Kirk is going where no 90 year old man has gone before?!?!


In case you missed it the most epic announcement of the actions of a pop culture icon just dropped: William Shatner is going to space! How amazing is that? Captain Kirk going to space for real?!?! I’m not that big of a Trekkie but I sure do love me some William Shatner!

And while this is awesome in and of itself, this isn’t the first time that the influence of the fictional “Star Trek” has manifested in our real world. For those who may not have known or forgot, once upon a time ago the bridge crew of the Enterprise were the guests of honor when the REAL Enterprise was rolled out for all to see… well, everybody but the Captain…

I guess this is the Shat’s way of making up for that really stupid blunder on his part. As of this writing, I haven’t been able to find an official reason as to why he wasn’t there but ego’s were ego’s back then. Oh well, let the past be the past right? Right!

Being as fanboy as I can be, this announcement gets me stoked about Kirk Merch (plus that sounds kind of cool)… and on that note, I’m thinking to commemorate the moment I just may go aheaad and get my hands on the new 14″ Mego Kirk via my longtime pals at Entertainment Earth. Hmmm……

Hell, I think I may need to give in to more impulse buying and round out the whole old school crew via the Mego way. Also could be a really good time to give the folks at ZLC Collectibles a shot…. I see tribble size trouble on my hands if I give into all this madness.

But what a way to go! I think I’ll start right here…. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

https://zlccollectibles.com/collections/mego-star-trek/products/mego-star-trek-kirk

How Willie Wonka can help heal the world.

“Come with me and you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination.”


Strife and division. Negativity and combativeness. Exclusion and loneliness. Adjectives that I never much cared to use in the opening of any article let alone one for the Toy Box. However, it’s impossible not to call out those horrible elephants hanging out in the room if one is to ever clear said room of horrible elephants and have a fun place to play that doesn’t smell of elephant dung.

After 18 months of introspection, self realization, a few really good books, a complete exodus from social media, an 8 inch action figure released by the Mego Corporation and a buried truth unearthed from the deepest parts of my subconscious, I’ve broken free from the mental trap that led me down; dark roads, ignorant decisions, hateful and irresponsible actions online and a general disdain for the things that l loved most: creating, educating, inspiring and encouraging you, dear reader to do the same. To prove that, I’ve packed in some Golden Tickets that got me through the aforementioned dark times that I hope you will enjoy.

“Hold your breath.

Make a wish

Count to three.”

Willy Wonka – 1971

A little preface

Since 2010, this Toy Box had been the refuge for all of my creative expressions (audio, video, still photography, the written word and/or a combination of them all) but the last few pre-2020 years, I went a completely wrong direction with my attitude. And frankly, I know I nearly wrecked this Toy Box. To say the least, I certainly lost touch with its intent and let me tell you, that’s a truly horrible feeling.

On the journey that led me back to where we are, I did a whole lot of soul searching as to why I couldn’t let this online playground go but at the same time I lost the desire to enter into its realm. What was at the root? At the core? In the very essence of my need to be surrounded by plastic representations of childhood memories let alone talk about ’em?

Was it nostalgia? Honestly, no. Was it a sensation or feeling? Yes! But still not exactly the answer. Why on God’s green Earth am I talking to myself? Because I’m insane.

That conversation began in March of 2020 as I too was hunkered down into the start of an 18 month “15 days to flatten the curve” world. It took 12 months (and a helluva lot of frustrating circumstances) for the true answer to begin revealing itself too me. Then, almost to the day in March 2021, I heard from my neighbor that a certain purple clad, top hat wearing mad man was spotted on the shelves in the Electronics Department.

A spark was struck and away I went to see this anomaly for myself. I arrived to find he and his three clones were perched precariously on a shelf along with 4 each of a vampire, a cyborg, a Japanese superhero, a scarlet skeleton pimp, a clown with pink eye, a possessed spawn of Satan and a snotty looking guy in a dress. Yes, Mr. Willie Wonka, away from his factory and encased in a plastic bubble was looking for a ride to my place. I consulted with President’s Washington and Lincoln and our first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton if they were cool with an exchange. They agreed and there we went, back to the house.

Unbeknownst to me at that moment, the answer to the question I had been pondering for so long and hard, was being answered. The cure to my ailment of attitude, and not just for a desire to indulge in ramblings about toys, but towards life on the whole, was being revealed through this 8 inch Gene Wilder doppelganger. Encapsulated in this action figure was a reminder and reintroduction to the most powerful force in the universe:

IMAGINATION

Imagination is a multi directional street. Most instinctively presume it only refers to a wondrous mental landscape of joy and wonderment solely for the flights of fancy of children. And it absolutely SHOULD be that way. However, there is a dark side to it when it is overtaken and labeled as worry, anxiety and fear. Those of course are regulated to being the standard and to be expected “adult” experience. Which is an absolutely terrible mindset and perception. I had read something to that effect but it didn’t sink in until I was examining Mr. Wonka more closely and my creative mind kicked back in and realized he was missing something so simple yet crucial; He needed Wonka bars and I needed to make ’em! So I did and in doing so the rusty gears of my imagination factory began to turn and as such began breaking down the false labels attributed to that most wonderful and readily available super power which leads to my first Golden Ticket for you. Below you’ll see a picture of Wonka bar wrappers that you can print out to make your own perfect accessories. I’ve included a simple how to video to help you in the construction process.

Now you too can be a candy man. Print these off and add your own sunrise, and sprinkles of dew.

Just trying to have a little fun, folks. That’s all.

There’s more to come from this story (and more Golden Tickets so be sure to check back soon…

Now, Go Play!

Jim 08/22/2021

Side note: Halloween’s coming… check out our new affiliate partner!

Halloween Costumes await you!

How Willie Wonka can help heal the world.

“Come with me and you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination.”


Strife and division. Negativity and combativeness. Exclusion and loneliness. Adjectives that I never much cared to use in the opening of any article let alone one for the Toy Box. However, it’s impossible not to call out those horrible elephants hanging out in the room if one is to ever clear said room of horrible elephants and have a fun place to play that doesn’t smell of elephant dung.

After 18 months of introspection, self realization, a few really good books, a complete exodus from social media, an 8 inch action figure released by the Mego Corporation and a buried truth unearthed from the deepest parts of my subconscious, I’ve broken free from the mental trap that led me down; dark roads, ignorant decisions, hateful and irresponsible actions online and a general disdain for the things that l loved most: creating, educating, inspiring and encouraging you, dear reader to do the same. To prove that, I’ve packed in some Golden Tickets that got me through the aforementioned dark times that I hope you will enjoy.

“Hold your breath.

Make a wish

Count to three.”

Willy Wonka – 1971

A little preface

Since 2010, this Toy Box had been the refuge for all of my creative expressions (audio, video, still photography, the written word and/or a combination of them all) but the last few pre-2020 years, I went a completely wrong direction with my attitude. And frankly, I know I nearly wrecked this Toy Box. To say the least, I certainly lost touch with its intent and let me tell you, that’s a truly horrible feeling.

On the journey that led me back to where we are, I did a whole lot of soul searching as to why I couldn’t let this online playground go but at the same time I lost the desire to enter into its realm. What was at the root? At the core? In the very essence of my need to be surrounded by plastic representations of childhood memories let alone talk about ’em?

Was it nostalgia? Honestly, no. Was it a sensation or feeling? Yes! But still not exactly the answer. Why on God’s green Earth am I talking to myself? Because I’m insane.

That conversation began in March of 2020 as I too was hunkered down into the start of an 18 month “15 days to flatten the curve” world. It took 12 months (and a helluva lot of frustrating circumstances) for the true answer to begin revealing itself too me. Then, almost to the day in March 2021, I heard from my neighbor that a certain purple clad, top hat wearing mad man was spotted on the shelves in the Electronics Department.

A spark was struck and away I went to see this anomaly for myself. I arrived to find he and his three clones were perched precariously on a shelf along with 4 each of a vampire, a cyborg, a Japanese superhero, a scarlet skeleton pimp, a clown with pink eye, a possessed spawn of Satan and a snotty looking guy in a dress. Yes, Mr. Willie Wonka, away from his factory and encased in a plastic bubble was looking for a ride to my place. I consulted with President’s Washington and Lincoln and our first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton if they were cool with an exchange. They agreed and there we went, back to the house.

Unbeknownst to me at that moment, the answer to the question I had been pondering for so long and hard, was being answered. The cure to my ailment of attitude, and not just for a desire to indulge in ramblings about toys, but towards life on the whole, was being revealed through this 8 inch Gene Wilder doppelganger. Encapsulated in this action figure was a reminder and reintroduction to the most powerful force in the universe:

IMAGINATION

Imagination is a multi directional street. Most instinctively presume it only refers to a wondrous mental landscape of joy and wonderment solely for the flights of fancy of children. And it absolutely SHOULD be that way. However, there is a dark side to it when it is overtaken and labeled as worry, anxiety and fear. Those of course are regulated to being the standard and to be expected “adult” experience. Which is an absolutely terrible mindset and perception. I had read something to that effect but it didn’t sink in until I was examining Mr. Wonka more closely and my creative mind kicked back in and realized he was missing something so simple yet crucial; He needed Wonka bars and I needed to make ’em! So I did and in doing so the rusty gears of my imagination factory began to turn and as such began breaking down the false labels attributed to that most wonderful and readily available super power which leads to my first Golden Ticket for you. Below you’ll see a picture of Wonka bar wrappers that you can print out to make your own perfect accessories. I’ve included a simple how to video to help you in the construction process.

Now you too can be a candy man. Print these off and add your own sunrise, and sprinkles of dew.

Just trying to have a little fun, folks. That’s all.

There’s more to come from this story (and more Golden Tickets so be sure to check back soon…

Now, Go Play!

Jim 08/22/2021

Side note: Halloween’s coming… check out our new affiliate partner!

Halloween Costumes await you!

Star Wars Prototypes from way back when…


sWith Star Wars Celebration in full swing and the 40th anniversary of the greatest movie of my childhood being celebrated like never before, why not take a look back at some of the fantastic product that never saw retail shelves? Thanks to the January ’99 issue of Tomart’s Action Figure Digest , there are some fantastic pics of on-produced or released prototypes from the Micro Collection line of metal figures and playsets.  And just like the article on Mego’s Marty Abrams, it’s so cool seeing where it all came from, Action figure and toy fans.

Jim  04/13/17

Special treat for my fellow MEGO fans…


Greetings gang! As any reader who has ever been to the Toy Box more than once by accident should know, I’m a HUGE fan of the MEGO line of action figures from the 70’s. They were and still are my first toy love. And while I rave, rabble and rant about the new  retro, Mego style action figures, nothing can top the originals… or their father; Marty Abrams…

I share with you now this fantastic article from January ’99, inside the former go to publication of all things action figures; Tomart’s Action Figure Digest.  See where it all came from Action Figure fans!

Jim 04/13/17

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#AFWD2017 has arrived, and Dante and Randall ARE supposed to be here today!


Couldn’t think of two better slackers to spend #AFWD2017 with 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can get your own from Entertainment Earth via the links below PLUS the NEW Mallrats Series! Brodie is on the way to me now and I am so stoked to review him! – Now, Go Play! – Jim  03/03/17

 

Clerks Black and White Series 2 Action Figure SetClerks Black and White Action Figure SetClerks Silent Bob Black and White Action FigureClerks Dante Black and White Action FigureClerks Jay Black and White Action FigureClerks Randal Graves Black and White Action FigureClerks 20th Ann. Minimates Black-and-White Figure SetMallrats Select Brodie Series 1 Action FigureMallrats Select Jay Series 1 Action FigureMallrats Select Renee Series 2 Action FigureMallrats Select Silent Bob Series 2 Action FigureMallrats Select Series 2 Action SetMallrats Minimates Series 1 Box Set

Iconic creator of Darth Vader’s helmet available for a comment? Yes please!


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Your  opportunity to meet one of the most humble, sweet and talented men (along with his lovely wife) is available this weekend at Visioncon in Branson. Of course I am referring to Mr. Brian Muir who is the reason my childhood and most of yours too, and today’s pop culture has the iconic Darth Vader Helmet as well as the Stormtrooper, and many other facets of the Star Wars Universe… and still so much more. From Harry Potter to Guardians of the Galaxy to Little Shop of Horrors, Mr.Muir absolutely has earned the respect and title of “Living Legend”. Again I will stress to all of you within driving distance to take advantage of this possibly once in a lifetime opportunity to chat with him. This opportunity is so unique for our area folks, don’t miss it. Believe me when I say, you will be forever glad you did. I know I am. – Jim 02/26/17

P.S. I’ll be sharing more of my chat with Mr.Muir in a few days but for now please be a pal and help spread the word. This event is over Sunday February 27, 2017.

http://visioncon.net/content/guests/guests.php https://www.facebook.com/events/1836791509943697/ https://www.facebook.com/brian.muir.94 #visionconmo #visioncon #brianmuir #bransonmo #DarthVader #StarWars #LivingLegend

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Different Takes on Threepio


c-3po_droidJust playing around with the most famous goldenrod of all; a vintage C-3PO from Kenner Toys, circa 1978. While today’s collectors demand minute details and multiple points of articulation, this charming fellow actually has a lot more detail than you would think at first glance. Add to that, his golden glow that you won’t find in today’s action figures, which is truly a shame. To note, when shooting these little snippets I got a tiny taste of the nightmare it had to have been for Lucas and the crew to actually shoot the real Threepio on set. It would take a lot of effort to “stay out of the shot”. Such a fantastic toy and memories in this one.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 01/27/17

Get your Goldenrod Fix!
Star Wars Gold C-3PO Metal Earth Model KitStar Wars C-3PO 3-D Gold Plated Dog Tag NecklaceStar Wars R2-D2 and C-3PO Business Card HolderStar Wars R2-D2 Napkin and C-3PO Ring
LEGO Star Wars C-3PO Minifigure FlashlightStar Wars C-3PO Mimopowertube 2 Portable ChargerStar Wars C-3PO Gold Plated 3-D Stud Earrings

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I, we and Bo Duke need your social media muscle!


I can’t say this is a dream come true… because I never dreamed I’d ever being doing anything like this.

14030608_1079814535389257_1019167084_nOn Sunday night at the Starlite Theatre in Branson , Missouri, I will be heading up the video crew of Artistry Entertainment Agency as we will be a part of John Schneider‘s benefit concert that will go to help those affected by the recent floods in Baton Rouge. This opportunity and privilege to help came about pretty unexpectedly and as such it’s been a rush and flurry of activity and action getting everything in place and ready to rock n roll. Nothing better than a stressful rush to get the old blood pumping. But I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

As I’ve mentioned throughout numerous reviews and posts over the years, I’ve always been a fan of the Dukes of Hazzard. And while I appreciate all of the cast and many of their various pre and post Dukes endeavors, John Schneider has truly been involved in so many different projects that have fueled my entertainment needs. From his music career to his work on Smallville and now his efforts in promoting and creating independent films, I just can’t help but love the guy.

410YH4ZF04LJohn’s music career has been pretty far on the back burner of his to do list these days but the string of hits he put out in the 80’s are pure honky tonk gold. As a country music disc jockey and then later program director in the 90’s, I got myself in numerous bouts of trouble when I would “break format” and drop a few of those into my show. That was back when the world revolved around Garth Brooks and just as Tim McGraw was starting to screw things up. Consultants were pushing music and program directors far and away from the “old stuff” and since the sales department (who can’t dance or hold their liquor by the way) agreed and the music muzzle was applied.

Well, I was never know to follow the rules too terribly well. Sure I did what I was supposed to as far as formatics and all but there is something in my DNA that simply could stomach playing McGraw’s “Don’t take the girl” twice in one day everyday for month’s on end ( don’t even get me started on “Indian Outlaw”). So, I didn’t and filled that hole with something that was a helluva lot more fun or nostalgic. John’s music definitely fit the bill. And to note, once I became a program director, his stuff became regular in my rotations. And in both of those roles, the audiences loved me for it. So bite me Jay and Mark, wherever you are.

JonathanKentAs the years rolled by and I got out of the radio business for good, caught the film bug and then of course the blogging bug, I embraced my “inner geek”, John showed up again in the role of Jonathan Kent on “Smallville”. This to me was an absolutely perfect fit. I can’t think of any better actor, in regards to his presence, character and charisma to help mold the young man that would become Superman. And if you watch the Smallville series finale you’ll see how right that choice was…

And if you didn’t tear up during those scenes between Clark and his Dad, you really should just go back to your cliff overlooking Whoville, Mr. Grinch.

Like-Son-Cover-CSince that time John has been actively working on his own independent films and projects which are really quite good. I must admit, I haven’t seen them all but from what I have seen, I’ve enjoyed. Also his interactions and outreaches on social media, especially Facebook, have been very cool to connect with. It’s also had the opportunity to be heartbreaking as we all watched his studio get washed away by Louisiana flood waters, not once but twice. Cruel hand of fate for just a good ole boy. But, just like Bo Duke or Jonathan Kent, it’ll take more than that to lick him. And not only is he recovering he’s coming back to help out those who were also bullied by the treacherous Boss Flood. And in my own little way, I and my awesome and amazing crew get to be a part of this slug fest, and you can too actually.

14067611_10209024412739968_4843223742866564317_nAs I mentioned, the benefit concert is coming up this Sunday night August 28th , 2016 at the magnificent Starlite Theatre in Branson, Missouri on the legendary Highway 76 strip. Doors will open at 6P and the show will begin at 7P. Adding to the night of fun and entertainment John will be joined by another legend of the 80’s music scene; Johnny ‘Picking up strangers / Looking for love in all the wrong places” Lee and rising star Jason Pritchett. Admission is by donation, but we would truly appreciate a minimum of $20 per person. Plus there will also be a silent auction held with all of the proceeds going back to help the folks affected* by the floods.

*To note I don’t use the term “victim” because that would give the appearance of weakness when the exact opposite is true. I’ve been watching the PEOPLE of Baton Rouge doing some wonderful and incredible acts of human kindness for one another. That’s not a victim, that’s a survivor. That said, it doesn’t take away the needs these folks have. A 1,000 year flood obviously washed away lifestyles that he took a lifetime to build and in that they do need a hand.

Before I wrap up and get back to working on the stuff for the show I want to send a shout out to some folks who aren’t looking for recognition but deserve at least a tip of the hat:

Branson, MO Mayor Karen Best. Talk about a proactive mayor. Bravo and kudos on al the work you’ve been doing in bringing Branson back to it’s “best” (pardon the pun, I couldn’t help myself)

Linda Merkling and the crew of the Starlite Theater. You are simply the best. In the few months that we at Artistry Entertainment have been working with you, it’s been fun and a little challenging but that’s what makes the stars shine extra bright in our efforts and work.

John Scheider, Johnny Lee and Jason Pritchett – Kudos for stepping out and stepping up on stage to share your talents to help folks out. That’s exceptional character personified and may no-one miss how incredible that truly is.

Derek Usery Sr., Toinette Madison and Kim Rosson – You guys are stepping up in a huge way to make the production process happen on this one and I truly appreciate it. Word’s really aren’t enough but still THANK YOU!

Artistry Entertainment – Matt Duncan, you’ve opened doors that I never had the chance to walk through before, thank you for that. And we aren’t even close to the end of this long hallway 😉 My wife, best friend and partner; Alicia Bumgardner. You my love, are my rock and without you I couldn’t keep pushing so hard. With you in the field with me, I can relax (okay, a little).
And of course YOU dear readers. Without you all this would just be a journal entry that no one would ever see, and that would kind of suck right now since I need, request and kinda sorta beg all of you to share the information about the concert with everyone you know. Regardless whether or not you can make it to the show, the live stream will be able to bring the show to you. I’ll get you the final official that info ASAP.

I know I can count on all of you and I do truly appreciate you all. Back to work for me and as always I strongly encourage you to Now, Go Play! – Jim 08/26/2016now-go-play-large-72dpi_zpsad0f6755

Star Wars Rebels, Season 2 Finale – ANTICIPATION!


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Good morning, gang! Today is an extra special Star Wars Wednesday at Total Collectables! We kick off our two week celebration of The Force Awakens coming to BluRay/DVD on April 5th by offering you 20% off ALL IN STOCK Star Wars collectables! it’s EXTRA SPECIAL because tonight marks the season 2 finale of Star wars Rebels on Disney XD where we are chomping at the bit to see a couple of highly anticipated moments including the “possible” return of Darth Maul AND a showdown between Darth Vader and Ahsoka Tano! Plus the teasers make it look like Ezra may get his first temptation from the Dark Side. How can you NOT love this show?!?!?! In an effort to celebrat this special day check out the review of the Season 2 Ezra Bridger action figure with Speeder, available NOW at Total Collectables, normal prices $24.95 on sale now for $19.99! https://www.facebook.com/totalcollectables/videos/954438844604725/ And be a pal would ya, and SHARE our page with ALL of your fellow Force sensitive friends! May the Force be with you! https://www.facebook.com/totalcollectables/ #StarWarsRebels #EzraBridger #ToySale #StarWars

Now, Go Play!

Jim 03/30/16