Monday, January 16, 2017

Star Wars Die Cast (Kenner)

Star Wars Die Cast
1978 - 1980

We admittedly have never been big fans of die cast vehicles, but that's not to say that they don't have their charm. Die cast certainly have their appeal to many collectors, and with ranges from land vehicles to space ones (not to mention everything in between), it's not difficult to see why.

Though they obviously don't coincide with the scale of Kenner's vintage 3 3/4 inch line, the below die cast items were just as much a part of the series as the 12 inch dolls. Back in the early days of Star Wars toys, Kenner was just looking to produce something that would appeal to a wide variety of children, so while the 3/34 inch line became the obvious most preferred, it wasn't necessarily Kenner's main focus at first. Let's face it - Nobody was really prepared for the phenomenon that Star Wars became.

Kenner produced two different styles of vehciles - The smaller bubble carded ones, and the larger boxed ones. While it was nice to get the variety of sizes, obviously there is still a scaling issue from vehicle to vehicle. Can you imagine if the Millennium Falcon was as large as a Star Destroyer (or Imperial Cruiser as it was called in this line)?

The biggest problem with this particular series is the high value that most sellers put on them. Asking prices range as high as $500.00 to $750.00 for each vehicle. The reality of this is that most buyers are willing to pay only $65.00 to $300.00 depending on which vehicle it is, and in what condition. Yeah, sure, that's still a high dollar amount for one die cast vehicle, but it's a far cry from $700.00!

It's key to note that these are few and far between on secondary markets. They're not as common as your typical Kenner Star Wars action figure - Especially not in the package. This aspect could be playing a crucial role in why so many sellers thinks they should be asking for such high prices.

Regardless of the reasoning, this is definitely one tough set to put together. However, with that said, time and patience will be your biggest reward if you're up to the challenge of the hunt.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

The Martian Chronicles (Larami)

The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury has written a couple of novels during his time, so you may have heard of him before in the sci-fi community. One such novel was The Martian Chronicles which featured a series of short stories which tied together via interstitial vignettes. The novel was first published in 1950, but wasn't actually all new material. The stories themselves had originally been published in various magazines throughout the 1940's.

In 1974, Larami obtained the rights to produce figures. Unfortunately for fans, they only developed and released three alien figures - Each eight inch figure featured the same body sculpt, but a different head (mask), and different color robe.

The figures are actually based on the renditions as seen in the six hour television event by Charles Fries Productions. Reviews for the "show" were mixed at best, which is still considerably better than the popularity of the figures which seemed non existent.

However, it's because of this lack of popularity during the 70's that these days the figures will set you back considerably if you want them. Carded figures sell between $130.00 and $250.00! Mind you, that's if you can find them. They are incredibly rare - Only contributing more so to their high demand prices.

If you do plan on hunting these down, it's probably not going to be something you'll find overnight - Unless the stars are just perfectly aligned that night. Even as we type this there was only one carded orange robe figure we found, and one loose pink robe figure. They are out there -They're just not in abundance.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Round Robin Challenge: Fire All Over, Fire All Over!

Today's Round Robin Challenge comes from 2 Minute Toy Break. It's the question that nobody wants to ever have to answer - Be it a home owner, or renter. A fire breaks out in your home, and you have 60 seconds to save something. What is it going to be?

Yikes. I don't even want to think about that. What a horrendous question to ask someone.

Well, I'll play along anyway. After all, it's all in good fun, and more so for a way for us all to show off that one collectible that is so important to us that we'd risk running back into a burning home to get.

Okay, obviously I have to go back for this...

Not that I necessarily want it, but I'd never hear the end of it if I didn't.

But, with the last 30 seconds of time I have, I suppose I could find something to pick out. The question is, when you have a giant mess like this...

What do you go back for?

Surprisingly, the answer is really simply for me. There's a collectible that I've been actively obtaining since I was as young as one years old. Granted, I didn't know it at the time, and wouldn't until the early 1990's. That would be my Star Wars home video collection.

It all started back in 1977 with the original Ken Films Super 8 reels (I still have these by the way) which my dad was buying for the family...Okay, more so for himself. Even at the ripe old age of barely zero, I fell in love with it. When the first Video Rental Library format was released in 1982, my dad used his connections in the government to have one shipped overseas to us, where it remained with me to this day.

Ever since then, if it was a version of Star Wars released on a video format in the US, I picked it up. Okay, more so I asked for my parents to do so...And still do to these days.

It was around the mid 90's that I started to branch out, and that's when I started tracking down the UK and Australian PAL versions. Soon after that I dabbled in Japanese versions, but didn't get very far before it dawned on me that my nice complete collection of Star Wars films was now out of control. Since then, I've tapered off, and gone back to strictly focusing on US releases - Which is much cheaper since I'm just buying current releases at this point.

I'd love to show off my entire collection, but sadly, the majority of what I have is packed up at the moment because I'm in the process of moving. However, if a fire broke out, I would definitely have to go back for my (incredibly heavy) boxes of Star Wars videos - All five of them. Could turn out that I need my own Vader suit after that what with the fire and all.

Don't stop reading there. Make sure you check out everyone else who contributed to this round of Round Robin.

The host of course started it all with his fantastic Secret Wars collection.
Mr. Smith gives himself an advantage with an Ikea bag to help nab up some things.
Brother Midnight is keeping it simple by grabbing his giant sized Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Alexis is going on a self owned shopping spree with a Walmart bag to get what she can.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Bob & Doug McKenzie (McFarlane Toys)

Bob & Doug McKenzie
McFarlane Toys

You like action figures, eh? You like beer, eh? You like SCTV, eh? What about Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, eh? Tired of reading the word

Bob and Doug McKenzie were the fictional hosts of Great White North - A skit seen on SCTV. Bob (Rick Moranis) and Doug (Dave Thomas) often times spoke about Canadian life and culture, frequently referring to each other as hosers in the process.

The success of the sketch led to a full length movie in 1983, and it is the film that these figures from 2000 are based on. While it's no doubt that McFarlane Toys brought their usual "A" game to the series, it's the accessories that really stand out. Each package is stuffed to the brim with them!

Beer bottles, beer cases, packages and lawn chairs - Each one is meticulously designed to compliment the figure perfectly. They alone are worth grabbing these figures if you wanted to incorporate them into another line of figures.

These days they're not difficult to track down, and at as little as $10.00 a piece (sometimes), they're not bank breaking at all. At most, we've seen them sell for $15.00 to $20.00 each, which still isn't all that bad. 

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Annual Binge and Purge - A Mass Bloggers Digital Yard Sale

I've decided to start a new tradition here at The Toy Box. It's called Annual Binge and Purge. What it will essentially be is  mass yard sale for all of us bloggers that will take place starting on January 1 of each year (hope there are some of you interested in this).

How it works is we create a post of all the crap collectibles we've accumulated over the year(s) that we just don't want to hold onto anymore. Much like the league, we create a post, share our links, and everyone gets a chance to maybe get rid of some of that stuff that they're looking to offload, and perhaps get some new stuff (or cash) to take its place via a deal with our fellow toy bloggers / readers.

So, I guess let me start -

What I'm offloading:

300+ Xbox 360 Games, peripherals, accessories and the console itself. Mostly AAA titles - All complete with their original case, artwork, and applicable inserts. Some duplicate games, but they are different versions - Such as Game of the Year, Gold or Complete editions.

50+ Star Wars PAL format VHS and Betamax tapes - All different "versions" dating from the 1982 video rental library editions to the 1995 THX "Last Chance" editions

2012 - 2016 Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Figures (complete run through human Karai and Armagon - all figures are open, but 100% complete). Includes all weapons / accessories, the card back, character name insert, and catalog inserts. Includes SDCC exclusives with boxes. Also includes all eight Ooze canisters (Ooze still inside) with mini turtles (not inside the canisters).

2012 - 2016 Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Figures, Vehicles, Playsets and Accessories (complete run of everything through human Karai - Sorry, no Armagon) - All factory sealed in their boxes and packages). Includes variant package editions of all the figures, playsets and most of the vehicles. Also includes multiple "copies" of the SDCC exclusives (I think 3 of each). Additionally, it includes a full display box of both the original and multi-color ooze canisters (three of each mini turtle with each display box - Twelve canisters in each box - Total of 24).

Set of the four turtles from the larger / fully articulated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection. Mint in packages.

Unfortunately I'm not really looking for cherry pickers with what I'm getting rid of above. I want to sell / trade each "set" in one lump sum. I.E. all of the PAL tapes to one person. All the opened figures to one person, and so on and so on. I don't want to send one batch here, another batch there, and then be left with odds and ends that nobody wants.

I do however have a few other odds and ends stuff that I will add as I come across it that can go as bits and pieces. Such as;

R2-D2 Measuring Cups / Spoons (unopened)

Bootleg Batman the Complete Animated Series Collector's Edition (Got duped into buying this one from a seller who said it was authentic - It wasn't. I bought the authentic release from someone else just recently)

Four Football and One Soccer Ball Display cases. These are great for displaying figures in! One of the football cases has a slight crack on one of the corners though.

Darth Vader / Stormtrooper Salt and Pepper Shakers (unopened)

USB Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis controllers - Great for playing ROMS via emulators on your PC (if you're into that type of thing). These don't have to go as a set, and I have multiples of some of them.

Four unopened Pint Size Heroes Five Nights at Freddy's figures. These are blind bag mystery mini type figures.

Unopened Rock Candy Enchantress (Suicide Squad) from the Black Friday GameStop Mystery Box.

PC Games (all with original boxes / cases) - Bully Scholarship Edition, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Anime Studio Debut 9 (program, not a game), Plants Vs. Zombies (Game of the Year Edition) and SimCity Societies. These don't need to go as a set. You can let me know if there are any titles listed that you want.

What I'm looking for (with the exception of cash offers):

Mainly CD's from the 80's - One hit wonders, popular bands, etc. I'm also looking for 80's cartoons on DVD.

I feel like I should post photos of what I have, but quite honestly it's 11:30 PM on New Years Eve, (it's actually now past 12:30 AM on New Year's Day - Happy New Year!) and I'm exhausted. My next step after hitting the "post" button is (to apparently edit this post a dozen times, then go to) bed. I'm also not sure how popular this concept will be, so I don't really want to dive in 100%.

You can post a message here if you want to chat about any potential trades / sales. You can also leave a comment with your e-mail address / brief description of what you're interested in, and I can reach out to you that way. Comments with e-mail addresses will not be published. They will only be used for the purposes of getting in touch with you. Please also use the comment section to let me know if you post a link on your site with your own trades so that I can add them to my post.

If we make a trade, let's agree that shipping for what I am sending is on me, and shipping for what you are sending is on you. If it is a sale, buyer will pay the shipping.

If I think of anything else I'm downsizing on I will post it here.

Hope there's some of you interested in at the very least taking part in this concept. If you are, leave your link in the comment section, and I will add it to the actual post here.

Brother Midnight has added his list of stuff.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Round Robin Challenge: Christmas Wishes Vs. Christmas Reality

With the death of Pop Culture League Challenge, I toyed (no pun intended) with the idea of creating my own challenges for people, but refrained from doing so because I didn't want to step on anyone's toes by "taking over" what Brian had created. Then I came across Mr. Smith's concept - Round Robin, and had to admit that I really like this idea. Not only does it create a new League (of sorts), but it also keeps the ball rotating from blog to blog.

The way it is designed is that the first person to post gets the privilege of hosting the next round, and creating the next topic. I like this! I like it a lot. It makes this new league something that we can all (metaphorically) have ownership of. Granted I don't really know how it's all going to work. How do you claim to be the first to post? Oh well...Splitting hairs. For now, let's just all enjoy it.

So the first Round Robin Challenge is Christmas Wishes Vs. Christmas Reality. While I know the woes of receiving a gift that wasn't necessarily wanted, I am happy to be able to say that one of the greatest things about my significant other is that she always goes above and beyond to put under the tree what I truly want. This year was no different.

Mrs. Claus had two large boxes under the tree for me this year, and they didn't disappoint. As I tore the paper off the boxes she said my face lit up like a little boy when I saw what was inside...

Most of you know what they are. For the rest of you, it's the vintage Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain playsets.

As a kid I never had Snake Mountain, but I always wanted one. As for Castle Grayskull, I had one and played with it pretty much daily. To have these both in my He-Man collection is a dream come true! These are both 100% complete, and the microphone for Snake Mountain works. Pure awesome!

I don't have them set up just yet with all my figures. I'm planning on doing so - Once I move them to a more spacious area in the house. I'll add more photos once I do that. While I don't have all the vehicles and accessories from the vintage MotU line, I do have all the five inch figures, so these will be great to play with. Yeah, that's right...I'm going to play with them - Even at my age.

I hate to boast, but like I said above, my Christmas wishes typically become a reality. I truly am lucky to have that special someone in my life that always makes sure I get what I want for Christmas and birthdays. I am truly blessed to have someone that knows me so well, and goes above and beyond for me.

While I wish my other fellow bloggers had as great a Christmas as I did, not everyone got what was on their list.

2 Minute Toy Break shows us the playset he wanted, but didn't get.
Alexis wished for friends, and hopefully found in her comment section that she had already had what she wanted.
And of course, the host of the challenge provides his own Christmas story.

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Remembering Carrie Fisher with Princess Leia (Hot Toys)

What a sad day this is for fans of Carrie Fisher. Whether it's for her work in films such as Star Wars, Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, and so many more, or her famous books such as Postcards From the Edge, Wishful Drinking, and like her films, so many more, one thing is for certain - Carrie Fisher will be missed.

As many of you know, Carrie Fisher passed away at age 60 today of a heart attack. The news was shocking to fans across the globe who had just recently heard that she was in stable condition after a medical emergency just days earlier. When all seemed to be righting itself, tragedy loomed its ugly head.

Though we will miss her deeply as the Princess of a galaxy far, far away, we can take with us some solace that she will forever be immortalized on film, paper, and even plastic. Though she is gone from this Earth, we will always have a part of her with us.

We'd like to take this moment to remember Ms. Fisher with a look at one of the best renditions of her we've ever seen - Hot Toys 2016 Princess Leia. The "doll" was released in 2016, and much like the many Hot Toys products captures the look of both Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia to a "T". It'd definitely an item we recommend to any fan of Ms. Fisher or Star Wars.

No, we know that no toy will ever replace having the real Carrie Fisher in our world. Nor would we even suggest it possible. Carrie Fisher will forever be missed.

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