Geeking out with Star Wars

Geek of Oz, CuriconRyan Huff, part-time blogger on Geek of Oz and full-time nerd tells us about his love affair with Star Wars and the plastic friends who made his childhood special.

As a kid, I had no shortage of toys at my disposal and even as a young child I had the utmost respect for these little plastic men and women. These were the friends that you could play with when your other friends weren’t around. While I had a multitude of toys from a broad range of franchises including Transformers, He Man, Voltron and more, it was my Star Wars toys that held pride of place. When Mum and I would go shopping I was always on the look out for secondary characters to fill out my own little “Galaxy Far, Far Away”. Characters like R5-D4, 2-1B and Lobot were a dime a dozen because other kids didn’t want them. Other kids were after the A-Grade characters like Luke, Vader and Yoda but I, after already procuring the main cast, decided that it just wouldn’t be “real” if I didn’t have a supporting cast of characters, the characters that made the Star Wars universe so rich.

My absolute favourite figure in the bunch was a plain, old trooper but not just the regular Stormtrooper, the Biker Scout from Kenner. While other kids went crazy over the Mandalorian armour clad Boba Fett, I was enamoured with the Biker Scout, visored helmet and all. Even to this day, their uniform just seems so utilitarian. While riding through the forests on the forest moon of Endor they needed armour that was less protective, allowing for more range of movement. While having their thighs exposed and covered only in cloth may seem foolhardy, even as a kid I realised that their thighs would be out of harms way when on their mount. Their knees, on the other hand, needed protection from wayward sticks and branches. Their helmets were visored to shield from the suns rays and an eye shield reminiscent of a motorbike rider. I just thought they were the coolest thing ever and eventually lead to the purchase of my second favourite toy ever, a Biker Scout blaster, also from Kenner. The blaster was black in colour and had a grey scope attached to the side. The scope itself had a red plastic insert which had a crosshair embossed on it. Looking through the scope, I could all but see a rebel soldier, bearing down upon me. Wearing my Dads motorcycle goggles and gardening gloves I’d squeeze that bright orange trigger the blaster would let out a battery operated “PEW!”. The battle for Endor had begun.

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Playing the (Nintendo) Game – one level at a time.

Tom from MTGCast Network recounts his epic quest to become the owner of a Nintendo Entertainment System in the summer of 1990.

Transport yourself back to the summer of 1990.  I was a pasty and pudgy 11 year old (go ahead and do the math to figure out my current geezer quotient) and I had a glaring hole in my life.  I did not own a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Tom from Magic The Gathering Cast

My family was supportive, but $200 at that time was a Herculean, and seemingly unbeatable, obstacle in order to get my hands on that amazing piece of hardware that was seemingly designed to be used in movie practical effects as a stand-in for a Cold War Russian factory.

Nintendo Entertainment System 1983

Luckily, my local cub scout group was working on a fundraiser where you could earn rewards for selling many items of unquestionably high quality.  One of the upper tier rewards was the fabled “NES Action Set”.  Inside this mythical box, you were bestowed an NES, two controllers, a Zapper and a magic cartridge with TWO games on it (Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt).

Baseball Stars NES

It took an entire summer, and pretty much every moment of free time, but I earned that NES and became a still pudgy, but somewhat tanned, 11 year old.  I have never valued or enjoyed a singular video game console as much as that early NES.  It also led our group of friends developing a novel non-violent method of settling large disputes.  Combining the time-consuming aspects of a filibuster with the obsessiveness of fantasy sports, these arguments were settled by simulating an entire baseball season (including entering in real player names for your team, often spawning creativity since you only had 6 letters per player) in Baseball Stars.  Whoever won the season, earned the right to win the argument.  This method probably worked mainly by virtue of the fact that you rarely could stay angry enough, or even remember why, after weeks of playing Baseball Stars.  Baseball Stars also taught gender equality with female players and an all-female team.

I still have that original NES and still plug it in time to time to enjoy some Baseball Stars and Dr. Mario with my wife and daughter.  Pretty awesome!

The MTGCast network is a leading-edge PodCast Network dedicated to the world of Magic the Gathering, by providing a variety of different shows for your enjoyment. You can follow Tom and the team on Facebook and Twitter.

Ready to Rumble???

Justin Williams, Otakus & Geeks Which toy made your childhood awesome?? Here, Justin Williams, Editor of Otakus and Geeks reminisces about the joys of growing up in early 90’s when 16-bit games and mullet-wearing wrestlers were all the rage!

As a big fan of WWF- now WWE – growing up I played WWF RAW the most in the 16 bit era days. This game was an improvement of the previous game Royal Rumble. It’s one of the first games to have wrestlers like Big Daddy Cool Diesel and 1,2,3 Kid and more. It even offered more modes like Bedlam, Survivor Series and the Endurance match. My favorite wrestler to use was Bret Hart. Even though everyone basically had the same moves like suplex, body slam, Irish whips etc, the finishing moves were all different and nothing can beat Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter.  The graphics were good for it’s time and it managed to have a 6-man Royal Rumble which was pretty fun.


Overall this was a very addictive game growing up and any retro fan should have it in their collection.

Otakus and Geeks is a website run by fans for fans. Covering a wide gamut of geekery from anime, videogames and manga, you can keep up to date with them through Facebook, Twitter, and if you just want to say hi, you can do that here.

Gettin’ Aggressive with Rich Cassidy – Aggressive Comix

Rich Cassidy from Aggressive Comix

That’s Rich on the left – the super excited one!

Proof that good things come in small (And loud. And funny.) packages, Rich Cassidy is one of those responsible for the awesomeness that is Aggressive Comix. A nerd from an early age, he reminisces about the green figure with the wicked fashion sense that made him the nerd we love today

Power Rangers were definitely everyone’s first taste of ‘Pokemon Syndrome’ in that we had to catch ‘em all.

Power Ranger figures were probably one of the most difficult sets of toys to get as a kid. They were so popular that, they even decided to make a motion picture based on it. (See Turboman).

If your parents were badass enough, they some how managed to get you not just the entire set, but they got you the Green Ranger. Now the Green Ranger came with not only a removable “gold plated” shield (aka, a spray-painted piece of plastic with gold-like paint and add a gloss finish… close enough) BUT it also came with the Dragon Zord!

Green Power Ranger Dragon Zord

The Dragon Zord was one of best of the entire collection. Even though the Green Ranger started off bad it didn’t matter. He was still by far one of the BEST figures in the ENTIRE set! I remember playing with that toy for hours and hours on end. ALMOST as much as I played with my foot cruiser! (Who remembers that toy?! F*cking Hot-Rod that Shredder from TMNT drove). Either way, nothing beats old school toys. My basement is filled with ‘em, so many at this point that I actually opened a box yesterday and I’m shocked I even owned some of the toys I have in my collection.

You can follow Aggressive Comix on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter for awesome updates and inappropriate laughs!

Kamandi – how Jack Kirby charmed a 9 year old Kozik

Kozik-13Frank Kozik, graphic designer extraordinaire known for his awesome KidRobot figures and exceptional posters, tells us how Kamandi was the first comic to blow him away as a kid.

 Frank  lives in San Francisco with his wife Sharon and their four cats.

Kamandi-Last Boy On Earth

I was 9 years old when I bought the first issue of Kamandi…everything about it totally blew my mind…. the cover image, Kirby’s insane brutal style, which I had never really noticed before, the crazy future world, the whole bit. I think I have to credit Kamandi with my since them obsession with dystopian landscapes, science fiction, and a certain warm comfortable feeling when I think about a post-apocalyptic future. I also have to say that since I grew up in Europe (I obtained American comics at the local us military base PX)…Kamandi also sort of constructed a fantasy image of the USA that I still sometimes see below the surface today.


One of my great daydreams would be that once I made a few billion dollars, I’d blow a huge chunk of it making a series of films based on Kamandi. Fuck yer Hobbits.

You can find Frank on t’interweb at making cool posters and awesome toys. There’s nothing not to love about this guy.


You can also become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter because he rocks!

Patrick Purcell from Winter City; still playing with toys

Patrick Purcell, Winter City Comic Book Series

Patrick Purcell is the co-writer of Winter City Comic Book Series. Here he sits down and tells Curicon what he loved as a kid, what still causes him to nerdgasm and his former plans to take over the world with a Super Robot

When I was a kid, what was my favorite thing in the world? Well, for starters, I like to think I am still a kid. In the very least I am at heart. All the things I used to enjoy, I still enjoy. Maybe even more so.

I could honestly write endlessly about my great geeky pleasures, but I don’t want to bore everyone to death, so I think I will cover just a few of the things that I thought were super great, and still do! For starters, I love super robots. The Japanese kind. Voltron, both lion force and space force, were the absolute best. My intense infatuation naturally expanded into Voltus V, Transformers G1, and Grendizer.

My love for robots went so far that at ten years old I designed my own Super Robot. And I don’t mean I drew my own version. I actually created blue prints. Each component in intricate detail. Engines, cogs, cables, wheels, wings, fuel tanks. It was all there. I spent hours flipping through the pages of engineering books copying the systems that “appeared” to do what I wanted. It was awesome!

I’m still a big fan of a good super robot story. Neon Genesis Evangelion stands as one of my favorite Anime and one of my favorite stories. When discussing childhood obsessions, there is another that stands out for me. Superman. Oh, how I loved Superman. You name the toy; I had it. I spent probably the first six years of my life wearing a Superman costume under my clothes.

Superman Issue #1

Even under my school uniform. Superman really is the purest of super heros, and I have no shame in saying that even today, at thirty years of age, I wear Superman shirts, board shorts, and underwear. Finally, just because it probably wouldn’t be right if I didn’t make one last shout-out to a character that had me engrossed, and that is Astro Boy. Robot, plus super hero, plus a small boy dealing with, well, boyish issues. Astro had everything. I was never quite as obsessed with Astro Boy as I was with Voltron or Superman, but he still, and always will, hold a special place in my heart.

Astro Boy

Ah… The memories!

You can check follow Winter City Comic Book Series on Facebook and Twitter

Learning to ‘speak Geek’. Interning for Curicon

Editor’s Note: Last week, we had a really enthusiastic lady come to Curicon. She was awesome and we wanted to keep her. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. She was in Sydney on a holiday from Ireland and used some of her holiday to learn about the geekery that is the world of collectors! So we released her back to the real world as a fully-formed comic book and vinyl toy fan. But not before we asked her to let you guys in on her experience at Nerd HQ. Meet Alice Carroll, intern-extraordinaire

Being a student of marketing, I was delighted when I was offered an internship with Curicon’s Marketing and PR department. However I must admit, what Curicon covers was totally new ground to me. But under the guidance of the brilliant Kerrie O’Callaghan (also once a newbie to the ‘geek’ scene), I quickly adapted and can now safely say I know a lot more about collectibles, comics, action figures and vinyl figures than I once did.

Interning for Curicon isn’t like interning for any other company. Simply because it isn’t like any other company! It’s completely new and different. I knew that the minute I stepped into the office to see stacks of comics and action figures on every desk. The best thing is, everybody there really loves what they’re doing. And that energy is infectious! It’s hard not to get caught up in the buzz of ideas and discussions about the site (even if I don’t understand all the lingo yet).

Come visit us and meet this guy!

Another reason I loved interning with Curicon is because they give you the opportunity to learn by actually doing things. Having heard horror stories about interns at various companies being used more like slaves than employees (read: constant ‘coffee runs’), I was skeptical as to what I would be actually doing in the office. But I was pleasantly surprised on my first day as I was immersed in proper work and involved in brainstorming for upcoming advertising campaigns and competitions. (Stay tuned for a HUGE competition announcement – Ed)

Day two at Curicon was a little more… erm… unsettling. Despite being warned in advance, I was a little taken aback at meeting the in-house cockatiel. Mainly due to the fact that I – silly me – thought he’d be in a cage. So was just a little surprised to see him flying around the office! But that just adds to the laid back fun at the Curicon office.

Meet Chuckie. Destroyer of computer cables and the terrify-er of interns 🙂

The timing of my internship couldn’t have been better as, not only was the office preparing for the official launch, they were also preparing for New York Comic Con in October. So I really got to experience the work that went into planning for such events. And let me say, I have learned there is a LOT more ‘behind the scenes’ work to be done than I had realized. But once again, I was given the opportunity to be work first hand on the planning, between researching costs, emailing companies and presenting my ideas regarding promotional devices, I felt really involved in the whole process (plus I found the coolest USB Flash drives ever! Win-win!).

On my last day at Curicon, having finished up all my jobs, I sat back and surveyed the office. Even as a measly intern, I can see they’re onto something special at Curicon.  With the momentum really building, the company is edging its way into the global geek scene, and I anticipate it will be an essential tool for every collector to display their collections in times to come. I’m delighted that I got to experience Curicon, first hand, in its starting stages.

It’s safe to say that Curicon has really brought out my inner geek and I really will miss being surrounded everyday by Comic Books,  Dunnys and Labbits (Yes I know all the names, go me!). Who knows, you might see me at the New York Comic Con yet!

Alice Carroll- Intern