Thursday, July 31, 2008

SDCC 4 : The Emperor has left the building

You want Elvis Stormtrooper's photo? Well, Elvis Trooper wants yours!

I actually don't know anything about this guy, except that he came up with this costume of an Elvis-turned-Stormtrooper, complete with King-type bling, and he's become a sort of fan celebrity at conventions.  I know I could probably learn all about him by doing a google search, but it's kind of fun just to see him as who he appears to be: Elvis Trooper.  So cool, he apparently got Superman to work security for him.

I consider the Burger King Trooper (seen here behind Seth Green lately of Robot Chicken fame shaking hands with fans) to be a pale copy of the Elvis Trooper.

Okay, I really don't.  He's pretty funny too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SDCC 3: Fans for the memory

Since returning from the San Diego Comic Con, I'm posting images sharing some of the odd sights I encountered in and around the convention center...brief moments in the river of time that, but for being caught by the lens of a digital camera, would be lost for all eternity to the gauzy haze of faint memory.

If it sounds like I'm making fun of the convention participants, I have to point out: I drove down to San Diego from Los Angeles FOUR TIMES this year. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Because I enjoyed it so much. I am a fan, I am a collector, I am a geek.

That said:

Do these people expect us to believe that any self respecting Andorian* would hang out with a bunch of Klingons** in the post-Motion Picture Era?***

*the blue one

**the other ones

***Actually, I have no idea if it was ever established how Andorians and Klingons get along in the time of the movies. In fact, as far as I know, they may all be dressed as Enterprise-era characters, in which case I'm pretty sure the Andorians and Klingons were not happy with each other. Or, they may just be a bunch of friends who are fans of a tv show and like to dress up as characters without letting fictional rivalries ruin their fun.

Monday, July 28, 2008

SDCC 1 : Would you hang this in your living room?

Sure, it's a collectible here.  But on Kashyyk* it's just what they sweep up in any groomer's shop.

*The Wookie** home world for you non-geeks.

** The big hairy dog guy in Star Wars***, for you extremely non-geeky.

If you don't know what "Star Wars" is, you probably don't even know how to use a computer,'re on your own.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gone to Comic Con!!

I have to find more books like these.  This is a cross section of one of the shelves below the Scooby Doo van in my bedroom.  I recommend every book you see in this picture.   

More to come after I get back from San Diego!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

To Protect and Serve, in 30 minutes or less

I don't remember how I first got into Dick Tracy so much. I always liked comic strips, and it may have been when I got the book "The Celebrated Cases of Dick Tracy" for Christmas, or it may have been earlier. The ongoing stories were compelling: I once saw Chester Gould, the creator, say in a filmed interview that he didn't write with any idea how the story would end: he believed if he knew how it would end, the reader could figure it out too. So Tracy and the grotesque criminals he pursued were often getting cornered in locked rooms or at the bottom of pits deep in the woods with no hope of escape only to suddenly discover a doorway that had just been wallpapered over, or the pit is (surprisingly) just above the new subway line being built. Very compelling stuff! I read Tracy in the daily papers, and collected whatever I could find, including many great Big Little Books my parents and I found at flea markets.

Sometime back in, I'd guess, the late 1970's, Domino's Pizza was new to Syracuse NY.  As a lifelong pizza addict I can recall
the larger than usual pizza they served up - very thin, but totally covered with pepperoni and very good.  We ordered them once in awhile but they became the pizza of choice for me when a flyer of coupons left on our door offered a Dick Tracy glass free with purchase.

I was enough of a Dick Tracy fan that I went around to all the neighbors houses - even people we didn't really know - and introduced myself as a Dick Tracy collector and asked for their Domino's coupons - all so we could get more glasses.  

(This is NOT something I recommend you allow children to do in this Brave New World of the 21st century.  Of course, now it would be much easier to buy a bunch of them on Ebay rather than introduce yourself to your neighbors).

It's funny, I started off this post just to share the glass, which I have ona shelf in the living room (below the Carrols stuff) - but now it's more interesting to me that I went around the neighborhood and bothered people, ringing their bells, asserting that it was of course important (let alone reasonable) that I interrupt their day because I was a Dick Tracy Collector, and they had the coupon I needed for my collection.  I must have those glasses!

Everybody gave me the coupons.  Most gave me the whole flyer, a few tore out just the glass coupon.  Now, I wish I had one of those flyers still; I'm sure we didn't use them all.  We ended up with about 9 glasses, I think, a couple of which I still have, some which we sold at a garage sale.  It doesn't look like any are left on the "fast food glasses" shelf in my parents' basement. time I go home I should bring back the Superman, I think that was a giveaway at Arby's.  And the Casper, you don't see those so often...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A record. Like, a record record record.

One of the other things I'm collecting right now is actual movie props.  While most of what I have I've only recently acquired, one I've had for several years is the "One-ders" single from "That Thing You Do!", which may just be my favorite movie.  Tom Hanks has a gift for making engaging stories without car chases or even, really, a bad guy, and this is one of his best.

This is the real thing, undoubtedly one of the several hundred seen in stacks in the film.  I did out it on a turntable just once, and not surprisedly, it played some horrible junk that must have been very cheap to buy unlabelled copies of.

I much later came to own a copy of the actual 45 of the song released at the time of the movie, on the "Playtone" label as seen in the film - but that would technically be considered a "prop replica" I suppose, so not nearly so valuable.

It's also part of a much, much longer story about collecting, and it's too late to start telling it tonight.

Take care, everybody.  More soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You'll Come Back to Carrols

So far, of everything I've shared on this site, all the stuff I've collected, I still feel like I haven't shown you much of the stuff I consider my "major" collections - things I'm actively collecting, in a fairly completist way, and enjoying very much.  One such collection is animated cels, which I've shared a couple of examples of.  Another is Big Bang Theory, of which there's very little to actually collect right now.  So, it's time to talk about one of the really big ones, which I suppose I've been putting off because it's a little hard to explain:  Carrols restaurant memorabilia.

When I was a kid in Syracuse, NY, we used to go to a fast food place called Carrols.  It was only a few blocks away from our house, and I remember very little about it except that it was decorated mostly in orange.  (This photo looks very little like that restaurant, though it represents that era).  I do remember, though, when in 1975 all the Carrols restaurants became Burger Kings.  In fact, the Carrols Corporation still exists today, still headquartered in Syracuse, NY, and is the largest franchisee of Burger King, with over 300 restaurants.

So fairly recently, almost entirely with the help of Ebay, I've started collecting Carrols memorabilia.  Some dates back to before my time, like this take out box shaped like a restaurant.  It's just big enough to hold a hamburger, french fries, and maybe some napkins and ketchup.  I never saw a restaurant like this myself, the one in my neighborhood was sort in a strip of shops, not a stand alone.

Other items seem to be more recent corporate items, like this pin with 3 stones in it.  I'm assuming it's a service pin of some sort, for 3 or 30 years with the company, or something like that.  

Still other items I've come across surprise me that they still exist anywhere.  One guy had worked at a Carrols for years, and on his last day, took home one clean piece of every paper item they had, like this french fries envelope.  (Servings were much smaller back then!  Insert social / health comment here).

The funny thing is, I can't remember the food at all.  The menu was pretty much the same as McDonalds, with their specialty burger called "the Club Burger."  So I'm not sure why I started collecting it.  

I think part of it is a tie to my family - I was only 9 in 1975, so I never went to Carrols without my parents or at least older sisters.  (Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I ever went to any Carrols other than the one in walking distance on Marshall Street in Syracuse).  I'm sure my interest is partially spurred on by the fact I could find very little about Carrols on the web, though nostalgia sites for other restaurants abound.  

In any case, I've learned an awful lot about the restaurant, what became of it, and oddly, why it's not completely extinct today.  (If you like spoilers, read up on wikipedia.  If not, I'll be continuing the story soon).  The Carrols memorabilia is displayed on a shelf in my living room (part of which is visible in the banner for this blog!)

Now if only I could find someone who knows about Carrols cinemas, which were still around years after the Burger King conversion.  Or...anyone out there got a ticket from one they want to auction off?

I'd like to invite anyone reading this who has any recollection of Carrols at all to please, comment here.  I'm really interested in compiling your impressions of the place.
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