Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Big Bang Theory and channelling the inner geek

Okay, I admit it. I've fallen under the spell of The Big Bang Theory.

I thought at first that it made fun of people who were like, well, me. The kids in school who raise their hands in class. The kids who collect comic books. The kids who dig Star Trek -- classic, Next Generation and J. J. Abrams-style.

Now  I'm embracing my inner geek. And thanks to CTV, I can "Big Bang Myself." You can see the results on the contest website. Visit and help me get lotsa points. The scary part is, I already have a Supergirl costume. Go figure.

And to keep the geek-fest going, the folks at Entertainment Earth have passed along their top ten geek gifts for the holidays: 

1.    Star Wars Slave Leia in Metal Bikini Bust, $60 
Star Wars gets sexy with a hand-numbered collectible resin bust from Gentle Giant.  Inspired by Carrie Fisher's riveting (and rivet-full) outfit from Return of the Jedi, the captivating work stands 10" tall, including her Vibro Ax weapon. Limited edition of 4,200 pieces.

2.    Doctor Who 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver Flashlight, $12 
Based on the latest incarnation of The Doctor's handy tool in the hit BBC series, this unique light replica from Underground Toys is set to get fans out of darkness-related jams on Earth or any other planet from here to Gallifrey. Measures about 6" long.

3.    Star Wars Boba Fett Jet Pack Backpack, $35
Every kid imagines getting a rocket pack, and here's your chance to own one.  Sadly, it doesn't fly, but the intergalactic bounty hunter's jet pack can store your gear while you're at Comic-Con, school, or out hiking.  The soft plush replica from Comic Images measures about 26-inches tall.

4.    Star Trek Original Series Exclusive Geological Tricorder, $45 
This a low-cost replica of a prop in the original series. Detailed, the 1:1 scale instrument measures 7 3/4" long and features lights, sounds, and the voice of the computer. 

5.    The Venture Bros. Henchman 21 and 24 Action Figure 2-Pack, $40 
Who would win in a fight between Anne Frank and Lizzie Borden?  That's the kind of thing these two guys discuss on the Adult Swim series The Venture Bros.  Featuring Bif Bang Pow!'s retro, vintage-style sculpting and real fabric clothing, The Monarch's longest-living henchmen, Number 21 and Number 24, stand about 8" tall in this San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive set.

6.    Cthulhu Bobble Head, $13 
The works of H.P. Lovecraft have inspired a generation of SF and horror writers, and a bunch of toymakers.  Straight from Funko and the sunken city of R'lyeh, the terrifying beast known as Cthulhu is now a bobble-head. He stands about 6" tall.

7.    Back to the Future II Exclusive DeLorean, $45
Doc Brown built a time machine out of a DeLorean, and now fans can have one.  Measuring 13" long and compatible with many 3 3/4" action figures, this limited-edition Entertainment Earth Exclusive celebrates 25 years of the series in style, complete with lights, sounds, opening gull-wing doors and pivoting "hover mode" wheels.  Figures not included.

8.    Ghostbusters ECTO-1 License Plate Prop Replica, $30 
"Who ya gonna call?"  The awesome ambulance from 1984's Ghostbusters movie is one of the most memorable vehicles of the decade. Its famous license plate has been crafted in 6" tall x 12" wide detail.

9.    LEGO 6177 Builders of Tomorrow Set, $35 
Just bricks!  The LEGO Builders of Tomorrow Set is a box of 650 bricks in a multitude of bright colors.  No figures, no windows, no tires, no nothing to get between the recipient of your gift and creating something really fun. The only limit is their imagination.

10.    Ultimate Geek Pen, $10 

The Ultimate Geek Pen delivers on its name. A UV light, laser pointer, flashlight, ballpoint pen, and stylus tip are all integrated into this nifty silver pocket-sized contraption from Accoutrements.  What a great stocking stuffer!

For more cheeky, geeky gifts from Entertainment Earth, visit entertainmentearth.com.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CTTC announces award-winning toys on November 19

The children of the Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC) will present the top toys of the year awards on Friday, November 19, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. at the Brookstreet Hotel’s Ballroom, Ottawa.

With 58 years’ experience dedicated to enhancing the design, manufacture and play value of toys and books that meet children’s needs, the CTTC is Canada’s leading authority on learning through play.

Each year, over 1,000 children test hundreds of toys to ensure the reliability, quality and fun of toys in the marketplace. Similarly, the Council’s Literacy Program, offers children the opportunity to read a wide array of Canadian children’s books to support a love of reading.

CTTC's young toy testing experts will announce the CTTC/ENERGIZER BATTERY-OPERATED TOY OF THE YEAR, the CHILDREN’S CHOICE and BEST BET AWARDS as well as the GREAT BOOKS for Children.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A spellbinding Halloween for Janet Hetherington

My  workplace holds an annual costume competition in support of the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign, which raises money for the United Way and other charities. I enter with a new costume every year.

This year, I was a sorceress (sorcière). I tend to "assemble" my costumes from various pieces, and this one was put together from things I found at Dollarama, Value Village and accessories I already have (like the gloves and shoes). Make-up was purchased at PharmaPlus.

I'm happy to report that my costume won first prize for the "solo" entry.

I'll pass along info when I find out who won the "best group" entry.