Monday, November 20, 2017

The Dirty Pair (Dark Horse Comics)

The Dirty Pair
Dark Horse Comics

"The Lovely Angels" - Kei and Yuri are the leading duo in The Dirty Pair. Though the characters were created by Haruka Takachiho, the figures we see today are based on the Dark Horse Comics versions which were adapted from Takachiho's work by Adam Warren when Dark Horse acquired the rights to release comics in the USA based on the characters. Since then, the Pair have been featured in numerous US released mini series, one shots and shorts.

Despite being a limited run of figures, Dark Horse's plastic renditions don't skimp when it comes to the detail, articulation, and in general the great design of everything form the package to the toy. These figures are fairly spot on to their inked versions, and each figure features eleven or more points of articulation.

In addition to the figures, Dark Horse released a few more items based on the characters. One such item was the below ten inch statue. Though we're not big fans of inarticulate "toys", we can definitely see the draw that this particular item would have to fans of the series. It's a pretty cool piece of "art".

10 Inch Statue

As we mentioned, Dark Horse also produced other items based on Kei and Yuri; a pair of shot glasses, and a pair of t-shirts. These items were all advertised on the back of the carded figure packaging - In addition to a handful of graphic novels featuring the two.

Much like a lot of obscure toy lines we've talked about here in the past, The Dirty Pair figures and statue don't sell for too much these days on secondary markets. However, this may be because most sellers are asking far more than people are willing to pay. At $30.00 per figure (mint on card), most buyers with any interest are passing. On occasion a figure will sell for about $20.00, but this is definitely not often. However, the typical price buyers seem willing to pay for these are $8.00 to $10.00.

The statue seems to fair a little better - Though it is definitely rarer than the figures. We've seen sealed ones priced around $80.00 (with no buyers), and opened ones sell for around $20.00.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Jimmy Page (NECA)

Jimmy Page

Today we're going to talk about a figure based on a little known guitarist. You may have heard of him - Jimmy Page. He was the strings behind such great bands such as The Yardbirds, The Firm and Led Zeppelin. Of course if we had to explain any of that to you, then you probably have no clue who Jimmy Page is in general. Most people, even those who aren't fans of his work, still know the name.

The figure which NECA showcased page in his infamous Black Dragon suit, hoisting up a double neck guitar. The figure also includes a set of amps with Page's nonsensical "Zoso" symbol - Which to date the guitarist has never said what it means to him.

Editor's Note: Zoso was originally used as a magickal sigil by Cardano to represent Saturn. He first used this in 1557, and the version used by Page is slightly altered from the original design. As such, Page's Zoso is considered by many to be an adapted occult sign.

The figure essentially is what it is - Jimmy Page memorialized in plastic form ala NECA. As we've said before regarding toys such as this, there is a strict niche audience looking for these.

Unfortunately, said niche audience is going to pay quite a bit for it if they want to obtain one these days. The figure can sell for anywhere from $70.00 to $140.00 mint in the package. We're not sure why there is such a large margin of price point between high and low values as the figure isn't too uncommon by any means. We've even seen one sell for $200.00.

Whatever it is that keeps fans paying prices all over the map, there is one thing for sure - Get yours while you can if it's a figure you're interested in.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Germs (Worlds of Wonder)

Worlds of Wonder

Worlds of Wonder aren't known for much these days, but back in the 80's they were the group behind the highly popular Lazer Tag and Teddy Ruxpin. Unfortunately that seemed to be their only popular items. Though the company released other toys here and there, none seemed to grab the foothold in toy isles that their laser guns and talking bear did.

Germs were released in 1988, on the tail end of the company's production of Lazer Tag. Though it was a fairly unique and cool concept, at the end of the day, these little guys were nothing short of colorful rubber toys that had no cartoon or comic book support. Additionally, they didn't have any action features. Short of displaying them there wasn't much to do with them, and what kid wanted to do that?

In total, twelve Germs were produced; Ahahchoosiosus (a sneeze), Winkyblinkyigoopiola (eyeball goo), Huppahickasillia (a hiccup), Gidgygidgyitus (a giggle), Oochiachitickleorum (an itch), Grumblerumbleosus (a tummy ache), Innyoutyitis (bellybutton lint), Hackahackasilliae (a cough), Bubblebuppilitus (a burp), Muggywympiosus (smelly feet) and Sweatystinkiosus (body odor). Wow...Even as adults we can't pronounce half of those names.

Each figure came packed in a blister card inside of its own test tube. The only other item included was a fold out lab report which went into over the top details of the germs lifestyle and habits.

Admittedly, these days it is rather cool to display these in a test tube holder on a shelf. So, you know, if you're a collector of unique toys don't rule that option out.

Germs aren't too common on secondary markets, but you can put a set together over time with persistence. Carded ones will run you about $20.00 to $45.00 a piece, and loose ones sell for around $10.00 to $15.00 dollars a piece (with or without the lab report). We have seen a few full (loose) sets sell here and there for around $100.00 to $150.00. However, most sellers typically ask around $200.00 to $300.00 before being talked down in price. To date we have not found a seller with a complete carded set.

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Fifth of November

Remember remember!
The fifth of November,
the Mountain Beanie seizing and plot
I know of no reason
Why the Mountain Beanie seizing
Should ever be forgot!

Harold Mountain and his ex companion
Did the case involve
To divide up their Beanies,
Judge Hardcastle had to solve.
In the courtroom a pile,
Did lay on the floor
While each partner took it in turn,
Picking the one they adore
Maple Bear was the first
To be swooped up by the wife
A three digit value in the year of 99
Now not even worth retail price.
Holloa, boys! Holloa, boys! Take your Beanies from this place!
Holloa, boys! Holloa, boys, your family is disgraced!
Hip, hip, hoor-r-r-ray!

A poem by The Toy Box
Inspired by a true story, and The Fifth of November.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Monsters + Mutants (Playmates Toys)

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Monsters + Mutants
Playmates Toys

These days things seem to have shifted drastically for the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. What was once an abundance of merchandise hitting store shelves on regular intervals has turned into a re-occurrence of peg warmers, scarce new figures, or worse, empty shelves all together. With the announcement the animated series would be coming to an end in 2017, this is honestly not shocking to see happening at all. It seems the line may have run its course, and these days Playmates Toys is more so keen on offloading old stock (or repainting it) as opposed to packing enough supply of new figures to meet demand.

A perfect example of this is Muckman. For over a year he was one of the most highly anticipated figures in the line. Upon his release, many collectors didn't even know he was out until it was too late. As one of only three new figures packed in with wave 19, and at only one per case, he was gone before most people even knew to look for him. The end result is the only figure in the new TMNT series to garner a stable secondary value of over one hundred dollars.

With scarce product to be found, I was actually quite surprised to see Walmart (of all places) had stocked the all new Monsters + Mutants series. Granted there was only one set to be found in the entire store, and this too was among a bunch of peg warmers.

Most of these are definitely among some of my personal favorites from the series as a whole. They're unique, colorful, and most importantly, they're fun. They have unique accessories (though admittedly I have no clue why a vampire Raphael would come with a stake), and the look and feel takes you back to those classic monster movie pics from the black and white era of film. What's not to love here?

Okay, fine...The actual monster hunters aren't all that inspiring. Leonardo and Raphael in trench coats? Yawn. On any given day these could easily be passed off as the classic cartoon turtles in disguise. Simply add a mock human face mask.

Furthermore, why another (half) set of the turtles? Couldn't these two have been better served as other characters? Perhaps Casey Jones or April O'Neil? This would have at least fleshed the (sub)line out a little more.

Sigh...Fanboys...We're never happy.

Though they're difficult to find in stores right now, eBay shows they are a little more readily available than the aforementioned Muckman. Perhaps as the holiday season ramps up we'll not only see more of these on store shelves, but perhaps, or should I say hopefully, more Muckman's for everyone to get their hands on.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

World's Greatest Super Heroes: The Mad Monster Series (Mego / Krege / Lion Rock)

World's Greatest Super Heroes: The Mad Monster Series
Mego / Krege / Lion Rock
1973 - 1980

Happy Halloween (one day early), everyone!

This post has taken us years to compile. It's been so long in the making that we were beginning to think it would never come to light. Mego's World's Greatest Super Heroes: The Mad Monster Series is so incredibly difficult to track down. Boxed and blister carded versions of the figures are so rare, and yet there are so many different variations. You would think at some point it would be easy to get your hands on at least one of the versions. Apparently not so much.

What is it with monster related series that make them so hard to track down? Looking at you, Remco Universal Studios Monsters.

The Mad Monster Series began in 1973 with the release of what has become known as "Solid Box". The four characters released were; The Dreadful Dracula, The Monster Frankenstein, The Horrible Mummy and The Human Werewolf. These would be the only four figures produced, and they would be re-released in multiple packaging styles up until 1980.

The Dreadful Dracula
Mego Solid Box*Mego / Krege Blister Card

During its first run, Mego made a change to the production of both Frankenstein and Dracula. Frankenstein was retooled with blue hair, and Dracula received bright red hair. Though it is unknown for certain why this change was made, many collectors speculate it was due to the original sculpts to closely resembling the characters from Universal Studios. Fearing some form of repercussions the changes were made, and the production continued until resculpted versions were completed. Again, this is all just speculation among the collecting community.

 The Dreadful Dracula
Mego Window Box*Mego / Toys R' Us Exclusive Lion Rock Blister Card

Mego produced the figures at some point between 1974 and 1975 for the first blister carded versions - AKA Krege cards. SS Krege was one of the largest retail organizations which later formed into a little known company that you may have heard of - Kmart Corporation which then evolved into Sears Holding Corporation.

Though many sources profess that the Krege carded versions are one of the more difficult versions to find, we can assure, they are all difficult to find.

The Monster Frankenstein
Mego Solid Box*Mego / Krege Blister Card

Mego briefly re-released the Mad Monsters in window boxes, and like the aforementioned Krege cards, many collectors profess that these are difficult versions to obtain. We regress back to our prior statement on the matter - They're all difficult to find.

The Monster Frankenstein
Mego Window Box*Mego / Toys R' Us Exclusive Lion Rock Blister Card

 The Horrible Mummy
Mego Solid Box*Mego / Krege Blister Card

In 1980, Lion Rock released a second version of the blister cards as Toys R' Us exclusives. Though the figures weren't all that popular during their initial release, they have since become highly sought after by collectors who claim...Yes, you guessed it...These are incredibly hard to find.

We're not making this up. According to Mego Museum, the profess that each one of these sets are difficult to find / complete. Why don't they just say that every single one of them is an almost futile attempt?

 The Horrible Mummy
Mego Window Box*Mego / Toys R' Us Exclusive Lion Rock Blister Card

The Human Werewolf
Mego Solid Box*Mego / Krege Blister Card

If The Mad Monster Series is the challenge you've been looking for, be ready to drop a lot of cash. You're going to spend about $200.00 a piece for the solid box versions, and anywhere from $600.00 to $1,000.00 for each other version. Let's do some quick math here...That's about $8,000.00 on the low end, and about $12,800.00 on the high end.

The Human Werewolf
Mego Window Box*Mego / Toys R' Us Exclusive Lion Rock Blister Card

Now, mind you, that price noted above is just for the figures. If you really want to complete the set, you're going to have to also track down the incredibly rare Mad Monster Castle. That's going to cost you another $600.00 to $700.00.

Mad Monster Castle

For those looking to scratch that nostalgic itch at a fraction of the cost, you may want to consider the 2012 Classic TV Toys versions. These reproduced figures (and the playset) are far more common, and will only set you back around $25.00 to $35.00 for each of them, and about $70.00 for the playset. Yes, we know, it's not the same thing, but it may be your only option if you don't want to take a second mortgage out on your home.

Mego's Mad Monster Series is definitely an amazing set of figures from a time of classic toys. It's just not very obtainable by the majority of people interested in it.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Gomez (Mezco)


Any of you recognize Gomez? There's a hint right in the photo.

Give up, or guessed it?

Gomez was (or may very well still be) the official mascot for Mezco around 2008. This particular action figure was released only at San Diego Comic Con in 2008, and was limited to just 500 pieces. If that wasn't limited enough for you, out of those 500 pieces, the figure also came in four different variations. Gomez could be found with either a black or tan head, and either a turtleneck / leather coat or black suit and tie.

Mezco came up with a fairly unique (and somewhat corny) concept for the figure which is detailed on the back of the package. We'll help spare your eyes squinting at the small text. It reads;

"The mysterious syndicate known only as The Void operates within a level of secrecy so obscure the world at large is unaware of its existence.

The Voids operations sway the balance of the world as we know it. The Voids vast range of intelligence is felt from the fall of governments to why socks are missing from the laundry.

The Void utilizes the skills of a sole agent, Gomez.

His instructions are received by a combination of subliminal messages broadcast on his boombox combined with black martinis known as the "Cocktail Exchange". The Cocktail Exchange is only receivable by the antennas of Gomez.

Gomez, doer of missions, mover of information and eliminator of obstacles.

The figure itself features multiple points of articulation from the antenna at the top all the way down to its feet. Mezco certainly didn't skimp when it came to this aspect. Pretty much every piece of his body moves in some form or fashion. The overall quality is certainly there.

As for the sculpt, it's rather unique and fun. Fans of roaches / bugs and James Bond will definitely see the appeal here.

Of course any good figure has good accessories, and Gomez has quite a few. The best aspect (for us) is the 1950's style alien blaster, which is made all the more a top choice by its weathered paint job. The figure also comes with a boombox (also weathered in the same vain as the blaster) and sword. The last, and really fun accessory is his martini glass filled with Cocktail Exchange. All the accessories fit nicely in the figure's hands, and as an added bonus, Mezco even threw in two additional sculpts for hands so that you can change them out.

The clothing is so far above standards that other companies producing nine inch figures should take notice. From the pleather jacket to the tailored suit, sweater and pant, everything works and looks great. The details are so fine that even the belt has a working metal buckle. The only complaint we have is that the shoes themselves are sculpted to the body. If you're going to go to such detail to get the clothing just right, down to a working metal buckle, then sculpt a pair of shoes too.

As for the packaging, we love it. Not only does it stand out from your typical white box that SDCC exclusives normally come in, but it's completely collector friendly. It opens at the top, and the figure / accessories all slide out neatly in place on their plastic tray. This not only makes for salvageable packing, but fantastic presentation.

When it was released, the figure was priced at $40.00 each. Sadly, unlike most SDCC exclusives which explode in price, Gomez didn't fair so well on secondary markets. These days you can find any of the four variations priced between $20.00 and $50.00 each. However, even at these prices the figures remains unsold.

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