I love the smell of vinyl

While I do own and use a record player, vinyl records are not the topic of this post. I am a collector of urban vinyl which is what this post is dedicated to.  While some people see this type of art as “toys”, for me, the pieces I have are beautiful artistic sculptures with a story attached to every figure I own. Yes, at first glance you may think…”toys”…but have you ever seen a “toy” look as beautiful as this?!

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Ok so they may have some toy-like-features but just like traditional art, these pieces begin as an idea that is put onto paper and are then brought to life into something you can hold and touch and display.  For me, this type of art speaks to me, and each piece I have holds a story, they are unique as they are beautiful.  Typically these pieces are limited to a few hundred ever made and belong to people all over the world.

Luke Chueh
Some of my most choice artists would have to include Coarse Toys, Kathie Olivas, Luke Chueh, Yoskay Yamamoto, Ashley Wood, Tara McPherson, Amanda Visell, and Kaws.  Sadly Kaws no longer creates vinyl art but his gallery prints and artwork are simply stellar.  Each artist has such a unique style and allows their work to have a presence in our world and a piece of shelf space in my living room.

3A

While jumping head first into this world of vinyl may seem intimidating, there are plenty of ways to dip your toe in the shallow end.  I myself started like most people do…with Kidrobot’s Dunny’s! These little guys are addictive!  If you’re a collector, a completest, or a little OCD, I must warn you…this is not for the dabbler.  Sets of the most adorable 3 inches wrapped in blind boxes and foil with top artists and chase versions…it’s easy to get caught up with those alone and while I haven’t bought a Dunny in about a year, I can proudly say I still own oodles of them and still think they’re delightful!

Yoskay

After the Dunny game, I quickly advanced into some of the larger 8″ Dunny’s and then jumped off the deep end by purchasing the Milky Paw by Coarse.  Now I feel I must warn you again…the vinyl game is not really for the sentimental and it’s important to know that buying, selling, and trading are all a big part of this for a lot of people.  Sadly, the Milky Paw was something I parted with years down the road in order to help finance the purchase of other pieces.  I can’t say I don’t regret it from time to time but I think I just miss it.  I guess it’s important to remember that these are pieces of art and not Pokemon…you just can’t catch them all!
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While this may not be new to some of you, I hope there are some of you that have had their curiosity piqued.  I would love to encourage you to step out of your norm and maybe try something new!

Also if you want to watch me geek out, you can watch my first Unboxing video here!

Side note, for those of you in the Chicago area, this Saturday night Rotofugi will be hosting an exhibition for Coarse Toys who will be releasing 2 new exclusive figures and some other awesome goodies!  Even if you’re not buying Rotofugi is a beautiful store and the owners/staff are people worth knowing.  If you can make it, I would highly recommend it…and I will be super jealous!!!
You can find all the info HERE!

Color station

 

B-Day Giveaway

So I know its my bday month (bring on the cake!) but I’ve decided to give something to you, my fellow nerds out there! Follow me on twitter or Facebook and post some of your favorite nerdful things you love, (retweet and share for an extra chance) and on Friday, August 5th, I’ll pick two winners to get an exclusive SDCC Ghostbusters Conan Pop!!  It’s that easy!!

Happy bday to me and happy geeking to my fellow nerds in the world!

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We’re Off!

Sadly I got so crunched in my crunch time, I never posted this!  I am headed out in mere minutes, waiting for my brother to show up so we can hit the road!!
Well I am pretty much past crunch time and into pure excitement and joy mode now with SDCC 2016 in days!!! How can I be expected to focus at work, maintain my home, take care of my dog, and make it to the gym? I have Pokemon, to catch and shows to watch and a custom Funko project to finish!! Ok so I guess I’m still slightly in crunch mode  but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is the glorious sun shinning down on the Gaslamp district in San Diego.
I am so excited to share my adventures with the world!! It seems each year I’ve attended SDCC, some sort of theme emerges during or is realized after returning home.  This year will be the year of Funko for me. I know this already as I will be attending Funko Fundays and my crew and I have managed to secure Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday tickets to the Conan O’Brien show! I am also entering the Funko custom event and I’m really happy with how it’s turning out!  I’ll be sure to reveal all the details soon but for now it’ll be a surprise.
The next 72 hours will have almost every minute accounted for.  Packing, planning, last minute Target runs for deodorant (a serious must for SDCC) will consume my life now.  All of the anxiety and stress felt in these moments are now totally mixed with sheer joy and excitement wondering what I’ll see first as we turn onto Fifth Ave and drive toward the convention center, or who I might bump into, will I score that exclusive I’m so desperate to have? Just typing this puts a smile on my face and I’m transported to nerd mecca and the energy that buzzes around fills my robot heart.
Ok, gotta stay focused…back to reality. Fortunately because I’m probably slightly OCD, I’ve been budgeting and planning for this trip literally a month after last years SDCC.  Excel, Google Docs, and Evernote are my friends.  I already have my list what I need to pack, snacks I need to buy, and everything else I still need to do before I go.  I’ve been eating rice and beans for the past few months so my budget looks great…exclusives here I come!  And I’ve got my days listed out with options for everything that’s happening each day.  While some people might say this takes the fun out of it, I’ve learned if you don’t have a loose game plan and a few options of what to do each day, things can get missed or you end up missing out on something awesome!  Inevitably no matter how much research and planning you do, you will miss something. And that’s ok!  If I’ve learned anything from my control issues in conjunction with Con, it’s best to just hang on and enjoy the ride as often as possible.
This will be my last pre-Con post…I have to give my dog a bath and finish my project! But please check back for all of my after Con goodness. So here is to sore feet, no sleep, and spending insane amounts of money on toys!

SDCC Fail

In exactly 4 weeks, SDCC 2016 will commence, opening its doors for Preview Night! In honor of this joyous occasion, I wanted to share with you all some of my epic SDCC fails over the years.  The pure joy, excitement, and adrenaline rush mixed with sheer exhaustion, disappointment, and living off of hot dogs can cause anyone to have a few failures and “DOH!” moments during the course of the event and I am certainly no exception.

One of my all-time favorite SDCC years had to be my first.  This was around the time badges became difficult to get and you had to be quick on the draw.  I was fortunate enough to get all 4 days plus preview night which was a great start, and even scored The Omni Hotel.  This was also the first year of “The Walking Dead Escape” at Petco Park which is a story for another time.  Needless to say, I was pumped.  Walking into the convention center floor on PN for the first time is something I will never forget.  Heart pounding, Kool-Aid smile plastered on my face, my brother by my side…I had arrived at Nerd-vana! The rest of the seasoned veteran crew was set to arrive the next day ready for the four of us to tackle SDCC head on and leave with as many exclusives, and “you’ll-never-believe-what-happened-at-SDCC” experiences as possible.  Everything seemed to go right that year, all of the SDCC stars aligned and with every new morning came a new adventure.  That is until the biggest “you’ll-never-believe…” moment happened…or did it?!  As the 4 of us were walking out of the Omni on the way to dinner, one of my partners in crime looked into the hotel and noticed someone familiar moving fairly quickly through the lobby…him, ”Hey there’s Dexter!” (Michael Hall) The rest of us stopped in our tracks and did an immediate 180, rushing back into the lobby, completely drunk in star-struckeness.  Trying to be polite, I asked if he would please take a photo with me and my brother.  He agreed and I was like… “Ermahgerd! I’m getting a picture with Dexter!!”  As my brother and I stood there with Michael, my overly excited friend took what would turn out to be known as the “did you reeeaaallly get a picture with Dexter” picture.Dexter Pic

 

Alas, one of our biggest bragging moments was totally blurred!  I assume in his excitement my buddy just couldn’t keep his hands steady, and probably trying to respect Mr. Hall’s time by hurrying, we ended up with what you see here today.  #SDCCFail

There was also the time, many many years ago when SDCC was not quite what it was today. Where stars roamed free and free swag was more than just your typical light up button.   My seasoned veteran SDCC friend found himself walking around the convention center floor enjoying all that is SDCC when he happened across…Mr. Stan Lee himself, totally alone standing next to one of the booths!  He was only about 15 feet away, wondering whether or not to approach Stan, contemplating what he would say, which character to talk about, considering if it would be best just to leave him be to enjoy the Con.  And then, as quickly as Stan had appeared, he was gone…like a unicorn, never to be seen for free again.  To this day he still questions his decision so I count it as a #SDCCFail and a reminder to go with your gut!

More recently, last year to be exact, the crew and I were making a pit stop at our hotel room after a long day of walking the floor and other random SDCC shenanigans.   We were staying at the Manchester Grand and headed over to the elevators when we saw a small crowd of people surrounding someone!  It turned out to be…Wil Wheaton!

For those of you who have never watched Family Guy, this next part won’t make as much sense so please take a moment to watch the following clips.

Ok so now that you’ve got the basics…there we were in a small crowd of people watching Wil get into an elevator with his entourage.  I decided I would be the cool kid and say something clever to get his attention and also maybe just make is day.  So in my exhausted excited SDCC state of mind, in my best Stewie voice I yelled…”Hey Wil, want some H-wipped Cream?!” Sadly, not only did I shout this once, but three times in between each time, Wil replying…”you mean Cool H-wip?” While this was most certainly not cool kid clever, I’m pretty sure I made him laugh and if not him, my crew and people around me sure were!  Mr. Wheaton, if you ever read this, please know the shame I bare and the ridicule I still receive from my friends. #SDCCFail

While I am typically the one of the biggest planners when it comes to pretty much anything, I can tell you that SDCC is teaching me that there are some things you just can’t prepare for no matter what. I’m learning to embrace these “failures” and now have some pretty funny memories and stories because of them. I hope to have more of them for you all after this year and would enjoy hearing some of yours!

So what is your biggest #SDCCFail?

 

Fundays Custom Has Commenced

No matter how many DIY projects I’ve done…too many to count at this point…starting any new project is a mixture of “oh my gosh this is going to be awesome, wait this is going to be terrible, what the heck have I gotten myself into, I’m so glad I’m doing this..it’s going to be awesome!!” all rolled into one.  This is very much the case with my recent endeavor.

Last week Funko announced that they will be hosting a custom contest at their Fundays event during SDCC this year.  This being my first Fundays event, I figured I should jump in with both feed and give it a go.  While I’m not at liberty to divulge exactly what I’m doing at this time, I can show you what my work station looks like and my adventures using an airbrush for the first time!

Any guesses on what it’ll be? 🙂

DIY Workstation

In the past I’ve done some custom work with Munny figures, painting on canvas or my walls, and some ModPodge.  I’ve always used acrylic paints or spray paint and a paintbrush.  Each time I’ve taken on any project, I feel like my latest was better than the one before and this one is no exception.  I’m a big fan of research mixed with a bit of “Ima go for it and see what happens” in the beginning and I feel it serves me well.  I’m really liking the airbrush and I’m already looking forward to my next ideas that will allow me to use it.  My Fundays piece is coming along great and I’ll be sure add pictures of it’s progress after SDCC along with some of my processes but for now I gotta keep this puppy under wraps…it is a contest after all!

Some tips I can offer any DIY’er that have served me well would be:

  1. Always Prime Your Piece!
    • The first Munny I made almost 8 years ago is STILL sticky because I didn’t use primer.  Everything I’ve made since then always gets 2 coats.
  2. Prep Work & Planning
    • It’s super easy to get excited and just start going, but in many cases I’ve had to pause or stop at the worst possible time because I didn’t have exactly what I needed.  Getting the majority of the supplies needed ahead of time and having a good game plan has helped my projects go faster and smoother and much more enjoyable during the process.
  3. Track Your Progress
    • Have you ever made something for dinner you just “threw together” and it turned out amazing but you don’t remember exactly what you used or how much?  Some projects can be like that so it’s helpful to take photos or in some cases make notes of things you did that worked or didn’t work for the next time.

So best of luck to all of you currently working on something,  i can’t wait to finish this and show it off!  Feel free to pass along any advice in the comments below!

My First Unboxing

Recently I decided to get a little crazy and make my very first unboxing video!  I’ve never really done anything so public on the internet before so needless to say I was pretty nervous about uploading it and naturally assumed I would have a grand total of 8 views.

To my pleasant surprise, after a week I already have over 600 views!  A huge shout out to Coarse for promoting me on their Facebook page.  I was totally flabbergasted when I saw that so thank you!

And without further ado….here is my very first unboxing video featuring the Last Days of Autumn set by Coarse Toys x Amanda Visell.  More to come after SDCC with the loot & swag I pick up there.

Enjoy!

SDCC 2016

8/1/2016

*cough cough

My apologies for the week long delay in my update from SDCC 2016.  I managed to bring home more than exclusives and photos this year and sadly also brought back the Comic-Con-CRUD! Note to self for next year…Airborne!!

I am finally feeling slightly more human and getting back into the swing of things after a wonderful time in San Diego.  This year I managed to attend 3 Conan O’Brian shows, Funko Fundays, Nerd HQ, a Nat-Geo party, and got shut out hardcore from the Fandom part at the Hard Rock…(VIP Only..thank you!)  As I’ve mentioned, each Con has it’s own rhythm and this year was no exception.  Sadly I spent less time on the CC floor than any other Con and I seriously feel like I missed out on SO much!   Not that my experiences outside weren’t a lot of fun and memorable, but I am a convention center floor girl at heart and love the thrill of the hunt for my exclusives and random moments.  Averaging about 4 hours a day on the floor left me feeling like I must have missed out on something but I have too many great experiences to dwell on it too much.

For instance…there was that time I bumped into Danny Pudi getting my coffee…
It’s Lorin & Abed in the moooooooorning!

Danny Pudi

Seriously such a great guy and totally enjoyed meeting him!  If I had been in my normal “floor mode” I can assure you I would have been outside in line waiting to get into the CC and not getting coffee which means I would have missed out!

While I consider standing outside the CC…in a line…waiting to hopefully get a ticket…which tells me I miiiight have a chance to purchase something..part of my regular routine,  I will say it was tougher this year since all I wanted to do was be inside.  While waiting in said line (Lego) I was fortunate to snag a quick second with this guy!

Rob Liefeld

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Rob Liefeld may not be Ryan Reynolds…we can all thank him for his creativity, inspiration, and passion that allowed us to now have not only an amazing hilarious character…but also Ryan Reynolds in spandex.  And all the ladies said…AMEN!!  (side note, total #SDCCFail moment, I had my nails painted as Deadpool this year and didn’t even show them to him!)  Sadly I also missed out on getting a ticket that may have let me win the privilege of purchasing something but Rob and the people watching made it a great moment regardless!

One of my other favorite moments would have to be after Funko Fundays.  Ok well before, during, and after Funko Fundays cuz that night was off the hook!  I decided to enter their custom contest which was a little intimidating but I really enjoy arts and crafts time and thought it was a great excuse to go to Michael’s so I jumped in head first and here was my end result….

Infinity FreddyIMG_4914 IMG_4915

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I didn’t win a “prize” I will say that the complements I received walking too and from the event made me feel like a million bucks!  I worked hard and felt so proud of what I was able to accomplish in a fairly short amount of time and hope to have the chance to do it again next year!

(for more pics of the entire process and how I made it, link coming soon)

 

 

So that was more of the before and during Fundays…I’m not sure what I’m allowed to divulge about what happens there, I think it’s like Fight Club or something, but I can say I totally lost my voice from hooting and hollering for hours, sore cheeks from smiling so much, and I’ve never experienced a company that does more for it’s fans and patrons than I did that night.  Thank you Funko!

Coming off of the adrenaline high from the night, we decided it would be best to sit in the hotel lobby and people watch.  This turned out to be a wonderful idea because around 1:00am, my 14 year old self got to come out and meet Ian Ziering!!

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I gotta say, I was exhausted but being a die heard 90210 fan back in the day, I was blushing/crushing hard core!!  How embarrassing!!

Our seats for the Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday Conan shows changed drastically from day to day!  Since ticket pickup opened at 9am, if you wanted good seats you had to line up early!  Some days we did good, other days not so much, but getting to be there and experience the show was a lot of fun!

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IMG_4867IMG_4937 Wednesday Night

Silicon Valley crew

Thursday Night

The Flash, Green Arrow, & Supergirl

Weird Al Yankovic

Friday Night

Cast of Suicide Squad

I was also fortunate enough to get to bump into these guys during my coming and going this year. Nolan Gould was just hanging around on Wednesday afternoon at our hotel and seemed so relaxed and comfortable. On our way out on Sunday we ran into Nathan Fillion who has to be one of the most polite celebrities I’ve ever met!

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In all of my rushing around outside the CC floor, I still managed to get some good blisters and very sore piggies when all was said and done.  I almost got eaten by a zombie, grinned ear to ear while watching basically the entire cast of The Walking Dead signing autographs on the floor.  I tried to figure out a way to sneak this giant Harley Quinn pop out and home with me but decided SDCC jail just wasn’t for me.  I got to catch up with my good friends at MunkyKing and meet some new people who were a big help,(thank you Squidward!).  I managed to snag a beautiful piece of vinyl from Rotofugi that I will treasure forever, and of course…I had a floor dog. (convention center hotdog).
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While this year may not have been what I expected it to be, I can’t say that I would change much even if I could go back now.  Ok maybe the floor dog, but overall I’d put this trip in the success category and can’t wait to see what next year has in store!

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Here were a couple of my awesome winners from my giveaway this year at SDCC2016!!

Looking forward to next year and thanks for playing along!!

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6/28/16-Ok boys and girls…here is the second teaser photo for my scavenger hunt giveaway during SDCC 2016!  Be sure to follow me on Twitter @nerdfulthingz to be eligible to win, and for updates on my whereabouts during the event!  Giveaway

 

6/13/2016 – It’s official!  I will be having a scavenger hunt during Thursday, Friday, & Saturday at SDCC this year!  I’ll be on the floor each day with a swag bag full of fun goodies for you to enjoy and all you’ll have to do is find me! Follow me on Twitter @nerdfulthingz for more teaser photos before the event.  Each day I’ll tweet a picture of what I’m wearing and the spots I plan to visit on the Con Floor.  When you find me and answer a simple trivia question relating to your prize…you WIN!

I hope you’re as excited about it as I am!

Ck3-uLBUkAEiacc

 

And Here We Go

Nerdful Thingz…

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I remember my days always involving Sesame Street, Looney Tunes, Thunder Cats, and X-Men Cartoons, Eggo waffles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and a healthy dose of imaginative games played with my brother.  Barbie, GI Joe, Matchbox Cars, and Legos were pretty standard along with Atari and Nintendo sprinkled in from time to time.  We were the family who had the extended Lord of the Rings DVD box set and hosted day long parties so everyone could come watch them.  While this can probably describe many people’s childhood from that generation, for myself I never fully grew out of it.
Entering into the awkward years of middle school, I chose choir instead of dance…partially due to my lack of coordination, and continued to build my Lego sets, ask for race cars and video games for Christmas, and quickly solidified my social status in school as a nerd.  While fitting in during the rest of my middle school and high school years were not always the easiest…probably in part to summer music camps, bad perms, glasses, braces, and the figure of a 12 year old boy, but I learned a lot about true friendship and I’m grateful that I never really had to compromise who I was as a person just to fit in.
Fast forward to today, a 30 something self-professed nerd who has hour long discussions about Avengers and Lord of the Rings movies at dinner parties, the girl who would rather spend unmentionable amounts of money on new toys instead of purses and shoes, someone who plans her year around SDCC, and decorates her home with glass cases full of vinyl toys.
So while I can’t say I’m the NERDIEST OF THEM ALL…I only just got into reading comics about 5 years ago, and I’ve never watched Dr. Who, my wish that this place can be a solace and something fun for people like me.  We come in all different shapes and sizes so whether you’re into LARPING and drive a Delorian while contemplating string theory, or you’ve just picked up your very first comic book, I hope you see that you’re not alone!

More to come soon!

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