Saturday, 26 October 2019

Halloween Mood Table 2019 Encore


In addition to the photo gallery from the previous post, I uploaded a raw unedited 9-minute video presentation of this years Mood Table. It's probably a bit much, but it's all going down soon to make way for a Christmas theme to go up during December Preparation Month (aka November).



I also wanted any reason to make an updated Video Entry after some Youtube issues in 2017 caused a majority of this sites watchable content to disappear.

Whilst its probably another incoherant showcase that you may or may not find entertaining, this video does the Mood Table justice with some of the features such as the lights and other angles that still images don't cover. Grab some drinkage and popcorn and dedicate 10 minutes maximum of your existence on the planet to my Halloween showcase.

And yes, that is a real Bristolian accent.

Iceland's Bloody Lightbox


This is not a pun on words.
We literally have a lightbox that set us back £4 from an Iceland supermarket that has blood-themed writing. This is about as gory as Figured Out is going to get! 

With the additional cost of 3 AA batteries this lightbox is good to go and a pretty good display sign, even if the font isn't to everyone's liking. At least it isn't Comic Sans covered in blood!


An additional feature on the back are two holes alligned either side (not pictured) for optionally hanging up on a wall or interior door. It is pretty good with the only drawback being that the lightbox would have to be taken down every once in a while to change the lettering or batteries!


There's not much else to tell about this lightbox, except that we wanted to write more articles on random yet cool items of Halloween Junk. Pretty good for next years Moodle Table Display perhaps. 


So there you have it. A compact lightbox sign that has lots of potential.

Definitely worth picking up for a multitude of reasons or just for the sake of it.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Halloween Mood Table 2019



It’s Mood Table showcase time, and this year we’ve gone for a different approach…

Arguably, these are mood shelves, but shelves are part of the tables family (kind of). Figured Out this Halloween has a two-tier offering of Monster Mash goodness! 

 
Some old favorites from previous years have returned and are joined by new additions. There's also more lights added in!





There’s a lot going on with all the spooky clutter; so a lot of photos and video have been taken to record this pop-up display as much as possible.

This was an awesome display to put together, and I may use the shelf approach again next Halloween. Looking back at it now, I think there's more I could add to it and how next years could be executed differently. That's part of the fun!



As always, the credit for this idea goes to Dinosaur Dracula who kicked off this tradition in the first place! The influence of the Halloween Mood Table continues through many folk online and always worth a Google search to see how others have made up thier displays.

The Mood Table is without a doubt the Christmas Tree of October and deserves more recognition.

These just keep getting better! 

Friday, 11 October 2019

H.O.P.E vs S.T.O.P & The 2nd Coming of Optimus Prime.



During the late 80’s Transformers had “The Masters” bulking up the toyline with sidekick Nebulons that changed into their heads, guns and engines. A brilliant concept that meant for the partnership of two toys one big and one small that generated extra play value.

“The Masters” had a great run and also meant for return of toys like Hot Rod and Cyclonus now paired with Targetmaster gun partners. 

A big event during the run made for the return of the main bot himself Optimus Prime with a bigger and more powerful design after his demise in both the Animated Movie and Marvel Comic canons. The true Matrix Bearer was making a comeback to the toy shelves, and it was exciting!

Powermaster Optimus Prime, a beefier toy than the original Diaclone design that had a combinable trailer, a Nebulon wingman in “Hi-Q” and more arsenal than before.

It was a must-have toy that sadly I struck out with! Despite opening up a junior Building Society account to save for one - I made about £5.84 towards the £25.99 goal which was later drawn out in the 90’s towards buying a games console. It wasn’t until 2002 I purchased online the re-release of Powermaster Prime’s Japanese counterpart “God Ginrai” (Powermaster Prime with even more extras) that made the 14-year wait worth it.

Ironically, the purchase was the same price I could have paid in 1988.


Optimus Prime’s return has meant for promotional goodness! Hasbro UK launched a fun S.O.S campaign abreast of the already existing Robot Points promotion (where ‘collect and save’ coupons could be cut out from the toy packaging). The storyline behind this campaign is explained in the scanned images. Optimus has gone AWOL and lost his memory whilst exploring (like Autobot leaders do) and it is up to two opposing factions to get to him: The Autobot stable of H.O.P.E (Help Optimus Prime Escape) consisting of Hot Rod, Chromedome and Sureshot; or S.T.O.P (Search & Terminate Optimus Prime) featuring the Decepticon Gunner/Hypnotist tag-team of Triggerhappy and Mindwipe.
 


Any of these 5 Transformers could be purchased via mail away "Mission Enrolment" form on the promotional leaflet. Whilst these toys could already be purchased in the shops, the Robot Point coupons were like a pocket money shortcut to acquiring them.

Toys aside, the crown jewel amongst this promotion is the awesome “Optimus Prime’s Back” T-shirt. Featuring the box illustration from the Powermaster Optimus Prime toy accompanied by the text “I’m Back” on the front. This front design text validates that the “Optimus Prime’s back” behind design isn’t a shirt for Prime himself, but for a child at the time!

 
 Looking at the screenshots, you can agree that It’s an awesome shirt that deserves a homebrewed homage reissue for those of us who have grown a bit since 1988.

Optimus Prime is the comeback king of the robot world, featuring in any excuse for Hasbro to release a new toy version of everyones favorite 'red and blue lorry'.  30+ years since SOS, there's been multiple Primes including a modern "Titanmasters" remake of the Powermaster toy - none of which have had a cool T-shirt costing a 10th of todays inflation backing it. Long Live Optimus!


Monday, 23 September 2019

Cyber Combat 'Attaker' Dart Blaster


Whilst on a random return visit to Poundland, this fun little 'Nerf Knockoff" caught my attention.

And when I say Nerf Knockoff, I mean this little dart firing gun is an uncanny attempt at replicating the Nerf N-Strike Jolt Blaster. The Jolt (for those out of the loop) is a small Nerf gun that is reknowned for being quite powerful despite its size. A backlist of positive reviews on Amazon back this up and show the product continues to do well beyond its 2013 release.

This Poundland offering is its own design, but the scale and pulldown trigger mechanism is very much the same. Despite looking different, it still feels like the Poundland factory this was made at took an existing Nerf Jolt and took some facelifting liberties for thier own lite-copycat creation.


Unlike that horrible dart rifle as shown in a recent Poundland related article, this gun is solid to hold and the mechanism doesn't jam. You're also given 3 bullet darts to fire, wheras the Jolt draws the line at 2. The ammo design is a pretty neat silver and grey design for that bullet effect. Werewolves Beware!


The question until now remains - "Does it fire!?". Oh yes it does! Though not quite as powerful as the Nerf Jolt, but pretty good for a £1 toy gun. The packaging (pictured) states the gun can fire up to 16ft. Exaggeration much? 


What we could be witnessing here is the possible start of Poundland replicating more versions of popular Nerf weaponry. This could be a hit or miss affair (no pun intended). Assuredly, "The ATTAKER Dart Blaster" passes the Figured Out tat test of approval - but when Poundland is involved, don't expect to be blown away (not another pun intended).