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.

Robot Chicken DC Special – A final rant about Saving the Retro’s

In commemoration of the Robot Chicken crew debuting their RDC Comic special I thought this would be a great time to revisit the Retro Action line from Mattel. Or more importantly what didn’t come to pass and why now I’m getting a bit angry about it.

You see when word was released that Mattel was going to be bringing back the 8 inch Mego style action figures I was completely stoked. How cool was it for a long time lover of Mego World’s Greatest Super Heroes of which I obviously am, was finally going to get the figures that Mego never got around to. Hal Jordan green Lantern, The Flash, The Marian Manhunter and of course Superman’s #1 foe, Lex Luthor! Oh how my collectors heart and inner child was all a flutter. But then they dropped the hammer.

Long story short Mattel cancelled the line due to lack of retail and customer support. While I could go on a serious rant about that excuse I’ll just say this, everyone makes mistakes and Mattel you made plenty of them here so quit passing the buck on retailers and fans. It’s unbecoming of you as one of the leaders in the toy industry.

For me with the line being cancelled it was quite disheartening to see one gapping whole in my collection. There was no Robin to pal around with Batman. The house that Barbie built could crank out four different Green Lantern figures as exclusives (who really cares about Kyle Rayner anyway) but no other half of the Dynamic Duo? Stupid. Just stupid. Anyway the rumbling from the fans of this line went on a crusade to “Save the Retro’s” and one fine person started a petition that would hopefully change Mattel’s mind. In wanting to help the campaign I created the PSA you see below…

Well the petition didn’t go viral and even if it did I don’t believe it would have changed Mattel’s mind. In the end our best efforts could not make any difference or help one lonely Dark Knight. But that isn’t what angers me.

The anger comes from recent discoveries of “web exclusive “ Green Arrow’s showing up at discount chain stores around the country. While this had happened with Wave 2 of the original line up, to see this “Sold Out” hard to get, limited edition figure popping up for half the price Mattel was charging is just ludicrous to me as a fan. It also shows me that my suspicions of incompetence about Mattel execs who were in charge of the line were indeed correct. They simply didn’t know what they were doing with the line and fns are left cold.
In a world with real problems like war, starvation and poverty matters such as this are trivial for sure. However to dash the hopes of fans who were seriously enjoying what was happening from the company that made the “swell” toys is just crap. Period.

Why am I still ranting about this? Mainly because with the Robot Chicken crew’ new special coming out Sunday September 9th and the majority of the characters and costumes are from the Retro Action line I believe that interest for the toys will be hot. Which in a way is good for the dealers out there who are still sitting on cases of the figures. Finally they will get marketing support for the line. Had Mattel tied I with the Robot Chicken guys from the start things perhaps things wouldn’t have had to go south. And maybe the tears in Batman’s pupil-less eyes could have been of joy with the arrival of young ward Dick Grayson finally being able to stand by his side in the toy boxes of many collectors around the world.

With that said I’ll chill out and move on with my collecting and playing. Yep I’m taking my own orders in the fact that I shall Now, Go Play. – Jim 09/08/12

Saturday Morning Funnies Episode 6.5: The dumbest one yet!

Last week we left you with a real cliffhanger! And guess what? We’re gonna keep you hanging! But for a very good reason… Our NEW Sponsor! Click on the TV below to check out this absolutely greatest toy since Action Jackson!

(It’s a spoof guys and gals. You know I’m not selling you anything so click it!)

Oh… and NO, there’s still no word on a Smallville spin off! Now Go Play! – Jim 05/21/11

A too quick morning at the World’s Largest Toy Museum – Branson, MO.

Greetings and good morning, noon, or night dear readers I figured I’d cover all bases on the salutation considering I never know when you guys and gals may be reading this. Call it Southern Hospitality. Another great place to find not only awesome hospitality but also an incredible amount of toys is my good buddy Tom Beck’s place; “The World’s Largest Toy Museum” in Branson, Missouri.

The pictures you will see below are from the first weekend in May of 2011. This was the first opportunity the wife and I had to take the baby to this must stop destination for the toy collector and kid at heart. In a perfect world where time is in abundance I would love to go into super detail about every square inch of this marvelous museum. Unfortunately it’s not so the best I can do is share with you a very large handful of pictures that we took during our far too brief visit.

For the sake of freshening up the blog this one is gonna be one of those “check back often” blogs. But i promise you it will be worth it. We took some great shots and a ton of ’em. And even then didn’t really scratch the surface of this wonderful place for oogling.

Again I don’t recommend places and businesses without serious consideration. The museum however is one of those spots however that I can do so with no reservations. So if your in the – or traveling through the -middle of America take a detour down the Highway 76 Music strip and look for the big top. You’ll be glad you did. And tell ’em Jim sent ya!

This is Tom Beck owner of the "W.L.T.M." He's a super nce fellow if you can't tell by the pic. Here he is posing with the latest addition to the museum, Buck Rogers and Tiger Man from ZICA Toys graciously donated by Mr. Craig Owen.

These two soldiers stand waiting to great you every Monday thru Saturday. Sure they're there on Sundays but they won't let you in no matter how much you beg.

It's really tough to get the whole building in one shot. I love the way the old school DC heroes logo's are used on this far right side of the front of the building.

It's amazing how much Superman stuff you can fit on one shelf!

The T2 Mego Superman sitting down is actually one I donated a few years back. Tom insisted I put my business card with it so I said okay. The numbers changed since then so don't call it.

A whole bunch O' Batman stuff under glass.

This display just screams "Creepy" but the wife and baby loved it. Almost looks like their colection. Almost.

Some REALLY old school Buck Rogers toys from the late 30's early 40's.

This is just one of the scenes from a "Christmas Carol" window display that came from a department store circa.1948. This display alone is worth the price of admission.

The family that geeks out together stays together!

Lot's O Barbies to be found!

See? 🙂

They never end!

Not a great shot but still cool to see Mego Trek represented.

A Christmas Carol Pic 2. The detail is wonderful and charming.

Christmas Carol Pic 3

Christmas Carol Pic 4

Christmas Carol Pic 5

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

Saturday Morning Funnies: Episode 6- CTVT strike back!

“Saturday Morning Funnies” Episode 4: What Roscoe could never do…

What does your imagination have in mind? Submit your rescue ideas to me at jimstoybox@gmail.com the best submission as chosen by me and my lovely wife Alicia will not only see their dream scenario acted out in next weeks Saturday Morning Funnies but you’ll also receive this carded Luke Duke for your own collection! Sure he’s got a bum knee but a free Mego is still a free Mego!

So what are you waiting for dear reader? Start flexing your imagination and help free Luke Duke!

Email submissions to jimstoybox@gmail.com please include a contact email address and your name. DO NOT SEND your address or any info at this time. I will contact the winner via the provided email address and request the info at that time. I’m not a spammer and have no intentions of becoming one. You have until Monday May2nd to get your ideas in so get to it!

The game is set kids! Now, Go Play! Jim 04/30/11

“Time Traveling Through Toyfare” – Introduction.

Can you believe it's been 11 year's? I'm old. Don't laugh. You are too.

Can you believe it’s been 11 years since the year 2000? It’s amazing how it seems like only yesterday we in the action figure collecting world were partying like it was 1999 (actually it was) in what now appears to the heyday of the hobby. It was a time when action figures were being cranked out for almost every property you could think of i.e. music, television, movies, books, comic books, random intellectual properties etc. And the greatest part was that you could learn about all of these collectibles between the covers of Toyfare Magazine.

The "Life" magazine for fanboys everywhere!

For those who may have missed out on this recently canceled mag, here’s a brief rundown… Once upon a time “Wizard” was the premiere if not the only regular monthly magazine that spotlighted the latest in comic book news. As the interest in action figures continued to grow (thank you Star Wars Special Edition) the publishers of “Wizard” added a feature to the magazine spotlighting the latest action figures coming to fanboys everywhere. Long story short, the feature became so popular after two one shot specials the simple section grew into it’s very own title in 1998.

Charlie Flatt's awesome customs teased us all with many great things to come from the new magazine.

“Toyfare” was the source for action figure news. Rather it was Star Wars, video game based or comic book inspired, the staff of Toyfare brought all of the info and snazzy photo’s to us in a manner that was informational but more importantly fun to read. These guys and gals were “us”, the twenty something toy collectors and loved playing with their toys. Plus the gaggle of writers/collectors offered each month an updated price guide so we could be reassured that the hunks of plastic we were buying would one day easily fund our retirements. To help further the cause of adding perceived secondary market value the crew would also offer up a “Market Watch” report to show what was really moving and shaking in the action figure isles. Also to note this was at a time when ebay was still new and not everyone and their brother was selling “Ultra Rare” action figures on the site in the ven of becoming their very own “cyber” toy store.

Before the name change and lack of Mego's which made the strips in my opinion. Call me biased.

The best part for me was their original “Twisted Mego Theater” (later changed to Twisted Toyfare Theater). Every month I was quick to snatch up the latest copy to see what all Mego Spiderman and Mego Hulk (along with almost every other Mego WGSH and Mego 8 inch action figure released in the 70’s and early 80’s) were up to. The comic paneled adventures were always a hoot. Some funnier than others and some bordering on outright rude. This platform eventually evolved into the Cartoon Network program “Robot Chicken”.

A pile O' pleasurable reading!

Sadly this year (2011) “Toyfare” came to an end. While I can only speculate as to its true demise I would bet that they found themselves in the same boat as many other print publications… the Internet killed it. Production costs for magazines versus on-line articles is like apples to oranges in the economic world. Plus ebay has indeed changed the way value is perceived when it comes to collectibles, so the formally practical price guide is pretty much irrelevant in the 21st Century. As the old saying goes “All good things must end”. However, it doesn’t mean they shall be forgotten. And thanks to the magic of the internet and fanboys like me, Toyfare’s legacy will live on thanks to blogging and a never ending fascination with nostalgia and taking funny pictures of action figures doing absurd things.

As a way to offer a send up to the memory of Toyfare as well as feed my toy history buff hunger, I’ve created this sub section of the blog to revisit the pages of the mag and see where exactly the once HOT item is today.

Thank you for the memories and the "geek food"! You'll be missed Toyfare.

Considering how much information was packed into each monthly magazine I will only be covering the particular items that jumped out at me when revisiting these historical toy archives. In a nutshell I hope to offer interesting insights into the current status of what was once HOT and or COLD as well as doing some follow-ups on what the Toyfare staff thought at the time would surely be the future of toys. So dear reader won’t you join me as we hop in the Toy Box’s Time Machine to revisit the pages of Toyfare Magazine? It’s looking to be a very interesting journey!

Let’s play! Jim 04/21/11

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