Saturday, January 18, 2020

Hauls: Welcome to 2020

Happy 2020! In just five years, aliens will live alongside us and we'll be protected by spandex heroes who summon giant robots in our cities, so look forward to that! Anyway, time for some fresh hauls, starting with a few things that I actually got in 2019:

Nintendo DS Lite w/ GBA Case

This was a neat pick-up! My Mom found this while she was out thrifting and got it for me. I'd never actually owned a DS Lite before (I stuck with my phat all the way up until the DSi. Yes, really. Personal reason.), so it's a nice addition to my Nintendo hardware library. (Don't have the right charger for it, though, so gonna have to pick one up on Amazon eventually.)

Funko POP! Aggretsuko: Aggretsuko (Retsuko) (Amazon)

Got an adorable reminder of one of my favorite Netflix shows for the best price ever: FREE! Yep, thanks to credit awarded on Amazon from a previous game pre-order, I was able to add Retsuko here to the POP shelf for absolutely no charge. Ain't life neat sometimes?

Earbuds w/ Case
$25 Target VISA Gift Card

A few days after Christmas, some dear family friends presented me with these gifts! Extra earbuds are always useful in a pinch and that gift card was put to excellent use. (See a bit further down.)

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Beast Morphers Blue Ranger

This is the last of my 2019 pick-ups, courtesy of another giveaway won from razzle1337 on Twitter! (Yep, same dude who finally added MMPR: Pink to my GN shelf.) What better way to end a year than by bringing my recent winnings up to a phenomenal FIVE items? (That's Lightning Collection figures of Tyler and Ravi, the hardcover Art of TMNT book, MMPR: Pink, and a Detective Pikachu Blu-ray, for those just tuning in.) I can only hope that 2020 is as generous.

Anyway, Ravi here beefs up the Grid Battleforce rep on my Ranger shelf. Still need to pick up Nate so I can have most of the team covered. (Hoping Steel and Zoey roll down the pipeline eventually. Maybe we'll see them at Toy Fair?)

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Lord Drakkon (Amazon)

My main purchase with the above gift card was yet another Lightning Collection figure. However, this one's special: it's our first comic representation, Lord Drakkon! Perfect for leading a collection of villains and evil Rangers on my shelf! So glad I was able to snag this guy easily despite him being one per case. (Hoping I luck out in a similar way when Ranger Slayer hits.)

Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark (Amazon) 
Prinzessin (Amazon)

Burned through the rest of my gift card the way I usually do when there's only a couple bucks left on it: by ordering Yu-Gi-Oh! cards! 

I snagged totally-not-Cinderella-Disney-nope-we're-not-using-the-name-from-this-public-domain-fairy-tale-for-the-actual-card-despite-using-it-in-the-anime-NOPE Prinzessin because the bushel of cards I got from my brother-in-law last year had a couple of her support cards but not her.

The other guy I've been wanting to own ever since I first saw him in the Zexal manga. I mean, just...LOOK at that name. Take it in. Analyze it. CONSUME IT. Isn't it simply the most resplendently beautiful/ludicrous name you've ever seen? HOPE. WOVEN. DRAGON. SPIDER. SHARK. It's like the crossword puzzle in an Animal Planet coloring book went nuts and turned into a Monster! It's simply the most amazing card in my collection and I will cherish it forever.

Toy Factory Squirtle Plush

Another of my Mom's thrift finds! It's a fairly recent plush (dated 2017) and even still has its tag! A very nice addition to my shelf currently covered in Pokemon plushes. (Special shout-out to my pal Jeff! I know Squirt's your man!)

Fangamer Banjo-Kazooie Collectible Plush Set

THIS is what I spent my Christmas cash on. Ever since I was a kid, I've DREAMED of a Banjo-Kazooie plush that'd be able to fully separate to mimic the duo's skill in Banjo-Tooie. However, the only previous Banjo plush I've owned (a tiny keychain) didn't prove up to the task. (I actually ended up ripping the sewn-in Kazooie out and taping straws to her stump to give her the illusion of legs. Tough times.) 

However, a short while ago, Fangamer announced THIS beauty among their new crop of officially-licensed Banjo-Kazooie merch and I KNEW that I had to have it. What better way to further celebrate the duo coming home in Smash? 

Unfortunately, there was a piece missing with mine (Banjo's shark tooth necklace), but Fangamer's very helpful customer support has assured me that they'll get Banjo his neckwear free of charge as soon as they get in more of the plush next month, so no big deal. It's still an absolutely gorgeous set that's well worth the price to any fan of the bear and bird.

Tomy Tails Comic Pack (

Since I got the Metal Sonic Comic Pack for Christmas and knew that Tomy's Sonic stock was running low, I had to get the matching Tails Comic Pack to complete the set before it disappeared. Again, the figures are neat, but the REAL draw of these are the translated Sonic Channel comics included. You won't find these English/print versions ANYWHERE else and despite some typos ("Miles Tails ProwLer" and several incorrect uses of "Chao's" to name some examples), they're fantastic to have for any Sonic fan. Just fun little slice-of-life comics starring every Sonic character under the sun. (Except the Deadly Six, oddly enough.)

Tomy Sonic Collector Set (Sonic, Zavok, and Infinite) (

Speaking of the Deadly Six and picking up Tomy Sonic toys before they went completely extinct, also picked up this set, featuring the very first official plastic representations of Zavok and Infinite. Especially happy to have Infinite, as I found him to be a really cool new villain in Sonic Forces in that he was just a merc hired by Eggman who went a little power/revenge-crazy with a fancy gem rather than the usual ancient behemoth the Doctor fancies waking up. It was refreshing.

Now I wish they had made a Chaos figure. With these and my Jazwares Shadow and Metal Sonic, he's all I'm missing to complete Eggman's world-conquering squad.

Richter amiibo (
Dark Samus amiibo (

Last but certainly not least, another vampire hunter and a Phazon doppelganger up the Echo Fighter rep among my amiibo. Now we wait for the DLC figures to come. (I will be ALL OVER Banjo.)

That's everything I had to share for the moment! Probably going to be another haul post next month that's a tad smaller, so stay tuned for that! Best of luck in the coming year to all of you!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Christmas Fallout - 2019!

Happy Holidays, guys. Hope you had a great one. Christmas this year was kind of a rush, honestly. Thanks to a late Thanksgiving launching us straight from one season to another without much delay, it just kinda came and went.

Still, despite the strange holiday it's been, I was treated VERY well by my loved ones in the gift department. So welcome to the annual Christmas Fallout post, where I share my haul and you guys can join in by listing yours in the comments. Let's get the holly jolly started!

Toy Story 4 (4K Combo) (Target Limited Edition)
Spider-Man: Far from Home (4K Combo)
Teen Titans GO! to the Movies (Blu-ray Combo)
M.U.S.C.L.E. Street Sharks Sets
$20 Nintendo eShop Card
$10 Regal Gift Card
Peanut Butter M&Ms
Crispy M&Ms 
Other Candy

The stocking filling really hit it out of the park this year, with the Street Sharks M.U.S.C.L.E. figure sets being an absolute highlight. (These have actually only been found in the wild at Five Below stores so far, but you can also easily snag them up on Ebay.) Regardless of their bizarre, out-of-nowhere release, I HAD to have the first official Street Sharks toys in years.

Rounding things out are movies, eShop cash, Regal cash (perfect for Sonic in February), assorted candy, and both of my favorite (in production) flavors of M&Ms.

Luigi's Mansion 3
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered (Switch)
Pokemon Shield
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition (Switch)
Spyro: Reignited Trilogy (Switch)
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (Switch)
River City Girls (Switch) + Original Game Soundtrack + Limited Run Trading Card

GAMES! Quite a variety this year, including double the ghost-busting and monster-raising. (Thank you Switch for giving me a good opportunity to finally pick up Hacker's Memory.) Also looking forward to experiencing the original Spyro games in full after being more casual with them during the old PS1 days. (Can't beat more 3D platformers on Switch!)

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Set (Neon Red/Neon Blue)
Digimon Fusion: Season 1 (DVD)
Digimon Fusion: Season 2 (DVD)

More Joy-Cons to increase potential play options and the last of the Digimon DVDs I still needed to pick up. (With the exception of the out-of-print Digimon the Movie.) Interested in rewatching Fusion, as I remember feeling it was just "okay" by the end after keeping up with airings week-to-week. Maybe binging all of it together years later will give me a fresh perspective. (I also got these now because I was afraid they'd go out of print soon and I'd be screwed. Conveniently, the show also left Netflix this month.)

Power Rangers: The Ultimate Visual History 
Power Rangers: Shattered Grid Deluxe Edition 
Go Go Power Rangers Volume 1
Go Go Power Rangers Volume 2
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Lost Chronicles Volume 1
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Lost Chronicles Volume 2
Power Rangers: The Psycho Path 

A big theme of my wishlist this year was playing catch-up with Power Rangers' 25th Anniversary LAST year, so half of my stuff is PR-related. 

Been meaning to get ahold of the Visual History book ever since it was first announced. Looking forward to learning an interesting tidbit or two before sliding it on the shelf next to my TMNT one.

With the exception of The Psycho Path, this year's batch of comics is dedicated to one thing: SHATTERED GRID. The first two Go Go trades and the Lost Chronicles volumes help set the stage while the Deluxe Edition collects the whole event in one beautiful hardcover book. This is one that I CANNOT WAIT to dig into later.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Lost Galaxy Red Ranger/In Space Psycho Red Ranger
Power Rangers Lightning Collection Magna Defender 
Power Rangers Lightning Collection In Space Psycho Blue Ranger

Wouldn't be a PR-heavy haul without some more Lightning figures! Especially happy about this particular selection, as I finally get to own figures of the sick Psycho Ranger suits and one of my favorite classic seasons, Lost Galaxy, even gets some love! (This is the first Magna Defender-related toy I've owned that actually has a cape.)

Tomy Metal Sonic Comic Pack
Power Rangers Lightning Collection Lord Zedd

My Sis and her husband got me these. Lord Zedd joins my Lightning figure haul with his best plastic representation yet and a couple of alright Metal Sonic figures present the REAL prize: an exclusive printed comic book featuring official translations of the adorable 25th Anniversary Sonic Channel webcomics. (Featuring stories starring everyone from Storm the Albatross to Eggman Nega!)

$20 Nintendo eShop Card

Finally, my favorite cousin got me some more eShop cash so I can prepare for Smash Ultimate DLC: Year 2.

(Also got some cash from my Grandma that I've already spent, so look forward to seeing just what I bought with it in the new year.)

How was everything for YOU guys this year? I'd love to hear about your own personal Christmas Fallout in the comments below.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel - FINALE!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE and welcome to the grand finale of Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel!!


Our final card is one of the newest branches to be added to both the Kuriboh AND Performapal family trees: Performapal Kuribohble!

General Observation:

You can think of Kuribohble here as an official game take on the anime version of Kuribon. Much like that card's animated equivalent, when you're about to suffer a direct attack, you can special summon this card to take the blow. Then, again like Kuribon, your damage is converted to extra LP instead. 

However, there are two key differences. First, Kuribohble increases YOUR points rather than your opponent's, and secondly, he's destroyed like any other defending Monster instead of returned to your hand after battle. The former makes him quite a useful card for a last-ditch defense against an uber-powerful Monster. Plus, since he's both a Level 1 AND Performapal Monster, there are a myriad of ways to bring him to your hand with the right deck.

Trivia Observation:

Kuribohble is actually the first brand-new card to be featured in an Advent Calendar. This means it has no previous TCG set to mention. However, it DOES have a single manga appearance in Scale (Chapter) 23 of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V where Yuya Sakaki uses him to defend. Yuya joins the exclusive club with Yusei of protagonists who had to wait until their manga to get their own personal Kuriboh and his TCG art is even taken from that original manga appearance. (As seen above.) 

As for odder trivia, this card's actually called Kuribohrder/Kuriborder in Japan and the English manga respectively. Not sure why they changed it or what either name is a possible portmanteau of (Kuriboh and Snowboarder maybe?), but that's how it is.

Personal Observation:

Super neat to get a brand new card, especially one that uses appropriately festive reds, greens, and stars in its design. Still need to catch up with the ARC-V manga, so I can't wait to see this guy in action.

That's all she wrote for the Kuriquel! I'd like to thank every one of you for joining in for another year of me trying to seem knowledgeable about card games. It means a lot that you stuck with me through this fun holiday journey that briefly subverted my infamous laziness. These are a ton of fun to do. Will there be a follow-up? Well, we'll have to see what Konami says, but chances are, if I can find ANY kind of Advent Calendar based on something I'm interested in during future holiday seasons, you'll see it here.

Anyway, have the happiest of holidays and the merriest of Christmases. I hope all of you can find some peace and contentment this season and partake in a good bit of personal joy to top the year (and decade) off well. As for me, I'll be back for the annual Christmas Fallout post, so be sure to stay tuned to the blog in the meantime. As my furry friends above would likely say: KURIBYE!!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel - DAY 23!

Welcome back to Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel! TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS EVE!!

There's only ONE DOOR LEFT after this one!

It's the other half of our card combo that started yesterday, Winged Kuriboh LV10!

General Observation:

Winged Kuriboh LV10 can only be special summoned by the effect of yesterday's card, Transcendent Wings. With all that you have to give up for THAT card, you might be wondering if LV10 here is really worth it, especially after glancing at his unchanged ATK and DEF stats. Well, in true Kuriboh fashion, his effect MORE than makes up for his meager strength. 

Y'see, you can tribute this guy during your opponent's Battle Phase to destroy EVERY attack position Monster they have in play AS WELL AS inflict damage to them equal to the combined total of those Monsters' ATK values. This has the potential to be a HUGE game changer, especially if you're on the ropes and staring down a powerful opposition. 

Since Transcendent Wings is quick-play, I would highly recommend pulling off the full combo during your opponent's Battle Phase, that way they have less of a chance to avert the effect.

Trivia Observation:

As it's paired with Transcendent Wings, Winged Kuriboh LV10 debuted in the same TCG set, Cybernetic Revolution, as both an Ultra Rare and an Ultimate Rare. It also debuted in the same episode of the GX anime as the Wings and even got in a couple of GX manga appearances starting with Chapter 3.

A unique thing about Winged Kuriboh's level forms (both LV9 AND LV10) is that they aren't affected by Spell and Trap cards that typically deal with other level-changing Monsters such as Armed Dragon and Horus the Black Flame Dragon. (For example, a Spell like "Level Up!" would have absolutely no effect on a base Winged Kuriboh because LV9 and LV10 aren't listed on its card text.)

Personal Observation:

Yep, seems like things have played out exactly how I figured they would when we got the flute. This is an especially neat one for me, as I don't believe I've ever owned this card. (I've owned the Ultimate version of Transcendent Wings, but never this card.)

Winged Kuriboh's multi-day saga has come to an end and set us up for our grand finale tomorrow. I actually already 100% know what it's gonna bring (it's featured on the other side of the Calendar and was the biggest selling point), so come back tomorrow for the first brand new card in Yu-Gi-Oh! Advent Calendar history as we wrap up Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel - DAY 22!

Happy weekend-before-Christmas and welcome back to Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel! If you don't know what we've been up to by Day 22, then I highly suggest not starting with this part.

Just three more doors counting today's! THE HOLIDAYS ARE NIGH.

Looks like I was right on the money once again! It's the Spell Card, Transcendent Wings!

General Observation:

Strategy section's gonna be a bit lighter today, as this card HEAVILY relies on another that I'm sure we'll get tomorrow. Anyway, in exchange for two cards from your hand and one Winged Kuriboh, you can then special summon probably-tomorrow's-card from your hand or deck. It's quick-play, meaning you can spring it on your opponent's turn and the two-card hand cost has big potential for planting cards with grave effects.

Trivia Observation:

Transcendent Wings was originally printed in the TCG set, Cybernetic Revolution as both a Rare and Ultimate Rare. It debuted in the GX anime with Episode 4 where it was gifted from Ms. Dorothy to Jaden in time to help him save his skin in a duel against Chazz Princeton. It made a few appearances in later GX episodes as well.

Personal Observation:

Called it! Think I know EXACTLY what awaits us in those last two boxes.

We're winding down, so don't miss the final two installments of Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel - DAY 21!

Feliz Navidad and hello again from Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel, a little series about trading cards that's going by WAY faster than it seems like it would. Guess that's what a late Thanksgiving gets ya.

Day 21! (Which is also the last door on this side of the Calendar!)

Had a feeling we'd be getting this one today after we got the flute! It's Jaden Yuki's spirit partner, Winged Kuriboh! (Winky variant!)

General Observation:

Winged Kuriboh is really the first on-the-frontline kinda Kuriboh ever printed. If he's destroyed while on the field and sent to the graveyard (either through battle or an effect), you take absolutely no damage for the rest of the turn. This makes him great for stalling and defense. (Especially when called directly to the field by the flute from yesterday.) Plus, combine him with two specific cards (which may or may not show up tomorrow and the next day if that feeling I had continues to be accurate) to increase his versatility further.

Trivia Observation:

Winged Kuriboh was first printed in the premiere GX era TCG set, The Lost Millennium. However, this winky version was initially offered as a promo card included with the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Duel Academy Gameboy Advance game. 

His anime debut was, of course, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX where he became Jaden's partner from the very first episode through all four seasons thanks to a little introduction from the King of Games. (He also backed Jaden up in the GX manga where his backstory was given an Ancient Egyptian twist.) Despite being Jaden's primary duel spirit friend, though, the only appearance he made in the Bonds Beyond Time movie was a cameo on the art of The Flute of Summoning Kuriboh. (Guess between Banner and Yubel, Jaden had enough spiritual intervention for one movie.)

Personal Observation:

Yep, my feeling from yesterday was right on the money! (Also figured they'd save him for towards the end since his winky variant was one of the most highly-advertised inclusions in this set through both press releases and him fronting one side of the box.) Now to see if the next two days play out like I think they will! (With a Spell Card and another LV Monster.)

Winged Kuriboh's gotta fly, but come back tomorrow to see if there are more feathers on Day 22 of Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel!

Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel - DAY 20!

Mele kalikimaka and welcome back to Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel, a thing I've been doing to combine my loves of Christmas and Yu-Gi-Oh! through the magic of card game mumbo jumbo technobabble.

The big 2-0! We only have FOUR days of this left!

Day 20 has brought us a song, courtesy of The Flute of Summoning Kuriboh!

General Observation:

The Flute of Summoning Kuriboh is a quick-play Spell Card that allows you to bring either a basic Kuriboh or a Winged Kuriboh to either your hand or field. This allows you to easily set up for activating either of their effects depending on which one you choose to bring out, and thanks to this, the flute is an ideal defensive card. (You could also combo this card with Detonate on your opponent's turn and make whatever card they were about to use blow up in their face.)

Trivia Observation:

The first English-printed version of the flute was actually a promo card from a 2006 McDonald's Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Happy Meal. It was then given a mass release years later in Legendary Collection 2.

The card made its anime debut in Episode 46 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX as a part of Jaden Yuki's deck and went on to make several more appearances. (Including in Bonds Beyond Time where it was used by Jaden to bring Yugi's Kuriboh to his hand so he could discard it to negate incoming damage.) Yu-Gi-Oh! diehards will know that this wasn't the first Spell to include "The Flute of Summoning" in its name, as Lord of D. had a bit of experience tooting his own horn.

Personal Observation:

Another I blanked on that I should've figured would be a part of this! (Depending on what card we get tomorrow, I might have a guess as to how the rest of this is gonna play out.)

The flute is going silent, but come back tomorrow for another Kuriboh's tune on Astral's Advent Observations: The Kuriquel!