Monday, December 31, 2012

The 2012 PlaidStallions Retro Awards

Another year has passed and it feels strange I’m already typing another entry in my fake awards show. Happily, we have a lot of ground to cover and things to praise this year. Also, look for some announcement with respect to the future plans on the site. (it’s mostly good)

It all gets underway after the jump, I promise not to sing the theme song.

Best Retro Movies of 2012

I didn't go to the movies much this year but here is what I did manage to catch.

I can't not mention TED, if only for it's loving tribute to Flash Gordon and giving Sam J Jones a major part (playing from what I hear, a complete opposite of himself). That alone made the film for me but it was also a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

The Avengers was something I’ve wanted to see ever since I watched Reb Brown shamble on by in all too revealing spandex, so it counts. I’ve seen people pick this thing apart and honestly, I pity you if you can’t just have fun at a movie like this.

Ditto on Hotel Transylvania, the movie felt like a modern “Mad Monster Party” and my whole family loved it. It likely won’t win any awards but it was a kid's movie that I didn't dread or regret, that is an award unto itself.

Best DVD:

Warner Brothers finally releasing the Logan’s Run TV series was a big fat hairy deal for me and about 12 other people. I absolutely love this bit of bell bottom sci fi. It’s not for all tastes and I’ll admit I look at it through rose colored lenses but I felt like it was my birthday when I saw this on the shelf at the mall.

Not exactly DVD but the folks at Rifftrax covered two absolutely abysmal and hilarious 1970s VOD movies with “The Revenge of Dr X” (a movie that challenges you to watch it) and “The Guy from Harlem” which single handedly killed blaxploitation . Don’t question me, go buy them now.

Warner Archive always gets a mention here but releasing the Filmation Shazam! series and the second (considerably better than season 1) season of Superboy gets them two gold stars in my book. So much low budget Superhero goodness, I can barely handle it!


Special Mention: Thanks to the Burton Dark Shadows movie, several of the big chains started selling “Dark Shadows Greatest Hits” DVDs, I love the original show and movie but I’m not hardcore enough to buy this, so I was pleased to be able to pick and choose some episodes.

Best TV:

I was skeptical of The Black Dynamite animated series at first but it really impressed me with it’s ability to both shock and entertain. Some really clever writing on this series has kept me tuning in. My only quibble is the animation looks too slick. I think a Filmation style would have been better but it wouldn't make the show any more entertaining.

I'm not a fan of reality shows at all but I do admit I like Toy Hunter.  Sure, a few of my friends have been on but moreover, I enjoy it for the lack of forced drama and overall positive energy. Oh and the fact that it's a show about  vintage toys and collecting that gets it right most of the time. But for the love of Bob, please remove that giggling man from your opening credits, he makes me angry.

Honorable Mention: I HATED AMC's "Comic Book Men" during it's first season but lazily stuck around for the second. The half hour format suits the show much better and it know seems to be acknowledging it's filler segments as staged. That honesty has made me turn around on this show.

Best Books:

This year saw me engaged in more books and publications than usual, two that stick out are:

Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation (by Lou Scheimer and Andy Mangels)

I can’t extol the virtue of this book more than I already have, it’s just a fascinating story about the struggles of America’s last great animation company. Mangels compiles the book as if you’re sitting down in a bar with Scheimer while he tells war stores. Trust me when I say, Scheimer is a great story teller and you'd never want to leave that bar. If you’re a 70s kid, you need this book.

Too Much Horror Business (by Kirk Hammett)
I’m a collector book junkie (and ahem….author) and I can honestly say this ranks as one of the finest produced. This is to Monster kids what Chip Kidd’s “Batman Collected” is to Dark Knight fans. The beauty of this book isn’t the attractive layout and lush photography, it’s more in the vibe that Hammett is out to share his goodies and stories with the world. All too often, collectors play everything close to the chest, not so with TMHB. My dream would be see this become a best seller and have others follow suit.

Best Toys:

Oof! My wallet hurts this year, I guess that’s a good thing.

Mad Monster Party (Diamond Select Toys)
I’m honestly not sure what to say here, I've wanted these since I first saw the movie in the late 70s on WGRZ (Buffalo). The figures were not only well done but very reasonably priced. I hope they sell through the roof because I’d really like figures of the other characters.

Six Million Dollar Man (Bif Bang Pow!)
Getting a mego sized Steve Austin and Bigfoot was a big deal for me, I’m a huge fan of the series and it’s great to have them all interact in my megoverse. Also the figures came with these Bionic sound effect key chains that I’ve been somewhat of a problem about. I’m pretty sure my wife and/or kids hid them.

Universal Monsters (Diamond Select Toys)
After a long wait for the Creature from the Black Lagoon, we finally got him in 8” scale and he’s a doozy. EMCE toys really knocked it out of the park design wise, creating a new Mego evolution. The bride isn’t a slouch either but wow, that creature, wow.

The Future of PlaidStallions (big announcement time):

Originally, I planned the site and blog as a "five year mission" , that was before I did an action figure, a book (and subsequent publishing company) and a magazine, also I'm heading towards year seven. So it's safe to say I'm not going anywhere. I've got plenty left to do and say and plan to expand the site with new galleries and features in 2013.

Regular blog postings will resume this Friday January 4th, however the PlaidStallions store will be shipping orders all week.

New for 2013:

Podcast: I had a lot of fun doing the Megomuseum podcasts, so the PlaidStallions Podcast will (hopefully) be a monthly thing I do with a revolving second chair, we'll cover different geeky and retro topics each episode. I hope to launch this in February but bear with me, I need to figure out the technical side of it all. I'm a slow adapter. More details to follow.

More Books!: Plaid Stallions Press will be announcing hopefully two new book projects for 2013 that I hope to bring to market before the end of the year. Both relate to items near and dear to this site, one will require a lot of input from you people.

In closing, thanks so much for all the kind words and tremendous support in 2012, truly this is one of the most rewarding projects in my life and hopefully it'll be an even more rewarding 2013.

All of our stuff is now available in one handy location.


Wings1295 said...

Great stuff! Look forward to more podcasting! Here's to an even more groovy 2013!

Christopher Mills said...

I can't argue with a single choice. Logan's Run on DVD (and Shazam!, too) was one of my biggest joys of 2012, as well. I guess that makes me one of the other dozen.

Thanks for a great year, and I look forward to plenty more pop culture archeology!

Tex said...


Wait, we have a theme song?

(did I miss a briefing or something?)

Anonymous said...

I received your Rack Toys book on New Years Eve, from Amazon! I pre-ordered it on Dec. 1st. What a fun book!
I really enjoy looking/reading through it --thanks for writing it. What a rare treat to see a Lincoln Mr. Rock in a package, near the books end. To those reading this --get this book, it's great fun! Happy New Year to you, Bri!

David Schumacker


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