monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… My Greatest Scam Yet

If I had a blog the TripleDoubleU existed back in 1986, I might have written this post.  I guess it could have been an entry in the journal I had to write in the fifth grade…

Growing up, my sisters and I rarely played together with the same toys.  If we did mix up our stories, my action figures paid a visit to theirs, but never vice versa.  Very few of their toys mixed well with mine:

This was a Transformer?

Star Wars Cantina, anyone?

These were big fans of the M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestlers.*

*These are M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestlers.

Okay, for these, I played the animals.

Despite this, I was able to convince my sister Becky to buy one toy I needed (I co-opted it soon after she purchased it):

Vanessa Warfield and her Manta, member of V.E.N.O.M., enemies of M.A.S.K.

Too bad they didn’t collect She-Ra: Princess of Power… I could have got one of them to buy anyone in the Evil Horde:

Hordak, Leech, and Grizzlor, of course.

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monkeyFLASHmonkeyBACK… The Toys That Got Away

The year is 2006.  The 20th Anniversary Edition Optimus Prime has just been released.  Upon hearing this, something else might have been released… in my pants…

When I was a child, there was nothing I wanted more than Optimus Prime.  The problem was that he cost $20, and I had a difficult time saving up a score of buckeroos.  There was always something else I wanted that cost exactly what I had, so alas… no Optimus Prime.

UNTIL NOW:

Hellz yes.

My dream has been not only met, but exceeded.  This celebratory edition may not include the weapons base trailer, but he looks just like the cartoon – in robot and vehicle form!  It’s an insane representation!

So what broken dreams are left floating around my adolescent heart, you wonder?

They are, in no particular order:

  • Centurions – Wild Weasel

This went to Sam Rockwell, right? It was Jake Rockwell? Oh well.

You might not remember Centurions for their cartoon or toys (there were 65 episodes produced!), but I will never forget this cool vehicle idea.  In retrospect, the real world application of it wouldn’t fly roll past production, and in further analysis, I probably liked it because it reminded me of TRON (you probably don’t remember that old 1982 movie either).

  • Star Wars – Tatooine Skiff

Everybody wanted this; nobody had it.

This one still didn’t live up to the Desert Skiff we all wanted with every fiber of The Force, but it was better than what was originally offered.  And too bad it came out after I started collecting M.A.S.K.

  • M.A.S.K. – Razorback

This car could arch its back. For some reason.

I still consider M.A.S.K. the best toy collection of my youth (StarCom was a close second), plus I was blessed in prolonging my longing for the vehicles I missed the first time around when they were getting dumped in KayBee Toy Stores years after they were gone from store shelves… on clearance.  I never got a second chance to get Razorback, but I still have dreams about finding them still (this is 100% true).

  • Transformers – Grimlock

Me, Sean, want Grimlock badly.

Perhaps there’s a 20th Anniversary Grimlock on the horizon?  How about 25th30th?

The Sh– To The Bigger Sh–… Shine On, Shine On, iLuminate!

I don’t know how long these videos will be available on YouTube, but I have to share despite the risk (comment below if they are gone and I’ll find new ones).

I don’t know much about iLuminate other than they appeared on America’s Got Talent, and my friend that introduced me to them not only claims they will win, but he will pay to go see them.

Here’s their most recent performance on AGT:

Here’s their tryout:

Here’s what I believe is their inspiration:

The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… Toy Commercials

From shitty to shittier indeed...

From shitty to shittier indeed...

Let’s face facts… kids are dumb.  I don’t mean the concept of them (entirely), but they’re suckers.  Hell, we were just as gullible in our youth.

But back in the day, marketing firms fostered (word choice!) our imagination when they sold to us, and look at the consumers we’ve become today.

Here’s a commercial for an 80’s toy probably no one remembers called Army Ants.  The promo was eventually pulled from the airwaves due to the fact the toys moved by themselves (and since kids are dumb they might think they’re alive… oh no!)  Remember, this took place before warnings were placed on coffee to remind people that coffee is fucking hot, so the idea of putting a notice on the bottom of the screen never crossed anyone’s mind.

Now here’s a commercial for the toyline based on the new G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra movie:

Where’s the fun in that commercial?  I smell no sense of adventure.  I envision no afternoon of making those vehicle crash into each other.  It’s all tell, and no show!  Sure, there’s hints of scenes from the movie, but where’s the poking other bugs in the squishy and squashy guts, whether I have to make them do it or they do it to themselves (since they’re alive, you see).

To be fair, they are completelysort of different toylines, so I’ll draw upon an old G.I. Joe toy commercial for apples to Apple Paltrow Martin‘s sake:

Fucking Refrigerator Perry?!  Seriously, a Chicago Bear is on G.I. Joe, and he kicks major Cobra ass?!  And I can call him and get in on the action with only four certificates (and a 50 cent phone call plus $1 handling charge)?!

See the difference?

SIDENOTE: I recently won a chance for a free haircut at a salon that panders to men and, to be honest, that I don’t quite frankly trust, but I went anyway.  (It was free…)  Upon leaving and realizing it wasn’t a complete hack job, I tipped the stylist $2 and $1 in quarters.  It was all I had.  She made a face, and I left.  Haircuts are normally $16, so I don’t know if she expected $5 or more on a FREE haircut, but it did make me wonder… what can you buy for $3 nowadays?  Cigarettes?  No.  A beer at the bar?  No.  Two 20 oz. bottle of Mtn. Dew?  Sometimes.  Seeing that I could have got Refrigerator Perry for $1.50 really got me thinking…

InASense, Lost… Toys Are Not For Wii Ones

My sister, Tammie, had a good chortle guffaw chuckle when she heard me ask this one time:

Hey Chris, what does it mean when my Wii’s glowing blue?

She lost it, and upon thinking how ridiculous it sounded out of context, others joined her giggles, myself included.  As it turns out, she may slowly be turning into my foil.

Let me further explain.

Last night, one of my friends stopped by with his two sons.  They’re cute enough, nice enough kids, but where my friend made the mistake was to inform his children that I had toys.

What I have are not toys.  They’re collectibles.  Two totally different things.

Upon arriving, and not expecting them to stay long as I had mentioned plans to head to trivia, the boys whipped off their scarves and knit caps and bundled coats and proclaimed, “Where’s the toys?”

I begrudgingly lead the trio back to my DVD room (yes, they have their own room… they kinda require a room when they reach 1200+).  In there, I have Indiana Jones figures, Lego playsets, Transformers, and Matt Trakker of M.A.S.K. re-released as a G.I. Joe, all in their packages.  Of course, the first thing to reached for is Trakker.

“I know how to put this together,” the oldest proclaimed.

“So do I,” was my response as I put it back.

On one of the cabinets, I have some open figures on display which include mini Ninja Turtles, mini Transformers, a mini Grimlock cartoon figure that does not move, and both versions of Bumblebee from the Michael Bay movie.

They moved onto these collectibles, and within minutes, Grimlock was in pieces (I don’t think he’s supposed to come that much apart, if even at all), the rubberbands holding the weapons in the Turtles’ hands were snapped, and the ’77 Camaro Bumblebee was being stabbed by his own laser sword.

I have learned patience through all the years of working with computers, but when it comes to children—

My friend kept talking to me and I kept thinking, doesn’t he see what they’re doing?  The youngest had to go #2 and took Raphael with him.  Raphael!  RAPHAEL?!

When they were finally getting packed up to ship out, I told my friend he could visit with them again in about 10 years.

Now back to Tammie.  As I recounted the situation to her, she just laughed at me again.  The definition of a foil according to Answers.com:

One that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another: “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me” (Charlotte Brontë).

She said, “You do realize you’re complaining about children playing with your toys.”

I still can’t find Grimlock’s lower jaw.

Come Get Yer Sexy Costume Challenge Right Here!

Update: My sister, Becky, helped me “uncover” one other toy.

With Halloween upon us, I feel it is my civic duty to challenge any or all of you ladies out there that are: A) creative and B) like to… sexy it up… (I was going to put “slutty it up,” but here I did anyway.)

Now let it be known, I’m all about nostalgia, and in addition to that, I’m for the sexification/sluttification of said nostalgia.  I mean, isn’t that what Halloween is all about anyway… in a non-nostalgic way?  (Maybe regular candy has evolved into eye candy.)

But here’s the challenge: we’ve all seen the Strawberry Shortcakes, Rainbow Brites, She-Ras, and Jems.  I still have a fondness for Jabba Palace Leia (especially when there’s a bunch of them pillow fighting), and kudos to those ladies that work wonders as a Care Bear (whodathunk Grumpy could look cheery).  What follows are my suggestions… my outside-the-(cardboard)-box starters, if you will.

To begin: how about Herself the Elf?

Herself Shortcake
Full name: Herself Shortcake

Sure, she’s not too unlike any other fairies (goth girls, whut-whut!), but no one is going around proclaiming, “I’m Herself the Elf!”  Another idea (and in this line there are plenty of options) – what about a Charmkin?

Mmm... bendy

Mmm... bendy

The bulk of the costume would be standard fare, but the kicker is the ring on your head with a giant charm necklace going through it.  Can you imagine that?  How about Blinkins?

I wanna say something about curtains and carpets...

I wanna say something about curtains and carpets...

No pants and a light up bottom?  If that’s a no-go, then let’s go with the girl’s version of Transformers (or maybe more-so GoBots) – Sweet Secrets.

The secret is these toys suck.

The secret is these toys suck.

You could even go as far as these guys and make your shell open up so you can hide inside.  Another great venture would be the alternative to the two-man horse… the two woman My Little Pony.  (Argue over whom gets which end!)

My Little Hair Brush

Also pictured: My Little Hair Brush

My last idea is by far not the least.  My final challenge (and if anyone pulls this off send me pics) – Alf’s Melmacian lost love, Rhonda.  I’ll leave the details to you.

Rhonda is the alien that's not ALF
Rhonda is the alien on the right