Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toys rule

I don't miss selling old toys. Once it got to the point where I had to be competitive, it became more about hassle and less about fun, which just seems kind of wrong. But, man, sometimes I sure do miss some of the cool crap I used to have:

Yes, the ugly truth is revealed. All those many Ultra series with their myriad variations on Ultraman and their armadas of futuristic vehicles were just about pimping toys to impressionable Japanese children. Ultraman was the He-Man of the 70s!

A Thunderbirds playset made in Spain during the mid 60s. I love the complete randomness of color selection in regards to the paintwork on the figures and vehicles, plus the fact that the box is made of wood with lithographed paper glued to it.

Now Mazinga can join you in the bathtub!

Crappy picture. Sorry. But, in case you can't make it out, that's a vinyl figure of one of the characters from that noted bit of MST3K fodder, Time of the Apes. Yes, that's right. Back in the day, someone actually made toys for Time of the effing Apes!

If I had a kid, I would totally make them wear these Kimba galoshes. Even if it wasn't raining.


Prof. Grewbeard said...

hard to believe the Japanese didn't start manufacturing Godzilla toys until Aurora issued a model kit in the U.S. but they sure made up for lost time, they have a damn toy for anything that moves(or not)now!...

Michael Barnum said...

Man alive, are those toys that you actually own! I am so envious! Ultraman, Thunderbirds, KImba....loved all three shows!!!

Todd, did you grow up in the Bay area? If so we probably watched the same TV shows...3 different tv stations from that area were piped up to southern Oregon when I was a kid...made life much more tolerable!

memsaab said...

I had a great Godzilla egg that would hatch out a baby Godzilla when you wound it up. It would sit and shake and then crack open and little BG would come toddling out. SO CUTE. But it broke :(

memsaab said...

ps "It's NOT a doll, it's an action figure!" --Eric, That 70s Show

Todd said...

Prof: Indeed. It seems like the Japanese toy industry beat the U.S.'s by about ten years in terms of saturation merchandising. One of the reasons that there's still so much old store stock of those Ultraman Leo and Ultraman Taro toys floating around today.

Michael: I once owned them, but I divested myself of most of that stuff when I moved back to SF from LA in '03. Most of what's pictured was part of my stock when I was selling toys, but I have to admit that the Thunderbirds playset was part of my personal collection. I used to have a scary amount of original Thunderbirds merchandise. Someday I'll get around to scanning some of the pictures I have and post them.

I grew up in the Bay Area watching KEMO 20 in San Francisco (which I think showed Ultraman and Thunderbirds), KTVU 2 in Oakland (which showed Captain Cosmic and Creature Features) and KBHK 44 in SF. Familiar?

Memsaab: I'm sure that a horrendously overpriced replacement for your Godzilla egg is just a mouse-click away!

Michael Barnum said...

Ah, yes, those were the two stations we got beginning in 1972.
KTVU 2 in Oakland and KBHK 44 in SF. Creature Features, Dialing for Dollars, Chiller Diller Matinee...all the old Universal films, Blondie movies, Godzilla, AIP, Allied must be knowing August Ragone, then, the Godzilla expert down your way. I belonged to his Godzilla club when I was in Jr. High.

Unknown said...

Interesting blog. Thanks for sharing it here. I like to collect the Godzilla toys for my collection. Its so interesting.