Sunday, December 27, 2009

Steel City Con December 2009

Steel City Con returned to Monroeville, PA in style with it's debut at the newly christened Monroeville Convention Center. Reminiscent of the old Expomart extravaganzas, December 2009 was a sold out show with toys sometimes stacked fifteen feet high, and a "capacity crowd" (Why quotes? More on that later -J) clamoring for for a great guest list. I had as much fun as ever, but for whatever reason, I heard more dealer bitching this year than ever before.

More so than usual, I labored to hawk my collection of Japanese toys and comics, although I did have a few key sales which would allow me to pony up for more Micronauts and Shogun Warriors. My display gets kind of busy, as you'll see here:

and here:

Basically, I go to Steel City Con to unload the bottom feeder swag accumulated over the course of the collecting lifetime. If it's a last minute thing, I usually just do Japanese stuff, maybe a mix of domestic stuff and a few imports that I'm tired of.

This year I had a ton of manga, including several Roman Albums, and a heaping pile of Shonen Sunday Weekly Jump.

In keeping with the scaled down theme of this years presentation, I incorporated this decent-sized jewelery display. It worked out, mainly as a way of keeping little items from disappearing, but also as an interesting object unto itself. The yellow Cliffjumper sold because this guy was adamant that it was a Bumblejumper. I'm not so sure, but I don't want to do the research and find out he was right!

That's a high price to pay for being altruistic, and a real case for just sticking with ebay.

That said, setting up at a show is an experience unlike any other in toy collecting. No matter how friendly the buyer, ebay can never come close to the type of one on one interaction that you get in an endeavour such as this. It's total sensory overload combined with enough geek-speak to ease the burden of Toy Collector-dating significant others everywhere. Here are some classic pics from past shows:

A pint-sized rogues gallery

Hotwheels coming out the...

A shot of my past offerings.

Shogun-D2?! Not quite, but still very dope.

Here I am looking like a long-haired, toy collecting nerd.

After the weekend I like to gather up all the stuff I purchased to see how nuts I went. This wasn't a bad show in terms of frivolous spending.

The next show arrives February 26th thru 28th, and I will be there one way or the other. If the show covered here is any indication, you'll want to arrive early for a parking space close to the door. Being a recovered space and former furniture wharehouse, the building and surrounding lot wasn't conceived to accommodate this amount of foot traffic, resulting in the afore-mentioned complaining dealers. It's safe to say that bad weather, combined with parking a quarter-mile from the building, was enough to turn away the otherwise merely curious, and those people buy stuff, too. As far as the guys who depend on this activity for a living goes, this show was a disaster. If February lives up to it's local rep, these conditions will worsen. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

For the hardy souls that can't be kept away, however, it's too much fun to miss. See you there!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas 2009: Impulse Buy Necessity, or, "Hamster me, ASAP!"

Ah, Christmas! Let the paganism begin!

This year it's 2009. Things are different this year, and people are going into 2010 with a whole new outlook. Retailers are exhibiting smarts by not not keeping huge inventories, the ramped up production of this year's super-hyped toy is taking longer than usual, and the public finally understands that it should have all it's shopping done before Thanksgiving.

It's a mellower holiday season. I heard about someone getting trampled over Zhu Zhu in Colorado, but that's about it. Using the "local" barometer, this year's Black Friday was a tame affair. Instead of operating like a herd, holiday gift givers have been conditioned into Guerrilla shoppers, taking out whatever bargains they can, and snagging the must-have gift when they see it. This is the Christmas of "when you see it buy it," because you won't get a second chance.

As far as the Hamster thing goes, I must admit to feeling like we're all getting schtuped somehow. Last year we all went nuts looking for Bakugon, and when our kids finally got them they didn't know what to do with them. After a few weeks of socializing, Bakugon is a legitimate hit, and the kids want more, but I'm pretty sure it has more to do with parents egos. Adults create these trends, it could be any toy. This year it's Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters, and they're pretty annoying.

First, you can't find one anywhere, and you get stuck paying twenty bucks if you do. Second, you keep hearing about the little kids that supposedly came up with the concept, and how they're millionaires now, and then you're reminded that you're not a millionaire, and that you can hardly afford to heat your home much less waste your time looking for a the latest and greatest trinket for your daughter. When you see the blank faced reaction the Hamster gets on Christmas day, you'll know what I'm talking about.

On a personal note, I skimped on a couple of my friends kids this year by picking up a few dollar action figures at the local toy show. That's right, I buy for my friends kids, at least the ones I see a lot, and this year we're cutting back for the first time. It's the best thing I ever did, because, carded action figures from the 90's (The Worst Decade) are plentiful and cheap, and when you buy for so many kids that you can't remember who likes/ has what, it's time to stop by your local swap meet with a Jackson and clean up.

Captain Planet, Bucky O'Hare, Star Trek, and more! Figures are mint on the card and polluting thrift shops, flea markets, and comic shops with harmful PFC gases, all over America. When you buy new, at retail, you only prolong the greenhouse emission apocalypse. All of those old toys need to opened and unleashed on the atmosphere. And they're not making any new toys anyhow. Have you been to Toys'R'Us lately. Empty shelves instead of Hamsters. Instead of buying in this year, save yourself a few bucks and guarantee that nobody gives the kids the same gift by purchasing a twelve year old MIP action figure for cheap at your local, independently owned retailer. Everyone will appreciate it in some way.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Women of the 2009 G-20 Summit

The G-20 Summit is the biggest media event to happen to Pittsburgh in generations. It was to be many things to many people, and deliver to the city a new level of respect. The latter remains to be seen, however the local media was basking in their glory. Like most Pittsburghers I helped shutter and turn Downtown into a ghost town by staying at home and monitoring the media coverage. What a circus! I imagine there will be a lot of G-20 centric highlight reels coming out the 'Burgh shortly. A lot of bleached blonde hair, too. There will definitely be a ton of editing so as not to look like erudite pricks.

pittsburgh Pictures, Images and Photos

For the hopes that Pittsburgh would receive accolades, the ABC Nightly News with Brian Williams ran a gushing feature on our beloved hometown. I guess Hearst Argyle is a good friend to have sometimes. They probably want to own us (if they don't already.) Yeah, Pittsburgh is great if you have a graduate degree and are cool with CMU developing WMDs behind your back, otherwise it's surrounding pristine wilderness that keeps most of us still hanging around. BTW, that beautiful house owned by the bourgeois yuppie was in the same neighborhood as the riots, and Mayor Ravenstahl still has about as much charisma as your local Chief of Police.

CBS News wasn't too big on Pittsburgh, but they let us embed their footage as long as we watch thirty seconds of commercials. This is as much Pittsburgh as you were likely to see on CBS;

At least it looks like people in Pittsburgh give a shit. Not that we don't, we just don't destroy private property while doing so. Throughout the coverage CBS seemed to want to downplay Pittsburgh's achievements in recent years, but on the subject of rioting they weren't too far off the mark. Yes, somebody actually did start people onto rioting.

Irresponsible mercenary Police from all over came to the summit to crack skulls. Think about the mentality of a Law Enforcement Official willing to "volunteer" (for pay)and imagine what is going to happen at a demonstration where this guy is assigned. Or don't because it's the 21st century and everything is visually documented. Not much good video online of this one, but check out these pigs roughing up an adorable co-ed. Be sure to re-watch her "Throw the bike at the police"

Great job with the unbiased reporting, douche. I know the right wing are a bunch of closet homosexuals, but this action and resulting commentary really shows just how gay U.S. conservatism has become. And they got the media! That's not a criminal, that's a sexy little hell cat, and there's a difference. A "Liberal Media" would allow for that when attempting to convey information. Here's more on her side of the story. Here also is a petition to get the charges against her dropped.

Another notable event was the first official use of sonic weaponry by law enforcement in a country other than Russia. Nice work guys!

Yet the G-20 Summit wasn't all Lawrenceville and Oakland.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Pictures, Images and Photos

High above all this commotion, Carla Bruni made France an okay place by complementing Pittsburgh's beauty.

Carla Bruni Pictures, Images and Photos

She was all over the local news giving the city her stamp of approval,

carla bruni Pictures, Images and Photos

and generally bringing an element of glamor that just doesn't occur here naturally.

Carla Bruni Pictures, Images and Photos


Carla Bruni Pictures, Images and Photos

if you're French and enjoy history,

Carla Bruni Pictures, Images and Photos

Pittsburgh is a very interesting place to visit.

carla bruni Pictures, Images and Photos

carla bruni Pictures, Images and Photos

carla Pictures, Images and Photos

How do you take this woman seriously?

Interestingly, for all the coverage of all the world leaders and all their wives, I don't recall seeing any mention of Great Britain. They showed up, right? I want to be able to invite them again, ya know? Bruni can come over anytime, because she totally owned all the shrill bitches that pass as reporters around here. She looks like fun to be around. Maybe she busted out the guitar and sang the G-20 one of her songs.

The G-20 is over now, and I doubt that much acclaim will be achieved by this event. Rather, it is likely it ended up hurting things for locals in the long run. The Police brutality and the local leadership's willingness to severely curtail basic freedom of expression is something that will continue to resound among disciples of Liberty everywhere. Pittsburgh Cops are pretty cool, so I think we can blame the bussed-in rednecks for marring our towns otherwise decent rep. Local Politicians are another story, and Gubernatorial candidate Dan Onerato needs to be carefully observed after signing off on all of this nonsense. The message these guys are sending out is that Pittsburgh was, is, and forever will be a "Company Town"

Yet, I don't think that is the most damning aspect of this event. No, I think Law Enforcement idiocy will forever take a back seat to the members of the local media, including the aforementioned politicians, who were permitted to take the national stage and flounce around in their dated attire, hairstyles, and ideas. The local media's fixation with Pittsburgh's working class foundations permeated every feature, every interview, every report, and have effectively turned back the the clock another twenty years on the region's already lagging national perception. Fawning over the French bitch, cheering on the pigs, trying to buy any and every dignitary a cheese steak at Primanti Bros, it was all these jerks could do to line up and reinforce the ultimate message that Pittsburgh is as stupid and desperate as the rest of the world thinks it is.

No one can deny the Blue Collar legacy of the Steel City (I said it! "Steel City!") but the media's pitch was a poor reflection of what's really going on around here. The closest it came to truthfulness was in showcasing the massive student population as it ran from riot squads. Were the local more aware of and understanding of the youthful energy that charges this town then the rest of the world might finally be let in on the secret, but alas, we'll have to keep it to ourselves a while longer. Letterman may continue with his occasional pot-shot, and other nerdy, geek internet forums may sneer, in the meantime Pittsburgh will remain surprisingly independent and underground, while still being home to two of the best sports franchises.

The city of Pittsburgh fails when it follows, and wins when it leads, and if local media understood that they wouldn't operate so openly as cheer leaders for the Next Big Corporate Thing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

1955 Buick Special for sale

Four door 1955 Buick Special, garage kept over thirty years. Body and interior require some work, overall in excellent condition. V-8 Dynaflow with 111,000 miles. All original or OEM parts. Does not currently run, but engine turns. Matching numbers. Cracked windshield and new starter motor are needed. Original manual, parts catalogs, and dealer literature included. Additional pics available, however this car must be seen to fully appreciate. Asking price $5,000 negotiable.






Because Summer always has to end sooner or later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Presque Isle State Park, Erie PA

Like a day at the beach.


Lake Erie is a natural wonder and a tremendous resource, although this piece focuses on the great lakes merits as a tourists destination. For mid-western beach lovers Presque Isle State Park is a must.


Empty beaches on weekdays


I'm doing everyone "tiny" in these photos. In these photos the peninsula is facing the town of Erie, PA.



Canada was not so evident in the background while visiting the park, however these static photos reveal a friendly wave from our northern neighbor.

Presque Isle is a great beach fix and one more reason why Pennsylvania is the worlds best kept secret (after we get rid of Harrisburg)

There is no camping in the park, however there is Sarah's Campground just outside the park entrance (and next to a roller coaster and amusement park) and a KOA about fifteen minutes out, but for the money I would suggest looking into hotels in town.


With the range of activities available, from cycling to boating, to good ol' fashioned power-relaxing, Presque Isle belongs on the "to do" list.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Great VHS Box Art pt. 2 "Inframan"

Here is the cover to this Shaw Brothers classic.


This one almost didn't make the cut due to the original kanji script being so crudely replaced by cut and paste lettering. However, this classic promotional art features a dynamic rendering of everything great about the film, and all in glorious brush stroke. A favorable qoute by Roger Ebert isn't hurting the cause either. As kid, this would have leaped from the shelves at you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson


One of my beefs with the internet age is the lack of a universal cultural touchstone. People today exist on virtual islands in a way that wasn't possible thirty (!) years ago. So, I've decided that a cultural phenomenon is a generally good thing, and that's what my generation witnessed with Michael Jackson. For your average thirty something, the death of Michael Jackson really hits home. He's our John Lennon, or Elvis, the famous guy that dies and takes a part of your childhood with him.

I was just getting into holding hands when Michael Jackson exploded with "Thriller," and, like billions of other people, I learned to Moonwalk. "Billie Jean" was the song to grab your girl for an intense, amateur hour style couples dance. I had clothing with too many zippers, watched too much MTV, and I understood that Michael's lone glove made him appear "enigmatic." Jackson's music still gets played in clubs. Pop music and the way we think about it changed because of this guy, no matter how "out there" he became.

I have to admit it, I secretly longed for the day when Michael would renounce his strange activities and record the best album any of us will ever hear in our lifetimes. Alas, it was not meant to be. It is small consolation that we are now permitted to openly appreciate and show our affection for the man who entertained two generations of the entire world.

michael jackson Pictures, Images and Photos
August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Microman to Diaclone

Here are some awesome commercials from 70's Japan. They're great marketing for even better toys, and lots of fun. This is a series of spots that illustrate how Microman/ Micronauts evolved into Diaclone/ Transformers in their country of origin. This is basically one product line that was marketed to appear as a new product after a sales slump. These toys will be familiar stateside as "Micronauts" and "Transformers"

Dig the metal background music.

Do you recognize this world wide favorite?

Check out the kids in this one...

What the hell is that kid saying?!

This one must have aired late at night. Please keep in mind Microman's original mission of getting kids interested in science when you watch this. It will help you understand why I nominate this next commercial for "Most Bad Ass Toy Commercial In the History of The World For All Time"

Here Microman starts to incorporate vinyl figures and a new theme song. It's a few years along for these toys and now Time Traveler is on his the way out.

As the 70's come to a close...

Here we see the beginnings of Diaclone, the final nail in the Microman's coffin.



and yet another world wide favorite...

Diaclone is a hit!

There are more of these, but you get the idea. I love how Takara segues one toy concept into the other as Microman's vehicle accessories gradually take on a life of there own as Diaclone. I don't think toy companies operate like that in the states. You just know that there were kids in Japan totally unaware of how this transpired. They probably just ignored Microman until all of sudden there was Diaclone. Despite briefly slumping sales, the fact that both these concepts were huge international successes is remarkable. Sadly, Diaclone devolved into Transformers, where it lingers in mediocrity to this day. I guess when you consider the mountain of products produced during the 70's it's not so bad. Westerners will never really know the extent of what was manufactured as Microman and Diaclone, but we can have fun trying.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great VHS Box Art pt. 1 "Super Chick"

The VHS was a thing of it's time. We virtually ignored it's limitations while it lured us from the local Cinema with it's convenience and beautiful box art. From a marketing standpoint, the VHS tape is a high water mark for the home entertainment industry, second only to the vinyl LP.

Here is some great VHS box cover art from the movie "Super Chick", presumably of the original theatrical poster. VHS box art continued the fledgling home entertainment industry's tradition of featuring original marketing materials from a film's theatrical release. Often the synopsis were original copy as well. Now, in the era of Photoshop, entire marketing divisions are devoted solely to repackaging films for retail, and some aspect of quality and charm are lost in the process. I've got a few nice boxes to share, and I've chosen to start with the best of the bunch.

"She'll really move her tail for you!"

I love the box art for this mid 70's soft core cheapie. Filmed as a vehicle for sex advice columnist Joyce Jillson. Super Chick is the alter-ego of a timid stewardess, who has a beau in every port to assist in her various counter cultural dabblings. Despite a who's who of 70's exploitation stars, it's very pro-woman and actually quite vanilla. Nothing like the drunken tramp witnessed on the box cover.

The sleepy eyed, wanton gaze seals the deal even as the lustful lady sheds her attire for you. The action is well portrayed and subdued by the muted color palette. This box art is entirely functional and maintains a delicate balancing act between serving as product and pin up, and is way hotter than anything found in the film itself. "Super Chick" can be found on region 1 DVD, unfortunately the cover is a little more representative of the actual film.


At least it's not more Photoshop.

For whatever reason, great art work continues to be suppressed in favor of cheap production art churned out by the underpaid for each new DVD release. That's a shame, for although the format may be better viewing on your television, it is nothing to view on your shelf. I will continue to prove this in future installments of Great VHS Box Art.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"LOST" episode 100

Since it's tough coming up with regular, inspired writing, and since I wear my geek cred on my sleeve, I figure it's time to begin discussing regularly scheduled programming, such as the bewildering episodic adventure known as "LOST"

Daniel Pictures, Images and Photos

"LOST" celebrated it's milestone 100th episode tonight (SPOILER) by killing off it's most bewildering character, Daniel Faraday. Not to worry, Faraday got a great sendoff with some terrific insight into his history and how he became entangled in the mystery of the island. Add to that the culmination of a seasons worth of subplot (LaFluor/ 70's Dharma Initiative) and "LOST" fans have something to talk about at the water cooler tomorrow. You guys are still doing that, right?

I wasn't one who took to the season four recruits so quickly. These characters are hampered by a surmounting mythology and unresolved plot points concerning established characters the audience has already invested so much time in. Factor in Hollywood realities such as Richard Alpert disappearing to star in "Cane" for a season and "LOST" becomes a disjointed mess. However, starting with the previous Miles-centric episode, these also-ran, johnny come lately characters are starting to become truly fleshed out, often times after their on-screen demise. Now that it's here, I'm not sure I needed Faraday's background any sooner. And that's the magic of "LOST," the thing that keeps new viewers from tuning in while loyal viewers are afraid to quit; the convoluted storytelling. After Locke returned from the grave, is there anyone out there who thinks we've seen the last of Faraday? Even after his mom put a bullet in his chest? I didn't think so.

Eventually, I warmed up to Faraday's antics and spacey mannerisms, to the point were I cheered when he climbed out of the submarine. Not bad considering the guys circumstances within the storytelling structure. I was pretty sure he was a linchpin character, and he might still be, but I can't say how, and so the program continues to live up to it's name. At the very least, Faraday will return in an all-essential clip show episode. Let's face it, it's not called "LOST" because there are survivors stuck on an island; the name of the show is derived from the effect it has on its audience.

In general, I find my enthusiasm for "LOST" has in no way diminished. Sometimes I can't tell what's been said due to crunching chips and salsa, or maybe it's a gripping episode and I've quaffed one too many Iron City pounders and yelled at the tube during an important bit of dialogue. One way or the other, I am not 100% up to date on what's happening at any giving stopping point, but that's cool. The show is so rich in detail that a second viewing (fifteen years from now) is almost necessary. Hopefully, before it's finished it's run, "LOST" will cover the important points while allowing religious viewership the opportunity to savor the program's intricacies. In other words, I hope the show can maintain it's rhythm while the writers sort everything out. After a sagging first half of the season, volume five is shaping up, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Here He Comes...!"

Wow, Mattel has issued forth a SECOND WAVE OF SPEED RACER HOT WHEELS! (Cheering) Now fans of the Watchowski's brilliant 2007 masterpiece (all 23 of us) can relive the excitement of the rally race with these funky new toys.

This latest (and most likely, lastest) assortment of cars is a mix of repaints and new sculpts, featuring four new vehicles from the dastardly rally race in the second act of the film. This includes:

Snake Oiler's street car

Thor-Axine (viking)

Delila (diamond sucking/ drug analogy femme)

and finally, Taejo Togokahn (double crossing Asian racer)

As expected, these toys are nicely detailed and roll smoothly as only Hot Wheels do, but the unique factor these toys possess are the high impact plastic bodies. Initially, this turned me off, as I would have preferred a solid piece of die-cast metal. I bought one anyhow, and after rolling down some track onto a hard surface I realized the choice in materials accurately recreated the "Car Fu" stylings of the film upon impact. These things don't just bounce, they practically dance. As a true brillaint stroke, these cars feature a die-cast bottom plate, adding enough weight to land the car right side up 90% of the time. Somebody at Mattel would've received an award if not for the film's lack of success, so there is something inexplicable about this new assortment of toys. I think it's pretty great to be able to include these notable characters in my Speed Racer Hot Wheels collection, and I'm surprised and appreciative. Having a vehicle for Taejo is especially great, considering the character actually has a story arc that kids will enjoy exploring through play.

Desert Rally repaints

Of the repaints, I zeroed in on the Mach 5 and Racer X with sand detail, from the afore mentioned rally, and left the others for later. The light brown under spray impressed me by contrasting nicely with the iconic designs of both the Mach 5 and X's Shooting Star, while the rest of these toys merely represent the massive surplus that did not sell. Although I can't blame Mattel for "Race Wrecked Grey Ghost" (several cars return as "Race Wrecked", featuring a black under spray to indicate engine burnout,)I can hold out until they show up for even less than a dollar, because that's the rub here people; you can't get these at retail.

I stumbled upon these guys while looking for batteries in a dollar store. The batteries were dead, but who cares when you've uncovered a favorite toy unexpectedly. The experience was a little like the dreams I have of walking into a dusty old variety store and finding a pile of Kenner Star Wars figures at 1980 prices, only not nearly as orgasmic. Snake Oiler's street car has been seen at Target in a two-pack with the Mach 5, but even that went straight to the clearance aisle. When a movie tanks, you don't expect additional merchandise. Just one more reason to love crazy Mattel.

You cannot deny "Speed Racer" the movie was a real dog for everyone involved. This is good in a way because now they can't tarnish the film experience by making a less than stellar sequel. On the other hand it's bad because fans want to own miniature versions of the cool cars presented therein, and that's not supposed to happen much when nobody sees the movie. Mattel will never again make so much ancillary merchandise for a new movie, no matter how big the marketing push, therefore, one has to wonder what the philosophy behind releasing another assortment could be. It would seem that we are so far down along the pipeline that these toys could have been canceled. Maybe Mattel is gunning for some of that stimulus package. When they tell congress it's to make up for all the Speed Racer toys they'll surely get some.

However it happened, if you have kids and need a cheap quality toy (die-cast and chunky ABS) that will be loved, or maybe you're older and just happen to love Speed Racer, Mattel Hot Wheels Speed Racer are the thing. After all, it's going to be a long time before we see anymore Mach 5s at Wal-Mart.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Century III Mall

This is one of those "flagship" commerce centers of the late seventies, early eighties, the Golden Age of Shopping Malls. Malls were being romanced via Film and TV, and they were popping up everywhere. The general rule was you could only build a new mall if it was going to be bigger and better than any to have come before, and nobody could imagine a time when we would not be spending our leisure shopping in indoors.

Despite being located almost an hour away, Century III Mall's draw was powerful enough to get families like mine to pile into the car for some epic holiday shopping. Naturally, as a special occasion, I would come away with some cool toy, at times Star Wars, Smurfs, or a transforming robot. Recently, while wandering around with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, I couldn't help but notice the optimistic attitude embodied in the architecture of the building. Lots of crazy angles comprised of wooden railings and faux sandstone, and lots of open space.

M.C. Escher to food court

Last vestiges of "Tiki"

"Atmosphere controlled comfort"

A lot of malls built during the era of "Falcon Crest" and "Dallas" feature a similar sci-fi aesthetic, looking like a scene from "Logan's Run" or "Blade Runner" but Century III stands out as the definitive example, in Pittsburgh and beyond.

Close Encounters of a IIIrd Kind

Unfortunately, the place is a little dilapidated these days, reflecting the throw away culture that constructed it. Some of the store fronts are empty, yet considering the close proximity to Wall-Mart it's actually not doing too bad. Even though the only reason I went there was for the comic shop on the third level, Century III cannot yet be referred to as a "Dirt Mall"

One of the more impressive elements that has since fallen into disrepair is the parking garage. A massive shelf is now shut off to traffic, probably due to structural deficiencies. This overflow of parking funneled consumers onto the third level of the mall, over the food court. This third level is now home to Sears, the army recruiter, said comic shop, and a similar geek resale shop specializing in toys and media.

The Forgotten Parking Lot

Stairwell to Lower Level
Monkey Wards

Next to Sears

Beneath The Forgotten Parking Lot

Considering the current retail environment and whatever trends coming along to further seal the fate of the indoor shopping mall, it isn't likely that this parking garage will ever be repaired. Mall management will probably demolish it first, but only once it becomes absolutely necessary to do so. At one time this was essential space for vast numbers of parked cars.

This report is dedicated to the great memories of a bygone era of commerce and community, especially as it occurred at Century III Mall.