PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Sunday Evening Video: The PopCult Toy Fair Music Video

toy fair vid imageThe first PopCult video from the 2016 International Toy Fair is a brisk, five-minute music video showing off quick bursts of the sights and sounds of last week’s extravaganza.

Over the next couple of weeks we plan to bring you a few dozen more videos and countless photo essays to show you some of the cool new toys coming your way in 2016.

Prepare For Toy Fair 2016 Coverage

Photo02130927The PopCult Toybox

It’s time to let the onslaught begin! Your PopCulteer has returned from New York City and The 2016 International Toy Fair, and has jumped feet-first into the monumental task of sorting out all of the photos and video so that we can tell you what’s coming up from the toy world this year.

When I say “monumental,” I mean it. I will be combing through over 1,300 photos and sorting out nearly two hundred video clips to bring you the most concise and PopCultish coverage of Toy Fair on the planet. We will tell you about established titans of the industry and tiny, nascent toymakers who are just getting their feet wet.

We posted a preview last week, while we were still in New York. Tonight we bring you a much bigger photo essay to give you a hint of what to expect as we bring you the highlights of The 2016 International Toy Fair in New York.

This is just one of several entrances to the display floors at the Javits Center
This is just one of several entrances to the display floors at the Javits Center

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Radio Free Charleston’s 76th episode, “Peace Sign Shirt,” was the last episode of the show hosted on the Charleston Gazette servers, and it features two long songs by Option 22 and Suburban Graffiti, punctuated by a Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie, and a couple of important announcements.

After this episode of RFC, we began posting the show directly to MySpace, which turned out to be a disaster when they temporarily dumped all their video uploads, which is why we started remastering and re-uploading the older episodes of the show to YouTube.

You can find the original production notes HERE.

Start Spreading The News: We’re Back!

Img_5426The PopCulteer
February 19, 2016

Your PopCulteer is back from his whirlwind trip to New York City to cover the 2016 International Toy Fair.

It was an amazing four days and you will start seeing an astonishing amount of Toy Fair coverage beginning this weekend.  We’ll have videos, photo essays, and first-hand accounts of the coolest new toys coming your way for the rest of the year.

There is more to New York than Toy Fair, though.  So I’m going to tell you about some of the other stuff we got into during our adventures in the big city.



fam_playwright-carousel.png__960x480_q85_crop_upscaleWhile we were in the Big Apple, we took in a couple of stage shows, the first of which was the new Danai Guirira play, Familiar.  This was a very pleasantly surprising experience.

Danai Guirira (most famous for her role as Michonne on The Walking Dead) is a celebrated playwright who has earned acclaim for her heavy dramas depicting the plight of  modern-day Africans.  I went in expecting a deep, ponderous, serious drama about a culture which is alien to me.  Instead, I got to see an uproariously funny and identifiable family drama with plenty of comedic overtones set entirely in Minnesota.

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BIG Music on Radio Free Charleston International

This week the arcane and mysterious Radio Free Charleston International is a tribute to prog-rock excess as we bring you “Bathroom Songs,” side-long epics from the days of vinyl and free-format radio that would be played whenever the disc jockey had to take an extended bathroom break while on the air.

crapper 002Tune in tonight at Midnight, with replays Friday at 10 PM, Saturday morning at 11 AM and late Saturday night to hear this week’s show on Appalachian Independent Radio. Or just listen to this virtual radio right here…

These bathroom-break songs are complex and intricate and some of them express their musical ideas over many segments. That means that the entire two-hour program contains only FIVE SONGS. That’s a lot of time for a lot of movements.

Tonight’s Playlist:

Nektar  “Recycled”
Genesis  “Supper’s Ready”
Kraftwerk  “Autobahn”
YES “The Gates of Delirium”
Emerson Lake and Palmer “Karn Evil 9”

Traveling Companions On The Road

graphic OTREpisode Three of On The Road With Mel is a bit of a departure. Yesterday you heard Mel guest on her husband’s show, Radio Free Charleston. Today he returns the favor as they discuss how to peacefully coexist with your traveling companion. You can listen to it via this handy-dandy little embedded radio player.

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.

Local Music Out The Wazoo on RFC


RFC AI Logo 002It’s week three of Radio Free Charleston at Appalachian Indpendent Radio! You can tune in for two hours of the best local and regional music every Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM right here on this little player widget.

This week we kick it off with Tape Age, then get a little heavy before getting a little soulful. In our second hour we jump back to our old VOA show and bring you part of a show where my lovely wife, Mel Larch, co-hosted.

If you missed it, RFC replays on The AIR Saturday mornings at 9 AM and late Saturday night at 1 AM.

Tape Age  “So Happy”

David Synn  “Battle of Anihilation”
John Lancaster  “Phantom Moon”
Black Cross Brotherhood  “Megido”
Bobaflex  “I’m Glad You’re Dead”

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Mattel’s Thingmaker Reborn

Img_6110The PopCult Toybox

We just have a quick bonus PopCult Toybox tonight because I wanted to tell you about the coolest thing that we saw when we visited with Mattel this morning.

Thingmaker was a beloved Mattel product in the 1960s that allowed kids to make their own toys using metal molds and Plasti-Goop and the Thingmaker heating element.

Mattel has revived the Thingmaker name, only this time it’s a 3-D printer. It’s a simple and basic, kid-friendly 3-D printer, but it works and they showed off some pretty cool stuff that can be made with it. Later this week, we’ll have some video to share with you but for now, we just wanted to give you a heads up that later this year, you’ll be able to buy a working 3-D printer for just under three hundred dollars.

Mattel has come up with a system that makes pieces that snap together so that kids can make action figures, jewelry and other cool things.

Making it even cooler is the fact that it has the Thingmaker brand name.

The new generation Thingmaker
The new generation Thingmaker

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titz 003

This week’s art is a digital abstract of a celestial experience…or it could be a naked lady. You have to look real hard and decide for yourself. Click to enlarge.

Our Toy Fair coverage began last night.

First Impressions of the 2016 International Toy Fair

The PopCult Toybox

Img_5417Your PopCulteer is in New York, at the 2016 International Toy Fair. We have completed two days of this four-day marathon, an annual gathering of toymakers, toy retailers and media, and aside from being exhausted, we have acquired a ton of information, interviews and images which we will be bringing you in the coming days and weeks.

Since we just got our remote office up and running again, thanks to a replacement laptop power supply we were able to pick up a block away from our hotel, we can now post our first batch of photos.

This is a quick photo essay of some of the first things we saw when we got to the Javits Center.

Pikachu was everywhere, makring 20 years of Pokemon
Pikachu was everywhere, marking 20 years of Pokemon

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