some fantastic autographs, and had a great time.  We even had the baby with us one day!  This was one of the best cons Indiana has had to date, excluding the well-established Gen Con.

A life is like a garden

As you should know by now, the legendary Leonard Nimoy passed away last week.  Like many of you, I was thoroughly shocked and profoundly sad upon hearing the news of his passing.  I’ve had a week now to come to terms with this loss, and find myself aching from it still.  Never before in my life have I felt the death of a celebrity as personally as I have Mr. Spock’s.  Several times last Friday, I found myself on the verge of tears and finally broke down that night as I was laying in bed watching the funeral scene from Wrath of Khan.  So, for the rest of this post, I will do my own little tribute to Mr. Nimoy, a man who truly did live long, and prosper.

The final tweet from Leonard Nimoy's Twitter account.
The final tweet from Leonard Nimoy’s Twitter account.
Image from https://www.facebook.com/NukeTheFridgeWebsite?fref=nf
Image from https://www.facebook.com/NukeTheFridgeWebsite?fref=nf
My Facebook post regarding Leonard Nimoy's passing.
My Facebook post regarding Leonard Nimoy’s passing.
Honestly, I can't recall where I found this, but I will officially state it is not mine.
Honestly, I can’t recall where I found this, but I will officially state it is not mine.
This one though, I did make from a picture I found at random on the internet.  I made the meme on icanhascheeseburger.
This one though, I did make from a picture I found at random on the internet. I made the meme on icanhascheeseburger.

Weird Al Wednesday – March 2015

What’s that? It’s the first Wednesday of the month?  Well, that means it’s time for another Weird Al Wednesday!  This month’s selection was picked out by my wife: Weasel Stomping Day, from the album Straight Outta Lynwood.

This is one of the shortest tracks that Al has ever done.  The only shorter track I know was Harvey the Wonder Hamster from Alapalooza, but I digress.  You can’t deny the comically unsettling nature of this song.  I mean, it’s a whole song about a holiday where people go around stepping on weasels.  Combine that with the traditional garb of a Viking helmet and oversize boots, not to mention putting mayonnaise on your lawn, it’s pretty ridiculous.

However, that’s the point.  Al does a fantastic job of satirizing the constant holding on to  of old ways and justification of crazy antics because things are ‘tradition.’  One of the lyrics is even “It’s tradition, that makes it OK.”  Oh, it’s fine, we’ve done this for decades, or a hundred years, or centuries.  That means it is what we should do for the rest of time.  Really?  Then why has mankind taken to using automobiles instead of beasts of burden, or walking for that matter?

It’s true, some traditions become outdated and need to be abandoned.  Not all of them, though.  Some of them need to remain as a means of reminding us who we used to be, and mustn’t be again.  Time-honored remembrances to root us in our cultural heritage.  Little things with personal meaning that tie us to major events of our lives.  These things are important parts of society that keep us from fracturing into the barbarians we used to be.

Wow, that got a little deeper than I expected.  Oh well, that can happen when you are pretty much free writing.  Well, anyway, I hope you enjoyed the song.  I’d love to hear what some of your favorite, but odd, traditions might be in the comments below.  Until next month, stay weird!

Loot Crate Unboxing – February 2015

Greetings all! Welcome to another unboxing post!  I have slipped into the next month again, but as you may be aware, things at work have been hectic and exhausting.  Along with that, I’m now a father!  Obviously that eats up a lot of my time, but now, on to business.  February’s theme: Play!

February's Theme: Play
February’s Theme: Play

The creative team at Loot Crate did another bang-up job this month!  In keeping with a running theme that last few months, the crate itself can be utilized as more than a simple box.  This month’s box and info magazine can be used to play a board game about packing Loot Crates.  That’s pretty meta.

Our first item is a DIY Munny from Kidrobot, complete with three dry erase markers.  I’m not all that great at art, so we will have to see how this goes.  Looters can enter a design contest with their Munny.  I may not enter, but here’s a link to see what the other Looters have made.

Next up, we have a book.  An honest-to-goodness, bound collection of words on pages.  The novel Ready Player One is by author Ernest Cline, and is apparently a New York Times bestseller.  While I look forward to reading it, and might even go see the movie, I will give you the synopsis found on the back cover verbatim:

“In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia know as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within the world’s digital confines – puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win – and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”

I have seen a few videos of people playing the next item in the crate, and the game looks rather entertaining.  SUPERFIGHT, from SKYBOUND Games lets players create superheroes with strange powers and then vote on who would win in a fight.  I’ve looked through this Loot Crate exclusive deck, and it promises to be quite the game maker.

What game-themed crate would be complete without some form of dice?  The correct answer is, of course, none.  Loot Crate Labs made some special dice just for the occasion, and they stem from a well-known game that often decides how things will be: rock, paper, scissors.  Two colored dice, one for each player, each feature 8-bit looking hands meant to represent the three options of the game.

The next item is something that has been popular for quite some time.  Hexbugs have been around for a few years now, but I have never had the proclivity to get into them.  Well, here’s my chance!  Each crate had the possibility of getting one of six different choices, including two glow-in-the-dark options!  I’m fairly certain mine is one of the latter, as it is a neon, “look at me” kind of flashy color.

There’s a poster this month, too!  It’s a multilevel breakdown of an Atari cartridge.  After all, Atari started the home gaming craze.  The game cartridge featured on the poster is everyone’s favorite yellow eater: Pac-Man!  I think I’ll hang it up just above my computer desk, to remind me to snack when I game.

Lastly, we have an exclusive code for a game tied to Joss Whedon!  A premium ship unlock for the Firefly Online game.  While I’m not surprised this game exists, I hadn’t really heard of it prior to getting the crate.  I suppose that’s a fitting notion, since it is tied to Firefly.  I will have to check this game out and see if how much time it requires to be entertaining.  Maybe I can become the hero of Canton!

What was your favorite thing from the February crate?  Are you looking forward to this month’s loot?  I’m super excited about the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which starts back up in about an hour) exclusive item this month!