“You can pick one.”

A story of self control and making connections 🙂 https://jimstoybox.com/2023/03/29/you-can-pick-one/ #MakeMineMego #walmartfinds #dccomics #greenlantern #aquaman #Shazam #TheFlash #Mego #jimbumgardner #jimstoybox

Collecting nostalgia in a nostalgic way (and it’s as tough now as it was then).

How does one choose a favorite friend? Today I figured it out.

Act 1 – The Challenge

If you were like me back in the golden age of going to the store with your Mom and Dad, I know you faced this challenge while standing in front of them with an armload of toys; “You have to pick one.” They delivered it in a way that made it sound so easy. Of course it wasn’t but you had to do what you had to do or be a brat about and loose the negotiation completely. Nobody wanted that.

It’s with that perspective and memory, I challenged myself as a parent now, to treat my collector habits like they did then. I could only pick one. Considering the choices it was just as tough now as it was then. Even though it was MY money! Still, it was a fun idea and would be a practice in self control. “What could warrant such a highly dramatic approach to buying a toy, Jim?” Four letters that followers of my online exploits know very well:

M E G O

Having went a little crazy on picking up the first series of 50th anniversary Worlds Greatest Superhero’s (Superman, Batman and Robin), the second series arrived at my local Walmart and I promised myself (and wife and daughter) that I would be a little more restrained in my impulses. But come on! There were now faithful reproductions of Aquaman and Shazam joined by new offerings (as if Mego made them back in the days of disco) of The Flash and Green Lantern to add to my block o’ nostalgia and collectors dream come true. It’s with that in mind that the challenge was born. And today was the day that I had to face the challenge.

Act 2 – What are the factors?

With the self imposed restrictions of my purchasing power agreed to, I walked into the Walmart here with a bunch of determining factors to consider:

So which one do I go with? What will the final decision be based on?

A. A faithful reproduction? Aquaman or Shazam

B. The new and exciting? The Flash or Green Lantern

C. The short packed? This was interesting too as it was a split between one of each classic vs new (2each Aquaman and The Flash’s and 4 each of Shazam and Green Lantern)

It was a serious dilemma I was facing but I was determined to make a logical (by my definition of logic that is) decision as to which one it was. One factor that was starting to come to the forefront of my selection process was to make it easier on myself by going chronologically. To go with which came first in the old days: Aquaman or Shazam. The newbies could wait. And as I was looking at them all and reverting back to my 6 year old self in 1979, something happened that was completely unprecedented in my neck of the woods:

John showed up.

Before I get to who John turned out to be, I must share the background and why his appearance had to be of some sort of dimensional enigma wrapped in a quagmire. You see dear reader, I am pretty much if not the only dyed in the wool, hardcore Mego fan in this neck of the world. I can prove this by point you back to earlier on this article of how I went a wee bit overboard with the series 1 assortment. I literally bought them all. Not at one time though. I spread the purchases out over several weeks as to not be one of “those guys” who hoards things. Sure it may look like it if you don’t know the story, but I don’t care. Those were fair shipping terms as far as I’m concerned. Plus, literally no one else was buying them here. Not one. To me that was a disrespectful shame and not an Afro t to the things I love to be allowed for too long. Hence my surprise when John walked up and politely asked me if I had grabbed the ones I wanted.

“What is happening here?” was the first question that popped into my head. “I’ve never seen this guy before. Is he a reseller? Is he looking to snatch away my precious plastic memories? What was this guys deal?!?” My rational journalistic mind snapped back into play and decided to just ask him. His answer was one for me that was of a serendipitous and maybe even divine intervention.

He was a fan.

Not only that but he was also a really good dude. I told him about my challenge and asked him if it was cool that I interview him for this most monumental encounter. He agreed and not at all awkward. You see, dear uninitiated to the collector world, we fanboys and fangirls share a kinship that knows no labels or limitations. It’s a wonderful thing.

Along with sharing his story of being from out of town but making it a point to pop into Walmarts along the way in search of these little prizes, he also shared so much about his connection to the toys and his hopes for kids to discover them as well. So many times his answers sounded like my own thoughts, words and deeds. I’m telling ya, gang, it was a fantastic exchange. That is until he posed the question back to me that I had started this journey off with; “So, which one are you going to pick?”

I had to pause due to this new x-factor which came in the form of John and the figures in his hands. I shared with him my points of consideration to which he completely understood. He also understood how the scale was now tipped with his selections. I’m not aging this was like a scene in a movie where the camera cuts into an extreme close up of the heroes eyes and we see the one bead of sweat appear and slide down his eyes… but it was close.

Scarcity. That would be my determining factor! But… it is MY money and this challenge is dumb and I might miss out on the one if I pick the other… damn it! So I grabbed them both. There was no shaming glance from John as it appeared my will power fell through and I put both Aquaman and The Flash into my handcart and we both headed toward the registers.

Before we made it all the way up though, I did need to touch base with my wife to see if there was anything else I did need to pick up before I left. Perhaps it was in this moment of responsibility, I made the internal judgement call to put one back. And I did.

*To note, John saw his three selections all the way to the end.

Act 3 The decision

So what did I do?

Who did I choose?

Why did I choose this one?

What is the moral of the story?

As I walked away from the collectibles section having returned The Flash to his spot amongst the remaining Shazam’s and Green Lantern’s, I looked down at the Aquaman in my hand basket and smiled. I had practiced self control and used (once again) my own form of collectors logic and justification in making this choice. I decided to proceed forward by staying chronological in my selection. Way back when, Aquaman was one of the original four including Superman, Batman and Robin so that made sense and also set the order of operations for my next pick ups in the coming days or weeks. I still want to give other fans a shot at them although, jumping ahead of the four Shazam’s to get to the now one lonely The Flash will be a chore I’m sure.

So the moral? Self control is still possible in an on demand, I want it now and not only that, it’s incredibly satisfying to know that in the most unexpected ways and at the most unexpected times, we all have opportunities to connect with like minded folks and share stories and moments so long as we’re willing to accept a challenge.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 03/28/2023

If you liked this article, I’d truly appreciate it if you would take the couple seconds to time to like, comment, subscribe and share it far and wide. It would also be swell if you are in the market for Mego toys to stop by your local Walmart and pick one up there. I can’t speak from a position of authority in this but I do believe the more that sell at retail the longer the line will go on. But of course, supporting your favorite online retailer is a great thing to do too as they are truly committed to helping folks bring the magic literally home via the various shipping services available. Yet if all that fails or those avenues are out of stock, I would ask you to consider buying a Mego their official store on Amazon where I do get a piece of as an Amazon affiliate. And if you want to learn more about all things Mego consider joining the official Mego Ambassador group on Facebook for the latest news and informs straight from the source.

“You can pick ONE!”

A story of self control and making connections 🙂 https://jimstoybox.com/2023/03/29/you-can-pick-one/ #MakeMineMego #walmartfinds #dccomics #greenlantern #aquaman #Shazam #TheFlash #Mego #jimbumgardner #jimstoybox

New Year… same inspiration.

Greetings dear readers! Hope 2023 is treating you well. It’s still new so I can’t say I totally trust it yet. 😉 That’s okay though, I’ve got my little doppelgängers to keep me safe and inspired.

And n all pseudo seriousness, me and mine are moving into the new calendar cycle feeling pretty good. Almost as good as Superman living his best life…

If only everyone could be so super chill.

The mad rush that begins Thanksgiving and concludes the day after the new year starts has once again been a whirlwind. Food with the fam, Black Friday at the day job, my birthday where I get spoiled by my girls every year. This one with more gingerbread…

Say what you will but they’re cute!

Then follow that up with my baby girl turning 13 and then of course Christmas where everybody gets some extra TLC (Tendered Loads of Capitalism) from Santa 😉 He stole the show this year with this one…

I must say, while it didn’t fit under the tree, the Christmas magic certainty gleaned from the screen.
And everyone was drawn to the retro pixels.

And no Christmas season would be complete without a final stop of the year to Silver Dollar city where the lights were certainly stunning…

A fun slice of Americana.

Still… not as stunning as my fun loving Mrs.

Yeah. She’s mine 🙂 #wishyouwereme.com

And now the dust is settling and I get to take this time to sorta relax and observe my gifts and what all they mean to me.

Zorro rounds out my new “A-Team” of Funko Pops. I pity the fool who crosses these law dogs.
So very much more to the story of this figure taking a place on my wall but we’ll save that for later. Much love to you my brotha!
This site here is still one I’m so surprised and grateful that they came to pass. Never have to settle for Horshack again. (Again another story for another time).

On the end of it all, 2022 was what it was and was and despite excuses we can all come up with and blame, in the end every year and more importantly every day is what we make of it. For me, moving forward that will never again be forgotten nor taken for granted.

This toy box isn’t a “business”. It’s a way of life full of opportunity and adventures just waiting to be had.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 01/02/2023

Happy Mego Day? A timeline adventure.

UPDATE!!!!! Want to let you all know that right now (11/20/2022) You can order the new 50th anniversary Mego Superheroes from Movie Posters Etc NOW! I know I stressed the “retail experience” and I do hope to do that BUT more importantly I want what I want and I also would MUCH RATHER see a small business benefit from your purchase. Check ’em out and Collect ‘Em All!

Jim’s note: This post will be updated throughout the day. Check back or refresh the page often.

Introduction: Why it all matters to me. They’re just dolls for God sake. But not really. They’re a life long source of inspiration, entertainment and joy for nearly 50 years. And now we’ve come to a bookend.

Preface/ prelude 11/05/2022: the discovery.

HAPPY MEGO DAY? 11/06/2022

5:50 am: up and at em! Fall back in full effect. Feel pretty good with the “extra” hour of sleep I got. Now for the morning chores with the cats and dogs. Then off to work.

7:11 am: popped into the home base Walmart. Nothing as expected but tried anyway. Now on to work… best word for today: Anticipation!

7:46 am: thinking about it all (which is always my thing anyway), how to make a game of it beyond the silliness of it all, my mind is pondering using these 50th anniversary figures as a reward system. Trade the treat for a bad or non existent habit I want to break or create. In essence treating myself like a kid who needs to finish his vegetables before desert . So silly. Time to do the day job… bet your bippity that my mind will be filled with ideas for the blogs and podcasts to come inspired by this new hunt.

8:35 am: in regards to last point… work tasks are getting done quicker. So much for the passage of time being manipulated by distraction. I

10:25 am: I truly enjoy and appreciate my day job… but man oh man would I like to be able to check those pegs right now! Not completely obsessed as much as I want to see this happen.

But regardless of the days final results… my heart will go on. Just like Celine sang 😉

Going for a better outcome then these two.

The trick is to just focus on the workday stuff. I swear, these posts come at times that are ethical. No slacking here from this fanboy.

1:34 pm: Lunch time but not enough time to run across town. AKA adult problems. “Just call or order online.” How about no. This about the retail experience and showing support at the register for the company. More on all of that later.

2:01 pm: Could it be any slower? As Johnny Cash so intensely sang; “Tome keeps dragging on.” Now, while I’m not stuck in a prison, the clock is certainly an annoying warden at the moment.

Like sands through the hourglass that doesn’t actually have a hole in the middle. Welcome to my Sunday.

3:33 pm: just found out I have dinner plans right after I get off sooooooo…. I broke and called the store. The young man was nice but had no clue even after looking. The tension builds like a Willie Wonka meme.

4:42 pm: So close to quitting time but the dinner plans have taken precedence. Grrrrrr…. But the biggest reveal so fat is how much I’m getting a kick out of these timeline updates. Something to this form of storytelling 🙂

5:07 pm: dinner party is still waiting for the table sooooo….. update shortly. 🙂

5:28 pm: Nevermind . Family first. 🙂

7 pm: Almost done with dinner. Anticipation slightly muted by post pasta grogginess. Honestly though, I’m not feeling that the final stop is going to turn out with a happy ending.

7:59 pm: It appears to be a bust. But I ain’t going without some digging…

Photo credit: Alicia. She totally gets me and I appreciate that more than you know.

8:18 pm: Learning new things. While the system shows that the figures will be here, when is actually an uncertainty.

“not in transit”

So in at the end of the day the anticipation was left unfulfilled, but most certainly not a waste of day or unbearable disappointment. Watch this space for more on this “Happy Mego Day” that wasn’t plus the podcast that will talk more about the true significance of all of this silliness.

Now, go play!

Jim 11/06/2022

P.S. Not a total bust at the CCP Superstore. Found this fun little star of the FNAF universe from Funko for Freddy’s biggest fan. We call her Kaitlynn. 🙂

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

“Retro” brand teaches modern folks how it’s done. MEGO Corp. CEO impresses and inspires.

“Make mine Mego! ” and not just because I love the toys, but because I’ve grown to truly respect and appreciate the CEO.

“Make mine Mego! ” and not just because I love the toys, but because I’ve grown to truly respect and appreciate the CEO.

 


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They’re HERE! Well, sorta….

Taking a little time to share some thoughts and a little personal stuff with you in lieu of a great thing that has happened in the toy community. That big thing of course is the return of the Mego Corporation. As I’ve mentioned previously, this is an amazing story to me. After over 30 years, the premiere Action figure company of the 1970’s has returned to what they do best and headed by the man who started it all; Marty Abrams. I could wax on and on about how awesome that is to me but right now I want to get to a more important aspect of it all to me personally: This development has been a major inspiration for me personally as well as creating opportunities for my own toy dreams to come true.

You see, dear reader, watching and mindfully observing the return of Mego Corporation has led to a whole lot of learning for your old buddy Jimbo. It got me asking a lot of questions to not only myself, but to people inside the action figure world. Not just collectors but the makers. And those conversations have led to an incredibly exciting opportunity that I look forward to sharing with you all very soon. Ever the tease, I know, but it’s all about timing. Which is another point I’d like to make in this writing.

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These 3 along with Jimi Hendrix and Kelli Garrett seemed to be all that was left by noon at Target.com. Other figures have returned since.

Over the weekend (July 29, 2018 specifically), Mego fans everywhere in the nation were clambering to finally get their hands on the first new official Mego’s at Target stores across the country and online. To say the least, the roll out by Target has been a bit clunky, but it’s resolving itself even as I type. Initially though, some stores didn’t have them in stock, others said they weren’t going to stock them at all and the online extension, sold out of the most popular figures at almost lightning speed. This led to a whole lot of disappointed fans. And rightfully so. Come on, these folks have been waiting on this very moment since the first Regan Administration.

Social sites such as Facebook, started feeling the rumbles and wrath of the angry and disenchanted collector almost immediately after midnight when the online ordering became available and items were showing up “Out of Stock”. Arguments and whining, coupled with apologists and genuinely positive people flooded the trending threads on the matter. It was an emotional outburst that I don’t think any toy brand could ever or will ever match. Seriously, it was impressive to watch. A resurrected toy company just sparked so much emotion that Hasbro, Mattel and whomever else is out there that is considered a “big boy” should take note. And that’s where the question arose in my head; “Why?”

“Why were so many people getting so heated over toys?” One would almost think this was like a Christmas in the 80’s when Cabbage Patch Kids or Tickle Me Elmo became so scarce that fights were literally breaking out in the aisles. Thankfully that didn’t happen (to the best of my knowledge) but still outside of the anticipation that so many had building up for a couple of months, why exactly such a strong response? At around 6PM (EST) Sunday afternoon, the answer came in a very impressive way. Marty spoke.

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Mego Corp. President and CEO Marty Abrams talks directly to the fans via LIVE social media announcement. Addressing concerns and calling out the scalpers.

Mego insiders had been monitoring the situation closely throughout the day and began making plans to address the concerns of fans. Not through some generic, cookie cutter press release or Tweet, but by Marty himself going LIVE on Facebook, to look eyeball to digital eyeball to his fans, supporters and customers to explain the situation. While the roll out was completely out of Mego’s control, their response to their brand and fans was. And in true Marty Abrams fashion, he owned it and rocked it. Not only did he clear the air on what can only be considered messy as far as product availability at the moment, he did what I’ve never seen anyone do; Slap down the scalpers.

Sweet Lord do I admire and appreciate that!

Now it’s Monday, July 30th, 2018. Target stores are still working on their major resets in toys. Target online is restocking the Mego figures. Fans are getting their itches scratched and their Toy Boxes filled. And I do hope that Marty knows how impressive his effort in addressing concerns head on, has done in a wonderfully positive way for the toy collecting community. I’d love to see any other CEO man-up like that. That’s; Impressive, Inspirational, Motivational and most importantly for this fan; That’s Mego!

Now, Go Play!

Jim 07/30/18

#Mego #MegoCorp #OriginalActionFigure #WeAreMego

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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Logan: He is the best at what he does, bub!

Logan7Good morning gang! I know, I know: Why time stamp this post when you never know when exactly someone is going to actually be reading it? Because its morning right NOW, duh. And morning was very crucial to the decision to do this sunrise photo session and quick post about Logan: the Wolverine.

Logan here is from the Diamond Select / EMCE Toys Marvel 8 inch Re-Mego collector set. Well one of two heads and outfits separate from the complete Mego-style Wolverine figure in the set. And on a Type S body from ZICA / Castaway Toys (as constructed by my pal Gregory Harris. Again sir, you are much hoss!). Hopefully this week I can do more of a full on review but right now this post is all about THIS figure and the fun that it inspired on a Sunday morning in August, 2015.

Taking our lovely little Yorkie out to do her morning business, excuse me, be demanded to take out Her Royal Roundness for her morning water blessings of the lawn, everything looked “just right” to bring this guy out and get some pics in natural light that I hoped would show how fantastic this figure is. And I don’t say that lightly at all.

I have been on the fence with these DST/EMCE Marvel 8 inch figures for some time and still have some issues I want to discuss later this coming week but for now I just want to share and celebrate with you this Canadian that means nothing but business. Check out the pics and tell me what you think either here or on Facebook.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 08/02/2015

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ALSO !!!!!! I’ve created a Streaming Channel for the ROKU! It’s much more than toys but I would appreciate it if you would take a look sometime. Plus you never know when I may get more playtime in for the Toy Box that will find it in the Arts&Entertainment section of the channel. Still waiting on the final approval from ROKU to put it in the official channel store (fingers crossed) but in the mean time you can still access the channel using the Vanity Code below. Thank you again to all of you wonderful folks for the encouragement in all of my weird and wacky adventures 🙂 – JB

ROKU AD 1

Anger is a form of passion. See this face? Full of passion!

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I treated myself to this little piece of awesome because quite frankly, it was on sale. I had wanted one prior but the price plus the free Prime two day shipping sealed the deal for me. Would I buy it at full regular retail price. Maybe.

Here’s why:

1. The sculpt is a really good likeness of the character…

2. The body is solid as a rock. Being 8 inches I wasn’t sure what body type it would be considering the current waves of Mego style figures that seem to be all over the place these days (Thank you Jesus!) . But no, this is a solid body design with traditional Mego type articulation. All the pose-ability. None of the fear of breakage.

3. It’s funny.

Why I wouldn’t:
The only real gripe I could pose would be the cheap suit. The material is very thin and lightweight. Not see through but feels thin. From a display standpoint it looks okay but not great and pales in comparison to the suits you’ll find on Figures Toy Company’s KISS Dressed to Kill Figures. Same price point and I’m sure licensing fees are gonna be in the same ballpark so quality should be equal in my opinion. Not a deal breaker though.

Conclusion

Get you one of these angry Anchorman’s today and unleash the fury that can only come from someone that is kind of a big deal.

Now, Go Play! – Jim 06/11/14

Get the whole Team!
Anchorman Battle Ready Brick Tamland 8-Inch Action FigureAnchorman Battle Ready Brian Fantana 8-Inch Action FigureAnchorman Battle Ready Champ Kind 8-Inch Action Figure

Spaceman? No, not really no. Excellent figure though but no, just no.

Well. This is odd…

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What an interesting reaction I am having to a figure… Tommy Thayer, Sonic Boom series… just don’t like it. Not the figure itself . It’s superb in quality and design.IMG_20140530_202122_616

KISS400The sculpt is dead on and the hair is rooted better than even the Ace from Alive.

But it’s just not right.

Kaitlynn experimented with different stage set ups too.
Kaitlynn experimented with different stage set ups too.

I actually got it on the cheap to give to my daughter to go along with her Dressed to Kill Paul and Peter (which are EXCELLENT by the way)… these were meant for play but even she wasn’t pleased with what she saw.

Ace took it all in stride.

She actually told her mother “It’s not the right one.” Alicia of course assumed she meant that it wasn’t a DTK figure in a suit. Kaitlynn tried to correct her in explaining that the costume was fine but this figure was not Ace and therefore not right.

IMG_20140530_202109_727I keep staring at it. It puzzles me. Such a great figure on every level but still it’s just not right. Even the old KISS Mego’s where Paul shared a head with Darryl Dragon and Peter shared a nogging with Gene Hackman and as such looked nothing like themselves. But this is different. It’s simply not the Spaceman. It’s a guy from either a tribute band OR it’s the Halloween version of my old buddy Albee dressed up like Ace.

 

So weird.

 

Now, Go Play (with caution)

Jim 05/30/14

Six Million Dollars? Not today, baby!

BBP15100AAlgSunday, Sunday, Sunday! It’s the big super Six Million Dollar Man sale day at Entertainment Earth and no better time to round out or double up on your Bif Bang Pow, Re-Mego style action figures. Seriously Steve and Bigfoot for $27? Oscar and a Fembot for $31? Dr. Rudy Wells for $20 and Steve pimpin’ his ‘tache and in khakis no less,for only $14? It’s a mighty fine day to be a Six Million Dollar Man Fan. Go check ’em out for yourself, share and tell your friends it’s the right thing to do. Plus if three of you folks order a complete set of these I just may earn my wings!

Ok, maybe not. BUT if three of you order a complete set of these I will know that at least three of you didn’t waster your money on a Wings greatest hits CD?  Oh sure they had a couple of good tunes but they also had crap like this….

 

Yeah that really happened. BUt here I’ll make it up to you….

See? Wasn’t that a better way to spend some time on the net? Of course it was. Now, go get you some Six Million Dollar Man fun and do it NOW while they’re on sale! Seriously the special prices end tonight at Midnight!

Now, Go Play!

Jim 05/11/14

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