Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jay J Armes and his mobile investigation unit


Ideal's JJ Armes has to be one of the more interesting licensed action figures of the 1970s, mainly because it's not based on a TV or comic series but on a real person. 

Armes is a Texas area private investigator with a single acting credit (a Hawaii Five-O episode) but his autobiography and subsequent talk show appearances made him a national celebrity.

I vividly remember seeing the commercial for this line and WANTING this van for a Saturday, it was quickly forgotten and I don't think I ever saw JJ or his killer vehicle in a store.

Ideal had planned a playset that was never released, see below:







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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Avacado Paradise


The biggest fight I ever had with my wife was whether the bathroom should be avocado or violet. She didn't want either.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

BIG Toys Week: Rodan by Mattel



I cap off this theme week with one of my absolute favorite BIG toys of all time, Rodan! Toho movies were a treat for me growing up, rarely playing on TV, I can vividly remember watching each one I did catch.

The weekly Godzilla cartoon and monthly Marvel comic were also enabling my love for Japanese Kaiju cinema. My single attempt to get a Mattel Godzilla toy was begging my parents to buy me one at Woolco.

It didn't go over great.



Rodan was not released in Canada, so I was blissfully unaware of it. When I began toy collecting in high school, Godzilla and the Shogun Warriors were on my short list, basically I was fixing Santa's mistakes.

 I started by visiting kids I grew up with and asking if they still had their toys, I got a lot of weird looks, I also got a lot of cool old toys. I eventually graduated to late night calls to the shadow network of dealers and collectors in the United States.




Everybody knew somebody and you'd get off the phone with one guy and have a new contact to call. One of them mentioned he had a Mattel Rodan, I probably swallowed my gum, I'd never heard of this toy, I NEEDED it.

So after some negotiation, at 17 years old, I had a Mattel Rodan hanging over my dresser mirror complete with a cigarette in his mouth and a pair of tiny sunglasses. I wish I had a picture of this.

He would be the first thing I saw every morning until college when I sold him for car money. It kind of stung to see him leave at that toy show...



Flash forward to 2007 when I encountered a great deal on a boxed Rodan, I snapped it up and put it on display. It was pretty magnificent, I'd hate to think what it would sell for now.

 But for some reason, it brought me little to no joy. I eventually sold it to a friend for a friend price, he still mentions it.

Later on, it dawned on me that sometimes "Mint in Box" isn't as fun as loose. The Rodan I had as a teen didn't have a box, heck he was missing his feet! So if I wanted a Rodan, it would have to be loose.




And here he is, my 3rd Rodan toy hanging with some of my childhood toys,  hung over my workspace, he's often one of the first things I see every day (after my dog). He never fails to bring me joy.


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Thursday, May 10, 2018

BIG Toys Week: GI Joe Big Trapper


The GI Joe Big Trapper vehicle is a kind of a bittersweet item for me. I really wanted it for my birthday that year but ultimately chose the Capture Copter, either way, I kind of won. The only downer was, these were the last GI Joe vehicles ever made.



Many collectors view the Big Trapper as the "Poor cousin" of the Mobile Support Unit produced a couple of years earlier and well, I get that, it's a quality vehicle full of science fiction flair.

Nobody is wrong here but for me, the big trapper just captures that "Ark 2" vibe and well, I was five years old when it came out.


Above is the British version, usually Palitoy made things cooler but i prefer the Hasbro big yellow.



This is mine, I got it in a flea market outside of Buffalo NY right after college. Even though it was bigger than my apartment at the time, I couldn't resist it's $20 price tag. I still have the cage somewhere too. Every time I look at it I think of the day that I bought it and it still brings me joy.



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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

BIG toys week: The Wayne Foundation by Mego Corporation





The Mego Wayne Foundation is like a Barbie Dreamhouse but it's for Batman, so it's completely awesome and not a doll house.

For this entry, I can swipe all the photos from the MegoMuseum because I work there (mainly to steal stuff from the break room and use the photocopier).

I never had the set as a kid but i saw it in a comic book and it haunted me. I must admit that I LOVE THIS PLAYSET! 

I bought one when i was 17, sold it in college (for beer money) and then bought another one from a struggling college student who needed beer money (Circle of Life!).



This 40-inch tall playset was sort of the zenith for Mego World's Greatest Superheroes, as the line started to decline the following year as kids started getting more interested in Star Wars and 3 3/4" action figures. Man, it went out with a bang!



This is the original prototype from the Mego archive, shame they ditched the plants.






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