Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cobra Stnger Driver - GI Joe '84

Hasbro got a lot of millage out of their early Cobra molds. The Cobra Commander body was used for both the Helmeted and Hooded Commander. The Cobra Trooper was turned into the Viper Glider Pilot. The Cobra Officer became the Stinger Driver. Later the Officer and Trooper were also reused for Python Patrol.

This generic Cobra dressed in gray drives the awesome black Stinger Jeep. I always liked this figure, but never had him as a kid. I eventually bought him sealed in mail order baggie online while I was in college. The Stinger Driver became part of my GI Joe collection at the tail end of me getting all the figures. He comes with no accessories. I think his red Cobra Logo and shoulder pads really "pop" against his light gray uniform.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sgt. Apone - Kenner Aliens

Sgt.Apone was the Field Commander of the Colonial Space Marines in the second Alien film. The Kenner toy line created to go along with the film took a lot of liberties with the character designs. The Sergent is dressed in a yellow shirt, green pants, red hat, and some tactical gear.

Apone came with three accessories. He has a silver rifle and two gold grenades. He has mechanical armor sculpted on his left arm. I'm not sure if this device is supposed to help him throw the grenades. Like many 90's figures, Apone had a little bit of a sculpted battle stance to his figure. He only features five points of articulation, but is a fun figure.

The large grenades that come with Apone are made out of a rubbery material. You can stretch them and launch them like a rubber band. This allows you to simulate a grenade throwing action.

 Apone also came with a mini-comic and a sticker sheet. The figure doesn't really have many spaces where the stickers can be placed, but the cross sell art on the package shows him having he playing card decal on his chest. I like his "No Bugs" shirt. He reminded me a lot of the 90's GI Joe figure Heavy Metal.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Professor Cold Heart - Care Bears

A while a go I posted about some possible Care Bears figures that belonged to my sister and myself as kids. I gave all those figures to my niece. One of our Cousins also gave her some Care Bear figures. Last time I was over we were playing with them. My niece was honestly terrified of the Professor Cold Heart figure. She wouldn't even look at him. So I brought him home. I'll take him back in a few months and see if she's over it.

Cold Heart is a gray skinned old man dressed in a blue coat. He has frost around his boots and sleeves. Cold Heart also wears a red and white scarf. This figure has the standard five points of articulation and originally included a frosty mug accessory. It's interesting that the Care Bears villain has "heart" in his name.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lookie & Kowl - MOTUC

I've been loving all the Filmation inspired characters being released for the Maters of the Universe Classics line. When Lookie & Kowl were announced a chase two-pack I was kind of annoyed. Last years Spirit of Hordak chase figure is one of the few MOTUC figures I don't have. He was never available when I was at I actually took the day off work to order these guys on the first day they were available to subscribers. I even snagged a few extra sets for some local collector buddies of mine. They are kind of obsessed with Kowl.

 Lookie is all new, but Kowl is really just a repaint. They both have limited articulation, but it works out alright with their small size. Both of these characters were created by Filmation Studios for the animated She-Ra: Princess of Power show. Kowl was the comedy relief sidekick like Orko from He-Man and Lookie was hidden in every episode and then revealed himself at the end to share a moral.

Lookie has articulation at the head, arms, and tail. Kowl has articulation at the arms and head. Kowl came with a a flight stand that can be plugged into the hole in either one of his feet. The Kowl included in this set is painted to look like the cartoon version, the previously released version of Kowl that came with a weapons pack was painted like his vintage toy.

Kowl the know-it-all Owl and his buddy Bow. This pair is ready to defend the Whispering Woods from the Evil Horde.

A couple of my toy collecting buddies who are organizers or volunteers for Retro Con each year have a joke about the list of banned characters and celebrities. Kowl is the top character on the list of people not allowed at Retro Con. They have been sending photos back an forth on Facebook about it.. Usually the posts involve talking about how evil Kowl is and posing him with other characters laying at his feet. So below is my addition to the collection of these photos.

 Kowl has defeated He-Man and Skeletor. Now he is about to combine the two halves of the Power Sword. Once Kowl unlocks the secrets of Castle Grayskull he will be the Master of the Universe!

The mighty drawbrige of the ancient castle is open. What secrets lay within?

Did you see Lookie in today's episode?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Flea Market Finds #22

Today there was a multifamily yard sale in my little neighborhood. I bought two tripods to take into school for photography class as well as a bag of Muppets figures. I paid $6 for the bag, and this post only shows some of the stuff. I didn't photograph all the PVC Muppet & Muppet Babies figures. What drew me to the lot was the Fisher Price Muppet figures as well as the Happy Meal Muppet Babies.

 Kermit, Scooter, Rowlf, Foozie, and Gonzo are all from the Fisher Price Muppet Show Players line. They came with little white plastic rods that plugged into their backs so you could "puppeteer" them. Baby Kermit originally came with a red skateboard and Baby Foozie came with a rolling rocking horse.
Kermit, Rowlf, and Foozie all have one point of articulation that lets them sit. Scooter and Gonzo have the typical 5 points of articulation for action figures.

When I was buying these figures I knew I already had some from when I was a kid. I had Scooter and Rowlf. I bought Foozie at a yard sale several years ago. My sister had Kermit when we were kids, he's probably in her desk in my parents house. Unfortunately it looks like the Muppets I bought today sat on a window sill for a decade or more. There is some bad sun damage. I wasn't sure if it was discoloration or dirt on them in the bag at the yard sale. I cleaned them up real well, it's yellowing.

The "new" Muppets are on the left in the photos.  Both Rowlfs have paint wear on their faces. The backs of the new Rowlf's legs are faded, but my childhood figure's lone joint is so loose it's hard to keep him standing. The new Foozie has no visible sun damage, but doesn't have poke-a-dots on his tie. I'm not sure if they faded off or if this is a variation. The new Scooter has some discoloration, and his hair is slightly faded.

After I decide which figures I'm keeping the rest will probably go to school for the Middle School kids to use to make their stop motion videos in Technology Education class. I have to give them "Kenner" style toys or PVC figures because anything that's nice for animating like vintage GIJoes they just break. While researching the Fisher Price figures online I decovered that the I also got the Miss Piggy from this line in the lot today, but mistook her for a PVC figures since she has no points of articulation. Sorry she didn't get photographed. She's just a hollow plastic figure of piggy in a light purple dress.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Obi-Wan & Darth Maul - Star Wars Mission Series

I've been looking at some of the Mission Series 2-Packs Hasbro has been releasing. At first I didn't like what I saw, action figures with less articulation. I had grown so used to the highly articulated figures we had seen for so long. Then slowly I began to look at how they could fit in with the old Kenner figures. I recently picked up two packs, and today I'm focusing on Obi-Wan and Darth Maul.

Obi-Wan is based on his appearance during the Clone Wars. He is dressed in his Jedi tunic, but is wearing Clone Trooper gloves. His hair and beard look very similar to how they did in Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan came with a blue lightsaber accessory.

Darth Maul doesn't look as much like he did in the Clone Wars show. His outfit looks somewhat like like his Phantom Menace outfit, minus the skirt piece. His uniform is also two toned with black and gray. His shirt is open, showing off more of his black & red skin. He is wearing silver boots and came with a single bladed red lightsaber.

This two pack is a good value if you don't mind the limited articulation. With the popularity of the new Retro Action figures, I could see these being popular. If Hasbro was smart they would create more characters from the original movies that were not included in the Kenner toy line.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Toy Room Preview #3

In the past I posted about my toy room a few times (TRP #1, TRP #2, Bump in the Night). Most of my house has been in a state of half renovation. I was slowly repairing issues and repainting rooms. I was waiting to get carpet until I had everything done so I could pay for a single large job carpet install. So I finally have carpet in my toy room as well as several other rooms. I'm super happy about that. I had to empty just about everything out of the toy room. My master bedroom looks insane with all the toys piled up in the corner.

Here are a couple of shots of the toy room mostly emptied out before the new carpet. I think that the tub from the bathroom on the other side of the wall leaked years ago and ruined the padding under the old carpet. You can see a lot of weird padding remnants (green stain) on the wood floor boards.

The bathtub is on the other side of the straight wall in this photo. See how the green stain almost looks like it flowed out from the corner.

Wow, what a difference new padding and a carpet makes. I can't wait to get my stuff back in there. I need to finish painting the other two doors to the display cabinet. I also have some other stuff to build to display my toys on. I have a plan to create and "L" shaped cabinet and counter that will go under the display case and window in this photo. My Flagg Aircraft Carrier will be displayed 90 degrees to the cabinet under the windows.

Here's another shot of that end of the room. I previously posted about how I turned the closet in this room into a display shelf. I had to remove one of the shelves for the installation.

I know this post doesn't really show off toys to much, but I'm just so excited and happy I had to share. I'll be posting about my toy room again when I get the rest of the toys back in there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Teacher Creature - Beetlejuice

Teacher Creature is a transforming (sort of) action figure from the Beetlejuice toy line. She's meant to look like a creepy old lady. She has a very squat stature and is dressed in pink and purple. She has an ugly face with a gaping mouth and pointy glasses. She has large boney hands and wears a cape that is pink on one side and black and white on the inside.

 When you press down on her head she becomes a little more squat and "ears" come out of the top of her head. Her arms get released converting them from human looking arms into bat-like arms. Her cloak becomes batwings.

If you squeeze her bat-ears, her feet squeeze together and allows her to hold her apple core accessory.

When you release the ears her feet spread out again and she drops her apple bomb. This must be a huge insult in the afterlife.

Here are the instructions from Teacher Creature's card back that show how to transform her,

Teacher Creature is not based on any character from the Tim Burton film. I don't recall this character being in the Beetlejuice cartoon, although it's possible, This figure reminds me a lot of the Real Ghostbusters figure, Granny Gross. I don't think this figure is executed quite as well. Teacher Creature has no real articulation other than her transformation sequence. No elbow, knee, or neck articulation. She looks kind of cool displayed in bat mode.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

California Raisins - The Horn Section

More California Raisins from my childhood collection. Today I'm focusing on the Horn Section of the band. First up is a Raisin blowng on a trumpet. After him comes two Saxophone players.The first sax Raisin is wearing a beret and has blue eyelids. He's also from the larger scale Raisins. The second sax player is of the smaller size and less distinguishing features. You may notice the trumpet player is wearing blue sneakers while the other two Raisins have black and white dress shoes.

The final California Raisin in the this post may or may not be a knock-off. I bought him at a fair as a kid, and may be the only Raisin in my collection that wasn't second hand. He is also the only one that is not a a solid PVC figure. He has a hollow body which makes me think he was blow molded. His hands are hard plastic and attached to flexible wires covered in a braided cloth. His feet are also articulated. They can swivel at the ankle. He had a Saxophone glued in his gripping hand when I bought him. Over time I wiggled it loose. This gave me even more play possibilities, but unfortunately I eventually lost the horn.

Harry the Haunted Hunter - Beetlejuice

Yesterday I picked up a Harry the Haunted Hunter from the first wave of Beetlejuice figures. This figure is very similar to all the other figures in the line. They all pretty much have 5 points of articulation, removable heads, an action feature, and a little Beetlejuice creature. Harry is dressed in a tan (khaki) outfit and is wearing a hat with an arrow though it. Harry comes with a little spider version of Beetlejuice and a goofy rifle. The rifle looks like an elephant gun with a trumpet mute jammed in the end.

 When you remove Harry's head we get to see him as he appears in the Tim Burton film. Through amazing special effects, Harry with his shrunken head is one of the most memorable unimportant characters in the film. Harry also has a lever on his back that makes his head slid down inside his torso. I'm not exactly sure what the point of this feature is.

The little Beetlejuice spider actually  fits onto the end of the rifle. His normal head can also attach to the gun. I feel like if I had this figure years ago when my buddies and I were making our animated series, Animation Creation, I would have done an animation with this figure to the Beatles song Bungalow Bill.

In the package the lever on Harry's back was taped in the up position. I removed the tape and his shrunken head instantly falls inside his torso. I put the tape back on so that I could take these photographs.

Here's the top corner of Harry's card back. It shows how all his features work,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Flea Market Finds #21

On Easter morning I went out to flea market with my usually crew. It's pretty fun to see the three of us getting breakfast at McDonald's and then rummaging around at the flea market. Ray is in his 70's, Dave is in his 50's and I'm in my 30's  We really are from three different generations. Ray and Dave are hunting for tools. I look for tools as well as toys. Traffic at the flea market was pretty steady, but not packed like an average Sunday. I ran into a few of my toy collector friends that I usually run into, no mater what flea market we go to. A few of my friends cover a lot of ground each weekend.

I found two carded action figures from the Beetlejuice line. Neither one of the cards was perfect, in fact the one bubble was starting to detach. The lady was selling a lot of "cutesy" horror stuff like Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice. I was worried she was going to think they were valuable collectibles. I asked the price and she said $5 for the pair. Okay, I can do that.

I picked up Harry the Head Hunter, who is a minor character from the film and part of the first wave of action figures. I also go Teacher Creature, who was not in the film. After the first wave, which were true movie toys the line expanded into very strange ways and unfortunately many characters from the film were never made.

The card backs here show how many more products they had on the cross sell.  Harry's package only has six figures and a few additional items. Teacher Creature shows off twelve figures and lots of additional items including vehicles.

I also saw two Bucky O'Hare figures I wanted to pick up, both loose with no accessories, but the dealer wanted ten bucks for the pair. I'm cheap when it comes to loose figures like that. No thanks.