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From that other store’s boxes of misfit toys.

§ December 6th, 2011 § Filed under misfit toys § 6 Comments

So here’s a thing I didn’t know existed until it turned up in these boxes of another store’s stock we recently acquired:

The Manara Game (published in 2000) uses the artwork of Italian comics creator Milo Manara, and if you’re not familiar with the man’s work, you can see some generally not-safe-for-work samples right here. And, as one might expect, the game itself uses some not-safe-for-work artwork, though here I present a few cards that are somewhat less naughty:

The came is comprised of 54 regular cards (9 groups of six, each group with a different colored border), and a “special card” that features an image of Manara’s signature and, of course, a nekkid lady. The point of the game is shuffling and swapping the cards around with the goal of getting three of the same color group in your hand, the specific rules of which I won’t get into here. And I’m not entirely sure what purpose the Manara signature card serves…it seems like if anyone gets it, you just get dealt another card, and you keep the card for an extra point when scores are tallied, I think.

And then, keeping with the overall theme of nakedness on most of the cards, the endgame is as follows:

“Once the points have been added up it must be established how many articles of clothing each opponent must remove. Each player must remove as many articles of clothing as the difference between the points he or she has scored and those scored by the winner.

“It’s up to you to decide how far you want to go to establish when the game ends and if you want to play another game.”

Er, yeah. So much for playing this at the family Christmas gathering, I guess.

It’s a nice looking game, at least…the cards are attractive, with some well-chosen imagery. Not just of naked gals, as I said, but there is the occasional naughty nun, so your mileage may vary. And here is the card back:

And that’s the Manara Game, which just goes to show me that I can still be surprised by things in the comics industry. Also, I forgot to mention that one of the rules of the game is that when you get your three of a kind, you’re supposed to call out “Manara!” I find this hilarious for no reason I can easily pin down.

From the backroom of misfit toys.

§ November 28th, 2011 § Filed under misfit toys, wolverine § 3 Comments

Well, it’s not really a “toy” as the term is generally used, and it’s not an item that’s been sitting around in our backroom for years and years (it’s from a box of another store’s stock dumped at our shop), so I’m abusing the title a bit, I guess. But it’s certainly a misfit item:

I don’t know if anyone’s still doing the mini CD-ROM “multimedia collector cards” thing, but I seem to recall a number of releases along these lines about ten years ago. (My particular favorites were the randomly-packed “chase card” die-cut CD-ROMs that came with this Star Trek set.)

Anyway, as it says there, the CD (dated 2002) contains screen savers and desktop pics and “hotlinks to websites” that are probably defunct (aside from, if it’s there), and “Motion Comics,” which, sight unseen, I can safely guess are likely terrible.

And it’s in the 3-inch format, so you gotta tray-load this sucker:

…which means, even if I wanted to open the package and check it out (which I’m not, since I’m throwing this bad boy on the eBay) I can’t put this in the front-loading slot drive on my Mac. I suppose I could bust out the old 3-inch CD adapter plastic ring (originally bought back in — ’87? — to play the original They Might be Giants “Don’t Let’s Start” 3-inch C-Dingle on my first CD player) but I wouldn’t want to run the risk of the disc coming loose from the adapter and spending the rest of the day trying to fish it out and boy am I on a tangent.

This is the first of a planned six, it seems:

“Collect all VI.” Oh you guys. Anyway, a brief Googling only turns up this same disc, so maybe that’s all that came out? I’m sure if someone out there did buy all VI, they’ll let me know.

From the backroom of misfit toys.

§ January 31st, 2011 § Filed under misfit toys § 6 Comments

So we have a few of these still sittin’ around the shop…pop-out mini cardboard stand-ups of assorted media properties:

…including both “live action” and animated versions of dinosaurs from Jurassic Park (though technically the live action versions were animated, but you get the idea).

Anyway, I had bit of a long Sunday, so I’m sorta Low-Content-Mode-ing it today with these close-up scans of some choice pop-up standees. Please enjoy, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

By the way, when is Tim Burton ever going to get around to that Planet of the Apes sequel? I keep waiting for a follow-up to that exciting cliffhanger ending!

From someone else’s backroom of misfit toys.

§ December 14th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 10 Comments

So I was doing my usual retail tour in my not-yet-panicking-but-soon rounds of Christmas shopping, and I made one of my two-or-three times yearly visits to the local giant toy store franchise. And of course, I found myself by that one shelf in the action figure aisle set aside for those toys forgotten by both God and man…prices usually slashed, sometimes not (though the price cut is inevitable, as the dust piles upon them, the packages worn from handling). Here are a few that caught my eye:

Hellboy II: Princess Nuala:

That was the first one to grab my attention. There sure were a lot of these on the shelves (along with one figure of that goblin in the cart). Nicely done action figure, but overlooked in favor of Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and the other monster figures, I’m guessing. Or just overproduced for assortments.

Heroes: Exploding Man Peter:

Handful of these warming the pegs…good luck moving this hideous thing now that the series has been over for a year, and not liked for nearly four years.

The Jonah Hex movie action figures:

Surprisingly, there were a bunch of the Megan Fox figures on the shelves, and only a couple of the Jonah Hex and Turnbull. These figures didn’t look too bad, actually…unlike the movie, which was too long even at 72 minutes.

The Spirit – The Octopus action figure:

As the only person on the planet who liked the movie, that essentially makes me the one-man target audience for this action figure, and I still didn’t buy it. But it’s pretty amazing, I have to admit.

Watchmen Kubrick sets:

Two sets, three figures each, $19.99 a pop. Dr. Manhattan sees a price reduction in these items’ futures.

And this next item wasn’t a leftover toy, I don’t think…it was on the shelf facing the previous toys, and looked like it was still part of an active line. I’d known about it, but this was the first time I’d seen in person the giant f’-off Marvel Universe Galactus figure:

It’s ginormous, stupid, and beautiful, all at the same time. It’s also fifty bones, which, alas, I wasn’t about to drop when I’m shopping for presents for other folks.

Other figures from the land of unloved toys: a bunch of Prince of Persia figures, from a film which is pretty much done and gone now; those 3 1/2 inch figures from the Star Trek reboot movie, which seem so quaint and backwards now that most figures are larger and more detailed; and the Tron: Legacy figures, which…whoops, sorry, those weren’t on the close-out shelves. Getting ahead of myself, there.

From the backroom of misfit toys.

§ November 28th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys, statues, wolverine § 8 Comments

So it turns out we had one of these hiding in the backroom…a Wolverine Vs. Sabretooth statue:

One would hope that this will look a little less…suspect once the packing foam is removed from between the figures:

“NO! Bad dogs! Leave the beanbag chair alone!”

From the back room of misfit toys.

§ August 11th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 2 Comments

In case the regular Ghost action figure released in 1998didn’t float your boat, there were two variants to choose from:

The glow in the dark version:

…and the chrome version:

Now, I can sort of understand the glow in the dark version, since that kind of ties in to that spiritual, ethereal presence that a ghost is alleged to have. You know, that spooky haint shinin’ in the darkness type of thing. But I can’t say I recall too many stories of ghosts metal-ing it up Colossus-style. Maybe I missed something in my Coast to Coast AM newsletters.

From the back room of misfit toys.

§ June 22nd, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 8 Comments

I’ll probably have some follow-ups to comments from yesterday’s post in the next day or two, but in the meantime:

Ooh, the Sentry. That’s a shame. But at least he’s paired up with his best pal, Luke Cage! And I know this is no original observation, but something about seeing the Sentry in Minimate form sorta emphasizes it for me…he really doesn’t look like he belongs in the Marvel Universe, does he? That’s totally a DC Comics-type superhero outfit. But at least he’s in a superhero outfit, Mr. Cage.

And seriously, the no-nose look?

Disturbing as all get-out. And the Pac-Man hands, too. AAAUGH.

(Not exactly) from the Back Room of Misfit Toys…

§ June 16th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 6 Comments

…in that this is part of a collection that someone dropped off at the shop:

Even though we’d since given up carrying McFarlane Toys (after too many series of selling the one figure from the set everyone wanted and having to blow out the rest of the shelf-warmers at bargain prices), I remembered that we did carry this particular “Six Faces of Madness” series, featuring such charming folks as Attila the Hun and Elizabeth Bathory. However, I did not recognize the “Accessory Pack,” which, since it says right there “Collector’s Club,” was apparently only available via mail order from the manufacturer. (The webpage for this particular item lists where you can buy (or rather, where you could buy) the toy, but I think that’s just a boilerplate for the series in general, and not this item specifically. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong.)

Here’s a better look at the fine selection of tchotchkes available in this assortment:

That you get an actual chunk of a body on a stake is kind of funny in a gruesomely over-the-top way. And as a pal pointed out when I showed this to him, Attila gets kind of screwed in the accessory department. I mean, everyone else get guns or lab equipment or a custom base or…a lamppost for Jack the Ripper? Well, it’s thematically appropriate, at least, and I suppose it was either that or a piece of a prostitute. Anyway, Attila gets diddly squat. Which, you know, it’s fine. Attila’s a travelin’-light kind of guy, he doesn’t need any special treatment. I-it’s (sniff) it’s okay.

This character always seemed a bit peculiar to me…

§ May 25th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 7 Comments

…and seeing her in three-dimensional action figure form doesn’t dissuade me from that particular feeling. And frankly, the very idea of her figure having “arm-spinning action” is making me a little nauseous.

I probably won’t be mentioning any of this in the eventual eBay auction listing.

Yet another item from the Back Room of Misfit Toys.

§ May 24th, 2010 § Filed under misfit toys § 11 Comments

DC Direct’s Pocket Heroes were, it seems, a direct response to Marvel’s extensive Minimates line of eesny-weensy superhero figurines (which you can see here at this extensive Minimates review site). The Pocket Heroes line ended once DC got in on the Minimates action, but alas, some Pocket Heroes product still remains at the shop even today.

I suppose these were a cheap alternative to the larger and more elaborate DC Direct action figures, which retail for about $16 to $20 a pop. And I guess they look…okay, but they probably should have avoiding representing characters in their civvies:

Lois comes out fine, but poor Jimmy looks like he’s in his long johns. At least you get Superman’s JLA chair! “Includes awesome sitting action!”

It seemed like, from the get-go, that the Pocket Heroes were going to be hot items. Prior to the launch of this toy series, the deluxe Solomon Grundy action figure came with a promotional Golden Age Wonder Woman Pocket Hero figure, which we received many, many requests for, and which I suspect brought about the almost instant unavailability of the Grundy figure. And the first wave of Pocket Heroes sold very well for us. The next wave…not really so much, I’m afraid. I’m still listing and, sadly, not selling them on the eBay.

There were a couple of other boxed sets like the Superman one above, pictured on the back of the packaging, and which I do not recall ever carrying:

Ooh, that’s the Golden Age Green Lantern in his Sentinel costume, isn’t it? That’s a shame. Hmmm…come to think of it, maybe we did carry this, because I just now recall a conversation I had about how the Pocket Heroes line may be the only way to get every member of the Green Lantern Corps an action figure. “Collect all 3,600!”

More examples of folks in their civvies not looking quite right. “Why, Alfred, that spandex butler outfit fits snugly to your every curve!” “Why, thank you, Master Bruce. And may I compliment you on your spandex business attire?”

Ah, well, nice try, Pocket Super Heroes Superman Box Set, but nobody around our parts wanted you. Let us cast your fate to the eBay winds, and we shall see where they will take you. L@@K LONG JOHN JIMMY RARE H@T

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