Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Shadow Batman's Dads part 2 by Andrew Luckett

No fictional character is ever created in a vacuum. In the last part of this article, we covered Zorro and Dick Tracy's contributions to Bob Kane's and Bill Finger's creation of Batman and his world. This time we cover another pulp hero who lent some of their own traits to our favorite Dark Knight.

The Shadow
Borrowed from Comicymass2012

Perhaps The Shadow's greatest gift to Batman is a mysterious look and tone. In the late 1920s, Street and Smith Publications were looking for a way to raise sales of their periodical Detective Story Magazine, and they decided to bring in an independent advertising agency to help.

The result was the Detective Story Hour, a radio program that would showcase the magazine's offerings. It was a good plan, but it needed a topper; something to cement it in the public consciousness.

The idea of a mysterious, slightly frightening narrator for the program was tossed around, and after some brainstorming "The Shadow" was the name given to this strange host.

He debuted at the end of July 1930 and was an instant sensation (in fact, Orson Welles himself voiced The Shadow for some time).

But the new character's popularity had a strange effect. Instead of increasing sales of Detective Story, radio listeners thought that The Shadow had his own magazine. Not being stupid, Street and Smith brought in writer Walter B. Gibson, who proceeded to write almost 200 tales of The Shadow's exploits under the pseudonym Maxwell Grant (again attaching an element of mystery to the character and the series).

Much like Zorro, The Shadow crafted his moody persona by donning a dark costume with a wide-brimmed hat. In The Shadow's case, he would begin with a dark suit covered in a black overcoat with an upturned collar lined in deep red that hid part of his face. In later years, he was often depicted with a flowing red scarf covering the bottom half of his visage

Another unexpected element of The Shadow's modus operandi was his willingness to engage in vigilante-style or even criminal behavior to defeat his foes. He also wasn't shy about killing those he fought using his twin sidearms, and this characteristic was borrowed liberally by Bob Kane and Bill Finger for their first few Batman stories (the first Batman story was even adapted from one of Gibson's Shadow tales).

However, Batman's creators soon realized that Batman would despise using the type of weapon that had slain his parents, and thus he ditched his own gun and gained a more stringent rule against killing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The John Cena 31" Poseable Doll from Wicked Cool Toys!

May I introduce you to the ultimate John Cena  merchandise out there. Now you may look at this picture and say, "oh that's just an action figure. Well let me point out that this figure is 31 inches tall. And you maybe thinking that all he does is stand and stare at you. Well with 9 points of articulation this guy is fully poseable. (And bonus, ladies, he's shirtless) And all that is thanks to Wicked Cool Toys

That's one big guy!

All these features take him out of the little league action figures and into the major leagues to take up residency as the Superstar of your shelf. Do you want to leave him in the box and make him a major display for your WWE love, great! Do you wanna pose him up and make him reenact your favorite Royal Rumble match? You can do that too. He works as either a display or a play thing. But one thing is sure you won't have anything in your collection as cool as this!

He's staring you down. Can you feel it?
Now the one big problem if you aren't a fan is that it's HUGE! If you're a fan it's fine and as a kid it should be awesome. His likeness is fairly accurate and he's made of strong durable plastic. This would be great for your older kids or your husband who is just young at heart. But you might find a little conundrum here. If you're not a fan you just have no space for him. If you are a fan then you...will...make...the space!!!

So if this guy does warm the cockles of your wrestlemania heart please enjoy this little guy. But the important thing to remember... you still can't see me!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Madame Alexander Newborn Cuddle Doll

Hello guys and Dolls! It's Dr. Fronkensteen here and I'd like to introduce you to my new fake daughter. Her name is Daphne Lee. (Shh... Dana doesn't know). She's a doll from Madame Alexander and while I may have seen some more lifelike dolls in my time I haven't seen any as cute! And while she is a bit of an investment at her $100 price tag she and the rest of her brothers and sisters at Madame Alexanders are going to have you wrapped around their little fingers!

Aren't we cute together?

Little Daphne Lee here is just as heavy as an infant with a cute little face, and adorable little newborn clothes. Her eyes just want to bore through your soul and make you love all of her cute features. In my former life in Tennessee I worked in a nursery. I held little newborns like this all the time as part of the job and when I hold her and rock her it's like I never left. And as a bonus there are no dirty diapers to change!

And while I and some other adults may like to just sit and rock with her she's also very sturdy and playroom ready. Her head, hands, and feet are made of very sturdy plastic and her body is very soft. Little Daphne will stand up to any kind of playtime punishment that toddlers and older children may put her through. If a week in a nursery is like month to a normal toy this little girl will still be cute and adorable even after your child starts going to kindergarten.

Don't look too long. You WILL fall in love with her!

But again she also almost begs to be pampered. I've been holding her and rocking her this whole time and I had to stop myself from keeping my voice down so I don't wake her. She does seem real and I want to tote her around everywhere. I even found new clothes to dress her in and make her feel at home. So in conclusion little Daphne Lee here is a perfect addition to your collection, your playroom, and your family. Be sure to treat her with lots of love and affection.