Sunday, February 28, 2016

Detroit's Autorama offers some TV-related goodies

We took in a great Autorama show at Detroit's Cobo Hall today, and we were delighted that in this sea of cool classic and custom cars there was a touch of television. The famed Farmtruck and its owners from the Discovery Channel's "Street Outlaws" were there, for one thing, and they drew quite a crowd. Gene Winfield, longtime car customizer who designed vehicles for shows like "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and "Bewitched" and even the Galileo 7 shuttlecraft from the original "Star Trek" show, was talking to fans, as well ...

What kid wouldn't like his own Mystery Machine????

And this .... can you believe it? Though the signage was careful not to word it so, it looks suspiciously like a very famous TV star car ...

Then there was a nice assortment of toy vendors (lots of Hot Wheels, of course). We saw a few things of interest ...

A John Travolta doll! Only $18, but his body was lightweight plastic. Maybe switched from another doll? Same thing with the Jaime Sommers doll, which we know Kenner made pretty solid originally -- see our Terrific TV Toys episode on it!

This author loves those vintage TV show novelizations!!!! Wow, just a buck for this one. What a deal.

Have you ever seen a poster like this? Barbies through the ages! So cool. Brings back memories.

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

Friday, February 26, 2016

Calling all General Lee owners: New Facebook page celebrates the replicas of Hazzard County

Our buddy Chad Fullerton of Georgia, such a big-time fan of "The Dukes of Hazzard," has launched a new Facebook page to showcase fellow fans and their own replicas of the General Lee and other cars featured on the classic '80s TV show.

The just-born Dukes of Georgia Auto Club serves as a sort of registry of General Lees, Hazzard County sheriff's cars, maybe the occasional Dixie Jeep for Daisy, and anything else you saw on the show and decided to build for yourself or purchase built by someone else.

"As you probably know, I have more or less had an unofficial local club of Hazzard replicas for several years now," Chad tells BRBTV. "I have always tried to help local owners book their cars whenever someone is looking for a Hazzard replica to participate in an event. With this page that I have finally started, I will have a registry of Hazzard replicas located within the state of Georgia."

But this is not just Georgia cars, Chad says. "I have also decided to have a registry for replicas located in other U.S. states as well as other countries. I am interested in knowing how many legitimate replicas are out there. Also, with 'The Dukes of Hazzard' being ousted from cable television several months back, I want the page to not only be for replica owners, I want it to be for all fans of 'The Dukes of Hazzard.'  If people want to discuss the cars from the show, that's great. If people want to discuss the series, that's great, as well. With the 'Dukes' falling victim to political correctness, it not only hurt the brand, it hurt the hobby. Hopefully, the page will be a positive experience and will be something that fans (young and old) will enjoy."

Thanks, Chad, for building another comfy online home for "Dukes" fans! We need it, in this day and age!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ain't we lucky we've got 'em ... From "Good Times" to hard times for late actress' remains

BRBTV welcomes guest blogger Brian Lombard once again for this special report from the field on a beloved actress from one of our favorite classic TV shows ...

Pompano Beach, Florida might not sound like somewhere you’d expect to discover a TV star’s final resting place. But its where you’ll find Westview Community Cemetery and its most famous resident, Esther Rolle. Rolle, who rose to fame in the 1970s as Florida, the matriarch of the Evans family on “Good Times,” passed in 1998, and was interred with her family, which had connections to both the community and to Westview itself.

Westview was founded in response to the segregation of the 1950s. It is considered to be an historically black cemetery, though cemetery officials have downplayed that moniker. One former board member (and Rolle family member) said “``there are some whites out there. It`s not many, two or three, I think, but there are some.”

A few years before Rolle’s passing, a community organization sought to revitalize Westview. After 40 years in service, it needed an upgrade. Tricky roads, outdated burial equipment, and a lack of greenery were all issues to be addressed. More than 20 years later, they’ve yet to be resolved.

As a result, visitors coming to pay their respects to “Florida Evans” don’t have any trouble finding her grave. Rolle’s grave is the only one that bears a headstone, and a recognizable one at that. It stands alone atop a sea of burial vaults, the likes of which this author has never seen (see second photo below). I’ve visited the final resting places of more than 200 celebrities in 17 states, and I’ve never seen vaults like this above ground.

The proposed repairs never took place, and eventually, the cemetery was closed by the city. Two entrances remain closed 24/7, while a third is kept open for family and loved ones of those already interred. In fact, as I was leaving that day, a man who identified himself as Westview’s business manager asked why I had been taking pictures. After explaining my interest in Rolle and “Good Times,” that seemed to satisfy him.

Just last month, the Sun-Sentinel published a story on the cemetery’s fate.

It’s a case of life imitating art. While you might expect to find Florida Evans in Westview, you would never expect to see Esther Rolle, who delighted and continues to delight fans to this day.

Rest in peace.

Brian Lombard is an avid fan of classic TV, and the author of the "Bradypalooza" guide to "The Brady Bunch."

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

Monday, February 22, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: '66 Robin figure by Figures Toy Co.

Last week, another big blitz began on the Terrific TV Toys series: To follow up the great Bionic Blitz of 2016, we now have the Bat-Blitz. And it could be called the 50th anniversary Bat-Blitz, since we just saw the half-century anniversary of the 1966 "Batman" TV show a few short weeks ago. Now, this week, we continue the Bat-Blitz with part 2, focusing on the Robin figure of the ever-growing set of action figures by Figures Toy Co.

Right down to his satin cape and stitched vest, he's all there, this representation of Burt Ward's iconic role. These figures are nicely detailed and in great abundance -- so stay tuned, because we're going to show a whole lot of them!

Friday, February 19, 2016

TGIF! Time for some more figures fun ....

Well, we made it to Friday once again, so how about a couple more shots of the ever-growing action figure collection of Will Rodgers, author of the new BRBTV guide to the "Super Friends." He just snagged a few more goodies from the Figures Toy Co. line, including some rather familiar staff members of the Daily Planet ...

Will says one photo is a nod to the 1950s World's Finest comics, while the other a tribute to the "Batman v. Superman" movie poster.

Photos by Will Rodgers; please do not copy without permission.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: '66 Batman figure by Figures Toy Co.

If you haven't been living in a (Bat)cave, you no doubt have been hearing about the plethora of merchandise that's been released the past couple years celebrating the 1966 "Batman" live-action TV show starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Finally, after years of legal discussions, the floodgates were opened and the merchandise is flowing into stores. We've shown a bit of it already on the Terrific TV Toys series, but we're about to open our own floodgates on some more of it.

This author is a huge fan of Mego figures and Mego-like figures, and a little company that seemed to come out of nowhere in the past couple years, Figures Toy Co., has delighted fans with all kinds of Mego repros and Mego-like stuff. I've indulged in it, to say the least. And one line I've been collecting is the 1966 "Batman" series, which is so prolific I can hardly keep up.

The T3 series is going to be offering up a bunch of these, in four-part segments, over Season 3 of the show. First up, it can be none other than Batman himself! As a follow-up to the just-concluded Bionic Blitz, T3 now gives you a Bat-blitz!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: Bionic Transport and Repair Station by Kenner

As you've seen previously on the Terrific TV Toys series, Andrea Melchiori loved the Bionic shows as a kid: "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman." In Episode 24 of Season 2 you saw the Bionic Action Club Kit she mailed away for as a child, along with the Bionic Woman beach towel her parents got her, and a couple others things. This time, on the latest episode of the series, Andrea shows you a very cool accessory for the Kenner Bionic action figures of the 1970s: the Bionic Transport and Repair Station. Andrea has a few of these, and she tells you when she got each in this installment ...

This completes our Bionic Blitz 2016! What a way to start the new year!!! Stay tuned, because next up, we launch a larger series on a big heckin' set of (new) action figures on another vintage TV show so many of us love!

Friday, February 05, 2016

John Schneider has a new Hallmark movie coming up in April, among other things

Our ole Duke boy, John Schneider, aka Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard," has some new stuff going on right now (besides that guilty pleasure we've been indulging in the past couple years, Tyler Perry's "The Haves and Have Nots" on OWN, which we highly recommend!!! Hanna is hands-down one of the greatest characters on television right now!). Thanks to Phyllis for passing along these updates ...

John will be meeting fans at the FanBoy Expo Comic Con in Lakeland, Florida, on March 12-13. For more information go to

John will be meeting fans at the FanBoy Expo Comic Con in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 24-26. For more information go to

John's movie "Smothered" will be released on DVD and on demand on March 29.

The movie "White Hot," which John recently filmed in Canada, will be shown on the Hallmark Movie Channel on April 17.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: Oscar Goldman figure by Bif Bang Pow!

"Gentleman, we can rebuild him ... We have the technology ..."

If you're a child of the '70s, you know those words. And you might recall that they were spoken by Oscar Goldman, as played by Richard Anderson, on TV's classic "Six Million Dollar Man." It was Goldman's guiding hand that kept Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers on track as agents for the OSI.

Our special five-part series on the 2012 Bif Bang Pow! figures celebrating "The Six Million Dollar Man" concludes with this episode focusing on the Oscar Goldman figure of the set. But this is not the end of the 2016 Bionic Blitz for the Terrific TV Toys series! We've got one more special thing to show you next week, so stay tuned!!!