A Lucatrive Trip to the Used CD Store!

Today seemed like the perfect day to trek out to McKay's Used CD's and Books for a peruse through their used CD selection. I hadn't been there in a while and was eager to see what new (old) stuff they'd gotten in since my last visit.

The trip turned out to be rather lucrative. I was able to check off quite a few from my list of wants while at the same time grabbing a couple I didn't know I wanted.

Check em' out!

 Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of...*Rick Astley - Whenever You Need Somebody*Bad Company - 10 From 6*Boston - Third Stage*Peter Cetera - Solitude / Solitaire*Elvis Costello - Spike*DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper*DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - and in This Corner...

 DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - Homebase*Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record*Erasure - The Innocents*EMF - Schubert Dip*Heart - Brigade*Modern English - After the Snow*Miachel Penn - March*REO Speedwagon - Hi Infidelity

 Rush - Clockwork Angels*Starship - Knee Deep in the Hoopla*Rod Steward - Out of Order*Rod Stewart - Vagabond Heart*Tone Loc - Loc-Ed After Dark*Bonnie Tyler - Faster Than the Speed of Night

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Retro Spins: Heart - Heart


There's a joke I've come up with that I like to tell when referring to the band Heart. I say, I bet Heart's career went something like this. Ann was packed up and ready to leave home. She told her mother, "Goodbye mom. I'm off to be a rock star." To which her mom would respond with the typical answer, "Take your sister with you." Older siblings will know what I mean having heard this from their parents when attempting to tromp off to play. I know, kind of lame.

Many fans of the group feel like the band sold out in the 1980's. Specifically with their self titled album from July of 1985. Okay, I respect that opinion. It's rough when you love a band, their music, their style and suddenly they do a 180 departure from it and go in a different direction. However, there's no denying that the band's work in the '80's yielded them the most commercial success. So perhaps while a transitioning from a hard rock edge to the more commercial mainstream pop sound wasn't some people's favorite, it was clearly a smart move for the band.

What About Love jumped onto the charts a month prior to the album's release and climbed to the top ten by August. As it began its decent back down the charts, it was joined (in September) by Never which made its way to number four by December before dropping back down.

As Never continued its decent, These Dreams joined it on the charts in January of 1986. Dreams hit the number one spot in March and as it continued to fall down the charts was joined by Nothin' At All in May. While Nothin' At All made it to the number ten spot on the charts in June it would quickly drop from there.

The last track from the album to chart was If Looks Could Kill. However, this would debut at number eighty-six in July and fall completely off the charts right after.

Overall, I really liked this album. Six of the nine tracks have a regular rotation in my IPOD; If Looks Could Kill, What About Love, Never, These Dreams, Nothin' At All and the newly added as of the Retro Spin play, All Eyes. The remaining three songs aren't terrible and flow nicely with the album as a whole. They just don't necessarily stand out as anything beyond being just okay.

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Painted Memories: Don't Let Them Get Wet After Midnight in the Sunlight

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Punky Brewster (Galoob)

Punky Brewster

Everyone's favorite foster child, Webst....no...Arnol.....er.....Punky Brewster! Hmm...There were a lot of shows in the 80's about foster children.


Punky Brewster burst onto the scene of 80's sitcoms in 1984 staring a very young Soleil Moon Frye and not so young George Gaynes. The series was so popular that it not only ran for four seasons, but also spawned an animated series feature the voices of the same television actors.

With its popularity came a slew of merchandise - Two of which we'll look at today.

Galoob marketed the rights to develop a toy line based on the series and with it came the six mini figures you see here before you. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a downside to the line - None of the figures moved. They were all one molded piece of plastic.

Despite this "minor" oversight, this didn't stop the line from finding a strong foothold in toy isles - Based on the character's namesake alone.

That same year Galoob created and released a doll version of Punky which featured standard articulation as well as screen actuate cloth clothing.

Punky Power remains in full affect these days and it translates big time into these two lines. The mini figures, which are commonly found loose, will set you back $20.00 to $30.00 a piece! Whoo! That's if you can find them. They are incredibly rare.

The doll can be found for as little as $10.00 (loose), but if you're looking for one in the box be prepared to drop around $60.00 to $100.00!

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God Didn't Make Rambo...

...I made him.

Yup, I finally got myself a Colonel Trautman figure from the 1986 Coleco line to stand proudly next to my Rambo figure.

I love how the toy line basically said, "To heck with the animated series," and went with movie renditions of Trautman (and Rambo).

I also like all the awesome details and accessories packed in with this bad boy;

I admittedly could have and should have looked for one in better condition in terms of the paint application on the hands, but in my defense I didn't notice this when buying it.

The detail in the arm patches is so awesome!

The man would honestly be weighted down running into battle with all of this gear!

Turn the crank on the backpack to thread the looped bullet belt through the weapon with a clicking machine gun sound!

There was a downside to buying this particular figure. That would be that he also had a fully decked out Rambo with it and he was not interested in splitting the two up. So as Nute Gunaray would say...

 Now there are two of them!

If anyone is interested in the Rambo figure holding the RPG at an angle, he's up for trade or sale. I ended up paying $60.00 for the pair (Rambo and Trautman) and would sell him for down the middle, $30.00. He has all of his accessories and unlike Trautman has zero paint flaking or wear. But, as I mentioned, we can also work out a fair trade if you've got something I'm looking for; 80's CD's, complete and mint(ish) condition Cobra figures between 1983 and 1987, or complete Robocop and or ED-260 from Kenner. Hit me up with a comment if you're interested.

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Painted Memories: Guess Your Weight

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Retro Spins: Steve Winwood - Back In The High Life

Steve Winwood
Back in the High Life

Steve Winwood was no stranger to the music scene having been a part of major acts such as Traffic, Eric Clapton and more before as early as 1967. In 1977 Winwood released his first (self titled) debut. Unfortunately his career, while moderately successful, sputtered along for his first three albums.

After a four year hiatus, in June of 1986 Winwood released what would become his most popular album to date - Back in the High Life. The hit Higher Love charted the same month the album was released and worked its way all the way up to the number one spot by August of that same year. Though it started dropping down the charts immediately thereafter, it was joined in September of that same year by Freedom Spills, the second single from the album. Freedom would make it to the number twenty spot before beginning its decent back off the charts.

However, in February of the following year, another song from the album hit the charts - Finer Things. Though it made its way to the top ten by April of 1987, the song never reached number one and by May began its decent off the charts. This wouldn't be the last hit for Winwood from the album. Also in May of '87, the album title song, Back in the High Life stepped onto the charts making it all the way to number thirteen before slowly dropping off.

This heightened popularity for Winwood helped out his prior albums too as in October of 1987 the song Valerie (from his 1982 album Talking Back to the Night) debuted on the charts at number seventy-seven. It climbed all the way to number nine until it began fall from the charts through early 1988. It would be joined by the title track of the album, Talking Back to the Night and then by a song from Winwood's follow up album, Roll with It.

With so many hits from the album and a resurgence of interest in his prior work you would think the record as a whole would be amazing. Sadly, this isn't the case. The tempo stays relatively the same and the hits are really the only tracks to stand out. In fact, as I was listening to one of the songs - which at this point I don't even remember the title of - I found myself saying, "This is the kind of music I would expect to hear in a movie about a bar or while physically sitting at a bar." I probably can't explain what that means, but feel you would know what I mean if you experienced the album for yourself.

I'm actually kind of sad to say that no new tunes made it to my IPOD to join the songs which were already there; Higher Love, Back in the High Life and The Finer Things.

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The Three Musketeers (JusToys)

The Three Musketeers

Disney has always had a problem when it comes to producing blockbuster films. It seems they often think having big name actors attached is enough to turn a lifeless script into a hit. Sure, it may fill theater seats, but without a solid story they are often short lived and quickly forgotten.

The Three Musketeers just so happens to fall under all of this. Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Suttherland, Chris O'Donnell, Tim Curry and Rebecca De Mornay couldn't bring enough star power to the film to save it from the sinking ship it resulted in being. At a budget of $30,000,000.00 the return of a mere $53,898,845.00 resonated with the words box office failure.


The short lived film had an even shorter lived toy line which was produced in bendable figure fashion from JusToys in 1993. About the only thing going for this line is that one can complete a set of the Musketeers if they truly desired to...Unfortunately, not many people did (or do).


The figures were quickly shuffled to clearance bins where they continued to remain in stock even at the mere price of ninety-nine cents (or less). Stores couldn't give these things away.


These days the figures fair much better on secondary markets than they originally did on toy shelves. On average you can expect to pay about $10.00 for each one (mint on card). That's not a bad return on a line that was originally shunned to clearance bins.

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Painted Memories: 88 Miles Per Hour!

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MotU Evil Horde

A nod to Brother Midnight... 

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Retro Spins: Mr. Mister - Welcome To The Real World

Mr. Mister
Welcome to the Real World

Mr. Mister failed to draw much attention in 1984 when they released their first album, I Wear the Face. However, their follow up Welcome to the Real World released in November of 1985 changed all of that.

The single Broken Wings entered the charts in September of that same year, two months before the album even went on sale. Not only did the song reach number one by December of that same year, but it was joined on the charts by the albums second single, Kyrie. Merry Christmas Mr. Mister!

The two songs remained on the charts into 1986 where in January they passed each other as Kyrie continued its way up and Broken Wings was on its way out. Kyrie became Mr. Misters second number one hit by March of 1986 while Broken Wings fell off the charts.

Kyrie would be joined on the charts by the third single from the album Is It Love in March of '86 and much like Broken Wings and Kyrie, the two passed each other heading in opposite directions by April (Kyrie heading off the charts with Is It Love heading up them). Unfortunately for Is It Love, it would only reach the number eight spot before beginning its decent down the charts where it would disappear completely by June.

As a whole album, Welcome to the Real World is pretty good. In fact, I added a total of five (out of the ten) songs from it to my IPOD. Yes, Kyrie and Broken Wings are obviously two that made their way to it as were Is It Love, Black / White and Uniform of Youth.

Definitely a good treat for the ears.

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TikiMon (Mezco)


TikiMon! Yet another oddball entry from Mezco during its heydays of the new Millennium. There is honestly little to say about this line as even packaging really gives no insight as to what the overall premise is. "Full of fun and Polynesian Pop!" is really all you'll find on the back regarding the series.

The back of the package also showcases all the figures from series one (AKA the only series), but even then beyond telling you the character's names and what accessories each one comes with there is no concepts shared behind the line.


For further information we actually had to seek out other websites in an effort to uncover the mystery. What we found was Toynk.com who seem to still have an abundance of stock on hand. On their site, they note the following about the line;

"Where is TikiMon Island? Basically in the middle of nowhere. Until now no human has ever seen a TikiMon which is good because they're usually getting into trouble."

Still not very insightful, but we're further then we were.


Each figure stands approximately six inches high and comes packed in with its own unique accessories such as surfboards, shields and even parachutes. Each figure also features six points of articulation.

Prior to the line dissipating into thin air, Mezco produced two San Diego Comic Con exclusives. Unfortunately, since the figures were packaged in a blue non-see through package collectors were essentially blind bag buying and hoping for the best.

Ungowa (2004 SDCC Exclusive)

The line is definitely unique and has a cool factor to it. Unfortunately, it's the lack of any real premise behind it which gives it the "meh" factor. The world of toys isn't just about sculpting something that looks cool. It's about creating characters people want to learn about and collect as a result of that expanded interest from knowing about them. When you just throw a line out on the market and give it little to no thought, you end up with little to no reception.

Think of how much cooler these guys would be with an animated series behind them?

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With Apologies to Commentors

So apparently my e-mail account has stopped informing me when there were comments on my site, so I essentially haven't (until today) posted anyone's comments or responded - Because I didn't think there were any.

Sorry about that!

I found a ton of comments awaiting moderation when I clicked the dashboard through Blogger and have posted all the non-spam related ones and will respond soon.

Painted Memories: It's Only Forever

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Retro Spins: Run DMC - Raising Hell

Raising Hell

Rap music and me are like grease and water. They just don't go together. I'm not big on heavy bass driven beats nor songs with a bunch of cursing and nonsensical lyrics behind it. So for me, it was odd I found myself listening to Run DMC's May 1986 album, Raising Hell. I had bought the album for one song - Walk This Way with Aerosmith and quite honestly I had no intentions of listening to anything other than that.

Well, let me tell you, I'm glad I did. Mind you, I'm no better enlightened in the world for having done so, nor will I be rushing out to buy up a bunch of 80's rap music albums. However, I can say there were some songs on there which stood out for me. I can also say as a whole the album flows rather nicely from track to track to keep you mentally invested.

It is unfortunately for the fact that the album flows so well that I honestly didn't pick up on too many tracks which stood out as singles which I wanted to add to my IPOD. I of course already had Walk This Way added to my shuffle list and added It's Tricky, Raising Hell and You Be Illin'.

The fact that I enjoyed the album did intrigue me enough to look up some 80's rap artists and along with that I found an interesting read on the Golden Age of Hip Hop on Wikipedia. Again, I'm not going to rush out and grab a bunch of rap albums, but I can say with all honesty I was entertained listening to this album. I can also appreciate how it helped to pave the way for rap music as a genre.

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Vintage Star Wars Board Games

Vintage Star Wars Board Games
Kenner, Toltoys and Parker Brothers
1978 - 1995

Ah, who doesn't love a good board game? Set up for twenty minutes, play for five, repack for another ten minutes, and repeat. So time consuming.

Okay, so we're not really big board game fans here at The Toy Box, but we do have to admit there is some charm to be found in the display factor of the games - Especially a lot of the ones from the 70's and 80's. Board games are like books. All they have is the cover and back blurb to hook you. As for what's between both covers, only dropping your cash will truly answer that question.

We all know the story about how Kenner really didn't have a lot of product ready for Christmas in 1978. We all know they sold an Early Bird kit of figures - AKA an empty box - Just to start selling something. However, action figures were only the tip of the iceberg for the company. They released numerous toys for the brand - Some of which included board games.

Today we'll look at several (if not all) of the Star Wars branded games released throughout the Trilogy.


Kenner produced three games for Star Wars, each with its own theme, but yet same outcome where the player was required to eventually destroy the Death Star.


Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Chewbacca are trapped in the Death Star Trash Compactor. It's your challenge to help them escape to the freedom of the Rebel Base.

R2-D2 spins out your moves, but you must decide what passage ways to follow. The safe way in the long way, and time is running out. You must turn off the tractor beam and pick up a pair of secret plans. Will you take short cuts that risk encounters with the Force? You will if you're daring, and could be the first to board the Millennium Falcon, fight your way through TIE Fighters, and reach the rebel base to win!


You command a squadron of three X-Wing fighters and try to drop your proton torpedoes down the exhaust shaft of the Death Star before it can destroy Yavin IV! The spinner dictates movements and determines the results of the battles.

Watch out for Darth Vader! He can pop up to cause trouble, but don't worry. The Millennium Falcon is coming to the rescue!


Experience the adventures of R2-D2, the true hero of the Rebellion!

Players take turns spinning and moving R2-D2 to the next colored circle along the adventure path. Watch out for the purple adventure circles that send you backwards, and try to get the to white adventure circles to move forward.

The first one to return to the Rebel Base on Yavin IV after destroying the Death Star wins!


Kenner jumped straight into The Empire Strikes back with two new games, which oddly enough played in a very similar manner.


Be the first player to become a Jedi Knight, defeat the Dark Side of the Force and win!

Travel to the Dagobah System where Yoda, the ancient Jedi Master, will teach you the ways of the Force. Acquire Jedi merit as you successfully accomplish the difficult tasks and trials Yoda sets for your training.

Once you've obtained sufficient merit as a Jedi, enter the Jedi Knight circle and out-spin the Dark Side of the Force to win!


Be the first player to acquire sufficient Force to battle and defeat Darth Vader!

Spin to pilot your Millennium Falcon around Hoth. There are incidents along the way, and battles for Force Cards with Imperial villains.

Plan your strategy in wagering Force cards and spinner against Boba Fett, Stormtroopers, Probots and AT-AT's. Once you have enough Force, you can enter the center of the board and challenge Darth Vader! The first player to master the Force and successfully out-spin Darth Vader wins!


When Return of the Jedi rolled around the board games shifted from Kenner's hands to Parker Brothers. The company produced two games in correlation with the film.


Your favorite Star Wars heroes need your help!

Luke Skwaylker, Princess Leia Organan, Han Solo and Chewbacca are being held captive by the evil Jabba the Hutt! They're on his Sail Barge, high above the dangerous sandpit where the monster Sarlacc lives.

To escape, you must defeat the Gamorrean Guards and the Powerful Nikto and Boba Fett by pushing them overboard into Sarlacc's waiting jaws. Collect Jedi points for each guard you defeat. Then try to overpower Jabba the Hutt.

The one with the most Jedi points at the end of the game is the winner!


In this enchanting game, you can join the tiny Wicket the Ewok as he looks for his favorite food. Romp through the forest of Endor with Wicket and his friends Kneesaa, Paploo and Latara as they collect berries, nuts, pears, mushrooms and wild honey too!

You'll travel on shaggy ponies and in rickety wagons. You'll even swing on hang-gliders. All this adventure is yours as you try to be the first Ewok home with all finve kinds of food!


The end of the Trilogy didn't mark the end of Star Wars board games. With the resurgence of Star Wars in the late 1990's (though we personally didn't know it ever went away), so too came a big influence of new toys and merchandise.

The honorable mentions below are far from everything which was released, but rather just a couple of our personal favorites.


Though most kids these days would look at their parents oddly if they whipped out a board game which also encompassed the now defunct VHS cassette, in the 90's this was the ultimate advancement in board game technology. A traditional cardboard game with a high tech video to accompany it. The Star Wars Interactive Video Game was certainly not the last to utilize this style of play. It was however one of the very last (VHS wise anyway).

The biggest charm to this game wasn't actually the game itself, but rather the VHS cassette which featured not only original footage from the first film, but also scenes which had been cut from the film. The cassette alone is worth getting if you're a collector of Star Wars home video.


Star Wars action figures were everywhere in the late 1990's, and big money for Kenner once again. Parker Brothers and Kenner teamed up to develop an all new Escape the Death Star game, this time incorporating two exclusive action figures as opposed to traditional game pieces.

For action figure collectors this was a must have at the time, and no, not for the game itself. The figures also came with several accessories such as blasters and lightsabers.

This wouldn't be the only game released during this time to incorporate actual action figures.


Star Wars games are still readily in production these days. However, most of them are iterations of already well established games such as Risk, Monopoly, chess and more. It's sad in a way that many board company developers don't put much thought into originality these days, but we suppose the general idea is to have low development costs with high retail prices. No easier way to do this than just repaint a game which already exists.

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