Talk about a great toy for an 80’s kid! Ronald Reagan as a mummy. The irony of course is looking back and seeing how so many considered the president well past his prime long before he was even elected the first time in 1980. And despite your politics Ronald Reagan was a perfect snapshot representation of the greatest time to be a kid in the early 80’s. Capitalism was in full swing. Cartoons with toy tie ins where all over the place and over all, it was just a lot of fun!
The figure from Heroes in Action is also quite an impressive piece of work. While if you stand one of there figures next to a standard Mego figure from the 70’s or one of the new figures they are a little bit taller. But not enough to throw it into the awkward 9 inch category. Something about that extra inch just throws those types of toys off for me. Anyway, the figure is solid from tip to top. While not held together in the traditional rubber band fashion of a Mego or Re-Mego, it’s body design fits right in with the style.
The head sculpt is terrific. The talk was that Heroes in Action would be releasing a normal version of each of their presidents but as of this writing that hasn’t come to light or even been mentioned that I’ve seen. Perhaps the market for old dude action figures isn’t all that great but I for one would love to have a normal version of Reagan, Clinton, Kennedy, Nixon and even Bush the First (well I wouldn’t go out of my way for that one, I’d still pick one up on the cheap. Not for politics mind you but because he was a pretty boring character). They have released a regular version of President Obama but good luck in tracking one of those down.Seriously though, this toy is fun, clever and made really well.
The silk screened mummy wrappings are fantastic. The age worn and tattered suit is such a wonderful touch to this tongue and cheek parody figure.
The only down side to this figure for me is that now my collector OCD is kicking in hardcore but the $24.99 MSRP is keeping the other figures just out of reach. But that’s only temporary. Also to note the next wave which have been shown but not released are even more brilliant and fun. Teddy as a Yeti? Oh yeah, sign me up!
Well I better get back to the day job so I can make the bucks to round out this collection. So until next time kids, remember to show that patriotism can have a sense of humor stock up on all of these presidential monsters TODAY! Now, Go, Play! – Jim 02/18/13
As many of you may recall, towards the end of the year last year I went all in on raising funds for my film / documentary “Now, Go Play!”. In doing so I sold of the majority of my own personal collection to raise funds for HD camera and other equipment needs. While the film is on a temporary hiatus (more on that later) the love that has been generated from it continues to grow.
You see as part of the big sell off of 2012 I parted ways with one of my favorite pieces Brick Mantooth. He was taken into the home of a very swell fellow by the name of Jason Shackleford (jshack to my fellow MegoMuseum peeps). I could go on and on about Jason and more of his other more than generous contributions to the project but for the sake of your time and attention let me just say he’s an amazing giver. Note the Executive Producer Credit on all of the new Toy Box videos. Moving on…
This past Saturday I walked to the mailbox a bit late in the day not expecting to see anything short of perhaps another regular monthly bill. Image my surprise when I opened the door and saw a cardboard box from none other that Jason. I smiled. Once I got inside the smile grew even larger when I peeled back the tape and the layers of air packing to see none other than my dear old pal Brick Mantooth. He was back. The smile began to hurt it was so big.
So here I am, a 39 year old man as overjoyed as an 8 year old on Christmas morning staring at this long lost friend who was now smiling back at me in all his 70’s catalogue model charm, oozing with cheesy charisma. Of course I had to snap a picture. It was a monumental occasion. Truly worthy of a Kodak moment and a facebook posting.
You see, the time that has passed since the original inception of “Now, Go Play!” has been one of the most life altering times of my life. First up, it was the first time I exposed myself and my passions to the world in such an open and needy manner. Follow that with my first opportunity to experience faith and generosity to what at the time appeared to be a cold and uncaring world. People that I had never met or had only known through cyber relationships were actually showing support both moral and financial to me and my cause. Humbling and encouraging all at the same time. Those feelings served as a springboard into an adventure into personal and professional growth that I have never before known. Real confidence. Determination to break out of my rut and belief that life as I knew it was all that there was. Indeed the air had shifted and the change was coming. Again more on that a little later but for now let me again focus back on my now returned pal, Brick.
This charismatic hunk of plastic will forever represent to me the love and belief that comes from others when they are given the opportunity to share, care and support a fellow true believer as Stan Lee would say. This fantastic piece of plastic now goes from being a toy with mucho heart (click here for the full scoop) to being a symbol of inspiration and determination to follow ones dreams and trust that the world is indeed on your side and not fighting against you. I’m sure that Brick’s creators Brian Heiler and Scott Adams had no idea that their creation could transcend to such a highly regarded position, but I’m here to tell you he has. Thanks guys (and to all the others who made Brick possible) and to all of my supporters of “Now, Go Play!” Ben Peterson, Aaron Ber, Douglas Tooley, Dawn O’Connell, Russ Dould my lovely wife Alicia, Kathy Tarochione, and of course all my peeps at the MegoMuseum (forgive me if I left your name out, it was far from intentional just freeflowing thought at the keyboard at the moment). I love and appreciate you all.
The future is looking very, very bright for me, mine and the film. I could go on and on but instead I just want to enjoy this moment of reflection and love that all of these folks have brought to me. And rest assured that at the end of the day I will work diligently to not let you down. Just like Brick, I aim to spread the joy and fun that comes from imagination, passion and the spirit of fun for all of the rest of my days on this planet. Thanks for reading my ramble. Now, Go Play! – Jim 01/28/13
You can get a Brick too… Click HERE… and also check out some other cool swag at Plaid Stallions including Brian’s new book that is a fantastic collection of incredibly crappy toys by clicking HERE and see what al the guff is abotu by watching the videos below…
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.
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.
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 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.
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)
Okay so I haven’t written a new blog in forever and now that I’m finally getting to it what subject matter inspires me? The massive amount of 8-inch classic style action figures coming from Bif, Bang, Pow and EMCE toys? Nope. The Lando’s that I’ve been accumulating that I’m supposed to be blogging about? Nope, again. Or even the insanely super cool and already pre ordered 8 inch KISS classic style figures from Classic TV Toys? Surprisingly no. In fact the muse that has ignited my fingers is perhaps one of the most oddball additions to my collection… ever. So fellows and girls without further ado may I introduce to you my muse of the moment… Vintage Star Wars Yoda Soap!
What it is
Yoda Soap from 1981
Omni Cosmetics Corporation
Where I got it
From an ebay auction that I threw a token bid on because of the vintage, all be it a beater Colonial Viper that was in the lot of star wars stuff. And yes that interested me only because of all of the talk coming from Bif Bang Pow and their new 8 inch Classic Style Battlestar Galactica figures (available for pre-order now by the way via Entertainment Earth).
Why this is cool
It’s old and green just like Yoda, perfect product representation there. No actually it’s cool to me not so much for the soap but for the copy that is on the box. “Wise Yoda, the Jedi Master, dwells on the bog planet Dagobah. He’s taught all the Jedi Knights including Obi-Wan Kenobi. And because he’s had over 800 years of experience, he’s a maser at helping to keep you clean,,,”
Stop right there. That is just creepy and a little sad. Not for the obvious modern day, ‘everything is a dirty joke waiting to happen’ reasons. No it’s sad because we seem to have lost the innocence of copy / marketing such as that. It was written for kids. Kids who loved Star Wars and couldn’t get nearly enough of the, at the time two movie Empire and was most likely picked up by either a mom but most likely a dad who just wanted to surprise their kid with something Star Wars other than another of those silly plastic men. Touching moment complete, back to the copy from way back when…
“…Lather up with Yoda.” Dang – there they go again.
“…He’ll help you destroy ugly dirt and grime.” Again I must pause and dissect some of the components in that simple eight-word sentence. First off the word ‘destroy’. Man, that is pretty hardcore! And then there’s dirt and grime, which were the enemy of every small boy back in those early Reagan administration days. Those two words also serve as a pretty good snapshot of the times. Their usage evokes memories of the fact that kids actually played outside and not only did they get dirty they got so dirty in fact that grime formed. For today’s generation here’s what that means: grime [gra’m]- n dirt, soot, or filth, esp when thickly accumulated or ingrained vb(tr) to make dirty or coat with filth. Needless to say Yoda soap is pretty bad ass! Back to the copy…
“… And he’ll make you feel mighty good about yourself, too!” – Okay here’s where they lost me. Obviously the copywriter never saw Empire. They must have gotten a very basic character outline before they crafted this prose. Yoda make you feel good about yourself? Not in Empire sister. In the second (okay now fifth installment) of the Star Wars saga Yoda was anything but a booster. In fact he was a real drag for Luke’s self esteem. First he suckers him by way of not revealing his identity… then he busts his balls by saying that he is too old to begin the training (perhaps this was because the older padawans wouldn’t let the little green dude lather them up)… then he tells him he’s gonna be all scared and junk essentially calling our former farm boy a sissy. Luke may have been winey, but farm boys ain’t sissy’s. And that’s not even bringing up the whole “Do or do not, there is no try” hard-assery. Yeah that Yoda, he’s a booster.
Oh who am I kidding I appreciate the humor and attempt of a completely out of touch 40-something copyrighter who was still holding onto the promises of the Woodstock generation all the while working copywriting gigs like this one, selling his formally flower powered pen to feed his $200 a day cocaine habit. Or maybe he was just an old stiff who really had no clue and didn’t care considering he was probably only pulling down about $75 bucks a week and hoping that his ’72 Gremlin could hold up for at least one more year. Boy, the psych students in the audience are probably and very easily translating my own current emotional state in regards to employment or disdain thereof. I think I need a Yoda bubble bath.
Why you should care
No real reason outside of this; Yoda Soap (and actually all of the oddball stuff in the lot it came with) serve as a reminder that the Lucasfilm marketing machine has been milking this franchise long before there was a 3-D, special edition version of Episode 1- The Phantom Menace to berate because it and he are selling out the franchise. I mean seriously, “Lather up with Yoda”? This line was approved by the guy who wouldn’t allow for Star Wars to be licensed to vitamin manufactures because of fears of promoting drug usage?!? If it was me and I created such a merchandising juggernaut you’d have seen “Official Star Wars lightsaber syringes for diabetics”. Still, I wouldn’t recommend anyone plunking down $12 to see Phantom Menace again when you can buy the BluRay collection and fast forward through the pod race and all extended Gungan dialog exchanges.
All silliness aside I want to say thanks to the ebay seller who hooked me up with this odd yet cool lot on the cheap, expertly packaged and promptly shipped. And to you dear reader the lesson I would like all of you to take away from this little rambling is this; drop ten bucks on an oddball lot that only makes a mild amount of sense. Upon closer examination you may find your muse packed carefully in between the items wrapped in the September 16th 2011 edition of the Post Standard.
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!
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.
Point #2. Where it came from.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 email@example.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com
All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com
Mini – Jim’s New Body is the product of Castaway Toys!` Check out their hot bods and so much more at www.castawaytoys.com
Thank you for taking the time to shop the store! Dismiss