Cowardly Lion Costume From The Wizard Of Oz Sells For $3 Million

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(PCM) Talk about making a pop culture pay day, the infamous Cowardly Lion costume worn by actor Burt Lahr in the classic film “The Wizard Of Oz” sold for over $3 million dollars at a recent Bonham’s auction in New York City.

Auctioned off at Bonhams’ Turner Classic Movie Presents… There’s No Place Like Hollywood, the Cowardly Lion costume is verified as the same costume worn by Bert Lahr during the 1939 production of the classic, The Wizard of Oz.

Made of real lion hides, the costume was discoverd folded and tucked away in one of the oldes buildings on MGM’s lot and was aqcuired by The Comisar Collection and owned by Los Angelos TV founder James Comisar.

Several lion costumes were created for the production of The Wizard of Oz but the costume department ran into issues with consistency; most lion hides have distinct swirls and patterns, making it hard to have a uniform lion costume.

As a result, Lahr had to wear the same costume for every day of production, requiring the costume department to dry the costume every night in an industrial sized dryer in order to dry out all of the sweat produced by Lahr under the bright Technicolor production lights.

According to the New York Daily News, the face is sculpted to the likeness of the late actor and according to a spokesperson for costume owner James Comisar, there was a secondary costume that was used in the film that also recently sold at auction for over $1 million dollars.

Comisar says that he plans to use the money that he received from selling the Cowardly Lion costume to further invest in his exhibit and collection of TV memorabilia that includes items from “I Love Lucy” and “Lost” to name a few.

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Uber’s Use Of Their ‘God View’ Tool Leads To An Investigation

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(PCM) An executive at the popular ride sharing company Uber is currently under investigation after he used the company’s ‘God View’ tool to track the movements of a journalist who was on her way to meet him.

Johana Bhuiyan, a journalist for Buzzfeed, claims that her movements and activity were tracked without her permission and she along with several others are now looking for answers.

Bhuiyan claims that when she arrived at Uber’s Long Island Headquarters in New York, Josh Mohrer, a general manager of Uber New York was waiting for her when she arrived. He reportedly pointed to his iPhone and commented “I was tracking you”.

This raises some serious concerns about Uber’s customer privacy policy especially when it comes to geolocation data and information.

Uber’s own security policy says that they are not allowed to check a customers riding history and by Mohrer admitting to tracking Bhuiyan they have already broken their own policy. The “God View’ tool is supposedly only available to those employees at a corporate level.

In yet another shady encounter with a journalist, who just so happens to also be from Buzzfeed, Uber VP for business, Emil Michael spoke with their editor-in-chief Ben Smith and claimed he wished to unearth and broadcast embarrassing facts about journalists who criticized his company.

The conversation with Smith occurred at a dinner party set up by Uber to launch a more cordial relationship with the media, however it has now put Michael under investigation as well.

Many people feel that give these recent allegations that Uber is not concerned with the importance of customer privacy. Thus far the company has issued no comment on the investigation.

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12 Days Of Christmas: A Look At 12 Banned Indoor Toys!

(PCM) As we race towards the holiday shopping season, there are sure to be plenty of toys purchased this year. We even recently brought you a feature on our predictions for what are sure to be the best selling toys for the 2014 holiday season.

Every so often toy manufacturers are prone to making a few mistakes with certain toys such as being responsible for causing injuries or health concerns. Those factors can quickly land what manufacturers believed to be a good toy on the banned toy list.

We have complied a list of some of the most interesting banned indoor toys (trust us, the outdoor banned toy list is worth another feature in itself, so stay tuned) and the reason behind their short shelf lives.

1. Snacktime Cabbage Patch Doll

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Reason for being banned: The Snacktime Cabbage Patch doll featured a moving mechanical jaw that was supposed to mimic being able to be fed food. The problem was that the doll would chew just about anything, including the hair and fingers of young children which could possibly become stuck in the dolls mechanical jaw. The toy was recalled by Mattel in 1997.

2. Sky Dancers

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Reason for being banned: These adorable little flying fairy dolls were attached to a plastic base and featured wings that were made of hard plastic. When you would pull the string on the base the Sky Dancer’s wings would begin to spin and she could fly around the room. However the wings often times had a mind of their own and were responsible for several eye injuries after they whacked users in the face. They were also known to cause broken teeth and facial scrapes and scratches. The Sky Dancers were eventually banned in 2000.

3. Atomic Energy Laboratory

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Reason for being banned: As if the name of this toy was not enough. The Atomic Energy Laboratory was created by the same man who created the ERECTOR set and it actually used real radioactive materials. The set came with samples of Uranium ore and the user could witness mist trails from ionizing radiation. It was eventually banned in 1951.

4. Spanish Barbie

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Reason for being banned: Spanish Barbie was dressed head to toe in a full on matador costume. The costume outraged animal rights activists, as traditionally the matador costume is worn when bulls are killed in bullring for public sport. The doll was banned by Mattel in 1999.

5. Aqua Dots

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Reason for being banned: This toy featured small colored beads which could be fused together using water to create a wide variety of arts and crafts projects. The only slight problem is that if someone happen to swallow the beads they had the potential to turn into gamma hydroxyl butyrate, which could cause unconsciousness, seizures, and drowsiness.  Aqua Dots were banned in 2007.

6. Teletubby Po Doll

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Reason for being banned: Playskool received quite a bit of backlash after the Teletubby Po doll was released. The 14″ doll was supposed to say certain phrases from the show, however many consumers believed that they heard the toy say the offensive statement “bit my butt”. The Teletubby Po doll was banned in 1998.

7. Slap Bracelets

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Reason for being banned: If you recall, Slap Bracelets were made out of a pliable metal covered in multi-colored plastic designs. When stretched out straight, the bracelet could be slapped on the wrist which it would curl around. Eventually the plastic on the bracelets would begin to wear out and the metal underneath would be exposed. The Slap Bracelets had the potential to cut into the flesh on the wrist and cause injury. They have the honor of being banned once in the 90’s and then again when they made a resurgence in 2012.

8. Buckyballs

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Reason for being banned: Buckyballs were small incredibly strong magnetic ball bearings that children and adults would use to build sculptures, as they would all stick together. The problem with Buckyballs were that they were so strong that if they happened to be accidentally swallowed they could clamp together through the intestinal walls and not let go. Many children required surgery to have the Buckyballs removed. The government stepped in to have Buckyballs banned in 2012.

9. CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit

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Reason for being banned: The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit was a toy based up the hit TV show CSI that allowed children to conduct their own crime scene investigations at home. The fingerprint exam kit contained finger print dust that happened to contain one of the most deadly forms of asbestos. In fact the variety used the kit is so incredibly dangerous that even a one time exposure is capable of causing lung cancer. The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit was ultimately banned in 2010.

10. Toy Penguin Figures

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Reason for being banned: When Plan Toys first came out with this roly poly adorable penguin too, it certainly appeared to be pretty safe for children. It was not until one child yanked the head off the penguin and it was discovered that the toy contained several sharp nails that held it together and they posed a laceration risk. The toy penguin was banned in 2008.

11. Flubber

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Reason for being banned: As a tie for the 1963 film “Son Of Flubber” Disney teamed up with Hasbro to create actual Flubber, made of synthetic rubber, mineral oil and green dye. Seems simple, right? Unfortunately the Flubber caused a horrible allergic reason causing children to end up with head to toe rashes, fevers and more. Flubber ended up being a cause for folliculitis which is a painful infection of the hair follicles. The Flubber was so dangerous that order to even get rid of the product, Hasbro had to bury it and pave the parking lot of the Rhode Island Warehouse over top.  Flubber was recalled in 1962.

12. Easy Bake Oven

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Reason for being banned: Earlier versions of the Easy Bake Oven could reach temperatures over 400 degrees and several children received 2nd and 3rd degree burns when the stuck their fingers inside the oven. The makers of the Easy Bake Oven recalled the toys so that the problem could be rectified in 2007.

 

Have any toys that should be added to this list? Let us know!

 

 

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We Bet You Can’t Wait To Get Your Hands On The NoPhone!

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(PCM) It is no big secret that people are absolutely addicted to their cellphones. The number of times that we have our phones in our hands throughout the day either to check messages, make a call, check Facebook is astonishing. In fact, the cellphone has become a type of electronic drug and many people are beginning to think that it may be time for an electronics intervention.

Meet the NoPhone!  NoPhone is the technology-free alternative to your cellphone. There are no upgrades, no wifi, it doesn’t make calls or receive texts, it truly does nothing at all. It has that beautiful sleek design of a cellphone, however there is no battery and it is completely shatterproof. Sound ideal?

The NoPhone product was created in an attempt to raise a level of awareness about our society’s addiction to cellphones and technology. There has even been a Kickstarter page started to promote this product. The creators wrote the following mission statement: “Phone addiction is real. And it’s everywhere. It’s ruining your dates. It’s distracting you at concerts. It’s disrupting you in movie theaters. It’s clogging up sidewalks.” 

It is the company’s hope that you will try out a NoPhone instead!  The NoPhone will allow you to feel like you have a phone in your hand and has the placebo effect to still allow you to look at the device, however you soon realize there is nothing there.

My favorite is the NoPhone’s selfie attachment, which is really just a mirror you can glue to the front or back of the NoPhone .. ingenious! The NoPhone has already received some 900 backers and raised over $18,000 to create the product.

How addicted do you think you are to your cellphone? Could you go a week without it?  How about a day? How about just one hour?

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Target Claims They Were Not Behind The “Alex From Target” Viral Sensation

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(PCM) We are sure by now you have at least seen or heard something about “Alex From Target” the latest viral internet meme that features an extremely good-looking Target employee.

It was brought to everyone’s attention recently that the whole thing may have actually been a sneaky viral marketing campaign paid for by Target, rather than just a random viral sensation created by an obsessive teenage girl.

A marketing company by the name of Breakr, took credit for orchestrating the whole situation and claim they were hired on as part of a viral marketing project.

However, now Target is claiming that they are not responsible for the whole #AlexFromTarget meme and did not pay anyone to distribute the photo. Breakr has since changed their story a bit and revealed that Twitter user @auscalem and Alex have no relationship with their company.

It seem that the initial photo may have originated with two teenage girls from Texas who took notice of Alex at their local Target store. One snapped a quick photo while she was in line, however the girls claim they have no idea how the image ended up making its’ way over to Tumblr.

#AlexFromTarget has now been identified at Texas high school student Alex LaBeouf and he also says that he has never heard of the company Breakr. He recently tweeted out the following “Apparently there is a company trying to take credit for how the pic taken of me went viral. My family and I have never heard of this company”.

LaBeouf, however, does appear to be enjoying his new found viral stardom and even appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. While Target denies being the one behind the meme and subsequent hash tags creation, they are certainly ready to embrace it, as they tweeted out from their official Twitter account “We heart Alex, too!”.

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