2022 In Review!

The Year That Lightning Struck!

2022 was certainly a banner year for my blog. I am deeply honored that so many of you read my posts and click on the photos that I share. It amazes me how people from all over the world check out my blog and put up with my silliness. This was a record-smashing year for my blog and I thank and love all of you for making this year so successful! Due to the massive success this year, I will be expanding and updating my blog at some point in 2023. Please be on the lookout for a few changes coming up in the near future.

Let’s take a look at the year’s most clicked pics:

Coming in at #1 is this photo of KISS and a few of their closest friends:

The second most clicked pic was this photo from the film Weird Science:

The third most clicked photo was surprising, as it’s of voice actor Hynden Walch:

Hynden Walch

Sitting at number four is this classic from Flash Gordon:

The fifth pic that my readers clicked on was this photo that I took of a Spin Master figure of Batman without his mask:

The sixth most clicked photo on my blog was this one of KISS with their second drummer, the late Eric Carr:

Number seven, for reasons that I don’t know (cough, cough), is this lovely still from Edward Scissorhands:

Number eight belongs to Christie Brinkley from National Lampoon’s Vacation:

The ninth most clicked photo from my blog this year was of KISS:

At number ten we have the lone returning photo from previous years. Ivy DoomKitty definitely touched a nerve with my readers as she has consistently appeared on this list ever since I first posted this photo from a post from November of 2020:

When it comes to my posts, last year’s winner and runner-up for views remained in first and second place, respectively. For some reason people really, really love my posts on the Wizards of Waverly Place and 3-2-1 Contact!. The post from 2022 that received the most views was my The Year Of KISS post that focused on their album Hotter Than Hell.

As far as overall views are concerned, 2022 blew every other year out of the water! In total my blog posts were viewed 22,745 times! That’s about twice as many views as it received in 2021. Last year I had three months with over one thousand views. This year I had over one thousand views for EVERY SINGLE MONTH! Of those months, five featured over two thousand views and August had a whopping 5,452 views! Thank you so much for these amazing numbers! I was only hoping for one or two months with more than two thousand views but all of you blew me away with your dedication to my blog!

People from sixty-nine different countries visited my blog this year! In first place was the United States of America with 14,571 views. That’s over twice as many views as the US gave me last year! The United Kingdom came in second with 1,494 views followed by Canada with 1,031 views. Australia and Germany chipped in over four hundred views apiece. Mexico and Brazil came next with over three hundred views each. 242 good people of France also checked out my blog. From there, countries like the Philippines, Ireland, India, Spain, and Russia viewed my posts just under two hundred times each. Thanks to all of you across the world for checking out my posts!

I fell three posts shy of my goal of one hundred and fifty posts this year. That’s okay, however, as I hope to reach that goal next year. I plan on writing more Throwback Thursday posts and plan on bringing back Dimestore Reads, Tunes, and November Noise. That will definitely get me close to my goal.

Google proved to be the primary way that people came across my blog this year. It was followed by Reddit, Google Image Search, WordPress Reader, Facebook, and two newcomers to the list, Twitter and Instagram.

This is the fifth year in a row where I had more views and more clicks on photos. THANK YOU!!!!!! I hope that I can continue to post interesting film, toy, book, and music reviews. I also plan to attend more conventions. Let me know if you want me to check out anything specific in 2023.

Again……THANK YOU!!!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I’m not ashamed to say that I love Christmas. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I hope that all of you get to spend time with family, friends, or anyone in your life that is special to you this Christmas. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope that you have a nice day with those that you love.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Kristy Swanson looking extra festive! I met her earlier this year.

2021 In Review

A Look Back At One Of The Most Challenging Years Of My Life

2021 was tough for me. It was tough for a lot of people. I found myself and my family still recovering from 2020’s Hurricane Laura and the damage that she did to southwest Louisiana. We started the year living in a camper trailer while we waited on our home to be repaired. While living in that camper, we faced a record-breaking freeze event in the southern United States. When we were finally able to move back into our home in July of this year, we had no lights in almost all of the house, terrible work done by our contractor who we ended up having to fight just to make our house reasonably decent again, a battle with the insurance company that has left us with no replacements for the furniture that we lost due to the hurricane, and more repairs that we’ve discovered that our terrible contractor missed. To top it all off, we still had to navigate a world battling COVID-19. Despite all of this I managed to continue posting on my blog and all of you continued to read. Here’s my annual breakdown of what all of you enjoyed the most, what you read the most, and what older posts managed to stay relevant this year.

The Witches Rise

My post about the Witches of Waverly Place from 2020 knocked last year’s biggest post, a gem from 2018 about 3-2-1 Contact, out of the top spot by over six hundred views! The post was clicked on by folks over eight hundred times. My biggest post from 2021 itself was a Spinmaster Toys Batman Action Figure review from January. It was clicked on over two hundred times. In all, I had over six thousand views of my home page this year. As of this writing, my page has been visited over thirteen thousand times since its inception in 2013.

Whatcha’ Lookin’ At?????

A new image rose to the top of the heap of photos that were clicked on my page. A photo of a Bela Lugosi test shot for Fantasia tied with last year’s champion, a photo of Ivy Doomkitty as the Rocketeer. Here’s a list of the top ten most clicked on photos for the year of 2021.

1. Lugosi Test Shot For Fantasia (Tie)

2. Cosplayer Ivy Doomkitty As The Rocketeer (Tie)

3. Spinmaster Collection Foldout

Coming in with a surprisingly strong third place showing is my own photo of one of Spinmaster’s Batman Action Figure Checklists.

4. Wilfred Jackson Test Shots For Fantasia

Not to be outdone by Bela Lugosi, animator Wilfred Jackson’s test shots for Chernabog in Fantasia came in with a solid lock on fourth place for most clicked pics.

5. Spinmaster Batman Action Figures

I started noticing a pattern form with my fifth most clicked photo. My many Spinmaster posts ranked high this year and it came as no surprise that my admittedly blurry photo of four Batman figures came in fifth place.

6. Crestwood Monsters Collection

Classic monsters never go out of style and this photo featuring the legendary Crestwood Monster Books won sixth place this year.

7. Disney World’s Alien Encounter

Disney’s now defunct ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter may be gone, but fans still want to get a look at the evil alien creature that once frightened folks of all ages!

8. MechaGodzilla

So far my list has been heavy on Disney related horror from 2020 with only two Spinmaster photos cracking the Top Ten so far from 2021, but MechaGodzilla makes his way into the eight spot!

9. Hogan’s Heroes Cast

2020 squeaks in with one last most clicked photo for the year with this cast photo from Hogan’s Heroes.

10. One of my most viewed photos of all time

Rounding out the Top Ten is a photo that has consistently been in my top ten lists since I first posted it six years ago. This wallpaper featuring the cast of Star Trek Continues and the post that it is contained within has always been popular with my readers.

Other items of note:

The country that clicked on my posts the most this year was the United States with over seven thousand clicks. From there, the United Kingdom (600+ clicks) came in second, Canada (500+ clicks) in third, Germany (almost 300 clicks)in fourth, and Mexico (200+ clicks) rounding out the top five. Australia came in sixth place with almost two hundred clicks followed closely by India, Brazil, France, and Russia.

I had three months with over one thousand views (March, September, and October) with October closing in on almost two thousand clicks. Last year I made a resolution to reach one thousand views in at least one month. Thank YOU for making that dream come to fruition in THREE months! Will I hit two thousand views for a month in 2022? Only you can make that happen and hopefully I’ll make posts interesting enough to earn your views!

I posted only 113 times this year which was ten less than last year but I’m not complaining considering all of the crap that I went through over the year. I hope to reach 150 in 2022. With November Noise, a planned review of all of KISS’ studio albums, and plenty of other toy, film, and festival reviews, I think that I’ll be able to make it. I also hope to attend a few conventions as well!

Google searches proved to be the way that most folks found my blog. The WordPress reader and Facebook came in second and third with only only point separating them. The AMP Project came in next and then it was Twitter which I’m still trying to navigate and understand.

Thank you again for making this my biggest year for views! That’s four years in a row that my viewership has increased! I appreciate each and every one of you and I hope to meet a few of you this year at conventions. Feel free to contact me via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I really want to connect with all of you!

NECA Defenders Of The Earth: Ming The Merciless

“You are doomed!”

NECA has outdone themselves. Long known for making beautiful action figures, NECA’s Defenders of the Earth line has been visually brilliant so far. There’s no better example of their beautiful work than this wonderful Ming The Merciless figure.

This figure is bursting with details and vivid coloring. My phone photos cannot do it justice. You have to see this figure in person to really appreciate how much attention to detail was given to it. This is possibly one of the best action figures that I’ve ever managed to get my hands on since I’ve been a collector.

Ming comes with his staff, a sword, a blaster (included with all three figures in the line so far), two “blast pulses,” and one additional right hand. The one hand accessory appears to be a trend in this line, as the Phantom figure also came with only one additional hand instead of two hands. This is one of my very few gripes with this figure. I’ll get to the other ones later in this post.

The figure comes with a cloth cape that has wiring in it to allow the collector to pose the cape. I enjoy it posed as I have it above, whipping in the wind while Ming pontificates about something evil. It should be noted that the base in these photos is not included. It’s a NECA base, but was purchased separately. The cape can be easily manipulated and adjusted and looks great.

The figure features over twenty points of articulation, all of which are pretty stiff. This seems par for the course when it comes to NECA figures and is my primary complaint about this figure in particular and the line as a whole. My other complaint is that Ming’s hand was difficult to open wide enough to get his staff in place. I was worried that I might damage the figure.

Those small gripes aside, this is an awesome figure. Once I get my home situated (we’re still recovering from Hurricane Laura), Ming is going to be displayed prominently on my desk. Don’t worry, though, the Phantom will be there to keep him in line. Hopefully I’ll be able to snag the Flash Gordon figure in this line as well. He’s the only one that I’m missing so far.

Thanks for checking out my review. I have three more figure reviews lined up and an extra special review featuring the my first Build-A-Figure. I plan to have these posted within the next two weeks. I also have a couple of film reviews that I need to knock out and some information on upcoming conventions. Stay tuned!

Mega Construx MOTU Set: Trap Jaw w/Laser Cannon

It’s All In Skeletor’s Head!

If you’ve read any of my previous Mega Construx Masters of the Universe set reviews, you know that I am entirely in love with them. So far I have only been reviewing larger sets, most of which come with multiple figures. I also have a figure set that I will eventually review as well, but it’s packed away in my Hurricane Laura storage building and I’m not sure exactly where it is at the moment.

The Trap Jaw set that I am reviewing today is fun from the word go. It’s a simple build with only seventy-six pieces, but it’s a great little build that adds to the growing Mega Construx MOTU line. What I love best about this build is the container. It’s literally a small Skeletor head that’s jam-packed with all of the pieces for the build. There are three Skeletor heads in the line so far, with one being the traditional head with a purple hood, a second head that has a purple hood with a glow-in-the-dark face, and a final head that features a black hood and a golden Skeletor face. Each set features a different figure: Trap Jaw, Fisto, and He-Man.

The instructions are standard for Mega Construx sets and easily guide builders of all ages to completion. The Trap Jaw figure can be a bit of a pain as his jaw is a separate piece that can easily be lost (I almost lost the piece in my set). He also comes with four arm attachments that can be swapped out on his robotic arm. The four attachments are a claw, a hook, a fly swatter, and a laser gun.

The set also includes a laser turret cannon and a control center complete with a monitor. The cannon can turn side to side and be angled up or down. It features a firing laser with two laser bolts. The control center’s monitor includes a view of a planetary system. The turret cannon can be placed on the purple display platform along with Trap Jaw and the control center tucks nicely into the back of Skeletor’s head.

You can break down the cannon and control center and store them inside Skeletor’s head along with the Trap Jaw figure. You can also set the head on your desk at work if you want to impress your friends! I’m tempted to pick up the other two sets in this series, as all three Skeletor heads are pretty impressive.

If you have any other sets in this line, you already know how much fun they are to build. This small set is a nice build that looks wonderful and doesn’t take that long to build. Thanks for checking out my quick review, I’ll see you again real soon!

Fave Five From Fans Podcast

“From the creepy swamps deep in the heart of Cajun Country…”

I’ve been attending conventions for over a decade now and one of the things that I enjoy most about going to them is the journey there and the ride back home. Why? Because while me and my friends are cruising down the highway to a convention, we talk about things. Those things range from memories of prior conventions to upcoming book and film releases. We also make lists: top five favorite…, top ten best…, etc. The Fave Five From Fans Podcast took this type of discussion that many con-goers engage in and put it in podcast form.

Host Jamie Ray invites a friend (or two…and in at least one case, three) to join him on the air to share their list of their five favorites of a specific subject. The subject can literally be anything from their five favorite Chuck Norris movies to their five favorite slasher towns. The guests and Jamie take turns alternately revealing their favorites from fifth to first with a couple of honorable mentions tossed in for good measure. They also give their reasons for putting things on their lists. Some of the reasons are sentimental, others are more technical, and a few might even be admittedly silly. That’s what makes each episode so much fun. You never know what’s going to be on the list and the reasons that things make the list can open up some excellent conversations.

Two of my favorite episodes featured Jamie and guest Matt Hernandez discussing Batman. Specifically, one episode dealt with Jamie and Matt’s favorite versions of Batman from the comics and the other episode focused on Batman in films and television. It was interesting to hear how Jamie’s list contrasted with Matt’s list and how their own lives molded their viewpoints on each version of Batman that they chose for their list. Other episodes include favorite Disney films, shark films, Six Million Dollar Man episodes, and even Jimmy Stewart films.

I met Jamie at a convention (surprise) a few years ago and we’ve talked with one another at conventions ever since. He’s an extremely nice guy and a wonderful podcast host. I highly recommend Fave Five From From Fans. The show is available on multiple podcasting platforms and has a large social media presence across the web. Visit the show’s website to learn more about the show and the find links to all of their podcasts and social media accounts. Hopefully I’ll get to be a part of the show in the future. I’ve got plenty of lists in my brain.

Thanks for checking out my latest post. I’ll be covering more podcasts, more Dimestore Reads, action figures, and a new tabletop game in the very near future!

Mega Construx MOTU Set: Battle Ram!

Best Put Together With A Long Neck!!!

This is the fourth Mega Construx Masters of the Universe set that I’ve built and the third one that I have reviewed on this blog. Of all of the MOTU sets that I’ve built, this was one of the fastest and most fun to build. At only 188 pieces, this set can be handled by most age groups, but younger builders might need a little bit of assistance.

Much like every other MOTU set that Mega Construx has released, the Battle Ram has the same playability as the classic 1980’s toy that it is based upon. It comes with four bags of parts and two individually wrapped figures. Those figures, by the way, are extremely awesome. The Tri-Klops figure comes with a rotating visor just like the figure from my youth. The Mekaneck figure’s neck doesn’t extend in the same fashion as the old action figure does, but it does come with two extenders that can be attached to extend his neck. Both figures look great.

Building this vehicle was fun and took me about two hours to complete on my own. At the beginning of the building process, there are two support pieces that have to be used in order to build the Battle Ram. These pieces are meant to stabilize the vehicle until you put the wheels on it near the end of the build.

The vehicle can be split into two pieces or locked together as one. There are two head pieces for the ram as well. The figures fit well on the vehicle and look great while posed either on the vehicle or simply on their stands.

I can’t say enough how much fun building this vehicle was for me. Every MOTU release by Mega Construx so far has been wonderful and I can’t wait for the next one!

Thanks for reading my post! I’ve got a couple of cool review coming up in the next few days

Masters Of The Universe Puzzle

He-Man and Battle Cat!

At five hundred pieces, this Mattel Masters of the Universe puzzle of He-Man and Battle Cat may not be much of a challenge for some, but it’s a beautiful piece when completed. Over the course of two nights at roughly two and a half hours a night, I put this puzzle together with minor assistance from my kids. In total they probably helped me out for about two hours.

The puzzle features He-Man astride Battle Cat in front of a dark yellow and brown background. He-Man has on his Battle Armor and is holding his battle axe.

I really enjoyed putting this puzzle together. The biggest challenge was obviously the background, but the finished puzzle is so great looking that it’s worth the challenge. The puzzle’s size is 19″ x 14.25″ and it comes with a mini poster.

Thanks for checking out this review. Have you tackled any puzzles lately? Tell me about them in the comments section!

Year End Round-Up

Things That Everybody Liked

Here’s a look at the ten images that received the most clicks this year. A few of them have consistently been in my Top Ten each year, but a few newer images cracked the list as well. Following the photo list is a brief look at my blog’s performance for the year. I want to thank each and every person that has visited my blog, commented, liked, shared, or clicked links or images in my posts. I hope to make even more posts in 2021 and I hope that all of you continue to follow my meanderings!

The most clicked image on my blog this year: the Batman logo. This was the first year that this particular photo cracked the Top Ten, and it went all the way to number one.

The second most clicked photo of 2020 is this wallpaper from Star Trek Continues. It has consistently been a Top Ten photo since I originally posted it five years ago!

The first newcomer to the Top Ten list is this photo of Ivy Doomkitty which was published last month!

Coming in at #4 on my list is this photo from five years ago of the women of Star Trek Continues. It has consistently been in my Top Ten since I originally posted it.

Screeching into fifth place is a surprising newcomer, a photo of an Arzon action figure from a Visionaries post I made in 2018!

Published earlier this month, this photo of Remi d’Arda landed in the sixth spot on my list. Her sister made the list as well.

In seventh place we have this pair of Chernabog reference photos from October of this year. Wilfred Jackson gives us two reference poses for the legendary Disney villain.

In eighth place is Noelle d’Arda as Supergirl. Her sister, Remi, and the Chernabog reference photos beat her by three and two points, respectively.

Also from earlier this year, this photo of Superman flew to the nine spot on my list.

Showing up for a second time on my list is the wonderful Ivy Doomkitty. She rounds out the Top Ten for 2020!

I had a record 123 posts this year. That’s twenty five more posts than last year, which was my previous record and is the third year in a row that my post count increased. I hope to keep that streak going! December of this year was also my biggest month for views with 863. That’s not a very big number for most folks, but for me it’s absolutely awesome! I hope to reach 1,000 views in at least one month in 2021! My most viewed post for this year was actually a post from 2018 about 3-2-1 Contact! That post has slowly built up an audience over the years. My most viewed post actually created in 2020 itself was a shocker, as my Wizards of Waverly Place post from October saw a huge jump in views throughout November and December and became my biggest post blogged this year.

This year saw me add a few new features to my blog. One last minute addition that has proven to be very popular was Dime Store Reads. Despite being only two days old, my The Predator post has proven to be very popular and has received many views and likes. Look for more Dime Store Reads in the near future. My Cosplay Break posts have also proven to be very popular and I’ll be doing more of them next year as well!

Photo by Vapor Photography

I truly do appreciate each and every one of you for checking out my blog. My views have steadily increased over the years and my content output directly correlates to the number of views that I receive. That means that with more posts come more views and I don’t want to disappoint any of you by backing off of my content production. Please share my posts, comment on them, and like them if you feel compelled to do so. Not only does it widen the reach of my posts, it fuels me to write more for all of you. I am considering taking the plunge and starting a legitimate pay blog where I won’t be limited on what I can do in my posts. I may pull the trigger on the idea in 2021.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. Despite some crazy things happening in my life this year, this has been my blog’s most successful year and I really appreciate all of the support that you have all given me. I’ll see you in 2021!

A Different Christmas

2020 Has Not Been Kind

Christmas is only a few days away. Normally I would be excited and well into a month full of classic Christmas films, newer Hallmark Christmas films (yes, I know, leave me alone), and purchasing a couple of cool new ornaments. Instead, my family and I are staying with my parents and waiting for our home to be restored after being destroyed by Hurricane Laura. I’m staring at my mom’s Christmas tree wondering if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ornaments that we’ve had for a few years now survived the hurricane because they, along with a ton of other nerdy Christmas ornaments, were stored in our attic which was flooded by the rains from both Laura and Hurricane Delta. I haven’t been able to get up there long enough to check on the few boxes that we have left up there. I lost both an aunt and an uncle during all of this mess as well.

I’ve been listening to Christmas music since before Thanksgiving hoping that it would somehow brighten my spirits. I’ve only recently been able to return to church now that work is finally starting to allow us to take off a day or two a week yet I sit in the pew distracted. I’m completely detached from Christmas this year. I’m lost. I don’t know what to do in order to right this ship.

Despite all of this, I know that there are plenty of other people out there struggling with much bigger problems than mine. Yes, I’ve been working twelve hour days since Hurricane Laura hit, but at least I’m working. My family has a roof over its head. We have enough money to provide presents for ourselves and others. We aren’t starving. We aren’t desperate for any immediate needs.

Still, I’m very depressed this year. Normally I would make a nerdy Christmas list around this time, but this year I’m going to say only one thing:

I love each and every one of you and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas. If you are going through tough times, call or reach out to someone. Talk to them. Cry if necessary. Get your issues out in the open.

Thank you for reading this brief post. May God bless each and every one of you now and in the coming year.