If you'd like a quick run-down of the purpose/history of the Ka-POW-bq, read this.
We just had our fourth annual MillionairePlayboy.com Ka-POW-bq in Gaithersburg MD. We gather together some good friends, enjoy some good beer and wings or burgers, and then hand out as many toys as possible to the crowd. This year we set up at O'Malley's Pub located in the Holiday Inn. They had just recently renovated and the place looked great. The atmosphere was wonderful, and it fit our crowd of 50 people nicely. The food was pretty good, for a bar, and the wait staff were a bunch of troopers with our thirsty, starving masses.
Stinkhead and Jager chill that crowd out
I'm glad we did this inside. The first two years we were outside, and if it didn't rain, it was blazing hot. Everything always went off without a hitch, but I'm grateful we were a bit more comfortable the last couple of years. Ok yak yak yak, what were the big prizes this year Mr. Stinkhead?
The "airquotes" LEGO Master will not be defeated
LEGO Contest Last year we had 10 individuals racing to assemble a Darth Vader medical table set. The biggest challenge last year was that it was a bar's club-inspired lighting, so it was strobed, moving and colored spots all over the place. Try assembiling a LEGO kit with only every other second with light, and 9 other people crowding your space. Thats about as much fun as buttering a frisky cat. This year the incentive was a bit bigger however. The big prizes up for grabs from LEGO were the Exo-Force Castle, Batcave and the Batplane. This year's task? Put together the Bat-dragster and Catwoman motorcycle. We split up the crew amoung two tables and left the lights on. That didn't stop us from shouting out distractions. NOONEN
You can check out pictures of the LEGO race, and the winners Doc, Toad, and the "airquotes" LEGO Master Matt. I helped Doc assemble his Exo-Force base, I'll have pictures soon. That thing is huge! And full of robots. Sweet!
Joe gets Laser beam eyeball Supes!
I hope you like Superman
As I was constantly pumping the BBQ to coworkers and friends, I'd casually throw in I hope you like Superman, not just because I genuinely hope you like the man, Superman, I mean, he's a pretty gracious guy, and you have to be a complete dick to not at least respect the guy, but I also threw in that statement because we had an overwhelming amount of Superman Returns toys to give away. You can read reviews of all these toys, here. One of the popular ones was Electronic Ultimate Powers Superman (aka Laserbeam eyeball superman), as I called him from my "auction block." I basically have only two seconds to tell the audience what I'm holding up, so though he also has cool sound effects, punching action, and some interactivity, we all called him Laserbeam Eyeballs.
We also had loads of traditionally sized Superman Returns action figures, you can check out their individual reviews here. A good bit of our "open" prizes were Superman figures. One joke we wanted to pull off was offer someone a Superman figure as the open prize, and see if they took one of the bags instead. Said bag would be full of more Superman figures. In the end, it didn't quite have that comedic impact at the time. But there was some trading going on, and I think everyone ended up happy. Hope you like Superman.
Who thought a paper airplane could hurt so much?
RC Flyer! Right in the middle of the grand gameshow, we stopped everything and called up 5 volunteers. They had no idea what was going on, but they knew if they played their cards right, they could take home a $90 RC Flying Superman. Each person was handed a blank piece of paper and given a few minutes to make the best paper airplane they could. One by one they threw them into the crowd, and we'd measure where they landed. The furthest flier would win the Superman. Fakey ended up hitting Simian with his plane, but luckily for us, Simian was pretty far from the stage. HAR HAR HAR. Sorry Simian. One side note, Rip made a paper wad and threw that pretty far, but at the discretion of the judges, we felt that was kind of unfair. So Fakey was declared the winner. We're also glad that Rachel, Andy, and Heather tried out too.
Simian comes back!
Other Prizes What else did we have on hand? At one point in the game show we took a break and started tossing soft toys into the audience. Wonderful squishy stuff, various minifigs... it was a flying toy extravaganza. I believe Fakey's shirt got soaked with beer by an errant toy, however things were quickly remedied. [Ed note: Between that RC flier and the new MPb shirt, Fakey made out pretty well.]
Bobbi from Raving Toy Maniac and Jeff from Figures.com were kind enough to donate some sweet prizes as well. We got some cool McFarlane Sports Picks and Reborn figures, and Jeff brought along a ton of stuff from his archives. Thanks guys!
Bffer with some sweet squishy stuff
Our great friends at Play Visions sent along some great stuff for us to hand out. The squishy items are always a big hit with the crowd. People fight over this stuff. Stuff that looks like sea annemoies, rubber sacs with floating cockroaches, or squirmy worms. This year, we even got some items that looked like rats or worms, but were highlighter colors. Some of the folks in the group, cough cough girls, liked that it was squishy and fun, without being revolting. But I, personally, prefer the revolting stuff. It's sweet. Check out our coverage of Play Vision's Toy Fair Booth from this year and last. Man, they even sent us some Stretchghetti. I love how you can touch and play with this stuff, it feels all sticky, but then when you put it down, your fingers aren't sticky or smelly at all. Amazing!
Jeff scores the Mimobot
This year's door prize was a 1 gig designer flash drive from the fine folks at Mimoco. This demented clown designed by Jim Koch was highly sought after and the lucky winner Jeff, was very excited indeed! If you'd like your own, check out the mimobot 15% off sale going on now!
We had a great variety of Asian imports and Designer toys thanks to Freebento.com. They supplied
Babo the Uglydoll, some Micromen, hot Asian women figures and just about everything in between. [Ed note: I'd love to be between some hot Asian women right about now...] Many of the items were covered on the site so of course all our party goers were familiar with them.
Lando with the oil-variant ZLIKS
Wheaty Wheat upped the ante this year by supplying some ZLIKS from Andrew Bell's head. These little worm-like creatures went to good homes and one gal in particular said that they would be a great addition to her office. These were probably the most talked about prizes this year, and for good reason. The "bloody" variant is currently on Mr. Stinkhead's desk at work.
Bill's Bricks and Toys sells a large selection of LEGOs, Mega Bloks, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Be sure to pre-order all the upcoming Diamond Select Toys' Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures including the exclusive only to Bill's, Ice Cream Man Xander, which is available now.
X-Men Dark Tide
Our friends at Art Asylum sent over a couple of boxes of Minimates. We had plenty of Fantastic Four four-packs to hand out... people loved getting the whole crew in one foul swoop, and we got some box sets of the X-Men: Dark Tide DVD and figures. People familiar with X-Men were really excited to check out the DVD, and have the figures from the short film to display on their desks. You gotta swing by Art Asylum and check out the Speed Racer Minimates that are coming out now!
The good folks at BigBadToyStore.com sent along some sweet t-shirts, if you're in the mood for some cool collectibles, swing by and check them out. We also loved the retro looking tin cars from MadCatToys.com. They have some amazing looking stuff for the hard to please people in your life.
Two?! At once?! Every man's dream MereDEATH and Invader Zimm took it upon themselves to double team us and come up in a pair. We love things that come in pairs, so naturally we said OK. It was fun because they had to decide which of the two groups of bags to get. And we had no idea what they were getting, so out of that group, one of em might get something uber-sweet, and the other might not. Several people took advantage of this new format near the end of the game, and it was a welcome surprise.
Is that a baby? Did anyone card him? Yes its true, this is the first year that a Millionaire Playbaby was in the ranks. Jager's son Jackson was on hand to check it out. Maybe he will follow in his father's footsteps and go into gameshow-ing? Did I just create a new verb? I should so teach this kid how to read. Jackson had a great time being passed around, and he was mistaken as one of the prizes only once. So that's good. His mother Sara was always looking out for him.
It's time to put on the make up
Seeing the Muppets
A handful of us went downtown on Sunday to check out the American History Museum's Jim Henson Exhibit. We kind of wanted more, but we were happy to see the specific Muppets that Jim Henson himself operated. We saw the Swedish Chef, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, the original Sam and Friends, Kermit, and the Muppet that closely resembles Henson. On top of those we found Emmet Otter and his mom from his Jugband Christmas, and a Skeksi and Mystik from The Dark Crystal. It was amazing to get as close as you could, even though separated by a glass. I was deeply inspired by Henson and his art, and it was great getting the chance to soak in every nook and cranny of the foam that I once believed was really alive.
Wheaty Wheat StudiosWheaty Wheat has made a reputation for producing some of the highest quality toys in the industry. Check out their site for updates and an online store with exclusives you can't find anywhere else.
MimocoMimobots are the flash drives that not only work well, but look great too. Check out their site for a gallery of past designs, a look at upcoming ones, and to purchase what’s
MattelWe can't thank Mattel enough for letting us check out all their Superman Returns figures.
FreeBento.comLooking for Asian imported toys? Look no further. Freebento is also continuing to grow as the place to go for Western Designer Toys by offering some of the hottest toys