Throwback Thursday: the TootsieToy plastic battleship!

This ought to be an obscure one — what you see below is a TootstieToy plastic battleship that was a favorite toy of mine during my very early childhood in the 1970’s.  I can find little reliable information about it online … one eBay ad, for example, incorrectly lists it as an 80’s toy.  Adding to the confusion is that TootsieToy seems to have been known for making primarily diecast metal products, including lots of ships, and they were doing so for half a century — between the 1930’s and the 1990’s.

Believe it or not, I think I actually have fuzzy (but colorful) memories of my older sister buying this for me at a toy store in Queens when I was a toddler, maybe in … 1976?  1977?  It can’t have been later than that, because my family moved to Long Island before the close of 1977.

Dear Lord, was this thing was a treasure to me.  I figure it was hardly longer than a foot, but it seemed pretty big to small hands.  I’ve still got it somewhere, I think.  Part of the bow is broken off.  When I was very young, I held the misconception that everything hollow needed to be a bank, and at one point I tried to put nickels inside of it.

It doesn’t matter much.  Even if this toy is in pretty good condition, it only fetches about $17 on eBay — more proof that not everything old is also valuable.




Am I nuts if I think Sansa Stark’s outfit on the last episode of “Game of Thrones” looks vaguely reminiscent of the Night King’s armor?

Somebody please tell me this is not foreshadowing her death and reanimation as a wight, or some variation of a White Walker …

What do we call that resurrection process, anyway?  Wighted?  Wightened?  Wightwashed?


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A few quick words on the “Game of Thrones” Season 7 premiere.

The premiere of Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” was damned good … enough for me to give it a 9 out of 10.  (You know you’re enjoying a TV show when you are riveted to the screen.)

The dialogue and character development for this show is always first-rate, and the acting often is.  Last night was no exception — the exchange between Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), for example, was priceless.

The glimpse of The Night King’s wight army, however brief, should please any horror fan.  I watch a lot of horror movies, and I’m a tough fan to please.  Yet I am still surprised at how this fantasy show continues to succeed in scaring me.  It’s impressive.  If the leaked script for Season 7 is accurate, then the bad guys in the final episode ought to be damned frightening.

I will reiterate a very minor longstanding quibble that I have had with “Game of Thrones” as someone who has not read the books.  This story seems to attach tremendous dramatic emphasis to the movement and arrival of groups of people.  I do understand the need for this, and its appeal — the logistics are part of George R.R. Martin’s world-building, and they bring detail and a sense of realism.  There are times, however, when I feel like Daenerys’ defining character trait is that she … goes places.  (Look!  Now her army is here!)

I won’t say much more for fear of spoilers — this is a show where even mentioning a character’s name can suggest a chapter in his or her character arc.  (I will say that I loved the opening segment, even if I was understandably puzzled at first.)

This is great TV.


Publication Notice: Quail Bell Magazine features “Graceless Ravens Envy You”

I am honored tonight to share here that Quail Bell Magazine has kindly published a poem of mine, “Graceless Ravens Envy You.”  You can read it here:

“Graceless Ravens Envy You”

Quail Bell Magazine is a Richmond-based multimedia literature and arts journal “that explores the imaginary, the nostalgic, and the otherworldly through the highest quality creative and journalistic content.”   It really is a wonderful and unique online periodical, and I encourage you to check it out.

“Graceless Ravens Envy You” first appeared at Dead Snakes in 2015.