On Random Big Lots Musings

I have just learned that today is International Talk Like William Shatner Day. :spock:

Maurice LaMarche, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the voice of The Brain, from Pinky & The Brain & Larry. And I actually had no idea, until just now, what Maurice LaMarche looked like.

Not what I wanted to write about today, however.

Let’s talk Big Lots.

I went to Big Lots yesterday. No reason, except I needed a bubble mailer. And, naturally, I ended up leaving with stuff I didn’t even know I needed.

Like Dennis L. McKiernan’s The Silver Call Duology (written as a sequel to The Lord of the Rings, believe it or not) for thirty cents.

And an Indiana Jones action figure.

And Hollywoodland. For three dollars.

Let’s ponder this for a moment.

The Indiana Jones action figure I bought was the Grail Knight from The Last Crusade. (And now I’m feeling the itch to watch The Last Crusade. I’m a sucker for anything even vaguely Arthurian.) I’ve seen Indiana Jones action figures everywhere, clogging up clearance racks like there’s no tomorrow. Clearly, Kenner bet wrong that retailers would want this stuff, and retailers bet really wrong that consumers wanted this stuff.

But looking at the Grail Knight, I see why people didn’t want these. Yes, it looks great. But it also looks, well, cheap. It doesn’t even look articulated. And I don’t get the 3 3/4″ scale at all. It’s so freakin’ tiny. So, Kenner invested in a whole line of toys based on films that came out twenty-plus years ago, whose audience is now in their thirties, who want something a little more substantial.

No wonder they’re clogging up stores like Big Lots. 😐

But then we have Hollywoodland, the Ben Affleck film about the murder of The Adventures of Superman star George Reeves.

Now, when this came out, I wanted to see it. Really, I did. But I never got around to it, and at ten dollars for a local movie ticket I couldn’t justify the price.

But three dollars for a DVD? Hell yeah.

In some ways, the theatrical release of a film is becoming more and more a big-budget advertisement for the home market revenue stream. You can pay ten dollars for a movie ticket and a single viewing, or if you wait a few months you can pay fifteen or twenty dollars and watch the movie forever.

Or you can be like me and pick it up at Big Lots later for three bucks.

Does this mean I have any plans to watch Hollywoodland this weekend? Alas not.

What Would William Shatner Say?

“Allyn,” he would say breathily, with a long dramatic pause. “Watch… itwhen… you… feel… … better.”

Because, yes, thanks to my sinuses I feel craptacular and sneezetastic. :sick:

As for the McKiernan book, I don’t know when — or if — I’ll ever read it, but thirty cents was too good to pass up. I read nearly ten years ago The Iron Tower Trilogy, which was McKiernan’s Lord of the Rings-like story so that The Silver Call could be published as a sequel to that when his publisher couldn’t secure the rights to publish The Silver Call as a true sequel to Tolkien’s story.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

2 thoughts on “On Random Big Lots Musings

  1. I’d be surprised if the collectors wanted a bigger scale; I’d expect that they’d want the 3 3/4″ scale so as to match their mint-in-box Star Wars figures…

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