PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

CARtoons Magazine Returns!

s-l1600The PopCulteer
February 26, 2016

Due to intermittent power failures, we were unable to post any new Toy Fair videos yesterday here in PopCult.  Rest assured we are placing our nose back to the video grindstone and plan to bring you tons of new video from the 2016 International Toy Fair in New York all weekend long and well into next week.

In the meantime, we’re going to play a little catch-up with our neglected feature, the PopCult Bookshelf.

The PopCult Bookshelf

The Hot Rod Humor Mag in its heyday
The Hot Rod Humor Mag in its heyday

It is with a great deal of nostalgic glee that I bring you the news that CARtoons Magazine has returned to newsstands after a twenty-five year absence.  CARtoons originally began publication in 1957, created by cartoonist Pete Millar.

The magazine was a mainstay of newsstands and a huge part of people’s childhoods throughout the 1960s, 70s, and into the 80s.  Even when you were in a store that didn’t have a comic book rack, you could look at the automotive section of the magazine stand and get your comics fix.  CARtoons was a black and white magazine-sized publication, sort of like MAD Magazine, only all about cars and hot rods.

Especially in the 1960s, CARtoons was a haven for budding cartoonists.  Underground legends like Gilbert Shelton and Rick Griffin were first published in CARtoons pages. CARtoons Magazine always featured top-notch cartoonists indulging in their gearhead passions.

As magazine publishing began its slow decline, CARtoons disappeared from newsstands in the early 1990s.  Now the trademarks to the CARtoons name have been secured by a Canadian fan, Marc Methot, and the magazine is back with a new number one issue featuring a cover by original CARtoons artist George Trosley.

Continue reading…

Tonight at Midnight (and Friday at 10 PM and Saturday morning at 11 AM) you can tune in to hear a brand-new episode of Radio Free Charleston International. The emphasis is on “brand-new” this week as ten of the tracks we bring you this week are from albums released in 2016.

RFCI logo 004Mixed in with new stuff from the likes of Iggy Pop, Elton John, The Cult and Black Sabbath are deep cuts from years gone by from artists like Leaf Hound, Pink Floyd, Elvis Costello and Kraftwerk. It’s two hours of free-format radio, courtesy of Appalachian Independent Radio.

You can listen to it right on this nifty little embedded transistor radio…

Our playlist:

Iggy Pop  “American Valhalla”

Wendy James “Situation Normal at Surfrider”
Avantasia  “Mystery of a Blood Red Rose”
Leaf Hound  “Growers of Mushroom”
Greenleaf  “Golden Throne”
The Cult  “Deeply Ordered Chaos”

Elton John “Claw Hammer”
Black Sabbath  “Isolated Man”
National Lampoon  “Flash Bazbo”
Alice Cooper  “Clones”
Ringo Starr  “Without Understanding”

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PopCult at Toy Fair: Air Hogs

The PopCult Toybox

air hogs logoIn this video, Shen, the remote control guru at Air Hogs, tells us all about the really cool upcoming remote control products they have coming out that will let you drive and fly around just like the folks in Batman, Star Wars, and Star Trek.

Seriously, the remote control flying Starship Enterprise filled us with an instantaneous case of heavy duty toy lust. We’ll be telling you more about these cool Air Hog flying machines as they start to show up in stores.

The PopCult Toybox

Img_5970Mattel is reviving the TYCO brand name with a really cool remote control vehicle that moves like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Terra Climber is the first remote control vehicle that can actually climb stairs. We shot this video in the Mattel showroom and it is a remarkable demonstration. Terra Climber will be in stores this fall.

In addition to being just a cool all around remote control toy, Terra Climber is useful for people who live in split level homes that want to herd cats. Pet owners can even try to balance bowls of food on Terra Climber so that they can deliver a meal to their loving pet.

There’s no way in hell that the food won’t spill all over your house, but you have to admit it’ll make for a funny video. We don’t know how durable Terra Climber will be if it is used to taunt a large dog.

Taunting a large dog in general is a bad idea under any circumstances. We only mention this because we have a really tall photo and needed to write enough copy to fill up the space next to it.

This week, On The Road With Mel, on Appalachian Independent Radio, could more appropriately be called “On The Rails With Mel.”  This week’s show was recorded in the business class car of Amtrak’s Cardinal line.  En route home from New York, we wanted to see if Mel could actually record her show on the train.  The results were pretty impressive, especially considering that there was no script.

Mel logo 004In this week’s show, Mel talks about traveling in business class, shows we saw in New York City, places where we ate during our trip, and the pitfalls of using socks with secret compartments, all recorded aboard a moving train. You can listen it right here…

Every week Mel brings you a program filled with tons of travel tips, advice and cool ideas for places to visit.

You can listen to On The Road With Mel every Wednesday afternoon at 1 PM on Appalchian Independent Radio. In case you miss it, the show replays Saturday afternoon at 1 PM and Sunday night at 9:30 PM. All times are Eastern Standard Time.

PopCult at Toy Fair: Captain Action

The PopCult Toybox

ckrtlab-toys-captian-action-50-years-celebrating-vinyl-figuresIn this video, your PopCulteer sits down for a quick chat with Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn of Captain Action Enterprises. 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Captain Action and Ed and Joe show off a couple of cool products to commemorate the good Captain’s golden anniversary.

We talk a little bit about what the future holds for Captain Action, including a special Ultraman costume set. But the big news is that there is still plenty of big news coming. We can expect a huge announcement about Captain Action later this year, hopefully in time for the San Diego Comic Con.

As a totally irrelevant aside, this video clip is the 500th YouTube clip posted by yours truly. You can check out our messy and crowded YouTube page HERE. It’s really cool to share our milestone with Captain Action’s.

The PopCult Toybox

IAE_logo_IAE-red-2-2One of the really cool things that we got to see at Toy Fair this year was the I Am Elemental line of action figures geared for a female audience. These 4″ figures are original creations which you will hear about in the interview posted above.

The first series of seven I Am Elemental figures is available now and the second series will be available in the summer. You can also order a deluxe 6″ figure of one of the characters. For more information and to order, visit the I Am Elemental website.


The PopCult Toybox

TOYDRIVER LOGOIn this report from the 2016 International Toy Fair in New York City, we get to see a demonstration of Toydriver, a nifty battery operated, low-torque power screwdriver designed specifically for removing screws from stubborn battery compartments on toys.

Very soon, Toydriver will be available in stores across the country with a suggested retail price of $10, which is a bargain for such a vital tool.  The Toydriver is specially-designed with a longer bit and smaller heads to get at those difficult to reach teeny toy screws. Parents will be overjoyed.

RFC week 2RFCv4004

Tune in to Appalachian Independent Radio, or listen right in this here little radio player..

…for this week’s radio version of Radio Free Charleston. It’s chock full o’ brand-new local music, mixed with cool stuff from deep in the RFC archives. And it’s part of a nutritious breakfast!

Listen at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesdays, with replays on the weekend.

This week’s playlist:

Under Surveillance  “Savannah Moon”

Tape Age  “Baby I’m Lost”
Ona  “Sleep, Rinse, Repeat”
Blue Million “Adam Bit The Apple”
Ann Magnuson “Falling For An Actor”
Jordan Andrew Jefferson “The Party’s Over”

Mark Wolfe  “The Valley Peaked”
Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen “Incomplete”
Sheldon Vance  “Tonight We Sing”
Whistlepunk  “Outshine”

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Monday Morning Art: The Band Played On

Band 002

This week’s art is a digital painting based on an image taken from our first video from Toy Fair 2016 We posted it HERE, so you can see the type of cool stuff we have coming your way all week long. Click to enlarge.

Last week your PopCulteer travelled to New York to cover The International Toy Fair, and after sorting out over 200 video clips and 1,300 photos, we have begun posting videos and photo essays to show you what you can expect from the land of toys this year. We’re expecting to post a few dozen short videos and one huge wrap-up this week and next.