Tag Archives: Action Figures

One Last Trip To Toys “R” Us

I probably made my last trip to Toys “R” Us before they close down. As of writing this everything was 10-30% off. My main goal was WWE action figures and anything TRU Geoffrey related.

When I made it to the WWE figure aisle there wasn’t much, lots of empty pegs and SummerSlam two-packs featuring Ultimate Warrior & Honky Tonk Man. At this point, stop making Warrior figures. Save those figure slots for someone else. I did pick up a WrestleMania build up playset. It came with a basic Brock Lesnar figure which isn’t bad.

After about an hour searching the store for Geoffrey stuff I finally ask for help. Talked to one guy about plushies or Pop! figures and he said, the Pop! figs went fast and as for plushies, we don’t have any. He added, everyone has been coming in asking if we have that type of stuff since we are closing. He built it up as nostalgia.

I spent a couple hours in TRU taking pictures, SnapChatting, and giving play by play to Sometimes Mike about my adventure. So as I walked to the counter to checkout I spotted a row of Geoffrey gift card plushies, jackpot! I ask the lady behind the counter, those for sale? Yes they are… Give me two! And I got’em. I saved a couple dollars noting outrageous. The cashier said, the big sales will take place closer they get to closing the store.

The atmosphere wasn’t all that chipper. Sure I got the, hello when I walked in but it was kinda a ghost town. Saw maybe six customers and four employees. What I remembered the most is how hot it was in there. I’m guessing they shutoff the AC to save some cash… It’s sad seeing a store that’s been there for ages just closing and trying to get rid of everything. I remember going to TRU as a kid looking for wrestling figures and I’m still going to TRU looking for said action toys!

Living the #FigLife Top 5 Random Action Figures

These figures are some of my favorites that’s not wrestling, Star Wars, or Ghostbusters. Being a collector and one time owner of many action figures from the 80’s and 90’s I bought and received a lot of random stuff.

5. Streex (Street Sharks)

I remember watching the cartoon and thinking, if the sharks met the turtles that would be a match. I remember getting Streex one random day after getting out from school. The figure was huge and a bit blocky, the shark did stake but the gimmick was the rubber head and fin so you could make a chomping action. This figure grew old fast with limited play. It needed more articulation.

4. Vinnie (Biker Mice from Mars)

Another one-off figure I bought because of the cartoon. Vinnie was the only figure I collected from the series. He looked cool and always liked the Terminator/Phantom half mask.

3. Aracula (Skeleton Warriors)

I got this figure without watching the cartoon first. Honestly, who needed a cartoon storyline. These figures on their own are awesome. Aracula was the only one I had but got a lot of use out of it. A six armed skeleton was something I never seen before. He faced the Ninja Turtles many of times. And when I see Skeleton Warriors I always think of the Ray Harryhausen movies.2. Armadon (Primal Rage)

To this day I still play the video game but at the time finding any kind of video game action figures hanging on pegs was a must buy. This is one fig I wish I still had, Armadon was used as a villain for Ghostbusters and Godzilla.1. Dracula (Monster Force)

I don’t remember watching Monster Force, but do remember the figures. I had Dracula, he was basic, good look to him. I wish I had other figures from the series to make my own monster mash.

There you have it, another top five. But this time it took me awhile to figure out what action figure made the list.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 Power of the Force Figures

When Star Wars got a second life in the mid to late 90’s I was onboard and collected almost every Power of the Force figures because those were my Star Wars toys… After you read my Top 5 stick around to read Michael Carlson from The Awesome 80’s Pod favorite Star Wars figures.

5. Hoth Rebel Soldier

Generic rebel fig that I could be used anywhere in the galaxy not just Hoth. The removable backpack is a good touch as well.

4. Grand Moff Tarkin

Peter Cushing having his own figure meant using him for Hammer Horror bookings. He faced the Universal Monsters from the Ghostbusters line.

3. Darth Vader

The first handful of characters I received Vader was one of them, he was just menacing. Prop his arm up and he could force choke anyone.

2. Rebel Fleet Trooper

Just like the Hoth soldier I could make this trooper join the Force or turn to the dark side. I enjoyed the background characters a lot more than the main cast.

1. Bossk

The coolest reptilian in the galaxy. When it comes to bounty hunters, keep your Boba Fett and give me Bossk any day. When he first showed up in The Empire Strikes Back I hope to see more of him but didn’t. He became my chase figure for a long time but when that time came and I found him, take my money!

Now a word from Michael Carlson…

All of my life adults have been telling me to grow up. To me there is a fine line between being childish and childlike, a line between being irresponsible and just seeing the wonder and joy in the world. To me the wonder and nostalgia of childhood is encapsulated in 3 3/4 inch action figures from the early 1980s, I.e. G.I. Joe and Star Wars.

Since I became a homeowner I have multiple times in my head rationalized some of my childlike collections. Ahhh Hell! there are plenty of old guys into train sets and remote control so forgive me for preaching to the choir. F-those people who don’t get the joy of others and get all superior and judgy. If you spend time judging people for anything you are wasting your life.

I was asked to give a list of my favorite Star Wars figures from the Power of the Force line from the 90s. Some figure critics judge and write the early figures off as being too WWE shaped. For the time the G. I. Joes, the Marvel and D.C. figures plus the WWE figures all had that V-shaped upper body that was cool. It may give boys unrealistic ideas about the kind of workouts they need to do but that was the style.

5. C-3PO with cargo net

Just the memories of being a kid and taking the 80 version apart makes me like this figure. I’m transported to Cloud City there are Ugnaughts everywhere and Goldenrod is being carried around in a bag, I just love it.

4. Chewbacca as Boushh’s Bounty

Chewbacca, acting as a prisoner, and Princess Leia, disguised as the bounty hunter Boussh, infiltrate Jabba’s Palace. As a figure you could use it either for the Death Star Cell Bock transfer or the imprisoned Jabba‘s Palace scene. To me though what makes him great is the hair. He just looks messy, and just watching as the original trilogy progressed and seeing Chewy’s costume just get better and better. I love it. Chewbacca, acting as a prisoner, and Princess Leia, disguised as the bounty hunter Boussh, infiltrate Jabba’s Palace.

3. Leia in Boushh Disguise

I was unable to purchase this figure in the Power of the Force box and I was only able to find it in the Shadows of the Empire box. I just love the visual of the costume and figure and her holding the thermal detonator. She is so badass!Princess Leia Organa disguised as Bounty Hunter Boushh was released on different cardbacks in the Shadows Of The Empire and Power Of The Force 2 toy lines.

2. Bespin Luke Skywalker

Luke’s face had great sculpting! To me when I was pretending to be Luke this is the Luke in my mind I was. Fighting Vader, training with Yoda, going on that adventure.

1. Han Solo Stormtrooper

This Han Solo as Stormtrooper was a mail-away exclusive through Kelloggs in late 1995 through 1996. To me this was my first of the series and I couldn’t help but think about early childhood when I sent away for The G.I. Joe, William the Refrigerator Perry figure and the Anakin Skywalker. This is what collecting figures is all about.

I did want to give an honorable mention to the Power of the Force flashback series. The Aunt Beru, Hoth Chewbacca, floppy hat Luke, and Yoda with fun accessories. Great ones that I just don’t love are the Bib Fortuna, Biggs Darklighter, Han Solo in Carbonite, also the one I have out and about it on my desk is the Han Solo from the Power of the Force Commtech Series.

For my figures at the time I spent more money than is reasonable but I loved it every step of the way…I was a very happy addict and owning over 90% of the entire line. As a child every time I would run around the corner of a hallway I expected a group of storm troopers to be there. Every time I climbed a ladder I was climbing a ladder inside the falcon to shoot at Tie-fighters. But, these figures were not my figures even though I had the receipt. My figures we sold at a series of garage sales. I was piecing out my childhood one IP at a time. One garage sale, there goes the He-Men, six more months there go the Transformers, the Star Wars…the G. I. Joes. From 1995-99 there was no question with every paycheck I was going to set aside a portion to just buy action figures. Specifically 80s G.I. Joes and 90s Star Wars was my main focus with my 80s ethos going through my mind. I’m a big Goonies fan and the scene where Mouth is it at the old Lost Garden Wishing Well collecting coins he says something. “This is my wish my dream and it didn’t come true and I’m taking it back I’m taking em all back”, that was my mantra. Who is anyone to tell you what you like isn’t awesome regardless of what it is, and I was getting them all back. To me my dream was to stay young forever and feel like I’m riding Falcor from The Never Ending Story, and these 3 3/4 inch figures do that for me.

A Look Back – I Was a Toys R Us Kid

It’s being reported that all US Toys “R” Us stores are closing soon and it’s a shame. Toys “R” Us is every child’s dream, walking into a toy store finding that one action figure that you been searching for for weeks! If TRU didn’t have it no one did.

Toys

I’m still lucky enough to have my childhood TRU still open. I haven’t been in there in three years but I do have fond memories. I picked up the first Iron Man movie figure back in 2008 and one of my last times I went to TRU was in search for WWE Classic Superstars Series, Ted DiBiase. Didn’t find him but eventually ordered him online.

Speaking of ordering online, that’s one reason TRU is going under. Big box retails can’t compete with Amazon, or eBay. And I’m guilty like everyone else. Sure you may go look at Wal*Mart or Target for something but you failed to find it just order it online, it’s much easier picking up a package at a post office than dealing with dummies at a store.

One childhood memory that always stuck with me was when my mom, grandmother and I made a trip to TRU looking for Beetlejuice for NES. As I stood there looking through the glass searching for Beetlejuice I didn’t see it. I was told to get any other game I wanted but my heart was on Beetlejuice, I made the decision to leave empty handed. To this day Beetlejuice for the NES I’m still chasing in the wild.

The one thing about my TRU is, I don’t remember Geoffrey Dollars. I saw them advanced on Tv and in the Sunday paper but never at the store itself.

What I did see every time I walked into Toys “R” Us was their mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe. He was always giving out hugs and high-fives. Nowadays he’s probably Too Sweeting people. But I digress. My experiences at Toys “R” Us has always been good, I hate to see them go out of business.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWE LJN Figures

I been really enjoying writing about wrestling figures and I’m gonna finish this series with the LJN line. Big chunks of rubber and paint crashing into each other! They are really indestructible sometimes. What makes the LJN figs playable are the poses the superstars come in. And you can forget about Rick Rude making this list. Worst LJN ever!

5. Greg Valentine

Valentine was a figure I got much later in life from a family friend. I didn’t use him much since Hasbro was popular at the time. He mostly stood on a shelf.

4. George Steele

Talk about a brick of rubber. Maybe a bulldog or Japanese arm drag but in all reality he could splash a laying opponent. I liked Steele growing up so this fig has a lot of sentimental value.

3. S.D. Jones

The longest IC Champion when I was booking my fantasy league. SD could do it all. I gave him a chokeslam finisher.

2. Ricky Steamboat

Perfect hand for an iron claw submission or something simple as a drop kick.

1. Hulk Hogan

From leg drops, diving elbow to an hurricanrana. The Hogan fig could do it all.

The one LJN that never crossed my path was Randy Savage. Never saw one in a store or yard sale. What are some of your favorite WWF LJN figures?

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWF Hasbro Figures

The WWF Hasbro line are classics! So many figures with action packed moves, what can go wrong? Other than half my figures got broke over the years of play and a bit of yellowing years later. But let’s look back at my top five!

5. Jake The Snake Roberts (Blue Card – Python Punch) What made this fig cool was his punching action, pull back and let it fly.

4. Lex Luger (Red Card – Narcissistic Action) I found this figure at a yard sale years after Hasbro stop producing WWF figures. I bought it just to add it to my collection. It’s always fun finding wrestling figures in the wild.

3. Brutus Beefcake (Blue Card – Sleeper Hold) This style Hasbro isn’t very popular with the jumping action. But I didn’t mind it, Beefcake was colorful in my eyes with pink, black and white paint job he stood out.

2. Andre The Giant (Blue Card – Giant Jolt) My first Hasbro figure I remember getting, Andra toward over all the other figs and his arms made it easy to tie him in the top and middle ring ropes.

1. Randy Savage (Blue Card – Elbow Smash) One of the hardest figures to find around town. I remember going store to store looking for Savage and didn’t have any luck until I found him in my local mall and the rest was history. Savage won majority of my fantasy booking matches.

The only figure I wish I had was Bret Hart since he is my favorite wrestler. As for the WWE Mattel Retro figs, I’m not collecting. They look cool but not for me.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWE JAKKS Figures

When it comes to JAKKS my collection is an impressive one. From bone crushing action to the Classic Superstars series. But today I’m focusing on the basic Ruthless Aggression – Classic Superstars era.

Brooklyn Brawler (Classic Superstars 12) Brawler was a job guy with lots of gimmicks but having him in action figure form was a treat. He was a day one for me.

John Cena (Ruthless Aggression Series 3) This was Doctor of Thuganomics era Cena and at the time he was the coolest figure around to make up your own raps against your other figures.

Jesse Ventura (Classic Superstars 21)This figure mirrors the LJN Ventura with his blue bandanna and pink flowery tights. Once I saw the resemblance it was a must have.

Kevin Thorn (Ruthless Aggression Series 31) Who doesn’t want a gothic vampire wrestling figure. The likeness is spot on and put him next to Ariel you got yourself the Brood 2.0 or a good Twilight spin-off.

Jim Neidhart, Marty Jannetty, and Tito Santana (Classic Superstars Series 3 Three Pack) When building the Hart Foundation you really need an Anvil and at the time the only Jannetty figure was a two-pack Rockers. With Tito you could build Strike Force with a Rick Martel model fig. Finding this set was a real get because it was hard to find.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWE Mattel Action Figures

I been buying and collecting wrestling action figures since the LJN era. My collection of JAKKS I’m very proud of but backed off when I found out Mattel took over the WWE license and thought I might as well stop with JAKKS because I really don’t want to rebuy all these figures over again… Until I bought my first Mattel and I was hooked once again. My first figure came from WWE Legends Series 5 with Macho Man Randy Savage. JAKKS never had a Savage figure and I couldn’t pass him up!

These are my Top Five favorite WWE Mattel action figures.

5. Becky Lynch (Elite 49)

I’ve always been 50/50 on Lynch but came around a year ago. I picked up her Elite 49 figure on clearance, it just looks good. She has her steampunk top hat, goggles and duster.

4. Razor Ramon (WrestleMania 32 Basic)

When I was looking for a Razor there’s a Defining Moments figure with purple ring gear, but I wasn’t looking to get anything fancy. So I found a basic with black and gold ring gear which to me is the classic Razor look. Sure he didn’t come with a vest but still a nice figure to add to my Kliq/New Generation Era collection.

3. D’Lo Brown (Elite 52)

D’Lo was my favorite wrestler in the Nation and he’s a bit underrated, he’s one of a few people in the Attitude Era that wasn’t named Hardy doing high flying moves. The Elite 52 figure is spot on, down to the protective vest.

2. Dusty Rhodes (Target Exclusive)

I skipped on buying WWE Legends Series 1 Dusty Rhodes to buy Randy Savage, years later when Target had Rhodes packaged with the WCW ring I couldn’t pass it up. Rhodes was in his NWA era ring attire with the big gold belt and by this time I was already three rings deep and having one more couldn’t hurt. But it’s the classic Dusty that I like about the figure. Cowboy ring boots, birthmark and one elbow pad. Classic!

1. Bret Hart (Defining Moments 5)

I gotta have my all time favorite wrestler. This figure is from In Your House: Canadian Stampede. Everything about this figure is awesome, he comes with a Canadian flag, sunglasses, and a leather jacket with the Hitman skull logo on the back. Everything you need to make a perfect Bret Hart figure.

Who’s Next? At this point Mattel is making everyone, as of this year X-PAC has four figures floating around and one of them is Syxx from his WCW run. But I really want to see a Gorilla Monsoon figure because Bobby Heenan has a figure out and one on the way, and I need a Prime Time Wrestling duo. Another figure I would buy is Haku in his King of the Ring attire.

And now a word from Lawrence of The Awesome 80’s Podcast on his top 3 favorite wrestling action figures.

Thanks Doiner for including me in this column. I was a hardcore collector from 1990-2005. Although I do have some of the early WWF figures they didn’t capture my heart at the time. After I was collecting for a few years I stopped opening all figures and kept them in their packaging. If I really wanted to open one I would buy doubles but even then I found I would have a tough time allowing myself to open the package. I found I got more joy out of holding the unopened package and looking at them than I did playing with an opened one.

If anyone is looking for gift ideas I have always regretted opening the 1990 WCW set and am willing to take donations of any of those figures. Enjoy my Top 3 list below and feel free to comment about your favorites. My favorites are all about sentimental value and not which ones looked the coolest or had the best moves.

3. Shawn Michaels (Road to WrestleMania 22 – Series 1)

Shawn Michaels as Hulk. This figure makes me laugh and reminds me of the promo HBK delivered right before their 2005 Summer Slam match where Shawn over sold everything and made Hulk look like an asshole. If you haven’t watched this match or haven’t watched it in a while as a wrestling fan you owe it to yourself to check it out.

2. Mick Foley’s Triple Threat

I was a huge Foley mark since his 1991 WCW run. So I was the worst to be around when he was at his peak in WWF from 1998-2002. I loved everything Foley did and I wasn’t shy about telling everyone I saw. When this set got released I was full on mark mode. It is of course still sitting in my collection, unopened.

1. Jim Ross (Ringside Collection Series 2)

I was also a big JR mark. This is my #1 because I searched for over 6 months to find this figure. Every Wal*Mart or Toys R Us I passed I had to stop to try to find it. The fleeting moment of joy I had when I found it and held it in my hands was a euphoric feeling for all of 10 seconds. I have four of this figures currently sitting in my basement you guessed it all unopened. Special shout out to my college girlfriend who also had to stop at everyone of those Wal*Mart’s, Toys R Us and oh ya I forgot we also stopped at every K B Toy stores.

Honorable mention to the WCW 1990 set. This was the first set that I hardcore collected. I still have the entire set in my collection but I opened them all to book shows using the WCW ring I had. Special shout out to the spring loaded ring platform.