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27 July 2015 @ 11:21 pm
As some of you may know, a field of "animated" videos that have always fascinated me were the releases by Golden Book Video, starting in 1985. For those unfamiliar, they take the pictures from existing Golden Books, and add cheesy limited Flash-esque animation effects to them at times (often the only movement in shots would be a character's eye blinking, and they usually didn't bother to animate their lips moving.) They could be pretty bizarre, but fun. (The videos were usually sold for a little under ten dollars, and keep in mind this is back when videocassettes could often be expensive!)
You'd have a full voice cast doing character voices, but they never credited them. Sometimes you'd have to guess who was doing what if he or she would sound familiar. They did have original songs and some occasional original background music, but most of the music "score" in these videos would be stock music from the Associated Production Music library (mainly from KPM and Bruton.) This included some familiar tunes from "Spongebob Squarepants" and "The Ren and Stimpy Show!" (as both shows make extensive use of the APM library for most of their background music.)

They also started with a pretty cool opening logo:

The theme music heard is actually a modified stock music track. The following year, presumably so they wouldn't have to pay the royalties each time they released a new video, they replaced the music with a sound-alike fanfare that was apparently an original composition.

Here are a couple favorites...

I grew up with one of these: "Five Sesame Street Stories."

This one's exceptionally weird. They actually got Frank Oz (Grover, Bert and Cookie Monster), Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar) and Fran Brill (Prairie Dawn, Betty Lou, assorted female Muppets) to reprise their roles, but none of the human cast is involved, and the other Muppeteers aren't either. So in one story, we have a narrator describe Ernie and the Count's dialogue (while the Count's bats do the counting instead), and Maria was renamed "Doloroes" and voiced by Fran Brill. In other instances, characters like Ernie and Herry Monster simply don't speak at all.

And there's your animation weirdness for today! Now if only these could be re-released on DVD...
Well, I found out on Facebook that the Maltese Fur Con 2015 has been cancelled. I saw on their Facebook page during one of my breaks at work (again, I'm grateful they installed Wi-Fi there a few months ago!) This was due to financial constraints and low pre-registgration numbers.
I did notice when I went to the convention last year that it was a little small compared to, say, Anthro New England, but I just figured that it was due to it being their first con.
I mean, Anthro New England was loads of fun, and I'll definitely be going back next year, but I'll also hold a special spot for the Maltese Fur Con because it was the FIRST FURRY CONVENTION I EVER ATTENDED. A really big milestone for me. I made some new friends, like Danruk Rooface and Elbi and the Mystery Otter, and participated in my first fursuit parade...

(in my early version of my Big Bad Wolf costume...)

And I partook in my first convention masquerade; a fairly simple act that I also made as a 20th anniversary tribute to Jim Carrey's "The Mask"...

The whole thing was quite an experience; one I will never forget.

I guess I can forget coming up with my Coyote Kid costume (from the Tiny Toons episode I posted about.) But at least Boston Comic Con will be coming up still! I plan to go Saturday August 1st, and Sunday August 2nd, once again as the Big Bad Wolf, only with the Don Post latex mask for the head this time, like at Anthro New England and Anime Boston 2015 (starting to show its age a bit too, I do hope to soon commission a fur version of it for conventions and such!)
Speaking of the Wolf, here's a little video I did comparing a Richard Scarry Golden Book adaptation of "The Wolf and the Seven Kids"...

The availability of that new latex Scooby-Doo mask has also been pushed to July, but since that starts tomorrow, it shouldn't be far off now. In fact, on another website, a new photo has been posted, most likely of the actual rubber mask itself! Take a look!

So far it looks great! I really like the nice rubbery texture, the cute 'toony face and the color, along with the dog collar and tag. Looks like it'll be comfortable to wear, too. It reminds me even more of the Scooby mask scenes from the "Never Ape an Ape Man" episode, but also from a 1983 "All New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show" episode, "Scooby's Gold Medal Gambit," where the master of disguise villain the Chameleon disguises himself full-body as Scooby-Doo at one part...
Pretty good (and similar) latex mask, though the body suit could've been done better. He even perfectly imitated Scooby's voice (yet I still need to work on mine.)
Then who knows? Maybe when I someday come down and visit tilt_longtail, Scooby can then pose in his Mystery Machine!
24 June 2015 @ 11:49 pm
Today in the post, I got this cool train set for the local model railroad museum. We plan to set it up and run it, as the owner wants to have many of the local shops in the area have a train set running in the window during the holidays. It's one of TYCO's last electric train sets from the early 90s...

Yep, the Railroad Empire II! It was originally made in 1990, and continued to be sold until 1993. By this time, quite a few of TYCO's "operating" accessories could only be obtained in this set, like the pipe loader and dump cars, and the auto-carrier car.
Note the train artwork on top; it shows a Santa Fe GP20 hauling different cars than the ones found in the actual set. It's actually recycled from their 1981 "Piggyback Freight" train set box. By this time, TYCO was pretty lazy with most of their train set packaging, recycling from older ones and not caring if they match the actual contents of the set.

Get a load of the side here. It shows the Hong-Kong -made TYCO locomotive and cars many nostalgic model train buffs are familiar with...

But the actual contents of the set look quite different! The locomotive, the cars, the track, the controls, and some of the accessories are all made in Yugoslavia or Slovenia, though from what I saw there are a few Hong Kong pieces. The straight and terminal rerailer track sections, made in Yugoslavia, have weird-looking ties that aren't very detailed and look rather cartoonish, very much like the old A.H.M. track did.

The locomotive is Mehano's old Alco C628 8-wheel-drive diesel, painted in the red-and-silver Warbonnet colors. It's identical to what A.H.M. sold in the 80s, and I think I.H.C. offered it too. Ironically, this type of locomotive is a much better runner than TYCO's old Alco 630! I have one like this, but painted in blue-and-yellow Santa Fe colors, and having been rebranded by Life-Like in the 80s.

Look at this log dump car. Since when are logs yellow?

Overall, a pretty good train set for late in TYCO's life. I can't wait to see how it'll look when set up! (though I don't think I'll do it as an over-under figure-8)
23 June 2015 @ 11:55 pm
I recently had another one of my brilliant ideas. Since the Maltese Fur Con will be having a "weird west" theme, I figured a Western-themed outfit could be appropriate, but what of? I remembered that a while back I re-watched the 1991 Tiny Toon Adventures episode "High Toon", and they had a neat villain: the Coyote Kid and his gang!

The Coyote Kid is the one on the right. He visually resembles Wile E. Coyote, but does have a few differences (most notably his voice). He was a fun villain here, though the animation in this episode was pretty bad. It was the last one animated by Kennedy Cartoons before they moved to Disney (to work on shows like "Darkwing Duck" and "Goof Troop," where their work improved quite a bit), and it's pretty sloppy and off-model. It's said the episode actually had to be sent back to Kennedy to be re-animated, as it initially looked even worse (like the Simpsons episode "Some Enchanted Evening" when it was originally produced.) Look at this shot!

Or this:

But I can just take my Wile E. Coyote costume, add the appropriate Western duds seen here:

Then I'd sure have something unique for the convention!

I'll still have the Big Bad Wolf appear there as well, but I don't know about Sidney Kangaroo yet, or even Scooby-Doo (now the availability on the new rubber mask has been pushed to July!)

BTW, this episode had a nice "gag credit" during the closing credits: "Coyotes Compliments of - CHUCK JONES"
Current Music: The music of "Fievel Goes West" (in memory of James Horner)
21 June 2015 @ 08:24 pm
All that counts is my dad enjoyed the present and card I got for him. And here's a fun Peanuts strip about the holiday I've always liked...

I believe this was the only time we've ever seen Snoopy's father. This was where we also learned Snoopy had seven siblings. All of them except two have appeared in the comic strips: Spike, Belle, Olaf, Marbles and Andy. They came up with the other two for the 1991 TV special "Snoopy's Reunion," and they were Molly and Rover...
19 June 2015 @ 11:54 pm
Well, a little part of my childhood has died... if you want to put it that way.
They were the first fire alarms I ever heard in my life, when I was in kindergarten, in late 1993 or early 1994. A loud pulsing "BUZZZZZZ!!! ... BUZZZZZZ!!! ... BUZZZZZZ!!! ... BUZZZZZZ!!!" accompanied by flashing red lights (not strobes.) They were the second loudest fire alarms I've ever heard (tying with my middle school), only being beaten out by my high school's fire alarm system. This is what we had...

This pic was taken in the classroom that used to be my old kindergarten room (now it's a seventh grade classroom of some sort; they became a K-8 school in 2006.) Years later, I learned the model number for the horn was a Simplex 4051, and the light is a 4050-80 incandescent light plate. They are the original alarms from when the school was built in 1974. Behind that gray grille next to the alarm is a school bell; they were just as loud as the fire alarm! They put the bells and alarms next to each other in most of these schools. Simplex Time Recorder Co. (now SimplexGrinnell) products used to be quite common across the school district (all my schools used to have Simplex time systems), but now are slowly being replaced.
Early this year, the school had its' fire alarm system replaced, due to it malfunctioning in one part of the building. So now, these old alarms are gone...

They removed the old Simplex alarms, and installed new ones on adapter plates. They used System Sensor's SpectrAlert Advance series of horn/strobes, which I see at a NUMBER of places. My workplace has them. Some stores at the mall have them. Even my old college has them! In fact, some of the buildings at said college used to have the same kind of old Simplex alarms as this school did, and then they've since replaced them with those same System Sensor alarms. A pretty strange coincidence...

Even though they were not pleasant, I will miss the old fire alarms there very much. Now the kids there will instead get a high-pitched "BEEEEP! ... BEEEEP! ... BEEEEP! ...... BEEEEP! ... BEEEEP! ... BEEEEP" sound during fire drills. Not as good as the older horns.
Oh well, at least I have one of those older Simplex fire alarms in my collection of whosits and whatsits galore (not from the same school, I got mine five years ago)...
02 June 2015 @ 11:31 pm
Today I bought a copy of the Tom and Jerry "Gene Deitch Collection" DVD that hit the shelves. So far, the restoration job is really good, and the cartoons are just as quirky as I remember them (though as I said, there are a few klunkers.)
Here's some screencaps from a weird short: "Landing Stripling" from 1961.

Here's this weird bird that's prominent through the cartoon. He looks almost diseased, and he makes these bizarre reverbed chirping sounds, almost sounding like something out of a sci-fi film.

I do like this bit when he's scampering around making weird chittering noises while doing so!

Here's a weird bit where Jerry and the bird decide to boil Tom alive!

And it results in this weird bit where he's bouncing around with a weird "fweep fweep fweep fweep fweep fweep!" vocal sound.

However he's able to cover up his bare skin by just pulling down his fur until it's full once again. Not as good as Chuck Jones's variation of the "under the fur" bit (where he'd give Tom or Wile E. Coyote boxer shorts and skinny hairy human-like legs.)

A general reaction when one of these cartoons end, of course, is typically this:
28 May 2015 @ 11:31 pm
No real specific subject to this post... just some random stuff.

Yesterday I did have a little excitement at work. I started to go outside to clean up trash outside the back of the store, when I noticed (and smelled) some smoke coming through one of the bushes in the parking lot. Another associate that was on break said there was actually a small fire under the bush! So I rushed back inside to tell management, and one of them told me to fill one of the mop buckets with water. He told me to hurry, and that I could kind of run to the maintenance area since this was an emergency. So I did, and I filled up a bucket with water, hurried back over to the parking lot, and helped douse the fire. I was quite a big help here, and by the time I returned to the fire a few other associates had come out to see.
I figured the fire must have started when some smoker wound up igniting the mulch underneath the bush, and since mulch is flammable, well, you get the idea.

Currently, Brockton is under a boil water order, due to a pipe bursting yesterday morning. It's made washing up and brushing my teeth rather difficult, and it also affected quite a few business (a number of Dunkin' Donuts shops can't sell coffee due to this!) Fortunately we have plenty of spring water to drink. I am hoping things go back to normal tomorrow (Avon, where I work, is not affected by this, so I'm good there.

I also found out a couple years ago, there was a live stage show outside North America based off "The Looney Tunes Show!" It's called "The Looney Tunes Show Live"...

I don't know who that woman in black is supposed to be, but I do find it interesting how Granny and "Witch Lezah" are portrayed as "face characters." To fit with the show's unusual animation style, they had costumes made resembling the Looney Tunes characters drawn that way. IDK who made them, not sure if it was Scollon Productions.

The Road Runner is HUGE in this show. Though I do like how the Wile E. Coyote suit looks, it actually looks more like the classic version instead of his weird CGI redesign seen on the first season of the series.
Tweety and Speedy Gonzales are also portrayed by puppets, as they are small characters.

Still some pretty interesting stuff! Too bad it probably won't be appearing in the states, as the show is pretty much wrapped up (Cartoon Network even strategically removed it from their schedule among completing the show and replacing it with "Uncle Grandpa." Boo!) Though the upcoming "Rabbits Run" Looney Tunes made-for-video movie is going to be done in the style of this show...

I also got a neat LP album I bought off eBay:

Yep, "Mickey's Rock Around the Mouse!" It was produced and released in 1987 by Disneyland Records (and one of the last releases on that label before they were renamed Walt Disney Records the following year), and features a bunch of songs done in a '50s rock-and-roll style, as during that time, '50s stuff was getting popular again (like those '50s diners, the "Little Shop of Horrors" musical, the music and songs used in "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo," etc.) We even get a track performed by Little Richard in a guest appearance: "Gawrsh Golly Goofy!"

Hey, even the Big Bad Wolf likes some good '50s music sometimes!
Maybe when I go to the Maltese Fur Con in August, I'll bring some of my fun records with me!
20 May 2015 @ 11:56 pm
Well, the sad news is, I think I've been fired from the Brockton Rox. I haven't done anything bad, but it's due to budget cuts and the new staff. I will not be performing K-O the Kangaroo this year, but at least I am leaving behind a legacy! Who knows, maybe I'll return next year or something.

But in the meantime, you'll still have Sidney Kangaroo!
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This summer I might finally start building a fursuit head for him, hopefully in time for the Maltese Fur Con! I might hopefully start building next week...
20 May 2015 @ 04:27 pm
What is your favorite Classic Disney film and why?
There's a lot I like... "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," "Peter Pan," "Lady and the Tramp," "101 Dalmatians," "The Jungle Book," "Robin Hood," "The Rescuers," "The Fox and the Hound," "The Great Mouse Detective," "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" are probably my top favorites out of them.