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Archive for the tag “toys”


By @hmsbeefnuts

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.


By @hmsbeefnuts

I loved toys when I was a kid, that may not be a shocking statement, but it is a true one. I love toys now if I’m honest, I just don’t buy them any more, but that doesn’t stop me looking. The recent Avengers buzz I was experiencing made me want to check out some of the toys that tie in with the movie. Off I went to Toys R Us, and other toy shops, and bizarrely supermarkets, to check out the toys that today’s kids are into. It was a massively fun exercise. Toys R Us was always my favourite shop when I was little, that and Forbidden Planet, and to be honest, that hasn’t changed. Toy shops sell fun, and there aren’t many more noble causes than fun, even if toys seem to be selling at extortionate prices these days. I thought I would look back at some of my favourite toys from my childhood, and hopefully Google Image Search will be able to provide some great pictures, for unfortunately, I don’t own any of these any more. Lets see what I decide to pick shall we?


The wrestling figures of my youth are a pale comparison to the amazing fully articulated representation of modern WWE Superstars. But I loved them never the less. I have talked about my Macho Man Figure before, and he was my favourite of the figures I owned. I had the ring, and spent many happy hours bashing them together, reliving Wrestlemanias and Summerslams. These were great toys.


To say I was obsessed with TMHT, is something of an understatement. Of course, the toys were worth their weight in pizza. My Dad valiantly waited outside of Woolworths and Toys R Us at some ungodly hour of the morning to secure my Brother and I the fab foursome. I also remember having some very cheap knock offs for a time, before finally getting my hands on them. My favourite, Michelangelo of course. I also was lucky enough to get the sewer play-set, and the blimp, which was simply one of the greatest things I ever owned.


Every kid loves Dinosaurs. What could be better? How about Dinosaurs that have gigantic guns and other weapons strapped to them, so that two alien species could battle it out on planet Earth? Yeah I thought so. Dino-riders were so cool. They were really nice sculpts of the Dinosaurs, and also the bigger ones could walk!! I remember my Grandmother being quite freaked out by them on Christmas morning. My favourite was the massive T-Rex, or the Dienonychus (a much better Raptor). I wish I had these in mint condition. The video that came with the toys had the greatest toy adverts ever, I could watch them constantly. How come toy adverts always make the toys look amazing? Why couldn’t I have a scale model jungle for my Dino-Riders? Sometimes, life ain’t fair.


It still amazes me that the cars, planes, trucks and Dinosaurs, turned into robots! What a great idea. My first transformer was Optimus Prime, the G1 original with trailer. So cool. My favourite was Grimlock, a robot that turned into a T-Rex!! Oh hell yeah, best thing ever? Close. I also owned Transformer knock offs, The Go-Bots, and Rock Lords. I don’t see why a robot turning into a rock was so cool, but I thought they were, and had quite a few of them for some reason. They were nothing compared to Transformers though.


Who ya gona call? The Ghostbuster cartoon was the source of the toys for this next entry. The toys were not very well articulated, but they were decent sculpts of the cartoon forms of Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston. The ghosts were the cool things in this series of toys, with transforming figures that turned into ghosts, and amazing cups of slime that came with many figures. The coolest toys, however, were the replica proton packs and traps. I can remember running around a friends house with his pack strapped to my back pretending to bust some heads, in a spiritual sense. Awesome. Busting literally made me feel good.

Here our nostalgic look back must end, but look out for part two, coming real soon, where we will look at a mild mannered Prince, who becomes a barbarian super man, a toy that can be literally anything, more transforming vehicles, and many more. Catch you next time, I’m off to Toys R Us, for research purposes only you understand…


By @hmsbeefnuts

As a kid I think most of us had collections. Peer pressure alone must have driven us to collect all sorts of cards, stickers and other pieces of tat, that were at the time, THE most important thing we had to do. Who didn’t spend play times saying ‘got, got, need, need, NEED DESPERATLEY!!’, and swapping their doubles, trying to get shinies, or silvers and attempting to get the best deal possible? Three months later of course, the collection didn’t mean very much, as there was something new to collect. But that was the fate of sticker and card collections, they were only ever temporary, a passing fad, that would be replaced by the next craze. There was a smell to stickers, an exciting few seconds before you could rip the packet open, then that smell hit you, as you rifled through them, seeing if you have a silver, or a need. Brilliant fun, and an absolutely genius marketing ploy. Below then are the stickers, cards and collectables that I umm, collected, lets see how many I can remember…


This was the collection that kicked them all off. I used to love Transformers, still do really, and what better way to express my love of giant robots kicking oil and energon out of each other, than collecting 300 odd stickers and sticking them in the correct order in an album? Well, I can’t think of a better way anyway, and I’ve been trying now for at least 30 seconds. My favourite and most prized stickers were my Starscream silver, and my Grimlock shiny, because, well, they both rocked the spot didn’t they. Fond memories indeed. I have lots of money now, well, more than £2 a week pocket money anyway, think how many packs of stickers I could buy… so many, so, so many. Shame I’m too old…or am I? Yes I am.


I have a horrible confession to make. When I was at the height of my WWF Card mania, I stole 2 packs of cards from my local shop. It was the only thing I ever stole, and I am ashamed of it to this day. So ashamed in fact, that I have just donated £5 to the WWF (the panda one). I’m sorry for my crime. Anyway, these cards were my true induction into the crazy world of the WWF. Everyone in school was collecting them, for seemingly ages. Then the stickers came out. My quest for shinies and silvers was renewed once more, and I’m pretty sure I managed to complete the whole sticker collection. My most prized possession? Ultimate Warrior Logo silver, so cool.


Oh TMHT, in the UK, we weren’t allowed Ninjas, but Heroes were fine. I loved those heroes in a half shell so much. The sticker collection was a must, but I also collected the silver coins, and was obsessed with the toys. I can remember my Dad lining up outside Woolworths at 6am in order to get me and my Brother some Turtle toys, what a hero. The stickers were once again everywhere, and where at one point banned from school as they would cause arguments. The stickers were based on the cartoon show and as usual, the silver and shiny stickers were worth their weight in gold, and then some. Sunday mornings went something like this. Go to the shop, buy some Turtle stickers, open the packs on the way home, decide what I needed and what would be swapped Monday, stick them in the album, and play Turtles the rest of the day. Times were simpler then, simpler and better.


Batman The Movie cards were responsible for me being grounded, the first time I was allowed out on my own, but I don’t blame them, they were too awesome. The story goes I had to be in at 7pm, yet so obsessed with swapping these cards with a friend at a local park was I, that I totally forgot the time, and my Mum came to find me. Oh dear. At least I could console myself with a fuller collection of cards. By the time the Batman craze ended, I had a huge, towering pile of cards, and had spent more than a few weeks pocket money on them, gone now of course, shame really.


I don’t really know that much about these little pink figures. All I know is that a few friends and I were absolutely obsessed with them for a few months in Junior School. I used to buy them in Woolworths (RIP), and they came in a clear plastic bin with about 10 figures in them. I’m not really sure what they were all about now, but I know that some of the Muscle Men were bizarre monsters and freaks, and we would furiously guard our rare ones, even though, I can’t recall how we worked out which ones were rare… Anyway, these were a bizarre curio that many of my friends would forget a few months later, such is the way with crazes.


I was a lot older when I became obsessed with The X-Files. It was a heady mix of monsters and sexual tension, that connected big time with my teenage self, oh, and Gillian Anderson was smoking hot too. I got into The X-Files in a huge way. I collected the magazine, I had a very stupid X-Files baseball cap, that I actually wore out once (I looked a right idiot), and I collected the cards. These were beautifully produced, high quality cards representing the TV show. The best cards however were really nice art works of individual episodes, really stunning looking. I have them somewhere, I will really have to dig them out sometime.

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