Friday, December 29, 2017

Star Wars: The Proxy Edits



In one of those lucky moments, I came across something many of you may have heard of already, but perhaps for those few who have not this will be a fantastic treat.

Ever seen The Proxy Edits of Star Wars The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and / or Revenge of the Sith? Whether you're a fan of George Lucas's vision for the Prequels or not, The Proxy Edits deserve a viewing.

Before I jump into spoilers of each film, the first thing to address here is what exactly a Proxy Edit is. For those of you familiar with the video game series The Force Unleashed, you know Proxy is the droid working alongside Starkiller - The main character.

It is this pseudonym the man (or woman) behind the Proxy Edits has taken to present these edits. No, you won't actually see Proxy in the films, nor hear him speaking as an editor. Instead, he is simply used as a guide providing an explanation behind these cuts of the film for the trailer (so to speak). You can find that HERE.

The underlying beauty of these edits is that with the exception of one digital change, the films don't appear to rely on any new footage or alterations. Instead, they show that with slight editing and dialog changes the Prequel films can be good.

Each film stands on its own from start to finish, beginning with an opening crawl, and ending with end credits. So for those wondering, yes, you do get a full length film for each of the Prequel episodes. I will share links below to the films (after the spoiler section). Skip to that section now if you don't want any of the secrets ruined for you.

[SPOILERS AHEAD!]

The Phantom Menace

Run Time: One Hour Forty Minutes

This film gets the most out of the fresh perspective to the Prequels, and it pays off greatly. It is also my favorite out of all three.

The Trade Federation are no longer a bunch of bumbling fools answering to a mysteriously cloaked Darth Sidius. In fact, the character not once makes an appearance in the film adding merit to the Federation actually being bad guys and not just pawns. Additionally, the dialog has been completely removed from the film and replaced with a new language and subtitles. This new dialog now represents characters who don't fear the Jedi and treat Amidala like the child she is. Most importantly it shows confidence and competence in their decisions and overall actions to straight up invade Naboo.

Though he is still in the film, the silly humor of Jar Jar has been removed through a series of well timed edits. In its place you get a smuggler type character looking more so for a quick cash in of credits when he first meets Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Jar Jar is now represented as a serious character who's motives are clear as to why he's helping without the unnecessary eye rolling attempt at humor. I dare say I actually like this character now - Well, this version of him anyway.

The silly, over the top "childish" actions of Anakin, such as shouting, "Yippee," "Now this is pod racing," etc. have all been removed. This helps to present the character as a more mature child, only helping to impress upon the viewer that there is something indeed special about him.

Speaking of pod racing, this scene has been condensed considerably to remove the announcers and most importantly keep the scene flowing. It's now an edge of your seat race which keeps you watching with glee as opposed to falling asleep as the original twenty minute race tended to do.

Admittedly there is a sacrifice from this editing. Darth Maul is kind of out of place. Without Sidius to be found anywhere in the film you really don't get any explanation as to where he came from, what his motives are and as a result he simply seems to randomly appear to fight the Jedi at inopportune times - Then of course dies as he does in the film (unless you're a fan of the animated shows, then well, he isn't dead - Just cut in half).

Attack of the Clones

Run Time:One Hour Fifty-Nine Minutes

There aren't many edits to be found here, but the ones you do get work great. Jar Jar continues his new voice / subtitle dialog which flows better with the beginning of the film. Though this is really the only change - outside of a few cuts here and there - to be found in the film for quite some time.

The film also does away with the unnecessary scene of Obi-Wan having to ask Yoda to help him with finding Kamino - You know, the pointless scene used only to cram children into the film...and show Obi-Wan isn't a thinker.

The awkward love scenes between Anakin and Padme have been condensed down to the point where they're no longer cringe worthy, but at the same time still work. In the end when she says she loves him, she cuts to the chase instead of giving a speech first.

It's also when they reach Geonosis that you'll start to find some great new incorporation of changes to the film. Let's start with the Geonosians themselves. They no longer are simply hosting a game where the creatures are there to eat the Jedi and Padme for everyone's enjoyment. Instead, there is a short but sweet trial where the leader of the Geonosians claims the republic is conducting (war) crimes, and sentences their operatives to death.

Once again because there is no appearance or mention of Darth Sidious, Count Dooku isn't actually represented as a Sith. Instead he simply plays the part of a "political idealist" as called so at the beginning of the film by Ki Adi Mundi. He even has a green lightsaber as opposed to a red one. No Sith to be found here.

Oddly enough, the editor of the film opted to remove the portion where Jango Fett loses his head. However, they kept the part where Boba picks up the helmet. This results in a, "Huh?" moment. Especially since at this point Jango has simply disappeared into thin air. Just show his death if you're going to keep the follow up scene. Gone from this same scene are R2-D2 and C-3PO bumbling around for no other reason than oddly placed humor.

When the war breaks out in the end, the dialog for the Geonosians is once again tweaked in a manner that when the Death Star is revealed it is done so in a way to say the weapon is the conception and future plans of the Republic. Only further driving the idea that the Republic are indeed the enemy, and not the good guys. You can definitely see from this perspective how the Empire is formed in the end.

Revenge of the Sith

Running Time: Two Hours Three Minutes

Definitely the most disappointing of the three edits. This film could have used more cuts. Some which come to mind are at the very beginning. I would have loved to see the goofy Buzz Droids removed which would have alleviated a lot of the silly dialog during this sequence. Additionally, I wish the droids voices were adjusted to not sound so cartoonish. I would have also liked to have seen Grevious's emphysema cough removed. Overall there just doesn't seem to be enough edits to this film.

Much like Attack of the clones, the edits are few and far between until near the end.

I do like how when Obi-Wan and Yoda are talking about Anakin right before going their separate ways to fight their respective baddie that the edit removes Yoda's reference to Darth Vader. This was always a mood killer for me in the movie because Yoda never hears reference to the name Darth Vader anywhere. It was a real continuity killer when he referred to Anakin as such.

The last ten minutes of the film is where a lot of chopping and reorganizing happens. In all honesty, it may go by a little too fast.

It starts with the babies being born, but getting no names. We see Luke handed to Beru and Owen, but we don't see where Leia ends up. Additionally, we don't see the fate of Anakin - I.E. becoming Darth Vader. We still see Padme's funeral procession, which means if you watch this with Return of the Jedi there is still a continuity error. Still don't know how Lucas missed this one when writing Revenge of the Sith.

Overall these fast cuts and major cramming in the last few minutes result in no payoff to the Prequel Trilogy in this format. Truth be told, if this were Lucas's ending I would have been ticked off that I sat through seven hours of movies for no conclusion.

This however wraps up the changes you'll find in the film.

[END OF SPOILERS!]

Either you read the spoilers or were intrigued on your own to read this far down. Regardless, if you've gotten this far I'm guessing you're looking for the links.

You can watch the films by clicking on the below name of each film. Additionally, you can download the films from each respective page. However, we neither recommend nor encourage you doing so as despite being a fan edit this would still essentially be pirating of copyrighted material. We more so suggest you simply watch the films from the links.

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Cap Guns



Merry Christmas, Toy Box readers! Yes, once again Christmas falls on a Monday, which means just like any other Monday of the year we bring to you another post. Coincidentally, this is also our last for the year as the new year falls on a Monday as well. Let's ring in the holidays together!

To wrap up the year, we thought it would be fun to have a look at one particular toy type, and not necessarily a specific brand. If you haven't guessed already, it's cap guns.

For many of us, playing with cap guns was as common as action figures. We came from a time where things were simpler, quieter, and more importantly, safer. Parents didn't fear that giving their child a toy gun would turn them into a raging psychopath - Which for the record it won't. Nor did they have to worry that their kids running through the neighborhood with toy guns would get shot by some moron thinking they were being invaded. Perhaps people from prior decades were also more intelligent.

Whatever the reason, cap guns, and toy guns in general, aren't all that common these days. As we said in our post related to Star Wars blasters, it's actually kind of sad. Kids of this generation don't seem to get to be kids anymore. It's all about hurry up, and grow up.

We digress though. Let's not make this post about sad things. Let's focus on the topic at hand; cap guns.

For generations children have been having a blast (puns) with cap guns. They can be found in all shapes and sizes as well as all types - pistols, revolvers, rifles, machine guns and even ray guns. If you were a kid with an imagination, there was a pop gun to match your particular made up adventure.

As collectibles, most cap gun collectors tend to go for the ones based off of famous characters such as The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, James Bond and more. If it was a popular "action" television show between the 1930's and 1950's or film, chances are fairly high that a cap gun (or some form of toy gun) was produced. Mind you, that's just the ones based on pop culture characters. There are perhaps double or triple (if not more) of non franchise related cap guns as well.

Since their inception, cap guns have been produced in die cast metal, plastic, and the die hard vintage collector's favorite, cast iron. Then of course there are the numerous companies which have come and gone over the decades who have produced some of the best cap guns to date; Hubley, Kilgore, Marx, Halco and Daisy (to name a few).

While many a collectors choose their favorite cap guns based on aesthetics or product license, there is another factor which shouldn't be overlooked - The caps of course.


You can't have a cap gun without caps. They're what give the gun that distinctive bang sound, a puff of smoke and that familiar scent. Caps have been produced in numerous different styles, which unfortunately limits which guns they can be used in.

The most popular form of cap is the roll cap. This in turn makes the guns that use them all the more popular.

The primary explosive in most caps is called Armstrong's Mixture. Taken from Wikipedia;

"Armstrong's mixture is a highly sensitive primary explosive. Its primary ingredients are red phosphorus and strong oxidizer, such as potassium chlorate and potassium perchlorate."

Yup - Means nothing to most of us beyond if it goes bang, we smile with glee.

In addition to roll caps, several manufacturer's have also produced ring caps which are common in revolver and / or rifle style cap guns. Each ring can hold anywhere from one to twelve, with eight being the most commonly found / utilized.

Though not commonly used, caps can also come in single row strips. These caps were far more common in the 1980's, and utilized for uzi type cap guns or other such automatic weapon style toys.

What makes pairing up caps with specific guns sometimes challenging is the fact that many cap gun companies didn't actually produce caps in house. Companies such as Buzz Henry, Stevens, Kenton, and even the larger Hubley and Marx never release caps. Instead, they relied on the already well established market of competitors and 3rd party manufacturers. In fact, there are probably more companies that produce caps than the actual guns. We're not sure if this was a result of far more licenses / experts being needed when working with explosives. Sounds pretty convincing as an argument though.

Despite being mini explosives, caps and cap guns have been determined as safe for use by product safety testers. With the exception of a burnt finger here and there on the paper roll caps, we can honestly say we've never had any accidents that resulted in anything beyond waving our finger in the air to cool it off.

As time has gone by, to make the guns aesthetically different from real guns many toy company's began developing their cap guns with bright orange tips at the end of the barrel. The downside to this was that many children would pry them off with a pair of pliers. Toy company's have also taken to producing the guns in fully painted bright color schemes. Whether these have helped to achieve the safety level intended is another story. However, this seems to be more so a problem with society, and not necessarily the guns themselves.

It would be impossible for even the most die hard toy enthusiast to nick the surface of the immense amount of cap guns that have been available since their inception in the mid 1860's. The largest collection in the world is currently denoted as belonging to Chuck Trois, former guitarist of Expressway To Your Heart. His collection is so massive he admits he doesn't even know how many he owns. If you're ever in Fredericksburg, Texas, stop by the 5,000 square foot museum where they are displayed.


As for the kids of this generation (and most likely beyond), they'll have to suffice with more diverse style toy guns. Ones that in essence are guns, but it's disguised to not be one...So shhh don't tell mom.

You know, ones such as the Fart Blaster from Thinkway Toys Despicable Me 2 line.

Yes, we live in a world where if you're going to play toy guns with someone else, then (one) it can't look like an actual gun, and (two) it has to make a grueling, disgusting fart sounds as opposed to live ammunition ones. After all, it's far more appropriate to teach our children to be offensive than promote any such form of violence.

P.S. The Fart Blaster is tons of fun. See you next year, Toy Box readers!

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Ovni (Madel)



Ovni
Madel
1970

To date we've only touched on one Madel product - Superman - Which is kind of a shame because the company makes some great toys; such as Ovni!

For those of you fluent with your Spanish, you know that Ovni means UFO in English. This of course is the perfect header for this toy line because it is indeed a spaceship themed line.

"Sustentada por el impulso ascensional de sus convertidores aero dinamicos" - or for the Spanish impaired, "Supported by the upward momentum of its dynamic aero converters." In short, Ovni are fancy kites.

Each one (with the exception of the below Estacion Orbital) comes with a pair of "wings" which you attach to the side of each ship via a long metal "rod" sticking through both ends. You then attach your string, and find some wind outside.

 TH-003*FK-002

Madel produced three different "ships", as well as the aforementioned Estacion Oribital aka Orbital Station. While the three ships were kites, the orbital station worked much like your typical zip cord helicopter. It also looked nothing like the space station item shown on the package. More so it was just a couple of rotors which sat on top of the "launcher".

ZE-001*Estacion Orbital

All and all, not a bad bit of fun! Who doesn't like a good kite? Find a windy day, and let the time melt away in peace and quite as your kite soars above your head. Sounds nice, doesn't it?

You won't find many of these on secondary markets which cater to countries out of European or Spanish markets - Sorry, folks. No ebay. This of course makes tracking them down a little difficult. However, if you find one you can expect to spend about 25. That's about $28.00 US dollars.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Finally! A Reason to Have Netflix!



I've been a long time Netflix member, and quite honestly these days I pay my ten dollars (or so) a month more so because I'm too lazy to cancel the service, and occasionally get something which I can tolerate for ninety minutes.

Well, it took years, but Netflix may actually finally have something I actually want to watch coming on December 22nd.

"The Toys That Made Us" is an eight part documentary which focuses on the history of G.I. Joe, He-Man, Star Wars and Barbie (possibly more). I haven't been this excited for something on Netflix since...Um....(crickets)...Well, hopefully this is worth the wait!

If this is something you want to learn more about, then definitely follow the above hyperlink to the Facebook page. Admittedly there isn't much content to be found on the site.

If you have Netflix, you can jump over to their website and do a search for the title. While it's obviously not available to watch for a few more days, at the very least you can add it to your list of titles. It will populate in your "queue" when it becomes available. Since I'm prone to forget about these kinds of things, I went ahead and did just that.

What do you think? Will you be checking out, "The Toys That Made Us" when it premieres?

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Cap'n Crunch (Funhouse)



Cap'n Crunch
Funhouse
2002

Cap'n Crunch figures? Heck yeah!

Horatio Q. Crunch's cereal was created based on a survey of children who said they disliked soggy cereal. In response, Quaker (thus the Q in Cap'n's name) gave kids a cereal so sog resistant that it actually cuts the roof of your mouth - Don't lie. You know it does that to you too.

Since his inception, Cap'n Crunch has had twenty-five (or so) different kinds of cereal spin offs - Some more successful than others. Additionally, he's been so popular as a mascot that the character has appeared on all sorts of merchandise.

Today, we're looking at 2002's short lived action figure line from Funhouse (also short lived). Though the series was intended to include four basic figures, two deluxe "animals" and vehicles, only two of the figures actually made it to production.

We got the man himself, Classic Cap'n Crunch, and Pirate Jean LaFoote with Squawky. Each one featured a fantastic array of accessories as well as bonus stickers inside each blister card. Additionally, the cards themselves were labeled as a 1st Edition Collector's Series.

The figures themselves are limited in articulation, but make up for this in troves with their spot on sculpting of the characters. Cap'n Crunch is a mascot that even people who don't eat "his" cereal recognize immediately, and these figures definitely can't be mistaken for anyone other than they are.



As mentioned above, Funhouse planned a few more items in the line that never made it to fruition. The two basic figures, Deep Sea Cap'n Crunch and First Mate Sea Dog were showcased on the back of the cardback. However, the mini-sub, S.S. Guppy and deluxe Loche and Fishy Friends (one deluxe figure pack) and Tinker and Walter (the second deluxe pack) were not showcased on the packaging at all. Some websites have production photos of the items that were intended for release, but it is unknown if any of the prototypes ever made it to the hands of collectors.

The figures are rather rare these days, but regardless of this they typically don't sell. This may be due to sellers asking far more than people are willing to pay - Roughly $35.00 to $75.00 per figure (mint on card). It could also be that very few people know about the line.

Unfortunately for Funhouse, they only managed to produce two short lived toy lines before going out of business. This one, and Dragon Master.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Greetings From the Baltimore Toy and Collectible Show!



I enjoyed my first Dave Hart show so much, I was determined to make it to this weekend's despite the flurries of snow which beckoned me to stay inside my warm home with a hot mug of cocoa.

The vendors were in full swing once again with toys, trading cards, comic books, CD's, DVD's and so much more, but it was easy for me to make my way around. I had come for specific things, and I wasn't going to deviate into the mass of swooping vultures of dealers - Which mind you would have been easy to do. With a boast of eighty vendors and over three hundred tables there was certainly appealing items which weren't on my current list of wants, but easily could have been added.

A perfect example of this was the pristine condition Han Solo blaster from Kenner's 1978 Star Wars line. At $90.00 despite it having no scuffs, all the original stickers and working sounds I had to leave it behind. These things sell for fifty bucks on a good day on ebay.

Which leads me into my first question - Don't these dealer's realize everyone carries around Smartphones these days? I mean, come on. You know most smart people are going to immediately check to see if the juice is worth the squeeze when you throw your price out.

Anyway...

My main drive for wanting to hit the show again was the one dollar CD vendor I visited on my first trip. I was chomping at the bit to peruse through his massive stock, and I'm happy to say he didn't disappoint. I swooped up well over a hundred CD's, and after a nice discount ended up getting them for about seventy-three cents a piece. Can't beat that price anywhere that I know of.

Once again I wasn't picky about what I was picking up. Even if the dealer would have charged me a buck, I was all in on grabbing music with either one song on the album I knew, or artists I knew, but not necessarily any of the songs.

Check out these great finds!

For those who know me, you know I love a good soundtrack. As I've always said, they're a great way of getting lots of tracks from artists you just won't find on their studio albums.

La Bamba*What's Love Got To Do With It*The Big Chill*More of the Big Chill
Beverly Hills Cop II*9 1/2 Weeks*The Blues Brothers


I'm not really big into music past the 80's, but if I like a movie and see the soundtrack for relatively cheap I'll go ahead and grab it. Obviously seventy-three cents is well within my "Why not" budget.

In the case of Beverly Hills Cop III, I've actually never even seen the movie. I more so got it because I already have the soundtrack to the first film, and grabbed the sequel mentioned above. May as well finish the series out.

Beverly Hills Cop III*Beavis and Butt-Head Do America*Ace Ventura: Pet Detective*Boogie Nights*Dumb and Dumber
Philadelphia*Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery*Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me*The Crying Game*Man on the Moon

I wish I could have found Goldmember to finish out the Austin Power soundtracks. Oh well. Maybe next time.

I don't own any Disney movies and I can't honestly say I have seen them all. However, something as of late has drawn me to the soundtracks. I'm not going out of my way to find them. Nor will I spend big bucks on them, but when I see them for cheap I'll grab them. Today yielded eight more to add to my collection.

I'm actually really intrigued by the Pirates of the Caribbean one because it's not the film soundtrack, but rather the attraction at the Disney parks. I'll definitely be giving this one a spin in the next day or two.

Tarzan*Pirates of the Caribbean*Aladdin*Beauty and the Beast
Mary Poppins*The Little Mermaid*The Hunchback of Notre Dame*Chicken Little

I rounded out the film soundtrack findings with the complete trilogy of Lord of the Rings, and Edward Scissorhands - I'm a big Danny Elfman / Oingo Boingo fan, but honestly don't own a lot of his soundtrack work.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring*The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers*The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Edward Scissorhands

I'm not a big Broadway fan. In fact, I can't honestly say I've ever seen any of the below plays in either TV or stage form. Quite honestly I don't know why I picked these up. Suffice to say something told me I had to have them.

Les Miserables*The Phantom of the Opera*Cats

Like I said above, I went ahead and grabbed a fair amount of CD's for artists I was familiar with, but not necessarily albums which had any songs I knew on them. This really pertains to Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Elton John and Sting (for today's haul anyway). I really only know their hits, and wanted to start broadening my horizons with their music catalogs. Hopefully the below proves lucrative.

Bruce Springsteen
Greetings from Asbury N.J.*Nebraska*Tunnel of Love*The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
Magic*The Rising*Human Touch 

Elton John
Songs From the West Coast*The One*Peachtree Road
Love Songs*Something About the Way You Look Tonight / Candle in the Wind 1997*The Big Picture 

When Elton John released the 1997 version of Candle in the Wind in honor of Princess Diana, I kind of felt like it was a cheap way to cash in. Twenty years later, and I kind of still feel the same way.

John Mellencamp
Trouble No More*Wherever We Wanted*Dance Naked*Human Wheels
John Mellencamp*Cuttin' Heads*Uh-Huh*The Lonesome Jubilee 

Sting
The Soul Cages*Ten Summoner's Tales*Mercury Falling
Sacred Love*Songs of Love

Sting's Songs of Love (I came to find out) is actually nothing more than a compilation which was exclusive to Victoria's Secrets. Maybe it's just me, but that's an odd outlet to be selling CD's out of. I don't know...Does Sting make you want to buy panties?

Again, not a big fan of 90's (and beyond) music, but I went ahead and added a "few" CD's to my collection for the one or two songs I knew off the below CD's. 

At this point I also got tired of spreading out CD's to take photos, so sorry for the massive stacks in the last two photos.

Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell III - The Monster is Loose*Damn Yankees (self titled)*Garbage 2.0*Van Halen Balance*U2 How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb*U2 All That You Can't Leave Behind*Roxette Crash! Boom! Bang!*R.E.M. Automatic for the People*R.E.M. Green*Michael Bolton Soul Provider*311 Transistor*Ugly Kid Joe America's Lease Wanted*Cher Believe*The Breeders Last Splash*Chubawumba Tubthumping*Coverdale Page (self titled)*The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience*Poison Flesh & Blood*Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way*Moby Play*The Proclaimers Sunshine on Leith*Tom Petty Wildflowers*Gorillaz Demon Days*Gorillaz G Sides

You may have noticed I left the Duran Duran album in the photo out of the list above. That's because when I got home I was treated to just the DVD in the sleeve. Lame. Gotta check that stuff before you buy!

Sadly, there really isn't much 80's music to be found to add to my collection. Mainly because I already own so much of it already. I did manage to scrape up a few CD's, and yes, I know - Not all the CD's in the stack below are from the 80's. Then again, not all the CD's noted above are from the 90's.

 The Beatles Live From the BBC*Hooters One Way Home*INXS Welcome to Wherever You Are*INXS X*Billy Joel The Stranger*Peter Gabriel So*John Fogerty Centerfield*Squeeze Singles - 45's and Under*Crowded House Temple of Low Men*Cinderella Once Upon A...*Tears For Fears The Seeds of Love*Traveling Wilburys Vol 1*Tina Turner Foreign Affair*Cinderella Night Songs*Adam Ant Manners & Physique*Adam Ant Wonderful*Big Audio Dynamite The Globe*Bee Gees One*Living Colour Time's Up*Midnight Oil Diesel and Dust*Buster Poindexter (self titled)*Howard Jones Dream Into Action

Does anyone really need a Buster Poindexter CD? Probably not, but I had to have it cause I was feeling hot, hot, hot!

*UPDATE*

Gotta be honest, I was expecting the Buster Poindexter album to be silly Vegas style show tunes ala Hot Hot Hot. Boy how surprised I was to actually have a solid album in my collection full of some great rhythm and blues tracks. Noteworthy songs which stuck out were "Are You Lonely For Me, Baby?" and "Oh Me, Oh My (I'm A Fool For You Baby) - And of course, Hot, Hot, Hot. 

I'm not a big vinyl collector, but when I saw this, I had to have it...

The Karate Kid (front)

If there's one thing I love about vinyls it's the massive "artwork" on the sleeves. They're so eye catching. Mind you, I don't just mean the fronts. Check out the back of this bad boy...

The Karate Kid (back)

Fantastic photos from the film. A full cast list. The tracks on each side as well as information on the artists. Absolutely beautiful. Much nicer in comparison to the CD version which is (somewhat) available.

Okay, okay. I went to a toy show. So where are the toys?

Don't worry. I didn't just leave with CD's and a vinyl album - Although I would have been more than happy with the day if that was all I found to take home.

If you recall from my last trip to Timmonium, one of the things I was on the lookout for was a Captain Power figure. I didn't find one then, but today was more than generous. Not only did I find one, but I found it (almost) mint on card. I also found Lord Dread (as well as a few others).

The guy selling them was literally only shy one of the original wave of six figures. Had he had them all, I would have taken them all. However, since he didn't I limited myself to just the two. He initially wanted twenty bucks a piece for them, but I talked him down to ten each. Let's be honest - Captain Power is a tough sell to most toy collectors.

Captain Power*Lord Dread

I'm honestly torn here because my main goal was to find a loose / complete Captain Power. Now that I have this really nice one on a card I'm actually hesitant to open it (them). I may just hang them from a nail on the peg loops. 

The same seller also had a Michael Jackson doll which I was interested in, but I didn't take the plunge on it. Next time...

He also had...

V: Enemy Visitor
This is one of those items which has always been on the back burner of my mind, but I never saw one in the wild. When I saw this one in amazing shape at a price point of only forty dollars I was all in. Much like the Captain Power figures, I don't know that I'll be able to bring myself to open this bad boy up. He looks so cool in the package!

It's a real shame LJN never released the figures and vehicles originally planned for this line. I'd wager they would be a hot commodity on secondary markets these days.

On my way out the door I stopped by the G.I. Joe seller I started my collection with last time I was at the show, and picked up a couple more figures.


Storm Shadow*B.A.T.
Beautiful condition painted Cobra logos on these figures!

Joes are something I'm taking really slow. I'm in no major hurry to obtain a massive collection of them, and I really want to ensure I only get the ones I absolutely want. This is not a series I am going for broke on (literally) that I have to have them all. In fact, the more I see them, the more I am more interested in the Cobra figures and not so much the Joe team - Outside of a few key characters.

I'll add these two to the pile I got from the first show - Which honestly are still in the bags they originally came home in.

Well, that's it. Sadly I still haven't come across the 1989 Batman or Mego Buck Rogers figures I'm looking for. One day...

Until then, this is the haul for the day, and I couldn't be happier with it.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Adventures in Odyssey (Rainfall Education Toys / Chariot Victor Publishing)



Adventures in Odyssey
Rainfall Educational Toys
1996

Here's an interesting one we've come across; Adventures in Odyssey. Never heard of it? Not surprised. It's not your typical action figure based on your typical 22 minute afternoon or Saturday morning cartoon.

Adventures in Odyssey actually began a radio drama presented by the Christian group, Focus on the Family in 1987 which to date features over 800 episodes (or serials). The shows were developed for inclusion in the group's ministry as an alternative to Saturday morning cartoons. What set this show apart from most Christian themed programs was that it was not designed to be "preachy", but rather "entertaining" (as annotated from a quote by co-creator Phil Lollar).

The radio shows grew so popular that to date they air on over 6000 radio stations around the world in various languages. As of 1992 they had been released on cassette and CD collections, selling over a million copies of cassettes alone. Additionally, Chik-Fil-A has had several Adventures in Odyssey themed kids meals at their fast food locations. The point of all of this - Despite being unknown to many, this is no small license.

In 1991, a video spin-off of the radio drama was created as an animated alternative for children. This is what the iterations of figures below were based on. With a $400,000.00 budget for each episode you can certainly expect to find quality cartoons here (should you choose to hunt them down).

Unfortunately to date the series has been unsuccessful in finding a television station to air it, so the only option for viewing is the original VHS tapes or recently released DVD's which feature all seventeen episodes. You can also find clips on Youtube. It's honestly not a bad show.

But, what about those figures?

They're honestly not terrible in terms of sculpt. They certainly match their on screen counterparts. Unfortunately what makes them lackluster is their lack of any accessories. What are kids supposed to do with them once they're out of the package?

Without any accouterments, all you really have here is a handful of figures who do nothing short of standing around. I.E. There's no interaction going on here - Which makes for a rather bland and boring action figure line. We know they're going for the whole non violent theme here, but give them something.

Alright, alright - We don't want to spend this post bashing the line. This is certainly not our intent. As we said, in terms of sculpt these aren't bad figures when compared to their on screen counterparts.

Under Rainfall Educational Toys the line featured four figures; Dylan, Eugene, Sherman and Whit. When the license was transferred to Chariot Victor Publishing (as noted below), all four figures were re-released on those cards, and this time around also featured Connie (1999).

We do have to admit that the bright pink package definitely draws in your eye, and can even admit that as kids if we saw them we would be interested enough to take a closer look.

Adventures in Odyssey
Chariot Victor Publishing
1999


You're going to want to sit down for this one...

If these figures are something that interests you, you're going to first and foremost be very patient. These aren't all that common. Next, if you find a full set, be ready to spend upwards of $200.00 for them carded. Whoa! TWO-HUNDRED DOLLARS!

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