Saturday, December 29, 2012

Introducing the Toymorrow 1982 GI Joe Hall of Fame

Up top at the menu bar you might notice a new feature to this Blog. I have a collecting agenda after the new year: to immortalize the origins of the 3 3/4 G.I. Joe line. I will put together a "Hall of Fame" combining every original Joe and Cobra in both Straight and Swivel Arm versions. It will be a difficult task and some my other pieces might have to be sold off to gain the capital for this venture, but I think it will be worth it !
I remember vividly the first time I saw the Joes on store pegs ... In 1982, at K-Mart in Cheektowaga, my mother pointed out the carded beauties to me and I fell in love. For the next 3 to 4 years, GI Joe would take over almost all my play. Yeah, sure there were some dalliances with other toys along the way, but I ALWAYS came back to the Joes.

Here is the GI Joe Hall of Fame wing of the Museum of Toymorrow:
Under the Kramer painting it stands tall:

As you can see, I have a start with Breaker, Hawk, Rock n Roll and Snake Eyes.
Grunt is done as I have all his versions already.
 Several are in pieces waiting for reassembly as well
(The Back is mirrored so the future pictures will have to be set up better :)

This will truly be a labor of love. I have the greatest memories of this line, as it commands so much attention in my play history. This is the line that superseded Star Wars ! The 3 3/4 GI Joe line made all other toys second rate and now I have a chance to collect the original line and explore each memory that is attached to them !!

Stay Tuned .....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to All and to All MORE TOYS !!

Merry Christmas to everyone out there !! May Santa bring you all the Geeky joy you can handle !!

- Mike
 - Memories of Toymorrow

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cobra Commander used to be a BIG Mickey Mouse Fan !

I remember way back in 1982 when the GI Joe line came out and the Original Cobra Commander was a mail order item. The first one I had broke and another was ordered to replace him. I remember when the new Commander arrived he seemed a bit off......
Can you tell any difference between the logos?

This is the original; commonly referred to as the "Mickey Mouse" logo because of the resemblance to Mickey's big ears on it. I remember thinking it was odd that it didn't match the logo in the comic but it didn't  matter, as I was able  to draw this one a lot easier so I was happy. My first Commander wreaked havoc for quite some time until he broke his thumbs and blew out his crotch ....... ouch !!

This is the logo that came with his replacement. I remember thinking that it was weird that it wasn't exactly like the other one I had. I did like that it was more in line with the comic and, of course, the Commander had functional hands and an intact crotch (No self respecting child would be caught dead with a homicidal maniac that had a gaping hole in his torso !). I couldn't draw this version of the logo on my Trapper Keeper as good as the other so that kinda sucked, but hey, I was 10, things like that were important then.

It is weird that a production change like this goes on and it affects a kid. You expect a certain level of continuity from your toys and it can be disconcerting for a child when he expects his terrorist commander to dress a certain way, then all of a sudden his logo changes. I honestly didn't become completely aware of this until I started collecting in my 20s and experienced on of those "Oh Yeah" moments learning about the history of the original.
Anyway, it did create a collectors item. The original logo is tough to find and can fetch a good price on eBay. The commander was released as a swivel arm later as well, so the straight arms can be tough to locate too, especially since thumbs can be problematic in the earliest versions.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Its Wrasslin Wednesday !! A new recurring Wrestling Feature !!

I'm gonna be showcasing my love of Professional Wrestling from back in the day with a recurring Wednesday post ! It may be toys, old school tidbits, the stream of texts Jim and I have during the day that usually gravitate towards wrestling, like King Kong Bundy ordering "FIVE" for "FIVE" at Arbys. (Lets see who gets that ) We'll just see where this takes us......
This weeks Wrassling Tribute is to the Greatest Wrestling Kayfabe Magazine ever produced :

This magazine is the gateway to my love of wrestling. My brother had a pile of these and I'd rifle through em like mad ! Thanks to this magazine I knew that the world did not revolve around the WWF and there were many, greater federations out there !!
I remember getting the newest issue every month and flying straight to the Champion listings. Back when the Top Ten was meaningful and the Tag Team listings were a Who's Who of greatness !! The Most Popular and Most Hated listings were always a favorite !!

Hoping that the centerfold was a wrestler I would put up on my Wall of Wrestling (my mother wouldn't let pin up Playboys). This was where the information was dolled out to the Marks. There was no available Internet, so word of mouth and the Wrestling Rags were where you could learn about The Von Erich's, Florida Championship Wrestling or Reports from other Arenas.

What about the Yearly awards, The PWI 500 and of course, the ADS !!


YES ! Back in the day this was it. The 5 Bajillion Wrestling Blogs and Insiders just didn't exist yet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Entry for the Dorkhorde Action Figure Nativity Scene VOTE FOR ME ... or not

Here is the Action Figure Nativity Scene I created for the Dorkhorde contest:

Here's the link to vote (its on the sideboard - vote Michael L !! ) :

NOW GO !! VOTE !!!


.... or not. Vote for someone else if you like. or watch tv ......

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dungeons and Dragons Companion Rules Set 3 from TSR

Published in 1984, the "Dungeons and Dragons Companion Rules" is the third set in the series of boxed sets published by TSR as a expansion to the "Red Box" Basic Set of Rules.

The Player's Companion rulebook covers characters levels 15 - 25. It introduces new weapons, armor and equipment for higher characters. The usual upgrades to spells and abilities are covered, but the characters are now able to build strongholds. The cost, management and purpose are covered inside.

The DM Companion book expands on the rules for running higher level campaigns and lays out the guidelines for Feudal Systems, allowing characters to run their domain. They can run Tournaments and have all the worries that homeowners have to deal with ....... 


I'm not gonna show pages of text, but here is some great art from the manuals:
Players approaching the higher levels in the Basic game play should probably be exploring AD&D by now. I mean, who didn't want to explore those Hardcover books and all the rules ? Myself, I never went further with the Basic rules than Expert before AD&D took my attention, but maybe some of you out there kept on. Either way, these boxed sets are cool looking and great reads. I'm always impressed by the art and thoughtfulness of the books. Exploring these sets is a lot of fun and reading them as an adult is quite a learning experience !
Check out my other posts by clicking these links:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Clash of the Titans Perseus is Vintage Gold

Clash of the Titans was released in 1981 to Big Screens across America. After the success of the movie, a toy line had to be produced ! Mattel was chosen to produce the Action Figure recreations of the characters of the movie. While the toy line was nice, for the era, I can only lament what would have happened with this line if it was produced by a better toymaker.
This is Perseus. The Hero of the movie and son of Zeus.
The figure is a pretty good likeness of Harry Hamlin. It's fairly well detailed considering it was produced in '81.
Perseus comes with a Sword and Shield. Unfortunately no Bubo or the Helm he had in the movie. The sword is sculpted nicely with a good bit of detail. The shield incorporates two clamps on the back to attach to his arm and is sculpted well too. The eagle design is pretty intricate for a 3 3/4 scale figure of that era.
Looks like it's the battle of the "Daddy Issues".....
It's OK Luke, after all he is Progeny of a God ....
I had all the action figures of this line. I incorporated them into Dungeons and Dragons play easily but they were a lot of fun in their own right. Of course I wanted the Kraken......
My problem is the line should have been produced by a better toymaker. There are so many more figures and accessories that should have been incorporated. An Ammon with Bubo, the Stygian Witches and Medusa come to mind. A "Gods" set and maybe Calibos's lair.....
What could have been..... None the less, Perseus is a nice figure. I take into consideration that in 1981 there wasn't much emphasis on action figure quality so when looked at through that perspective, Perseus really stands out.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

LJN Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Bowmarc on a Crusade

Bowmarc the Good Crusader from the LJN Advanced Dungeons and Dragons line may be the best of the lot. The entirety of this line is so spectacular that it really is hard to separate the awesomeness of each individual character from the others !! Bowmarc alone makes a good case for this line of action figures being one of the best ever produced.
Bowmarc is the Good Crusader, released in 1984, as part of the Second Series of AD&D figures from LJN. The Battle-Matic Action was being introduced into the line at this time, so Bowmarc was given a hook on his side that holds his sword, but also doubles as his lever to twist his torso. I'm not a fan of any sort of "action" incorporated into figures, but this one doesn't interfere with the playability of the figure and doubles as a sheath so I'll let it go. Lets get to the figure:
 Typical of the line, the card art is spectacular and overall the package is a work of art in itself.

Remember opening the card and popping the figure out of the plastic ??
What a beautiful figure, detail galore on the figure and weapons.
Look at that shield !! The detail for a figure of that era is just amazing !!
Bowmarc is equipped with a blue cape, sword, axe and shield.
The detail on the weapons is second to none !
I still remember getting Bowmarc. The CVS at the Como Mall seemed to get the coolest frikin toys around. A bit overpriced, but no one was looking for toys at a drugstore, so I found alot of stuff there. Anyway, I remember seeing him for the first time. I think I said something like "HOLY S..T!" under my breath (I was only 11) and ran to the cashier with him !
Bowmarc was the first figure from the second series I scored and I just fell in love with him. He's a Crusader ! What more could you want then the goodiest of Good Guys fighting the evil PVC monsters ! I made him out to be a total Galahad type, even Strongheart would would pale in comparison to this guys zeal for destroying evil of all kinds ! Bowmarc was the only figure I would let successfully destroy, with the help of Mercoin, the Evil Lich from the series.
These figures were so cool. I remember setting up dungeons for the figures to delve into. Getting a party of figures together and having them clear out the dungeon in search of the treasure. Bowmarc was a powerful figure to have leading the party, then eventually getting into conflict with Zarak, Zorgar or Drex. I guess I "figured" if I couldn't play D&D I could get my fix with the figures.
As a side note, I remember KB Toys liquidating these figures at the end of the line, the PVCs and the Monsters. Specifically Tiamat, the Five Headed Dragon. They were all like 1 to 10 bucks. Man, if I would have just convinced some adult to buy em up and stash them........go ahead, look up Tiamat Five headed Dragon on Ebay.......ugh.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Remco has a Secret of the NINJA !!!! EVERYONE loves a NINJA !!!

Remco churns out great toys like its easy and this is a fine example of their mastery. From the Secret of the Ninja line: Karate Black Belt Champion !! Unlike the Black Ninja that I posted about here : REMCO NINJA , this guy is clad in white and ready to kick ass !!

I've got his removable white mask but the wrong weapon.
He's supposed to have two Tonfa so I'll be on the hunt for those.
Still, he is pretty formidable with the massive Scimitar !
He's got a lever on his Butt to activate his kicking action.....
The two Black Ninja think they are up to the challenge.......
The Champion !!!!
I missed out on these guys when I was a kid but at least I get to enjoy them now !! Who wasn't big into Ninja in the 80's, Hell, I started looking up Ninja for this post and spent an hour looking at weapons and tactics !!! NINJA RULE and so does REMCO !!!!