Monday, July 7, 2014

A Box of Cool

Well, it has been awhile since I have just talked about toys and not involve them in some sort of soapy melodrama. I hope I can still remember what it's like to just talk about toys. Oh, who am I kidding, one never loses the art of good toy talk. So click the link below to see just how gracious and kind Kal, from the Canadian Cave of Cool, was by sending me some truly remarkable toy items.

Ok, so Kal from the Canadian Cave of Cool is, well, cool. First of all, he is a friend from far off lands. I have corresponded with him for a long time now, and he has always been very kind. He also has single handedly saved the world from tentacled beasts on more than one occasion. He also has a great sense of humor and insight that he sprinkles on his blog for the world to read and enjoy.

So when he told me to be expecting something in the mail, I was more than touched that he wanted to think of me. Once I received his gift of cool, I was even more touched because I opened not just a box of awesomeness, but a box filled with items that brought back so many memories and experiences.

I think it is safe to say that one of the things I love about collecting is that every toy has a story, both new and old. Many of us have experiences tied to these items. Of course in some cases the story quickly changes into an act of melodrama, but again, there will be no melodrama today! Just good old fashioned toy talk.

One of the first things that made me smile all wide-eyed was this Toy Biz Invisible Woman. I can't tell you how many Toysrus employees I pestered in regards to this figure back in the day. When this figure was released in the 90's there weren't that many female super hero figures. To have the chance to own the matriarch of Marvel's first family was exactly what I wanted for my collection. I searched and searched. I had at least three TRU employees combing the pegs and back of the store for this Invisible Woman figure. As a kid I was on the shorter side, so I couldn't really search for her and my parents didn't even know who Invisible Woman was... so no dice. The TRU employees were my only hope. 

I was never able to find an Invisible Woman back then, so receiving this from Kal was so nice. It's like the conclusion to a very long story. I now have her in my collection. The packaging looks awesome and the figure just transports me back to being a demanding kid making these TRU employees with better things to do on their hands take the time to look for a hard to find figure for me. The decades long wait was totally worth it. 

Now at this point of going through the box I was just beside myself. I adore Funko, and the Funko Pop! Vinyl figures are everything and a batch of onion rings. Funko has truly created a gold mine with these toys. I scoop them up whenever I can, but this Dark Phoenix has escaped from my clutches one to many times. Thanks to Kal I now have one. They had a few at my comic store, but I just always thought I'd come back and they'd still be there. That's a rooky mistake, I know. Either way this is a super fun item. Jean Grey is one of my favorite Marvel characters and the Dark Phoenix incarnation is one that I really enjoy. It was a very interesting story and one of the most memorable moments for the X-Men. Of course I wish it wasn't always the fallback story line for Jean Grey, but that is ok. I still have hope that Marvel still has an epic story for Jean Grey under their sleeves. If not, I certainly do! (Because they are totally waiting on mine.)

Storm from the Water Wars series of X-Men toys always reminds me of summer. So let me paint a picture for you. It was the summer of 1997 before my sophomore year of high school and I was having secret meetings with the toy aisle at Toysrus. One particular morning I had the choice of having my dad take me to Toysrus first thing in the morning (I did not have a car or license at the time) or I could hang out with my new found friends for some summer fun. Well, I picked the trip to TRU and got this Storm that I had been so excited to own. This was one of my favorite Storm figures at the time, and she still holds up as a fun figure (you all have seen her before on here.) I felt such a struggle with my choices though. I really wanted to go to TRU, but I also wanted to spend time with my friends. Is it sad that the toy won out? Of course, my friends did end up stopping by later on and I think we went to Taco Bell or something. Sadly, I hid my Storm like it was a scarlet letter when they were over. A source of such happiness and excitement was also something that I was too frightened to share with anyone else. 

I did not want my friends to know I was a grand dame of dorkettedom. I had finally found my way into a group of peers that were every bit of 90's alternative cool, and I did not want to lose that. I think I was stuck too much in my head though, because they all ended up finding out I collected toys and they didn't care. It's scary though to let people in. I know what it is like to be awkward and to go through many years of just being with yourself and having literally the toys on your shelf for friends. So once I would come across an opportunity to make new friendships, I would get so nervous. I wanted to make sure I found a way to hold onto those friendships for as long as I could, because I never want to be truly alone. It is one thing to have your own space and check out from the rest of the world every now and then, but to be truly alone, it is a terrifying prospect. So this figure always reminds me of a sort of turning point in my life, when I was young and navigating the world of people and toys. Not everyone gets it, but I feel like I managed to create a nice balancing act. So to have this mint Storm in my hands is a really sweet thing. 

Now this was an item I never expected to own, but I have always admired. I can't thank Kal enough for being so generous to send me this. These DC mini Ame-Comi figures are the bees knees. I think the sculpting is superb. The colors are vibrant and just pop. They are just really cute and fun. 

Here's a closer look at Poison Ivy. She is just too cool looking. This is something that I would never usually think to purchase for myself. I try to limit what I own if only because there is so much. However I am so thrilled that Kal thought of me with this. It's just too darn cute and Poison Ivy is one of my favorites. I say that about a lot of things. I mean, you can certainly have more than one favorite. If the universe is, like, infinite than my list of favorites can be infinite too! 

Up next was another great item I enjoyed collecting. I must preface this by saying that I am not what you would call a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I tried reading the books, but could never get through them. I enjoyed the movies, though I never saw the third one in the trilogy. I'm what you'd call a messy dorkette. However, I collected the heck out of this toy line when it came out. Toy Biz knew what they were doing and they really made a great toy line that was full of fantasy and whimsy. I have this version of Eowyn as well as the one of her in the purple dress, but I certainly enjoy having a mint version as well. The packaging was so luxurious! I loved the detail to these figures as well as the accessories. 

Eowyn was a fun character for me. Like I have said before, one of the things I do quite a lot of involves writing fun mash up fanfiction stories. Back when this toy line was out I had all my Lord of the Rings toys interacting with my Street Fighter and X-Men figures like it all made perfect sense. I had Beast and Eowyn as lovers, though Beast ended up falling for Trish Stratus. It was all convoluted, but that's how I like my stories. What can I say?

Now this is where I have to think that Kal accidentally sent the wrong items. This is a nice doll! A beautiful Hunger Games doll, for me?! I hope he knows what he was doing, because I am so thrilled to have this. I can't believe he parted with it. I love dolls just as much as I do action figures. I grew up on a steady diet of dolls and figures. It's one of the best parts about having been a kid in the 80's. Everyone had dolls and figures. There was no problem with it. At least in my world. 

The detail to this Katniss doll is really great. I like the Hunger Games. I still haven't seen the last one, but I am sure I will at some point. I think the world and characters are really fun, plus I love it when a story like this can be enjoyed by everyone. It is a good thing for female characters to have their own stories and kick just as much butt as the guys. If there can be room for a damsel in distress, there can also be room for a Katniss Barbie, with braid. She will be going on my shelf with my Dynasty Barbie dolls and my Tippi Hedren doll from the Birds. 

The final item from Kal is this: one cool Monster High doll. I love this line. I think it is great that a line of unconventional dolls have captured the hearts of kids and adult collectors alike for a decent number of years now. Monster High is just a lot of fun to collect; but I can't collect them all, so this Ghouls Rule Abbey that was exclusive to Wal-Mart was one that I always sort of admired at the store but left it at that. 

Her ice themed outfit is so cute. I love those icy shoulder pads. They are so much fun. I am unsure if I will open this doll or keep her in the box. I tend to have mixed feelings about opening items. Sometimes it just makes sense to open and other times I just like the presentation too much. I must say though, I have been hanging certain items on my wall lately. It's like three dimensional art. It's my own personal Smithsonian. I am beyond thankful to have these items added to the collection.

I can't thank Kal enough. He was so generous to think of me like this. He is a very good friend. I'll never forget; when my world was turned upside down and my husband and I ended things, there were many sleepless nights back in November and December where I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. (Actually, there are still a lot of sleepless nights.) I still don't know what I am going to do, but that's a whole other story. I was lucky though to have Kal to talk with. There were a few nights where we stayed up late on FaceBook and he listened to my mess and he was just a kind person. I've always appreciated that. I'm not sure if I needed to mention that, but I am not ashamed to admit that my life has been a bit of a mess this past year and I have come to find that there are some really amazing people out in this world that have put a smile on my face. Kal is one of them, and he is one cool guy. So from the bottom of my southern belle of a heart, thank you Kal! 

I hope you guys are all doing well. I have more fun things in store to write about, so be on the look out. I've got plenty of toy talk and more toy stories to be told. Have I said how excited I am for the Conference of Evil? It's all I can think about! July is going to be a great month. Hope all is well y'all! 


  1. I can't tell if you're making a joke of not when you say that you thought they're be more Jean Grey Funkos when you came back, because every other time I read an X-Title, she's gone there too!

    Glad to hear you were able to find friends that shared and accepted your toy love. Often I forget how difficult it was to navigate the pre-Internet era of niche fandom.

    I've never been a Lord of the Rings fan either, then again high fantasy has never been something that clicked with me. I think it's because they spend so much time outside and everyone is dressed in bland earth tones.

    My introduction to Eowyn was actual not through the movies, but by a series of illustrations that Frank Frazetta did based on the books. He made some bizarre choices for these pictures, such as the baffling decision to send Eowyn into battle bottomless, as if to proudly show off her watermelon sized buttcheeks.

    I knew about the Katniss Barbie, but I didn't realize they went so far as to make Tippi Hedren Barbie. As a big Hitchcock nut thats something I'd like to see.

    I'm more surprised to see Kal part with a Monster High doll than Katniss. He sure loves that Abbey alright.

    It distresses me to learn that you're still sleepless from the events of the past year but pleased that friends from around the net have been an aid and comfort. If there anything we can do in the future, don't hesitate to let us know. We dorks have gonna stick together!

    1. I am no hero Eric. I had doubles of each of those dolls and I could think of no one better to care for them than Miss M. I hate having doubles in my collection and ashamed that she got a great pile of them.

    2. Quiet man, I'm trying to get you nominated for geek sainthood here.

  2. That was very sweet of you to write all those nice things about me. That package contained no mistakes. I wanted you to have all those figures because I hate having doubles of anything and could think of no finer caretaker for them than you. I appreciate and value our friendship very much and how you have let me be a part of your life.

    1. Oh goodness Kal, I was beyond ready to write nice things about you. I mean every single bit of it. I can't thank you enough. I hope that you are doing well. And I will be a most wonderful caretaker of these items for sure!

  3. That Kal is just a awesome fellow! That is just some great stuff M and perfect for you i think. : )

    1. Hey John! Thanks so much! Kal is a really awesome fellow! I hope that you are doing well. It's nice to hear from you.

  4. About twenty years ago I moved down to Missouri to the same town where my sister was raising her kids. I had a couple different jobs while I was down there, both night shift. Anyway, her two boys (both maniacs) were not in school yet, so during the day I would entertain them, go on hikes, take 'em to movies, tell 'em ghost stories, stuff like that.
    My sister was delighted that I got them out of her hair for a while.
    Anyway, I got into the bad habit of buying them action figures, superheroes mostly. I guess I was trying to make up for all the stuff I wanted as a kid!
    Those two little lunatics eventually amassed an army of heroes and villains and could stage mass battles. (I also went overboard with the legos. What a mess).
    It just occurred to me that I should call down there and ask for that stuff back, if they're not using them, being grown up now and spending all their time working and chasing girls!
    Geez, I hope my sister didn't throw that stuff out. There was a cool Thor and Hawkman in there. Dr. Octopus, Grey Gargoyle, least a dozen others.
    God, I hope she didn't dump that stuff! But I think she probably did.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! I truly hope your sister did not get rid of everything. That would be disastrous! (to say the least) And I don't know if it is possible to go overboard with Legos. lol Well, maybe so, but still! You'll have to keep me posted on the fate of all those toys!

  5. what a cool and thought full friend kal is to not only part with a monster high doll but also finaly give you miss m your holly grail the old invisible woman figure too as for that dark phoenix thing. she is not called phoenix for nothing. she is there then vanishes to rise. plus you were not the only one to drive toys are us employees nuts for i did it way back when to try and get the legendary rogue figure from toybiz and their exclusive first ever cloak and dagger two pack.

    1. I am beyond thankful to Kal for this. I mean I was ok never having that Invisible Woman figure, I just figured some things would never happen. However, having her in my collection now is just way too cool. I do remember the panic that ensued over the Rogue figure from toybiz. Oh my goodness, I totally remember it. I loved that figure. I also really enjoyed there being a Cloak and Dagger two pack. I never had that two pack, but I loved those figures and that they were made. Beyond cool.

  6. That whole story about Storm! Oh my God-you are the reason they invented fake words like "adorbs" -and I hate saying fake words! You can't possibly exist! From the talks we have had in the past, the only thing that could possibly make you a more perfect woman is if you drank alcohol and coffee-but your taste in beverages alone is not enough to discount the fact that you truly are "adorbs." That word really does mean something now! It means you!- man -the Toys R. Us story brought a tear to my eye!

    1. Thanks Nick! I don't think I have ever had the word "adorbs" used to describe me. But I'll take it! And maybe I have, I just can't recall. The story is true though. I can remember that feeling like it was yesterday. I am amazed though that I have not evolved into liking coffee. I don't know how I am able to still function in the morning without coffee. It can't always be like that, can it? lol I hope you are doing well, and I thank you so much for this comment. It means the world to me. Talk to you later!

    2. Well-you are welcome! And the fact that you exist,makes this an OK world to live in! -like I said in my other comment, I gotta friend you on Facebook! Now, hypothetically, if we were together, you would probably get into coffee. Not because I drink it, but because, I'd be up all night coming up with comic ideas,and bouncing them off you- and you wouldn't get enough sleep! haha!