Posts filed under SPT News

Deadlines and Distractions

I'm going to focus, wait... plastic bag, plastic bag, plastic bag...

I'm going to focus, wait... plastic bag, plastic bag, plastic bag...

You might notice it's been a little quiet on the SPT front, despite the fact that there's so much that I am dying to write about: Star Wars Celebration, Daredevil, Avengers: Age of Ultron, I've been right in the thick of so many cool pop culture things that should be getting some ink on Still Playing with Toys but alas have not. 

Interestingly enough, Joss Whedon quit Twitter this week and despite reports to the contrary, he insists that it's because he's about to dive back into writing his own material and is trying to avoid the distraction of the 140 character-based world. I can relate. I mean, not to attempt to compare myself to Joss Whedon (c'mon, that's ridiculous, that's like drawing a stick figure on college-ruled paper and saying, "Look, I'm Alex Ross!") but I've been on several deadlines over the course of April and sadly there hasn't been room for much more than those. I haven't browsed the social networks all that much lately, and sadly have neglected ol' Bessie here.

The good news is that I'm coming up for air in May and will have much more time to write so get ready to be bombarded with more SPT news and updates than you can shake a stick at. Starting with a detailed etymology of where the phrase "shake a stick at" came from. Because I certainly haven't shaken any sticks at things. But Joss Whedon probably has, that guy has done everything.

Posted on May 6, 2015 and filed under SPT News.

Welcome to 2015

What's wrong, do we become a bunch of assholes in 2015?

In 1989, as an eight-year old Troy emerged from a movie theater in Vail, Colorado after having seen Back to the Future: Part II with his parents, visions of 2015 swam through his head as the idyllic future. Hoverboards, flying cars, a Pizza Hut dehydrator that would make him pizza in mere seconds. That young version of me was more pre-occupied with the gadgets and futurist technology that would be available to me all those years later than where I would end up.

But now, reflecting on the movie as I sit here a little over 24 hours into the real 2015, I find myself identifying more with Marty McFly at the end of the first film. In the final moments of the first Back to the Future film, Marty has saved the day and changed his present: his father is now an accomplished author, his brand new truck is all waxed up and ready to go, and life seems great. Until Doc Brown crashes in on the party and tells him its imperative that Marty and Jennifer accompany him to 2015. "It's your kids, something has to be done about your kids," he tells the couple. He's not concerned about all the cool stuff that he can have in 2015, he's concerned about what he would become.

We have a lot of incredibly cool gadgets in 2015: iPhones, streaming internet movies, a seventh Star Wars movie (instead of a 19th Jaws), and I can at least order my pizza from several of the gadgets even if it isn't quite as sexy as rehydrating one from a Black & Decker oven. But there's no possible way that eight-year old me could have predicted where I would be twenty-six years later. Married, writing, and most definitely not hoverboarding for fun as I originally romantically visualized.

My life is a lot different than the eight-year old me thought it would be like thanks to Back to the Future: Part II, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be a good year, and that it's going to bring about a lot of good changes too. 

Funny enough, 2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of Still Playing with Toys. So expect some stuff on the horizon concerning that as well. Hard to believe that it was ten years ago that I was sitting in my then girlfriend's dorm room struck with the idea for the "company." Thanks for being here for those ten years, and hope you'll join me for what's to come this year and in the future. 

JoBlo Review of "MAOS: Season One Declassified"

(Awesome image with Lola cameo by the good folks at

At risk of patting myself on the back, during a regular visit to, I caught a review of the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One Declassified book that made me so damn happy that I had to share.


While the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One Declassified is equally beautiful in design and execution, it is not a mere art book. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. delivering over 20 hours of Marvel goodness, this book serves more as an episode guide for the freshman season. The opening chapters give a background on the origin of the series with comic book history for the organization. There is also a nice section on the return of Phil Coulson and how Clark Gregg's portrayal has permeated the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Each chapter covers an episode of the season, giving a synopsis of the plot, key easter eggs you may have missed, and even the running behavioral themes from each character that you may have missed on first viewing. The biggest perk of this book is learning all of the Marvel Comics references that were peppered through each episode. We may have seen the character references and appearances from Deathlok and Graviton, but there were numerous other ones you may have missed.

In addition, almost every episode comes with a schematic, map, or diagram of a key scene from that episode. These are very cool treats for fans of the show as they can both see how the show developed these intricate scenes as well as a nice way to delve deeper into the series. The layout fo the book acts as if it is a S.H.I.E.L.D. computer, so everything appears encoded and gives the impression that the reader is accessing this top secret database of information.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got a lot of criticism for having an unbalanced debut season. While it didn't quite find its legs until the final half dozen episodes, this book supports that the showrunners and producers had a definite idea of where they wanted the show to go. There are few hints at where the upcoming second season my go, but if they plan to put one of these books out every season, it would be well worth the investment for fans.

New Still Playing with Toys Podcast with Drew Drescher

Drew puts aside the fact that I'm responsible for his biggest knee injury in a hockey game and chats on the SPT Podcast with us...

Happy Monday, SPTers! The week already getting you down? Fear not, we've got some goodness for you to put into your earholes to cheer you up. An all-new episode of the Still Playing with Toys Podcast is live and on the webs featuring the amazing Drew Drescher. An old friend of mine from high school, Drew and I sure miss getting to geek out over all sorts of things and as a former Games Workshop staffer and all-around cool guy, Drew and I chat Gen Con 2014, his excitement over new Fantasy Flight titles, his venture back into Diablo III after some time off, and a little Guardians of the Galaxy chat. Spend a minute (or twenty) with us, will you?

Listen to and subscribe to the Still Playing with Toys Podcast in iTunes here!