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REVIEW: Carbonation Toys’ FizzKids


It all started when a 53’ trailer carrying 1,800 cases of canned soda pop was headed south on Bubble Blvd. and the driver lost control, crashing into Plush and Lush Toy Company.

But what has the town talking is what happened to the toys. Residents report that — miraculously — the formerly soft, cuddly stuffed animals appear to have transformed.

According to Carbonation Toys, this is the creation story for their FizzKids line. The FizzKids is a series of six solid vinyl figures. Each one is contained within its own aluminum can style packaging. 

The can is about the size of your favorite carbonated beverage. It features a little pop cap on the top as well as nutritional facts on the cardboard tube can. Inside of the can exterior, there’s a clear plastic capsule where the figure resides. It’s one of the more unique packaging designs that I’ve seen over the past 10 years of reviewing toys.


There are six different figures in the FizzKids Series 1. Each figure/character has it’s own corresponding carbonated beverage flavor. There’s Alien Limeade (Alien), Bone Crusher Root Beer (Boy), Cranked Cola (Cat), Rummy Cola (Rat), Vicious Dog Sparkling Water (Dog), and Zombie Juice (Zombie).


I like the variety that Carbonation Toys has chosen for this series: Cat, Dog, Rat, Zombie, Human, and Alien. (The standouts – in my opinion – are the Cat and the creepy little kid) But I also like that the sculpts are so varied. Maybe it’s that I’m so used to seeing platform toys in this scale.


One thing about the sculpting…the figures are static…err…lacking any articulation. So the line is more for display than playing with. I would try to find some way to display the figure with the packaging, since I feel that’s what makes the FizzKids so unique. Without the soda can…they’re just any other collectible. But that can is what gives the line such a great backstory.


Things to look out for: On a few of the figures, I did notice that some of the paint rubbed off against the sides of the capsule. You can see the impact on the nose of the Vicious Dog Sparkling Water.

The Facts

Manufacturer: Carbonation Toys
Material: Solid plastic
Dimensions: Between 3” and 4” tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: Alien Limeade (Alien); Bone Crusher Root Beer (Boy); Cranked Cola (Cat); Rummy Cola (Rat); Vicious Dog Sparkling Water (Dog); Zombie Juice (Zombie)
Pricing: $14.99 each ($80.95 set)

You can pick them up at the following: $14.99 each ($80.95 for the set of 6)



REVIEW: Doc Savage – Double Danger Deluxe Version


‘The Man of Bronze’ - Doc Savage was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L. Nanovic at Street and Smith Publications, with additional works by Lester Dent. Doc’s popularity transcended the pulps moving into radio, comic books, and a feature film. Doc has been interpreted by some of the greatest artists. This beloved adventurer is considered to be the model for the ‘super hero’ with his strength, intelligence, speed, physique, and wealth – he even has a ‘Fortress of Solitude’. The name Doc Savage is synonymous with courage, danger, and adventure - remaining a heroic pop-culture icon to this day.

The Doc Savage 1/6th scale collectible figure comes from Go Hero and Executive Replicas. This is one of several collaborations that the two companies have worked on in the past or are working on into the future. The Doc Savage figure is available in two different versions: the Silver Age version and the Go Hero Exclusive Double Danger Deluxe version. For this review, I’ll be looking at the Double Danger Deluxe (DDD).

Not knowing much about Doc Savage, I had to do some research. I wasn’t surprised to find out that one of the professions of this fictional character was that of a doctor. But I was a little surprised that he wasn’t at all related to ‘The Macho Man’... Fans of the character will be delighted to know that this is the first time the good Doc has been made available as a 1/6th scale figure. 

The DDD version of Doc Savage has a few extras. The most noticeable is that you get an alternate likeness – the wavy-haired Golden Age likeness head. In addition to that, there’s a shirt that’s not ripped (the ripped one is standard), and you get an additional weapon – the Golden Age Art Deco Style Raygun 2.


Speaking of those weapons, all four are die-cast metal. They’re very solid (heavy) and give the figure that high-class feel. One thing you’ll need to look out for. Since those guns do weigh more than a plastic, watch out for the wrist joints. More than once, I found that the weight of the gun was enough to give good old Doc Savage a wrist sprain…so I had to mess around with the wrist joint to ward off limp wrists. But you have a number of options on just how you want to equip the figure for display.

Price-wise, this falls in to where the high-end 1/6th scale market has gone recently. The days of the $99 high-end 1/6th scale figures are over. Most of that is because those old high-end figures look a little ugly compared to the current crop of high-end stuff. The sculpting’s better now. The paintwork is better now. Even the clothing is better now. For example, Doc Savage’s shirt actually has little buttons and buttonholes. It’s a pain in the ass to get him dressed (try using tweezers), but it makes for a more realistic end-product.


So I guess the big question is whether or not you go with the Silver Age Version or Go Hero’s DDD Exclusive. Personally, I’m a fan of the gruff, weathered looking Doc Savage. His Golden Age look reminds me of Super-Man or a half dozen other “good guys” from that age of comic books. Like he spent too much time in front of the mirror doing his hair. The Silver Age Doc looks like he probably got into a bar fight sometime within the past week. He likely ate beef jerky for lunch. And he’s probably yelled at the neighborhood kids for playing wiffle ball in his front yard, more than once.


The Facts

1/6th Scale Doc Savage
Manufacturer: Go Hero x Executive Replicas
Material: PVC and ABS plastic
Dimensions: 1/6th scale – 12” tall
Points of Articulation: Over 40 points
Designs: Double Danger Deluxe (DDD) Go Hero Exclusive and Silver Age Version
Outfit: Leather Belt w/ Buckle; Leather Holster w/ Buckle; Leather Boots w/ Zipper; Pair of Socks; Ripped Shirt (Weathered); Un-Ripped Shirt (Weathered) (DDD Exclusive); Jodhpurs
Accessories: Silver Age Likeness head; Golden Age Likeness head (DDD Exclusive); 4 interchangeable hands; Super Savage Machine Pistol by Jim Steranko (w/ Moveable Grip and 2 Detachable Clips); Silver Age Style Raygun; Golden Age Art Deco Style Raygun 2 (DDD Exclusive); German Lugar; Figure Stand w/ printed logo
Edition Size: DDD - 250; Silver Age – Max 250
Pricing: DDD- $249.99; Silver Age - $209.99

To pick one up for yourself, check out the following: Double Danger Deluxe - $249.99; Silver Age - $209.99


RETRO REVIEW: Roy Rogers gives you the Snorks


Apparently, back in 1988, the Roy Rogers restaurant chain was looking to compete with McDonalds by trying to outdo their Happy Meal toy lineup. Since picky little kids really drove parents fast food choices, it was often up to what chain had the best toy that specific week.

But in 1988, Roy Rogers decided to give away figurines based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon - Snorks. The 3-inch tall Snorks figurines that Roy Rogers gave away were actually produced by Schleich. And Schlech is a German toy company that’s still around today (and still releasing new Smurfs toys).


Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was able to partake in the Roy Rogers’ menu once or twice as a child. And since these toys are really all that’s memorable about the restaurant – I guess the fact that it was named after an old western film star made it unique – that might have something to do with why the chain never made it past the mid-Atlantic.

The Snorks cartoon series originally ran from 1984 to 1989. While there were hopes that it would rival The Smurfs in popularity, it never achieved that type of success. The two cartoons had a number of the same voice artists, editors, and producers. This likely led folks to think what I thought as a kid – “the Snorks are the underwater Smurfs”.



Roy Rogers got in on the tail end of the Snorks bandwagon. The restaurant included a number of the most popular characters. I’ve seen Allstar, Dimmy, Casey and Tooter available around eBay. And each character has various poses or activities they’re involved in. Most of the figures usually sell right around $10.00.


The Snorks figure I picked up goes by the name of Tooter. Surprisingly enough…it’s not because he has irritable bowel syndrome. Tooter can only communicate with toots and beeps. It was a wonderful use of voice actor Frank Welker’s talents. This is a guy who’s also voiced roles such as Fred (Scooby-Doo), Jabberjaw, Megatron (Transformers), and Doctor Claw (Inspector Gadget).


While Allstar was the main character, I always felt that Tooter was the comic relief on the show. He was clearly modeled after Harpo Marx, who usually communicated using a horn or whistling in film. He also had the wild hairstyle similar to the second oldest Marx brother.

The Tooter figurine appears ready to go hiking. I’m pretty sure that might not go so well…since he lives underwater. The lone articulation is that Tooter’s “snorkel” has a wire armature in it…allowing itself to bend. Imagine all of the phallic jokes that were made at this little guy’s expense. And just for imagining that…you will now be forced to listen to the Snorks theme song.

REVIEW: Rise of the Beasts


From a time before time, the villains of myth and the heroes of legend have returned to continue a savage battle that will determine the future of humanity.

With barbaric kingdoms, led by power hungry animals in the form of men preparing to conquer the earth, mankind must place it's hope in the lion Thufur Asa'Yid, The Sword of Krix!

As ancient armies equipped with advanced science and technology erupt from underneath the earth all over the world who can stop ..

The Rise Of The Beasts!

The Rise of the Beasts is a new line of 1980’s inspired mini figures in the same vein as Battle Beasts. And like several other contemporary lines that have been influenced by Battle Beasts, these feature Onell Design’s Glyos joints. That means you can switch out all of the parts and pieces with other toy lines that similarly feature the Glyos joints.


To date, there have been two characters released – the African Rhinoceros and the Emperor Scorpion. Depending on the paint and color scheme, the character has a different name. And in addition to painted versions of these two guys, there are also a few unpainted ones that nearly cut the price in half.


Speaking of price, they sell for $7.00 per painted figure and $4.00 per unpainted. I’d probably go the painted route as the added personality you get from one of the painted figures far outweighs the $3.00 extra you’ll need to pony up.

And as you can see, the sculpting details really pop out with the addition of the paint. Also, the figures have been sculpted so that they can hold accessories. While there aren't accessories produced for the line or provided with the figures, I'd try out of similar scale weapons with the Rise of the Beasts guys.



The Facts

Rise of the Beasts
Series: Rise of the Beasts
Manufacturer: Plastic Imagination
Material: PVC plastic
Dimensions: Approximately 2.5” tall
Points of Articulation: Rhino – 4 (neck, waist, arms); Scorpion – 5 (neck, waist, tail, arms)
Pricing: Painted - $7.00; Unpainted - $4.00

You can purchase them at the following:

LittleRubberGuys: Painted - $7.00; Unpainted - $4.00



RETRO REVIEW: Barnyard Commandos

It’s possible that you remember a little line from 1989 called Barnyard Commandos. It was something straight out of Animal Farm…if George Orwell had dreamt up strapping heavy artillery to the backs of talking pigs and sheep.

The R.A.M.S. (Rebel Army of Military Sheep) and the P.O.R.K.S. (Platoon of Rebel Killer Swine) were rival groups of farm animals that somehow got into radioactive materials left over from an abandoned military experiment. Was it a big government conspiracy that they were trying to trick little kids into thinking that radioactive waste creates wonderful monsters rather than causing cancer and/or a painful death?

Playmates, which also released those other mutants – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, produced the toy line. In all, there were 16 characters produced – 8 P.O.R.K.S. and 8 R.A.M.S. There was also a 13-episode run of cartoons that’s likely still available at your local Blockbuster Video in VHS form.

I went on eBay and picked up a trio of Barnyard Commandos – all from the P.O.R.K.S. lineup. When I received them, I noticed the first one had a bubble that was slightly opened on the bottom. I opened the thing up and could have sworn that a live pig had been trapped in there for the past 26 years.

The line features rotocast vinyl toys. And the thing about cheap rotocast toys is that they eventually start to break down. The toy was sweating this wet, oil-slime substance. And it smelled like it had been securely packed away with a decomposing cadaver for the past two decades. Luckily, I opened up the second pig and it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first. A little slick…yeah. But breathing in the vicinity of it didn’t cause immediate nausea.  


What you end up with is a pig that’s apparently been doused in its own fecal matter. It has a nose ring, because those were nouveau in the late 80’s. And then there’s a rubbery feeling accessory – the flamethrower and goggles than strap on to Private Side O’Bacon’s back. I’m assuming he drew the short straw when they were assigning weapons.


The packaging also touts a “Secret Code Book Included”. There aren’t any secrets or codes in there. There is a photo of the figures on one side and some crazy ramblings on the other. I imagine they slipped an LSD laced pork chop to some poor bastard and had him sit in front of a typewriter designing a backstory for the Barnyard Commandos.



While some toy lines should be loved by multiple generations and something passed down from father to son or mother to daughter…it’s probably a good thing that Barnyard Commandos didn’t become the next Rubik’s Cube or Slinky.

I do believe that in some alternate universe there’s likely a huge war between sheep and pigs for control over America’s heartland. But then again, it’s quite possible that I’m hallucinating due to whatever toxic chemical was seeping out of that Barnyard Commando.




For our first Throwback Thursday retro review, I’m going to take you all the way back to 1985. It’s the year where two of the top three songs were performed by Wham!, WrestleMania debuted, and Back to the Future debuted. It’s also the year where you’d be able to fire up your console television and watch Challenge of the GoBots.

Youngsters nowadays likely look at GoBots and think they were some cheap corner store rip-off of Transformers. Not so! Both GoBots and Transformers started in Japan in the 80’s - GoBots by Bandai and Transformers by Takara. They both came over to the US in 1984 - GoBots from Tonka and Transformers from Hasbro.


Most kids fell into either the pro-Transformer or pro-GoBot group. It was basically the two political party system for male children in the 1980’s. And while I had a handful of GoBots, Transformers were my preferred robots in disguise. GoBots always felt like the red-headed stepchild. And it wasn’t an unusual occurrence to see young GoBot children standing alone against the wall during recess.


Both lines featured robots that transformed into vehicles and back again. The majority of Transformers were fairly intricate figures. There was a lot of twisting and turning and you might have even had to read – eek – instructions! The GoBots felt a little held back by their simplicity. Their robot form looked entirely too vehicle-y with a little head and a big body.



Take, for instance, the GoBot I was able to snag off of eBay. Named Stallion, he’s an “Enemy Robot Sports Car”. Whatever marketing genius dreamt that up was just appealing to kids’ inquisitive minds and their love of a good backstory. In six moves, as shown on the back of the packaging, he’s transformed.


Part of the problem was that, in general, GoBots were much smaller than Transformers. They were in the same scale as Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. And that’s what we didn’t get! Kids didn’t realize that these were the real robots in disguise. You could hide them right alongside your Matchbox car and only the eagle-eyed kids from “Gifted Class” would be able to tell the difference. Heck…Stallion even has rubbery tires on those wheels. That’s some high–class stuff right there.


It’s unfortunate that GoBots petered out by 1987. Transformers had taken over the market. Though, looking back, I can see why. The Decepticons weren’t the “Enemy Robot” and they weren’t constrained by transforming into vehicles. Megatron was a toy gun. Soundwave was a fake microcassette recorder with little cassettes that turned into badass animals. Then the Dinobots came along and transformed from a robot to entirely less conspicuous extinct metal dinosaurs.


So how does the toy hold up to today’s standards? For likely sitting in a box for the past 30 years, it’s in pretty good shape. You can transform it back and forth without worry of the plastic breaking apart. It feels like a new toy. 

Alas…it’s likely that we’ll never see these GoBots reproduced like we have with various other toy lines from the 1980’s. Hasbro acquired Tonka back in 1991 and they got the names and storylines of the GoBots characters, but the toys and likenesses are still owned by Bandai.

REVIEW: reddit’s Snoo


Even if you’re not a frequent user, most people have likely visited Likely you’ve checked out one of the celebrity AMAs (Ask Me Anything). And if you’ve seen the site, you’re probably familiar with reddit’s logo – a little black and white alien.


At some point in time, that little reddit alien was actually given a name – Snoo. Of course, someone would hear the name and say “Hey! What’s Snoo?” And then they’d get caught up in an Abbott ad Costello routine for ten or so minutes.

Actually, the creators of reddit intended to name the site Snoo for that very exact reason…but someone already had that URL…they didn’t have the money to purchase the domain name…and the rest is history.


With reddit celebrating their 10th anniversary, they’ve revealed Snoovatars for reddit gold folks (basically a customizable Snoo avatar). More importantly for collectors, they’ve released a few toys based on the character. The first toy, a collaboration with Pretty In Plastic, is the official vinyl Snoo in both OG and DIY colorways.


Each 3-inch tall rotocast vinyl Snoo features a single point of articulation at the neck. The difference between the two versions is that one has a painted mouth, antenna, and eyes…and the other is blank white waiting for your (un)artistic touch.

Both vinyl figures retail at $8.99 each. Snce the box states Series 1, I wouldn’t be surprised if there might be a Series 2 out at some point. Possibly wishful thinking, but with the amount of customized and special event Snoo artwork out there…I think they could pluck enough designs to maybe fill out a blind box series.


In addition to vinyl, they’ve teamed up with the folks from Squishable to release a giant, huggable plush Snoo. Available in two sizes, 15-inch and 27-inch, the Squishable Snoo resembles reddit’s alien mascot if it went on a month-long junk food binge.

The Squishable plush is shaped like a large ball. It makes an excellent pillow, and my kids have taken to kicking it around the house like a giant white soccer ball. There’s a fairly large discrepancy in price between the 15” and 27” versions, so I’d probably go with the smaller one if your kids are going to be doing their best Pelé impersonation. 

The Facts

Reddit - Snoo
Manufacturer: Vinyl – Pretty In Plastic; Plush - Squishable
Dimensions: Vinyl – 3” tall; Plush – 15” or 27”
Points of Articulation: Vinyl - 1 (neck)
Designs: Vinyl - Regular; DIY
Pricing: Vinyl - $8.99; 15” Plush – $42.00; 27” Plush - $142.00

You can pick one up at the following:

reddit market: Vinyl - $8.99; 15” Plush - $42.00; 27” Plush - $142.00

REVIEW: MBW – WWII – Willy’s Jeep


Modern Brick Warfare produces custom designed LEGO accessories as well as custom printing on LEGO figures and kits that use all new original LEGO blocks to create Modern Brick Warfare designed vehicles. They recently sent us one of those kits – the World War II inspired Willy’s Jeep – to check out.


This specific kit features over 110 brand new LEGO pieces as well as instructions on how to put it all together. There are programs out there that let you digitally design a LEGO model, making it perfect to design an object such as this Jeep.


In addition to the original LEGO pieces, there are some customs from Modern Brick Warfare. You get a .50 CAL Machine Gun with 2 ammo cans for it, a custom World War 2 American Soldier minifigure armed with a 1911 colt pistol and a M1 Garand rifle, and a custom built gas can. Other LEGO accessories include a backpack, shovel, and pickaxe.


Having a 3 and 4 year old, I’ve had to put together a lot of LEGO sets. And I might have picked up the Ecto-1 and the Back to the Future DeLorean sets for myself. But it seems as soon as I put one together, my kids turn into destructive kaiju whose only goal is to violently destroy the fruits of my labor. Luckily, I was able to keep Willy’s Jeep away from them for long enough to take photos.


It was a challenging build…but not impossible. The end result is a Jeep with an adjustable windshield that seats four total minifigures. You can throw two in the front and two in the back, in case you want to invite Batman, a princess, and a guy dressed as a hot dog along. And there’s even room for a spare tire in the back…since there’s always a chance of a LEGO blowout.



If you’re unaware, there’s a large group of LEGO customizers who produce high-end customs, accessories, and kits. For example, this kit from Modern Brick Warfare includes a custom minifigure. It’s digitally printed on a new, blank figure. Then you add in the helmet and a handful of guns and you get a LEGO toy that the folks at LEGO aren’t going to produce…but you might likely want.


So with a kit like Willy’s Jeep, you have to look at two things. The first is the custom build instructions - in this case it's Modern Brick Warfare's Jeep that’s assembled using new, original LEGO pieces. Secondly, there’s all of the custom accessories - the custom printed figure, helmet, and all of those custom weapons.

The Facts

World War II – Willy’s Jeep
Manufacturer: LEGO and Modern Brick Warfare
Designed by: Kenneth Rigdon
Material: LEGO and custom accessories
Accessories: .50 CAL Machine Gun with 2 ammo cans; 1911 colt pistol; M1 Garand rifle; Custom built gas can; Backpack; Shovel; Pickaxe
Pricing: $34.95

You can pick one up at the following:

Modern Brick Warfare: $34.95



REVIEW: Nerviswr3k’s Inner Child


Arizona-based artist Nerviswr3k has teamed up with New Jersey-based designer toy store/art gallery SubUrban Vinyl to release the first production piece from both artist and shop. Named Inner Child, the rotocast vinyl figure features some of the workings most common to Nerviswr3k’s customs – especially those sharp, pronounced teeth.


The 4-inch tall vinyl will be released in at least three colorways: Red – Retailers; Green – SubUrban Vinyl Exclusive; Blue – Tenacious Toys Exclusive. Each version is limited to a run of 125 pieces, definitely putting it in the more limited edition category.

For being the first production piece from SubUrban Vinyl, it’s a very impressive designer toy. Heck…it would be impressive for a company that’s produced 10 or 20 figures. And when you consider the waning genre of true designer vinyl, this might be one of the best pieces released in the past two or three years.

The Inner Child combines excellent and intricate sculpting work with some nice painting. I like the weathered look that’s created with the addition of the black paint on the body. And around the face, a spot where many good toys go bad, you don’t have any glop or bleeding of the various paint colors.

It’s definitely a piece to display in your collection. It’s not likely that you or the kids will want to be playing with it. Some of the teeth are pretty sharp and I found the arms somewhat difficult to turn. Usually I give up easily due to the number of arms, legs, and fingers I’ve broken off. Sometimes I feel like I’m the Luca Brasi of toys…coming to collect on debts.

Since the figure’s name is Inner Child, I’m assuming the message we’re supposed to take away from this vinyl is that we’re seeing the inner child of this otherwise ugly looking monster. Either that…or this thing ate a little kid…or he’s one of those insane Cosplay kids. All three elicit very different emotions. But I guess you can just read the back of the packaging and take away whatever you want from it.


The Facts

Inner Child
Manufacturer: SubUrban Vinyl
Artist: Nerviswr3k
Material: Rotocast Vinyl
Dimensions: 4” tall
Points of Articulation: 2 (Arms)
Edition Size: 125 pieces
Pricing: $45.00

You can pick one up at the following: $45.00



REVIEW: The Sea Ghost


The Sea Ghost was first seen in Jay Piscopo’s The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli. Created by Piscopo, who both authored and illustrated the comic, The Sea Ghost was last seen in his very own comic book - The Sea Ghost #1: Sea Ghost in the Machine. The 36-page comic retails for $3.99 at your favorite comic shop.


In addition to his return in The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli – Volume 3, which will be released in March 2015, The Sea Ghost is now available as a Mego-style action figure. That 8-inch tall action figure runs $20.00 and comes packaged in a plastic clamshell case. (Unfortunately…I wasn’t able to get a photo of that case before I ripped into it with my canine teeth).

The action figure is a good representation of The Sea Ghost character as shown in the comic book. He is a little bit limited by the Mego-ish body (I so dislike Mego wrists). For example, his feet resemble hooves in the comic, but the figure has regular human feet…albeit bleached white feet. Oh…and that white body is slightly visible underneath the stretched bodysuit. Thank goodness his name isn’t Anatomically Correct Sea Ghost.


I was going to comment on the color of Sea Ghost’s face…and by writing this, I obviously am commenting on it. While it looks blue-green on the action figure – a lot greener than seen throughout the comic book - it actually does match up with the version of The Sea Ghost as presented on the rear of The Sea Ghost #1 comic.


When I heard about (and then saw) The Sea Ghost character, my first thoughts were that this guy is the bastard son of Star Wars’ Expanded Universe character Grand Admiral Thrawn. The blue face? Dead giveaway. He was obviously raised by Aquaman, who allowed his adopted son to glide through the 1990’s watching episodes of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. Or…at least…that’s how I saw it in my mind.


The Space Ghost is the 14th Mego-style action figure produced by Nemo Publishing/Nemo Toys. It joins a number of toys from the Commander X series. Unlike several of those, The Sea Ghost doesn’t have any weapons. Apparently, premature greying combined with a badass seahorse logo are the only super powers this guy needs.

The Facts

The Sea Ghost
Manufacturer: Nemo Toys
Artist: Jay Piscopo
Sculpted by: Paul "Dr Mego" Clarke
Material: Plastic Mego-style action figure
Dimensions: 8” tall
Outfit: Black and white bodysuit
Pricing: $20.00

Pick one up at the following: $20.00