Dinosaur Dracula!

Gremlins ReAction Figures by Funko!

I’m a sucker for Funko’s ReAction series, which — for the three of you who don’t know — collects characters from movies and television and turns them into endearingly simplistic action figures.

Since they’re so comparable to Kenner’s old Star Wars figures, I was born to love them. Still, most of my adoration has been from afar, sheerly as a matter of self-preservation: I buy enough goofy crap as it is, and my wallet just can’t handle adding another never-ending collection of ten dollar action figures to the mix.

Of course, I’m willing to make exceptions in cases of extreme awesomeness, and I think a set of GREMLINS ReAction figures is just such a case.

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…so I went nuts and bought a ton of them, all at once. Shown above are six of the seven available figures, and the only reason I didn’t buy the seventh is because stupid Toys “R” Us didn’t have it.

TRU charged over eleven dollars per figure, which I admit to being a little “too much” for these. I expect a markup on toys aimed at adult collectors — after all, the mere idea that we can find figures like these in brick-and-mortar stores is worth the premium — but in ReAction’s case, that markup can feel a bit severe. The good news is that several chains seem to be recognizing this, and it’s no longer uncommon to find them on sale.

This time, I couldn’t be patient. Had this Gremlins set been around when I was a kid, they would’ve been my very favorite action figures. Even now, when I’m old enough to cradle seven ounces’ worth of plastic and wonder how many bills it could’ve paid, I’m so in love. These are great! Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 21!

The previous edition of Five Random Action Figures took us to Old Plastic Dude #100. If it’s correct to assume that my next milestone entry won’t come until #200, I have my work cut out for me. Better get started!

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a-1Darkseid
DC Comics Super Powers, 1985

Part of Kenner’s inspired DC Comics Super Powers line, Darkseid also holds the distinction of being that collection’s best figure. (Don’t argue with me about this. You didn’t need to read comics to know that Darkseid was the big bad.)

As Darkseid was the chief inspiration for my favorite comic book character, I hold him in high esteem even without much knowledge about whatever he did in the DC universe. (As a kid, I considered Darkseid an amalgam of Emperor Palpatine and the Incredible Hulk. Thirty years later, and that shoe still seems to fit.)

While rarely making such lists, this really was one of the best action figures of the ‘80s. The fact that mine lacks the originally-included fabric cape does little to dent its perfect score. Aside from just looking like a great big gargoyle badass, the figure also has eyes that glow red under direct light! Read More…

Flea Market Finds, Desperation Edition.

I went back to the flea market this past Sunday. Sadly, I arrived too late in the afternoon for it to be a super effective visit. Most of the vendors had already closed up shop by the time I was parking, I guess because it was a thousand degrees, and making five bucks off of used DVDs really wasn’t worth sitting in that shit.

I got enough for a post, obviously, but it wasn’t a great trip. There are times when a late flea market visit works in your favor, since the dealers are by then more likely to reduce their prices. On the other hand, you’re just as likely to run into very cranky people who haven’t sold anything all weekend, and are just waiting to pounce on the next would-be customer who walks away empty-handed.

creatureExample: I came across one vendor selling a bunch of old keychains. It was a much smaller collection than the one I picked up a few months ago, but still similar in scope. I asked how much she wanted “for the whole pile,” and immediately regretted it as she began counting the keychains one by one. (A telltale sign of impending bullshit.)

She said that she couldn’t possibly sell them for less than $25 — an outrageous price that wasn’t even worth haggling on.

I politely declined and tried to walk away, but she practically demanded that I make her an offer. After some uncomfortable backing-and-forthing, I say “ten bucks,” mostly out of pity. She became indignant. Rather than replying to the offer that she literally forced out of me, the dealer huffed and muttered to herself while putting all of the keychains back into their “table spots.” So I guess that was a no?

Oh boy, lady. I’m crushed! How will I ever live without that rusted Busch Gardens keychain?

Other vendors were just as ornery, but dammit, I had a job to do. My scores certainly don’t rate as 2015’s best, but I think I found just enough to make the hot, humid trip to dusty hell worth it. See below, and decide for yourselves!

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TMNT Technodrome Eye!
Price: $1!

This seems worthless, but it’s far from it. This “eye” is arguably the most critical component of the old TMNT Technodrome playset, and it routinely sells for $15 or more. After all, a Technodrome owner may be willing to live with some missing guns or stickers, but a Technodrome without the eye is hardly a Technodrome at all.

Besides, even finding one single part of the Technodrome delighted me. See, that playset is the #1 thing I’m always searching for at flea markets, because it’s basically the most valuable and cool old toy that one could reasonably expect to find at one. It’s likely that if I ever do, it’ll be missing that eye. So buying this was the prologue to my eventual epic. Read More…

Changeables: The BEST Happy Meal Toys.

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BURGERS THAT TURN INTO ROBOTS!

McDonald’s Changeables may very well be the best Happy Meal toys of all time. At the very least, they’re tied with those old Halloween pails.

Between 1987 and 1990, McDonald’s released three sets of Changeables — aka McRobots — for a grand total of 22 unique action figures, plus a few more if we’re counting the non-transformable “Under 3” toys.

We were wild for them as kids, and adulthood has done little to diminish our collective affinity. While it’s accepted that most Happy Meal toys will cut a few corners, Changeables seemed downright retail-ready. These figures were sturdy, well-detailed and just so damn imaginative.

As you’ll gather by watching that absolutely kickass commercial, Changeables were conceived as a sort of Transformers ripoff, but in some ways, they actually outclassed them.

It was thrilling to see robots turn into cars and jets, sure, but a robot that transformed into a pack of Chicken McNuggets? If you were a kid in the late ‘80s, that shit was relatable. Read More…

Six Snacks I Want Back, Volume 6!

It’s time for another edition of Six Snacks I Want Back, celebrating the varied fuels of our long forgotten sugar rushes. Read and get hungry!

homer

 Butterfinger Ice Cream Nuggets! 

Remember when Bart turned us all into Butterfinger fans? Don’t get me wrong — I’m sure some folks already liked the bars, but I don’t recall seeing any of my friends with them before The Bart Era.

Personally, I never went for a Butterfinger until that ad campaign. The flavor, texture and infamous oiliness didn’t really appeal to me, but for a year or two in the early ‘90s, Butterfinger was the only candy bar that made you cooler by association.

I was, however, a tried and true fan of Butterfinger Ice Cream Nuggets — even if I still needed The Simpsons to act as the middlemen. These were like the kid-friendly versions of Nestle’s Bon Bons, and what’s more, they came in little tubs that resembled the curious offspring of movie theater popcorn buckets. Read More…