And welcome to another exciting chapter of WELCOME TO THE INSTA-HOOD! This week we meet IG-er : @it_came_from_beyond_planet_x
- Describe a bit about yourself: “I’m a father. A son. A husband.” “Proud weirdo and lover of all things strange and unusual. Avid traveler and seeker of the weird! I’m a geek from way back and lover of all things pop culture, kitsch and retro. Vintage thrift store haunter and garage sale deal connoisseur, always looking for the bizarre.”
- You currently live in Alaska, what is that like? What do you do for fun there? “Alaska is kind of like another world, completely separate from the rest of the US. It’s just different, and the people here are different. They just kind of keep to themselves. I wouldn’t say they’re all outwardly unfriendly, but they prefer for a man to mind his own business.In the Summer, it’s gorgeous here. I look out my back window and it’s nothing but majestic mountains and big open skies. It never gets too hot and the hiking, rafting and ice climbing is legit amazing. The hunting is off the charts as well, but I’m not much of a hunter, so there’s that.
The winter can get pretty brutal, as expected, but one plus is the northern lights – the aurora borealis. It has to be seen to be believed. When you get a good one on a clear night, it’s like the sky is on fire.
I’ve been here four years, and I do enjoy it, but I’m ready to go. That little voice inside my head is urging me to get out and see new things. Heading out to California in June!”
- What are you top five toys that you own?
“Gaaaah! This is like asking me to choose between my favorite children!
If I absolutely had to choose, I’d say these, in no particular order:
1977 Shogun Warriors Godzilla – every serious collector has one of these bad boys. It’s one of the greatest. Oh, and it’s hand shoots off its arm! How cool is that??!!
1984 Manglor Mountain, from Ideal – the first real slime toy, plus the box art is amongst the very best of the entire 80s. Manglors themselves are kind of crappy, but this thing has an Iron Maiden that you literally lower into a volcano full of slime and then press the tongue of a hideous demon face on the front so that it rises back out of the slime. Whoever invented this was a damn genius.
1978 Star Wars Death Star PlayStation – I love this playset. Everything about it screams retro sci fi, from the cardboard backdrops, to the foam “trash”, to the goofy green trash compactor monster, all the way to the totally unnecessary but gigantic laser on top of the whole thing. Throw in an elevator, moving bridges, a trapdoor and a trash compactor that actually squeezes your little Star Wars dudes and it’s a 6 year old nerd kid’s dream.
1984 GI Joe Cobra Rattler (Ground Attack Jet) from Hasbro – hard to find complete and unbroken, but such a bad ass toy when I was a kid. The bad guys always had the coolest stuff.
1982 Castle Greyskull from Mattel – Kids might not understand this much today, but back in the day, toys were neighborhood currency a lot of the time… and there were very few toys for their time (except maybe the USS Flagg) that looked as bad ass as this one. Not only was it a cool fantasy castle with a giant skull on the front, with trapdoors, a laser, an elevator and all kinds of crazy looking weapons, but it doubled as a carrying case too. It wasn’t unusual at all to see some kid lugging Greyskull across the street, full of his little He-Man dudes. Still an epic toy to this day, with really great box art.”
- What are the top five toys that are on your want list?”The Clash of the Titans Kraken, 1981, from Mattel – Such a bad ass toy with great box art and slick production value. Still holds up to this day.
The Alien action figure, 1980, from Kenner – Horrifying and cool all at once. Nobody wanted them when they were for sale, but now they’re highly collectible.
Tiamat, from LJN’s Advanced Dungeons and Dragons line, 1983 – it’s kind of a silly toy, really, and not at all comparable to other toys of its time in how cool it could have been, but it was still pretty awesome.
Repto, from the Micronauts line by Mego, 1979 – that little dude has a glow in the dark brain, a buzz saw for a hand and some of the raddest card art ever.
ROM the Spaceknight, by Parker Brothers, 1979 – I’ve actually had a few of these over the years, but none were complete. Looking for that complete one to throw some serious cash down on. “
- Can you talk about your other IG feed (it_came_from_beyond_planet_x) what was your inspiration in starting it? What do you want to achieve with it? :-“I’m a huge comic book, sci fi, horror and genre movie nerd, so the feed is just an extension of that! I really only post things I think are cool or date back from when I was a kid, so it really is a reflection of my own interests.
Late last year, I started Planet X Games and started adapting my “Grindhouse-style” Role Playing Game Adventure Modules in preparation to go live on a Kickstarter this Spring or Summer. The first module “Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride” hearkens back to every “lost city in the jungle” b-movie you ever saw, while truly evoking that “Grindhouse” style that I’ve come to live so much over the years. It’s something for fans who love their Dungeons and Dragons style adventures as well as their Grindhouse flicks. We got some very talented professional artists to illustrate it and it’s coming together beautifully. I really think it’ll appeal to the lovers of old school RPGs as well as fans of the whole Grindhouse style. If it’s a success, we already have two written, ready to go and currently in playtesting, so we’ll see what happens!”
- What are you top five favorite feeds?:”@fartoysvintage is hands down the best seller for vintage toys and pop culture on IG. They are the gold standard. Never a problem, lightning fast service and shipping. Expert packing. Everything is exactly as described. Oh, and they’re funny as hell too. It’s not just the same ole same ole pictures of toys ya’ll.
@ham.and.sleaze is always posting something cool. Always. Some of it is a little risqué, but nevertheless killer stuff. They have a great sense of humor that seems to infuse their posts as well.
@retro.cult – who is that again? Seriously, one of my long time favorite accounts. Never disappoints.
@mindofmikey has super clear comic panels and covers with great colors. He has an eye for picking great panels and splash pages. I love that page!
@woollymammothchicago is an oddities store in – predictably – Chicago. They have great stuff and are always posting new content. I visited a few years back and it’s just as rad in person. I happen to be wearing one of their shirts right now!
If you would like more information, follow Levi’s IG: @it_came_from_beyond_planet_x
thank you so much for letting me interview you!
Until Next time!