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. 🙂

’76 Mego X-Men: What could have been.


This post comes on a Thursday morning and as such I got caught up in “throwback Thursday” mode. While I have no desire to share old pics of me rocking a mullet wearing a ’89 Batman shirt… OK maybe one:

2throwback

OK, I promise to never do it again.  Back to a better throwback… this time let’s go all the way back to 1976.

As America celebrated her Bicentennial,  1976 was also the year Jimmy Carter was elected the 39th President of the United States… NASA introduced the first space shuttle named of course in tribute to the Star Trek television show; The Enterprise . .. the ‘Rocky‘ series began… and more importantly Mego ruled the boys toy aisles. All of your favorite DC and Marvel super heroes were able to share in the 8 inch scale adventures of your imagination. Well, almost.

History shows us that there was one glowing omission. Professor Charles Xavier’s merry mutants were no where to be found. That problem was corrected thanks to the talented Mego customizer extraordinaire and a great Mego Museum pal of mine, Austin Hough.

In 2013 he came up with a customizing challenge for himself that is mind numbing in its scope. What he set out to do was create a new custom Mego figure for every week of the year. He actually exceeded that goal by quite  a few extra dozen figures. Impressive is an understatement. (links coming soon)

One of the final results of his efforts were Professor X’s best… The X-Men as featured in this groundbreaking book:

xmen1

Late last year (2013) Austin had contacted me about the project and asked me if I’d be willing to do some editing for him.  Of course I said yes and am very proud to share these fantastic “What If?” spots with you. So join me now as we revisit a 1976 that would have been super sweet had Mego looked over at the comic rack.

BUT WAIT! There’s even a playset!

I’d like to take this time to again thank Austin for allowing me to play in this fantastic “What if?” world he created.  It’s projects like this that inspire me and remind me that it’s so important to stop and play from time to time. And with that said thanks for popping in for this throwback Thursday moment. Again I apologize for the mullet.

Now, Go Play! – Jim 02/06/14

P.S. That super sweet playset is just one example of the incredible work that is done and available to you from Mego Museum founder Scott Adams. Check ’em out HERE or by clicking the pic.

didablogheader2

wolverine

Toy Hunter with Vinny: So why all the hubbub, bub?


For those of you who are following the Toy Box on Facebook (or are on my own personal page) I’m pretty sure I drove you nuts all day yesterday with my never ending posting and reposting about my pal Vinny and the new episode of Toy Hunter that he was going to be on. I apologize for being a pest.  However I don’t apologize for being excited for a friend to the point of being a spammer.

toyhunterYou may have asked and are still wondering; “Sweet lord, Jim why damage your pseudo-reputation in the blog-o-sphere? You got a stake in the show?” The simple answer is: “No”. I have absolutely no connections to either the Toy Hunter show or the Travel Channel. But what I do have is a cyber friendship with Mego Museum member Vinny0026 or as the rest of the less cool world knows him as Vincent Carnabuci.

vinny and dmc

“But you said he was your ‘pal’ ?!? So you mean to tell me you bugged me to death over a guy you don’ even really know? “. Sorta. I did and I do AND I’ll keep on doing it. Why? Lots of reasons, here’s 3:

1. I have learned over the years that real friendships do develop over the internet. Especially in particular in niche circles such as the forum over at the Mego Museum.

2. When you have a friend ‘do good’ don’t you want to join in the celebration? Of course you do. This is the “good news” type of story that people say they want to see on their evening news casts. Since “they” don’t tell those stories enough, I will and you should.

3. Vinny is a great guy with an impressive collection and some really neat custom pieces and he was getting to share and showcase them with a national television audience. Tell me you wouldn’t do the same for your car collector club, sewing circle or high school reunion pics.

toy-hunter-dmcPlus for those of you who did join me and all the other Mego fans and friends of Vinny, wasn’t it cool to see Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC fame loose his mind over the toys? Being a fan of Run DMC I enjoyed that a lot. He “gets it.” Take just a moment and reconnect with your childhood toys and you may just find that innocent, untainted version of you. In turn you’ll smile a lot more and stress out a little less.

What I appreciated even more was learning about D’s camp for foster kids. I always thought of him as a genuinely nice guy and now having learned about Camp Felix and the Felix Organization I really love this fellow.

The kicker here is that without Vinny’s toy collection being featured on the show and D wanting to show today’s kids (and adults) the magic of these “old toys”, odds are I never would have heard or learned about the Felix Organization and all the good they do. And you dear reader probably wouldn’t have either. Plus you wouldn’t have seen the incredible collection that my pal Vinny has amassed over the years.

See? The hubbub was totally worth all of that and more.

Now, Go Play! – Jim 01/30/14

Too cute to be Illin’ 🙂

Run DMC Darryl McDaniels 7-inch PlushRun DMC Reverend Run 7-inch Plush
 

The best Toy Hunter episode to date is coming up tonight!


Almost showtime… break your regular viewing habits and kick it over to the Travel Channel at 8PM Central and check out Toy Hunter where tonight Jordan, along with Darryl McDaniels aka DMC of Run DMC pay a visit to a great guy and pal of mine Vincent Carnabuci. Seriously, come play! http://www.usatoday.com/story/popcandy/2014/01/29/toy-hunter/5017385/

Swing back by here tomorrow for some post show recaps and discussions! Jim 01/29/14

 

Rack Toys: A great book about crappy toys!,


rack-toys-book-cover

Cheap toys that break easy; Truly one of my biggest pet peeves as an adult. Even when I was a kid such items were quite heartbreaking. So with that said I can’t help but find the irony in the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed this 144 page tome dedicated to some of the cheapest hunks of plastic that were ever made.

 

Rack Toys by Brian Heiler is a fantastic collection of toys that you either never knew existed or broke so fast that you forgot about them until your subconscious kicked in while looking at these beautifully laid out pages.

 

For the uneducated Brian Heiler is the mastermind behind Plaid Stallions.com celebrating 70’s catalog cheesiness and of course the co pilot of the Mego Museum (second only to founder Scott Adams). Brian is a fantastic example of someone who truly enjoys his geekdom. I mean that in the most respectful way.

 

 

His passion for the aforementioned websites has led to the creation of some of the coolest collectibles I personally have ever been privy to. Specifically the Brick Mantooth / Super Collector Re-Mego figure and the 1978 Re-Imagined Mego Catalog (and of course the new Megozine) Brian and his collabrative pals have taken quite the personal hit for the team of fanboys and girls (like myself) to have a little extra fun with our hobies. For that I salute you all proudly as I get another paper cut thumbing through the item at hand.

 

Really? Yeah I had one. And honestly, wouldn't mind having another one on my wall now :)
Really? Yeah I had one. And honestly, wouldn’t mind having another one on my wall now 🙂

Having acquired this particular copy through Amazon for a mere $19.99 (free shipping with your Prime membership kids) I have been imbibing each and every page. The brief write ups are just enough info on the provided specimens that actually speak volumes all by themselves. From absolutely terrible tie-in’s such as a Superman with parachute toy (really? Superman needs a parachute?)  to the most vulgar water gun I’ve ever seen featuring the likeness of Batman I simply can’t get enough of this book. I have made mention on other sites about how I knew I would like this book but didn’t realize how much I would appreciate it.

 

The work that obviously went in putting this collection together is awe inspiring considering its audience is such a niche and limited one. But then again is it really? (Here’s where the appreciation comes in).

 

While the primary subject matter and title would lead the casual shopper to think “Oh. A book about crappy toys? Yay.” But to the persons who thumbs through the first couple of pages will see that there is so much more going on here. The art that was used on these packages are fantastic examples of a brilliant time in advertising and marketing. Mind you this long before Photoshop and digital laser printing. This is real, hand drawn art, lettering and coloring from talent folks that offer tons of glimpses at the styles that influenced the most celebrated digital artists of today. So who does that open the audience up to? Let’s do the breakdown: Artists: Marketing Professionals: Graphic Designers; Pop Culture enthusiasts; and even History Buffs. And that’s only five of I’m sure many others who would loose themselves in this collection if given the chance.

 

Back to my personal experience with “Rack Toys” I gotta tell ya, their magic is still potent. While gazing at the photo of the original “make your own Spiderman spider webs” the 8 year old in me was again staring at the package wanting to tear it open so I could make these webs and subdue bad guys before I went swinging off into the horizon. The Superman slide puzzle however still pisses me off.  Thanks for reading, Now, Go Play! – Jim 02/18/13

 bookspread2

Brick Returns!


You know sometimes people are simply wonderful.

 

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.

brickpic

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…

 


 

Brick Mantooth / Super Colleector: The first 8 inch action figure with heart.


LOOK KIDS! A COMMERCIAL!

Well,sort of. I’m not getting paid for the placement of this video, I just want to help every Mego and Re-Mego fan to enjoy the goodness that comes from the world of Plaid Stallions and Brick Mantooth! Check it out!

Introduction

Dear reader the two coolest fellows on the planet have arrived in the Toy Box!

Greetings dear readers! It seems like forever since I’ve had a new item to add to the Toy Box but I promise you this one was more than worth the wait. Today I am introducing you to a figure that needs no introduction if you’re a fan of the Mego Museum or Plaid Stallions.com however if your not (I’m glad I can help remedy that for you) you’re in for a real treat. Ladies and gentleman I present to you Brick Mantooth aka the Super Collector.

I know the title makes for a bold and perhaps seemingly crazy statement as to this figures significance in the grand scheme of toy collecting but from my point of view it is the closest combination of words I can find at the moment to express my sentiments towards this guy(s). In an effort to pull back a little bit from what could easily turn into a “Brick Praise-A- Thon” I am doing a lot of self censoring and editing along the way to the bottom of the page. It’s a rather difficult task considering that this guy encompasses pretty much everything that I appreciate in pursuing one’s passions. Let me explain;

This action figure is the final product of lord knows how many years of development from the mind of Brian Heiler who is the mastermind behind the Mego Museum and it’s sister site www.plaidstallions.com where you will find a boat load of fun at the expense of 70’s fashion sense or lack thereof. I encourage you to visit both sites to educate yourself on a much better back-story and understanding of Brick and Super Collector. In a nutshell though what the characters and sites mean to me are that they serve as perfect example of a hobby being shared with the world but done so in a remarkably professional yet fun way.  Moving on…

With this final real world rendition of the characters, I now have in my possession a trinket that serves as a real, physical item from a gift shop from the greatest place I’ve ever been to that doesn’t really exist. Sounds crazy I know but so what? It’s my world and how I choose to enjoy it. Again I am pulling back on the reins of what could become far too much of a suck-up-a-ppalooza for Mr. Heiler and the crew. Just know this guys if you ever read this; I truly admire your talents and your dedication to providing your fans something more than what any other site has or could ever do. And for such an insanely affordable price. Thank you.

Okay, enough with the Valentine to Brian, Scott, Sean, Steve, Dr.Mego and EMCE Toys. Let me break it down to you what all my gushing is about.

Point #1. What it is / they are.

Super Collector comes with everything you see here. And what more could you possibly ask for?

Sorry for butting into the shot but I feel cooler hanging with the Brick. Inferior, but cool.

Brick Mantooth / Super Collector 8 inch Classic Style action figure.

Point #2. Where it came from.

The Mego Robin style belt gets a little sideways but that's okay. He's keeping it "Mego Real".

Calm down ladies and certain gentlemen. Calm down.

This first 100 piece run “do it yourself 2 pack” was offered exclusively to members of the Mego Museum. The list of the credits on the side of the box read like this: © 2010 Brian Heiler, Scott C. Adams,: Sculpting- Sean Sansom, Costume Prototyping- Steve Moore, Design and Illustration – Scott C. Adams, Manufactured by: EMCE Toys. That handful of folks made these figures a reality. Brian did a better than yeoman’s job in getting them from his pad in Canada to my grubby little fanboy hands in Arkansas USA.

Point #3. The Good.

A hero never looked so smooth.

Where to begin? There’s really nothing about this figure(s) that I don’t like. The head sculpt is a perfect representation of the characters, the new swivel arm body from EMCE is an excellent example of what could have evolved from the original Mego Corporation, the costuming is again dead-on to the characters likenesses and the packaging is beautiful. In a moment I will point out some “Bad” points only for the sake of balance to this review. Honestly I’m pretty much going to simply be nitpicky in those points as you’ll soon see. But before all of that I have to share with you the thing that is the absolute coolest part of this Brick Mantooth / SC puzzle: The Mego Museum play set that SC uses “to acquire rare Mego artifacts in the 1970’s for citizens of the future to enjoy at the Mego Museum.”

The SC's Mego Museum accessory is simply too clever.

HUGE props to Brian for the decal work. These hand applied stickers must have been a nightmare to execute.

The swivel biceps are very nice update to the standard 8 inch EMCE body.

This solid resin, real world representation of the Mego Museum is beyond cool. It’s also a mind numbing difficult sticker application that Brian had to do by hand. While I was really taking it in I couldn’t help but imagine how much of a real pain in the *fingers* these stickers were to apply. But rest assured Mr. Heiler your efforts are truly appreciated. As an afterthought, these would also make for cool key chains. Well at least for me.

Point #4. The Bad.

There's really nothing bad about Brick or SC. Except perhaps laziness on the collectors part.

In this section the only really “Bad” that I can note is from a lazy man’s standpoint. If your not a customizer by nature this kit could be a bit frustrating. However I will say that if you are not of the customizing persuasion this would be a perfect opportunity to try your hand at this psuedo kit-bash. The heads are a little bit of a chore to get on the body. It’s recommended to boil them and soften the plastic. I on the other hand simply got them into the slot by doing sort of like you would when putting a tire on a rim; I positioned the head at a 45 degree angle, getting one point started and then used a blunt object to push along and down the plastic ridge into the torso cavity. Worked like a charm.

The body suit is also a bit snug to get onto SC. It’s been explained that the suit was originally designed for a regular Dr. Mego body versus the new LJN style swivel arm body. In the end the struggle is worth it as the broader shoulders really set this guy above and beyond his hero counterparts. Another thing to point out is that the fabric used is much sturdier than a traditional spandex or the flimsy material found on Mattel’s Retro Action Super Heroes, so don’t be afraid to tug on it. It can take it.

The only other two would be gripes involve SC’s emblem and Bricks belt. This however has little to do with their quality as much as it does with my own personal skill. You see the emblem in this kit is indeed separate and must be applied by you the consumer. Not really a difficult task but as you can see in my pics I didn’t get mine exactly squared up. The other point with Brick’s belt is that for it to look right you need to trim. Again not difficult to do, you just need to ensure you have a steady hand when you make the clean cut. I haven’t trusted myself enough for that yet.

Point #5. Why I like it.

If I could only be such an awesome collector and collectible.

Outside of all of the gushing I’ve already dome what more can I say? Plenty actually. A couple of points that I would like to mention here would be the price and the quality. Brick and SC came into my collection for the insanely low price of $23. You can bump that up to $30 if you got the extra, new LJN style Dr. Mego body. I had recently acquired a regular Dr. Mego body and used it for Brick so I didn’t drop the extra $7 bucks but still everything else for about the same price as one Retro Action hero is unbelievable to me. What a deal! The other point with quality  is also an opportunity for me to take another swing at Mattel. Each piece of this Brick / SC puzzle is first rate. I see absolutely nowhere that corners were cut. You can rest assured that your money is very well spent on this figure. Honestly even these bodies are superior to my beloved Venture Bros. figures from Bif Bang Pow. So Mattel, with all of your years of experience in the toy industry and with the council of Dr. Mego at your beck and call how could you possible drop the ball so horribly? Losers.

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

Why you should:

See everything I listed above. If that doesn’t sell you nohing will.

Why you shouldn’t:

The only reason being would be that you suck. Seriously there is no reason for any toy fan, marketing fan, 70’s pop culture junkie or modern pop culture enthusiast shouldn’t get a set of these guys (or two).

In Conclusion

Dear reader the two coolest fellows on the planet have arrived in the Toy Box!

No more gushing I promise. The Brick Mantooth / Super Collector as created and produced by Brian Heiler, Scott C. Adams, Sean Samson, Steve More and EMCE Toys is a must have for me and should be for you too. Consider owning this guy the same as the 21st Century version of a pet rock except in this case you get a much cooler “pet Brick”.Now – Go Play! – Jim 08/01/11

Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at jimstoybox@gmail.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com

 

All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com

Brick poses beside this vintage bus/RV that would be an awesome shag mobile for the Mantooth.

The great Canadian Amassador Mantooth poses for a shot with President Ronald Reagan.

SC is pondering whether or not he should slap the monkey off the roof. I say Monkey because "King Kong" is a registered trademark these guys didn't get the rights to use.