Friday, April 15, 2016

Expo Scores!

The first weekend in April, Dipper and I went to Buffalo's Record Pop Culture Expo. A local VFW post was hosting it, and basically it was vendors galore! There were all kinds of merchandise on sale, and even if you didn't buy anything, it was neat to look at what was for sale and who was buying it. If I had known at the time that I would inherit my grandparent's record player, I would have spent time thumbing through the hundreds of records. Other than that, Dipper and I thumbed through comic books, action figures, and signed memorabilia.

This was the first time I'd ever attended that type of event, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As in, I will be saving up for their Fall event, in the hopes that I can score more signed items, and maybe even a few comics.

We had our eyes on a few items from the get-go, but made sure that we circled the event a few times just to make sure those were the items we wanted. Dipper checked out a couple vintage metal lunch boxes, and I had my eye on a few Leatherface items (most notably a bobblehead and an action figure).

Pop Culture Expo

In the end, we wound up getting a signed Maxx comic for our friend (signed by both the artist and the author), as well as a BONE figure that she didn't have. As for ourselves, Dipper and I got the same signed Romero (The Godfather, above) print. Or, I should say, my brother spoiled me rotten and got it for me. He also snagged me the signed Caroline Williams, which I still have to find a frame for. The other item he snagged for me was the Horror: Illustrated Book of Fears magazine.

There were a few stickers that caught our eyes, as well as some other signed prints, but I suspect we will be going back for those in October. Most of the same vendors should be there. As for me, I can now say I've caught the bug and I will be looking forward to any future expos or conventions that we come across.

March Mr Ghost Subscription Box

A friend of mine is a bit of a subscription box fiend. She does makeup boxes. Stationary boxes. Skin care boxes. Anything she can get her paws on. I was visiting her about a month ago and commented on the super cute sticker on her laptop. It featured a ghost wearing a monocle. She explained that it was part of a subscription set called Mister Ghost's Highly Enviable Monthly Parcel of Simple Yet Amazing Wonderments. Yes, it's a super long title for a very simple box. I opted for the subscription, which renews every month. That box goes for $12, but if you want to try it out and go on a monthly basis, it's $16.

I'm over the moon with what I received, but I don't think I'd pay $16 for it. But for $12? It's very much worth the money. It's a box suitable for younger people, as it doesn't contain anything offensive, but it definitely is more of a niche box than most. The skeletons, bats, robots, ghosts, cats, and other figures depicted are cartoonish rather than scary. But all in all the aesthetic is pleasant. It's produced by a company called Evil Supply Co. which sells stationary, stickers, patches, cards, and other like goods in addition to the box. (What you find in the box is exclusive - you can't purchase it separately.) The March box theme was "Magic Gardens". (I missed the February vampire theme.) I am extremely pleased with the offerings for April, and am already eagerly awaiting the May box, even though it'll ship on the 25th of this month.

Here's a look at the loot...

mr ghost

  • Blank Booklets (graveyard and deadly nightshade) - On the left you'll see two little white booklets. The top one is going to Dipper's daughter Phoebe, because I think she'll really dig the purple and graveyard theme. It's fairly small, but you can totally doodle in it or use it to write notes. The deadly nightshade one I'll keep for myself. Not sure what I'll use it for, but happy to have it all the same.

  • Deadly Nightshade Stickers (x2) - Next to the graveyard booklet are two green stickers. They look like bottle labels and they say "Deadly Nightshade". Not sure what I'll use them for, but they're pretty cool just the same. Maybe when Dipper and I are out doing our yardsale shenanigans this summer we'll find some creepy bottles we can put them on and then display them.

  • Rectangular Garden Patch - Next to the deadly nightshade stickers is the embroidered patch for the month. It features a walkway through a creepy garden. So. In. Love. No idea what I'm going to put it on, but it's freaking awesome!

  • Purple Rose Stickers (x2) - These stickers are pretty cute - they feature a purple stylized rose. I'm giving these to Phoebe too. I think she'll really dig them.

  • Blank Notecards (x2) - The top one features a walkway through a haunted garden to a haunted house. The other one has a skull, and I'm not quite sure what the other components of the pattern are. Still, not bad. And certainly for all occasions, or cute to frame.

  • Art Print - Every box comes with an art print fitting the theme. This one says "Bloom in the Darkness", which is appropriate for me because I've been battling some dark times. It's funny how you find things that really speak to you in the strangest places, and at the best times.

  • Zippered Pouch - Each month the goodies arrive in a screen printed, zippered pouch. This month's pouch features skulls, bones, ghosts, and plant parts. It's pretty cool. I have more pouches and bags than I know what to do with, so I'm giving this to Phoebe for her toys. Some of the toys nowadays come with tiny little accessories. It should make it easier for her to hold onto them. Or colored pencils. Or hair ties, or whatever she wants to use it for.

I will very happily continue to subscribe to this box. I think it's a steal for the price, even considering some of the items are better as gift items than things I'd keep for me. April's theme is "Bad Luck for Sale" and promises to be full of black cats and other familiars.

March HorrorBlock Subscription Block

March's HorrorBlock just arrived in the mail today. (In case you're new to it, it's part of the NerdBlock family, and focuses on bringing unique horror merchandise to subscribers every month. Usually there's a theme, but lately they've chosen one or two movies or tropes and centered the box on that. It costs $19.99 per month.) Per usual, I waited to see Dipper before opening it, which incidentally meant that I had to wait until I was at work tonight.

This month's theme was again zombie-centered. After the letdown of last month's block, I was not looking forward to this one. As luck would have it, the second try was really the charm. This month's block was a delight to open.


* Samara t-shirt - This month's t-shirt was a close-up of Samara from The Ring franchise. It's blue and white on a black background, and not bad at all. I was dreading what Ring merchandise would be included, as it's not one of my favorite films by any stretch. (It also doesn't stand up to a second watching, as all of the secrets are spoiled by the first viewing.) Dipper recommended that I give the shirt to our co-worker for his daughter, since she's pretty all-in when it comes to horror movies.

* Oven Mitt - I'm not gonna lie, I pounced on the oven mitt. I enjoy baking, and have been looking for a new oven mitt. This one is most likely going to be too thin to actually use with any sort of safety in mind, but the pattern is really awesome. The color green also goes with my current oven mitts, which are the same slime-snot green. I can't wait to hang this on the cupboard door above my stove! (UPDATE: Omg! It really works! I can use it without burning my hands!)

* Zombie Hand Back Scratcher - I'm not going to use that for it's intended purpose by ANY stretch of the imagination. However, having a telescoping zombie hand plaything is about the best thing you can think of in a cube farm environment. After taking it out of the packaging, I spent about 10 solid minutes terrorizing coworkers (and my unsuspecting supervisor) with it. The possibilities are literally endless!

* Zombie Squeeze - To me, he looks more like a voodoo doll, or a shrunken head with a body. But he's pretty cool just the same. When you squeeze him, you can see his brain stretching at his head to get out. It also makes a nasty kind of squick noise when you squeeze him. I suggested Dipper give this little ugly to his horror-loving daughter, but I have my suspicions that it's going to go to his personal collection instead.

* Zombie Door Stop - This was in a mystery box, and when we opened it, Dipper's eyes about boggled out of his head. I was over the moon that I already have a zombie door stop, because I really wanted to be able to give this item to him. When we divvied up the goods, this was the first item he chose. I don't think he'll use it as a doorstop because the guts are kind of delicate, but I think it'll look great on whatever table or shelf it winds up on. (I'm actually hoping his kitten menaces it, so that I can snag a picture of that!)

* Walking Dead Building Blind Bag - I had no idea these were a thing. I thought it was going to be some kind of Lego, but it's really a little figurine that comes in pieces. You put it together and then you have whatever character (or zombie). Apparently it's part of a set you can get where you build the pieces. I'm not going to track down the set, but it'll look pretty neat on one of my shelves. Preferably somewhere that my cat and dog can't get to it. It's a little small for them to safely menace.

* Zombie Dog Tags - These are pretty cool - not gonna lie. I'm not usually the dog tag type of girl, so they went to my husband. While not quite the zombie fan that I am, he enjoys his military shooter video games just fine. (He was pretty psyched when he got them!)

* Rue Morgue - It's taken practically everything that I have not to purchase this magazine before it arrived in the box. When Dipper and I were out in Barnes & Noble the other day, I saw the cover. Love me some Rob Zombie! Apparently he's got a new album coming out, so that is something I'll be looking forward to. Probably should put his other stuff on rotation again to make a comparison when the new disc drops.

Overall, I think this block made up for the last one, which was incredibly lame. They varied the contents, and included 3 exclusive items. I also didn't feel bad giving Dipper any of the items - when the block isn't as good, I can't escape the feeling that I'm giving him sub-par horror merch. And that is NEVER a good thing!

If you're still debating on whether or not to order this block, I'd say go ahead. The instances where the block isn't as good are few and far between, and usually even if you get one bum item per box, the rest of the merch more than makes up for it.