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Tri-State Gazette                
The Official Phineas and Ferb Wiki Newsletter, Issue 56: November 16, 2011
 
News and information from the world of Phineas and Ferb.
 

Current forum discussions

It's back, times three

PnF Mini Skateboard 2


If you liked that mini skateboard that came out last year, there's a new set with more options. See the merchandise review for details.


Crat Corner

RRabbit42
by RRabbit42

Sit right down, relax, open your ears real wide and say, "Give it to me straight, Doctor, I can take it!"

This year has been a great one for our favorite show. It's the year the first movie came out and the year we got confirmation that Dan and Swampy are a direct part of making the second movie. More celebrity guest stars, more ways to watch the show and the official announcement of Season 4.

And now, just a few days after the latest Halloween special, we learned that there will be a new Christmas special in less than two weeks. Back when the Holiday Favorites came out, there were a few extra songs that didn't have anything to do with the first Christmas special. Now we know why they're there and can look forward to seeing Isabella, Buford, Baljeet and the rest sing them, along with singer Kelly Clarkson. No word yet whether ABC and ABC Family will join in on the broadcast schedule like they did last year.

There's definitely more to look forward to in the upcoming year, and don't forget to check to see when Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best LIVE Tour Ever! will be in your area.

A late delivery from Danville

As you can see, this issue ran late again. Some of that is my fault for not planning further ahead and getting things ready earlier. But some of our regular contributors have also dropped by the wayside, most likely due to a pesky thing called "real life".

We really could use some new people who are willing to step up and help out. It wouldn't have to be anything fancy and you wouldn't have to commit to doing it all the time. Just anything you feel like contributing would be welcomed. If it's a review or article, you can turn it in ahead of time via our Newsletter submissions page

Odds 'n' Ends

  • Thanks go to Xiao Qiao for helping us get a Twitter feed added to our main page. There's much more on our Twitter page itself, along with our Facebook page, but now you can get a quick preview of both when you visit our main page.
  • Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.


Stop me before I moo again

RRabbit42
by RRabbit42

I'm not sure what's going on at Disney Channel with pairing half of a new Phineas and Ferb episode with half of a Fish Hooks episodes. So in the meantime, let's take a look at the most recent full broadcast.

Spirit16

The first half is "That's the Spirit", a dedicated Halloween special with a special title sequence. What starts off as your normal night out for Trick or Treat-ing quickly takes a turn for the scary when the gang finds a house that definitely seems to be haunted.

But it's not just the kids that are getting into the spirit of things. The OWCA is having another of their company parties and Carl and Monogram switch places. After Agent P gets his mission briefing, he heads over to Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated and finds out that Doof's latest scheme really backfired. As in, "Doof turned himself into a were-cow" backfired.

Naturally, there can't be a mad scientist with their unnatural creation without an angry mob. Fortunately, they remembered to carry torches and pitchforks with them so when the chase through downtown Danville happens, they're properly equipped.

I especially liked the end of this episode. Phineas points out what happens too often in stories: "Isn't this the moment in one of these things when someone really turns into a ghost?" It's become such a cliche to have a last-minute surprise twist at the end that it's refreshing to see a story where they didn't have one.

Curse24

On the back half of this half hour is another smartly-written episode with three great guest stars, namely, "The Curse of Candace". Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin are married and currently starring together in True Blood as a vampire and a telepath, respectively. For this episode, Stephen plays another vampire who learns the true horror of not being able to see yourself in a mirror: you can't see how great your hair looks. Leave it to Phineas and Ferb to uncover what so many other stories missed.

Anna's Kristen is torn between Stephen's vampire and Michael J. Fox's werewolf, providing the anticipated send-up of the Twighlight movies, and calling back Michael's role as the Teen Wolf. Too bad that was only a movie. It might have been fun to see more.

But for Candace, it's not so fun when a rented promotional bat gets stuck in her hair. That's just the beginning of the events that convinces her she's a vampire. She spends the rest of the day in shades of gray, black and red, trying to avoid the daystar.

Over on the Agent P side, Carl and Major Monogram are a bit freaked out by an actual paper letter that Dr. Doofenshmirtz sent to them by physical postal mail. That isn't the only old school thing he's attempting this day. His latest Inator has a "steampunk" feel to it and it's roomy enough in it that when he and Agent P begin fighting in it, Perry's got enough room for some wrestling moves like a body slam off the top of the barrel.

Dan and Swampy had said recently that they didn't expect the show to go as long as it has when they picked 104 as the number of days in summer vacation. They've joked about the boys doing more than one thing each day, but in this episode, Phineas lampshades it by observing how many days have passed this summer. Throw in a sly reference to Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jeremy's bemused reaction to Candace's antics, and by the time you get to the end, you're not expecting the surprise twist ending. And if the lack of a twist ending in "That's the Spirit" made seeing one here even more unexpected, so much the better.

As with my other recent reviews, no grades for these episodes. The fact that I liked both of them is enough for me.


Hands-on with the new merchandise, part 35

by RRabbit42

First Act Electronic Drum Pad

Several months ago I reviewed the Phineas and Ferb electric guitar. It was more of a sound effects device than an actual guitar, but it was kind of fun to play around with. After seeing it advertised online for quite a while, the local Toys R Us finally got the companion instrument: the Phineas and Ferb Drum Pad.

Like the electric guitar, there are built-in rhythm tracks that you can drum along with, two different sets of drum sounds, volume controls and recordings of Perry, Phineas and Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Also like the guitar, some of these can be played together while others will stop playing when you activate the new one. For example, if you've got a rhythm track going and you press the button to hear Perry chatter, the rhythm track stops.

The Drum Pad is large enough that you can put it either on a table or just on your legs as you're sitting down. I had some pretty good results with propping it up on my knees and leaning it against the edge of the table, kind of like how drums are angled in a drum kit.

The drumsticks that come with the set are made out of plastic and as far as I can tell, they're solid, so they've got a little bit of weight to them and they should hold up to vigorous drumming if you're so inclined.

About the only thing that is missing is the "MP3 input jack" that is advertised on the box. I guess the idea was that you could drum along with your favorite music and have it play through the speakers in the drum set. But I haven't been able to find it on either the drum set or the instructions, so that appears to be a feature that didn't get put in.

You can pick this up at Toys R Us for $35. On the website, they've also got a few other musical instruments like a harmonica, tambourine, recorder and a guitar accessory pack (carrying strap and three guitar pics), so it's not going to be long before you and your friends can make your own band like Phineas and the Ferb-Tones.

PnF Play Packs 1 PnF Play Packs 2
Two sets to keep you occupied

Since we're heading into a time where people may be traveling to their relatives for the holidays, let's take a quick look at an activity set that can help occupy your time during that trip.

Dalmation Press specializes in making activity book like the Phineas and Ferb Sticker Scene Activity Book and other sticker boosk, watercolor paint books, coloring books and coloring books with large crayons. They have several books with Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Dreamworks characters, plus independent characters like Strawberry Shortcake, Sesame Street, Curious George and The Berenstain Bears. You'll find these in various stores.

While I was on my trip, I found one of their products, a "Play Packs" activity book. You get four color markers, a sheet of stickers and a 24-page book with puzzles, mazes, connect-the-dots, jokes and trivia. The package is resealable, so everything can go back inside and you won't lose them.

I forget what I paid for them at Walmart (next to the checkout stands in their "impulse buy" racks), but there's a place on Amazon that is selling them for $5 each. On that site, I found out there is a second set. It's package is the "blue cover" that you see in the picture to the right, so I'm guessing that its activity book has the "playing outside" cover that you see above on the left.

The last item is another Mini Skate Board, which you can see at the top of this issue. It doesn't say it on the package, but the design and the packing matches the first Mini Skate Board so that indicates it was made by Creative Designs International, Ltd., which makes a variety of toys with a variety of themes and characters.

The last one advertised that you could use the plastic packaging as a ramp, but it was more like moguls that you'd find when snow skiing. This package is actually more ramp-like and smoother, so it's more practical to use it that way.

This set is a little more expensive, $8.50 at the Disney Store (which usually adds a dollar or two onto the price, compared with other stores), but you also get more. Three new boards with twice as many stickers to customize them.


Coming in two weeks:
  • Hands-on with the new merchandise, part 36
  • Recent episodes review
  • Other articles to be determined (submissions wanted - send to RRabbit42 or use the Newsletter submissions page)


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