Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Year 7: October Update

You may have noticed I finally removed the commercials from the YouTube channel. Back in June I lost monetization and the reason Google provided seemed to point toward the commercials but I had to wait three months to reapply so I waited to remove them. I've no idea if I'll qualify, however, as I have to get enough views to be approved again. As I did last December, I took a trip to Ontario, Canada this month though I didn't have time to visit another Toys "R" Us or I would photographed that one too. It's likely it would be very similar to the one in Oakville that I saw last year. Speaking of Toys "R" Us, the company that owns the property in the U.S. is going to make another attempt at bringing it back, this time with full size stores. In toy news, LEGO is teaming up with Nintendo again, this time it's bringing Animal Crossing into brick form.

There has been quite a bit of game news that's worth mentioning since my last update in July. Disney Speedstorm officially launched and it's not bad for a free-to-play kart racer. Gameloft will also be bringing Disney Dreamlight Valley out of early access in a month but it's no longer going to be free-to-play as was originally intended. A new G.I. Joe video game is in development which is always exciting news for myself. I talked a bit about the previous Joe game, IguanaBee's third-person shooter Operation Blackout, way back in the October 2020 update post, if you want to see my thoughts after three levels. Developed by Maple Powered Games (Monster Harvest) and set to release in 2024, G.I. Joe: Wrath of Cobra will be side-scrolling combat.

It took quite a while to complete but Microsoft does now own Activision which includes many classic IPs, Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Blizzard (WarCraft, Diablo, etc.). The Atari 2600 is returning as the 2600+ with HDMI and widescreen support, and it will work with the original cartridges. It costs $129.99 and is expected to ship in December. I'm not sure what happened to the Intellivision Amico though I have to believe it's dead. Two of the games that were in development for the Amico have recently released on Steam, Xbox platforms, and the Nintendo Switch, and at a higher price point ($14.99) than the Amico games were supposed to be. Available now are the new iterations of Astrosmash and Shark! Shark!.

I tend to post a blog update in October so that I can repost the classic McDonald's Halloween sign and so without further ado, here it is again:

Happy Halloween!


Monday, October 30, 2023

[YouTube] Richard Scarry's Build and Play World of Puzzletown: Dr. Lion's Medical Center

This is a look one of the five sets in Playskool's Build and Play World of Puzzletown toys that are based on children's books from author Richard Scarry. Released in 1976, Dr; Lion's Medical Center is Set A while the other four sets are Huckle Cat's Family Cottage, Farmer Alfalfa's Farm, Mayor Fox's Town Center, and Lowly Worm's Rail & Roadway. There are no definitive ways to build a set with pictures on the box and an included one-sheet manual offering suggestions but ultimately children can create whatever they wish. Of course, more options become available when playing with more sets and they can all be connected together. Sets come with base plates that hold various cardboard walls and other parts, roof pieces that can double as additional base plates, anthropomorphic animal figurines, and vehicles.

Dr. Lion's Medical Center includes Dr. Lion, Nurse Nellie, and Flossie, an ambulance, two base plates, two ramps, eight roof parts, and a variety of pieces that easily slide into the base plates. The characters are not poseable though Dr. Lion's head does turn and maybe the others are supposed to but mine don't seem to. I'm missing one roof piece and I did some editing on the box image to remove my sister's name which you can see in video. My box also has a price tag indicating it only cost $2.99 which is quite low and perhaps not the original price.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Kenner Action Toy Guide 1990

This booklet from Kenner features eight action figure toy lines from 1990, three of which I don't actually remember. In 1990 I wasn't paying much attention to toys though I did collect Starting Lineup figures. Four of the toy lines included are based on the cartoon spin-offs of popular movies: The Real Ghostbusters, RoboCop: Ultra Police, Beetlejuice, and Police Academy. The other three are Rat Fink: Rad Rods, Mega Force, and Shadow Strikers. Rat Fink is a character created in 1963 by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and it is associated with actual hot rods. Mega Force is an original creation by Kenner that ended after one year. Shadow Strikers looks to be another Kenner original that released alongside a short-lived Shadow Strikers cartoon.