Archives

Andy Says

Putting Out The Fire With Gasoline: Meet the Superwomen of DC Comics’ “Gotham City Garage”

Gotham City Garage Statues from DC Collectibles – Wonder Woman as you’ve never seen her before!

DC Collectibles has been adding to their Gotham City Garage statue series over the last few years and showcasing them at Toy Fair and Comic Con. SkeletonPete knew I’d fall in love with them. He knows me too well. I was instantly drawn to these gorgeous sculptures, these beautiful superwomen on motorcycles, in particular, Wonder Woman, my childhood hero.

When I saw these DC heroines reimagined as fierce biker chicks, I could instantly envision a live action or animated series set in this universe. Shortly thereafter, creators Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly announced their plan for a comic book series of the same name. I couldn’t wait to dive in and that’s unusual for me, as I’m not typically a comic book collector. Well played, DC. Mission accomplished. You reeled me in… and at 99 cents per digital download, it was an investment I was more than happy to make.
Read the rest of this entry »

Bears for Humanity: A Company With a Conscience

Sherpa Bear

Bears for Humanity’s “Sherpa Bear”

Furry Hugs, First Love…
At Toy Insider‘s recent Sweet Suite event, I was drawn to a line of adorable stuffed toys. The display was colorful, with several members of the animal kingdom represented — bears, lions, monkeys, elephants, eagles, dinosaurs, giraffes, dogs, cats — oh my! I was immediately reminded me of my first teddy bear. I think he had previously belonged to my cousin, which he then passed down to me.
Read the rest of this entry »

Hey-Hey! Monkee Micky Live @BB King’s Blues Club

MickyDolenz_BBK0714_018
When I was a little girl, I fell in love with the antics of the made-for-TV musical foursome, The Monkees. Each week Davy, Peter, Mike and Micky sang and played their way into our hearts. With hits like Pleasant Valley Sunday, Last Train the Clarksville, I’m a Believer and Daydream Believer, written by some of the era’s best known songwriters (Carole King, Neil Diamond, Boyce & Hart), the music group (comprised of young actors and musicians) rocketed to fame. Some of my fondest memories can be traced back to those early days watching, and singing along with, The Monkees.

monkeesTVband

Long after The Monkees ended their TV series and the band broke up, we still enjoy their hits. I’ve been fortunate enough to see one particular Monkee three times now.

MickyDolenz_BBK0714_006

Micky and Friends…
Micky Dolenz is always a treat. Whether he is performing with The Monkees (as in the reunion tour I had the good fortune to see two years ago), or on his own, he never fails to entertain. Last week, I saw Micky on stage with his own band, which includes his sister Gemma ‘Coco’ Dolenz (vocals, percussion), Wayne Avers (guitar, vocals), Dave Alexander (keyboards, vocals), John Billings (bass), Aviva Maloney (saxophone, keyboards, vocals), and Rich Dart (drums).

Fun and self-effacing, the energetic 69-year-old Dolenz (in his trademark hat and vest) performed two sets (mostly Monkees hits) and sounded very much as I remembered him. Although I was disappointed he couldn’t play guitar (not drums like we were used to seeing in the TV series) on Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze this time around due to a wrist injury (Supposedly in a tussle with 19 Somali pirates he had to fend off with a cocktail olive sword!?!? I wonder if Tom Hanks was around for that?), that didn’t stop him from giving his all. From Mary Mary, to Steppin’ Stone, to Words (one of my favorites), the hits kept on coming, with the crowd singing right along for emphasis.

MickyDolenz_BBK0714_012

Noteworthy Moments…
Long-time singing partner, sister Coco, had the spotlight a few times herself, surprising and delighting the crowd with Different Drum (made popular by Linda Ronstadt and written by fellow MonkeeMike Nesmith) and Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit.

MickyDolenz_BBK0714_013

For me, the enjoyment of a fellow Whovian in the audience (dressed as David Tennant’s 10th Doctor), complete with Sonic Screwdriver, just added to my entertainment and amusement. All roads lead back to Doctor Who for me, but I digress…

MickyDolenz_BBK0714_016

Andy Says…
It’s hard for me to set aside nostalgia and sentimentality and why should I? A good time was certainly had by all. And for fans, both old and young, Micky Dolenz and Friends kept us singing and dancing in our seats all night long.

If you get a chance to catch them in a city near you, I urge you to see Micky and his band. You won’t be disappointed. Many thanks to BB King Blues Club (my first time there and hopefully not my last) for the opportunity to cover the show.

Links and More…
For more on Micky Dolenz, his tour dates, music, and theatre performances, visit his site.
For more on Coco Dolenz, check out her site.

Sugar, Spice and Rockin’ Good Times: The Beatrix Girls Are More Than Meets the Eye

BeatrixGirls_SS14edt_008

When I was growing up, the message I heard over and over again (and hear all too often, even now) was, “Girls can’t rock!” It was all too clear. It was OK for boys to be bass players, drummers, lead guitarists and frontmen, but my aspirations to become the next Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, or Freddie Mercury were frowned upon. After all, you can’t play rock and roll and still be a lady, right? Wrong… so very wrong. Ultimately, it didn’t stop me from joining a band when I was in college (playing with both male and female musicians), but I wonder how much sooner I might have pursued my dreams had I been encouraged, rather than completely disregarded.

What They Are…

Media executive and cartoon veteran Sherry Gunther Shugerman (SimpsonsFamily Guy) must have wondered the same thing when she came up with The Beatrix Girls.  The Beatrix Girls are 12 inch fashion dolls, with brightly colored hair and cool outfits. These adorable dolls are definitely made to appeal to young children, and while still feminine, they’re not too adult (suitable for ages 5 and up).

Why They’re Cool…

What sets this line apart is the fact that it is driven by original music (featuring the writing talents of some of today’s top pop stars), which kids can collect. Each doll is a member of a rock band. The Beatrix Girls band members are Brayden (Guitar), Ainsley (Drums), Lark (Bass) and Chantal (Keys). Each Beatrix Girl has a unique personality and look, as befitting a budding rock star. The Beatrix Girls even have their own fan club and webisodes.

BeatrixGirls_SS14edt_012

The idea behind The Beatrix Girls line is to empower young girls to be so much more than just pretty faces. Though fashion-conscious, The Beatrix Girls were created to encourage girls to discover the joy of music and to inspire them to create their own as well. Through friendship, collaboration, hard work and determination, The Beatrix Girls gig, work and play together. Pretty ideal if you ask me.

As if that weren’t enough, the line has partnered with Peavey Electronics to create a customized Peavey-branded guitar geared toward smaller frames (reminiscent of the Daisy Rock line of guitars).

BeatrixGirls_SS14edt_014

 

The Beatrix Girls collection initially hit stores in the Fall of 2013. This Fall 2014, we’ll be seeing The Beatrix Girls London Collection, inspired by the British subculture Mod Movement of the 1960s.

BeatrixGirls_NYTF14edt_004

Andy Says…

I love this concept and hope to see more variety as the line continues to grow. I can only imagine, since the girls have their own webisodes, soon they’ll be starring in their own cartoon. If you liked Jem and The Holograms, or Josie and The Pussycats, why not The Adventures of the Beatrix Girls?

I truly enjoyed getting a closer look at these beauties, and others, at my first Blogger Bash, SweetSuite 2014 Toy Event in NYC last week. Thanks to The Big Toy Book and SkeletonPete for inviting me to the event. Hopefully, it won’t be my last.

The Beatrix Girls are available at Toys R Us and Amazon.com and their songs can be found on Pandora, iTunes and Spotify.

Season 10 Buffy & Angel Variant Exclusives from Dark Horse at WonderCon – This Weekend Only – April 18-20!

BUFFYS10 #1 Wondercon

 

This weekend WonderCon fans will get a treat. Dark Horse is releasing two exclusive variant covers from the “Buffyverse.”

The first issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, has a new cover from Tomb Raider art director Brian Horton, depicting a very realistic likeness of our favorite platinum blonde vamp, Spike (played by James Marsters), in mid-strike. Additonally, the Angel & Faith Season 10 #1 variant cover by artist Steve Morris, will also be unveiled at WonderCon, featuring a rather sultry Faith.

 

ANGELAFS10 #1 WonderCon

 

These gorgeous editions are a must for the Buffy or Angel fan and each copy will be selling for $5 (only five copies per person).

There’s a limited run of 1,000 copies (for each cover) that have been produced, so get them while they’re hot at WonderCon.

WonderCon starts tomorrow, Friday, April 18th and runs through Sunday, April 20th, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

For more information on WonderCon, visit https://secure.comic-con.org/wca.

For more on the Buffyverse, check out my reviews  on Season 10 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Season 10 of Angel & Faith