Just a quick one today
I don’t trust Pintrest. It’s not that I think the site itself is unreliable it’s simply that I don’t trust it to last forever, or at least for my lifespan – I’m old enough to remember MySpace, MSN Messenger, Kazaa & AOL Chat and I see no reason to believe that the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and yes Pintrest won’t end up the same way so I still do things the old fashioned way – I save any pictures I want to my hard-drive and then back them up on an external hard-drive, I may be a dinosaur, but I’m a dinosaur that’s not going to lose access to this selection of April O’Neil fanart any time soon. My biggest folder, and the one that requires the most maintenance just to allow it to function properly, is not the hentai folder but one simply called ‘Reference’. It’s pretty self-explanatory and is mostly stuffed with photos of rare toys, concept art, card backs and scans of wrappers and fliers. This leads us to today’s time waster my imaginary chums, as I’m just sorting through some pictures to put in that folder now, now a lot of the images I can’t repost with a clean conscience because they belong to fellow bloggers or forum posters, but the eBay stuff? That I have no guilt about - especially the guy charging £350 for old masks - so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
Well these are fucking terrifying (and terrifyingly expensive too) now a regular Boglin is hand sized – what do we reckon, 10 inches at the biggest? These things are head sized and look like carnies from the most unnerving circus ever to travel the backgrounds of America where your car just had to break down and of course they’re the only thing around and of course they turn out to… *ehem* my point is that they’re bigger than regular Boglins and freakier than regular Boglins but weirdly they’re a whole regular Boglin – they have arms and a tail - so they’re not so much dressing you up as a Boglin as they are making it look like you’ve got a Boglin Headcrab, very strange.
Cadbury’s Little Horrors!
I totally had these! In fact there’s a plastic crate in my shed with Tipp and Snipz still on them! I picked these for this article just so I could tell you that. These glow in the dark stickers were given away by Cadbury’s, the chocolate company, in the early 1990s and 8 different sheets were made (I have a picture of the complete set but it’s small and I don’t remember where I stole it from) but I honestly can’t remember the exact method of distribution and because they’re not American I can’t find anything on the interwebs about them, I’m pretty sure they were packed in with something but they seem a little large for a standard chocolate bar. If any Imaginary Reader out there knows more, do tell me please.
Either you’ll understand the appeal of this or you won’t because all I got for ya is “look it’s a little clockwork Bruce Lee with an Engrish name, it’s so crap it’s amazing!”. I was actually considering buying this, I’m not a very big Bruce Lee, in fact I think I’d say that I’m not fan of Bruce Lee but I am a fan of these dumpy little ‘walkers’ and a fan of crappy bootleg toys and the more inexplicable and wrong the more I like ‘em and making a cute little knock-off toy of a dead man may well be the pinnacle of knock-off toy wrongness, well that or that Batman squirt gun where you fill him up via his butt and push his penis.
Jem Costume and Mask!
I finally found a Ben Cooper costume that I’d actually buy. Collecting these shitty old Halloween costumes by Ben Cooper and Collegeville and their ilk is apparently a thing, it’s a nostalgia thing I think as these things were everywhere in 1970s and early ‘80s America, all pretty much consisting of a mask, and a plastic smock with a picture of the character on it, not the most convincing costume but weirdly charming (you should see their Jaws one, or their Village People one!). As whacky as they are I can’t say I’ve ever found one that made me go ‘I really want that’ until this one turned up on a Google Image search for something completely unrelated, my love of Jem & The Holograms is strong and if anything could convince me to overcome the issues inherent in the concept of a grown man buying a little girl’s plastic outfit it’s a Jem mask that looks strangely like Elizabeth Taylor.
Monster Paper Dolls!
I’m still toying with the idea of buying one of these but I really doubt I’m creating a demand for them, even though you should want one. Despite looking like a modern ‘ironic’ novelty gift it apparently came out in 1983 and frankly I just want it for all the various ways you can make The Bride of Frankenstein look sexy, as funny as Dracula’s saggy old man body and The Monster’s sock suspenders are, obviously. But I just can’t bring myself to pay £15 for what amounts to a large picture of an undead woman in her undies even if it’s this undead woman in those undies, if I do I promise to scan and upload the Bride in all her outfits, because I’m sure you’re all as sexually obsessed with her as I am.
Unlike everything else on this list, this one I’m including for a serious reason. Troll Fighters are a rare bootleg line from Simba that had the genius to mix He-Man, Madballs and Norfin Trolls into one beautiful mess. These turn up so rarely that even pictures of them are hard to find, this is the first one of Trouble Troll I’ve seen (other than the one on the backs of the blister cards) though he’s missing his armour (you could easily nick one from the more common Galaxy Warriors: End of Time, TT’s is blue) I just felt that this image should be preserved and kept online for other bootleg action figure enthusiasts, and so I feel like I’m part of things as I am hopelessly priced out of getting these (though I have a nice few from Troll Force, yes there were two He-Man/Norfin Troll mash-up knock-off lines).
Evil X-Ray Wretch Armstrong!
Oooh yeah. The 90’s Stretch Armstrong line doesn’t get enough praise, I think it’s because they turned Stretch Armstrong into a grinning Steve Irwin and I can understand that, the 90’s Stretch himself does not command the respect of his 70’s predecessor but he had some wicked baddies. Vac-Man is the one who gets all the attention but my personal favourite was Wretch Armstrong, the Bizarro to Stretch Armstrong’s Superman the character was really just an updating and expanding of the old Stretch X-Ray for the 1990’s neon plastic and gross out toy generation of playthings. They gave him light up guts and, because it was the 1990s, a neon orange gun with a hook, missile and chainsaw on it and attached it to a head like a punk rock cenobyte, I can’t see why any boy wouldn’t want to play with this. I totally had a Wretch Armstrong, but I really couldn’t figure out how to look after these toys and they all either broke or went hard (or in the Vac Pac’s cases, turned into Beanie Babies) I regret this but as a child I just couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t treat them like ordinary action figures.
Don’t worry I’m done now, I can’t think of a suitable concluding paragraph other than the advice that if you’re looking for a picture of something and that something is an odd old toy, put ‘eBay’ after the name and you chances of finding it will be a lot better (and you might find it in higher resolution too) and then you too can write nothing posts like these for your blogs, won’t that be fun for all?