Dawn O’Connell– Her scale is still small but her scope is getting gigantic!

Introduction – Regular visitors to my site are obviously familiar with Dawn O’Connell’s work with Little Buddies Action Figures thanks to Lil’ Buddy Jim serving as my spokes model. And while ‘mini-me’ is great I gotta tell ya dear reader, she’s getting even better!

Recently a friend contacted me about having a little buddy made of him to serve as a marketing tool in conjunction with the release of his exclusive line of energy drinks (you can learn more about that project from Don Urgo HERE). For me this was great news for two reasons 1.) I was going to get to work directly with Dawn again and 2.) I was going to have another Little Buddy other than myself to play with. Sweet lord did that sound terrible. Moving on.

Prior to Little Don arriving Dawn sent proof pictures and ‘wowza’ was I impressed! Not only had she nailed Don’s likeness but she had done it so much cleaner and sharper than before. Imagine how much more I was blown away when he arrived for picture day. Let’s break down some of the particulars that are spectacular leaps above her previous (and also very good) works. I love watching artists grow!

The Head

The first most noticeable change comes in the materials used. While I can’t tell you the exact modeling compound used I can easily tell you that it’s an improvement. Look at my mug next to Don’s and you can see the smoother / cleaner look. It also allows for more details to be captured. Another thing I must point out is that Dawn does do ‘in scale’ head sculpts but the Donfather wanted his Little Buddy to have the same comedic charm as yours truly.

The likeness easily goes without saying but one thing the casual observer can’t see is the really neat and nifty thing that Dawn has don with the neck plug.

Where mine has a modified Mego plug with the sculpting clay built up around it Little Don has a smooth, extended, straight neck that makes it much easier to change costumes or bodies.Speaking of which is another great improvement.

The Body

Dawn has also made a serious upgrade in this area too. Originally she was using Classic TV Toys generic bodies but as all of you regular readers and customizers know, the quality issues and too tight rubber bands can lead to all kinds of problems. This is no longer an issue because has upgraded to Dr. Mego bodies. This particular body is one of the new swivel bicep versions. (The Mego Museum / Plaid Stallions Brick Mantooth figure also features this latest body style.) As a side note one of the best things about this new body is that the shoulders are much more broad and manly looking if you will. No slouching from our hero now!

Oh no,no,no! Little Don looks even more magnificent in his multi-layered duds that are also worthy of a round of raving…

The Costume

In this area we see not only improved skills in Dawns mini-tailoring abilities we also see she’s getting wiser in delegation. What I mean there is that the suit itself is a factory made item from CTVT. And in this area those folks shine quite well. Same goes for the shoes. Now let’s get down to the touches that a mass produced item isn’t necessarily going to be able to capture properly:

The overcoat – handmade by Dawn and fits perfectly over the other layers.

The scarf – again perfect scale and a brilliant touch.

The hat – Custom sculpted / made to fit Don’s head snuggly without fear of damage to either the hat or head.

The vest – Yep a vest! Don’s a three-piece suit guy s what you gonna do? This layer is actually the most impressive in execution mainly because she was able to create it and add it to the ensemble without bulking up Little Don too much.

And finally the icing on the cake – the rose boutonniere –

Not only is this a neat custom piece, it’s a perfect accessory that pulls the whole thing together. To see this up close is stunning. Again Dawn’s detail work is spectacular and the signature of a true artist.

In Conclusion

“I’m blown away. There’s a little version of me right there!” Those are the words of Don Urgo himself and they perfectly sum up my feelings as well. Having experienced the joy that comes from receiving a Little Buddy from Dawn and now having shared that experience I’m telling you dear reader there is no other product / good/ or service on the site that I can recommend higher. Dawn’s efforts are art… exciting… beautiful… elaborate… spectacular and the most important part… FUN!

Another reason I felt so inclined to write this follow up article to the original one from a couple years back was also to show you in the audience what you SHOULD expect from a custom figure maker. As of late a lot of companies have been promoting custom action figures that look like you but their quality is drastically lower than what your gonna get from Dawn at an even higher price. Those other folks use 3D printing techniques that are ‘okay’ when all the elements are in place perfectly (generic head is the right size and shape, base profile photos are perfectly positioned and lit). But like all things artistic and custom the details are what will make or break the end result. Everything I’ve seen in regards to those printed heads is far from impressive and get only a mildly passing grade when the ‘perfect storm’ of elements are present. Especially considering the money your going to have to shell out.

When it comes to your custom pieces such as this, whether they be for a gift, personal vanity, marketing or just because you have just always wanted to be Superman, hold out for the best. It is indeed Quality over Quantity and I can cyber-stand before you today and proclaim loudly from the rooftops that your Little Buddy from Dawn O’ Connell will in fact be the best of the best. And that’s basing my latest opinion ‘right now’… imagine how even more spectacular her work will be when you make your order!

Now Go Play! – Jim 07/08/2012

[ebay width=”355″ height=”300″ query=”Custom Mego” ]

Customizing your heroes. Even if they are a little bit weird.

The latest creation from Jim and Gar!


Scroll to the bottom to see NEW pics of the subject and his doppelgangers as well as a very nice and appreciated video shout out from the main man!

Custom Secret Squirrel: You know the “Bleh, Bleh” Guy!

Introduction – Greetings gang! In this entry I get the distinct pleasure in introducing you to two separate but equally cool things. The first is my pal Gar Ghoul who is the host of “Horrible Horror” on the web and has been for the past six years. Each week Gar brings you a complete line up of fun and merriment consisting of music, fun and funny banter, lots of “bleh, bleh’s” and of course, a horrible movie. Add to all of that the online broadcasting platform allows you to chat directly with Gar and other members of the audience in real time.

To those who haven’t tried it out yet the best way I can describe the experience is like, being able to talk in the movie theater but no pimply-faced usher is going to try and kick you out for disruptive behavior. Or better yet, its like a movie with subtitles that actually salvage an otherwise crappy movie. Check it out for yourselves Saturday nights at 8PM Eastern / 7PM Central (the rest of you can figure out your own time zones, I’ve got an article to right)..

The second really cool thing that I am introducing to you today is the art of custom figure making known as ‘kit-bashing’. This my friends is an ancient Chinese secret that very few are tuned into. Okay that’s not really true. Kit-bash customizing is actually a fun and relatively easy way to create action figures of characters that have never been produced, using existing parts and pieces in a configuration that captures your heroes in 3 Dimensional form. And the best part is that for this particular 3D art form you don’t need stupid glasses that cost you an extra two bucks and that they expect you to give back at the end of the feature. Sorry about that. But that really does get on my nerves. Back o the fun stuff.

What it is 

Now that I have introduced you to our subject I’d like to share with you some of the insider tips I used to create this custom “Gar Ghoul” 8 inch, classic Mego style action figure that may inspire you to have your own arts and crafts fun day.

First, the character that Gar ‘is’ really lends itself easily to the custom Mego treatment. To me Horror Hosts (the name is a proper noun, show some respect) are cool on so many levels. A few of those being that 1.) They’re great entertainers, 2.) There’s not a terrible amount of money in it (if any really) so these guys and gals are doing it for the love and for the artistry and 3.) The characters created are like real life cartoon characters, super heroes, movie monsters come to life etc… It’s those reasons that toys of the characters are a natural fit.

 *editors note – for more on Horror Hosts from today and days gone by check out the fantastic archive created by Corpse S. Chris at 

Three others that I would like to also recommend (I could go on but for the sake of time I’ll narrow it down to just three)… Ormon Grimsby…Dr. Gangrine and MeTV’s  very own Svenghoulie. 

Ormon Grimsby
Dr. Gangrene

Back to the custom…

The Gar custom consists of two parts – the packaging and the figure itself. I list the packaging first in this case because honestly my customizing skills ain’t what they used to be so the packaging is crucial to the final products effectiveness.

The packaging 

Card Front
Card Back

If the old saying “imitation is the greatest form of flattery” is true than you folks at Bif Bang Pow should be blushing brighter than a red, ripe tomato. For the packaging I used Adobe Photoshop, stills captured from the Horrible Horror show(Thanks Tammy)  and the layout is a direct copy of the one used on the later issued Venture Bros action figures. The outer shell was recycled from a EMCE Toys/ Diamond Select Star Trek action figure. *astute readers will notice that the name on the card art says “Secret Squirrel” … to learn about why that is come on over to the Horrible Horror facebook page and find out why.

The figure

The figure is actually really simple. The base used is the Companion character from the Space 1999 series of figures released by Classic TV Toys. The only thing I really had to do was slap a little black and white paint on and “WAH LAH!” instant Gar Ghoul. The nose of the base figure was the real deal maker actually. It looked just similar enough to help add to the overall likeness needs.

I only made three of these (1 for Gar, 1 for him to use as a giveaway and 1 for my own personal collection.) but more are always possible thanks to the ability to kit bash.

Now the bigger question some of you may be asking;

“Why do I care?”

The main one being that the art of kit bashing is a great way to make some really neat gifts for those you love. The creations could also be used for unique marketing promotions or simply just for fun!. And while you can customize and kit bash pretty much any toy line out there, something about the Mego style just seems to mesh better with the final products “fun factor”. So what are you waiting for? Pick a subject, gather your supplies and get to creating! You can even work on it while watching “Horrible Horror with Gar Ghoul”, Saturday nights at 8PM EST / 7 PM CST on Vaughn TV!

Now, Go Play! – Jim 6/30/2012 (Updated 02/05/2014)

“So, it’s Bleh, Bleh,Bleh”?
“No,just  Bleh, Bleh. The 3rd is over kill. 

Entertainment Earth

Julius Destructus: Destroyer? Sure. Inspiring? Oh brother, are you in for a treat!


Next to Julius my head doesn’t look so big. But then again the way he inspires, mine may just get bigger. No, really.

There comes a time in a collectors life that an item comes on the block that brings out the most intense desire of “must have” determination to acquire a particular item. These moments actually come and go considering that times and tastes change however in this instance this particular flutter found in my hoarders heart was so profound that I had no choice but to give in or risk having those flutters carry me all the way to South America for the winter. “What could possibly cause such a stir in a normally mild manner dork such as yourself, Jim?” you ask. Keep reading fellows and girls and find out more about this latest, unique and one of the more exciting acquisitions that has actually taking a spot in the Toy Box as well as on the reading shelf and inside my now ignited imagination.

Point #1. What it is.

A whole lot of Tim Baron goodness right here!

Julius Destructus: A custom rendering of Tim Baron’s creation by the artist himself.

Point #2. Where it came from.

The card art really flows with the overall packaged product. Seamless even.

Tim offered up a very small run of these handmade Classic Style action figures on the Mego Museum Forums; Marketplace Thread at the end of October 2011.

Point #3. The Good.

Only a mother or a comic book artist could love this mug. Or your old but Jimbo!
Right face!

The head sculpt is very impressive to me not just because it is a dead on likeness but more

importantly because it really captures the art style. And while I’m no artist by any stretch of the imagination I do appreciate good art when I see it. The way Tim captured his gritty, heavily detailed artwork in 3 Dimensions is very impressive. I’ve got more on that in a few.

Nothing says Mego style like “Oven Mitts”!

Another thing I really appreciate about what Tim has done here is that he has done a more than fine job in giving Julius the Mego treatment in a way that I’m sure would have passed Marty Abrams approval for what makes a Mego. The black oven mitt Mego style gloves are an especially great aspect of this styling. Anyone can paint hands to match a gauntlet to look like a glove, but only a Mego can get the same basic effect and also be able to snatch cookies out of the oven.

Also Tim’s use of a simple white “V” line to bring out costume detail is very much appreciated. It’s amazing how a couple of well placed lines can do so much. And of course I

would be remiss to not mention the wonderfully crafted skull belt buckle. IN this piece Tim has once again translated his 2D style perfectly in 3D. Love it!

Point #4. The Bad.

There is no bad. Only good. Move along.

You may be ‘bad’ but only in the good ways!

Point #5. Why I like it.

There’s a lot more than plastic. resin and cloth here folks… keep reading!

I love this figure for many different reasons and it’s my pleasure to share all of them with you! J

1.) First off the character and story of Julius Destructus is brilliant. Thanks to the graphic novel “The life and times of Julius Destructus” by Tim with scripting duties provided by the incredibly talented Ben Avery the life that is breathed into these pages is awesome. While those of you who have remained plugged into the comic book / graphic novel world, stories and art such as this will not come as a surprise to you (though you will find some wonderful, “Nice! I like how they did that” moments) for those such as myself who are in and out of same said world you will be treated to one heck of an adventure. Get the book here.

2.) Those who are members or visitors of the Customs Forum at the Mego Museum are already privy to this next impressive point: Julius here is Tim’s first foray into sculpting, casting and painting. And while the final product in and of itself is impressive the message in between the lines to me is something that I think is even more impressive.

When I look at this most impressive figure I not only see the character but I also feel the passion the creator has for the creation. There is something magical going on here folks. You see it’s one thing to create a character, another to draw a character, and a totally higher level of talent to express the characters thoughts, feelings and emotions through the written word. And now Tim has shown exactly how important this character is to him. In this 8-inch form we find that the creator has a true knowledge of the character that you can’t simply ‘crank out’. The level of details and nuances in the head sculpt and paint applications in this 3-D rendering in my opinion shows that Tim Baron and his creation are on a level that goes much deeper than a simple drawing on a sketch pad. Another big stand out factor for me is that Tim has shown the world (by example) that a ‘great and terrible dream’* can come true.

3.) I also appreciate the fact that with this effort Tim has given me a great platform to point out another fun and fascinating aspect about Mego and Mego-like figure collecting, and that my friends is the ability to create your own character in this perfect 8 inch scale. In a part by part break down here’s how you can begin to make your own custom figure:

The body and belt is from the guy who I will always credit as the leader in the resurrection of all this Mego style goodness, Dr. Mego himself Paul Clarke www.drmego.com  The good doctor is also responsible for the super cool Commander X line of figures for Jay Piscopo’s “Capt’n Eli comics character and all of his variations. Those are still available by the way at www.captneli.com

The suit, boots and oven mitts are from the folks at Classic TV Toys. www.classictvtoys.com While these guys get a bad rap from me for their figures (look for the Mad Monster reviews) they actually do a pretty good job when it comes to their accessories.

The resealable clamshell (which is super sweet by the way, it means you can play with it and then put it back on the card kids!) comes from Castaway toys. www.castawaytoys.com These guys are another great source for parts and pieces as well as some other really cool vintage Mego items at insanely low prices.

The head of course could be yours too; that is so long as you could beg Tim to make you one. These were a limited run but who knows? Tim may get the itch again and need to scratch it… or even better some wise publisher sees what I see in Julius and pays Tim a million dollars to mass market the book and this fellow. (I’m rooting for ya Tim!)

*The Great and Terrible Dream’ was the first compilation of Tim’s work he released in graphic novel form in 2009

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

Unless he makes more or the buyers of the original release decide to part with theirs, you can’t. Sorry about that.

Why you shouldn’t:

Why you should pretty much covers this one too.

In Conclusion

Your in excellent company Julius. Excellent company.

Passion. Talent. Entertainment. Fun. Four words that go a long way in describing what Tim Baron has created here in his Julius Destructus 8 inch Classic Style Action Figure. And while it is true that there are no more available at this writing, the tale of Julius is still available at www.juliuscomic.com . I do highly recommend the book because I promise you the time spent reading this very impressive graphic novel and studying the masterful pen strokes that creates this world will leave you with a since of contentment that only comes from quality entertainment. Plus if we move some books, Tim may get inspired to crank out some more of these excellent figures or even better, he may decide to churn out some of his other characters. But be warned, if he does go the route of the latter I will be throwing elbows all the way to the checkout to ensure I get mine. Now – Order the book and Go Play! – Jim 11/06/11

All of this 8 inch goodness due in part to the creative minds that comprise the Mego Museum website and community. How sweet it is!

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 jimstoybox@gmail.com or jimsmegos@yahoo.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

Brick Mantooth / Super Colleector: The first 8 inch action figure with heart.


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!


Dear reader the two coolest fellows on the planet have arrived in the Toy Box!

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.

Super Collector comes with everything you see here. And what more could you possibly ask for?
Sorry for butting into the shot but I feel cooler hanging with the Brick. Inferior, but cool.

Brick Mantooth / Super Collector 8 inch Classic Style action figure.

Point #2. Where it came from.

The Mego Robin style belt gets a little sideways but that's okay. He's keeping it "Mego Real".
Calm down ladies and certain gentlemen. Calm down.

This first 100 piece run “do it yourself 2 pack” was offered exclusively to members of the Mego Museum. The list of the credits on the side of the box read like this: © 2010 Brian Heiler, Scott C. Adams,: Sculpting- Sean Sansom, Costume Prototyping- Steve Moore, Design and Illustration – Scott C. Adams, Manufactured by: EMCE Toys. That handful of folks made these figures a reality. Brian did a better than yeoman’s job in getting them from his pad in Canada to my grubby little fanboy hands in Arkansas USA.

Point #3. The Good.

A hero never looked so smooth.

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.”

The SC's Mego Museum accessory is simply too clever.
HUGE props to Brian for the decal work. These hand applied stickers must have been a nightmare to execute.
The swivel biceps are very nice update to the standard 8 inch EMCE body.

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.

There's really nothing bad about Brick or SC. Except perhaps laziness on the collectors part.

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.

If I could only be such an awesome collector and collectible.

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).

In Conclusion

Dear reader the two coolest fellows on the planet have arrived in the Toy Box!

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 jimstoybox@gmail.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

Brick poses beside this vintage bus/RV that would be an awesome shag mobile for the Mantooth.
The great Canadian Amassador Mantooth poses for a shot with President Ronald Reagan.
SC is pondering whether or not he should slap the monkey off the roof. I say Monkey because "King Kong" is a registered trademark these guys didn't get the rights to use.

Bif Bang Pow’s; Venture Bros – Monarch – Evil is so cool!

Entertainment Earth


Hangin’ out with the bad boys is always fun so long as you keep bail money in your sock.

Again my focus has been captured by the incredibly fun line of figures from Cartoon Network’s “The Venture Bros.” As cleverly crafted by Bif Bang Pow! This time around the object of my affection is the beloved and beguiled arch nemesis of Dr. Venture, The Monarch! I must admit this guy brings out the feelings of love and hate when it comes to critiquing him. Oh the dilemma that comes from being an objective reviewer! See your way through to the end and you’ll see what I mean.

Point #1. What it is.

Biff Bang Pow’s Monarch from the Venture Brothers line of 8 inch Classic Style of Action Figures

Point #2. Where it came from.

Another great trade made at the Mego Museum Marketplace Forum. You can get yours at Entertainment Earth or Toys R Us.

( aka greatest place on the planet www.megomuseum.com ).

Point #3. The Good.

This is perhaps the best Re-Mego head sculp / design ever!
It’s hard not to be impressed by the Monarchs devilish good looks.

Here is where we find some serious love on my part. The head sculpt is beyond a shadow of a doubt the coolest looking I’ve seen of all of the new “Re-Mego’s on the market. The sculptor did a fantastic job of capturing the Monarch’s likeness. The decision to go the extra mile with using separate pieces for the finer points of his looks (i.e. the eyebrows, crown and goatee) are beyond admirable. It really is a sign of exceptional quality from the BBP folks.

Like the body armor the gauntlets aren’t coming off without some breakage or hand popping.

Another thing about the Monarch that makes me smile and applaud BBP even louder is that the re-purposing is kept to a minimum. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the practice and in most cases appreciate it, but to create new pieces specifically for a figure is to me a sign that these toy makers have more heart in their project than at least half of Santa’s elves. The torso armor, the sculpted pointy toed feet, and of course the deadly weaponized wrist gauntlets are something to behold, even if you can’t take them off.

Point #4. The Bad.

Paint rubs to the bubble I see as a big no, no for the MIB types.

Here comes that hate part I warned you about. Considering the presumed collectors market that these figures are intended to reach I immediately spotted a big gaff when it comes to finding Mint In Package specimens. The shortcoming I speak of is how the paint used for the beard rubs very noticeably on the inner side of the bubble. A blight such as this could be deemed as completely unacceptable for the “mint” collector. Luckily for me I’m not one of those types.

Pointy shoes, or rather I should say molded feet. Takes a man’s man for that wardrobe choice.

Another big gripe for me is the leggings that are intended to represent the Monarchs Thigh High boots. Understanding that creating footwear that would be cartoon accurate could be a production nightmare if molded in plastic I do see the reason as to why they went in this direction. With that said though I have to say that the pleather look looses me. It’s mainly the separation that you see where the leggings meet the ankle. Perhaps a stirrup configuration would have closed the gap better and made the boot seem more cartoon accurate. Plus they make the figure look chunky.

Whew! Glad to be done with that part. I hate the bad points but what are you gonna do? In all though the figure himself is another great effort from BBP and Honestly I would rather have the clunky leggings versus no Classic Style Re-Mego Monarch at all.

Point #5. Why I like it.

A trio of terrific terror troubadours.

As I continue to become a bigger fan of the show and it’s characters I can’t help but snicker when I look at this guy’s mean and somewhat imposing grimace. If one didn’t know any better you might actually think he could do some damage on purpose. But as fans of the show know that is simply not the case. The Monarchs victories if any come through by way of accidental occurrence and in the end wind up biting him in his butt. I guess it’s that when I see this fellow staring at me I know that thanks to his efforts good will always prevail. That’s uplifting and inspiring. Oh who am I kidding? It’s just super cool to have another new Re-Mego on the shelf that is part of a collection of toys for grown ups who refuse to grow up.

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

Tell me this guy doesn’t scream, “Kneel before Monarch!”. And then you do.

Because you can’t have any other figure in this line without the dreaded Monarch to torture or vice versa. Plus to have him paired with Henchmen 21 and 24 is something that is really cool in the world of 8-inch Classic Styled action figures. Seriously how cool would it have been if back in the day that Mego could have cranked out some of the Penguin or Riddler’s TV goons to help in their efforts to thwart Batman and Robin? Army building is cool, especially when someone else has done all the work for the wonderfully reasonable price of $14.95.

Why you shouldn’t:

Again hangin with the bad boys is a lot of fun so long as you don’t get stuck being the designated driver. Then it would suck.

If you’re really OCD about footwear or the possible paint rub issues I mentioned above you may want to steer clear. But if you’re a loose collector there is no reason to not get this guy. So seriously go order one know or pop into a Toys R Us.

In Conclusion

Feel free to add your own snide caption here _____________. Or email it.

Again I point out the fact that this property that is the Venture Brothers has to be the coolest assortment for the Re-Mego fan. Plus with six new figures on the horizon (Hank, Dr. Girlfriend, Phantom Limb, Dr. Orpheus, Dr. Venture and Rusty) this looks to be a line that will continue to satisfy the collector for the rest of the year and beyond. Seriously, with all of the super cool characters that haven’t come out yet the possibility of these guys giving you something to look forward for years to come is an awesome collecting opportunity. Now – Go Play! – Jim 06/21/11

Only one remains before the current released collection is complete for the Toy Box. Dean, hurry up and get here pal.

The Venture Bros. The Monarch & Dean Venture Action Figures

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 jimstoybox@gmail.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

Mini – Jim’s New Body is the product of Castaway Toys!` Check out their hot bods and so much more at www.castawaytoys.com

Bif Bang Pow’s; Venture Bros – Hencman 21; He is we.

Entertainment Earth


Again, if you want to look look thin hang out with fat people. Or in my case use a Castaway body instead of one that would actually reflect my current wasteline.

Greetings Dear Readers! IN this entry we find a figure that honestly makes me giddy with the opportunity to talk about him. Why is that, you ask? What could possibly make you so excited to talk about a fat guy action figure in a butterfly suit action figure? Because this guy is to me a wonderful reflection of US. Not the United States as the capitalization would allude you to believe but me and YOU dear reader.

Just like Comic Book Guy in the “Simpson’s” before him, Henchman 21 here is a wonderful character that I believe was created specifically for us; the grown up toy geeks. As highlighted in the first few episode of Season 2 of the Venture Brothers, Henchman 21 here simply oozes with toy collector geekyness. Not only does he have a sweet collection of highly sought after colletibles he also has the delusions of grandeur that come with those purchase; they could indeed save the world (or at least the Monarch).

And with all of that said I’m sure that if the Henchman here was a real human being I could get on the phone I betcha he’d be pleased as punch that this figure was made in his likeness. Even with the non too flattering short pants that we’ll talk about in just a few. So sit back, break out your Incredible Hulk Smashing Fists and enjoy my take on the Toy Box’s latest addition, Bif Bang Pow’s Henchman 21 from the Venture Brothers line of 8 inch Classic style of action figures.

Point #1. What it is.

Bif Bang Pow's Henchman 21 SDCC Exclusive (but still available at Entertainment Earth and Toys R Us)

Point #2. Where it came from.

More pieces of the H.E.L.p.eR puzzle. I do love papercraft.

This fellow is available now at Entertainment Earth, Toys R Us or the omnipotent collectible powerhouse / monopoly that is ebay where I scored him.

#3. The Good.

Accept it. This guy is us.

With Henchman 21 here we find all of the goodness that we’ve come to expect from Bif, Bang, Pow: Mego style body as created by EMCE toys. A head sculpt that is constructed from separate pieces instead of just one block mold and of course that I raved about with the Henchman 24 review some time back (http://jimstoybox.com/2011/06/15/bif-bang-pow%E2%80%99s-venture-bros-henchman-24-%E2%80%93-the-best-re-mego-yet/ )

Again I am impressed with the seperate pieces that make up the head.

And while I still stand by the statement that Henchman 24 is the best Re-Mego yet, I do have to say that 21 here does give him a run for his money and almost exceeds him in greatness. The point that makes him almost better is the stuffed body suit to stand in for a fat body. While some may moan and complain that the stuffed body is a copout versus a separate fat body I say to them, “So, what?” I mean, why bother with all of that extra tooling and production cost when the pillow stuffing serves the purpose. It’s not like there are a bunch of other Venture Brothers characters out there that are in need of a fat body. With the rotund nature of my wannabe evil pal here pointed out we move on to the only negative I have about this guy… his short pants.

Point #4. The Bad.

While funny, it would have been nice if the shorts actually came over the belly of 21 here.

The only gripe I have about this guy is that his shorts are simply too short. I mentioned in the Henchman 24 review that I found it funny that the Monarch’s army was represented with pawns that expose their belly buttons. It’s still funny when it comes to 21 here but it does make him look a bit too oafish. Sure he’s a goof and all but not quite so “Gomer Pyle / slack jawed oaf. Outside of that gap in the material I find no faults with this obese bad boy.

Point #5. Why I like it.

As I mentioned in the opening this guy is us. The geeky dude who simply can’t help himself in his collecting aspirations and of course seeing nothing geeky about it at all. As a matter of fact he is so justified in his actions that he should be considered a hero to all of us of the persuasion. Well, he’s my hero at least. And of course another prized collectible in the “Toy Box”.


Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

Because you can’t have one without the other. Seriously who would motivate your Henchman 24? Certainly not the Monarch. Plus he is also a very clever figure in his design in the fact that he is indeed unique for an army of Henchmen if you were so inclined to build one up.

Why you shouldn’t:

Here I have nothing to offer you as far as opinion goes. He’s a perfectly fine, well rounded 8 inch classic style action figure. No pun intended by the way.

In Conclusion

Henchman 21 is another wonderful example that Bif, Bang, Pow, EMCE, and the creators / producers of Venture Brothers have really honed in on a property that is perfect for folks like you and me dear reader. And while some of the humor is indeed juvenile and rude the Venture Brothers is a great form of animated escapism that is fun and necessary for a dork like me. And possibly you too. Buy a figure and watch an episode the next time your thinking about throwing back a six pack to unwind. I bet you wake up the next morning feeling much better and will have something more to show for it than a few empty beer cans and spent Taco Bell wrappers. Now – Go Play! – Jim 06/21/11

Pardon us as me and my pal here go get our cholesterol checked. You should too dear reader.

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 jimstoybox@gmail.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

Mini – Jim’s New Body is the product of Castaway Toys!` Check out their hot bods and so much more at www.castawaytoys.com

Bif Bang Pow’s; Scott Ian – Classic Action Figure – “Why Not?”

UPDATE: Scott Ian’s New Speaking Words DVD and crowd funding drive…

Just saw on facebook that Scott has some big news in regards to his latest project. This is the coolest opportunity to interact with one of the coolest dudes in rock! Check it out HERE

To add to, celebrate and commemorate this latest project be sure to get your Scott Ian action figure from Bif Bang Pow today!



Chillin’ with a Metal Master! Yeah, it really is good to be me.

When I first heard about this figure I was like “Cool!” Then I thought; “Why Cool? I’m not a huge Anthrax fan and honestly I haven’t followed what all Scott Ian’s doing since his time on the VH1 Reality Show “Supergroup”, so why do I care?” Simple answer; because its another 8 inch “Re-Mego”. Better answer; It is just oddball enough to have to have. Plus in doing this review it inspired me to dig through the “Jimbo Archives” for a dummy track that a friend of mine were working on a few years back to share. (We actually have recently decided to revisit that project and will be returning to the studio soon to flush out that album. More on that at another time though.) So sit back dear readers and get ready to rock out with the latest addition to the Toy Box – BBP’s Scott Ian – Classic Action Figure!

Point #1. What it is.

Bif Bang Pow’s; Scott Ian – Classic Action Figure

Point #2. Where it came from.

Mini Scott seems a little bored with the whole thing. Too much smoke perhaps?

This specimen was acquired by way of a trade with my good buddy livinxxxl at the Mego Museum ( aka greatest place on the planet www.megomuseum.com ).

Point #3. The Good.

The EMCE body is perfect for guitar thrashing. Well at least posing properly.

Creativity goes along way with this guy. Considering that not everyone knows who Scott Ian is ( I know. Insane, right?) I find it a very bold move that Bif Bang Pow would be out the cost to produce this figure. Seriously, to mass-produce a figure like this is no inexpensive endeavor especially the extra touches that make Scott Ian here really cool. We’re start at the bottom and work our way up.

Penguin shoes. Yet made cooler by Rock -N- Roll.

First up notice the shoes. They are nothing more than standard issue Mego Penguin shoes with brown stripes. Still that’s cool on the creative front. EMCE continues the Mego tradition of re-purpose, re-purpose, re-purpose. And of course this means that with no unnecessary new tooling to be done, production money can be spent in other areas such as our next point: The Ink.

The tatoo applications are a really nice, long lasting touch.

Sure these are nothing more than well-applied stickers/ decals but you know what, they look excellent! And instead of paint that can chip and scratch this applications I believe will last a very long time.

Another thing that I do appreciate about Scott here is that he is

Without the Jackson at his side this figure would be far too boring, but six strings later and he’s cool.

packing his trademark Jackson Guitar. This six string is also not something to brush off as just another hunk of plastic. Not only is it sculpted well it also is a licensed item. And that again my friends ain’t cheap. Add to that the super sweet EMCE licensed body and you’ve got your self a figure that can rock out in all the classic rock star poses.

Point #4. The Bad.

Bland. Beady eyed. Strange growth on his chin. Life of a rock star takes a toll ya know?
Just nothign exciting about this head sculpt at all.

Bluntly I have to point out Scotty’s noggin. He’s a bit on the bland and pale side. Personally I would have preferred a more “Scott Ian- Angry” expression such as what is featured on the cardback, but that wasn’t my call. Since I am nit-picking I also have to point out that his eyes are beady and nose is really narrow and long. But then again you see one skinny bald white guy, you’ve seen ‘em all.

Point #5. Why I like it.

I recommend, but only for the Anthrax/ Scott Ian fan or hardcore 8 inch collector.

As I mentioned early on I’m not a super-die hard Anthrax or Scott Ian fan but I do like their music. The old metal head in me refuses to give up completely. And to be even more honest to have a 8 inch scale Jackson guitar is simply too cool. Now Little Buddy me can rock out! (Stay tuned for music kids! Your only a few paragraphs away!)


Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

It’s the creativity and attention to detail that makes this figure work for me.

The uniqueness of the character in concept is worth the bucks. And although he is most likely going to go back on the card and resealed, only to come out again when a silly gag comes to mind. With that said have no fear Dear Reader and hardcore collector, this resealed version will not be for sale anytime soon. That would be lame and Scott Ian is anything but lame. Plus I’ve commandeered the guitar. Nootch!

Why you shouldn’t:

With no interest in the band or the guy ( he really is an old school geek like the rest of us btw) or a tattooed action figure, I can’t see where you would want to break out the credit card and load up at Entertainment Earth. So unlike other release this fellow I feel is a truly specialized and feeds the most narrow of niches.

In Conclusion

My new Castaway body really adds to Mini Jim’s rockin’ moves.

Scott Ian 8-Inch Action Figure Bif Bang Pow’s Scott Ian – Classic Action Figure ( I love how that sounds. Like a cool formal title: Yes I’m Scott, Scott Ian- Classic Action Figure) is a really neat addition to the modern Mego movement. For me he’s a fun addition to the collection and an interesting conversation starter. Plus thinking about Scott and Anthrax flashes me back to the old days of when I was then had long hair and KNEW that I’d be long dead by 28. While I was wrong in all of those assumptions (no, the hair didn’t look cool, I admit that now) I know my take on this figure is dead on the money. Speaking of ‘dead’ check out this really rough dummy track from my really good pal Albee Munyon and I. Albee wrote it, I crunched it. He’s singing and again I’m crunching it, old school style. The tracks called “Evil Dead” and we’ll be returning to the studio very soon to flush out this and many other old school metal sounds for a long overdue album. I’ll keep you posted. Now – Go Play! – Jim 06/21/11

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 jimstoybox@gmail.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

Mini – Jim’s New Body is the product of Castaway Toys!` Check out their hot bods and so much more at www.castawaytoys.com

Bif Bang Pow’s Venture Bros. Henchman 24 – The best Re-Mego yet!

Entertainment Earth


Dear Reader I present to you the coolest Re-Mego yet!

This is it. This is the figure that has really opened my eyes to what is really going on with the Re-Mego movement as far as maintaining my interest as a collector and grown up toy geek. Bif Bang Pow, the folks at EMCE and the creators of the Venture Brothers have master minded a product that not only feeds a nostalgic need but also gives us fanboy types new entertainment. With its Hanna Barbera style and slightly cynical humor the Venture Brothers has very quickly earned a place in my must see TV diet and DVD collection. Plus these figures are an even bigger must have for my collection than even (dare I say it) the Retro Action Super Heroes. There I said it! I’m telling you dear reader; I simply LOVE this show and line of toys. My only regret is that I wish I had got in on this sooner. Regrets are for suckers however so I will simply say that I am glad I am on board now and have something NEW to look forward to with each new action figure release AND new season of shows! Go team Venture!

My introduction to this line came not too long ago as you’ll recall from my review of Brock and the Doc (http://jimstoybox.com/2011/05/01/bif-bang-pows-brock-samson-and-doctor-venture/ ) but ever since I’m telling ya, I’ve became obsessed! And again I must point out that it was indeed a cart before the horse situation. Had it not been for the figures themselves and my fascination with the Re-Mego movement I never would have given the show a shot. Thank you for that BBP and EMCE! In the coming week’s I will be revisiting this line as I continue to round out the first three waves but for now let’s get to the business a hand of nit picking and praising Henchman 24!

Point #1. What it is.

Bif Bang Pow’s Henchman 24 from the Venture Bros. Line of 8-inch action figures

Point #2. Where it came from.

Another ebay buy due to your old buddy Jimbo being no where near the last San Diego Comic Con where this guy along with Henchman 21 were exclusives. For the record I have now signed up with Entertainment Earth to begin receiving the new figures direct from them as they are released. You should too!

Point #3. The Good.

24! Right Face!

The design is brilliant. To have the antennae, mask and eye covers as separate pieces permanently attached to the final product make for a very good-looking representation of the character. Plus even though this particular figure does have a specific designation, without a sound chip sounding like a fairly funny Ray Ramano impersonator, this guy is perfect for army building.

The biggest standout of course has to be the wings. Talk about a brilliant design! I simply love the way they made this happen. Instead of some cheesy snap on wing these are four individual wings that if you were so inclined to, could pose. Again I have to shout “BRAVO!” for this extra touch that shows a dedication to quality and perceived value.

Excellent execution on the wing design!
The 'calm' pose for those non good guy smackdown times.
The 'what is wrong with my wings?' pose. Just because you can!

Another thing that I do appreciate about the figure is that 24 here is sporting traditional Mego hero boots. This is truly the tie that binds this line to the Mego legacy that is now in my opinion truly reborn.

It's all about da' shoes! Or should I say boots?

*On a side note I do want to point out that I am in no way slighting any of EMCE’s previous Star Trek line of new character releases. I understand that line is a magnificent dream come true for Trek and Mego collectors alike but they technically fall into my ‘old news’ category. And that’s only because Paramount is lacking in the new Trek TV and film department. Paul you know I hero worship you!

Point #4. The Bad.

This butterfly isn't coming out of his cocoon easily.

The only things that I would consider a short coming of the figure is that 1.) You can’t take the torso/wing assembly off without cracking it open, 2.) With the leggings being ‘open toed’ taking the boots on and off lead to bunching of the pant legs when you put the boot back on and 3.)

I never knew butterflies had belly buttons. Go figure.

The more traditional Mego body’s limitations in arm pose ability and use of rubber bands can lead to the same problems that have always plagued Mego action figures. And finally 4.) The slightly awkward shorts are just a bit short and leave the figure looking like he’s wearing a belly shirt.

Point #5. Why I like it.

To me this guy really is the perfect example of a 8 inch clothed action figure Renaissance .

As I noted in the Introduction this line of figures is in my opinion the first truly NEW Mego toy on the market. The reason for this distinction is that out of all of the new Re-Mego’s on the market these days this is the only modern license being produced. Dark Shadows, Lost, The Real Ghostbusters, Retro Action Heroes, all of those are technically ‘old news’ and are appealing primarily because of their nostalgic connection to our childhoods. The Venture Brothers however is still in production and from what I’m gathering, in no peril of cancellation anytime soon. Also the show itself really comes off as a cartoon that has grown with and for its intended audience; 30 and 40 something big kids at heart who still love toys, comics and cartoons.

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

A trio of truly terrific toys!

Because these toys are awesome! From their wonderful likenesses to their very clever design, the Venture Brothers line of 8 inch action figures are a perfect fit for the 21st Century toy and cartoon geek. Also considering my points in the “Why I like it” segment I would also dare to speculate that these initial waves (and subsequent) will indeed become highly sought after collectibles with fair to very good aftermarket value.

Why you shouldn’t:

The only reason here has to be that you are a stick in the mud who is far too uptight to enjoy the guilty pleasure that is cartoons and toys that are made for adults. If that is indeed the case I pray for your sad, stressed out, tortured soul. Loser.

In Conclusion

Again I can’t praise Bif Bang Pow and EMCE enough about these figures. This is truly a perfect marriage between property and license. The other items I’ve seen including the bobble heads and 2 inch mini figures are to me nothing more than pop culture dust collectors. They’re fun to look at but loose their humor relatively quickly whereas the 8 inch Re-Mego action figures are something that is not only cool to display loose but also a great carded collection to cherish. To show my sincerity in this claim I am indeed putting my money where my mouth is. This is one line that I will definitely be buying two of each, one to open and one to collect. I’ll prove it with pics as the budget allows! GO team Venture! Now, Go Play! – Jim 06/15/11

I LOVE these Guys!

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 a firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at jimstoybox@gmail.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

Mattel’s Retro Action: The Real Ghostbusters aka The Gangs all here (well, almost)

I call this one, "Ghostbusters under glass". Er, I mean plastic. Whatever. I've got the set so there!


Once again I turn your attention to the guys who chase down the bumps in the night. Well actually, these Ghostbusters went to work all hours of the day and night, but primarily on Saturday mornings. And the fiends that struck terror were actually very brightly colored more reminiscent of a Rainbow Bright doll than say Pinhead from Hellraiser. Oh well, they’re still fun.

Having touched on Egon already… (http://jimstoybox.com/2011/05/24/mattel%E2%80%99s-retro-action-the-real-ghostbusters-egon-spengler-great-stuff/ ) I’m going to do my best to avoid any unnecessary redundancies in this review. The bodies are still greatly improved from earlier Retro Action Assortments and the Velcro fasteners on the back of the jumpsuits still please me more so than the snaps found on the Retro Action Super Heroes. With those two main commonalities pointed out let’s get down to the business of reviewing this terrific trio of tortured soul terminators. It’ll be fun!

Point #1. What it is.

Mattel’s Retro Action: The Real Ghostbusters Ray, Winston, Peter and Egon

Point #2. Where they came from.

You've seen one RA Ghostbusters backer card, you've seen 'em all.

Again this line is a Toys R Us Exclusive however I acquired all of mine through ebay by way of my now good pals at Page 3’s Game Zone (http://www.page3sgamezone.com/toys/) and another fine e-tailer Kokomo Toys (http://kokomotoys.com/). I offer up both if them as very reputable dealers. And I also direct you to their personal websites versus their ebay listings so you can get what YOU want without these fine folks getting jacked on the latest round of ebay fee increases. I may be a great example of “a fool and his money” but I do know when enough is enough when it comes to sellers fees on ebay.

Point #3. The Good.

Along with the Standard Issue Proton Pack, Ray also comes with this... um.... super dooper turkey baster?

Nothing beats a complete set. Well the set as it stands so far (we’ll get to my gripe in a second). The cartoon accurate look along with the accessories really adds a great deal of value to these toys. And I would be remiss in not pointing out the fact that all but one of these figures have a really cool, cartoon accurate accessory outside of the standard issue Proton Pack. And while Dr. Venkman does not come with any extra special gadget, the fact that this one doesn’t suck body wise (as compared to the SDCC exclusive) is  good enough for me.

Mr. Zeddemore here is the only Ghostbuster to come with a trap so I hope he never takes a weekend off.

Another thing about the accessories is that they do fit well in the hands of these Real Ghostbusters. There is a slight drawback but I’ll get to those points in a moment. For now though I want to stress that it is really cool to see that Mattel has went the extra mile to offer up 8 inch scale accessories that really do augment this line greatly.

Venkman is so cool he needs no extra accessory. Unless of course you count his charm and smarmy attitude.

The head sculpts for Peter and Ray are also nice interpretations of the 2 D characters. Winston’s likeness is lacking but in all actuality I’m just glad he was made at all. Still I do have to admit that when I look at these guys lined up and compare them to the images from the cartoon, Winston here looks more like a guy playing Winston more so than the real deal. I’ll consider him Winston’s stunt double Carl. While they don’t really look alike, through the cameras lens during the fast action shots, he’s close enough.

Point #4. The Bad.

Of all the GB's Winston's sculpt is lacking in the likeness department.

To show that I am a fair review and not always “Yay Mattel!” I’m going to do a bit more complaining than what your used to reading from me dear reader. The reason isn’t that I’m wanting to improve my “street cred” and show you that I really am an “old school thug that will slap you down when called for” it’s really just a matter of what I believe is poor planning / consideration Mattel took with this line.

To really make the collection complete we MUST HAVE Slimer. Janine would be nice but the Ghostbusters without Slimer is like peanut butter without jelly. Considering the kick that Mattel has been on with the whole “build-a-figure” concept I think they really missed a great opportunity here for a Do it yourself Slimer. One arm with Egon, one with Ray, The Lower body with Peter and the Upper Body and Head with Winston.

For those out of the toy loop real quick 411- “Build –a- Figure” refers to the way Mattel has included different body parts with different figures in a particular wave to create a complete figure. Great marketing concept considering you have to buy each figure in the Wave to complete this super exclusive figure or pay through the nose for the bits and pieces on ebay.

I also mentioned that the line is lacking Janine. Honestly this really isn’t that big of a deal to me. Sure she was an important character on the cartoon but not as important as Slimer. Considering she is pictured on the back of the card I would almost bet that she will be a Matty Collector Exclusive. That would make sense to me. The same think with Mr. Stay Puft. He really had no role in the cartoon series anyway.

Another thing that I have to comment about is the “retro” art style they have applied to this particular backer card. Why? This show is from the 80’s not the 70’s. The off center layouts really doesn’t work. If anything they wanted to stay true to the “Retro” feel they should have used photos of the toys instead of the animated images. That’s the way it was done in the 80’s. I’m just saying.

And finally my last gripes, The body improvements are nice, but posing is a bit limited. When taking some of the group shots I had an idea to actually have the guys zapping the CTVT Ghost but to pose them with their Proton Shooters was next to impossible. Also while the accessories are great to have the plastics used on the ghost trap and the super doper turkey baster/ thermometer is too stiff to adjust. Still not a “bring me their heads” foul but a bit of a n annoyance.

Point #5. Why I like it.

The likeness to the cartoon image is good but should be a bit chubbier in both face and body IMO.

After all of that how can I possibly say I like these figures? Simple. For me these figures are a great throwback to the final days of major network Saturday morning dominance. In 1986 the networks hadn’t lost their market share to Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, The Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, etc, etc, etc.

Exactly the same head sculpt as the SDCC exclusive.

And even though the cartoons were quickly and

cheaply made with numerous corners cut in the animation process, those once a week offerings were golden. “What are you talking about Jim?” It’s nostalgia, but not just for the show and characters but for an entire pop culture genre that really doesn’t exist anymore. For Pete’s sake you can even buy the complete series of the Real Ghostbusters cartoons fro back to back viewing versus once a week. I guess the affection I feel (and perhaps you too) for pre 90’s cartoons may be because they were rare so to speak. And the weekly wait between installments made the heart grow fonder. Pardon me while I wipe away my tears of nostalgia that are coupled with sighs of old age. And yes I meant “sighs” and not “signs”.  I guess Mattel’s marketing isn’t as lacking and misguided as I thought. Damn you Matty. Damn you.

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

I was wanting more of an action pose for this shot but honestly it was a bit tough to get the hands, arms and proton packs to cooperate.

These guys are a colorful assortment of fun. They also meet with every other reason as to “why you should” that I’ve mentioned with other reviews of the Retro Actions. The only thing that I can really had for these guys specifically is that they are a team and regardless of a personal favorite one without the other three just seems off balance and wrong.

Why you shouldn’t:

"Oh Crap!"

From a quality standpoint there is no reason whatsoever that I can really point out. The only concern might be that the line end here and no factory made Mattel Slimer gets made. That really would be a bummer.

In Conclusion

With my list of gripes I can’t honestly say that this complete line is a true out of the park homerun for Mattel. I will however say it is a pretty fair “bases loaded with Matty at the bat” offering. Now let’s just hope that Matty doesn’t strike out and leave us all hanging with no Slimer or Janine. Still though it is a fun looking line that for me fills up some of my Nostalgia cup. It’s just not quite enough to make it “runeth over”. Now – Go Play! – Jim 06/08/11

The RA Ghostbusters a re bright and welcome addition to the Toy Box crew and collection.


* Extra note slash plug… If you are by chance interested in picking up one of the CTVT Gruesome Ghosts for your Ghostbusters to kick the crap out of may I recommend my pal Vini in OKC. He’s a very upstanding seller and a very nice guy too. The figure is what it is and not his or my fault. But Vini does have the best price around on all of the CTVT stuff that he has in stock. Check him out… http://cgi.ebay.com/Gruesome-Ghost-Loose-Mego-Reissue-Action-Figure-/360304339416?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e3cfe9d8 Tell him Jim sent ya!


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 jimstoybox@gmail.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

Mattey’s DC Retro Action Super Heroes: Guy Gardner Green Lantern

Mattel Toys Sucks. Period. They cancel lines blaming lack of fan base support while they themselves offer the products o market in the most piss poor manner possible. I went out on a limb with these reviews as a fan trying to push the product. In the end Mattel showed that they are not worthy of mine or your accolades or MONEY. I’m not editing the reviews however. At the time of their writing I meant what I said and in regards to the figures themselves I feel the same way, however the emotional connection is gone – Signed, Jim 01/14/12


The Retro Action line of figures keeps getting better and better!

This latest release from Mattel’s DC Comics Retro Action Super Heroes is another hit right out of the park. While for me Hal Jordan will always be the one and only Green Lantern, I accept the fact that the Corps is a much larger entity. And now thanks to the 8 inch style of figures these other Corps members are being released I’m even more inclined to invite them all into my Toy Box. In all seriousness though the line is improving with each new release. More costume details, improved bodies and of course Mego style goodness these figures will continue to grow on the hardcore Mego fans if given a chance and for the new recruits of 8 inch collecting as well.

Point #1. What it is.

Mattey's DC Retro Action Super Heroes: Guy Gardner Green Lantern

Point #2. Where it came from.

Guy is the third Matty Collector exclusive. http://www.mattycollector.com

Point #3. The Good.

There is a lot of good to say about this fellow. As you all know by now dear reader I’m a sucker for lots of bright colors. This guy delivers there in spades. I’ll let the pics do the talking…

ATTITUDE! The head sculpt really shows great personality.
The stitched stripe alog the pant leg is a very nice detail that adds a lot to the look staying true to the comic book look.
The turtleneck is another nice touch that keeps the look true to form.
Unique Boots show that Mattel isn't cutting too many corners despite rising production costs.
Again another unique accessory that I'm glad to see Mattel didn't scrimp on.

Point #4. The Bad.

Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you... a box.

The bad points that I will highlight really have nothing to do with the figure itself. For all intents and purposes Guy here is perfect. The problems that have been noted by other collectors that I myself did not experience is that the shipping company that Mattel is using is a bit less than collector friendly. Reports are that the white mailer boxes are being inserted into bubble wrap envelops are being crushed in transit and in turn ruining the packaging and in some rare cases the figure itself. Again I did not have this problem.

Velcro or snaps? I gotta go Velcro.

While the snap doesn’t really take away from the look of the figure I still would prefer Mattel switch out to the Velcro fasteners as used on other figures such as the Ghostbusters. However I do understand how Mego purists would really frown on that change. Still, these aren’t Mego’s so I don’t see the modfication as being a problem.

The only other gripe I can say is that the Heroes are now outnumbering the villains. How fair is that? Seriously I do like the way Mattel has kept the regular released Waves balanced between the two. There is a Yellow Sinestro variant as part of these Matty exclusives but like many other fans I think we would be a happier lot if we saw completely new figures instead of variants. However considering the theme of these exclusives it makes sense.

Point #5. Why I like it.

The Green Lantern Corps has more 8 inch goodness to come including Kyle Rayner and John Stewart.

More Retro Action figures are always a good thing in my book. Especially considering all the extra touches this guy has. Form his unique boots and belt to his snarky expression this “Guy” delivers. My hat is off to Dr. Mego and EMCE for the prototype work that they did on this one.

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

Lots of color and a unique costume make up for such a stupid haircut. "Hey Moe!"

The look of this figure is well worth the $20 plus shipping. With the enhanced bodysuit (see turtle neck) and the white striping accents (see vest and pants) this “Guy” looks like a million bucks.

Why you shouldn’t:

Another all around great figure from Mattel.

The only real reason I would steer you away from purchasing this figure is the possible mailing issues. Again I myself had no problem but if you are a true stickler for Mint condition items you may want to wait until these surface on ebay. While Mattel has a good reputation of making good on orders you may want to strike a deal with a seller that you may be able to get a more direct line of communication with.

In Conclusion

Guy Gardner is another great figure from Mattel and I must say that the end result of their efforts is well worth your time, attention and cash. I myself love the fact that the line as a whole continues to grow. Hence why you’ll find some group shots that I am very excited to post. It’s like a Saturday Morning cartoon coming to life in awesome 8 inch Mego style! Now Go Play! – Jim 05/30/11

Attitude? Yep. And I love it. Keep scrolling down for more pics and reasons why you should add this line up to your own Toy Box.

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 jimstoybox@gmail.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

I'm going to need a wide angle lense the way this line continues to grow.
While slightly out numbered the Bad Guys are still well represented.
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