Friday, September 27, 2013

The Trouble With Trash

Things have been awfully quiet around here following my last Free Giveaway and while it's creeping closer to Halloween, it was never my intention for this place to resemble a morgue. Unfortunately, the lack of updates is partially, mostly, due to my moving in just a few days. The process of cataloging and boxing up several years worth of trash has proved to be a most daunting task. One, I'm afraid to admit, that is kicking my ass.

What you see above is a majority of my comic book collection.

Yeah, that's all just comics and it doesn't include the two thousand issues that I purged and sold/traded off in the last couple weeks. Also not shown are two very large Rubbermaid bins full of more comics that were never sorted from my last move, which occurred nearly eight years ago.

Nevermind all the collectibles, books, toys, DVDs/VHS and miscellaneous junk that has managed to find its way into my possession since moving back to Massachusetts.

To say that I'm feeling overwhelmed by the things that I supposedly "own" is an understatement. The free time that I've had between packing and work has been devoted to shutting down my brain and marathon-watching bad sitcoms on Netflix. The very idea that I'm going to have to physically transport all these things from here to my new home is killing me right now.

This is sounding an awful lot like sad excuses, and that's probably because I hate the fact that I haven't posted anything or contributed to The League of Extraordinary Bloggers in a couple weeks. It's doubly troubling because I really felt like I was hitting a nice groove here on the blog, maybe sorta' finding my voice and discovering a small audience of awesome readers. It means a lot that you all, that anyone, take time from your day to check out my little corner of the internet and I'm certainly not showing any love by being M.I.A.

Eh, here's hoping that I'll make another appearance in the near future. Maybe I'll have even have content that's worth taking a look at.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Third "One Man's Trash..." Free Giveaway Results

As promised, I'm back with the results from my latest Free Giveaway contest. I know, I'm like nearly an hour later than I had originally stated, but believe me when I tell you that serious business kept me away those extra sixty minutes. I totally wasn't wasting time eating junk food and watching episodes of Parks & Recreation on Netflix. That doesn't sound like me at all.


Really quickly, though, since you're gonna suffer through this chatter to see if you won, I wanna take a moment to thank each and every one of you for taking part. This last contest was the most popular one yet, with a whopping 18 entries. Damn, kids, that feels like love. Love for free junk, sure, but I will take it.

And you, Mr. Eric S., will be taking home your very own, not-quite-personalized-but-still-pretty-great, Trash Man prize pack!

So, congratulations, sir! I will be contacting you very shortly to bother you for shipping coordinates and maybe talk a little about the works of our new Bat-Lord, Ben Affleck, and why he's perfect in every imaginable way.

Of course, this wouldn't be a true Trash Man Free Giveaway if I sent anyone home empty-handed, right? Some of you have been here before, but for those of you who haven't, well, I'm offering up a series of consolation "prizes" for everyone who entered. Nothing too special, but definitely a few nerdy trinkets that you'll hopefully enjoy for more than twenty-two minutes. Yes, I aspire to be better than an episode of How I Met Your Mother, which I don't think is a difficult thing to achieve. I set my bars low, son.

To receive your very own consolation "prize-pack", all you have to do is send word to me at the following email address-- --and we'll get you all set up.

Again, thank you all so very much, and be sure to check back here next month [or, hopefully, all the time, please?] for what I hope will be the most exciting contest yet. Yeah, you better all prepare for Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture's Halloween Spooky-Scary Free Giveaway Bonanza. Which is definitely not what I will really be calling it.

Be like John Ritter and Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Halloween Countdown: The Quick and the Dead

Today was the first time this season that I had to put on a hoodie before walking out to my car this morning. Hoodie weather means that it is officially Fall, so I feel it's only appropriate that I also officially kick off my Halloween Countdown. This doesn't mean the blog's going to be overrun by spooky scary just yet, but you can definitely expect the ocassional ghoulish update.

Like today..!

It seems like most of the local retailers are finally starting to get around to setting their holiday aisles and end-caps. There's no signs of summer, not a trace of beach blankets or bathing suits, all replaced by pumpkins and owls and the loveliest shades of orange. This includes the store that I work at, thankfully, which means breaks spent wandering the seasonal department in search of goodies.

Today's find just so happened to be this guy above. Frankenstein's Monster in Blue isn't just some tacky decoration or trick-or-treat bucket for the kids. Though, once you're finished with the sweet contents of his skull, he can certainly double as one or the other. Yup, that's right, there's candy inside that corpse's cranium. Probably one of my favorites, too.

I never took up smoking when I was a not-so-rebellious teen. My "oral fixation" centered on Dum-Dums and Charms Blow Pops. Even nowadays when I take a trip to the bank, I'll always fish through the dish of lollipops for something sweet. I am a sucker for suckers. And I'm not quite sure when it is that I first stumbled across the Chupa Chups brand, but I should have written it down, because it was a most glorious day indeed.

Ten bucks bought me a 100-count of various flavors, from watermelon to cola to orange creamsicle, but the real reason I spent that cold, hard cash was the ridiculous container they came in. There were three colors of Frankie's Monster to choose from; the blue I went with, a very traditional green, and a purple one. I'm looking at pics of the purple piece now online and realizing I made have made a terrible mistake.

No, I take that back. There's no way this purchase was anything other than absolutely brilliant.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The League: I'm Feeling Blue

There's not much to say about this week's challenge from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers. It's one of their photo-specific topics, so be prepared to be underwhelmed by what the lousy camera on my phone is capable of capturing. Am I ever blue?

From the mouths of babes or, at the very least, our babelicious leader--

It’s been a while since we’ve had a photo assignment for the weekly League of Extraordinary Blogger’s challenge. We’ve done green, and we’ve done red, so how about this time we do: 



From The Invaders #5, March 1975. Art by Rich Buckler and Dick Ayers.

From The Flash #278, October 1978. Art by Alex Savivk.

From Grimjack #28, November 1986. Art by Tom Sutton and Paul Guinan.

From The Secret Society of Super-Villains #15, June 1978. Art by Mike Vosburg and Bob Smith.

From The Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel, 1982. Art by Jim Starlin.

Meanwhile, with the rest of The League--

Neato Coolville's Collection of Blue.

Don't forget to color Stunt Zombies blue.

Boo Bobby talks blue, but I can't help but think of Boo Berry.

You'll never feel blue after a visit to the Happy Haunted Sunshine House.

The Goodwill Geek's blue makes me green with envy.

Miss M and Fifty Shades of Blue Hair.

See some of my all-time favorite movie posters [yes, Videodrome!] over at Vikki Verka.

And for all the rest, go check out Cool & Collected..!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Trash Collecting on Friday the 13th

Earlier today, after a very early morning at work and with it being payday, your third-favorite Trash Man set out on the grandest of quests. His mission was to seek out any and all Friday the 13th flicks on VHS that he could find, return to base-camp, and spend the rest of this wicked "holiday" celebrating the life and un-deaths of the one and only Jason Voorhees. Was he successful? Is he moments away from a marathon viewing of the entire franchise from the original to Jason X? Surely, it's a task that would drive anyone as batty as Tommy Jarvis! But he would endure it for you, loyal readers..!

Nope, sorry. Didn't happen. Isn't going to happen.

Instead, I'm here to show you the treasures I discovered while I was out in search of Jason's analog adventures. We'll all just have to take solace in the handful of vintage [and not so vintage] goodies that I managed to score for a few bucks each. Live vicariously through my random purchases, children, and be glad. At least now none of us have to suffer through Jason Goes to Hell.

El Kabong..!

This was the first item I ran across today that I knew I couldn't leave behind. It's a plastic Baba Looey piggy bank circa I don't quite know. Apparently, there were a couple variations of this particular piece, but I'm not educated enough on 'em to know for sure if mine is an original '60s or a later [mid-'70s] release. Either way, he's cool, and totally reminds me of the early days of Cartoon Network, when they used to show all the old Hanna-Barbera shorts, like Quick Draw McGraw and Wally Gator.

Sitting on the same shelf as Baby Looey was this promotional vinyl-figure of Sprout, who you may recognize as The Jolly Green Giant's nephew or cousin or something like that. I only remember seeing a few television spots with this little guy when I was a kid, but for a measly four-dollars, I really couldn't pass on him. I am always some kind of sucker for advertisement mascots, whether they promote a product I care for or not.

Here's a really awful looking Return of the Jedi collectible cup, which was originally available back in 1983 from Burger King. It clearly takes some liberties with the plot of the film, since the "art" on the glass shows Luke lightsaber-dueling with the Sarlacc and Han totally blowing up Jabba's barge with his trusty blaster.

Looking at pictures of the three other cups that were available, I'm now realizing that I scored the absolute worst of the bunch. Even at two bucks I feel gypped, especially knowing that instead I could have had a glass where the Ewoks worship C3P0 as their god or, even better, Salacious Crumb.

Salacious Crumb!


I guess that I'll just have to be comforted in the soft glow of translucent green plastic courtesy of this here beauty, the Mantis Alien. I've briefly gushed about the Kenner Aliens line before, so no need to retread that territory. I found him surrounded by newer, and far lamer, toys on a shelf near the register. I couldn't leave him there, keeping company with Ben 10 and Attitude-Era Undertaker, so I scooped him up for another couple bucks. At that price, it was all like, "Game over, Mantis", for me. I never stood a chance.

This McDonalds plate isn't something I would have normally grabbed, but with the holiday fast approaching, everything Halloween is gold to me. Released in 2001, it features Ronald and friends dressed up in costumes and rocking out to, what I can only hope is, their own personal rendition of Monster Mash. I love the Hamburglar's dedication to wearing his stupid bandit mask on the outside of his ghost costume. I adore the inclusion of the The McNugget Buddies. I'm insanely jealous about Grimace's mustache.

But I'm not entirely sold on the way-too-happy jack o'lantern checking out Ronald's ass.

The DC Super Heroes Postcard Book is equal parts awesome and kinda' stupid. I was glad to pick it up and find that all 28 of the included postcards were still intact. Remind me to show off the best of the bunch someday, because while some of them are generic and not-at-all interesting, boy, there are a few that are inspired. I've actually got some big plans for the best cards, but that's something for another day, I think.

Hah! Mission sorta' accomplished..!

This was a true Friday the 13th miracle, because while my usual VHS hunting ground bore no fruit, I found this baby lurking in a corner of an antique co-op that I very rarely visit. I stopped in on a complete whim, found the rest of the items I've shared so far, and not too long before leaving, stumbled upon a CED-copy of the original Friday the 13th. It was tucked behind some old magazines, but I happened to notice the RCA SelectaVision logo peeking out. I nearly yelled in excitement when I saw what movie it was. Total zeitgeist!

For those unfamiliar, this is a CED [or Capacitance Electronic Disc] released by RCA in the early '80s. It's a extremely short-lived video format, where movies were printed onto vinyl discs and stored in plastic caddies. A sort-of precursor to laser discs and DVDs, the players actually used a stylus to physically read them. I don't own a player, so there's no way whatsoever I can see how good [or bad] the quality is, but on this most holy of holidays, there was no way I wasn't going to grab it.

Happy Friday the 13th, all.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The "One Man's Trash..." Free Giveaway, Round Three: Fight!

Something in here reeks of nostalgia and I think I may know what it is...

Yup, it's time for this month's Free Giveaway contest. If it seems like this one is a little earlier than the last couple, well, a brief explanation! I've mentioned before that I'm moving soon and the date seems to be creeping closer and closer with each passing moment. With so much still left to do, my free-time is dwindling. This sorta' explains the lack of real updates and also why I'm running this sooner than I normally would.

But who cares, right?

We're all here for the free trash and I don't want to bore you with details. Except the rules to enter...

For those who've been here before, well, nothing has changed. And for anyone who missed out on my last two giveaways, I've made it super-easy for ya. All you have to do is comment below. I'm not asking for anyone to follow the blog [though, hey, I'd be really grateful if you did], or leave a lengthy response or anything other than say hello or maybe share a quick comment about how sepia-toned pictures are total faux-retro nonsense.

You've got a week's time to enter. Same as always, business as usual. I'll be randomly selecting the winner's name on September the 19, by 8pm, so be sure to keep a look out here and on Twitter (@itstrashculture) for the announcement.

Oh, and if you are new here, you should also check out posts by both of the contest's previous winners..!

The Goodwill Geek was our inaugural winner and gushed hardcore about his prizes. I'm pretty sure he even swore a time or two. It was totally NSFW.

John, from over at The Clawful Punch, also gave a look at his prize-pack. Several follow-up posts highlighted some of the trash he discovered inside.

But then, you should already be reading both their blogs anyway.

This, I command.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Adding to the Trash Pile: The Goodwill Edition

Don't let the title fool you, kids. I haven't visited any local Goodwills recently [or ever, actually], but I am here to brag about some awesome new additions to The Trash Man's collection. Everything you're about to see is courtesy of the nicest nerd on the internet, The Goodwill Geek. You see, I'm a big fan of Mr. G.W Geek. His blog is what inspired me to finally get off my ass and start "writing" again, which is why we're all here right now. And from Day One, he has been extremely supportive and just an amazing friend to me. Of course, then he manages to be even nicer and more amazing and sends me [completely out of the blue!] a box full of incredible stuff.

The kind of stuff I can't help but wanna brag about. Which is why [again and again] we're all here right now.

This is the delicious sight that was waiting for me when I opened that box for the first time. Absolutely filled to the brims! I was like one of Pavlov's dogs, salivating, slobbering at the mere thought of getting to dig through all these wonderful toys. Sure, every now and then, I take home little trinkets and vintage goodies from my trips to flea markets and thrift shops. Little onesies and twosies that brighten a dark day or get me through a wretched week. A box like this, jam-packed with junk, is a goddamn blessing. Practically heaven sent from the Big Man himself.

I immediately gravitated to this collection of Disney PVCs for purely nostalgic reasons. There were so many days from my childhood, just home from school, where I would flip on WSBK-Channel 38 and bask in the glory of The Disney Afternoon. And this group of mini-figures, mostly cereal premiums from Kelloggs circa '91/'92, covers nearly all my old favorites.

You've got Gadget, Chip and Monterey Jack from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Max, Pete and P.J all hail from Goof Troop, which didn't start airing until my appreciation for everything Disney had started to wane. I thought that Molly and Wildcat, both from TaleSpin, were also cereal prizes, but they're not. Kit Cloudkicker, piloting that plane, was available in McDonald's Happy Meals, but I'm still not sure where the other two came from.

These two are trouble.

I've avoided collecting any adorable, comic-based minis like Superhero Squad from Marvel or DC's Action League, because I knew it would be too tempting to get them all. I'm not sure why, though, because the Pros certainly outnumber the Cons. They're pretty affordable, they don't take up a lot of space, and I adore the selection of characters from big-league heroes to obscure or forgotten weirdos. Like these two.

Tomar-Re, the fish-headed Green Lantern, has been dead since the first Crisis on Infinite Earths event back in the mid-'80s. That hasn't stopped him from appearing in other media-forms, like cartoons, or being immortalized in plastic.

Zilius Zox is a more recent addition to the DC Universe. He was recruited by Atrocious to join the Red Lantern Corp and has been raging across the galaxy ever since. His assigned space sector is Sector 3544 and that is the absolute most useless fact you will learn today. I can only hope it pushed something useful from your brain, like how to bake a souffle or the capitol city of Oregon or which president Jame. K. Polk was in numeric order.

More mini-figures, but this time of a generic persuasion! I love any plastic, mono-chromatic figures, whether they're a legitimate brand like M.U.S.C.L.E or Monsters in My Pocket, or the cheap, dime-store variety. So, of course, I'm head over heels for this assortment of army men, pirates, space-explorers and Indian warriors. My absolute favorite of the bunch is front and center and just happens to be a skeleton archer of some sort. I don't know if he was part of a play-set or what, but I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more of the same.

I couldn't help but get a huge kick out of finding these guys inside. I've never been the biggest fan of The California Raisins, but I know that the Goodwill Geek is, so I'm thrilled that he shared these with me. It's a great trio, all from the Series 2 Hardee's Collection, and I can't wait 'til post-move, when I can display them with all my other character PVCs on a new shelf. They'll be the coolest dried grapes there.

Originally, I wasn't sure what to expect when I pulled this tin from the box. It had the Robots in Disguise-era Transformers logo on the side, the image of a transformed sports-car and the name Sideswipe on the top. I certainly wasn't expecting the tin to slide open and reveal the non-transformed car inside. I'm not sure why, but I am so very into the idea of this Transformer having his own little tin to store him in. This is the item from "The Goodwill Box" that I've fiddled with and played with most so far. Very cool.

Here's another Transformer, but this one is based on the young adult book series, Animorphs. The books are a little after my time, not something I knew much about outside of the fact that they existed. The same goes for the licensed Transformer toys that were based off 'em. I remember seeing them on store shelves around the same time as the Beast Wars line, but didn't give much thought to either. Up above is Marco, who can transform from a gorilla to a really awful looking half-boy, half-gorilla.

A fun fact concerning Animorphs, however, is my odd, little connection to the television-series that was also based off the books. When I was living in West Hollywood several years back, working at a local chain of video-stores, we used to have a lot of celebrity sightings. I've mentioned my run-in with Quentin Tarantino before, but that was a one-time thing and I never saw him again. One of our weekly regulars, though, was a girl named Brooke Nevin, who I later found out was a main character from the Animorphs program. I sometimes secretly wish that I had been a huge fan of the show growing up, so that I could have totally geek-ed out when she came in all the time. Oh well.

Trading cards! I am a sucker for collectors' cards, especially those based off comic books or other pop-culture properties.  I've never been a big sports fan, so these were a blessing in disguise when I was younger, because it gave me something to trade with the other kids in the neighborhood and on the playground. This is a small stack from the second series of X-Men trading cards, which I only ever had a few of before, so these are going right into an old shoe-box with the rest of my "collection". I'm sure I'll dig them all out in a couple months and stare lovingly at them for hours and hours without interruption. We can pretend that I'm kidding, but I'm really not.

It makes perfect sense that Oscar the Grouch would find his way into my grubby paws and I know that he was included as a nod to my chosen nom de plume. Combined with knowing how much The Goodwill Geek loves his Sesame Street collectibles, this makes him my favorite piece in the whole bunch. Alongside the evil warlord from Dimension X, Krang, I've always seen Oscar as being my totem. He embodies everything that makes me who I am, from my love and hoarding of garbage to my being a complete and total misanthrope. I also sometimes feel like I live in a trashcan.

This isn't even everything that came in the box. It barely scratches the surface, in fact, but these were the definite highlights. I wanted to share them, sure, but I also wanted everyone to get an idea of what a great guy The Goodwill Geek is. Not just his generosity when it comes to giving things, but also just how genuine and nice he is. He's always taken the time to comment here on the blog, and to share links and show support to myself and others in our wonderful, lil' community. It means a lot to me and I owe him far too many thanks.

So, here's the first of many! Thank you for everything; for boxes of goodies and kind words and for giving us one of the most entertaining and fun blogs out there.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Be Kind, Please Rewind: A Visit to "The Video Store"

A few years back, while wandering the mean streets of the South Shore, I happened upon a most peculiar sight. Two towns over from my own, tucked away in a small plaza with a Family Dollar and a used bookstore, was a small business known only as The Video Store. Color me intrigued, I thought, and immediately wondered what color intrigued actually was. I decided it was probably like a light shade of purple, not entirely unlike that of a Decepticon's insignia circa 1985.

That particular train of thought may have been spurred on by what I discovered inside, but we'll get to that in a moment, yeah?

I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into this business for the first time. It was 2010 and Mom 'n Pop video stores hadn't existed in my neck of the woods for a few years. Hell, even the chains were slowly fading away, leaving only a pair of sad and neglected Blockbusters nearby. Was this store a wild hallucination brought on by my desire to rent a video from somewhere real and not a Red Box or some automated Blockbuster kiosk? The opportunity to once more peruse shelves lined with cases, staring at ridiculous cover-art and dreaming of what trashy treasures awaited me upon watching the tapes or discs that lay within.

While no one had replaced the movie posters tacked up on the front windows in well over a decade, The Video Store was clearly still open. The lights were on, people [whether customers or employees, I didn't yet know] could be seen staggering about inside, and the door was unlocked. I can't remember for certain, but we'll say that I was trembling, a mixture of excitement and nervousness, as I pushed my way inside. Only to discover...