''Blogs are not frogs.''
March 3, 2008
A Crayon Haiku #74!

I’m pretty sure I say this every time we get a good run of haikus going, but — despite the fact that they’re not particularly substantive featurettes — I really do like seeing A Crayon Haiku thriving on the site again. After all, the Hot Flashes didn’t start until Scary-Crayon was six months old and A Random Lunch features are few and far between, but A Crayon Haiku was battle-tested and ready to lead entertain on Day One.

Anyway, in A Crayon Haiku #74, I reveal what I’ve been spending too much time doing this past month: watching “Smallville”. Which isn’t to say that it’s consumed a lot of my time — far less than, say, the “Boy Meets World” kick I was on around the time I wrote about the greatness of Trini — but it is to say that any amount of time spent watching “Smallville” is too much because the show is flipping terrible. Seriously. For those of you who don’t watch, one of the plot developments involved Lex Luthor secretly drugging Lana Lang with hormones so she’d think she was pregnant with his baby and marry him. After marrying Lex and uncovering the truth, Lana uses an unfinished clone Lex made of her — for no apparent reason — to fake her own death and escape to Shanghai (where she ends up on Nanjing Road, no less). Yes.

Anyway, I started with a handful of select episodes because my ongoing DC Comics character obsession made me curious about seeing how the Martian Manhunter and other members of the Justice League were depicted on the show, but it’s really Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan that keeps me watching. She’s just so cute! She may even be edging in on Willow’s territory in my all-time favorite gorgeous TV sidekick rankings. I don’t understand why Clark’s so off on Lana — she’s got nothing on Chloe. Or Lois, for that matter. But then I don’t understand a lot of things about “Smallville” — like why it has to be so unbelievably terrible — so eh.

I now need a Chloe action figure.

-posted by Wes | 3:21 am | Comments (8)
February 26, 2008
A Crayon Haiku #73!

There’s really not a whole lot to say about A Crayon Haiku #73 — just a look at King Kong prior to his eventual transformation into Monsieur Mallah (with Krang temporarily filling in for the role of the Brain). I was initially planning to use this version for the Grodd custom before I happened upon the “superarticulated” figure, but since I didn’t want the Mallah to end up looking like a straight repaint of that toy I decided to go with this one for him.

Despite the lack of articulation, I think this one will a lot better for Mallah — if only because he looks fairly natural holding guns but not so much without them. He’s also looking up slightly, which would have annoyed me with Grodd but doesn’t bother me so much with a more thoughtful intellectual sort. Well, Grodd is an intellectual too, but he’s the kind that will beat you to death and then feast on your carcass. Given his French sensibilities, Monsieur Mallah judges that sort of behavior to be uncivilized.

I’m finding that I rather like these Kongs — I’m almost tempted to get one of the meaner looking ones and do a new Grodd that really approximates the McGuiness people-eating ferocity. At least the one versus the juvenile V-Rex lacks waist articulation, so I wouldn’t foresee there being any awkward painting problems with him!

Seriously, curse these Kongs. 🙁

-posted by Wes | 10:48 am | Comments (0)
February 18, 2008
MADBALLS 2008 Series 2!!!

The 2008 Series 2 Madballs!!!

Some of you may remember our review of the 2007 Series 1 Madballs back in December. I mentioned that we were looking forward to reviewing Series 2 — and I was! — but I had no idea that I’d have the opportunity to review them early. Thanks to the good folks at Basic Fun, however, I’ve been able to do just that: for the first time ever, a toy company has seen fit to send new products to Scary-Crayon before they hit the street. (Actually, this is the first time a toy company has sent us anything. Woo!) The Series 2 Madballs will be appearing at Toy Fair 2008 this week, but you can also see them in all of their 12^2 glory right here on Scary-Crayon! (12^2 = 144 = gross, remember? 😉 ) As noted, they’re not out yet in stores, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for them and will let you know when I find them. Given how much I enjoyed working with Grodd (even though he tortured the crap out of me), I’m eager to try customizing a normal 2008 Dust Brain into the female “Dusty” that I knew and loved from her animated appearances.

Poor Bruise Brother. :(

Some additional info on Bruise Brother — or rather my history with the character and original toy — in case you’re curious. I actually did and do have an original Bruise Brother, but I have no idea where he is. See, he was one of the toys that I decided to take with me to college junior year to better decorate and personalize my room, but I had the misfortune of placing him in the same bag with several other toys, including the original Playmates TMNT Triceraton, when I packed him up. I opened the bag upon arriving in New Haven to find the toys inside dusted with yellow foam — apparently, at some point during the six-hour trip, Triceraton had seen fit to gore the heck out of poor Bruise Brother. Even more upsetting than the fact that this toy, which had been in near mint condition despite spending over a decade under my bed, had been given to me by my long-dead paternal grandmother. In fact, I can’t really remember anything about her except that she bought me that toy one year. Anyway, I wrapped what remained of Bruise Brother in paper towels, placed them in a plastic bag, and — upon finally bringing them back to the house — put them somewhere where I was certain he would be safe from further injury and apparently forgot where the safe spot was. I hope he’s happy there. 😐

So while Bruise Brother wasn’t as prominent a character as Aargh in the Madballs universes — and as such I’m not too upset that he was replaced by Blechbeard — it does make me a bit sad that he didn’t get the official revival treatment. My criticisms of Blechbeard would probably have been just as sharp had Bruise Brother survived the journey completely intact, but it is a bit disappointing that they’d make a “new” character that is so reminiscent of Bruise Brother, especially when the concept — a pirate Madball! — could have inspired a truly unique and significantly different design. As said, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the artists come up with once they’ve exhausted the original cast.

Thanks to the folks at Basic Fun for making this early review possible — and for keeping the Madballs going strong into 2008! I sincerely wish you guys the best of luck in this competitive toy market. :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 3:11 am | Comments (13)
February 14, 2008
Even more Gorilla Grodd in A Crayon Haiku #72.

Luckily, this one’s a bit outdated, as the debilitating fever that hit me towards the middle of last week — the sneezing and runny nose aspect of which is depicted in today’s haiku — motivated me to finally put Grodd down. Well, I still intend to make him a fancier cloth cape, and I did buy some discounted beads and jewelry things from Michael’s to fit him with a vaguely Egyptian-looking necklace, but I’m done with the painting aspect of the project. (Oddly enough, it’s one of those deals that I think looks better in photos than in person. Ah well.)

Grodd Grodd Grodd

I’d actually meant to have been done before — when I said I was done last time — but the bit of paint rub around the awkward torso joint led me to go to hell with sanding on the belly, repaint that entire area (many, many times), and then go over it with this Mod Podge matte glue in order to ensure the security of the paint job. So now I’m satisfied with that (and have learned a helpful step that should prevent me from needing to spend as much time on future customs) and have moved on. Or, more appropriately, I haven’t started any new projects as I have focused on recovering. But I’m feeling much better now, thank you.

Waist articulation minus the paint rub!

And if the images in this haiku look familiar to you, don’t panic — the sneezing Wes is recycled from an ollld holiday Hot Flash and the Bizarro comes from Hot Flash #40 (though in keeping with my newfound knowledge of the character, I’ve modified the colors a bit). Speaking of Bizarro, you should be seeing him again before the month is out — every February we have an obligatory piece of sorts, and this year Batzarro and Bizarro have been chosen to be my spokespeople. So stay tuned for that, as well as more fun toy reviews. 🙂

‘Till next time, minna-san! :mrgreen:


-posted by Wes | 5:28 pm | Comments (4)
January 30, 2008
More Gorilla Grodd in A Crayon Haiku #71!

More paint than gorilla.

Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t, but then — as seen in A Crayon Haiku #71 — I decided to give Grodd one last go with the brush. I didn’t like how the black fur looked dull to the point of almost being grey, so I went out and got some gloss black last night and tried that… but then that was way too shiny, so I mixed it with some of the original black paint and went at it again. I like this level of shine — it’s not too intense, but it’s noticeable enough and definitely looks black. I also decided I wanted more contrast between the grey areas and the black, so I went over them with a lighter grey mix comparable to Ed McGuiness’s depiction of Grodd in the early issues of JLA: Classified. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 7:40 pm | Comments (5)
January 29, 2008
A Crayon Haiku #70!

I still don’t have that other piece ready (image work’s finished, though; here’s a preview), but here’s another quick Crayon Haiku. Admittedly, the reason that I’ve been largely preoccupied this weekend is pictured here: Gorilla Grodd, otherwise known as King Kong with about a billion coats of black and grey paint. In keeping with my continuing DC comics/character obsession, I’ve been following the DC Universe Classics toyline very closely (despite not being able to find the toys in stores for the life of me, grrr) — and one of the things that’s made me rather annoyed is that they decided to make Gorilla Grodd the build-a-figure for the second wave.

Now, I can see making Grodd a BAF. Despite the fact that all of the stats I can find on the ‘net put him at 6’6″ and 300 lbs., a good chunk of the recent comic depictions of him have made him this huge hulking beast thing with red eyes and an appetite for human flesh. Okay. But the second wave of DCUC figures is incredibly lame — with the exception of Harley Quinn, which I do want, these are the characters that, in their DC Direct incarnations, I frequently find marked down to $6 or less at Suncoast and even then nobody wants them. I could see going for Black Manta too (though I suspect that I’ll be able to snag the recent DCD version of him on the cheap in the coming weeks, and I’m not particularly concerned if my background characters are superarticulated or not), and I know folks like Aquaman (I don’t), but this is still a crappy wave. So me spending $50 on these losers just to get Grodd? Not gonna happen. And there is a DC Direct Grodd currently on the shelves, which I pondered getting when I ran into it a couple of weeks ago, but I’m really not a fan of the howling at the moon headsculpt. What’s up with that? I could see picking it up on clearance — if it gets there — but I wanted me a Grodd now. (more…)

-posted by Wes | 2:00 am | Comments (3)
January 26, 2008
When Care Bears Meet Madballs!

And here it is — a complete summary review of Care Bears Vol. 1, #13. At just over 1MB, the total size of the files on the page is larger than I generally like to have, but I wanted to post it all today on a single page. With multiple pages it’s way too tempting for me to break the article up into sections, and we all know how that turns out. I still haven’t finished reviewing the QC Dinobots. 😐

Anyway, I’ve still got at least one more piece planned for tomorrow — Monday at the latest — to continue SC’s fourth anniversary celebration, so stay tuned! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 7:40 pm | Comments (6)
January 25, 2008
Happy FOURTH Birthday, Scary-Crayon!!!

Yes, Scary-Crayon turns FOUR. YEARS. OLD. today! Hard to believe it’s been so long, but there you go. I know that there weren’t as many updates last year as there had been in previous years, and I’m not terribly happy about that, but I hope that either a) I update more this year or b) the updates, however frequently they come, consistently rank among the site’s better offerings in their respective categories. And I also hope that other readers (that is, YOU!) will contribute submissions from time to time! At the very least, I hope that 2008 is another fun year for SC.

So this might seem like kind of a lackluster way to celebrate — and a not terribly encouraging way to kick off SC’s fifth year — but here’s A Crayon Haiku #69. I’ve admittedly been feeling a bit under the weather this week — and by that I mean the cold, cold, cold weather, so I’ve spent much of my time shivering beneath blankets and not writing the articles that I meant to write for today. BUT I have done most of the photography and image work for them, so I’m still planning to have them up this weekend. What this means is that while today’s festivities may be a bit lacking, the celebration will continue throughout the next couple of days (or just tomorrow, depending upon how productive I am this evening and tomorrow morning/afternoon) with additional updates. I may even have another piece up before the day is over! And to prove to you that at least one of these articles is something that’ll definitely be worth the wait, here’s a scan:

The Care Bears meet the Madballs!

Oh. yes. in-. deedy.

Also — can’t recall if I’ve mentioned it here before or not — there’s new merch in the SC Cafepress store featuring the revised Crayon Critter design that appears in the current site header graphic. If you’re strapped for cash but still want to wear some SC love, I definitely recommend the value tee. The other items are a bit pricier (except for the buttons!), but should still be great if you’ve got the extra dollars to spend. While Cafepress can be kinda high in terms of prices, I’ve never received anything but top-quality merch from them.

Okay, that’s all for now — back to writing articles for me! Perhaps more in a few hours, or tomorrow morning at the very latest, I’ll have some Careballs love for y’all. 🙂


-posted by Wes | 4:30 pm | Comments (1)
January 20, 2008
New Short Story: The Lion That Wore Glasses

And here’s that short story I promised: “The Lion That Wore Glasses”. I actually wrote this back in 2005 and sort of forgot about it after a few failed attempts to get it published for money. Upon rediscovering it recently and rereading it in full before posting it, however, I’ve recalled how much fun I had writing it. I can completely understand why the fiction magazines didn’t want to print it — it is an odd and curiously pretentious piece that, like dreams and other similarly strange narratives, doesn’t really have an obvious point — but then again that’s the kind of stuff I enjoy reading and writing the most. It’s telling that Kafka is one of my favorite authors and Waking Life is one of my favorite films.

Anyway, I hope y’all enjoy the story as much as I do! I remember being pretty discouraged about my inability to sell it back in the day — after all, I am quite fond of the story and don’t like to see things I enjoy rejected — but I’m still glad that I wrote it. 🙂

All for now, then. Expect new articles when Scary-Crayon turns FOUR YEARS OLD this Friday! Draw a little cake (one that is not a lie) in the Jan 25 box on your calendars or something. :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 3:16 am | Comments (8)
January 18, 2008
A Crayon Haiku #68!

Here’s a quickie for y’all: A Crayon Haiku #68. If you’ve been reading my personal blog, you know that I’ve been in the grip of an obsession with the Justice League and related DC Comics characters — which, with me, naturally entails amassing a (not necessarily) reasonable-sized collection of figures from said universe(s). Darkseid was one of my most coveted figures, so I’m glad to have finally acquired him! You might also have read that I got a light tent over the holidays — you can see lots of test photos on my blog, but this haiku marks the first official use of it for SC. That said, I also messed with some filters to grittify the photos for the heck of it. :mrgreen:

I’ve got another update planned for the weekend as well (another short story, woo!), so stay tuned for that. And remember, the site’s four-year anniversary is just a week away — so if you want to submit articles, make donations, and so forth to help commemorate the occasion and support SC into its fifth year, do feel free! All for now, then — Ja. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 6:46 pm | Comments (2)
January 4, 2008
Now taking submissions!

Well, technically we were always taking them, but I’ve finally posted the submission guidelines in an official capacity — so if you’re thinking of submitting, please do read them! They do go on for a while, but hopefully they’re not too dull a read. And like I say in the article, don’t let them discourage you from submitting if you really want to contribute! The site turns four years old (*gasp!*) on January 25, and I’d love to have some guest pieces on hand for the celebration. 😀

In other news, since my link to Ice Anvil Online was apparently dead, it’s been replaced with another link I’d meant to add a while ago but kinda lost track of — Random Action Hour. This site is actually part of a larger hub with a lot of cool stuff, but since there are all kinds of link buttons for the specific parts I decided to go with this one. Lots of fun cartoon recaps, including the two “Street Fighter” episodes we reviewed a while ago. 🙂

And speaking of links, I took care of this a while ago — back when I added the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown image to the sidebar on the main and category archives, I believe — but and Warehouse8 are also included in the list now. So yes, plenty of sites for you to check out while you’re waiting for the next SC update.

Of course, you could also use that time to work on a submission. :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 5:19 pm | Comments (7)
January 1, 2008
HAPPY NEW YEAR from Scary-Crayon!!!

And to kick off 2008, we’ve got two new pieces for you! First, Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #103 makes fun of a recent “guest” on Dateline NBC‘s “To Catch a Predator” segment, which is seriously some of the funniest stuff on TV today despite not really being funny at all. I mean, these guys are child predators and deserve everything they get for actively trying to have sex with children, but I still can’t imagine how terrible it feels not only to lose everything, but to know that your moment of ultimate shame will be broadcast on national television for the entertainment of the viewing public. And yet I just can’t help but laugh — especially when individuals walk in expecting to have oral sex with a twelve-year-old girl and, when confronted by Chris Hansen, mistake him for some kind of benevolent fairy god-therapist. Hilarity.

And then there’s our review of George and the Christmas Star, which is the Christmas-themed article I promised before but am just now getting around to posting. Apologies for the delay, but hopefully you’ll find it to be a worthwhile and amusing read even though it’s a bit late. I really do mean the sappy stuff at the end, by the way — I very much appreciate that you take time out of your schedule to drop by and read my goofy and insignificant thoughts on action figures and TV shows and whatnot. 🙂

Here’s to another year together, minna-san! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 8:57 pm | Comments (7)
December 18, 2007
Scary-Crayon <3s Madballs.

Kid Wes and Horn Head!

And here it is: the Scary-Crayon review of the 2007 Series 1 Madballs, complete with comparisons to the original designs and our standard brand of observations and whatnot. I probably enjoyed writing this piece a bit more than the usual article — doubtless because of my longstanding love affair with the Madballs — so I hope that you enjoy it as well. 🙂

The Donatello Xmas Tradition -- revised!

And speaking of enjoyment, this year we’ve sought to diversify the kiddies’ delight by modifying the Donatello Christmas Tradition to include other toys — this time a Raphael as well as a Madballs Skull Face (which explains why he stays carded in the review and is absent from the final group shot). I still need to find somewhere to drop them off — hopefully I’ll get around to that tomorrow!

Anyway, happy holidays to y’all — and thanks again for visiting and reading Scary-Crayon. I’m still hoping to get in an actual Christmas-themed article before (or on) December 25, but I’ll try to have that stocking stuffed by New Year’s even if it’s a bit late. Homemade cookies are still just as delicious the following week, so I’m sure Santa won’t mind. 😉

-posted by Wes | 8:12 pm | Comments (11)
December 12, 2007

So — finally — here’s that article I promised: a review of the Street Blazers 7″ Dante tractor trailer. However, as with many of my reviews and articles in general, the review only takes up the latter portion of the article — the rest consists of my reflections on the line and related toys, reasons for picking up the item in the first place, and so forth. You may not find the prospect of a dollar store toy with an actual backstory to be as exciting as I did, but hopefully you’ll find my musings to be a little bit interesting at the very least. 🙂

Anyway, I will eventually return to the QC Dinobots (I promise!), but they’ve been preempted yet again in favor of a subject that is way too near and dear to my heart. Here — instead of saying what the next article will be about, I’ll just show you:


Stay tuned, minna-san. 😉

-posted by Wes | 6:41 pm | Comments (4)
December 2, 2007
Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #102!

So, here’s that other “Heroes” Hot Flash I promised. In case you can’t tell what’s going on in the last panel, the explanation is that Parkman has inserted Tay Zonday singing “Chocolate Rain” into Mrs. Petrelli’s mind. That thing has really taken off, as evidenced by the recent Dr. Pepper “Cherry Chocolate Rain” version. YouTube is making people rich.

Almost makes me wish I’d done that condom taste test article from a while back as a video review, except in my case I probably would’ve ended up with an inbox full o’ hate and the Westboro Baptist Church protesting on my lawn. 😛

Anyway, I should have a new article up in the next couple of days — not the third part of the QC Dinobots review, but it will be of a dollar store toy. There isn’t a whole lot to say about the toy itself, but the packaging alone should inspire three or four paragraphs’ worth of discussion. So yeah, look for that! And there will be yet another “Heroes” Hot Flash in the future as well, though certainly not in time for the season finale tomorrow. And so the influence of this horrible season will extend past its televised run.


-posted by Wes | 7:17 pm | Comments (3)
November 26, 2007
Dusty Plastic HELL: Hot Flash #101!

Once again, I apologize about the lack of updates lately — hopefully I’ll be able to get more up (including at least part three of the QC Dinobots reivew and maybe a holiday-themed piece or two, though I’m not sure what it would involve at this point) in the coming weeks. Today, however, we have the first of at least two (and possibly more; we’ll see) “Heroes” Hot Flashes. I’ve found this season to be pretty bad, but at least making screencap comics helps me to derive some enjoyment from the show. 🙂

Oh, and since the last front-page feature went up, I’ve posted two more entries in the Creepy Freaks Countdown — Count 26 and Count 27. I finally ended up with an unbroken Mad Jack, so I’m glad about that.

All for now, then. As always, feel free to leave any thoughts, observations, and so forth in the comments — and there are bonus points to be had if you get the reference in the title of Hot Flash #101. ‘Till next time! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 12:18 pm | Comments (4)
November 19, 2007
Count 27: Daisy & Mad Jack

Feed Daisy, Seymour... feed her all night long.

Wait, what’s this? A new Creepy Freak that’s not a repaint?!?!? Rejoice! Daisy here is a mutated Venus flytrap — not unlike Audrey II of Little Shop of Horrors fame — so while it’s not a completely novel idea, the adaptation does work quite well for the Creepy Freaks line. Also, whereas most versions of Audrey II (and most flytrap creatures in general) lack eyes and proper limbs, Daisy has both a set of peepers and branches with leaves that respectively resemble arms and fingers. This effectively makes her look almost like some sort of plant-dinosaur hybrid, which is kind of a neat idea that I’d like to see explored in fiction (or, even better, claymation film). Daisy’s not quite as creepy or freaky as she could be with the proper characterization, but she’s definitely one of the cooler Creepy Freaks.

Also, given that Daisy was packaged differently in the box — whereas most of the Creepy Freaks come in a sort of basket structure not unlike a squared cupcake holder, Daisy came in a front-facing plastic shroud fitted to her shape (think of upright sarcophagi lids and you’re on the right track) — I’m going to assume that she was one of the rarer figures. Also, given that it’s sort of possible to tell whether a box has a figure like this in it by shaking it (her packing permits her to move far less and thereby make less noise), I can imagine kids sifting through the Creepy Freaks boxes and shaking them in attempts to discern which ones had the rarer figures with the oddball shapes. Konata would have, anyway!

Mad Jack is gonna GETCHA!

And here’s Mad Jack, whom we’ve seen before. We have not, however, seen him before with two attached arms! So while he’s not a new figure per se, I’m about as glad to see him as I am to see Venus — making this about the best booster set we’ve seen in quite a while. It really doesn’t get much better than dino-flytraps and insane clowns, folks. 😈

-posted by Wes | 10:47 am | Comments (3)
November 15, 2007
Count 26: Dolly & Litter Kitty

Dolly and Litter Kitty are not new to us.

I told you these latter countdown entries would be brief, right? Here are Dolly and Litter Kitty, both of whom we’ve seen before — and in multiple color schemes at that. So while this booster pack at least includes fairly good representations of the respective sculpts (I much prefer Dolly’s colors to Ragatha’s, and Litter Kitty’s light coloring and black wash does well to highlight the detail of the figurine), this haul is still rather disappointing. Some new Creepy Freak blood would be nice!

-posted by Wes | 5:10 pm | Comments (0)
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