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June 2014 Archives

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!

Adventure Timmy

What time is it? TIMMY COSTUME-MAKING ADVENTURE TIME!

Timmy's ready for his next adventure. To San Diego Comic Con!

Yep, it's that time again. Attention all knitters, crocheters, stitchers, needle-and-threaders, staplers, paste-eaters, hot gluers, blacksmiths, and conjurers: WE NEED YOUR HELP! Timmy doesn't want to go plain-clothed to SDCC in late July & has put out the request for new costumes!

Four years ago, we started this project & did not expect the number of costumes Timmy would acquire (Seriously! We wish we had this many costumes ourselves!). Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the volunteers who have transformed Timmy's closet into what it is today. It's hard for us to express just how much we appreciate your help in keeping Timmy clothed all year long. (He'd run around naked if we let him have his way! Eep.)

Think you've got the time and skillzzz to take Timmy's cosplay collection to the next level? Check out his costume wishlist below, take a gander at his existing collection, and sign up below to volunteer!

Our most coveted costumes, with the already taken suggestions struck through:

Fourth Doctor Timmy & Captain America
  • DC Comics: Batman, the Joker, Superman, Clark Kent, Harley Quinn
  • Marvel: Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Star Trek: Riker (w/ chair!), Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek version)
  • Minecraft Steve
  • Star Wars: Boba Fett, Jabba the Hut
  • Game of Thrones: Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Daenerys Targaryen (w/ dragons!), White Walker, Joffrey, Oberyn Martell, Little Finger, or Ned Stark
  • Firefly: Captain Mal, River Tam, or Zoe
  • Dexter
  • Grumpy Cat
  • Doctor Who: Clara, Rose, Donna, Martha, Cyberman, 10th Doctor, 12th Doctor, or Ood
  • LotR & the Hobbit: Thorin Oakenshield, Gandalf the Grey, Gollum, or Legolas
  • Bioshock: Big Daddy, Booker DeWitt or Elizabeth
  • Nintendo: Bowser, Timmy-size Yoshi, Death-stare Luigi
  • Master Chief
  • Mass Effect: Tali, Garrus, or Commander Shepard
  • Dean Pelton
  • April O'Neil
  • Lion-O
  • Adventure Time: Finn, Jake, BMO, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, or Lumpy Space Princess
  • Domo
  • Doge

We welcome all your ideas and suggestions, too!

If you sign up below, we'll be in touch via email to confirm your costume pick to ensure maximum costume efficiency. (Ten people working on the same costume means we'll have to choose favorites and that's no fun.) We also have Timmy clones handy if you'd like to snag one, but Timmy's measurements are below for reference.

Timmy's measurements

Height: 8"; Chest (all the way around): 9"; Neck (all the way around): 8"; Arm (shoulder to end of hand): 3.5"; Shoulder to wrist: 2"; Tips of fingers to fingers across shoulders: 10"; Inseam: 2"; Outseam (hip to bottom of foot): 3.5"; Head (where a hat would fit): 8"; Height (tip of head to bottom of foot): 7.5"; Tail length: 5"; Width of face across nose: 2"; Width of feet (so you can get pants on over them): 1.75"; Neck to hip (for shirts): 3". Pretty sure that's every possible measurement, but let us know if we missed one!

Your deadline, should you choose to accept it

Timmy and his entourage will leave ThinkGeek HQ on July 22th, and they'll need sometime to organize and get his bags packed. So the deadline for your costume to arrive at the HQ is July 11, 2014.

Where to ship your creations

Please address your costume to: Timmy's Volunteer Costuming Corps, ThinkGeek, 11216 Waples Mill Road, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Where will Timmy wear your work?

All over the world! At conventions and geeky gatherings, fundraisers, and premiers. He'll debut his new costumes at SDCC this July, though. We also display all of his costumes in our conference room, and in our Timmy costume Flickr album where you'll be credited so that others may bask in the glow of your stunning artistry forever. Pssst! For the wonderful crafters who sent in costumes last year, unfortunately our costume photos were lost, so if you'd like to get an image of your Timmy costume, just let us know! :)


That's it! If you have any questions or need more details, please comment below and we'll update this post with the necessary information.

We are already so excited! Thank you, everyone!

Ghostbusters

Happy 30th Anniversary, Ghostbusters!

Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Art Print

It was the summer of 1984, and it just so happened there WAS something strange in our neighborhood. The feelings of dread in our basements and/or attics, the strange noises in the night, the spooks and spectres and ghosts - none of that stuff was helping. We needed someone to believe us and help. We were in desperate need of a hero, and we got four of them.

Ray, Egon, Peter, and Winston: four men in beige with unlicensed nuclear accelerators strapped to their backs. A quartet of heroic archetypes, like a phantom-bashing Three Musketeers and d'Artagnan, risked their own lives and saved the world from annihilation. Sure we love the Ghostbusters. But as the 30th anniversary of the first film draws nigh, we started thinking about exactly why we love them.

Sure the movie had comedy and ghosts and special gear and lots of marshmallow, but there's one thing that stood out as the main reason we connected so strongly with this film. At its core, Ghostbusters is about people who are outside the norm succeeding where others failed by being brave enough to use science to solve their problems. So what if the ghosts aren't science (yet?), the Ghostbusters' equipment (Proton Packs, Containment Grid, P.K.E. Meter, etc.) is . . . at least, in the world of the film it is.

See, as children, we weren't exactly normal. We didn't just march to the beat of a different drummer, we programmed the dang drum machine ourselves. Egon and friends showed us that being different was okay. And liking science was okay. And using science to solve problems was more than okay: it was heroic. Thirty years later, isn't that a good message for the next generation of geeks to learn?


Written by our resident Ghostbuster & all-around amazing monkey Mindel.