Trapped in the Basement
I re-discover and evaluate some action figures.
I often ruminate on the fact that 95% of my beloved and treasured toys are gone. The Golden Age of my youth is missing. Well to be fair, I'm sure they're laying in another pile of junk somewhere or possibly even being sold on eBay, but my point is that I do not own them. They slowly devolved to garage sale fodder one-by-one as my maturing psyche didn't notice.
But my mid-teen self did notice at some point. I was in the budding phase of being nostalgic for things that weren't even considered "old". I swiftly gathered what little amount of figures I had and placed them in a box. They were rough looking. They had sharpie marks where paint had once been. They had bits of gum and other residue. Clearly, they had been loved.
And so they stayed in said box, until a few days ago. I knew the box was in the basement closet, I even vaguely knew what was in it. But since I have been spending time on this site and have yet to submit an article, I thought I'd share a few pictures and see if you guys can spread any details I'll be missing. BTW my html knowledge is limited to adding these pictures and I've only learned that as I type this sentence.
Here's exhibit A, if you will. Many regular RJ users wouldn't blink an eye for this guy. Boomerang recently started airing the cult-classic Pirates of Dark Water, so that shred of memory is kinda why I went searching for this figure. It's the only one I owned from the line (though I distinctly recall coveting Niddler.) And here's what it looked like when I pulled it from the shelf.
With that in mind, I'll go into the next selection.
What really bums me out right now, is that I had the third character (Throttle) and even his helmet for a long time. Where is it now?
My brother has always been a Mega Man fan. I got this so we could each have a character (when you have a sibling close in age and wit similar interests, you often choose toys that look like each other but slightly different. I don't know why). But I hastily discarded the packaging, therefore never learning the real name for years. I referred to him as Judge Dredd.
That other Japanese-looking figure is from a (semi)obscure line called Ronnin Warriors and you guessed it, knocked off a Manga / Anime in the 1980s. I found it at a Kay Bee Toys and immediately told my friends to get the others (another thing we did as kids was, buy cool toys and convince our friends to get the other characters.)
Something I realized when pulling these guys out, is that I was never a huge fan of Spawn comics. Maybe because it was new and vulgar and I didn't hate the movie when it came out (I wasn't a judge of decent cinema until recently). The same could be said for Savage Dragon, although that is a beastly looking action figure.
This is from the MacFarlane website, to show you what he looked like with all his limbs.
Here is another cute little dude from the adult-oriented universe of MacFarlane Toys. There's a lot going on here, so I've added another angle.
And this is from the official website, to prove that is was indeed a real thing and not something I pulled out of the drain.
Call me lazy for lumping all these together, but they are from a few different toy lines. I'll start on the left.
The unrecognizable dude with massive shoulder pads is from the X-Men animated series (which was an epic group of action figures in it's day. I still drool on my eBay searches). Anyway, if someone could tell me his name it would be appreciated.
The next two are the lovable Human Torch and Thing, also from the respectful animated series (not so epic toys from a serviceable, but forgettable show.) The Spidey is from the animated series, if you can figure out patterns.
The Ghost Rider was actually a cool toy (I maybe should have taken a picture of his chest) because the flames moved and his chest could open up. And when you put him on his chopper-from-h*ll, all of your other toys were s.o.l.
I do remember physically buying the Deadpool. The second Kay Bee Toys in my area was going out of business (imagine that) and they had 4 bins of Marvel Superhero toys that were 3-for-$10. I spent twenty bucks of my allowance that day (which was a LOT of money).
All of my Batman figures are nestled safely in their own bin, because Robin got played with the most. As you can see I needed a replacement toy when the first one either lost it's cape or lost itself for a brief period. Also, as you can see the animated series version is the same body with a different head.
Here he is with in all his two-toned capey glory. The inability to bend the knees didn't bother me at all.
Here are the strangest selections.
Yes, that is Arnold and his sidekick from The Last Action Hero (I had the car which I would have preferred over 90% of what I have)
Yes, that is Jeff Goldblum from Jurassic Park (an insanely awesome toy line, especially the vehicle and rubbery dinosaurs).
Yes, those are figures from the movie Stargate. I'm assuming they were reasonably priced (cheap and/or clearanced) because I had about 3 more guys.
It's not often Kurt Russel gets his own toy. That is a shame.
And last, but not least (maybe) is an over sized Phantom doll (I'll call it a doll, because it is) that I won out of a claw game. That's right, I won it in a claw game. The 90s were awesome.
So what did I learn from this fake plastic examination of my youthful activities? Nothing. I'm not going to preach about how toys were better when I was younger (most of the were), but take a look in the toy aisle the next time you're buying groceries. I'll bet you see something cheap and overpriced.
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