Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Glamour Gals

It's Toy Chest Tuesday, that time of the week where you hope that new toy smell isn't really just old and moldy. Don't you hate it when you purchase a mint vintage toy from someone and clearly the toy and its package has been subjected to water torture and it just smells old and funky? Luckily for me those instances have not occured as of late. The toy I am talking about today is in wonderful condition barring a few bumps and scrapes.
Did anyone enjoy Glamour Gals? Released by Kenner in the early '80s, Glamour Gals were dolls about the size of a G.I. Joe figure and had rooted hair. There were many Glamour Gals available and were a fun part of any toy lineup. Each Gal had a name and came in multiple outfits with fun names too. Let's take a peek at Danni in Summerific!

Danni is wearing a rather large blue terry cloth robe. Underneath is a lavender swimsuit with strappy wedges.

Danni also comes with a stand and hair brush.

The thing I loved about the Glamour Gals packaging was the picture to the left of the doll. It featured the doll in a real setting. This had been the first time I had ever seen a toy interacting with a real background. At the time it was typical for most toy packaging art to feature drawn photos of the toy or logo. It was so cool to see a toy interacting in the real world and not a set made up of other toy items. The whole package just seemed, in a word, glamorous. These pictures always reminded me of my soaps and Dynasty.  

The back of the card showcased all the Galmour Gals from the first series. Three photos of playsets and their descriptions made up the middle section of the cardback. Also at the bottom was a stand for all the Glamour Gals upon turning in some purchases of proof!

There were so many Glamour Gals to choose from! Let's look at the names-
1. Shara in Rootin Tootin Rose
2. Jessie in Jean Supreme
3. Shara in Simply Sparkling
4. Jessie in Beautiful Bride
5. Jana in Sweet Romance
6. Loni in Green Dazzler
7. Danni in Silver Shimmer
8. Loni in Totally Tangerine
9. Loni in Candy Kisses
10. Jana in Sunshiner
11. Shara in Bronze Beauty
12. Danni in Rose Colored Dreams
13. Jessie in Perfectly Purple
14. Jana in Rodeo Rose
15. Danni in Summeriffic 

This part of the card showcases some playsets. There were the dreamy Dateline Sets. Each set included a male doll with some sort of date theme pieces. The picture shows Jason in Dinner for Two. Aside from Jason providing dinner there was R.J. packing a picnic. Then there was the Bo playset that had a pretty vague description, it says "Bo in Dual Dynamo." I wonder what that date entails?

The next playset was a glamorous collector's case. The case looked like a ritzy building and the clear window in the crease could showcase your favorite Glamour Gal! I've always been slightly annoyed with collector's cases. Sometimes they try to double as a cool playset but at the end of the day it is just a case. A giant tomb for a bunch of plastic.

The final playset on this card was one of my favorites, it was the Glamour Gals Fancy Firebird. Because really, Firebirds are all about the fancy. I loved how girl toylines always had a sporty type car as part of a vehicle option. Barbie has had many. Swans Crossing had one. Even Strawberry Shortcake drives a convertible. It is a giant strawberry convertible, but still!   

The bottom portion of the card detailed a fashion stand mail-in offer. The stand looked pretty cool and was another way for fans to display their Glamour Gals. I also never really realized this until now but General Mills had a hand in these dolls!

Now we need to look at the lone Glamour Gal I did get to own as a kid. Since Glamour Gals came out in the early eighties I was a little late in collecting them. In fact by the time I was really wanting one Kenner had stopped releasing any new product. The majority of stock on shelves was the marked down stuff. Loni in Totally Tangerine was about it in terms of options, but I thought she was the coolest nonetheless.

Loni reminded me of Tina Lord from One Life to Live. She was also brazen to be wearing such a loud orange outfit with that red hair. Her accessories included the stand, comb, and a large brimmed hat. Glamour Gals had interesting hats, it was usually just the brim of the hat. The crown part was missing. So decades later it hasn't been unheard of for Glamour Gals to have severe melanoma on their scalps.

Here is Loni just lounging around looking glamorous. We can also see her legs doing their bendable best. Oh I loved Glamour Gals. When my brother and I were growing up we loved gathering all our hodge podge playsets together and creating this massive town. Our summer breaks would see us spending the whole day having our dolls and figures interact. We'd construct all these elaborate soapy stories. It was so much fun. Loni was always in some scheme involving blackmail or corporate espionage. She also got around. In a whorey sort of way. But that all changed when Betty Boop stabbed her with a pair of scissors. Betty don't play when her man wanna stray. 

Anyways that is about it for today's Toy Chest Tuesday! Craving more Glamour Gals? Don't worry dear readers Glamour Gals might make another appearance in Toy Chest. There were some other really cool playsets from Glamour Gals that really taught us the important things in life. Like having a glamorous wedding or a party on a yacht. I wonder if this toyline gave Fergie the inspiration for her song? I'll be sure to ask her at the next big event. (In my dorky ass imagination.)

Monday, February 27, 2012


Ever since Strawberry Shortcake dolls burst on the scene smelling so sweet, many people have become obsessed with scented toys. I am sure there were scented toys before Strawberry Shortcake though I couldn't tell you what they were. For me Strawberry Shortcake was simply 'it.' Who hasn't wanted a doll that smells like a tasty treat?

Many scented toylines followed in Shortcake's footsteps, like Rose Petal Place, Cherry Merry Muffin, and of course the various relaunches that Strawberry Shortcake and her friends seem to have every few years. Scent and toys have even collaborated with certain characters for larger toylines like the sweet smelling Perfuma from Princess of Power and the malodorous Stinkor from Masters of the Universe. The '80s was the decade for scented toys and really any toy with a cool gimmick. And though we may no longer see an abundance of toys with a hologram sticker gimmick (i.e. Tonka's Super Naturals) every now and then a scented toy will still come along and be current. That's staying power!

Let's go to the side bar shall we? My friend D.D. once told me a funny story about his sister and grandmother. Growing up D.D.'s sister collected Strawberry Shortcake and one day she wanted their grandmother to smell a new Strawberry Shortcake doll. The only response that D.D.'s grandmother could give was, "Ugh, that doll smells like caca." Love it. Never in a million years would I have guessed that someone would say that Strawberry Shortcake smells like excrement.

Ok so let's discuss the latest toyline to smell 'oh-so-sweet,' PinyPon or Pin y Pon depending on preferance. First introduced in the '80s, PinyPon was a popular toyline in Europe and Australia I believe. The toys were basic modular characters with environments that were interchangeable, sort of like Lego or Playmobil. Currently the toyline is owned by Famosa and they have invaded American toy stores. With a whole new look these swappable toys also have a series of sweet smelling characters.

They smell like fowers! Scented toys are back! Did they ever really leave? I have recently become obsessed with these cute little toys. So let's take a look!

Here is the basic package for a scented PinyPon.

Here is the back featuring other characters and an ingredients list!

This is an opened PinyPon with pieces.

These figures seem to come from the basic line (there are many different PinyPon) and are scented like flowers. They don't really have any names though the pink one smells like roses. So we can just call her Rose. The blue one smells like... blue scent? I'm not sure what to call her.

Anyways with a quick flip of the wig and a turn of the face, Rose has a whole new look! There are also fun pieces that can be mixed and matched, like the hair clips that can also be placed in her hand. The wig and waist are also removeable, so with countless PinyPon at one's disposal the possibilities are endless.

But that is not all dear readers, things get even cuter! They have mermaid PinyPon! I am beyond thrilled.

Mermaid PinyPon have shimmery glitter painted accents and come with a pet animal and accessories.

There are only two mermaid PinyPon to choose from, but here's hoping for more.

Is that not the coolest thing? I love mermaids. Always have and I always will. In fact maybe one day I will post the reasons that mermaids are truly the best and are actually kinda having a moment in the spotlight right now.

Anyways there are so many other PinyPon toys available. There are date night sets that come with a PinyPon couple. I believe PinyPon even has a license to drive with two different car sets. I would say these are perfect for kids and the grown folk who still indulge their inner child with the ultimate in quirky cute.

Before I go let me just say this about PinyPon, this line of cuteness really reminds me of the cool girl toys from the late '80s and early '90s. They are colorful, sparkly, and scented with that dash of oddness. They may not be slim with rooted hair like a Wee Wild Thing, but they do have a similar charm. They are really fun and I highly urge you all to run out and pick some up! Stop and smell the roses folks.

And be sure to stop back tomorrow, as an all new Toy Chest Tuesday will be arriving. I may even have it posted at an earlier time so you can actually enjoy the post on Tuesday, like it was intended!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Starr Crossed Shadow

What a day dear readers. I'm not even sure where to begin. I was all set to discuss something cute invading your nearest toy store, but that will just have to wait. Two really great things happened yesterday, one on television and the other in my mail. You aren't gonna want to miss this!

I have been in a funk ever since One Life to Live ended on January 13th. Things just have not been the same. I was sad when All My Children ended but at the time both AMC and OLTL were going to continue online. My grief was rattled though when the online plans were scrapped and OLTL was really going to be over. Except it wasn't really over was it? I started my own personal fanfic for AMC and OLTL. Even though it has been difficult to keep the writing up, I am doing my best in my cool soap fanfic notebook. The stories are pretty good and I'm not about to stop, however I can't help but miss the real thing.

Recently though news of a few Llanview citizens moving to Port Charles helped me to feel a little happier with my lack of soaps on TV. The Mannings and moody John McBain would be heading over to General Hospital to mix things up with Sonny, Carly, and whoever else the almighty Ron Carlivati deems necessary.

Friday was the first episode featuring some of my Llanview favorites now on General Hospital and it was so good! Usually when a hyped character is going to appear or return on a soap the powers-that-be usually wait until the very last few minutes of the episode to briefly show the character cryptically removing their sunglasses or appearing from around a corner after a bit of stalking. Not so on Friday's episode. Starr Manning and true love Cole Thornhart were in the beginning of the episode all the way to the end.

Of course they broke the biggest soap rule of all, the star crossed lovers were driving in a car at night. Remember what I have said, if you find yourself in a soap never drive in a car at night. Bad things happen. And now I have no clue what will happen post car crash to Starr, her soulmate Cole, and their daughter Hope. What I do know though is that I will be tuning in to find out! Oh Todd and Blair are gonna tear some stuff up when they arrive next!

What is next? Let's see... Once upon a time there was a great cartoon starring a princess who was very powerful. She had a catchy theme song and a fabulous toyline. Sadly due to licensing issues and such there were certain characters that were never included in the toyline. Many fans often wondered what life would have been like had some of their favorites from She-Ra: Princess of Power been made, like Sea Hawk, Scorpia, Octavia or Shadow Weaver. Yes, Shadow Weaver; that evil Horde mistress of dark magic that always seemed a tad smarter than Hordak and was always willing to do whatever diabolical deeds it took to squash the Great Rebellion.

The cold truth was that many She-Ra fans were going to go through an existence where Shadow Weaver would be missing from their shelves. Sure some talented folk would make their own custom Shadow Weaver figures, but we never saw any officially licensed product. Oh the times they are 'a changin.' Thanks to Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics line, sculpted by the incomparable Four Horsemen, Shadow Weaver has become a reality. An exclusive figure for members of the 2012 MOTUC subscription, Shadow Weaver has started arriving on collector's doorsteps.

Mine arrived yesterday and I just have to say the decades long wait has been worth it. This is the Shadow Weaver I have always dreamed about! Just perfection, plain and simple! Now the biggest issue is, should I take her out of the package or not? There are a few folks that are working real hard to set her free...

Ok that is about it for today. Be sure to check back often, I have some fun stuff to share with you all. I am working on a glamorous Toy Chest, a new Night of the Living Roach, and a special look at a new line of toys that smell so sweet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

Dear Tim Burton,

Thank you for all the awesomeness you have shared with dorky folk since the dawn of the '80s. I don't think I have seen any of your work that has left a bad taste in my mouth. And while I am really looking forward to Dark Shadows in May, I think today I will look at some toys from one of your films that is just divine. Beetlejuice, how I love thee! Funky green mold and all!

All my dorky gratitude,
Miss M

Ok dear readers it is time for a whole new Toy Chest Tuesday! I remember seeing Beetlejuice in theaters and just falling in love with that movie. It was creepy, funny, and had Winona Ryder in it who I just love. My mom thought I would be scared by the movie and was worried about me seeing it in theaters, but I survived Large Marge from Pee-wee's Big Adventure. I was all good.

The movie was great as was the toyline. I was so thrilled that Kenner had released a line of toys to accompany the film. So let's take a look at some of the items from Kenner!

Here we have Showtime Beetlejuice. (If you look at his face he almost resembles Jason Sudeikis.) Sandi, president of the Fashion Club would probably have horrific things to say about Beetlejuice's striped suit, though it is his signature look. Kenner did a really good job of making different Beetlejuice figures that were based from the movie. Of course in true Kenner fashion this Beetlejuice came with some showtime special effects!

While lifting the lever up on his back, Beetlejuice's head sticks up with a snake like neck. (I had to have him sitting and leaning against something to keep the head up.) Of course wait, there's more!

With a quick pop off of Beetlejuice's head we see that underneath is a snake Beetleface. Super creepy with that Kenner charm!

Here is Otho the Obnoxious. And wasn't he though? I was always perturbed by his character but just had to have his action figure! I mean he's Otho. Everyone wanted an Otho, in 1989 he practically caused the same kind of frenzy that the Cabbage Patch Kids had caused years earlier. Remember? Ok maybe not, but he did have a really great action feature!

As soon as Otho is exposed to something scary his face instantly elongates and looks frightened. The little creepy critter to the left was the Rotton Rattler, a rattle snake with Beetleface. He came with the Showtime Beetlejuice shown above. Each regular sized Beetlejuice toy came with a smaller creature with a Beetleface on it.

Here is a miniature Beetlejuice figure that I believe came with the Vanishing Vault playset. I am not 100% certain on this but if anyone knows please feel free to tell me! I'm a tough old broad so my brain and memory skills aren't what they used to be.

Here is the Terrible Tarantula and he came with the Head Hunter (not shown because I lost him to the Neitherworld, aka the attic.) The Head Hunter was cool because he had a green arrow through his head. He also had a removeable head showing a shrunken head underneath. So much fun. Plus any chance I have to own a hot pink spider always works for me.

This golden beauty was called the Loathsome Lizard and came with Otho. I've never really seen a gold lizard, but I've also never seen a hot pink tarantula before either. So clearly I love this reptile very dearly.

Here is the group. I really enjoyed the toylines that Kenner made. They were always inventive and were pretty faithful to their film or animated counterpart. Though I do have one gripe about the Kenner Beetlejuice line. I have never forgiven Kenner for not releasing any female Beetlejuice figures! I get that this toyline was made for boys, but girls liked Beetlejuice too. And the female characters from Beetlejuice all had important and iconic roles in the movie. They deserved the royal action figure treatment! My goodness I would have loved a Barbara Maitland, Delia, and a Lydia Deetz. Barbara could have come with an alternative stretch face head. Delia would have needed that funky hair look and a shrimp cocktail. Finally Lydia would've been sporting that red bride dress. I wanted to grow up and get married in a red lacy dress like that.

Anyways the closest thing I have ever seen to a decent female Beetlejuice figure was from Neca. In my book that is just not good enough. I want more female Beetlejuice toys darn it! Is that so much to ask? Look I am all for multiple Beetlejuice variants, he is the main star. I get it. But there is just no excuse for the lack of at least a Lydia figure. This whole mess just gets me so worked up, I am just verklempt! That's it, Toy Chest is over for today. I'm done.

Oh who am I kidding! There's more! Following the movie it only made sense that there would be an animated series. First out in 1989 the Beetlejuice animated series lasted until 1992 and followed Lydia and her friendship wtih Beetlejuice. Word on the street was that a toyline had been toyed around with, though the closest thing we ever got to a real toyline from the animated series was a line of kidsmeal toys from Burger King.   
Here is the full set hanging out on Snake Mt. The fun thing about these toys was that behind each toy was a different version of Beetljuice with a saying at the bottom. Super ghoulish fun!

Here we have animated Beetlejuice. He looks like that teacher that just doesn't give a shit. Like he was out bar hoppin' and then decided to roll into work.

Here is the back of Beetlejuice. The bottom caption of the heads reads "The Ghost Post." The totem poll look featured the Deetz family and Beetlejuice himself.

Well in a way I did end up getting a Lydia figure, though I never thought she'd be coming out of a Burger King bag. Oh well, beggers can't be bitchy can they? Though I must say this Lydia looks a tad tipsy. Still this was one of my all time favorite kidsmeal toys, ever.

Turning Lydia around we see Beetlejuice doing a handstand. The caption says, "Head Over Heels." I love how his feet are part of Lydia's hair. It was a perfect blend! Just fantastic toymanship, way to go China!

Charles Deetz was Lydia's father. He was always getting punk'd by Beetlejuice. I love that he is sitting in his chair looking over his shoulder. Almost like he knows something is about to go down.

This was one of the more creepier looking back sides to the toys. Beetlejuice has a large face that looks odd. The caption says, "The Uneasy Chair." I'd be uneasy too if I had that face sitting under my chair. That's worse than snakes coming up your toilet. Or a baby alligator.

And here we have Delia, Lydia's stepmother. She may not have come with a lively shrimp cocktail, but she did come with a cool dopey look on her face. I loved her. Though I have never liked shrimp cocktail. I just can't get into eating shrimp. They look grody.

The back of the toy was entitled "Peek-A-Boo Do." Here we have another Beetlejuice spider walkin' in a spider web. On a side note has anyone ever had a spider in their hair? I thought I did once and it was awful. Ever since Scary Stories 3 I have been paranoid that a spider will hatch eggs in my cheek or something. Just leave them alone and they'll do the same.

Up next is Jacques LaLean, a french bodybuilder who was also a skeleton. If I recall correctly he was always falling to pieces, kinda like a Patsy Cline song. He was very cute.  

The back side was Beetlejuice busting out of a televison set. "Ghost to Ghost TV" was very similar to a Freddy Krueger scene. Can I just say though, as much as I love Beetlejuice the thing I found really gross about him was his teeth. I'd always try to imagine how foul and rotten his teeth must have smelled, but could never really fathom that much. There are some things that just need to be ignored.

The next and final Burger King toy was the Sandworm, always a menacing annoyance. I can't say much about the Sandworm. I avoid deserts because of the Sandworm and for the longest time felt that walking through the kitchen backdoor would indeed take me to a whole new world.  

This was a very interesting flip side. "The Charmer" showed Beetlejuice sitting on a pillow and apparently charming a Sandworm. I thought his hat was actually his brain swelling out of his head when I was little.

And "The Charmer" actually sums this whole toyline up rather nicely. Beetlejuice charmed his way into my lil heart. I will always have high hopes that a lil toy-company-that-could will release some new Beetlejuice figures featuring the characters that deserve to be immortalized in plastic long after we have all received our own copies of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased.

So that is about it for today's supersized Toy Chest Tuesday. (It was rather lengthy wasn't it?) Check back soon for more fun stuff though!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jem- The Reunion Chapter 2

Ok it is that time again, time for a new Jem fanfic chapter. I know, I know, "Why do we need to read more Jem fanfic Miss M?" Well here's why, it makes you smarter. And since Hasbro still insists on taking a very slow time with any Jem relaunch for the foreseeable future I am just gonna keep rollin' out my Jem fanfic, a lovely look at where Jem and the gang would be 20 somethin years later.
Here's what you may have missed from Chapter 1. Time has not been good to Jem. After the world found out that Jerrica Benton and Jem were one in the same the curtain came down on the popular '80s band. Now in the present Jem has had a recent resurgence in popularity and interest. While appearing on the Lindsey Pierce show Jem announced that the Holograms and her would be reuniting for a world tour and certain guests would be accompanying the group, like Barbie and the Rockers. While leaving the show Jem made a phone call to someone about a meeting of some kind...

News of the Jem reunion tour enraged Pizzazz, leader of the Misfits who were quite possibly the biggest rival band that Jem and the Holograms ever had to deal with. In other news Eric Raymond former band manager to the Misfits was going to be released from prison. Apparantly Eric tried to stall the Holograms from attending a benefit concert and nearly got them, the Misfits, and the Stingers all killed in a deadly fire. This is the same fire that also led the world to finding out that Jerrica and Jem were the same person after she was rushed to the hospital.

So now put on your best war paint and get ready for the reunion of a lifetime...

 Jem- The Reunion
Chapter 2

Jem exits an elevator into a posh waiting room. Heading to the left and walking through the halls of Starlight Music, Jem can't help but look at the pictures of people and various achievements that the music company has received in the recent decades. There is an excitement in the air as she heads to a large office room with a view of downtown Los Angeles. As Jem enters the room a chair turns around behind a desk. Aja stands tall in a sleek business suit, her blue hair pulled tight into a bun. With arms crossed Aja says, "Well there's our new tv star. I caught your interview on the Lindsey Pierce show and I must say I was shocked. I had no idea we would be gearing up for a reunion tour. Had I known I would have bought us some champagne!" Aja takes a seat and slightly grins, "So I am going to sit here and let you tell me how this all happened. And action."

Jem knows there is a lot of explaining to do, "Aja I had no choice. It was either get on the Lindsey Pierce show today or wait at least 6 months or longer for a spot to open up. I no longer have the clout I used to, it had to be now or never."

Shaking her head Aja looks out the window before turning to Jem, "Would it have taken that much time to call us and just see if we were interested in a reunion tour? Jem, you just spoke on our behalf, what if the other members say no? You have been so impulsive lately!"

"I know I have Aja, but I did what I thought was best. I could have stopped and interrupted everyone's busy lives to see about reuniting, but I wanted to say something now. While we are still in slight demand. Look at our songs, they are doing really well on iTunes. I've had calls about releasing a nice greatest hits package with some new songs. There are even Jem Conventions Aja! People dress up like us and do it rather well. There is something in the air, I can feel it. I don't want to miss out on this before it is too late."

Aja stands and walks to a small bar by the office desk. She pours herself a glass of sparkling water, "Too late? Jem you talk as if we will no longer be relevant in a few months. I know it was a blow when the world turned aginst us, but I think it would have been alright for you to talk to us first. And what of Barbie? You announced her band would be joining us. Have you forgotten what it was like to be around her? How did this happen? Does she even know or will she be shocked like me?"

Pouring herself a glass of sparkling water too, Jem tells her story, "Barbie knows somewhat. We were at Elton's charity event about a month ago and we struck up a nice conversation. She asked if the Holograms were going to ever reunite, and one thing led to another. We casually started talking about uniting both bands and doing a tour. To double check I called her manager and he said go for it. We just need to iron out the details." The two women look at each other. Raised as foster sisters Aja and Jem were still close after all these years. No matter what may have happened with everyone else, Aja always remained close. Aja raises an eyebrow, "By details you mean getting the Holograms back together?"

Jem nods, "Yes. And I hope that I can count on you to be the first to say yes. I will need your help convincing everyone else." Aja is silent for a few moments, "I suppose I could say yes, as long as it doesn't disturb my duties as president of the Starlight Foundation." With Jem having a growing larger part in maintaining Starlight Music she had asked Aja to head the Starlight Foundation for Foster Girls a few years back. Aja had proven to be highly successful in her role with the foundation. Jem looks at Aja, "You suppose?"

Grinning from ear to ear Aja laughs, "Oh of course I'm going to say yes Jem! There is no other answer! So what is the next plan?" Jem smiles and hugs Aja, "Oh Aja I am so happy! I know I was impulsive, blame it on age. But we can make this work. The next thing we need to do is take a quick trip to San Franciso tonight. Raya's band is performing and I made a few calls. We have back stage passes." Aja smiles, "And you say you no longer have any clout, ha! Well let's get going!" Jem and Aja talk further and prepare to head to San Francisco...

Raya's concert is nearing an end. Jem and Aja watch from the side of the stage and are so proud to see Raya performing with her new band. After Jem and the Holograms broke up Raya became quite the commodity with other musical acts. In the recent years Raya began lending her talents on drums to the alternative rock band Le Fleur. Aja shouts into Jem's ears, "Aren't you proud of her Jem? Raya has come such a long way!" Jem nods and wonders what everything would have been like if the Holograms had never broken up.

Once the concert is over Raya makes her way to her dear friends. Slightly older and still gorgeous, Raya grabs a towl from an assistant and wipes her face, her pink hair messy and wild. Raya hugs her friends and they are all excited to see each other. "Oh Jem and Aja I am so happy to see you both! What a surprise!"

Aja nods, "You look fantastic! I love your outfit!" Raya smiles and looks down at her rocker girl costume of tattered leggings and strapless silver top, "Oh I try to throw on what I can! You two look great too!" Raya smiles. Jem and Aja look a bit more subdued so as not to attract too much attention. Jem adjusts her billowy dress, "Raya we are so happy for you. The music was so good, your talents as a drummer are just sublime."

Raya smiles, "I owe that to my time when I was with you Jem. Being a part of the Holograms taught me so much and I have carried that with me to this very day!" The three talk for a little longer catching up on everyone's various activities and projects, which eventually leads to Jem asking, "I know you have been busy with Le Fleur Raya, but what would you think of reuniting with the Holograms for a tour?"

Smiling at her two former bandmates Raya looks sad, "I had heard about your interview with Lindsey Pierce earlier today. I think it is a wonderful idea Jem, but I am so sorry. I just can't commit to that at this time. I wish I could, I really do. I'm so sorry." Jem hugs Raya, "Don't apologize for that Raya! I completely understand, we just wanted to ask you personally." Aja chimes in, "Which we should have done sooner, but this all came together so quickly."

Aja quickly darts her eyes to Jem, this was going to be more difficult than they thought. Raya nods, "Yes, but I understand how things can get thought out pretty quickly. I wish you all the best with everything..." Raya pauses as her assistant whispers something in her ear. Raya nods and looks at Jem and Aja, "I'm so sorry, but I have to step away for a second. I have a brief interview with a journalist from Rollingstone. Please enjoy everything back stage and I will try to talk some more later on ok?" Jem and Aja understand realizing that things really have changed in all their lives. Hugs are given and soon Jem and Aja are standing alone as people walk around not even aware of who they are.

How is this all going to work out Jem asks herself. Maybe a reunion tour was a bad idea. Aja nudges Jem's arm, "Alright fearless leader, what do we do next?" Jem looks at Aja and realizes that this is going to work. This is her last chance... Jem smiles, "First I think we need to leave and find something to eat. I'm starving. As for the next step, what do you think about going to Paris next week?" Raya may have said no to the reunion tour, but hopefully Shana would have a different response. Aja perks up, "Paris? You don't have to ask me twice!" The two walk off already discussing what would be on the list of things to do in the city of lights.

As a few days pass and turn into a new week Eric Raymond finds himself on the verge of becoming a free man. A little after twenty years of being locked up and serving his time well, Eric has just a few more things to do before walking out of prison and into a new life. He can't believe freedom is so close. Back in 1989 he had worked with Pizzazz to stall the Holograms from performing at a huge benefit concert. He had never planned for the fire to grow out of control and nearly kill everyone that was there. A trial soon followed and though the bigger story had been that Jem was actually Jerrica Benton, nothing could completely take away from the sobering realization that he was eventually found guilty. A long life in prison soon commenced.

This was all set to be the past however as Eric put on his clothing from his personal effects. Throwing on a Members Only jacket over his dated slacks and button up, Eric knew he must've looked ridiculous. However he made his way to the clerk to finish signing out and collecting the rest of his belongings. While going over his items the clerk looks at Eric, "You been gone awhile, might need to get some new clothes."

Eric dryly states, "I'll add that to the top of my to-do list." The clerk hands him his weathered vintage brief case. Eric opens it up and looks at the various files and paperwork resting comfortably inside. He stumbles upon a black cassette with neon colored lettering. Instantly feeling revulsion Eric takes the cassette out and slides it to the clerk, "Burn this. I have no use for it."

The clerk looks at Eric, "Sir, this is a Federal building, I can't burn this!" Eric groans, "Fine, just take it. I want nothing to do with it." The clerk looks at the cassette and gasps, "Oh I remember the Misfits! They were that band... They sang that song... Oh how did it go? 'I've got my eye on you' or something like that." Eric shakes his head, "Wrong song. The Misfits didn't sing that." The clerk is insistant, "No, I'm pretty sure they did. Oh I think I will keep this cassette, I loved them! Though I'm not sure how I will listen to it..." The clerk turns over the cassette and then says, "Maybe I can get something for it on ebay instead." Eric grimaces, "I highly doubt it." Finishing up his paperwork Eric takes one last look around, freedom is but a few steps away...

Walking outside Eric squints into the sunlight. Unsure of what he should do next he starts walking towards the road until a shiny black limo pulls up in front of him. The door swings open and a pair of long legs glide out in heels with blood red soles. Standing in front of Eric is Pizzazz, green hair teased within an inch of its life. Wearing large oversized sunglasses and a short tight dress Pizzazz waves, "Eric! You're out! How 'bout a ride?"

Eric walks by her and mutters, "I'd rather take my chances on foot." Eric continues to walk by the limo heading as far away from trouble as he possibly can. Pizzazz calls back, "Oh Eric don't be ridiculous! Get inside the car!" Eric ignores her and continues walking. Letting out an exasperated groan Pizzazz gets back into the limo and tells the driver to follow Eric. The limo slowly drives next to Eric.

"Eric, stop this. Just get in the limo. Walking back to civilization will take forever! Besides I need your help. I have a job for you Eric and it will pay very well." Eric stops and rolls his eyes, "You'll pay me well? Last I heard Pizzazz you have no money." Pizzazz grins looking out through the limo window, "This is true Eric, I lost all my money years ago. However daddy died and I got all of his. Now I am filthy rich and I want to get filthier. So stop being annoying and get in the damn limo."

Taking a brief moment to look at his options, Eric decides to get inside. The car is a full stretch limo, the nicest thing Eric has sat in within the last twenty years. He removes his jacket, Pizzazz notices that Eric has bulked up since the last time she saw him, "Wow Eric, prison does a body good." Pizzazz reaches out and touches Eric's muscular arm. Eric moves his arm away, "Stop panting Pizzazz."

Cackling a bit Pizzazz reaches over and pours two drinks and hands one over to Eric. Shaking his head Eric says, "No thanks. I haven't had a drink in twenty years, I'm good." Pizazz grins, "In that case you must be very thirsty. Come on Eric, it's your favorite scotch." Eric grabs the glass and throws it back. Pizzazz's eyes dazzle with mischief, "See that wasn't so bad. It is so good to see you Eric."

Looking at Pizzazz with a blank face Eric chuckles, "Good to see me? When is the last time you saw me Pizzazz? You don't call. You don't write. I don't think you ever once made an attempt to see me while I was locked up." Pizzazz looks down and fixes her dress, "I'm here now Eric. Besides I make it a point to avoid going to prison." Eric looks out the window and laughs, "Tell me about it, you just send people there after they've done your bidding."

"Oh Eric please. So you went to jail for a couple decades, you're out now. And you did a great thing, who would've guessed that the almighty Jerrica Benton was that wenchy Jem?" Pizzazz grins while taking a sip of scotch. Eric looks over and rolls his eyes, "I don't care to think about her. Tell me about this job, how will I be making money?"

While placing her glass on the mini bar Pizzazz turns to look at Eric, "Well I'm not sure if you know this but it has become very trendy for has-been bands to reunite for cheesy reunion tours. And I thought it would be nice to show them that the Misfits don't need a reunion tour, that we've always been here making the best music and throwing the best tours." Eric nods, "Very interesting Pizzazz. Reunion tours are tacky for the likes of the Misfits. Tell me, when was the last time you spoke to the other Misfits?" Pizzazz snaps, "Oh shut up Eric. We'll get the band back together in due time. I need you to be our manager, like the good old days."

"The good old days Pizzazz? If I'm to do this I will not be doing any illegal activities, I'm not going back to prison." Eric says reaching over and pouring himself another glass of scotch. Pizzazz smiles, "Of course not Eric, I wouldn't dream of you going back to prison. You're more important to me right here, helping to bring the Misfits back to the number 1 spot." Eric takes a slower sip from his scotch this time, "This quest for being number 1, it wouldn't have anything to do with Jem and the Holograms going on tour again would it? Don't look so surprised Pizzazz, I have been in prison, not living under a rock."

Pizzazz plays innocent, "Oh please as if I care about that piece of phony trash." Eric and Pizzazz look at each other, the history they have shared has never changed no matter what amount of time has passed. Pizzazz devilishly grins, "Well maybe it has something to do with Jem. That annoying mess thinks she can go on a reunion tour and ask Barbie and the Rockers to join, not even thinking about me? The Misfits helped make Jem and the Holograms who they are, and now I'm ready to show her what I'm really capable of. She and I have unfinished business. So come on Eric, what do you say?" Eric finishes his scotch and pauses, "Sure Pizzazz. I'll help, but it'll cost you." Pizzazz tilts her head back, "That doesn't matter. This is just the beginning! Oh Eric, we're gonna get her. But first, you need some new clothes." Pizzazz laughs out loud as Eric sits back in his seat, what was he getting involved with this time?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dorky Snaps

Remember ToyFare magazine? If you are a dork the answer is probably yes. ToyFare was the perfect magazine because it was all about action figures. (I even loved it more than Vogue, though TF was ranked a lil below Soap Opera Digest.) Anyways the magazine ended its run last year and if you were really quiet you could've heard the collective cry of the dork community throughout the universe. How were we going to get our toy news fix? Sure there are sites all over the web dedicated to toy news, but nothing was better than a real magazine in your hands filling you with knowledge, news, wish lists, and funny pictures. I'll never forget the first issue I bought, it was issue #7 and the very first Tomb Raider figure was on the cover. Thank goodness Lara has come a long way.

Anyway one of the great things about ToyFare was the little still shots of various toys with comic bubbles depicting a humorously witty conversation or sentence. So I thought what better way to pay tribute to that great magazine than by taking some funny snapshots of toys and all the stuff we love. So welcome to a new feature on Diary that I like to call Dorky Snaps! The pictures may not have the comic bubbles, but they hopefully have a lot of awesomeness. And to make it a fun interactive experience I thought I would leave the last picture blank, so that my fantastic readers could share with me their own funny line to go with the snapshot. Also, as a reminder, no toy's feelings were hurt in the making of these jokes! So enjoy!

While on the way to save the Great Rebellion from the Horde, Buttercup just had to tell She-Ra, "You're gonna need a bigger horse."

"All right, Mr. D. Vanille, I'm ready for my close-up." 

History of Fighting 101:
How rich women fought in the '80s

(So come on readers, what do you think?)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Toy Chest Tuesday! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Happy Valentine's Day dear readers! What a perfect day for a brand new Toy Chest! I have always liked Valentine's Day. Regardless if I was single or with someone the holiday has always been a favorite and here is why: I love hearts. I also love wearing red and pink. Of course one of the greatest things about V-Day has always been the Valentine's Day cards. I mean honestly is there really any other reason to stay in school?

That was one of my favorite parts about school. The possibilities for styling card mailboxes and all the kinds of cards available at the store was so exciting. I remember receiving an ALF and Rhonda valentine from this boy in my elementary class and I just loved it! I felt so special because I don't think he gave that particular valentine to any other girl in class. It was such an awesome feeling, one that would not really be repeated since I grew up into a real socially awkward mess.

Anyways let's talk about what's on tap for today's Toy Chest Tuesday. I have a nice group of toys today and it is in honor of the great folks at Planetoa.net. For those who are wondering PlanetOa.net is the place where the greatest toy minds in the world converge to discuss all manner of geeky news. If you are interested and would like to join, head over now! Everyone is nice and wonderful.

So, where were we? Ah yes, the toys! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were one of the best toy lines ever made. Rolled out by Playmates in 1988 these toys went beyond the original fab four turtles. Much like most of the large toylines from the '80s practically every character from the TMNT cartoon and films were made into an action figure. My first TMNT figure was April O'Neil (duh.)

The second TMNT figure I got was Michelangelo, the party turtle. There was such a strange feeling upon owning my first turtle. I mean let's be real up until TMNT I was all about barbie and other girly items. Sure there'd be an occasional He-Man or Lion-O added to the mix, but they were mainly wanted because Teela and Cheetara needed boyfriends. No, owning a mutated turtle was completely new. I had never quite owned anything like it. What was I supposed to do with it?

Needless to say I quickly fell in love with the turtles as did most people at the time. Each turtle had their own unique personality along with a wide range of ninja weapons. Oh, and a love for pizza. I was able to own a few TMNT figures, though not every single one. Playmates really made a vast long running series of figures. It is mind boggling at the amount of items that were available to fans.

So let's check out some of the Turtle toys I did own!

Here is the fab four. Err, make that three and a variant. (I couldn't find my Leonardo at posting time.) Anyways from left we have Michelangelo sans belt, Raphael, Donatello, and another Raphael, sans belt as well. Can I just say I hate missing pieces and accessories? Nothing drives me crazier than losing weapons and a missing Leo.

Here is a solo picture of the turtle everyone wants at their house party, Michelangelo. He looks a bit naked but that is ok. Somewhere Pizza Hut and Dominos are anticipating numerous orders for pizza. This was the first edition Michelangelo and there were many editions to follow (maybe if you are all good his variants will pop up on Toy Chest again...)

Raphael's surly attitude would be proud to know that two of his variants are featured on Toy Chest. The one to the left is first edition Raph and the one to the right was a cool variant released in '91 from the "Head Droppin" series. Let's look at his cool feature...

As you can see Raph's head can be pushed into his shell. Perfect for dodging kicks to the head from those pesky Foot Soldiers.  

Once you squeeze his legs together his head pops back up! 

Here we have Donatello. He was the brainy turtle and one of the better options in the original TMNT Nintendo game. Has anyone actually beaten that game? I've never gotten past that dreadful underwater bomb level. Screw that level!

But wait! Don't go! There is more TMNT goodness though! The Turtles brought along some friends for Toy Chest Tuesday! Best Valentine's Day surprise ever! Right?

Here is one of the many versions of April O'Neil. This April looks very much like the first edition April except for the new hair sculpt and orange accents. My original April lost her legs in a freak accident with Janine Melnitz's yellow bug so thankfully I have this one! I also always wanted a yellow jump suit when I was younger. I just thought they were so cool.

Now here is another outfit that I loved and actually used to wear a lot of in my younger twenties. I'm just kidding. Or am I? Anyways this April has already been featured before on Toy Chest (though I thought she deserved another mention) so for all her details check out April the Ravishing Reporter.
The final friend stopping by this time around is Ace Duck, one of my favorite TMNT characters. He reminded me of Howard the Duck so much. I had a crush on Howard the Duck when I was younger so this guy definitely had to be in my collection! His wings were also removeable and he came with a cool hat, not shown because I have no idea where it is.

So that is about it for this week's Toy Chest Tuesday. I hope that you have all enjoyed checking out some cool Turtle toys from Playmates. Speaking of Playmates, there will be a relaunch later on in 2012! This is why I love TMNT. Playmates has always been pretty consistent with releasing these great characters in toy form. They may go away for a couple of years, but they always manage to find their way back onto our shelves. And hearts. For more details and conversations about the new relaunch head on over to PlanetOa!

The toys of TMNT and I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day!