Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hakiu Hump Day Presents: ACTION FIGURES!!! (Collectibles, Dolls, Toys - oh my!)

This topic seemed painfully obvious and thematically appropriate after 80s Sitcoms, Video Games and Saturday Morning Cartoons, and it may be the only secret shame on this blog left untouched.

Having said that, I want to preface this by saying that I don’t want to automatically alienate the “better half” of the blog, or those that might not know where to begin. These haikus apply to EVERYTHING:


How many people did YOUR parents trample to get one?


What did she smell like when you found her in the basement 10 years later?


I got nothing here. Never understood MLP. You comb the hair, and then what?

So anyway, we’ve all got them, or had them at one time, or at least stumbled over them, vacuumed up parts of them, or retrieved pieces of them from pets’ mouths: Action Figures. Small plastic representations of the lost innocence of youth. Bendable, poseable, accessorizable statements of Who We Are and What We’re All About. Suitable for placement on a prominent shelf in the house somewhere. Either in the package, or out. But only psychos keep stuff in the package.

From JPX’s latest triumph:


To the collection that Johnny Sweatpants and I had been working on since 1990, finally completed last year:


To the stuff we all wish we had (by “we” I mean “pretty much me”):


And everything in between:


We went to Disney World, and I found my way into the Lego store on Pleasure Island. MrsX was off somewhere else, and all I remember is suddenly becoming motionless, staring transfixed at the Millennium Falcon, and the box next to the display case, and the $500 price tag, and “1500 pieces,” for about 15 minutes. My hand kept straying towards my wallet, my mouth moving soundlessly. Finally, after a timeless period of limbo, I felt a firm hand on my arm, shaking me from my limbo, steering me away, and a voice saying, “No. You can’t be serious.” MrsX saved me from what would have certainly become an obsession. But I was THIS close, and I would have totally done it.

That’s what this topic is about. Those feelings of attachment to otherwise meaningless concoctions of plastic and color. Why are they important? What drives us to collect them?

Whether it’s that Glo-Worm or Monchichi you had back in the day, or the backyard-mad-scientist hybrid surgical miracles of soldiers you created with GI Joe figures, or just simply your fondest toy-related memories from childhood (bottle-rocket-related or not), that’s what we’re looking for. In 17 syllables.

For those Horrorthonners who may not now partake or have ever partaken in any actual collecting, summon up those childhood memories of your fondest dolls or toys, OR comment on how your significant other refuses to part with that damn Boba Fett Pez dispenser. PLEASE don’t hesitate to point out the overall silliness of the whole phenomenon, if that’s your opinion.

As a side note, I’ve never understood why people put useless decorative crap around their houses. “Look, here’s this bowl that serves no purpose.” “Have you noticed our candle we never light over there?” I submit that people shouldn’t put useless junk on a shelf when a 12” Optimus Prime or Ewok Village playset would perform the same function, and be cool to look at, too. A real conversation starter, as it were.

In that vein, here’s the only stuff that MrsX has allowed me to keep around the apartment, and I fought tooth and nail for every inch of shelf space they occupy, obviously with good reason:


Happy Haiku-ing everyone! Make sure, when you click on "Post Comment" you make that sound effect when you use one action figure to punch another. ("Psh! Psh! Wha-PSH!")

(And I put both of those model ships together All By Myself. Surprisingly, I wasn't dating MrsX at the time...)


HandsomeStan said...

[I apologize for the early post, giving the West Coast an unfair advantage. But they need all the help they can get, what with their brains fried by all that sunand nasty brilliant weather...I'm working all day on set tomorrow starting at 6am, and I fear I may be an absentee host for the day. Somehow I feel people will be okay without me MC'ing the thing. I'll check in via iPhone as much as I can...]

Not one Star Wars fig
Survived from my childhood
Silent tears each night

Christmas 85
Ecstasy paroxysm
Soundwave in the box

Yes! 1-2-3 Kid!
Crap wrestler. Figure worth BUCKS.
Dying happy now.

Tyr was the coolest
No idea who he was
But his arm shot off

50PageMcGee said...

Toy army plotting
Outside sister's room - Target?
Barbie's naked bod

Dune action figures.
Who the fuck thought we needed
Dune action figures?

Hope real Transformers
don't have those jamming problems
all their dumb toys have.

GI Joe torso
OOPS! Elastic snapped! What now?
"Blown up by land mine"

50PageMcGee said...

It may interest you all to note what I finally decided to name the 6-horn combo piece i've been working on all quarter. Part of the melody is vaguely reminiscent of the melody that plays during the segue screen from the Transformers. I have decided to name the tune, "Ask Optimus." Octo may get the complete implications of this joke, no one else will.

Catfreeek said...

It's hard to believe
That I was a Barbi girl
Til I was 13

Dad built a doll house
Much better then the dream house
I loved that doll house

When I got married
Dad used doll house for kindling
I found out and cried

I sewed Barbi clothes
Wanted original things
Made furniture too

Saved in my basement
Is a box filled with Barbies
Alas, I had sons

Perhaps in due time
I'll be moved to part with them
Treasures for Ebay

Catfreeek said...

Working at Wal-mart
I discovered action toys
Now they line my walls

My favorite one
Though it's so hard to choose one
The Maxx came with IZ

Tony buys me toys
At Christmas got this figure
Crazy Cat Lady

JPX said...

Oscar Goldman doll
Had one thing going for it
Exploding briefcase

The Kenner Death Star
Chock full of action features
It broke easily

AC said...

wow, i got nothing.
i'll have to sit this one out
and happily read

tales of collectors
to rival comic book guy
and lenny baxter

from powerpuff girls.
i told jpx about
that ep recently.

HandsomeStan said...

Optimus tires
Ah the smell of real rubber
When toys were real toys

(and AC, I'm sorry to hear your childhood was completely bereft of any toys...:)

AC said...

not bereft so much
i was more of a reader
and bossy tomboy

not attached to toys.
games were fun. guess i lose all
nerd cred on this one.

JPX said...

All the good ones gone
Cherry-picked by employees
Collector’s lament

I’ll have to buy two
One to keep one to open
Expensive hobby

I used to hide them
Figures in the store, that is
Returned with money

Octopunk said...

I foiled that scheme once
Found the Darkseid broke guy hid
Snagged it for myself

JPX said...

I once hid Darkseid
When I came back it was gone
Now I know the truth

JPX said...

Rarely finding toys
And over-priced if you do
Urban collector

HandsomeStan said...

Lazerbeak, Rumble,
Ravage, Frenzy. Lost em all.
Soundwave - single deck.

JPX said...

Lamest toy ever?
Kenner would have that honor
The “black” Bespin guard

Why collect, you ask?
The first thing that comes to mind
It’s more fun than sports

Nerd competition
There’s only one, who gets it?
The one who can run

HandsomeStan said...

LJN wrestlers
Giant hard rubber weapons
My brother got hurt

JPX said...

The box often states
“Batteries not included”
Well I think that sucks

Octopunk said...

08 taxes coming
Added up my toy receipts
Fifteen hundred bucks

A model maker
Can deduct toy purchases
My job rule, or what?

JPX said...

Octo scored me one
He really came through for me
Rare, blue, Snaggletooth

JPX said...

It was taking years
To collect Super Powers
Then Ebay arrived

Mego dolls looked cool
But they were pretty fragile
Kind of ironic

The X-Wing laser
Sounded like a mosquito
Pretty annoying

If you’re persistent
You will find your precious toy
Collector’s delight

HandsomeStan said...

Thought my job was good
I can deduct DVDs
Checkmate Octopunk

As lame as they were
I collected all GoBots
Toy Vault refused them

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Well, what can I say?
Strawberry Shortcake smells nice
Does that make me gay?

Now I'm curious
What does she smell like today?
Musty old plastic?

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Ahh, the GREAT old days
Figure chess in Jay's basement
Andre was the queen

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Sensitive subject:
GI Joe VS Star Wars...
- GI Joe's better

Now wait, hear me out
They're just more fun to play with
Swivel grip, bent knees

On the other hand
This argument could be made:
Star Wars is Star Wars

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Octopunk's a freak
He owns like 80 R2's
That's a lotta droids

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Great - Gene's head fell off
'Nother shoddy KISS product
Why am I surprised?

Catfreeek said...

Little Kiddles dolls
Tiny dolls came in locket
No cash, I stole it

Mom caught me with it
Argued, made it out of store
No dice, brought it back

Grounded for two weeks
Stole doll.brought it back.no doll
Life totally sucks

Bought Little Kiddles
Found on ebay in '90's
I got them, now what?

Stupid Kiddle dolls
Why did I ever want them
Mom's right, waste of cash

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Can you imagine?
Golden Girls action figures?
I'd buy the whole set

Catfreeek said...

Barbi had boyfriend
Not faggy Ken, he's a wuss
GI Joe with hair

I must confess this
I crank called my neighbor's house
With talking Joe doll

Rrrrring...Hello? Whose's there?
"Set up team headquarters here"
I was a sick kid

Catfreeek said...

Meanest thing ever
Male dolls have no genitals
Poor Barbi got none

Most disturbing doll
Pregnant Barbi doll came with
a pop out baby

Catfreeek said...

I collect wind ups
I have a shitload of them
From droids to bunnies

Johnny Sweatpants said...

"Collector's lament" = priceless! Also it took me a few reads before I realized how hysterical "blown up by land mine" is.

Let us now discuss
Lamest figure of all time
My vote: Black Bespin

He looks like a fool
Funny hat, sad expression
I almost feel bad


Why even make him?
Already bought White Bespin
Why must I own two?

I am not racist
Curious is more like it
Whose idea was it?

Johnny Sweatpants said...

And then there's Ram Man...
What a worthless piece of crap
He can't turn his neck

In that position
His feet are squished to his chin
Bye bye dignity!


JPX said...

My favorite toy?
Definitely my ATAT
How could it not be?

He gives me wisdom
I have Yoda on my desk
I also have KISS

I finally got one
A 12-inch Boba Fett doll
Looks like a bath toy

JPX said...

Spawn action figures
Don't touch them, they fall apart
Todd is such a douche

Octopunk said...

I have storage space
Right there on Metacom Ave
One visit a year

Thin gaps of grey light
My toys languish in boxes
And cradle spiders

JPX said...

Ashamed to admit
Got Love Boat Action Figures
I'm missing Julie

Dana's Brain said...

My Paddington Bear.
The Velveteen Rabbit had
nothing on my bear.

I was six years old
Mom bought him in Florida
It's love at first sight.

A display model
His neck was all wonky but
I could have cared less.

I slept with that bear
into my twenties. Wanna
make something of it?

Dana's Brain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana's Brain said...

Deleted was me
JPX totally sucks
Oh, okay...kidding!

Octo's storage space
is my son's greatest delight.
"Jeff, can I have that?"

I've said this before
F-ing Transformers are not
meant for five year olds.

"Make it a robot.
I can't do it! Mom, change it!
Now make it a car."

"Robot. Car. Robot.
Car. Robot. Car. Robot...please?"
Mommy needs some wine.

HandsomeStan said...

"Wanna make something of it?"

Brilliant, as is everything. For the record, Dana's Brain, I have a Jeep Wrangler Transformer (a "Deluxe" bigger modern version) of Hound that I got because I own a Jeep Wrangler. Transforming that son of a bitch is every bit as hard as actually fixing something in the real Jeep's engine, which is to say, impossible for me. Transformers are also not for 34 year olds...

Wrangler Transformer
Deluxe model for adults
I still can't do it

12 inch collection:
Snake Eyes, Boba Fett, Starscream
If no girlfriend

That's my Desslok fig
Couple Star Blazers fans here
Where's Puffinslayer?

HandsomeStan said...

That line should read "If there's NO girlfriend." Sigh.

HandsomeStan said...

AT-AT Number One
On Christmas List 82
Didn't get it - PISSED

Macho Man's elbow
Sent other figures flying
Just like in real life

Pee-Wee's Playhouse figs
The most fun for some reason
Go, King of Cartoons!

JPX said...

Pee-Wee's Playhouse toys
I have every one of them
Including Playhouse

HandsomeStan said...

JSP step up
Hoping for more out of you
Ditch chicks. More fig stuff!

Polarize the blog
Thought more would have opinion
Action figures! Yo!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Don't give me that look
Silly Toys R Us cashier
They're for my nephew

Johnny Sweatpants said...

JPX got mad
When I played with his figures
I was hard on them

First I'd lose the guns,
Then I'd claim "It wasn't me!"
We both knew the truth

Johnny Sweatpants said...

It's been on my mind -
King Kong Bundy stretchy doll
Odd but pretty cool

Go-Bots were a joke
Just a poor man's Transformer
No movie for them

Nothing sadder than
A Jawa missing his robe
Utterly worthless

Johnny Sweatpants said...

A brilliant idea,
Rocket firing Boba Fett
Spoiled by dumb kids

I freaked out one night
When Jeff's talking Pee Wee doll
Wouldn't let me sleep

I can chuckle now
But it wasn't funny then
He wanted to kill

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Rubber SD Jones
Stolen from Handsome Stan's car
A thief with good taste

Catfreeek said...

I know this is a late entry but...

The wrestlers and ring
Johnny brought, my kids would play
Lost wrestler, Stan's pissed!

Lesson to be learned
Never let seven year old
Near your precious toys

HandsomeStan said...

Sorry, gang - I'm working outside in the rain all day today. I'll have the results up later tonight!