Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tom Sabbatelli on Wheel of Fortune

One of my good friends from Penn State, Tom Sabbatelli, was on Wheel of Fortune on May 25, 2009 (Memorial Day). The show had been taped way back in February and finally aired three months later. Tom was not allowed to divulge how the event went but Kelly and I had a sneaky suspicion he'd do well. That was an understatement. Here is the full show (minus commercials!) split over three parts from my YouTube account.

Here are some screen grabs of Tom's illustrious journey...

The Wheel of Fortune title card on May 25, 2009.

Tom shoots out of the gate, answering the first toss-up correctly.

Tom being introduced by Pat Sajak.

Tom told a story about how he use to imitate Vanna White as a toddler in his high chair. He did the pose and then Pat asked Vanna to do it too. Separated at birth?

Tom correctly answers toss-up #2.

Tom correctly answered the first puzzle. Funny, that's what people will be doing to relive this adventure of his.

Puzzle #2 was the only thing Tom didn't get.

Mystery prize round!

Yep, the prize could be $10,000 (sponsored by IHOP).

And it's a prize puzzle. Where will the winner be going?

Suspense! Tom lands on the mystery prize spot.

Tom reaches down to remove the mystery prize. Bankrupt or $10,000???

Tom chose wisely. The mystery prize was $10,000! Thanks IHOP!

The third puzzle gives a hint of where the prize vacation may be. Where is Tom headed?

Before we find out, Tom headbutts the set on national television after he solved the third puzzle.

Tom is ecstatic about winning a trip to beautiful New Orleans. Value? $5,000.

Tom is up to $22,400 after solving the puzzle assuring him the $10,000 mystery prize as well as a trip to New Orleans.

I have no idea how he got "RUNNER-UP" so fast. This was the third and final toss-up.

The fourth and final puzzle was cut short but Tom still came out on top.

Tom knows he has a chance to add a lot more to the money and trip he already won.

Tom finished the regular part of the game with $29,900.

Tom ready to spin the final wheel full of prizes.

Tom spins the wheel of prizes, landing on M. We'll find out what he will (or won't) win soon.

The default letters are helpful. Tom added D, C, M and A to get even closer.

Tom guesses "GIANT SQUID" and is correct! What did he win?

Tom celebrates earning $25,000 for getting the final puzzle correct.

Tom hugs his mom after winning a total of $54,900!

Tom did absolutely amazing! You can check out his Wheel blog here. Congratulations, Tom! Some other links below...

'Wheel' spins just right for new PSU graduate
| Centre Daily Times

Memorial Day 2009 Game Recap & Discussion | Sony Pictures Boards
PSU Grad Wins Big On Wheel Of Fortune | Onward State
10 Questions With Tom, PSU "Wheel" Rep
| Onward State
Recent PSU grad wins almost $50,000 on Wheel of Fortune | The Daily Collegian

UPDATE: I am sort of mentioned in The Daily Collegian article about Tom.
Friends of Sabbatelli have loaded the episode to YouTube so it can be viewed. A search for "Tom Sabbatelli" will bring up the three-part video.
"Friends" should be "Joseph Mays". Haha.

Ghostbusters is Hiring

The media engine is churning close to full strength now to spread the word about not only Ghostbusters: The Video Game but also the Ghostbusters Blu-ray set, both to be released June 16th, 2009. A new site has launched,!

The new Ghostbusters Is Hiring website.

A quick introduction by Harold Ramis plays immediately, thanking you for your interest and telling you that they need your help on some interesting assignments. Elsewhere on the page you can pre-order the Blu-ray (from Amazon), sign up for updates, as well as enter for a chance to win a trip to the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con!

Yeah, I entered. Wanna fight about it?

Sony Pictures is also offering a $5 off coupon for the Ghostbusters Blu-ray package. Just click, print, and hand it in at any store for the discount.

Blu-ray coupon!

Less than three weeks!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

More Movie Anniversaries of Note

Yes, May is a big month for Star Wars fans. Today, 32 and 26 years ago respectively, Star Wars - Episodes IV and VI were released. Both were, and still are, box office successes. Throughout its many releases, Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope (originally just Star Wars) has grossed $775,398,007 worldwide. The film also won six Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy. The film is routinely cited as one of the best movies ever. There is a glut of top or best movie lists out there but some of the most prestigious, like the American Film Institute's, give A New Hope mad props.

Star Wars on AFI Lists
  • Top Movies - #15 (original list from 1998)
  • Top Thrills - #27
  • Top Heroes and Villains - #3 (villain: Darth Vader), #14 (hero: Han Solo), #37 (hero: Obi-Wan Kenobi)
  • Top Movie Quotes - #8 ("May the Force be with you.")
  • Top Film Scores - #1
  • Top Cheers (Most Inspiring) - #39
  • Top Movies - #13 (10th year anniversary list, released in 2008)
  • 10 Top 10 - Sci-Fi #2
It's second sequel, 1983's Return of the Jedi, has earned $475,106,177 to date. Though it isn't considered on par with A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, ROTJ usually is a favorite among the kids. And it does end the original trilogy. That has to count for something.

In other related news, yesterday was the 20th Anniversary of the release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Indiana Jones movies rate up there with Star Wars to me; I wouldn't turn down watching one of them, ever. Last night after a rugged game of wiffle ball, I asked Kelly what movie she wanted to watch. She didn't have any suggestions so I said Indiana Jones. I meant Raiders of the Lost Ark but her favorite is The Last Crusade. Guess which one we watched? As we turned The Last Crusade on I went to look up some Wikipedia facts on the film, as I do for basically every movie we watch. That's when I noticed that we were watching it on the 20th Anniversary of the films release. Completely unintentional but cool nonetheless.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is now 20!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Brent's Q&A Updated

Star Wars super collector Brent Behrenshausen answered a few more questions for me recently and I have finally been able to update his Q&A section. You can check it out here. Brent gets the throwback treatment, with all my questions revolving around the vintage line.

With me moving back to PA this summer, Brent and I (as well as his brother, Bryan) will be documenting and filming parts of our collections. Be on the look out for more pictures and video starting in mid-July and running through August. We are very excited about sharing our collections with you, like we teased with these clips.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary Empire Strikes Back

On this day in 1980 the original Star Wars universe received part two, er, Episode V, perhaps the best of the six movies to date. The Empire Strikes Back is now 29 years old. With the 30th Anniversary of the film looming in 2010, expect big things in the spring next year. It may not lead to entire reboot of the Star Wars toy line like the 30th Anniversary of A New Hope but we may finally get Celebration 5!

The Empire Strikes Back earned more than $538 million worldwide during its original release and subsequent rereleases. When adjusted for inflation, Empire ranks 12th all -time in box office gross.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On This Day in Star Wars History...

The Phantom Menace is officially ten while Revenge of the Sith is five. May 19th, 1999 and 2005, respectively, was the official launch of the Star Wars prequels beginning and end movies.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, Hasbro will be running a mail-away offer this fall for Qui-Gon Jinn and Eopie.

Mail away exclusive Qui-Gon Jinn with Eopie to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Phantom Menace (from Jedi Insider).

The official site has documented their ten favorite Episode I posters.

And PSWCS member Eric Franks has a nice merchandise run down at his site (posted on May 3rd).

While people rip the prequels often, especially TPM and Jar Jar, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about my favorite science fiction/fantasy world. I remember going to see the movie as an eighth grader and the massive buzz surrounding the film.

Here's to you, Phantom, for getting me even more interested in the Star Wars universe after the special editions started the fire.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Season One "Review"

I use the word "review" lightly because, well, I'm not actually grading the show and going over pros and cons. It's just kind of my recap and some commentary on the first season of the animated show.

Basically, it rocked.


To me, the show was very good. Sure it was corny at times, as we have come to expect from bits of dialogue in the Star Wars media universe, but you have to remember the show is aimed at kids. Adults will get a chance to keep the franchise afloat with the live action series in 2010. For now, kids keep Star Wars alive and kicking. And they are doing a good job of it. The show was picked up for a second season.

There were 22 episodes during season one of The Clone Wars. I can't say I absolutely hated any episodes and would never watch them again. Though there definitely are some that I liked more than others. The list of episodes, in order of air date, is below.
  1. "Ambush"
  2. "Rising Malevolence"
  3. "Shadow of Malevolence"
  4. "Destroy Malevolence"
  5. "Rookies"
  6. "Downfall of a Droid"
  7. "Duel of the Droids"
  8. "Bombad Jedi"
  9. "Cloak of Darkness"
  10. "Lair of Grievous"
  11. "Dooku Captured"
  12. "The Gungan General"
  13. "Jedi Crash"
  14. "Defenders of Peace"
  15. "Trespass"
  16. "The Hidden Enemy"
  17. "Blue Shadow Virus"
  18. "Mystery of a Thousand Moons"
  19. "Storm Over Ryloth"
  20. "Innocents of Ryloth"
  21. "Liberty on Ryloth"
  22. "Hostage Crisis"
It's clear that the crew likes making longer episodes that won't fit the 30-minute time slot. There were six instances where a story line last two or more weeks. The second episode started The Malevolence Saga, which was three episodes. Then there was the two episodes focused on R2-D2 and Goldie. Episodes 11 and 12 were connected as were 13 and 14. "Blue Shadow Virus" and "Mystery of a Thousand Moons" were two different episodes very much about the same story line. Then came The Ryloth Trilogy. I am not saying this is bad; in fact, it's the opposite. Each episode had definitive ending but left you wanting more; you knew the episode wasn't over even before the Cartoon Network showed clips from next week. It keeps the audience captivated for sure.

Looking back on the episodes, the series really grabbed my attention around "Jedi Crash". I felt that the episodes from there on out were pretty fantastic. That's not to say the first 12 were bad; the second half of the season just kept me interested a little more.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite episode. Of course I love when the clones are involved, so naturally "Ambush" - the series premiere - as well as "Rookies" rates right up there among the best. "Trespass" and the second and third parts of The Ryloth Trilogy were great episodes as well. However, if I have to pick one, I think I'd select "The Hidden Enemy". It focused a lot on clones and was a direct tie-in to the movie that debuted last August to prime everyone for the show in the fall. It answers questions that some may have been wondering about after seeing the movie. The movie, in all honesty, does not do the series justice.

Of course with a new series comes new toys. The line kicked off last July 26th - as I documented - asnd has been a strong seller. The Clone Wars figures are routinely sold out and are much harder to find than the companion Legacy Collection line.

After watching the last few episodes recently (I had recorded them so I could watch a bunch of them at once) I yearned for some of the clones and clone commanders to be made. Have no fear, Hasbro is here with delightful repaints.

Clone Commander Ponds, seen in "Liberty on Ryloth" will be a Toys R Us exclusive this summer or fall (from Jedi Defender).

Clone Commander Gree, seen in a few episodes, is set to hit store shelves this August.

Clone Commander Thire, seen in the premiere episode "Ambush", will follow this fall.

Clone Commander Bly has not been seen in the cartoon yet but expect him at some point in season two.

We'll be getting a Clone Turbo Tank in August so it is only natural to have a support squad for it.

You can never have enough Clone Troopers. Especially ones that can fly!

The previous five images are taken from Rebel Scum.

So basically, watch The Clone Wars on Adult Swim (they're reshowing the series). Buy the Season One DVD when it comes out this fall. Buy the toys. And be sure to watch season two this fall as well!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sorry Princess Bride, This Was Our Year

Congratulations Ghostbusters fans! The movie was selected as the "viewers choice" for the 2009 Screen on the Green in Atlanta, GA. The movie will be shown on June 25th at sunset in Centennial Olympic Park. No word on how the percentages finally worked out but, last I saw, Ghostbusters was actually losing to The Princess Bride by 1% (sometime late last week). Voting ended today. No idea what happened but "the powers that be" have determined the fearsome foursome the winners! Thanks to everyone that voted!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Your Christmas Tree Will Be Complete in 2009

I know this is old news but I wanted to post it anyway.

Hallmark is releasing an ECTO-1 Christmas ornament this summer. The Ghostbusters vehicle is due for release in July, when Hallmark normally releases their annual holiday lines.

Hallmark's 2009 holiday ornament line will include the Ghostbusters legendary ride, the Ectomobile.

According to the Hallmark web page for the item, the wheels turn and it plays the Ghostbusters theme song. It is priced at $18.50 and is, again, due out in July 2009.

My Christmas tree will be complete for the first time ever.

P.S. - Anyone see the mistake on the Ecto-1? Click the picture for a larger size and see if you can find it. If not just look a line down and I'll tell you.

The picture shows the Ecto-1 with the New York stylized license seen in Gostbuisters 2, the plate with the Statue of Liberty on it. In the original movie the plate was yellow and navy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Easily Something That Could Happen to Me

Today, May the Fourth, is considered Star Wars day by many fans of the franchise for it's similar sound to the tag line "may the Force (Fourth) be with you". People celebrate in their own way, possibly by buying some merchandise or watching a movie (or all six of them).

Anyway, I was reading the always humorous and stumbled upon this...

Today, I sent everyone a text on my phone book saying, "Happy Star Wars Day!!! May the Fourth be with you!!" I forgot to uncheck my exgirlfriend's number. She texted back, "one of the many reasons I broke up with you." FML


Oddly enough, most of the comments were along the lines of "if she can't appreciate what you like then screw her". I found that unusual but rather cromulent.

On a more personal note, today marks exactly TWO MONTHS until Kelly and I get married!

Updates Here!

If you are one of those people that want to see what I have bought recently for my growing collection, check out the updates to many of my collection pages!
I added a few images to each of those sections as well as added some new items to the lists, to be released this summer or fall.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Collection Updates Coming!

As you may have noticed on the right panel, I have not made any updates to my Star Wars collection since February 8th, nearly three months ago. Honestly not much had happened since then until I went home at the end of April. And then I got some stuff yesterday. And today. So, fear not, I will be updating my collection soon.

I, finally, saw the AT-TE Assault Squad battle pack in the wild. Now, yesterday and today, I saw both the new Jabba's Palace and Scramble on Yavin battle packs. At Target yesterday I found one figure from the newest TCW wave - the 41st Elite Corps Clone Trooper! Woo woo!

So yeah, new updates soon!