Monday, July 25, 2016

Batman - Dark Victory (DC Direct)



Batman - Dark Victory
DC Direct
2004

Batman: Dark Victory was a thirteen part series (14 if you include the Wizard exclusive #0) by famed comic duo Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. The story is actually a direct sequel to the duos mini series, The Long Halloween. Though not touted as the best story to be produced by Loeb and Sale, it still garners high respect from Batman fans for its re-imaging of Robin's origin into the Batman legend, as well as for bringing closure to many characters introduced in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One.

In 2004, DC Direct produced a series of figures based on the story. Though it was only a handful of characters, they certainly chose some great ones to represent - Commissioner Gordon, The Scarecrow, and of course, Batman and Robin - The latter which also featured The Penguin packed in with him.

Unlike most Batman toys produced by DC Direct at this time, the ones based on Dark Victory aren't going to send you to the bank to request a second mortgage to obtain. The figures fluctuate between $15.00 and $25.00 for mint in the package ones - Not terrible considering some of the other Batman lines have been known to cost you upwards of $300.00 for one figure.

Great figures, and a story that too is great means that Dark Victory is simply awesome all around. Granted if you're going to read to books, you should probably check out The Long Halloween first so that you can get the whole story. Both series are definitely worth your while. 

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Lost In Space - The Classic Series (Trendmasters)



Lost In Space - The Classic Series
1998 - 1999
Trendmasters

Whoops...Let that be a lesson to you. Never schedule a post that you haven't actually finished. As many of you may have noticed, we've done that with two posts recently. So, now we're doing a little backtracking to finish them.

We touched briefly on the history of Lost in Space in our post regarding the Toy Island release from 1997. So we'll skip the history lesson of the show, and jump right into the toys.

Right on the heals of the aforementioned Toy Island line was the 1998 - 1999 Trendmasters series. Unlike Toy Island which focused on a one and done remote control Robot B-9, Trendmasters covered much more ground. The line included dolls, various versions of Robot B-9, and even a vehicle. Unfortunately for fans, the items weren't necessarily designed and developed to be intermixed with each other. Rather, much like your typical LJN produced line, it was sort of all over the map.

The most common pieces from the series to be found are the tube boxed dolls which featured Dr. Zachary Smith, Judy Robinson, Major Don West and Will Robinson.



Though not boxed in the same style as the tube dolls, the two dolls in window boxes, Cyclops and Tybo the Carrot Man are also fairly common on secondary markets. You'll notice that we haven't really mentioned any prices just yet. This is because while the dolls in general are fairly easy to find, there sadly aren't many transactions going on between buyers and sellers.

In fact, Robot B-9 seems to really be the only draw to the series for collectors. The standard and chrome versions of the robot have sold for between $35.00 and $45.00 new in the box. Granted this isn't much of an increase in price from their original retail prices.


However, the massive Radio Control B-9 Robot is another story all together. This 24 inch robot is not only incredibly difficult to find, but it's also going to set you back anywhere from $350.00 to $500.00 to get one.


Though the Jupiter II spaceship has been found numerous times priced at around $450.00 (or more), the reality of it is that most collectors aren't willing to pay that kind of price for it. Mint condition ones in the box typically sell for around $250.00, with the occasionally one selling for slightly more. Mind you, its by no means cheap, but it's definitely not the price a lot of sellers are asking.


Which in turn could be the biggest challenge that the series faces in drawing fans in. Secondary prices are marked far higher than what most people are willing to even consider paying. It's really a no win situation for either parties. Buyers can't get the items they want because they're not going to pay double what their value is deemed, and sellers can't sell their products because they're asking way to much.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Flash Gordon (Bif Bang Pow)



Flash Gordon
Bif Bang Pow
2007 - 2010

This post is sadly more so a want list for us as we never have been able to track down a full set of the 2007 - 2010 Flash Gordon series from Bif Bang Pow.

The line made its debut in 2007 with the red carded series one. It featured two versions of Flash Gordon, and two versions of Ming the Merciless.

The differences between the two Flash figures are subtle enough that they are easily missed by casual glances. The first version of Flash featured a black and red tank top with a sword accessory. The second featured a red tank top with a blaster. The difference between the Ming figures is rather obvious with one featuring a red robe, and the other a black.

These days the figures are incredibly difficult to come by. However, oddly enough when they are found, they aren't all that costly. An autographed Flash figure sold for as little as $26.00.

Though series 2 is far more commonly found than series one, it's still not in abundance. Oddly enough the SDCC versions seem to be the easiest to obtain.

Series two featured four new characters, Klytus, Prince Barin, Dale Arden and another Flash Gordon - This time in his white shirt from the first 1/4 (or so) of the film.

As mentioned above, this particular series featured a few SDCC exclusives. Interestingly enough, while series two initially was released in 2008, it wasn't until 2010 that the convention exclusives were produced.

Each exclusive was a slight alteration of their series two counterpart. Klytus no featured popped out eyes from his death scene in the film. Prince Barin featured whip lashes on his wrists from the scene leading up to Klytus' death, and Dale now featured a white wedding dress.

While the movie was amazing for its time, and still lives up to fairly good standards these days, probably one of our most favorite things to come from the 1980 film is the soundtrack. No, it doesn't feature a lot of Queen's finer pieces of music, but it does work well with the film. Who doesn't love to sing along with, "Flash, ah ah!" Not only that, but we simply have to give it a shout out because Queen is definitely one of our all time favorite bands here at The Toy Box.

The film had all the makings of a sequel, but unfortunately performed so poorly at box offices that it was soon destined for cult classic status as opposed to popular franchise. Making just 27 million in the USA based on its 20 million dollar budget, it was definitely considered a blockbuster bomb. While we are among the people that would have loved to see a sequel, we at least can live with the fact that as a result of performing so poorly that the franchise wasn't run into the ground with awful sequels made simply to cash in.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Completely Mental Misadventures Of Ed Grimley (Tyco)



The Completely Mental Misadventures Of Ed Grimley
Tyco
1988

Ed Grimley is the character created by comedian Martin Short. Short started playing the character in the early 80's with The  Second City improv comedy troupe. When the actor joined SCTV in 1982, he brought with him the character for its television debut. Grimley became so popular that when Short moved on to Saturday Night Live that he continued to act as the character. 1988 would become the biggest breakthrough when Ed Grimley became the animated (and live action) star of his own television show, The Completely Mental Misadventures Of Ed Grimley.

With the character came the actors / alum of Second City's SCTV. Characters such as Count Floyd, The Amazing Gustav Brothers, Ms. Malone and her son Wendell were mainstays in each episode. Despite the success of the character, The Completely Mental Misadventures Of Ed Grimley only lasted one season - A total of thirteen episodes.

However this short lived run didn't stop Tyco from procuring the rights to a Talking Ed Grimley Doll, as well as a Stick-On Ed Grimley.

The talking doll stood sixteen inches tall, and with the pull of a string said phrases such as;

"I'm as doomed as doomed can be, you know."
"Oh, give me a break!"
and
"This is like a joke I must say"

Mind you, those aren't the only phrases the doll says.

As is custom with pull string dolls, the discs inside are prone to warp over time if not kept in cool dry storage. As such, many dolls get that iconic squeaky chipmunk voice that toys such as this type are prone to get.

Depending on the condition, the dolls have been known to sell for as little as $10.00 in the box, and as much as $50.00. Just remember that the box condition shouldn't be your only factor in paying high end prices. Make sure you get one with a fairly good working voice feature.

The Stick-On Ed Grimley was a much smaller plush doll with plastic head that featured suction cups on its hands for sticking to various surfaces - Thus the name, Stick-On. Unlike the sixteen inch doll, there's not much to really say about this one as it's fairly simplistic in nature.

Though it's not as common as the sixteen inch doll, the Stick-On Ed Grimley typically doesn't sell well on secondary markets. This is most likely a result of sellers pricing them too high (for what people seem willing to pay). Even at $15.00 they don't typically sell - Which is a shame because it's not a bad collectible if you're a fan of the character and / or show.

***BONUS***

Ed Grimley - A Flame Retardant Collegeville Costume
Collegeville Costumes
1988

If you're a child of the 70's or 80's, then chances are incredibly high that you wore a Collegeville Costume brand costume at some point in your life - Either for fun, but most likely for Halloween. The company has produced so many iconic pop culture characters over the years - Raggedy Anne, Popeye, Gollum - Seriously, this list could go on and on, and one could amass an impressive collection just of costumes alone.

With so many characters under its belt, it's no surprise that Ed Grimley joined the fray in 1988. Though we don't personally know too many kids that dressed up as the character - There were more Ninja Turtles that particular year - We're sure somewhere out there that there was at least one child that was determined to be Ed Grimely on October 31, 1988.

These days you're bound to be able to find some form of vinyl costume based on your favorite character from the 70's and 80's from classic companies such as Collegeville Costumes, Ben Cooper, Inc. and / or Halco. However, they're sadly incredibly expensive, and rightly so. With how many kids wore them, tore them, or in general threw them out as they quickly grew out of them, there probably aren't honestly all that many to be found mint in the box. 

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Market prices fluctuate daily, and the prices as listed herein are not intended to be a set point, but rather a benchmark of where prices were noted at during the time period in which the article in question was written/posted. The value of any item shown here is always subject to change based on supply and demand, as well as seller/buyer preference. We are not affiliated with any buyers/sellers, and have no influence on prices set by secondary market dealers or individual sellers.