Time Traveling through Toyfare – Journey # 1: Issue #32 – April 2000.

For this trip I figured I should get comfortable. Its a long ride back to the past.

For this inaugural blog journey through “Toy Time” we will take the time machine back to the year 2000. For the sake of “the record” I want to point out that when I chose the April edition from that year it wasn’t on purpose. Actually I just grabbed a random magazine from a pile and wah-lah! Serendipity! I’ll take it as a good sign.

The likeness is so bad to me that if someone was cookin something I couldnt tell you what it was.

The Cover:

Featured “The Rock” from the then still ‘WWF’s’( now the WWE) altest assortment of wrestling toys. I still say this is one of the worst likenesses I’ve seen of Dewayne Johnson. Also it boasted the slug about X-Men the movie toys and pondered the question: “Will they rule this summer?” Answer: No they didn’t.


McFarlane Toys filled the first three pages with full page ads hawking figures from the cult classic films “Slap Shot” and “Strange Brew”, the latest from the Spawn merchandise machine and then the one that got me interested in adding this feature to the blog: McFarlane’s Collector’s Club Wanda and Cyan set of figures. After seeing the ad again, I wondered how these figures were doing 11 years later.

There is something very cool to me about "regular people" action figures. Why? Ill never know.

The first dig on ebay turned up a bust. Not one single set could be found. A quick Google search and I tracked down the longing of Al Simmons heart. The duo is available for only $11 via this site http://www.pronto.com/product/mcfarlane-toys-collectors-club-p_1590451291 . I was unable to track down the original price on these but I’ll bet ya it was around the $20 mark. So I think it’s safe to say the collectible cash cow god didn’t bless this one.

Apparently these guys didnt make it. Noble effort though.

Another ad that grabbed my attention was one for actionace.com. It appears that it was a fledgling web site that was to feature articles, shopping and an auction feature. Apprently they didn’t survive the dot com implosion.

Readers Letters:

Always informing and some times condesending, the letters section was alway sworthy of a look over.

One of the letters in the FanFare section posed the question of where one might get an action figure made of oneself. The Toyfare crew was a bit of a killjoy in letting the writer know that the cost would be anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 and G.I. joe would still kick their @$$. Thankfully you can do have this service handled by my good pal Dawn O’Connell via her site at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com . Didn’t intend to do a plug but you can’t argue with fate.

Movers and Shakers pg.36

Its good to see these makers of cool toys have been able to live up to the hype all these years later.

Full Moon Toys was the spotlight company in this issue. They are the ones who did the really cool (although too small IMO) renderings of the characters from the Puppet Masters series of films. Personally I would have loved to have seen a 1:1 ratio on these creepy little buggers. I am glad to see that these guys are still around and appear to be doing well. Looking at their site (http://www.fullmoondirect.com/ ) you can see that the moon is still bright and busy.

Whats NOT to love about this knife wielding psychopathic puppet?

Checking ebay their original flagship line-up from “Puppet Master” isn’t garnering any heat though. Most all of the regular figures can be found in the $7.00 range. Of course there are some sellers out there trying to bag the big bucks for the more limited figures such as the 12’ version of the knife wielding hollowed eyed “Blade”. I spotted auctions with Buy It Now’s of $145. They also had the Make an Offer option so you may be able to a bit better if you want to pick one of these up.

Feature: Art Asylum pg.44

The interview style of Toyfares writers was always enjoyable. Both informing and entertaining.

The article featuring the incredibly talented staff at Art Asylum focused on how the company was making waves in the toy world through innovation and awesome looking stuff. Today the company is still flowing with tons of merchandise available.

A quick look at their site got me all giddy as I see that the Art Asylum folks will be bringing us all NEW Munsters Action Figures! The pics look amazing of the prototypes. Check ‘em out via this link… http://www.artasylum.com/blog/2011/02/munsters-blog/

Man have they come along way from their original Space Ghost and Ozzy figures!

Monthly Exclusive

Exclusives like this one was a brilliant marketing move by the mag. Who better to sell toys?

For the month of April 2000 the crew had worked out a deal with Playmates to offer readers the chance to own every gamers dream girl Lara Croft from Tomb Raider in a bomber jacket no less!. Personally I never saw the big deal with a big boobied, eyed and lipped action figure but then again I’m not a gamer and am married to a really hot honey. Looking at ebay I found one for $54.99 or best offer. Again I’ll just go home to my pretty wife and let any of you out there if you’re so inclined to auction battle over this one. Still it was interesting to note that I didn’t see as many of these as I was expected on the ebay. Doing a generic search for “Toyfare Exclusives” garnered 252 listings at the time of this writing but only one of these bomber jacket clad, pre Angelina Jolie Lara’s.

The Top 10 List

Could Star Wars toys really been that great? Yes. They Could. And yes, they were.

Again I must shout out “Serendipity”! The number one figure on the list was the Mego-esque 9inch, Target Exclusive Superman from Hasbro. Considering your boy Jim here is all about the Mego’s I too was excited about this line when it first came out but was in the end disappointed. Not because of quality, the costumes were a bit wonky but overall a well made toy. The deal breaker for me was the fact that they weren’t 8 inches. I’m telling ya folks that is a magic scale. The Target Exclusive Batman also made the list at #4. You can find both of these guys on ebay for around $30.

Outside of the obligatory ranked Star Wars figures of the time another figure that was ranked was the Paul McCartney from the Yellow Submarine line of figures from McFarlane toys. I like the Beatles as much as the next guy ( John Lennon was a true genius even if he did go a little over the top in the hippy days)  but had no interest in these figures at the time. The version featured on the list with Captain Fred also has an average ebay asking price of $30.

The Price Guide

Before ebay changed the buying and selling game forever this was a very handy guide.

For the sake of time that I am so stealing away from my regular duties to write this, I’ll wrap up this journey with a stop in the price guide. As this will be the regular stopping point for all of these Time Travels I want to point out what I’m doing here: Each journey I’ll pick one random price guide listed figure and then cross check it on ebay to see where it stands in value today. This time out we randomly point our finger at….

Galoob Toys’1988-1989 Star Trek: The Next Generation – Antican;

I have yet to see the episode of ST:TNG that featured this funky looking fellow.

Price Guide Price          Carded = $60.00          Loose = $13.00

Today’s ebay going rate = Buy it Now averages from $29.99 to $94.99.

I didn’t see any loose examples listed. Mind you I only found examples as Buy It Now’s so I read that as the figure really doesn’t have enough heat to stand up to a regular “you name the price” auction most likely for fear of loosing money on the sale.

Well that was fun for me and I hope a little for you too dear reader. Mind you there was a ton more info in this issue and a bunch of things that I really wanted to revisit but alas time is not on my side at the moment. Plus I think it would be great if you guys and gals out there grabbed your own back issues and did a little footwork to see whatever became of some of the featured toys that it seemed everyone was clamoring for in the action figure heydays of the late 20th Century. Not only could you share the info with me and other collectors, you would also have a reason to keep all these former trees around.

Adding to that last thought, if there is a toy or company you’ve been curious about whatever happened to it/them drop me an email at jimstoybox@gmail.com and I’ll try to do the digging for you. I hope to do at least one of these “Time Travels through Toyfare” at least once a month so be sure to subscribe and stay in the know. Now,  Go Play!

Jim 04/21/11

Author: Jim Bumgardner

Jim's Toy Box features programming that is inspirational, uplifting and motivational all the while offering encouragement to those who wish to make the most of this life in preparation for the next.

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