I, we and Bo Duke need your social media muscle!

I can’t say this is a dream come true… because I never dreamed I’d ever being doing anything like this.

14030608_1079814535389257_1019167084_nOn Sunday night at the Starlite Theatre in Branson , Missouri, I will be heading up the video crew of Artistry Entertainment Agency as we will be a part of John Schneider‘s benefit concert that will go to help those affected by the recent floods in Baton Rouge. This opportunity and privilege to help came about pretty unexpectedly and as such it’s been a rush and flurry of activity and action getting everything in place and ready to rock n roll. Nothing better than a stressful rush to get the old blood pumping. But I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

As I’ve mentioned throughout numerous reviews and posts over the years, I’ve always been a fan of the Dukes of Hazzard. And while I appreciate all of the cast and many of their various pre and post Dukes endeavors, John Schneider has truly been involved in so many different projects that have fueled my entertainment needs. From his music career to his work on Smallville and now his efforts in promoting and creating independent films, I just can’t help but love the guy.

410YH4ZF04LJohn’s music career has been pretty far on the back burner of his to do list these days but the string of hits he put out in the 80’s are pure honky tonk gold. As a country music disc jockey and then later program director in the 90’s, I got myself in numerous bouts of trouble when I would “break format” and drop a few of those into my show. That was back when the world revolved around Garth Brooks and just as Tim McGraw was starting to screw things up. Consultants were pushing music and program directors far and away from the “old stuff” and since the sales department (who can’t dance or hold their liquor by the way) agreed and the music muzzle was applied.

Well, I was never know to follow the rules too terribly well. Sure I did what I was supposed to as far as formatics and all but there is something in my DNA that simply could stomach playing McGraw’s “Don’t take the girl” twice in one day everyday for month’s on end ( don’t even get me started on “Indian Outlaw”). So, I didn’t and filled that hole with something that was a helluva lot more fun or nostalgic. John’s music definitely fit the bill. And to note, once I became a program director, his stuff became regular in my rotations. And in both of those roles, the audiences loved me for it. So bite me Jay and Mark, wherever you are.

JonathanKentAs the years rolled by and I got out of the radio business for good, caught the film bug and then of course the blogging bug, I embraced my “inner geek”, John showed up again in the role of Jonathan Kent on “Smallville”. This to me was an absolutely perfect fit. I can’t think of any better actor, in regards to his presence, character and charisma to help mold the young man that would become Superman. And if you watch the Smallville series finale you’ll see how right that choice was…

And if you didn’t tear up during those scenes between Clark and his Dad, you really should just go back to your cliff overlooking Whoville, Mr. Grinch.

Like-Son-Cover-CSince that time John has been actively working on his own independent films and projects which are really quite good. I must admit, I haven’t seen them all but from what I have seen, I’ve enjoyed. Also his interactions and outreaches on social media, especially Facebook, have been very cool to connect with. It’s also had the opportunity to be heartbreaking as we all watched his studio get washed away by Louisiana flood waters, not once but twice. Cruel hand of fate for just a good ole boy. But, just like Bo Duke or Jonathan Kent, it’ll take more than that to lick him. And not only is he recovering he’s coming back to help out those who were also bullied by the treacherous Boss Flood. And in my own little way, I and my awesome and amazing crew get to be a part of this slug fest, and you can too actually.

14067611_10209024412739968_4843223742866564317_nAs I mentioned, the benefit concert is coming up this Sunday night August 28th , 2016 at the magnificent Starlite Theatre in Branson, Missouri on the legendary Highway 76 strip. Doors will open at 6P and the show will begin at 7P. Adding to the night of fun and entertainment John will be joined by another legend of the 80’s music scene; Johnny ‘Picking up strangers / Looking for love in all the wrong places” Lee and rising star Jason Pritchett. Admission is by donation, but we would truly appreciate a minimum of $20 per person. Plus there will also be a silent auction held with all of the proceeds going back to help the folks affected* by the floods.

*To note I don’t use the term “victim” because that would give the appearance of weakness when the exact opposite is true. I’ve been watching the PEOPLE of Baton Rouge doing some wonderful and incredible acts of human kindness for one another. That’s not a victim, that’s a survivor. That said, it doesn’t take away the needs these folks have. A 1,000 year flood obviously washed away lifestyles that he took a lifetime to build and in that they do need a hand.

Before I wrap up and get back to working on the stuff for the show I want to send a shout out to some folks who aren’t looking for recognition but deserve at least a tip of the hat:

Branson, MO Mayor Karen Best. Talk about a proactive mayor. Bravo and kudos on al the work you’ve been doing in bringing Branson back to it’s “best” (pardon the pun, I couldn’t help myself)

Linda Merkling and the crew of the Starlite Theater. You are simply the best. In the few months that we at Artistry Entertainment have been working with you, it’s been fun and a little challenging but that’s what makes the stars shine extra bright in our efforts and work.

John Scheider, Johnny Lee and Jason Pritchett – Kudos for stepping out and stepping up on stage to share your talents to help folks out. That’s exceptional character personified and may no-one miss how incredible that truly is.

Derek Usery Sr., Toinette Madison and Kim Rosson – You guys are stepping up in a huge way to make the production process happen on this one and I truly appreciate it. Word’s really aren’t enough but still THANK YOU!

Artistry Entertainment – Matt Duncan, you’ve opened doors that I never had the chance to walk through before, thank you for that. And we aren’t even close to the end of this long hallway 😉 My wife, best friend and partner; Alicia Bumgardner. You my love, are my rock and without you I couldn’t keep pushing so hard. With you in the field with me, I can relax (okay, a little).
And of course YOU dear readers. Without you all this would just be a journal entry that no one would ever see, and that would kind of suck right now since I need, request and kinda sorta beg all of you to share the information about the concert with everyone you know. Regardless whether or not you can make it to the show, the live stream will be able to bring the show to you. I’ll get you the final official that info ASAP.

I know I can count on all of you and I do truly appreciate you all. Back to work for me and as always I strongly encourage you to Now, Go Play! – Jim 08/26/2016now-go-play-large-72dpi_zpsad0f6755

Mattel Toys DC Retro Action Super Heroes – Darkseid

Entertainment Earth

Darkness never looked so BRIGHT!

Mattel Toys Sucks. Period. They cancel lines blaming lack of fan base support while they themselves offer the products o market in the most piss poor manner possible. I went out on a limb with these reviews as a fan trying to push the product. In the end Mattel showed that they are not worthy of mine or your accolades or MONEY. I’m not editing the reviews however. At the time of their writing I meant what I said and in regards to the figures themselves I feel the same way, however the emotional connection is gone – Signed, Jim 01/14/12


Coming hot off the heels of the Smallville series finale where Clark finally embraced his destiny, put on the cape and kicked this guys butt, I think this is a good day for this review. And say what you want but without Smallville’s season 10 the average household now knows the name Darkseid. That’s a good thing especially considering Toys R Us and Mattel’s lack of advertising and promotion for this line. But then again that’s what I’m here for. Let’s sell some darkness folks!

1. What it is.

Mattel Toys DC Retro Action Super Heroes – Darkseid from the Wave 4 Assortment of figures

2. Where it came from.

If you’ve seen one wave 4 assortment cardback, you’ve seen ’em all.

As with all other DC Retro Action Super Heroes (and Super Villains) he’s a Toys R Us exclusive in the brick and mortar world. I however got mine off of ebay from the seller: page3au (http://cgi.ebay.com/Retro-Action-DC-Super-Heroes-Series-3-Darkseid-New-MOC-/370493548571?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564322e81b ) who did such a great packaging job I have to give him some props and a plug. Seriously this figure came layered in protection; Layer 1. Plastic Bag, Layer 2. Newspaper wrapped like a gift, Layer 3. Cut to size cardboard sheets laid on top and bottom of the figure and taped into place, Layer 4. Another wrapping of paper, Layer 5, A padded envelope also taped securely, and finally Layer 6, packed in a Priority Mail box with bubble wrap and packing paper filling in the gaps in the box to prevent any shaking or movement. Impressive.

3. The Good.

Padded like a prom date.The grey body which matches the head is a nice touch, even though you see none of it under the accessories.

The look of this fellow really grew on me. He looks as if he jumped straight out of the television set from the old Super Powers cartoon. The large “upsized” gloves and boots as well as the padded suit are a very nice touch really. I thought they would be cheesy and gimpy but actually they add to the figures appeal. In a minute you’ll also find out why they are also very crucial to the figures play value.

Poseing possibilities abound!

Another thing that I would like to point out is that even though the bulk-suit is just placed on a regular (but grey colored) RA body it is still very possible with all of the pieces on it. Again we’ll talk about how important and ironic this feature is in a moment.

4. The Bad.

There was a song about this paricular pose back in the day. To mention it we would loose our PG rating.

I didn’t see the padded suit as a bad thing when I first heard about this figures make up but it would have been nice to have a larger sized body for the customizing world to devour. But the “bad” part that I refer here is the fact that the body is completely useless without the suit. the pic you see is it in its natural state. All other suit-less shots were propped up.

Now before I get schooled that the body must be this way for the suit to work, I point this out for those who may be wanting a grey body for customizing. If that’s the case you will need to restring the body to make it useable.

Look at it like this… at least you know he’s safe.

Another thing that may be a downer for loose collectors is that Darkseid has been given a tail of sorts. Manufacturing/Consumer safety standards state that a label explaining what exactly the padding is made up of is a necessary evil.  Plus you can cut it off. But that does take away the “mint” value of the figure.

A cape would also have been nice. But then again that’s what customizing is for. Play people, play!

5. Why I like it.

“You love me this much?” Yes.Yes I do.

Again the comic book / cartoon look and style is excellent. The addition of this “Super Powers” character adds to the future possibility of this line, which of course makes me all kiddy, again like a prom date. The character’s head sculpt being not esactly human is a nice breakaway from the “regular” look of the line. Plus those eye’s! They burn through to your very soul. Okay maybe not but they are painted well.

Is their a Visine formula for evil allergies and red eye?

6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

You should because…

The grey body which matches the head is a nice touch, even though you see none of it under the accessories.

This figure is in my opinion one of the best interpretations of the character so far when it comes to the other Retro Action Heroes and Villians. The designers really kncked it out of the park with this on.






You shouldn’t because….

Come take a walk on the Wild Side! Clothing optional!

If you want to buy it for the grey body, don’t. If you want it out of the package and refuse to cut off the tag but think it looks silly wiith it, then don’t. Other than those two reasons I got nothing.

In Conclusion

Darkseid here is a figure I will easily recommend when it comes to this line. As long as he’s clothed; he’s fun and functional. Plus the balance of good guy / bad guy that Mattel has stuck to with the regular Wave releases makes it crucial to bring this guy home to keep the playing field fair. He’s a great figure overall and I do recommend this one so long as you keep his clothes on. Remember kids, to quote another 80’s tune that’s not quite so racey, “We don’t have to take our clothes off to have a good time. Oh no.” Now, Go Play! – Jim 5/14/11

Seriously, put it back on. Now.

Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at jimstoybox@gmail.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com


All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com

Saturday Morning Funnies: Episode 6- CTVT strike back!

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