Hey Kids, Comics! #159 - Toylandia: Rise of the Indys

Welcome to the penultimate issue of the latest story arc, "Toylandia"!  After tackling everything from Superman to Marvel/DC toy rivalry to Mego's amazing toys, this arc has taken your hosts a lot of different places.  And now they will go where no toy was ever expected to go, the independent comic book!

In the 90s something unique happened.  Independent comic book characters became commercially viable beyond the pages of their requisite books.  Obvious choices like Spawn would be joined on the toy and comic shop pegs by toys based on such titles as Usagi Yojimbo, Strangers in Paradise, and Scud, The Disposable Assassin over the last few decades.  

The success of cartoons based on once obscure indys, most notably Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, opened the door for a broader interest in comic book characters that were not world famous.  What began solely in the direct market would grow to expand into the mainstream toy store market.  This week Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston discuss the steady evolution of the indy comic toy from the "hot chick" title characters to fully realized versions of characters from dozens of small press publishers.

Hey Kids, Comics! #158 - Toylandia: JLA/Avengers and Company

I would like to apologize to our listeners for this episode running five days late.  The holidays have already begun to exert themselves and all things JCU are moving at a slower than normal pace as a result.  With that said, I am proud to bring you the middle issue of the latest story arc of Hey Kids, Comics! - JediCole

Toylandia awaits!  Yes, your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston again return to the toy aisles of yesteryear with even more discussions on comic book related toys.

This time it is all about the favorite toys from over the years that were based on the comics of DC and Marvel.  From the long-running Marvel Legends to the amazing Kenner Super Powers lines to the more obscure and often laughable toys that have seen the light of day, there was plenty to cover and not nearly enough time.

What action figures are the most innovative?  Which captured the characters the best?  Which had ridiculous gimmicks that thankfully went by the way side?  These and other unasked questions will be answered in the latest issue of this toybox of a story arc!

The Rantcor Pit Live #42 - A Star War on Christmas

Welcome to the second annual Star Wars Christmas Wish List episode of The Rantcor Pit Live!  On this episode (which went live on Sunday, November 15, 2015) Cole Houston and Eddie Medina help you with your holiday wish-list for the Star Wars fan in your life.
Even more so than last year, 2015 will be chock full of choices, so narrowing the field to a few to cover in one hour was more challenging.  A total of ten top choices are covered on the show, so if you missed it on Sunday, here is your chance to catch up on some top choices from your hosts.

May the Force be with you with the great gift ideas you will find here...

The Rantcor Pit Live 11-15-15 by DeepEllumOnAir

And for the Eddi-fication of my clueless co-host, an animated classic...

Hey Kids, Comics! #157 - Toylandia: I Go Mego

Welcome to Toylandia!

Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston cordially invite you to join them as they explore another aspect of comic book-themed toys as the latest story arc continues.

As the title implies, this week your hosts delve into the history of Mego and the unprecedented Official World's Greatest Super-Heroes line.  Batman vs. Captain America was a reality easily within reach of kids when this line hit the stores.  Even Conan the Barbarian could join the fun!

Beginning in 1972, Mego brought a wide variety of heroes and villains to toy stores that were derived from popular Marvel and DC Comics titles.  For nearly ten years this line joined the company's Star Trek and Planet of the Apes lines (among others) as an alternative to the more expensive G.I. Joe Action Team figures of the day.  Alas the arrival of the 3.75" scale figure, pioneered by Kenner, would bring the series to its end.

Discover how Mego went from Action Jackson to one of the most successful toy lines in history.  What influence did one retail chain have on both the production of their toys and the industry in general?  What happens when Mego fans and collectors gather to celebrate their passion for these plastic and cloth toys?  What secret from Mego's past likely put the final nail in the coffin of the company?  These and other questions will be answered.

With such a storied history and an amazing line up of super-hero toys, it is little wonder that Mego rated its own issue of this arc.  

The Rantcor Pit #43 - The Altruistic Side of the Force

Note:  This episode of The Rantcor Pit was recorded on Sunday, November 8, 2015.  It heavily references the story of Daniel Fleetwood, the Star Wars fan granted his dying wish to see The Force Awakens before its official release in theaters.  I read this morning that Mr. Fleetwood died in his sleep overnight.  Eddie and I respectfully dedicate this episode to his memory. - JediCole

At its best, fandom of any kind goes above and beyond simply devoting time and money to celebrating its particular focus.  This has certainly proven true of Star Wars fandom over the years as groups large and small have utilized that Galaxy Far, Far Away as a vehicle to do good for others!

On this episode of The Rantcor Pit, hosts Cole Houston and Eddie Medina  discuss fan outreach and charitable projects.  From well known personalities like R2-KT to the many fund raisers and assistance campaigns spearheaded by the 501st Legion and other groups. 

There is a veritable galaxy of stories out there about fans coming together for fellow fans or for others in need who are not necessarily Star Wars fans themselves.  Millions of dollars have been raised over the last few decades and easily millions of lives have been touched by the efforts of fans, costumers, and others who have expressed their largess via Star Wars. 
Fund raising  Rebels, Stormtroopers, and Mandalorians to name a few have aided children and adults in need.  The unique comfort that an Imperial “invasion” of a children’s hospital can bring inspire us all.  Star Wars fans show have a lot of heart and illustrate this in so many ways.  Sometimes a helping hand just happens to be wearing Darth Vader’s glove!

Hey Kids, Comics! #156 - Toylandia: Toys 'R' Super

Guess what JediCole forgot to publish on Friday?

Comic books and toys.  The two seem to be an inevitable pairing.  Rendering popular comic book characters in the form of three dimensional playthings has been a partnership over nearly all of the history of both mediums.  With this in mind, Hey Kids, Comics! proudly invites you to visit our newly established capital of this marriage of pop-culture collectibles, Toylandia!

Your guides through this fanciful realm are none other than Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston.  As this latest story arc begins, they explore the presence, history, and influence of Superman on toys and action figures.  As easily the first super-hero to be thus immortalized, the Last Son of Krypton’s impact can be felt across most of the chapters of this arc.  
From early tin toys to the modern high-end, cloth costume, multiple points of articulation action figures, Superman’s trademark “S”, in all of its stylized incarnations, has been a major part of many a toy line from many a manufacturer.  So take an hour to enjoy an exploration of the Man of Steel made man of plastic.  Or tin.  Or wood.

The Rantcor Pit Live #41 – It’s In the Cards

Welcome to the latest (archived) episode of The Rantcor Pit Live!  This episode aired live on Deep Ellum on Air on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

Since 1977 the Topps trading card company has been an important part of licensed Star Wars collectibles.  With the arrival of the first wax packs of cards (with bubble gum no less), fans young and old could amass a variety of rare images from the film in trading card form.

Cole Houston and Eddie Medina share their own experiences as collectors of Topps cards from Star Wars through Return of the Jedi and beyond.  They are joined in this endeavor by the VegaBomber, PJ Dunn.  Some of the more unique cards, stickers, and innovations (including one of a kind sketch cards) are presented and discussed.  The latest Topps series, Journey to the Force Awakens, is also revealed and reviewed! 

While Topps was not the only player in the trading card game, they were the oldest and most prolific licensee to produce wave after wave of trading cards based on the Saga.  Other trading card releases, and even POGs become part of this show that is all about the enduring nature of the trading card, especially those that give fans a piece of the movie series they love.  All of that and a whole lot of "Fun With Star Wars"!

Join a trio of cards as they talk about trading cards today...

The Rantcor Pit Live 11-01-15 by DeepEllumOnAir

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