PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The PopCult Toybox: MEGO Meet X

Img_0879The tenth annual MEGO Meet took place at The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling last weekend, and it was part of a whirlwind weekend that saw your PopCulteer putting up an eight-man tent in Pittsburgh, raiding a Toys R Us for marked-down Captain Action figures, shooting baskets (WTF?), attending one day of MEGO Meet and introducing Under Surveillance onstage in Hurricane.

And that was just Friday and Saturday. Sunday I took it easy and just shot host segments for and edited this week’s RFC MINI SHOW with StychNTyme.

But of course, the most interesting part of this trip was MEGO Meet. It was a memorable show with cool news from the ReMEGO companies and we thank The MEGO Museum for continuing to put on this great show, right in our backyard.. We heard lots of news about Cast-A-Way Toys, EMCE Toys, Heroes In Action and more, plus we got to hang out a bit with Doc MEGO and Art Baltazar. Some of the news we heard must remain under wraps until all the contracts are signed, but we will spill some beans in this post.

Today in The PopCult Toybox we are going to present a heavily-captioned photo essay. This weekend, look for a music video with even more cool sights from one of West Virginia’s biggest toy shows.

Let us dig in…


The MEGO Meet X poster
The MEGO Meet X poster. Thanks again to The MEGO Museum
A cool stage for showing off the custom figures
A cool stage for showing off the custom figures

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The RFC MINI SHOW with StychNTyme

stychThis week The RFC MINI SHOW digs back into the vault to bring you footage of StychNTyme that was recorded last year at the ECMC Kick Cancer for Kids benefit show at The Eagles Club in Charleston.

StychNTyme performed a “farewell” concert last weekend in Charleston, so we decided to go back and revive this previously unseen footage. We’d shelved this because, shortly after this show, the band underwent a line-up change. In fact, their final concert featured guests Lee Harrah and Johnny Compton filling in on vocals and guitar.

Our intention was to recored StychNTyme again, when their line-up stabilized, but that didn’t happen, so we’re presenting these two killer songs to mark the passing of one of the area’s top metal bands. It’s actually cool that we wound up using this footage because the band was tight and the mix (courtesy of Brad Wood of Woodboys Music) was fantastic.

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This week’s art is a detour along the way to my design for this year’s East End Main Street Streetworks project. My piece is going to be a tribute to Heinz Edelman, a hero of mine (and the man who designed The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.” Part of my design (which will also include a nod to “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat) is based on this image of Ophelia Darc, from the May, 2013 edition of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School. It’s going to be transmogrified considerably from this early version, so this alternate take is just a tiny tease.

Click to see it bigger, and check PopCult later this week for more details on this year’s Streetworks art auction.

Sunday Evening Videos: FestivAll 2007

FestivAll is coming. Charleston’s giant annual art party starts in less than two weeks. To get you in the mood, we’re going to go back to 2007, the first year that we covered FestivAll in depth here in PopCult. This report was narrated and directed by Melanie Larch, and edited and produced by your PopCulteer. Because YouTube limited the length of videos back then, it’s been broken into two parts. With the first above, and the second below.

In this video report you’ll see tons of the sights and sounds of FestivAll, with The No Pants Players, Drew The Dramatic Fool, Ted Brightwell, Captain Crash and The Beauty Queen, Spurgie Hankins, Whistlepunk, Comparsa, Jude Binder and lots and lots of people dancing. Plus we ddin’t forget the Catfish, who got their own theme song in Part two, which can be seen below.

RFC Flashback: Episode 79

RFC 79 “DOMO Shirt” from RFC Archives on Myspace.

007903Above you see “DOMO Shirt,” the 79th episode of Radio Free Charleston from late August, 2009. This installment brought you music from Columbus Ohio’s Melty Melty, The Drunken Gentlemen and Douglas Imbrogno, backed up by Casi Null and Jeff Ellis. In addition to all that, you get a brand-spanking-new Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie, and our host segments, which were filmed at Appalachian Power Park. We decided to tape there because RFC’s camera mistress and resident diva, Melanie Larch, was called in at the last minute to sing The National Anthem.

This show is notable for containing a 2007 performance by Douglas Imbrogno, backed by Casi Null and Jeff Ellis, which nobody involved in seemed to remember. The song, “The Green, Green Hills of Earth” later turned up in Imbrogno’s ambitious science fiction song cycle, “Saint Stephen’s Dream,” excerpts from which can be seen on RFC 138.


Weekend Stuff To Do

10320464_10201941076719565_2883729394892453895_nThe PopCulteer
June 6, 2014

While your PopCulteer is away drooling over toys at MEGO MEET, it’s time, once again, to devote The PopCulteer to our weekly rundown of cool stuff happening in Charleston.

Of special note is the show by Under Surveillance Saturday night at Creekside Cafe in Hurricane. Not only will this be the first public performance by the band in many decades, but it will also be the first time I will be introducing a band in almost twenty years.  And it doesn’t hurt that the band has a great new CD, which I reviewed HERE and which you can buy at the show. Come for the music, but also cheer me on since I’m starting the day in Pittsburgh before heading to Wheeling and then ending up in Hurricane. I should be amusingly exhausted.

So aside from from Under Surveillance at Creekside Cafe Saturday night at 9:30 PM (with RFC guest, Jordan Searls opening), here’s a bunch of other stuff that you can get into…

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PopCult Note

Your PopCulteer is so excited over MEGO Meet this weekend (scroll down for details) that he couldn’t calm down long enough to read a book this week. So the PopCult Bookshelf will return next week. Friday we’ll tell you about some Stuff To Do this weekend in a short PopCulteer. Saturday will see our usual RFC Flashback.

Then we’re back to normal after that.

Above you see this week’s RFC MINI SHOW starring the band, TIME AND DISTANCE, who will be apprearing at Dunbar Lanes this Friday. Read the production notes HERE.

Below you should see The Laser Beams with their music video for “Patrick Morrisey,” a song about West Virginia’s Attorney General. You can read more about it HERE.

Stuff To Do Midweek


Do you have what it takes to skate around in circles and skillfully run into people? Then The Chemical Valley Rollergirls may have a place for you. Just show up Wednesday night at 6:30 PM at The Southridge Grand Prix Sports Center. here’s what they say on the event page, “Did you like the action you saw on Saturday? You can be a part of it! Join us this Wednesday for an introduction to roller derby. We have skates and gear to borrow until you buy your own. No prior skating skills necessary! What to bring – a couple bottles of water and a positive attitude. What to wear – something comfortable to sweat in and sneakers.”

Live the dream, go to Newbie Night.

Wednesday night at 10 PM you can catch GrooveHeavy at The Boulevard Tavern, right on Kanawha Boulevard.

Patrick Felton
Patrick Felton

Thursday at 9 PM you can help mark one solid year of Patrick Felton hosting Mojo’s Comedy Night at Mojo’s Sportsbar in South Charleston, behind The Mound. There is no cover.

Here’s what they say on Facebook, “Celebrate the One Year anniversary of the Patrick Felton era of comedy at Mojo’s. Can you believe you’ve put up with a whole year of him? Come out for this free night of comedy, and try your hand, or enjoy great comedy from the valley’s most talented humorists, plus traveling comedians from throughout the area. Hosted by.. you guessed… Patrick Felton. There’s never been a better time to enjoy the valley’s longest continually running weekly comedy show.”

The packaging for the convention exclusives

This weekend, it’s once again time for MEGO MEET, the annual convention devoted to MEGO action figures that takes place in Wheeling WV at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum. This year Doc MEGO, Art Baltazar, EMCE Toys, Cast-A-Way Toys, and several other ReMEGO toymakers will be on hand. This show is produced by the folks at The MEGO Museum, who have kept the MEGO fires burning.

This will be the tenth MEGO MEET, and it’s really cool to have it so close. It’s great if you can make it for both days, but it’s also very easy to make a day trip on Saturday.

The convention exclusive figures will be The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Doc MEGO will spill the beans about Robot Chicken, the new EMCE Toys Marvel series and other surprises.

Henshin X from Cast-A-Way
Henshin X from Cast-A-Way

Cast-A-Way will unveil their new Henshin X line and there will be tons of vintage MEGO, customizers, the auction and Brick Mantooth, himself. Details on the show can be found HERE.

I’m going, and that’s pretty much what my mind is focused on this week. We will bring you our coverage of the event next week in this space.

You can see PopCult’s coverage of previous MEGO Meets at the following links: 2013, 20122011, 2010 Custom, 2010 Vintage. Expect even more cool photos next week.