''Blogs are not frogs.''
March 23, 2012
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are not aliens.

More content so quickly?! WHAT’S GOING ON HERE??? XD

Yeah, I was obviously inspired to mock up the poster that comprises Dusty Plastic HELLside #34 by the recent controversy over Michael Bay’s revelation that the Ninja Turtles in the 2013 movie will be “from an alien race.” I admittedly don’t have a whole lot to say about the matter (ha ha, of course I do), but I will say this — that’s completely stupid. Not because it’s inherently or necessarily stupid, mind you; I’ll grant that it is entirely possible to tell a great story about four alien creatures who touch down from outer space and just happen to know martial arts. But that story won’t be the story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and there’s absolutely no good reason to go about making such radical changes to their origins. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 4:40 am | Comments (2)
March 22, 2012
Princess Celestia is not pink, darnit!

That said, as seen below, I was planning to make Celestia pink here, as I used the toy as my reference when drawing up this comic. The cool thing about flood fill coloring, though, is that it’s super easy to implement color changes on a whim! 😉

From the cutting room floor: Wes and pink Celestia!

So yeah, here’s another quick HELLside comic — this one featuring the aforementioned pony princess but otherwise in keeping with the theme of these strips as of late. I think we’ll go back to action figures for at least the next couple of comics… and then who knows? Also, in the last comic and this one, you might’ve noticed that I dropped the word balloons in favor of naked text with a line to designate the speaker. The drawings themselves are fairly simple, and I found myself thinking maybe the word balloons didn’t mesh as well with that style. I doubt it really matters to readers either way (I have a tendency to overthink things!), but if you do have any feelings about the change I encourage you to share them. Feel free to comment on anything else about the comic as well! Hopefully you find the joke less offensive than Celestia did…

Anyway, that does it for this post. Remember to enter our “Todd & The Book of Pure Evil” contest if you haven’t already (you’ve got through Monday, March 26, to do so; we’ll be giving away three “Todd” Season 1 DVD sets), and stay tuned to Scary-Crayon! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 2:53 am | Comments (0)
March 20, 2012
It’s hot on the Hellside.

I probably should’ve saved that title for a comic that’s actually about HEAT — which I anticipate, seeing as how we’ve had the warmest winter I’ve ever experienced and it’s already hella warm in the middle of March — but whatever. Here’s Dusty Plastic HELLside #32, which is totally not about heat at all in that it is not terribly exciting. Honestly? I wanted to do something in keeping with the sad/rejected author avatar theme, and I kinda liked the “not even to save the whales” line. Don’t ask me why. 😛

So yeah, that’s that! I should have another similar comic in the next few days. See you then! And don’t forget about the “Todd & The Book of Pure Evil” contest we’re running — you’ve got through next Monday to enter!

-posted by Wes | 4:11 pm | Comments (0)
March 13, 2012
Todd & The Book of Pure Evil – Review and Contest!

Hey, folks! So here’s a new Spectare review — a commentary on “Todd & The Book of Pure Evil” Season 1. As noted in the review, you can buy the set on Amazon… or you can win one right here!

"Todd & The Book of Pure Evil" Season 1

Yep, the good folks at Foundry Communications sent me a review screener — along with three copies to give away via a promotional contest of sorts. So we’re going to do this three ways. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 9:18 pm | Comments (8)
March 7, 2012
Vintage TMNT figure repairs!

So it probably comes as no surprise to SC readers that I remain strongly attached — and you might even say loyal to — my childhood toys. As in, the actual toys I owned when I was a kid. There are probably collectors who would replace their old, played-with toys with collector-grade or MOC versions, but not me. For me, the fact that I owned and played with that very toy when I was a lad is probably the most important part of its appeal.

Which isn’t necessarily to say that I want that toy to always remain in the condition it ultimately ended up in as a result of our years together. I do, admittedly, have an aversion to restoring my childhood toys in some respects — with the exception of certain details, I would never repaint a childhood toy, and I largely leave the scuffs and marks they’ve accumulated over the years. These I regard as sort of being akin to an old soldier’s scars: just as they serve as reminders of the battles the soldier has fought long after he himself has forgotten the details, these marks are part of the toy’s history. And sometimes I do remember the source of those marks, and so observing those “scars” trigger memories of great TMNT/Batman crossovers and towers made of children’s encyclopedias and injuries incurred by the Batmobile’s engine missile (that thing fired with force) that I might otherwise find myself unable to access.

But while some of my figures also ended up broken during those play sessions, I do find myself wanting to fix them now — probably because I’ve always wanted to fix them. As a child, I wasn’t quite as concerned with articulation, and when limbs broke off I’d reattach them with krazy glue or my own super-sticky mixture of tacky glue and tissue paper. When glue failed, I constructed elaborate wraps and casts made of scotch and double-sided carpet tape to secure those detached limbs to the bodies of their owners.

Since I started customizing, however, I’ve learned more sophisticated methods of fixing action figures. But while I’ve used those methods to repair numerous broken current figures and custom fodder, I hadn’t actually used them to fix my old toys. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 8:59 pm | Comments (5)
February 22, 2012
Toy Fair 2012: Comments and Stuff

Hey, guys! Sorry about the hiatus — more content on the way, I promise. I always promise that, I know, and I always mean it. But yeah.

So, Toy Fair 2012 was last week in NYC. I didn’t get to go, but like a good little toy enthusiast I was rabidly following the reveals online… and I didn’t post coverage here because it’s not like there weren’t already a million sites reposting the same pics and whatnot! But now that it’s all over and done with, I do want to talk a bit about which products I’m most anticipating… in addition to whatever other scattered thoughts come out as I write this. I’ll organize my comments according to the toylines and/or properties to which they refer. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 2:20 am | Comments (4)
January 31, 2012
Sorry, marriage equality movement!

Today’s comic — Dusty Plastic HELLside #31 (!) — actually isn’t among the new and upcoming content I’ve been touting for the past several days/weeks/months… but it popped into my head tonight so I drew it up real quick like. Like so many “funny” things I come up with (and like so many comics to come, I suspect), it stemmed from a Facebook status message and my response to it.

Anyway, I haven’t got much else to say here — I think the comic is pretty self-explanatory! But visit this link (preferably not while at work or within an hour of eating) if you require clarification.

Anyway, stay tuned — there’s lots more to come! XD

Ugh, that’s not what I meant.

-posted by Wes | 1:45 am | Comments (3)
January 29, 2012
Yeeeeah…(Cutants and tumblr)

So I got kinda sidetracked with the promised content for the last two days — my 30-minute “errands” have turned into multi-hour slogs through adjacent cities and whatnot — but there’ll be more soon, seriously! Here, have a preview of something I found today and will be reviewing in the near future.

Polly Pocket Cutants Friends Collection

Even though I got this set on clearance for $3, I think it’ll merit a full review — each Cutant deserves at least a paragraph. The one I truly feel for, though? Pigwich. That thing is so lucky the Polly Pocket girls are perpetually dieting.

Oh, and I made a tumblr for Scary-Crayon! Not really sure about the extent to which I’ll be using it, but I’ll at least be plugging new content and stuff in the hopes that people will spread the links around and maybe get us five new readers or something. I might also synch it up with the blog with respect to really brief entries. Who knows! And you can ask me questions on there and stuff, I guess? Anyway, yeah, that’s there.

(I feel like such an old fuddy-duddy with all this newfangled social media stuff I really don’t understand. :P)

So. MORE TO COME! Stay tuned, people.

-posted by Wes | 6:53 am | Comments (0)
January 27, 2012
Post-Xmas Clearance Toy Purchases!

Little late with this — and I’ve still got another entry I meant to post; I’ll put that up sometime today (Friday) — but here’s Post-Xmas 2011 Clearance Purchases (Part 1)! Who knows when I’ll get around to Part 2. Probably fairly soon, but the problem is that I’m still finding great spillover clearance buys… so it’s like, do I stop here or roll this entry over to Part 3? And how long should this post-Xmas clearance purchase time run, anyway? It’s certainly got to extend at least a week past the New Year (which still includes a handful of purchases). But, after that, am I finding post-Xmas clearance purchases or just regular anytime clearance purchases? YOU SEE THE THOUGHT I PUT INTO THESE ARTICLES?!?!?!


Another Pony Tails pony!!!

Hey, while we’re at it, MORE BLOG-EXCLUSIVE CONTENT! Remember that Pony Tails review I posted a while back? Well, I mentioned in that piece that I’d only seen Strawberry Vine and one other pony from the line (a baby pony; her review is still on the way), but since then I acquired this one as well! I wouldn’t call this a true clearance purchase — I think I got her for 25% off or something — but I just thought I’d share. At first I thought her cutie mark was the same, but it’s actually different… so there goes my brilliant plan to name her “Strawberry Vine II.”

Also, this pony was hella sticky and greasy right out of the package — more in line with what you’d expect from a knockoff. Washing her with soap and water fixed that problem, but you know how I feel about greasy toys. Had Strawberry Vine come out of her plastic prison feeling like that, I’d have had significantly fewer positive things to say about the line. So… yeah. I still kinda recommend it, but BUYER BEWARE!

And that’ll do it for this entry — keep enjoying YEAR NIIIIIIIINE of Scary-Crayon! More soon. XD

-posted by Wes | 1:15 am | Comments (0)
January 25, 2012
Scary-Crayon celebrates its birthday with HORROR

That’s right — it was on January 25, way back in 2004, that Scary-Crayon first officially opened its virtual doors to you mad Internet folk! We’ve had some hiccups and hiatuses along the way, but we’re still here and still committed to continuing to bring you crazy content, however frequently or sporadically it happens. Even if there’s only one article a year (and there will always be more than one article a year; just saying), as long as I live Scary-Crayon will endure.

Hope I haven’t jinxed myself there.

Anyway! This is only the first of several pieces intended to “celebrate” Scary-Crayon’s continued existence — I’ll have a couple more things to post tomorrow and maybe another for the weekend (if not then, definitely early next week) — but we’re going to kick things off today with this review of Fantasy Land. Like other children’s coloring and/or activity books we’ve reviewed in the past, there’s definitely something off about it… and in true Scary-Crayon form, we highlight that to the fullest by going completely overboard with our interpretation. I could be wrong — this is the Internet, after all — but I dare say this is the only page on the Internet where you’ll find a smiling unicorn attempting to eat from a tree that bears severed pig heads instead of fruit. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 8:12 pm | Comments (2)
January 24, 2012
Toy and Collectibles Show!

(Remember how I mentioned the possibility of blog-only features in the last entry? Consider this a test run for one of those. 😛 Let me know what you think in the comments!)

So, this past Sunday I attended a toy and collectibles show at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, MD. I’m writing about here because I originally intended to do an actual article about it — with photos of the show and whatnot — but forgot my camera in my car. And it was cold, and I ended up parking at least a half mile from the convention, so I didn’t relish the idea of walking all the way back to the car just to get the camera. And without photos, I don’t feel like it can be a proper article… and I kinda feel like rambling, so this probably won’t be as “structured” as an actual article (I do try to structure them somewhat, you know). So, yeah. Blog-exclusive content! (more…)

-posted by Wes | 12:06 am | Comments (6)
January 16, 2012
This gal is not the least bit glam.

It’s been a while — but we’re finally back with a new article in 2012! It’s another toy review, but this one’s actually not exhaustively technical… probably because there’s not a lot to say about the Cutsie Pets Glam Gal & Pup set on a technical level (no really involved sculpting or paint, complex articulation to discuss, abundant accessories, etc.). And I tried, perhaps too hard, to be funny (and perhaps not hard enough not to come across like a weirdo freeeeak). Let me know if you laughed (and/or found yourself very, very frightened).

Welp, yes. New content soon! I’ve also been wondering about changing up the format of SC, or at least making more content “exclusive” to the blog — if only because it seems like people these days are more inclined to read shorter posts and comment when they don’t have to click an additional link to do so. I’m also thinking I’d like to have more video content, though I do not want to go the route of technical video toy reviews since I think video is the absolute worst format for those kinds of reviews. (I would be more inclined, however, to post three-minute videos of me cracking jokes about a toy or praising its merits in a largely superficial manner.) But it just seems like SC appeals to a certain kind of reader, and I’d like to broaden its appeal (a little) in the hopes of attracting more readers and maybe getting some (very) small measure of Internet fame/fortune out of the site. But we’ll see, and please let me know if you have any thoughts. 😉

And seriously, more content to come very soon! Stay with us. :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 2:49 pm | Comments (10)
December 25, 2011
The obligatory holiday update!

Or I guess it’s not obligatory, since we’ve probably skipped it in years past — but here we are today with a few holiday pics in the extra-specially numbered Dusty Plastic HELLside #XM2011. The first pic takes its inspiration from Kristen Stewart’s explanation of Christmas, where she replaces frankincense and myrrh with Frankenstein and (a) Mer-Man, respectively. I didn’t have any gold from Jared’s, so I made due with Ranger Gold. 😉 And then the other two images are just holiday cards! I kinda wanted to do something red-and-green themed and this seemed obvious (and a whole lot less gross than the approach I took years ago) considering the Lantern toy onslaught of the past year. And with ponies being my latest obsession… yeah.

So, see you next time! Still have the cake and pony articles in the queue, but they might actually be overtaken by some other exciting content to come. STAY TUNED!

And happy holidays, everypony. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 3:48 pm | Comments (4)
December 16, 2011
The Obligatory Forever Alone Comic

I’m usually way late to the party when it comes to Internet memes and such — so it’s only appropriate that Scary-Crayon’s first Forever Alone comic is set at a party at which I arrived way late. Last weekend I attended a shindig at which the depicted encounter took place. (Though admittedly it’s a bit exaggerated here for comic effect, and nobody’s really intended to look like anyone present except yours truly.) At first I just thought the guy was being (oddly) complimentary, but the more I think about it — and judging from how the women in attendance reacted — I think it was actually a subtle, clever, and successful attempt to make me look like a conceited jerk (not that I need help to come across as an asshole) and thus make himself appear even more attractive to said women by contrast. Sort of a “Brutus is an honorable man” deal, except even more devious because it manages to place the words in Brutus’s own mouth as if he’d said them first.

It does seem like a technique that could backfire if the women take the speaker to be gay, but experience has taught me that (most) women who already find a guy somewhat attractive will completely ignore the possibility of him being attracted to men. (I knew a girl in college who was dating a guy who skipped about in rainbow sneakers — metaphorically speaking — and she was hurt and shocked when he finally came out of the closet and broke off the relationship. All I could say to console her was, “Duh.”) There’s probably an effective parry, too, but I imagine you’d also run the risk of coming across as an asshole in implementing it. And, admittedly, this is probably the kind of technique that one doesn’t need to break out at all — it seems like something that would work best only when the guy implementing it is already guaranteed victory. It’s probably the equivalent of killing an opponent with Chun-Li’s taunt in the Street Fighter Alpha games.

It’s also entirely possible that I’m reading way too much into this interaction — perhaps intentionally, for my own amusement and subconscious justification purposes. Still, it gave me something to ponder and an excuse to toss an entry into the overflowing putrid slopcauldron of Forever Alone material… so, yeah. I win at something. 😐

Next time, ponies. And/or cake. Seriously.

-posted by Wes | 3:22 pm | Comments (0)
December 10, 2011
Xtractaurs Terroar reviewed!

And here’s that dinosaur piece I promised — a review of Terroar from Mattel’s Xtractaurs line. Not a whole lot much to add that’s not in the article, really. So enjoy that, and maybe next time we’ll have cake! Or ponies. Or another HELLside comic. Or something else. WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU’LL GET WITH SCARY-CRAYON?!?!?

Nope, even I don’t know. 😛 See you again soon!

-posted by Wes | 7:14 am | Comments (2)
December 5, 2011
I’m thankful I’m not covered in some chick’s blood.

DUDE! ANOTHER SCARY-CRAYON UPDATE THIS MONTH! That’s pretty insane — and there are more on the way. (I hope.)

So remember how I mentioned that this time there would probably be ponies, with the possibility of dinosaurs or cake? Yeah, you get none of those. (Probably dinosaurs next time.) You do get a new Dusty Plastic HELLside comic, though! HURRAY!

So I didn’t (entirely) make this comic up — I was at a Target recently and I actually overheard this chick saying those words almost verbatim, and then I turned to see this not hideous white girl hanging on and rubbing the bloated stomach of this big fat black dude with his hair in a ponytail. And for about half a second, I was actually the slightest bit jealous! Then my gag reflex totally kicked in and I remembered that I’d kick a girl who said something like that to me down a flight of steps, but yes. (I should also note that I have no idea whether she was speaking sarcastically — and/or in response to something the dude said about how cool and black he was — but I imagine/hope that was the case. I doubt I’d be happy about a girl saying something like that to me even in jest, though.)

So anyway, I when I got home I doodled up the actors, and — if you’ll note the date — it just so happened that I “inked” them on Thanksgiving. It’s not a holiday I especially care for, since I don’t generally have much to be thankful for (“my life kinda sucks” is my sad refrain). But I do find it curious that, if I had many of the things that other people are thankful for, I would probably be even less happy. And possibly in prison or a mental hospital for totally snapping and doing heinous things like smashing in faces and drowning newborn babies. So in some ways, even if it’s unfortunate (and it really is), I often think my lot in life right now is preferable to other lots that would seem so much better to an outside observer.

So, uh, yeah… we’ll call that our belated Thanksgiving discussion. (Hope y’all had an enjoyable turkey day and are enjoying the winter holiday season thus far.) Next time we’ll talk about more trivial stuff. 😀

-posted by Wes | 12:55 am | Comments (0)
December 2, 2011
The horror of ponyfication.

What the hey? Two SC updates in one week?! AND MORE TO COME IN THE NEAR FUTURE?!?! Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves — how many times have we heard that before, eh? — but I’ve got a good feeling about more content to come. Partly because I’ve already bought and photographed more ponies for review. UGH.

And along those lines, here’s Dusty Plastic HELLside #28 — possibly the most horrifying such comic yet. Woo.

The backstory: I mentioned by way of a link in the (first) Pony Tails toy review that Kevin Bolk of Interrobang Studios is largely responsible for convincing me to give “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” a try… and since that show’s sent me down a bit of a pony road, I can’t blame him enough. Not only have I gone on to watch all of the episodes, bought several wannabe ponies (the latter of which I probably would have done anyway at some point; insanity is the only reason I need to buy girly dollar store toys), and purchased four of the six main ponies from the official Hasbro line (only Rarity and Rainbow Dash remain, and I WILL have them!), but I’ve even begun attempting to style their hair. Ugh.

Fluttershy is so adorable.

So yeah, since I owe this embarrassment in large part to Kevin — and since he’s drawn me in a couple of strips so far (here’s the latest of which, though it fails to appreciate my undying love of the Twilight series) — I figured I’d repay the favor in a manner of speaking with a bit of art. AND A NIGHTMAR(E MOON)ISH CURSE.

More ponies next time, probably — though tyrannosaurs and cake are also possibilities.

-posted by Wes | 12:33 am | Comments (2)
November 29, 2011
No, no… we are not bronies here.

We do, however, watch “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” and buy freaking pony toys against our better judgment — and that includes knockoff varieties like the Pony Tails Collection figured from Lanard Toys… as seen in today’s review! I could write more about it here, but really the article (all nearly 2K words of it) pretty much says all I wanted to say and far too much more about an adorable toy pony with brushable creamsicle hair. It really is adorable, damn it.

I now sincerely want a Pony Tails Collection unicorn.

Oh, by the way — since I’ve gotten into the show and been reading stuff on the ‘net, I’ve found a lot of older (male?) fans complaining about the nature of the toys. Not about the lack of articulation — that I can understand, and I look forward to purchasing Shine Bright Rarity very soon — but about the fact that the hair on the toys (save the gift set figures and the figurine collection offerings) is rooted rather than molded. What the hell, people. IT’S A MY LITTLE PONY TOY, FOR FREAK’S SAKE! I’m still a little miffed about the Masters of the Universe Classics She-Ra figures not coming with alternate heads with rooted hair, but there’s no way I’d tolerate My Little Pony toys not having it. What good is a My Little Pony whose hair you can’t brush?! And, unless Hasbro made the hair out of really pliable plastic, sculpted hair would prevent the basic ponies from fully utilizing the sole point of articulation they actually have!

I swear, you fanboys would rob me of every single fleeting joy in my life if you could. 😥

-posted by Wes | 9:20 pm | Comments (6)
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