Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What's in the Box?! (Issue #1)

Welcome to the first issue of what will be a continued effort to...well, force myself to look through the boxes shoved into my garage.  Each box will have different old pieces of junk and toys (and junk toys) that will absolutely NOT be guaranteed to be interesting or clean in any way!  Some of them went straight into the trash after this.

Join me!  ...please?

The debut issue of What's in the Box?! will focus on "Unmarked Box with Tags on the Side that Indicate it May have Originally Come from where my Dad used to Work."  Then I put things in it.

Starting off in the most terrible way possible: Here's another box!  We're box-ception up in this.

You see, back in early college (or the time right after High School but before college?) I was still living with my Dad.  I was also still buying toys!  It was obvious, since my room was covered in them, but I didn't want it to be obvious how many NEW toys there were, so I ripped up the boxes and threw them away ASAP.  However, certain ones - like this exclusive 200X Faker - had fancy boxes that I wanted to keep.  Sooo...I shoved them into older boxes to sort of hide them.

I should throw this away.

I didn't. 

Whoa, Built-to-Rule!  I must have shoved this in the box to get it out of the way, but I didn't want to mix it with my Legos.  Built-to-Rule was Hasbro's first foray into building-block toys.  It failed pretty badly.

One good thing about it was the figures!  I pulled Firefly out of a Joe bin to show you (I wouldn't leave him in an unmarked box).  He's got pegs on his arms and legs to allow bricks to attach, but otherwise, he's a great Firefly!  I'm surprised that, at the time, they didn't try to repurpose this mold and use it again in the normal toyline. 

Instead, they kept up this Built-to-Rule thing for a little bit before quitting.  You'd think it wouldn't be hard to market - and it probably wasn't - but the problems came from the fact that Hasbro didn't have any good builders on their team.  It takes some Lego building experience to make an item that is reinforced in the right areas for play.  The BTR items that I bought would easily fall apart and had to be reinforced in some really obvious areas.  In the end, I don't think it was a bad idea, but it's tough to get in the ring with Lego and not come out with a few black eyes and missing teeth.

Uh...this is probably going to be a staple of the "What's in the Box?!" series.  Trash!  Just trash.  I think this went to some Micro Machines set, but I don't know which and I'm not sure where the rest of the parts are.  Looks like this was some sort of parking garage?  So I have a tiny parking garage inside a box inside my garage. 

Hey, Toy Biz's Joker, from the Michael Keaton Batman movie toyline.  He's missing his nose from god knows what, and all that's left of his action feature is a yellow thingy that you fill with water.  There's supposed to be a hose that plugs into his back and attaches to the yellow thing, then you shoot water out of the flower on his lapel.  A pretty neat feature!

This is actually my second version of this Joker.  I had him when I was young - very young.  So far back that my brother was actually still playing with me, at the time.  We had this team consisting of this version of Joker, a Silver Hawks figure (the leader guy) and a robot dog from C.O.P.S.  My brother would use the Silver Hawks guy, and I'd use Joker and the robot dog.  The team would go on expeditions into "The Caves", which was the basement.  One fateful day, Joker looked over the edge of the stairs a liiiiittle too far, and fell over.  His head broke off. 

Fast forward to when my brother stopped playing with toys and got into sports (not that far ahead, really).  My mom brought me with her to watch my Brother's t-ball game.  It turned out that they were short one guy to be in the outfield, and they asked if I could do it.  I vehemently refused until my Mom bribed me with the prospect of a new Joker.  I stayed in the outfield long enough to not help in any way and miss everything that came my way, and BAM - new Joker!  That was all that mattered, after all.

And here he is today...probably fell from some high place again.  At least his head didn't fall off.

OH, A BAG!  Well, what's in the bag?

Ah crap, it's just armor parts!  This is probably going to be another staple of "What's in the Box?!"....the fact that I don't know what we'll be getting in to beforehand.

These are armor parts for the 90's Iron Man toyline, and anything that used those same molds.  For instance: I believe there's armor in there for this armored Spider-Man figure using molds from that Iron Man line.

This was a piece to that Spider-Man - a testament to how awesome the 90's were.  They didn't give a SHIT.  Spider-Man in armor carrying around nuclear waste drums?  SURE MAN, DO IT!  Who cares?  Alexx will buy it!  Hell, I'd still buy stuff like this.  I use toys like the current Super Hero Mashers to build old crazy stuff like this, since they don't do it anymore. 

You hear me, toy companies?  I will still buy nonsensical variants! 

Okay, moving on: Kevin Costner as Robin Hood!  Using a Green Arrow body from the old Super Powers line, no less.  You can tell 'cause there's a big 'ol "G" on his belt, still. 

And ya know: That really isn't a bad likeness, considering the time! 

I don't remember a single thing from that movie, but I liked the fact that the toys came with swords and cloth clothes I could swap on to other toys.

Hey, remember these?  They're little die cast metal superhero figures; possibly by Toy Biz.  They didn't move much, but they were tiny and had a nice weight to them.

I know I wanted more, back in the day, but this was all I ever got (so far that I know). 

This next one would be much more impressive with his mech!  This is from Battletech; he's just a little pilot figure.  I believe this one came from a present from a friend on my 13th birthday, where my mom rented us a hotel room and we TRASHED it.  Nice...nice work.  Kids. 

One of these boxes should have the mechs.  Someday I'll find them.  Maybe.  Assuming they aren't full of spiders. 

This, I believe, is a McDonalds toy.  Probably from when Beast Wars was the best thing ever (and continues to be). 

Not a bad McDonalds toy, all told!  I still love the little guy.  He moves pretty well for what he is, and he just looks cool.  Also: I swear that's a Megatron head.  Does anyone else think that looks like Megatron?  Maybe I'm crazy.

WOO, Go-Bots!  I had a couple of these, not that I knew they were Go-Bots, back then.  I probably just assumed they were all Transformers.  Funny thing was that - the ones that really WERE Transformers - I thought they were knock offs, like Topspin.  He just seemed cheap and weird compared to metal stuff like this. 

And hell, Go-Bots are pretty cool, if you go back and check out an archive.

As you might expect: I liked this guy because he was a red and didn't have a human-like face.  I like them real roboty ones.

Another McDonalds toy, most likely. You push the plunger and WHOOSH, off it goes.  I liked it because it looked like an F-Zero car.

In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I remember running this along flat surfaces do-do-doing the song to Mute City.

Hey!  Here's a....thing.  I'm pretty sure he came with Apocalypse, from the Age of Apocalypse toyline.  I don't know what it is.  Angry lava lamp, I dunno. 

AH GEEZE, here we go!  First of the nasty stuff.  This hair-covered monstrosity is some knock-off Gyan (from Gundam).  I painted him (that's why all the hair) and then his arm fell off, so I stuck it back together with a pin.  This is now in the trash, but here he is for posterity. 

YUS!  I'm so glad one of these guys survived!  This is a Crash Test Dummy, and they were the worst-best toys.  The best, because you could bust them apart by throwing them around, and the worst, because the springs that held them together were weak, and once those gave out....the fun was over.  I'm surprised this guy still stays together, honestly. 

My friends and I had a blast launching cars full of these guys down steps.  I really made the most out of the intended use for these poor bastards.  This green one was one of my favorites, so I guess that's why he still exists.  There was a white one that I liked more, but I think he stopped holding together at some point. 

I still love these guys, honestly, and if I could be sure that they would hold together, I'd totally hunt some down again.

Oooh kay...what else.  Some clickity-clackers?  This was fun for a few minutes. 

One of those crazy rock-like bouncy balls.  They look cool, but they're gone after a few bounces, 'cause they go off in some crazy direction once you toss it.  I probably didn't bounce this much because it was red and looked like a Chaos Emerald.

Odds and ends!  Some launchers from Terminator figures, a gun from some Thundercats guy, I think there's a missile from Grapple (Transformer), a missile from a Rambo figure, and a gauntlet from a Tacky Strechoid Warrior.  Yeah, that's right: I remember what these go to.  Okay, except the boxing glove gun.  I didn't have whoever that came with - I found it on the ground.  Doesn't count.

Keychains!  A hammer and two guns I saved for use with the few 12 inch figures that I had.

Um...a tiny ship that went to a Zoids figure, maybe?  I'm just taking a shot in the dark.  I never had any Zoids, but my friends did.  It's possible I asked to keep this.  Or I took it.  Who knows, I was/am an asshole.

And this was from my stint as a Sheriff!  It's all scuffed up because I probably threw it like a ninja star, knowing me.

Little box of rocks.  I liked rocks and gems and stuff.  Still do, in a way.  I just don't keep them like a pack rat anymore (that's reserved for toys). 

I have to assume this came from a quarter machine.  It's a random lucky number generator.  Highly technical.  You wouldn't understand it even if I tried to explain it.

RUBBER SNAKE!  AH!  I hoped it would glow in the dark, but no dice.  I think it used to be some color beyond nasty-gel-color, but who knows. 

Oh man, this guy has some history!  I had this thing when I was very young.  I have no idea where it came from or how I got it.  I didn't even know what it was.  The problem with it, was that it was kinda fragile and came apart so it could transform.  I carried it around with me everywhere and slowly lost most of its parts.  I distinctly remember the head going down a drain pipe and my little-kid self was super bummed about it.  I didn't find out what this was until later, possibly around high school time, when a friend randomly got me this for my birthday:

All they knew was that I liked robots, so they picked out some cheap robot that they thought looked cool.  They had no idea that this was the exact same mold as that old robot I had all those years ago.  Turns out it was Xabungle!  Yes.  Combat Mecha Xabungle, the very same.

If you already know it, then good on you!  You can probably guess that I had no idea what that was, but if it's not obvious: It's an old super-robot era anime by good 'ol Yoshiyuki "Kill 'em All" Tomino himself, the creator of Mobile Suit Gundam (among others).  Something just draws me to his work, I guess - even back when I was knee high to a grasshopper. 

I'm fairly sure my new one is a knock-off, but it doesn't line up with any knock-offs that I've seen.  One such knock-off shares the same colors with the new one, but doesn't say "Xabungle" on it.  The others I've seen don't line up with the old original, either.  I can't find a single picture of one with those stickers on its wings.  Chances are: They're both knock-offs!  But who knows?

Xabungle doesn't do much.  He has what he needs to turn into a car-thing and that's about it.

Going by the opening to the series: The legs turn into a trailer and the front is a flying car thing.

Which is funny, because I remember opening the back trailer and using it as wings (instead of the actual wings on its front). 

Now, later on (late high school or early college, possibly) I ran across a newer toy of Xabungle.  It was in the same kind of series as Mobile Suit in Action (MSiA) and moved pretty well, because of it.  It just sacrificed the ability to turn into the car.

So I've got a bit of a thing for Xabungle, and it's all because I had a random toy of it when I was very young. You can imagine that I was super excited to find out that most of his weapons are hilarious and ridiculous.  Love that stacked quad-barreled cannon!  And the tri-barreled cannon on his shoulder.  And the missile box.  And the rifle.  Xabungle will wreck your shit, man!

Alright, that's it for the first issue of "What's in the Box?!"  I hope you're glad to find that there is no head in the box.  I can say with complete certainty that there will be no heads in these boxes.  Well, no previously alive heads.  Just toy heads. 

Pretty sure.

Anyway, I'll come back to this from time to time, so keep a look out for more utter TRASH!


  1. I swear I had that lucky number generator as a kid... And I live in Canada...

    1. Yeah, I think it was just a cheap quarter machine toy, so I'm sure it was sent all over the place.

  2. Crash Test Dummies was one of the few toy lines I had a lot of stuff from. Had a few regular dummies, Junk Man, the video, the car and the airplane. I loved those things. I remember mixing and matching the figures. I don't think I have those anymore, though. There's a slight chance they're still in my parent's garage, but I remember at one point making closet space by giving a bunch of stuff I never used any more to a thrift store. So yeah. Probably gone.

    For some reason I loved Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves when I was a kid. Not to say it's a bad movie. I'm more curious as to why child me liked it so much.

    1. It was a great line to have in bulk, 'cause that was just more you could shove in a car or on a motorcycle and blast them ALL against a wall. Or down some stairs.

      Honestly, I'm sure the Robin Hood movie isn't bad. I've heard people make fun of it, but it's probably standard complaints that mean nothing. I'm sure I loved it back then, too. I just can't remember anything about it that Men in Tights hasn't replaced (I'm pretty sure Men in Tights was specifically parodying that Robin Hood for most of it).

    2. I loved the Robin Hood line as well, something about the working bow and arrows and repurposed Ewok vehicles that we didn't realize were so at the time just reverberated with me. A giant battle wagon with a battering ram, pretty much made entirely of logs? Heck yeah! A giant bow and arrow styled net launcher, also fashioned entirely from a log? Awesome! I vividly remember using the "contact us" number that Kenner included on one of the tabs of their boxes to ask them when the next series of figures would come out. They basically told me never. I also emailed Trendmasters about the last ever wave of Extreme Ghostbusters deluxe toys which went unreleased, who also politely told me to not hold my breath. Good times.

  3. I know some of these things. The orange/black launcher should belong to the Endoglow Endoskeleton as it's flamethrower, the red/yellow grabby claw and red/yellow raygun from the armor does indeed belong to that Spider-Man (I had 'em too and loved it!), and the mostly clear building is from a multi tiered Micro Machines playset we apparently both had, but I cannot find pictures of it anywhere online. That building had an elevator which took cars up to a parking area, I believe.

    1. Yup! The red launcher goes to the gold Endoskeleton, though I dunno where the missile are for either of them (I didn't use missiles as much as the launchers themselves). And that Spider-Man is one of those crazy ideas that I'm sad we'll never see again. I liked how DC Universe was recreating the Super Powers line for a bit there, but we'll never see any recreations of awesome figures like that nuclear armored Spider-Man or any of the other crazy-but-awesome variants from the 90's. (Especially since, I think, most people hate them).

      Yeah I searched around for that Micro Machines set as well, but nothing came up. No idea what it's called, but at least you recognize it! They had a got of great sets, back then. Man, Micro Machines were awesome.

    2. The funnest thing is that that Spider-Man was originally conceived as an Iron Man figure. You can tell because the arc reactor on the chest area was what the Iron Man suit of that era was rocking. It got cancelled, somehow ended up as Spider-Man.

  4. Man, the more you dig into your childhood, the more I see my childhood. Either we had very similar tastes, or all kids are the same. Honestly, it could go either way.

    I remember bits and pieces of the Robin Hood movie, but for some reason I've always had a soft spot for the figures. I still have that Robin Hood, though mine is worse shape than yours. And I actually never knew that he had a Green Arrow body! I guess I never paid enough attention to him to realize that his belt buckle was a G. I know I wanted Azeem for years, and I finally got him as an adult. I couldn't tell you if he has a superhero's body though. I'm afraid that if I take his soft goods off, I'll never get them back on the same way.

    And man, I wish you told me you would still want Crash Dummies figures! I saw some at the Expo here a few weeks back, still in the package and everything. I can't imagine that they cost too much, they were coming from a decently priced seller. Oh well. Toy collecting, am I right?

    That evil lava lamp must not be anything too specific, because I have the same thing in orange that came with a Dormammu figure. I just assumed it was his soul in a jar or something. No idea what it could be for Apocalypse.

    I have some nasty gel-colored snakes too. I think they always looked that way.

    I tend to get excited when I first find those clickity-clackers after all this time, but the thrill wears off quickly. Why were they so popular? It was a different time, I guess. That being said, I want to play with one right now, for like 5 minutes.

    Lastly: Xabungle. That is a unique history that you have with that bizarrely named robot. I have never heard of him, but that modern figure you have looks pretty cool. Crazy how he just keeps popping back up for you.

    Anyway, I think you've started an entertaining new theme here. I look forward to the next one!

    1. Thought you'd like this one!

      Yeah I never noticed the G on Robin Hood's belt when I was little - this is information I gained later on. There's this Super Powers website with a trivia section, and they show how some of the molds were used elsewhere. And Azeem was certain cool looking! I know he was one I had wanted back then, as well (now more so, possibly because I now know Morgan Freeman is awesome).

      Honestly, I hadn't even thought of Crash Dummies until I pulled that one out of the box. Messing around with him reminded me of how much I love those figures. I'm just glad he survived! But hey, if you ever run across a figure of the bad guy - Junkman - GRAB IT FOR ME. He was the freakin' best, and I lost his head many, many years ago (though, on the plus side, I did find a cool skull with which to replace it).

      I think the Evil Lava Lamp is supposed to be some villain from X-Men that Apocalypse captured. I dunno what it would have been for Dormammu. Possibly repurposed for another character?

      I just swear that gel-snake was green, at some point. I could be wrong. Either way, I should have tossed it out. It's kinda nasty.

      There should be a timer built in to the clickity-clackers so you know exactly how long an attention span is willing to stretch with the simple action. I bet is is 5 minutes, though. I wouldn't be surprised if that's exactly how long Elena and I were messing with it.

      Xabungle must be some metaphor for fate, in my life. I mean, it has lost some luster after finding out what it is, but I still like the design - and, obviously - it is incredibly nostalgic.

      Thanks! I'm actually looking forward to the next box, as well. I was afraid there was going to be a bunch of boring crap in this one.

  5. ZABUNGURU! For the love of your wallet, don't look up the Soul of Chogokin version. Oh, you probably already did.

    1. So I have a childhood history with that Joker figure too. We had several of the toys from that line (that horrible, horrible line) including the Batcave playset. The Joker was my brother's favorite - and one day he sat on him, and the head broke off (horrible line). When we went to get a replacement, we couldn't find the same one anywhere, so we got the newer Joker - the one with the more accurate Nicholson head and the flight pack. But for some reason that Joker was molded in sort of a magenta color. Really my brother wanted "The Purple Joker," as he came to be known.

    So a new The Purple Joker was my brother's grail for many years. Eventually we found one somewhere. Surprise, it was still horrible. (Worst part: How the removable hat would scratch off the green paint on his head)

    2. The beetle's name is officially Beetle. Really, though.

    3. I love Gobots, I love all Gobots. The one you have there is Spoiler, known in Japan as "Countach Robo." Because he turns into a Countach! And if "being a red car" was enough to sell you on a Gobot, you must have really loved Gobots. There are so many red cars in Gobots. Tonka even made some of the non-red cars into red cars for the line.

    4. I had a major love for Crash Test Dummies, though I was probably too careful with my toys to really take advantage of them as you did. I had the fat purplish one that had bug-out eyes. I also had the dog that would squash flat if you pressed on it. Did you ever play the NES game? (Spoilers: It was awful)

    5. I think most collectors develop a photographic memory for figure parts. We've seen too many little guns and helmets disappear under furniture. There's actually a FB group dedicated to identifying figures and parts. The best thing is figuring out some mysterious part that nobody else recognizes. (Unfortunately I'm best at recognizing Transformers parts...and so is everyone else, apparently!)

    1. I swear - there doesn't seem to be a single thing I've talked about that you don't have at least SOME knowledge about. You'd make a killing in a trivia game!

      1. Good to know my Joker's decapitation wasn't a singular problem! He really was terrible, but funnily enough, I had the opposite reaction to the second Joker with the propeller backpack. I LOVED that one! For some reason, I really love it when repaints pick some crazy colors (like Disco Skeletor from the 2002 line). I really loved how he was an oddball color scheme, and I had been hoping for a repaint in those colors, during the DC Universe toyline (sadly, that never came). I'm sure that figure will show up at some point in these Box posts.

      Anyway: Yeah, the hat was the best part of the purple Joker. Most because I used it for everyone but Joker (you can even see it in my review of the Kraang figure in the current TMNT toyline).

      2. Of COURSE it's Beetle! I shouldn't have expected his name to be much more than that, what with it's status as a McDonalds toy. Still....it's a pretty sweet McDs toy.

      3. I didn't know I loved Go-Bots until I started looking into them, honestly. There were a lot of great items! Thankfully I did manage to find the fancy white car that turned into a robot with a freakin' tophat (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v140/Alexx1083/0%20toys%200/IndeedMmmnyeas.jpg). Otherwise, there are a few I would like to track down, someday. I think I like that many of them were so simple.

      4. Yeah, I had the purple bug-eyed one too! He broke. I mean, REALLY broke. His head cracked in half. I did take advantage of that to mess with the innards, though. Creepy eye-stalks. I know those parts are around somewhere. I did not play the NES game, but I've heard of it. Chances are, on top of it being apparently terrible, I doubt it could ever match the down-the-stairs launch my friend and I used to do. Even though the toys were meant to fall apart, it was still impressive that they didn't actually break.

      5. I do love taking part in accessory identification! My thing was always accessories - to a fault. Some toys were only worth their accessories. Hell, I BEGGED my Mom for a new NA He-Man because I had lost his sword. What the heck was the point without that awesome translucent sword?! Same thing happened with my 90's yellow-and-black Alley Viper. DAT SHIELD. It was the best. And I lost it immediately. Broke my little heart. In many ways, I'm still an accessory freak. I just bought my first 3rd Party Transformer, recently, because it had swords. That was the major deciding point - if it hadn't come with those swords, I wouldn't have bought it.

    2. If only trivia games dealt mostly in sci-fi and fantasy media, then I would be king. We used to go to pub trivia every week and I only felt useful about 10% of the time. :)

      The file name of your pic of Tux made me chuckle out loud. (COL?) I have that dude too! What a glorious piece of design. And the grill codpiece is just wonderful. SUCH SWAGGER

      I also find the simplicity of Gobots appealing - their rep in the 80s was that they were cheaply made alternatives to Transformers, but this was really just a reflection of Tonka's failure to market them. They were made with the same attention to detail as Transformers, just on a smaller scale. They had similar die-cast, chrome, and translucent bits, and most of them had foil stickers too. Compare that to stuff like Convertors, which were ACTUALLY cheaply made.

      Oh, heck, I'll just shamelessly plug all my Gobots posts.

      I also recommend you check out Counter-X.net for good Gobots pics and other neat stuff.

    3. Oh yeah, pub trivia is boring, but if there were some sorta trivia game at a convention, you'd KILL, bro.

      Thank you! I forgot I used to name the files funny things, before I started with "comic 01, comic 02" and stuff like that. Figures like Tux make me sad that there's never gona be a Go-Bots Classics line. Hasbro needs to do a homage to this guy.

      It really does suck to get labeled with the "cheaper version of _____." Once that happens, everyone just assumes your product is second best! Looking through your posts - MAN. So many of them are cool! Like you said; it's neat that they're on a smaller scale, but they bring the same kinda stuff that Transformers did. Crap, now I'm gona hunt some Go-Bots, aren't I?

  6. The Battletech guy reminds me of Dio from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, for some reason, and that had upped his value in my eyes.

    1. I should check out that Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, some day. Sounds like it might be my kind of crazy.