Friday, May 31, 2013

Comic Books, Pokemon Cards, and World of Warcraft Mega Bloks

Hello! As you can tell by my very generic title (actually, it's not very generic since it's pretty specific, but you get the idea...), this post is going to be about my recent comic book, Pokemon card, and (a very fortunate) Mega Bloks purchases. Recently, I think I've been in a super, well, "girly" (not that comic books and Pokemon cards are inherently "manly", I'm just being stereotypical for conveniences sake) rut, what with all my fashion and beauty posts to the neglect of my other hobbies. I even made a video of me opening all the booster packs of Pokemon cards I'm going to show you here, but it ended up being a half an hour long and since everything was already opened, I didn't think it was worth refilming. I didn't purchase all of these things at once; this is kind of a highlights reel of the last month or so.

I'll start with the comic books, since there were some of my earlier acquisitions this month. Every year, there's a special day where you can get free comic books from your local comic book shop. It's on the first Saturday in May and is called "Free Comic Book Day" (creative, no?).
This is the bag you get with your free comic books!
Lucky for me, I live very close to one of the biggest comic book stores in my state, so there was no way I was going to miss Free Comic Book Day. Unfortunately, my husband works Saturdays and since he wanted to go as well, we weren't able to stick around very long after getting our comic books since he had to leave for work. My comic book store also had a 20% off of everything sale, free soda and snacks, and a bunch of drawings/raffles you could enter. There were also a handful of people in costume, including someone in a Santa suit, which was pretty awesome. I've been to a few different stores for Free Comic Book Day, and they all seem to have their own system for giving out the free comic books. Some places just have them all sitting out and you take whichever ones interest you, some shops have a limit of how many you can take, and some put together themed bags for people to take. My comic book store did the latter; you could pick between a bag full of children's comics or a bag filled with adult comics (though I spotted a Watchmen comic in the children's bag so I'm not sure how solid of a divide it was...). My husband and I both picked up an "adult" bag, though in retrospect one of us should have gotten a children's bag. Oh well.
These were the six free comic books we each got. Most (actually, I think all) comic books that are given away are specially printed for Free Comic Book Day. I really like to get more indie-published comic books as I find them more amusing, but this year I ended up with four DC comics, one America's Best Comics, and one Marvel comic book (as a side note, I've now said the word "comic" enough times that it sounds funny to me), which isn't a ratio I like. I don't really like DC comics, they take themselves a little too seriously, tend to be so grimdark that it's annoying, and I just don't like Batman and company as much as I like Marvel's roster of characters. But hey, they were free! Uh, I haven't actually read any of these yet, but I have thumbed through them and they look to be just like normal comics, though perhaps a bit more peppered with advertisements.

While my husband does buy more comic books than I do, I do have a few series I'm actively and inactively working on. Namely, Adventure Time (I also have issue #1 of the Marcelene/Princess Bubblegum spin off series), Tank Girl, and My Little Pony. Adventure Time I somehow fell behind on and now am missing some issues and, since I can't stand having gaps in my collections, I probably won't buy any new issues until I hunt down the old ones. I also fell behind on Tank Girl, and now I think they've moved on to a new sub-story. I love Tank Girl and since I found it through the movie, I don't harbor the same kind of hate for the movie that other fans tend to. Granted, the movie has very, VERY little to do with the comic books beyond the fact that there's a lady who drives a Tank, but if you view them as two separate entities, it's not so bad and even kind of amusing in a campy sense (I think this is how I managed to actually like the live action Super Mario Bro. movie; it's just so stupid and has next to nothing to do with the game that it's easy to enjoy it for what it is). As for My Little Pony, however, I have managed to keep up to date, which is kind of an accomplishment for me. These are my four most recent issues I've picked up from the main story:
And these are the two I got from the micro-series, uh, series:
Not sure how obvious it is, but my favorite pony is Rarity (at least out of the main characters). I like that they have at least two different covers per issue (there's a subscription cover, a couple covers you can get in comic book stores, and some stores even have their own specialty covers. I'm really excited because my shop is going to get their own special cover next-ish issue!). As for the micro-series, I'm pretty upset I didn't pick up issue #2, which was Rainbow Dash themed, since now I'm not sure if I'll get a complete set. I didn't get it because I don't particularly like Rainbow Dash and I didn't have the money to get more than a couple comics at the time. They didn't have it in stock the last time I was there, but hopefully they'll get it in again.

I also picked up some pins on impulse last time I was at my comic book store.
I thought it'd be cool to get a Star Sapphire pin. When I was buying my stuff, one of the employees showed me the other boxes of pins they had on the other side of the registers, which included fandoms such as Dr. Who, Marvel, and the Goonies. I had a hard time deciding between this Van Gogh Tardis and "Keep Calm I'm The Doctor", but the Van Gogh won since it's a bit more subtle and I don't like to be out there with my Dr. Who love (incidentally, the best Doctor is the Ninth and I don't care what David Tennant fangirls say otherwise).

Another thing I like to pick up at my comic book shop is Pokemon cards! I actually tend to buy more boosters from Target, but that's only because I'm there basically every day (there was a time in my life where I could go grocery shopping once a week and be fine, but now it seems like I have to go three, four times a week. I think it's because I'm eating more fresh fruits and veggies now and since I'm the only one who eats them, I only buy small amounts so they stay fresh and don't go bad before I can eat them all). I prefer to buy them from the comic book shop not only because they're cheaper ($3.99 versus $4.20; Toys R Us sells packs for $5 which is just plain stupid), but because I like giving my money to my local comic book shop and supporting them. I haven't been buying cards like I used to since my interest in collecting them has kind of faded; they crank out new expansions so quickly now that it's pretty hard to keep up and collect full expansions without breaking the bank. It also feels like there are a lot more "filler" cards now, cards you seem to get in every single pack. I got a pretty large amount of doubles in my recent mass-opening, which is a little disheartening. Over the last few weeks, these are the booster packs I've picked up:
I'm a sucker for promo cards, so I had a hard time resisting this box set, especially since you get three promos and three packs with cards that are still useable in the current League rotation (at least they were last I checked) for only $13. I'm always a little cautious when it comes to box sets like these because they tend to be either overpriced or include packs from past expansions that aren't playable anymore (and are hard to find so not collectable, either). I generally won't buy box sets where the boosters are more than $4 each, unless they have something really cool, like a figure I want or something like that. I got this at Target.
 I also got this booster from Target. I like that they changed up the packaging so now it's all cardboard and no plastic. The old blisters feel so wasteful to me; I understand why they'd want to package them that way for retail stores, but the boosters don't need any extra packaging (another perk to buying them from the comic book shop). At least now I can convince myself the cardboard will decompose and not fill a landfill forever. This is the newest expansion, Plasma Freeze. I was not very pleased with the next most-recent expansion, Plasma Storm, since I don't like Team Plasma pokemon. They're generally very lame (like Durants, Hogwatches, and Patrats) and not very aesthetically pleasing. I was hoping Plasma Freeze would be different, but it was a false hope (I mean, "Plasma" is right there in the title) and it's just more Team Plasma stuff.

Finally, I got three boosters from my comic book shop.
I got more Plasma Freeze boosters since I hadn't opened my first one yet and was still hoping they'd be better (I think I somehow blanked the "Plasma" in the title from my mind at this point...) and I got a Boundaries Crossed pack because that's been one of my favorite expansions as of late.

And then I opened them all! I really wish my video had turned out better; I like watching people open up Pokemon cards because it's exciting to see people pull rares (and I did get a very good card!). Oh well. Maybe if I save up enough to buy a booster box, I can do a series of shorter videos opening those up.

Going in order, I'll start with my "Legends of Justice" box.

These are the three promos; they're the three "kind of sort of" legendaries from Black and White. I say "kind of sort of" since there are a few other legendary "sets" (the weather trio for one) and just, I don't know. I miss there being just one legendary trio and then one crazy powerful Pokemon (yeah, I know, it's silly nostalgia, but when I was a kid, Pokemon made sense, damnit!). These are holo promos (they have the little black promo stars in the bottom right corners) of Virizion (which is kind of a silly name if you ask me), Terrakion, and Cobalion.

The three boosters included in this box were Black and White: Noble Victories, Black and White: Boundaries Crossed, and Black and White: Plasma Storm (so this is a very recently put together box set).
This was my Noble Victories pack; I put the rare and the holo up next to the booster wrapper. I got a rare Jellicent and a reverse holo Vanilluxe (which is also a rare, so awesome).
This is the Boundaries Crossed booster; I got a reverse holo Charmeleon and a rare Musharna (which is one of my faves from Black and White!).
Finally, this is my Plasma Storm booster. You can easily tell which Pokemon are the Team Plasma ones by their blue borders and Team Plasma crest in the attack/text box under the artwork. I'm not sure how Team Plasma Pokemon affect game play since I have't actually played with these new expansions. In this pack I got a rare Bouffalant (which is such an amusing Pokemon; it's a bison with an afro!) and reverse holo Crobat (also a rare), which actually looks pretty cool.

Next, I opened my Plasma Freeze booster from Target, where I got my best pull of the day.
My very first Plasma Freeze booster and I pulled a full art, Thundurus EX! I love these full art cards; they have such a graphical impact and the holo-finish has this interesting ridged texture to it. This is a "white star" rarity, so one of the rarest cards in this expansion. Very exciting! I also got a reverse holo Sneasel and, even though it's a common card otherwise, I think Sneasels are cool so I like having a holo one.

Finally, I opened my boosters from my comic shop. I opened the Plasma Freeze packs first hoping for another great pull, but alas, my luck was used up getting that Thundurus.
I got a reverse holo Team Plasma Badge (which says it makes the Pokemon you attach it to a Team Plasma Pokemon, so they must have special rules) and a holo Ghetsis. I like that they made other parts holo instead of just the artwork background, it adds visual interest to the card.
In this pack, I got a rare Kecleon and a reverse holo Lanturn. Nothing too interesting.
And in my final pack I got another Musharna and a holo Computer Search. I'm pretty sure this works the same as the original Computer Search, except that this one says you can only have one "Ace Spec" card in your whole deck, where you could have up to four Computer Searches originally (you can have up to four of any card/pokemon in your deck, unless it specifically says otherwise. At least, that's how it used to work; it might be different now and I'm merely dating myself). I think the official rules say that if there is a card from an older expansion that's not currently in rotation, but it has the same exact usage text as a newer card with the same name, you can use the older version card in your deck, so that's kind of cool.

Overall, I'm pretty okay with my pulls. I'm super happy I got a full art EX, but my other pulls were a bit on the "meh" side with a lot of doubles. I didn't buy too many Plasma Storm boosters when they first came out because I didn't like the Team Plasma Pokemon, and now I may avoid the Plasma Freeze ones as well and focus on Boundaries Crossed and my older expansions.

As one last item of business, I just wanted to quickly show a World of Warcraft Mega Bloks set I was lucky to find (on clerance even!) at Marshal's.
Apparently this is Windpaw the Pandarian Monk riding his Dragon Turtle mount. And he was only $3! I haven't played the new Mists of Pandaria expansion yet (and I'm not sure I will; I used to be pretty into World of Warcraft, not raiding or PVP but just because I'm one of those weird people who love to grind for special loot and achievements, but I've been avoiding it because, deep down, I just really don't like playing it. Not sure if that makes sense, but if you've ever played, you'll understand what I mean) so I don't really have any connection to the Pandarians and their Dragon Turtle mounts, but he was cheap and he'll look cool next to my Tauren on a Wyvern (I also have the Sindragosa and Lich King set, but they're on a bookshelf and Sindragosa is eating one of my many Rainbow Dash blind bag doubles).

And that's all I wanted to talk about in this post! Another long one, and I even edited out a lot of other things I wanted to say. Not sure how people manage to keep their blog posts so short and sweet; I know that I sometimes click away from walls of text, so I hope this isn't too much of me blathering on.

Thanks for reading! <3!

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