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A 100-Issue Goal Extension and a Grail

Last month with a rare day off of work, I was able to dig into some quarter bins at a shop outta my usually weekly reach. And had a few good finds that led into a HUGE (for me) find. And then just over a week later, got a Grail comic that I’ve been after for years.

Let’s dive on in…

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I’m a sucker for older TMNT stuff. I need to get my list(s) re-updated to be sure of what I do and don’t still need. I’m pretty sure this Turtle Soup issue is a duplicate, but for 25 cents, not one to pass up. I also hadn’t realized how damaged the TMNT Adventures issue was…but it’s a newsstand edition of one of the first issues I ever got, off a spinner rack in Waldenbooks. A couple of Atari Force issues caught my eye…as did Invasion! #s 1-3 and the Wonder Woman tie-in.

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Then G.I.Joe/Transformers 1-4 (the complete mini-series) for only $1 was a no-brainer. Ditto the Contest of Champions mini and Thor #400.

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Though not quite in order, I realized there was a run of early Marvel Comics Presents, and rather than "cherry-pick" the #1, I snagged the "run." 8 issues…

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…and then the next 8. For less than the price of an issue of the new iteration of the title in 2019, I snagged the first 16 issues of the original.

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One of my earliest #1 issues back in the ’90s–one that was a point of "pride" to me–was Classic X-Men #1. Back when a #1 was actually a fairly big deal and really meant something. It was how I first read the introduction of Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and so on. Finding several of the earliest issues, I figured I’d grab ’em–I’m pretty sure I’d gotten another small run of the title recently, whether this duplicates or enhances that, I’m not sure offhand. And then the two-issue X-Men/Alpha Flight mini is a great find for only 50 cents!

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Continuing on, I thought it was cool to find the 4-issue X-Men and the Micronauts series. And the X-Men/New Teen Titans special! Then a small run of several of the old Annuals. #s 5-7…

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…and on up to #12.

But then I happened on one of the more significant finds (for me)…

A huge run of Uncanny X-Men itself. Beginning with #144 (only a couple issues off from the infamous Days of Future Past from #s 141-142!) and short only 6 issues from giving me 144-238! And I already knew I had #239-onward into the 400s, maybe early 500s, minus #266 (the first appearance of Gambit). So with this 90-ish issue run, I’m only a handful of issues off from being able to push all the way back to Days of Future Past–something I never really considered (Since pulling together all of my X-stuff back in 2012ish, I’ve been aiming for a complete run of Uncanny X-Men from Inferno-onward to the end of "volume one"!)

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And then, after a lotta years’ patience and being determined to find the issue at a certain price point and being completely unwilling to pay "top dollar" for it, since I just want the issue as part of this run…when I walked into the shop only a week after the huge haul, I was informed that a copy of #266 in my price range had (finally!) shown up.

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Then another week later, at an evening "pre" Free Comic Book Day event, I was able to get three of those missing 6 (albeit at a "premium" but still half-off their marked price)!

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$3.50/issue for "key" issues that I specifically wanted, that "mean" more to me for filling in this particular run was a very good price! AND also significantly (to me) cheaper per issue than "just any" brand-new issue I’d get off a new comics rack! #s 171, 198, and 200.

So now, short those other three issues–#s 158, 201, and 221–I’m pretty sure I now have #144-500ish. Which means it’s high time I pull stuff again and get my X-books sorted out again so I can be sure of what I’m still missing from that Uncanny run and decide what my next "grail" book(s) will be to hunt down that may actually be attainable. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–at $3000+ is significantly out of my reach, though it’d be an amazing acquisition. With the earliest issues of the Mirage series, I’m content with later printings to plug the gaps.

Perhaps the original Image edition of the actual Image run of TMNT–though those are largely a moot thing with IDW publishing the series again; and using the "original" covers, even.

I do think I’ve largely decided that I’ll likely push back to Days of Future Past itself–certainly the 2nd half–as I believe THAT was even where the title "officially" went from the words "The Uncanny" being a tagline to being part of the title itself (a distinction that allowed for the 1991 and umpteen other "adjective-less" #1s of X-Men.)

Time shall definitely tell!

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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: Weeks of May 2, 9, & 16, 2019

Well, it’s been a few weeks since a Weekly Haul post. I’ve taken photos to do the posts, but real life got in the way of doing these posts themselves.

So, here are 3 weeks’ worth crammed into one!


Week of May 02, 2019

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A very DC week!

Batman and Batman/TMNT III were out May 2nd…as well as the 25-cent Year of the Villain issue. Like its predecessor last year or the year before–the issue is not all that interesting to me, and turns me off more than on to upcoming stuff; especially as I really have zero interest in "The Batman Who Laughs" OR Snyder‘s Justice League stuff.

We’re nearing the end of Adventures of the Super Sons, and who knows what the future holds for these characters. I’ve also gotten behind in reading the various Wonder Comics titles. Even though I recently decided to go "all-in" on them, if I’m already behind and not overly concerned about it…do I really need/want to be buying these titles?weeklyhaul_20190502b

At a visit to a Five Below store, I snagged a copy of the classic How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. I remember getting this from the library several times as a kid–though it’d been defaced by other borrowers in a rather inappropriate way. Having my own (clean) copy is cool…though after I bought it, it occurred to me that I may have snagged a copy from Half-Price Books previously…though where that particular copy got to, I’m not sure at the moment.

They also had this Hot Wheels Batman classic ’66 Batmobile. It’s basically the only car I really "care" about, NOT being a "cars guy." So, it’s another little trinket to add to the ever-expanding collection.

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Then a couple days after New Comic Day, went with friends to an evening pre-Free Comic Book Day event where they’d brewed some custom beer. I tried the Wolverine’s Canadian Ale, and a friend gave me his empty Cyclops Weak Summer Pilsner bottle so I’d have both!


Week of May 09, 2019

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May 9th was a small-ish week comics-wise. I’m once more falling behind on reading for Detective Comics, which even though I tend to like the writer’s work, leads me to wonder if I care enough to "keep up with" the title, now that we’re past #1000 and it lacks the "excitement" of the "build-up to" that 1000th issue.

I’ve kept up with Supergirl primarily on principle–I think I had all of the Rebirth run, and definitely wanted to support the notion of a series ACTUALLY CONTINUING THE NUMBERING. I’ve yet to read any of the current run, unfortunately, so it seems another one ripe for dropping. And as said above on other Wonder Comics…I begin to wonder if I was a bit premature going "all-in" on the imprint if I’m not gonna get around to reading the things!

It continues to be rather "telling" to me that I’m happy to re-buy (at a premium price) stuff like Annotated Marvels for $8 as that’s "only" double the price of a standard new Marvel issue but it’s an extra-sized thing with even more added content in the annotations..and it’s a known quantity to me, having gotten the original Marvels issues new as they came out back in 1994!

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While at a Gamestop looking for the TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan game for X-Box, I spotted this Batman Funko Pop figure and knowing I’d "eventually" want it, went ahead and bought it so I don’t have to "hunt" it later.

Which is, in itself, another thing I’m noticing a lot more lately–I’m buying way more than I’d typically do, because it seems "everything" so QUICKLY goes "out of print" and "unavailable" that if I don’t buy it on the spot, I won’t be able to (reasonably) do so later.

And that takes a lotta "fun" outta stuff.


Week of May 16, 2019

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…And now we’re to the current/most recent week!

New Superman issue, new Batman issue, and the new Naomi. I’m not into "speculating" on books, and this title is maybe more a driving factor in my reconsidering the Wonder Comics line if I’m not getting around to the reading.

Then there’s the new Immortal Hulk issue. This makes the 3rd issue in a row for the latter for me…though I don’t know that I’ll want to keep going with the series. It’s not really coming off the way I expected, and I’d probably get more from it if I’d read the earlier issues–but if I do those by Marvel Unlimited I might as well do the series that way.

I’ve been digging the Spider-Man: Life Story series, so that’s a "given" for me; and while I was really looking forward to the first issue of Shredder in Hell, I was NOT counting on it being BI-MONTHLY as it’s been so far. At this writing the series should’ve been finished already (or the final issue coming out in a couple days)…not having 2 more issues yet to come sometime later this year!

Despite the being-behind-on-reading, I’m a bit more willing to suppor IDW‘s Marvel stuff. Though even these may be short on my list as the newness/novelty wears off and collected volumes start coming out that put the single issues’ cover prices to shame.


I’m feeling fairly grouchy toward a lotta comics lately…and while much of my frustration is with Marvel, DC is stacking up quite a bit. I’m none too keen on the upcoming Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen 12-issue series. I’m behind on reading the main Superman and Action Comics titles as-is. And I’m NOT looking forward to the Leviathan "event" about to start. Also put-off by the Year of the Villain build-up (some of that from the 25-cent special having an opposite-from-intended effect on me, turning me off to stuff rather than building my excitement). As of this writing, I just saw some articles on Bleeding Cool with the August 2019 solicitations (and stuff from the Diamond Retailers’ Summit or such) with the upcoming cardstock cover variants (adding $1 to cover price for affected issues!) and that puts me yet further off from stuff.

EVERY SINGLE ISSUE having AT LEAST 2 covers continues to be a turn-off on principle.

Then the way stuff goes out of print and out of stock on collected volumes leaves me cold–recently, I’d thought I could "catch up" on the GI Joe Classic line; but maybe 2-3 weeks after I ordered vols. 7-8 (I had 1-6 from a few years ago) suddenly most of 9-16 is unavailable except from 3rd-party sellers jacking the prices way up for being "out of print."

I had had Game of Thrones spoiled for me from casual posts thrown out on Facebook that went significantly well beyond what I’d experienced so far, so I grudgingly gave up and gave in and though I’m only sequentially to season 5: episode 2, I watched season 8: episode 5, and will probably suck it up and watch the finale. If it’s gonna be totally spoiled for me anyway I might as well AT LEAST get the spoilers FIRST HAND from watching MYSELF!

So there’s that ending–and we’re a few weeks past Avengers Endgame and essentially the ending to 11 years’ worth of Marvel Cinematic Universe films–and The Big Bang Theory just ended–so it feels like a lot of endings lately.

And I begin to consider: maybe it’s time for me to take more of a "break" from comics?

Though I’ll "eventually" have to "play catch-up" anyway for the likes of Superman and Action Comics as I always do; perhaps I need to cut back to just a few things.

Spawn to #300. TMNT stuff. And Tom King‘s Batman, since it seems like NO ONE ELSE even actually does more than 10-20 issues anymore.

It’s not like I wouldn’t have other stuff to read–to catch up on reading–even if I never bought any more comics ever!

So who knows…

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 24, 2019

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Last week was a monumental week on a couple of fronts. Comic-wise, not so much. But I’ll get to those momentarily.

Avengers: Endgame premiered, and thanks to a friend scoring early tickets, I got to see a 6pm show of the film Thursday, April 22nd! I haven’t settled on quite the adjectives to use for it, and I really presently have no intention of attempting any formal review of the film.

I found the film to be "fitting," satisfying, well worth seeing, and I definitely enjoyed it. I loved catching various references and callbacks to other/earlier Marvel films, and one particularly key moment of self-identification that flashed back to the first of the Marvel Studios films.

While I lack the words, given the foundation of 21 earlier films, within the context of all those films and having seen them and all that…I’d be hard-pressed NOT to rank it up there with the original Iron Man and Captain America: Civil War. Though just as Infinity War brought back an awe originally found in the first 2012 Avengers, this one definitely surpassed that by far, for me.

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Eventually, I’m going to get caught up on Action Comics again. I’m almost going to have to, if I’m gonna follow the other Leviathan stuff coming in May. That said, there was definitely something to seeing the #1010 next to #1002–two four-digit numbers–with Detective Comics. I’ve yet to play any of the Arkham games…so this Arkham Knight stuff doesn’t hit the high notes for me that it probably does for others. I’m also still not overly keen on this new logo for the title…less so when seen next to the classic, nearly-original 80+ years old Action logo.

Heroes in Crisis #8 reveals stuff…and I was rather "shocked" when I realized that against initial intentions, I’ve kept on with each issue, after thinking I’d leave it for a collected edition if at all. I strongly feel like the title’s event(s) could EASILY have been condensed to 3-4 issues with the "interviews" done as bonus text pieces as backmatter and achieved the same effect in less than half the time/expense of the series as a whole. I’m digging King‘s Batman run…but HiC is far, far more a "miss" for me.

I also need to catch up on my reading for Mr. & Mrs. X…but keep up with the series because it’s Rogue and Gambit, and I’ve quite a bit of relative "history" with the characters going back 26-some years now.

I clearly, consciously remember getting Avengers Forever #1 "off the shelf" back in 1998–nearly 21 years ago. So it was fitting to get it again in this format–for only $1–and the realization that there are several years of high school graduates who were born AFTER the issue originally came out! In 1992/1993 as I was fully getting into comics, 21 years back was 1971/1972…I was closer to to Claremont‘s revamp of the X-Men then, than I am now to getting in post-1991!

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TMNT #93 kicks off City at War and begins the final run-up to #100. Criminal–basically, anything from Brubaker and Phillips–is always a treat. And for the heckuvit, I decided to "try" Ascender #1…though who knows when/if I’ll get to reading the darned thing.

Comic Shop News gives House of X the spotlight…and I’ve got mixed feelings on the thing. I’m curious and interested in something big and "key" with the X-Men…but I am NOT keen on the high-priced single-issues, nor the inevitable waste of space of entire pages with just a couple words on them that are typical to everything from Hickman…to say nothing of generally having a sense of pretentiousness from what I’ve read by the writer. Not so much that the writer is pretentious, but the air of the comics seem that way, as well as what I get from having to "do homework" to "appreciate" the stories. With two concurrent (and I believe, biweekly?) 6 issue-series across 12ish weeks…I’ll possibly check out first issues, but more than likely leave stuff for collected edition(s) if reviews warrant.

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I hit a significant quarter-bin jackpot on Good Friday (likely detailing that in an upcoming post). This past weekend, I found less of particular interest, despite snagging a "grail" (also in the likely-upcoming post). But for $1.75…two Wizard specials ($4.95 apiece cover price, I believe), the "chromium"/fancy covers for Bloodshot #0 and Turok #1 (another $8ish between the two), a Machine Man issue (that I mistook as some sort of 2099 special I’d missed all these years), and oversized Captain America (with stuff about Galactic Storm) and one of the number of variants from 2000’s X-Men #100. Easily $30ish in "value" for $1.75. Far superior value over even one $5 contemporary Marvel issue.


Hard to believe that the next New Comic Book Day will be MAY 2019 already. And it’ll be the first  NCBD post-Avengers Endgame. I wonder how different that may feel.

Or not.

Time’ll tell!

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NECA Aliens: Alien Queen Deluxe

This shows just how far behind I’ve gotten in producing content for this blog! I got this about FIVE WEEKS ago! But only just now getting around to sharing/posting about it!

I’d seen this several years ago in a Toys R Us, but at the time it was wayyy outta my price range. Of course, I spent much of 2018 contemplating stuff in the price range, and finally pulled the trigger on the most expensive toys I’ve ever bought: the NECA Baby Turtles, a (non-NECA) Power Rangers Legacy Megazord, the NECA 1/4-scale Raphael, the Gamestop-exclusive 7" 1990 movie turtles, the 1/4-scale Leonardo & Michelangelo, the 1/4-scale Donatello, and the ’80s 2-packs.

And so it just made sense to (finally) get this Alien Queen, as well!

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Like the other figures, this one has a window on the front for you to see (part of) the figure itself, and a nice dioramic image on the rest of the box.

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One side of the box is another window to see in to the Queen, while the other side shows the typical photo/rendition of the figure…in this case, with another figure for some scale, though that figure is not actually something included in this box (and that fact is noted: "Marine Figure Sold Separately").

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The back of the box is the Queen herself and a brief overview of what she is.

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The figure is very "top-heavy," and in many poses–especially at her most "natural" and menacing, she won’t stand on her own…so a base with two rods is included to allow for various poses and balancing. The TMNT Donatello figure is a standard Ninja Turtle figure for size comparison…it was what I had handy when I was taking these photos back in March!

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I like the Queen raised up a bit more to show her height. She TOWERS over the other figures…as she should! While the 1/4-scale TMNT figures are amazing…they’re really only "in scale" with themselves (and the baby turtles). This Alien Queen is in scale with other NECA Aliens products, so they can all stand together and look awesome in the same scale!

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And here’s–as of this writing–my Aliens shelving. The Queen and other figures are on top of a bookcase, with the books on the shelves immediately below.

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The Aliens/Predator comics stuff doesn’t fit the newer shelving the figures are part of, so the comics and such are still in the midst of the graphic novels collection area…which is definitely plenty appropriate!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 17, 2019

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Another mixed sort of week! Not huge, not tiny!

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This week has the new Batman issue…I’m pretty sure that makes 2 weeks and 2 issues! Perhaps the title is back on schedule?

Spider-Man: Life Story #2 puts us 1/3 through this series. The first issue was set during the ’60s…this one’s the ’70s and we find Peter in his early 30s.

Naomi #4 is suddenly some big huge Big Deal (stupidly so, it seems). Thankfully, Comic Heaven had no problem with letting me get my single copy for cover price (having already bought 1-3…I’m solely interested as the SERIES, not stupid speculation!)

Then GI Joe: A Real American Hero #261 and Silent Option #4.

And of course, the weekly Comic Shop News.

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The latest round of Walmart 100-page giant issues all hit. I can honestly say that the novelty is wearing REALLY THIN at this point…part of the "fun" is 1. getting the ALL and 2. having them spaced out across the month so they’re not some big, bulky, HEAVY purchase. $30 in one go is not so fun!

Add to that, there’s been NO SIGN at over half a dozen Walmarts across 6+ weeks of the Detective Comics #1000 100-Page Giant. And like Valiant…if I can’t get "ALL OF THEM," then suddenly there’s farrrrr less incentive to even keep up with these. While I might suck it up for the next couple months–get to the #12s for the Batman and Superman ones–if I’m not able to locate the Detective one for cover price, I mayyyy be done.

Time will tell!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 10, 2019

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Heyyy…look at that! I’ve been forgetting to use, re-use, and/or re-design this handy little logo for this Weekly Haul "feature" I try to do!

Anyway…medium-sized week for April 10, 2019. And for the first time in awhile, I think, it’s straight "big two" in DC and Marvel…though as-is-normal for me these days…Marvel‘s on the short end of things.

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First up, the new Superman and Supergirl issues. It seems rather odd to have Supergirl at such a (relatively) high number compared to Superman, but that’s what you get when you have renumberings/reboots/whatever shenanigans!

Detective Comics is "back" ALREADY…quite a bit of difference from last year’s Action Comics #1000 with a 3-or-so-month gap before #1001. For that matter, Action–which has long been "ahead" in numbering (thanks particularly to its Action Comics Weekly days)! (As an aside–check out Chris’ blog Chris is on Infinite Earths for a run-down in great detail of the Action Comics Weekly period of the title!)

So, by the end of this year…Detective Comics will be "in the lead" in terms of numbering! This issue also sports a new logo! I’m not enamored with it–like a lot of other comments I’ve seen online, it reminds me of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon logo, and does look like it’d be more at home on a line of toys and/or animated tv show than this comic series. That being said…I think it ALSO seems rather out of place against the current Batman logo, which I may be "used to" but still don’t overly like. To me, the new Detective Comics logo would look a lot better if it better-matched the Batman title…and I’m more than ready for (I say this now, anyway) a new logo for that title.

Next, we have the aforementioned Batman title. I’m not sure if this issue was "late" or what, but I’d swear the two titles were alternating weeks. And here we’re "already" at Wonder Twins #3…and I still need to read the first 2 issues as well!

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On to the Marvel titles…I suppose in my opening comment I neglected to mention that where Marvel has THREE issues I picked up on Wednesday…all three are reprints! Nothing "new!" The Marvel Tales issue features Thanos and reprints Warlock #10 (his original series), Silver Surfer #45 (an issue that I covered a few years ago), and Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8.

Incidentally, going from that, the True Believers Thanos and Gamora reprints Warlock and the Infinity Watch #9…the very next issue. And finally, True Believers Stormbreaker reprints Thor #339.

While I’m getting rather tired of the True Believers heading (I’d much rather $1 "facsimile editions" of these various issues), they continue to show (me) that Marvel is perfectly capable of putting out cheap(er) comics. AND that I overall really care very little for stuff they’ve published over the last 10-15 years (pretty much Avengers Disassembled to present). So reprinting stuff from the ’90s especially, as well as the ’80s and such…that’s where the bulk of my interest seems to be.

Finally, the week’s Comic Shop News features Second Coming. I’m not really sure what to make of it…it’s certainly gotten hype, and I might give it a try; though like most such projects, it strikes me as something probably better gotten as a collected volume rather than single issues. Time will tell!


I’ve found myself "gearing up" again with a couple things. I mentioned Mortal Kombat with last week’s post, and that interest continues. The same week that Mortal Kombat 11 is due out, the first new Magic: The Gathering novel War of the Spark is also due out. I find myself really hoping that even if they don’t "self-publish," that Wizards of the Coast gets back into doing regular novels for their various properties again…at least "core story" things. Maybe there don’t have to be new books every month delving into every side-character’s sibling’s personal history, but at least get a couple new books each year! I’d even settle for published versions of material they’ve released online!

And there’s the Force of Will card game. I loved what I saw with it last year, but it fell to the side due to "real life stuff" getting in the way. I’m not really sure what "sparked" it THIS time around, but I’ve found myself getting some new stuff for it including a couple of "playmats" and such, and even impulse-ordered a "crate" of stuff thanks to seeing it on several YouTube videos. And when I read a description of another item a bit closer, realized that where I thought it included 72 cards, it actually includes 72 booster packs…which is basically two boxes‘ worth. For only a little more than twice what I paid for a "cheapo box" last year, and not much more than what I paid for another box (also last year). So while I may not have much of anything overly "special" from the game…definitely bulking up on cards, and hopefully will be able to get friends to play it with me.

Though I’m also starting to re-consider my outright "boycott" of local gaming store(s). (Been refusing to do business with WPN gaming stores over their pricing of the Jace’s Spellbook product last year). However, even if I "give in" and seek out being able to play Force of Will at a game store, I fully intend to hold to NOT buying Magic: The Gathering product from the game store.

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NECA TMNT Quarter Scale: Donatello

It’s been a few weeks–maybe a month or so, now–since I got the last of the NECA TMNT quarter-scale figures I’ve been after.

I believe there’s also a Foot ninja and a Raphael-in-trenchcoat…but I’m really not interested in either of those. I prefer Raph as-is without the trenchcoat…and a lone Foot ninja makes little sense to me, and at this scale and price I’m NOT investing in 3-5+ of the things to justify the "generic minion/bad-guy" thing.

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I didn’t have the patience at the time to get a better shot of the front of the box…a bit of glare, as such.

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The sides of the box…

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The back of the box.

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I’d neglected at the time–due to other things going on in my private life–to get a solo shot of Donnie. Right now I don’t really have open space to properly get a good shot, so here he is towering over the Gamestop 1990 Movie Mikey and a Target 2-pack Foot ninja.

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And here’s the current (at least as of this posting in early April 2019) shelf of my NECA TMNT stuff with Raph, Leo & Mikey, and of course, Donnie…as well as the Baby Turtles that I started this crazy-expensive collecting ride with.

I may still try to get the ooze cannister prop and Casey Jones mask prop…but after a number of extremely-expensive (for me) purchases across a number of paychecks, and other stuff I’m trying to get…expensive NECA stuff is on hiatus for me at the moment.

(One more expensive NECA purchase from several weeks ago yet to share, though!)

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