Monday, June 27, 2011

Well Look Who Made it on io9! (Braggity! Brag! Brag!)

I hope I don't throw my shoulder out trying to pat myself on the back too hard, but it looks like little ol' me just got a shoutout on io9. Awwwwwwwww YEAH! Actually, this is a vivd reminder that I need to get off my ass and finish this series and then land me an art show (the one I had originally planned fell through). Maybe after SDCC I'll have some time to sink my teeth back into the VROOOM! project. Thanks to Brian from Cool & Collected for the heads up!


I found this awesome Mummy figure at the swap meet for $4 and that is nothing but AWESOMENESS TIMES A GAZILLION!

That is all...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yet ANOTHER Haitus...

Once again, kiddies, I have to head out of town for a week for work. Heading down to San Diego again to work on the initial preparations for SDCC! Woot! Woot! I'm just a little excited. So, I'll let the blog stew here for a bit until I get back. I'll be hitting some swap meets, so maybe I'll have some cool toys to blog about when I get back. Adios!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Marvel Comics Gashapon!

For those of you who don't know what "Gashapon" is, it's a fancy Japanese word for toys that come out of gumball machines. At first I was like, "Why the hell do we need a word for that?!" but then I was like, "Actually, that is pretty smart. I always just called them gumball machine toys, and this new term is much more fun to say." So, there you have it. Gashapon.

Anyhoodle, over a year ago, I scored some of those killer little Marvel Comics bubble-headed characters in a vending machine near a local comic shop and instantly fell in love with them. There was just something about their odd proportions and clean graphics. I had only managed to find three of the initial six, but one of my stellar cyber-homies, MORS, was awesome enough to track down the other three. He sent them to me and the complete set of six have held a place of honor among my toy display ever since. (Which reminds me, I think I owe MORS some original art, too.)

Basically, the way these puppies work is that you plunk in some quarters and this little round head falls out. You pop the head into two halves (like one of those plastic easter eggs) and the stubby little body is inside. There's sort of this nub thingy that works as its neck around which you snap the head on. and bam! You've got yourself an adorable little superhero!

Well, last week, during one of my many eBay trollings, I happen to stumble onto wave 2 of the Marvel buble-headed gashapon! I had no idea they even came out. The couple of vending machines in my area still have wave 1. Anyway, about $7 later, I was a proud owner of said series and they arrived the other day. Check 'em out!

Oh man, I love these toys. Here's to hoping that they make a series 3! I would kill for Ghost Rider!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crazy Reis' Used Toy Car Lot!

I don't talk about toy cars a whole lot on this blog, being a bit more into action figures and whatnot, but that doesn't mean that hours upon hours of my childhood wasn't spent down on the carpet or the kitchen floor making "vroooooom!" noises while speedily hurtling my Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars in an endless series of edge-of-your-seat chases, hair-raising near-miss accidents and the occasional Dukes of Hazzard style slow motion jump over a a washed away bridge.

In fact, collecting cars was such a staple of my childhood that everyone I knew had a vinyl-smelling carrying case or two, packed to the gills with their favorite cars taking up every single slot in the blue grated carrying trays.

Often, we would all gather in my next door neighbor's garage (it had an empty upstairs that was probably at one time meant to be an apartment, but turned into our defacto secret headquarters/home base) and crack open the cases for a rousing round of manic toy car trading, always being careful to set aside the ultimate favorites which were always "not for sale".

Recently, I've picked up a few childhood favorites (most of them at a recent vintage toy show) and can already feel, as I sit here and write this, the creeping bug of the vintage toy car collector just about to bite. I'll soon need to get a carrying case. I hope it still smells the same.

First up was a personal favorite of mine as a kid, considering the fact that it combined toy cars and superheroes in one toy. The Hulk Van was a member of a special class of toy cars, at least as far as I was concerned, that never, ever, ever got traded. Along with the Thor Van, Spider-Man car and Captain America muscle car, the Hulk Van help to develop a world in my mind where logic when right out the window in favor of fantasy. I mean, did I seriously believe that the Incredible Hulk, an imbecile on his best days, could actually drive a van around, much less one that had his image painted on the sides? Yes. Yes, I did.

And speaking of vans, I present to you... The Vette Van! What the hell a "vette van" is, I'll never know, but when I was a kid, this was the apex of cool wheels. In fact, once, while we were all hanging out with all of our cars, my neighbor, Randy Kendall, all asked us if we could pick any one of our toy cars to have as a real car, which one would it be, and I picked the one pictured above. Why? It's a van with friggin' t-tops!

Next up we have a car that was almost a prerequisite in order to play cars with us back in the day. If you didn't have a Red Baron, you just weren't serious enough about toy cars. I snapped up the one above recently on the cheap, however it is slightly different than my original, as I remember it with a flecked coat of paint and redline wheels. But I could be wrong. Regardless, I got one now. So now I can go play with the other kids.

Above we see a couple of little known toy cars known as Burnin' Key Cars! These weren't really all that popular when I was a kid, but I had two of them; the police car and the baby blue Firebird seen above, and I loved them to death. I've already talked about the police car in a past video blog, mentioning that it was a stand-in as Roscoe's Hazzard County Sheriff's car during my Duke's adventures.

But I was stunned to find the baby blue Firebird that I once had as well! This was also from the last vintage toy show I went to, and I found this (slightly beat up) beauty in a tub full of old cars. More surprisingly, I also found the correct key that went with it! The keys worked by plugging them into the back of the car, where they "locked". Then you would squeeze the key, releasing the lock and the now coiled spring inside would send the car zooming across the table, or through the air, or into a kids eye, which I found out in 4th grade.

And finally, they may not have been awesome, but you'd be hard pressed to find any American male that grew up in the 70s and 80s that didn't have at least 10 of these crappy little Tootsie Toy cars. Molded into hollow car-shaped shells out of the cheapest pot-metal possible, these toys were often found being sold by the handful on toy racks of such fine establishments as Woolworth and other five-and-dimes. Often appearing in Christmas stockings or Easter baskets, they were destined to be the least played with toy cars in one's collection, at least until one discovered firecrackers. Still, nostalgia being a wicked mistress, it's toys like these that make 30 something dudes like myself dig through dusty boxes art toy shows yelling out, "Oh man! I had that one!" and forking over the buck or two on the spot.

Like I said, I'm not suffering from full-blown toy-car-collectoritis, but I feel it may be coming on. But if it does ever hit me full force, I'll try my best to keep it in control and only hunt down those vintage toy cars that I remember having myself, which is a lot, but at least it's manageable. Beside, that's the point of being a toy car lover... you're in it for the chase!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Attack of the Mini Monsters!

I love monsters. I really do. And I always have. So, it's often very difficult for me to pass up a bucket full of miniature monsters without digging through to make sure I have found one of each different creepoid before plunking down the moola to take the miniature horrors home.

These diminutive dreadfuls were found in one of those "Educational Toy Stores" (you know the kind; lots of Playmobil and science fair kits), on one of my trips, but for the life of me, I can't exactly remember which trip, since it was so long ago. I had originally picked these guys up when I was designing a boardgame called "Monster Planet", which I never did get around to finishing, so they've sat in a box for over a year now.

Time for them to be seen, I say.

These figures (which may be some sort of Japanese Godzilla-type monsters, I'm not sure) are really, really, tiny. Only about the size of a D&D Miniature, and each one could use a nickel for a stand. I think this is why I love these little guys so much; they seem to pack so much black and green menace (with those piercing crimson eyes!) into such a tiny package.

Like I said, I have no idea what the origin of these creatures may be, so I decided to give them all names. Let's meet them...

Above is Sphinctor. If his tentacles don't get you, his gas-spewing orifices will!

Next, we have The Noggin - the brains of the operation. His intelligence is matched only by his penchant for evil deeds.

This is Bubbles. He's a hugger.

The Pincher makes sure that no one is safe from his welt-raising ouchies. Don't think he's scary? Have you ever imagined being pinched to death? Yeah... it takes a loooooooong time.

Oh no! It's Roboticus Rex! Part machine! Part Monster! He's a slow mover, but beware his crushing grip!

This one is called Earz. Don't... make... a... sound.

Blur-face! So named because the picture I took turned out crappy! Oh, the horror!

And finally, we wrap things up with The Smoocher. He may seem like a lover, but he's really... A KILLER!

So, that's it for this week's rather silly post. I'll try to take things more seriously next week. or maybe I won't. It's my blog and I can do what I want with it.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Are You a Winner?

This is just a quick message to the 9 lucky souls who chimed in the other day for the Hot Wheels give-away I hosted. I was trying to find an easy way to get everyone's mailing addresses, but the easiest way (for me) is to just email me.

The winners are:

  • Super-Duper Toy Box (Batmobile)
  • PLANET BIERWAGEN (Time Machine)
  • Jerbeh (Time Machine)
  • Malcom (Time Machine)
  • Mr. Kuffel (Time Machine)
  • Kaizar (Time Machine)
  • jboypacman (Batmobile)
  • DERF (Batmobile)
  • Tom Freak (Batmobile)

If you guys could send me your addresses to: ackshunphigyer [at] yahoo [dot] com, I'll send those out asap! I'll probably mail them off Monday (or sooner if I get everyone's address quickly).

I know that I probably have the addresses for a few of you (being fellow toy traders already), but please send it to me anyway, just to make sure.

Congrats to you all! I'll be keeping my eye out for the next give-away!

Lego Minifig of the Week! #23

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bonus Post! World War Hulk vs. Captain America!

Picked up a couple figures this weekend; Marvel Universe World War Hulk and Super Combat Captain America and I've got to say that these are two of the best damn action figures I have bought in a long time! I staged a little battle royale in front of my $2.00 clearanced Prince of Persia Alamut Gate and took some pics. Enjoy!

I'll be posting full reviews soon on my Action Figures site!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Batman Bootlegs & Knockoffs Grand Finale!

To wrap up my impromptu Bootlegs and Knockoffs Week, with special thanks to Fabio for sending me such killer Bat toys from below the equator, I thought we'd wrap it all up nicely with a look at the slew of Batman toys that came along with our previously posted Removable Mask Iron Man and Not Darth Vader Space Defender.

Fabio knows how much I love Batman and really hooked me up this time, with a great collection of Bat-oddities.

The first one is a true marvel of Knockoff ingenuity and craftsmanship...

One of the odder aspects of this Bat-figure is the fact that he is barefoot, or rather, he's wearing boots with toes molded on them, not sure which. This is the first sign that the makers took the body of whatever mold they already had, cast it in black, swapped the head and added a cape. BAM! Instant Batman!

In fact, if you look closely at the chest, there appears to be what looks surprisingly similar to the Thundercats symbol, making me wonder, what with the exposed toes, that this figure mold was originally used for some knockoff Lion-O. Hmmmm...

Next up we have one of those small, spring-armed figures from the the marketing blitz surrounding the release of Batman Begins. This one is the Scarecrow. I already have a Batman one of these (which I cherish) but have no idea where they come from. Were they some sort of fast food premium outside of the US? And next to him we see a classic Animated Series Batman figure that definitely did not roll off the assembly line at Mattel.

You can see by the sloppy paint applications of the Bat-symbol and the oddly pouting bottom lip on his face that the bootleggers did their best to copy the original figure, but missed the mark by a mile, which is great for a bootleg lover like me!

And finally, we come to the most instantly beloved of this entire haul. Below are a series of Bat-figures, each about 2" tall, that Fabio explained were his as a kid, and he generously passed them on to me. It's rare when I come across a Batman figure I haven't seen at least a picture of before, so imagine my surprise when I pulled these diminutive treasures out of the box.

There's a certain old-school fly-by-night vibe about them that I just adore, with Robins red trunks and Batman's flesh-colored eye-holes and utter lack of Bat-symbol, earning them an instant place of honor on the Bat-shelf.

But the figures of the Dynamic Duo weren't enough! Fabio also sent along a dastardly trio of Gotham's nastiest ne'er-do-wells; the Riddler, the Penguin and the Joker!

Please Fabio, tell us more about these awesome little figures! Were they premiums? Were they in a set? I must know more!

So, that wraps up Bootlegs and Knockoffs Week are on the blog and we'll get back to our regularly schedules blogging on Monday. Once again, thanks to Fabio for sending such great toys! You all are far too kind to me. :)