Fisher Price Toys in 1964

Fisher Price - Our Work is Childs Play!

As a parent of two young children, I’ve had to view a lot of preschool toys in catalogs and shops and in too many cases the purchased product hasn’t lived up to my expectations.

I’d wager that wasn’t true of parents in 1964 when purchasing toys from this leaflet! I’d take any of the items below over their modern counterpart bought for my children in the last 3 years! I wonder how many parents still write to Fisher Price to complement them on their sturdy construction?

Fisher Price Toys

My favourite has to be the Huffy Puffy Train, with the Chatter Telephone a close second.

Thankfully, these toys aren’t lost forever – Pixar’s Toy Story films keep the memory of some of them alive to this day.

And of course, Youtube has plenty of video’s to remind you, such as this one:

Titan Books Presents: Joss Whedon – The Complete Companion

A big thanks to our friends over at Titan Books and PopMatters for allowing me the chance to review their new tome on one of my favorite creators of TV, Movies, Comic Books, and Musicals. Joss Whedon. Here is the Synopsis from the Titan Books site:

THE ESSENTIAL UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO THE WHEDONVERSE

Joss Whedon’s importance in contemporary pop culture can hardly be overstated, but there has never been a book providing a comprehensive survey of his career as a whole – until now. The Complete Companion covers every aspect of the Whedonverse through insightful essays and interviews, including fascinating conversations with key collaborators Jane Espenson and Tim Minear.

Over 40 contributors have been brought together by PopMatters, the acclaimed international magazine of cultural criticism, to provide an irresistible mix of analysis, interpretation and sheer celebration. Whether you’re a student looking for critical approaches to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or a Browncoat who follows Nathan Fillion on Twitter (or, let’s face it, both) there is plenty here to enjoy.

Covers all the TV series, movies, and comic books, including:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Fray, Astonishing X-Men, The Avengers… and more!” End Italics

I became a fan of Whedon a little late in the game, becoming addicted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer around the third season thanks to reruns on the FX network in the early afternoons before work quite a few years back now. While my work schedule has always kept me from watching the series that Joss has been connected with during their initial debuts I found myself wholly drinking of the Kool-Aid of Whedon when it came to Science Fiction western, Firefly.

I should also clear up from my comment up top that I didn’t realize I was a Whedon fan until Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s third season. Thanks to the Joss Whedon Complete Companion I learned that he was a script doctor for some of my favorite animated films like say…Toy Story, Titan A.E., and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He also rewrote the script for Speed but was uncredited as well as the 1996 popcorn flick, Twister.

Joss Whedon has gone on to do comic work, writing Astonishing X-Men and Runaways for Marvel Comics. Fray for Dark Horse comics which is a futuristic spin-off from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series which Whedon has written in comic form as well. Joss has written Angel, itself a TV spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in comic form for IDW Publishing.

The Complete Companion is a 477 page tome that like the Synopsis says, the 40 contributors are varied, some are complete serious scholarly writings, nay some are basically a thesis on a particular show or aspect of the Whedonverse. Others are from the viewpoints of fans that finds themselves compelled to explain the reason why Joss Whedon’s work inspires them in life.

With the absolutely fantastic Cabin in the Woods still in theaters, which Whedon co-wrote and produced with Drew Goddard, and the Avengers just hitting the silver screens yesterday, it is the perfect time for any fan of the many projects that Joss has been involved with to pick up this book. It’s a smart and educating read.

You can pick up a copy at Titan Books and Amazon.

The Return of Condorman in the Toy Story Short “Small Fry”

 

There are lots of great reasons to see the new Muppet movie in theaters now, including “Small Fry” a new Toy Story short that preceeds the film.   I found that I laughed more during “Small Fry” than I do in most feature length comedies.   But, for me, the best part was that “Small Fry” includes a toy based on the movie “Condorman” – a largely forgotten Disney film from 1981.  Condorman starred Michael Crawford as a cartoonist turned into a bumbling superhero.  I was introduced to Condorman via a novelization I picked up at grade school long before I got around to seeing the actual film.  DVDs of Condorman are hard to come by – but it is available on Amazon’s Video on Demand service.   Do yourself a favor and check it out.  There are precious few of us Condorfans out there, and I could use some company.