BLURGH! The ThinkGeek Blog... Grok It!

About the Blurgh

ThinkGeek spews random stuff! Got questions, comments or suggestions?

Drop us a line at blog@thinkgeek.com

More ThinkGeek
Timmy's made it to Comic-Con!

Timmy's so excited for Comic-Con! Come visit us at booth #3849.

WE'RE HERE!

We've finally landed and are ready to take on Comic-Con. Are you ready for us, San Diego?

All you con-goers must have memorized our Official ThinkGeek SDCC Strategy Guide by now, and if you haven't, what are you waiting for? It tells you where to find us, how to get freebies, and win prizes! For all you non-con-goers, fear not. We're running a Twitter contest all con weekend! Tweet for the chance to win all our con exclusives.

If you're here, be sure to visit us at Booth #3849 to check out our exclusives and top-secret prototypes in person! We're unveiling them at Comic-Con, but we guessss we'll let our faraway geeks take a peek at them, too.


OUR CON EXCLUSIVES

These items are in stock now at our booth and on the website, while they last!

We thought it wouldn't be fair if only con-goers got the chance at these exclusives, so we will be carrying them on our site all Comic-Con weekend. Come Monday, they'll be off the site again, so don't miss out on this chance!


OUR TOP-SECRET PROTOTYPES

These items aren't in stock yet, but they will be soon, so if you like what you see here, be sure to click through to sign up for email updates. That way we can let you know as soon as they reach our warehouse.


Excited yet? Click on the photos to learn more about these shinies and be sure to use the "e-mail me" button on each page to be notified the moment the product hits our warehouse!

We look forward to all the new announcements and adventures that Comic-Con will bring. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+!

We're at San Diego Comic-Con!

Timmy and his army of cosplay clones are ready for Comic-Con! Come find us at booth #3849.

San Diego Comic-Con is nigh!

Hey all you nerf-herders! We've put together a handy guide to help you stalk us during this week of awesome.


The Official ThinkGeek SDCC Strategy Guide

Where to Find Us:

San Diego Comic Con
  • Come visit us in between Lightspeed Fine Art and Underground Toys (behind Square Enix). We're in booth #3849, but check the map first (don't want you good folks falling into any previously-charted wormholes or tears in space or anything).

    It's our second year with a booth, so be sure to swing by, say "hello!" to our Comic-Con Away Team, give us some free shrugs, and take a picture with Timmy! Along with our most popular items, we'll be carrying all our con exclusives as well.

Contests & Prizes:

Doctor Who Exclusive Variant Comics
  • Wish you could make it to Comic-Con but are too busy saving the world (or plotting to destroy it)? Fret not, hero (orrrr villain)! We're giving you the chance to win a pack of our Comic-Con exclusives + a Con Bag of Holding filled with mystery goodies by tweeting once a day for five days! AT 11:59pm PT on July 27th, the contest will close and we'll randomly choose 5 winners. So that's 5 days, 5 chances to win, and 5 Comic-Con prize packs. Just tweet this any day we're at Comic-Con, 7/23-7/27:

    Wish I was at SDCC so I could get @ThinkGeek's con prize pack! Boohoo! http://j.mp/15bq9Pl #ThinkGeekSDCC
  • Win a life-size Han Solo in Carbonite figure or ThinkGeek Han Solo prize pack! Yep, that's right--a magnificent seven-and-a-half-foot tall replica of Han Solo in Carbonite. Swing by our booth #3849, mention this contest, let us scan your badge, and be automagically entered to win! (You can also enter via paper at our booth or online, too!) This contest closes Friday, August 15th at 11:59pm PT.

Panels & Freebies:

  • Looking to score some freebies? Don't think it'll be so easy! Come by our booth #3849 and tell us the secret password to get a mystery goodie!
    • Wednesday, preview night: "Ice to see you!"
    • Thursday: "Aviary of Doom"
    • Friday: "What doesn't kill you makes you stranger."
    • Saturday: "SWEAR TO ME!"
    • Sunday: "I am Gotham's reckoning."
  • On Friday, July 25 at 5:30pm Room 26AB, come to the panel The Business of Geek Fashion to join our very own TG monkey Mike Kochis and other awesome panelists in discussing how businesses choose designs, what the licensing process is like, how trends affect their work, and how fashion options for geek girls have increased over the years. RSVP to the Facebook event here!

Happy stalking! If you want to come chat with us, be sure to swing by our booth anytime. Hope to see you there!

Jul
18
2014

Links! Incominggg!

Sorry, but our princess is in another fish tank.

Sorry, but our princess is in another fish tank.

Watch out! Phew, that link almost got you. Here's the latest link round-up of awesome stuff from the Internet!

Our favorite links from the Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest 'verse:

Cake for Second Breakfast? Yes, please!

We feel bad for the barista. Daenerys Targaryen's drink order. (Tumblr)

Free Dobby! The perfect tool for saving house-elves. (Tickld)

Happens with books, too! (Endless Origami)

Kitty uses Snuggle! It is super effective. (Imgur)

Cannot unsee: The World Cup logo was Captain Picard facepalming. (Geekologie)

Bonus level! Wedding cake with a Super Mario Bros. surprise by Bittersweet's Chocolate and Pastry. (Facebook)

You Khan do anything! (Tumblr)

Best obscure Star Wars character? You tell us! Help us complete our TL;DR Top 10 List. (ThinkGeek)

When this baby hits 264 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious...

We'd expect this from a d4, but really, d20? (Tumblr)

Savoring the moment! Cake suspended in time. (Imgur)

Omg, Becky, look at her book. Best bookstore display. (Imgur)

Tetris Tots: Make these disappear... in your stomach! (Imgur)

Pwning n00bs in Halo Kitty. (Imgur)

Requires the Konami Code to open. NES controller chest. (Facebook)

That moment you realize you married a Sith. Join the Dark Bride. (Imgur)

When this baby hits 264 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious... (Imgur)

Final Fantasy bookmark: Just hope no one overwrites your save file.

So, you wanna cosplay? Cosplay veteran Holly Conrad shares with us 5 easy steps to cosplay success. (ThinkGeek)

Final Fantasy bookmark: Just hope no one overwrites your save file. (Imgur)

Cake for Second Breakfast? Yes, please! (Bake My Cake)

LEGO Life Hack: Never lose the keys to your SPACESHIP! again. (I Heart Chaos)

MandaLEGOrian. Epic LEGO Boba Fett cosplay. (Imgur)

Tetris psychotherapy: Tetris blocks have feelings, too! (Barely Amusing)

The Game of Thrones Cycle: There is no escape! (Unless you've read the books.) (The Doghouse Diaries)

A bat within a bat? Batception. (Fahsionably Geek)

Sorry, but our princess is in another fish tank. (Imgur)

Nalan Cheel

In our experiences, top ten lists normally have two flaws: they're poorly formatted for quick reading and they are normally wrong. Just check all the comments of any top ten list, and you'll see lots of other folks think the list is wrong, too.

With our TL;DR Top Ten Lists, we're going to fix both problems... with your help. We're just gonna give you a couple of things on our top ten list (to make it faster to read), and you fill out the rest in the comments below (to make sure the list is accurate). Add to the list, argue with us, argue with each other, but most importantly be nice and have fun.

Today's TL;DR Top Ten List topic is:

Best Obscure Star Wars Characters (original trilogy) Immortalized as Action Figures!

B'omarr Monk
  1. B'omarr Monk from Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi -- Scuttling around the back hallways of what was Jabba's Palace, the B'omarr Monks exist just to think. They shut themselves off from the outside world and physical stimulation so they can achieve ultimate enlightenment. When they get there, their brains are removed and put in jars, which get carried around by robot spider bodies. Dang scary for a monk, if you ask us. The toy was a 1997 mail-in exclusive and was as awesome as a robot spider with a brain in a fishbowl sounds (i.e., very!).
  2. Nalan Cheel from Star Wars IV: A New Hope -- Nalan played the bandfill in the Modal Nodes. We're pretty sure his favorite song was "Take 5," due to Paul Desmond's sublime sound. First showing up as a generic "Cantina Band Member" figure in 1997 (Star Wars Fan Club Exclusive), this Bith made a command performance as a tinned 2006 Walmart Exclusive with four other members of the band (the same 1997 figure, repainted) with cloth jackets and repainted instruments. All he wants to do is play the gig, man!
  3. Willrow Hood
  4. Willrow Hood ("Ice Cream Maker Guy") from Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back -- While the Stormtroopers invaded and everyone in Cloud City was running around, Willrow ran by the camera carrying what looked like an ice cream maker. Blink, and you'll miss him. But he ran his way into fans' hearts. After a long battle, the development of his backstory, petition, possibly some blue milk boycotting (blue ice cream?), he got his own action figure in 2009. Because, everyone loves a guy with ice cream.
  5. Momaw Nadon ("Hammerhead") from Star Wars IV: A New Hope -- Ok, so Momaw got an action figure very early on. 1978 saw him appearing in Sears Exclusive Cantina Adventure Set and then as a regular carded figure. Back then, he was simply known as Hammerhead since the Expanded Universe hadn't happened yet (and still hasn't? sigh!). Anywho, Momaw had a small part in the movies, but has featured highly in the action figure world. So why's he on this list? Simple: Hammerhead was one of our favorite Kenner Star Wars action figures to play with. And since we're writing this list... he's in!

And now it's your turn. What do you think numbers 5-10 are? Do you agree with our numbers 1-4?

Take to the comments and help us find the Best Obscure Star Wars Characters Immortalized as Action Figures!


Written by Mindel, a certified Master of Disguise (so long as the disguise looks just like him).

Timmy wants you to submit to Despair Calendar 2014!

Whee! Timmy is already excited for 2015.

Wait... We're halfway through 2014 already?!

The new year will be upon us before we know it, which is our cue to start working on the 2015 Custom Despair Calendar! This keeper of dates needs some filling out. How else will we keep track of all the geeky days of note, nerdy facts, and imaginary holidays during the year? (And real holidays, too, we guess.)

This is where you chuckleheads come in! We need your help again in populating our Calendar of Despair. Submit your historic date, nerdy holiday, birthday, geeky fact or point of interest in the form below, and if we decide to put your date on the calendar, you'll automatically be entered to win a $100 gift certificate. If you're the randomly selected winner, we'll notify you as soon as the dates are finalized & the calendar is set to print!

Here are some examples of what we're looking for:

  • June 7th: Ghostbusters theatrical release. Don't cross the streams and buy a pack of Stay-Puft caffeinated marshmallows to celebrate.
  • July 13th: It's the birthday of Harrison Ford AND Patrick Stewart. Celebrate Captain Picard and Captain Solo on the same day!
  • September 10th: Bill Nye the Science Guy Day.
  • October 13th: International Walk Like a Zombie Day!

Musketeer Riker

In our experiences, top ten lists normally have two flaws: they're poorly formatted for quick reading and they are normally wrong. Just check all the comments of any top ten list, and you'll see lots of other folks think the list is wrong, too.

With our TL;DR Top Ten Lists, we're going to fix both problems... with your help. We're just gonna give you a couple of things on our top ten list (to make it faster to read), and you fill out the rest in the comments below (to make sure the list is accurate). Add to the list, argue with us, argue with each other, but most importantly be nice and have fun.

Today's TL;DR Top Ten List topic is:

Silliest Star Trek: The Next Generation Adversaries!

The children from the ST:TNG Episode
  1. Musketeer Riker ("Hollow Pursuits") -- In planning this list, we were originally just going to do villains. But then we decided to expand it to anyone who stands in the way of the good crew of the Enterprise D doing their thang. Musketeer Riker just barely stands in the way. He's late to the fight, he's shorter than regular Riker (we'll call that one "original recipe"), and he's just a bit goofy. For all of that, we call Musketeer Riker a silly adversary.
  2. Children ("Disaster") -- Picard was just doing his duty and taking the three young winners of a science fair on a short tour of the ship. We're guessing that tour was of safe and fun areas, like the arboretum and aquatics lab. And then Picard would send them on their way and go back to work. But could he quickly and easily do that? No, because he was thwarted by silly, little children (oh sure, and a quantum filament collision, but we're blaming the children).
  3. Horga'hn statue ("Captain's Holiday") -- Again, Picard is foiled by something seemingly innocent. This time, it's a statue he acquires per Riker's request. We're pretty sure Riker already had one and just wanted the Captain to get a little something extra on his vacation. But sometimes you want to participate in jamaharon, and other times you just want to read a good book! Foiled by a silly (sexy) statue.
  4. Kivas Fajo ("The Most Toys") -- Fajo is a collector. He likes to have all the best things and show them off to his friends. He steals his things and puts them on display. He even is bold enough to steal Data. And here's why Kivas Fajo is a silly adversary. Sure he's capable of killing (RIP Varria), but he makes one error. This episode is called, "The Most Toys," which means, as a toy, Data isn't worth as much since he's not mint in packaging.

And now it's your turn. What do you think numbers 5-10 are? Do you agree with our numbers 1-4?

Take to the comments and help us find the Silliest Star Trek: The Next Generation Adversaries!


Written by Mindel, a certified Master of Disguise (so long as the disguise looks just like him).

Holly working on a kaiju!

So, you wanna cosplay?

My name is Holly Conrad; I've been cosplaying for eleven years and I'm here to tell you about the wonderful world of cosplay! If you're reading this article (which you undoubtedly are), you're interested in dressing up, making stuff, and being one of your favorite characters for hours on end at a convention. It's not an easy task, but it's definitely a rewarding one, and that's not just because of all the cool scars and blisters you'll get from making a costume--it's because of the fun you'll have becoming a character, meeting new friends, and being hugely awesome. So, let's get started with my five easy steps to cosplay success!

Step One: Cosplay Whoever You Want

Femshep!

My first rule of cosplay is you can be whoever you want. Regardless of your age, race, gender, size, you can be WHOEVER you want. And if someone tells you otherwise, look them in the eye, strike a sassy pose, and tell them they're wrong (and also totally no fun at all). This is a hobby for you to feel awesome about yourself and to learn new skills and make friends, not be judged or bullied.

Step Two: Obsession Is Your Energy Drink

You'll have a lot of late nights cosplaying. Sometimes those late nights are only fueled by Taco Bell and the love of the character you're cosplaying as. When you drift off to sleep on your garage floor at 5 am surrounded by a pile of cut pieces of foam and glue, you want to know that when you make that pile into armor you're going to feel like the most awesome badass that ever walked this planet. Loving a character, loving your fandom, and wanting to be a part of that at a convention will help you go that extra mile that no energy drink or cheap taco will do.

Step Three: Google-fu

Once you have a character and you know what you want to be, now is your time to take to the Internet. Many cosplayers have released e-books (including Kamui Cosplay and Punished Props on how to make armor. Forums like the Replica Prop Forum can get you in touch with industry professionals who make props for a living, and sites like Tested give you amazing build blogs to look over. YouTube has a plethora of sewing tutorials, casting tutorials, and so many more. The Internet is your friend, and its cornucopia of tutorials will turn into your bathroom reading faster than you can say, "Glue gun burn".

Step Four: Failure Is Your Senpai

Dragon Age Inquisition

Cosplay is about learning; it's about figuring out what works, what absolutely does not work, and what should be buried and forgotten forever. Don't be afraid! My solution to this is to cosplay with friends. Find a group, get your parents to help out, have people around you to laugh jovially when you try to age a cloak and accidentally set it on fire in your driveway. These things are going to happen, and they will be a learning experience (and great bar stories). So never give up, never surrender.

Step Five: The Power Is Yours

Just like Captain Planet says, you have the power to ignore, and educate, haters. Let's say your Wonder Woman costume is done, you're ready to go to a convention, and suddenly, Ethel, your co-worker at the Kwik-e-Mart asks why you're doing something so "nerdy and unordinary." This is when you ask Ethel about that time she went to the Raiders game and painted herself black and white and wore armor with 5 inch spikes on the shoulders. She will say, "Yes, but that's a sports game," and you will respond, "You're a fan of sports, you dress up to show you're a fan. I'm a fan of Wonder Woman, I dress up to show I'm a fan. It's the same thing." You then drop your mic, kick a speaker off the stage, put on deal-with-it sunglasses, and ride out on a raptor breathing fire.

Now, you're ready to cosplay!

Well, I mean you have to make the costume first. But with these five easy steps, it won't be any problem. No matter what, you are going to have a blast. Oh! Here's a few more tips: stay hydrated, put gel inserts in your shoes, bring energy bars, and put a pocket on your costume for a cell phone. You'll need to be able to call Ethel and tell her what an awesome time you're having while you and your deal-with-it raptor ride off into the sunset.


Holly Conrad cosplay

Born from a family of artists and out-of-the-box thinkers, Holly Conrad cites her first cosplay experience at the age of four when she strapped a pillow to her back and called herself a koopa. Mentored by her grandfather, Dorse Lanpher, a pioneer in visual effects animation with Disney and Don Bluth Productions, Holly grew up in Redlands, CA as a gifted illustrator, artist, and self-taught costume designer.

After graduating with a degree in Medieval History (and Sorcery) from University of California, Santa Barbara, Holly switched career paths and began working in special effects shops for clients like Disney, Universal, Machinima, Warner Brothers and productions like Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum, the latter of which won an Emmy for costume design. In 2010, she co-founded a company with her best friend Jessica Merizan called Crabcat Industries. Crabcat focuses on promoting an inclusive teaching community to build costumes, props, and practical special effects as well as new-media entertainment with the brands "Try This At Home", "Commander Holly", and "Jessica Marzipan".

Holly is stationed in Los Angeles and lives with her husband Ross, an animator, and her precocious cats Doctor Orpheus and Mojo. She is currently on the SyFy show Heroes of Cosplay with her partner in crime, Jessica.

Check out more of her awesome work on her website!

Maximillian from

Maximillian from "The Black Hole."

In our experiences, top ten lists normally have two flaws: they're poorly formatted for quick reading and they are normally wrong. Just check all the comments of any top ten list, and you'll see lots of other folks think the list is wrong, too.

The insect robots from

With our TL;DR Top Ten Lists, we're going to fix both problems... with your help. We're just gonna give you a couple of things on our top ten list (to make it faster to read), and you fill out the rest in the comments below (to make sure the list is accurate). Add to the list, argue with us, argue with each other, but most importantly be nice and have fun.

Today's TL;DR Top Ten List topic is:

Scariest Movie Robots!

  1. The insect robots from "Runaway." These multi-legged insects could move surprisingly fast when they wanted to, and they could jump pretty far. Also, they had a horrible sting - in the form of a venom-filled syringe. And if that wasn't enough, they were all built by Gene Simmons. Can anything be scarier than that?
  2. Maximillian from "The Black Hole." Long before General Grievous came on the scene, Maximillian was the robot with the multiple arms who haunted our nightmares. It doesn't hurt that he can sort of fly and two of his hands are very sharp and spin. Max even had enough guts to kill Norman Bates. Dang.
  3. The Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz." Imagine you're a woodcutter and you just happen to make a witch mad. She curses your axe and it begins to chop your parts off. Each time it chops a part off, you replace it with a tin prosthetic. In the end, you're all metal and, if not a full robot, at least a cyborg. Of course, this back story is glossed over in the movie, but it's still true. And why do we think the Tin Man is scary? Because the original make up almost killed the original actor (Buddy Ebsen). No other of these robots actually almost killed someone.

And now it's your turn. What do you think numbers 4-10 are? Do you agree with our numbers 1-3?

Take to the comments and help us find the Scariest Movie Robots!


Written by Mindel, a certified Master of Disguise (so long as the disguise looks just like him).

Whimsy is ready for Work Day duty

Captain Whimsy is ready for work!

Some of y'all who are old enough to remember coveting the Atari 2600 will recollect the transition from Arbor Day to Earth Day and then the "Earth Day Every Day" movement. We thought we'd take a parallel approach with our "day" of choice: Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Here at ThinkGeek World Domination HQ we think every day should be Take Your Dog to Work Day. From the beginning, we've believed in animals in the workplace (founding dogs Cisco and 5:30). For many of us, it was one of the deciding factors in why we came to work for ThinkGeek. It's so relaxing having a four-legged companion to hang out with.

The dogs of ThinkGeek

We've had our share of dogs, and even the occasional cat. Hard day? Snuggle with a pet. They put everything in perspective.

Ready to turn your office into a pet-friendly environment while still keeping it work-friendly? Some tips we've learned over the years:

  • Respect the allergies! The most important thing about your office is that people can work there. Create a pet-free area around those who have allergies, and mark it well. Our awesome HR set us up with signs that read "DFZ: Dog-Free Zone." We also have a section in our employee handbook that sets out some basic guidelines for everyone to follow.
  • Make sure your landlord is okay with it. It seems obvious, we know. From searching for a new building for our World Domination HQ, we can tell you it isn't always. Establish boundaries. Each animal needs its space, and humans do, too. Equip cubicles with pets with baby gates and close the door on pets fortunate enough to have an office. That way there's less fur underfoot.
  • Work when it's time to work, and play when it's time to play. Wednesday during the board meeting may not be the best time to have a play session. But late Friday afternoons we frequently had cardboard-tearing up sessions with Harley, our office pitbull for years.

Is your office pet-friendly? Share your story below!

ThinkGeek Trivia Night

Live long, prosper, and play trivia!

Summer Geek Trivia Night is here!


UPDATE: Tickets are on sale now!


Get out of the heat & come join us for another evening of geek trivia! We hope you've been spending your nights studying the Internet (yes, all of it).

Join us on Wednesday, July 9th for Geek Trivia Night at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA. Once again, compete against your fellow geeks for the title of Geek Trivia Champions & carry that title proudly (until the next GTN rolls around).

Tickets go on sale 12pm ET Thursday, June 19th on Brown Paper Tickets. There is a limited amount, so if it's anything like the previous Trivia Nights, tickets will sell out FAST. We suggest you start recruiting and forming your team of 6-8 people now! Choose your teammates wisely because we'll ask about anything. (You past trivia-goers are aware, but for the newcomers--seriously, we'll ask about anything!)

The Details:

  • Geek Trivia Night will be held on Wednesday, July 9th, at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA. The venue serves food and drink (purchased separately) for you to indulge on while participating in the trivia fun.
  • Doors open at 7pm ET, with the festivities running until 10:30pm. There will be 4 rounds of questions, 10 questions per round.
  • Tickets are $15 each and go on sale Thursday, June 19th; they will be sold at a first come, first serve basis. We recommend teams purchase their tickets together.
  • If you're thinking about bringing your geekling, please be aware that everyone must have a ticket, including children. We suggest geeklings be age 13+ and/or huge trivia buffs.
  • Teams must be composed of 6-8 people. We will be contacting the ticket purchasers later regarding your team name, members, and leader. If you have less than 6 but still want to play, we can match you up, but you must agree to leave your fate up to the almighty Timmy! There will be time at the beginning of the night for you to meet your new team & form new friendships.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments below.

Think your team has what it takes?! Come out and prove it on July 9th!