Episode 101: Concave Punchable Face

thebatman

In this episode, we are still coming down off of the high and exhaustion from Ep 100 and we talk all the dirty details of how it happened, how it almost didn’t happen, last minute changes, and all of the other roadblocks what almost stopped a monumental milestone from appearing in your podcastaroonie feeds!

We start off talking about our recent reads of murder, dungeons, outside space wars, dragons, robuts, and the like as well as the big reactions to a review of a monstrous book what has us blowin’ up, as well as explaining a recent installment of The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week…before it even happened!

DC Fan Dome happened and Fitz has all the dirty details from his day in the virtual con hall watching trailer after trailer, while Doom brings…snark, shitty comments, and rude noises for most of the topics brought up on that front, all that and more as promises are broken and announcements are made in this return to form for your favorite unknown jack assholes.

URL: Episode 101: Concave Punchable Face
Direct Download: tnb101.mp3

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #109

WHAT’S UP PEOPLE!
WELCOME TO THE NERD BLITZ QUESTION OF THE WEEK #109!
I just went right for it, I launched on ya.

If anybody gets that incredibly obscure reference, let me know.
The only hint you get is: DVD.

Anywhosal…let’s get to the reason why you showed up here today, k?

This week, 1st and foremost, we want to thank you all for sticking with us for 200 total episodes.
It’s been a fun ride so far and since, as you well know, we’re too stupid to quit, you have many many more episodes to look forward to.
And with that in mind, hot on the heels of the MASSIVE 100th Ep of TNB dropping and taking up your ENTIRE weekend (find it HERE or wherever you get your podcasts), we’re asking about US!
We want to know: Did You Finish Ep 100 Yet?
And If So, What Was Your Favorite Moment Or Segment Of It?

Leave your answer down in the comments below or tweet it to us over on the Tweety times @NerdBlitzPod or by using the incredibly well thought out hashtag #TNBQotW.

Special thanks goes out to the good sir @SteBoost for creating our eye catchingly sexified logo for this here weekly segment known as The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week.

Episode 100: Brian Quinn Presents TNB’s 2 Part 100th Ep Spectacular: Who Wants To Die Today?!

group2

In this massive 2 part episode, we are celebrating not one BUT TWO gigantic milestones in this mega sized, extra long, earth shattering episode as our flagship show hits one hundred episodes (not counting point fives) and we hit two hundred free episodes total between The Nerd Blitz, The Nerd Blitz Book Club, and The Nerd Blitz Commentaries!

This near 8 hour long multi-chambered episode, designed for easy listening in chunks, starts off as a typical main show episode in which Doom tries jamming three things into one Pimp Spot, then we talk the return of Scooby-Doo And Guess Who and how, despite being glad to have it back, WB bungled it yet again, and good ol Fitty watches the latest iteration of a beloved franchise from his kidhood…to interesting result…

Also, we welcome back 2 guests to the show, 1st off we welcome back the (music) man, the myth, the Legend himself, J Sarge for 3 brand new installments of our long running Dungeons And Dragons game, and our 2nd guest is bestselling Dune, Star Wars, X-Files, & Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Author Kevin J. Anderson who drops by for a chat about 2 recently released projects as well as the plethora of others he has on the horizon, which leads us to taking a look at conspiracy theories, Star Wars, and more!

Then, as if all that wasn’t enough, we figured the overcompensation just wasn’t quite there yet and that we needed to dig even deeper, so we decided to stand up and pull a commentary for the first 2 episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer out of our asses, which leads to a long lost discovery from the depths of one of our computers.

Mando Emmys, Hobbit Movies, thank you’s, and some slight reminiscing are all among the topics discussed in this monumental milestone that puts a true jeanyus on full display, for better or worse, so whether you’ve been here from Episode 1 or this is your first go round with us, kick back and relax, Ye Fair Knights, as we celebrate all we have accomplished in these last 4+ years, gang!

Part 1:
*Episode Start – 0:00:00
*Dungeons & Dragons Part 1 – 1:42:46
*Kevin J. Anderson Interview – 2:32:00
*Dungeons & Dragons Part 2 – 3:16:50

Nerd Blitz · Episode 100: Brian Quinn Presents the TNB 100th Ep Spectacular: Who Wants To Die Today!? – Part 1

URL: Episode 100: Brian Quinn Presents TNB’s 100th Ep Spectacular: Who Wants To Die Today?! Part 1
Direct Download: tnb100-pt1.mp3

Part 2:
*The Nerd Blitz Commentaries, Buffy The Vampire Slayer Pilot – 0:00:00
*Dungeons & Dragons Part 3 – 2:26:10
*Outro – 3:15:07

Nerd Blitz · Episode 100: Brian Quinn Presents TNB’s 100th Ep Spectacular: Who Wants To Die Today?! – Part 2

URL: Episode 100: Brian Quinn Presents TNB’s 100th Ep Spectacular: Who Wants To Die Today?! Part 2
Direct Download: tnb100-pt2.mp3

Fitz’s Toy Chest Special Feature #1: Thundercracker Build

Greetings everyone and welcome to a Toy Chest SPECIAL EVENT! This will be the first of what I hope will be an ongoing feature in the weeks to come where I chronicle my adventures attempting to pick up new vintage items for my various collections that I missed out on as a kid.

This week I’m going to take you inside a Thundercracker rebuild!

I’m not sure if “rebuild” is the right term, but it’s what I’m going to use.

What do I mean by “rebuild”? Well, I recently got my hands on a G1 Thundercracker fuselage and wings, far from a complete specimen, so I decided to search eBay listings for the missing pieces.

While that was relatively easy, there were a few missteps along the way and some important things I learned while trying to re-assemble him with pieces orphaned from random broken Thundercrackers.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

First, some background.

Thundercracker was one of the 3 Decepticon jets based on real life US F-15 fighters. Along with Starscream and Skywarp, he completed the trio of jets that were the muscle of the original Decepticon lineup. In the original Takara toy line, these 3 jets were referred to as “Seeker Jets”. I have no clue what that was supposed to mean, but it sounds pretty damn cool.

Of the original 3 jets, I had Skywarp. My best friend at the time had both Starscream and Thundercracker so together we had the full assortment to terrorize our Autobots with.

While these jets are all basically identical, each has its on unique color scheme that somehow manages to make them seem like completely different toys.

For some reason, Thundercracker always appealed to me more than the other jets. I think it was the specific blue they used that I really dug. It always reminded me of the color of a baseball helmet.

g1-transformers-thundercracker-near_1_8545b1c49638b7325621781ffa588cf8

The picture above is obviously NOT my Thundercracker, but it is cool to see one mint in box. Notice how it’s still completely bare with no stickers added yet (that’s right kids, back in the day ALL major toy lines expected you to put your own stickers on).

Honestly when I started this, I was just looking for a reasonably priced Thundercracker to buy outright, but unfortunately like most old toys, “complete” sets are usually much much more than ones with missing or broken pieces.

So, eventually I settled on a lot that was the main body, wings and tail uprights. It looked pretty good even though the decals on the wings were more than a little rough. It was missing several pieces (important ones too) but the price was right and I figured it would be a fun challenge to source all the missing pieces.

It also felt kind of spiritual in a weird way, to be taking these cast off pieces and putting them together to make a complete toy. It felt like I was helping these pieces of plastic achieve their full potential after being abandoned for decades.

This is the listing that I purchased. You can see right away that it is missing its tail fins, fists, and front landing gear, but otherwise it’s in pretty decent condition and looks like it fits naturally with the rest of my collection. (Yes it’s missing accessories too, but I plan to worry about that later)

Uh-oh. Wait a second. When I put those wings on the body something didn’t look quite right. Can you spot the problem?

20200408_164328.jpg

WTF is up with that right wing? Why doesn’t it fit flush against the fuselage?

And here is where the trouble begins, and my fun little project gets way nerdier than I ever anticipated.

Turns out, Takara must not have been the most consistent when it came to stamping these babies out. Doing some research I learned that not only are there multiple different variations in the COLOR OF BLUE that these plastic parts were molded in, but also, there are 2 distinct types of wings. One kind with short pegs, and one kind with long pegs. Long peg wings only fit bodies that were made in the same run as the wings. So guess what?

One of my wings was now incompatible with this body style.

As you can see, one post is clearly longer than the other. What I needed now was a short post replacement.

20200408_165126.jpg

Off to eBay I went again now looking for a wing with a shorter post. The problem with eBay nowadays is that toy sellers seem to only be interested in selling “complete” items. So anytime a spare point comes up they’re quickly snatched by someone essentially doing exactly what I’m doing only their intent is to sell the thing when they’re done.

Finding single bits and pieces proved more difficult than I thought, but eventually I did find a set of wings with shorter posts and had to settle for buying a pair instead of just one. The upside turned out to be that the stickers on both new wings were in way better condition than the ones I originally purchased with the lot.

20200408_165059.jpg

With the wing situation sorted, it was time to find the tail fins. Here again, finding spares on eBay was a challenge. Unlike the wings, I did eventually find a listing for a pair of fins. Curiously, the description of these fins said “large tab”. I wonder what that could mean? Oh well they look perfect. Buy.

Aaaaaaand here’s problem number 2.

Apparently, in addition to different wing post sizes, there were also differences in the tail fin posts and the holes in the vertical black fins that the tails fins snap into. You guessed it, “large tab” and “small tab”.

Which size do you think my vertical fins were? If you guessed “small tab” because the universe always screws me, then you’d be correct.

My brand new tail fins didn’t fit. Looks like they would fit, but don’t let this picture fool you, they didn’t.

20200408_164915.jpg

So, now the question became, which one do I change? The tail fins with the big tabs or the vertial fins with the small holes? Turns out eBay chose for me because I could not find small tab tail fins to save my life. I returned once again to the awesome eBay seller WheeljacksLab and they were able to hook me up with large hole vertical fins.

20200408_164503.jpg

As you can see in this picture the difference in hole sizes is almost imperceptible.

20200408_164943.jpg

But just like magic, the new tail fins fit the new black fins perfectly and once I had those swapped out on the fuselage it was time for the next piece of the puzzle.

Thankfully, the fists were pretty easy to find, although as usual noone had a listing for a set of BOTH hands together. Instead I had to get them from 2 different sellers and of course, pay double shipping. Thanks guys.

20200408_164425.jpg

By this point I was running short on funds and patience so I decided to wait on the landing gear and accessories for a future date. For now my quest for parts was complete and I could finally re-assemble a mostly intact Thundercracker.

20200408_165227.jpg

Notice how the new wings both fit flush against the body of the plane. You can also tell the slight difference in the aging of the stickers (and the placement now that I look at them, one Decepticon logo is much farther back on the wing than the other. Must…fight…OCD)

20200408_165410.jpg

20200408_165403.jpg

20200408_165533.jpg

20200408_165516.jpg

20200408_165523.jpg

For now I consider this re-build to be complete. I wasted money. I learned some stuff. I wasted more money, and learned yet more stuff. He still needs missile pods, missiles and front landing gear, but there’s time for that later.

All things considered I think this turned out pretty well and despite a couple of snafus with replacement parts it was definitely a satisfying experience to cobble together a “new” toy from discarded and incomplete bits of discarded toys. I’ve always had a habit of anthropomorphizing my action figures and other toys, so I like to think that this Thundercracker is happy to have most of his parts back.

He looks damn good in my collection too, the wear and tear fits in perfectly with my original Transformers. You can see the comparison here with my original Skywarp.

20200408_165829.jpg

I definitely plan on doing this again at some point, and next time hopefully I won’t get burned by incompatible parts. At least I’ll be aware of the possibility and double check before clicking that “Buy It Now” button.

Well, that’s it for this first ever Toy Chest Special Edition. Hope you enjoyed it and enjoyed learning from my mistakes. Until next time, happy hunting!

20200408_165541.jpg

Share this post on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBToyChest, and let us know what you think! And if you want, let us know what some of your favorite toys were growing up!

Fitz’s Toy Chest #14: Slag

When I was a kid, like, a little little kid, I was way into dinosaurs. They really captured my imagination. I can remember in first grade doing dinosaur coloring pages while we were learning about them, and visiting the natural history museum that used to have giant life size-ish T-Rex and Triceratops statues on display outside (sadly no actual dinosaur skeletons in their collection, I wouldn’t get to see real bones until decades later when I visited the Field Museum in Chicago). I knew all the names, it was a somewhat brief but very intense obsession that faded into just a general love of dinosaurs.

So when one of my favorite toy/comic/cartoon properties introduced dinosaur characters in 1985, you can imagine my excitement.

Previously we covered their leader Grimlock, but today I’m going to share the surliest and second strongest of the Dinobots and my very FIRST Dinobot acquisition, the mighty triceratops…Slag!

Slag
Company: Hasbro
Acquisition Year: 1985
Acquired via: Purchase (Toy Chest)
Years In Possession: 35

20180922_130104

During the period of my life where I was heaviest into Transformers, my dad and I would go over to his grandma’s house (his mom’s mom, my great-grandma) to do handy man type stuff for her. Sometimes afterward, I could talk him into going to the toy store on a Transformers run. The “toy store” at the time of course was Toy Chest. I’ve talked about this place before but Toy Chest was a local store that only had 1 location that I’m aware of. Before Toys R Us or Children’s Palace moved in, Toy Chest was where it was at. I have so many fond memories of that place.

Anyway, on this particular day I was able to get my dad to take me on a toy run. The Dinobots had just been introduced on the cartoon and I’m not sure I was even aware they were making toys of them yet. When we rolled through the Transformer aisle, I dug through the boxes on the shelf and was floored to find Slag right in front of me. Of course the coolest of the dinos was the T-Rex but the Triceratops was a close second. I had never seen a Dinobot toy in the store and it was the only one they had so obviously I snatched it up.

20180922_130258

In my opinion, of all the Dinobots, Slag has the most aesthetically pleasing robot form. The intricate engineering of each moving part on a lot of the early Transformers always fascinated me. All the parts always seemed to fit just right.

An example of this would be Slag’s lower jaw that flips down into his chest to reveal his robot face. The shape of the jaw is visually interesting to me, the chrome angles create interesting reflections, and the jaw itself fits into a cutout in his chest that leaves it almost completely flush.

20180922_130321

Unfortunately my Slag suffers from a loose jaw joint, so in Dino mode he’s always a little slack jawed. Like all the Dinobots he is portrayed as pretty dumb, so it’s fitting I guess.

He also has one of the more interesting transformation features in that the dinosaur’s legs curl up and its haunches each rotate 180 degrees to form his giant robot legs and feet. And one of the hallmarks of all of the original 3 Dinobots is his rib cage that opens out into “wings”

20180922_130310

Slag is easily my sentimental favorite of the Dinobots. Grimlock may be the better character, but in my opinion Slag is the better toy.

Well, that’s all for this edition of Fitz’s Toy Chest, I hope you enjoyed this window into my childhood. Come back next time for more well-loved blasts from my past!

AND!

Don’t forget on 4/16/2020 (that’s tomorrow unless you’re reading this in the future) we’ll be dropping the 4th Anniversary NerdBlitz pod super show!

 

20180922_130330

Share this post on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBToyChest, and let us know what you think! And if you want, let us know what some of your favorite toys were growing up!