Friday, May 22, 2015

Motor City Comic Con: Glimpses and glances

BRBTV had a great time, as always, at this year's Motor City Comic Con at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan. That show is never not a good time. All this week, we have shown you our chats with John Wesley Shipp, Dawn Wells and other great stars. We've got one more video coming that will round out our coverage of the event, but for today, how about a few random shots snapped around the convention hall of more of the celeb guests, to celebrate the fact that it's Friday once again ...

On Saturday afternoon, when actor Chandler Riggs of "The Walking Dead" (Carl Grimes) was brought to his table, it was with a barricade of sorts. And when he got into position, legions of fans swarmed around him, many of them young females with their cell cameras flashing, lifted high in the air to get a view from the masses. It was like a boy band had entered the convention hall.

On Friday afternoon, Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher of "Star Trek: The Next Generation") and Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") held a panel. It was unfortunate that the panel Q and A couldn't be recorded, because man, did they dish. The two ladies look amazing, too.

Robert Englund of "Nightmare on Elm Street" fame had steady business at his table. We remember him well from a truly great movie version of "Phantom of the Opera" from the late '80s.

A "Dead of the 'Dead'" panel on Sunday afternoon featured several "Walking Dead" cast members whose characters have gone to the great beyond, including (from left) E. Roger Mitchell, Scott Wilson, Chad Coleman and Lawrence Gilliard Jr.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Motor City Comic Con: Michael Welch talks "Z Nation"

So with a number of zombie-related TV shows out there right now, what makes Syfy's "Z Nation" different? Michael Welch, who plays Mack on the series, tells us, as he talks with Don Covell Jr. at last weekend's Motor City Comic Con ...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Motor City Comic Con: Dawn Wells channels Mary Ann in her new book

We've talked with Dawn Wells before, and it's always a pleasure. She's just a nice gal. The one-time "Gilligan's Island" castaway now has a new book out, called "What Would Mary Ann Do?", and it's a sort of self-help compendium designed to help you navigate the rough waters of life. Wells tells us all about it, and she even answers BRB's truly girly questions about the fashions of Mary Ann ...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Motor City Comic Con: Daniel Bonjour talks "Walking Dead"

Daniel Bonjour portrayed Aiden, son of the mayor of Alexandria, in this past season of AMC's "Walking Dead." He now joins the ranks of the "dead of the Dead." As our BRBTV coverage of the Motor City Comic Con continues, we offer you our chat with Bonjour about auditioning for his "Dead" role and what's coming up next for him ...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Motor City Comic Con: Michael Rowe talks "Arrow"

Michael Rowe has had the cool role of Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot, on the CW's "Arrow." And just as his character seems to have an evolution of sorts, making some kind of weird piece with Diggle and the fact that he killed Diggle's brother, he goes and gets offed. But is anyone on "Arrow" ever really dead? Hmmm ... BRBTV had the opportunity to talk to Rowe at this past weekend's Motor City Comic Con about this role and what's coming up for him.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Motor City Comic Con: John Wesley Shipp talks to BRBTV about "The Flash" -- both old and new

We're big fans of continuity, here at BRBTV. That's one of the reasons we loved the new "Dallas" series, because it kept pretty heckin' good continuity with the original series, utilizing the same actors and making the characters (particularly those born during the original series) about the age they should be, in real time.

So as we've been watching the CW's "Flash" series, which just debuted this past fall, we've been chewing on a theory. It started when the CW show featured actress Amanda Pays in an episode a few weeks back. That's cool, we thought, they're paying tribute to the original "Flash" TV show that aired on CBS in 1990, in which she starred. But then we saw that she just happened to be playing the same character she played in that original "Flash" series, starring John Wesley Shipp. Hmmm. That's interesting. Couple that with the fact that the new "Flash" series also features John Wesley Shipp, and has from the beginning, as Barry Allen's dad, Henry.

OK, so then along comes the Trickster. Could this be a trick? Mark Hamill also reprising his role from the original series? Hold the phone. The Trickster kidnapped Henry Allen out of prison in that episode, and we were watching closely for every nuance between the two ... Was there some special back story there? Did the Trickster know him decades earlier? Are the show's producers going to tip their hand? And THEN (wait, there's more), the same actor who played Officer Tony Bellows in the 1990 series, Vito D'Ambrosio, shows up in the 2014 series, as Mayor Anthony Bellows. OK, now they're just messin' with us. Seriously.

We're not the only ones who are wandering down this speculation path, as John Wesley Shipp tells BRBTV in this interview, fresh off the presses, from today's Motor City Comic Con at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan ...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Burt Reynolds talks "Smokey and the Bandit" and more

Many thanks to our fellow author Brian Lombard, who kindly shares his experience (and photo) with us after meeting Burt Reynolds at an appearance in Philadelphia this past weekend. Us fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard" know Reynolds for not only the references to him during the series' run but also his portrayal of Boss Hogg in the "Dukes" remake movie in 2005 ...

I went to his panel session and got to ask him a question. I asked him to clear up an urban legend regarding "Smokey and the Bandit" Part 3. The film, as released, features Jackie Gleason as Smokey, and Jerry Reed, a sidekick character in the first two movies, playing “The Bandit.” Reynolds did not appear in the film. The legend, though, is that the film was originally shot with Gleason playing BOTH title roles, Smokey and the Bandit, but that test audiences didn’t like it all. To this day, no one involved in the production will confirm this setup, possibly out of embarrassment, but there is enough evidence that has survived, including this trailer released a year before the movie came out. Note that it gives the title “Smokey IS the Bandit.”

So I asked Burt if the legend was true. I’m paraphrasing his reply:

“I didn’t want to do a third one. I had had enough of the series. And they couldn’t get Sally (Fields) to come back, either. She was doing other projects. But the studio wanted to do it. And whenever Jackie Gleason is in a scene with someone else, the other person isn’t really there anyway.”

I was about the third or fourth questioner, and no one had yet said anything about Boss Hogg. I started my question by first saying I loved him in the part, which got a round of applause from the audience.

During the panel, I also learned that his favorite film (why is that question ALWAYS asked?) is "Deliverance," but he also likes "Sharkey’s Machine," which he directed. His favorite person to work with was Frank Sinatra in "The Cannonball Run." One fan asked him about the film he did with Dolly Parton, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” The questioner asked, quite shockingly, where Reynolds came down on the issue of legalized prostitution. To say you could hear a pin drop in the room would be an understatement. Reynolds would only offer that he had mixed emotions on the subject, suggesting that he was in favor of it, but he wouldn’t definitively say one way or the other.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Superhero bean bag plush from the Warner Bros. Studio Stores

Ooooh, we love that it's Friday once again. Thank the Lord! And today, this means another episode of the Terrific TV Toys series. We're staying on the DC superhero theme, having looked at the "Batman: The Animated Series" Happy Meal toys last week. This time, it's a set of bean bag plush celebrating that animated TV show and its several spinoffs -- "Superman: The Animated Series," "Justice League" and more. These are the characters you love, in all their squeezable glory, from a collection dating 1998-2000.

Monday, May 04, 2015

We're thankful for the message of sweet Grace Lee Whitney

She was one of the first celebs this author met and interviewed, more than 15 years ago, while I was working for The Detroit News. She was kind, smart, effervescent, happy to be alive, having survived much. And really, her claim to fame all these years since "Star Trek" originally aired has been as the the turned-out "Trek" cast member, the one who was fired in a bit of disgrace for something she didn't do, the victim of a sexual assault. I've always had my own theory about who that high-ranking unnamed production exec was, but the more important thing is the message Grace Lee Whitney carried later in life, not in her earlier "Trek" days. Her most important message was as a recovering addict, which she wrote about in her autobiography, "The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy." I reviewed that book for "The Detroit News," then for the Amazon listing, as I was greatly affected by it. I loved what she wrote about her time in Detroit. So direct and unafraid, she even detailed a hit-and-run accident she was involved in on Grand River Avenue. To put it all out there, not fearing what people will think of you, because you think it's important and it will help someone, was a trait in Grace Lee Whitney that I greatly admired.

Whitney has died at age 85. ABC News and Chicago Tribune have more.

Whitney's book is smashing for its message of healing and recovery (it takes years to "cook" an alcoholic, she wrote -- I'll never forget that concept, as it has proved true in a lot of the people I've met), and the writing truly reflects the actress as I saw her, strong, capable, forgiving, resilient. When I first met her in person, having spoken to her on the phone a time or two, she greeted me with a warm hug and spoke with a low, almost-hoarse voice, the latter an irony that seemed to want to belie her sweet demeanor. (She told me the red-dress-clad "Star Trek" Barbie doll released at about that same time -- late 1990s -- was styled after her Janice Rand character -- loved that boldness.) But what she was most concerned about, at that point, more than any trip around the galaxy, was helping others with addiction. She was 17 years sober at the time, quite a feat.

She was kind enough to mail me the above signed picture, after I interviewed her, and it hangs on the wall of my Batcave downstairs. Thanks, Ms. Whitney, for doing more than embracing stardom -- for seeing it as a means to help others.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: "Batman: The Animated Series" Happy Meal toys

The Joker uses his battering ram on Batman. Robin takes off on his cool red cycle. Two-Face turns his car from white to black. Ooooh, the possibilities are endless with the set of eight McDonald's Happy Meal toys in the 1993 collection celebrating "Batman: The Animated Series." It was the early days of this landmark cartoon, just the year following its debut, and the folks at Warner Bros. already knew they had a hit on their hands. So why wouldn't us rabid Batfans clamor to our local McDonald's to grab these up? You get an up-close-and-personal look at each of the eight toys in the latest installment of the Terrific TV Toys series.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: "Charlie's Angels" dolls and fashions by Hasbro

For all you doll collectors out there, we're getting uber-geeky once again, in this latest episode of the Terrific TV Toys series. You thought you saw a little girl playing with her dolls in the Cher episode, wait 'til you see this. And in the same way you saw every one of those luscious fashions in the Cher ep, as well as in the Jaime Sommers episode, you're going to see it all in living color in this episode on the Hasbro dolls that celebrated the classic "Charlie's Angels" TV show. The satin gauchos. The filmy pink pegnoir set. The scuba-diving set. The truly amazing skateboard. These Angels were quite stylin' as they were out solving cases for the Townsend Agency.

It's all there -- every accessory Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV had as a little girl growing up in the '70s (minus one pink shoe -- rats). These dolls allowed little girls everywhere to dream of being a Charlie's Angel. Please enjoy this latest installment in the series ...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Batgirl Cycle by Eaglemoss

Vroom-vroom goes the Batcycle -- the lovely lavender Batgirl Cycle, that is, as ridden by Yvonne Craig on the classic live-action "Batman" TV series! When fans think of this purple-clad version of Batgirl, they definitely remember that bike. It was iconic for the third season of the 1960s series, and it debuted just as Craig herself debuted on the show -- in the very first episode of that third season. She had to watch out for the wily Penguin in the storyline, and didn't we just love the strains of her special theme song as she rode that Batgirl Cycle. "Batgirrrrrrl ... Batgirl!!!"

We're in episode 11 of this second season of the Terrific TV Toys series, and this time around, Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV takes you for a spin on her own copy of Eaglemoss' 1:43 scale Batgirl Cycle. This is what we call an "out-of-the-box experience" on the T3 series. If you have the item and you're keeping it pristine in the package, you can still have that experience of opening it and touching it -- virtually!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Sad day in Hazzard: Rest in peace, Mr. James Best

We just woke to the sad news that Mr. James Best, our own Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane of "The Dukes of Hazzard," has passed away. The actor was 88. We fondly remember talking to him several times over the years at "Dukes" events. He was full of great stories of old Hollywood, a Hollywood we very much respected, and a Hollywood where this fine actor made his way with skill decades before his spin on "The Dukes." We especially loved his episodes of "The Twilight Zone," where he was such a handsome young'un, and we just saw him on an episode of the 1966 series "The Green Hornet," where he was just as young and so suave as the bad guy. He had range, for sure.

"He will be greatly missed, but his work will last for generations to come," Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones posted on his Facebook page. "He was one of a kind, and it was one of the blessings of my life to have worked with him for all these years."

"It's too bad," our friend Mike said at the news. "Nobody could wreck a car like that man." Indeed, Sheriff Rosco's many crashes in the Hazzard pond were a continuing frustration for the actor, who nevertheless took it with aplomb. He somehow knew he was destined to make his mark as Rosco, and that's how we know him, after all these years.

Our prayers for his wife, Dorothy, and his whole family. We are comforted knowing Mr. Best was a saved individual, writing openly about his faith in his autobiography, "Best in Hollywood."

The Charlotte, N.C., Observer has more on our beloved Hazzard County sheriff, and also see the obituary at the actor's official website.

 James Best with John Schneider and Catherine Bach, his "Dukes" castmates, during an interview with the "Today" show at an event in Georgia in spring 2013.

 Best signs a General Lee trunk lid for a fan at Hazzard Homecoming in Virginia in summer 2012.

Best with his "Dukes" castmates at Hazzard Homecoming in summer 2012.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a credit would be grand

Friday, April 03, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Cher doll and dressing room by Mego

Look out, because you're about to see a little geeky girl play with her dolls!

Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV steps back in time to those gentle days of the 1970s, when her mom snagged a Cher dressing room toy set, doll, and loads of fabulous fashions at the Toys 'R' Us store in Saginaw, Michigan, the very same place she got all that glorious "Bionic Woman" stuff you saw in episode 5 of the Terrific TV Toys series.

The year was 1976, the American Bicentennial was afoot, and Cher and her husband back then, Sonny Bono, were firmly ensconced in that phenomenon called the television variety show. Every week, they brought music and laughs into your living room. And just what would they wear next? What would Cher wear next? She did branch out into an extremely accomplished solo act, after all. That icon of fashion and pop culture never ceased to wow us then, and well into the '80s, with her often-outlandish fashions by fave designer Bob Mackie.

The Mego Corp., already so well established in the '70s with their 8-inch superhero figures, branched off into celeb dolls with the 12-inch Cher doll, as well as others around that same time: Farrah Fawcett (see episode 11 of T3), Jaclyn Smith, Toni Tenille. Add to that a bunch of cool fashions, so reminiscent of what Cher actually wore back in the day, and a dressing room toy set to put them all in. It was sheer nirvana for any little girl. And it definitely was for BRB.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spotted over the weekend: A couple "Dukes" goodies

We love taking in the occasional toy show. Well, we would love a toy show every weekend, actually. And this past weekend, it was a toy / paper show at the Royal Oak, Michigan, Farmer's Market. We spotted some "Dukes of Hazzard" watches like one that we own, among other stuff ...

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Monday, March 16, 2015

Watch out for your wallet around that (third) Boss Hogg!

Special thanks to fellow author Brian Lombard for sharing this photo with BRBTV. This is Brian with actor Christopher McDonald at this past weekend's Monster Mania event in New Jersey.

Fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard" know McDonald as Boss Hogg from the 2007 prequel movie The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning (if ya watched it -- it wasn't well-received!). McDonald told our friend that the "Dukes" movie was "a fun gig" and he loved riding around in the General Lee.

McDonald has done a wealth of other work over the years, notably the voice of Harvey Dent in the "Beware the Batman" animated series, the voice of Jor-El in "Justice League" and its "Superman" sister series, and the voice of Clark Kent / Superman in "Batman Beyond."

Photo courtesy of Brian Lombard; please do not copy without permission.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: "Star Trek" claw-game plush, 10-inch

It's Friday the 13th for the second month in a row, and you know what that means. Well, to us, it means this author's mom's favorite day, actually. But besides that, why don't we mark this momentous occasion by serving up some classic "Star Trek" on the latest episode of Terrific TV Toys?

These are toys that are not vintage themselves (2009-2010) but still "of a vintage nature," as we love, because they celebrate a show that's ooooollllldddd but so, so good. These plushies come from Toy Factory, maker of wonderful claw-game goodies. And as a special treat, we've included some actual footage of the capture of one of these guys from a claw machine a few years back. (And in keeping with the "actual footage" idea, the video is a little grainy. Yea, nice touch.)

Friday, March 06, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Scooby-Doo and Daphne Barbie by Mattel

There goes that Danger-Prone Daphne, getting Scooby and the gang into all kinds of trouble again. We love that redheaded dingbat -- we can't help ourselves. On the latest episode of BRBTV's Terrific TV Toys web series, we show you a Barbie doll of Daphne (since she really is such a doll), as well as her faithful canine companion that was not really her original faithful canine companion but is her faithful canine companion now, nonetheless.

Stay tuned, because the next episode of T3 is going to feature not only a terrific TV-related toy, but a video clip of his rescue from a claw game!!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Motor City Comic Con roster comes alive with some "Walking Dead," Freddy Krueger and more

We're going to just give it to you straight for this post -- the straight press release right out of our email, because we've been attending this show for many years, more than 15 years, actually, as either a fan, journalist, or featured guest. So we know what we're getting when it comes to the Motor City Comic Con. And this year's offerings for great TV stars will not disappoint! (For one thing, this author has interviewed seven cast members of "The Walking Dead" thusfar and wouldn't mind adding two or three more!)





Tickets now available for May 15, 16 and 17 event at the Suburban Collection Showplace

Novi, MI (March 4, 2015) – Fighting for truth, justice and the American way, Motor City Comic Con enlists a new cast and crew of comic and media guests for its 26th annual comic con event. Michigan’s No. 1 pop-culture event gathers fans of all ages to meet and greet more than 300 creators, writers, illustrators and actors from their favorite comics, television shows and movies. The event takes place on Friday, May 15 (12:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.), Saturday, May 16 (10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and Sunday, May 17 (10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at the Suburban Collection Showplace located at 46100 Grand River Ave in Novi. Event tickets and VIP passes can be purchased by visiting

May the odds be ever in your favor for Saturday’s cosplay contest where local celebrity judges will determine which comic con lovers will win prizes and gift packages. Cowabunga! Motor City Comic Con’s annual Saturday Night Bash celebrates comic con weekend providing entertainment and refreshments to the public. Sunday is also Kid’s Day featuring kid-friendly activities with the comic and media guests.

Hot off the Daily Planet press, Motor City Comic Con guest announcements include:
  • Katey Sagal: Sagal starred in FOX’s Married with Children and ABC’s 8 Simple Rules, and was the voice of Leela in the animated Comedy Central series Futurama. From 2008 to 2011, Sagal took on the role of Gemma, the matriarch of the biker gang series Sons of Anarchy on FX, earning her a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV – Drama.
  • Dean Cain: Cain flew into the spotlight with his portrayal of Superman and Clark Kent in ABC’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1993, alongside Terri Hatcher. Cain helped pave the way for the mainstream acceptance of comic book superheroes. After Lois & Clark, he hosted TBS’ Ripley’s Believe It or Not and starred in several movies, including Out of Time and The Perfect Husband.
  • Robert Englund: Best known for his role as Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street and spin-off movies, Englund attended the Cranbrook Theatre School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and later Oakland University, where he trained at the Meadow Brook Theater. Englund has appeared in more than 75 films alongside Oscar-winners, such as Jeff Bridges, Henry Fonda and Susan Sarandon, and countless TV series, such as V; FOX’s Bones; CBS’ Criminal Minds and Hawaii 5-0.
  • Steven Yeun: Rasied in Troy, Mich., Yeun studied at Kalamazoo College before starring in AMC’s The Walking Dead as Glenn Rhee. He has also played roles in NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles, and Syfy’s Warehouse 13.
  • John Schneider: Schneider is best known for his role as Bo Duke in the CBS series The Dukes of Hazzard and the original General Lee Charger will joining him in hot pursuit at the event. Schneider is also known for his role as Clark Kent’s father in the WB/CW series Smallville. He is also an accomplished country music singer, releasing nine studio albums.
  • Ian Ziering: Ziering became a household name after his role as Steve Sanders on the FOX series Beverly Hills, 90210. More recently, he is recognized for his role in the cult fan favorite movie TV SyFy Sharknado.
  • Robert Patrick: Patrick’s breakthrough role came when he starred in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and proceeded to act in Striptease and the FOX TV series The X-Files. Patrick was also the voice of Piandao in Avatar, Alcide Herveaux’s father in HBO’s True Blood and most currently as Les Packer in FX’s Sons of Anarchy.
  • Ryan Hurst: Hurst is known for his roles in Disney’s Remember the Titans as Gerry Bertier, and Opie on FX’s Sons of Anarchy.
  • Emily Kinney: Kinney currently plays the role of Beth on AMC’s The Walking Dead. She also can be seen in episodes of Showtime’s The Big C, CBS’s The Good Wife, NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, and USA’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
  • E. Roger Mitchell: Mitchell is best known for his roles in AMC’s The Walking Dead, CW’s One Tree Hill, Selma, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Equalizer, Flight, Anchor Man: The Legend Continues, The Shield, The Legend of Bagger Vance and The Spectacular Now.
  • Jodi Lyn O’Keefe: O’Keefe portrayed Cassidy Bridges on CBS’ Nash Bridges and Gretchen Morgan on FOX’s Prison Break as well as appeared in TNT’s Charmed, CBS’ Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. She has also starred in the movies, She’s All That and Whatever It Takes. Currently, she plays Dr. Jo Laughlin in the CW’s The Vampire Diaries.
  • Michael Welch: Known for his role as the popular Mike Newton in The Twilight film series, Welch is currently on the hit Syfy Channel original series Z Nation as Mack Thompson.
  • Neal Adams: Adams is an award-winning comic book artist known for his imagery of Marvel characters and his most popular DC Comics’ characters and stories, such as Batman, Brave and the Bold, Detective Comics, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Strange Adventures (Deadman), Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, and X-Men. Adams is credited for changing the past “Batman persona” to the “Avenger of the night” persona that he is today, portrayed in The Dark Knight series. He is highly-regarded in the comic world, described as a “genius” by the editor in chief of Marvel Comics.
  • Matt Wagner: Writing comics for over twenty years, Wagner is most known for creating Mage and Grendel. Wagner has also worked on a variety of notable characters, including Two-Face, the Batman villain in the graphic novel Faces and titles, such as Sandman Mystery Theatre and Trinity, a DC Comics series featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. He has also produced numerous comic covers, including Green Arrow, and is writing a Green Hornet spin-off for Dynamite Entertainment.
  • Simon Bisley: Bisley is a British comic artist best known for his work on ABC Warriors, Lobo and Sláine. He has a distinctive style using acrylics on Bristol board and does not commonly use airbrushes but household items to achieve his creative results. Simon has also worked on such titles as Judge Dredd, Hellblazer, Deathstroke, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, Fear Itself: Deadpool/Fearsome Four, Batman/Judge Dredd, and numerous Heavy Metal covers.

This isn’t the end. Additional media and comic guest announcements are coming soon. For more information regarding Motor City Comic Con guests and events, visit To apply for a press pass, visit For a photo gallery, visit

Friday, February 20, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: "Dallas" card game by Mego

You know we love our "Dallas" here at BRBTV. We've done a fact book on the classic '80s primetime soap, which we just slapped a beautiful new cover onto by talented Baltimore artist Dale Cuthbertson (see last week's post about that). The original "Dallas" series that aired on CBS saw a lot of merchandise, which we profiled in the book. One of those pieces is the subject of the latest episode of the Terrific TV Toys web series. You saw the photo in the book, but here we take a muuuuuucccchhhh closer look at the pieces and parts -- even the rules -- of the game, which was produced by Mego back in 1980.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A tribute to two dearly departed Hoggs ...

Thanks to our friend Brian Lombard for snapping these photos ... There are several cast members of "The Dukes of Hazzard" that many fans never got a chance to meet, as they're no longer with us. One of them is our beloved Lulu Hogg, Ms. Peggy Rea, whose urn is located at Santa Barbara Cemetery.

Les Tremayne was Big Daddy Hogg, and we also know him and love him as Mentor on "Shazam!" as well. Brian tells us this one was hard to snap, as it was high up, but it's at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

Photos by Brian Lombard; please do not copy without permission.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Natasha Fatale bendie from "Rocky and Bullwinkle"

She was sleek and sexy and oh-so pasty ... She had that accent that just drove you crazy, right? She was Natasha Fatale, lavender-clad partner in crime to the short and stocky Boris Badenov. So evil and conniving, that twosome was. What was it they had against poor Bullwinkle and Rocky, anyway?

This is all a cartoon series we're talking about, but hey, to us kids back then, it was pretty real! The latest episode of the Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature) series takes you on a trip back in time to something indeed quite vintage, a bendie doll of our gal Natasha, manufactured by Wham-O in the early 1970s.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Destination: Dallas" fact book gets a new cover and a Kindle update

Talented Baltimore artist Dale Cuthbertson has done it again, this time redesigning the cover of BRBTV's "Destination: Dallas" reference guide to the classic 1980s primetime soap. With likenesses of The Big Three -- Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy -- gracing the front, along with the great state of Texas, and a highly symbolic oil well on the back, the new cover really captures the essence of the classic TV series. It also makes a neat matched set of the first four print editions of the BRBTV fact book series.

And if you pick up the new Kindle edition of "Destination: Dallas," you'll not only behold Dale's new cover but you'll also get the full added continuity of TNT's 2012 "Dallas" reboot series. Material has been added to the cast list, character guide, episode guide and credits for the newer "Dallas" series to make the "Dallas" universe of this Kindle edition truly complete!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Archie Comics dolls by Marx

Remember when everything was Archie? Is everything still Archie? Well, we're not sure how it is for everyone else, but BRBTV has had a longtime love affair with Archie Comics and its characters Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones, Reggie Mantle, Veronica Lodge and the rest. This author read the comics voraciously as a child and grew up with them, really, always loving anywhere else those characters appeared ... numerous cartoon series by Filmation over the years, a made-for-TV live-action movie in the 1990s, "The New Archies" Saturday morning cartoon around that same time, followed a few years later by the PAX-TV cartoon "Archie's Weird Mysteries." We've loved the novelizations of Archie's adventures, we've bought TV shirts of the characters, and we've loved the couple different doll sets of Archie characters there have been over the years.

In the latest episode of the Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature) series, you'll see one of those doll series, the earliest one, produced by Marx Toys in the mid-'70s in a set of four, along with carrying case and various fashions separately sold. Marx made a jalopy for Archie and his friends to ride in, too. It's out there somewhere, in all its yellow and orange glory (not red like Archie's jalopy in the comics, for some reason). We haven't snagged that one yet, but we're still on the lookout ...

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: "Batman Beyond" Kids Meal toys from Burger King

Oh, we do love those fast-food toys that come with the meals for kids ... In the latest episode of the Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature) series, Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV shows you her collection of seven out of the eight toys in the set from Burger King celebrating the animated series "Batman Beyond." She rounded those up herself from local Burger Kings at the time!

Stay tuned -- next week's episode shows just why everything's Archie!