Around The Toybox #1


You see folks, I’m not really a toy collector. In fact, “collector” is a dirty word around my house. I’m more of a toy lover (ooer!) – I just really like toys. Although I tend to stick to things that I have strong memories of, over the years I’ve managed to acquire a great many waifs and strays that just don’t fit in anywhere.

So this week, let’s take a look at some He-Man knock-offs I had when I was a kid. The main appeal of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, for me, was the uncanny characters. These guys, being cheap bootlegs, have no names or backstory at all. Let’s remedy that – I’ll just make it up as I go, and we’ll see if the fates are kind to these lost warriors.


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Send in the Clones

Toys were a lot more ‘gimmicky’ back in the eighties and nineties. Often, the toyline itself would be built around one gimmick, and the toys within would have a gimmick on top of that. It’s a bit like how Cadbury now make chocolate with other chocolates inside. It’s madness!

A prime example of this phenomenon is Transformers. It was enough that they turned from robots to vehicles – “and back again!” as the packaging proudly announced, as if any sane person would assume otherwise – but before long they started doing other things. We had Transformers that joined together into bigger robots, we had Transformers with little men for heads/guns/engines and we had Transformers that burst out of human or animal carapaces a bit like those Russian dolls.

Robots in disguise, in disguise!

Robots in disguise, in disguise!

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Strange Toys from a Foreign Land #1


Toys that speak with a devil’s tongue



What we have here is a presumably titanic man and his trusty pet fire engine. The man is wearing the costume of the Japanese Dairanger, a series that served as inspiration for the American dubbing nightmare that is Power Rangers. Perhaps the people in China figured that it looked enough like a fireman’s outfit to qualify him for inclusion. He has a helmet, after all.

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