From the back room of misfit toys.

§ April 6th, 2015 § Filed under misfit toys § 12 Comments

Well, there‘s a title I wasn’t expecting to use again, as I’m no longer working at the shop with the end-of-Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-esque warehouse, and am instead at the new shop with a couple of mostly barren storerooms, save for some long boxes of comics, a workbench, a refrigerator, my sit-down cabinet version of the Discs of Tron arcade game, and some leftover scrap wood from table construction. (NOTE: one of those items may not actually be in my back room.)

But, as it turns out, one of my old customers from my previous place of employment is moving away, and he contacted me about perhaps taking in a few items to sell on consignment for him just so that he didn’t have haul them along with him. And, since I like money, I said “sure!” and now, suddenly, I have a backroom of toys and statues and such for me to either price up and place in the shop, or to put on the eBays.

It’s going to take me a little while to process everything, since Sterling Silver Comics is still more or less a one man show for the moment, but I’ve already moved a few goodies, so I’m making progress. And, going through the boxes, I found several figures from this particular series:

Now, with doing no Googling on this whatsoever, I’m guessing these were released, in 1994, to take advantage of the Shadow movie starring Alec Baldwin out that same year, even though absolutely no mention is made of the film on the packaging. Alas, the film’s middling performance didn’t inspire an outbreak of Shadow-mania (though I kinda liked it) and, I’m guessing, the toyline didn’t sell like gangbusters either. In fact, I don’t know that I ever saw them on display at any of our local toy emporiums, and in the mid-1990s I was still regularly checking out the local action figure shelves. A peek at eBay shows that they seem to be readily available and mostly inexpensive unless sold in bulk, and since I seem to have a bulk of them here, that’s probably how I’m getting rid of them.

They’re not bad-looking figures, and a couple of the figures with the Shadow in full regalia have a feature where a light shining through the translucent top of the hat causes the Shadow’s eyes to glow (the same trick used in the modern Jawa action figures). Now this figure in particular that I have pictured here is all-translucent, so he has little painted-on red eyes instead. And, if you wanted him completely invisible, the instructions tell you to strip Mr. Cranston nekkid:

NOTE: invisibility only “pretend,” otherwise the company could just have just sold you an empty box, I guess.

Unfortunately it’s a few years to late to mail away for the hologram ring:

…but you can see a couple examples on eBay, like this one. Since eBay links die after a few months, I saved one of the pics here for posterity:

Looks about how I figured.

Anyway: Shadow figures – trying very hard to not keep them for myself. Also trying not to go on eBay and buy any of these still relatively-cheap and completely awesome vehicles:

“Who knows what uncomfortable pain lurks in the backs of men?” The Shadow knows, after riding that Nightmist cycle. Sheesh.

12 Responses to “From the back room of misfit toys.”

  • Speaking as one who kinda dug the Alec Baldwin SHADOW flick, it is a bit frustrating that it didn’t do better at the theatres (or get us an Alec Baldwin BATMAN movie).

    Still, I keep it shelved next to my copies of LOST HORIZONS and BOTH versions of THE RAZORS EDGE (the remake starring a young and more-serious-than-thought-possible-at-the-time Bill Murray) and every DOCTOR STRANGE outing for the man-travels-to-Tibet-and-gains-mystical-wisdom-and-abilities theme.

    Speaking of themes, since you’re writing of these SHADOW figures today and the in-media-res review of the SHADOW dvd was nearly to the day in 2009, might that be some strange pattern?
    SHADOW every six years?
    Or do you think about the SHADOW in April as part of some subliminal conditioning?

    It might be because of that old children’s rhyme; April Shadows bring May flowdows… or something like that.

    Ok, I’ll leave…And you won’t even see my shadow.
    (It’ll be non-pretend invisible)


  • CG says:

    I dimly remember a guy on a toy board who kept trying to sell his Shadow Cab (“MINT!! IN BOX!!!1!”) over and over again, and getting mad every time it didn’t sell.

  • Alex says:

    There’s a quick-change Alec Baldwin Shadow figure, and maybe that invisible figure, sitting in the jumbled box of toys that my son is going to get handed here in the next year or so. As a kid I remember buying those figures and they were on steep clearance at a KB Toys. I too always thought they were kind of neat, although I never did see the movie.

    Of possible interest to you, Mike, is that our family heirlooms consist of a Super Powers Mr. Freeze that turned blue when you stuck him in the freezer, and a one-legged glow-in-the-dark Swamp Thing that for whatever reason went to live with Mr. Freeze in the garage freezer for about, oh, 15 years or so. I don’t remember if my parents moved them to the new fridge, or gave them to me a couple years back, but I’m sure he’s still kicking (heh).

  • David Oakes says:

    If Mike Sterling sees his Shadow, it means six more years of no movies.

  • De says:

    Aside from the bra-like holster, this one of my favorite figures for many many years. Sadly, he was among the large collection I had to sell after my divorce in order to buy a bed.

  • Eric Houston says:

    I was a kid when these toys and the movie came out and I couldn’t have been more excited about either. I know had several of the figures, but I don’t think I ever got the vehicles.

    I definitely sent away for the shadow ring only to have my hopes dashed when I received – instead of a ring – a letter several weeks later notifying me that demand for the rings outstripped their supply.

  • JRC says:

    I had some of these, and even went as far to mail in for my ring. After it didn’t arrive for several months I called the complaint line as listed on the back of the package.
    I also took the time to complain about (lament) the lack of any Margo Lane figures, the only woman featured in the movie, and the only significant woman in The Shadow mythos too.
    … I got the ring eventually.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “hologram ring”

    90’s toys had some lame gimmicks! 80’s toys were better- over my time of collecting Star Wars figures, I got three action figures & one pack of accessories by sending in the proofs of purchase.

    The figure is neat, though.

    “Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-esque warehouse”

    “TOP. MEN.”

    “the instructions tell you to strip Mr. Cranston nekkid”

    That’s how it worked for the Invisible Man in the old movie!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “the lack of any Margo Lane figures, the only woman featured in the movie”

    I guess they still followed the conventional “wisdom” that female figures don’t sell! In spite of Princess Leia, Scarlet, Baroness, She-Ra, etc.

    “a letter several weeks later notifying me that demand for the rings outstripped their supply.”

    WHAT! They must have only made a dozen or so.

  • Andrew Davison says:

    It’s a while since I watched it, but are any of those vehicles, aside from an ordinary version of the taxi, in the movie?

  • Andrew Davison says:

    And I’m pretty sure his eyes don’t glow red either. A sort of spotlight effect is used instead, the puts the rest of his face but for his eyes in the shade.

    Obviously this stuff matters a great deal to me!

  • Sarah T. says:

    I have, or had somewhere, an “invisible” Martian Manhunter (JL animated era) similarly made of translucent plastic. Also a MM with a kind of J’onn J’onnz “sheath” you could fit over an underlying angular-Martian figure. Sounds a bit like nightmare fuel, but the little angular Martian figure has decorated many of an office of mine.