“You can pick one.”

A story of self control and making connections 🙂 https://jimstoybox.com/2023/03/29/you-can-pick-one/ #MakeMineMego #walmartfinds #dccomics #greenlantern #aquaman #Shazam #TheFlash #Mego #jimbumgardner #jimstoybox

Collecting nostalgia in a nostalgic way (and it’s as tough now as it was then).

How does one choose a favorite friend? Today I figured it out.

Act 1 – The Challenge

If you were like me back in the golden age of going to the store with your Mom and Dad, I know you faced this challenge while standing in front of them with an armload of toys; “You have to pick one.” They delivered it in a way that made it sound so easy. Of course it wasn’t but you had to do what you had to do or be a brat about and loose the negotiation completely. Nobody wanted that.

It’s with that perspective and memory, I challenged myself as a parent now, to treat my collector habits like they did then. I could only pick one. Considering the choices it was just as tough now as it was then. Even though it was MY money! Still, it was a fun idea and would be a practice in self control. “What could warrant such a highly dramatic approach to buying a toy, Jim?” Four letters that followers of my online exploits know very well:


Having went a little crazy on picking up the first series of 50th anniversary Worlds Greatest Superhero’s (Superman, Batman and Robin), the second series arrived at my local Walmart and I promised myself (and wife and daughter) that I would be a little more restrained in my impulses. But come on! There were now faithful reproductions of Aquaman and Shazam joined by new offerings (as if Mego made them back in the days of disco) of The Flash and Green Lantern to add to my block o’ nostalgia and collectors dream come true. It’s with that in mind that the challenge was born. And today was the day that I had to face the challenge.

Act 2 – What are the factors?

With the self imposed restrictions of my purchasing power agreed to, I walked into the Walmart here with a bunch of determining factors to consider:

So which one do I go with? What will the final decision be based on?

A. A faithful reproduction? Aquaman or Shazam

B. The new and exciting? The Flash or Green Lantern

C. The short packed? This was interesting too as it was a split between one of each classic vs new (2each Aquaman and The Flash’s and 4 each of Shazam and Green Lantern)

It was a serious dilemma I was facing but I was determined to make a logical (by my definition of logic that is) decision as to which one it was. One factor that was starting to come to the forefront of my selection process was to make it easier on myself by going chronologically. To go with which came first in the old days: Aquaman or Shazam. The newbies could wait. And as I was looking at them all and reverting back to my 6 year old self in 1979, something happened that was completely unprecedented in my neck of the woods:

John showed up.

Before I get to who John turned out to be, I must share the background and why his appearance had to be of some sort of dimensional enigma wrapped in a quagmire. You see dear reader, I am pretty much if not the only dyed in the wool, hardcore Mego fan in this neck of the world. I can prove this by point you back to earlier on this article of how I went a wee bit overboard with the series 1 assortment. I literally bought them all. Not at one time though. I spread the purchases out over several weeks as to not be one of “those guys” who hoards things. Sure it may look like it if you don’t know the story, but I don’t care. Those were fair shipping terms as far as I’m concerned. Plus, literally no one else was buying them here. Not one. To me that was a disrespectful shame and not an Afro t to the things I love to be allowed for too long. Hence my surprise when John walked up and politely asked me if I had grabbed the ones I wanted.

“What is happening here?” was the first question that popped into my head. “I’ve never seen this guy before. Is he a reseller? Is he looking to snatch away my precious plastic memories? What was this guys deal?!?” My rational journalistic mind snapped back into play and decided to just ask him. His answer was one for me that was of a serendipitous and maybe even divine intervention.

He was a fan.

Not only that but he was also a really good dude. I told him about my challenge and asked him if it was cool that I interview him for this most monumental encounter. He agreed and not at all awkward. You see, dear uninitiated to the collector world, we fanboys and fangirls share a kinship that knows no labels or limitations. It’s a wonderful thing.

Along with sharing his story of being from out of town but making it a point to pop into Walmarts along the way in search of these little prizes, he also shared so much about his connection to the toys and his hopes for kids to discover them as well. So many times his answers sounded like my own thoughts, words and deeds. I’m telling ya, gang, it was a fantastic exchange. That is until he posed the question back to me that I had started this journey off with; “So, which one are you going to pick?”

I had to pause due to this new x-factor which came in the form of John and the figures in his hands. I shared with him my points of consideration to which he completely understood. He also understood how the scale was now tipped with his selections. I’m not aging this was like a scene in a movie where the camera cuts into an extreme close up of the heroes eyes and we see the one bead of sweat appear and slide down his eyes… but it was close.

Scarcity. That would be my determining factor! But… it is MY money and this challenge is dumb and I might miss out on the one if I pick the other… damn it! So I grabbed them both. There was no shaming glance from John as it appeared my will power fell through and I put both Aquaman and The Flash into my handcart and we both headed toward the registers.

Before we made it all the way up though, I did need to touch base with my wife to see if there was anything else I did need to pick up before I left. Perhaps it was in this moment of responsibility, I made the internal judgement call to put one back. And I did.

*To note, John saw his three selections all the way to the end.

Act 3 The decision

So what did I do?

Who did I choose?

Why did I choose this one?

What is the moral of the story?

As I walked away from the collectibles section having returned The Flash to his spot amongst the remaining Shazam’s and Green Lantern’s, I looked down at the Aquaman in my hand basket and smiled. I had practiced self control and used (once again) my own form of collectors logic and justification in making this choice. I decided to proceed forward by staying chronological in my selection. Way back when, Aquaman was one of the original four including Superman, Batman and Robin so that made sense and also set the order of operations for my next pick ups in the coming days or weeks. I still want to give other fans a shot at them although, jumping ahead of the four Shazam’s to get to the now one lonely The Flash will be a chore I’m sure.

So the moral? Self control is still possible in an on demand, I want it now and not only that, it’s incredibly satisfying to know that in the most unexpected ways and at the most unexpected times, we all have opportunities to connect with like minded folks and share stories and moments so long as we’re willing to accept a challenge.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 03/28/2023

If you liked this article, I’d truly appreciate it if you would take the couple seconds to time to like, comment, subscribe and share it far and wide. It would also be swell if you are in the market for Mego toys to stop by your local Walmart and pick one up there. I can’t speak from a position of authority in this but I do believe the more that sell at retail the longer the line will go on. But of course, supporting your favorite online retailer is a great thing to do too as they are truly committed to helping folks bring the magic literally home via the various shipping services available. Yet if all that fails or those avenues are out of stock, I would ask you to consider buying a Mego their official store on Amazon where I do get a piece of as an Amazon affiliate. And if you want to learn more about all things Mego consider joining the official Mego Ambassador group on Facebook for the latest news and informs straight from the source.

“You can pick ONE!”

A story of self control and making connections 🙂 https://jimstoybox.com/2023/03/29/you-can-pick-one/ #MakeMineMego #walmartfinds #dccomics #greenlantern #aquaman #Shazam #TheFlash #Mego #jimbumgardner #jimstoybox

Welcome to “Max’s Monster Burger”! Home of 2D and 3D delights :)

The Monster Meal from Max’s Monster Burger… the most fun you can have in this life or the next! For franchise information email Jim today!

Here’s something a little different. A dream of mine would be to have a themed fast food joint. To this end I took some characters I created years ago, mixed in some Showbiz Pizza with a splash of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and pack it all into a location similar to the house that Kroc built and I welcome you to “Max’s Monster Burger” where you can test the menu by trying our decedent and delicious “Monster Meal” with a burger, fries, drink, ghost shaped monster nuggets and of course a toy packed up in a cute box for easy eating on the go. This is of course a tie in to the TV show; “Conspiracy Cinema”. Welcome to the show, foolish mortals!

Let your imagination fly and watch what happens! Jim 03/06/2033

Free Video Workshop (2014)

Greetings dear readers! Getting back into the groove of being a good online neighbor, I wanted to share something with you that could very well help you if you are / have been struggling with video content creation. I will be updating this in the very near future but honestly, not much has changed fundamentally from when I first put this workshop together in 2014.

It will help you, your business and organization because these are the bare bones basics of going from idea to final cut. Do with it as you will and feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Now, Class is back in session…

Jim 02/18/2023

man holding clapper board
Photo by Martin Lopez on Pexels.com

6 Hour Video Workshop

The method that helps you take control of your message, marketing and memories.


Jim Bumgardner

6 Hour Video Workshop

Copyright © 2014 by Jim Bumgardner

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted

in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.


This workshop series is dedicated to all of the people who have ever wanted to learn something new but were never allowed to look behind the curtain. Never forget that education is a personal mission and one that you never have to give up on no matter your age, race, creed or religion.

This workbook is also dedicated to my wife Alicia and my daughter Kaitlynn for encouraging me to create this program as well as allowing me the time to write, produce and create.

And one final but very important shout out to my mentor and hero for life and beyond; Mr. Bob Gay. Bob was “that teacher” that took me under his wing, taught me how to speak, nurture my natural talents and inform me when I was being a complete idiot. For all of those things Bob I owe you so very much and will never forget that. Ever.

Jim – 10/21/2014

Table of Contents

Introduction 5

Hour 1- History / Forming the Crew 7

Hour 2 – Brainstorming / Writing 10

Hour 3 – Storyboarding / Rehearsing 12

Hour 4 – Production 13

Hour 5 – Pre-Production 15

Hour 6 – Distribution / Marketing 17

Conclusion 19

About the Author 19


In 1999 I got bit by the film bug. Hard. I had been in broadcasting since my junior year in high school and fell in love with the art of creating entertainment for your ears. Prior to that I had already been introduced to the world of mass communication by way of serving as a correspondence writer for the town’s local newspaper. While I was never a fan of deadlines I did enjoy seeing my words in print. Sharing information and entertainment blossomed into what would become my career in multi media. But that blossoming didn’t come quickly or easily. In fact if not for sheer determination and being really stubborn it may never have happened at all.

You see, once the bug bit I knew I had to make a movie! But how? Where did you start? How do you start? Those questions led me on an almost Wizard of Oz like journey. The trick however was that there was no Tin Man, Cowardly Lion or Scarecrow or even a clearly marked Yellow Brick Road to help me on my journey. For that matter I didn’t even have a Toto to keep me company. There was one “good witch” at the beginning of my journey. His name was Joe and he worked at the Little Rock (Arkansas) film commission. I figured if anyone could point me in the right direction it would be those folks. He did but not in the way I was hoping. When I asked him how I should get into making films Joe very succinctly said to me; “First get a camera and then start shooting.” Of course at the time I had no idea how simply brilliant that statement was. Still that didn’t offer any true guidance and inspiration.

Having been fortunate to have went to a fantastic broadcasting class led by the man who would become my teacher, mentor and friend, Mr. Bob Gay I assumed that such an avenue existed for film instruction. I was wrong. There were courses available at the four year college in town but that was not what I was looking for. I wanted practical application not theory and a high price tag (and algebra). But at this same time technology was making a huge left turn and the curtain was becoming more and more shear. And today the walls of that celluloid auditorium are virtually gone along with the impossibly high costs of film and video production.

And now here we are with me offering to you my insight and experience with the hope that it will help you avoid the same pitfalls, detours and distractions that I wrangled with for a decade. While there are no guarantees for success in this rapidly changing industry, at the end of this workshop I do promise you this; you will have participated in a program that will have shown you the basics, allowed you to immediately apply what you have learned and have created a team project that will hopefully instill within you the desire to create more visual entertainment. All in the span of 6 hours.

With all of that said I want to strongly emphasize that the techniques I am sharing with you today are not the end all be all to video production. Like many things in this world there are many paths you can get to the same destination however these steps have served me well for a very long time and they work. And like all forms of art there is no “right or wrong” way to create entertainment. That’s talent and it can not be taught. It can be nurture and developed but not taught. The equipment however is more absolute. There’s only one way to turn stuff on and off and in some instances there are formulas that can actually help free up the creative process. I promise to show you those too. Now, let’s get to creating!

Jim Bumgardner

Hour 1 – History of Mass Communications and forming the crew

Today’s interconnected world of information and entertainment can make many of us take for granted the journey that came before. The history of mass communication is a fascinating one and to see how one grew from the influence of the others is actually pretty neat. Plus understanding where we came from can most certainly help us as to where we’re going. And that’s why I’d like to start the workshop off with a trip through time to explore the evolution of mass communication. Don’t worry I won’t go all the way back to cave paintings or hieroglyphs. The late 19th and all of the 20th Century’s will suffice.

*To note there is actually a lot of history prior to the dates listed below. Again for the sake of time and commonly accepted timelines of development we will go with these dates. I do however encourage all of you to do some of your own research into this fascinating history.

As we review we’ll discuss origins, peaks and valley’s for each of the mediums and their relevancy today. At the end of this discussion we will also form the teams that will make up our production crew.

Newspaper- 1690: Okay so this one dates back a little further. But for our purpose I’ll just point out that newspapers were the first form of affordable mass communication.

The Telegraph – 1830: Dots and dashes didn’t make for much entertainment but the letters formed from them sure made getting the word out a much faster process than going to press.

Still Photography 1838 – : This advancement was a real game changer. No longer did history have to rely on the talents, interpretations and style of a particular artist to capture the image of people, places and things.

Audio Recording1877 – Good ole’ Thomas Edison and his crew in his workshop figured out fascinating ways to actual capture and play back the spoken word or any other sound.

Film 1896 – : And then the pictures started moving! Now not only could you see images from the past you could now see them in action. * It wasn’t until 1919 that the sound and video were coupled together effectively by Lee DeForest who was also the genius behind the triode vacuum tube that led to the development of our next two advancements; Radio and Television.

Radio – 1920 (commercial radio): Okay so up until this point we could read stories in newspapers, pull a thousand words out of a single picture or watch a million silent films play out on the screen but now thanks to those magical wireless waves we could now hear music and voices from around the world.

Television: – 1947 (commercial): So now we could not only hear people and music but we could also see them too. This also led to a big game changer for the motion picture industry. Now people didn’t have to go to the movie theaters to see films. They could watch them from the comfort of their own homes.

Video Cassette Tape – 1970: Now it was possible to record the television broadcasts for playback at a later time. This technology really took off in the 1980’s.

Satellite Television – 1976: Although this tech didn’t really take off until the 1990’s due to equipment cost limitations the ability to transmit signals from space, free of the restrictions of terrestrial radio and television waves broadened the reach of the smallest network.

Internet: – 1995 (commercial) – The ultimate communication tool was released on the world. Literally the whole wide world. From it’s inception to today the Web has made possible nearly instantaneous communication possible between people on opposite ends of the planet. Increasing broadband and data streams along with more and more advancements in coding and compressing techniques have made audio and video transmission possible and mind blowing speeds.


Name your favorite form of mass communication and why it appeals to you the most.

Why is this important?

Now let’s create our crew teams:

Writers / Producers – Handles the main writing duties and planning as well as ensuring that everything needed for the production is ready to go (location, cast, props). This group is crucial to the production starting and continuing smoothly.

Camera / Sound – These folks are going to handle the actual production equipment including cameras, microphones, lights etc…) This group has the burden on translating and capturing what’s on the written page into the real world.

Editor / Graphics – Members of this team will be responsible for the post production equipment and second unit images, video, sound, and music. Once everything is shot the production shifts to these folks to put it all together. These folks are the cleaners so to speak. Their final artistic expression will add the final shine to the shoes.

Distributor / Marketing – Now that we’ve got a video we’ve got to get it out to the world. To clarify the Distributor in this instance is going to be responsible for finding and managing all distribution sites (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook Fan Page). The Marketing person(s) wil be responsible for coming up with the clever copy (text) to describe the video as well as generating a press release to share on both social media platforms and to traditional media outlets. These folks are crucial to making the video appealing to the masses without the audience having seen even one frame.

Director / Assistant Director – These two folks are the President and Vice President of this production. The Director who is responsible for everyone on the crew. If something doesn’t get done the Director has to pick up the slack. The Assistant Director is of course there to help in all of these things and to serve as the second set of eyes and detail checker. A Director rises to this position through experience, artistic vision, a strong work ethic and even stronger managerial skills. The attitude, patience and talent of these two people are what make your project either a pleasure or a terror to work on.

*To note we are going to be moving at a much faster pace than what would be considered normal so don’t allow yourself to get frustrated as you learn something new. We’re a crew and in this together. But with that said also note that you don’t have to have all of these people to bring your project to life. In fact you can even do all of it by yourself but at the end of today’s workshop I think you’ll see how much fun and inspiring it can be when collaborating with others. But if you are a lone producer know that you can do it and knowing all the bases will make it much easier to make great work even as a solo act.

*Fantastic online resource for release forms, templates and documents – http://www.filmsourcing.com/blog/production-documents/

Hour 2 – Brainstorming – Planning – Writing

In this second hour we are going to do three very important things. In fact these are the most important things we will do all day.

First we’re going to brainstorm an idea for our video-

What will our video be about?

What type of video will it be? Silent, Documentary Style, etc…

Secondly we’re going to outline our idea. – Here we lay out the agreed upon idea in broad strokes to figure out the three acts of our play. We’ll work a little backwards in our thinking here. We’ll start with the end (what we want to accomplish) and then go back to the beginning where we describe the details of how we’re going to get to the end and then we’ll lay out the middle where we show our work. The process if you will.

Thirdly we’re going to write our script. – The script is a much more defined and refined version of the outline. Without a fine tuned script your heading for disaster. Even a silent film needs a script. This is where you get your first opportunity to work out details on paper before you shoot the first frame of video.

*Of course when shooting home videos or live events and gatherings it’s tough to plan everything out because of the spontaneity of reality. Even some scripted videos can find moments of “accidental magic” so please don’t misconstrue the need for planning with containing your creativity into a box.


Let’s write this sucker!

*Remember, we are writing a script for video so be very descriptive in what we should be seeing on screen.

*A writing rule of thumb: If there is going to be narration or an on camera person, dialog times out to 90 words per 30 seconds. That breaks down further to 9 lines featuring 10 words per line. This formula allows for a very natural pace and delivery for your announcer.

Why is this important?

Hour 3- Storyboarding and Rehearsing

Now that we have our script the second most important aspect for the creation of your video project is to “block” out the action and prepare the materials (equipment, props, cast) that will be needed.

Placing your primary equipment – Tripod – Camera – Microphone – Lighting; No matter the size of your production those four tools are essential to good quality video. Also drawing up a diagram of where everything is on set can help tremendously if you have to split the shoot up over several days.

A master shot list is also a very important tool and step you can take. This checklist can help make sure that no detail is missed.

Since we are working as a full crew everyone has a specific duty. And not unlike a larger production there will be times when each division may not be able to talk with the other and that’s where the script and story board will come in very handy. Plus the other members of the crew will be working too so professional courtesy dictates that you want to keep from interrupting them as much as you yourself don’t want to be interrupted.

*The storyboards do not have to be works of art. So long as they convey the major camera set ups and motions that you want. You can also use a digital camera (or smart phone) and some stand in actors to create your storyboard panels. The main thing is making sure they are accessible to the rest of the crew.

Rehearsing with actors is very beneficial for every member of the crew. One tip to remember however is to make sure the camera is rolling during these times. You never know when you might catch a perfect all be it accidental performance.


Create the Storyboard, Shot list and master equipment list

Hour 4 – Production

It’s time for ACTION! Believe it or not this is the second easiest part of the process. With

the pre production having been through you’ll find that when it’s time to shoot your crew is a well oiled machine. Everyone knows their part and roll. And if not that’s okay but odds are things are going to go pretty smooth.

Three set ups for each scene /principle actor is an incredible way to take your production quality to the next level. The three main set ups are the Wide – the Medium and the Close Up. It is also very important to note that when shooting your videos to “zoom with your feet” and not the camera’s built in zoom lens. To a point using that feature is okay however no matter how great the camera is you risk losing some fidelity of your image. Also using a zoom feature adds to the cameras potential to shake.

Another very solid rule to follow is to always use a tripod. Steady shots will always come across as more professional and clean. In the even that your action calls for some panning or tilting a good tripod is going to give you a much smoother end result than trying to follow the action by hand.

Audio can be even more important than the video. Not all consumer grade cameras are going to give you the option of plugging in an external microphone but if at all possible this is a feature that should be a must have when purchasing a new camera. In the event you do not have an external microphone available all is not lost but you have to use your ears very deeply. Turn off air conditioners and fans. Avoid high traffic or high wind situations. In the instance where you are going to be shooting an outdoor event plan on dubbing your audio or replacing your audio track with a music bed.

*Many off the shelf editing software programs will allow you to mix, edit or replace your audio tracks. This is a wonderful resource but do your best to be mindful of the sounds on your set.

*Another tip I would strongly encourage you to get in the habit of is not reviewing your footage on set. Video cameras make it easy to do this but it can lead to headaches and problems. The first being that you could accidentally erase or corrupt your footage. Secondly the potential for an actor crew member to become “too self analyzing” and as such want to get another take. That can eat up precious time and resources. Trust your camera person and your director as well as your editor. This is a team effort and the team isn’t going to let anything terrible fly.


Get everything shot with script and storyboards in hand. Also have a member of the writing staff designated to take notes to any “magic moments” or trouble spots that may have arisen during your shoots. This type of set diary can come in very handy once we get into Post Production.

Hour 5 – Post Production

Now that we’ve got all the ingredients for this soup let’s make the soup! At this point the Editor and Graphics person get to put everything together according to the script, storyboard, and set diary. It is highly recommended that only the director be involved in the process other than the Editor and Graphics person.. Again other crew members or actors could become problematic.

*While it is important to trust your equipment it is also important to be safe. If and when possible you should create an archive back up of all of your raw footage. Also if space allows on your primary editing computer making a copy on the original video and project files could be a saving grace. Externally is even better but regardless a back up is always a good thing to have.

Beginning Editors and Graphic Designers would be wise to remember a very important rule: Less is more. Having the luxury of three setups gives an Editor the ability to change perspectives often. If you pay attention to most every good video you see these days and count the cuts you’ll find that even the most mundane video has a crazy number of cuts. Also Graphic Designers while you may a wiz bang in Photoshop or other such programs keep it simple and clean. Too much or too busy can really take away from your project.

Music, Magic and More! While in most instances the writer and director have already laid out the music, sound effects and enhancements they want for a video as Editor and Graphics in Post Production you may find that something else works better. Play with it, try it out and experiment. However this is a team effort and collaboration as well as there being a deadline of some sorts so don’t make permanent changes without talking to the rest of the team and don’t insist on “playing around” too much. As a director I would encourage and appreciate this departments input but I would personally prefer that the original cut be completed first.

Credits are crucial. Everyone deserves credit when and where it is due so it is of the utmost importance that the Graphics person handle this duty with an extreme eye for detail. Make sure names are spelled correctly and proper title is listed. Also as a matter of personal taste may I stress keeping the major credits at the end of the video. Let’s face it opening credits are interesting to the crew and the crews family more so than anyone else in the viewing audience. Even your friends and colleagues want you to get to the point or action when watching a movie. Remember to always put your audience first. They will appreciate you for it.


This is it. The final stage of getting it all together and seeing the scripted page come alive. In this process it would also be a great time to make notes for the Marketing and Distribution team of the scenes that stand out the most and would be what your team considers to be the strongest element.

Hour 6-Distribution and Marketing

This part seems like it only applies to businesses. Not true. Every video must find its audience. Your organization needs sponsors or recruits to see it. Your family videos must get in front of the eyes of the family members that were either in the video or wanted to be but couldn’t. Plus you never know who you may inspire! Here is where the marketing folks get to shine!

The designated marketers on the team will now create the “sizzle” for the press that needs to accompany the launching of the video to the world. While a brief synopsis is necessary in promoting the video it is much more important to generate interest and curiosity about the video. So as you write your copy thing in line of open ended and teasing questions. Never pose Yes or no questions in your marketing materials.


Wrong way – Do you remember how much fun you had in class?

Better way – What was your most fun thing about being in class?

Seems simple once you thing about it but like most things you’ve learned today, I lot of things we simple don’t think about until someone points it out.

For the person handling Distribution your job is one of pure organization. Keeping up with sites, passwords and scheduling is no easy task. And if you are part of a group that is wanting to continually spread your wings and reach it is most certainly a bear keeping up with all of the new outlets that are becoming available every day. And with that said…

DO NOT TRY TO DO THEM ALL. Well not at first. Do yourself and our team a favor by mastering one outlet at a time. While it may appear beneficial to be everywhere it could actually hurt you and your message if you aren’t using the outlet properly or consistently. There is still a lot of truth and merit in focusing on Quality over Quantity.

The same message there rings true for the Marketing team members as well. While some marketing strategists say sending your message out everywhere is THE way to go, I again must disagree. Master your avenues. Press releases can be shared cross platform but do so sparingly. Otherwise your spamming folks. If your group has a newsletter or subscription email list great, forward it on but never do it blindly. Same thing with fax campaigns or traditional media outlets. If you haven’t made at least one real contact (be it face to face, phone, email, fax etc) don’t automatically start bombarding the entity with your stuff. Reach out to them yes but don’t just throw it away. Your teams message is far more important and valuable than to be categorized as junk mail.


Exercise – Let’s screen it! – Once we’ve got the video uploaded to youtube let’s have everyone in the class share the link however we can. Let’s see the response we get by the end of the hour.

Action – What should be the next video?


Also once you’ve created this video it is possible to take all of the raw elements and convert them for use in the other forms of mass communication that we outlined earlier. Imagine that, we’ve already done the main meat of the work and now we have content that can be repurposed for radio, television, print and so on. Efficiency!

So, are we going to carpool to the Oscar’s? If so I want to drive.

Thank you for allowing me to take you on this journey and I hope that it was only the first of many, many more to come.

Jim Bumgardner

About the Author

About the author and your director …

Jim Bumgardner

Jim began his professional mass communication career in 1990 while still in high school. Beginning with newspaper his interests morphed from that to radio, then television and finally the web.

Jim created this video workshop to empower folks of all ages to use video effectively in a fun and entertaining way.

You can reach Jim best by way of the “This is Harrison” facebook page and YouTube channel; his hobby /playtime website http://www.jimstoybox.com and his email address jimsmegos@yahoo.com.

New Year… same inspiration.

Greetings dear readers! Hope 2023 is treating you well. It’s still new so I can’t say I totally trust it yet. 😉 That’s okay though, I’ve got my little doppelgängers to keep me safe and inspired.

And n all pseudo seriousness, me and mine are moving into the new calendar cycle feeling pretty good. Almost as good as Superman living his best life…

If only everyone could be so super chill.

The mad rush that begins Thanksgiving and concludes the day after the new year starts has once again been a whirlwind. Food with the fam, Black Friday at the day job, my birthday where I get spoiled by my girls every year. This one with more gingerbread…

Say what you will but they’re cute!

Then follow that up with my baby girl turning 13 and then of course Christmas where everybody gets some extra TLC (Tendered Loads of Capitalism) from Santa 😉 He stole the show this year with this one…

I must say, while it didn’t fit under the tree, the Christmas magic certainty gleaned from the screen.
And everyone was drawn to the retro pixels.

And no Christmas season would be complete without a final stop of the year to Silver Dollar city where the lights were certainly stunning…

A fun slice of Americana.

Still… not as stunning as my fun loving Mrs.

Yeah. She’s mine 🙂 #wishyouwereme.com

And now the dust is settling and I get to take this time to sorta relax and observe my gifts and what all they mean to me.

Zorro rounds out my new “A-Team” of Funko Pops. I pity the fool who crosses these law dogs.
So very much more to the story of this figure taking a place on my wall but we’ll save that for later. Much love to you my brotha!
This site here is still one I’m so surprised and grateful that they came to pass. Never have to settle for Horshack again. (Again another story for another time).

On the end of it all, 2022 was what it was and was and despite excuses we can all come up with and blame, in the end every year and more importantly every day is what we make of it. For me, moving forward that will never again be forgotten nor taken for granted.

This toy box isn’t a “business”. It’s a way of life full of opportunity and adventures just waiting to be had.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 01/02/2023

Happy Mego Day? A timeline adventure.

UPDATE!!!!! Want to let you all know that right now (11/20/2022) You can order the new 50th anniversary Mego Superheroes from Movie Posters Etc NOW! I know I stressed the “retail experience” and I do hope to do that BUT more importantly I want what I want and I also would MUCH RATHER see a small business benefit from your purchase. Check ’em out and Collect ‘Em All!

Jim’s note: This post will be updated throughout the day. Check back or refresh the page often.

Introduction: Why it all matters to me. They’re just dolls for God sake. But not really. They’re a life long source of inspiration, entertainment and joy for nearly 50 years. And now we’ve come to a bookend.

Preface/ prelude 11/05/2022: the discovery.

HAPPY MEGO DAY? 11/06/2022

5:50 am: up and at em! Fall back in full effect. Feel pretty good with the “extra” hour of sleep I got. Now for the morning chores with the cats and dogs. Then off to work.

7:11 am: popped into the home base Walmart. Nothing as expected but tried anyway. Now on to work… best word for today: Anticipation!

7:46 am: thinking about it all (which is always my thing anyway), how to make a game of it beyond the silliness of it all, my mind is pondering using these 50th anniversary figures as a reward system. Trade the treat for a bad or non existent habit I want to break or create. In essence treating myself like a kid who needs to finish his vegetables before desert . So silly. Time to do the day job… bet your bippity that my mind will be filled with ideas for the blogs and podcasts to come inspired by this new hunt.

8:35 am: in regards to last point… work tasks are getting done quicker. So much for the passage of time being manipulated by distraction. I

10:25 am: I truly enjoy and appreciate my day job… but man oh man would I like to be able to check those pegs right now! Not completely obsessed as much as I want to see this happen.

But regardless of the days final results… my heart will go on. Just like Celine sang 😉

Going for a better outcome then these two.

The trick is to just focus on the workday stuff. I swear, these posts come at times that are ethical. No slacking here from this fanboy.

1:34 pm: Lunch time but not enough time to run across town. AKA adult problems. “Just call or order online.” How about no. This about the retail experience and showing support at the register for the company. More on all of that later.

2:01 pm: Could it be any slower? As Johnny Cash so intensely sang; “Tome keeps dragging on.” Now, while I’m not stuck in a prison, the clock is certainly an annoying warden at the moment.

Like sands through the hourglass that doesn’t actually have a hole in the middle. Welcome to my Sunday.

3:33 pm: just found out I have dinner plans right after I get off sooooooo…. I broke and called the store. The young man was nice but had no clue even after looking. The tension builds like a Willie Wonka meme.

4:42 pm: So close to quitting time but the dinner plans have taken precedence. Grrrrrr…. But the biggest reveal so fat is how much I’m getting a kick out of these timeline updates. Something to this form of storytelling 🙂

5:07 pm: dinner party is still waiting for the table sooooo….. update shortly. 🙂

5:28 pm: Nevermind . Family first. 🙂

7 pm: Almost done with dinner. Anticipation slightly muted by post pasta grogginess. Honestly though, I’m not feeling that the final stop is going to turn out with a happy ending.

7:59 pm: It appears to be a bust. But I ain’t going without some digging…

Photo credit: Alicia. She totally gets me and I appreciate that more than you know.

8:18 pm: Learning new things. While the system shows that the figures will be here, when is actually an uncertainty.

“not in transit”

So in at the end of the day the anticipation was left unfulfilled, but most certainly not a waste of day or unbearable disappointment. Watch this space for more on this “Happy Mego Day” that wasn’t plus the podcast that will talk more about the true significance of all of this silliness.

Now, go play!

Jim 11/06/2022

P.S. Not a total bust at the CCP Superstore. Found this fun little star of the FNAF universe from Funko for Freddy’s biggest fan. We call her Kaitlynn. 🙂

Celebrating our Constitutional Republic by way of Dead Ducks

“Wow, Jim! What a way to start a positive and uplifting post!” It is. From a certain point of view.

Over the span of the past week I’ve noticed a HUGE uptick in followers of the Toy Box with one most exceptional stand out. That being my article on “Working with intent“. That post has garnered more likes and brought more followers into the fold than anything I’ve ever written here. To all of you “Welcome to the party” and “Thank you for your show of support.” Like you, I’m carving out my slice of the digital landscape and encouragement of any kind is always appreciated.

In watching the notifications and numbers coming through, I’ve been revisiting that article and putting serious consideration into what about it that has caused such a “pop”. My conclusion? We are all still working diligently towards the American Dream. The stats are showing me that the majority of you new readers are of the mindset I share in still daring to move forward with the promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as declared in writing by Thomas Jefferson, despite the headlines and illogical talking points that the television and online talking heads and politicians are spewing.

It is my belief that it is that SPIRIT of the American Dream that moves us on and keeps us dedicated to the earnest of purpose no matter what the world may be showcasing. And yes I said “American” dream and do so with purposeful intent.

This American Dream is not merely an IDEA of HOPE but instead a REPRESENTATION of the pure determination shared by us who accept the challenge to make for ourselves and our families lives that leave behind a brighter world. And that most certainly isn’t an easy task. The power of positive thinking and “thoughts and prayers” only goes so far before the reality that blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice MUST come into play. I have yet to meet any “overnight success” that didn’t take years if not decades to arise nor have I found any truly successful people at their helms that didn’t suffer the pain that comes from hard life lessons learned physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. If you can prove me wrong, please send me an email with links. I’d like to use them as reference and sources for my upcoming book; “The Bulls*hit people buy into for only $19.99 a month”

Now that the rant portion of this entry is out of the way, may I get back to the root of the headline that led you here: Dead Ducks

Over the past few years, my family and I have become quite the fan of the Robertson family, made world famous by way of the television program “Duck Dynasty.” The show is fun and does one thing that most forms of entertainment run away from now: remain true to its core values. That aspect is what made the program endearing to us. A commitment to conviction of action, thoughts and deeds. And now, even more so having learned more about the family themselves and the true dynasty that spawned the show: Duck Commander.

You can shop the official Duck Commander store via Amazon by clicking the pic above.

The story of the Robertson family and their company founded on “dead ducks” is one that I have come to truly appreciate. More than just faith in Phil’s idea of creating the perfect duck call, the dedication to the goal as well as the commitment of the family is one we can all learn a thing or two from. Their story is as much as ours no matter who you are, what your vision is and where you’re from.

This leads to a great book I picked up just yesterday from Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson; “American Entrepreneur”. If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, small business owner or one that hopes to be either, I highly recommend this one. It’s entertaining, informative and empowering.

This book is a wonderful recounting of what it took to make us into the country we are today.

The book and story of the Robertson’s is just one of the many that have inspired myself to “go for it” in all of my pursuits of the “American Dream.” Sure there are shortcomings in this ideology but I dare pose the request for anyone to show me a better one to have and we can chat. The only caveat I will add however is that I am no where near delusional in my understanding of the mistakes that were made I will however stand very firm on the course corrections that I have seen personally in my lifetime. I have also seen the ones that were made that did in fact make things most certainly worse, all under the guise of “improvements”. The key in discerning the mistakes versus the fixes is actually quite simple if one can be honest in their observations. We can examine and discuss those later but for now I want to instead focus on a simple commonality that we all share: There is not one human being that is of greater or of more importance than the other at our core. Race, religion, sex and most certainly not politics will ever be an immediate pass to “the front of the line”. Our merit and worth excels as we excel individually in our usefulness and purposefulness to our fellow humans as well as all the other animals, minerals and vegetables that we share this little blue orb with.

I prefer to keep this blog and all of my outreaches as apolitical and non-dogmatic in its spiritual ideals as possible. Yet we are living in a time where the current state of the narrative that the world is being spoon fed to us all is refusing to let that be an option. Division seems to be the main commodity for continued discontent and without some serious creativity or acquiescence to their demands for an impossible utopia, a content creator can get swept up into a fray they had no intentions of being a part of. My solution to that modern manufactured problem is simple and it is this: In my efforts of entertainment, information and observational output, mine are not intentions of preaching or pontificating to be “right”. I will hold true to my core beliefs and am more than willing to let you have yours. That is how you celebrate the birth of a Constitutional Republic. No matter what type of “Dead Ducks” you build your American Dream upon, remember to be kind. You don’t have to like everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like you. You don’t have to “get” them or they “get” you.

Now, Go Play! (nicely)

Jim 07/04/2022

You can watch the shows for free with ads by clicking the link above.

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!

Dark ride… Bright memories.

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!

The denizens of “The Flooded Mine” have had some much needed grooming and freshening done since our last visit.

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!

Now, Go Play! Jim – 4/11/2022

How does the champ prepare for the main event? A big bowl of MegO’s cereal of course!

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” 😉

Click here to order the sample.

How y’all doing tonight?

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.

Walmart may be evil but they suckered me in again!

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 🙂

I highly recommend the photo editing app Pixlr. I use it for pretty much all photos on the site over the last 5 or 6 years. Great on Android and iPhone.

And to prove the point on Pixlr, I slapped this one together as fast as Roddy can run out of chewing gum.

You can call me crazy… but only if you aren’t paying attention.

Keep your eyes on the sky and off the television and Facebook kids. Your soul will thank you for it.

Now, Go Play!

Jim- 11/20/2021

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