Rabbit Engineering Mini Machines

tWe live in an age of wonders. Well, okay, you could say that of any point in history, but I have to remind my kids that things like my oldest son’s 3-D pen simply did not exist when I was a kid. Somewhat haphazardly, he can create three-dimensional objects on an empty table where that object did not exist before. He didn’t have to prototype it in a CAD program and send it off for someone to do a test shot. He just…drew something in 3-D. I was born in the 1970s, and was present for the transition from foot-tall G.I. Joe figures to Star Wars figures that fit in my shirt pockets. I had Spirograph. My kids have pens that draw physical constructs in mid-air. My mind boggles. I want to play in that world. I can’t afford a 3-D printer. But maybe I can dip my toes in the water by obtaining something 3-D printed. Like these.

Rabbit

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Star Trek Starships Collection: S.S. Intrepid

Eaglemoss IntrepidAnother of Eaglemoss’ tiny Star Trek starships, the U.S.S. Intrepid proves that I’m a sucker for those “primitive” 22nd century ship designs, for here is another early Starfleet ship that flies alongside the NX-01 and the U.S.S. Franklin already in my collection.

Unlike the Eaglemoss ships in my little fleet, however, the Intrepid is far more representative of the company’s monthly offerings than the other ships, which were “special edition” releases. It’s a smaller replica than either of those (with a smaller price tag to boot) – to say this is a little piece of the 22nd century isn’t an error.

The Intrepid has an interesting pedigree, too.

Eaglemoss Intrepid

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Undertale Little Buddies Series 1

Undertale Little Buddies Series 1Undertale is a PC game much loved in my house. My oldest loves the characters, their snappy dialogue, and the universe they inhabit. I love that the game has just a whiff of Ultima IV‘s morality system (you have to decide between “pacifist” and “genocide” approaches to the game, or you can remain neutral, and the game’s characters will treat you according to that choice and the reputation that arises from it). I love the innovative combat system that deftly straddles the fence between turn-based and real-time combat. And yeah, I kinda love the characters too, just because my kid loves them. And we both love the music from the game. When I learned from a friend that Arizona-based Fangamer had a series of Undertale character figurines on the market…well, it was an expensive discovery, but totally worth it. Pretty simple transaction, really: I fill Fangamer with the contents of my Paypal account, and they fill me with Undertale characters and, presumably, determination. Continue reading

The Chart of Cosmic Exploration

Chart of Cosmic ExplorationIt doesn’t take much poking around on this site to know that I like space exploration just a little bit. Historic space exploration and spaceflight events are all over the main menu, which is an ever-changing “today in history” page. For me, science and science fiction go hand-in-hand, and tracing the intersections where the two meet – when we finally observe a phenomenon up-close of which we’ve previously only dreamed, when something on TV inspires a new piece of technology in the real world – is what this site (and, to some extent, its head writer) is all about. So, you thrust a big honkin’ map of the solar system under my nose, with a nearly-complete roll call of every interplanetary space probe any country on Earth has ever launched, and I am there. Continue reading

Power-Up Arcade Light Switch

Power-Up Arcade Light SwitchNeed to feel a little more arcadey in your home game room? The Power-Up Arcade Light Switch has you covered; it’s a simple swap-out with the existing cover plate on a single-switch light fixture, and definitely helps you get your game face on.

The switch comes with a pair of elongated screws (designed to replace the smaller screws already holding your standard-issue light switch cover plate in place, and to account for the greater “depth” needed to attach the much thicker Power-Up switch to that fixture), and the switch itself. It’s easy to install – even if it’s the first time you’ve ever replaced a light switch cover plate, there’s not much here that’s really challenging. Continue reading

Bif Bang Pow! Flash Gordon Action Figures

Flash GordonThe late ’70s were a fantastic time to be alive and to be a kid addicted to action figures. Once Kenner struck gold with Star Wars, the race to snag the license to the Next Big Thing was on, especially if it was a TV or movie license set in space. Mattel gave us Battlestar Galactica, Mego paid top rights for Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, The Black Hole and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and best of all, all of these figures were in more or less the same scale as Kenner’s venerable Star Wars range.

After all, Kenner had proven that this smaller scale – almost unthinable prior to George Lucas’ epic, when foot-tall G.I. Joe figures ruled the boys’ toy aisle – made affordable vehicles and playsets practical, and Kenner’s competitors decided to jump on that bandwagon with aplomb. For the want of a rare Enterprise bridge, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock commanded the second floor of the Death Star with its permanent control consoles which, while virtually unlike anything ever seen in Star Trek, kinda sorta approximated the layout of the Enterprise bridge. Kinda. Sorta. Buck Rogers’ starfighter was a space-rated version of the Rebel snowspeeder, because they were somewhat similarly shaped…kinda. (Sorta.) C-3PO and R2-D2 went on big adventures with the Battlestar Galactica robot dog and VINCENT. It was a grand universe where anything went, because everyone fit in everyone else’s ships and playsets.

But there was one license whose failure to happen seemed to mark the beginning of the end of this era. Continue reading

PREVIEW: Funko Stranger Things Action Figures

Stranger ThingsFunko had already made my action-figure-collecting year by finally putting Adam West-era Batman in the 3 3/4″ “Star Wars scale”, and they gave me a good chuckle by putting, of all things, Twin Peaks in the same format. Even though I knew they’d already snagged the license for Netflix’s ’80s-themed sci-fi-horror series Stranger Things, months of nothing but Funko’s Vinyl Pops had lulled me into thinking that action figures were highly unlikely.

I am delighted to report that I was dead wrong. As wrong as anyone who thought Will Byers was dead forever. Continue reading

Star Wars 40th Anniversary: Stackable “Trading Card” Mugs

Star Wars 40th Anniversary: Stackable Trading Card MugsEvery once in a while, I’ll see or hear word of a product that fills me with such enthusiasm that I order my own pretty quickly, looking without leaping as it were. While that kind of impulse buy can occasionally lead to a facepalm and some buyers’ remorse, this time I lucked out with Underground Toys’ set of stackable mugs celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars.

I have found that my Star Wars fandom has aged in a very particular and peculiar direction: stuff that takes me back to the heady early days of Star Wars fandom, I’m a sucker for. Continue reading

Star Trek Starships Collection: U.S.S. Franklin

British partworks publisher Eaglemoss is back with another larger-scale “special edition” vehicle from the Star Trek universe, this time landing my single favorite vehicle from the rebooted-universe movies that we’ve been getting since 2009: the U.S.S. Franklin from 2016’s Star Trek Beyond.

Franklin

What do I love so much about the Franklin? Continue reading

Open Road Brand Signs

If you frequent stores like Atwoods or Hobby Lobby, and you’ve seen reproductions of retro gas station signs and other bits of advertising Americana that have seeped into the collective memory of pop culture, chances are that these bits of signage came from Wichita, Kansas-based Open Road Brands…and the company hasn’t stopped there. In recent years, they’ve been licensing decidedly less old-timey pieces of pop culture and gracing them with the same raised-relief metal sign treatment.

Open Road had already licensed numerous characters and classic covers from DC and Marvel, but has now ventured into similar waters with the venerable Star Trek and Star Wars brands. While there are several examples of more up-to-date designs featuring characters, concepts and catchphrases from both sci-fi franchises, I found myself irresistibly drawn to the classic comic book covers from both. I was in the process of redecorating my home in “period geek” anyway, so why not? Continue reading