So are you sitting comfortably, or bored at work? Then I’ll begin:
As a direct side-effect of my love of vintage Care Bears, I also horde Wuzzles, I would worry about how my collection of ‘girl’s’ toys makes me look re: masculinity but ironically I just don’t care, every time I try to care I remember that I have a truckload full of squishy brightly coloured animals to hug and I never quite make it to caring, it’s even harder to care about such outdated concepts when your cuddling brightly coloured mix-and-match animals.
If you missed the Wuzzles, it was a joint venture between Hasbro and Disney about an island where everyone was two animals (Rhinokey is half rhino half monkey) and also anthropomorphic, and also with a collection of regional accents, and none of this was explained, presumably because ‘no one gave a shit about the science of Care Bears so why should they about our Wuzzles?’ they were right. Rhinokey always puts me in mind of Richie Tozier, Seth Green’s character from Stephen King’s It, he has that same would-be stand-up comedian who has way to much personality and would have been punched out years ago by the rest of the characters if this were the real world thing going on.
Faker, Alien Spawn &Vince McMahon
A perfect threesome: one was built by the Lord of Destruction, one works for Satan and the other one’s from Spawn. We went to the convention on the third day and stayed until it closed, this is a good idea if you go to shop like I do because after about 1pm every price suddenly drops and is prefixed by the worlds ‘welllll…. I can do it for…’ and suddenly the Spawn figure the dealer was sure must be worth something because they’re 18 years behind everyone else becomes a tenner and even the always sought after Faker is suddenly affordable.
Speaking of Faker, I never see anyone say a bad word about Faker, the notoriously picky He-Man fandom has a lot of bad words for a lot of things but Faker seems to be universally approved of and yet he’s just a blue He-Man wearing some of Skeletor’s hand-me-downs and in practice he’d be utterly useless at his job, but I don’t mind and no one else seems to either, maybe it’s just because he’s such a nice shade of blue. Faker – proof that someone will always love you no matter how rubbish you are. Incidentally Vince McMahon was bought to stand with the Steve Austin figure I reviewed aaages ago, I read somewhere that McMahon figures never sell which is odd, well ok it’s not because he’s a bloke in a suit who was either an announcer or a colossal prick, but it’s odd when you think that usually McMahon’s figures are really quite good, the current release being an exception and why I bought an older figure from a bootsale – some kid wanted £5 each for his Mattel wrestlers by the way, to put that in perspective you’re only guaranteed to find 3 things at a bootsale: bad food, racism and piles of Mattel WWE figures; it’s a competitive market kid, no one’s going to pay a fiver for John Cena when there’s literally 50 other John Cenas scattered around the bootsale for £1.50 or less.
£1 ($1.47) the pair
Most of my bootsale buys were sadly not in the action figure department, or the plastic toy department in any way, there was just so little of that around this week and most of what was was either broken or the sellers wanted stupid money for it under the same old bullshit of ‘that costs X amount in the shops’ and/or ‘it’s collectible’ – one woman, on the grounds of ‘it’s collectible’ wanted £10 for half a set of McDonald’s Smurfs, no complete set of McDonald’s toys that aren’t made by Diener are worth £10, not even ones with recent feature films. While another bloke, on the grounds of ‘that costs X amount in shops’ wanted a minimum of £2.50 for shitty bootleg dinosaurs, neither received any money from me, I don’t like Smurfs that much.
Anyway, annuals – two of the best of British: boy’s adventure comic Lion and the amazing Misty, a brilliantly unique concept in girl’s comics: it was entirely a horror comic, presented by the titular Misty ala The Cryptkreeper, only she was infinitely more shaggable and a lot less mouldy. A favourite series of mine, Misty ended up merging with Tammy but received annuals for a few more years (as most series would) and is filled with Twilight Zone-ish short tales including the Rag Doll, which is my new nightmare fuel for the week. Lion meanwhile is packed with British Boys Comics greats of yore, though he’s not on the cover unofficial Lion mascot/main character Robot Archie shows up not once but twice, one comic strip and one text feature, along with The Spider, The Phantom Viking, Mowser and Spot the Clue with Zip Nolan, all with extra-long strips befitting the yearly special. I’m not sure why exactly Carson’s Cubs (a pretty standard football strip) got one of the colour strips (most annuals at this point were printed in black and white except for, usually, two strips per annual) but when you’ve got Robot Archie fighting a dragon it’s hard to feel cheated, I totally read this on the car journey home and I hope those other motorists judged me.
A Plushie Mater Ball!
Yeah ignore the price on the tag, like I said the sellers were so keen to get a few more pennies and even keener to not cart any more shit home with them than they had to that everything dropped in price after midday, even brand new stuff. Which is neat because I’m sure most people would question me paying £5 for a cuddly Pokéball, let along £7.99 but either way it’s not just any Pokéball, it’s a Master Ball, there’s like only one of these in the game and you pretty much have to save it for Mewtwo (or whatever Legendary is in the game), that means there’s a 1 in 6 chance that this should contain a little cuddly psychic sociopathic clone who once wanted to wipe out all non-Pokémon life. Well technically I guess a 1-in-11 chance as all games after Red, Blue & Yellow had a choice of two Legendries bound for the Master Ball but that’s still good odds.
The Master Ball was one of only two good reasons to risk corrupting your data (and your mind) and seek out Missingno to perform the Missingno Trick, do you know how many times I found that eldritch bastard? Rare Candies don’t grow on trees you know! Now I have an actual Master Ball to celebrate those sphincter clenching searches off Cinnabar Island, and it’s one I can throw at people and not worry about hurting them or the Pokéball – how is this not worth a fiver?
50p (72 cents)
I had no idea what the fuck this was but I knew I recognised it, it kind of disturbed me and not in the usual way a severed mad scientist head dribbling green slime would. It’s one of Giraprendi’s Madballs, their idea of Madballs were disturbing versions of Entertech’s Spit Balls rather than disturbing versions of baseballs but then Spit Balls were just small Madballs that squirted water (18 foot apparently) in the first place so I guess it doesn’t matter. Looking at the Madballs they made I quite like some of Girapendi’s designs even though they’re not that well thought of it seems, Eye Sore, Shum Chum, Spews Ooze and Brain Rot here are all on par with the original Amtoy balls if you ask me. Anyway I never turn down a chance to buy one of this type of toy because they’re a treasured childhood memory and their jet of water is thin enough and strong enough to blind a motherfucker.
Gamera Standing Friction!
Oh man, my picture cannot do this concept justice – because no still shot can, if I needed a reason to move to Japan then Gamera Standing Friction would be the best one you could give, how could I not want to live in a place that dreamed up this beautiful concept and then made it real. This is a Gamera made of sparkly transparent plastic who works like a pull-back toy but in reverse, you push it forward to ‘rev it up’ then watch it zoom backwards BUT THEN it hits its tail and springs up on its hind legs (as pictured) and roar forward like you’re stealing it’s porridge – this was designed by a child, it had to be, and god bless that child.
I was depressed to the point of despair the weeks surrounding the convention and during the con itself so it was very hard for me to be enthusiastic about anything to the point I usually am, because I am pretty bloody enthusiastic about things at conventions, but Gamera Standing Friction was able to momentarily allow me to reach my usual heights of childish giddy glee, almost certainly to the confusion and perhaps annoyance of my friends “the only time he doesn’t look like he wants to cry is when he’s holding a sparkly see-through tortoise?” they probably thought, oh no, on second thoughts, they’ve known me for years, they probably didn’t question it at all.
I have the power bitches! It should show you how low I’ve been that not even buying the greatest playset ever (sorry USS Flagg, you’re always be a vehicle to me) couldn’t lift me too high but now I’m not quite so horribly miserable I can enthuse easily, even if I still find it hard to get out of bed each day – and no I’m not saying all this for sympathy, I just think the comparison between my mood and the awesomeness of the items on display gets my point across well, I’ll use anything for hyperbole. Mind you carting this thing around a convention in a dustbin liner and then carting this thing hoe on the hottest train in Britain might have contributed to it keeping my mood down, if you’ve never had the pleasure of being near 80’s playset – they are big and more than heavy enough to break any makeshift hands on a bin bag - still it was a small price to pay for Castle fucking Grayskull.
There’s some damage to one of the hinges but other than that all that’s missing is the flag (though not the flat pole), the one that inspired Castle Grayskullman’s weaponry, but everything else is still here– the Sorceress’ computer, the ladder, the inexplicable space suit and a complete weapon’s rack – a complete weapons rack! My old Castle never even had the bloody rack itself let alone all of its weapons – the Dwell of Souls is still in perfect condition stuck to the floor of the castle too, someone really needs to make that sticker as an A1 poster because I would buy that shit and hang it in my living room. And it all still works too, the lift and trap door (controlled by the throne) and the Jawbridge. I really wish my house had a Jawbridge, but then I really wish my house was Castle Grayskull.
I did also manage to acquire a rubber gorilla but I couldn’t get a paragraph out of him today (I'm ashamed) so that’s your lot, while I’m here I’ll say thanks to everyone again for putting up with me being so down at the con. Illness or no, I suck and you are all awesome. Finally here’s a scan of Gamera Standing Friction’s card art, because these sort of things should be preserved: