Friday, June 27, 2008

Adventures of Tomo: Day 3

After a long night including a late-night visit to the animal hospital for a cold our new kitten Tomo woke up full of energy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

D’Anjou pear

My first fruit review, and what a fruit it is!  Yes, the pear, often overlooked I fear, but worthy of esteem regardless.  Before my dissertation and critique, let’s learn a little about the D’Anjou, shall we?

The D’Anjou, or Beurré d'Anjou, as its referred to in some select snobby circles, is of European origin, first showing up in either Belgium or central France, nobody knows for sure, but it’s a matter being argued by absolutely nobody.  There’s a Red variety, too, but for this review, I’ll be focusing on the delightful Green Anjou.

After taking your first bite, you’ll be thrilled with the fruit’s white flesh, it’s incredibly juicy, sweet, aromatic, and that’s coupled with the slightly crunchy texture itself creating a wonderful treat.  I find, personally, pears more enjoyable overall than eating an average, everyday apple.  No disrespect to apples, as they’ll get their due on this site one day, but for me, the enjoyment of devouring a pear is unparalleled.  Just conjuring the tastes and juiciness of a D’Anjou instantly makes me salivate.  For those with a penchant for eating unhealthily, you’re not left out entirely, as Jelly Belly uses D’Anjour purée in the crafting of their Juicy Pear flavor jellybean.  So, next time your out at the local market, why don’t you swing by the produce department, send them my regards, and pick yourself up a couple D’Anjou pears to enjoy yourself.

Overall Grade: A- 

Strawberry Gatorade

I’d never seen the flavor Strawberry before in regular-sized bottles, but discovered it as part of a giant pack containing 24 bottles total of three different flavors (Berry and Grape being its brothers) in 12 oz bottles.  In the market of strawberry-related drinks there’s not a lot of strong, legitimate competition, outside of artificially sweetened juices where the combination of strawberries and either banana or kiwi is king, or Strawberry Crush, by far the leading purveyor of strawberry in soda form.  In candy strawberry was always the bridesmaid, never the bride, in that it always played second fiddle to cherry.  A lot of candies that offered both flavors usually let cherry keep its true color of red in candy form, but relegated strawberry to pink status, something akin to a black eye in the fruit community surely.

In terms of taste, like most all Gatorade beverages it goes down easy, but I noticed it appeared to me to be a bit more on the sweeter side than many of its brethren.  The strong sense of sweetness might also lend to the fact texturally it seems a little thicker than some of your water-based drinks.  At 90 calories per bottle your not going to feel too guilty about downing one, but I’ve found for food accompaniment I usually need two of these smaller sized bottles to do the trick, and I can’t see it being enough liquid to properly hydrate oneself after a reasonable workout either.

While thus far I’ve yet to find a Gatorade flavor I actively dislike, I can’t say I’d place Strawberry very high on my list of favorites.  While my personal tastes run the gamut of colors and flavors, for the average person if you prefer less exotic choices and like to keep it simple and safe with a red option, Fruit Punch is a longstanding popular flavor, and there’s other delicious choices available like the X-Factor Fruit Punch + Berry hybrid.

Overall Grade: C+ 

On the Road w/ RtW - West Chester, OH

This never before released episode was supposed to be posted on the website last Christmas, however, due to circumstances beyond our control, it never saw the light of day ... until now!

In the final episode of the first season, the OTR crew visits the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester, Ohio. We check out the Voice of America park and plaza, Keehner Park, and other cool places of interest. We apologize in advance for the audio problems as we didn't realize how bad the wind was until editing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

On the Road w/ RtW - Middletown, OH

This is our first ever "On the Road" episode that chronicles the city of Middletown, OH. We explored the Towne Mall, an old neighborhood, Smith Park and the surrounding area, and the historic downtown.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

International Drink Reviews at Club Cool

Located inside Walt Disney World’s Epcot, Club Cool (sponsored by beverage behemoth Coca-Cola) is an awesome little overlooked attraction that allows park guests the complimentary opportunity to sample beverages from around the world.  I’ve visited every time on each of my visits to Florida, as it’s a nice getaway to cool off, as well as try unique drinks you can’t find in your own country, let alone the local supermarket!

There’s turnstiles set up with several soda fountains on each, as well as cup dispensers so you can try as many and as much as you desire.  There’s usually a handful of people browsing or sipping away contentedly, but I’ve never encountered anything resembling an actual line formed.

There’s many different drinks to try, ranging from the weird (Japan’s VegitaBeta) to wonderful (Mexico’s Lift Apple).  On this particular visit, and for the purposes of my video review, I tried an old favorite from past visits (a coke/orange hybrid titled Mezzo Mix from Germany) and a brand new flavor I’d never seen (Smart Watermelon from China).

Watch above as I sample and critique two beverages at Coca-Cola’s awesome Club Cool.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On the Road w/ RtW - Loveland, OH

Our fourth episode chronicles the small town of Loveland, OH. In this video, we focus mainly on the historic downtown area but there are some other stops along the way. Special thanks to Tim Chesnut for helping with the editing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Maruchan Ramen – Picante Chicken

Ramen is well known as a college delicacy, being that you can usually score a pack for two dimes, its quick and simple to make, and did I mention it was really cheap?  When I was a kid, not aware of all the hoopla that surrounds the mythical Ramen, my mother would serve me some every so often and it seemed innocent enough.  Now, the traditional and easiest to find flavors like Beef are almost impossible for me to fathom eating—I’ve suffered severe and possibly fatal burnout.  That’s where Picante Chicken comes in, a decidedly different twist on the familiar formula.

Bonus points for festive packaging, Maruchan delivers big, with a border that calls to mind piñata pummeling days of yesteryear, and a package front complete with red chilies and a decadent dose of south of the border style.

Ramen is meant to be eaten as a noodle soup, but years ago I created my own signature method of cooking Ramen, with the desired result being something more akin to lo mein noodles.  The picture on the top shows what the package decrees as the perfect time to plop your dinner into a bowl, but on the bottom, you’ll see if you cook them an additional few minutes, keeping an eye as the broth boils away that your noodles don’t stick, my original voice in Ramen.

Dinner’s served!  The package that contains your seasoning also has some red pepper bits mingled in that serve as a mighty flavorful boost.  While most Ramen flavors generally taste pretty similar, Picante Chicken reminds me almost of Spanish rice, and that notable difference helps set it about from its noodle brethren.  While not a self-sufficient standalone meal, I think it’d make a decent accompaniment to a fuller meal.  If you’re leaning on the fence about trying Ramen, especially a new and bold flavor, just dig into your sofa for some spare change and that’s really all you have to lose.

Overall Grade: C+ 

Freestyle Walking Club videos

FSW Club Video #20 - "The history of the world is lost in silence." (Length - 3:11) - December 10, 2006 
We know, we know, it’s been awhile!  Well, after two months of inactivity, we’re back with another delicious video for your visual receptors to indulge in.  This video’s also noteworthy as it’s the first one shot almost exclusively at night.  There’s a nice collection of sick air, tricks, and stalls – so, what are you waiting for?  Watch it multiple times for recommended enjoyment.

FSW Club Video #19 - "What do we do?" (Length - 2:57) - September 24 2006 
Brian and Nick were enjoying a nice, relaxing, peaceful nature walk – of course, inspiration struck, and an impromptu freestyle walking session was thus born.  Feast your eyes on gnarly tricks amongst the wilderness, in this short, albeit satisfying sample of tasty footage.  Also, Brian’s rocking an old school flannel, which should up the awesomeness quota a couple notches.

FSW Club Video #18 - "I remember how hard it was growing up among people and places I loved." (Length - 6:25) - September 15 2006 
This video depicts an intense downtown session that’s gritty, dirty, bloody, and ultimately, one of our craziest yet.  Witness our first-ever rooftop gaps, terrorizing government property including construction equipment and the county jail, a tantalizing touch of parkour, flesh wounds for orange soda, and wicked air.

FSW Club Video #17 - "A group of people who miss the same imaginary place." (Length - 9:11) - August 24, 2006 
This video is absolutely awesome and essential for three reasons: 1) It features the sickest wipeout in our club’s history 2) It’s our first video that ever utilizes footage shot from two simultaneously shooting cameramen 3) We briefly introduce elements of parkour for the first time.  We think you’ll dig it.

FSW Club Video #16 - "Did you know there's a guy living in our closet?" (Length - 9:15) - August 4 and August 8, 2006 
In our longest video ever, we step up our game yet again, evolving the sport of Freestyle Walking, as we’re so totally prone to do.  Containing footage from several sessions, including stuff shot at a parking lot, schoolyard, cemetary, playground, and other locales.  This session was so severe, in fact, that local police actually showed up during the process of filming and tried to prematurely end it themselves.

FSW Club Video #15 - "There's only one instant, and it's right now. And it's eternity" (Length - 6:36) - July 28, 2006 
While it’s arguable if it’s our best session to date, there’s definitely no denying that it’s our most ballsy!  We ventured to our old high school (which we hadn’t seen in over 5 years) and Main St. (a section of our hometown we’d never walked prior) and tore up terrain with one of the most intense freestyle walking sessions to date.

FSW Club Video #14 - Free Apple Pie (Length - 4:03) - July 23, 2006 
This was sort of an impromptu practice session in downtown Hamilton, OH.  It’s also significant in that it’s the first video that doesn’t feature mainstay Nick; however, it does feature relative newcomer Jessie, as well as the debuting Steve whom is a longtime member but new to our website audience.  There are some tasty tricks, spills, doubles, and comedy in this one.  We recommend you watch it minus pants.

FSW Club Video #13 - "Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle-K" (Length - 6:26) - July 19, 2006 
Our latest video, shot at a multitude of vicinities including parks and urban wastelands, is undoubtedly one of the best yet.  Albeit battling blazing temperatures and temperamental police, we persevered – delivering a fast-paced highlight reel of awesome freestyle walking footage.  We urge you to indulge!

FSW Club Video #12 - "Relax... It's Just AIDS" (Length - 2:37) - July 5, 2006 
This is a shorter video featuring walking mainstays Brian and Nick, as well as the returning member Manda and the debuting Jesse.  There’s some sick doubles, gaps, outrageous air, innovation, and pure craziness on display; essentially the freestyle walking equivalent of a Human Torch/Invisible Woman sex tape – which is to say its extremely hot.

FSW Club Video #11 - Too Much Sex, Not Enough Love (Length - 5:28) - June 14, 2006 
This video is sincerely one of our best ever, featuring quality footage from a couple sessions in a town totally foreign to us named Waynesville, Ohio, that is apparently the “Antique Capital of the Midwest” or some such tomfoolery.  We invaded their modest downtown area, and tore up terrain at nearby Caesar Creek State Park.  Keep an eye out for some of the most explosive clips ever, including Brian getting air off of a business’ roof while they were open, getting tricky in a lake in our underwear, and more.

FSW Club Video #10 - Walk Or Die (Length - 5:41) - June 7, 2006 
We’re starting a new trend of titling our videos to give them individual personas – our first video got dubbed “Walk Or Die” after a motto we’ve recently incorporated into our club’s vocabulary.  This video features some awesome freestyle walking at a baseball diamond, playground, upscale shopping plaza, and more.  So, kick back and indulge in the highest quality freestyle walking footage on the planet!

FSW Club Video #9 (Length - 6:35) - May 24, 2006 
This is definitely our greenest video yet – and by that, I mean there’s tons of outdoors footage!  We take freestyle walking to new levels in the middle of a forest, a park, a BMX track, hell, we even jump out of a couple of trees!  This is a fun video, the first that truly captures the spirit of summer; a great glimpse of what the following months has to offer.

FSW Club Video #8 (Length - 3:01) - May 31, 2006 
This mini-move features footage shot on a sweltering hot day in sunny Hamilton, OH; as well as some bonus footage, captured on two separates dates by members Manda and Brian in Cincinnati and Oxford, OH.  There are a lot of highlights, including lots of insane air at a baseball park and some playground pandemonium.

FSW Club Video #7 (Length - 6:27) - May 17, 2006 
This video features intensive freestyle walking sessions in Sharonville and Evendale, Ohio.  It was a beautiful day and we captured some of our best footage thus far at a park, construction site, indoor fun center, abandon government property, cemetery, and more.  Please feel free to watch this video repeatedly to entirely soak in the awesomeness therein.

FSW Club Video #6 (Length - 6:43) - May 10, 2006 
It was a rainy day but that didn’t stop us from filming our most entertaining video yet.  Featuring freestyle walking and a lot of other randomness, this is assuredly our most unconventional video thus far.  We shot footage at a dollar store, grocery and mall in Forest Park; then tore it up at a park in Fairfield in the rain.

FSW Club Video #5 (Length - 6:22) - May 3, 2006 
This six-minute video is full of highlights from our strongest session yet, mostly filmed in beautiful Loveland, OH.  In terms of the quality of the freestyle walking itself, this is definitely our best showcase yet – featuring a lot of innovative stuff including some brand-new moves, incredible doubles action, private property trespassing, and much more.

FSW Club Video #4 (Length - 3:41) - April 26, 2006 
This is by far the craziest video yet – featuring some intense freestyle walking in a toy store, video arcade, and shopping mall!  We were just looking to get into trouble on this day, in what ultimately is our most fun video thus far.  We had various security personal and employees after us during the filming of several scenes, but that didn’t dissuade us from doing what we do best – walking.

FSW Club Video #3 (Length - 2:47) - April 20, 2006 
This video is the definition of a downtown inner-city freestyle walking sessions.  It’s gritty, industrial, crumbling, chaotic, caustic, dirty, and fiercer than that case of crabs you got from that prostitute outside of Pittsburgh.  This is the blueprint for taking freestyle walking anywhere and everywhere – don’t be afraid to broaden your horizons.  We went to the nastiest parts of Hamilton, OH and walked the hell out of them – bravo us.

FSW Club Video #2 (Length - 6:00) - April 29, 2006 
This video is packed with all kinds of highlights, wipeouts, and random awesomeness.  It also features the debut of the first female freestyle walker to ever join our illustrious club.  We step up our game have a couple amazing sessions at a local elementary school, shopping mall, and park.  This is our longest video yet – editing it was a lot of fun, and we all had a blast participating in its creation.  If you dig freestyle walking, you’ll definitely dig this video.

FSW Club Video #1 (Length - 4:05) - April 19, 2006 
We wanted to do an ode to our hometown of Hamilton, Ohio for the first-ever video.  Members Nick and Brian tear up terrain in a major way in this awesome video.  We stumbled upon an abandoned hospital, got in trouble in a department store, and Brian even was bored enough to grab some clips on campus.

FSW Club Preview Movie (Length - 2:00) - March 29 and April 12, 2006 
This video was a preview we put up while were working on building the actual website that now exists.  For about a month, this was a sample taste for fans compiled from footage of two sessions.  There’s stuff from several different cities and environments on here; ranging from parks to sporting goods stores, and much more. This is a great glimpse of what to expect from future videos.


FSW Club - Old School #3 - (Length - 4:47) - November 11, 2002 
This is a third in a series of "old school" FSW Club videos from seven years ago (and beyond!).

FSW Club - Old School #2 - (Length - 9:49) - October 23, 2002 
This is a second in a series of "old school" FSW Club videos from seven years ago (and beyond!).

FSW Club - Old School #1 - (Length - 9:54) - October 23, 2002 
This is a first in a series of "old school" FSW Club videos from seven years ago (and beyond!).  Unlike videos #1 - #20 I didn't include edited in music over these older highlights, leaving the original, unedited audio intact to better preserve the heritage of the original Freestyle Walking Club.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Old Time Pottery (Forest Park, OH)

Why do I love Old Time Pottery?  My answer is the sheer immensity of it.  Don’t mistake that adoration for thinking that every large, unassuming building where commerce takes place is particularly special.  Take Wal-Mart for example—definitely not special.  Wal-Mart stores are generally huge, but you don’t usually find yourself basking in the immensity of it all; no, instead, most people generally feel a sense of guilt while there, knowing they’re supporting a giant conglomerate that’s running smaller businesses out of our economy at staggering rates.  The layout at Wal-Mart, while efficient for the everyday shopper, is bland and without much merit.  At Old Time Pottery, in the amount of space Wal-Mart would fit four boring aisles of brand name product, they’ve squeezed in sixteen, each one completely different and unrelated to the last, in a staggering display of material goods.  Don’t believe me?  The rest of this article will prove my case in visual form.

Walking around Old Time Pottery is like exploring the mazes in Labyrinth, it’s both puzzling and exciting, and you may even encounter a creature.  Shelves are over packed and reach into the heavens, making me feel like I’m in a giant library the that would be welcomed by Bastian from The Neverending Story.

Aisles upon aisles of floral goods are on display near the front of the store.  It’s bright, gaudy, and wonderful.

Near the back of the store is this staggering display of trunks, rugs, and enough decorative pillows to make a small army feel both comfortable and fabulous.

Probably my favorite section of the store is an outside area, populated mostly by stuff like the thousands of different pots seen in the above picture.  I’ve always liked it when stores had an outdoor area; growing up my local K-Mart had a section outside attached to the store where they sold gardening stuff, etc.  I also enjoy looking out beyond the fence at some land that doesn’t see too much attention.

Here’s another interesting visual courtesy of the outdoor area—a bunch of rusting tables and metalwork.

To the left is an aisle I’d never seen before, containing a bunch of plastic kitchen goods, and to the right, an immense and colorful collection of candles.  I’m partial to the sea green ones.

One part of the store you might want to skip on your tour is the restrooms.  What the hell happened here?

My second favorite part of the store is these racks containing a random assortment of music cassettes, old VHS tapes, CDs, etc.  There are more copies of The Matrix Revolutions here than I could count.  You’ll never know what you’ll find, though, and that’s what makes it so fun to pillage through.

Why’s it necessary to have so many plates and dishes?  That’s part of the mystery of this place, but either way, I still feel anxious walking through this aisle because I feel like I’m going to randomly trip and create a cascading quake of porcelain.

Even in a place like this my true loves find me!  Eating a ham sandwich and corn chips while admiring the Green Goblin seems like an excellent way to enjoy lunch as a child.

More randomness abounds as this aisle is stuffed with gobs of wrapping paper and other gift items.  There’s also a bunch of pastel bags to the right, ideal for an Easter egg hunt, or to transport narcotics unassumingly on public transit.

I’ve also always admired the lawn ornaments they have here.  You can usually find some pretty interesting, sometimes disturbing, stuff on display.  While I didn’t find anything too out of the ordinary on this visit, this close-up of some frog pieces is indicative of their usual goods.

The lamp section is just one of many dedicated to solely one item and millions of incarnations and varieties of it.

Hey, I didn’t leave empty-handed!  That’s right, I found a copy of ‘80’s comedic masterpiece Disorderlies starring rap group The Fat Boys on DVD.  Overall, even though its doubtful I’ll ever spend much money on the bulk of stuff this store carries, it’s still fun to occasionally visit and wander around aimlessly through.  In the last several years since I’ve been doing this site I’ve seen many of my favorite stores close, including several of my beloved dollar stores, and I hope Old Time Pottery doesn’t meet a similar fate.  It’s a one of a kind place, plus, where else could I make such appropriate carpet munching jokes?

Overall Grade: B+ 

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Search for Cherry Coke

I’m a huge Cherry Coke fan—always have been and probably will forever be.  But, the suits at Coke took my beloved beverage in a new direction in late 2005.  Ditching the old, iconic name for the more streamlined Coca-Cola Cherry.  Granted, it still tastes the same, however, the new marketing campaigns, logo, and overall design aren’t blowing my skirt up.  Sure, some design major came up with a fresh take on a contemporary new look, and while the new purple-heavy design is admittedly sleek and snazzy, it’s just not the same.  What hurts the most is the name change, as Coca-Cola Cherry doesn’t have the same ring or nostalgic edge built-in like Cherry Coke.

While down at Walt Disney World last month I thought I’d found what I felt was taken away so cruelly from me… honest to goodness Cherry Coke!

Watch the video and join me on an adventure as I try to hunt down the elusive last remnants of Cherry Coke.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Kellogg’s Animal Planet Wild Animal Crunch

Sometime during my teenage years I lost my appetite for cereal.  It was not a conscious decision on my behalf—it just happened.  Years went by without a single bowl of milky joy.  Even now, with the exception of seasonal favorites like Boo Berry, it’s rare to find any cereal in my immediate vicinity.  But, there it was, a few weeks back, while strolling through the grocery store some adorable seals captured my eye and heart, and subsequently my wallet.  Boxes depicted several different animal themes, such as Safari, but I was convinced that Marine would bring the most to my breakfast.

Another factor that played into the purchase was the simple, small text blurb, part of which said, “vanilla-chocolate whole grain cereal.”  You’re probably thinking big deal, right?  Well, back when The Addams Family was having a revival in popularity due to major motion pictures and marketing madness, a shortly lived cereal baring their name was released.  It was painfully simple; you’ve surely guessed it, just “vanilla-chocolate whole grain cereal.”  But, for whatever reason, I loved the stuff; so much, in fact, that when I couldn’t find it anymore on store shelves I completely freaked out.  So, secretly I had an ulterior motive to eating this, as I hoped it would recapture some of that cereal magic from so long ago.

The cereal itself is far from transcendent; in fact, it’s agonizingly average.  But, like most things, it has pros and cons.  On the negative side, the main thing I’ve got against Kellogg’s is their lack of creativity.  Seriously, take a look above and count how many animals you can pick out from this bowl?  If I tried really hard I could make an argument that one’s a bear on all fours, but for the rest of these, I have no idea what the shapes are hoping to convey.  If I was a child I’d be really confused.

Onto the pros, this cereal is a good source of fiber, the box is made of 100% recycled paperboard, and the back (not pictured) has tons of awesome stuff, like trading cards (including a sea turtle, orca, and dolphin!) and word scrambles.  There’s even a true or false questionnaire, containing brain ticklers like “Sea lions can sleep both in and out of the water.”  Any thing that can distract you from the insipidness of the cereal itself is welcomed.  All and all, I think the merging of animals and cereal is an idea rife with potential, but Kellogg’s delivered blasé instead of brilliance.

Overall Grade: C 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mega Bloks Spider-Man & Friends Training Camp

One of my favorite things about doing this site over the years is the joy that comes when I randomly stumble upon something I deem worthy of review.  Usually when I go out to dollar stores I’m actually aiming on stocking up on cheap crap to write about.  However, sometimes I’ll be out and about, completely oblivious and contentedly so, and end up finding the coolest stuff.  Take the item you see up above, after visiting Kenwood Mall in the Montgomery district of Cincinnati, I decided I’d take the “back way” home, diverting and meandering through random towns, side streets, etc.  Along the way we saw an interesting strip mall in a town I’d only ever passed through a couple times, Deer Park, OH.  I checked out the pet store, not enough exotics for my tastes, of course I stopped in for a visit at their dollar store, definitely didn’t leave empty-handed, but my real treasure awaited me at… T.J. Maxx?  My wife wanted to stop in for some random reason, and if you haven’t ever been in one of these stores, I don’t know if I can really set the scene for you; they specialize in ladies’ clothing, jewelry, handbags, etc.  However, in the corner of their stores is usually a toy aisle, not an extravagant one, but at least something for me to kill my time at.  So, on this particular impromptu visit, that’s where I found the gem above, and here’s the real bonus, it was marked down for the low price of $3!

There’s been a new trend of “cute” toys based upon popular pop culture characters, ranging from comic book and movie heroes, everyone from Colossus to Luke Skywalker now have their own little, adorable, rubber counterpart.  One of the first lines to successfully capitalize on this fad was Spider-Man & Friends, creating child-friendly versions of popular preexisting characters like Captain America and Spider-Girl.

Above is the back of the box, showing both all the individual pieces you’ll get, plus a rough diagram of the playset.

Here are most of the pieces scattered about after I dumped them on my patio.  They’re bright and bulky, and frankly, I couldn’t wait to start building.  I don’t have a lot of prior experience with Mega Bloks.  I’m aware they’ve been embittered in lawsuit hell against LEGO for quite some time now.  Now, say what you will, and I’m certainly a LEGO fan myself, but Mega Bloks do have some awesome license agreements with properties like TMNT, Gundam, Harley-Davidson, and The Walt Disney Company.

Now, before we start building, and there were no proper instructions included mind you, let me first take a moment to introduce you to our pals for the remainder of this article:

Thor: Thanketh for thee opportunity thine Lord of thine Spiders.  It will be a privilege to workith on my skills at your new “Training Camp.”

Spider-Man: Umm, yeah, about that… don’t mention it.  Reed Richards was too busy tinkering in his lab on some new particle generator stabilizer or decoding an alien language to accept my invite.  So, knock yourself out helmet hair.

Here’s my crudely constructed Training Camp based off the visual on the back of the back.  Admittedly, mine wasn’t quite up to par, the platform leaned to left and I must have not been pushing in my pieces hard enough as they’d easily fall apart upon touch.  Still, I think it looks pretty cool, I was a sucker for playsets as a kid, and albeit simple, even this one has some neat playability options.  The rock climbing wall, spider web trampoline, and zip glider are all irredeemably awesome.

Here’s a shot showcasing the toys being used as they’re intended to, and that’s simply to have fun with!   I think it’s a great little set, and especially a value at the sales markdown price I scored it at.  I plan on dropping it off for my nephew the next time I visit my brother.  Although, I wonder if it’s weak construction will hold up and withstand the punishment of a reckless toddler?  It might actually be a good idea to permanently glue your pieces in the formation of your choosing, as I had trouble getting my edifice to stay together.

Thor: Woohoo!  Now this is fun!  The only thing I can think of I’d rather be doing would be hitting your girl Mary Jane with my mighty hammer… and I’m not talking about Mjolnir!

Spider-Man: “Oh, look at me, I’m Thor, a God of Asgard and big jerk.  I’ve been fighting Loki for 50 years and still haven’t gotten the job done.  I’ve got wings on my stupid helmet because I’m a big dummy.”

Watch the video above to see the thrilling conclusion of a day at Training Camp with Thor and Spider-Man.

Overall Grade: A-