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Journal Archives from May 2007
 
French Beat Boxer

I find that I am succumbing to the allure of youtube, in spite of my best efforts to remain aloof. There is just too much incredible content on there, like this remarkable French beat boxing guy. If anyone wants to watch hours of Kids Incorporated clips, spend an afternoon with The Uncle and the 'tube.
Posted by charlie on May 29th 2007
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Uncle Power Convention

Soon the new UncleCast will be posted - for now I'm afraid all there is will be the notion of greatness to come. As a teaser for the UncleCast, I can assure you that we have amazing light which will be shed upon the World Championship cart mentioned before, which typically sells from $5000 - $15,000 on the open market.
Posted by charlie on May 26th 2007
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Video game price links

A fellow collector with whom I've lately been corresponding has introduced me to what really is the next level of price fanatasism in video game collecting. He educated me about the old NES gold cart "World Championship" which is one of the holy grails of the library. Apparently there were only 26 of these made, and handed out, and they typically command prices between $5,000 and $15,000. Here is some proof that he supplied to me:
  • Ended Dec 14 06 seller only had 47 feedback. A few months earlier one sold for 12K. link
  • This one that was sold as part of a collection is pictured at the lower left. link
  • Here is a gray one. Something like 100 (could be wrong on this #) of these were given out; only 26 of the Gold were given away. link
  • Here is another Gold that I know there was a 10K offer that was not accepted. link
  • Here is one for the SNES Powerfest 94 and the 25K bid did not meet the reserve. link
Check out his Fairchild Channel F page, as it is a great resource.
Posted by charlie on May 25th 2007
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Rifftrax with Mike

Mike, the later day captain of MST3K episodes, is pushing forward his own savvy venture currently, over at rifftrax.com. I just listened to his podcast #2, found it amusing, and brief, so recommend others sample it as well.
Posted by charlie on May 24th 2007
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More Rowsdower

As we all know, the internet never ceases to impress, and ytmnd has come through with yet another Rowsdower tribute, this one being slightly more club oriented.

Also, over on an MST3K fan site, someone found Bruce J. Mitchell, the actor who played Rowsdower, and conducted a great text interview which everyone should check out! I think he sounds like a decent guy, and I hope someone has gotten him a copy of the movie by now!

For your insane eBay Watch for the day, is a set of 12, admittedly nice and complete, Fairchild Channel F games. Not long ago, this auction wouldn't have made much of an impression, but now we're talking low three figures. Only yesteday I managed to score cart #1 (common, I know) complete, for $1, and a few more carts without boxes (violating my cardinal rule) for another $1. It's all about patience, but things get stranger by the day.
Posted by charlie on May 23rd 2007
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The Final Dethklok Roadies

Sunday night we all had the great fortune to watch an old MST3K episode, which was the film The Final Sacrifice. Given how wonderfully many MST3Ks there actually are when you get right down to it, I had not seen this previously, and delighted in spending the hour and a half doubled over with convulsive fits of mirth.

Along with many other excellent aspects of the episode, such as Zap Rowsdower and a guy who sounded exactly like Dr. Teeth, one thing leapt out at me in particular. The henchmen of the villain were dressed in a caricature of executioner garb, with a black hood, and a flimsy black wife-beater shirt. After several moments, suddenly, my brain was awash with scenes and images from Metalocalypse, and the roadies of Dethklok! While the imagery I describe isn't new, something about the execution of it in this film made me nearly certain that ol' Brendon Small had perhaps enjoyed this very same MST3K and that it possibly inspired that aspect of the greatness which was to come. Once you see these guys running through the woods with rifles and machetes, it's really hard to think otherwise.

Along those lines, here is today's Internet Aneurysm.
Posted by charlie on May 22nd 2007
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Captain Power Guns

Today's eBay Watch is for an auction which has ended, but which was for a couple of wonderful, rare, and perfectly boxed blaster rifles from the Captain Power extended toy line. These two examples looked to be just about perfect, and I admit that I can't remember the last time when a single one of them came up for sale, in any condition, let alone both at once, mint.

I gave it the old college try to win them, and add them to the Preserve, but it seems that someone else also understood their rarity and value, and just plain coolness, and snuck in after I had snuck in, landing the bid you see. I'll just hope it was another member of the Captain Power fan community, and that they will enjoy them as much as I would have. Now at least I am reminded that there are such great pieces out there, and that I should keep watch, hopefully for a better price next time as well!

Here, also, for posterity are the pictures from the auction of the excellent items, so when it is long since expired from ebay we may still enjoy them.
Posted by charlie on May 21st 2007
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Metalocalypse Hasselhoff

I just sat down to re-watch the season finale episode of Metalocalypse, reminding myself how it's one of the most excellent and brutal 15 minutes of TV ever to be made. This reminded me to see if and when the much anticipated DVD and CD of the show and music was ever going to be released.

Since amazon.com seems to do a pretty decent job of tracking upcoming releases of items, along with dates much of the time, that seemed a reasonable place to go. The results for the simple search 'metalocalypse' turned up:
Posted by charlie on May 20th 2007
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Alf Alarm Aneurysm

A google image search for the string "Alf Alarm Clock" turned up zero correct clocks, but certainly did turn up today's Internet Aneurysm.

Also we have an eBay Watch for today, which is a collection of 16mm films of original Fat Albert episodes! Not one, not two, not three, but four episodes of the show have been found in a school basement, and are being offered to the highest bidder. Best of luck.
Posted by charlie on May 19th 2007
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Michael Gross Boston Legal

It has just come to my delighted attention that not three days ago, on the latest episode of Boston Legal, everyone's favorite TV dad and Graboid hunter, Michael Gross, had an appearance! Sadly I am a few episodes behind on that show, so didn't yet see the new one, but I am now terribly excited to see how that episode plays out. The previews certainly made it look nuts, but the addition of Burt Gummer is excellent.

Apparently a site called tv-now will let me know when and where a favorite actor will appear on tv in the coming month. Here, then is the hitlist for Gross.

Lastly, we have an eBay Watch, which is for a Michael Gross signature. Something about this auction, and the item of his inparticular, seems both awesome and tragic. I guess I still don't understand why someone would part with things which apparently mean so much to them, and are as small and light as a signed photo! But, everyone has their reasons, I must remember. Apparently he even included a personal note, written on a page of a Family Ties script - I admit to being intrigued.

Amazingly, this entire flight of discovery and madness spawned from a line in Weird Al's new eBay song, about an 'Alf Alarm Clock'. I can hardly remember the twists and turns that led us here, but visit this site for the song, and a great fan-made video with nearly all the items that are mentioned in the song, as culled directly from eBay - including that Alf Alarm Clock!!
Posted by charlie on May 18th 2007
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Change Huge Comic Lot

Today my friend Change called with a mission. This was one of those crazy things that I seem to constantly get myself involved with, but as crazy missions are my preferred method of operation I agreed nearly immediately. Turns out he had found an auction, which will be our eBay Watch for the day, for 8,432 individual issues, in a total of 24 long storage boxes. This comes to a grand weight total of nearly 1,000 pounds...of comics...which I think is just awesome. When he brought this auction to my attention the bid was right around $100, with only hours to go. The catch was that, of course, the shipping for this material would be prohibitive to say the least, so I was being enlisted as a Transporter. This seemed like an awesome job, and my fee was to be a number of these long boxes; from the tantalizing pictures which included Transformers, GI Joe, Punisher, Robotech and Grendel comics, this was too good to pass up.

In theory, Change was going to restrict his bid to a very low amount, hoping to score this set with very little monetary risk involved. The auction has since ended, as you can see at $406.01 - so I suspect that Change in fact was not victorious. Of course this elicits mixed feelings, as it saves me a trip to New Jersey, but what a great opportunity that has slipped by. Well, there will be another.
Posted by charlie on May 17th 2007
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Action VHS

As part of my ongoing quest to assure the incorporation into the Preserve of the best and the brightest that Hollywood Video has to offer in their VHS tape sale, last week I had the good fortune to partake in their Action/Adventure tape event. Having maintained a near daily vigil of phone calls to their harassed staff, I timed it nearly to the hour when they finished their 1000 tape pull, and spent the next hour and a half of my life sifting through the much loved and now discarded tapes of years past.

Following is a list of the 32 best that I found, and we have already enjoyed a great many of them! While the act of reviewing films is as new to the internet as email, I still feel compelled, so hopefully at the very least we can get some words and pictures up about a fantastic Busey movie - Eye of the Tiger - itself alone justifying the bulk acquisition.

Eye of the Tiger (Busey)
Terminal Rush (Don 'The Dragon' and Rowdy Roddy Piper)
The Call Me MISTER Tibbs!(Poitier)
Hidden Assassin (Dolph)
Sweepers (Dolph)
Black Dog (meatloaf)
Agent Red (Dolph)
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
Ice Station Zebra
Sharpe's Rifles (Sean Bean)
God of Killers
The Punisher (Dolph)
Rogue Force (Robert Patrick)
Solo (Van Peebles)
Hostile Waters (Rutger)
Storm Catcher (Dolph)
Returner
Firewalker (Chuck Norris)
Replicant (Van Damme)
Universal Soldier (Van Damme AND Dolph)
Tango & Cash (Stallone & Russell)
The Delta Force (Chuck Norris & Lee Marvin)
Detention (Dolph)
Striking Distance (Bruce Willis)
Deadly China Dolls
Surviving the Game (Rutger)
The Eiger Sanction (Eastwood)
Rambo III
Night Hawks (Rutger)
Raw Deal (Schwarzenegger)
Death Wish (Bronson)
The Hitman (Chuck Norris)


Posted by charlie on May 16th 2007
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NJ Arcade Auction

Basement Arade Mark has finally had a chance to put up his carefully recorded prices from the most recent New Jersey Arcade auction, from March of this year. I was in attendance of this much-lamented auction, and left empty-handed, sadly. I think the only real heartbreak of the show, since on average the prices were too high for my tastes, was a perfect condition, working great, Sunset Riders 4-player. This is one of the Uncle's very favorite games, and it was a nightmare that there it sat, would not fit in my pickup with the cap attached, and was one of the few machines that didn't have a crowd of interest around it. Careful readers of the Preserve and listeners of the UncleCasts may recall a discussion along these tragic lines.

In the grand scheme of things, of course, it's just as well that it went home with someone else, but it still hurt then, and the pain lingers a little now when I saw the price on his list.
Posted by charlie on May 15th 2007
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UncleCast 6

Posted today at long last is the latest UncleCast, which is our special Mother's Day episode. Please do enjoy, and give special attention to the amazing musical number that you may enjoy during the intermission. The show notes will be posted within a day.
Posted by charlie on May 14th 2007
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Transformers comic #1

This spring and summer is certain to be the great renaissance of Transformers branded goods from the present and the past. I have been watching the prices slowly climb as the movie gets more hype, and draws nearer, and my suspicions are that this effect is also helping to drag up prices of all 80s memorabilia, due to the spotlight it is casting.

Today's eBay Watch features a copy of the Transformers Comic #1, which was offered in one of these fancy "CGC" graded and certified lucite enclosures. Granted it rated a "9.8", if anyone believes that stuff, but the final sale price of $500 was really something else. I guess I should ship off the several copies I have to get them 'graded' and then rake in the foolish loot. Oh wait, that's right, I don't sell stuff. It will be interesting to see if this was an aberration, or the sign of a continuing trend up until July, at which point, regardless of how well or terribly the movie does, I suspect that prices and interest in the series will begin to drop back to, let's say, 2004 levels.
Posted by charlie on May 11th 2007
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Comic Backs

This evening I was going through the pile of Punisher comics that I got this past weekend, and was adding cardboard backs to the tender issues. While this may be a product that exists, I have not yet sought it out, but I was considering what a good idea it would be to use clear rigid backing instead of the opaque white ones that one typically finds. This all comes back to my enjoyment of the single issue as a piece of art, and while many will hold me accountable for my strange fixations, I find the art on the rear of the book to be wonderful when considered in the context of the age when the material was released. With a clear backing board, you could see the front and back of the book, of course, thereby doubling your enjoyment! This point was driven home to me moments ago, when I found this on the back of Punisher #4, November 1987.



That picture speaks more than I really could, and supports my assertion that clear backing boards are something that some issues really need.
Posted by charlie on May 10th 2007
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Punisher Comics

This past weekend was free comic book day, which is always a good excuse to visit the local comic store and of course end up leaving with far more than a 'free' dent in your wallet. Our local store chose that day to also feature a sale on their back issues, of $1 each. This was a pretty good deal, considering that it really covered any of the regular stock back issues, ranging from anything priced as $3.95 to early issues in a series priced from $8 to $10.

Arriving late in the day, as I so often do, I had of course missed the Transformers free book which was part of the festivities, but picked up what was left. Then while rummaging around in the back issues I managed to develop yet another in the long list of unholy collecting passions, when I stumbled upon a huge pile of the 1980s Marvel Punisher series. Turns out that this was a long lived series, cresting at 104 issues in 1995 after an eight year run, and so I've really done it this time. I've always been a great fan of Frank, but have rarely taken the time to more closely familiarize myself with his comic adventures, given that comics were something that I entirely missed growing up. What with all the toys and physics books, something just had to give. Now, of course, in my old age I may slyly revisit all those things which I missed, thanks to well timed visits to those last bastions of awesomeness which every town really should have, and through the bins and buskets of graphic novels gone by.

Lastly, in a rare tech note, are several interesting links. The Drobo, 'the worlds first storage robot', is an amazingly flexible home storage device, much like a little desktop RAID. It's new and pricey, but a nice sign of things to come - there's a video at that link. Also I was just sent a link to a fabulously cheap laptop, good today and tomorrow only. Admittedly it may not be a completely solid deal - go TigerDirect - but it's some good power on the cheap.
Posted by charlie on May 9th 2007
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comic TPBs

My good friend Abyss has asked me for years why I insist on pursuing comic series on an issue-by-issue basis, especially when I generally only become interested in a series long after it has been completely released, and then re-released in condensed and easy to read (and store!) book form. For years I didn't have a solid answer for him, beyond the fact that I enjoy the cover art on most series, and see each issue as it's own small piece of art. At last, though, it hit me.

The best thing is, that it all comes back to that Pryor's Place ad which I stumbled upon while reading the Indiana Jones issue from 1984. I realized that something I derive supreme enjoyment from is context, which is an amazingly powerful concept. It is like finding an actual old VCR recording from the 80s of a tv show - while it is possible that the show in question has lately been released on DVD in the current fad of such, on that tape you receive something as valuable as the show itself, and that is the context in which that show originally existed. The central aim of the Preserve is to carry forward not only individual items from an age which is more 'gone by' with every passing day, but to also perpetuate the entire feeling and environment of the time in which these things existed. Watching that old VCR tape, or reading an old single issue comic, you get to see the way that the story was originally presented and enjoyed in that specific time period. A DVD or a collected book is wonderful for allowing people to still read and watch this material, which is of course far better than allowing it to be lost to the ages! But, when you pick up an old comic, you get the Atari game ads, you get the 'letters' column in the back, you might get some fan art, and some replies from the editor and art staff of the comic. With very few exceptions, all of this context is lost when original material is presented in an updated form.

Finally I have a proper response to my unreasonable enjoyment of the single issue, and I feel that, in a rare show of reasonability, it is actually built upon a sound fundamental argument!
Posted by charlie on May 7th 2007
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remote uncleCast

Fond hopes of getting the chance to produce an UncleCast this weekend, wherein The Uncle doesn't sound as if he is at the bottom of a long and echoing pit of shamelessness, have been dashed on the pointy rocks. Seems that the many intricacies of existence that must be tended to in order to keep the great content flowing around here sometimes have geographical demands, the likes of which no man can fight!

I am extremely excited that today, this morning in fact, my boxed Fairchild Channel F has arrived. This was one of the gaping holes in the console collection here at the Preserve, and now it has been filled. So new is this system to the Preserve, that photographic evidence has yet to be assembled, but wait and see!

In the meantime, I highly recommend a very excellent, dedicated, Channel F site that a reader of the Preserve has spent many many long hours creating, and has just posted for all to see. Check it out, and appreciate the dedication!
Posted by charlie on May 4th 2007
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Newsweek Re-Animator

Re-Animator fandom at the Preserve has taken an unexpected turn today, as I was directed to a seemingly benign and hopeful medical article in the latest issue of Newsweek. Once you have been in the Re-Animator mindset for even a few moments, reading that article comes as a delightful or terrifying shock, depending on your general mentality. I found it to be amazingly awesome, especially the very end:

Becker...has developed an injectable slurry of salt and ice to cool the blood quickly that he hopes to make part of the standard emergency-response kit.

I mean, the guy even talks about the solution which he has devised, that, once injected into the lifeless corpse, can assist in the successful restoration of life...and we all know what another great word for 'restoration of life' is. Just read the article, and be amazed and delighted.

Along those same or similar lines, the latest UncleCast is now posted, so be sure to check it out, as well as the show notes for more information.
Posted by charlie on May 3rd 2007
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House of Re-Animator, continued

As part of my Re-Animator research, I had found a few indications that the minds behind the original trilogy were hoping to put together a fouth installment, and to give it a political bent. More recently, I was excited to hear that in fact the project is much farther along than I ever could have hoped, and even read a rumor that there is a planned 2007 release!

Now, IMDB would indicate that the release of House of Re-Animator is looking more like 2008, and I've further read that they are having trouble 'securing' financing for the project. I suspect that the truth is somewhere in the middle, and here is a lengthy interview with Brian Yunza where he talks about that project briefly in the middle of the interview - search for it. The first and arguably best entry in the series was directed by Stuart Gordon, while the subsequent two films of the first trilogy where directed by Brian Yuzna. Fans of the series maintain that having Gordon back in the driver's seat for 'House' is a very good sign of a return to quality, so let us hope! He has this to say about the planned trilogy:

Three more Re-Animator films with which to resolve the saga of Herbert West. The proposed first one, HOUSE OF RE-ANIMATOR would have West being called to the White House to re-animate the deceased Vice-President. Of course, by the time the dust settles, even the President has been re-animated and West is the power behind the throne. The second would be RE-ANIMATOR UNBOUND! West would have his own feifdom amidst a war zone. There his experiments take him directly in conflict with religion and face to face with the Old Ones of Lovecraftian lore. The final episode would be RE-ANIMATOR BEGINS. After having his mind pretty much erased by the trauma of Unbound! West is brought back to his senses (during which we get to see some of Westís boyhood) by a mysterious doctor who turns out to be his mentor Dr. Gruberís niece. Back at the medical school in Switzerland (where it all began in the original RE-ANIMATOR) West recreates his early experiments, but makes the fatal mistake of breaking one of his basic tenants when he finds himself having feelings for....a woman.

Today's eBay Watch is a wonderful carded classic Star Wars collection with a tragic and pathetic story behind the reason for it's being for sale. It is about to end but is still worth checking out afterwards for the great pictures.
Posted by charlie on May 2nd 2007
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House of Re-Animator

It is clear that Re-Animator has been a real source of focus and excitement for the past few days, and I admit that I'm on a serious mission to both see the original one again, as well as attaching it to the head end of at least a three movie run made up of the original trilogy. This means that I, and other willing souls, may look forward to seeing Bride of Re-Animator as well as the very recent and much maligned Beyond Re-Animator.

I feel it would not be beyond reason to go even further, and include in this marathon of Jeffery Combs awesomeness From Beyond, which is not part of the Re-Animator canon, but also Lovecraftian and very similar, making it well worthy of the spot.

There will be further Re-Animator news, views, and revelations in the days to come!

For those interested, here is a glamour shot of the weekend's yardsale haul.

Posted by charlie on May 1st 2007
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