Toys   3 comments

Yesterday, I went to and almost signed up as an affiliate. I have this blog site, and it seems to me I could talk enthusiastically  about toys and some of the mucho mucho good stuff that you see in the comics and toy stores. But they wanted to know in the sign-up form how many unique hits I get each month, and I’m ashamed to say the number is probably less than one hundred, so I cancelled that idea. However, it did get me thinking about the toys I have, and the ones I’d like to have, and from that comes this essay.

Is it written somewhere that grown men can’t have toys? Or maybe, our toys are supposed to be sports cars, yachts, and loose women? Well, I can’t afford sports cars, yachts, and loose women, and computer gaming doesn’t scratch the whole itch. And we are living in a golden age of toys–a golden age of pop  culture where the goodies just get better and better. Merchandising is getting so good; talent is so ubiquitous; manufacturing is so cheap that there are toys today for everything.


(I should be driving this instead of a little blue Kia.)


Can you see that I’m a fantasy fan? Maybe if I had the car, I could have the company, but I definitely can’t afford this kind of toy.

I’m a fan of fantasy, science fiction, comics, and gaming–not necessarily in that order, but pretty much all at the same time.  I can buy the books and the movies and the comics, but I have a hard time buying the toys. For one thing, they are very expensive. For another, where will I put them in a house that is already crammed to the rafters with books and movies and comics? For a third, I don’t want those looks from the so-called straight world when they see me walking away with a Lord of the Rings action figure. Somehow, these things are supposed to be for children.

And yet the stuff is so cool that I have that “I gotta own this” feeling whenever I see something new.

Well, I do have some, but it’s not here with me right now so I can’t give you brand names. Let me just mention some of the good stuff that is hiding in dark corners of my back room.

1. Pride of place goes to the Battle Troll from Lord of the Rings. It is about 1 foot tall and is massive compared to the osther action figures in my collection. If you push the chest it growls at you. Ferocious, ugly, awesome, I’d really love to pull it out in a Toy Wars game sometime and have it smash Transformers to bits. Alas, it has never even come out of the box.

2. I have a couple of Conan action figures. My admiration of the  Cimmerian started when I was in high school. Can’t even guess at how many thousands of dollars I’ve spent during my lifetime keeping up with the black-haired barbarian.  I wish I had them all, but a couple will have to do.

3. Back in the 90s there was a brief Tarzan fad–inspired by Dark Horse comics, I think, that took Tarzan to Barsoom in the comics. Tarzan met John Carter and Tars Tarkas.  Somebody did action figures of them all, and I bought them.  Every time I walk into my back room I stop and admire them.

4. Last and definitely least are the Kids Meal Toys. Way back in the 80s I noticed that some of the toys being given away in the kids meals at MacDonalds and Burger King were much better than the food itself. Different restaurants had affiliations with different entertainment conglomerates. MacDonalds had Disney. Burger King had Warner Brothers. For a while there in the 80s I was buying lots of kids meals just to get the toys. That has continued to this very day, although it has slacked off a lot. When Disney’s Tarzan came out I definitely had to have the Happy Meal Toys. And they sit in my back room, by the hundreds, piled atop a steamer trunk, which is itself full of fabulous happy meal toys that haven’t seen the light of day in 20 years.

You know who I envy? I envy the collectors who actually have enough space, and enough money to display their toys.  It seems to me that they are blessed. Wish I was one of them.

So much creativity, so many toys, so much popular culture on display. We live in a Golden Age. I hope you’re enjoying it more than I am. Gad, it burns me that there are so many great things around to have, and I will never have them, simply because I either can’t afford them or  have no place to put them.

So, what toys do you have? And do you ever really get to play with them?

Hooray for toys! Sigh!


Posted March 4, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

3 responses to “Toys

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  1. Tarzan on Mars…hmmmm. Isn’t that like putting banana ice cream and banana pudding in your banana spit?

  2. I’ve got lot’s of superhero toys that my kids and I play with. I still have some old Shogun Warriors. I used to have quite a few of Mego toys including the Star Trek ones. Wish I held on to those.

  3. Ken, do you know how to check your web statistics? You might be getting more unique hits than you believe. (And I think if you have 100 fans, each checking your block 4 times a month, that would be 400 hits, not 100.) The Flying Buffalo webpage gets a couple thousand every month, and I don’t really advertise it significantly.

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