The 2011 Plaidstallions Retro Awards

The 2011 Plaidstallions Retro Awards

It’s time once again for my fake awards show dedicated to what I feel is retro goodness of the past year. All in all, 2011 was a tremendous year for this kind of commerce, so there was lots to choose from.

I’ve also got some news on the book projects and changes to the site for 2012.

More After Jump

Best Films:

I went in with really low expectations but Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprised the heck out of me, mostly because it revitalized the concept so well. I saw it with an audience of 20 years olds and they were enthralled. It’s handling of the subject matter was  rarely camp and Andy Serkis was phenomenal as Caesar. It made me crack out my box set once again.

Superhero movies were kind of hit or miss for me this year, I enjoyed Thor despite never having read a Thor comic. I found Green Lantern terribly misguided and passed on the latest X Men movie because of the past two sequels (something I later discovered was a mistake).
The one that made it for me was Captain America: The First Avenger. Comic fans can argue back and forth about costume design changes but the soul of any comic movie is embodiment of the character and I can’t remember when a movie got it so right (oh yeah, Iron Man).
It was also such a relief to take my son to this film and know that Cap wasn’t going to swear (take notes Hal Jordan) or  have “Superman 3” type moments of nightmare fuel (Seriously Hector Hammond?). I loved this movie and view it with the same regard I do the first Superman.

Best Books and Magazines

I went back to school this year to study design in anticipation of the books I’m writing. So, most of the books I read were published by Adobe and really have nothing to do with this blog directly.

Some notable exceptions were:

Doctor Who Classics Omnibus I was gifted two of these by lovely wife and it reminded me of how much I loved Doctor Who comics growing up. I find it ironic that I’m wishy-washy on the Davison era and I abhor Colin Baker but their stories are actually my favourite in comic form.

I cannot recommend Shock Cinema magazine enough. A self described “essential guide for any fan of bizarre films and videos, and each issue is crammed with movie reviews, in-depth interviews and original poster art. Shock Cinema covers everything a self-respecting film-junkie could possibly desire — from Cult Movies and Arthouse Oddities, to old fashioned Grindhouse Swill and Underground Obscurities.”
This magazine is easily the best $5 I spend at any given time, it gives me hours of interesting reading and I wish it came out monthly. Seriously where else are you going to read about a movie which starred Mr. Brady as a pervert crank caller?

While i don’t read comics these days, I oddly can’t get enough comics history and that’s where Twomorrow’s “Back Issue!” comes in handy. Each month I get in depth interviews, articles in a beautifully laid out format.
 Twomorrows publishing has a great catalog of books that would be right for any 70s kid as well, worth a visit.


Besides releasing my own action figure, a lot of cool toys made me weak in the knees this year, the two biggest for me however were these.

Bifbangpow Doctor Who

Talk about peanut butter and chocolate, my love for Doctor Who combined with my love for Mego action figures. I know most people want Star Wars or Marvel comics mego figures again but this was my number one want and I can’t wait to buy every single figure BBP knocks out. The Doctor and Styre were toys I HAD to rip off the card immediately and that is just fantastic.

The same thing can be said for EMCE Toys/Diamond Select’s wave two of the Universal Monsters. These figures are a joy, the Mummy is an amazing detailed likeness of Karloff while the Dracula is generic. Given that I’ve played with generic Dracula figures all my life (Lugosi’s likeness isn’t part of the Universal Monsters license) it seems wonderfully fitting.  Well worth the $30, I assure you.


I didn’t get the time for DVDs like I normally do this year but two were unavoidable for me:

Shout Factory has done a spectacular job of releasing Mystery Science Theatre but the Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXII last box set with Sandy Frank “classics” like “Time of the Apes” and “Mighty Jack” really made my 2011 brighter.

Warner Archive is probably going to be on every Retro Awards show I do from now on. This year I adored the Man From Atlantis: Complete TV Movies Collection.
Man from Atlantis was one of the better done TV SF attempts in the 1970s, it starts out with great promise (although the television series gets progressively weirder until it looks like they just run out of juice) the TV movies however are inspired and fun, worthy of a look.

Some big changes this year on Plaidstallions

I’m going to need more time to develop my book products, I haven’t found a publisher for “Rack Toys” or “Galaxy of Mego” but that only means I’m going to probably start my own publishing company in the coming months. 

That means i can only do site updates every other week for the next few months, the blog will remain daily and I’ll still do Fashion Mockery, Toy Love and Rack Toy Tuesday posts but new gallery pages need to be bi weekly for me to retain my sanity.

And that’s it for another year, I’m looking forward to what 2012 brings us, as always thanks for reading!

About The Author

AKA Brian Heiler author of "Rack Toys: Cheap, Crazed Playthings" and co-editor of "Toy-Ventures Magazine". Co-Host of the "Pod Stallions" podcast. Host of the Brick Mantooth Youtube channel, painter, designer, writer, mental health advocate, toy collector, Mego, and Mego Knock-Off enthusiast. I have large feet, ADHD and I live in Canada. Talk toys, not others.


  • Tex on January 1, 2012

    If you go the self publish route, go with I've long since lost count of the number of books I have from them. Whether it be pulp reprints, Altus Press' new Doc Savage novels, or Robert E. Howard reference books, Lulu does 'em up reeeal good.

    They also handle publication in different formats–hardcover, trade paperback, paperback, perfect bound, saddle stitched, etc.

    And, what with it being print-on-demand, you WON'T have to worry about having boxes of unsold books in your garage to schlep around to various conventions.

    Looking forward to an even plaidier new year!
    (NOTE–Lulu didn't pay for this endorsement, and probably won't)

  • Darrin.. on January 1, 2012

    Nice list! Planet of the Apes surprised me as well!! I dig the (4th Dr.) playet as well! That's the only Doctor I ever watched in regard to the series, although my cousin is nagging me to watch the newest series.

    Good luck on the publishing. I will be eagerly reading about your endeavors, as I've got an iron in the fire in regards to writing as well.

  • phairhead on January 2, 2012

    I want that omnibus!!!

  • Plaidstallions on January 2, 2012

    @Tex thanks for that, I'll check it out. Although I was looking forward to building a l'il fort with unsold books.

    @Darrin thanks!

    @phairhead it's great!

  • John III on January 2, 2012

    Well I need to get in on this love too. Keep it up Brian, I know you will find success, and thank you for this website! Oh yeah, and thank you for picking me as a contest winner and my snazzie new halloween costume. (John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever!)

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