“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

Organizing and enjoying your collection through journaling

This journal page is the ultimate tool for toy collectors! Designed specifically to help organize and document collections, it features a collection tracker, display planning, wish list, toy history & trivia, and toy maintenance & care. Perfect for both beginner and seasoned collectors, it allows you to keep track of your toys, plan displays, and learn more about your collection. With ample space for images, sketches, and notes, this journal page is the perfect way to document and enhance your toy collecting journey.

By Jim Bumgardner 02/05/2023

Greetings fellow overflowing collectors! Today I want to share with you an idea that will help you better enjoy your collection and perhaps help you get even more enjoyment out of what you have. Not only that, in following this method it can help you thin out the things you may not want, rediscover hidden gems that have slipped from mind and perhaps even land yourself a small fortune letting go of the things that don’t mean as much do you anymore. Funny how those “grail” pieces can equally become a dust collector just as well as those well meant gifts you received because you love Star Wars and everyone in your circle kept giving you any and everything related to the denizens of a galaxy far, far away as gifts over the years and decades. It’s the thought that counts but when you need a Death Star sized house to store them all, it can be a challenge to not want to drop a photon torpedo down the ventilation shaft.

With that in mind, I came up with an idea that can prevent that most extreme and radical solution mentioned above: Journaling. It actually serves many purposes. Along with all the aforementioned benefits, it can also help you create an inventory that you can use to get your collection insured with either a special insurance policy or for use in adding the most valuable pieces to your existing home owners policy. Plus, in creating this journal, along with the memories you will be revisiting, you’re also creating a scrapbook and record for future generations of your family to enjoy. More than a journal, you can create a historical document that helps inform, educated and entertain those who may want to get the rest of the story.

“But isn’t that “blogging”? Yes. Yes, it is. But this is meant for creating something in the physical world, at your own pace but also in a manner that gets you into a routine that will do all the above but also help you develop and maintain a healthy relationship with your hobby. It will force you to come face to face with the questions: “What is this? Why do I have it? Do I still want it? And why do I still want it?” Why is this important? To help break the habit of hoarding that we collectors find ourselves in if we’re honest with ourselves.

Caravaggio's Saint Jerome Writing (1606)
“Why oh why must I hold on forever to this plastic skull? It stares at me constantly in the most judgemental ways. Quite the rude one this skull. Off to the donation box for sure!”

Now that the lecture part is over let’s get back to the fun side of this project. Below you will find an outline for what I believe is a great way to do all of the above and at the end of the day have a collection of stories to share if only with yourself that will make every day you do it a little bit brighter and happier with your collection.

I. Cover Page:

A. Title of Series: “Toy Collection Organizer”

B. Subtitle: “Documenting Your Journey as a Collector”

C. Image: A colorful illustration of vintage and modern action figures

II. Introduction:

This journal page is designed specifically for toy collectors looking to organize and document their collection. With features such as a collection tracker, display planning, wish list, toy history & trivia, and toy maintenance & care, this journal page is the ultimate tool for collectors looking to take their passion to the next level. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned collector, this journal page will help you keep track of your collection, plan your displays, and learn more about your toys. With ample space for images, sketches, and notes, these journal pages are the perfect way to document and enhance your toy collecting journey.

A. Brief overview of the purpose of the journal

B. Explanation of how the journal can help collectors keep track of their collection

C. Explanation of how to use the tracker to keep track of your collection

D. Importance of documenting the journey of collecting toys

III. Collection Tracker:

A. Table with columns for:

  1. Toy Name
  2. Manufacturer
  3. Original Year of Release
  4. Date Acquired
  5. Condition
  6. Notes

B. Space for adding images of each toy

IV. Display Planning:

A. Space for sketching display ideas and planning the arrangement of toys

B. Explanation of the importance of displaying toys and how it can enhance the collecting experience

V. Wish List:

A. Space for listing toys that you would like to add to your collection

B. Explanation of how a wish list can help you focus your collection and plan your next purchase

VI. Toy History & Trivia:

A. Space for documenting the history and background of each toy in your collection

B. Trivia and interesting facts about the toys and the manufacturers

C. Explanation of how learning more about your toys can enhance the collecting experience

VII. Toy Maintenance & Care:

A. Space for documenting maintenance and care instructions for each toy

B. Explanation of how proper care and maintenance can protect the value of your collection

VIII. Conclusion:

A. Recap of the purpose of the journal and how it can help collectors organize and document their collection

B. Encouragement to continue documenting and sharing your collecting journey

And there you have it, a journal / scrapbook outline that if you take the time to make the time, your collection and space will be a far happier place. And yes, I totally meant for that to rhyme. Over the next little while we’ll be talking more about the individual points so be sure to subscribe to Jim’s Toy Box to get deeper into this discussion and who knows, if you need a little help I can build a page or even a book for you to print and use. I’m all about helping you help yourself in making this a truly great and enjoyable hobby.

Preserve Your Treasures: Tips for Displaying and Storing Rare and Limited Edition Toys

Are you looking for tips and tricks to keep your toys in pristine condition? Look no further! Here are some tips for displaying and storing your precious treasures

Do you have a collection of limited edition and rare toys that you want to showcase and protect? Are you looking for tips and tricks to keep your toys in pristine condition? Look no further! Here are some tips for displaying and storing your precious treasures.

I love these things… as you can tell by the box count. It’s all about display these days.
  1. Display with care: When displaying your rare and limited edition toys, choose a location that is protected from direct sunlight and away from damp areas. Avoid placing toys in high traffic areas where they may be bumped or knocked over.
  2. Invest in quality display cases: Display cases are an excellent way to protect your toys from dust, moisture, and damage. Choose a display case that is the right size for your toy and provides adequate protection.
  3. Keep it clean: Regular dusting and cleaning can help to maintain the condition of your toys. Use a soft, dry cloth to gently clean your toys and avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the surface.
  4. Store with caution: When storing your toys, choose a location that is protected from moisture and away from sources of heat and light. Consider using storage containers, such as bins and boxes, to keep your toys organized and protected.
  5. Document your collection: Keeping a record of your collection can help you keep track of what you have and its value. Consider taking photos or keeping a written catalog of your toys.

By following these simple tips, you can preserve your rare and limited edition toys for years to come. So take the time to care for your precious treasures and enjoy your collection for many years to come!

Storing Your Toy Collection: How to Keep It Out of Sight, but Not Out of Mind

Do you have a collection of toys that’s growing faster than your living space? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone! Many parents and adult toy collectors struggle with finding enough storage space for their growing collections.

Do you have a collection of toys that’s growing faster than your living space? Are you tired of tripping over action figures, or stepping on legos every time you walk into the playroom? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone! Many parents and adult toy collectors struggle with finding enough storage space for their growing collections.

The Problem: Your toys are taking over your home and causing chaos! The Reaction: You’re starting to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and maybe even a little frustrated. The Solution: With the right storage solutions, you can keep your toys organized and out of the way.

Here are some product recommendations to help you get started:

  • Stackable storage bins: These bins are perfect for organizing smaller toys, like legos and action figures. Stack them up and tuck them away in a closet or under the bed.

  • Over-the-door organizers: If you’re short on closet space, consider using an over-the-door organizer to store your toys. This is a great solution for larger toys, like dolls and stuffed animals.
  • Bookshelf organizers: For even more storage, consider adding a bookshelf to your playroom. You can use it to store your toy collection, and even your books!

Remember, the key to keeping your toy collection organized is to find a storage solution that works for you and your space. With the right tools and a little creativity, you can keep your toys under control and out of the way. And the best part? You’ll be able to enjoy your collection without feeling overwhelmed and stressed. So go ahead and start organizing today!

Thank God for toys and toy pals on tough days.

Some days it just seems like the world is not only on your shoulders but also your head and neck region too. I’ve been having one of those.  Mountain after mountain, glitch after glitch, annoying humans… I’m sure you can all relate. But thankfully I have my toys and my toy pals.

IMG_20140210_141635_387While there have been some annoyances going on lately, when the burden gets so heavy I turn to my Toy Box and take a look inside. At the moment Sheldon Cooper from Bif Bang Pow and Entertainment Earth helps me smile a little. Then I get on facebook and a conversation begins between myself and my toy pal Tom Hagar about the possibilities of doing custom Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Mego style action figures. The wheels start turning.



8 and 12 inch versions of my all time favorite comedy team would be so much fun to have around the house, office, car, everywhere. I have a vintage two sided hand puppet that could be cast or 3D scanned and worked into separate heads. Hmmmm. And then use the S-Type bodies from Castaway / ZICA. And then create or have the very talented Anthony Durso create custom card backs, individuals and of course a two pack. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. And then seal ’em up in a clamshell for display. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  AND THEN (let’s dream really big shall we, get the lickeness / license rights and release them world wide!  HMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!

deanjerry1Sure it’s just a pipe dream but still its a fun daydream that really took my mind off the pressures of the real world. Imagination. Conversation. Inspiration. They all happened thanks to my toy pals and real pal Tom.

Thanks buddy for helping me stop, dream and breath. At this juncture I shall take my own advice and order myself to : Now, Go Play!

Jim 2/12/14

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