Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cool Stuff!

First up in this week's parade of cool stuff is this whole mess of Mighty Crusaders figures from Remco, based on the then-current revival by Archie Comics! As you might've guessed, the musculature and style of these was much more influenced by He-Man than, say, the Super Powers or Secret Wars toy lines, and that's kind of a shame... I think if they'd followed the Super Powers influence, the entire line would've looked much cooler! Of course, one of the big problems with this toy line also was that the Crusaders never really had that great a rogues' gallery to work with... I mean, the Brain Emperor was the best one, and that name is just too goofy! He's the top photo, by the way, followed by the Buzzard and the Eraser, with the Sting being the last photo -- all these are the villains!

See this ventriloquist dummy? It's Danny O'Day, and I have a story about this. Way back in my childhood, I got interested in ventriloquism (I was probably in fourth grade at this time), and I asked my parents to get me a ventriloquist dummy for Christmas. Christmas morning came, and this dummy was waiting for me, along with a record to help me learn ventriloquism. Unfortunately, the record was either missing the instructional book, or that book was lost immediately.

Anyway, I went into learning ventriloquism with gusto, even though I had no clue who Danny O'Day was (I did know who Jerry Mahoney was, as well as Charlie McCarthy -- I didn't learn anything about Danny O'Day or Farfel until the 1980s), although I never really got any good at it. As Danny fell into disrepair, I tried to fix his clothing and shoes, but to no avail. I even started scouring garage sales for toddler shoes and clothes that would fit him, but never went anywhere. Eventually, even the string broke to control the mouth, and somewhere along the way, I got rid of him.

Cut to the 1990s. In the intervening time, I would remember wistfully my old Danny O'Day dummy, and wish I could find another one. I was married to my first wife (or perhaps engaged to her) and we went to a second-hand store, and I spotted a Danny there... sadly, it was lacking its clothes entirely, and I didn't figure my odds of replacing them were any better now than they were in the 70s. I don't even remember how much it was, but I passed on it.

Years pass. My first wife passes away, and I move back to Washington from Wisconsin, and eventually get to work at the newspaper. For some reason, I decide that it's time I finally get... a Charlie McCarthy dummy! Yes, I didn't get Danny replaced, I went for Charlie. It took a month or so of eBay searches until I finally won one for my collection at the price I was willing to pay. No, I didn't take up ventriloquism again, I just wanted him on my shelf. I started to get the urge to find a Danny O'Day, but never got around to starting the search.

Time passes again. My dad passes away, and I'm over at his and mom's house helping sort through years of stuff in preparation for selling it, and my mom hands me a cardboard box. I open it up, and there's a Danny O'Day! Turned out that my Aunt Georgia had been collecting dolls for years, and when she had to downsize, she heard from my mom that Danny (which she had in her doll collection) was something that I'd been looking for, and Georgia gave it to her to give to me. Today, both Danny and Charlie are sitting on the top shelf of one my bookshelves, looking over the chaos that is my home office!

Enough with the lengthy stories! This is a Belgium poster for The Day the Earth Stood Still!

Time to start looking at some DC items, beginning with this Aquaman ring from Argentina! I think I sent a copy of this photo to Rob at the Aquaman Shrine, but I don't think he's used it yet!

This Colorforms Color and Play set is just fantastic, and it's one of those items that, if I can ever manage to win a set of these on eBay, you can be sure I'll get some high-res scans posted here so you can download them, print them out on card stock, color them (if you haven't already done so in Photoshop), cut them out, and display them!

DC Superheroes Light-Up Drawing Desk!

Flash glass!

Some very creative person created this custom-made dream box for an Aurora model kit of Green Arrow that never existed!

Speaking of Green Arrow, here's a couple of plastic GA figures from Gulliver Toys in South America!

And here's the Green Arrow Pepsi Glass!

Here's another photo I don't believe Rob has used on the Aquaman Shrine yet... JLA Rubber-Niks, stretchable figures of Aquaman, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman!

An assortment of DC Superheroes Magnets!

Super Friends Playing Cards, featuring Batman!

Mr. Bubble Super Friends edition, with free comic book inside!

I don't quite get how they could get away with putting a tiny little sticker on these and justify calling them Super Friends Sunglasses... I think the card is more collectible than the glasses are!

And we'll wrap up with this Super Friends Superman Air Freshener... and here's that obvious joke again I make every time -- so, what does Superman smell like, according to this air freshener?

More DC stuff next time!

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