Lame Brains Issue #2. A project so good I’m putting my Toy Box where my mouth is!


Kickstarter and other crowd funding projects are a dime a dozen these days. Everybody and their brother has some brilliant idea they want to bring to life but ideas cost money, and most artists don’t have that. And truthfully I don’t feel many should. Now before you think I’m cold hearted and cruel, let me explain: When I say they shouldn’t have the funds to bring a project to life via mine and your money, I mean many of them haven’t either put in the work and effort or they simply don’t have as much talent as they think they do. Cold hard truth, dear reader, but it is what is.

 In this instance however, “Lame Brains Issue#2” and it’s creators most certainly do! “But why, Jim?”  I’m glad you asked…

Max Marx…. my old zombie cowboy with a refreshing new look thanks to Anthony’s pen.

I think the concept is so incredibly unique! And then add in the fact that I LOVE the artwork so much, I personally commissioned Anthony Hunter to do a revamp of my “Maxwell Marx:Zombie Cowboy” Character that I hope ONE DAY to get around to bringing to life via some animated shorts (stay tuned for that one). I may even explore the possibility of producing a comic book first. We shall see. And the biggest thing about that is it shows how this work has inspired my own creativity. That my friends is quite the accomplishment and is, in my opinion the biggest reason to support the project. Karen and Anthony are really doing it right, even if they didn’t realize they were.

See? Fun couple!

And if you visit Karen’s Facebook page, you can see she is working HARD promoting the book at numerous conventions around the country. She’s in it to when it kids, all the while maintaining a real world job and life with her equally fun and cool husband, Gary.


Anthony Hunter: Gifted pen even with lack of Gary.

The same can be said about Anthony although he’s not married to Gary.




Back to Lame Brains Issue #2…..

lb2bI’ll be honest, the pretty pictures are what first caught my eye. I truly love the artwork and style (obviously since I rave about it so much), but also the story is incredibly unique! Frankly, I’ve been burned out on the zombie trend for years but Karen’s spin is so wonderfully refreshing. I love that she addresses the question; “Okay, zombies… but what about the spirit?” That is fantastic to me! I mean really, I’ve never seen anyone play with that concept before and it’s brilliant! And then when you take that dynamic between the two aspects of the character and having them discussing their plight, you have the former girlfriend show up as a zombie killer, that’s an amazing concept to me! And of course funny! Which is even better. And add to all of that, I’ve had the opportunity to meet both Karen and Anthony personally and find them both genuinely GREAT people. I like GREAT people. And I really like GREAT people with talent and ambition.

Here’s the call to action: I don’t want you to just kick in a ten spot, instead, click on the links to Karen and Anthony’s respective pages and get to know them and see why you should go for the whole Box of Twinkies for $29. And if you’re in need of advertising your own swag, shop, site or other such thing, do it inside a platform that is lined with the blood, sweat and tears of creators that care about their creation and are bold enough to put out there on the world stage.

PLUS I’ll even kick in a little something extra…. If you back the project at the Corporate Box of Twinkies level, I’ll give you an ad button/ banner/ link right here on the Toy Box for a FULL YEAR! Yep, putting my Toy Box where my mouth is on this one because I believe in the project and the people behind it.

Now, do some digging for yourself and see why I’m so fired up about my favorite “Lame Brains” , Karen and Anthony.


Jim –  01/05/17

P.S. – You can pick up a copy (or 12) of Issue #1 right now via Anthony’s Etsy shop. You can even get it autographed! 

“The Wall” Chapter 14 – Classic TV Toys – The Gruesome Ghost

Suckfest 2011!

This Chapter finds us again examining an action figure from Classic TV Toys. And considering how critical I am of these figures you must wonder, “Jim, why on earth do you have so many of these crappy toys?” Simple answer: They’re cheap. Better answer: They’re also really funny. Take for example the star of this Chapter the Gruesome Ghost. This ugly sucka’ makes me laugh and scratch my head at every turn from his combat boots to his baby blue hair. I say he only because he’s on a male body. So without further “a Boo” let’s examine this ghastly ghost who haunts “The Wall”






Point #1. What it is.

Classic TV Toys Mad Monsters Series 2: Gruesome Ghost

Point #2. Where it came from.

Again I give a shout out to my man HULK over at Megoville for the low price hook up.

Point #3. The Good.

Yes. I have 2. They're cheap and funny, watchagonnado?

This guy is so bad he’s great! Seriously look him over from tip to top. Baby blue hair? Isn’t most ghostly things translated with day glow green? The head sculpt? This is actually kind of sad for me these days. When I first saw one of these back in 2008 the first thing that came to mind was, “Man, this thing could be the ghost of Michael Jackson.” At the time I had no idea the King of Pop was getting closer to parting the earthly plain but still look at him. I can hear Michael belting out one of his trademark “HHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!’s” every time I see this guy.

R.I.P. Mr. Jackson, I’m sure you understand.

Now moving on to the costume ensemble. At first glance your like, “Wow, a death shroud made of yarn. I’m scared.” The real story is actually much sadder. You see, what had happened was, The Gruesome Ghost’s Grandmother really didn’t like him very much but his Grandfather made her make him Christmas presents anyway. Young GG had no idea how his Grandmother really felt until the day she passed away. On that fateful day she pulled him close and informed of how much of a tool she always found him and that the shaggy sweater was actually her own inside joke to show how much she could care less about him. In her eyes he wasn’t worth all the knitting. Then… she died. So distraught was little GG he hung himself with the sweater and now roams the earth for all eternity wearing the hideous (and stupid) reminder that his Grandmother saw him only as a tool. See how much fun your imagination can have when you let it run free after looking at this guy? Priceless.

Boots? Really?

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the white combat boots. Yep you read that right dear reader. This ghost wears white combat boots. Why the CTVT’s folks decided that a ghost needs shoes is something I’ll never understand but will forever laugh at this remarkably stupid accessory.

Point #4. The Bad.

See Chapter 7 and all other chapters that involve the CTVT figures. This guy is no exception.

Point #5. Why I like it.

"Am I blue? Nope, but GG is!"

Like I said this guy is a hoot! He makes me laugh at every turn. Better than a joke book. Better than a truckload of joke books. Plus it’s nice to remember Michael Jackson as a great entertainer. Even though I think MJ would have fired Landis from the Thriller video if any of the ghastly ghouls there looked anything like this guy. Moving on.

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

Why you should:

The boots do come off kids.

Again funny and fun Halloween Decoration lovers like me can have a blast with this guy. Not to play with of course but to just stare at.

Why you shouldn’t:

Again See Chapter 7. Unless you can get him super duper cheap. Even a top shelf body from Dr. Mego or Castaway can’t really add anything to this horrendously bad idea for a toy.

In Conclusion

While I may have come across as a bully in this chapter know that wasn’t my intention. I actually love this figure for what it does for my imagination. I mean seriously, what other toy could possibly inspire a normal sane human being to make up a story about this guys grandmother hating him so bad she made him a crappy sweater that led to his death? That my friends is well worth the $2 I paid. And then some. Now, Go Play! Jim 04-13-11

I miss you Michael.

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 or visit his website at


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

“The Wall” Chapter 6- Cast-A-Way Toys Creepy Classics ‘Zombie’

See what’s NEW from Castaway and ZICA Toys!
Main title spalsh

The best thing about hanging with a zombie? YOUR complextion looks great!

For this Chapter of “The Wall” we turn our attention to a person that your mother would tell you not to stare at. That would be rude. In this case however staring is actually a good thing. The “Zombie” from Cast-A-Way toys (CAT)  “Creepy Classic” assortment is actually a very cool looking figure despite the deformities. From the cool “Scooby Doo” color scheme to the highly detailed sculpt and dare I forget to mention the REALLY impressive artwork created for the card backs, I was chomping at the bit to pick these up after having seen pictures of them. So far I’ve scored two with two others lurking in the shadows just outside of my grasp. Perhaps one day I will track those two down and add them to “The Wall” but for now let’s look at why this guy helps me pacify the time yet leaves me wanting more.


Point #1. What it is.

The "Zombie" from Cast A Way Toys Creepy Classics assortment.


Point #2. Where it came from.

This specimen came from an ebay action I never believed I would win for only $25. Normally CAT figures sell much higher on the secondary market.

Point #3. The Good.

CAT's zombie maybe considered a "generic" monster but looking closer at his head and you'll see a world of personality.

This figure has a lot of really good things going for it. first and foremost to me is it’s simpleness. At first glance you see a monster that escaped from the “Scooby Doo” universe. The blue hair, light blue skin and jaundice yellow eye balls and teeth give this figure the look of a toy that very well could have been released back in the heyday of Saturday morning cartoon’s. But don’t that subtle glance full you. Upon closer inspection you’ll see that this guy is like an old cowboy… the details of his journey are etched into his face.


While the paint is simple, the sculpt is actually highly detailed.

When you look closely at this undead dude you’ll see that the amount of detail is remarkable. Line after line that simulates rotting flesh can be seen. The miss matched teeth jut out in such away that you know with only one bite he could easily tear through your skin, muscle and parts of bone as he feeds his need for human flesh. His mismatched eyes also add to the beautiful fact that this guy is indeed ugly to his core. No perfect symmetrical features here kids  This guy is bad. He wants to eat you. There is no room for discussion. Once you make eye contact with him, the one eyelid-less globe is penetrating your very soul as your gut screams that you are soon to be an entree for this cannibalistic carnivore. Oh yeah, “You. It’s what’s for dinner.”

The CAT body is hands down my favorite "Re-Mego" body that is on the market today. The swivel biceps allow for an incredible amount of playtime and posing possibilities.

The body on this guy is also to die for. Sorry couldn’t help the pun. The CAT body has become my favorite “Re-Mego” 8 inch body on the market today. The swivel biceps along with the easy to change out hands and feet also make for easy customizing. But that’s a whole other story that we’ll save for later.  Another aspect that really helps this figure “POP” is that the guys did an excellent job in matching the paint colors of the head to the body. In some other examples out there it’s a little bit of a pet peeve when you see that the tones of the body and head are not consistent. That’s not the case here and I really appreciate this subtle but important detail.

This up close side profile helps show you exactly how much detail is in his guys face. For the custiomizers out there a simple dry bush could make this guy almost grotesque. And that's not a bad thing.
















Point #4. The Bad.

Loose ankles leave a little to be desired.

While I just praised the CAT body I do have to pick on one part of it, the ankles. In freeing this guy from his shell and taking the pictures I realized that the wheels on this bus have some issues going round and round. More fittingly I should say staying steady.

Again I don’t like pointing too hard a light on one flaw when the rest of the toy impresses me so much. Still, the loose nature of the ankles does make posing this guy a bit of a trick. Without properly situating the rest of him, the angles seems to give way to the upper bodies weight. I do take into account that this figure is intended more for the adult collector than a kid, the looseness  still bothers me somewhat. Not nearly enough to turn me away from a CAT body. There is a very strong possibility that this particular figure is unique in this problem. I own a few other CAT figures and a couple of bodies and their ankles aren’t quite so loose.

Point #5. Why I like it.

"Zombie" under plastic? Anyone? Anyone? It comes with a salad.

This is one figure that was a true “score” for my collection. I had seen pictures of previous “Creepy Classics” that CAT had released and thought they were super cool. But in trying to track them down I also saw that they were fetching above top dollar on ebay and the budget just hasn’t allowed for too many of those “big buys” at the moment. I was pretty excited when CAT announced they were doing this second assortment but alas I missed the boat on that release too.

Originally you could only order these guys as a four figure set for $100 through the CAT website ( and I couldn’t justify dropping a Benjamin at the time. I do believe they were all very well worth $25 a piece however and if they would have been sold individually I would have acquired one of each over time.

In fairness to CAT though I must point out that only 20 of each character were produced so I can understand why the stipulations were made. Still it would be nice to round out the set.




The art stylings of Tim Baron really make this card something beautiful to behold.

Another big thing for me is the card art. Professional graphic artist Tim Baron was commissioned for this piece and boy, oh boy did he deliver! The style is very retro and similar to what you would have seen back in the 60’s and 70’s when it came to monster magazines and comics. I genuinely love the look and feel of old school Halloween stuff so Tim’s artwork touches me on that level deeply.

Here we see the full cast of characters from this assortmet of "Creepy Classics" as interpreted by Tim Baron.

You can see more of Tim’s art a his website

Don’t let these ghouls full you. Tim has some mighty impressive chops. If you visit his sight/ online portfolio you’ll see that his abilities can go from ghouls such as this to incredible renderings of real people. Check out his Snoop Dog and you’ll see what I mean. Okay so Snoop isn’t exactly “real” but you get my point.




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

Why you should:

This "cool ghoul" makes me smile even though he looks at me like I'm nothing more than a piece of meat.

If you can find ’em they are wonderful monster toys for your collection. The trick though is indeed finding them. Being a small company their runs are small and seem to be spaced out pretty wide. Still as an 8 inch action figure collector and Halloween decoration junkie I can’t recommend these enough. Plus being such a limited release it’s always fun as a collector to have such unique pieces that you can’t just run out and buy. Even though I do hope CAT as a company and the 8 inch action figure style becomes popular enough that you can actually find these in the big chain stores. Tell your friends, family and even your enemies! Spread the word and grow the market!


Why you shouldn’t:

To know him is to love him.

To the purest these figures may let you down. The only reason I say that is because the heads are made from resin and are not the hollow rubber, rotocasted type that was used by Mego and most of the other “Re-Mego” producers today. CAT does have these type of heads on some of their other figures such as the Phantom and Jessee James but the “Creepy Classics” simply haven’t reached that level of popularity to warrant the cost that comes in making heads of that nature.  Other than that though, I can’ give you any reason not to add these to your collection.Well, perhaps if your the really impatient type who can’t handle the hunt. But if that’s the case you should collect something else like, state logo quarters. Oh what fun.





In Conclusion

The Cast -A-Way Toys “Creepy Classic” Zombie is a very fun and fun looking toy. The company may be small but the heart that they put into their releases pounds loudly and can be seen in every release they offer the world. If you can track any of these down I say go for it! snatch it up and enojy. Or better yet send it to your old buddy Jimbo so i can add it to “The Wall.” Now, Go Play!

Jim 04-05-11

"Big head mean big BRAINS!!!!" "Dude, I'm in broadcasting" "Oh, yeah. Well... then I guess it's pizza again.{sigh}"

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 or visit his website at

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


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