Thursday, March 31, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Movie Figures!

26 years ago today Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the first movie ever to features the heroes in a half shell cowabunga'd it's way into theaters.

The creature effects for the movie as well as it's sequel Secret of the Ooze were created by Jim Henson's Creature shop and were personally supervised by Henson himself.

Jim Henson with the Ninja Turtles with and director Steve Barron
Even though the movie was a smash hit, toys based on the film character weren't released until the following year, to coincide with the sequel.

In 2014, Playmates released a new line of action figures based on the "1990" movie.

The love of the original Creature Shop Turtles continues this summer, when NECA releases the first in a new line of highly detailed action figures.

Donatello comes out in July, stands 16.5" tall, features 30 points of articulation, and won't be cheap!

Cowabunga indeed!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Muppets "Most Wanted" Scrapbook Puzzle!

Muppets Most Wanted was released two years ago this month and as we all know, the movie wasn't quite box office gold. As such some merchandise scheduled to tie into  the movie was either not produced, released, or was rebranded. 

The later seems to be this case with this new puzzle by Mega puzzles.  

It's style is similar to the other puzzles in Mega's scrapbook line and, as far as I can tell, it was released late last year. 

As you can see, the images and theme are obviously tied to Muppets Most Wanted. However, the puzzle itself has been branded as simply a Muppet puzzle. No mention of Muppets Most Wanted anywhere on the box.

You can get it from Amazon with free prime shipping here

Friday, March 25, 2016

Muppet Match-Up: Lola Folana vs Little Green Lie

It's mid-March and once again the madness has begun. 

Have you heard someone say The Muppets isn't as good as The Muppet Show?

With all the bracket breaking matches going on on the word of sports we decided to match up episodes of The Muppet Show vs episodes of The Muppets and see what happens.  

The rules are simple and you can play at home as well. 
1. The episodes must be selected at random. 
    (Get out your DVD's, bootlegs, and what have you) close your eyes and point.

2. The only caveat to rule 1 is that you may pick a season of The Muppet Show, but the episode itself must be random. 

3. Right down things you find interesting about the episode while you're watching it, then do the same for the next episode and see how they compare and contrast. 

4. Once an episode has been selected, it's out of play and can't be selected again. (yes I know these means only 16 episodes (so far) of The Muppets vs 120 episodes of The Muppet Show.)

5. Watch each episode then compare, contrast, and evaluate.


For our first match, I wanted to really make it a challenge. I picked season 4 since The Muppet Show was very established and hitting it's stride at that point. Other then that, both episodes were selected at random.

Here we have our first Muppet Match-Up:

Lola Folana: 
The plot centers around Gonzo leaving the show to to go to Bombay India pursue his dream of being a movie star, which we first learned of in The Muppet Movie

Guest star: Lola Folana 

The episode is incredibly well written and dare you not to tear up when Gonzo breaks down after singing Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

I noticed there where a lot of songs in the episode - almost too many it seemed at times.

Kermit and Gonzo hug.

Gonzo and Camilla have a fight.

Camilla is featured with her female chicken friends. 

Other observations:
One of Steve Whitmire's first speaking characters: Trevor the Gross

Little Green Lie: 
The plot revolves around Kermit and Piggy trying to hide their breakup while Kermit's nephew Robin is visiting. 

Guest star: Lara Spencer. 

Gonzo and Pepe hug.

Gonzo and Camilla do couples yoga.

Camilla is featured with her female friends though this time they're human. 

While they couldn't more different, the similarities of the two episodes really took me by surprise!

Both episodes feature Gonzo and Camilla, two Muppets hugging, Camila hanging out with  female friends, and both feature female guest stars with first names that start with "L"! (That's called small talk)

Gonzo is central to the plot of Lola Folana but is barely the B plot in Little Green Lie. Instead of Kermit and Gonzo hugging in Lola Folana it's Gonzo and Pepe, Camila hangs out with her female friends only in Little Green Lie they're human

Verdict: Lola Folana packs an emotional wallop, while Little Green Lie brings the funny. Lola Folana is slowed down by the sheer number of songs, while Little Green Lie keeps things moving at a tight pace. Slight edge to The Muppet Show.

Now it's your turn. You can vote for which one you think should come out on top. Polling will be open for one week.

UPDATE: Voting can be done on the top right side of the page. Voting is now closed. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

RIP David Smyrl (Mr. Handford)!

We were saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of David Smyrl, otherwise known as Sesame Street's Mr. Handford. Mr. Handford was the owner of Hooper's Store from 1990 - 1998.

Smyrl was actually the second Mr. Handford - he replaced actor Leonard Jackson in the role after one season and co-wrote the songs in episode 3717 with Ian James.

Though no on screen explanation was given to Mr. Handford's departure, Sesame Workshop's official website cites that Mr. Handford simply sold the store to Alan in 1998.

During his career Smyrl wrote two episodes Benson, appeared in several episodes of The Cosby Show, and had guest roles on Law & Order and ER.

Check out a montage of the many projects he worked on:

Below he talks with "Everyday Philly" about his life and career:

RIP David Smyrl. you'll alway be Mr. Handford to us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

MuppetVision 3D Area To Be Renamed!

According WDWMagic and a few other Disney fan sites, the area containing Muppet Vision 3D and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano will become part of a new area called "Muppet's 

Currently, Muppet Vision 3D and Mama Melrose's are classified as being on the Streets of America. The other attractions in the area: Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Honey I Shrunk The Kids Playground, eateries Studio Catering Co. and High Octane Refreshments will close April 2nd to make way for the addition of the new Star Wars and Toy Story Lands.

The naming of this area would seem to indicate that a Muppet theme is coming to the currently closed Pizza Planet and possibly more Muppet mayhem to come!

Even the construction wall around "Pizza Planet" is pretty Muppety:

I'm looking forward to taking another trip to WDW too see the new Muppets Courtyard!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy World Puppetry Day!

Happy World Puppetry Day! If you think our graphic is meta, check out the "Muppet Puppet Show" by Alex Newborn!

Then be sure to watch the excellent behind the scenes episode of The Jim Henson Hour - "Secrets of The Muppets":

Imagine FX Magazine Takes Inside Look at Labyrinth and Dark Crystal Posters!

The latest issue of Imagine FX magazine takes a look at the creation of classic fantasy film posters from the 1980's, including Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal!

The issue features interviews with Ted CoConis (Labyrinth), and an expert on the work of  Richard Amsel (The Dark Crystal, Flash Gordon).

In this excerpt Adam McDaniel, an expert on Richard Amsel, talks about Amsel's work on the poster for The Dark Crystal.
"His poster for Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal is stunning, and was innovative at
the time. He centred the work around logo art created for the film by Brian Froud, who also designed many of its creatures. On one layer there’s a piece of velum with a montage of strange characters. The castle housing the crystal and the broken landscape around it burst up from the bottom of the poster in front of the parchment. It speaks of mythology, legend, and a time long ago."

Sadly, Richard Amsel passed away in 1985 from HIV. A few years later when it came time make the poster for Labyrinth artist Ted CoConis was chosen.
"Supplied with the idea of the Labyrinth and a logotype for the movie, the challenge for Ted was to bring the key characters together without it looking too complex. The film struggled at the box office, but its poster is iconic and today it has a cult following. “Every single character is a work of art in itself brilliantly conceived, masterfully constructed,” says Ted. “In the end, Jim picked out a handful of key figures, and I was free to tie everything together with whichever ones worked best for the design. “I was completely free to do whatever thought would work best in terms of concept and design. The only client input – which I had to override – was their insistence that Sarah be portrayed in blue jeans. That was completely inappropriate for the look and feeling of the painting as well as the movie itself. She simply had to be wearing the gorgeous gown she wore in that fabulous ballroom scene.”

The issue also features interviews with John Alvin (E.T., Gremlins), Renato Casaro (The
Never Ending Story
, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) as well as a look at the process John Alvin and Steve Crisp used to make the posters for 
Willow, and The Princess Bride. 

If you're a fan of 1980's fantasy movies I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cookie Monster Asks "Hey Siri" in New iPhone Ad!

In the 90's, Apple had a series of successful ads featuring "Mac vs PC" today Apple unveiled it's latest celebrity ad "Timer," and now it's time for Cookie Monster vs Siri!

That's right, everyone's favorite cookie fiend is the star of Apple's latest campaign touting the virtues of hands-free Siri.

The ad has another Muppet connection as well the song played while Cookie Monster waits is Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle", which was song by Jim Henson on The Muppet Show:

Monday, March 14, 2016

Jim Hensons Storyteller: Dragons #4

The final issue of Jim Henson's Storyteller: Dragons will hit comic stands this Wednesday!

The issue features the story of the “Samurai’s Sacrifice,” which is based on the Japanese
folklore of the dragon Yofune Nushi.

Check out a few sample pages below:

Don't forget to pick up your copy of Jim Henson's Storyteller Dragons #4 Wednesday!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Strong Museum to Display Jim Henson Merchandise!

The Henson family donated more than 540 licensed products and 60 books to The Strong Museum - other wise known as The Museum of Play - in Rochester, NY.

The Muppets, Fraggles, and Beyond: The Jim Henson Collection features dozens of licensed playthings and products, such as coloring books, activity books, board games, card games, video games, stuffed animals, puppets, jigsaw puzzles, music boxes, collecting cards, hats, calendars, and household decorations. The artifacts showcase many of Henson’s popular characters such as Big Bird and Grover from Sesame Street and Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy from The Muppet Show.

The Strong's Jim Henson Collection will open April 8.

More info on the museum can be found on their website

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Muppets Tonight Valentine's Cards!

This week marked the 20th anniversary of the short-lived ABC series Muppets Tonight.

Since the show only ran for a short amount of time, very little merchandise was produced around the show. In 1997, a year after the show's debut not one - but two packs of Muppets Tonight Valentine's Day cards were released. 

A set of 34 Valentines,

and a set of 42 Valentines:

The cards in each packaged were the same and featured Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Clifford, and Sal Minella:

The Muppets Tonight cast, 
Andy and Randy Pig, Johnny Fiama:

Seymour & Pepe, Clifford & Kermit, and Kermit:

The back of the 34 count box featured 4 cards on the back, while the 42 count box only had the Miss Piggy and Gonzo cards. 

These Valentine's Day cards were the only official Muppets Tonight items ever released. Other products featuring the Muppets Tonight characters were labeled as general Muppet items, with no mention of the show on the package.