Predicting Stranger Things 2…with my action figure shelf

The Netflix trailer for Stranger Things 2 leaves us with nothing more than vague hints, and a killer remix of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.  Anything else that’s hit the ‘net is likely just pure speculation… and so is this.  Much like trying to see the future in a pile of tea leaves, this is an attempt to figure out what’s going on in the upcoming season with nothing more than things that happen to be on my action figure shelf.  Chances are awfully good that my guesses connect with reality at no two points.  (Actually, I can’t even guarantee one point, but it is fun to guess, right?)

First things first: this is also a bit of an under-the-radar review of Funko’s new box sets of Stranger Things action figures.  You may rest assured that my verdict is that they’re awesome…though they’re rather delicate in a few places.  Take time and care removing them from their packages, especially the surprisingly delicate Demogorgon.  But do the figures hold any clues for the second season?  Don’t ask me – ask them. Continue reading

Boss Hogg Action Figure

Dukes of Hazzard Boss Hogg Action Figure

Like many people who grew up in the eighties, I watched The Dukes of Hazzard. I liked the car chases, the simple plots, and the charisma of the actors. My grandmother knew that I was a fan and fed my fandom by purchasing me a Boss Hogg Action Figure.

The gift came out of nowhere. With gifts like that, they were usually bought in the toy section of the supermarket. Which was fine by me. I was just happy to get a toy. I tore it open and gave her hug and a thank-you. Then I ran to my bedroom to play with my new treasure.

My enthusiasm quickly turned to confusion. The Boss Hogg Action Figure looked cool and was true to form, but it was the only Dukes of Hazzard action figure I had or would ever get. Which would be fine, but it was a large format 8″ figure by MEGO and was well out of scale from my collection of GI Joe and Star Wars figure.

I had very few larger scale figures and I really disliked mixing toys that were not in the proper scale.

So Boss Hogg went up on the shelf. I would take him down and play with him when my grandmother was around. Hoping that if she saw my enthusiasm for the toy, she would buy me more. Sadly it didn’t work.

My guess is that she would have picked up more, but the Pathmark never carried other figures from the Dukes toy line.

I had Boss Hogg on my shelf into the nineties. He was in pretty pristine condition when he fell to the floor. Normally that was okay, but we had just gotten a new dog at the time.

This dog, much like them Duke Boys, did not like Boss Hogg. Not much was left of him when I got home from school. So I took what was left and tossed him in the trash.

Recently I have flirted with picking up another Boss Hogg to replace mine. They are surprisingly affordable after all these years. Who knows, maybe I will even pick up the rest of the collection finally to keep my new Boss Hogg company.

I seem to remember a commercial for the MEGO figures, but cannot find them online. So here is one for the General Lee (the real star of the show).

Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Toy Commercial

Matchbox Logo

Five Fun Matchbox Toys From Back in the Day

Growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars were a big part of my play time.  Both lines produced a lot of really fun cars and play sets, and here are just five of my favorites from the Matchbox side of things through the years.  Don’t worry, I’ll cover the Hot Wheels side of things at another time.

Matchbox Super Spin Car Wash

Super Spin Car Wash

After a long day of play in the dirt and mud of the hills around our house, a good car wash was just what the cars and trucks needed.  This car wash was kind of automatic…as in you had to get the car in the wash and then turn a crank and it would go all the way through.  It featured real water jets, a foam roller “scrub” brush, and a spin dry feature.  The perfect play set for getting all of your cars clean before packing them away for another day.

Matchbox Days of Thunder Cars From Hardees

Days of Thunder

In 1990, Jerry Bruckheimer’s Days of Thunder movie starring Tom Cruise hit theaters to a great reaction, and merchandise based on the movie started to flow.  One of the better pieces of merchandise to come along were the replica cars from Hardees based on the stock cars from the movie.  The five main cars featured in the movie were in the set, which allowed us younger viewers of the film to recreate all the action at home.

Matchbox Cars Based on the Code Red Television Show

Code Red

In 1981, CBS debuted the little remembered Code Red TV Show.  It featured Lorne Green as the Father of a firefighting family in Los Angeles, and the Chief of the one of the many stations in the city.  The show only lasted one season, but Matchbox produced a series of cars featuring the iconic vehicles from the show.  There were two fire trucks, the Chief’s car, motorcycle, fire boat, helicopter, ambulance, and police car.  As a kid whose Dad was a fireman, this set was one of my absolute favorite toys to play with in the 80’s.

Matchbox Connectables

Matchbox Connectables

One of the cooler concepts that came along in the 80’s toy landscape were these Connectables cars from Matchbox.  Each car was in at least two pieces, and connected in the middle.  This allowed you to interchange parts of different vehicles to create all new cars and trucks to play with.  There were also packs of other car parts available so you could even extend the new cars into total monstrosities if you wanted to!  You could make a big rig limo, or a drag car with tank treads!  With these cars, you could take your imagination and play to a whole other level.

Matchbox Trains

Matchbox Trains

Matchbox released a series of train cars in the early 80’s to go along with all of their already awesome car collection. There were various engines in different colors, along with box cars, passenger cars, flat cars, and cabooses.  The really fun aspect of this series was you could hook any of the cars to any of the other cars, meaning you could make many different configurations with varying train cars.  They weren’t exactly in scale with the rest of the line, as they were each about the size of one of their normal cars.  I used to love these things!  My brother and I would hook all of ours together and make an imaginary track all through the house.  We could get hours and hours of fun out of these trains.

So what about you?  Did you have any of these awesome Matchbox toys?  Did we leave out your favorite Matchbox toy?  Tell us in the comments!

Do You Know About Cricket’s Health Care Plan?

Well, do you know about Cricket’s Health Care Plan?

Stick around…you will, probably in far more detail than you ever wanted to know!

It’s All Been Done Before…By Me!

If you’ve read some of my past articles, you’re aware that I wrote a few about 1980s talking dolls, specifically Teddy Ruxpin and Cricket. I’ve also written a behemoth article about a larger, more expansive collection of 1980s talking dolls. On a weirder tangent, I told you about the things that have happened involving our wonderful 1980s technology.

On a personal note, it is a topic I hold as dear to my nostalgic heart as Chicago, David Foster, Kenny Loggins, and 1980s commercials.

So you know it is important!

Come On Down To Cricket’s Care Center!

I love the interwebs for the vast amount of information, especially when you’re looking up an address. Of course, this is also a force for evil, but here nor there, folks.

Cricket’s Care Center (as I’ve assumed it to be) was a “doll hospital” center to repair Crickets who received far more love than her body can handle, located in Hamilton, Ohio (Butler County/Cinncinnati Metropolitan Area), on 2350 Pleasant Avenue.

Today, this location houses two cabinetry companies (Nours Custom Cabinetry and Calihan Custom Cabinets and Countertops) and a print shop, Access Envelope Inc.

Cricket’s Care Center was established in 1986, but I can’t find any information as to how long it remained open. It hasn’t been easy finding much information on this doll or anything about her.

If you sent the warranty card back, you received this super cool little packet, which included the shipping label you would use to send Cricket back, and a even super cooler Cricket Care Center card!

I can happily say that until I was five years old, my card was valid!

Cricket’s Health Care Plan

Lucky doll recipients received a pamphlet/folder with Cricket, called “Cricket’s Health Care Plan.”

The pamphlet/folder contained printed instructions as heard on the instruction tape, along with lovely visual aides on how to put in batteries, insert cassettes, and use the tape player buttons.

If you need to remember anything about caring for this doll, it is these three words: Carefully, Slowly, and Gently. I could make an inappropriate joke here, but I won’t. All Cricket asked was to have the batteries inserted carefully, her cassette inserted slowly, and her buttons pressed gently.

Also, comb her hair, don’t use hairspray or wash her hair, and clean her tape player!

Oh, and DO NOT leave the fast forward or blue buttons depressed. You do not want to experience what I did when I was little!

Video: Do You Know About Cricket’s Health Care Plan?

And if you’re super curious about the rest of this health care plan, and like the sound of my voice, click play below to watch my awesome video!

Uploaded by Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

After all that, I really wish there was more information about the Care Center itself. But this really covers some ground.

Thanks for reading (and watching)!

I’ll be talkin’ to ya!


More Pirates Of The Caribbean Models To Die For!

Pirates of the Caribbean Models
Welcome to The Death of Super Blog Team Up. As the title indicates, this time were all looking at famous deaths of fictional characters.
I decided to go with a group that is more famous after dying than they were while living – the spooky skeletons of Disneyland’s classic ride Pirates Of The Caribbean.
When I was a kid plastic and balsa wood model kits were extremely popular. Some of the most famous sets of models were…
the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean sets. One of the things which made these sets so popular is that they moved. Their Zap / Action feature was powered by rubber bands.

This is my second post about these awesome models. These Pirates Of The Caribbean Models Are To Die For! was my first post about them.

Thanks to the sites TAY666, The Pirate’s Surgeons Journal, Universal Monster Army, and Sweet Skulls I was able to compile a wonderful set of photos of these models. I’ll be looking at three of these awesome sets in this post.
Dead Men Tell No Tales
This model features a skeleton who is protecting a treasure. His Zap / Action is that his arm with the pistol moves.

Hoist High The Jolly Roger
The first six of these models features skeleton pirates. The last two feature pirates who have a little more skin on their bones. This model has a peg legged pirate standing on a treasure chest and holding a Jolly Roger on a flag pole. His Zap /Action is that his arm and sword move up and down.
Here are the model pieces still in the box.

Ghost of the Treasure Guard
I saved the best model for last! The Ghost of the Treasure Guard mixes parts from Dead Men Tell No Tales and Hoist High The Jolly Roger. The result is a model where a skeletal guard defends his treasure from a peg legged pirate. This set has two Zap / Actions. The Ghost of the Treasure Guard’s arm with the pistol moves up and down. The peg leg pirate who is attacking has a sword which also moves up and down. The idea of having model where a skeleton and human pirate fight each other for a treasure is just brilliant.

Now that you’ve had your daily rations of Pirates of Caribbean vintage models…

Please check out the other contributors to The Death of Super Blog Team Up. They’re dying to meet you.
Comic Reviews By Walt: Death of the Mutanimals (Archie-TMNT)
Longbox Graveyard: Death of Captain Marvel
Between the Pages: The Death of Spock (Wrath of Khan) – This post was also
written by your truly! Between the Pages is my other home on the web.
Chris is on Infinite Earths: Death of Supergirl
Crapbox Son Of Chthulu: Death Of My Love For Marvel Comics
Comics and Coffee: Superman – The Man Who Murdered The Earth
Superhero Satellite: Death of a Collector’s Passion. A Redemption story.
In My Not So Humble Opinion: The Death of Galactus