As many of you may recall, towards the end of the year last year I went all in on raising funds for my film / documentary “Now, Go Play!”. In doing so I sold of the majority of my own personal collection to raise funds for HD camera and other equipment needs. While the film is on a temporary hiatus (more on that later) the love that has been generated from it continues to grow.
You see as part of the big sell off of 2012 I parted ways with one of my favorite pieces Brick Mantooth. He was taken into the home of a very swell fellow by the name of Jason Shackleford (jshack to my fellow MegoMuseum peeps). I could go on and on about Jason and more of his other more than generous contributions to the project but for the sake of your time and attention let me just say he’s an amazing giver. Note the Executive Producer Credit on all of the new Toy Box videos. Moving on…
This past Saturday I walked to the mailbox a bit late in the day not expecting to see anything short of perhaps another regular monthly bill. Image my surprise when I opened the door and saw a cardboard box from none other that Jason. I smiled. Once I got inside the smile grew even larger when I peeled back the tape and the layers of air packing to see none other than my dear old pal Brick Mantooth. He was back. The smile began to hurt it was so big.
So here I am, a 39 year old man as overjoyed as an 8 year old on Christmas morning staring at this long lost friend who was now smiling back at me in all his 70’s catalogue model charm, oozing with cheesy charisma. Of course I had to snap a picture. It was a monumental occasion. Truly worthy of a Kodak moment and a facebook posting.
You see, the time that has passed since the original inception of “Now, Go Play!” has been one of the most life altering times of my life. First up, it was the first time I exposed myself and my passions to the world in such an open and needy manner. Follow that with my first opportunity to experience faith and generosity to what at the time appeared to be a cold and uncaring world. People that I had never met or had only known through cyber relationships were actually showing support both moral and financial to me and my cause. Humbling and encouraging all at the same time. Those feelings served as a springboard into an adventure into personal and professional growth that I have never before known. Real confidence. Determination to break out of my rut and belief that life as I knew it was all that there was. Indeed the air had shifted and the change was coming. Again more on that a little later but for now let me again focus back on my now returned pal, Brick.
This charismatic hunk of plastic will forever represent to me the love and belief that comes from others when they are given the opportunity to share, care and support a fellow true believer as Stan Lee would say. This fantastic piece of plastic now goes from being a toy with mucho heart (click here for the full scoop) to being a symbol of inspiration and determination to follow ones dreams and trust that the world is indeed on your side and not fighting against you. I’m sure that Brick’s creators Brian Heiler and Scott Adams had no idea that their creation could transcend to such a highly regarded position, but I’m here to tell you he has. Thanks guys (and to all the others who made Brick possible) and to all of my supporters of “Now, Go Play!” Ben Peterson, Aaron Ber, Douglas Tooley, Dawn O’Connell, Russ Dould my lovely wife Alicia, Kathy Tarochione, and of course all my peeps at the MegoMuseum (forgive me if I left your name out, it was far from intentional just freeflowing thought at the keyboard at the moment). I love and appreciate you all.
The future is looking very, very bright for me, mine and the film. I could go on and on but instead I just want to enjoy this moment of reflection and love that all of these folks have brought to me. And rest assured that at the end of the day I will work diligently to not let you down. Just like Brick, I aim to spread the joy and fun that comes from imagination, passion and the spirit of fun for all of the rest of my days on this planet. Thanks for reading my ramble. Now, Go Play! – Jim 01/28/13
You can get a Brick too… Click HERE… and also check out some other cool swag at Plaid Stallions including Brian’s new book that is a fantastic collection of incredibly crappy toys by clicking HERE and see what al the guff is abotu by watching the videos below…
Well,sort of. I’m not getting paid for the placement of this video, I just want to help every Mego and Re-Mego fan to enjoy the goodness that comes from the world of Plaid Stallions and Brick Mantooth! Check it out!
Greetings dear readers! It seems like forever since I’ve had a new item to add to the Toy Box but I promise you this one was more than worth the wait. Today I am introducing you to a figure that needs no introduction if you’re a fan of the Mego Museum or Plaid Stallions.com however if your not (I’m glad I can help remedy that for you) you’re in for a real treat. Ladies and gentleman I present to you Brick Mantooth aka the Super Collector.
I know the title makes for a bold and perhaps seemingly crazy statement as to this figures significance in the grand scheme of toy collecting but from my point of view it is the closest combination of words I can find at the moment to express my sentiments towards this guy(s). In an effort to pull back a little bit from what could easily turn into a “Brick Praise-A- Thon” I am doing a lot of self censoring and editing along the way to the bottom of the page. It’s a rather difficult task considering that this guy encompasses pretty much everything that I appreciate in pursuing one’s passions. Let me explain;
This action figure is the final product of lord knows how many years of development from the mind of Brian Heiler who is the mastermind behind the Mego Museum and it’s sister site www.plaidstallions.com where you will find a boat load of fun at the expense of 70’s fashion sense or lack thereof. I encourage you to visit both sites to educate yourself on a much better back-story and understanding of Brick and Super Collector. In a nutshell though what the characters and sites mean to me are that they serve as perfect example of a hobby being shared with the world but done so in a remarkably professional yet fun way. Moving on…
With this final real world rendition of the characters, I now have in my possession a trinket that serves as a real, physical item from a gift shop from the greatest place I’ve ever been to that doesn’t really exist. Sounds crazy I know but so what? It’s my world and how I choose to enjoy it. Again I am pulling back on the reins of what could become far too much of a suck-up-a-ppalooza for Mr. Heiler and the crew. Just know this guys if you ever read this; I truly admire your talents and your dedication to providing your fans something more than what any other site has or could ever do. And for such an insanely affordable price. Thank you.
Okay, enough with the Valentine to Brian, Scott, Sean, Steve, Dr.Mego and EMCE Toys. Let me break it down to you what all my gushing is about.
Point #1. What it is / they are.
Brick Mantooth / Super Collector 8 inch Classic Style action figure.
Where to begin? There’s really nothing about this figure(s) that I don’t like. The head sculpt is a perfect representation of the characters, the new swivel arm body from EMCE is an excellent example of what could have evolved from the original Mego Corporation, the costuming is again dead-on to the characters likenesses and the packaging is beautiful. In a moment I will point out some “Bad” points only for the sake of balance to this review. Honestly I’m pretty much going to simply be nitpicky in those points as you’ll soon see. But before all of that I have to share with you the thing that is the absolute coolest part of this Brick Mantooth / SC puzzle: The Mego Museum play set that SC uses “to acquire rare Mego artifacts in the 1970’s for citizens of the future to enjoy at the Mego Museum.”
This solid resin, real world representation of the Mego Museum is beyond cool. It’s also a mind numbing difficult sticker application that Brian had to do by hand. While I was really taking it in I couldn’t help but imagine how much of a real pain in the *fingers* these stickers were to apply. But rest assured Mr. Heiler your efforts are truly appreciated. As an afterthought, these would also make for cool key chains. Well at least for me.
Point #4. The Bad.
In this section the only really “Bad” that I can note is from a lazy man’s standpoint. If your not a customizer by nature this kit could be a bit frustrating. However I will say that if you are not of the customizing persuasion this would be a perfect opportunity to try your hand at this psuedo kit-bash. The heads are a little bit of a chore to get on the body. It’s recommended to boil them and soften the plastic. I on the other hand simply got them into the slot by doing sort of like you would when putting a tire on a rim; I positioned the head at a 45 degree angle, getting one point started and then used a blunt object to push along and down the plastic ridge into the torso cavity. Worked like a charm.
The body suit is also a bit snug to get onto SC. It’s been explained that the suit was originally designed for a regular Dr. Mego body versus the new LJN style swivel arm body. In the end the struggle is worth it as the broader shoulders really set this guy above and beyond his hero counterparts. Another thing to point out is that the fabric used is much sturdier than a traditional spandex or the flimsy material found on Mattel’s Retro Action Super Heroes, so don’t be afraid to tug on it. It can take it.
The only other two would be gripes involve SC’s emblem and Bricks belt. This however has little to do with their quality as much as it does with my own personal skill. You see the emblem in this kit is indeed separate and must be applied by you the consumer. Not really a difficult task but as you can see in my pics I didn’t get mine exactly squared up. The other point with Brick’s belt is that for it to look right you need to trim. Again not difficult to do, you just need to ensure you have a steady hand when you make the clean cut. I haven’t trusted myself enough for that yet.
Point #5. Why I like it.
Outside of all of the gushing I’ve already dome what more can I say? Plenty actually. A couple of points that I would like to mention here would be the price and the quality. Brick and SC came into my collection for the insanely low price of $23. You can bump that up to $30 if you got the extra, new LJN style Dr. Mego body. I had recently acquired a regular Dr. Mego body and used it for Brick so I didn’t drop the extra $7 bucks but still everything else for about the same price as one Retro Action hero is unbelievable to me. What a deal! The other point with quality is also an opportunity for me to take another swing at Mattel. Each piece of this Brick / SC puzzle is first rate. I see absolutely nowhere that corners were cut. You can rest assured that your money is very well spent on this figure. Honestly even these bodies are superior to my beloved Venture Bros. figures from Bif Bang Pow. So Mattel, with all of your years of experience in the toy industry and with the council of Dr. Mego at your beck and call how could you possible drop the ball so horribly? Losers.
Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.
Why you should:
See everything I listed above. If that doesn’t sell you nohing will.
Why you shouldn’t:
The only reason being would be that you suck. Seriously there is no reason for any toy fan, marketing fan, 70’s pop culture junkie or modern pop culture enthusiast shouldn’t get a set of these guys (or two).
No more gushing I promise. The Brick Mantooth / Super Collector as created and produced by Brian Heiler, Scott C. Adams, Sean Samson, Steve More and EMCE Toys is a must have for me and should be for you too. Consider owning this guy the same as the 21st Century version of a pet rock except in this case you get a much cooler “pet Brick”.Now – Go Play! – Jim 08/01/11
Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at email@example.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com
All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com