Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Go-Busts

As a kid, my dad would go on a lot of business trips out of the country. I would always look forward to his trips not because he would be gone, but because when he came back it usually meant new toys for me. After one particular trip to Japan, he brought home a bunch of little robots I had never seen before. While i’d had my fair share of robots up to that point, these ones were quite different as they each transformed into some kind of vehicle, one turned into a helicopter, another a van and still another, a spaceship. Another peculiar thing about them was their names, they each had a unique number designation, but they all went by the name “mister”.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Buzz Words

I think it would be safe to conclude that one of the main reasons the original Masters of the Universe franchise was so successful is the diversity of characters introduced into the line. And the “formula” for creating all these interestingly unique characters was pretty simple, either give said character an exaggerated physical feature, like an oversized fist or a retractable neck….or make some sort of human animal hybrid. The end result of the 2nd formula gave us a mix of really visually interesting beast-men, snake-man, bird-men and of course insect-men.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Take A Walk On The Broadside

Almost every successful toy line owes their continued success to the various “gimmicks” they introduce through the years. For the Transformers, it was easier than most to expand from the central concept of robots transforming into an alternate mode. And one of the first “gimmicks” they introduced has remained one of the most popular ones to many fans and collectors. Simply put, what would be better that a robot that could transform into one mode? Why not a robot that could transform into TWO! And with that, the “triple changer” concept was born.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Crocs, Raptors & Snakes Oh My!

At the height of its popularity in the 80’s the G.I.Joe A Real American Hero toyline was churning out quite a lot of new characters and action figures every year. The majority of the new characters were Joes of course with just a few slots going to Cobra. And of those few choice slots, half of them were usually new types of army building troopers. We rarely got too many unique individual Cobra characters. That is until 1987, when Hasbro released a quartet of some of the most cooky operatives to ever sign up for Cobra.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Think I'm Sy-Klone Now

From the very start of the toyline known for numerous action figure gimmicks, the one defining gimmick that almost all Masters of the Universe characters had was the ever reliable “power punch”. It was a pretty simple but effective gimmick really, just wind back the upper body of the figure and let go. With the help of some elastics in the waist, the upper body would snap back into place, and if you had the arms positioned just right, it could create a “power punch” to knock down any unfortunate enemy who would be in the way.

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's A Dreadnok Life For Us

When you are the archenemy of America's daring, highly trained, special mission force, you have got to employ some of the biggest, baddest and in some cases, craziest individuals and characters into your your ranks in order to have a fighting chance. Now if I were in charge of Cobra’s recruitment agency, I’m pretty sure that a biker gang wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of my to wish list of ideal recruits.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Brawny Points

If you took a look at the entire original Autobot toy lineup introduced to us in 1984 and was asked to pick out who you thought was the physically strongest of the bunch (aside from Optimus Prime of course), chances are pretty good, that you would pick the wrong one. With his toy being one of the smallest, the Autobot Brawn would definitely fit the bill of one who is “more than meets the eye”.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Missing Piece part 2

I know, I know, a collector’s toyshelf will *never* be complete. There will always be something out there that we will *need* to add to the collection. The war can never be won, but we can win little battles here and there. Completing a set, a team or lineup of characters, no matter how big or small will always be satisfying. On the flipside of that is the frustration when the opportunity to complete said team is beyond our control. And all we can do is just wait...and hope. Here are some more “missing pieces” in my collection.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Missing Piece part 1

When it comes to toy collecting, there is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling than completing a set, a lineup or a team of characters that are meant to go together. Sometimes the gods smile upon us and give us the entire team we want in one swell swoop of a special boxed set. But other times, it can be a slow and drawn out process spanning years of waiting.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shifting Into Gears

In 1984, a group of alien robots woke up from a billion year slumber to a new home called Earth. This in a nutshell is how the story of the cartoon series The Transformers began. Now while a majority of the Autobot crew took an immediate liking to Earth and it’s inhabitants and welcomed the experience of establishing a new home, a few others weren’t quite as happy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mekaneck Phone Home

When I was young I used to have very prominent white horizontal lines around my neck, it made my neck look segmented....like an accordion. Even if you could argue that it was quite a unique feature, it wasn’t very fun growing up with such distinguishing marks. Kids can be mean and I was constantly being compared to a turtle and always being asked to “stretch” out my neck. It got even worse in 1982 when the hit movie E.T. the extra terrestrial came out. If I had a dollar for every time a kid asked me to “phone home” I’d be filthy rich. But it wasn’t until 2 years later when I finally got the nickname that pretty much stuck with me for the rest of my childhood.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cost Cutting Equals Cash Cow - The O13 part 2

With over 500 unique action figures produced in the G.I.Joe toyline from 1982 to 1994, it would be quite impossible to keep every character relevant in the eyes of fans and collectors. It’s quite natural for certain characters to be easily forgotten. For every Snake Eyes, Duke & Scarlett, there are a whole lot more members of G.I.Joe that don’t get as much recognition. But there is one bunch of Joes that I will never forget, while individually, many of them may seem rather plain, as a unit they will always remain a favorite of mine. And these would be the guys who started it all, the first wave of G.I.Joe figures better known as the Original 13.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Little Green Army Men - The O13 part 1

The G.I.Joe A Real American Hero toyline will always be remembered as one of the most successful lines from the 80’s. From its start in 1982 up until its death in 1994, Hasbro created well over 500 action figures and 250 vehicles & playsets, a feat most other toylines, past or present can only dream of accomplishing. Yet despite all of colorful characters and cool action figures that were produced, I will always hold a special place for the first Joes that made their debut in 1982, the first real American heroes that collectors endearingly refer to as the “Original 13”.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

In the End, the Collector Wins – 3rd Party Rundown part 3

Well this took longer than I originally thought, who knew there would be so much to write about? With so many options and toys of even the most obscure characters being produced, there really hasn’t been a better time to be a Transformer collector than now. Anyway enjoy the final part of my 3rd party rundown.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Filling in the Gaps – 3rd Party Rundown part 2

Collectors are completists. Whatever the items being collected, there is nothing more satisfying for a collector than completing a “set” of something. Transformers collectors are no different. We want everything; all the Autobots, all the Decpticons, the Dinobots, Insecticons, you name it we want it. And we want them done right. The demand can be so great that for many, Hasbro/Takara just can’t keep up. Enter 3rd party companies who have been producing characters that we’ve been clamoring for to fill in the gaps in our collections for the past 10 or so years. Here’s the second part to my 3rd party rundown.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Upgrade & Accessorize! – 3rd Party Rundown part 1

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you must know that when I write about Transformers, I usually mention the term “3rd party companies” a lot. For those of you not familiar though, these are basically companies that produce unlicensed toys that are meant to be a part of the Transformers toyline.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Blundercats Ho!

If you were to arrange the cartoon/toyline properties of the 80’s directed towards boys into tiers based on their popularity I think almost everyone would agree that Transformers, He-Man & G.I.Joe would easily take the top tier. After that, things get a little trickier, but if you ask me, on the second tier you would find properties such as M.A.S.K., Gobots and those half man half animal heroes and villains from Thundera, the Thundercats.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Last Laugh

When you are a member of American's daring, highly trained special mission force whose purpose is to defend human freedom against Cobra-a ruthless, terrorist organization determined to rule the world, it takes a lot to stand out above the rest. Unless your name is Duke, Scarlett or Snake Eyes, you’re most likely going to be forgotten once the next batch of Joes get introduced to sell new toys.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Badmotherslagger

Way back in 1985, during a trip to the US, I was with my mom at the grocery store in line at the check out counter. I decided to wander off a bit and something caught my eye at the end of the counter. There stacked neatly in a display were a bunch of new Transformers that I had never seen before….these weren’t the usual cars or planes that I knew…these were something different….these were…dinosaurs!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Beast in Show

When it comes to almost every major toy or cartoon story, there are a number of uniting traits similar to most of them. One of which is that for every evil super villain, there is always at least one prominent henchman behind him either following him with blind loyalty or endlessly scheming to take over the top spot. And in the world of the Masters of the Universe, there is no other character that defines the role more of a “henchman” then Beast Man.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Model Builder

Back in 2015, after being tempted and resisting for so long, I finally fell to the Black side. It took a few intermittent purchases here and there, and a successful Force Friday hunt to finally sway me, but in the end I finally accepted my destiny to become a full-fledged Star Wars collector. A year later, I have managed to get all the Black series figures I currently wanted, but with all the excitement of the 2016's Rogue One movie, I have found myself wanting more. Luckily, when it comes to 6” scaled Star Wars action figures, the Black series isn’t the only option out there for collectors.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Best of 2016 part 3

If you read the previous part 1 & part 2 you will notice that a certain Transforming line has pretty much dominated my best of list. No surprises here but they continue their dominance in the last part as well. Between the successful Combiner Wars and Titans Return lines from Hasbro and so many amazing 3rd party releases, 2016 was simply a great year to be a Transformers collector. But, spoiler….none of the Transformers I got managed to snag the top spots…so what beat out those robots in disguise? Read on to find out…

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Best of 2016 part 2

New years resolutions rarely hold true past the first half of the year they are made. Case in point, despite the fact that I made a conscious effort to try and cut down on my toy purchases this year; I ended up going pretty crazy towards the later half. There was quite a lot of great stuff released last year. Definitely more than what I had originally set out to get at the start when I made my resolution. Oh well…. So with that let’s continue on with my list of the best of what I got in 2016.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Best of 2016 part 1

Like the years before, 2016 was a pretty great year for toys. Despite the fact that was G.I.Joe pretty much dead and the He-Man Classics was basically finishing up as well. My collecting in 2016 focused more on my first loves of The Transformers & Star Wars, with a few Marvel Legends and other random stuff peppered in. Even when following my whole set up of increasing my top list by one to match the year (eg. Top 16 of 2016) it was still quite difficult to come up with a short and concise list, there were just so many great stuff released last year. So anyway without further ado, let’s get started with my “top 16”.
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