Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Palmer Real Fishing Tackle Box candy

I was at Toys 'R Us a few days after Christmas walking around, looking for random oddities and items left after the seasonal rush.  The section I was most curious in was the candy portion of their sale items.  There wasn't much left, but I did stumble upon this little gem.  Imagine to my surprise and total chagrin the feeling that swept over me when I stumbled upon this artificially flavored trophy.  A candy tackle box!  These are the types of bad ideas that are golden in the annals of candy lore and tale.  It was either this, or chocolate Nascar cars, and I had to choose the lesser of two evils.

When looking a little closer at the packaging we can gather some more information.  I recognize the name Palmer, if I remember correctly, I used to see their name popping up on a lot of the Easter candy I received in my youth.  "Fun gift for any fisherman" it proudly states, although, I'm sure if you gave this to some random outdoorsman he'd probably chuckle, toss it aside, and invite you into his cabin for catfish and stories of hunting glory and inebriated slumber parties with girl sororities.  Or, maybe not...

Here you get a closer look at the goods inside.  I have to give them the nod on presentation, regardless of if the candy is any good or not, it certainly looks presentable.

I figured we'd start off with the "gummy bait".  I mean, it's your standard traditional gummyworm, what could they do to screw that up?  Well, this is a staple in any and all candy tackle box kits, but that aside, these particular gummyworms were the stalest and hardest I've ever attempted eating.

I couldn't finish the one I tried to eat, so I gave the other one to my neice whom after one bite put the "bait" down and quietly walked out of the room.

Here's the "double crisp sinkers".  They really sucked.

Upon closer inspection, my "sinker" looks more like a chocolate morbid mix between a football, seashell, taco, and elephant vagina.  Waiter, check please!

Alright, here's the saving grace of this ridiculous tackle box fiasco.  These were good.  Kind of like Swedish fish, the somewhat well known gummi fish ingested by theatre patrons for many years, but not quite as good.  I had the purple variety and was surprised to finally find an edible entry.  That does lead me to a minor problem, however.  What's with the colors?  I mean, if we're working on any level of realism here, which, I thought we might be considering the detail in some of the other items, why in the hell are there purple and yellow miniature fish along with these other fishing accessories?

We now venture from the slightly gross to pure abominations.  These little guys are known as "fudge filled bobbers".

They looked similar to the popular and ultra yummy Nestle Wonderball, but, failed to measure up in any way whatsoever.  The fudge filling was more reminiscent of fish guts, or maybe just nasty chocolate fudge, actually it was closer to the latter but I thought the first summary was funnier.

And what tackle box would be complete without... frogs?

This is what a one of the aforementioned frogs looks like half-eaten.  As you can probably assume, I wasn't thrilled.  I guess I just don't find really old gummy amphibians very palatable.

After everything was said and done, I guess we can all sleep easier at night knowing that somewhere out there exists a "real" tackle box filled with really, really bad candy.  I know I plan on bringing mine on my next fishing outing.

Overall Grade: C+ 

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Graeter’s (Springdale, OH)

Graeter’s is a local ice cream legend… or something like that.  A year ago or so, this particular store was completely remodeled and it’s now more spacious.  They have a variety of sweet offerings, from a complete bake shop specializing in birthday cakes, to an ice creamery and soda fountain.

My ex-girlfriend got one scoop of cinnamon and one scoop of pumpkin, which was certainly a unique and flavorful route to go.  I opted for the mint chocolate.  One thing Graeter’s is known for is their chocolate chips, which are actually chocolate chunks… massive pieces of dark chocolate substitute for the usual tiny chips you’re accustomed to.  The ice cream here is undeniably good, but I’ve lost a lot of enthusiasm on this place since they redid it… it’s lacking some of the natural charm of the original.  Still, if you were in the Cincinnati area and a fan of ice cream it’d almost be a shame not to try it out.

Overall Grade: B- 

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Boys Over Flowers – Vol. #6 – The Crime and Punishment of a Kiss

I’ll say forthright that this anime is very feminine.  There’s a lot of romantic and love oriented comedic anime out there that’s equally appealing to both sexes, but this one is strongly geared towards females.  In this volume, lead character Tsukushi is torn between two guys, Rui and Tsukasa, who happen to be friends, and mutual members of the F4 (Flower Four), which is a clique of friends who essentially run the local high school.  As always, this volume contains lots of drama.  The bonus features are sparse, a couple tame profiles and illustration sketches.  It’s hard to pick out a demographic to recommend this title to; but, if you’re interested in romantic anime I’d strongly suggest seeking out the series His and Her Circumstances, a wonderfully done anime with a lot more heart, and none of the drivel.

Overall Grade: C+ 

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Michaelangelo Burger King Kids Meal Toy 1989

Back in wonderful 1989 Burger King usurped McDonalds in procuring the rights to use the powerful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license, owned by Mirage Studios.  They used said license to unleash a fury of plastic joy onto all via using the likeliness of T.M.N.T. characters in the form of gifts inside their Kids Meals.

Today I’m going to be taking a look at Michaelangeo’s toy.  First off, it’s ridiculously simple, although you can’t entirely hold that against it due to the fact it’s a run-of-the-mill Kids Meal toy.  The basic gist of the toy’s entertainment value can be summed up almost as quickly as that very entertainment wears off.  It’s Michaelangeo’s upper-torso, and when you push his right arm inwards, it disappears and the word “COWABUNGA” appears over his shoulder.  Sounds great, right?  Wrong.

The mold itself isn’t that bad, but there’s a few obvious flaws.  One, Michaelangeo looks crosseyed.  Secondly, take a look at the chain that holds his nunchakus together.  It’s gold!  I think bling-bling martial arts weapons were a little ahead of their time back then.

Other than that, it’s a pretty cool collectible for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan.  I think, however, that if Burger King wanted to really capitalize on the series, they should have instead made miniature action figures of the characters, opposed to these silly statuesque oddities.

I gave this item a B- practically out of nostalgia factor alone.  As evident by the photos, this is no masterpiece.  But, anything from the 1980's bearing our favorite mutated turtles is worth keeping around.  Cowabunga, indeed!

Overall Grade: B- 

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Bravo! Cucina Italiana (West Chester, OH)

This is a high class Italian restaurant.  A manager at work gave me a coupon for some free food there, so I deemed it as good a time as any to try this place out.  Inside the lighting was dim to give that certain setting, and everything was clean and pleasant.

The complimentary bread was very good; it came with a savory oil to dip it in that was just delectable.  For our appetizer we ordered an eggplant dish, although I’d never really had eggplant prior.  It was scrumptious!  Although pricey, it was certainly high quality… and came with two tasty dipping sauces.  Our entrĂ©e was a barbeque chicken pizza that was divine.  The sauce was sweet and tangy, and the ingredients were fresh. Simply put, this was an awesome pizza.  Overall, we didn’t really get to try a lot of what the menu offered, but of what we sampled I can honestly say it was delicious.  I look forward to going again and trying new entrees in the future.

Overall Grade: A- 

Monday, August 8, 2005

Dragon Hunter – Vol. #4 by Hong Seock Seo

I just sort of took a shot at the Dragon Hunter series, from manga import gods TOKYOPOP, and was left with mild feelings after the first three installments.  In this volume, however, Hong Seock Seo really finds his stride, and his work has improved by leaps and bounds.  This volume is definitely a page-turner; you’ll find yourself inevitably incapable of stopping to take a break.  Action, intrigue, mayhem, and adventure ensues in this part of the ongoing tale of dragon hunter Seur-Chong and his crew.  I’d suggest this series to both avid manga readers, and rookies alike.  The artwork isn’t necessarily gold; but the fast pace holds your interest sufficiently.

Overall Grade: A- 

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Canadian McDonald's Fozzie hockey doll

Well, first off, as you've probably already surmised, I couldn't quite come up with a great description of this item.  But, after some investigative research a few tidbits of information have filled me in more on this mysterious doll.  I got this lovely nugget for $1.00, although my ex-girlfriend swears she's seen one of these before with the hefty price tag of $30.00 attached to it.  What we do know is that this is Fozzie of Jim Henson's Muppets, and, for some reasons unbeknownst to us he's wearing hockey gear.  Now, the Muppets have always been a great thing in many splendid forms, and Fozzie has always been my personal favorite.  I mean, watching Muppet Babies as a youth and seeing Fozzie struggle to get a laugh a dozen times per episode after telling a horrible joke really spoke to me.  I wanted to be the proverbial shoulder to cry on.  Plus, he had that awesome hat with the propeller on it.  Those things rule.  Anyway, NHL allowed their license to be used in this project, too, so it's no smalltime deal.  What I didn't know when purchasing this is that not only was it released from McDonald's in 1995, but also it was from Canada!  Wow, our jolly pals from the chilly North were having all of the "stuffed bears playing ice hockey" fun in '95, while us Americans were busy doing, well, whatever it was we did in '95.

Look at that, Fozzie represents with the custom jersey.  Nice.  Now, if someone made a life-sized replica of this jersey and wore it to school they'd be extremely cool in my book.  Or they'd be viciously beaten and humiliated, whichever suited their personal tastes...

Here's a look at the swank tag that is still attached to the doll.  In both English, and French, baby!

All joking aside, who doesn't love this irresistible face?  I mean, come on, it's Fozzie!  He could be dressed up as a garbage man or a mortician for all I care.

Overall Grade: C+