Daily Update 03/13/14

Boy has it been busy so please forgive me for my in and out lately. It’s been a really productive time though. Here’s a quick run down:

standbyDid a lot of tests for the internet broadcast show yesterday. Many thanks to Gar Ghoul for the tip on a video capture device. It was a huge help and most certainly the hub that everything is centered around. Also special thanks to Ben and Tom for bearing with me and being my eyes and ears as I pushed buttons and flipped switches. It’s coming together nicely and once I perfect my method I’ll share the process with all of you potential broadcasters out there.

S Type Winner ZachOn the S-Type body giveaway I am so tickled to have received pictures of our young winner and an example of his “Multi Color Man”. The future of the 8 inch format rests in his imagination. Thank you so much for playing and sharing Zach!

question-markThe review front finds a pair of fellows that most certainly took me back to my childhood. Being a slave to the tease aspect of things I won’t tell you who or what they are but I will say the Force is most certainly with them.

shat tzThe biggest thing on the toy front that really knocked my socks off occurred yesterday when it was officially announced the partnership between Bif Bang Pow and ZICA Toys. My two favorite toy makers have partnered up to bring us all into the Twilight Zone. Love these figures!
The Twilight Zone Invader 3 3/4-inch Action FigureThe Twilight Zone Henry Bemis 3 3/4-inch Action FigureThe Twilight Zone Gremlin 3 3/4-Inch Action FigureThe Twilight Zone Kanamit 3 3/4-inch Action FigureThe Twilight Zone Talky Tina 3 3/4-inch Action Figure
There is so much going on that I can’t wait to share with you but I must. Time has most certainly become a precious commodity for me these days but thankfully I have you and the Toy Box to help me slow down long enough to write this and play a little. I appreciate that gang. Now, Go Play!

Jim 03/13/2014

Daily Update 02/25/14


It’s been another very productive day. I’m telling you gang, templates and daily journal type blogs help you stay focused and on track. Plus the brainstorming that comes is amazing.


Pop culture notes

The new Godzilla is looking to be a big win! Judging by the trailer the thing that really excites me is that they put the effort in to write a GOOD STORY along with keeping with the traditional Godzilla’s look and SOUND! Thanks to Den of Geek for the heads up!

New to the Toy Box

EE_full_logoGot a lovely email from the folks at Entertainment Earth. Thanks to you guys and gals the Toy Box was one of the top affiliates of the past week. Thank you all so much!

Pre-Order Reminder 

bluntmanCan’t stress these enough. The Bluntman and Chronic figures from Bif Bang Pow and EMCE Toys are simply too sweet not to get. I can’t get enough of the bright, brilliant colors! And while I can’t say for sure but I’d almost be willing to bet that if sales are strong enough we could see more View Askew figures in the future. Cockknocker for sure but even more importantly I would L-O-V-E to see 8 inch versions of the Clerks animated series.

Thrift store flipping

TSF Round 2Been so busy I haven’t been able to get out on the hunt for Round 3. However here’s one update that I’m very glad to share. My visit to Christ’s Food Pantry and Thrift Store led one it’s directors to be on a community outreach program on TKO 8 Television in Harrison, AR called “Connection” where Patsy Dean was able to share the purpose and mission of the outreach they do. Patsy comes in the second part of the show @15:48… but there are some neat thigns happening a the Boone County library too 😉

S-Type body giveaway contest

S-Type GiveawayGot some great entry’s coming in!

Tim says he has a great idea for a John Belushi / Samurai Delicatessen in mind…

Trappy has already put the S-Type body to great use with a custom Lone Ranger… I can only imagine the other things he could do with another new body to play with…

Ray offered up an entry that made me giggle and I admit snort… Direct quote on this one “Hi Jim! If I win the new body,…I plan to replace a “junky pee-stancing, cheap type, foot breaking, wrist cracking, hand splitting” body that my boxed CTV Robin Hood figure has…”

So what about you? What you got in mind? Email me at jimsmegos@yahoo.com … contest ends Sunday March 8th at  11;59 PM

On the horizon

Julie Adams interview and review of her book The Lucky Southern Star

toy box copyThe Story of the real Toy Box that was made possible by my fantastic friend Gar Ghoul

Lot’s of Scott Schiaffo goodness

A new animated cartoon (still rehearsing the script) 😉

Phases Updates

Phase 1 – re Launching – As always it’s a work in progress and steady growth. As part of this social media, cyber super highway we’re all plugged into I do want to reach out to more folks who may find the Toy Box interesting but boy oh boy do I not want to be a spammer (or be spammed for that matter). Hmmmmmmmmm…. How about this… if you know of or are someone that fits into the aforementioned categories drop me an email and let’s chat and grow together. jimsmegos@yahoo.com

Phase 2 – More Than Toys – Getting all my ducks in a row on reviews of books and films I have in the box. This is some really good stuff from folks such  as Julie Adams, Scott Schiaffo, Dave LePage, Sandy Collora, K.D. McCrite… I look forward to introducing you all to all of these creations that you may have missed.

Phase 3 – Television Show – One big point of the process is the dreaded word: Budget… hmmmmmmm…. This part is a bit of new territory for me. For most of my career I have produced things without really thinking about a budget. I just do it and roll on. I never think about paying myself when it comes to the things I’ve created. It’s art. BUT the utility company’s and the mortgage holder on my house could care less about my “art”. And to be quite frank, traditional sponsorship doesn’t work like it used to for the advertiser or the show. So you know what? Unless some company wants to pony up some SERIOUS cash (I’m talking seven figures) I’m not interested. It’s not a matter of not wanting to sell out, it’s a matter of not jeopardizing my integrity ever again.

In the past if I couldn’t afford someone to do the work I just learned how to do it myself and go for it as best I could. This time though I want to attack that better. I know there are crowd funding platforms out there but for now I do not really want to go that route. I appreciate the opportunities that are possible through that method but I enjoy spreading the word and supporting those who use those services. They have fantastic ideas and projects and do indeed need the help. For me though and at this particular juncture I’m no where near where I feel confident in going in that direction. So for now it’s going to be all about earning the money on my own through various side gigs and selling as much cool stuff through Entertainment Earth as possible! But then again…

Thinking about the funding sources of this project (which is tied into everything in these phases actually) is the potential for future merchandise tie ins. I don’t want to give it all away right now but I will say I’ve had an idea in my head for a very long time that, like the Toy Box, incorporates a lot of the elements you see here in one neat little clamshell. Oops, may have said too much. But what I think I will do is set up a program that if any of you folks would like to kick in and be a part of this project you can.

Along those lines I may also look into doing some branded merchandise though a print / publish on demand service. If something catches your eye please, feel free to make it yours. Otherwise it’s all good. I guess it’s the 80’s kid in me that loves merchandise tie in’s and why I like offering things like that. To this day I’m still a sucker for radio station t-shirts and coffee mugs. I just like ‘em.

One thing that I have done in being more proactive is setting up a cup to collect my budget money’s into. No really a real honest to goodness Styrofoam cup. May seem juvenile to some but I assure you it’s encouraging to me. The cash in that cup is coming from little odd jobs that seem to fall out of the sky lately. And since they’re calling out of the sky it only seems appropriate for them to be caught in a cup. Metaphorical perhaps but then again I am a master (or addict) of metaphors.

I’ve also been putting more thought into the TV shows format and content. The show itself is intended for my local broadcast television audience; the folks who may have never heard of me or the Toy Box or the contents within, unlike you my dear, cool reader. So a lot of the material is going to be re-purposed blog posts and videos that you see on here already with some local / interest stuff mixed in. I used to worry about the redundancy factor but honestly it really is apples to oranges when it comes to the audience. Plus I think it will be a huge service to those folks in my area that otherwise never knew or hear anything about the topics discussed here. Case and point; most folks in this region have never heard of a Mego WGSH toy or incredibly talented folks such as Jay Piscopo. So why that may be seem to be a deal breaker in mass appeal I actually think its going to offer a fresh type of show and subject matter that could be seen as refreshingly entertaining and informative. And of course I love telling the stories.

As you can see from this post alone, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into this one today. I really want this to be the best show I’ve ever done.

Phase 4 – Live Internet Broadcast – Working out what it should be format wise I’m still developing it. I’m pretty sure it will be a weekly thing. Perhaps a Weekly Update from the Toy Box of sorts.

Phase 5 – The Studio Store – A real business plan. Man that’s kind of tough. But this is a long term goal and no need to rush it. I want this right and I think at the end of the day you all will appreciate it too. Plus in a year or two from now you and I dear reader may have a very interesting journey and success story that we have shared. Time will tell.

This is something that I truly want to see become a reality. But I want to do it right. The Studio Store in my mind will have a lot of really interesting aspects to it. It IS the store and eatery I want to see and perhaps others will too. Obviously there will be a gift shop retail area that offers up a lot of neat stuff that you see on the site that would make for great loitering. But that doesn’t exactly pay the rent. With that in mind I would like to have it also include a lunch counter set up and dining area. Nothing fancy but slick in its presentation and good in its food execution plus it would be a nice way to generate more reliable revenue. Plus I love to feed folks.

And since this is a dream project I would really like it to house my work and production projects. Years ago I sat down and mapped out what this would look like. Basically the front of the building would include the gift shop and restaurant area whereas the back of the facility would feature my production studios and offices. To the side of all of this would be a fantastic spot for a theater / stage area. Hey, if you’re gonna dream, dream big.

At the moment I don’t believe my current city of residence could maintain such a venue but who knows what the future may hold. While I give myself a bit of grief at being 40, Lord willing I’ve still got a few more decades left in me and I am most certainly assured that the passion that fuels the Toy Box is never going to go away.

Good golly that’s a lot of brain droppings for one setting. So now I will hop off the keyboard and go do some video tests of the set for the show. I may even share some of that with you tomorrow. I actually combed my hair today.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 02/25/2014

Daily Update 02/24/2014

Wonderful tribute pic created by Jarret Kruse. Check out this mighty fine Action Figure Junkie and writer on facebook by clicking on the pic.

Harold Ramis Passed away. – Total bummer. As a kid (I was born in December ’73, you do the corresponding math) I grew up with his influence from films and television. As I got older and really began studying his body of work I came to truly respect this man on so many levels. Quick flashback to the kid days though… when ‘Ghostbusters’ first came out I was immediately drawn to Egon because like me, he wore glasses. That means a lot to a ten year old. I felt the same way about Harold Lloyd too. And this just now hit me, my Dad’s name is Harold. Lot’s of Harold’s have made me the man I am today. I miss them all so much.

1964283_10152259740898678_1602521995_nJay Piscopo has something really cool cooking. A few years back now I chatted with Joe about his Commander X and Capt’n Eli comics and toys. The video is still up on YouTube via these LINKS ONE... TWOTHREE. I can’t stress how impressed and inspired I was and am with this fellow’s talent. The new news however comes after many years in the making but his Sea Ghost character is fixing to be a Mego (finally)! I hope to bring you more on this soon but for now here’s the press release. Oh wow, I just realized I need to turn my lovely wife’s shark friends on to Capt’n Eli and the Sea Ghost. They will love it! See kids, blogging is good for you.

thrift store flippingThrift Store Flipping is getting interesting results. Haven’t come across the holy grail of collectibles or made a huge return on my initial investment but some folks are getting some neat stuff on the cheap, I’m playing on eBay again and the charities that I’m shopping at are getting some exposure. Win win all around… now I gotta get back to Round 3’s stuff.

partly cloudyWeather was nice in Arkansas today. A little cool but more normal for an Ozarks winter. The doom and gloom forecasters are wanting to throw a chink in the day but it I’m hoping for the best.

51emrbtNszLAnother reason I’m doing this is following the advice of numerous teachers I’ve had in regards to keeping a journal. One in particular being another huge influence, Robert Rodriguez. His day by day recounting of the film El Mariachi “Rebel without a crew” was and is a huge influence on me. If you haven’t read it you most certainly should. It’s very inspiring how to see notes he made back then eventually turned into films such as the Spy Kids series of films and many others. Remember kids a goal not written down is only a dream.

On the horizon…

S-Type GiveawayUpdates on the S-Type body giveaway- Getting some GREAT submissions. Be sure to get yours in!


Reviews of some awesome works from Scott Schiaffo

My interview with Creature from the Black Lagoon’s Julie Adams

toy box copyThe Story behind the trunk that became the Toy Box thanks to my super pal Gar Ghoul

The development of the Television show as it goes… been rehearsing a voice over script. I’d tell you more but it’ll be much more fun to show you the end result 😉

Neat things that happened that mean more to me than you. Examples being I got the chance to help a young man who is hungry to get into this wild and wacky world of multimedia content creation with a college class project. Logan Amos is his name. I note this for history because I’m telling you gang, this fellow wants it and I believe he’s gonna get!  Also got to help a pal of mine with a speed typing session for a class assignment he is working on. Kelly Scott no one has “better” timing than you pal. And also getting a call from another good pal of mine who’s a Boy Scout den leader who is needing some audio post production magic for an event he recently recorded.

Daily UPDATENow to build a graphic for this feature, set up the page on here and of course share it with the world that may be interested in the workings of my brain.

Wow, it’s really been a busy day!  Follow your bliss…. yeah, I’m loving it. Thanks Gar!

Now, Go Play!

Jim 02/24/2014


The Daily Update…

Odie complete gets the concept of follow your bliss!

Considering how much is hopping and popping here at the Toy Box I got to thinking it would be a good idea for me to start doing a daily recap so I and you can keep up. Between my request for Dream Vacation locations, to the S-Type Body giveaway, progress reports on the growth of the Toy Box in it’s phases and of course the things that seem to be exploding on the pop culture scene it can all get away from a fella. Little Buddy me is handy for photo shoots but pretty worthless behind the camera, he doesn’t type worth a flip and honestly he’s too much of a diva to subject himself to the riggers of the editing room. Still he keeps me from having to comb my hair all the time.

Anyway just throwing this out there as a new organization tool for myself. Perhaps it can help inspire you to stay on target as well. Remember, as my really good friend Gar Ghoul enlightened me; “Find your passion… follow your bliss”. And trust me when I say that it is far easier to do just that when you stay organized. First update tonight and boy is there a lot for a Monday!

Now, Go Play!

Jim 02/24/14

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

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