Groovy Dork List….MOTUC, Magic, Coffee, Pathfinder, Arkham, and MineCraft.

Groovy…I was able to find a massive local source of Masters of the Universe items!  A dude at the Barnyard Flea-market sells them.  Workable on the price (I AM a cheapskate, remember!), and also a knowledgeable and enthusiastic fan.  I will be reviewing the three items I picked up today soon!

Dork…The problem finally appeared.  Snout Spout has a crack in his trunk.  The trunk is apparently made of blue foam-rubber.  😦

Groovy…I am Back-in-Black!  I am playing Mono-black devotion as my current for Magic: the Gathering strategy!  Just keep putting black permanents out, get that devotion ramped up, and then slam the opponent with a Grey Merchant of Asphodel.  And unless they cancel the Merchant, there is little they can do.  The fine folk at the Tangled Web were ready to trade the other day.  I scored a few more Nightveil Spectors, which I really, really needed, and a Desecration Demon as well!  Readers of this blog will know that my color is black.  I have recently been playing other colors, but it seems the old dark evil ways are returning!

Dork…Don’t get me wrong…I had a blast, but I would play someone, anyone really, for almost 45 minutes.  And then somehow lose…I would disrupt their strategies over and over, only to be trumped eventually.  You can only run Four gray merchants!

Groovy…In the same vein…The Born of the Gods set looks amazing!  I can’t wait to see what else they reveal.  I have preordered a box, and me and my two boys are going to play in the sealed deck pre-release.  I already see cards with promise for the Fencing Ace deck, and for the black devotion deck.  The inspired mechanic sounds interesting, and Mogis, God of the Slaughter is going to be crazy!

Dork…They haven’t released a new challenge deck  😦  The Hydra has been a blast!

Groovy…The Keurig Vue system is wonderful!  This machine makes not only coffee, but cafe drinks and iced tea!  Most everything I have tried tastes great!

Dork…(semi-dork, I guess)…Those Vue cups cost a bunch.  BUT, I am subscribed to the Cafe Express Savings Club, that basically means I only pay half for the Vue cups.

Groovy…I am now a Dungeon Master…I mean Game Master.  Me and the SpartanSmurfs, and even the SpartanWife have been playing Pathfinder.  This is our first taste of this kind of gaming.  I don’t know what I think about it yet.  I like being the game master.  But I don’t always feel like it.  These games tend to run over an hour.  Also, the SpartanSmurfs are too easily killed off.  I have to be careful not to off them unintentionally.  This has already happened three times.  The first time I considered it a real death, to try and send them a message.  I didn’t like it, though.  So I have been inserting lucky saves into the game.

Dork…I have a pretty good imagination, and can flesh out the Pathfinder world pretty good for the boys.  But they on the other hand tend to just want to battle constantly, rather than take in their world.

Groovy…I have been playing Batman: Arkham Asylum again.  That game is terrific!  I especially like taking out the armed thugs!  That is a lot of fun.

Dork…I don’t get MineCraft.  I played it.  I just don’t get it.

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SpartanNerd Review…G.I. Joe figures from Dollar General…Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander

Here at the edge of the world, we don’t have too many stores.  At one time, there were more, and then the apocalypse happened, and almost everything moved out.  And then Dollar General Market came in and filled the void.

I visit this store almost everyday, and saw these on the pegs right around Thanksgiving.  But I refrained from purchasing them.  I don’t collect G.I. Joes, and the SpartanSmurf’s have a history of owning them but not playing with them.  I admit that I was tempted, though.  I have never owned as awesome a Cobra Commander as they had on the shelf.  Furthermore, the figures seem to be painted in 1980’s generation 1 cartoon colors, and they were on sale for only $6.00.  (The cheapskate in me screams…”What a deal!  G.I. Joes are running almost as much as $15.00 at department stores!”)

So after Christmas, these were still hanging on the shelf…And the SpartanSmurfs had some money they were itching to spend…so where did I kind of point them???

Only one taker.  SpartanSmurf #2.  He is fond of Snake Eyes (and Ninjas in general), and thought Cobra Commander was cool also.  They also had a Duke, who looked nothing like Duke.  So neither one of us was interested.  (See…He takes after his old man!)

Here are some pics and a review, followed by some comments and a rating!  (I promise I took a pic of the box.  But somehow that is nowhere to be found?  The box is a window, prominently featuring the G.I. Joe branding, and on the back showcases six total figures from the line, but all painted in different colors than seen at the Dollar General Market.  You’ll just have to take my word for it I suppose. The only figures we saw were the ones mentioned here.)

Snake Eyes.  CLASSIC!
Cobra Commander.  CLASSIC!  This staff is also a sword.
Cobra Commander and his accessories.

Snake eyes and his accessories.
He’s holding a pistol.

A battle pose, by SparnanSmurf #2!

Thoughts on these figures.

“‘Ow Be-zar!”  (Spoken in that dreadnok voice).  The marketing strategy here is…..I guess maybe some kid will come through with his weekly allowance, or maybe will come through with his mom and ask for this, and it is certainly reasonable as an impulse buy.  On the other hand, it seems it should appeal to people like me, more nostalgic types who have that 1980’s childhood aesthetic sense about them, who would see them and recognize them on account of their paint job.
These figures are excellent.  Cobra Commander especially.  (I am more fond of the all black suited Snake Eyes rather than the early versions.)  Cobra Commander’s eyes could be shoddily done, but they are not.  The work is clearly good.  And you get a stand!  (I am not sure, but don’t most Joes come with a stand nowadays?)
The only difference in these and what I might find at say, Target, are the accessories.  They seem a little scant.  But hey.  It’s a $6.00 G.I. Joe!  So I guess the corners had to be cut somewhere!

My rating?  I am going to say 4.5/5, taking off a point only because there aren’t many accessories.  Other figures at Dollar General seem to have the same trend though, for instance the Marvel characters they have on the pegs have no accessories.  So I guess these guys are better than them!  But still, it isn’t a full on G.I. Joe experience without the backpacks, extra guns, knives, swords, etc.   And I also wish the back of the box had a bio of the characters, (like in the old days!)  Anyone disagree with my 4.5, let me know!

New installment…."10 PRINT TOP TEN LIST"

Why would I call m top ten list something so strange?

If you were a real nerd, then you would know that in BASIC computer programming and its relatives, you often number the lines of code…usually starting with a number ten, and then skipping by 10s to 20, 30, etc.  And about the simplest thing you can do is make the computer say something, really just about anything. In BASIC the code would be

10 PRINT “The SpartanNerd is Awesome.”

20 PRINT “Oh Hub City Geeks, if only you were as nerdy as that chosen one.”

30 PRINT “Even if he is a cheapskate.”

The output would be (Probably in green on a black screen…incapable of other colors)

The SpartanNerd is Awsome.
Oh Hub City Geeks, if only you were as nerdy as that chosen one.
Even if he is a cheapskate.

The number lines are perfect for my idea of a top ten list…you skip all those numbers so that there is room to improve or add to the code.  And I rarely feel like a Top Ten list is perfect.  So I am leaving some wiggle room, in a nerdy kinda way.

Hope you get it!

Next post, my first 10 PRINT TOP TEN LIST !

SpartanNerd Sundays…Faith and Mulligans

Ephesians 6:10-18- The Armor of God

My favorite style of Magic The Gathering play is called “constructed”.  I like either “standard” or “modern”. But Legacy and Vintage are beyond me (I’m a cheapskate, remember?).   And I am not good at limited and drafting….

So, you load up a constructed deck…   Maybe 25 lands and your favorite 35 other cards.  And play!
You are putting your faith in what you put in the deck, right?  You know there is nothing there that you didn’t provide ahead of time.  You know that there are no red cards if you are playing black and white.  You know there are four Fencing Aces double striking the truth…You put them there!

I generally mulligan….draw six different cards after the first draw…when I have no land or nothing worthy to play.   Here’s the devotional bit….if I have 5 lands in hand, what are the odds of Mana flood?  I have faith that there is NO WAY the next three turns are going to be all land….I mean, it could happen…(this IS a card game) But probably not.

Does that make sense?   Statistically the odds are in that favor.  
This principle runs truer than true with the Mazes End strategy, where you might just run three copies of each guild gate…If one Dimir Guildgate is out, and the other was milled…guess what…You know you have one more!  You hold Three Boros guild gates?  You need not worry about losing them, and furthermore you know you will be drawing something different each turn.

What does this have to do with anything?

Your deck, ahem, “library” in Magic is like your Christian testimony.  When the old devil tries to vex you away from the truth, you can think back on your life and say to him…”I remember when Jesus did this in my life, or did that in my life.”  It is called “The Shield of Faith.”  You can use it to protect yourself against the fiery arrows of Satan!  You can rely on the things God has provided in you!  You can have those experiences…that spiritual growth…always in mind.

But you have to keep your faith in those things.  The Bible says you have to “Take Up” that shield of faith!  Then swing that sword of truth!

Comment?  Let me know!  I’m waiting on some blog subscribers.  Subscribe people!  You won’t be sorry!

The Value of Nerd Stuff…Specifically "Why Do Lego MiniFigures Cost So Much?"

Today I am going to rant about something.  Everyone who reads this blog knows that I am a cheapskate.  This post might sound like “get off my lawn.”  But I feel strongly about this, and have put alot of thought into it.  I have to teach my children about the value of money, and so when they read this, maybe they’ll get it too.

I am specifically ranting about the amount of money that Lego MiniFigs are going for nowadays.  My question is, Why?

(I should say that these pictures come from places that I will not disclose, on the web and in person)

Here is a MODEST example.

WHY PEOPLE?  THIS IS INSANITY!  These guys are zany and off the wall.  Who is the scientist?  Why would you pay $29.99 for a generic scientist?  Why would you buy any of these guys.  These are the kind you should get in a starter kit and give to an 8 year old.  The kit should cost about $10, and contain about 100 primary colored bricks of assorted sizes and shapes.
Here’s another, more specific and crazy one.

OF COURSE I am a Star Wars fan.  I unashamedly identify with Anakin/ Vader.  I also think the LEGO Star Wars video games are fun, and enjoy the cuteness of them as well.  But I think this much money for a mini-fig is ridiculous.

Remember, we are talking about something about the size of a quarter, made out of plastic.

The Mystery Pack here seems reasonable enough.  This kind of thing is popular nowadays.  But you don’t know what you are getting…And I happen to know, that these guys tend to be rather generic.  (I know this is a pic of the HALO MEGA BLOCKS mystery pack price..But both are the same price, I checked.  At least with Halo, you know you are getting something Halo.)  $2.97…You can get a happy meal for this price, and get food AND a better toy.

Now, I don’t think the Mystery Pack is entirely overpriced…It’s just not my kind of thing.  Magic The Gathering Booster Packs operate the same way…More about them later in the post.

Am I alone in this?

Here are some things to compare for discussion of value.

You get a decent set, and three well known characters.  Good deal!  Maybe a good birthday present.
You get a pretty big set…and four mini-figs.  This is OK. IMHO.  Maybe a good Christmas present.
This one is labeled FINAL BATTLE.  Looks like Ninjago is coming to an end.  You get a 100+ piece set, with two mini-figures.  This seems like the best value on this page, as far as Lego is concerned.  Furthermore, the boys can build this set themselves without being overwhelmed.

The SpartanSmurfs own a comparable set. Of course I had to build it for them. After that dragon bit the dust, it never has been together again.  I should have seen it coming.  It has been done before, after all!  (power rangers!)  Eventually…a Gold Ninja.  Is this good value?  Looks like you get three minifigs and the dragon…a pretty big set.  I guess its OK.  If you are a fan of Ninjago. But not the Gold Ninja alone.  Sorry.

Here you see everything you get in the Halo Pack.  $6.  Considering the price of the mystery pack, this seems fair. Plus I happen to know that there is more stuff here than you would get in the Mystery Pack.

I guess I just don’t value Lego MiniFigs.  They are the kind of thing that just gets played with for awhile, then taken apart, and then the hands get lost, or the weapons, or they get mixed up.  And the kids could have just as much fun with the generic type you get in the Mystery Pack.  Or the ones you find at a yard sale….

I mean, for as much money as the Darth Vader up there, you could have THREE Ninja Turtles.  And you wouldn’t have to order them on the internet…You can walk out the store with them!

Metalhead is one of my favorites!
I have spoke a few times about this movie.  It is an older movie now.  But look at the size of this guy!  For $19!  Great articulation!  1000% larger than the Vader Minifig, and STILL CHEAPER.

Here’s a “girly” example.  For $19.97, you can own a doll, with tons of accessories…A popular toy at that!  You still aren’t paying as much as you are for Vader!

The Great SpartanAunt is guilty.  You see, she got the SpartanSmurfs some extravagantly priced Storm Troopers and Clone Mini-Figs.  And spoiled them!  I try and tell them…Look, you could get THIS item, or four of THESE items for that price…Nope.

There is nothing there but INSANITY!  Am I being a jerk?

I exercise caution when I am buying Magic Cards with the boys.  I don’t feel a piece of cardboard is worth the price of a meal for a whole family at a decent restaurant.  I personally own a Voice of Reason…This card would cost $35-$50…But I got it in a booster pack….That’s How I roll, see.  And all of the Shocklands that I own, I got the same way, or traded.  I boosted my collection, and I keep it organized alphabetically by set.  I am getting the bang for my buck, see.  And I play everyday.

The SpartanSmurfs are going on and on about Mr. Gold.  He’ll cost his weight in real gold.  Mr. Gold is apparently the rarest MiniFig or something like that.  Here’s what I see happening.  They’ll get a Mr. Gold.  Then he’ll be in 10 golden pieces, mixed into Storm Trooper and Ninjago parts.

And I just don’t see the value here.

And that is my two-cents cheapskate opinion!  Are you mad now?…Comment!

DC Comics Trinity War….This is why I keep reading comics!

Here is my collection of the first three stories in the arc.

I have been following the DC New 52 since the beginning.  Now it is paying off!

This story arc has pulled references from so many places in the New 52 universe…And seriously starting back at the beginning with Darkseid.

And Justice League #23, the final book in this arc, ties so many things together, and then the heroes lose….and you are left on a cliffhanger that makes you want more.

When I turned that page and saw the long-haired version of Aquaman with the hook, I about fell out of my chair.  And then…. Earth 3!  And Alfred!  What about Cyborg?  The Atom was the mole?  And the disease?  And the real murderer…what happened there.

Of course there will be a little break in the action.  We are at September.  This year we get Villains month.  (Can’t wait!)  Then after the break in the action, this story will return in Forever Evil, which is going to prominently feature Nightwing, apparently.

Now comes the cheapskate talk.  There is supposed to be a new Justice League vs. Master of the Universe dropping sometime.  I will be getting all of those, being a slave and all, and will probably pick up variant covers if I see them.  (This story is supposed to be in-universe….Don’t know how that is going to work!  And since it is a Justice League title, there will probably be a lot of variants available.)

And I will have to read Forever Evil…I know I am going to pick up a few villains comics that I am not subscribed to….AND THEROS comes out this month….

Something has to go…And I think it is Thor.  I read all of the Godbutcher and Godbomb stories, plus #12 this week.  I am well pleased.  And feel I can part with him for awhile.  I also have the Tangled Web pulling Batman\Superman for me…I might have to have them stop that.  And make room to get the Forever Evil books.

But what next?

Maybe I should stop….Is this madness?  Maybe I should wait and buy the graphic novel of Forever Evil….It’ll probably be out around February or March…Probably cost $20-$25.   And be an enjoyable read even.

One thing I know…I had thought about subscribing to Justice League America….but it was announced that after Forever Evil, it was going to become Justice League Canada.  I am not on board with that!  JLA has been good….Good enough to subscribe to.

But I guess after the fight with the Justice League proper, their purpose is used up.  (Has DC Comics already forgotten….Justice League International didn’t sell…)