Two-Fisted Toy Talk!

These Toys Aren't Going to Photograph Themselves…

Sigma 6

It is almost certain at this date that my international adventures have come to a premature conclusion. This makes me sad for many reasons that are not relevant to the purpose of this blog, but it also makes me happy for a number of reasons that do pertain to Two-Fisted Toy Talk!: I will once again be in close proximity to Target stores and Toys R Us stores and other places that sell toys, and I will not be limited to my front yard when the time comes to choose a setting for my photos.

Also, if we stay in the States I will be able to free my G.I. Joe Sigma 6 action figures from their cardboard prison in our storage shed. I have not seen them in more than three years, and while I know that I will have to adjust to their size and heft after years of photographing toys that are a fraction of the size of even the smallest Sigma 6 figure, I expect to fall in love with them all over again.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite photos from the Sigma 6 era of my hobby:

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Window Shopping: G.I. Joe

(With the exception of photos by yours truly and promotional images from the G.I. Joe Collector Club, all images in this post appear courtesy of Justin Bell at [Renowned Hack Site] General’s Joes).

I have compiled a massive archive of reference photos with which I plan to compose a Window Shopping: Monster High post, but for now I have decided to set aside some time and space for my long-neglected Y chromosome with a look at some of the manly (dare I say two-fisted?) toys I am most eager to acquire.

Behold: The G.I. Joe Toys I Want Most!

Red Ninja (Retaliation):

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I am politely indifferent to the presence of ninjas in the G.I. Joe universe. While I do not see them as a betrayal to the mythos the way some nerds do, I wouldn’t be particularly bothered if Hasbro stopped producing them, either.

But I have an elaborate and ridiculous story I want to someday tell, and this beautiful Red Ninja figure is perfect for it. Briefly: one of my lazy kitbashes is called Gray Ghost (a name I stole from Batman the Animated Series). He is a vigilante from the 1930s. Here he is with his sidekick, Spooky:

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You can barely see it in that photo, but Gray Ghost has a Cobra symbol on his left bicep, owing to the fact that he is, from the neck-down, Destro from the underrated Rise of Cobra series. To account for this startling discrepancy (Gray Ghost is a good guy, you see), I have decided that he started an entire group of heroic urban vigilantes. And he called the group Cobra.

As I wrote in my sprawling, self-indulgent, inexplicably semi-popular kitbash thread on the Hiss Tank forum, this whole idea is cheerfully stolen from the greatest show on television, The Venture Brothers, wherein it was revealed a season or two ago that the wicked Guild of Calamitous Intent started out as something of a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-esque superhero group.

Likewise, Cobra started out as something of a vigilante take on the Justice Society, but over the decades a few zealots and politicians and bastards twisted it until it became a massive terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, when the Real American Hero toys and comic books were first exported to the United Kingdom, the property received something of a makeover. The “American hero” aspect predictably and sensibly disappeared, but initially, there was also no Cobra. Instead, the bad guy group was called Red Shadows.

I have decided that Cobra is not the only group of bad types that started out as a force for good; the same fate befell another vigilante group: Red Shadows. Its founder was called The Red Shadow. He was a friend and supporter of Gray Ghost.

Here is The Red Shadow:

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I am probably the only person in the world who thinks this is a cool idea.

Oh well.

Next!

Jinx (San Diego Comic Convention-exclusive):

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The Red Ninja will serve as the 1930s version of the Red Shadow. Jinx here is the modern day version. Perhaps she is also the granddaughter of the first Red Shadow. I have not decided. (Try not to lose sleep).

Nano B.A.T. (G.I. Joe Collector Club):

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Even if I had a job at the moment, I would not likely find a way to subscribe to the G.I. Joe Collector Club’s thirteen-figure plan; it costs something like $300.

Curiously, the Nano B.A.T. is not a figure that most subscribers are clamoring for. Making his appearance on this list more nonsensical still is the fact that I mostly want him so I can make him into a strange take on Sci-Fi, this despite the fact that Hasbro produced a perfect Sci-Fi last year:

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Jungle B.A.T. (Pursuit of Cobra):

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I concede it’s possible that I am inordinately impressed with the idea of a camo-clad robot. Whatever the case, I want one.

Destro (San Diego Comic Convention-exclusive):

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I maintain that purple has been utilized far too scarcely by Hasbro’s otherwise unimpeachable G.I. Joe design team. I have no justification for my desire for this figure other than “Oh my god look at him“, but isn’t that enough?

Duke (G.I. Joe Renegades):

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I have included a photo featuring both the single-pack version (on the left) and the Amazon-exclusive revision that was only available in a four-pack, for the simple reason that I would love to have either version. Or both, for that matter. The original figure has some seriously misshapen wrists, but on the other hand I prefer the color of his vest, so it’s a wash.

General Hawk (Pursuit of Cobra):

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I will not be heartbroken if this figure never makes its way into my collection. Really, I only want him because he serves as a generic base for customizing; I am always eager to procure more toys I can regard as a blank canvas. This figure is a great example; I can use him as a futuristic super soldier or turn him into a 1970s Adventure Team hero. Fun!

Stalker (30th Anniversary):

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I have a previous version of this character, from the Resolute series. It utilizes the same head sculpt, but from the neck down the version pictured here is much more menacing and modern. I should very much appreciate the opportunity to photograph him outdoors.

G.I. Joe Trooper (Retaliation):

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Lemme count the ways I love this figure: cool new head sculpt with tons of character and a mohawk? Check. Badass new body with insanely detailed clothes and wicked armor? Yep. An overall vibe that can accommodate military stories and pulp adventure tales? Yes, sir.

Yes, please!

Topside (G.I. Joe Collector Club):

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I was but a wee lad in the 1980s, and as such I was basically obsessed with G.I. Joe. I can only assume, then, that Topside was after my time; I don’t recognize the name, and his design does not look familiar. Nor does it look particularly interesting.

I only want this figure so I can use the head for a small-scale custom of an original character called Badlands, created with parts from Sigma 6 figures by my friend Bill (celebrated as a “no-account bastard” in a recent post here at Two-Fisted Toy Talk!). Here is Badlands… riding a Taun-Taun:

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Check out the respective head sculpts:

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Uncanny, I say! (I also say I need to get Badlands out of storage so I can capture a better close-up portrait of his head; the photo above is several years old, and quite embarrassing).

Here’s hoping fate provides me with steady employment soon, so that I can buy these elusive treasures!

…and pay my bills and buy food or whatever.

My Little Monster

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As noted in the previous post, Poe at Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation has graciously agreed to host my Ghoulia Yelps review, wherein I wring my hands a bit about the message these skinny, pretty dolls might send to my young, impressionable daughter. Well, unbeknownst to me, when my daughter Maitea recently visited her friend Emma, allowing me to surreptitiously play with Emma’s Lagoona Blue doll, Emma was busy showing Maitea all her other Monster High dolls. My wife was aware of the Monster High obsession that resulted from this visit, but I was oblivious; in my defense, when last I asked my daughter what she thought of Monster High dolls, she dismissed the entire series as “gross” because Lagoona Blue has webbed fingers.

I went ahead and explained to Maitea my concern: for all their monster trappings, these dolls send girls the message that the most important thing is being pretty.

“That’s not what they say to me,” she replied.

I have decided to trust that this is the case.

Meanwhile, I am always seeking creative activities for my daughter, and so, once I discovered that she was no less fascinated by these goofy dolls than I am, I sort of distractedly responded to her complaints of boredom the other day by suggesting that she draw a self-portrait. A Monster High self-portrait.

“Will you do it with me?” she asked.

And so I did.

Unfortunately, I could not decide on a monster gimmick for myself. Back in the late ’90s I babysat a young boy who created for me the nickname “Monster”, but as a character name it’s a bit limited and obvious. At a loss, then, I decided to simply create a self-portrait utilizing Monster High proportions.

Here for reference is a photo of me with my GI. Joe Adventure Team-style beard:
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And here’s the self-portrait:
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I tried to make myself look plenty old and tired, but it’s difficult to make out the bags under the eyes in .JPEG form, and by coloring in the hair I unwittingly made it look considerably less gray than is accurate. Nonetheless, I am tentatively planning to use aging as my monster gimmick; as a play on The Picture of Dorian Gray (which I still need to read), I have decided that my monster self is someone who mistakenly believes he isn’t aging when in fact he is aging with terrifying speed and intensity. I’m not sure yet how to account for his confusion. Does he avoid mirrors? Does he gaze at a photo of himself as a young man and mistakenly believe it’s his reflection? I haven’t decided. If I go with the childhood portrait option, it could help account for why this character, a teacher like his real-life counterpart, spends his time following childish pursuits like toys and cartoons… like his real-life counterpart.

Whatever the case, I thought I’d call him Dorian Graying, but then I thought that perhaps DeLorean Graying would be more fun. I also thought I would pay tribute to my globetrotting adventures of the past three years by making Mr Gray an international teacher who has traveled the world… on Receding Airlines.

Meanwhile, my daughter’s Monster High self-portrait is called Batcatiefrankiestacialegous Dogrina. Behold:

 
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According to Maitea’s notes, the accessories include a notebook, “Brain for lunch”, “3 hearts for snack”, “1 bone for snack”, a brain bicycle helmet (presumably inspired by Roller Daze Ghoulia’s rollerblading helmet) and, since the character is part feline, a “hairball basket”. Gross!

She has bat wings and parrot wings, plus a habit of panting (because she is part canine, you see). She has sharp teeth, “fur on legs”, a cat tail, stitches, bloody eyes and “1 ware wolf ear”; the other ear is a half-cat, half-dog ear.

 

While I did give her some Monster High stickers, I haven’t bought Maitea a Monster High doll yet, not least because our financial situation is so dire at the moment.

But if her self-portrait is any indication, my fears were misguided; apparently she is more interested in being a monster than in succumbing to pervasive beauty standards. Yay!

 
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Never Even Caught Her Name

Performers ranging from Bon Jovi to Tenacious D have written songs about the grueling glories of travel; my favorite might be “Touring”, a Ramones song so dated that its lyrics boast of the “videotape deck” on the band’s tour bus.

Mysteriously, neither Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” nor Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” explores how it feels to travel for three months in a Toyota Dolphin in search of a job and home, so defeated by the all-consuming tragedy of toys left in storage that you are reduced to lurking on My Little Pony forums in search of photos of Monster High dolls.

Which is my roundabout way of saying that I have no new toy photos to share, with the exception of a half-dozen portraits of the Monster High Skull Shores Ghoulia Yelps doll I scored a couple weeks ago with the aid of a Wal-Mart gift card. Poe Ghostal has graciously agreed to publish my review of the doll in question, and I have opted not to share the photos here at the increasingly inaccurately named Two-Fisted Toy Talk! until the review appears at Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation.

But just because I have no new photos doesn’t mean I have no half-assed creativity to share, for just as I only owned a Nintendo 64 so that I could spend hours using the Create-a-Wrestler feature to craft comical portraits of my friends and loved ones—prompting my wife, who had already playfully dismissed the Nintendo as a “divorce machine”, to deem WWF No Mercy an “elaborate paper doll game”—I sometimes suspect that I only collect and study and lazily kitbash toys so that I can create silly new names for them.

As noted above, I finally acquired a Monster High doll. But one doll, no matter how charming, cannot accommodate the product of several months of nonsensical brainstorming. So it is that I find myself with lists of dozens of names of original Monster High characters I hope to someday create.

Here are some of my favorites:

*Lucy Fuge, Samantha Hain and Anne Zig

The daughters of Glenn Danzig, naturally. For the uninitiated, Lucifuge is the title of Danzig’s brilliant second album; Samhain was the band he formed after The Misfits broke up.

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Ideally, at least one of the three Danzig girls will have a “deathlock” haircut, but I have never customized doll hair, so it is not likely.

I will probably use the skeleton doll from one of the Create-a-Monster sets as a base for at least one of the three girls, and possibly for all of them.

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Photo Appears Courtesy of BarbWireBlonde2 at Flickr

*Leproscilla

For this doll to be successful, I must seek assistance from someone whose customizing skills include painting and sculpting, for I envision her flesh rotting away in places to reveal the muscle or perhaps even the bone underneath. I have also decided that the shy, self-conscious Leproscilla wears veils… to hide her remaining skin.

Her Garbage Pail Kids-stye alternate names are Rotricia and Skinderella.

*Peggy Suture

Frankie Stein has already claimed the stitches gimmick, but such is my inordinate fondness for the name “Peggy Suture” that I aim to make her anyway. It’s a better name than Frankie Stein, surely; is she supposed to be the daughter of Doctor Frankenstein, or his monster?

*Cannibelle

I picture a sweet, innocent Monster High doll face… with the arm of another doll protruding from her mouth. Unfortunately, Mattel has yet to produce an open-mouthed Monster High doll, the fascists.

*Horrorfice

The Create-a-Monster Design Lab comes with a doll whose head has no facial features. The Lab’s gimmick entails decorating the featureless head with various eyeball and mouth stickers. But I say bugger all that hocus-pocus, ’cause the blank face looks creepy and cool.

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I also have vague plans for a group of disturbing nurses; think of the unendurable hospital scene from Jacob’s Ladder and you’ll have a sense of the vibe I hope to evoke. Here are the names I’ve come up with for the evil nurse group so far: Hypo Negative (daughter of the late Pete Steele, I suppose), Poison I.V., Sedatiff and Intra Venus. Needles are a theme, clearly.

Other names I’ve recorded but for which I have no particular plan include Demonica, Straight Jackie, Corpus Christine (or Corpus Christing, if I choose to use the Create-a-Monster bee girl), Chemonique, Batterina, Serpentricia, Meg Night, Baroque Shields, Horrorthy Gale, Cassandroid, Anne Putee, Betty Krueger, Debris Harry, Chewbecca, and Resident Eva. I would also like to create a pair of “scisstors”, although I have yet to identify either of them by name.

You see what prolonged unemployment does to a man?

Metalhead

When I was but a wee lad, one of my favorite Ninja Turtle toys was a robotic turtle called Metalhead.

 

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I have decided to use  one of the delightful 3A World War Robot figures as a contemporary update.

First, Metalhead’s inventor Donatello struggles with an unwieldy remote control.

 

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Next, his creation warily advances from its resting place.
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Finally, to quote Alexx of the Toys and Tomfoolery blog (who in turn was quoting MS Paint Adventures)…

Pose as a team, because SHIT JUST GOT REAL

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‘Ster Crazy

So that you don’t lose sleep, I offer you an update: I don’t have any Monster High dolls yet.

However, I do have a Wal-Mart gift card that I’ll most likely use on nothing but Monster High. Unfortunately, I can’t find any of the ones I want; the Create-A-Monster set including the bee girl is suddenly absent from shelves, and the only versions I can find of Monster High mainstays like Ghoulia Yelps and Draculaura are the beach variants from the Gloom Beach and Skull Shores series. I’d prefer more definitive versions, ideally, although I’ll probably compromise and nab a roller derby variant of one or two of the characters.

Meanwhile, I cannot navigate the nonsensical, arbitrary retail prices of these goddamn dolls. Notwithstanding the convention exclusives and other scarcities that earn scalpers hundreds of dollars on eBay, just studying the Monster High selection at the local Target or Wal-Mart is an exercise in randomness. No doll appears to boast any more accessories than any other, and yet the price from one doll to another can differ by as much as ten dollars. The only difference I can discern is the size of a given figure’s box. It’s maddening!

Happily, while I’ve yet to compromise the feeble, final whisps of my remaining masculinity by actually purchasing one of these dolls (emphasis on yet), I did manage to get my hands on a Lagoona Blue doll for twenty minutes or so; it belongs to my daughter’s friend, and while the girls were distracted I made a point of playing with the doll. At first, the articulation was so counter-intuitive and off-putting that I almost immediately resolved to abandon my burgeoning Monster High obsession. Soon, however, despite the ridiculous tiptoe feet, I was able to get Lagoona to maintain a standing pose, and I already have a number of ideas for outdoor photos, although I don’t know that Lagoona will be the doll I buy; my settings are mostly desert landscapes, which are ill-suited for sea serpent dolls. Plus I’d want to photograph her in water, and I wouldn’t know how to fix a doll’s hair after it gets wet. This is all new ground for me.

Incidentally, I have scoured Flickr for an awesome Monster High portrait with which to close this post, and I have come to the conclusion that Monster High enthusiasts are a paranoid lot, for a disproportionate number of them have forbidden downloading of their photos. Selfish bastards, the lot of them. Huzzah, then, to selfless Flickr member Peasnpromise!

 

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Photo appears Courtesy of Peasnpromise at Flickr

My Friend Bill’s A No-Account

As recent entries on this blog have shown, I photograph toys with a little help from my friends. And hell, I haven’t even mentioned Kit, who last month gave me (among other things) several G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary comic packs, plus the Max Ray figure I needed to complete my vintage Centurions trio. Alas, his generosity was ill-timed, for when he shared these treasures with me, I’d yet to reclaim my blogging mojo, and now said treasures are in storage, so alas, poor Kit, no toy blog tribute for you.

But to hell with Kit!  Today we’re here to talk about Bill, who is a no-account and a bastard.

Bill has always been generous to a fault, and I try my feeble best to reciprocate. Last summer, for example, during our annual visit, he gave me a buttload of awesome toy goodness, including a Masters of the Universe Classics Panthor! But I left that visit feeling fine, ’cause I had purchased for him a staggering assortment of MiniMates, Bill’s consumer obsession of choice; his brilliant MiniMates customs are available for your perusal here:

http://www.minimatemultiverse.com/index.php?showtopic=9791&st=0
Last weekened, however, Bill cheated; I’d informed him back in March that I was facing imminent unemployment, and as such I could not offer him anything like the massive haul I shared last year, and he should therefore alter his Monte-shopping plans accordingly. He assured me that he already had two G.I. Joe Hazard Vipers for me, but that his financial situation was no more encouraging than mine, and as such he would curb his spending. Huzzah!

He lied, apparently.

Really, though, I blame myself. I should have remembered Bill’s generous nature, but instead I recklessly asked him via e-mail, “Say, would you someday in the future be willing to trade or sell me one of your extra Lion-O MiniMates figures?”

Instead of answering, he brought the Lion-O to our annual meeting place as a gift… along with Jaga, Snarf, Panthro and Mumm-Ra.

 
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He also gave me several Marvel figures, some badass A-Team and Back to the Future Hot Wheels cars, a Battle Beast comic book, and a Sigma 6 Sky B.A.T., which goes very well with Centurion Ace McCloud.

 

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I’d foolishly sent another short-sighted e-mail asking whether Bill was still attached to his Monkeyman Build-A-Figure, which had been the envy of myself and many a fellow geek back when Sigma 6 was still an active presence on toy shelves. It might not surprise you by this point to learn that he gave me the damn monkey free of charge, too. As noted in the previous post, I intend to use him as a modern version of a vintage Ninja Turtle character called (ahem) Sgt. Bananas. (I think I’ll go with Bill’s suggested name: Sgt. Silverback).

Vintage Sgt. Bananas:

 

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Badass modern version, courtesy of Bill:

 

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Finally, I’d like to address the two Hazard Vipers, both of which Bill bought just for one small accessory, kindly giving the figure and the remaining accessories to me. (Happily, I happened to have an extra of the same accessory, so I included it in this year’s [much smaller] MiniMates haul for Bill.)

The Hazard Viper is arguably the most defiantly orange action figure in toy history, and included in my big ol’ box of badass gifts from Bill was some unidentified alien dude, also orange, and some comically oversized Green Lantern construct-style hand attachments that slide over his arms, and oh my god they look so cool on the Hazard Viper.

 

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Thanks, Bill!

Modern-Day Mutants

I have long sought to recreate the vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy series with modern action figures. Naturally, some vintage toys are easier to replace than others.

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PhotobucketCredit: Dr_Soupie

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I Fell Through the Ice of Alice

I have never played a Resident Evil video game, nor have I seen any of the Resident Evil movies.  And while at age eleven I was quite smitten with her based on her miniskirt-clad cameo on an episode of Married… With Children, I am these days politely indifferent to actress Milla Jovovich, who portrays the (presumably) heroic Alice in all those Resident Evil movies.

Nonetheless, my Most Wanted Toy of All Time (this week) is the Hot Toys Resident Evil: Afterlife Milla Jovovich-as-Alice action figure, pictured here:

 

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Initially, I wanted the Alice toy for the same reason I want every damn action figure Hot Toys has ever produced: because their sculptors and painters boast the kind of talent that leads to accusations of witchcraft and Satan worship. Here are two of the most devastating examples:

 
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Photo Appears Courtesy of Michael Crawford

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Recently, however, I have contrived a more urgent justification for acquiring Alice, although to be fair there is probably no justification sufficiently urgent to account for the doll’s $140 price tag, particularly if one takes into account the fact that my plan will also require a second Hot Toys figure that is no less cripplingly expensive than Alice:

 

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That’s New Goblin, a dull character from a dull, bloated movie called Spider-Man 3. I hate the film and I hate the character, and yet I want the toy, or at least his accessories, seen here:

 

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All New Goblin Photos Appear Courtesy of Michael Crawford

My plan is to donate those accessories to Alice and turn her into a contemporary Dorothy, from The Wizard of Oz. The green weapons and hoverboard from New Goblin will be bits of gear that Dorothy stole from a soldier in the Emerald City. Admittedly, most geeks will look at the result and see Alice with some green weapons, but since I’ve never seen the Resident Evil movies, I can treat the Alice figure as a blank canvas.

That said, I do intend to customize her somewhat, including at least repainting her boots to be something of a modern, punk-rock take on the ruby slippers. I may go meta and have her wear a Dark Side of the Moon shirt, too. We’ll see. This is of course all comically theoretical, as I remain unemployed and homeless, and thus it is unlikely that I will find a way to spend $300 on an uninspired Dorothy kitbash anytime soon.

If I do opt to create the Pink Floyd shirt, I may have to place a bullet-proof vest beneath it to compensate for the toy’s most glaring feature:

 

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Seriously, I fear I’ll cut my fingers on those damn things. I’m having flashbacks to those heady days when the Sex and the City wardbrobe crew first discovered fake nipples, prompting my wife to chant “Nipples! Nipples!” whenever she wanted to watch another episode.

The two photos above and the photo below all appear courtesy of a guest reviewer at Michael Crawford’s Review of the Week, identified only as “Jeff”. What I love about the photo below is that Alice’s gun dominates the foreground, reducing Alice to an almost impressionistic blur… and yet her nipples are still prominent.

 

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And now I’m off to read more of The Marvelous Land of Oz.

Gandalf the Whiteley

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About a month ago, we parked ye olde Toyota Dolphin at the KAO in my troubled hometown of Oroville, California for a few days. It was the longest span of time I’d spent in Oroville since I moved away in 1996, and many friends and loved ones stopped by for satisfying visits, but Mike Whiteley’s the only one who brought me toys, so for the purposes of this blog, to hell with everyone else.

How to introduce Mike Whiteley? First off, he was the first guy I ever knew who had a mohawk. That may not seem particularly notable here in 2o12; a kindergarten student at a school where I taught for two years in Twin Falls, Idaho had a mohawk, so clearly that particular hairstyle has lost its power to subvert and disturb.

But this was the early ’80s, and Whiteley wasn’t boasting one of these pansy-ass faux-hawks all the poseurs favor these days. No sir, his mohawk was spiked and stark and menacing, and it seemed to rise three feet from his scalp. Whenever Mike would pass our house on Rosita Way, I’d place my He-Man dolls on the lawn beside me and just sit and watch. For all my tentative admiration for Mike’s wild hair, I confess it gave me pause.

As our paths crossed years later, Mike and I discovered that we had much in common, including an earnest appreciation for the works of Iron Maiden and a reckless passion for LSD.

Also, toys.

I had only seen Mike once or twice in the sixteen years since I’d left Oroville, and in that time I haven’t bothered to drink a beer, let alone drop acid, and as I tweeted earlier this year during my brief, misguided flirtation with Twitter, “I think I’ve reached the limits of what Iron Maiden’s No Prayer for the Dying can teach me.”

But it’s like another old friend told me on the day of Mike’s visit: “Some friends can disappear for years, but when they show up, you pick up right where you left off.” It was that way with Mike, and likewise with William DeFronzo, who offered the insight and who appears below because he likes toys, too, and because he’s my friend of twenty-four years and I love him, and because it’s my blog, so there, and also because it’s a fun photo.

 

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So Mike and I talked for quite a while, and he generously bestowed upon me some lovely punk rock memorabilia and some samples of his writing and some arts and crafts materials for my daughter and, best of all, some toys, including a massive Fellowship of the Rings boxed set of nine action figures from Toy Biz’s celebrated Lord of the Rings series.

I placed the set beneath one of the bench seats in our RV, ’cause that’s what one does with large gifts when one lives in an RV. But these noble Hobbits and such deserve better, as does Mike’s selfless gesture, and so today I finally freed them from their packaging.

 

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