Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ertl 3 3/4" Smokey and the Bandit Figure EAST BOUND AND DOWN !!!!!!

There are some figures I regret never having as a kid, this is one of them. This one I'll admit escaped me until recently. Trolling through eBay, I came across this figure .....

a Die Cast 3 3/4" Bandit figure !

Back in 1982, ERTL produced a figure based on Burt Reynold's character the Bandit from the 1977 movie "Smokey and the Bandit". Its a die cast figure with 4 points (5 if the head moves) of articulation, standard for the time.


A fine looking figure. Decent detail and likeness. As you can see from the package, ages 3 and over can pretend to thwart the law and transport beer across state lines.


The backer is plain but has a nice looking picture of Mr. Reynolds in an advertisement for "Smokey and the Bandit 2" which came out in 1980, 2 years before this figure was released. 

The front of the card states "as seen in Smokey and the Bandit", but the figure is modeled after the jacket wearing Bandit of the sequel, so there must be an assumption that this figure actually represents the sequel. One would think that the front would have been labelled as such ......


Also, I came across a Trans Am that goes with the figure. I cannot confirm anything about it, but it does seem to fit the mold. 


It even has removable T-Tops ! 


The movies themselves were full of adult themes, sexual innuendo and profanity, so why not produce a child's toy to promote it !?! It does seem a bit absurd that ERTL made a toy for an age group that should not have been viewing it, but hell I would have wanted it !!

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This item is not in my personal collection.

Photos taken from eBay @

http://www.ebay.com

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Tamiya RC Grasshopper Model Premium is Fantastic !!

Back in the late 80's, RC cars were the BOMB !! Various car kits were available at all the hobby shops, RC Car Action was first published in 1988 and race tracks, both indoor and outdoor, were popping up all over to fill the need to race these 1/10th scale beauties.

The Tamiya Radio Control Grasshopper was my first foray into the world of RC cars. It was a beginner kit that was relatively easy to build yet robust enough to play hard with. It could be modified enough to be somewhat competitive, and I sure tried with mine. It wasn't going to match up with an RC-10, but I was in the mix.

This is a 1/10 scale miniature model of the Tamiya Grasshopper. I'm assuming it is a 1/10 scale replica of the 1/10 scale replica RC car but its not that critical :) Apparently it was a premium from January of 2005. When you bought a can of coffee called "Coca Cola Georgia", you received this model or one of the other various cars. At least that was in the description in the eBay ad. There is a Coffee Cup graphic with GEORGIA next to it so it validates that description, but I'm not about to translate it to be sure.

The model comes in a neat package, straight from Japan. Its a Tamiya product so I knew it would be decent quality.



The interior yields a few pieces to be assembled. The directions that are included are written in Japanese but the picture is good enough to build from.


The model itself is produced well. The body graphics are tight and clean, however the nose graphic is a little off. It does not take away too much from the model but I would have preferred straight lines. The pieces are molded well with all flashing is trimmed off, so I did not have to do any clean up work.


It is really easy to assemble and the finished product stays together tight. The end product is a good representation of the actual Grasshopper RC from the 80's and looks great !




It even has a little dirt sticker to display it on :)


This model was well worth the few bucks I paid for it. It is difficult to display a real RC car easily and/or the cost of one may be prohibitive. This model is a good little flashback to a time when having fun mudding around with these little powerhouses anywhere we could get drive em was the best time ever.

My original Grasshopper got sold in the 90's along with my comic book collection to get a Peavey Bass Amp to start my music career. It was a decent trade off, trading one hobby I outgrew for a new one that I was getting pretty good at. I did manage to get a new Grasshopper recently off eBay. It is pretty much stock and I am going to keep it that way for nostalgia's sake, then get another to modify for racing like I did in the 80's. They can be a bit pricy but when I do the post about that toy, the memories that come back of my cousin and I racing them all over the place will make it well worth it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

CHiPs Vintage Motorcycle Helmet Set !! with a REALISTIC LOOKING GUN !!!!

Back when Ponch and Jon ruled the airwaves, the powers that be tossed out many products so us little kids could play-act out their adventures. 

I already covered the Mego Ponch Figure here: (that toy is AWESOME)


Here we have a treat I received on some Christmas morning during those years; The CHiPs Motorcycle Helmet Set. 


Look at all the goodies that came in that magic box ! Handcuffs, a Helmet with Flip Up Visor, Walkie Talkies, a Badge, Sunglasses, Paper Tickets and a GUN !!! A realistic looking gun at that !! Now, this was a different time when toy guns looked like real guns and honestly, I played with it a lot and never had the urge to rob 7-11 or point it a a real Police Officer; making him decide whether or not to shoot me but ........ times were a lot simpler then.


I loved this set. I loved playing cops and robbers and this set really gave me the means to act it out. Once, I actually used the helmet to ride on a Motor Scooter cause I needed a helmet to ride and it was deemed "Safe Enough". Like I wrote before, these were different times ...... 

As for CHiPs, I loved the show, but the lack of violence was something that, even as a little kid, I thought was missing. I get that it was a soft drama that featured car chases and some mild fisticuffs, but I, like many kids at the time, was playing with 12" GI Joe and little green army men where people got shot. That was combat. The fact that the Mego Figure came with a removable Pistol and Billy Club, as well as this set having a realistic pistol don't seem to fit in with the shows premise. But it was great to see some cool Cops chase chicks and get in to hi-jinks :)

As for this set, the gun was the best. I was a total gun nut as a kid (who wasn't) and wanted realistic looking guns in the worst way. Before they made those real looking cap guns (please, if anyone remembers those - I remember a silenced revolver and an auto with a clip - and can offer some clues LMK cause they have escaped me thus far) this one fit the bill. After all the little kid cop play was done, I had that gun around for more serious play (pre-teenage). The helmet didn't offer much protection (not that it was meant for it). I remember falling off my bike with it on and it might have been softer to hit the ground but it was a cool toy :)

Either way this set gave me a lot of joy and fun memories as a kid. One of the few good dress up play sets from that era, there was a lot of fun packed into that magic box !

A Side Note:

As some of you may have noticed, I have been absent from writing here for quite some time. My work schedule and finishing the last classes of college are taking quite a bit of time from me. Moving last year has put a damper on writing because most of my collection is still boxed up (proven by the fact that this and the last few of my posts have had pictures taken from the web instead of my own collection). Although, I have found that my interest in this hobby waning. All the new products just don't interest me and, while the vintage toys still do, its just getting pushed to the periphery. I'm gonna try posting some non-toy related interests and see if that inspires me, as my increasingly limited time permits. I do like writing this and will keep it up, but the posts may not be as frequent as they once were.

Mike

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This item is not in my personal collection.

Photos taken from eBay @:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ain't No Party Like a Pokemon Party !!!

My son turned 7 last weekend and we had a Pokemon themed party !! His obsession for the last year has been Pokemon and it translated well into the party theme. There were Pokemon decorations galore including homemade Pokeball plates !!


Pokemon themed napkins !!


 My wife made homemade Pokeballs for a Easter Egg type hunt for prizes !


The kids got to beat Pikachu until he burst candy !!


Pokeball Cupcakes !!
(By now you should know that my wife is VERY creative :)


Even a Pokemon Candle !!


A sticker book was one of his gifts but ... 


I got him a Charizard EX !!



Last year about this time he got a few cards from some kids at school. He liked them a lot so we invested some of last years B'day money in a Plasma Freeze box set to get him started. Of course he needed someone to play against and show him the rules, so I dived in and learned the game. Using my vintage game playing knowledge I guided him along to learn the ins and outs of Pokemon.

Fast forward a year later and I'm hooked......

I never played CCGs before as I had a snobbish attitude toward them for some reason. After a year of playing I have to admit I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Not only do I get to play something with my son, I get to get back into playing mode :)

I know, the game has been around for a long time but its just gotten to me. My obsessive personality kicked in and the collecting has been going hardcore. Both of our collections have grown quite large. Even though we have books and cases for the good cards, they get used for playing. To me that's one of the best parts, not just having a card that collects dust, but using them to play the game.

The Charizard EX is a set up for the M-Charizard I'll have to acquire for him some time down the road. I wound up getting a Mega Kangaskhan of my own and will need a Mega for Jr to keep up. Its a fun game and I'm looking forward to lots more challenges, hopefully making some memories for my son that he can look back at one day like the ones I have of my childhood :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Shall Return !!!

For those of you that may be wondering why the posts have stopped .....

My work schedule along with the Spring semester completely stifled my free time, along with the fact that my collection is still in boxes from moving to our new house. I do miss the dialog with my fellow collectors and resolve to pick up where I left off.

Needless to say I still have a lot of toys to write about and some are scheduled to be sold off to concentrate on vintage toys from my youth.

I will be back and am amazed that even though I have had no activity over the last few months the spambots still have been crawling me like lice .....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In 1982: GI Joe Steeler was Straight and Armed with a Suprise !!

In 1982; Hasbro rolled out the GI Joe line to a generation craving the next great 3 3/4 toy line that would supplant Star Wars as the top of the line. GI Joe went on to become one of the greatest toy lines ever created and even with a few "bumps" in the road it is still being produced today.
 
The initial roll out by Hasbro was first and arguably the best.

Were there many flashy offerings ? No. Were there Ninjas ? Technically not yet. Were there plenty of toys that could spur the imagination of pre-adolescent boys ? YES !!

It was the start of things to come. The first wave had the short lived "Straight Arms" that preceeded the greatest running change to be implemented into a toy line; the "Swivel Arm Battle Grip".
 
Steeler was included in that first offering. He came packaged as the driver of the Motorized Battle Tank (MOBAT). It was the tank of the GI Joe team. It was self propelled and all kinds of awesome !!
 
Steeler himself is different from his teammates. The M.O. of Hasbro was to re-use and re-paint in the first line. That said, even though he is created from a "Flash" head and "Zap" waist and legs; the torso and arms are unique to Steeler. Also, he got the cool "Snake Eyes" Uzi and a binocular attachment for his helmet that was unique as well.
 


The chest piece is unique and detailed. I always loved the pistol holster, it just looks bad ass !


The arms are unique to Steeler which is a grand departure from the rest of the line. His are adorned with a gold paint app to his left bicep. But the coolest feature is the little pouch on his wrists which are completely unique to this mold.


Here is the 83' version with swiveling arms but no wrist pouches. Uh oh, looks like he has the dreaded "Broken Crotch Syndrome".   ouch ......
 
 
I did not get the MOBAT and Steeler in the first wave. The price must have been too high for me to get it right off the bat, but I managed to get the rest of the line in its entirety before the second run started. I got the MOBAT the next year with Steeler and his swivelin arms. That tank became a mainstay of my battles. C'mon, it the frikin' tank ! You had to use it ! I managed to get the straight arm version recently pretty cheap on eBay and was pleasantly surprised to see the wrist pouches. I never knew the difference til now and its a neat little bit of detail that sets him apart. I'm unsure if the wrists were used for any other figures but if my memory serves me correctly; they remain unique to Steeler and his Straight Arms.

Monday, March 24, 2014

David Brockie AKA Oderus Urungus of GWAR Dead at 50 R.I.P.

Saddened to hear the news of David Brockie's passing today. Brockie, who personified Oderus Urungus of the all time great band GWAR, was an extremely creative mind and always a delight to listen to in interviews. GWAR has remained one of my all time favorite bands even in my (now) older age.



Sex-scuse me :) but my first experience with the band was listening to Scumdogs of the Universe which hooked me in right away. I tracked down a cassette (remember those ?) of Hell-O at Home of the Hits (Buffalo Elmwood) and it remains to this day one of my all time favorite albums. My VHS (making me feel old now) tape of Live from Antarctica was worn to unwatchable from the gazillion times I played it.

Circa 1992; when the band announced that they would be playing locally supporting the America Must Be Destroyed album; myself, two friends and the girl I would eventually marry (our first date and have been together ever since) saw them live and in the raw ! What a show. Its been a long time but I still remember the blood and urine flowing :)

A lot of people don't see the humor in the band and its show, but for those of us who do, this is the end of an era. GWAR is a groundbreaking band that introduced a great many metal heads to the humor of violence and bloodshed on a level that only the truly free of mind can appreciate.

RIP David Brockie; thanks for the memories.

If you want to know more go to the GWAR website through this link and enjoy:

http://www.gwar.net/