Mr Skinny Bones - Marx Toys

Step Up And Shake Hands With Mr Skinny Bones!

For a couple of minutes I was tempted to publish this as a Saturday Frights post. As I have mentioned once or twice, I suffer from Pediophobia. The fear of dolls. Mr Skinny Bones from Marx Toys might not be an actual doll but it is close enough. However, I believe that if you look closely at the image of the Mr Skinny Bones box. Even the kids know this is full of Grade A nightmare juice!

Mr Skinny Bones was supposedly released by Marx Toys in 1970. You may not know the Marx brand off the top of your head but I guarantee you know some of their products. First of all the company was hugely successful in the 50’s. One of those reasons of course has to do with how many licenses they secured. The Long Ranger, Zorro, Robin Hood, and The Untouchables were just a few toy sets they produced. Not to mention the likes of trains sets, doll houses, as well as Rock’em Sock’em Robots!

[Via] Vintage TV Commercials

Marx was a toy company that early on saw the advantages of plastics. You know, like Dustin Hoffman was told in 1967’s The Graduate.

[Via] Zahh Man

As you can plainly see from Mr Skinny Bones… the character is very much into plastics. It was a type of construction kit, to create ‘A real posin’ pal’. As a matter of fact looking at the toy itself, I cannot help but think this would be an amazing thing for stop-motion animation.
Mr Skinny Bones - Instructions

Of course you might be wondering what Mr Skinny Bones could be useful for. Besides the obvious ability to induce nightmares in children and middle-aged writers for the Retroist. The simple answer is of course… anything you want to use it for. As I think is demonstrated quite well on the packaging for the toy.
Mr Skinny Bones - Toy Use 1

Mr Skinny Bones - Toy Use 2

By the way, our constructable pal wasn’t the only toy created by Marx for the Bones Family. There was one for girls known as Ginny Bones too. Furthermore they had pets as well, Trom Bones the horse and Ham Bones the dog.
Mr Skinny Bones - Bones Family

I have never heard of the show Thrift Hunters before, although there is this clip of them coming upon Mr Skinny Bones.


For more on Marx Toys, take a moment and check out this American Pickers bonus. They visited a Marx Toys museum which has sadly closed it’s doors. Some beautiful toys in the video though!


Mr Skinny Bones - Nightmare Juice

I’ll be seeing you in your dreams!

Shout Select: Death Of A Salesman On Blu-Ray

Death of a Salesman is a made for TV movie that originally aired in 1985. Based on the emotionally moving 1949 play by Arthur Miller. The same Broadway production that upon the rise of the curtain on February of 1949 – ran for 742 performances. It has been brought back to Broadway a total of four times and secured Tony Awards for three of them.


Because Miller delivered a powder keg of a story – and when it ignites it will leave you stunned. That is just a fact. It is also the reason why many consider Death of a Salesman one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century. When you get the right cast in place for such a production it is easy to see why it has remained so popular.

For those of use that might have missed it when it aired on CBS back in 1985, we are in luck. Because our friends from Shout! Factory have chosen Death of a Salesman as the 7th entry in their Shout Select line. For those of you that haven’t heard of Shout Select – they are handpicked films that the company feels deserve special treatment. The movies that are selected range from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai to Colors.

Now I had just mentioned that when you have the right cast for Death of a Salesman you have something special. Dustin Hoffman, John Malkovich, Stephen Lang, Kate Reid, and Charles Durning. These are just some of the talented performers who helped the movie secure three Emmy Awards.
Death of a Salesman

While I do try to leave clips until the end of my posts – I think this will do a far better job of showing you what I’m talking about.

[Via] Shout! Factory

As a matter of fact, Dustin Hoffman was performing in the Broadway play during 1984. Which is why I assume he was chosen to portray the lead in the TV movie.

So what is Death of a Salesman about?

The plot of the film concerns William ‘Willy’ Loman (Hoffman). An aging traveling salesman who has reached that point of his life where it looks like the end of the line. In addition to that is his raging inner battle against the truths of his own character. Loman has some very big problems and that is putting it mildly. It would seem he is suffering from dementia – or you might argue that he just can’t let go of the past. I think it is fair though to say it is the former more than the latter.

Furthermore Loman’s self-delusions of his own life have also has had an averse effect on his family. Case in point, you saw how he treated his wife in that clip above. Willy verbally attacks his eldest son, Biff (Malkovich), for not living up to his potential. While his youngest son, Happy (Lang), lives an equally self-delusional lifestyle.

I can’t go too much further into the plot as it risks spoiling important emotional moments. But the beauty of Miller’s play and teleplay is its honesty. While it might sound like Loman could be a deplorable character – he is overall…human. It is very easy for audiences, especially with Hoffman’s performance, to sympathize and relate. The sense you aren’t getting your just dues and the haunting regrets of the past are palpable. In addition the characters are true to themselves – you won’t find a Hollywood ending here.

This is Shout! Factory so what special features does the Blu-Ray have?

There is only one extra on this release. But it is certainly a doozy. Shout! Factory has included Private Conversations which is an almost hour and a half documentary. Featuring a behind the scenes look at the cast and crew, including Arthur Miller, as they shoot the film.

Death of a Salesman is a worthy addition to Shout Select. If you are in the mood for a powerhouse drama, it is a worthy addition to your film collection. You can pick it up today at better stores or order it from Shout! Factory on their official site.