I Hate Commemorative Patch Cards

I hate commemorative patch cards. I bought a blaster of Topps The Walking Dead Season 8 Part 1 the other day. It guarantees one hit card and “hits include: costumes relics, autographs & sketch cards!” So when you read that your mind just races with all the possibilities.

Walking Dead Blaster

I honestly wasn’t expecting a commemorative patch card of Regina…

Regina Walking Dead Patch Card

I actually don’t mind if commemorative patch cards are bonuses in box but I absolutely hate the idea that these cards are “hits”. I do not think they are special or collectible and it is just so disappointing pulling a commemorative patch card, a bunch of base card and a few inserts scattered here and there from a $20 box. Plus to my knowledge, Topps is really the only one doing this. Not a fan.

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A Review for The Women’s War, An Epic Fantasy

At New York Comic Con, I was given the chance to review The Women’s War by Jenna Glass. I don’t know much about it going in but it was described as an epic fantasy with a feminist twist. Well I just finished the book and here is my review!

The Womens War Book

Note: I try to avoid as much spoilers here as possible.

The Women’s War was a fun, thrilling and fast paced read and I love how it keeps building momentum to the big finish. It has main characters I come to care about and ones that are easy to root for. It also has villains that I hate and ones that I can’t wait to see karma come back to bite them. I also enjoy how the magic works in this world. It is interesting and I fully admit I am going to steal some of these ideas for my RPG!

But with that being said, I felt the ending was a little rushed. For example, the first battle at the Women’s Well, Tamzin and Delnamal problems were solved a little too quickly, a little too conveniently. I guess it is a good sign from a story that I wanted more. I really wanted to know how the magic in this world works in combat. Also it kind of sucks that there was such a shock and sad ending to the book…

In the end, I like how the novel was easy to read while still having the complexity and side plots you come to expect from an epic fantasy. Too often I find in epic fantasies I constantly have to refer back to a map, family tree or glossary. What a pain. I also hate when a novel has too many side plots that drags on when you really just care about the main plot progressing. The Women’s War has none of those problems so if you ever come across it, this book is worth a read. I might be even interested a sequel.

I received free books from Penguin Random House in exchange for this review.

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Collector Disney Pins, Art & Promo Cards from Walt Disney World

I go to Walt Disney World every year so I am always looking out for fun new experiences. This year I got to do some trick or treating at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, got to see Illuminations from an Epcot restaurant (Spice Road Table) and checked out Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios for the very first time!

Disney Halloween Candy

Also I wanted to try some Disney pin trading so I went to the Disney outlet store first and got a bunch of pins to trade. It was so much fun and I think I got a nice selection of pins in the end including a bunch of hidden Mickey pins which you can only get from cast members in the park. Towards the end of the trip, I wanted to try to find as many Figment pins I can. They are a bit hard to find but I manage to get three and maybe four if you count the Epcot symbol for the Imagination pavilion. I also bought a Figment pin booster pack to add to the Figment count. The grateful Figment pin and the Figment Epcot chase variant are probably my absolute favorite pins in my collection.

Disney Pins

Figment Pins

Speaking of Figment, I promised myself not to get anymore Disney Art. I have a ton of them and have no space to put them in my room but I just couldn’t find myself putting down this Figment art print down. That smile is just so infectious…

Figment Art Print

Finally I got a bunch more Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom cards including the promo card of Orange Bird from the Halloween Party. As you can see, I also got a pin to go with the promo cards and Orange Bird intrigued me enough to try his signature snack, the Citrus Swirl! I can definitely say it is better than the Dole whip…

sorcerer of the magic kingdom cards

My trip turned out perfect. I have been planning it for months and I got to check everything off my to do list. I just can’t wait until the next trip. Star Wars land should have just open up so it will be pure madness.

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The Top Five Board Games for Travel

I am going to be doing a lot of traveling in the next month so I actually have been giving a lot of thought on what games I should bring in my board games traveling kit. The games have to be small, easy to pack and easy to teach. So with that in mind here are my top five board games for travel.

5 – Monopoly Deal Millionaire
Monopoly Deal is the card game version of Monopoly. It plays like rummy (you need to collect 3 sets of properties to win) with a bit of take that mechanics. I have taught a ton of people to play this and I haven’t met a person who didn’t like it. I actually like Monopoly Deal Millionaire more since it feels a bit less random and a bit more strategic.

4 – Pairs
A pairs deck is super versatile. It is a deck with 10 tens, 9 nines, 8 eights and so on down to 1 one. Like a deck of cards, you can play a bunch of games with it. My favorites are continuous pairs (which is like reverse blackjack), sweep and the judge. All the rules for pairs games are on the cheapass games website.

3 – Dig
The Pack O line of games is perfect for travel. Each game is just the size of a pack of gum. My favorite in this line is Dig. It is has a super cute theme that everyone I know is immediately drawn to, dogs finding bones and placing it in the right dog bowl. Like most of of the games in this list, I can teach it in less than 5 minutes so you can get right into the game. I also like Shh (a word game with a twist) and Taj (a voting game that works best with 3 players).

2 – Age of War
Age of War is a push your luck dice game that is super addictive. I used to have Zombie Dice and Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game in this spot but Age of War feel more like a game rather than just an activity. You can fit a pairs deck, Dig (maybe even another Pack O game) and Age of War in a single deck box!

Pairs Dig Age of War Travel Games

1 – Ticket to Ride New York
Finally my favorite board game when traveling is Ticket to Ride New York. Ticket to Ride is the perfect gateway, family board game and Ticket to Ride New York plays very similarly to the base game but it is much smaller and much faster to play. In fact, if you take it out of the box it can pack very flat.

Ticket to Ride New York

I think with these five games you can have an impromptu board game night just about anywhere.

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New York Comic Con 2018: My Haul & My Thoughts

New York Comic Con has changed for me which of course is both a good thing and bad thing. First off some of my favorite vendors are no longer there. For example you don’t see many TCG/ CCG or trading cards (baseball cards, basketball cards etc) stands anymore. They seem to move on to Funko pops. I just hope the board game stands don’t go. Mystery bags/ boxes seem to be more prevalent year after year (which I love but I have gotten burned way too many times). This year’s NYCC also seem to experiment with more VIP experiences like paid panels etc which is a slippy slope. Most of all, autographs are SOOOO expensive these days. I remember a time not too long ago where most autographs were $20 and $50 for some of the bigger stars. Now $50 is the minimum and autograph can cost $100, $150 and probably more if I looked.

All this means is I have to do new things and have new expectations! For one, I still love going to panels. I never try to go to the super popular panels that are outside the convention center. It is such a time commitment. My favorite panel was back, Twisted Toonz and they did one of my favorite movies, Clue. It just sucks that there was a small fire and it had to end early. I recently been getting into role playing games (RPG) and there is slowly a bigger and bigger presence of RPGs (mostly Dungeons & Dragons) in NYCC. For example, there were a few Critical Role events, two Pat Rothfuss panels and an art of D&D panel. Plus you know D&D is in when you have this.

Rick and Morty Dungeons and Dragon Comics

Yes it is a Rick & Morty and Dungeons & Dragons crossover comic. I got the character sheets covers because I would love to run a campaign with the Rick & Morty characters. The black character sheet cover is a NYCC exclusive!

NYCC is still a great time to try new comics and pick up some comics and graphic novels for real cheap. I always come back with a stack (that takes me way too long to read) and this year is no different. One of the most interesting in this bunch is a comic from Steve Aoki.

Comics from NYCC

I am addicted to mystery bags/ boxes and I picked up two board game mystery boxes and I got

Enders Game Grifters Open Sesame

Dragon's Gold Love Letter RandR

Grifters, Open Sesame and Ender’s Game Battle School in one and Dragon’s Gold, Love Letter Big Game Night Edition and Regality & Religion in the other. Of the three from the first box I am really excited to get Grifters. It is a game I wanted for some time but was never motivated enough to pick it up. Open Sesame seems like an OK game but the memory aspect scares me and I am not sure what to think about Ender’s Game board game at the moment. As for box 2, the Game Night Edition of Love Letter is a nice version with oversized cards. Regality & Religion is another micro game from the designer of Love Letter and Dragon’s Gold was a game a friend wanted for awhile now.

Now here is a big confession from me. I haven’t watch Stranger Things yet. I know, right. But one of the coolest free swag from NYCC is a Stranger Things bundle.

Free Swag from NYCC

There is a Stranger Things theme library card, library date card, print and sample of the book.

I can’t believe I have some much stuff from NYCC. I have no where to put it all.. Anyways overall I had a great time and my feet are still killing me.

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2017 Topps WWE NXT Blaster Break

I was looking for something fun to break and I settled on a 2017 Topps WWE NXT blaster. 2017 Topps WWE is sort of like their prospect set. I am hoping to get a bunch of cards of some of the newer WWE wrestlers (hopefully I get a bunch for my personal collection) and at the very least, an interesting relic card.

2017 WWE NXT Cards

First off I am kind of disappointed the cards were not wrapped in packs. I guess it is bad for environment… but part of the fun of a box break is ripping the wrappers off. Anyways I didn’t pull any parallels but I got cards of a lot of the wrestlers I was hoping for like Asuka, Shinsuke Nakamura, AoP etc.

Scott Dawson Mat Card Gold Parallel

My guaranteed relic card is a mat card of Scott Dawson. Honestly I was kind of meh about it since the Revival hasn’t really done anything of note lately but I took a closer look at it is numbered 6/10 (gold parallel) so I warmed a bit on it. Plus maybe the Revival is due for a big push.

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Obscure Stan Lee Comics: Mosaic & The Condor

Here are two obscure “Stan Lee” comics that you may never have heard of, Mosaic and The Condor.

Mosaic and The Condor Comics

These limited edition comics came as bonus items from the Stan Lee Presents line of straight to DVD animated movies. (The Mosaic comic came from The Condor DVD and The Condor comic came from the Mosaic DVD.) These movies/ comics share a universe and unfortunately these are the only two movies from this line.

Mosaic and The Condor DVDs

Of the two, Mosaic is a lot more interesting. In Mosaic, there is a race of shape shifting chameleon- human hybrids. One threatens to destroy the world but luckily Maggie (an average teenager) mysteriously gains the same powers of these shape shifters.

The Condor is a skateboarding superhero and I feel it is a lot more cliché. It was like they said what is popular with kids these days, skateboarding? OK lets make a superhero around that.

All in all, I actually wouldn’t mind if Mosaic was bought out by Marvel Comics so her storyline can be expanded. It reminds me of Ms Marvel (one of my favorite comics) and I feel like there could be a lot potential. The Condor on the other hand can remain buried in the bargain bin…

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