Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 1993 Mega Zord Dino Zord Deluxe Set, IN BOX!

Okay so I suppose it would be fair to say I splurged. It would be more accurate to say I mortgaged my future for a toy. Either way you look at it I bought the single most expensive toy or collectible I have ever purchased recently, a complete, in BOX, Deluxe Mega Zord set from 1993. That’s right the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Dinozords are now safely sitting in my collection protecting my other toys from the forces of evil.

I’ve owned combiner sets before. Namely Devestator and most of the original G1 Scramble City combiners, or gestalts as they are known in the Transformers community. The largest single figure I have ever owned previously was Unicron from Transformers Armada. Behind him was Trypicon and Metroplex from Generation One.

This toy though, is massive. A lot more massive than I pictured. I haven’t yet stood it up next to a Unicron to compare size but I imagine the Mega Zord could give that toy a run for his money. Toy mind you, I’m not sure if the Dino Zords could defeat the chaos bringer on their own, at least not without the help of Ultrazord. Even then I’m not sure.

In 1993 I instantly fell in love with MMPR. I love the toys, the TV series, video games and yes, even the live action movie from 1995. It sure gets hated on my modern audiences but it was actually a ton of fun for me back then.

Over the years I have gone through cycle where I would pick up items that meant a lot to me because I had them as a kid and wanted to connect with my childhood. Then there have been pieces I picked up because they were just cool looking. My favorite pieces are the ones I obtain as a n adult that I never had as a kid, but always really wanted.

I had never even seen a Mega Zord in the wild back in the 90s. I had a friend who had the Thunder Mega Zord which I still thought was pretty cool itself. But even he didn’t have the original five dinozords. This was a terrific purchase for me because it gave me a rush of emotions ranging from the memories of desperately wanting one all this time to getting to explore a toy I never had as a kid but was familiar enough with due to its depiction in the TV series.

My favorite thing about it so far is how big and detailed it is. The individual zords aren’t that spectacular on their own that much is clear. Even so the combined form is so awesome it more than makes up for it. The toy looks amazing at a team of five robots as well as tank mode, too. I love this action figure set quite a bit. I do wish I could have owned one as a kid. But, knowing how my toys from them didn’t survive into adulthood maybe it’s better this way.

I didn’t commit the unforgiveable sin toy collectors fear of buying an unopened box and then opening it up. Not that I wouldn’t consider doing just that, it’s just this was already priced well above what I should have paid for any individual toy anyways. I did end up getting a complete in box set even if the box had already been previously opened and the stickers applied. It didn’t come with any instructions but the weapons were all intact, including all the parts people claim to be missing in so many other sets. If I can make one toy collector out there jealous I will consider that a bonus. Even if that isn’t the case I can finally sleep easy at night knowing the Mighty Megazord is keeping the forces of evil away from my ever growing toy collection.

Artificial DNA? Is this Blade Runner yet? lots of toy topics! Hot Wheels and more!


This is another packed episode of The Dark Web Podcast. THERAT talks about toys. All kinds of toys. All the toys bought in the last two months and toys coming in the future! Music topic includes A Boy Names Sue and a confession about country music. Yikes. And dress shopping anecdotes are talked about. Yes I went dress shopping for Stephanie and we got some cute outfits. Lots of stuff to talk about. No video this week. Stay Cool.

Barbie! GameStop! The Ring? and more Toy collecting topics!


This week’s topics include remembering The Ring movie, more classic toy collecting, picked up a Barbie, Transformers G1 DVD box set, Gamestop closing stores, Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster returning to TV’s and more.

It’s a packed episode with lots of topics, two weeks worth! Enjoy and Stay cool.

Returning to The Ring, 2002 film

I recently had a discussion with myself on my podcast about the difference between a thriller and a horror movie. I wasn’t quite sure where to place this particular film. I hadn’t seen it since sometime in 2004. I decided to give it another view last night.

Before I go further my reluctance to watch it is not based on a dislike or lack of appreciation of the film, on the contrary I loved the film tremendously when it was knew. My reason for avoiding it for so long was personal. I had a good friend and former boyfriend of my baby sister drown to death in the winter of 2004. His body was trapped in the frozen river for over a week. We attended a closed-casket funeral because of the disfigurement his body was in. As such I had a very hard time returning to a horror film that uses drowning as the method of killing. It was too hard to over come.

Enough time has since passed I was able to bring myself to watching it last night. I don’t quite know why I was drawn to it. I was thumbing through my DVD collection and where I normally move passed this film instead I found myself grabbing it, inserting into the DVD player and starting it up in one instinctive motion. It felt like something I needed to do.

I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time talking about my friend. That is in the past. Rather I want to concentrate on remembering how, and why, I loved this movie so much upon my initial viewing. In fact I enjoyed this movie so much I not only returned to theaters multiple times to see it again, I made it a point to bring someone new each subsequent viewing. I had to make sure as many people as possible experienced this harrowing tale. I felt such remorse and sympathy for Samara. My heart ached in a way I can’t quite describe. With each viewing I continued to develop an obsession. I went so far as to drag my mother, who despises horror movies, to see this movie. I assured her it was a movie she needed to see. She didn’t disagree with me. Sadly I had forgotten her own brother drowned to death at the mere age of 11, not far from Samara. It wasn’t the first time I would make this mistake. My mom didn’t talk about her brother’s death with me much before that time. She made it a point to do so afterwards. Even more so once my friend drowned.

In a way I’ve always considered drowning to be one of the worst ways to die. You are powerless yet completely aware. Unlike being shot or killed in a car accident where you could die nearly instantly, this is a cruel way to leave your life behind. The fact the little girl in the film took seven days to do so made it all the more chilling. She had plenty of time to devise her revenge upon those who terminated her brief walk upon this earth.

Looking back at the film I imagine from the child’s mind the betrayal of her own mother, who wanted her so desperately in her life to be the one to end it had to impact her soul. It certainly pushed the spirit of into seeking revenge. I can’t decide if she is sympathetic in the way she allowed her victims a full week to get their affairs in order before taking their lives or if that was a sign of her sadistic nature, torturing them for the week before granting them the relief death provided. The entire movie continues to send chills down my back even to this day.

Every once in a while something will come along in our society that speaks to me or touches me in a deeply personal way. I don’t quite know how to explain what specifically about this movie did so but it really captivated me upon first viewing. Last night, as I was watching it again for the first time I not only fell in love with it all over again, in a way I felt bad I had been away from it for so long. I can honestly say the sting of the death my friend experienced and the scar it left on my psyche have healed I imagine as much as they are going to. In the end the movie continues to call to me in that same subtle way it did over a decade ago. I used to watch this movie easily 3 or more times a week. It was a film I needed to see over, and over a again. I am fairly certain it woke something inside of me this most recent viewing as I am sitting here regretting the length of time it will be before my next opportunity to revisit it again. I am certain it will be sooner rather than later. All of my previous feelings of adoration for this film are now mixed with a powerful twinge of nostalgia that makes for an emotional cocktail I am surely to become greatly intoxicated by what remains one of my top ten movies of all time.

Birthday Episode, Gamestop sale, new Smash Bros. fighters and Transformers!


This episode marks a milestone, yes THERAT ended up having another birthday. It gets discussed along with birthday presents and wishes, memories and toys. 

Original G1 Transformers Soundwave at Walmart thoughts, impressions and shopping tale.

What does THERAT have to say about the Rise of the TMNT? Find out.

Nintendo is adding more characters to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. 

Episode 9, IT part two and maybe other movies that might be worth seeing?

Why did Stephanie enjoy the Quad City DJ’s so much and how did THERAT use that to break into the hip-hop street culture? Find out this and more inside another exciting episode of The Dark Web Podcast all inside The Spiders Lair, Where Chaos Resides. Stay Cool.

What’s New to YouTube?- A Review Show!

Welcome back to another article here at The Spiders Lair, Where Chaos Resides. This time I am happy to announce I am starting a new video series called “What’s New to YouTube” where I will talk about newer, smaller channels.

Each week I will shoot out a Tweet and Facebook post inviting YouTube Content Creators to recommend their channel for review. I will select one channel based on the following criteria.

1. The show must be active

The creator needs to be making new videos semi-regularly, once a month will do. They must also be actively promoting the channel. This can be social media, podcasts, other means. As long as the creator is trying to grow his or her respective show I will check it out.

2. It must be a small audience.

The purpose of the show is to help get exposure to new, smaller channels while creating quality content that other YouTubers will enjoy. The channel cannot have more than 100 subscribers.

3. It must be relatively new.

This is subjective but if the channel was created in the last year and is actively growing it is eligible. If the channel was created some time ago and only posts sporadic content on rare occasions it is not actively trying to grow and is not eligible.

4. There needs to be some proof of commitment.

This is also subjective but I am using 20 videos as a minimum threshold. The most current video cannot be older than a month or else it won’t be considered active.

5. It has to be quality content.

This is very subjective but Let’s Eat, prank shows, conspiracy theorists, hate speech, personal diary style vlogs etc., will most likely not make the cut. But don’t hold back submit a channel and see if it gets featured.

I will feature one channel a week. I will look at the content, I will reach out to the creator on social media and I will link back to the channel and creator’s social media once the video is live on my channel. The creator is free to share the video and discuss it in their own content; blog, podcast etc., but they are not allowed to upload it to their channel or spam the comments of the video.

I am trying to make a series of magazine/TV style videos similar to Entertainment Tonight or TV Guide that brings attention to quality, but unknown, content.

I have a companion show called What’s Streaming. There is absolutely NO criteria for this show, I decide which videos or channels to feature.

What’s New to YouTube will ONLY review YouTube channels. I am not interested in Twitch or similar content. What’s Streaming can be anything, from YouTube, Twitch or podcasts to Hulu, Netflix and the like.

If you want to submit your channel for review on this exciting new series feel free to respond to one of the social media posts on Twitter @ phatrat1982 or Facebook @ thespiderslairblog. As always, Stay Cool.

To Barbie or Not to Barbie, that’s an interesting question

I recently made it known I am very much into a lot of girly things, including my struggles with discovering my own possible trans gender identity. I’ve come to terms with the fact I enjoy hanging with girls, listening to female singers, dancing, dressing up with make up and other feminine activities. I’ve kept a lot of this to myself over the years but now that I am no longer bothering with letting other people dictate to me what I am doing with my life I decided to explore some other areas of my interests that have remained dormant.

I’ve been an on again, off again toy collector since I was a kid. I’ve never been ashamed of liking toys. I mostly buy action figures because even as an adult our society has been fairly acceptable of grown adults collecting action figures. The one area I’ve strayed away from, however, is the more obviously stereotypical girl stuff. Oh sure when I was a kid my sisters had their own Barbie dolls that I quite often entertained myself with in a non perverted way. In fact I was very much into the Barbie, Care Bars, Popples and Rainbow Bright as I was Transformers, TMNT and Star Wars. In fact I resisted He-Man on the basis it felt sexist to me to say boys have to like muscle bound barbarians in nothing but underwear for clothes. It always I guess bothered me.

Recently I contemplated whether or not I wanted to begin throwing all that out the window and buy every toy I desire to own, not just the supposedly gender appropriate ones. I’ve walked down a Barbie doll toy aisle many times thinking I wish I could buy some of these without judgement or fear of being attacked in some fashion.

Telling my family I am an action figure collector, or even toy collector wasn’t that difficult. I justified the Transformers because they were metallic toys with rubber wheels, nothing different than say collecting die cast cars which even my dad did. It does seem weird for me to consider purchasing a Barbie because I know it will raise eyebrows as well as questions. I kind of wish I could push past that stigma and say hey, look if I determine I won’t or choose not to dress up in women’s clothing for my own mental health then maybe I can live vicariously through Barbie. I know I put a little too much thought into the things I buy. Believe me I do this with everything. I worry every DVD or video game I pick up will someone accuse me of being gay? Trans? Feminine? Or something else? I decided since I don’t let it bother me any more well as much as I can, fear is still very real but I’ve lived with fear my whole life. It’s time I stop letting it dictate my own enjoyment and do what makes me happy.

Much like little Ben on Friends, I would have been very happy to sport my very own Barbie doll growing up. I am now at a point where if I can justify owning plastic figures of mutant ninja reptiles that live in the sewers, why can’t I justify buying a Barbie and Stacie doll and some accessories? I know some would question my desires to own any toys while others will certain fixate more on the feminine stuff. I am getting to the point where if my hobbies will deter people from associating with me, maybe I’m better off without those people anyways, family excluded of course.

We’ll see how or where this goes.

Rise of the TMNT basic figures initial thoughts

As part of my new found return to the world of toy collecting I decided to pick up a couple of the Nickelodeon Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures. I have a few thoughts I wanted to jot down.

I first fell in love with Ninja Turtles as a property sometime in 1989 or so when I discovered the 4-player arcade machine. This was my first exposure to the radical reptiles. Once I learned there were toys and a cartoon related to this exciting new world to explore.

I bought two basic figures, Trickster Leonardo and Wild Card Michelangelo. The figures are pretty solid, great looking and fully represent the character from the show. I have no complaints there.

I really only want to address a couple minor gripes. The first is the accessories. Both turtles come with a pair of throwing stars, except neither of them have any peg or pouch that I can find indicating they can hold those stars. This wouldn’t be a major issue but the next gripe I have could be. There is no instruction booklet or anything included. There is a fold out pamphlet advertising the other toys in the line, but that doesn’t help with determining what to do with those stickers which is my third gripe. Why include stickers and no instructions on where to apply them? It seems odd to me. I wonder if they assume anyone purchasing the toy would be familiar with the show and should have a clue? I don’t know as I have never seen an episode of the show so I don’t even know if that would help or not.

I find it annoying when any product, especially a toy, comes packaged minus instructions on how to utilize all its features. This is particularly frustrating with a sheet of stickers and a pair of accessories which appear to be interactive but aren’t completely clear if or how they would do so. I consider it a flaw in the toy maker or at the very least a glaring oversight to omit something that would require a purchaser of the product to Google how to use it. I suspect without an easy way to hold the item they will fall into the black hole all toy accessories inevitably do.

Over all it is a small complaint of an otherwise great pair of toys. The figures are well designed, very articulate and I actually like the art style of the turtles. I can’t say the same for Splinter but that’s another story. At the very least I can be happy to have two new and completely unique Leonardo and Michelangelo figures in my collection.

I would rate the figures a 4.5 out of 5. The minor issue of not including clear instructions, especially with a figure having stickers included, brings the score down from an almost perfect toy. I love the molds, the weapons and the character bios on the back of the packaging.

Simple rules for getting back into action figure collecting

Many years ago I was easily identifiable by my toy collection. I had a large number of Transformers, Star Wars, TMNT and related toys. This wasn’t early childhood this was well into my 20s. I got out of the hobby more or less around age 24. In the decade plus since I have maintained a strong desire to revisit the hobby in some form or another. I tried to live vicariously through my sisters who each had kids. I would buy them cool toys for birthdays, Christmas, etc., and watch them enjoy the toys. Due to a series of moves the majority of those toys ended up no longer in the possession of said kid. Therefore I decided that I will remove myself from buying things for kids who will not maintain them.

One of the reasons I exited the hobby was how disorganized it was. There were too many toy lines, to many figures and too many parts, vehicles, accessories and playsets to keep up with. Then I realized I could do my toy collecting the same way I do video game collecting, in that I don’t need to buy every little thing. Instead what I will do is focus on grabbing a few new toys from local toy store shelves as I find the time. I will concentrate on figures that area appealing to me that I don’t have an issue with taking home, opening up and displaying loose. What I will focus on is establishing a few rules that work for my budget.

Rule number 1: local only

I won’t be buying anything online. This means my focus will be walking into a Target, Walmart or Dollar General and buying what I find on their stores shelves. I live in a fairly small market with few choices. That being said I do have some near local options. The main reason for local only is to eliminate the temptation to go after original and retro or highly collectible pieces. In other words I want to put my attention on modern toys and pick up the older stuff down the road.

Rule number 2: no duplicates

This is easy. If I buy a figure, such as a Batman or a Megatron, I have one in my collection. This will not hold forever but I am setting milestones that I must achieve before I can purchase multiples of the same character. That will keep me focused. It means I have to be selective. If I buy a 12 inch Star Wars Darth Vader that means I can’t buy a 3 inch Darth Vader or an 8 inch one either until those specific milestones have been met.

Rule number 3: mandatory rotation of lines

This is slightly more complicated but similar to rule 2. Basically I will rotate my purchases from toylines. Since my intention is to collect from a wide range of areas I will mandate that if I buy a figure, item, accessory pack, vehicle or playset from one toy line, example Star Wars, this pay period then I have to refrain from purchasing an item from that same line next pay period. This will push me into broadening my scope allowing me to grow a decent selection with some nice variety rather than buying a ton of toys in the same line. I had contemplated a rule that would require balance, as in buying a good guy and a bad guy from each line as I went a long. I determined that rule was too restrictive and would severely limit my ability to make purchases on the fly.

Rule number 4: anything is fair game.

Okay this is a bit open ended but basically nothing is off limits. I am not making a list of items I wish to obtain. I will only be picking up what I physically come across. This will naturally limit what is available to me at first. However I will make some exceptions to the other rules. The idea is not to limit myself to one or two toylines. I don’t want to go for everything in a line just the stuff I come across I find interesting. By spreading it around I think it will give me a stronger collection that will span a wide range of interests.

Rule number 5: road trip pickups okay

I won’t be seeking things out online. Instead what I will do is keep an eye open as I visit retail stores. As for collectible or retro stuff I will check out thrift stores, flea  markets as well as be on the lookout when I attend conventions. I figured this is the best way to seek out the older stuff or even the out of stock locally items. This will be about the only way I obtain older or harder to find items.

Rule number 6: have fun

The reason for toy collecting, as with any hobby, is to enjoy the hobby. This is the easiest part for me to lose track of. I don’t want it to become a chore that is why I set the rules above. If I don’t have lists or goals of building massive collections of toy sets I will enjoy the collecting even more. In the process my goal is to pick up things that will bring me some joy, relieve stress and enrich my life. That is basically the reason for getting into any activity.

Recent pickups include 5 Dollar General legacy Transformers. I bought G1-G2 style small scale figures of Starscream, Megatron, Grimlock, Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime. I have also added 2 Nickelodeon TMNT figures, a Leonardo and Michelangelo.

hick-hop, Taco Tuesday?, Zork glow season 3 and more!

and this episode I talked about amiibo and Wii U collecting. I discovered hip-hop also known as country rap? I talked about Zork the text based adventure game. I talked about season 3 of glow. I update on my Let’s Plays and toy collecting. and I tell the story about how the rat and Stephanie discovered the song point of no return by Expose and how it became our favorite song. stay cool.