Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Wow! I haven't walked the streets of Neato Coolville for a long time and apparently, things have fallen into disrepair. Recently I got a notice from Google that my blog had way too many broken links. Whew! They were right. I finally finished going through all my old posts and fixed most of the links. It's a bummer that so many websites and blogs have gone extinct. No bones, no fossils and without a trace. Just completely deleted and wiped off the internet. Sad.

This blog might be in a state of inactivity but I hope to keep it intact as long as possible. Nowadays I mainly post on Instagram but I've been toying with the idea to breath new life into this blog.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


A couple of weeks ago, I found this great Forry Ackerman photo that I'd never seen before. It was originally part of an article on nostalgia in the December 28, 1970 issue. I posted it on Twitter and had a request to post the complete article. Now you can see what your parents or grandparents were nostalgic about. This article is still relevant to any generation. Just switch out the pop culture nostalgia with your own era's pop nostalgia and then it will apply to you. Be sure to read the last page. The author, Disney historian John Culhane, could have easily been talking about today. (Btw, I want to go back in time and visit that End of An Era store in San Francisco and buy some props from the famous MGM prop auction!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


It's still hard to believe Carrie Fisher is gone. Really, I'm not too keen on writing these RIP tributes because they make me sad. But as a fan, I thought I would share some of my thoughts. 

Thanks to that space fantasy movie she starred in back in '77, Carrie became a true icon of my generation. Someone posted a pic of Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford and titled it, "Our Beatles." I never thought of it that way, but yes that's sort of true. It was all things Star Wars for us, the first generation of fans. Our love of Star Wars inspired many of us to follow the careers of these actors and filmmakers.

I was no different and kept up with the "Star Wars people" through magazine articles, TV interviews and of course their non-SW work. I only watched Hollywood Vice Squad because Carrie was in it. 

Seeing Carrie show up in movies and TV was fun, but the real treat was seeing her in interviews. The real Carrie Fisher with the quick wit and sharp tongue was so much more entertaining than any character she portrayed. She was brutally truthful and seemed to have no fear when sharing stories of past experiences. She helped a lot of people coping with mental issues and addiction problems by sharing her own struggles. She was truly a one-of-a-kind and will be missed in many different ways. 

Back in the early 90's, I sent a fan letter to Carrie requesting an autograph. This is what came back to me and it always makes me chuckle each time I look at it.        

As you can see, she joked that she was signing an autograph for her brother, Todd Fisher. It was erased but originally Todd F. was penciled on the bottom corner. I'm guessing the assistant who prepared the autograph request jotted down my name for her to personalize. History sort of repeated when I finally met her for the first time in 2006. 

It was a big thrill at the San Diego Comic convention to finally meet Carrie Fisher. She had a long line of fans and of course, I was one of them. I had to write my first name on a post-it note on the photo I picked out for her to sign. A common thing to speed up the line and make it easier for guests signing autographs. She started to sign my photo before I stepped in front of her table. When she looked up, she joked, "I thought I was signing an autograph for my brother, but you're not my brother. Are you?" I can't remember what else she said but she had us laughing and left us feeling a bit starstruck.

It's always sad when anyone passes away with years left on the table. She definitely squeezed a lot of life in the years she was here and shared most of that life with the world.

I close with a pic of my well-played-with Princess Leia action figure from childhood. The condition of this figure tells how much I adored the character she played and eventually the real person. My condolences to the family (and all fans) for the loss of Carrie and her mother.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Neato Coolville might've missed the Halloween countdown but our pal Vlad was working feverishly to bring to life some new episodes of Castle Vlad. As a Halloween treat...or trick, (you be the judge), here are all the October episodes in one place. Let's start with the annual Halloween outtakes first!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


Come a little closer madam—I want you to watch this 30 second commercial for Monster Vitamins!

The credits for this commercial.
Advertising Agency - SSC&B. Art Direction by Warren Godfrey. Written by Nancy Richmond

Wow! Now that was neato cool!!! I've been wanting to see this "lost" commercial forever and I'm thrilled for the opportunity to share this amazing artifact relating to TV, "kids food" and monsters. Anyone remember seeing this when it first aired in 1974? Of course, I remember taking my Monster Vitamins every morning with breakfast, but unfortunately I have no memory of this commercial.

I've blogged about Monster Vitamins a few times before and hoped the TV commercial would eventually surface. Thanks to Clio award winning art director Warren Godfrey, my wish finally came true. In Warren's archives, he found an U-matic tape featuring a collection of his commercials including the Monster Vitamins commercial. I can't thank Warren enough for his time and generosity for sharing the MV commercial with all of us! (Click here to read my original blog post featuring Warren.)

Print ad from early 1975

Wait! There's one more Monster Vitamins treat! Inside the current issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine—you can read a Monster Vitamins article written by David Weiner, whose father Joel Weiner helped create Monster Vitamins (along with PALS) for Bristol-Myers.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Famous Monsters #288, the Forry Ackerman centennial tribute issue on newsstands now.

One last thing, as there seems to always be something else hiding in the shadows related to Monster Vitamins. The animation cel below is from my collection and a handful of these surfaced several years ago.

I'd always assumed this was the animated sequence from the Vincent Price commercial. Now after finally watching the VP commercial I now know that this animation sequence is...zoinks...from another commercial. Okay neato readers, let's go and find this second "lost" Monster Vitamins commercial!!

Big thanks to Warren Godfrey and David Weiner for their help shedding some more light on these crazy little Monster Vitamins!

Thursday, September 08, 2016


Today marks the 50th anniversary of everyone's favorite TV space western! Actually, it was two days ago on September 6th that truly marked the 50th because Star Trek aired first on Canadian television. Above is an ad that ran in the Edmonton Journal newspaper on September 6, 1966, for CFRN Channel 3 TV and it aired that evening at 7:30 p.m. Viewers had a choice of Let's Sing Out, a rerun of Glynis or Star Trek. I suspect some of the first Trekkies in the world were born that night in Canada. 

In the United States, Star Trek was shown as part of NBC's sneak previews night on September 8, 1966, beginning with the episode, The Man Trap. The ad above is from the Sept. 3-9, 1966 issue of TV Guide. Understandably not realizing the cultural impact that Trek would have; TV Guide put Eva Gabor on their cover. Apparently, the folks at TV Magazine, a supplement for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a good idea of the importance of the show and featured Captain Kirk on their cover.
(Images from eBay)

Newspaper TV listing for the first Star Trek

Watch some early promos for Star Trek!

1967 RCA Television Ad

Trekkie, Trekker or Trek-hater; I'm sure all of us can remember our own introduction to Star Trek. I wasn't around for the original broadcasts and discovered Trek thru reruns in the 70's. My dad, brother and I watched the show most Saturday nights on KRCG-13 out of Jefferson City, MO. I don't think I ever saw a complete episode as I could never stay awake. I did much better once it aired in the afternoon after school. 

1976 KRCG-13 Ad

Of course, you can't talk about Star Trek and not list your favorite episodes. Mine have always been Arena, Mirror Mirror, The City on the Edge of Forever, Catspaw and Spectre of the Gun. I think I'll be watching these later tonight to celebrate the big anniversary. 

Happy 50th, Star Trek! You still look bright and vibrant as ever!!

Monday, August 15, 2016


I just had to photoshop together this simple tribute.

It was sad to hear the recent news that Kenny Baker had passed away. Of course, it was a collaborative group of talented people that helped bring R2 to life, but without Baker, R2 would have been a lifeless prop. In a statement soon after Baker's passing, George Lucas said, "Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2."

Anyone who discovered Star Wars in their childhood was probably amazed to learn that someone was inside of R2. I know my mind was blown when I found out at age seven. Really? R2 is not a real robot?

My very well-worn and heavily played with R2-D2 figure from childhood.

I'm not sure when or how I learned this amazing true fact. It was probably from the back of a Topps trading card or maybe from a kid at school. Actually, I probably learned there was a person inside of R2 from this article inside Weekly Reader Senior magazine. One of the great things about Star Wars was all the "making of" info being published. It let us kids look behind the curtain to see how the movie was made and because of this; we sort of got to know the people involved with the movie. I suppose this is why it's a bit more sad to lose a person associated with one of your favorite things, even though you don't have a personal relationship with them. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Kenny Baker at a comic convention back in the late 90's or early 2000's. (Sad I can't remember the exact year.) He was the first actor I met associated with Star Wars and it was a thrill to meet him in person.

He will be missed by many and remembered by many! Thanks Kenny for the fun memories and entertainment! Bleep! Bloop!