The 19 Nerdiest Submarine Adventures

Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 6:00 am


Among nerdy modes of transportation, submarines may be underrated. I suppose that the spaceship - or maybe the TARDIS - is the ultimate dream vehicle for nerds, but the submarine would still be high on the list, and it has, abetted by comic book advertising, a sense of plausible attainability the others do not.

So with Black Sea, Kevin Macdonald's heavy-handed but agreeably tense submarine thriller, out on Blu-ray this week, here are a few of the many submarine adventures with nerd appeal. I've focused only on vehicles, by the way, not undersea stations, even though it meant skipping such favorites as Destination Inner Space and DeepStar Six...

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Nintendo Rides and Characters Are Coming to Universal Studios

Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 5:00 am


King Kong, meet Donkey Kong. Mario, meet Minions. Universal and Nintendo just signed a deal to license game-based rides, attractions and costumed characters to Universal theme parks. There are no further specifics announced, aside from the deal featuring "Nintendo's most famous characters and games."

So what would you like to see in a Nintendo Universal Park? Donkey Kongfrontation? Pikachu's Seizure Spinner? The Legend of Wiener: Hot Links to Repast? Mario's Mamma Mia Pizzeria? Starfox Simulator?

I'd settle for a really good arcade. But they won't.

Universal Studios Florida to get New King Kong Ride

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 9:00 am


Much as the old "Kongfrontation" ride took the germ of its idea from the mechanical Kong on the Universal Hollywood backlot tour, so too will "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" take the current backlot tour's King Kong 360 3D and make it its own thing, adding giant sets, animatronics and unique vehicles to the screen-based adventure.

Interestingly, what it will NOT apparently be is a specific tie-in to the upcoming Kong movie Skull Island, which we don't know much about aside from it being set in a different time period from the original - this ride is set in the '30s, like the classic King Kong and the Peter Jackson remake. No word on reviving the old attraction's "banana breath" feature, sadly.

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That Old Evel Knievel Wind-up Motorcycle Toy Is Coming Back

Friday, May 1, 2015 at 1:58 pm


Every kid I knew had this growing up, and I cannot recall one ever actually working properly - he'd go sideways and fall off almost immediately. Not unlike his real-life canyon jump, it carried the expectation of coolness without much execution.

With Forever Fun remaking it from the original parts, with necessary tweaks for today's safety standards, can they tweak it to actually do what it oughta while they're at it? Once again, what looks cool may not deliver - but at $50, it's cheaper than some nostalgia toys.

Only Took Three Decades to Get Decent Garbage Pail Kids Toys

Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 12:07 pm


As with Kidrobot's Family Guy, I think these are perfectly suited to the blind-box stylized format. You wouldn't want to pay too much for a one-joke toy, but you would want it to be articulated, and the generic, blobby body fits the existing design style.

Naturally these are coming from Funko, which apparently owns every license in the world now, in some for or other. Each figure will be evenly packed - no rares or chases - and a 10" deluxe Adam Bomb will also be made.

Now the uphill struggle is to remind kids what these actually are, and why they're funny.

Funko Hilariously Bites Hand That Feeds With Generic "Hot Topic Guy" Toy

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Dan Casey

There's nothing people who shop for brand names to express their individuality like more than to be boiled down to a single stereotype, right?

Hot Topic Guy needs to fight The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy for '90s nerd caricature supremacy. Now, thanks to Funko, that battle can play out on your living room floor. Just watch the lip ring.

(many thanks to my old colleague Dan Casey for snapping the pic)

The Makers of Hello Kitty Introduce Their Newest Creation of Cute - Gudetama, a Sentient Egg Yolk.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 8:00 am


Meet Gudetama.

You might as well meet him now, because the women of the world will force you to acknowledge his existence sooner or later. Launched in Japan two years ago, the character, who if you think about it is basically a chicken fetus, is hitting the U.S. in merchandise form starting today.

This lazy egg rocks himself to sleep in his shell, curls up in a bacon blanket, takes naps on a bed of rice, and has no motivation but to lay around.
Oh good. This will help Hello Kitty fans get used to the idea of having a husband.

Naturally, being Japanese, some of the merchandise imagery is a bit odd.

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6 Things to Consider When Spending Your Entire Paycheck on a Star Trek Tricorder

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 5:00 am


Most of us people of the geeky persuasion have a collection of some sort. With the seemingly infinite diversity of fan bases and the actual limitless lengths companies will go to make money, you can, for the right price, collect just about anything, geeky or mundane. For purveyors of Topless Robot, one might collect toys or comics, films or anime wall scrolls. As someone who loves film, science fiction and technology, my drug of choice for the better part of the eighteen years of my adult life has been movie props.

The problem with collecting props, as a married man with four kids, is that the prices involved with collecting props generally range from "I'm never getting laid again" to "Divorce Court." Therefore, my authentic prop collection is limited to a pair of screen-worn Caprica Buccaneers jerseys (a gift from my wife), and Eddie Griffin's briefcase from Undercover Brother. While I'd love the addition of some top tier props to my collection, the fact is that most cost more than my first car. [Hey, it's tax day - spend your refund! - LYT]

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Top-Down Smackdown: Best Bootleg Shirt of the Day

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm


No lengthy column ideas today. Just this beauty of a shirt available in multiple colors on

For those not into wrestling who don't get the joke: that individual pictured isn't Finn Balor, nor has he ever held the two titles you see him with right there. The comments, as always with weird shit on Amazon, are amazing:

"Finn Balor is the pride of the indigenous Samoan population of Ireland, so if you wear this shirt there you will be touched."

"As soon as I put on this shirt, I gained the uncanny ability to cock my arm like a shotgun and punch through brick walls."

"I do not recall Finn Balor losing his wrestling ability, getting a major tan, growing dingy hair, getting a large sleeve tribal tat, saying the "looney tunes" style promos, nor having two belts"

$23.99 is a bit too pricey for a bootleg, though.

h/t Heather Wixson

Geek Apparel of the Week: Body-Hugging Transformers Outfits by Mitmunk

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 10:59 am


I wish I had the figure to pull that look off. Wait, no, what do I care? I'll pull that shizz off if I feel like it. Just like Tron Guy, you cannot body-shame a dude who is shameless.

What look like bodysuits here appear to be combinations of leggings and longsleeve tees, which will go on-sale at Mitmunk's website starting tomorrow. The company is not new to form-fitting robotic attire, but the official license from Hasbro adds a substantial shot of Energon in the arm for their designers.

I feel like the Optimus windows are a little high - they usually represent his pecs - but if the goal is to draw one's gaze to a level higher than the inappropriate one, I can respect that.

h/t Dr.Gonzo82