Monday, 29 February 2016

Retro Toy Chest Day 15: Final Thoughts and PSA

Final ThoughtsWhen we started this project it was originally meant to be strictly crossovers. At some point, we asked ourselves, do we really want this to be that contained? In other words, did we want to force ourselves to create them in a way that these could exist in the GI Joe Multiverse? After some discussion of the limitations of that approach, we decided to keep it simple, keep our options open, and try to make fun customs that elicit feelings of nostalgia from a variety of franchises using Joe parts. Some ended up being crossovers that could easily fit into the Joe-verse and some did not, but we think all of them capture the feelings of being a kid again. This era in toys was not only a magical time for us as we lived through it and played with these toys, but was a fantastic time in toy history.

We’re thrilled to have taken this two week trip down memory lane with you guys. Thanks to everyone who followed, liked and commented. Your feedback is always appreciated.

And now, a public service announcement

Combat Carl by Dusty79

Combat Carl is an interesting addition to this project in that he is fake retro. When I saw the retro GI Joe like public service announcement on my son's copy of Toy Story of Terror, I immediately knew I wanted to make the figure someday, but it kept getting put on the backburner. This project was the perfect oppurtunity to find a way.

Combat Carl:
Retaliation Ninja Dojo Roadblock-body, webgear
GIJCC Tiger Force Stalker-head
Fodder for grenades and sheath

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Retro Toy Chest Day 14: M.U.S.C.L.E.

M.U.S.C.L.E - ‘Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere’ - was line of collectible plastic intergalactic wrestlers created by Bandai in Japan in 1983 and later released by Mattel in North America in 1985. There were dozens (236 actually) of different characters to collect. M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were available in three assortments: 4 Packs, 10 Packs (Trash Cans) and four different 28 Packs, allowing kids to collect and trade doubles.
The figures were about 2’’ tall and had no articulation. The line include all types of wrestlers but also robots, aliens, one shaped as a hand and another like a tea cup.

Wrestler MUSCLE by Dusty79

Man did I love these things as a kid. This is another toy of mine I saved and my son plays with today. Just good clean fun. I always like the guys that looked like wrestlers and this guy was meant to pay homage to them.

Wrestler MUSCLE
Marvel Red Guardian

Creature MUSCLE by Dusty79

My second MUSCLE guy was meant to portray the bizarre and wierd side that some of the figures took. I really liked the one that was just a bumpy hand with claws, this one is sort of grotesque along those lines.

Creature MUSCLE:
HP Lovecraft Cthulhu figure

MUSCLE Spike Monster by bucky
I had a decent chunk of Muscle figures growing up. I still have a 1 gallon zip loc baggie of them. They sometimes as on display in my basement, other times not. They are a pain in the butt to get them standing up and staying up.
They were great because of the wide variety of characters and strange things that you would get out of the little trash can. I myself preferred buying them in the little bubble packs that you could see who you were getting. I remember trading these guys back and forth at recess along with micro machines.

For MUSCLE Spike Monster, I went for that crazy MUSCLE look, not tying it into any particular one I remember.

Captain Britain head
Road Pig Torso and Arms, with Blowtorch tidbits and a BAT hand
Destro Legs

MUSCLE Knight in Armor by bucky
So there was this one MUSCLE guy that was my favorite, and I tried to emulate him with this custom. I didn't find out until a couple years back that he was a major character in the Kinnikuman lore. He looked like a guy with a Knight's helmet, had a cape, and a medallion trident deal across his chest. I had him in multiple colors growing up.

For both my MUSCLE characters, OB stepped up and painted them for me. I for the life of me could not find a paint that looked like the ones the other guys were using. Once the figures arrived in Canada, Oreobuilder took care of the rest for me.

Snake Eyes Head, with point added
Matt Trakker/Eel chest piece
Destro Legs
Recondo Torso
MU Gloves
Zartan calves

Masked MUSCLE by Oreobuilder:
I remember a friend who had hundreds. We would set up gigantic battles between his M.U.S.C.L.E. figures and my army men and GUTS! I had completely forgotten about these until Dusty79 suggested creating some for this project. After he made his, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and make one as well. I got hooked and ended up making a few.

Head: Marvel Crossbones
Collar: 25th Destro
Hands: DC Mr Freeze
Everything else: Gears of War figure (I think)

Robot MUSCLE by Oreobuilder:

Everything: Minimates Spock with feet, hair and hands removed
New hands: SNAKE Armor
Chest and face details: Random bits of fodder

Caped MUSCLE by Oreobuilder:


Head, belt: 25th Croc Master
Cape: Star Wars Leia
Everything else: Marvel

Next: Our final thoughts and a special PSA by Dusty79

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Retro Toy Chest Day 13: Teddy Ruxpin

Teddy Ruxpin was an animatronic children's toy in the form of a talking bear. The bear's mouth and eyes moved while "reading" stories that were played on an audio tape cassette deck built into its back. At the peak of his popularity, Teddy Ruxpin became the best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986. A cartoon based on the characters debuted in 1987.

Teddy Ruxpin by bucky

I was more into action figures around 85 and 86', being a devout watcher of many of the more popular cartoons and toys. I didn't have a Teddy Ruxpin, but my little brother did. Yes, I played with it, and listened to the stories as well. It was an incredible toy in that day and age, and was THE toy of 85-86, along with Cabbage Patch Kids. I have many memories of eating at Wendy's and collecting the set of kid's meal toys that featured Teddy and Friends, which is where the head came from.

Wendy's fast food Teddy Ruxpin figure 1986=head, arms, legs
men in Black upper arms, Vest

Red Ninja 25th torso and waist, Kwinn Shorts

Next: bucky, Dusty79 and Oreobuilder unleash ‘’Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere!’’

Friday, 26 February 2016

Retro Toy Chest Day 12: Stompers

Stompers was a line of battery powered mini vehicles launched in 1980 by Schaper Toys. They featured mostly trucks but later tanks and all sorts of vehicles powered by a AA battery. Their simple 4WD system allowed them to climb over books, rocks and all kinds of different playground terrains. Later, Stompers released plastic mountains and tracks so kids could build their own obstacle courses.

Stomper with Clutch by Dusty79

Stomper trucks were awesome. It's just that simple. I still have some from when I was a kid and for me the Stomper truck Happy Meal toys were the best toy McDonald's ever offered, even without them being motorized. They may be the only Happy Meal toys I saved from childhood and my son plays with them today. I went with some striping and traditional 4x4 badging and added the 80 to represent the release year. Clutch was a no brainer when deciding on who to drive and I gave him an off road look. The fact that my 4 year old son confiscated this and plays with it daily attests to the desireability this toy had.

MXS Truck
Electrical tape
Number stickers for football helmets
Custom waterslide decals

POC Firefly-legs
25th Clutch-head
Renegades Cobra Trooper-torso
Retaliation Cyber Ninja-Arms

Next: bucky wants to know ‘’Can You and I Be Friends?’’