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Journal Archives from December 2011
Masters of the Universe Classics - Snout Spout

It's been a pretty spotty year for our coverage of Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics line, but I'm playing some catch-up here at the zero hour, as we all count down to the New Year. Today, let's have a look at Snout Spout - or Jaxton to his friends. He suffered some crazy manipulation at the hands of Hordak, but made it through and now fights on the side of right. Click through the image to learn more and see this great modern update of our favorite water-squirting elephantman*!

* Figure does not squirt water...

Posted by charlie on December 30th 2011, 08:56 PM
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Tiger Electronics Volume II 1992 Catalog

For all of you early '90s fans - ok I'm one too, I can't deny it - here is a Tiger Electronics catalog sure to please! It is marked as being 'Volume II' so I suspect it's only part of their product offering for the year, but it is chock-a-block full of Sid & Marty Krofft's Land of the Lost figures and playsets, and far more Home Alone 2 gear than anyone ever needed or dreamed of. Certainly there are some classy LCD handheld video games as well, and even a few game watches for good measure! Click through the clever catalog cover below to check out this fast-becoming golden oldie!

Posted by charlie on December 29th 2011, 09:50 AM
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eBay Watch - Sega Master System Massive Lot

I am, of course, a fan of the glorious Sega Master System, and am on a somewhat lazy and occasional quest to finish my US Release collection and post them all to the Preserve. Someday, I tell you! Well, here's an eBay Watch for today of a fairly massive Master System lot, but the engrish and general lack of clarity on what games have their instruction manuals, and the hilarious 'redaction' of one title from the image, certainly fail to inspire the confidence required for a $2850 opening bid! Well, it's a fun picture none the less, and feel free to click through to up this dude's hit count, leading to that much greater disappointment when no one bites.

Posted by charlie on December 28th 2011, 09:17 PM
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AmToy 1981 Catalog

While this 1981 AmToy product catalog contains mostly traditional "girl's toys" - and a few gems like Super Pickle - it was only a few years later (1985) that they would bring us Madballs! Click through the image to check out the products they were pushing at the start of the decade, and keep fingers crossed that I can find more catalogs from this company to fill out their history here at the Preserve!

Posted by charlie on December 27th 2011, 11:11 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 25

Before leaving for the holiday I failed to get a 'group shot' of all of the Lego surprises that were unleashed over the course of the month. Typically I take the opportunity to complete their dream of making a nice holiday diorama, perhaps as they intended, perhaps not, to celebrate the culmination of the Christmas season on the one, massive, ultimate day. That, I suppose, will happen a little later this year! However, in the meantime, and 1 day after the 25th, let's at least have a look at the contents of the final day, where some festivity finally reared it's head, however incongruous it may be with the proceeding majority of days.

A gift toting Samichlaus relaxes by the roaring brickfire, and today we'll say that he's taking it easy after another long and successful world tour.

Posted by charlie on December 26th 2011, 07:08 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 23

I've tried really hard to like this year's Lego advent calendar. Really I have! Today we have the penultimate, 23rd surprise.

It is a dog.

With a bone.

That doesn't even attach to the dog.

That's right, on the next to last day of this calendar, which has been full of law enforcement, repeat surprises, multi-day sort-of-dull builds and a distinct lack of super awesome things, we get a non-building figure set. Ok, so the dog is sort of neat, and is roughly in scale with the mini-figures (if it's a Great Dane I guess) but I admit that I was hoping for something more...Lego like.

At least I am excited - waiting with baited breath - to see how much this day pisses off Newton Gimmick over at Infinite Hollywood - a fellow site that has been doing the countdown, with similarly frustrating results!

Posted by charlie on December 23rd 2011, 11:46 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 22

Admittedly, today is a 'repaint' of a previous day, but I'm willing to forgive this because it is a duplicate of what is perhaps the coolest, most stylish surprise of the calendar so far - the snow mobile! Now our two miscreants are able to escape at high speed - LaFours doesn't have a chance!

Posted by charlie on December 22nd 2011, 08:49 PM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 21

Lego Overload!

Well, once I start this journey every December, I do try to see it through to the end, in all the gory detail - thanks to anyone still playing along at home!

As a reward for our dedication, at least the set has stepped it up over the last couple days, dispensing with the law enforcement angle entirely and allowing us to focus completely on the exploits of the dastardly duo! Having successfully cracked the safe and made off with the gold bricks in their stolen cop car and snow mobile, they now escape on the river - to throw off the dogs!

Posted by charlie on December 21st 2011, 09:38 PM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 20

It may not seem to be bringing the calendar around to much of a Christmas theme, with only a handful of days left in the countdown, but I'm sort of amused by the Bond-esque getaway snow mobile that Thug and LaFours have gotten on this day.

They got that Leprechaun gold!

Posted by charlie on December 20th 2011, 10:18 PM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 19

I've not been extraordinarily generous in my reviews of the Lego Advent Calendar this year, feeling that they may have cut some corners here and there, and potentially are no longer working with the same creative team who has done a pretty compelling job in years past. However, I will give credit where credit is due, and the decidedly bold direction that they have taken things over the past few days, with the introduction of an even more inept looking, crowbar wielding thug (let's call him Louie) was a welcome sight! Then we arrive at today's surprise, and we have a Lego bank vault, complete with two shiny gold bricks!

I'm definitely pleased with how that is shaping up - and while 5 more days may not be enough to fully redeem the set, it will surely help to not make it a total disappointment. So - thanks for the shiny bricks, Lego!

Posted by charlie on December 19th 2011, 12:43 PM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 16

Oh Lego - just as I thought you were on the ball by giving us a cool car for Thug to drive around in, I find that the follow-up day is...more car. A stop sign, a mailbox, a speedbump - all of those are pedestrian examples of things that still probably would have been more interesting than white panels for the minimal, but satisfactory surprise for day 15.

Well - maybe it's a matter of perspective. Maybe I'm just not in sync with the designer's idea this year to span more complex sets over several days. I maintain that with such a limited number of prizes, and such a need to keep it fun and interesting, that you really can't spend 4 days building a police station (of all things) or have a grill and white doors for a car take up a slot. I suspect, with some amount of trepidation, that tomorrow will bring us, perhaps, a roof for the car. Guess we'll find out in about 15 hours! In the meantime, please enjoy this day 16 image from the 2010 calendar.

That's right! All what's left of him is his hairpiece!

Posted by charlie on December 16th 2011, 11:52 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 15

Now that is more like it, Lego! That's what I'm hoping to see from your Master Builders! Day 15 of the somewhat slow-moving Advent Calendar has given us a go kart (or, let's say, sports car) for Thug. He can cruise around town in style, or, as the case may be, around the flannel sheep pasture!

Posted by charlie on December 15th 2011, 01:02 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 14

I've given Lego a bit of a hard time over some of their less-than-exciting surprises in the 2011 advent calendar, but they went a long way towards making amends today with their Lego Man sized magnifying glass. That thing is awesome.

Posted by charlie on December 14th 2011, 12:20 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 13

Deputy Chief LaFours has turned up - seems Gendarme is being a little too chummy with Thug and whoever the mysterious hatchet man may be. He's just arrived at the station, and is sizing up the scenario. Maybe the 14th will give him some Jaws of Life or a 10' tall exosuit with which to burst into the station...we can hope, at least.

Posted by charlie on December 13th 2011, 12:34 PM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 12

As you have hopefully been following along, the December 2011 calendar above has been marching dutifully onward as we make our way through the Lego Advent set. I must say, though, that Lego had better step it up a little in the 2nd half of the month that we begin tomorrow. So far we have a few figures (one of which has double-hatchets and a hooded parka, so ok that's cool), some coffee cups, and a 4-day police station. The station is pretty solid, but it's still taken up four of a very limited set of days and we're hoping for some more wacky, creative surprised before all is said and done.

Since we have that station / jail all built (hopefully) let's at least let Gendarme, Thug and Dr. Blair have a quiet moment by the tree.

And just for a little proper perspective, the calendar for 2010 allowed us to create this scene by the time we had reached day 12:

Posted by charlie on December 12th 2011, 12:47 PM
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1987 LJN Toys, Entertech Catalog

Yesterday I found myself in a conversation about the 1987 light gun tag game, Photon. It seemed to be a sure sign that I should get my just newly acquired 1987 LJN Entertech catalog posted to the growing Preserve collection! I had one of the Entertech water pistols back in the day, and I'm floored by the vast array of extremely accurate replica firearms that LJN was gladly selling to bright-eyed kids of the '80s. Of course, I'm here to feature the Photon sets, especially things like the Shootback Target (which looks incredible) but do be sure to take a look at the full catalog - it's pretty short, and worth the time!

Posted by charlie on December 9th 2011, 01:49 AM
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Sega Master System - Ghouls'N Ghosts

Hoping to avoid boring anyone with the monotony of the Lego Advent Calendar every day, I'll throw a curve today with Ghouls'N Ghosts for the Sega Master System! This game is the second entry in the Ghosts'N Goblins series, and was released in arcades by Capcom in 1988. This 1990 Master System version introduced a power-up system, allowing Arthur to upgrade aspects of his armor and visit secret shops - indeed!

At the risk of seeming like a somewhat unskilled gamer (truth be told!) I always found that the Ghosts'N Goblins games were particularly skilled at kicking my posterior. This title is no exception, though the added dimension of strategy with the upgrades is both helpful and infuriating at the same time (as well it should be!). A solid, and honestly somewhat rare title in the Master System library, I'm delighted to finally add this one to the Preserve!

Posted by charlie on December 8th 2011, 12:05 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 7

Today presents us with a Lego skateboard, and some fine joyous looking presents to deliver! I have a delighted suspicion that Santa, or another character in the next few days, will end up on this board, but for now Thug has made off with it! Well, looks like all that lemonade didn't quite cure him of his nature - and we know that defeating one's own nature is the hardest battle of all. Not to worry, Thug will come around and see the error of his ways, but for 48 hours or so he'll have a good time travelling at near the speed of light, testing that theory about Christmas Eve!

I am possessed of a strong feeling that I'll try to work in some Marty McFly plot points thanks to this whole skateboarding angle. Christmas 2011 may be heavy!

Posted by charlie on December 7th 2011, 01:45 AM
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Toys For Tots at

The talented Newton Gimmick over at is running a great Christmas-time promotion to spread some holiday cheer to those less fortunate at this time of year. Snap a picture of your generous donation to Toys For Tots, and they will give a matching donation! Just as soon as I'm able to track down a donation station in my small town - or nearby - I can join the generous ranks with all of you. Click on their snazzy banner below for more details about this holly jolly program!

Posted by charlie on December 6th 2011, 12:01 PM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 6

In some previous years, we've had to wait a while before getting the festive arbor accessory in the Lego set. However, much like home decorations, it's fun to get things set up a little earlier so you have more of the month during which they may be enjoyed. So was Lego's plan this time around, and we have gotten on this, the 6th of December, a Christmas Tree for the Lemonade stand!

Thug and Gendarme are enjoying the holiday cheer, and are likely to switch over to the stronger stuff (egg nog, of course) after closing time. I hope everyone's holiday preparations are going as well as those of Lego City!

Posted by charlie on December 6th 2011, 01:29 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 5

We fast-forward our narrative to the present day, where the jail building has grown in usefulness, by having more than a single wall. While it still won't retain many a common criminal, it does allow Gendarme to run his new Lemonade and Armchair Psychiatry office! Thug stops by, now mended in his ways of crime, to see how his buddy is doing. Another successful business in town is always a good thing, as a rising tide lifts all ships!

Seriously though, I was a little surprised that two days of our highly limited 24 have been dedicated to building sides of a fairly nondescript police building - let's get it in gear, Lego! I want to feel some holiday creativity!

Posted by charlie on December 5th 2011, 01:15 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 3

Phew - we barely made it! Pesky weekends, always making it hard to devote time to taking pictures of Lego figures (paradoxically). Not to worry, day 4 is going up almost immediately now! All caught up, just in time for another week - and as usual, the advent calendar is making this already-short month fly by even faster. I hope everyone is farther along on their holiday shopping than I am - now I just have to find a Toys For Toys basket, and get rid of some of the 2011 figures that are taking up space around the Preserve!

A Gendarme has appeared, bent upon catching Thug for his rambunctious ways. However, the showball-a-pult has made short work of him, and Thug continues his troublemaking!

Posted by charlie on December 3rd 2011, 08:40 PM
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Lego Advent Calendar - Day 2

Looks like we're finishing up the week with an articulated catapult thingie that I figure Thug can use to cause trouble. Maybe that's the use for the extra part with which he was packaged? It certainly fits well, and flings across the room with the proper determination. So - into the weekend we go...I predict one more accessory tomorrow, and then another character - perhaps a 'good' one to counter Thug.

Posted by charlie on December 2nd 2011, 12:49 PM
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Happy December, 2011!

Today we're kicking off the big holiday month, as well as our big Lego Advent Calendar countdown! We start where we have started for years, with day 1. Inside, we have a gold toothed thug! Leave it to Lego to ring in the season with style - can't wait to see what's next!

Posted by charlie on December 1st 2011, 07:49 PM
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