Friday, April 19, 2013

Hasbro hits a Grand Slam for GI Joe all the way to the Hall Of Fame !!!

In 1983, Hasbro re-released the original GI Joe figures and incorporated one of the greatest running changes ever into them, The Swivel Arm Battle Grip !! Grand Slam was included in that group of iconic figures that could not only swivel at the bicep,  but also had slimmer torsos to relieve pressure off of the O-Ring (but introduced the "Crotch Blowout" that the new waists were susceptible to).
The "driver" of the HAL - Heavy Artillery Laser - Grand Slam !!

The original figure (shown on the right) has straight arms and the original thick waist.
  The reissued figure now has a slimmer torso and swivel arms at the bicep. The strange thing is the pad on the straight arm figure was removed and now is replaced by a paint app. Upon closer look, you can see the swivel arm feature would cut right through the pad. Hasbro must have made the decision to not modify the original bicep (probably a cost issue). Instead, the reissue of Grand Slam has the same bicep and elbow combination that was included with most of the other figures. A paint app instead of retooling the bicep for 2 figures (Grand Slam and Flash) that probably didn't sell well was probably cheaper. Personally, I would have not put on the app and left the arm bare. The paint makes it look like something is out of place.

This year I have an agenda for my collecting habits: 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. Click the link at the top bar to see the current state !
The newest inductee into the Toymorrow GI Joe Hall of Fame: Grand Slam !
Grand Slam, in both the Straight and Swivel Arm versions occupy an area of the Hall of Fame as the newest complete inductee !

To view the Current State of the Hall of Fame and see the other inductees CLICK HERE !!!
Got something to add ? All are welcome to leave a comment !

Monday, April 15, 2013

GI Joe hits a Grand Slam in 1982 !!

 In 1982's initial offering of Joes from Hasbro, there were four "vehicle" drivers produced. While only two were really vehicles, and the other two were really mobile units that were hauled by the vehicles ... but I digress.
The "driver" of the HAL - Heavy Artillery Laser - Grand Slam !!
Clad in Helmet, visor and lead lined uniform, Grand Slam is ready for battle !!

The original figure has straight arms and the original thick waist.
  I always thought the shade of green in his uniform is cool looking.

I always like Grand Slam. His weird outfit is kinda cool looking, if not useful. I just assumed that since his vehicle was a massive laser cannon, the red padding was actually lead lined protection. Knowing that, it was usually his fate to get shot in the chest. The padding was like a bullet proof (mostly) vest.
The HAL itself didn't get a lot of use. I was a bit biased against "lasers" in use, I would have liked a traditional artillery weapon. Also, since there were no Cobra weapons that needed artillery guarding against, I did not have a viable role for it to play. It got dragged around by the VAMP a lot !

Saturday, April 13, 2013

CHiPs Mego Ponch gets a Zombified Pallor !!!

In the early 70's, Mego was cranking out action figure awesomeness by the truckload. When they were tasked to introduce the TV show characters of CHiPs to kids all over the world, they did not disappoint. The main character, Officer Francis (Frank) "Ponch" Poncherello was one of the line's best !
The card art front to back, is really well done. Nice clips from the show, displays well. I do remember being disappointed that the rest of the toy offerings were not on the back. No Internet back then to check the manufacturer's website .......
Ponch is ready for action ! Mego certainly packs the accessories and decals with this figure. The sunglasses are kinda weird looking on him. They don't quite fit well, but the rest are top notch !

Really cool accessories ! The belt has a loop to hold the baton and a holster for his pistol. The helmet is perfect for the figure. The sunglasses are cool but do not fit well. Removable boots, pants, shirt and a bunch of decals round out the accessory selection.

Oh, he also comes with a watch.
In his spare time, Ponch makes a good watch model !!

The Ponch figure has a tendency to get a zombified look. His face gets a grey pallor and his eyes yellow. Its a bit creepy but not too bad. His real life counterpart; Erik Estrada, looks fantastic for his age, so a little greying of his action figure is nothing.
I watched the show as a kid and really liked it. I'm sure I didn't get all of it, Ponch's skirt chasing and the like went straight over my head I'm sure. The action and "cop" adventure is what drew me in. Once I got some action figures, I was all in. Mego figures are awesome in their own right, but having police figures with batons and guns are incredible ! The trio of Police action arrested Kirk, Batman and their 8 inch counterparts at every turn. My horde of Megos gave the police force a plethora of perps to arrest.
I had all three figures and the van. Still wish I got the motorcycle. I even had the 3 3/4 figures but they were not that good. Mego's version of Ponch is greatness though, zombie and all .....
Got something to add ? All are welcome to leave a comment !

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fisher Price Little People has a NINJA Race Car Driver !!!!

Sometime back in the 70's Fisher Price released this wonderful toy ! The Little People Race Car Driver !!!!

Clad in Black, his trusty race car at his side, ready to win the cup !!

Black suit, face partially obscured .......

Wait a tick .......

NINJA !!!! He's no race car driver !! That's a Little  People NINJA !!!! I knew it, they're everywhere !!
There is no security.
Got something to add ? All are welcome to leave a comment !

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I've Been AFK, but I've got some M.U.S.C.L.E to back me up !!

M.U.S.C.L.E. (Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere)

From 1985 to 1988, Mattel released about 236 2 inch PVC wrestling figures in the US derived from a Japanese line called Kinkeshi. Kinkeshi were based on a manga and anime called Kinnikuman.

As shown below, the main hero is Muscleman. He leads the Thug Busters. The bad guy is Terri Bull, leader of the Cosmic Crunchers !!

I had no idea until now that the rest of the figures in the line all have names too ! (Thanks Nathan's M.U.S.C.L.E. Blog)

I had piles of these guys back in the day ! Only the pink ones though, I didn't know about the other colors til I acquired these guys recently. I actually used to wrestle them against each other. Wrestling Mania was full upon me back then. I could take any figure and create matches with them. These guys were perfect for it ! The memories of scanning each pack to find the "cool" looking one that had a good wrestling pose that I could use in a match ! The best part was I could always afford a pack or two cause they were cheap enough !
Upon researching these little pink gems I have found all kinds of nostalgia, mostly seeing a lot of the ones I had as a kid. Looks like I'll be starting a bit of a M.U.S.C.L.E. collection now !