Friday, February 28, 2014

Little Plastic Army Men

Of all the little plastic men in my big barrel, the Plastic Army Men are the most abundant. I have Army Men in several shades of green and dozens of poses. I had fun playing "Desert Storm" with Army Men as a kid and I loved playing the computer game in high school.

 These two solders with their guns slung over their shoulders were trades off a classmate when I was a kid. I actually think I had a third, but customized the figure into a casualty model for the table top battle game Warhammer 40,000. A strategy game played with metal or plastic miniature SciFi Armies and lots of dice rolling.

These two soldiers seem to be dressed and armed as World War II Infantrymen. I'm not a military expert, so don't jump all over me if I get something wrong.

These two figures are the lightest shade of green out of all the Army Men I own. They are very yellowish.

The next two soldiers are Vietnam era troopers. One is crouching while talking on a a radio pack. The other is waving on his platoon members while holding an M-16. I know it's hard to tell from the photos, but they are a shade or two darker than the first figures. They seem to be the same sculpt or at least poses as the Tim Mee figures that came with Helicopter I bought at Christmas Time.

This next Army Man who is kneeling while aiming his M-16 has some of the worst detailing of any of the little plastic men I own. I can't remeber if he came from a vending machine or a party favor bag as a kid.  He's a little darker green, and maybe a shade gray. His helmet has some texture to it.

The photo below shows off a variety of different Army Men from my collection including the Breakfast Cereal Promotion figures mentioned in an earlier post. There is one figure in the photo that will be coming up to a little later in this post.

The next two photos show off one of each figure that came in a bag of Army Men I bought at US Toys when I was in college. My buddies and I went there to look at all the weird party junk they sell in the hopes of finding stuff to us in our stop motion animations. I bought a lot of stuff on that visit.

They have a decent amount of detail, but it's all sort of soft. No real deep lines in their sculpts. The other most interesting difference to note is that their bases all have a lip on the underside. These soldiers are a deep green.

The top photo shows a commander, a kneeling sniper, and a standing soldier. The second photo shows a soldier with a grenade as well as two different running soldiers holding rifles. Based on their weapons these troops that I bought in the early 2000's are supposed to be WWII soldiers.
This next batch of pictures are of Army Men that I've had since I was a kid.They are a medium green and have some fairly fine details. The first photo shows off a Commander, similar to the one is the set above. He is accompanied by a trooper  throwing a grenade. The grenade soldier is completely different from the one from the above set. I really wish I knew more information about these figures so I could call them by brand name.

These three soldiers are all various poses with a rifle. Standing, lunging, and kneeling. I like the way these three display together.

The last two figures from this set are more passive looking. Perhaps on guard duty. One is standing with his rifle across his chest and the others is held more upright.

This next photo shows three different brands of Army Men all in very similar poses. The first is the style I mentioned above that I bought at US Toys, The second is one of my childhood troopers, and the third is the first figure I'm showing from another style of Green Plastic Army Men I bought on that legendary trip to USA Toys. The last figure is made by a company called Kid Fun.

Here are those same three figure with their corresponding grenade throwing figure. I have included them to show the lip on the base of the first batch of figures I bought at US Toys

Here are some more of the Kid Fun Army Men. They are a shiny medium green They almost look like the color of the Nickelodeon TMNT Ooze. Pictured here are the grenade thrower, a trooper on guard duty and a running riflemen.

Next we have a pair of soldier laying on the ground. One is firing a machine gun and the other one seems to be feeding the bullets through the weapon. The loader also, would work for a casualty of plastic battle.

I bought several bags of these Kid Fun Army Men because I had plans to make a music video for the They Might Be Giants song "Pencil Rain"  I wanted to have rows and rows of army men all standing at attention for my little video. I eventually decided I didn't really like the idea so I never made the film.

The last brand of Green Army Men I have to show off today are made by Toysmith according to my research. These figure have been around for a while, and are nicely detailed. They are a little bit lighter than many of the other figures.

The first photo shows off a bazooka trooper, a kneeling riflemen ad a standing solderer with a sub-machine gun.

The next photo shows off a Commander figure who is remarkable similar to two other figures arlready showed in theis post. The figure next to him was one of my favorites as a kid. He has the look of an 80's action star. He's running while carrying a machine gun.

I wanted to take a picture of a large group of figure all standing up, but I was starting to feel like I was playing with the popular 90's toy Domino Rally/

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cowboys, Indians, Firemen, and Police Officers

Time for some more little tiny plastic men from my big old barrel. I'm not exactly sure when it was, but in one of the early years of my career, the French Teacher from across the hall from me at work was having the kids make little Mardi Gras floats out of shoe boxes in class. She mentioned that she was looking for some little people to put on the floats as passengers. I told her I'd find her some people. I ended up going to the dollar store and bought three bags of little plastic figures. One bag contained Cowboys & Indians, one contained Firemen, and the last Police Officers. I used wire cutters to clip the weapons off some of the figures since they were supposed to be in a parade. Most of the little figures went into school, but I threw a few of each design into my barrel of plastic men.

First up are two Cowboys with rifles.  The various poses came in yellow, red, blue, and green.
  Next I've got a crouching Cowboy and one with two six-shooters. Many of these seem like fairly classic poses. I wish I knew what brand these little dollar store figures were.

The next photo shows off the Indians from the set. Some have spears, rifles, and other have bows.

The Firemen worked a little better for people on floats. I also didn't have to modify the figures so much. Here we see one with an ax, one with a bullhorn, and the last appears to be directing traffic.

All  the Firemen are molded in bright red. These two heroes are holding hoses.

The first three Police Officers are unarmed. They are all in various traffic directing poses. Although the third may be giving chase. All the cops are molded in blue.

The first Cop cracks me up. Is he aiming at a guy on the ground or about to blow some one's knee cap off. The second Officer has a bull horn and the final one looks like a prison guard with his rifle across his chest.

I saved my favorite of these little plastic people for last. The K-9 Unit is awesome. The Police Officer looks so chill and the dog is in total attack mode.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toy Hunter buys for Mattel

This episode Jordan met up with Scott  AKA "Toy Guru" from Mattel at SDCC. Scott asked Jordan to find the four rare foreign releases from the tail end of the Masters of the Univerrse toy line. Mattel's plan is to display the entire line of vintage Masters figures at next years SDCC.

Next Jordan went to a toy collector's house who collects internationally. He looked at some Micronaut figures there. They dedicated a considerable amount of time talking about Doctor Who. Jordan picked up a 4th Doctor figure on an Italian card back. Finally Jordan finds one of his guest pieces. Tytus the heroic giant. This is a character who has only been released in the United States as part of the modern MOTU Classics

Next Jordan heads to Tennessee to find the Laser Light figures from the Masters line. First he finds a carded Orko figure.  Jordan talked a little bit about the movies Small Soldiers. Finally he gets to see Laser Light Skeletor and  Laser Power He-Man. Unfortunately the card back on He-Man was in bad shape.

Lst Jordan heads to NYCC to bring his finds to Scott from Mattel. Scott immediately zeroes in on the quality of the card backs. In the end he was impressed with Tytus and bought the lot of three toys. I can't wait to see Mattel's display at SDCC.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Barrel of Little Plastic Men

So I have this big barrel of plastic figures, and I've been meaning to photograph and post about some of the figures for a while now. Due to the fact that I have hundereds of other toy also photographed and waiting to be posted about I never seem to get around to these guys.

I personally hate "themes" for a week. I like to have a lot of variety to what I post about. Unfortunately unless I put my nose to the grindstone this barrel will take me forever. So I'm gong to be focusing a little here.

I know I won't post exclusively about the barrel, because tomorrow night there will be a Masters of the Universe themed episode of Toy Hunters and I'll want to post about that.

Anyway, this is a big old hard pretzel barrel that houses all my cowboys, Indians, army men, and many other things. It's so old the clear plastic is yellowing. I tried to do some research on these figures so I can post some decent information. Unfortunately many of the figures have no real markings on them making it hard to find out much.

 First up, the little plastic army men that came with my Rescue Helicopter that I posted about back at Christmas time. They are made by Tim Mee. Now these figures were finally added to the barrel to live with their plastic army brethren. Lots of great poses. I like the guy holding his M-16 above his head. I assume he's wading though a river.

A lot of the information I found on my plastic soldiers comes from Toy Soldier HQ. You could spend hours sifting through the site. I know I did. From what I can tell the next two photos feature army men that were cereal premiums from Kelloggs. I believe they were made by Lido, even though some of them were copies of Marx toys.

 I always liked he guy ducking but still trying to get a high-five from someone. I've had these guys for years, but I think I picked them up at a yard sale as a kid. The figures were grouped in these two pictures by color. The figures in the lower photo are a brighter green.

 Next up are some Cavemen made by Dimensions for Children (DFC). They are stamped 1980 on the bottom. I bought a few of these guys in two different batches at yard sales as a kid. I also used to have one holding a boulder over his head.

A while ago, my buddy John from Clawful Punch (formerly the Cosmic Arc) sent me a package that contained some bright red cavemen. These newer cavemen are made by Tim Mee based off molds from Processed Plastic. While they aren't the same molds they do remind me of each other.

 I believe the dinosaurs below were also made by DFC and released in the same set as the brown Cavemen. I had tons of these dinosaurs in lots of different colors as a kid. Most of them are very thin or flat. There were other dinosaurs in this line as well.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Comic Book Men at Asbury Park Lanes

Comic Book Men started off talking about made for TV horror movies the boys remembered from their past. They boys each had a favorite, and they picked on Bryan more than Ming for once.

The first customer brought in a Batman bag and bowling ball. The custom ball just happen to fit Walt's hand. Ming mentioned that the guys from Clerks had a team. So the clerks from the Stash are going to bowl against the cast from Clerks.

I've seen some cool bowling balls over the years including one that looked like a soccer ball. One of the kids on my bowling team at school even had a Darth Vader ball. The all yellow bat-ball was pretty striking. (strike, get it?)

The next guy who came in to the Stash is a known dealer in this area. I've bought stuff from him at NJCC and Retro Con. He brought in several issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine printed by Warren. He said his father worked for Warren Publishing and shared a few stories. My good friend Doug Moench wrote for some of Warren's horror comics before going on to write Batman.

Then a young guy brought in the Punisher figure that transforms into a gun. When half transformed the Punisher looks like he's got a big silver missile firing member. The boys of the Stash all got a good laugh out of the figure.

The show ends with the big bowling showdown. The Clerks team includes Jay, Dante, and two lesser known actors from the film. The Clerks  team was throwing a good game, but the Stash Workers sucked. Walt switched teams because he played four roles in the movie Clerks and the Secret Stash team was loosing. Then the tide started to change. It was up to Mike to win the game.

It was a decent episode. Fun but possibly the least educational episodes. The bowling ball, Punisher figure, and bowling match didn't really draw any attention to a famous comic issues or licensed properties. At least there was a little something to learn from the Monster Magazines.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Snow Job - 3" GI Joe Blind Box

More snow pictures... Today's post features a GI Joe Mini-Figure made by the Loyal Subjects. Snow Job is one of the most unique figures in wave one. His head has a lot of detail and he is equipped with a ton of accessories.  Snow Job comes with a gun, two skis, two poles, and a backpack. He is very similar to the v1 vintage figure.

There were some pictures released from NY Toy Fair that showed off designs for a second wave of figures from the Loyal Subjects. I am very exited to see that they are releasing a Beach Head figure. So will I be buying some more $13 blind boxes in the hopes of scoring a Beach Head?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bloth - Pirates of Dark Water

As a kid I bought Bloth and Nibbler from the Pirates of Dark Water toy line made by Hasbro at a flea market.  Bloth is the evil captain of the ship known as Maelstorm. I don't know a whole lot about the line or the corresponding cartoon show. I remember seeing the toys in the stores, but never picked any of them up until I had the chance to get them cheap at a yard sale. Bloth is a large green skinned behemoth dressed in a pink outfit with a black and green cape. The cape is a flexible vinyl type of material. He originally came with a gold sword, but I don't have that. He features five points of articulation, and is a rather hefty figure. His large stature and huge smile outlined by a black beard always reminded me of Stromboli from Disney's Pinocchio.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Arctic Threat Shipwreck

Like Arctic Threat Doc, Shipwreck was another post ROC Toys R Us exclusive. He reused parts for some of the other movie line figures to create a winter weather version of everyone's favorite sailor. These guys go great with Arctic Assault Snake Eyes.

 Shipwreck came with a ton of accessories. Some of them include a rifle, spear, backpack, snow shoes, and his pet parrot. Unlike the vintage Polly there is no way to clip this bird to Shipwreck's wrist. Apparently his tiny little talons can clip on the barrel of the rifle. Shipwreck also came with a bulky spring-loaded missile launcher.

Shipwreck is a nice figure. I loved the the animated GI Joe movie. One of the best parts of that film is the battle in the snow. This has always made me a sucker for the standard Joes in snow gear. Shipwreck is definitely a love him or hate him type of character, but either way this is a pretty cool figure.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Toy Hunters goes to NYCC

Steve and Jordan went to Arizona to buy toys to sell at New York Comic Con. Jordan picked up two carded sets of the original 12 Star Wars figures along with others.  Steve picked up a couple of older items including an early stuffed Ronald McDonald doll.

Next they traveled to Florida to buy more Star Wars. They started off buying a boxed Wampa and then a vintage B-Wing. This may be the first episode where Steve did the narration about a toy when they cut way to the video montage. He's not quite as polished as Jordan. This guy had a ton of crazy Kenner vehicles and playsets. Finally Jordan started negotiating to buy a prop replica of the AT-AT and Rebel Landspeeder.

As usual they showed off the sites and sounds of the convention as well as Jordan's booth. He had all the carded Star Wars figures graded by AFA (the grading company, not my blog). I did like that they showed a quick behind the scenes look at the inspection, grading, and encasing process AFA uses on the toys they grade.

The case to the Prop Replica AT-AT was damaged in shipping, so then Jordan was even more desperate to sell the carded figures. They visited a lot of other dealers and someone gave them a lead on a guy in Cape Code. Despite some drama, Jordan did sell the set of 12 figures, plus 3 extra characters from the first movie to a Sea Captain in Cape Code.

This wasn't my favorite episode, but it wasn't bad either. I would have liked to have seen some of the rare Power of the Force figures from the end of the Star Wars line. If you love vintage Star Wars you won't be disappointed by this episode.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Shugaron - Ultraman Mini-Monster

This pokemon-like monster is a cute version of the Shugaron monster from the Ultraman television series. This brown rocky monster is one of several mini versions of Ultra-monsters I bought a dollar store in the late 90's. I found these guy one summer and bought a complete set for my buddy Derek who is a huge Japanese monster fan. I bough one or two for myself. The only articulation point Shugaron has is at the waist. He has nicely painted details in his eyes, teeth, and  airbrushing on his belly. He also has some golden coloring sprayed on his back. i always liked he rocky club-like tail. He's a fun little monster.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gatlin' Blaster RoboCop

I went to see the new RoboCop movie last night. I had a really good time. It was a fun action flick. There were some things I didn't like about it, but I'd go see a squeal. Anyway, in honor of the new film I figured I should post about another one of my Kenner RoboCop and the Ultra Police figures.

Gatlin' Blaster RoboCop is one a a handful of RoboCop variations in the line. He reuses most of the molds of the original RoboCop figure, and even has the same paint deco. He comes with a gigantic cap firing backpack with big cannons mounted on the side. The backpack makes him very top heavy by the way.

I actually have this guy both loose and carded. If you look at the back of the package you can see that the line was pretty robust at this point in time. Lots of heroes, villains, and vehicles had been released in a short time. It's nice that a kid could get a "normal" RoboCop towards the end of the line, when usually the main hero is released in wacky colors.

The packaging has directions on how to load a roll of caps into the backpack. There is a crank on the back that sends the caps through the backpack. As you turn the crank the orange tips on the cannons move in and out to simulate firing as the caps snap.

In some ways this is the best RoboCop released in the line. The one part of his sculpt that is different from the original is his back. All the figures in the first wave had cap firing mechanisms built into their backs. This RoboCop has a normal back.Too bad I didn't photograph that. If he came with a standard gun he really would be the best figure. Oh well, a kid could arm him with a pistol from some other toy. GB RoboCop came with is giant backpack, two rolls of caps, and a removable helmet.