I’ve been ill
I was ill for 14 shitting, fucking, arsing, pricking, bleedin’ weeks!
But now it’s time to publicly say thank you to people anonymously for the cool stuff they gave me at a gift giving celebration. Look I enjoy these if no one else does. I’ve whittled it down to 8 for your sake - look grateful - but I could have written about EVERYTHING I got this year – someone bought me a 3D puzzle of a dragon, an anatomical model of a mammoth, a light up skull, a soft toy called a ‘Fuggler’ which I think speaks for itself, Space Jam socks, Ninja Turtle glasses (for drinking, not reading), a Freddy Fazbear that shits slime from a Kit-Kat packet and a book simply titled ‘You Are So Awesome’ (it’s true, I am), that’s a lot of things I should be talking about and none of them are any less cool than what follows.
I had a nice Christmas by the way, it was quiet so I thought it might be depressing but it was really fun – and the Tiger That Came to Tea is bloody weird. Just fyi.
There are exactly four things you need to know about this:
· It has the best name
· It records your voice AND is a torch because toy designers are like that
· My friend recorded her singing Baby Shark on it which I can speed up to Chipmunks-on-Amphetamine-Sulphate fast and slow down The-Big-Show-doing-an-interview slow with T-Rec’s calf dial
· My friend’s mum (who gave me this, thanks!) bought the exact same present for her 1-year old grandson
This was an experience.
The planned for and advertised - but never actually made - figures for the 1987 ‘Powers of Grayskull’ spin-off line for Masters of the Universe (roughly summed up as: cyborg dinosaurs carrying snake people and super wizards armed with giants) were finally made years ago as part of Masters of the Universe Classics and I have them both (He-Ro and Eldor) so I didn’t think I’d have much of a reaction to buying, owning or in this case unwrapping Super7’s vintage-style versions which of course were stupid expensive because Super7 overcharge for everything then overcharge for postage on top of that and had taken so long to come out I’d almost forgotten they existed – like everything Super7 does (I’m not a fan of the company, can you tell? But they have so much stuff I want, they’ve just made a My Pet Monster action figure, I can’t resist that - bastards).
I was wrong. Unwrapping it was like a time travelling experience – everything about this feels like it game straight from 1987 but it’s brand new. I sat there in Star Wars pyjamas (they were a present, they’re really comfy though) unwrapping a brand new Powers of Grayskull figure, I felt like every kid in those old Christmas photos people post online while at the same time I was having an experience that they couldn’t possibly have had because Mattel are dumb sometimes and it was fucking heady. This is my first carded ‘vintage’ MOTU figure, being a little younger than my fellow fans (I was 1 in ’87) I never had the experience millions of kids had of getting a new Masters figure in the ‘80s (the first I got carded were from the space He-Man line and that as in 1990/91) because all of mine came second hand from bootsales (or later, conventions and eBay AND bootsales) but this Christmas (at 33) I got that experience but better because this isn’t just any ‘new’ ‘vintage’ Masters figure, this is the great lost He-Ro. It was this mix of nostalgia, role-play and alternate reality all mixed into one. So – even though you’re a bunch of knobs – thank you Super7 for giving me that experience.
You’ll notice I haven’t opened it yet, I’m having trouble with that. I’m genuinely considering picking up a second one (with Eldor – who I now MUST own) and leaving this carded to preserve the experience but I’ll probably give in and get him out, either in that long wait that comes between Christmas and con season or immediately after I realise how much that plan will cost me.
Becky! Becky! Becky!
I bought this with some Christmas money and needed to post it just to celebrate there finally being a Becky Lynch figure that doesn’t suck.
Sadly I took my picture from a crap angle so you can’t fully appreciate the little things like: having a face sculpt that doesn’t stink and actually looks like the woman in question and not having giant man-hands because the face looks odd in this picture and her right fist looks big. Luckily I also took a picture of her putting the Dis-arm Her on Lord Zedd for Instagram:
Yeah, she has resting bitch face but I’d rather that than some of the shit Mattel have put out in the Lass Kicker’s ‘image’ in the past.
Darth Vader with a Force Bazooka!
This is from the Rogue One tie-in line so it’s old news to everyone but me but come on, it’s Darth Vader with a huge fucking gun that shoots red Force lightning, I had to post it.
Hasbro bought Kenner in the 1990s, and I think that at least one former employee still works there. Or else a huge Kenner fan because only one of those two would do something as mad as this. Whoever let this lunatic be in charge of this figure – can you let them be in charge again please? So we can have Power Army Cyborg Skywalker and neon Gattlin’ Blaster Wicket and Ninja Power Leia?
Oh god, Kenner Madness Star Wars in now my dream line
And the friend who bought me this is a sneaky shit – well done, sir.
The Edvard Skellington T-Shirt!
Presenting to you: a happy accident
The Scream by Edvard Munch is my favourite painting – whether you think that the main ‘character’ is screaming in despair or is despairing because he can hear an awful scream it perfectly represents my soul. I own The Scream merchandise (I’m sure my inflatable Scream must he on this blog somewhere if nothing else) I like it this much.
But this came from my little cousin, I phoned her on Christmas Day (as I do every year) and enthusiastically thanked her and told her how great she was for remember that The Scream is my favourite painting when I can’t remember her boyfriend’s surname (sorry Adam) and they live together. Yeah, she had no idea (and is the sort of lady to admit this) - she bought it because buying me a black t-shirt with a Tim Burton thing on it equals guaranteed success when it comes to gifts. It fits nice too – though it might not after three days of turkey and a curry on the 27th.
Her sister bought me a box full of chocolate – proof that even if they don’t know my favourite painting they still both know me really well.
A Sack Full of Pokémon!
See this? This is just some of what was in the CHRISTMAS SACK FULL OF VINTAGE POKEMON STUFFFED TOYS my friends gave me (a couple I had, some were keyrings and are elsewhere, some were Mr Men) and she was worried that I’d like my gift. Yeah they’re second hand but they’re from the very dawn of Pokémon when the Pokémania was running wild! These are little portals in time to when teenagers couldn’t miss an episode of a kid’s cartoon! When people were getting stabbed for trading cards! To when I genuinely ignored my family all Christmas to play Pokémon Red! To when I wasn’t ostracised at school! To when Pikachu was mouse-shaped! AND THEY’RE SQUISHY!
Well the smaller Pikachu isn’t, it’s one of those light-up and sound ones that I SO BADLY WANTED but never got because I was a teenager with no money and no-one would buy me one because I was a teenage boy and shouldn’t be having cuddly toys at my age (the big one’s a pyjama case, there was also a Pikachu backpack in the sack too).
I was very pleased with my gift
I got home from my friends Christmas meet up and dumped them all on the floor, I was so tempted to roll in them.
BUT at the same time one of my friends gave me a modern Mimikyu plush, Mimikyu has bonded with the other ‘mons but I still worry that he feels he was upstaged which he shouldn’t – because he’s a Mimikyu - he needs a picture too:
Don’t worry Mimikyu, you’re a Mimikyu, you’re equal to any amounts of nostalgia just by being a fucking Mimikyu (and you have a TARDIS in your background when all they got was Snot, The Toy Nobody Wanted – who I still identify with soooo much, but then I identify with Mimikyu too)
And yes, I do have reviews for Gen 6 to post.
PortAventura Sesame Street!
This was just a really nice surprise and the sort of thing my mum had been doing for me (gift wise) all my life and I never give her enough praise for - so this isn’t going to a very funny section.
In November I went to PortAventura World in Spain (shit, I’ve got a review of that to post too…) with a friend of mine and they have a Sesame Street Land (with a really cool dark ride) with LOADS of exclusive Sesame Street merchandise. As a Jim Henson devotee I wanted all of it but especially these, I love figural theme park merch, I always have, from the days of twisting my mum’s arm to buy me rubber figurines of the Thorpe Park Rangers to today’s eBaying of Disney Vinylmation it’s just one of ‘my things’. But I only had a small suitcase so I could only get one of the three monsters. I chose Super Grover because of course but also because it was his dark ride and I was on a Grover kick. I wasn’t especially cut up about it or anything, honestly I was more focussed on the huge amount of injuries I’d done to myself via pinecone (don’t ask) but I would have liked ‘em. While enthusing about Super Grover to my mum (because she’s daft enough to listen when I do shit like that) I did say there were more but I could only buy one, more as an example of how cool PortAventura’s merchandise was than anything else.
But my mum remembered this, checked online, found they had an online store and ordered me the other two, had them delivered in secret then gave them to be on Christmas Day. And she’s been doing this my whole life, she remembers stuff I say (half the time when I don’t) and turns them into surprise gifts, she was amazing when I was a comic collector and even more so when I was a kid but the thing is often it was the smaller gifts, not the big wow presents – it was very obvious I wanted those, so I don’t think I’ve ever given her enough credit for it, to her face or elsewhere.
So lets make it clear: my mum is great at buying surprise gifts, she puts an incredible amount of effort and thought into things as small and stocking stuffers and table presents (she got me this year’s Beano Annual, it’s good) and always has.
Green-Grey Sponge-Suit Sushi Turtles!
These are six-inch scale action figures.
They’re the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures ever made. They’re perfect (well ok: Donnie’s belt is a little bit high – it should be where Leo’s is – but mine isn’t glued down so I think it might just need a shift around). I don’t know what else to say, they’re exactly right, the likenesses are perfect, the weapons are perfect, the articulation is wonderfully worked in (these have full ball-jointed ab crunches – under their shells! Magnificent!), each figure came with a slice of pizza (sadly Mikey ate the other three before this picture was taken), they’re even rubberier than usual Neca figures to recall Playmates’ Secret of the Ooze figures.
They’re literally just what I’ve always wanted. My dad smuggled me into see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when it was in cinemas and I instantly wanted movie Turtles. Playmates didn’t merchandise the first movie because they hated it, thinking it was too dark and was doomed to failure - just in case you didn’t know it became the highest-grossing independent movie of all time. When Playmates eventually released some to tie into the sequel – which was nowhere near as good – the figures were decent (and delightfully rubbery) and captured the ‘feel’ of the movie turtles but were hardly accurate, especially their faces (Leo’s face still makes me a little uncomfortable), they still became my ‘main’ Turtles for play though. Playmates’ 2010s collectors’ figures for the movie however were a fucking embarrassment, some of the most pathetic attempts at Turtles toys I’ve seen, they looked nothing like anything let alone the Movie turtles, they were less on-model than the old bootlegs! I didn’t even buy Raphael.
But these, these are spot-on, these are just…they’re amazing.
Also from mum btw.
Aaaaaand I’m done. Thanks to everybody who gave me a gift, the fact that you think enough of me to spend money on me is fantastic but the fact that you think enough of me to put effort into choosing those things is utterly delightful and very, VERY appreciated. Cheers, all.