Spider Gwen Cosplay

 Spider-Gwen is a Spider-Woman from an alternative Marvel universe where the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers bit Gwen Stacey instead of Parker.  Since making her debut in Edge of the Spider-verse #2 everyone has been clamoring for more Spider-Gwen.  She could become the breakout comic character of the year, and this is already being reflected by cosplayers.

More Cosplay! 
Meet all of the Spiders of the Spider-Verse! 
Who is Spider-Gwen?  

Spider-Gwen by Britney J Parks aka Missbpx

You can find Britney on Twitter beneath the handle @Missbpx

Photography by Jason Chau
Photography by DC Photography


Britney J. Parks (USA) as Spider-Gwen.
Photo I by: Photographes Sans Frontieres
Photo II by:  Jason Chau Photography

Spider Gwen by Lexi Kist - She did the full costume minus the mask.

A Spider Gwen and a Black Cat posing at NYCC 14

Spider Gwen by Dr Quinzel

Spider Gwen - Cosplayer Dr Quinzel

Dr Quinzel

Dr Quinzel

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Meet all of the Spiders of the Spider-Verse! 
Who is Spider-Gwen?  

Who is SP//dr?

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Who is SP//dr?

SP//dr is version of Spider-Man from an alternative universe.  In this universe there is high advanced suit that has a CPU driven by a human and a spider.  The special, radioactive Spider that pilots the suit must accept the human that it copilots with.  By biting the human copilot the spider selects its partner.  It is revealed that the Spider will only select someone of a specific genetic make up.

Real Name: Peni Parker

Alias:  SP//dr

(Earth - TRN451)

SP//dr First Appearance: Edge of the Spider-Verse #5

SP//dr is a creation of Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame.
I believe the first appearance of the character is Edge of the Spider-Verse #5.


SP//dr Bio:
When Penni Parker is 9, she is informed that her father died while fighting crime in the specialized super hero suit SP//dr.  Penni's uncle and aunt help run the SP//dr suit project in a support capacity.  They tell Penni that she is the only that can continue to use the suit because it was tied to her Father's DNA.  The spider that runs the suit then selects her as its partner by biting Penni.  She is then actively trained to become a super-hero like her father.

At the age of 14, Penni uses the SP//dr suit to defeat her universes version of Mysterio.  Mysterio was floating in a giant orb and is dousing crowds of people in hallucinogenic gas.  Her universes version of Daredevil and SP//dr team up to take out a criminal group who is biologically enhancing their members.

Joining the Spider-Verse event:

On her way back from the mission with Daredevil, Penni is ambushed by Spider-Ham and another Spider-Man.  They inform her that spider-totems like Penni are being hunted down and that she needs to go with them for safety.  Penni and her spider trust the other spider-totems.  Penni retrieves her suit and joins the group of Spider-Men in their battle against Morlun.

Penni fights alongside the Spider-Man army vs the Inheritors.  The Spider Army is successful though many different versions of Spider-Man/Spider-Woman are killed in the process.  Penni and the SP//dr suit survive the event.

After the Spider-Verse event the Marvel universe is rocked by the events of Secret Wars / Battle World.  SP//dr has not been revealed as either surviving or dieing in the subsequent cosmic Marvel events.

SP//dr Powers:

Penni is the only the person alive who can use the SP//dr suit.

  • Inside the suit she copilots with a spider that supplies its reactions, abilities.
  • The suit is highly durable.
  • Has filters that partially remove airborn toxins, and poisons
  • Super strength and speed,
  • The suit uses webshooters to attack opponents and to swing around as transportation

Meet all of the Spiders of the Spider-Verse! 
What is the Spider-Verse?  
Who is Spider-Man? 
Who is Morlun?

Valence -Utilisizing Ninja Awesomeness teaches Chemistry

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Valence -Utilisizing Ninja Awesomeness teaches Chemistry

My brother is a Chemical Engineer which means like me he is a nerd.  He also like me is a father who likes to find toys and games that help teach higher concepts through the act of play.  He introduced me a card game called Valence Science Ninjas a game that teaches chemistry concepts through Ninja characters.  We played the game during Christmas family festivities and had a lot of fun.  As a chemical engineer he is very aware of the concepts the game is teaching.  However, I have not had chemistry since my junior of High School in 1999!  That said the game mechanics are very easy to understand, the art in the game is very fun and also helps learning how to play.

I was up playing the game very quickly, there was no chemistry refresher required.  In fact I would say there is no chemistry knowledge required to play the game at all.  The game sets up fast, and you learn how to play it fast.  You start with a hand of cards called elements each has a number score -1 or +4 and these element cards need to be combined with other Elements to equal a sum total of 0.  Each element card also has a color associated with it.  Based off the color combinations that you can make you can spend them to purchase molecule cards.  The Molecule cards have points on them or special powers.  The goal is to get enough Molecule cards that have a point total of 10.  The first player to get 10 points wins.

Pretty simple.

The really cool thing is that though the game is simple its actually teaching something that is complicated.  The concept of Valency.  If you have been through High School Chemistry you might remember that the class starts out with simpler straight forward concepts like Melting and Boiling points.  However, as you move deeper into the year you begin to enter more complicated terrain of how elements combine to form molecules.  All of sudden you find yourself looking at electron rings, and math equations trying to determine what combination of elements will form a stable molecule.  This is the concept of the Valency.

How to Play Valency:

The core concept being taught through the game is Valency
Valency = valency of an element is a measure of its combining power with other atoms when it forms chemical compounds or molecules.
As I have said my chemistry is rusty but as I played I became increasingly comfortable with how many of this element can join with another to form a certain molecule.  Through playing a game these combination became almost natural.  In the end I found myself wishing I was in chemistry because the game was taking the complicated and making it simple.

On top of that, the game is a lot of fun.

The game includes backstories and lore on the characters (The Ninjas) that appear in the game.  There are also and I love this comics that add further to the lore of the game.  The comics also teach a variety of science topics using the Ninja characters of the game.  You can find the comics at the link below check it out.

Science Ninja Comics

Web versions of the comics have some animation to them and are free.  They are perfect to read on a a tablet.

Toylab Rating: 10 out of 10! 
- Valence gets a score 10/10 Test Tubes of Awesomeness!  We highly recommend this game for anyone approaching a chemistry class to help learn the basics.  Though the game should not be limited to that population much younger kids can pick up the mechanics of the game and start playing.  They say that the requirement to play the game is to be able to add low numbers to 0 and I would agree with that statement.

Get yourself.
Christmas is over so now is the best time to find good deals.

There is also a Valence Plus version.  I have not tried this yet but would like to.  It looks like the regular game but with more options for Molecules that you can create:

Also See...

Toylab Comics News

Jim Butcher's Christmas Eve Story crashed his site and is awesome

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Jim Butcher's Christmas Eve Story crashed his site and is awesome

Jim Butcher posted the following short story of Christmas Eve on his site for its fans to enjoy.  Its a short tale that has Harry Dresden trying to be a good dad on Christmas.  Its a sweet tale about Christmas, Fatherhood and also manages to combine all of great Dresden characters together.

The Story was so popular on Jim's site that it crashed.  He then moved the story to the following google doc:

(I would post it all here but I don't want to take Jim's story.  You can find it on the link above or you can try Jim's website at: http://www.jim-butcher.com/ )

Is the story good?

Yes.  Most definetly yes.  Its organized to be similar to a Christmas Carol but with the natural flair of Jim Butcher's writing that makes you feel that your sitting in the room with his characters.   It made me laugh with silly pop cultural references, and it made me cry a little in only the way that a grumpy wizard assembling a bike for his daughter can.  It made me think about being a dad myself.  It generally just warmed by heart to be with all the Dresden characters celebrating Christmas.

It also held a pretty heavy spoiler for what is coming in Peace Talks.
The Spoiler if you want to read it is that Peace Talks is not going to be peaceful.  If will be anything but that.
I picked up the piece of paper. If you left off the decimal points, it was a prime number. It represented the costs of medical care for tens of thousands, and funerals for thousands more. On a rational level, I knew Molly was right. It could have been worse. Much worse.
Upon reading that bombshell my mouth dropped a little.  You begin to wonder about the characters that do not appear in the story and are left to ponder their predicatment.  Jim Butcher never fails tease us as to what is coming.  He can make you smile even as he fills you full of fear.  I am having trouble waiting for Peace Talks but everyone give Jim a thank you.  Reads like this freely given to ones fans are rare treats.

Thank you Jim, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

This story is a Christmas present to all Dresden fans!  Read it and enjoy!  and.......Merry Christmas to all of you as well!

Dresden Store:
Want to read my favorite series about a modern day wizard living in Chicago? HAH!  Psssst pssssssst one little tip to new fans to the Dresdenverse start with Stormfront its the first one.  If you haven't read it yet trust me you won't regret it.

I also have to highlight this coffee mug with one of my favorite lines from the series: The Polka Will Never Die!

Also See...

Toylab Comics News

For more Companions of the Silver Apple click here!

Code-a-Pillar the Coding Caterpillar by Fisher Price

Coding Caterpillar or Code-A-Pillar by Fisher Price is Toylab's Top Christmas Toy of 2016

Fisher Price has a new toy that is geared toward toddlers.  It is on its face a really simple robot but if you look closely it offers a great deal of depth.   It is a toy that will delight toddlers, but may also be used by older kids and even adults.  When a toy can intrigue all people it has the possibility of being much more that it was initially intended.
I have seen highschool teams work with robotics doing similar tasks that are now being done by 4 year olds with the Code-A-Pillar.  The high school robots were just harder to use and figure out.  This robot is elegantly, simple and it is that simplicity that makes it a thing of beauty.

How does Code-A-Pillar work?

The Code-A-Pillar is a toy that is broken up into segmented pieces that click together.  Each piece is snapped into each other easily through an attached USB connection.  Each segment has a symbol on it showing an action like Turn Left, Go Forward, Make Noise.  When the Code-A-Pillar is turned on it lights up happily and then runs through the sequence of actions laid out in the segments of the Code-A-Pillar.  Kids can begin playing and experimenting with the sequence of the segments to make the toy do different things or at least in a different sequence.

By putting the segments in different sequences the kids can begin undertaking little challenges like making the Code-A-Pillar cross a mapped out path, or go around obstacles.  When kids master this there is a App that can add additional tasks and options.
There will also be expansion packs that will have all kinds of new things for the Code-A-Pillar to do.

What makes it really awesome is what it teaches - CODING
The secret sauce of this toy is that it teaches CODING!
One of the missions of Toylab is to help people from all walks of life how to code or do basic programming.  The reasons for this are legion.  Understanding how computer code works unlocks doors in every industry today.  It is very empowering to program a machine to do something very
 efficiently and save you time.  While coding is something that is nice to have for my generation, it is going to be seen as an outright requirement for future generations.

The American Education in Coding is woefully unprepared for the future.

This may sound crazy but if I had my way, kids would be spending an equal amount of time learning programming as they spend on Science, English and Math.  It should be treated like a new core class.  Schools however are not treating it that way.  Kids are very lucky if they get 2 classes that cover basic computer skills and often one of those is simply keyboarding.  This does nothing to teach a kid programming, 3d Modeling, Website Design, 3d Printing or the myriad of other computer technologies.  If you want your kids to learn coding you need to be the one to introduce it to them.  The Code-A-Pillar is a great first step in this direction.

The best part of Code-A-Pillar is that your kids will begin learning a very USEFUL skill but do it while playing and having fun.   The Code-A-Pillar is also such a great toy that they are going to want to play with it, and explore how to use it.  Further there are ways by using crafts, additional segment parts to increase the amount of exploration they can do with this toy.

I Love this toy!  It is a beautiful design and a revolutionary simple idea made fun.

  • Easy to use and figure out
  • Teaches Coding
  • Parts are easily handled by a Toddler
  • Parts stay together and don't fall out easily
  • Putting pieces together is pretty easily
  • $50 Dollars is approximate starting set price and seems very reasonable

I love this toy but there are some things to think about to take into account.

  • The Code-A-Pillar makes a lot of noise which can drive parents nuts.  I do not see an option to turn the volume off.
  • It does best on a flat hard surface (Tile or Hardwood floors are the best).  It can work on thin carpet but a thicker carpet it will often get stuck.
  • It does better when you have a descent amount of space.  If you don't have a lot of space it could be a struggle for you child to use it.

If you like the Code-A-Pillar I highly recommend checking out the Code-A-Pillar expansion packs.  We have a review of all of them in the link at the bottom of the post.

Deals on Coding Caterpillar on Amazon
Toylab is an Amazon Affiliate website lets look and see what Amazon has for the Coding Caterpillar.
The Code A Pillar is highly in demand this Christmas and is hard to find on shelves anywhere.  I also have not seen the Code-A-Pillar expansion packs fully stocked anywhere making Amazon the true to go place to get this toy.

Here are other products recommended for you by Amazon:

Other things that might interest you.

Caterpillar Train Missions - For Code-A-Pillar Fun

The Code-A-Pillar Expansion Packs are awesome too!

Maps and missions to use with your Code-A-Pillar

More Games and Toys!

Who really is Agamotto?

Who is Agamotto?

 Agamotto is an entity within the Marvel Universe.  He is one of the three powerful entities known as the Vishanti from whom Doctor Strange draws much of his powers and knowledge of magic from.  He is generally considered to be benevolent.

Alias:  Agamotto the all seeing

First Appearance: Strange Tales #115

Agamotto claims that his origins go back to the beginning of Earth.   He is a non physical, non corporeal entity that was born from an entity called Oshtur around 10 million years ago.  He becomes a magical defender of the Earth dimension and helps protect it early on from Dormammu.   In this role as protector of Earth he is sometimes referred to as the first Sorcerer Supreme.

At some point Agamotto works with the human sorcerers of Earth to select a single powerful sorcerer to act as the world's Sorcerer Supreme.  Agamotto then bestows various magical artifacts to the Sorcerer Supreme.  These artifacts include the : Eye of Agamotto, Orb of Agamotto and the Book of the Vishanti.

Agamotto is part of the group known as the Vishanti and often appears with the other Vishanti being Hoggoth and Oshtur.  Oshtur is the elder goddess of the Earth and the mother of Agamotto.  The 3 Vishanti are benevolent omnipotent forces that are often opposes by other powerful entities.  The group of entities that counter the Vishanti are the Trinity of Ashes.  The Trinity of Ashes is made up of evil entities that includes Griefsavor, Ygmlosvorraich, and Mother of Pain.  Very little is known about these other 3 entities.  The Vishanti and the Trinity of Ashes face off in a ritualized 5 thousand year war called the War of the Seven Spheres.

The power level of Agamotto is extremely high.  It is thought that his power is greater than Hoggoth and Oshtur combined even though he is the spawn of Oshtur.  He has also been shown dealing with other cosmic entities such as Galactus and Dormammu.

 Agamotto can take on any appearance and tends to take on something from the mind of those he is meeting.  He has appeared as a Lion, Tiger, and as the giant caterpillar from Alice and Wonderland.

The personality of Agamotto greatly varies from formal, to informal, to glib, to threatening, to silly, indifferent and even hostile.  The varied personality is sometimes thought as testing the Sorcerer Supreme in various guises.
Generally Agamotto seems to care about the well being of all universes and for helping the forces of good overcome evil.  If he did not then the world would have very quickly been overtaken by Dormammu.

Doctor Strange Store:
Toylab is a member of the Amazon affiliate program and as such is thrilled to bring you these amazing deals on Doctor Strange products through Amazon.

Agamotto is mentioned numerous times in Doctor Strange as the first Sorceror Supreme.  The Eye of Agamotto which is revealed to be the time infinity stone is also heavily featured.
At one point Wu says that Agamotto was the one who created the Eye of Agamotto.

Who is Doctor Strange? 
Doctor Strange Movie- News, Casting, art, rumors and more!

Savage Sword of Conan - Preview Images

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Savage Sword of Conan - Preview Images

Conan is returning to Marvel in the new series Savage Sword of Conan.
Marvel had previously published the Conan stories between 1970 and 2000 in which over 650 Conan stories were published.  2019 means that it will have been nearly 20 years since Marvel published a Conan comic.  Conan's popularity has ebbed and flowed overtime  but recently his female counterpart Red Sonja has been doing very well.  It is not clear if Red Sonja will follow Conan to Marvel or remain at Dynamite.  This deal could mean the end of team ups between the two.  It also means a new high powered creative team at Marvel gets to take on Conan and leave their mark on the giant barbarian.

On Sale: Wednesday, February 13

Preview Images:

Conan Graphic Novels:
If you are curious about Graphic Novels of Conan, here are the best of his Graphic Novels out now. For your convenience we have used our Amazon Affiliate membership to post these links directly to Amazon.

“From Barry Windsor-Smith to John Buscema to Neal Adams, a legendary lineup of amazing artists brought Conan to life in the pages of Marvel comics,” said C.B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel. “It’s a legacy we’re now going to live up to with the talent we have lined up for the Cimmerian barbarian’s homecoming in early 2019. We’re excited!”

Marvel has already gotten the wheels turning on this project with artist Esad Ribic turning out some awesome Conan art.  I am not sure if he will be on the official creative team but that would be awesome.

You can read more about the deal at Marvel.com or follow this link.

Of late Marvel has done very well with none Marvel stories. Star Wars in particular has been amazing. In many ways Marvel now is making most of its noise off of running non Marvel entities. While I would like them to turn things around on their main line I am still very excited to see what they can do with the iconic Barbarian.  A lot could be gleaned from the recent runs of Red Sonja on how to make him relevant on today's shelves.

Upcoming Conan Covers
There is going to be a lot of Marvel Conan art coming out.  Some of it will be by the best artists out there.  We found the two covers below that are done by John Cassaday and Gabrielle Del'Otto.  The cover by Cassaday will be used for Conan the Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus coming in Jan 2019 and Dell'Otto's will be used in the Savage Sword of Conan collection.  What is really exciting is a whole lot more in the works.

Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski said about the upcoming Marvel covers that:

“From Barry Windsor-Smith to John Buscema to Neal Adams, a legendary line-up of amazing artists brought Conan to life in the pages of Marvel comics,..It's a legacy we're now going to live up to with the talent we have lined up for the Cimmerian barbarian's homecoming in early 2019. We’re excited!”
This reminds a lot of when Marvel received the Star Wars comics right back and brought out the big guns to make sure it was done right.  That resulted in some of the phenomenal Star Wars art I had ever seen.

Conan by John Cassaday

Conan by Gabrielle Del'Otto

Conan is coming to Marvel

Written by SCOOBS!
Boardgame Tabletop Writer at Toylab

DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. Toylab is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. Toylab will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us at ToylabHQ@gmail for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies

Who really is Morlun?

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Who is Morlun?

Morlun is a Spider-Man villain.  He was created fairly recently compared to most of Spider-Man's other main villains.  He was created by J. Michael Strazcynski and John Romita Jr. in 2001 with Amazing Spider-Man #30. Morlun is part of a family who call themselves the Inheritors.  The Inheritors are extremely long lived but not immortal.  The Inheritors feed and draw strength from eating Totems (People who have links to animals).  Their DNA seems to include all animals within it, making them a kind of super-totem.  He and his family are the major villains in the Spider-Man story the Spider-Verse.

Name: Morlun

Species: Inheritor

First Appearance:
Amazing Spider-Man #30 - 2001

Morlun looks like a gentleman dressed in old clothes.  This is perhaps due to his old age he is said to be centuries old.  Personally, he always reminds me of the creepy vampire who Louis encounters in theater of the vampires in Interview with a Vampire.  Morlun is not a vampire however, as an inheritor / devourer of Totems he is far more dangerous.

Spider-Verse Store:
The Spider-Verse was a great Spider-Man event and now it is a great Spider-Man movie.  Here are our favorite Spider-Verse items as found on Amazon.


Morlun is part of a family called the Inheritors who live on dimension 000.  Countless years ago they battled and defeated the master weaver which allows the family to travel between dimensions and hunt down totems.  While the family can hunt down all kinds of totems they prefer spider totems. Morlun is the heir to the throne of the family when his father eventually passes away.  With resources from many conquered worlds at their finger tips that family has vast resources.  They even use some super powered agents as hounds to seek out and battle totems for them.

Morlun initially plays with Spider-Man from the shadows, appearing and disappearing.  Eventually, he reveals himself at a fire on a wharf and delivers what Spider-Man claims was the strongest punch he has ever felt.  The mysterious villain does not reveal much about himself only that he plans to kill Spider-Man and feed off of him.  He also says that now that he has touched Spider-Man that he can find him where ever he goes.  Morlun and Spider-Man battle, and no matter what Spider-Man tries it seems that Morlun always ends up on top.  The fight is broken up when the building they are in collapses.  Spider-Man knows however that Morlun will find him.

Spider-Man manages to get his hands on some of Morlun's blood which he analyzes and finds a weakness that he can exploit.  He goes to a nuclear powerplant and injects himself with radiation at a dose high enough to kill a normal human being.  When Morlun appears and tries to feed on Spider-Man he is overwhelmed and poisoned by the radiation.  Peter explains that the spider than bit him was radioactive and not simply a pure totem.  Morlun can absorb the energy of the totem but is weakened and poisoned by the radioactivity.  With every punch Spider-Man throws at him Morlun absorbs more radioactivity and begins to disintegrate.

Morlun pleads for his life saying that he is only doing what he does for survival.  Before Peter can make up his mind Dex an sociate of Morlun shoots him.  He distingrates and apparently dies.

Morlun has returned from death and faced both Spider Man (The Other storyline) and the Black Panther.

Morlun is now the primary antagonist in the Spider-Man event the Spiderverse.

Morlun is extremely powerful but his exact powers are a mystery
Super Strength
Super Speed
Imprint Target - When he touches some one they are imprinted into Morlun's mind and he can then always find them.
Feeding - Morlun feeds off of Totems and seems draw energy from them.

Anecdotal Evidence of Powers:
Spider-Man says that Morlun has punched him harder than anyone (Including the Hulk / Thor).
Morlun was able to tear through an Adamantium net with ease when battling the Black Panther.
When Spider-Man swings a long distance between buildings, Morlun is able to appear briefly later showing his high level of speed.

Morlun Art Gallery:
Here are some of Toylab's favorite Morlun panels and pictures.


What is the Spider-Verse? 
Meet all of the Spiders of the Spider-Verse! 
The Spider-Verse checklist   
Who is Spider-Man? 

Caterpillar Train - Missions for the Code-A-Pillar toy

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The Code-A-Pillar was a hit toy of Christmas 2016.  The toy helps teach children the art of coding and is super fun to play with.  The challenge with any toy as the months go on is to find a way to keep the toy fresh.  With Code-A-Pillar this is even more important because by keeping children advancing with it allows them to learn even more.  With this post we want to highlight some of the ways to expand the Code-A-Pillar game from what is beyond the box.

Toylab's Caterpillar Train!
The Caterpillar Train game is not an official game of Fisher Price its just one that a blogger at Toylab has had fun with and wanted to share.

The idea of the Caterpillar game is to add a fun story while creating interesting challenges.  The Caterpillar Train game involves using the Code-A-Pillar to deliver characters or packages to different locations while going over various obstacles.  We have found that Disney's small Tsum Tsums fit great between the Code-A-Pillar's antennae allowing it to carry a Tsum Tsum from one place to another.  My kids also seem to enjoy getting a map and making a room (Typically our kitchen) resemble the geography present on the map.  The game combines the Code-A-Pillar with my kids favorite stuffed animals for a really fun time.  I also reward my kids with hershey kisses when they complete a mission without crashing the Caterpillar Train.  Healthier options would likely be better.

Your child acts as the conductor helping set up the course of the world famous Caterpillar Train.

Mission 1 Helping Lester Cat
We have created videos to go along with our maps.  Here is the first one.

Map for Mission 1:
Here is the Map for Mission to help get Lester Cat to his Grandma's House

Mission 2 - Help Explorer Kangaroo!

Explorer Kangaroo is on a quest to find the world's biggest hotdog but he has a major problem.  It is on the other side of a range of active volcanoes!  Help Explorer Kangaroo go through a cave so he can find the Hotdog.

Map for Mission 2:
Here is the route through the cave and to the world's biggest hotdog!

More caterpillar Train Missions coming Soon!

Deals on Coding Caterpillar on Amazon
Toylab is an Amazon Affiliate website lets look and see what Amazon has for the Coding Caterpillar.
The Code A Pillar is highly in demand this Christmas and is hard to find on shelves anywhere.  I also have not seen the Code-A-Pillar expansion packs fully stocked anywhere making Amazon the true to go place to get this toy.

Here are other products recommended for you by Amazon:

Other things that might interest you.

The Code-A-Pillar Expansion Packs are awesome too!

More Games and Toys!

Check out this crazy sale on D&D Books!

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Did you get the memo? D&D is back.   Not only that it seems like it may become more popular than ever.  The new core set is selling well, there are shows about it online, and many new releases are coming out.  The 5th edition of D&D has managed to bring back old players and make many new players.


Update Chistmas 2018:
Noticed today on12/19/2018 there were some insane deals on D&D books on Amazon.  Standard cover price is $50 and many are selling at 50% of that and less.  Check out the deals now I am not sure how long these will last.

Main Article
I have been seeing D&D articles come out over the past 2 years talking about its sudden resurgence.  Most were from geek, board game blogs but recently I have begun to see articles on D&D come out from the Newyorker?

New Yorker: The Uncanny resurrection of Dungeons & Dragons

And the Hollywood reporter:
Behind Hollywood's closed doors - A list stars are playing Dungeons and Dragons

The game has also been appearing more and more in popular TV shows.  Big Bang theory has devoted a few episodes to playing elaborate Dungeon and Dragons quests.  The show Community had a highly popular Dungeons and Dragons episode.  Of course the hit show Stranger Things has also grafted Dungeons and Dragons into its first and 2nd seasons.  While these appearances sometimes are used to push the idea that their characters are geeks something weird has happened recently.  Geeks are cool.  Therefore things like comic cons are now...........cool.   And it seems Dungeons and Dragons are now cool.

I am longtime fan of D&D and throughout the 90s ran a campaign with friends.  My friends and I generally kept are gaming a secret like we were doing drugs or something.  In the case of D&D it was to avoid all the nerdy labels that seemed to come with it.  Its kind of surreal to be at a time where people are asking me, hey have you heard about this D&D thing and how do I get into it?

To be honest, though I am a D&D fan I have kind of just stared, slack jawed as people ask me this.  My body gets all wobbly and I tilt about debating if have entered some bizarre parallel dimension.  As these questions have begun to stack I went ahead and resurrected by D&D group but I quickly ran into a problem,..........Too many people wanted to come over and play.  Holy F#%#ing  Owlbear Balls!  I still have not figured out how to solve that issue currently I have a list!  Seriously I have a list of people who want to come to my house eat Papa Murphys pizza, drink micro brews and play D&D.

As I have restarted D&D in this new environment I thought I would offer some advice on how start up your own D&D crew.  You don't need to take this advice they are just friendly tips.

1) Don't Panic 
D&D is a game played by adolescent children while there are lots of weird stats and things its not as complicated as you think.  Don't be afraid of being Dungeon Master though also don't discount letting someone else taking on that roll as well.

2) Buy the 5th Edition Core Set
The Coreset for 5th edition comes with the directions for 5th Edition, Dice, player sheets and a quest book for the Lost Mine of Phandelver.  The whole set provides you everything you need to get going.  The Lost Mine of Phandelver is a quest campaign that has a menagrie of fantasy stuff in it and is also jam packed with tips for a new DM or Dungeons Master for you noobs.
I hate to tell you to buy things, then post a link to said things.  That makes me feel a bit sleezy.  Alas I am not lying the Core set can usually be found for 25 dollars or less and has everything you need to get started.

If you get a group going and you like it you will then want to start checking out some of the other manuals and things to have a better idea on how to create characters, monsters, spells and quests.  The Coreset though really does get you going.

3) Check out D&D Youtube videos:
There are a few shows online that focus exclusively on D&D or other role playing games.  Watching them can give you great ideas on how to play and also inspiration for your own quests.  A few of our favorites are Critical Roll that stars voice actor Matthew Mercer as he leads a typically hilarious group through a quest.  There is also WASD20 a Dungeons and Dragons fan who walks you though quests.  Dungeons and Dragons also have an official channel on Youtube that called DNDWizards that has many celebrities, and other all around D&D experts.
You can learn a ton from watching this stuff.

4) Some more D&D resources for you:

Donjon - This site can create all kinds of things randomly to add some fun to your game very easily.  It has everything from name generators, treasure generators, encounter generators and even an Inn generator.  You can pull a quest out of your butt so fast and give it unbelievable depth using Donjon.  I normally run a couple of random things and merge them together.  Throw out the stuff you don't want add a couple of things you do and voila.

D&D Map Builder - This site creates an instant Dungeons and Dragons -Dungeon Map.  This is a cool resource to help build a quick dungeon map.  Much like Donjon keep what you want and discard the rest and you have a very quickly built dungeon.

Reddit Monster a Day Reddit has this page devoted to a variety of weird D&D monsters that you can use in quests.

The Homebrewery - The Homebrewery allows you to make official looking directions/ quests and maps.

Dogmight Games - Dogmight creates awesome wood accessories that really add some pow

Kobalt Fight Club - Can run calculations from Monster Encounters so you don't have to.

5) Forgotten Realms Books:
Forgotten Realms is one of the most popular worlds for D&D to be set in.  You do not have to use it but its always there if you want to take a quest there.  One of the best ways to learn about the world is to simply read a few of the books.  Due to all the material that exists on Forgotten Realms I tend to recommend new DMs to start here before branching out.
 I would start with the RA Slavatore books to get you started.  They will give you a good feel for the world.  Once you get some games underneath you feel free to create a world by yourself or with your friends.

6) Find Friends 
There is one more thing you must do! You must find some people to play with.  This really used to be the very hard part about D&D.  Asking that friend in the cafeteria if he wanted to join your D&D group almost caused as much anxiety as asking a girl out.  I have found this has become much easier recently.  There are a lot of adults who either want to get back to playing D&D or are curious about playing it.  One way to do it is simply to ask your facebook friends if they are interested in forming a group.

Marvel Movie News - Updates, Speculation, and Reviews 

War of Realms so it begins

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War of Realms first look

A massive Marvel event is here and this time it comes from lands of Thor.  I think the last major Thor event was Siege which felt a bit shoved into the end of Dark Reign.  This event by contrast has been set up by many a very long run of Thor comics by Jason Aaron.  Aaron hit on this fact when explaining War of Realms.

“I have been building towards War of the Realms for the entire duration of my Thor run. So we're talking six years and 80-something issues and counting,” said Aaron in a statement. “This is a war that covers the entire globe and involves the biggest heroes of the Marvel Universe, as you can see in this amazing promo piece by my Mighty Thor collaborators, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson, who I'm so thrilled to be working with again on War of the Realms.”

SO it Begins
The build up to War of Realms is beginning with new covers teasing the upcoming event.  Check out the art from these 4 covers!

Press Release

The War Of The Realms is coming…and no corner of the Marvel Universe will be untouched! But before the award-winning creative team of Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson ushers in this epic event, Marvel invites you to journey on the road to the War of the Realms with some of the universe’s biggest heroes!

Join the Avengers as they battle the undead, who are vying for the title of the new Lord of the Damned! Hop into space with the Asgardians of the Galaxy as they encounter Ego the Living Planet! And in the final prelude to the War of the Realms, prepare for an invasion with Thor and Lady Freyja as they fight to keep Midgard safe from an initial strike by the Dark Elves…

THE WAR OF THE REALMS is coming, and it starts in March with these stories! Look for Marvel’s special “Road To” branding on the covers of these select issues.

Written by JASON AARON
Art and Cover by DAVID MARQUEZ

Written by JASON AARON
Art and Cover by DAVID MARQUEZ

Written by CULLEN BUNN

THOR #11
Written by JASON AARON

Who is the primary villain of War of Realms?  It seems like it will be Malekith.

Who is Malekith?

The War of the Realms is set to star the villain Malekith.  The Dark Elf is going to lead an army (The Wild Hunt) on a rampage across the 10 realms, in his path is Midgard also known as Earth.  Generally, Thor has battled Malekith in one or more of the fantasy realms but this time the action promises to take place on Earth and get the other Marvel Superheroes in on the action.  Malekith has been set up a as a major villain in Aaron's run going all the way back to when Jane first took the Hammer from Thor.  In that series, Thor then going by Odinson tried to fight Malekith without his hammer and was rewarded by Malekith cutting off his arm.  Since that time Thor has been using a metal arm forged by dwarves.

Thor and Malekith have a lot of problems with each other and the collision Thor fans have been waiting years for, is finally about to happen.

Thor Store:
If you want to get caught up for War of the Realms here are some Thor stories to look at.  Thor: The Goddess of Thunder Vol 1 will catch you up on how Jason's Aaron's Thor run effectively started and the initial battles with Thor and Malekith.  I am actually a bigger fan of Aaron's Thor: God of Thunder run which is a bit darker.  Either way there are some great Thor comics to check out and these are great reads over the holidays or as a Christmas gift.

Original Marvel Press Release:

Earth's Mightiest Show has an exclusive first look at the most momentous event ever to hit the Ten Realms!
In April 2019, the legendary team behind MIGHTY THOR reunites as writer Jason Aaron, artist Russell Dauterman, and colorist Matt Wilson present WAR OF THE REALMS.
Malekith the Dark Elf has been rampaging across the Realms for years, and now he's coming for Midgard. There, the Super Heroes of the Marvel Universe make their final stand, and a war begins.
So, why is Captain America riding a winged horse? Where does Jane Foster come into play? How does Wolverine get involved? Why does Daredevil have a sword...and why is he covered in starry lights? The Punisher, Luke Cage, Iron Fist; how do these street-level heroes join the fight? How do Venom, She-Hulk, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and so many more team-up for the war? And is that Blade!? 
“I have been building towards WAR OF THE REALMS for the entire duration of my THOR run. So we're talking six years and 80-something issues and counting,” teases Aaron. “This is a war that covers the entire globe and involves the biggest heroes of the Marvel Universe, as you can see in this amazing promo piece by my MIGHTY THOR collaborators, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson, who I'm so thrilled to be working with again on WAR OF THE REALMS.”
Watch the video above as Ryan "Agent M" Penagos and Lorraine Cink dig into all the details of Dauterman and Wilson's promo image for WAR OF THE REALMS. Then examine the bewildering beauty of the piece for yourself!
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more on WAR OF THE REALMS coming soon!

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