Friday, August 28, 2015

Terrific TV Toys on Wheels: KITT of "Knight Rider"

We have had a great time this week and last week showing you some Terrific TV Toys on Wheels, as a special set of episodes in our regular web series. For the fourth installment, we turn our attention to the classic '80s TV show "Knight Rider," starring David Hasselhoff. Little boys everywhere (including this author's cousin, Jimmy!) were once enthralled by Michael Knight and his talking car KITT, and perhaps still are, and in this episode, we talk to one of those boys all grown up: David of Clio, Michigan. David loves taking his KITT car to shows all across Michigan, like this one, the Cruisin' Hines show that happened last weekend in Metro Detroit. His KITT has a working dashboard full of gizmos and gadgets and a voice of KITT that just doesn't quit! Thanks so much, David, for taking the time to talk to BRBTV!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Terrific TV Toys on Wheels: The General Lee

In the past week, the Terrific TV Toys series delivered up a couple great TV star cars: the Munsters Koach and the Batmobile. Well, now, how about a little "Dukes of Hazzard" action? In the newest episode, it's another great Terrific TV Toy on Wheels as we talk to Kevin of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, about his General Lee. He bought it from our buddy Billy in Tennesee, and it was bright and gleaming as it took in the fifth annual Cruisin' Hines event in Livonia, Michigan, this past weekend. Kevin even weighs in on that whole Confederate flag business as he tells us about some of the details of this car.

And then, who stops by, but President Abraham Lincoln? Or a guy who looks a whole lot like him?! Ron is from Livonia, and this is the second year in a row we saw him stop by the star cars and pose for pictures at Cruisin' Hines.

Finally, at the end of this episode, you will behold the beautiful array of "Dukes" cast and crew signatures Kevin has on the trunk lid of his General. He tells BRBTV he regrets not being able to have Christopher ("Vance Duke") Mayer sign the trunk, too, before the actor passed a few years ago. But it's a good collection, besides!

Stay tuned, because we've got one more TV star car to show ya this week ...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Terrific TV Toys on Wheels: Munsters Koach

Whew, it's been a busy week on the BRBTV News Blog, and we're glad it's Friday! Let's celebrate with another great Terrific TV Toy for grown-ups, shall we?

At last weekend's Woodward Dream Cruise, the Munsters Koach replica that calls Metro Detroit home was on a mission. It desired a particular signature on its dash, and the particular person to provide that signature was appearing at the Dream Cruise, most specifically near Nine Mile and Woodward at the Ferndale stretch of the cruise. That particular person was Butch Patrick, aka Eddie Munster of classic TV's "The Munsters."

Patrick owns his own Munsters Koach replica, actually, but don't be confused. The Koach you see moving along Woodward Avenue in the latest installment of the Terrific TV Toys series is the former, and the Koach you see sitting next to Patrick's signing table is the latter. Oh, and then there's a fab reproduction of Grandpa's Dragula car from "The Munsters," to boot. That's Patrick's too. It makes for a fine display at events like this!

This is the second episode in our special Terrific TV Toys on Wheels series -- look for more in the coming weeks and months.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Woodward Dream Cruise: The Red Baron shows up, but Snoopy's nowhere in sight

The Red Baron, of course, is a real historical figure, Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, respected by comrades and enemies alike for his piloting prowess for Germany during World War I. But c'mon ... can you look at this thing of beauty from last weekend's Woodward Dream Cruise and not think of Snoopy???

The owner is from St. Clair Shores, The Detroit News reported, and the plane (a red tri-plane, like the Red Baron actually flew) runs on a lawnmower engine. The propeller is powered separately by a battery. It may not fly, but it did drive down Woodward Avenue, at about 10 miles an hour, as you'll see in this video.

(We came thiiiiiiiiisssss close to making this into a Terrific TV Toys on Wheels episode, since Snoopy did battle the Red Baron in that creepy-cool fantasy sequence in 1966's "It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," the third Peanuts TV special and the second one to be holiday-themed. But that's a bit of a loose connection, right? Hmmm ...)

BRBTV votes this one best in show for the Woodward Dream Cruise!!!! But hang on, we've got one more great vehicle to show you from the cruise (actually, three, if you really think about it), coming up for the next episode of Terrific TV Toys on Wheels. And this one has a definite classic TV connection!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rest in peace, Yvonne Craig, who blazed a beautiful Bat-trail for many other females

CNN's report calls her a "pioneer of female superheroes" and even mentions our fair "Superchicks" Lynda Carter and Joanna Cameron in the first breath. Indeed, Yvonne Craig was the first real live-action TV superheroine, before the Wonder Woman and Isis of the 1970s, as she donned that lovely purple and yellow Batgirl costume for the 1960s "Batman" series. But more than that, she showed true girl power, and she was a wonderful role model for little girls everywhere.

This author first interviewed Ms. Craig back in the late 1990s for a story for The Detroit News in advance of her appearance at the Motor City Comic Con. She returned to the con over the years, like this appearance in May 2012, when I got to see her again and chat with her -- and buy her book, which is a wonderful examination of early Hollywood. This actress lived those years before she ever did "Batman" or "Star Trek," and had great stories to tell.

Read the lovely words from her family on her official website, as well as her obituary.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Terrific TV Toys on Wheels: The Batmobile

Some TV-related toys are for grown-ups, as you've seen on quite a few episodes of the Terrific TV Toys series. And some of those TV toys for grown-ups are on wheels, as you're about to see in the latest episode.

A Metro Detroit collector snagged this Batmobile replica earlier this year, based on the car Adam West and Burt Ward drove in the 1960s live-action "Batman" TV series, and here you see it taking in its very first Woodward Dream Cruise. This tour down the famous Woodward Avenue is only fitting for a famous star car (arguably the most recognizable star car there is). This was the Wednesday before the big Saturday event, and you can see the cars and the spectators already lined up and ready to roll.

Stay tuned ... we're delivering another Terrific TV Toy on Wheels this week, and it's from a classic show that's just a few years older than this one!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Universes collide: "Star Trek" meets Hazzard County in this con report

There are some surprising cross-overs from the "Star Trek" universe to the classic "Dukes of Hazzard." A fan of both of those pop-culture giants, author Brian Lombard graciously offers BRBTV this report from the field, following his trip to Las Vegas for the "Star Trek" convention last week. He spoke to three "Trek" stars who also happened to do some time in Hazzard County ...

First up was Andy Robinson, Garak from "DS9." He first appeared in “The Hazzardville Horror,” then later in “The Treasure of Soggy Marsh” as two different characters. After discussing "Trek" and his work with Clint Eastwood, I asked him about Hazzard, and he let out a pretty good belly laugh, as did his handler. He referred to it as “the payment for all my previous sins.” He was joking, and he was quite complimentary of the series. He said that in most productions he’d worked on, the casts and crew always took themselves very seriously, but with Hazzard, everyone was just so easy to work with. He described the mood on the set as fun and energetic. I pointed out to him that he had the unique opportunity to appear in both a Bo and Luke show as well as a Coy and Vance, and he said the mood didn’t vary. Both casts were easy to get along with. I didn’t get any photos with Andy, but I did have him sign a copy of his "DS9" novel.

Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes on stage during last week's "Star Trek" convention in Las Vegas.

Next was Tracy Scoggins. She appeared as Officer Linda Mae Barnes in “New Deputy in Town.” Most of her 8-by-10s were sci-fi stuff. I told her I had brought a photo, and she was pleasantly surprised to see her Hazzard past laid bare (see below). I asked her what she recalled about the show, and she said that she wrecked the patrol car! It was a very simple scene, where all she had to do was drive up to the mark, get out, and arrest Bo and Luke. When she got out of the car, however, she forgot to apply the parking brake, and the car rolled down the hill into a tree. It was probably the first time a police car wasn’t intentionally wrecked on the series. Since she had a lot of scenes with Sorrell Booke, I asked her about working with him, and she had nothing but compliments for him. She then added that after doing the episode, she enrolled in James Best’s acting school, and the two had remained friends until he passed a few months back.

Finally, I got to talk with Jonathan Frakes. They had assembled all of the "TNG" actors in one area, and his was by far the longest line, even eclipsing Data’s, much to my surprise. I stood in that thing well over an hour, but it was worth it. I pulled the attached photo out of my bag and placed it before him. Like Scoggins, he was not anticipating a Hazzard photo! He grabbed the photo, stood up, and walked over to Levar Burton’s table. He said “Levar, Jamie Lee Hogg!” The look on Levar’s face said it all. Shock that anyone would remember it. (As an aside, I was concerned that Levar might have an issue with it, given the recent fracas over Hazzard in the media). Frakes came back and I asked him if he could still talk with a Hazzard accent. He answered with his name, “Jamie Lee Hogg.” I then said to him, “Wow, Counselor Troi AND Daisy Duke?” He said “I’m a lucky guy, aren’t I?” To which I said, “You’re the man.” We did the fist bump, and that was it.

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