As of late in chatting with friends, I sure seem like a grumpy old man when it comes to the mainstream, pop culture front. I promise that I’m not though. Just a little bored with so much nostalgia based properties. Don’t get me wrong but seriously, instead of rehashing everything from the “glory days”, wouldn’t it be great to see that type of creativity in the mainstream again?
Or am I just a grumpy old man? I vote no but still I would really love to see stuff from the next Tim Burton or Dark Knight creator. What say you, dear reader? Is there something I’m missing that you’ve found that’s off the pop culture radar?
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?
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.
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!
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.
Who doesn’t love a dark ride attraction? If that’s you, hate to hear that because we LOVE em! So much so, our closest one is a must see and do at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. The only thing that comes a close second is the food found at the Mill Restaurant located to the right just past the park entrance. Great food, amazing service and worth every penny for all you care to eat Fried chicken, catfish, meatloaf, all the sides and a nice selection of desserts.
The stop at the Mill fueled us up well for the day of walking around this amusement and entertainment staple of the Ozarks. Along with the great food, the weather was perfect and the crowd was modest so getting around was very nice and not overrode with too many people elbow to elbow. A seriously great day for Alicia, Kaitlynn and myself. Especially since we discovered our favorite ride has had some TLC applied to since our last visit in 2019.
“The Flooded Mine” is a dark ride that takes you on a visual story of the “towns” work camp for those who didn’t do right by the towns agreed upon forms of civility. Thus these miscreants were sentenced to hard (and soggy) time in the mine.
It’s also a game as you can compete with your fellow flat bottom boat riders in shooting infrared targets all throughout the ride with your six shooter that has a realistic weight and feel, yet not so realistic cable that attaches it to the boat. Candidly though, they don’t work that well. That’s fine however as our trio is far more interested in the aesthetics of the ride than taking out the red and white bullseyes. The video below will show you why those looms are so wonderfully entertaining and fun!
There’s so many more memories and stories I could share about this long overdue visit. I may share more of those from this April 10, 2022 visit (primarily how proud Alicia and I are of Kaitlynn who really let herself live a little by experiencing so many new things) but for now I’ll wrap up with this…
The greatest experiences collected are the MEMORIES that overflow the Toy Box… yet there’s always room for more!
Recently I received a really cool gift from a buddy of mine; the ZLC Collectibles exclusive Rocky Balboa “training variant”. It’s a fun figure with sweat suit outfit, black beanie and shoes and athletic taped hands.
Overall it’s a nice and solid Mego action figure but the greatest part about it to me is the fact that it’s an exclusively produced figure. It’s nice to see a company that obviously loves the brand and product enough to go all in and working a deal like this. Real teeth in the game. As such I hope you consider ordering one today.
Another thing I really like about this figure is that it gave me the opportunity to put to some kind of use to an idea I turned into reality a couple months back.
One October morning I challenged myself to do something for the the sake of doing something fun and funny graphic wise. What popped into my head was a parody cereal box. Long story short, I have a real appreciation for the art that goes into cereal boxes. If you think about it, the makers put a lot of thought into adding value to that packaging. The old school days of a “prize inside” was great but it was also cool to be able to spend breakfast time reading the box.
With that top of mind I decided to apply my general love and inspiration that comes from the Mego style toy to this project. What you see here is the final culmination of that. Silly and kind of pointless in general, my efforts popped into a practical use when I got the Rocky. So now I share with you the pics as well as a version to print and make for yourself.
Right now you can finish your day just like the Italian Stallion starts his, with a big ole bowl of MegO’s cereal and imagination.
Now, go play!
Jim – 12/10/21
P.S. Here’s another fun little project I’m working on you might want to take a look at… we’ll, so long as you’re not scared of being “red-pilled” 😉
Been a minute since I posted so I thought I’d drop a quick note about my most recent pick up. Loved this flick since it was first released all those years ago. And I guess I didn’t really heed the warnings.
I understand there is a black and white chase figure available but 1. I’m not dropping another $9 for a Pop and 2. That’s what filters are for anyway 🙂
And to prove the point on Pixlr, I slapped this one together as fast as Roddy can run out of chewing gum.
Keep your eyes on the sky and off the television and Facebook kids. Your soul will thank you for it.
In case you missed it the most epic announcement of the actions of a pop culture icon just dropped: William Shatner is going to space! How amazing is that? Captain Kirk going to space for real?!?! I’m not that big of a Trekkie but I sure do love me some William Shatner!
And while this is awesome in and of itself, this isn’t the first time that the influence of the fictional “Star Trek” has manifested in our real world. For those who may not have known or forgot, once upon a time ago the bridge crew of the Enterprise were the guests of honor when the REAL Enterprise was rolled out for all to see… well, everybody but the Captain…
I guess this is the Shat’s way of making up for that really stupid blunder on his part. As of this writing, I haven’t been able to find an official reason as to why he wasn’t there but ego’s were ego’s back then. Oh well, let the past be the past right? Right!
Being as fanboy as I can be, this announcement gets me stoked about Kirk Merch (plus that sounds kind of cool)… and on that note, I’m thinking to commemorate the moment I just may go aheaad and get my hands on the new 14″ Mego Kirk via my longtime pals at Entertainment Earth. Hmmm……
Hell, I think I may need to give in to more impulse buying and round out the whole old school crew via the Mego way. Also could be a really good time to give the folks at ZLC Collectibles a shot…. I see tribble size trouble on my hands if I give into all this madness.
But what a way to go! I think I’ll start right here…. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂
I got him! The phantom that made a man out of Kanan. Well, a Jedi Knight in a Star Wars Universe where that didn’t seem possible at that point in the story-line, which is pretty awesome in and of itself. You can watch a scene from that epic episode right here….
*For those who want to get a better understanding of who and what the Jedi Temple Guards were, check out this video from YouTube User the StuppendousWave, by clicking HERE. Tell ’em Jim sent ya 😉
Now… isn’t that the most bad ass piece of Star Wars you’ve ever seen? Well, outside of the showdown with Darth Vader between Kanan, Ezra and Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice Ahsoka Tano. That was simply incredible. Oh, and Kanan’s battle with Maul. And… you know what.. I could go on and on … but I won’t. I’ve raved about the REBELS show for a long time now and it’s for these reasons. Great story with great characters. And with that said I will repeat myself on this one point: This is IMO the first new Star Wars in a very long time. I’m in no way knocking Episode 7 at all and most certainly not Rogue One which I find to be the BEST Star Wars movie to date, in regards to it being a fantastic MOVIE that HAPPENS to be set in the Star Wars Universe. But back to my point:
With REBELS, in my eyes, being the first NEW Star Wars in some time, I really connected with this show as a fan. And being a product of the original merchandising golden age of the 70’s and 80’s, I had to have the figures and ships. Too bad I was late to this party and revelation because the first issues get pretty pricey on the secondary market. Which is cool. I have no issue with supply and demand dictating price when it comes to vintage or out of circulation collectables. Now in regards to toy scalpers and hoarders, I still say they should be executed in a hardcore Darth Vader manner. Which leads to my next point and question:
How do you and how do you like to collect?
For me, the thrill was always in the hunt, pre-internet. Flea Markets, random junk shops and thrift stores, regular retail when the new stuff came out and before the “greedy toy mongers” raided everything and of course local comic book shops, when they still existed. But nowadays, it’s so easy to just “go buy it” online. Well, if you have the cash of course, but if you do, you can. I’ve done that plenty times over the past few years but it wasn’t very fun. It was a bit of a bummer really. So what I’ve opted to do is create a set of guidelines for my online hunting. The main one being price. It’s no secret to anyone who’s followed this blog at any point over the past decade that I’m a cheap guy who is a sucker for a sale. You can see that in my blind bag obsession series.
What this has done though, has put a challenge back into my collecting. And I like it. I do admit it took some time to develop the patience but thankfully, a line such as the Star Wars REBELS series has given me something to focus on and want. This Jedi Temple Guard has actually been on the list for a long time but there was no way I was going to pay the crazy money people were asking. So in the end I scored this guy via an eBay auction for $10 less than the best price I had ever seen. And that thrills me. Now there’s only one figure left of the existing releases I need: Grand Admiral Thrawn. And now I face the same old situation of figuring out where to buy him.
Thrawn if you don’t know, is part of the most recent wave of Rogue One figures that have been released, along with the REBELS version of Princess Leia. I’ve held out from just buying him and Leia online even though she was pretty cheap. Right at or just under MSRP with free shipping in many instances. My patience paid off however, as I did score Leia in the wild at a Walmart out of town from where I live. There was only one left and no sign of the Grand Admiral but it has encouraged me to keep looking, although the reality is It’ll probably never happen due to the really spotty releases from Hasbro and the apparent reluctance of retailers from ordering more Star Wars products since most places still have a glut of Force Awakens and Rogue One toys on the shelves. So, I’m going to hold out a little bit longer.
Now I pose the question to you; How and where do you buy your favorite little playthings? Ebay, Amazon, from a Facebook group or other online source. Or are you like me and establish guidelines for your purchases or trades? Speaking of trades, what’s your thoughts? I’ve made some fun one’s just for the sake of it. Like anyone I could use and would prefer cash but at the same time it’s nice to freshen up a collection AND make someone else really happy. Isn’t that one of the biggest aspects of this hobby? I know I think so. But more importantly I want to hear what your take. My inquiring mind wants to know.
P.S. If you do like to collect via online retailers (or don’t have many local options like me) do me a favor and click around the links here at the Toy Box and check out the cool stuff that Entertainment Earth has to offer. They have some really cool exclusives you can’t get anywhere else. Plus there’s always some cool sale going or free shipping offers. And when you do make a purchase it helps me earn some brownie points and hopefully do some more reviews for them. I do appreciate it a lot!