Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tim Hortons 2014 Christmas Ornament

This year’s Tim Hortons Christmas ornament is a Timbits box.  It’s an exact replica of the regular 20 pack box you usually get throughout the year (except during Christmas when they release a festive box).  The graphics on the ornament are clearly printed, it weighs a little, and it comes with a red string at the top so you can hang it on your tree.  I haven’t bought a Timmy’s ornament in a while, but since I love Timbits I had to get this one.  And just to let you know my favourite Timbits are pumpkin spice, birthday cake, cinnamon spice, chocolate glazed, and old fashion glazed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dodgers New Era MLB Retro 1981 World Series Patch Fitted

This hat is part of New Era’s World Series patch collection, which features a World Series patch for teams that have won the World Series in the past.  To celebrate my birth year I decided to buy a Los Angeles Dodges version because they were the Champions back in 1981.  New Era tried to stay faithful to the original on-fields by excluding the MLB “batterman” logo on the back, and yet retained contemporary style by using 3D embroidery and a grey underbrim.  While I appreciate the effort, I miss the MLB logo and would have preferred its inclusion.  Besides that, this is a beautiful fitted that I will wear on special occasions.
Brand: New Era
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers, L.A. Dodgers
Style: 59Fifty, Fitted, MLB Retro World Series Patch Collection
Additional:  Made in China, 100% Wool, Grey Underbrim, No MLB logo on the back, Embroidered 1981 World Series Patch
Dodgers 1981 Wiki:

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History

Title: The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History
Author: John Ortved
Publisher: Faber & Faber
It happens to me every year; I decide to watch a new Simpson’s episode on Sunday night hoping the show has finally turned a tide towards what it used to be.  Sadly it never happens, and I’m left distraught over the fall from glory this series has had.  What’s amazing is that there are now more terrible seasons than actual good ones.  An outsider might question why I’m still a fan despite so many terrible seasons, but the reason is those early episodes were so well made that I became a fan for life.

To help me better understand the creation of the show and why its quality has gone awry, I decided to read The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History.  The book was written by John Ortved, a long time Simpsons fan.  In writing the book, Ortved interviewed many people who worked on the show and also did extensive research.  The interesting thing is the main creator’s of the show refused to be interviewed by him, though admittedly I didn’t see it as much of a problem.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Air Jordan 1 Super Mario Bros.

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, I think Jordan Brand should release a special edition Air Jordan 1 featuring Super Mario Bros.  Both the Air Jordan 1 (unofficially) and Super Mario Bros. were released in 1985, and I have been a fan of both Nintendo and Nike since then.  Beyond sharing a birthday together they also share a name; Super Mario was initially called “Jumpman”, the same name of Jordan Brand’s logo.
Air Jordan Wiki:
Super Mario Bros. Wiki:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Air Jordan 23 XX3

The Air Jordan 23 was the last official Jordan signature sneaker I bought on release day.  Jordan Brand did an excellent job building up to its release.  Sneaker forums were still pretty new and the anticipation they provided for how great the sneakers would be made me interested in them from the beginning.  Then the media press conference that featured both Michael Jordan and Tinker Hatfield was icing on the cake.  The XX3’s felt important and the hype that surrounded it reminded me of the wonderful years I experienced with the first Air Jordan releases.
The shoes were designed by Tinker Hatfield, who wanted to make an eco-friendly sneaker that didn’t rely heavily on toxic and harmful glues.  The result was a sneaker that merged utilitarian stitching with elegant embroidered design in its construction.  Tinker, who is known for hidden details even added Michael Jordan’s initials in the stitching pattern.  To finish off the shoes Tinker added Jordan’s thumb print to the bottom soles, a feature that not only is creative but is also practical as it provides traction on the floor.
The version I own is the black, varsity red “stealth” colorway released in 2008.  The toe box and tongue use a superior quality suede that makes it luxurious. A simple yet aesthetically pleasing feature that I like, is the bright red thread that mergers the uppers with the sole.  Although the shoes are beautifully designed, my only complaint about them is that the toe box is too tight.  The shoes fit like a glove causing people with wide feet (such as myself), to have pain on their pinky toes.  I prefer comfort over style, so unfortunately I can’t recommend these Jordan’s if you have wide feet.
Brand: Air Jordan
Name: Air Jordan 23, Air Jordan XX3, Stealth 23's
Year: 2008
Product Code: 318376-001
Additional: Designed by Tinker Hatfield, Considered the last of the Air Jordan signature sneakers

Monday, December 1, 2014

Wii U, WWE, Off-TV Play

I’m enjoying a little WWE wrestling and playing some Nintendo thanks to Off-TV play provided by the Wii U gamepad.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Baseball Bobbleheads Websites:

Here’s a list of bobblehead websites I find useful in helping me keep track of past and future releases.

Stadium Giveaway Exchange:

Bobblehead News:

BDA Inc.:

Collection Locker:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Murder She Wrote

I must confess I never thought I would watch Murder She Wrote, let alone an episode.  Yet, here I am now confessing my love for the show.  I first started watching the show one day in the summer when the Blue Jays had a rest day, and nothing else was on.  I had convinced myself for years that there was no way in hell I would watch this boring old people show.  But on that day my only TV viewing options were Entertainment Tonight (I hate celebrity news), or watch Murder She Wrote; I chose the latter.

Okay so what I initially liked about the show was that it was made in the 80’s, and I felt really nostalgic about those years.  It had a wholesome quality about the time (despite the murders), that wasn’t graphic or used profanity like today’s shows.  While the time period drew me to the show, what kept me watching was the excellent story line.  The show is a pure mystery show that is easy to follow, and extremely engaging.  As the story progresses (in each episode), you’re given clues as to who the murderer is, thus allowing you to hypothesize ‘who done it.’

At the end of each episode, Jessica Fletcher (the main protagonist) solves the crime and you find out if your suspicions were right or wrong.  The way that Jessica solves the crime is fantastic because she uses the same clues that were shown in the episode.  This is what I specifically love about the show, because you get to solve the crime as well.   The absence of this is what makes me hate current mystery shows (CSI Miami, Criminal Minds) because the characters solve crimes without explaining how they solved it.  This dumbs down a show and is insulting to the viewer.

Other features about Murder She Wrote that I like are the incredible guest actors that appear on the show.  There’s hardly an episode where I don’t recognize someone on the show from another TV series or movie.  These established actors raise the quality of the show because they come from a time when real actors were well educated and sophisticated.  The show also doesn’t take itself too seriously because there are great comedic relief moments scattered throughout.  Unfortunately Murder She Wrote ended in 1996, after 12 seasons.  Thankfully I am still in season 5 with plenty of seasons left.

Murder She Wrote Wiki:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

World of Nintendo Legend of Zelda Link Figure

This Link toy figure is part of the World of Nintendo toy line, released by Jakks Pacific.  From the first series release, I could tell that Link was going to be the most popular figure to collect.  I knew this because Nintendo rarely releases the Legend of Zelda merchandise; in fact Yamauchi (Nintendo’s former president) wanted only Mario to be Nintendo’s lone mascot back in the 80’s and 90’s.  The result of this caused merchandise of other popular figures to be rare, and highly collectable.  I still remember back when Ocarina of Time was released, Nintendo Power magazine was offering a Link figure that I was never able to buy and I have wanted one ever since.
Granted throughout the years there has been many Link figures released and Nintendo has offered more Legend of Zelda merchandise, but I was never interested in those (except the Figma Link, which was too expensive to get).  Finally, I have found this perfect Link figure, and at a great price $12 Canadian.  This figure is based off of the Skyward Sword version of Link.  Hopefully if the toy series is successful we might get to see other versions of Link as well, such as Toon Link and original NES Link (though it would be alright to skip a CD-i version of Link, lol).
This toy comes nicely packaged on a card that has beautiful artwork that displays Link swinging his sword.  Link is constructed similar to a G.I. Joe figure, and comes with accessories such as his sword, sword case and shield (a bonus mystery prize).  The paint job is surprisingly well done for a figure of this price range, and I didn’t notice any flaws in the articulation.  This one is incredibly well done figure that I’m happy to add in my Nintendo collection.
Jakks Pacific:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nintendo Wii U Deals

So since a lot of third parties are abandoning the Wii U they are now all putting their games on sale.  While it sucks to see them go, I won’t miss them if their motives were to continue the same DLC practices they have on other systems.   Thankfully I was able to grab a few of the games that went on sale this weekend.  (Sorry most of these games are sold out by now)

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Wii U $4.97
Mass Effect 3: Special Edition for Wii U $4.97
ZombiU $8.99 (After price matching it at Best Buy)
Assassin's Creed III Wii U $8.99 (After price matching it at Best Buy)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blue Jays New Era Heritage Series Fitted Hat

I’ve been a hat collector for a few years now, and one of the things I keep kicking myself over is that I never took care of the hats I bought years ago.  I just used to wear them and not care how they looked.  I didn’t even clean them when they got dirty.  I was fine with that until New Era stopped making wool fitteds and I couldn’t buy them anymore.  Once that happened I started to clean and maintain my wool fitteds so that they could last me as long as possible.  Thankfully New Era never forgot about wool fitted collectors and has released wool fitteds consistently, though in limited runs.
The wool fitted that I’m showcasing here is part of their Heritage Series collection.  The hats are 100% wool and are made similar to the classic MLB hats from the mid 90’s with 3D embroidery, a flat MLB logo, and a grey underbrim.  A nice detail about this fitted is the return of the white sweatband; a feature that I used to hate (it’s funny how you miss something when you don’t have it anymore).  My only complaint about this collection is the inclusion of the New Era logo on the left side.  Other than that this is a beautiful hat that reminds me of the greatness of those 90’s fitteds, and I am delighted that I can now wear one with the current Blue Jays logo.
Brand: New Era
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Style: 59Fifty, Fitted, Heritage Series
Additional:  Made in China, 100% Wool, New Era logo on the side, White Sweatband
New Era:

Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Keep Sneakers Deadstock

This blog post is about how I like to store my sneakers and keep them deadstock (in brand new condition).  While the procedure may seem extreme to some, I still think this method is worth sharing.

1.  I remove the sneakers and I like to clean and shape the shoe box so that it looks and stays pristine
2.  I remove the shoe paper and place it in a storage tube with other rolled up shoe papers; I also use a pencil to write the name of the sneakers the paper came with.  Shoe paper has been known to dry shoes and even stain them.
3. I then work on the sneakers; I like cleaning them by using a wet cloth or a magic eraser to remove marks, blemishes, and smudges.  If there are loose threads I cut them using nail cutters.
4.  Some sneakers come with a sticker label inside of the sole, so I like to remove it and place it in a sticker album.
5.  Most sneakers come with shoe paper inside of the toe box, so I remove the paper and wrap it around with plastic or a ziploc bag and then replace it inside of the toe box.  It is important to keep it there because it prevents the toe box from sinking in by helping to maintain its shape.
6.  If a second pair of laces is included I like to place them inside of a baggy, and then put them inside of the shoes so they won’t get lost
7.  Once the shoes are wiped I then fix the laces so that the shoes look factory laced (never been touched)
8.  I then wrap them around in a clean rag (old t-shirt), and place them inside of the shoe box; making sure that the shoes never touch the box.  The box can damage certain delicate materials such as suede or nubuck (rubbing and wearing it down)
9.  I like to place the shoe box inside of a bag, leaving the end open so that air can still allow them to breath.  Marking the box with a picture of the shoes or just the name of the shoes will help identify them.
10.  As a final step I place my shoes neatly stashed in a basement closet.  The location you choose to keep your collection must be a cool dry place that doesn’t have any changes in temperature.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Console Wars

Title: Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
Author: Blake J Harris
Over the last few years I’ve come to appreciate the video gaming generation I grew up on; late 80’s to late 90’s.  The amazing thing is; I’m not the only one.  Many people who were gamers during those years also appreciate the quality and memories that those games have.  A lot of this renewed enthusiasm in those older games is a result of social media websites such as youtube, blogs, and eBay.  These sites help us relive our past and remind us that it was those classic games that shaped the passions and hobbies we have today.  In recognizing this, I now like to watch and read any material that provides a greater understanding into my gaming past.