Buyer’s Remorse and the Art of Toy Criticism
I’ve been working a second job to generate some much-needed frivolity funds, and my first paycheck arrived just as Hasbro’s new Retaliation series of G.I. Joe toys started showing up at my local Wal-Mart and Target stores. Having gone without spending money for almost exactly a year, I allowed myself to get a bit carried away with my purchases this week.
…and the results have been largely anticlimactic. The new Lady Jaye figure, the celebrated Firefly figure from a recent movie-themed three-pack, the (G.I.) Joe Colton figure with the impressive Bruce Willis likeness… they all fell flat for me.
Indeed, thus far there is only one G.I. Joe Retaliation figure that I am truly happy to own. His (unlikely) name is Mouse, and I am uncertain how to try to persuade you that he is a fantastic toy. After all, I may be the world’s only toy blogger who essentially never reviews toys.
Enter Eugene Martin.
Eugene was a classmate of mine in Ms. Saenz’s third grade classroom at Oakdale Heights Elementary School during the 1985-1986 school year, and one day he abandoned our math lesson to admonish me for having callously dismissed a robotic helicopter named Wrong Way as a GoBot undeserving of my critical scrutiny. Eugene’s passionate speech concluded with the following giddy observation: “He even has these yellow things on his shoulders!”
(Photo appears courtesy of io9… from a list titled “20 Gobots That Remind Us Why the Gobots Sucked So Incredibly Hard”; sorry, Eugene)
Eugene’s rant is still the purest and in its way the most persuasive toy review I’ve ever witnessed, although I never did pursue a Wrong Way figure.
For Eugene, then, that rarest of treats: a Two-Fisted Toy Talk! toy review:
G.I. Joe Retaliation: Agent Mouse
Oh my god I love his vest, with those blue deals all lined up in front. And his pants are all, like, wrinkled and cool looking. And his face is all mellow, like he just killed some Cobra dudes and can’t be bothered to make a big deal out of it. Mouse is awesome!
Looking again at that photo of Wrong Way the GoBot, I cannot help but notice that, while there are yellow streaks where the half-assed vac-metal has rubbed away on his rotors, there is nonetheless a distinctive lack of “yellow things” on Wrong Way’s shoulders.
I’ll never trust again. Curse you, Eugene Martin, wherever you are!