Memories


This post officially marks our 1,000th entry here at Infinite Hollywood. It’s definitely something of a milestone. To be fair, not all of these posts are my own (we’ve got quite a few contributors now) and some of these posts aren’t really full posts, but it makes more sense to me to celebrate 1,000 posts rather than 1,236 or whatever it would take to get a thousand of what I consider “official” posts.

For the next couple of weeks we’re going to celebrate with a variety of themed posts, contests and other Tom Foolery-filled festivities. So in honor of our one thousandth post on this little website, the first order of business is an interview with our founder and resident main man himself.

So what’s it take to get to 1,000 posts?

Apparently a lot of spare time, a persistence to put off more important things to work on your crummy website and essentially, no life. All kidding aside, (who said I was kidding?) it takes a fair amount of work to get up this many posts. While I certainly can’t take credit for all of the posts, nor can I honestly say they’re all “great” posts, it’s still a pretty good testament to dedication.

What’s been the most rewarding thing about creating Infinite Hollywood?

It’s tough to say. I hate to be a guy who doesn’t give a straight answer, but the truth is that the website has had a lot of really rewarding moments. When you’re able to bring attention to a US Soldier making cool custom toys in Afghanistan or when you can help put a few gifts under a child’s Christmas tree by sponsoring a contest to do just that, it means a lot. Even if it’s only a small thing, you know?

On a personal level, it’s great to see that someone has seen your stuff and been nice enough to leave a comment. I’ve had people from all over the planet visit the website. There’s a certain amount of gratification that comes from seeing that. I’ve made some good connections and some great friends through the website and that’s definitely rewarding.

What’s been the worst thing in the last 1,000 posts?

Never being satisfied. I’m my own worst critic and I can pick apart a million different things I dislike about the website. Every post is not quite as good as it probably could be. The perfectionist in me is never satisfied… But the fact that we’ve made it to 1,000 posts pretty much says I’m strong enough to weather the storm.

Take us back to the creation of Infinite Hollywood. Where did the idea and concept come from?

Truth be told, Infinite Hollywood in it’s infancy was a pretty different concept. Back in 2007, a few people I knew on a forum had tossed around the idea of starting up a website. I was still pretty big into writing for various other websites, but I realized that I could probably do a better job getting the basics down than the other guys. As it turns out I was right, because nobody else even decided to do a website. The original concept was something a bit closer to like, a celebrity gossip/pop culture site.

I quickly realized I had no interest in doing celebrity gossip and just geared it more towards a general pop culture blog. I had already dabbled with a personal blog, then just decided to sort of roll it all into one. Thus the official Infinite Hollywood was born. There was about a 2 1/2 year gap between when I tinkered with the idea and when I actually decided to do something with the site full time. A lot of those early posts are pretty bad.

Why didn’t you ever go back in and delete them?

They’re there for posterity’s sake. I don’t think there’s too much there that’s overly offensive. More amateurish than I’d like at times, but I think that’s true of pretty much any website as you go further and further back into the archive. Hell at times I’m still refining my style. Plus as I said I’m a perfectionist in a sense and if I went back and deleted every post I wasn’t 100% satisified with, we’d never reach a 1,000 posts!

Octo Joe is now the official mascot of Infinite Hollywood, but there was one before that, right?

A couple, actually. Originally I had rigged up this cool logo that had the infinity symbol as a roll of film. I thought it pretty clever, given the name of the site and all. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, though. The first official “mascot” was Fugitoid from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He appeared on all kinds of early banners and logos. I liked him because he was obscure, but yet still a good tie-in to what I thought the message of the site was. I figured if you knew who or what Fugitoid was, you were part of my target audience.

Ol’ Octo Joe came about this past year because although Fugitoid had long since been phased out, I didn’t have a permanent mascot. I thought of one late at night and after a few days of refining my design, another website started using nearly verbatim my idea. I was flabbergasted. So I went back to the drawing board (and what a horrible set of drawings it was) and Octo Joe was born. Of course he didn’t really come to life until he got into the much more capable hands of Bill White.

What websites inspired this one?

I think every toy reviewer out there owes a certain gratitude to Michael Crawford, who still makes the lion’s share of us look like rookies by comparison. I had actually done a couple of reviews for his site and one of them got lost in cyberspace somewhere, which was also part of the reason I started this place. I didn’t want to lose my work again, so what better way to have it archived than to make sure I did it myself?

Matt from X-E is always an inspiration because he was doing fun pop culture before pretty much anyone else and still does it the best. Nathan Newell of Dork Dimension and Jason Clarke of Poe Ghostal are definitely guys that can still provide inspiration. I’m sure there’s others. I can’t say that any website made me say “hey I can do that”, but I think like any good member of a community, you have to have some influence from your peers and those who were around before you.

What’s your favorite toy line of all time?

Honestly I don’t know if I can sum that up in a simple answer. As a kid, I loved GI Joes and Ninja Turtles the most, if I had to guess. In a lot of ways the return of Ninja Turtles to the toy aisles in 2003 and the 25th Anniversary of GI Joe both played a pretty big part in my return to buying toys. I had almost exclusively quit buying toys and was being a good “grown up” for several years, but both of those toy lines forced me to rethink that philosophy in a way.

Actually, I suppose you can add the Bruce Timm animated DC world to that as well. I can’t say a specific toy line, because the Hasbro line led me to the Mattel JLU line. That was one of the few lines I sporadically collected during my time away from buying toys. It’s kind of funny because a couple of years ago I was a die hard JLU guy and in the last few years I could pretty much care less. Changing of the times.

What’s your favorite toy line currently?

Probably the Doctor Who Classics. It’s one of those toy lines that in a way shouldn’t even exist and yet at the same time is thriving. It’s got it’s fair share of headaches of course, but the guilty pleasures are sort of endless.

What’s the one toy line you’d love to see continue or start back up?

That’s simple, the NECA TMNT line. I’d trade MOTU, Thundercats and a whole lot of other things to get NECA’s TMNT wave 2. It’s probably my greatest toy line disappointment of all time. It’s a shame that NECA hasn’t done something with it, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.

Do you really buy all those toys you review?

Yes. Although I have gotten a few toy samples here or there, we buy our toys at Infinite Hollywood. I don’t know if that makes us better or worse off, but we all have an investment in our reviews. Of course I’d love some more free samples, hint hint, but our reviewing integrity isn’t for sale. However for a good price my sexual integrity might be.

Anyone you’d like to thank for helping you get to these first thousand posts?

Of course! I’d like to thank lots of people. Anyone who’s ever come to the website and enjoyed themselves, I appreciate. Especially those who have taken the time to leave a comment. I know it may not seem like much, but I know for a fact that all of the crew here at Infinite Hollywood appreciate the comments more than you can imagine.

Anyone who’s ever posted our link, submitted us to some sort of social media network, carried our banner or mentioned us in passing… I definitely appreciate. The toy community is small and yet at times pretty vast. We’d be lost out there if it wasn’t for other people connecting us together and for that I’m quite grateful.

Beyond that I’d like to thank my girlfriend for putting up with a house full of toys and me sacrificing time I should be spending with her, typing away at the computer. I’d like to thank the “regulars”, who pop in all the time and keep us feeling all warm and cozy inside. I’d like to thank Bill for his incredible artwork, Jon, Wesitron, Rob, Jeremy and all the contributors who have helped lighten the load and bring a fresh perspective and content to the website.

Is there anything that you’d like to say to people reading the website?

Just thanks for stopping by, please continue to support us if you’ve enjoyed anything you’ve read here and the best is yet to come…

Be sure to continue to check out the website and look for special 1,000th post celebration content. The next 1,000 posts are sure to be at least as good as the first! Thanks everybody!


Ahh, the good ol’ days. It was 1988 when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy line came to fruition and it would be that same year that I discovered them. My first TMNT acquisition was also my introduction to the TMNT. My brother walked to the store with my great grandmother (who did not drive), which because I was considerably younger, was not allowed to do. Often when they would go, he would have her pick out toys for my cousin and us. All three of us stayed with my two grandmothers during the summers.


This would be not only where I first discovered the TMNT, but it would be the only time for decades that I would see a Shredder figure. They stopped into a place called Wicklows, which had once been Gillam’s World. There he picked up a figure for each of us, from the brand new Ninja Turtle toy line. My brother got Leonardo, which became his favorite Turtle. I got Mikey, who became my favorite. My cousin ended up with Shredder. My cousin hated this, enough that I actually recall him crying about it. We quickly convinced him that Shredder was really cool and as it turns out, Shredder was pretty darn cool. He was also impossible for me to find.


The cartoon had not aired yet in our neck of the woods. I recall it airing shortly after we had the figures, but we learned of the TMNT through the back of the package bios. It was great. It showed you just how cool that toy line was. Sure, Shredder may not look like much now… But back then? That was one of the coolest action figures I had ever seen. Of course, I was really glad I had gotten Michelangelo, but I couldn’t help but think how cool Shredder was too.


Of course what made Shredder legendary in my mind was the simple fact that I never saw him again. I had a TON of Turtles figures as a kid. Shortly after those original purchases, I was able to get Rocksteady and Bebop. Eventually along came Baxter Stockman and a whole host of other characters. Shredder and the Foot Solider were figures that I so desperately wanted, but always eluded me. This was a repeating theme in our household as we always seemed to never have the main villain. Not having the Foot Soldier? It wasn’t a huge deal (and that’s really a story for another time) because I had tons of bad guy figures and mutants… But not having Shredder?!


The Turtles without Shredder was like a sandwich without bread. This meant that Baxter Stockman had to be promoted to leader of the bad guys in my TMNT world, since clearly Rocksteady nor Bebop were equipped for the job. Heck, I wouldn’t even get Krang for many more years as well… So it was hard times. Eventually I made a makeshift substitute as documented in a previous post (Meet Shredder Circa My Youth) and it seemed as though my cousin was intent on never bringing Shredder around when we would play. He always had some excuse. I think he did it just to torture me.


And then of course, when he did bring him around, he was missing his head! I wrote about that before, but suffice to say, I was even envious of headless Shredder. Around 1993 or so I would finally get a Shredder… Super Shredder. It was bittersweet at best, even though I really like that figure. I still wanted that original Shredder.


Eventually Ebay would come around and sure enough, Shredder would be mine. As it turns out, this is a fairly below average figure. His body is contorted in such a way that he can’t do a whole lot of posing. Hell, just STANDING is nearly impossible for this guy. And he’s missing a shirt… I don’t know why.


I guess it could be worse. When Playmates first started tinkering with their 25th Anniversary re-release of the figure, they nearly omitted his pants!?

[For the record, the 25th Re-Release did come with pants, but why they actually used a non-pants proto on the back as opposed to using the classic figure is a bit of a mystery.]


It’s a strange figure, though. The spine is all contorted and he sort of looks like Zelda from Pet Semetary from behind. The blue armor doesn’t do him any favors, either. Of course this figure was repainted into Toon Shredder and that figure actually looks a billion times better, just by having a more accurate paint job.


It seems that Playmates would pay tribute to that pronounced spine in their late 90’s release of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation Shredder figure.


Interestingly, that Shredder figure would become my favorite for many years. Although I don’t think that design has aged particularly well either. C’set la vie, Shredder.


Whatever the case, I have fond memories of this Shredder figure. Even if I never really had him as a kid. He was a big part of my childhood, without ever actually being in my collection. I’m glad to have him now, even if he sort of sucks outside of that time capsule. Now if you excuse me, TONIGHT WE DINE ON TURTLE SOUP!


Good ol’ Game Genie. It’s hard to imagine now that the Game Genie was once considered a “controversial” item by many game console companies. The biggest of course was Nintendo, who actually sued Galoob (who put out the device) saying it infringed on copyright law. Sega on the other hand actually approved of the Game Genie… So much so that they gave it an official seal of approval.

This ad from the early 90’s touts just that. Sega was on board with Game Genie and the two teamed up to put forth the idea that with the Sega Genesis and the Game Genie, anything was possible. They do what Nintendon’t I guess. Of course Nintendo eventually embraced (or gave up resisting) against the Game Genie as well. Although Galoob has been bust for many years, their old patent for the Game Genie actually didn’t lapse until May of last year.

I actually had the Sega Genesis version of the Game Genie but I can’t for the life of me remember why. I think maybe my Uncle gave it to me? I only ever recall using it on Sega to help beat Kingpin on the old Spider-man game. Beyond that I would just occasionally use it for random cheats. I remember when I first saw the Game Genie being used on an NES and I was able to make the Mario Brothers have moon jumps. Blew. My. Mind.


Oh WCW how I miss you…

Today’s classic comic ad comes to us from the old days of the NES and a look back at this gem known as WCW Wrestling. The ad features the Road Warriors in total badass mode, with some smaller photos of other WCW stars on the side. The game itself didn’t get a lot of attention, but for those that actually played it, awesomeness was in store. The cart was actually a slightly retooled Famicom game, “Superstar Pro Wrestling”.

When you booted this bad boy up, you heard the voice of Paul Heyman shouting, “WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING!” in surprisingly good quality. The game allowed you to do things that wouldn’t happen in any other US wrestling games until the N64 era… You actually were able to PICK your own moves. Not all your moves, but several. It was really way ahead of it’s time.

The game had tons of holds, finishers and even a special cameo by Andre The Giant in a mask! It was of course, insanely hard in single player. Tag team matches kind of sucked because you could break up pins, but you appeared as a strange blanked out character instead of your actual sprite.

The graphics were paltry, but not much worse than any other NES wrestling game. Oh and everyone wore pants. Even guys who just wore tights like Ric Flair, got pants. Who knows why. Apparently the game couldn’t handle shirts. So that kind of blew.

Sometimes a fan would throw a wrench at you. You could then use the wrench to whack people over the head with. Man, this game was awesome. I should have played in non-stop in 1989.

When I was a kid, every year, usually right after Thanksgiving, my Dad would go deer hunting and this signaled the real beginning of the holidays. Since my brother was older, he’d go with my Dad and I was stuck home with my Mom. It was actually pretty cool as we’d start Christmas shopping, decorate the house and rent a few Disney movies. It also didn’t hurt that I usually got a toy or two just for being around. This is where I got my exposure to most of the classic and modern Disney cartoons.


In today’s current marketing strategy of Disney and their “Princess” lines, it’s easy to assume that most of the Disney movies were “girl” movies. That’s really not the case and it’s just become a trend in recent years because Disney sees dollar signs there. I’m not suggesting that the Little Mermaid is comparable to First Blood or anything, but it’s a KIDS movie, not a girl movie. As such, way back in 1989, McDonald’s Disney Little Mermaid Ornaments were for everyone!


We took a long way getting there, but that’s what I’m here today to talk to you about. McDonald’s used to do cool stuff like this, but I don’t think they do it so much anymore. They offered two plush ornaments from The Little Mermaid. As a kid I believe I only had one, but I might have had them both.


The packages are actually pretty cool. I really like the sunken pirate ship on the side of Flounder’s box. Most people lost these boxes and I’m sure mine were eventually tossed as well, but thanks to the internet I was able to procure new boxes. Actually I was able to get new ornaments altogether. Sadly almost all my childhood Christmas decorations were given to my brother for some odd reason when my parents got divorced and I’m not certain he kept up with them.


Flounder is pretty lame. I honestly don’t remember having him when I was a kid, but if I did, I didn’t care much for him. That’s not a surprise really, when you consider that he doesn’t look much like Flounder. He looks like a Hong Kong bootleg and his only winter attire is a hat. A Santa hat would have looked good here, but this really is more like a typical stocking cap. Lame-O!


Sebastian however, is the star of the show. Sebastian was my favorite character in the Little Mermaid and he’s got a really cool design here. First he has mittens on his claws. To really put them over the top, they have a snowflake on each one.


He also has ear muffs which look quite festive in their green color. Plus Sebastian is also sporting his own Tom Baker scarf! You can see why poor Flounder pales in comparison.


Incredibly, I discovered when I purchased a few of these, that Sebastian had a chase variant! Okay, I don’t know if it was an intentional variant or not, but his ear muffs could either be a darker lime green or a more neon pea green (Like vintage Constructicons Devistator!) color. I’m not sure which one was more rare, but I believe the one I had as a kid was a darker green.


Sebastian adorned my tree from about 1989 until probably 1999, but has been absent for the better part of the last decade. As a kid I always respected that this Sebastian was an ornament, but I really wanted to play with him as a fuzzy, plush crustacean friend. Now Sebastian returns to my holiday festivities and he’s free to be played with and cherished for years to come!