PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The RFC Flashback: MINI SHOW number 24

With our numbering back on track, we go back to May, 2015, for a special RFC MINI SHOW featuring an acoustic showcase by none other than Johnny Compton.

This edition of The RFC MINI SHOW starred Johnny “Hurricane” Compton, a legend in the Charleston music scene, performing two solo acoustic numbers at The Thirteenth Lane Taproom at the much-mised Dunbar Lanes. Johnny takes on the Marshall Tucker Band classic, “Fire on the Mountain” before debuting the title track of his solo acoustic album, “These Roads.”

The recording session for this show was a tremendous amount of fun. Dunbar Lanes had a really great, intimate performance space and it was a wonderful place to hear live music. Sadly, it is no longer a music venue (or a bowling alley) but the memories are still wonderful.

Mr. Compton, of course, is still gigging all over the Charleston area with a number of bands like Amos Steele, The Cat Daddys and Mother’s Blues, and also does the occasional solo show, which you can read about in PopCult.

Busy as a Bee

The PopCulteer
February 28, 2020

Okay, your PopCulteer is tied up on a top secret mission that I can’t tell you about right now.

Needless to say, it has suddenly robbed me of the time I usually spend crafting for you a fine pop culture essay, or photo gallery or list of stuff you can do this week.

So for now, since I am sworn to silence and very, very busy, all I can do is apologize and share with you this quick pencil drawing I did of a bee. I used Google images for reference. I’m not too partial to the idea of having a real bee pose for me.

 

Check back for all of our regular features this weekend, and expect the Toy Fair coverage to continue next week.

Toy Fair 2020: Baby Yoda and Star Wars

Since your PopCulteer decided not to attend Toy Fair in New York this year due to health reasons, we are once again doing our coverage remotely, borrowing images from folks who are on-site, and linking to their coverage so that they can get the proper attribution and hits and everything.We will be linking to sites such as ToyArk, Bleeding Cool, Figures.com, Mego Museum, The Toy Book and more.

Some of our images were picked off of social media, with no attribution given, so we will note that when it happens, and correct it if the persons responsible come forward.

Once upon a time, Star Wars ruled the toy aisles. For years, Kenner, and later Hasbro, had a cash cow that seemed like it would never give out.

Then, a few years ago, something happened. Either due to oversaturation of the market, or the public’s dissatisfaction with the new movies, or a combination of those and other factors, Star Wars toys stopped selling as well as they had.

It got so bad that there was speculation that Hasbro would not pursue the license when it was up for renewal.

And then The Mandalorian happened. And “The Child,” or as he’s unofficially known, Baby Yoda, appeared on the scene, and suddenly, making Star Wars toys is once again just like printing money.In what is sure to be the top-selling toy of the year, Baby Yoda toys are bringing Star Wars back to the top of the sales charts.

Hasbro and Disney re-upped their deal for Star Wars (and Marvel) and every other toy company that can, is getting in on the act.

You can see photo galleries of Hasbro’s new Star Wars toys HERE, HERE and HERE. You can see video of their new Baby Yoda animatronic figure right here…

That particularly Yoda has the innards of a FurReal Friend, but the sounds and movements are inspired by the character from the hit Disney+ show. There’s more Baby Yoda coverage HERE, HERE and HERE.

Mattel snagged the license for regular plush, which you can see HERE. You can see LEGO’s upcoming sets based on The Mandalorian (featuring you know who) HERE.

Funko announced their Baby Yoda Pop late last year. NECA is releasing a Baby Yoda Chia Pet.

Build-A-Bear Workshop will have their own version of The Child. Hot Toys is releasing a high-end bobblehead version.

Hasbro is even releasing The Mandaolorian board games. Bleeding Cool has late-breaking news on a reissued board game that will come with a planned figure from 1981 that was never released, included as a bonus.

 

Toy Fair 2020: Superheroes part two: Marvel and More

Since your PopCulteer decided not to attend Toy Fair in New York this year due to health reasons, we are once again doing our coverage remotely, borrowing images from folks who are on-site, and linking to their coverage so that they can get the proper attribution and hits and everything.We will be linking to sites such as ToyArk, Bleeding Cool, Figures.com, Mego Museum, The Toy Book and more.

Some of our images were picked off of social media, with no attribution given, so we will note that when it happens, and correct it if the persons responsible come forward.

When it comes to toys, Marvel is a little easier to cover than DC.

Hasbro has the master toy license, and they’re pretty stingy about sharing it with other toy companies. Basically, you have Marvel action figures that most people can afford, and then you have very expensive collector figures made by smaller companies for the hobby market.

Hasbro’s bread-and-butter is the Marvel Legends line, and you can see galleries of it HERE, HERE and HERE. They have a ton of cool stuff coming out, and Marvel fans and collectors should have plenty to look forward to in the coming year.

Hasbro also makes the budget-line, 12″ Titan Heroes figures, which I think suck, but they sure do sell in high numbers. You can see what they have planned for the next Venom Movie HERE.

You can see the Mezco One-:12 Marvel figures HERE. These are pricey, but look incredible. That gallery has tons of non-Marvel stuff in it, too, but it all looks really cool.

S.H. Figuarts offer really cool-looking, really expensive figures too. And you can see their Avengers offerings HERE.

Look for our post about other superheroes next week. Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait.

Since your PopCulteer decided not to attend Toy Fair in New York this year due to health reasons, we are once again doing our coverage remotely, borrowing images from folks who are on-site, and linking to their coverage so that they can get the proper attribution and hits and everything.We will be linking to sites such as ToyArk, Bleeding Cool, Figures.com, Mego Museum, The Toy Book and more.

Some of our images were picked off of social media, with no attribution given, so we will note that when it happens, and correct it if the persons responsible come forward.

There are tons of Superhero toys coming out this year, with DC, Marvel and other super-powered characters arriving in toy aisles to fight crime and bust budgets. We have a lot to go over here, so let’s start with DC Comics. We’ll cover Marvel and the others in later posts.

DC Comics

The image at the head of this post is the first official shot of prototypes of the upcoming 8″ DC Comics figures coming from MEGO. These are from Toy Fair and are courtesy of our friends at MEGO Museum, who have more photos and info at their site. MEGO Museum was given the okay to publish these photos after an unscrupulous “toy journalist” took photos, despite there being signs asking people not to take them, and smeared them all over social media, which caused quite a headache for MEGO, since these toys are still early in the approval process, and these are not what the final product will look like.

These were announced (and some of them shown) last year at MEGO Meet, but those of us in attendance were asked not to even take photos. Sadly, some folks feel that they don’t need to honor such requests. It’s cool to get a look at this work in progress, but it’s a shame that it was because the images were leaked by somebody with no ethics.

We are still awaiting word on the final price and which retailers will carry these figures, but the line is going to be a shared exclusive among three or four retailers, and the price is said to be on par with what MEGO figures already sell for, so it’s safe to guess the final retail price will be in or near the fifteen-dollar range. The finished product will look much better than these prototypes, with re-sized heads and improved tailoring and packaging.

There are also DC Comics Multiverse figures coming from McFarlane Toys, and you can see a photo gallery of those at ToyArk.

McFarlane’s DC Comics Multiverse figures are already showing up in stores, since his license began on January 1 of this year.

In the collectors market, Diamond Select will be offering several DC Comics statues and collectibles, while the DC Direct name has been resurrected, and will be used on statues and action figures. You can see their full line-up HERE.

Iron Studios will be offering a line of “DC Comics Through The Ages” statues.

Medicom will release insanely-expensive figures of Batman and Shazam. You can see those HERE, along with Michael Jordan.

Jada Toys will have a full slate of DC Comics Die Cast in different scales, which you can see HERE.

 

Spin Master has the main, mass-market toy license for DC Comics, and you can see a gallery of photos from their booth HERE. These are also in stores now, with both 4″ and 12″ figures showing up at Walmart and Target. Bleeding Cool has a good gallery of photos from the Spin Master booth HERE.

 

Mezco will be offering 4″ collector figures based on Batman 66 and the Max Fleischer Superman. You can see those in this gallery at Bleeding Cool, even though their reporter didn’t recognize the Fleischer Superman, and thought these were from Kingdom Come. That gallery is a lot of fun, because you can also see the upcoming One:12 figures of DC and Marvel characters, plus Popeye, Conan, Aliens, Living Dead Dolls and everything else that Mezco makes.

 

 

Later today we’ll bring you updates on Marvel Comics action figures. Keep checking PopCult.

Dive Into The Archives On Radio Free Charleston

Tuesday on The AIR we deliver a special new episode of Radio Free Charleston. You may point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to this happy little embedded radio player…

Tune into this week’s Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday for a special show that opens with a new tune by Rel-X, but then re-presents almost three hours of a Frankenstein show made up of most of two episodes of RFC Volume 3, as heard five years ago on Voices of Appalachia Radio. These shows haven’t been heard since before VOA mutated into The AIR back in 2016, and they have some great material, including the entire First Step Sampler from 1990.

The second hour of the show comes from a special episode cohosted by my then newly-wed wife, Mel Larch, who chipped in to get her feet wet before she started hosting her own shows.

Your PopCulteer (and radio host) is a once again bit under the weather this week, or more precisely, under the Myasthenia Gravis, so I decided to harvest the best of two great episodes of the old show that would have otherwise been forgotten.  It’s a little bit of a cheat, like it was a few weeks ago when we pulled a similar stunt, but it’s also a great show that I think new listners will enjoy, and old listeners have probably forgotten.

Check out the playlist…

RFCv5 008

hour one
Rel-X “Mission”
Qiet “Little Window”
Io and the Ions “There’s A Light”
Wolfgang Parker “The Mice, The Demons and The Piggies”
Todd Burge with Kathy Mattea “Change”
Sasha Colette, John Lilly and Jonathan Glen Wood “Walking Cane”
Underdog Blues Revue “What You Say”
Trielement “Seven Dirty Words”
Stephen Beckner “Falling Star”
Paul Calicoat “Trampled Flowers”
DEVO “Clockout”
Hasil Adkins “She Said”
69 Fingers “How To Get A New Life”

hour two
David Synn “Battle of Anihilation”
John Lancaster “Phantom Moon”
Black Cross Brotherhood “Megido”
Bobflex “I’m Glad You’re Dead”
Lady D “Higher”
Spurgie Hankins Band “Dirty Rule”
Donny Iris “River of Love”
Company Stores “Rise”
The Boatmen “Heartbreak Hangover”
Joe Vallina “Year of the Wicked”
John Radcliff “Hanging On”
Foz Rotten “Funklips”
South Park Enterprise “Next Level”

hour three
The First Step sampler

 

side one
Slick Six “Terri Ann”
Debut “Free Your Mind”
Night Fire “Change”
Big Money “Words On The Street”
Spyce “Freeway Rider”
Territories “Ghostown”

side two
Act 1 “Winners”
Xtasy “Give Me A Chance”
Tempest “What It’s Like To Be Me”
Annex “Blindsided”
Sound Advice “Say That You Love Me”
Brian Diller and the Ride “Don’t Stop at Anything”

 

 

Jim Wolfe “The Goober Special”
Atomic Cafe “The Trax”
Blue Million “Everything Inside Out”

Radio Free Charleston can be heard Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight, Sunday at 1 PM and the next Monday at 8 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

The rest of today’s programming on The AIR will be encore presentations, but you should still listen in because they’re pretty damned good.

Monday Morning Art: RFD

 

This week’s art started out as a bit of a digital doodle.  I’d re-installed some old digital brushes that had been lost in the great PC crash of 2018, and started pushing blues around to make a sky. As I got lower down the virtual canvas, I decided to try to capture the feel that I had riding around in rural Pennsylvania late last Summer. All it took was a road, some mountains and some weeds, plus a few hints of structures, and there it was.  A backwoods road.

Quick ‘n’ sloppy, but it does look like a real painting. Sort of.

You can click the image if you want to see a bigger version.

Meanwhile, over in radio-land, Monday on The AIR, our Monday Marathon runs from 7 AM to 3 PM, and brings you eight recent episodes of Curtain Call, hosted by Mel Larch. You can tune in all day Monday and get your musical theater fix.   At 3 PM, we will present an encore of a recent edition of Prognosis, because show’s host, Herman Linte and all our collegues at Haversham Recording Institute are all still tied up providing stringer coverage to international new agencies covering the Brexit mess and now the Coronavirus scare, too.

You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Sunday Evening Video: Toy Trains In Saint Albans

Yesterday your PopCulteer attended the 15th annual Kanawha Valley Model Train and Craft show in Saint Albans, and to be honest, I didn’t intend to make a video. I’ve been plugging the show here in PopCult for weeks, but it hadn’t occurred to me to shoot video.

Luckily, I had my trusty Samsung J7 on hand, and when we saw the different train layouts on display, well, I just had to shoot some video. That’s become a de-facto “PopCult Instant Video.” That’s the video at the top of this post.

Had I planned in advance, I would have brought a camera with a more stable focus, so I apologize for the occasional blurriness.  I did get about ten minutes of footage, blending several different layouts together. It’s all set to YouTube library music, so that I don’t bring down the wrath of the copyright strikers.

Since I shot so much video, I pretty much forgot to shoot still photos. Sorry about that. What you see here is pretty much what I got.

The plan is to, at some point, make it to the Kanawha Valley Railroad Association HQ in Coonskin Park, and shoot some better footage of the layout up there. That has been the plan for several years now, but I’m going to have to make it happen soon. Since our visit to the Barbie show held at EnterTrainment Junction in Cinncinnati last fall, I’ve been re-bitten with the model railroading bug.

In the meantime, enjoy this video, and go visit the KVRA yourself. It’s really cool that we have an organization like this in the area.

Toy Fair 2020: MEGO

Since your PopCulteer decided not to attend Toy Fair in New York this year due to health reasons, we are once again doing our coverage remotely, borrowing images from folks who are on-site, and linking to their coverage so that they can get the proper attribution and hits and everything.

Some of our images were picked off of social media, with no attribution given, so we will note that when it happens, and correct it if the persons responsible come forward.

This one is easy.

If you want to keep up with all things MEGO, head over to the MEGOMuseum.

They have a post with all the MEGO Toy Fair 2020 reveals, and they’ve been keeping track of all the pre-Toy Fair leaks and teases.

You can see photos of the next wave of MEGO figures, including Captain Picard, Stan Lee, Mr. Hyde, The Fly and more.

Plus they have a post on their front page with information on their upcoming 8″ DC Comics line.

 

 

Toy Fair 2020: LEGO

 

Since your PopCulteer decided not to attend Toy Fair in New York this year due to health reasons, we are once again doing our coverage remotely, borrowing images from folks who are on-site, and linking to their coverage so that they can get the proper attribution and hits and everything.

Some of our images were picked off of social media, with no attribution given, so we will note that when it happens, and correct it if the persons responsible come forward.

First up, we are going to link to ToyArk, who always do fantastic comprehensive coverage of Toy Fair. This year is no exception, and you can find their photo gallery for LEGO’s upcoming offering HERE.

You can find more details, such as on-sale dates and prices at 9To5Toys.

And finally, you can find info about an upcoming LEGO Spider-man set at The Brothers Brick.