Dorothy Hamill (Ideal)

Dorothy Hamill

We can't help but think that the reason behind a Dorothy Hamill doll was to somewhat push Barbie out of the spotlight. Why buy a blonde haired, non working woman who seems to revel in her own beauty, when you can and should buy a doll based on a real working girl who fought her way to the Olympics in 1976 to become the gold medal champion?

That may not necessarily have been the premise behind the doll, but we still think it.

Well, as we said, Dorothy Hamill was the gold medal champion of the Olympics in 1976 for ice skating. She then went on to become the champion of the world in that same "sport". After her continued success in the Olympics, Hamill joined up as a headliner for Ice Capades (1977 to 1984). She would eventually buy the franchise in 1993, but then sold it in 1995.

Due to her success and popularity, she was voted and tied for first place with Mary Lou Retton in 1993 as the most well known athlete in America - Beating out the likes of Michael Jordon, Joe Montana and many others. The contest included the names of 800 athletes in total.

But, what about this 1977 doll from Ideal? We've already given our opinion on how that came about. Opinions of origins aside though, it's a pretty fantastic item - Especially if you're into doll collecting. The included Olympic medal has got to be one of our all time favorite accessories included with any packaged doll. The detail on it alone is superb.

That's just cool how much detail they got into that! Especially in 1976. Kudos to Ideal for a job well done.

Featured in the package was also an ice skating rink. However, before you get too excited about this, it's not really a rink. Instead it's a round plastic stand. You put the doll on it, then with your hand push the stand around, and Dorothy will spin and spin as she moves across whatever surface you're pushing her on. The included instruction booklet also depicted numerous poses to put the doll in to showcase real ice skating moves.

The doll also featured its own line of clothing - All of it ice skating related. Three individual outfits were produced and released. They were released under the tag line, "Star Performance Outfits".

Show Stopper*Rehearsal Warm Up*Swirling Snow Flake

From the obscure to the most popular, we try to dig them all up here at The Toy Box. We hope you've enjoyed our look at Ideal's Dorothy Hamill doll from 1977.

Join us May 1st for a special announcement!

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Masters of the Universe Promotional Posters (Mattel)

Masters of the Universe Promotional Posters
1984 - 1987

Happy Masters of the Universe Day! Yes, it's been 28 years since L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley decreed that April 28 shall forever be known as Masters of the Universe Day, and we like so many out there still recognize it as such to this day.

In conjunction with numerous blogs, we're posting a special post dedicated to the ultimate man of muscles, He-Man. We'll include a list of fellow bloggers at the end of this article.

A really awesome aspect to collecting Masters of the Universe toys in the 80's - Or rather, playing with Masters of the Universe toys in the 80's - was that every so often Mattel would put out wonderful promotional posters for us kids. More so fantastic to this idea was that the posters were free...With purchase of "X" amount of figures.

Each poster featured wonderful painted artwork of the toys, and served not only as a fantastic portrait to hang on your walls, but also as an excellent visual checklist. The posters were produced consecutively each year from 1984 to 1987.

There are two versions of each poster known to exist. The most common are those that have the printed names of all the characters showcased. The second version has no names printed on the artwork. Personally, we prefer the ones with the names printed.

 1984 - AKA He-Man and Skeletor Castles

 1985 - AKA The Evil Horde

For those of you looking to add a little of the vintage He-Man line nostalgia to your collections, but shy away due to high secondary market prices, these posters could be what you're looking for. Though some sellers try to list the posters as high as $100.00 each, they can typically be obtained for $15.00 to $20.00 each - However, be mindful of reprints if you're after the authentic ones.

 1986 - AKA Eternia

1987 - AKA Preternia

These posters are fantastic! They come from a period in time that Photoshop didn't exist. As such, they were nicely painted by artists that actually worked to earn a living as opposed to just cropping photographs digitally. Boy, how many digital designers did we just tick off with that comment?

On that note, we wrap up our Masters of the Universe Day contribution. Don't forget to check out all the other great bloggers out there who are posting in celebration of the day;

Action Figure Adventures
Action Figure Barbecue
Battle Grip 
Diary of a Dorkette
Hoard World
Needless Things

Masters of the Universe Day logos created by The Toy Box using artwork of Orko created by KWilkinson of Deviant Art.

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Mad Monster Party (Diamond Select)

Mad Monster Party
Diamond Select

Rankin/Bass was a production company best known for its work on animated holiday specials such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Year Without a Santa Claus, and so many more. During the 60's and 70's, they produced many of these made for TV animated features which aired on stations such as ABC and NBC.

In 1967, the group produced the full feature animated film, "Mad Monster Party?". Though it wasn't as well known as the companies prior Christmas holiday based shows, the film has since gone on to find a cult following status.

In 2012, Diamond Select produced a small batch of statue based figures. Each one was a spot on rendition of the classic film character, and included fantastic paint work.


Since the line was never officially cancelled by Diamond Select, it is possible that we could see a few more characters trickle out for this line. Considering the film included the likes of The Mummy, Quasimodo, The Werewolf, The Invisible Man and several more well known horror icons, there's definitely room for expansion here.

The Baron

The Count

Since they're still relatively new, these items aren't too hard to find on secondary markets. A full set can be grabbed for about sixty dollars, which is actually right in line with the original retail price - Give or take a few bucks.

Join us April 28th for a special post!

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Battletoads (JusToys)


When we said in our prior post that we'd be back to look at more JusToys products, we didn't expect at the time that it would be right on the heals of our prior one. Let's just say that at this point we've begun the hunt for numerous JusToy items to add to our collection - So more will definitely be on the horizon.

Unlike Pirates of the 7 Seas, which we covered last time, people are very much so aware of the Battletoads line of Bend-Ems from JusToys, and they are eager to add them to their collections at any cost. Individual figures have sold for as much as $75.00 each! EACH!!!


The origins of Battletoads can be traced back to June of 1991 when it was released as a video game by Tradewest across numerous platforms - Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Gameboy, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Amiga and Amiga CD32, respectively.

Garnering popularity almost overnight as the next best beat em' up game, the title went on to spawn a handful of sequels, Battletoads in Ragnarock, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs, and the highly popular Battletoads Double Dragon. Even an arcade version hit local arcades in 1994 - And the kids all ask, "What's an arcade?"

JusToys developed only three Bend-Ems for the series; Pimple, Rash and Zitz. Pimple appears to be the most difficult to track down out of all of them.


Sales of entire sets don't come along too often, and when they do, prices skyrocket. If this is the kind of toy you're looking to add to your collection, then you're going to have to diligently hunt, and patiently wait for the price you're willing to pay - Though be prepared to pay upwards of $250.00 to $300.00 for a complete set when it's all said and done.

Join us next time when we take a look at Mad Monster Party!

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Pirates of the 7 Seas (JusToys)

Pirates of the 7 Seas

While compiling all of our information for the Star Wars Bend-Ems line from JusToys, we noticed that the company has produced several other lines. This included the fantastic Pirates of the 7 Seas series which we'll take a look at today.

This very confined series had just five bendable figures, all of which were unique, colorful and a whole lot of fun. Even the packages for each figure were individually designed to showcase fantastic artwork based on the character.

Captain Roger Malestrom*Hannibal "Blackheart" Bane*Jewel-Eye Jack

Not too many people collected these figures back when they were first released in 1992, and it appears that these days not too many people are looking for them on secondary markets either. Though they've been priced to sell from as low as $1.99 each (mint on card), many people pass on them - However, a good reason for this may be that many people just don't know they exist.
Roberto Alvarez*Samson Finn

We'll definitely be revisiting JusToys in the future. As we said above, they have many series that they produced in the Bend-Ems fashion. These range from comic book characters, to wrestlers, movies and more. If you know little to nothing about this company, check them out. You may just stumble across something that interests you.

Join us next time when we take a look at Battletoads!

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Dead Space and Dead Space 2 (NECA)

Dead Space

Though Dead Space was initially touted as a survival horror sci-fi series by developer EA, fans of the series refer to it more as an action horror sci-fi series. The reason for this is because there was anything but a challenge to survive once players upgraded weapons, found massive stores of ammo and health packs, and essentially walked all over the game with a fully upgraded Isaac Clarke.

That's not to say the game was bad - In personal opinion, far from it. The game was a lot of fun, had a lot of replay value, and overall told a great story. It was because of these elements that the game not only spawned a franchise of games, but also that NECA produced some great figures for the fans.

Unfortunately for fans, the only offerings were Isaac Clarke - Two of which were the same figure, just with bloody variants and a weapon change up.

A neat function on the figures was a light up feature. With the push of a button, Isaac's mask would light up, giving it that eerie yet awesome glow as seen in the game.

Isaac Clarke with Plasma Cutter

Bloody Isaac Clarke with Ripper

Technically, the San Diego Comic Con figure below was the first figure released in the series. It also remains one of the most sought out, yet common figures produced.

Isaac Clarke in Unitologist Suit

Dead Space 2

With the success of the game franchise and toys, NECA developed an all new series of figures based on the sequel, Dead Space 2 in 2011. This time we got an all new Isaac Clarke, and finally an enemy for him to tangle with - a Necromorph Slasher.

NECA shied away from exclusives and variants this time around, and as a whole seemed to lose interest in the series before it even got off the ground. Then again, NECA has always been known for making incredibly small lines that feel incomplete and abandoned.

Isaac Clarke

Necromorph Slasher

We've noticed a trend with video game based figures. A lot of times the figures sit on shelves warming pegs for months, but then one day get clearanced out and disappear. Fast forward a year or two down the road, and suddenly everyone wants them now that they're not available, and prices skyrocket.

These figures are going to set you back if they're something you're looking for these days. On average, opened ones sell for between $20.00 and $25.00, while sealed ones tend to go between $35.00 and $50.00. On occasion, the sealed ones have been known to sell for even more.

Join us next time when we take a look at Pirates of the 7 Seas!

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World's Greatest Super Pirates (Mego)

World's Greatest Super Pirates
1975 - 1976

Mego produced several series under the "World's Greatest Super" line. One of which was the amazing World's Greatest Super Pirates. The "Super" part in that title must have stood for, "Super Awesome!" These guys are great!

Based on both fictional and real known pirates, the line saw four eight inch figures produced. Blackbeard, Captain Patch, Jean Lafitte and Long John Silver each came in their own box with some of the best clothing and accessories that Mego had produced to date. It's a shame that there were so few of them, and even more so a shame that Mego never developed one of their classic vinyl playsets for this line. Can you imagine a fold out pirate ship sitting on vinyl water? Awesome!

Blackbeard*Captain Patch

A frustrating aspect for fans trying to hunt these down is that parts seem to be more available from broken dolls then actual dolls. More so annoying is that a good amount of boxed figures that can be found are in reproduction boxes - A problem many Mego lines are suffering from these days.

An aspect to watch out for when tracking down these figures is that toy manufacturer Figures Toy Company produced a set of reproductions in 2005. If you're not careful, you could end up paying top dollar for a reproduction. There are differences between the Mego and FTC versions. However, some are so subtle that unless you know what you're looking for you could miss them.

Join us next time when we take a look at Dead Space and Dead Space 2!

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Elvira - Mistress of the Dark (Figures Toy Company)

Elvira - Mistress of the Dark
Figures Toy Company

Cassandra Peterson, known as her TV persona of Elvira - Mistress of the Dark was born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas. While all the other girls around her were facinated with Barbie dolls and skipping rope, young Cassandra was more so interested in all things horror themed.

Though she started her career in Las Vegas as a showgirl, things changed for the would be star in 1981. Six years after the death of Larry Vincent, who starred in the late night horror show, Fright Night, producers took an interest in revitalizing the show. With the decision to cast a female host, the call went out for auditions. Peterson had developed the Elvira character in her acts, and quickly caught the attention of producers with her low cut, tight fitting dress. It certainly didn't hurt that she was also well endowed.

When the show launched, the female host, Elvira - Mistress of the Dark soared from B movie horror flick host to a persona all of its own. Soon she was starring in films based on the character, and making guest appearances on other notable television shows.

In 1999, Figures Toy Company procured the rights to develop a line of action figures based on Ms. Peterson and her character Elvira. Two versions were produced as well as two glow in the dark mail away variant editions.

The first figure produced depicts the character with a chainsaw on a blue card back. The second showcased her with a broom, witches hat and was on a red card back. As mentioned above, both figures had a limited run of glow in the dark variants. These figures were only available as a mail away promotion directly from Figures Toy Company, and were each limited to 5,000.

These days, you can find Elvira playing host to numerous comic conventions such as Comickaze which she has also become a backing investor of. She is referred to as "The Mistress of the Board" by other staff.

Join us next time when we take a look at World's Greatest Super Pirates!

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Spider-Man: Web Force (Toy Biz)

Spider-Man: Web Force
Toy Biz

During the mid 90's, Toy Biz was flooding the market with anything Marvel Comics related that they could. This often times included numerous sub series which utilized old figures with new accessories, or old figures with a different combination of old accessories. Web Force was no exception to this. It contained four figures rehashed from various Marvel related lines, and crammed them into a bubble packaging with as many accessories as they could fit in.

The series featured two variations of Spider-Man, one variation of Lizard, and a random Daredevil thrown in for good measure. To add that extra "oomph" to the series, each character was given a ridiculously long name.

Spider-Smash Lizard

Tank Attack Daredevil

Web Commando Spidey

Web-Swamp Spidey


Web of Spider-Man
Marvel Comics
1985 - 2012

If you haven't been focusing on the photos, then you've missed that we've also incorporated the Marvel Comics series, Web of Spider-Man. Personally this was one of our favorite Spider-Man series until they started messing with crossover issues that forced you to read multiple Spider-Man titles just to get the complete story.

In total their were one hundred twenty-nine issues of the series which ran from 1985 to 2012. In addition there were ten annuals released between 1985 and 1994. Why there were no annuals produced for 1995 to 2012, we can't say.

Speaking solely from personal opinion, the stories contained in the pages of the series just felt more thought out, and often times featured appearances from characters that the main series (The Amazing Spider-Man) wouldn't bother with. There were also several milestone moments which included the return of the Hobgoblin, Spider-Man appearing for the first time in his Spider-Armor suit, and the reunion with Gwen Stacy (to name a few).

The final issue, number 129, was the first and only time that the series produced a variant cover. A total of three were published. The two variant covers are distinguishable by their numbers, respectively 129.1 and 129.2.

Join us next time when we take a look at Elvira - Mistress of the Dark!

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Toy Bloggers United - Contest Number Two Announcement!

Let's just get this out of the way first - This post is NOT the actual contest.

With the great success of the first contest, we thought we'd give it another go. The second contest is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 4, 2015 at 12:01 AM EST, and will run through Sunday May 10, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.

For those of you new to the contest we held, the concept is a simple one. If you read a specific blog site that is advertising the current TBU (Toy Bloggers United) contest, you need only follow the link to the specific site that is hosting it, and enter your pseudonym or actual name in the comment section for a chance to win a mystery prize pack.

Each blogger participating will provide (at a minimum) one (1) mystery item for each contest. When the results are finalized, the winner who claims the package will get the whole shebang of all contributors! It could be one item, it could be a hundred.

Contest number two is being hosted by our good pal, Jon of The Harvey Mercheum! Though we will continue to post updates regarding the contest, to enter you'll need to visit his site when the contest goes live.

The purpose of this post is a call out for contributions to the contest. If you're interested in donating a prize, please contact Jon at , and let him know you're interested. You will then be provided with the mailing address for where to send your contributing prize so that it can be bundled together as one package for the winner.

Contributors are welcome to contribute from abroad, but must ensure their item can be received prior to the start date of the contest. All contributors will be responsible for their own shipping charges.

More details will be provided to all contributors via e-mail upon initiating their interest. Again, e-mail all interest to Please make the subject line - "TBU Contest Contribution" so that it can be referenced quickly and easily.

Contributors for this contest include;

The Iron Giant (Trendmasters)

The Iron Giant

We love the Iron Giant movie. It was fabulous! Of course it didn't start as an animated film. Rather, the Iron Giant's roots can be traced back to 1968 when he was created by writer Ted Hughes for the novel The Iron Man.

In the book, the Iron Man comes to England where he rains destruction down on farm equipment. Later in the story he befriends a young boy, and eventually saves the world from an attacking monster from outer space.

Though part of this premise is used in the film, the animated adaptation opts out of the monster invasion plot, and instead brings into focus our own destructive nature as human beings. As a result, the story is a little more easier to get engrossed in, and also leaves a deeper impact of how violent a society we are that we would destroy ourselves to eliminate out of fear a potential threat that we don't understand. Deep, huh?

Unfortunately for fans of the film, Iron Giant toys weren't necessarily easy to come by. Granted Trendmasters did a descent job of putting some items out there, but we never got the action figure and vehicle line that one would have expected with such a franchise.

The end result is a product line that's all over the map - Much like LJN used to do with their movie based products. Nothing really fits in correlation with each other. Not only that, but all of it is strictly based on the Iron Giant character, leaving no other characters available. This is where an action figure line would have been spectacular - Think figures, military vehicles, etc.

That's not to say that what we did get was poor or inferior, it was just awkward when compiled. On one hand you have a six inch figure of the Iron Giant, but on the other you have an electronic bank. See how these two items don't work together? It was as if the advertising hook was, "Get your Iron Giant toys, and...I don't know, incorporate it with your G.I. Joes or something?" Which now that we say that would have been AWESOME with the 22 inch Ultimate Iron Giant figure.

Build & Battle Iron Giant

Iron Giant Animated Bank

Power Hero Iron Giant

Remote Control Iron Giant

Super Plush Iron Giant

Transforming Iron Giant

Ultimate Iron Giant

If you're looking for these items these days, be ready to drop some cash. Typically they're expensive. Most items will set you back around $125.00 to $150.00 each. True mint condition in the package items have also been known to sell for close to $400.00 each. However, there are occasions where you can pick up loose items, and stay under the $100.00 range - That is if other buyers aren't scoping out the same items as you. Patience is key if you are looking to invest as little as possible.

Join us next time when we take a look at Spider-Man: Web Force!

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