Hello toy fans, and welcome back to Top Toys, part two. Last time we looked at some of my favourite childhood toys, Transformers, Turtles, Dino-Riders, WWF and Ghostbusters. A pretty great toy box worth of stuff, that I have very fond memories of. This time, we will go back in time to the first major toys craze I was part of, and forward in time to toys I was ‘too old’ to have, but wanted anyway. It is such a shame that most kids today think toys are for babies, and it’s all about video games. I know, I’ve asked some. Toys stimulate the imagination, and are great fun, lets hope that kids are still playing with Batman and Transformers a hundred years from now. So enough rambling, lets get involved with the toys!!!
He-man was my first toy love. I had a load of He-man figures, and vehicles and monsters and play-sets, my favourite, was He-man on Battlecat. I loved Battlecat so much, still do. Who wouldn’t want to ride a gigantic green and yellow tiger into battle? The toys themselves all had the same body sculpts, to save money, but each had different accessories and head sculpts. The TV show was basically just an advert for the toys, which is no bad thing really. I can remember having horrendous ear ache whilst being in Cardiff with my Mum, and taking cover in Toys R Us, whilst a very loud and scary thunder storm happened all around us. To ease my pain, Mum bought me Buzz Off, a bee themed hero, awesome. I also remember for my birthday, picking up the Castle Greyskull play-set, and having to go to my Grandmothers, so excited, but could not play with it because it didn’t come with any figures, I had to wait till I got home. It was torture.
MASK, was pretty cool. A group of guys and gals, who fought the evil Venom with cars, trucks and bikes, that turned into other things like tanks, helicopters and boats, all armed to the teeth. My favourite MASK vehicle was a green motor bike that turned into a helicopter, so awesome, it is beyond my power to describe. Did I mention that MASK had their base in a hollowed out Volcano? Now you know. MASK figures were tiny, similar to the Dino-Rider humans/aliens, but that just meant they could interact with each other. Tooled up Dinos Vs. Transforming cars? Yes please.
For it’s versatility alone, Lego is probably the greatest toy ever invented. Your options are only limited by your imagination. But, if you don’t fancy building your own entertainment, the Lego sets are some of the greatest things ever made. When I was young, we didn’t have Superhero Lego, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter or the like. We had Knights and Pirates, and these were my favourite sets to collect. Pirate Lego had brilliant ships and bases to build, and Knights had Castles and Robin Hood!! The sets I saw recently looked awesome, kids are spoiled these days I guess. My favourite Lego set was the Pirate Ship. It was so cool. The fact it can all work together with other Lego universes and sets is such a stroke of genius. Lego is awesome, and I want some right now.
Jurassic Park blew my mind, it is one of my most fond memories of seeing a film on an opening weekend. It was chaos at the old Cardiff ODEON that Saturday night I went to see it with the family, the kind of organised chaos I have only really experienced at Disneyworld. Everyone was buzzing. The film obviously was great, so good in fact that I wanted the next day to go immediately to a toy shop to buy every Jurassic Park toy I could lay my hands on. The Dinosaurs were beautifully sculpted and they looked awesome. The T-Rex in particular. I wish I had all these toys, but I have none, all gone to the great toy box in the sky…
I’ve always been a fan of superheroes, but apart from a a few Batman toys, and the odd Spider-Man, I never had a large collection of Comic Heroes. However, on my recent trip to Toys R Us, I noticed a vast selection of 3.5 inch Marvel Universe figures, and I couldn’t resist buying the four main Avengers. Why not? They look good on my shelf. Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America (WWII version) and Thor, they are lovely little things, well sculpted with great articulation and accessories. I had to stop myself at the four, I could have gone on and on, but I have bills to pay. These toys however are fantastic, with all kinds of famous and obscure characters being transformed into figure form. I know if I was a kid, I’d be all over these.