Sunday, July 18, 2010

Runaway by Luis Cardenas

Ah the 80s. Say what you will about our cartoons, and our toys, but you have to admit that we had the best damn music videos ever! They were creative, they were clever, and they were FUN! Because of this, I thought I'd start showcasing some of my favorite music videos from this era starting with this forgotten gem.
Luis Cardenas; famous in the 80s for holding the world record for the largest drum set in the world did a cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway" that was not only in this pirate's opinion the best very of the song, but had one of the most amusing music videos in the 80s. It wasn't exactly complex or meaningful but it had something you don't see in most videos these days. HARD ROCKING DINOSAURS!

The video begins with Luis on the phone. It appears his girl just dumped him. Saddened, he picks up his drum sticks, heads outside and starts singing his song as he goes around allies drumming on walls and trash cans.

Unknown to our drummer, there's something strange about this alley. An it's not the smelly Hobo. In fact, I'd find it weird if the alley DIDN'T have a smelly Hobo.
He comes across a junkyard with his epic drum set. I doubt he knows what his world record drum set is doing in a junkyard but since it's here...

As he jams, Dinosaurs start circling around him getting into the music.

Go on, dear. Touch the random glowing guitar. I'm sure nothing bad with happen
A random glowing guitar appears. The Dinosaur's wife pushes him to pick it up (nice woman) and in doing so...

He transforms into... that! But he's not the only one

As the song continues they all start turning into 80s stereotype rockers.

Except for this guy. I'm pretty sure he always looked like that. The T-Rex decides he wants to be on drums and what do you do when the T-Rex wants to play your drums? You get out of the way and LET HIM!
And now we have a T-Rex on drums.

This is officially the best video EVER!

The little jam session goes on until a police officer comes by. And yes, that IS Del Shannon as the officer. It was the last video he appeared in before his death. The dinosaurs vanish just as he arrives leaving Luis alone.

As the officer walks him to his car, Luis' band mates ran up to him (one wonders how they knew he was there) to show him that they got a gig and have to go practice. (Which sort of came out of nowhere. I think this was about a break up. Oh Well.) The cop lets him go and all is well. That is until one of the dinosaurs sneaks up behind his car and sprays "Runaway" on the back.

So there you have it. A fun little video that was a favorite of mine when I was young. If you want to see it yourself, here you go;

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Toy Story Collection Jessie

Hey, remember when I said I really wanted the new Toy Story Collection Jessie like, one article ago? Well... guess what I got
Hey, how'd you guess? As you can see, she comes in a fantastic re-creation of the Woody's Round-up box. I love how "in character" this box is. Except for the "Toy Story collection" logo in the corner, this looks exactly like how Jessie's box would look like. Although I find it rather funny how Jessie is described as a "talking doll" while Woody is described as a "talking figure" even though they're made pretty much the exact same way.
The back of the box gives us a great box art (something you don't see in toys very often these days) and gives us a chance to try out Jessie's talking feature.

Out of the box, Jessie looks absolutely fantastic. She comes with a stand for displaying and her hat. The hat is a soft rubber material that fits well on her head. Although at times, the hat has fallen off her when I pick her up.


She also comes with this certificate of authenticity signed by John Lasseter.


This doll's details are perfect. Everything that should be made of cloth or yarn is. Her hair is yarn, most of her body is made of a soft fabric and even her hat has string going around the rim.

The toy has two modes. Demo and play. Demo is the version it comes in when in the box and play offers interactivity. But to activate goes down in my opinion as the most awkward way to activate a toy I have ever seen


That's right. Her on switch is on her butt and you gotta pull down her pants to activate it. Because nothing says "family friendly playtime" like pulling down a woman's pants. But once you do, Jessie will greet you and from there, will respond to your voice with various phrases. The box says she has 33 phrases and while I've had her for almost a week now, I STILL haven't heard all of her phrases. Some of my personal favorites are;
"You haven't seen WooDEEE or Bullseye, have ya?"
if you speak too loudly she'll say;
"Is it me, or did someone turn up the volume?"
and if you say nothing she'll say;
"Yoo Hoo! Anybody here?"
If you STILL say nothing she'll say;
She'll challenge you to a laughing contest (I still haven't beaten her) ask you what kind of things you like, and sometimes sings Home on the Range. After playing with her for a while, she'll yawn and say she's tired and is "gonna get a little shut eye"
Needless to say, this is a wonderful toy. The best Jessie ever made. And at 49.99 she damn well better be!
Well... if you want me to nitpick... her ponytail is technically too short and too thick, the buttons on her shirt aren't aligned properly, the flaps on her collar are in funny positions and though the eyes on mine are alright, there were quite a few at the store with a little sloppy paintjobs. But the little things they got right by far outweigh the little things they got wrong. She's by far the best Jessie toy ever made. Although if you saw my last article, you'd know that's not very har...




Phew, okay now. I got mine at Toys R Us though I hear they're also being sold at the Disney store. I wouldn't know since the only Disney store in my area was in a mall that was recently flooded and will be closed until August. The Toy Story collection Jessie is expensive at 49.99 but she's well worth it if you're a big fan of the character or of the series in general.

"I thought I'd get one last look at the sun... before I get packed away again."
Don't worry Jessie. You'll never get packed away as long as I own you :D