Some items don’t need to be made. As I touched on in the Spider-Man pogo stick post, I understand why a brand is paired with a product (to make money), but it doesn’t have to be done badly. Like this Darth Vader Alarm Clock. This is crap.
So why does it suck so bad? Because it barely does anything! Read the rest of this entry
At first, I was thinking, “Yeah, that’s cool – if I had little kids, I would totally have them rock these,” and then I saw the back and lost my shit.
The shirts come with Velcro attached capes. They come with fucking capes! Friggin’ awesome!
I was clearly born in the wrong century.
Wait a sec, why is Darth Vader an option? What parent would want their kid to idolize Darth Vader? See, he’s the fucking bad guy! Nobody dresses their kids up like Lex Luthor or The Joker… do they? Jeez, I hope not. Let’s not create a generation of fucked up kids by telling them they should all try to be like Shredder or something.
I love the idea of an extraordinary character in an every day role, and Darth Vader and Son pulls this off in spades. There’s just one problem… Read the rest of this entry
I love comic books and I think they can be adapted for children, but there is a line.
I grew up on all sorts of violent media: He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, GI Joe… if I was watching it, someone was getting punched in the face. Of course, I also loved comic books (and still do), but adapting this sort of thing to a story book is tricky. The biggest stumbling block is that story books are generally the sort of thing that, for this particular age group, are a shared experience between parents and children, and it doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable experience.
GETTING IT WRONG:
Captain America, The First Avenger: The Great Escape
This novelization of the movie of the same name only encapsulates one scene – when Cap finds out that his best friend from home, Bucky, has been captured by the Nazis. (I know the ‘N’ word doesn’t get tossed around a lot in the movie, but that’s what they are… and, if you think about it, they’re sorta Super Nazis!) Just look at this page:
When I show this to people, they don’t even read the entire page before they look up and say, “This is ridiculous,” or “Is this real? Did you photoshop this?” Do you want to explain to your kid what a casualty list is? I think not. I love Captain America and he’s a great role model for kids (although fictional characters shouldn’t really be role models for kids), but this is going too far.
Star Wars: The Story of Darth Vader
Because the kids have got to learn about Darth Vader somehow, right? Better that it comes from you and they don’t pick it up on the streets. That way, when they have to confront Darth Vader in their daily lives, it’ll be in its proper context. Stuff like this:
Children’s literature needs more images like this. Remember kids, train yourself to let go of all that you fear to lose, or you’ll end up like THIS! THIS!!!
GETTING IT RIGHT:
DC Super Friends: Heroes United
Ah, here we go:
See, this is how it’s done – get together with Aqua Man and go tubing! Hooray!!
I’m not sensitive and I don’t have kids, but some of this stuff is too much. Often, I find that we insulate kids too much from experiences that would help them grow (modern playgrounds are a good example of this), but the fall of Anakin Skywalker probably doesn’t need to get added to the story book shelf.
When I was growing up in the 1980s, Star Wars was about as cool as it got. Read the rest of this entry
Every once in a while, someone does something so dumb, it’s great. And every once in a while, I find a use for the NY Daily News.
Yep, some guy actually robbed a bank dressed like Darth Vader. How hilarious is that? However, in an incredibly unfunny twist, the man pulled a gun. What, no light saber? Weak, bro. That’s just weak. But still, only in Long Island. I imagine it went something like this:
VADER: [breathing: ho-haa] Put all of the money in the bag.
BANK TELLER: Are you serious?
VADER: Don’t underestimate the force!
BT: Seriously, buddy; get out of here before I call the cops.
VADER: The ability to summon the police is insignificant next to the power of the force.
VADER: Open the safe!
BT: I can’t; it’s time locked and the guys in the office don’t have the override key; we have to call corporate -
VADER: I want that money, not excuses. Just put the money you have in an empty computer paper box. Don’t fail me again, Bank Teller.
BT: I thought you said a bag…
VADER: I am altering the deal; pray I don’t alter it any further.
BT: It’s not exactly a deal…
VADER: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.
VADER: Just give me the money or I will fucking shoot you!
BT: Oh come one; is that even a real gun?
VADER: The ability to-
BT: Ugh, OK, OK – here’s the money.
OK, he probably didn’t quote the movies the entire time… But, I bet he quotes episode III when he gets caught: “Nooooooooo!”