Michael Jackson Fan Merchandise Faves- Moonwalker, Michael & Me, and More for September 2016.

Like most people living in their first NYC apartment, I fell into the IKEA trap when I first moved into my studio. Rent tends to be so expensive in the city and a lot of young professionals end up getting a lot of their furniture from discount stores. I was no exception. After finally making the decision to upgrade, I ended up going through a lot of my closets and subsequently, my Michael stuff.

Here are a couple of my favorites for September, including some "oldies but goodies":

1. Moonwalker

I wore this tape OUT when I was a kid. I simply couldn't get enough of it. This copy is from a friend who recently moved out to LA and was purging some of her collection. The past couple of days, I've been coming home and enjoying this throwback film every evening after work. They now sell Moonwalker in DVD form (


) - if you don't have it... run to the store and check it out!


Michael & Me

by Shana Mantagal

Now, I will admit. I am not the most knowledgeable fan- ESPECIALLY when it comes to Michael's personal life. I've shared time and time again that my fandom pretty much is rooted in me admiring Michael's accomplishments, being grateful to him for his sacrifice/hard work, and also loving him for bringing me closer to all of my best friends. I usually don't indulge in this type of stuff but, curiosity got the best of me and I picked this up. Planning on doing a full review of

the book

in the next 3-4 weeks- stay tuned!

3. My Vinyl Record Player

This was gifted to me last Christmas but, I just recently started using it. Hitting up thrift stiffs for albums at a discount is another one of my fave things to do lately. My favorite album to listen to so far is


. I grew up listening to this record and it's been something near and dear to my heart since childhood.

4. Michael Jackson Shot Glasses

I'm not a huge drinker but, thought these were super cute. I got two of them!

If you've been to the store at Mandalay Bay, you know that there's always been a volume of merchandise with the MJ ONE logo (and that faaaaake signature). I was pleased to see on my recent trip that there are a lot more branded items now with Michael's real signature (and more recreations of old tour shirts and merchandise- which is awesome).

5. Bal a Versailles

Michael's favorite fragrance from the '80s, this was gifted to me and I will treasure it for a long, long time :)


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What are some of the things you're into this month?


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Baby Fever? A Babies Go Michael Jackson review

Have any other MJFam out there had baby fever? I will be the first to admit, I sometimes catch myself daydreaming of what my children would look like, what they would be like. I wonder if they'll be children of their time or old souls like me. I wonder what they will think about Michael. Let me tell you this... if my kids grew up hating Michael because they were force-fed his music and videos by their dear old mom, I would probably die a little on the inside (kidding!). I want them to be exposed to all different types of music... seriously, I do.

So, I got to thinking, what better way to start em off early than just playing his music? For all of you MJFAM who are soon to be mommies (or one day in the future mommies like me), I have found an awesome way to introduce your children to Michael Jackson's music in a very subtle way.


Yes, you heard me right... BABIES GO MICHAEL JACKSON

Babies Go Michael Jackson is one of the few Michael Jackson themed lullaby albums that I have come across and in my humble opinion, the best pick of the bunch. A lot of the other CD's have fast-paced jarring songs that just end up sounding like old-school midi ringtones as opposed to lullabies.

Here is the tracklist:

  1. I'll Be There
  2. The Girl Is Mine
  3. Heal The World         
  4. You Are Not Alone   
  5. I Just Can't Stop Loving You
  6. Man In The Mirror   
  7. Thriller          
  8. Bad 
  9. Beat It
10. Billie Jean    
11. Black Or White
12. One Day In Your Life               
13. Human Nature
14. We Are The World

This album is composed of Michael Jackson songs that have been transformed into lullabies. Each song features soft bells and chimes, covering both the sounds of the vocals and the track combined into one easy-to-listen-to melody. Covering songs like "Human Nature", "We Are The World," and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," all the day down to "One Day In Your Life" (whatchuknowaboutdat!?), this album is good enough for babies and Michael Jackson loving mothers to enjoy together.

Here is a sample track, one of my personal favorites from this lullaby album "I'll Be There":

I think that Babies to Go Michael Jackson would be the perfect gift to any MJ fan who is a mommy (or daddy) to be. The songs are familiar yet soothing and have just the right appeal for little ears. 
Babies to Go is available for purchase from amazon.com in both CD format and as individual MP3s. 

So, do any of my readers have MJ fan friends who are having babies soon or are new parents?
What do you think of the pop song lullaby CD trend?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Book Review: Before He Was King by Todd Gray

Hey everyone! 

I have been having a pretty good week. I was off for Martin Luther King. Jr. day and was fortunate enough to be able to stay home, relax, and watch the inauguration on television. Watching the First Family always means so much to me - super inspiring!

I am back with another review today with one of my favorite Michael Jackson photo books. With the Michael Jackson Opus leading the way, fans saw an influx of photo books published after Michael's death. (Ahh, typing "Michael's death just sent shivers through my spine-- I don't think I can ever get used to saying that.)

"Before He Was King" by Todd Gray, is something I've had on my Must Haves list for a really long time. It was published in November 2009 and retailed for about $25.00. Many of the pages contain little stories or anecdotes from Todd Gray's experience working as Michael's personal photographer from 1974-1984. I recently found a like new copy of this on amazon and knew that I had to grab it right away. If I had a coffee table, it would be right there on it.
For now it is on my kitchen table... :-)

Let's start with the title: I'd suppose that if you believe Thriller is when Michael Jackson officially became a "KING" in the world of popular music, the title would be accurate. I'd like to think that Mike was always a king in some sense of the word but I do love the title because it draws the average reader in.

Here is an excerpt from Gray where he reflects on these years spent photographing Michael:

"My photographs of Michael, from 1974 to 1984, show him as the engaging, charming, youthful person he was before the insatiable demands of his extraordinary celebrity bore so heavily on him. As I reflect, I realize now that this was the time before he was King."

This book contains 100 never before seen and high quality photos of Michael Jackson through the late 1970's and early '80's. I especially enjoyed the behind the scenes captures from the Triumph tour, like the one below.

In terms of packaging, this 144 page book is pretty sturdy and I haven't had any issues with it thus far (although I did see some reviews about the binding being a problem for some). I take care of my Michael Jackson collection pretty well and usually don't have problems with pages falling out.

What I like about "Before He Was King" is the fact that its so offbeat and it covers a topic and time in Michael's career that is so rarely spoken about. The Off The Wall era was special in so many ways and I'm grateful that this was made to document some of those special moments. Flipping through the photos in this was so nostalgic and I found myself daydreaming that I was in my car, driving down the highway into the sunset with "Girlfriend" on blast.

Oh, how I love that album.

Anyway...  GET YOUR COPY Michael Jackson: Before He Was King  ... it's on Amazon both new and used! 

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Happy 2013! Review of the Michael Jackson Slot Machine

Hello everyone and welcome to 2013! I know I am a bit late but hey... better late than never?

Today I want to share a brief review of my first time playing on the Michael Jackson slot machine. 
For NYE a friend and I spent our time in Atlantic City and to my surprise, we were able to find the Michael Jackson slot machine right at the Tropicana Hotel. This Bally Technologies machine is awesome fun for both Michael Jackson fanatics and the everyday fan of his music in general.  Featuring songs like "Billie Jean" "Beat It" and "Smooth Criminal" playing this slot machine was one that I really enjoyed. 

There were a number of things that impressed me about this machine. #1... it was a penny machine! 
Amazing. But for those of you who are familiar, a lot of the new slot machines have minimum bets. You can bet in intervals of 40 cents a time, up to $3.20.  The chair is situated so that the speakers are playing Michael's music right behind your ears, which makes it an even more fun and interactive experience. I found myself having to set personal limits of 3-4 presses of the bet button per minute to ration out my money. 40 cents a pop doesn't seem like a lot until you are pressing every second trying to get Michael to dance across the screen. :-) 

I would have to say though, the most fun part about this machine was the bonus round. You don't have to play a higher number but my friend insisted that he would take over and bet a little higher... much to my pleasure we entered the bonus round!!!

Here's a short clip of us at the "Beat It" bonus round.... 

Tip.... once you win--- CASH out! I totally thought that Michael would shine down from the heavens and bless me with the Jackson Jackpot but... no such luck! Haha, Michael took my money :'( I don't think I lost too much but I can say that the experience was worth it. I give the Michael Jackson slot machine a thumbs up and I will totally be returning to play again.

Have you ever played this machine? What was your impression? 

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Merchandise Review: Michael Jackson Badge Collection 1 (from Japan)

I got this pin badge set from my host mother when I went to Japan this past October. She knows how much I love Michael Jackson and she tends to pick up anything she sees MJ-related and saves it for me until the next time we meet. 

This collection honestly doesn't have anything we haven't seen before but, I really love that it features a variety of photos from different eras (which we don't usually see). I haven't opened it so, I'm not 100% sure about whether or not this is an officially licensed item or not. I love getting items from Japan because they have so many goodies that we never really see here in the states. At this age, I am not too crazy about pin badges (as they leave holes all over everything and they just aren't my cup of tea (unless its Michael's Birthday week or something like that" but, I am glad that I have these in my collection. 

If you are looking for pin badges, amazon sells a lot of them. Here is a link to some of my favorites- Set of 20 MICHAEL JACKSON Pinback Buttons 1.25" Pins / Badges Tribute Memorial