Toy Chest Central, The Toy Podcast That Could Have Been

Back in the fall of 2010 I had been laid off from ToyFare, but was still writing for them.¬† What I really wanted to do was branch out on my own and start a weekly collectible podcast that would cover the length and breadth of the toy world. I wound up filming two different episodes, but then it fell off the radar. I think I was partially worried about getting in trouble with my then-highest paying freelance client (Wizard) and also the new information that we were having a baby and I probably wouldn’t have time to keep up with it. The former probably would not have been a problem, but the latter has proven to be completely accurate. I didn’t want to start something and then have to stop for however many months and leave whatever viewers I amassed int he dark.

As you can see, it’s pretty rough. I keep bouncing around the frame from segment to segment. You’ll also notice some pretty gnarly cuts that leave much to be desired. The thing I learned from doing both episodes was that having an idea of what you’re going to say before getting in front of the camera is a great idea. I also had trouble figuring out a good way to set up the lighting, hence the lamp to the side there.

I will say that for all it’s problems — and all of my “ums” — I’m still pretty proud with how this turned out. Figuring out how to insert all those photos and videos in iMovie took a while, but wound up not being a huge hassle. The first episode I shot is pretty bad, so you won’t be seeing that one. This one is leaps and bounds better, so I wonder what it would be like had I kept up with it. Anyway, here’s what would have been the first episode of Toy Chest Central had I continued on with it.

The Toyota Sienna Commercials Are Awesome

You’ve probably seen the various Toyota Sienna commercials on TV with the hip parents rocking out with their minivan. I’ve been a fan since I first saw them, but was surprised after doing some digging that Jody Hill is the mastermind behind them. For those of you who might not know, Hill has directed movies like Foot Fist Way (which I was bored to tears by), Observe And Report and Eastbound And Down. The dad is played by Brian Huskey and the wife by Rachel Drummond who I think kill it every time. I especially like the above “Swagger Wagon” with it’s fantastic mix of hip hop and parenting visuals.

This one’s my favorite, with the kid cleaning the car around dad. Here’s a few more clips I stumbled upon while trying to find that commercial. I guess they do longer versions that are only online.

Killer Klowns From Sandusky Street

As some of you may know, the missus and I went to our five year college reunion at OWU in Delaware, Ohio then went up to Toledo for a few days and then to Geof and Eileen’s wedding in Valpraiso, Indiana. For the purposes of the blog, the trip was fairly uneventful, though I did get to read some trades and saw Slammin Salmon for the first time. Most importantly, though, this happened:

There was a street festival in Delaware the weekend we were there, I assume to both celebrate the undergrads no longer being around to refer to them as “townies” and also to get some of that OWU alumni money. I saw this guy doing balloon animals and whatnot earlier in the day and thought he looked a little creepy, but only in the sense that all clowns wearing JNCOs are creepy. Later that night, he showed up at the packed bar still wearing his makeup, though it looked more like Heath Ledger’s Joker by then and stunk like a homeless guy. He made my buddy Will this crazy hat and then, I shit you not, left on a unicycle after almost being forcibly removed from the bar by a very angry bartender who was sick of stepping on balloons.

Michael J. Fox Talks Back To The Future On Jimmy Fallon

After a rad musical intro/ode to Michael J. Fox’s guitar performance in Back To The Future at the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance by The Roots (which unfortunately isn’t included in the first clip, Fox talked about a number of subjects. His new book is one of them, ribbing Dennis Leary another, but my favorite part was when he talked about how people are constantly coming up to him and asking where the real hoverboards are from Back To The Future 2. I really need to watch those movies again, it’s been way too long.

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Oh Sweet Christmas, The New Expendables Trailer is SUPERCRAZYAWESOME!!!

I’ve said I’m excited for The Expendables and I’ve said the first trailer is awesome, but holy crap, this trailer is better than anything I expected. I kind of wish they hadn’t included the Arnold Schwarzenneger (almost spelled it right on the first try this time)/Bruce Willis cameo as I’m guessing that’s the majority of their scenes. If you’re interested in more behind the scenes Expendables info, I highly recommend checking out Ethelmae’s blog if you aren’t already. That poster’s sick too! Oh how I wish Expendables would also get turned into a video game. Anyone read the comic? Is it any good? I might check out the trade if the art’s good and enough people dig it.

Scott Pilgrim Trailer

In case you haven’t seen it on every other blog on the internet or YouTube or iTunes, then feast your eyes on the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World trailer.

Like I mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of the books, but I think it will prove to be amazing source material for a genius like Edgar Wright, like The Birds was for Hitch. Anyway, this trailer looks great, but I wonder what norms who’ve never heard of Scott Pilgrim will think. It seems to be a pretty good idea of setting up the kind of movie it is and the plot. I’m jazzed, even if I’m not 100% sure I like the Michael Cera casting. We shall see in a few months I guess.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Coming Out Of Their Shells

You may not remember it now, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles used to dominate the world. Actually, I’m sure anyone reading this blog knows that, so nevermind. Remember back in 1990 when the Turtles formed a Pizza Hut-sponsored rock band and started touring in costumes that looked just like the ones from the movie? Of course you do. I think I had one of the tapes growing up, maybe two now that I think about it, but I never saw the live show. After stumbling upon these videos, though, I feel like I was really there. But before jumping into the performance video itself, check out this clip of the Turtles and April on Live With Regis And Kathy Lee. Reeg doesn’t seem too thrilled about shilling for dudes in costumes. Also, note that they opened their tour at Radio City Music Hall.

And now here is the four part epic concert if you’re interested.

Give That E*Trade Baby An Award

I watch a LOT of television. Thanks for plenty of marathons and watching a lot of the Winter Olympics, that means I tend to see the same commercials over and over and over and over and…you get the idea. I see a lot of commercials. My favorite series of commercials right now, though, have to be the E*Trade baby commercials. I liked the old baby, but this new kid is killing it. And of course, by the kid, I mean the editors, writers and voice actors behind the baby. It can’t be easy to match up the adult voice with the baby’s mouth/motions/movements whatever. Here are my current favorites.

The Milkoholic

The Airplane (The “Dad?!” part kills me every time)

The Barbershop Quartet

And here’s some “out takes” that were pretty funny

There’s one more where the kid leans back in his seat and goes “WHOA” that I couldn’t find on the E*Trade YouTube page. Oh well, you get the idea.

Conan’s Last Episode Of The Tonight Show

I’ll let Jimmy Fallon and The Roots explain how I feel about Conan leaving the air for seven months.

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I’m sure like a lot of other people my age who remember Conan from way back when he first took over for Letterman on the late Show like myself, some of you feel kind of bad that you didn’t watch Conan’s Tonight Show more often. Maybe it would have helped. But the reality of the situation is that it doesn’t really matter. The way that TV ratings work is a mess that needs to be updated like whoa. Don’t have a Nielsen box? Then it doesn’t matter what you watch.

Anyway, mini-rant aside, the missus and I sat down to watch Conan’s last episode tonight and he killed it. After the monologue Steve Carrel came out as an NBC employee doing Conan’s exit interview, then Tom Hanks came out, Neil Young played (if you hadn’t told me it was him, I would not have recognized the man until he started singing), then Conan gave an impassioned speech to the audience about how much he’s enjoyed working with NBC (for about 20 years) and how he hates cynicism and then, the show ended with Conan playing “Freebird” on guitar with Will Ferrell singing, The Max Weinberg Seven, Ben Harper, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and Beck, who did not seem to know how to play “Freebird” and looked generally confused. Unfortunately he got cut off at the very end and couldn’t give his final goodbye and they didn’t post this clip on Hulu which is a bummer. Anyway, hit the jump for all the clips that did get posted. Continue reading Conan’s Last Episode Of The Tonight Show