Would you add these to your collection?


There’s something to be said about the incredible detail that can be found in modern action figure sculpting. Be they by hand or laser scanning, modern action figures in many cases are some impressive work of little doppelgänger art. But what about when they’re life size?

Totally not King Kong.

For this Mothers Day (Saturday actually. Beat the crowds and don’t be a slave to the Hallmark calendar kids!) Kaitlynn and I treated Our favorite momma (that’s Alicia for the uniformed) to a night at the museum. We’d been talking about it for years since our last trip back in 2010. A lot has changed at the attraction. One being the price.

Back then I had my “media credentials” so the cost was $0. Regular admission was actually around $19.95 a head and $10 for locals. That’s now $29.99 with a $1 discount for locals. Bit of a stinger but there have also been some changes to the way one can experience the attraction to add more value to the experience.

At $30 a head, take lots of pics and video.

The biggest change was the removal of the tense-a-barriers. So now with the ropes gone you can get up close and personal with the life like figures. And that’s not an understatement. The wax models themselves have come along way since our visit back them. Some to the point of down right creepy in their realistic capturing of some the biggest faces in Hollywood and the music biz. Even if I have no clue as to who one in particular was. (Post Malone. I totally don’t know you.), an internet search later showed me how amazing they did. (I still have no clue who he is.)

Below you will find a run through of the complete cast of characters to be found entrapped in the walls behind the Mount Famousmore facade of the building. And to note, that is NOT King Kong on the top of the building. It just happens to resemble him. But just a little (wink, wink, nod,nod)

Enjoy the show!

Now, Go Play!

Jim 5/10/22

Thank you all for taking the time to visit the Toy Box and thank you even more for clicking through to check out the recommended links to products and pages I find cool and interesting. Every click counts and every purchase REALLY does.

A fascinating history of the art and origins of these type of figures and beyond. Fascinating stuff!

Saturday Morning Funnies: Episode 6- CTVT strike back!


“Saturday Morning Funnies” Episode 4: What Roscoe could never do…


What does your imagination have in mind? Submit your rescue ideas to me at jimstoybox@gmail.com the best submission as chosen by me and my lovely wife Alicia will not only see their dream scenario acted out in next weeks Saturday Morning Funnies but you’ll also receive this carded Luke Duke for your own collection! Sure he’s got a bum knee but a free Mego is still a free Mego!

So what are you waiting for dear reader? Start flexing your imagination and help free Luke Duke!

Email submissions to jimstoybox@gmail.com please include a contact email address and your name. DO NOT SEND your address or any info at this time. I will contact the winner via the provided email address and request the info at that time. I’m not a spammer and have no intentions of becoming one. You have until Monday May2nd to get your ideas in so get to it!

The game is set kids! Now, Go Play! Jim 04/30/11

“The Wall” Chapter 7 – Classic TV Toys Dreadful Dracula


While he's no Flatt Drac, this dreadful fella does have some endearing qualities.

The “Dreadful Dracula” is such a harsh term but yet fitting. This wonderfully warped incarnation of the world’s formerly most famous vampire (kids these days, whatcha gonna do?) is a delightful representation of the character so long as your not looking for any particular likeness. First and foremost I must point out for those new to the 8inch action figure hobby, that while Classic TV Toys did reissue this figure it was indeed the Mego Corporation of legend and lore that made this monster happen way back in the mid 70’s. With that said this fellow is not an exact recreation but a nice approximation. Not perfect but a decent placeholder until you can score your very own original Mego Mad Monster version. With that in mind this (and other Classic TV Toys product) that will be featured on “The Wall” it is my intent to judge this toy only on its own merits. Because believe it or not true believers this fella does have some good points along with its outlandishly bad ones too. Now let’s get back to “The Wall”

 

 

Point #1. What it is.

Classic TV Toys Dreadful Dracula Reproduction

Point #2. Where it came from.

This particular figure entered my collection via the Mego Museum's marketplace.

Point #3. The Good.

Who wouldn't want a pair of these guys hanging around? You never know when a werewolf may try to attack.

If nothing else the guy looks like a lot of fun. The googly eyeballs, the stereotypical vampire costume and the cape that looks like one of those really cheap ones you get at Halloween for a buck, adds to this guys charm. For the price you can’t beat this placeholder.Plus having an extra carded to figure to build up your own “Wall” is kind of rewarding in itself. Sort of like putting your really cheap beer in a “Budweiser” koozie. Sure it doesn’t taste the same but to the casual looker you may not appear to be as broke as you really are.  Wow, what a horrible analogy kids. Sorry about that.

Please drink responsibly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Point #4. The Bad.

For this fellow I’m afraid the gloves must come off. Where I normally try to add a little extra rainbows and unicorns to every “Bad” section of “The Wall” this guy (and other CTVT figures) won’t get that treatment. The reason being why your old buddy Jimbo here is going all gangsta is that these guys have broke my number 1 rule: Toys must be durable.

 

Is that ketchup on your shirt? Nope. It's a poorly silk screened sash.

I can’t stress enough how much it infuriates me when a toy breaks with minimal play. To see the joy in a child’s eye (or grown up child) get squashed when their new toy breaks with very little effort exerted on it. I’m talking regular play here. Not like the kid Sid in Toy Story. I’m referring to the normal kids and collectors who simply want to play or pose their new figure and the thing snaps, pops, breaks or tears virtually right out of the package.

The quality control on these figures is detestable. The figures were produced in India and I honestly don’ know what the standards are there and how much cheaper it is to have things outsourced to India versus China but I do know all involved in this production should truly be ashamed of themselves for bringing these to the U.S. market with an obvious lack of care for the consumer.

I’ll back off my soap box now but I will point to three very big problems that I have before I do. 1.) The plastic used for the bodies is cheap and breaks easy. 2.) The costume is far too tight but then again when the appendages break off they most likely will stay inside the confines of this tighter than spandex attire. and 3.) This particular figure shows how quality control is insanely lax from tip to top. You can clearly see the poor silk screening that was done on the red applications.  Now excuse me while I catch my breath and talk myself back down. Sorry for the outburst but they had it coming.


Point #5. Why I like it.

 

"Must you be so cruel." "Yes. I must. No back off me before something bad happens to ya.""

After all that you the reader must wonder “How and the heck can Jim spin this back around?” And to you I say, it’s all about the land of make believe. This figure is on the wall because of his look. That’s it. Plus I do have a soft spot for bootlegs and knock offs because of their normally horrible quality. Like an underdog but really more like a dog that should be put to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

Why you should:

Flawed and all Drac here is still fun to look at.

It’s a great place holder so long as you can get him cheap. And by cheap I mean $5 tops. It does look cool for nostalgia sake and only if you intend to look at him and not pose or play with.

Why you shouldn’t:

"I will suck out your very soul." "Not with those plastic choppers Bucky. Now get off me before I drive a toothpick through your greasy plastic shell."

Among the reasons listed above he main thing I can’t stress enough is that DO NOT buy this as a gift for a child unless you intend to replace the body with either a Cast-A-Way or Dr.Mego. The end result will most likely be that joy killing that I mentioned previously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Conclusion

While this review seems more damning than condoning I’ll close with this: Get one as a place holder, not as a gift to play with. Don’t completely discount Classic TV Toys because they do have some nice accessory pieces for customs. Their figures however are simply too hit and miss to invest too much in. Surprisingly I have noticed that the reproduction series of Mad Monsters are selling considerably high on the secondary market. The only reason I can figure that is, is due to their scarcity these days. Or some people haven’t heard about the quality issues. I’ve heard that CTVT is going to do another run of these figures and if that is indeed the case I hope that they do so in a manner that is worthy of your and my dollars. Plus to release crappy toys such as this  can do more damage than good when it comes to the 8 inch action figure market. Now shake off my negativity, break out your other “Re-Mego’s”  and Go Play!

 

"He ain't heavy. He's my goofy, poor quality, low rent Dracula."

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

“The Wall” Chapter 5- Flatt World Bela Lugosi as Dracula


"I loved you in Glen or Glenda. 'Pull the string! Pull the string!' Classic! Karloff could only dream to sell a scene like that.""

This Chapter of “The Wall” features the most pictures to date of any of my entries. And with very good reason. This figure is so detail loaded you can’t help but rave about every detail from the boat load of accessories (or should I say ‘coffin load’ all the way down to Dracula’s socks. This figure is incredible and was certainly way ahead of it’s time. While both Flatt World Toys and Bela Lugosi are both long gone this figure is a stunning legacy to behold. There would be even more pics if it weren’t for the fact that my camera’s Macro setting is a bit weak.

And the best thing in regards to this figure is that you can actually get one RIGHT NOW for the insanely low price of $17.50 plus shipping from my pals over at Cast-A-Way Toys.  Check out my take and then quickly get over to their site and get your Bela NOW. I don’t now how many they have but I promise you they won’t last long. And once you see this chapter of “The Wall” you’ll see why. You know what? Go ahead and order it now and then come back and enjoy this chapter. It’ll help kill the time while you wait for yours to arrive. http://store.castawaytoys.com/bela-lugosi-dracula-flattworld.html

Mind you I’ve not getting any kickbacks on this but do me a solid and tell ’em you heard about this super deal here at “The Wall”.

Point #1. What it is.

Flatt World 8 inch Bela Lugosi as Dracula. Truly a highlight of the late 90's action figure explosion.

Point #2. Where it came from.

I picked this fella up off the Mego Museum's Marketplace. It was a great deal but for right now you can get an even better from Cast A Way Toys via this link: http://store.castawaytoys.com/bela-lugosi-dracula-flattworld.html

Point #3. The Good.

 

The level of detail that went into this figure is stagerring.

Simply put, this figure ROCKS! It’s hard to find anyone in the collecting community who will blatantly bad mouth this toy. There really is no reason. The costume is incredible. The details that Charlie Flatt put into this simply amazing. Mind you the price tag of $60 dollars during it’s initial release was a bit lofty but the quality makes up for the price tag. Surprisingly however, these days you can get one for a third of that original MSRP. I honestly don’t know why that is.  While I don’t know the exact number of figures produced I can assume that considering the original price tag, that there were that many. But then again if we use the original price as our barometer it is possible that they simply didn’t sell back in the pre-dot com bust of the 90’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pardon the fuzziness of this pic but honestly I'm not too upset with my camera. Normally you can't get a vampire to show up on film at all.

Another thing that is really cool about this figure from tip to top is the accessories. Sure it’s got a bat and a candelabra but this in scale coffin is too sweet. The figure fits perfectly and there is room for the bat and candelabra for the sake of storage. For me though I put the whole thing back together in it’s original unique trapezoid packaging.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be on “The Wall”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ability to pose a shot like this is a real deal maker for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again the detail is so wonderful on this figure including the monogrammed ring on Drac's finger.

Here he comes kids! It's Dracula! Okay so that wasn't scary at all but then again he is only 8 inches tall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Point #4. The Bad.

The incredible detail in the costume sadly can't cover up the fact that the likeness to Bela Lugosi is a bit weak.

Believe it or not I’m not going to be all wishy-washy on the bad points on this one. Simply put, the sculpt is a bit lacking. The funny thing here though is that by most standards its really not all that bad either. The trick I think with the scrutiny of the sculpt comes from the fact that everything else is so highly detailed that it makes this shortcoming stand out more. Still I have yet to see a better 8 inch mas produced version of Bela Lugosi. So in the end I still have to give it Charlie Flatt for an impressive figure.

The only other negative that came to light for me was the coffin.

Putting this box together gave me the creeps. Not because of the death symbolism but instead the fear of breakage.

As I’ve stated in previous chapters my biggest pet peeve is a toy that breaks with very minimal effort exerted on it. That’s how I felt about the coffin. As I was assembling it for this photo shoot I was very concerned about breaking the top hinge. Mind you it didn’t but it still seemed like it was going to snap at any moment if I didn’t press and push at just the right angle. That struck me as odd considering the lower hinge gave me no similar grief whatsoever. Also when I pulled it back apart it held up fine. I was extremely careful though and I’m not sure that less patient types would have the same wonderful results.

Another thing about the coffin that was a minor drag was the “D” crest that comes with it. This little icing on the cake is neat but the adhesive patch that came with it was oddly enough only one sided. Considering that Charlie Flatt was a customizer first and a toy company second I can see why he would leave the option for this cool looking coffin to remain generic but still something just seemed cheap when it cam to the decision to use an adhesive for the crest.

Point #5. Why I like it.

Outside of those very mild negatives I can’t rave about this toy enough. I dare say that it is the highest quality 8 inch figure I have ever owned. And even though the likeness is a bit weak as I stated, you still know that this figure is indeed supposed to be the one and only Bela Lugosi in his most famous role.

"Bela set the standard for Vampire charisma. Charlee Flatt re-set the standard for 8 inch action figures."

"Another awesome aspect of the figure is the "Everything you ever needed to know about Bela Lugosi" brochure.

The brochure (and outer box) features licensed photos from the Lugosi estate that make this for me much more than a toy.

Looking at the photo used on the inside of the banner it leads me to think that this was the refrence photo used for the figure.

Bela and his son Bela Jr. who agreed to an licensed Lugosi's image to Flatt. For me I like seeing this human side of the world's most recognizable vampire.

The costume is so highly detailed that Bela is even wearing socks! How cool is it to know that your vampire will not have to worry about having cold toes?

And like Bela, Dawn O'Connell made mini Jim super cool by making socks for me too. I'm telling you guys and gals, order your little buddy today for yourself or as a gift!

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

Why you should:

Please see all of the above pics, duh. Plus with the price that Cast-A-Way is currently selling these for, you really can’t go wrong. They would also make a perfect gift for the toy, horror, Hollywood or monster fan. Simply Excellent!

http://store.castawaytoys.com/bela-lugosi-dracula-flattworld.html

To not have one would be a sin.

Why you shouldn’t:

Considering the sale price at Cast A Way toys right now I can’t think of any reason what so ever to not pick this toy up. You really owe this one to yourself or your action figure or doll collecting friends collection. Even if they aren’t into the 8inch mego style figures (dork) they will truly appreciate this toy.

No need for a Vampire's hypnotizing glare to convince you to get this one. The reasons why are from head to toe, front and back and all the way around the box! Go look at all the pics again.

In Conclusion

Highly articulated. Insane costume detail. Perfect accessories. A fairly decent sculpt. A plethora of knowledge inside and out. I’m telling you this is a great action figure, toy, work of art, history lesson. Seriously go here… http://store.castawaytoys.com/bela-lugosi-dracula-flattworld.html and get your today before they’re all gone at this incredibly low price! Seriously, do it so you can truly GO PLAY!

Jim 4-04-11

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

Day 1 of “The Wall” – The Overview


Our stars of the show.
These 16 action figures are so chock full of fun it’s amazing that they can fit in one small area!

And so it begins!

Welcome to Day 1 of “The Wall” blog where I will be giving you a rundown and review of the “Re-Mego’s” that adorn my wall at home and have earned a special place in my heart. As this is the very first day of this little goal of mine I’d like to stop and pause a moment to give a huge shout out to all my pals at the Mego Museum. This collection of fellow lovers of all things Mego has welcomed me in with open arms and has become like a second “cyber-family”. Plus without this wonderful community and it’s members I never would have scored most of these wonderful additions to my collection. It was also their encouragement that has boosted up my drive to do this blog and hone my skills as a marketer and reviewer. So to all of my “Mego Buddies” I say thank you! Now let’s get to “The Wall”

"The primary Suspects"
With a cast like this who needs TV? Oh wait.

This morning started out with a round of Photoshopping that finds me getting even more excited about this endeavor.  Seeing that in the end of everyday I get to work on this blog I’ll be taking a little time away from the “real world” I’ll actually be doing numerous things that I love. From writing to designing the layout of this blog I can see why so many people have flocked to this form of communication. It truly is a blast to write about the things that mean so much to you. Thank you Word Press!

Now without further ado may I introduce you to this blogs starting line up and the order in which they will be tackled.

#1. Mattel’s Retro Action DC  Super Heroes : Superman.

Retro Action Superman
The Man of Steel returns to 8 inch plastic form.

#2. 1950’s Version Commander X

1950's Commander X
While the Commander may look a little familiar to Mego collectors he is a hero in his own right.

#3. The Greatest American Hero

The Greatest American Hero
Oh, what could have been. However what is, is actually better!

#4. Mattel’s Retro Action DC Super Heroes : Batman

 

Retro Action Batman

 

#5. Flatt World’s Bela Lugosi as Dracula

 

Bela Lugosi Dracula

 

#6. Castaway Toys Creepy Classics : Zombie

 

Castaway Toys Zombie

 

#7. Classic TV Toys : Mego Mad Monsters Dracula Reissue

 

Mad Monsters Dracula

 

#8. Classic TV Toys : Mego Mad Monsters Frankenstein Reissue

Mad Monsters Frankenstein
He was only looking for a friend. Ignorance and intolerence is so so wrong.

#9. Castaway Toys Creepy Classics : Mr. Hyde

 

Castaway Toys Mr. Hyde

 

#10. Jim’s Mego’s Retro Action DC Super Heroes : Robin (sort of)

 

Custom Robin

 

#11. EMCE Toys, Mego Star Trek Reissue: Captain Kirk

 

Captain James T. Kirk

 

#12. EMCE Toys/ Specter Toys; Dark Shadows: Chris Jennings

 

Dark Shadows Chris Jennings

 

#13. Classic TV Toys; Mad Monsters Series 2: The Salem Witch

 

CTVT Salem Witch

 

#14. Classic TV Toys; Mad Monsters Series 2: The Gruesome Ghost

 

CTVT Ghost

 

#15. Classic TV Toys : Mego Mad Monsters Mummy Reissue

 

CTVT Mummy

 

#15. Classic TV Toys; Mad Monsters Series 2: The Demonic Devil

 

CTVT Devil

 

Okay fellow’s and girls there is the starting line up! I am looking so very forward to sharing with you my take on these wonderful figures. In a perfect world these reviews would come one day after another but sadly I do not get paid to do this (yet) and I do have a full time gig, loving wife, and a beautiful Toddler so it may take 16 weeks instead of 16 days to complete. But you know what? It’ll be worth it!

So until next time when Retro Action Superman say’s;


 

Now, Go Play!

Jim

03/24/11