Product Feature: V2 VERTX PLUS

The VERTX PLUS brings some of the technologies that were pioneered with the V2 Pro series like the magnetic connections, drop-in cartridges and higher vapor production, to name a few examples. The VERTX PLUS is an upgraded version with variable power levels whose costs comes in at around $90. One of the VERTX PLUS cartridge should be more than sufficient for a full day of vaping (while using the lowest setting). A battery charge lasts for hours, but you aren’t in doubt of the charge life because of lights along the side of the device. The body of the VERTX PLUS has a window on the side that allows you to see the remaining e-liquid easily without removing the cartridge from the e-cig.

The vapor production of the VERTX PLUS is excellent. V2 also produces blank cartridges so that you can even use your own favorite e-cig juice in it. But if you want the prepackaged flavors they are Congress, V2 Red, Sahara, Menthol, Green Tea Menthol and Peppermint. The flavors are exactly the same as the ones that V2 sells by the bottle and in cartridge form for the original V2 Cigs e-cigarette. The VERTX PLUS cartridges of all that I have used have to be the most reliable ones to date. Even more during my testing, I didn’t experience a single “dry hit” at any voltage level. The cartridges are about as leak-free as one could ask given the amount of liquid that they hold. The air tube leading out of the cartridge does tend to collect a bit of condensation, though, so you can expect a drip here or there if the VERTX spends too much time upside down.

The VERTX PLUS is a superb e-cigarette for beginners and is a device that’s positioned to give you the best performance possible while staying within the new regulations that the FDA has set forth. So, if you’re a smoker who wants to switch to e-cigarettes right now, there is probably no better choice than the V2 VERTX PLUS. Click here to buy.

Product Feature: V2 Pro Series 7 Vaporizer Kit

When it comes to vaporizers, I have been on the search for the perfect tool. V2 is a company that I found and and offers one hell of a product. That product is the V2 Pro Series 7 Kit includes everything . This is the one-stop tool for all your vaping needs. Some of the new features include like variable voltage and temperature settings. These are items that I specifically look for in a vaporizer. Another outstanding feature on the Series 7 is that it has a bigger storage capacity and solid battery life.

If you are familiar with the Series 3 vape pen then this is not new for I zoned in on the Series 7 since it offers cartridges for for add-on like loose leaf, e-liquid and wax. If you purchase this kit above that we are feature luckily it comes with both the e-liquid and loose leaf cartridges. Otherwise, they the cartridges are available to purchase individually. But let me tell you have these three cartridges today makes this the one of the best choices for all-in-one vaporizers.

One of my main urks about this product originally was the button pressing to get to where you need to get. I am used to it now and definitely have no issue but it did take a little bit to become a habit. To turn it on you have to click fast five times. Then you have to press two more times within a half a second…(Confused a little?)…then still flashing each of the three lines and you will be able to press it again when the level you want is lit. Lastly, once your temperature is chosen you hold the button for about 5-7 seconds which will turn on the heater. It turns off about a short period on its own and you press the button three times to turn it fully off and you will see a red light flash.

Overall, I have been very satisfied so far with this product. Once you get used to the routine above it just feels natural and I was worried at first it would be annoying but honestly not at all. I also love that the Series 7 has this smart technology so that it recognizes which cartridge type you have inserted and automatically heat to optimum vaporizing temperature. This allows you to just relax and enjoy!

Product Feature: Halloween at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

When the holiday seasons roll around I just can’t wait to go into my local Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. You walk in their store and you are immediately whammed with some of the most creative and fun decorations for any upcoming holiday. I am the kind of person that would loop the Fall/Holiday season over and over if possible, so when you walk into the store in August and see Halloween already decked out ready I melt! And if the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store knows how to do one thing it is Halloween! They setup one of the coolest displays for their merchandise. My daughter usually b-lines to it to check out all the amazing new items.

This year, I had the chance to review seven of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s latest new products and like usual, all fantastic as usual. The first was my four year old’s choice, “Animated Halloween Puppy“. This trick-or-treating doggy aka Candy Bandit is literally one of the cutest animated toys, I have ever seen! And if it wasn’t cute enough it runs around the floors or table and plays “The Addams Family” theme! SOLD!

Next up is a “Light-Up Witch Wreath“, this is a cute door wreath for the Halloween season. There is something I love about this wreath on my first door, it is not scary-scary but it is fun and maybe a little silly and I just know that if anyone is coming to my door it is impossible not to realize and smile at for sure!

Animated Eyeball Doorbell” is one item that was NOT my four year old’s favorite due to being “too scary” but honestly that is a score for daddy cause that means that it is effective. This went right outside our door as well and I know that it has already given a few fun jumps to our friends and family, which makes me love it even more!

Who doesn’t love Peanuts and their wonderful characters? Cracker Barrel Old Country Store always has the cutest Peanuts animated figures. The latest is an “Animated Glow-in-the-Dark Snoopy“, which you immediately fall in love with! I have gotten a Snoopy animated character from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for the last three years now and each of them are better than the next. It has music, it dances (or should I say wiggles) and the glowing in the dark is just a bonus! A must have for any Peanuts fans out there!

Having a young child and being a big Halloween fan sometimes might be difficult because you have to balance the scary factor and can’t get something that will terrify for kids. The “Metal Witch Leg Yard Stake” from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is a great product that fits right in for that balance. It is extremely fun and honestly just cracks me up everything time I walk outside (as it does my daughter). Plus it doesn’t take up a lot of outdoor space and is extremely easy to stake in the ground.

If you are looking for a little decor around the house for the subtle Halloween touch, look no further than the “Light-Up Witches Brew Potion Jar“. This light up jar is a cute way to dress up your house in addition to light it up. It gives off a nice amount of light and adds a nice Halloween accent to our counter.

Last item of the season that we had the chance to feature is also one of my favorites, the “‘Welcome My Pretties’ Wall Decor“. Since we have our front door occupied with the Light-Up Witch Wreath, our pantry door is covered with this fun decor. This piece just screams “Welcome Halloween” for me! It is fun and we have it placed in a great spot in our house and every time I see it I definitely just smile and it makes it laugh. I like to always image that a witch literally flew into our door…SMOOSH! It is reasonably priced, in fact that bring up a great point about Cracker Barrel Old Country Store that their prices are very competitive. You go to Target or Wal-Mart and sure they might have “cheap” Halloween decoration but you are getting that exactly CHEAP in quality. Everything sold at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store seems like it is much higher than the plain ole garage you will find at those stores.

That is also one of the things that I loved about the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is that they don’t recycle all of last years crap that didn’t sell, I always feel like they have a wide variety of new products each season as well and as a consumer that makes me very satisfied. So you may not think of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store as your first stop to check out the latest holiday products but honestly it should be because this store has it all and you will have a hard time leaving without a purchase once you walk in! We should have our Christmas coverage up first week in November covering all the great new Cracker Barrel Old Country Store products as well, so stay tuned!

Product Feature: LEGO Halloween 2015 Monster Minifigures Collection

Halloween is just around the corner and LEGO is at it again delivering a great collection of collectible minifigures for the season. Halloween is easily one of my favorite times of the year and I look forward to seeing what LEGO has planned for this time of the year. 71010 Minifigures Series 14 is a series of sixteen mini-figures released in September 2015. This new Halloween-themed fourteenth series of LEGO’s Minifigures are a real treat for horror fans and come housed in traditional blind-bag packaging.

We had the chance to check out in advance three of these awesome new minifigures in this collection. The first is the Fly Monster, which looks super slick and had awesome red eyes, a red claw and wings. Really well done. The next is the Plant Monster, which is a really cool number. This has a feel like a plant ate a human and then formed around him against his will. I love the face and the hands. The last one is the Wolf Guy, which doesn’t have nards (ode for all you The Monster Squad fans), but it does have a cool bone accessory and it’s name is Kel. Great quality and detail on these.

The rest of the sixteen minifigures including: Banshee, Gargoyle, Monster Rocker, Monster Scientist, Skeleton Guy, Specter, Spider Lady, Square Foot, Tiger Woman, Wacky Witch, Zombie Businessman, Zombie Cheerleader and a Zombie Pirate. These are overall a great highlight for the Halloween season and I am dying to see what they come up with next either for future holidays or special events. There is something about minifigures that are so cool and even though they aren’t with a specific set you can use your imagination and do anything with them.

Product Feature “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Limited Edition Raphel Statue Gift Set

Are you a fan of collectible DVD/Blu-ray gift sets? As a collector, I have purchased many over the years including “Pacific Rim” and recently the “Spartacus: The Complete Series” Limited Edition gift sets. You make not know it but all of these amazing figures/statues that comes with the movies are made by a fantastic company, Snap Creative. I was shocked to look around my office and realize that I had dozens of their products already.

I had the chance to interview CEO of Snap Creative, Bill Howard, to chats about their work with the recently released Blu-ray of “Transformers: Age of Extinction”, read here. Since then I have been tracking their upcoming releases closely. Their latest is with the Blu-ray release for reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” including a highly detailed collectible statue of Raphael from the film.

If you want this amazing Amazon exclusive Raphael statue you would need to buy the Limited Edition Gift Set of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)”, which includes a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD. When you want to talk about detail, this statue is outstanding. I mean, every detail is perfect from his red bandanna and his new look for the reboot. As you can see above Raphael, posed ready for battle with his twin sais geared up.

I was a fan of this reboot and they really captures him perfect by using the digital character model that they did in the movie to make this status. The figure stands 6.5 inches tall, which is standing on a small display base with street sewer entrance. The whole thing spans over 7 inches wide and nearly 5 inches deep. If you are a TMNT fan, then this Raphael statue is a must-have.  Can’t wait to see what Snap Creative has planned next for us!

Product Feature “New Balance Glow 1400 Sneakers”

When it comes to sneakers, I am a New Balance guy. Always have been. They have always delivered the best comfort and quality sneakers for me. I tried getting an expensive pair of Nike sneakers last year that were rated one of the best in 2013 and I felt that they just were made so poorly and were falling apart after one a few weeks of use.  A few months ago we did a feature on the New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Sneakers. I loved these sneakers. They were probably the best pair that I have ever owned…well that changed when I tried out the latest New Balance Glow 1400 Sneakers. If you are looking for a great running sneaker, these are the way to go! They would also make especially great gifts, hint hint, this holiday season!

These are sneakers are literally the brightest and lightest that I have ever seen. They literally only weight just over 7 oz and feel like you are walking on air. These are also Limited Edition Glow in the Dark Sneakers. Honestly, when I was told about these I thought to myself you had me sold at “Glow in the Dark Sneakers!” These actually have a nice glow to them. They are great for training and racing whether it is day or night. What I also love about them is that the “glow” aspect isn’t cheesy or a gimmick. It is subtle and yet at the same time very effective. It gives off a nice glow but it is also not obtrusive or annoying.  If you are running down a dark street, these are sure to let off some solid light.

There are two colors themes available Blue with Yellow and Grey with Yellow. I really like the look of the Blue with Yellow. It really looks sharp and quite slick. Right from the moment I put these on, it just felt perfect. Besides them being ultra-light, they also have a very secure fit and are made with innovative mesh/no-sew overlay upper and durable midsole cushioning. Comfort is definitely an absolute given with these sneakers. I will also be purchasing a second pair of these for sure since I want to make sure I have a backup on hand. My wife, who likes to try on my sneakers, made it clear that she would love a pair of these as well. So New Balance if you are reading, you got these in Women’s as well?

Product Feature “Disney Frozen Olaf Inflatable Outdoor Christmas Figure”

Since the unbelievable success of Disney’s “Frozen” last year people have been in craze for any thing from this film. With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s that time to decorate the house and I was thinking to myself, “Hey, I want a giant inflatable Olaf in the front of my house!”. Well, leave it Gemmy to deliver us exactly that. Gemmy is the company who makes most of these amazing inflatable figures that end up on many of our front lawns. They have everything from “Star Wars” to ” Disney” and everything in between.

The Olaf inflatable figure figure stands at 3.5 feet tall and looks amazing when all blown up and standing tall. It inflates very quickly and with no issue at all. It uses energy efficient LED lights to conserve energy. I know it maybe been too late for this year but Gemmy should get on the wagon with Anna and Elsa inflatables as well. I would love to have a Frozen collection to celebrate the holidays. If you are a big fan of the Disney animated film, I would highly recommend this product and if you are a smart shopper you should be able to find it for below $40 bucks, which is a real steal for sure!

Blu-ray Review “Tales From the Crypt / Vault of Horror: Double Feature”

Starring: Joan Collins, Dawn Addams, Peter Cushing, Tom Baker, Roy Dotrice, Michael Craig
Directors: Freddie Francis, Roy Ward Baker
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2014
Run Time: 175 minutes

Films: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

“Tales From the Crypt” comics are one of the main reasons, I got into horror films when I was a kid. This 1972 adaption from the comics directed by Freddie Francis (The Creeping Flesh) was a great collection of horror films on film. It boasted a great cast including Joan Collins (Empire Of The Ants), Peter Cushing (Horror Of Dracula), Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange) and Sir Ralph Richardson (Rollerball). I remember the first time I saw this film by accident honestly since I thought it was a release from the HBO series and I am so glad that I did. Still holds up today for sure!

“Tales From The Crypt” Official Premise: When five unwary travelers with dark hearts stumble into a series of catacombs, they find themselves in a cavern with no way out. But the horror’s only just begun as a mysterious figure appears to reveal to each person the shocking events that will lead to their well-deserved, untimely (and unavoidable) demise. Tales From The Crypt is the original, gets-right-under-your-skin creepfest!

“Vault Of Horror” is a solid follow-up to “Tales From The Crypt” and is real draw in this release because it is available uncut for the first time on home video! It also packs a solid cast including Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Denholm Elliott (Raiders Of The Lost Ark), Curt Jurgens (The Mephisto Waltz) and Michael Craig (Mysterious Island). Like “Creepshow 2” was the “Creepshow”, it doesn’t top the first but this is a another great collection of classic horror stories, even though a little more cookie cutter.

“Vault Of Horror” Official Premise: Five unsuspecting hotel guests step into an elevator, which leads them into an underground vault. Trapped with no way out, each guest shares a gruesome tale of an encounter with death. But as the stories unfold, the men begin to suspect that their presence in the vault is no coincidence, and that the only way out…is death.

Scream Factory is behind this double feature release and it is a must for any horror fan that loves anthology films. Two great 70’s British horror films for the price of one. The 1080p transfers on both films are good. They are not outstanding but for the age of these films, the fact that they haven’t been fully restored, they look good. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio Mono tracks, which work well with the films scores. There are no special features included either but if you consider “Vault of Horror” as a bonus film, they are in good shape.

New Girl Scouts Collection from Wicked Cool Toys to Feature Girl Scout Cookie Oven

New License Honors Classic Brand by Designing a Full Line of Fun and Creative Role Play, Crafts and Activity Toys For Girls 

Bristol, PA – October 3, 2014Wicked Cool Toys has entered into a licensing relationship with Girl Scouts of the USA to introduce a delicious baking experience with a new Girl Scout Cookie™ Oven, as well as a comprehensive line of role play, craft and activity products inspired by the preeminent girls’ leadership organization in the U.S.

Wicked Cool Toys’ Girl Scout Cookie™ Oven will feature mixes inspired by some of the most popular Girl Scout Cookies® such as Thin Mints®, Trefoils®, peanut butter, and caramel coconut varieties, as well as traditional classics like chocolate chip, oatmeal and even cakes, brownies and more! Wicked Cool is also developing a line of unique craft and activity kits for ages 6 and up called D.I.Y. girl, inspired by the fun projects Girl Scouts engage in, including such diverse offerings as a string art kit, jewelry making kit, collage silhouette kit, garland making kit and more, giving girls the chance to experience some of the fun Girl Scouts have every day. Wicked Cool Toys expects its line to hit mass market retailers throughout the US beginning in Fall 2015.

“We are honored to be embarking on a licensing relationship with Girl Scouts of the USA, one of the most treasured brands in America,” says Michael Rinzler, Co-President and Founding Partner, Wicked Cool Toys. “We hope the line will encourage girls to express their creativity, learn new skills and offer a fun, positive and truly hands-on experience that will have broad appeal. On a personal note, the idea of the Girl Scout Cookie Oven was the subject of my Field Application Project as an MBA student at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. It truly is a dream come true for me, all these years later.”

“We’re pleased to work with Wicked Cool Toys,” said Barry Horowitz, chief merchandise executive, Girls Scouts of the USA. “Their creative approach to toys will help us share the fun and excitement of Girl Scouts with even more girls—both current members and future ones.”

 

About Girl Scouts of the USA

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, visit www.girlscouts.org

 

About Wicked Cool Toys

WickedCool, LLC is a Pennsylvania-based toymaker with offices in Pennsylvania, California and Hong Kong. Founded in the Summer of 2012, Wicked Cool has a diverse portfolio of playthings for all ages. The Wicked Cool Toys management team is led by co-Presidents in the US Michael Rinzler and Jeremy Padawer, and in Hong Kong, Thomas Poon. The Company develops and brings to market proprietary lines and licensed product, including, Wild Kratts, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®, Garfield, The Wiggles, Crashlings, My Girl’s Dollhouse, Vrüm, WWE®, Disney Princess®, Minnie Mouse®, Marvel®, Batman®, Superman®, Iron Man®, Sponge Bob®, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer®, and Monster Jam®. Visit www.wickedcooltoys.com and follow the Company on both Facebook and Twitter.  www.facebook.com/wickedcooltoys    @wickedcooltoys

 

Two Billion Downloads and Feature Film Set For Wildly Popular “Talking Tom and Friends” Brand

 Outfit7 Limited & Mythology Entertainment Sign Exclusive Rights Deal Bringing World-Renowned App Franchise to the Big Screen

LONDON (October 7, 2014)Outfit7 Limited, the multinational entertainment company behind the juggernaut franchise Talking Tom and Friends, marks its latest milestone event, a remarkable two billion downloads of its iconic suite of apps. The milestone coincides with the announcement that Outfit7 Limited and Mythology Entertainment have partnered in a deal to adapt the Talking Tom and Friends universe into a fully animated or hybrid live-action/animated motion picture franchise for family audiences.  The franchise will be produced by Mythology co-founders Brad Fischer and James Vanderbilt, and William Sherak, with Outfit7 founder and CEO, Samo Login executive producing.

Talking Tom and Friends is a rare global brand that, in just four years, grew from an instant app success into a fully-fledged media entertainment franchise. With a CGI animated series about to debut, a global licensing and merchandising program and a chart-topping sensation on YouTube, the lovable 3D animated characters have skyrocketed in popularity with fans across the world and sit firmly at the forefront of the digital entertainment era.

“Two billion is an incredible triumph.  We’re beyond proud that our Talking Tom and Friends cast of characters has brought so much joy, laughter and smiles to people across the globe,” said Login.  “The new film we are producing with Mythology Entertainment adds a whole new level of excitement and momentum for our brands that will enable fans of all ages to connect with our characters in a whole new way!  We’re delighted Brad Fisher and his team recognize the fun, loveable and powerful force of Talking Tom and Friends.”

“We at Mythology are among the two billion fans of ‘Talking Tom and Friends,’ so we’re very excited to join Samo and Outfit7 in taking these characters from cell phone and tablet screens to big movie screens worldwide,” said Fischer. “Tom, Angela, Ginger, Ben, Pierre and Gina have been entertaining kids and their parents for years, and we look forward to giving these beloved friends their own story for families everywhere to enjoy.”

The brand has become a global entertainment phenomenon having infiltrated popular culture with its characters featured on ABC’s Modern Family, NBC’s Today Show and the 2013 White House Easter Roll to name a few.

 

More Info

Since the premiere of the first Talking Tom app in 2010 the wildly popular franchise has extended beyond second screen entertainment, and touts soaring numbers to match:

  • Two billion downloads of its portfolio this Fall 2014, with 14 apps launched within four years;
  • An accelerated download rate of 40%, since the company celebrated its one billionth download in June 2013;
  • Talking Tom and Friends exceeds 230 million monthly active users in over 230 territories worldwide;
  • Fans have uploaded 8 million independent interactions with their favorite characters to YouTube, creating more than 35 million views every month;
  • Combined subscribers to the Talking Tom and Friends YouTube channels exceed 1.7 million.

 

About Outfit7 Limited

Best known for its global phenomenon Talking Tom, Outfit7 is one of the fastest-growing media entertainment companies on the planet.

 

Outfit7 was founded by a group of entrepreneurs in 2009 whose mission is to bring fun and entertainment to all.  Its flagship app franchise Talking Tom and Friends has achieved over two billion downloads since its launch in 2010 and continues to grow with 230 million active users each month.

Talking Tom and Friends is a rare global brand that, in just four years, grew from an instant app success into a fully-fledged media entertainment franchise. With a movie in production and a CGI animated series soon to debut, a global licensing and merchandising program and a chart-topping sensation on YouTube, the lovable 3D animated characters have skyrocketed in popularity with fans across the world and sit firmly at the forefront of the digital entertainment era.

Outfit7 Limited is a UK multinational entertainment company headquartered in Cyprus.

For more information, please visit www.Outfit7.com and www.talkingtom.com or visit our Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

 

About Mythology Entertainment

Since the company’s launch three years ago, Mythology Entertainment is producing and has closed deals on a wide range of projects in film and television.  Partners Bradley Fischer (“Black Swan,” “Shutter Island,” “Zodiac”) and James Vanderbilt (“The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Zodiac”) are currently in pre-production on “Truth,” Vanderbilt’s directorial debut based on his adaptation of a memoir by Dan Rather’s former news producer, Mary Mapes. The film stars Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford.

 

For feature film, Mythology is producing “The Overlook Hotel” for Warner Bros., a prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” with Mark Romanek attached to direct a script written by Glen Mazzara; Richard Morgan’s Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel, Altered Carbon, adapted by Laeta Kalogridis and David H. Goodman; and “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” adapted by Eric Kripke. For television, Mythology is producing “Ashecliffe,” an HBO and Paramount Television series based on Martin Scorsese’s hit feature film, “Shutter Island.” Scorsese will direct the pilot based on a script by Shutter Island novelist, Dennis Lehane.

 

Mythology Entertainment is repped by attorneys McKuin, Frankel & Whitehead, and Tim Connors.

Product Feature: yurbuds® Latest Earphones

Every day I spend my business hours sitting at a desk. I ALWAYS have headphones in my ears. I also find that I am going through head phones on a weekly basis. I seem to either have bad luck with any pair I get. Either my ears are hurting from being so uncomfortable or one each just stops working out of the blue from being all tangled. I will be covering two different pairs of headphones from yurbuds®. This a brand that I recently discovered and have been wondering why it took me this long to find them since I have been in love with their products.

The first is the Inspire Duro Performance Fit Sport Earphones, which takes my issues above and makes them a thing of the past. These come with Quik Clik magnet technology, which are tangle-free magnets can be connected together prior storing them away. The cord itself feature a tangle and tear-resistant woven cloth cord providing ultimate durability. These are literally guaranteed never to hurt or fall out. Honestly, I put this to the test also wearing them for 9 hours a day and plenty of moving around at my desk. They are very comfortable, they fit perfectly in my ear and are also sweat and water resistance and ambient noise awareness. Plus the best news of all is that the Inspire Duro come with a lifetime warranty. So this is a no brainer purchase if you spend anytime listening to music with head phones.

The next pair of from yurbuds® are the Focus Pro, like all their products these buds are guaranteed never to hurt or fall out (thanks to Twist Lock). These are also very comfortable if you like having something over your ear for a little extra hold. They feature a three-button sweat and water-resistant microphone. So you are able to control your music, calls, and volume control. The ear loops are definitely not cheap plastic either. They are very soft and moldable to your ear that add extra comfort and support. Attention all Apple users, the Focus Pro was designed  for iPhone, iPod, and iPad and is also fully integrated with Siri® and other voice-control, so if that is your choice of smart device, they should be the headphones for you…much better than Apples crappy pair for sure. Lastly, these are backed by a limited warranty.

Product Feature “Cracker Barrel: Animated Haunted Suitcase”


Living in the south, one of the major perks is being able to visit one of my favorite restaurants Cracker Barrel. This place is just not a place to eat though if you have ever been it is also a fantastic old country store. I was recently there and of course the store is all decked out for the Fall and most importantly Halloween! Well I might have discovered one of the coolest Halloween decorations…quite possibly ever. We are talking about the “Animated Haunted Suitcase”.

It is the normal size of your average suitcase. It has some decent weight to it as well. But what you don’t know is that when you pass by it a ghost with a creepy as hell face and hands literally press out of the side of the suitcase and extend out of the suitcase. This amazing trick is achieved by having a thin near-see through black cloth on the one side. You can set the suitcase to go off with the touch of a button or set it to motion sensor. You will hear a haunting string of noises and visuals, and end up face to face with a light up ghoul!

This is no question my favorite new toy this Halloween season. I look forward to providing spooks with this suitcase to numerous innocent bystanders. If you love Halloween like I do, I highly recommend you running out to your local Cracker Barrel and picking this up ASAP! Or if you don’t live by one don’t fear you can order it online here. Happy Halloween y’all!

Product Feature: Maui Jim Sunglasses

Living in Florida, one thing you always need is a good pair of sunglasses. I am quite sick and tired of buying pieces of garage for sunglasses. I usually end up buying a pair for $10-20 bucks and they literally last me 10-20 days. I finally decided that I am going to hunt down a pair of sunglasses that were quality made and that would last longer than a few measly weeks. When I was looking to find the perfect brand to match my taste, I immediately thought about Maui Jim. I am not a surfer but I do love the island life and this company really embraces that lifestyle. 

I was introduced to two new and hot lines. The first is called Stone Crushers (see above). They are a durable, tough pair of shades that are perfect for all day wear. They are very lightweight and do not weigh down your face. They have a tough grilamid frame with lightweight polycarbonate lenses along with adjustable nosepads. When these hit my face, I heard music like in the movies. It may seem lame but if you saw the last pair with scratched lenses and wobbly frame you would cringe.

This brand comes in three different styles/colors. We chosen the Matte Black style with a Neutral Grey color lens. These special lens are made especially to resist bright, direct sunlight. Being in FL, there is no abundance of that. These also come in the following styles/colors Matte Rootbeer / HCL Bronze and White Pearl / Maui HT, each of these lens have their own unique qualities. Also included are a Maui Jim case and cleaning cloth.

The next pair that we had the privilege to play with is the Spartan Reef line. These glasses are inspired by one of the outer reefs of Kanaha on the Central Maui Coastline near Paia known for producing big surf and long sessions. The style/color that we chose for this line was Marlin / HCL Bronze. The lens specializes for use in everyday variable conditions ranging from from full sun to overcast, which FL can switch from one of the other in a heartbeat. They have a warm, subtle bronze tint.

The design for these include a sleek frame that comfortably wraps your face to provide optimal protection against the beautiful sun. The shape of these are a modified, rectangular frame that aims to complement a range of facial shapes. I have to admit out of the two pairs, I am definitely favoring this pair. They also come in two other style/color including Gloss Black / Neutral Grey and Matte Tortoise Rubber / HCL Bronze. Of course, also included is a Maui Jim case and cleaning cloth.

I would also like to discuss two of the specific features that every pair of Maui Jim glasses  include are PolarizedPlus2 and CLEARSHELL. This is their patented, color-infused lens technology that wipes out 99.9% of glare, 100% of harmful UV and boosts color via specially designed lens treatments. CLEARSHELL is a scratch coating protection, which is something that will really put to the test. It is a silicone-based hard coat that aims to protect your lenses and is applied to front and back of the lens, so you covered all around. So if you are looking for a quality pair of sunglasses look no further than Maui Jim!

Product Feature: New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Sneakers

Sneakers on Media Mikes? That’s right you are reading correctly. We are in the midst of a huge expansion and New Balance was the first to back us up with this new expansion. If it wasn’t for companies like this, we wouldn’t be able to pursue our plan. When I started Media Mikes in 2010 (then called only Movie Mikes), I emailed for an interview with a little known celebrity named Denzel Washington. He was completely out of my reach and I thought I would have no chance but I ended up getting it and it helped launch the site and set it above every other starter site. Almost five years now have past and we are expanding again!

Anyway back to New Balance’s amazing new sneaker, the Fresh Foam 980 series. This running shoe was only released a few months ago yet is already an award winner. It was awarded “Best Ride” in the Competitor Magazine Spring Shoe Guide (March 2014) and “Best Neutral Running Shoe” by Running Network (March 2014). The cushioning is very impressive. The Fresh Foam 980 is a really stable shoe and yet doesn’t smother you. You have plenty of room to breath through its mesh lining.

If you are looking for a sneaker that has amazing performance in speed, cushioning, stability and control, then you need to look no further. I went on a mission to find a “good pair” of sneakers earlier this year and honestly, I failed miserable. I ended up bunch a brand of sneakers that were “expensive”, so it had to be good right? Wrong! i ended up returning them within a few weeks. I wish these would have been released when I was looking earlier this year. Luckily now, I am able to spread the word and make it easier for others to make a good decision.

Thanks to New Balance, we received these amazing new sneakers in the color Silver with Lime & Navy, which look quite awesome. But it doesn’t end there since they have ten different colors options. There is Blue with Green Gecko & Neon Orange, Dark Heather Grey with Red & Yellow, White with Cobalt Blue & Green Gecko, Black with Lime Green & Blue, White with Neon Green, Orange with Blue, Black with Metallic Silver & White, Lead with Laser Blue & Black and Grey with Black.

There is something about the look that is actually very pretty, as my two year old daughter again. I love the color fad line leading above the sole, it looks so awesome. The soles have a solid strong color, which is just as bold as the shoe is and is made out of blown rubber. So if you are looking to get back to running after the summer and looking for a good sneaker to accompany you, I believe I easily help make your search process much shorter…the hardest part will be to figure out which awesome color you want.

Product Feature: What’s the Smartest Newest Smartphone?

When the very first iPhone came out, I traded in my old flip phone for what at the time was the best smart phone on the market. It stood the best for quite a while in my opinion. After the iPhone 4, I lost interest in the future development of Apple and its product. I decided to cross over to the dark side as iPhone users says and go the Android route with the Samsung Galaxy S4. WOW! Was my world expanded! Convinced that I would never switch back to iPhone again, I decided to see what else is out there.

In this article, I will be discussing three new smartphones besides the Samsung Galaxy and the iPhone, which always thought to be the two strongest options in the market. Are phones even phones anymore…the phone part is the bonus with these devices. What is more important these days to be is the speed, the size and most importantly the apps! The first of the three is the LG G3, which I feel is no question the strongest of the bunch.

This is a phone, I would honestly switch over to if I had the option. The device comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display. I am a big picture guy, so the camera is very important. This phone is equipped with a 13MP ultra fast laser auto focus camera. This is a big improvement over the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera for sure! I felt that I always got blurry photos but this comes with Optical Image Stabilization, which reduces blurry photos that result from shaking.

The carrier we tested this phone on was with Verizon. With that the LG G3 comes XLTE Ready, which is a good feature and let’s you take advantage of the latest advancement to America’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. It is double the 4G LTE bandwidth in cities coast to coast, which allows you to do much more with your smart device. The device also comes with a Smart Keyboard as well as your own Virtual Personal Assistant. It’s not Siri, I mean what is, but it is quite snazzy.

Finally since I am an IT guy, I can’t help but to throw some tech specs in here. The OS come with Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat). The Chipset includes is a Qualcomm MSM8975AC Snapdragon 801 with a CPU of Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400. Th screen is made up of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Most important, and something an iPhone can not do at all is, expandable memory, this includes the option to expand with a microSD card, up to 128 GB, while the internal options are 16 GB, 2 GB RAM / 32 GB, 3 GB RAM. My only major complaint is the volume button and main button are located on the back. This is annoying at first but you get used to it. Overall a pretty rad phone!

Next up is the Nokia Lumia 1520, which last month was made available at AT&T in matte green! This phone is definitely big and quite bold, especially with that green back cover. The Lumia 1520 also offers the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software update. That is a great thing…if you like Windows. I use Windows 8 for work, so I know how to work it but it honestly fails to impress on the phone. The app store is also terrible. There is a big issue for me since I rely on all my apps to run my day and a bunch of them are MIA.

I see the Lumia 1520 working well with the trendy kids of today looking to have the biggest phone with all the good gadgets. It is a college phone. I wouldn’t recommend this phone for the general office environment for sure. The phone does come with Microsoft Office built in, so you are able to access Microsoft Word, Excel etc. I knew that this phone was going to be the biggest challenge to impress me and I really wasn’t blown away.

The Lumia 1520 does have a wicked camera, which is the best of the bunch. The 20MP camera is quite the powerhouse and using Zeiss optics, it is one of the most sensitive and powerful cameras included in recent smartphones. Though, with my smartphone I need more than just a strong camera to sell me.

Though camera aside when comes to technical it falls behind the top the LG G3. The screen is only Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for its six-inch HD display. It can only be upgraded to up to 64 GB with an additional of an microSD. The internal options are different also giving options of 16 GB (RM-940 only) and 32 GB, 2 GB RAM. Lastly, the chipset is Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 and the CPU is Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400. I would just expect more from such a big phone.

Last one of the bunch this time around is the HTC One (M8) from Sprint. This was a decent phone but not a fan of the service from Sprint at all when the other phones were sporting 4G LTE, this phone barely stayed at 3G, when it wasn’t saying it was roaming. Right away, I was turned off. It also features the worst camera, I have seen on the smart phone in today’s market. There is only a 5MP camera on the front camera, which is laughable in today’s market of 13MP and 20MP camera.

The screen has decent specs though coming wit Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It is expandable with a microSD, up to 128 GB and comes with an internal storage options of 16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM. The OS is Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat), upgradable to v4.4.3 (KitKat). It’s Chipset is Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 and the CPU is CPU Quad-core 2.3 GHz in the US but the Asia and China markets for this phone get a 2.5 GHz Krait 400, so that is a bummer if you are in the US.

So if you read all the above, you might agree with me that the LG G3 is the obvious winner of the trio of alternative smart phones. The Nokia Lumia 1520 has the best camera but suffers from its Windows OS and a terrible lack of apps in their store. The HTC One is a decent phone also but just lacks any wow features that really drew me in despite having terrible service from Sprint. Hopefully next time, we will be able to feature the new Amazon Fire Smartphone and the iPhone 6 in our next Smartphone comparison.