Dinosaur Dracula!

Five Random Action Figures, Part 6!

Jeez, it’s been over a year since the last edition of Five Random Action Figures?

On it, chief. Here are five more toys plucked from my shelves and bins. Some of them hold deep, personal meaning for me. Others are just cool killer robots.


The Real Ghostbusters, 1986

While I’d argue that Stay Puft was the quintessential Real Ghostbusters figure, I think Slimer (alternatively, “Green Ghost”) was a close second.

I got him on Christmas Eve in 1986, along with several other RGB “ghost” figures. If I’m remembering things correctly, and that’s likely as I’m infallubel, those were the very first Ghostbusters toys I ever received. So began a love affair!

Kenner’s Real Ghostbusters stood apart from every other line of its era. The toys felt brighter and inexplicably higher-tech than competing action figure sets, and the play value was simply enormous. The good guys came with accessories that actually did stuff, and even if some of the ghosties didn’t, they were so big and neon that nobody noticed.

This is actually the same Slimer figure from that fateful Christmas Eve. I’d recognize that chipped tongue anywhere. Slimer originally came with three pieces of rubber food, marking this as the only action figure in history whose “weapons” were meat, pizza and watermelon.

More intensely detailed Slimer figures arrived in the years that followed, but I’ll always prefer this one to the rest. Mainly because you can hold him like an ice cream cone. (more…)

eBay’s Mixed Lots = Works of Art.

I’d like to introduce you to one of my private passions: The eBay action figure “mixed lot.”

1 Seller: “bigpicr1″ | Auction Link

There’s one example.

A “mixed lot” happens when a seller tosses random action figures into a pile, and offers them in one big batch. They’re amazing auctions, even when you have little reason to make a bid.

I started searching for mixed lots years ago, when it was still common to find good deals on eBay. Generally speaking, mixed lots go hand in hand with sellers who have no clue what they have. When you catch something desirable in the spread, it’s rarely mentioned in the auction title or description. This limits the competing bidders, and can make for great bargains. (more…)

Stuff I found at Monster-Mania 27.


On Friday, we found ourselves back on the familiar floors of Cherry Hill’s Crowne Plaza, ready to drink through the latest Monster-Mania convention.

This was the 27th Monster-Mania. The first one I went to was only their third ever. Almost ten years later, and I still get a kick out it. I don’t know whether to find comfort or shame in the idea that I might still be going to these things twenty years from now.


I can’t give you a full convention report, because we were only there for a day, and we barely scratched the surface of what Monster-Mania has to offer. After meeting John and Jay at last August’s convention, we all became fast friends, and heading back on Friday was mainly an excuse to hang with them — albeit with the neat backdrop of total strangers wearing scary clown costumes.


See? (more…)

5 Misfit Toys, from the Flea Market.


Saturday was spent at the Englishtown flea market with Ms. X and Jay. We three marveled at old records, cajun peanuts, and what I swear was a lipstick-wearing John Cena, immortalized on an unlicensed throw blanket that was large enough to double as a circus tent.

The highlight — if you don’t count the part where poor Jay’s car got stuck in the snowy mud — was another stop at Englishtown’s famous Toy Room.

You might remember last year’s article about that vendor, who sells an ungodly amount of vintage toys, from Transformers to Masters of the Universe and beyond. His indoor booth is as much “museum” as “store,” and it’s impossible to spend any length of time there without drooling like a sick dog.


Since I’ve already covered Toy Room’s good stuff, I thought I’d spend this post writing about their not-so-good stuff. Just outside Toy Room’s booth are many shelves filled with lower-end thingies. Thingies that are too unpopular or in too poor condition to bother displaying in a meaningful way.

It was there that I stumbled upon the bin shown above. In it were more than a hundred beat-up action figures. I mean, EXTREMELY beat-up action figures. Missing limbs. Chewed heads. Mud caked in every crevice. Ink stains, paint stains, and stains I’m not sure I care to identify.

That bin was pure action figure hell, but for some reason, I loved it. It seemed artsy. It seemed like it had something to say. Most importantly, everything in it was super mega cheap. The dealer could hardly hide his surprise when I inquired about the prices, I guess because there isn’t a huge market for Dick Tracy “Flattop” figures with no arms or legs.

The toys were between a quarter and a buck each. I went home with a substantial bag filled with absolute trash. These are my five favorites finds: (more…)

The Toys in Adam Goldberg’s Bedroom!


Anyone catch The Goldbergs last night? Oh boy.

Set in the late ‘80s, I’d been aware of the series, but somehow never bothered to watch it. Then, last night, my email and Twitter accounts blew up with stern demands that I check out the newest episode as soon as humanly possible.

And I’m glad I did, because holy shit. That kid’s bedroom. Oh my God.

Nutshell summary: 7th grader Adam Goldberg misfires on an attempt to woo his crush, Dana. Instead of flowers or a note or whatever, he tries to impress her by showing off his toys.

Hol. Lee. Cow. Adam (based on the series creator of the same name) had to be the luckiest kid on the planet. He had EVERYTHING. I’m only being hyperbolic in the slightest sense. This was UNBELIEVABLE.


If you’re anywhere near my age, there’s no way that you didn’t have a few of the things seen in Adam’s bedroom. No chance, no how. It was like the showroom version of the 1987 Sears Wish Book. I don’t know if they borrowed some super-collector’s stuff or actually hunted everything down on eBay, but whatever the case, kudos to the production team. Every last touch felt incredibly genuine.

Of course, while most of us had several of the things in Adam’s bedroom, I don’t know anyone who had ALL of the things in Adam’s bedroom. If you’re able to catch this episode, the nine-year-old still buried deep inside you is going to SCREAM with envy.

This obviously called for a dissection. Below are most of the toys I spotted, even if I had to cut some loose to avoid writing about this for the next five years. Not since I explored Fred Savage’s bedroom from The Princess Bride have I seen such an impressive and familiar bunch of toys. Enjoy! (more…)