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12 Movies of Christmas: Christmas Cartoons

By Geeky Gem

We all love a good cartoon and there is nothing better than wrapping up in a blanket with a warm drink and watching some cartoons. It’s one of my favourite pass times, I know this can be done at any time of the year but on this list (yay a list) I have looked at some of my all time favourites that I enjoy watching.

He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special – 1985

I loved He-Man and She-Ra and when they got together in Christmas episode I was over the moon. I know its sad but I own it on DVD, it is really good. It is a really good cartoon if you love He-Man And She-Ra and can be found below it isn’t a very long cartoon but it really fun to watch.

The Snowman – 1982

I watch this cartoons every year, as it is always shown here on television at this time of year. I still watch it on TV even if i do own the DVD, It’s a story of a by and the snowman he builds that comes to life and shows him a fun time at christmas. There are now words in this 26 minute long cartoon but an unforgettable song.

Shrek the Halls – 2007

Another short cartoon set at Christmas with some your best-loved characters, Shrek the Halls is a funny 30 minute cartoon that we can all enjoy. All of the characters are there Shrek, Fiona and Donkey. What more could you want.

A Charlie Brown Christmas – 1965

Oh Charlie Brown, I love this cartoon and if you have never seen it then you really have missed out. Maybe now is the time to watch it and enjoy it with friends or family. Even if only for this song –

How The Grinch Stole Christmas – 1966

It may not come as much of a surprise that I also own this on DVD, its one of my all time favourite Cartoons and I love the voice of th Grinch as play by Boris Karloff. Fantastic animation and a brilliant story.

If you watch any of these this year i hope you enjoy them.

TOP TOYS: PART TWO

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hello toy fans, and welcome back to Top Toys, part two. Last time we looked at some of my favourite childhood toys, Transformers, Turtles, Dino-Riders, WWF and Ghostbusters. A pretty great toy box worth of stuff, that I have very fond memories of. This time, we will go back in time to the first major toys craze I was part of, and forward in time to toys I was ‘too old’ to have, but wanted anyway. It is such a shame that most kids today think toys are for babies, and it’s all about video games. I know, I’ve asked some. Toys stimulate the imagination, and are great fun, lets hope that kids are still playing with Batman and Transformers a hundred years from now. So enough rambling, lets get involved with the toys!!!

HE-MAN

He-man was my first toy love. I had a load of He-man figures, and vehicles and monsters and play-sets, my favourite, was He-man on Battlecat. I loved Battlecat so much, still do. Who wouldn’t want to ride a gigantic green and yellow tiger into battle? The toys themselves all had the same body sculpts, to save money, but each had different accessories and head sculpts. The TV show was basically just an advert for the toys, which is no bad thing really. I can remember having horrendous ear ache whilst being in Cardiff with my Mum, and taking cover in Toys R Us, whilst a very loud and scary thunder storm happened all around us. To ease my pain, Mum bought me Buzz Off, a bee themed hero, awesome. I also remember for my birthday, picking up the Castle Greyskull play-set, and having to go to my Grandmothers, so excited, but could not play with it because it didn’t come with any figures, I had to wait till I got home. It was torture.

MASK

MASK, was pretty cool. A group of guys and gals, who fought the evil Venom with cars, trucks and bikes, that turned into other things like tanks, helicopters and boats, all armed to the teeth. My favourite MASK vehicle was a green motor bike that turned into a helicopter, so awesome, it is beyond my power to describe. Did I mention that MASK had their base in a hollowed out Volcano? Now you know. MASK figures were tiny, similar to the Dino-Rider humans/aliens, but that just meant they could interact with each other. Tooled up Dinos Vs. Transforming cars? Yes please.

LEGO

For it’s versatility alone, Lego is probably the greatest toy ever invented. Your options are only limited by your imagination. But, if you don’t fancy building your own entertainment, the Lego sets are some of the greatest things ever made. When I was young, we didn’t have Superhero Lego, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter or the like. We had Knights and Pirates, and these were my favourite sets to collect. Pirate Lego had brilliant ships and bases to build, and Knights had Castles and Robin Hood!! The sets I saw recently looked awesome, kids are spoiled these days I guess. My favourite Lego set was the Pirate Ship. It was so cool. The fact it can all work together with other Lego universes and sets is such a stroke of genius. Lego is awesome, and I want some right now.

JURASSIC PARK

Jurassic Park blew my mind, it is one of my most fond memories of seeing a film on an opening weekend. It was chaos at the old Cardiff ODEON that Saturday night I went to see it with the family, the kind of organised chaos I have only really experienced at Disneyworld. Everyone was buzzing. The film obviously was great, so good in fact that I wanted the next day to go immediately to a toy shop to buy every Jurassic Park toy I could lay my hands on. The Dinosaurs were beautifully sculpted and they looked awesome. The T-Rex in particular. I wish I had all these toys, but I have none, all gone to the great toy box in the sky…

MARVEL

I’ve always been a fan of superheroes, but apart from a a few Batman toys, and the odd Spider-Man, I never had a large collection of Comic Heroes. However, on my recent trip to Toys R Us, I noticed a vast selection of 3.5 inch Marvel Universe figures, and I couldn’t resist buying the four main Avengers. Why not? They look good on my shelf. Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America (WWII version) and Thor, they are lovely little things, well sculpted with great articulation and accessories. I had to stop myself at the four, I could have gone on and on, but I have bills to pay. These toys however are fantastic, with all kinds of famous and obscure characters being transformed into figure form. I know if I was a kid, I’d be all over these.

Summer Knights: Sword Play

By Geeky Gem

As part of Summer Knights we are not only looking at Batman but a whole host of Knight related material. So I thought I would share with you some of my favorite swords. I like sword play and even took a class in stage fighting with swords, a class I enjoyed very much and still have a little of the skills left. So if you in need of a amateur stage fighter I am here. Anyway here are some of my all time favorite swords.

 

The Sword of Omens – Thunder Cats

Its blade can extend or retract, being in the form of a dagger when resting, and a full-length broadsword form when at full strength and power. The blade itself is near indestructible, shown to be extremely strong, durable, and laser-sharp. It is able to slice through hardened materials such as steel and solid stone with relative ease. It can shoot blasts of energy with varying abilities and degrees of strength, capable of stunning, electrocuting, melting through materials such as titanium and solid rock, blasting through and apart targets/structures with explosive force, and vaporizing various targets. The power stems from the Eye Of Thundera, which is embedded in its hilt. The Eye of Thundera is a ruby that contains an all-seeing, all-powerful, galactic/universal energy force that is sentient in nature, and takes the form of a closed cat’s eye pupil when dormant, and opens to become a black cat’s head when fully awake.  If you were a child of the 1980’s there is a chance you owned a toy version of this sword and if you did you are cool, I had one as many of you may now.

Longclaw – Game of Thrones

Longclaw was passed down through House Mormont for about five hundred years. Jeor Mormont passed the sword down to Jorah Mormont when he stepped aside and joined the Night’s Watch. When Jorah escaped justice to the Free Cities, he left Longclaw behind and Jeor retook possession of it. In saving Jeor’s life from a Wight attack at Castle Black, Jon Snow set a fire that damaged Longclaw’s hilt. Jeor had the hilt replaced with one capped by a wolf’s head and gave the blade to Jon. Jon noted the appropriateness of a bastard wielding a bastard sword. Jon is on outcast in the family Stark so when Mormont gives him Longclaw at Castle Black Jon finally starts to think he belongs some where.

Lightsaber – Star Wars

A Lightsaber is a “laser sword.” It consists of a polished metal hilt which projects a blade of light about 1.33 meters (1.45 yards) long. The lightsaber is the signature weapon of the Jedi order and their Sith counterparts, both of whom can use them for close combat, or to deflect blaster bolts. Its distinct appearance was created using rotoscoping in the original Star Wars movies. In the newer movies this was done digitally. The lightsaber’s blade cuts through most substances without resistance. It leaves cauterized wounds in flesh, but can be deflected by another lightsaber’s blade, or by energy shields.When a Lightsaber comes into contact with an object or another lightsaber’s blade, it produces a loud crackle. Let’s face it Lightsaber’s are cool, if you think diffrent then that is fine. However Light wepons and  laser technology fasinactes me. Come on some one make one.

Narsil – The Lord of the Rings

The sword was forged during the First Age by the Dwarf Telchar of  Nogrod, a famous weaponsmith and artificer who also made the knife Angrist, which cut a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth, and the Helm of Hador later used by Turin Turambar.  The sword was first in the possession of Elendil. He brings it back with him to Middle-earth towards the close of the Second Age, as his father Amandil correctly predicted Numenor’s imminent destruction. Elendil became thereafter a great lord, the first of the kings of Gondor and Arnor. He used Narsil in the War against Sauron. During the siege of Barad-Dur, Elendil and Gil-galad overthrew Sauron, but perished in the act, and Narsil broke into two beneath Elendil as he fell. Elendil’s son Isildur then used the hilt-shard of the sword to cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand, thus destroying the Dark Lord’s physical form. Narsil (broken and reforged as Andúril) acts as a symbol of the kingship of Arnor and Gondor, and by extension, the stewardship of law over evil. Aragorn is the heir to the fragments of the ancient sword. The reforging of the broken sword into Andúril prior to the Fellowship of the Ring leaving Rivendell is one of many important prophesied events leading up to the downfall of Sauron and the restoration of the line of Elendil as kings of Arnor and Gondor. As swords go this one is pretty awesome and has a deep and meaningful history and any one who has watched or read the Lord of the Rings knows that and just how much work went in to bringing this sword to us.

 

The Power Sword- He-Man

I know it’s another animated sword, but who cares it’s awesome. The Power Sword is also known as The Sword of Power and the Sword of Grayskull. It started out as a mystical object in the early stories, in which Skeletor tries to obtain both halves and put them together in order to gain control over Castle Greyskull, while He-Man’s role is to stop him by using more regular weapons such as an axe and a shield. With the arrival of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated show, the Power Sword became the means by which Prince Adam transforms into He-Man. There is no evidence of the Power Sword being divided in this version of the story. The weapon kept the same basic shape during most of the 1980s, but then it was radically redesigned twice: for The New Adventures of He-Man and the Live Action Movie.This sword is great, By the power of Greayskull!!!!!

 

And there we have it just some of my favoutire all time swords. There are so many more I wanted to tell You about. Needle, Sting and Excauilbur to name but a few.

Summer Knights: Top 6 Sidekicks

By Geeky Gem

As part of Summer Knights I thought we would take a look at the sidekicks that help our heroes save the day and sometimes the lives of the Super Heroes themselves. Where would these heroes be without their trusty side kicks to get them out of trouble. Here are the the top 6. Yes I know that it is a strange number but its my blog and my rules.

Bucky – Captain America

Bucky is the side kick of the one and only Captain America.  James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. In 2005 the original Bucky was brought back from the dead as the Winter Soldier. In 2008 he became Captian America after Steve Rogers was presumed to be dead. In 2011, Bucky resumed his identity as the Winter Soldier after faking his death.

Kato – The Green Hornet

Kato is the sidekick to The Green Hornet and boy does he kick some ass.  This character has also appeared with the Green Hornet in film, television, book and comic book versions. Kato was the Hornet’s assistant and has been played by a number of actors. On radio, Kato was initially played by Raymond Hayashi, then Roland Parker who had the role for most of the run, and in the later years Mickey Tolan. Keye Luke took the role in the movie serials, and in the television series he was played by that fantastic martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. In the latest movie adtaption he was played by Jay Chou.

Battle Cat – He-Man

Now not every side kick has to be human right. Some can be dogs, I am looking at you Krypto. Anyway, Cringer is every bit a good as the other side kicks on this list, he even has an alter ego. Battle Cat not only allows He-Man to ride around on him, but fghts along side of him. Come on who doesn’t want one?

Robin – Batman Series

What kind of Side kick list would this be without the Boy Wonder. There have been many Robin’s but only one original and that was Richard ‘Dick’ Grayson. Dick ws created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger along with  illustrator Jerry Robinson. Dick was the youngest in a family of acrobats known as the “Flying Graysons,” Dick watches a mafia boss kill his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them. Bruce Wayne, takes him in as his legal ward, it is here that Dick learns Bruce’s secret and becomes Robin. Dick would later leave Batman’s side and become Night Wing, however there is another Robin waiting in the wings. There is more to Dick’s story but I dont want to ruin it for people who dont know what happens.

Batgirl – Batman Series

Now I know I have already had one Batman side kick on this list but they are so good I had to include Batgirl. The original Batgirl was Betty Kane and she was was introduced into publication in 1961 by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff however she was replaced by Barbara Gordon and this is the Batgirl most people know. Her creation came  about as a joint project between DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz and the producers of the 1960s Batman television series. In order to boost ratings for the third season of Batman, the producers requested a new female character be introduced into publication that could be adapted into the television series. At Schwartz’s direction, Barbara Gordon debuted in comics. Batgirl is depicted as the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon, her civilian identity is given a doctorate in library science and she is employed as head of Gotham City Public Library, as well as later being elected to the United States Congress. As Batgirl, the character operates primarily in Gotham City, allying herself with Batman and the original Robin, Dick Grayson. Now for fans of the comics and any one who has ever seen Birds of Prey, you will know what happens to Barbara Gordon in Alan Moore’s graphic novel The Killing Joke. If you dont then may I suggest you look away now. In the Killng Joke , The Joker shoots Barbara, the bullet goes through the spinal cord and she is left parlazyed and in a wheel chair. However she will later take up the the war on crime as The Orcale.

Harley Quinn – Batman Series

Yes folks, I have indeed included another Batman related side kick but from the side of evil. I bring you Harley Quinn. The Joker’s ever faithfull and slightly mad girlfriend. Once a brillanit Psychiatrist, working at Arkham Asylum. Harleen Quinzel begins to fall for The Joker and starts to believe that eveything is Batman’s fault. She was first introduced  back in 1992, on the Batman Animated Series she was meant to be a cartoon walk on. However she ws such a hit that she was written into the comics. She is a frequent accomplice and the girlfriend of Batman’s nemesis the Joker, and is also close to Poison Ivy, from whom she gained her immunity to poisons and toxins, as well as her advanced physical abilities.

There we have it folks, my top 6 sidekicks. I hope you enjoyed this look at the people who help our favourtie heroes out of tight spots, and possibly into their tights, they can’t be easy to put on you know.

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