When I was growing up, in my basic middle class American neighborhood, there was a kid named Billy who lived a few houses down. For a while, Billy was my older brother’s friend. Billy had a Mom who worshiped the ground he walked on. I’m not sure what his Dad did, but I know he made pretty good money. The end result was that Billy’s family had just a bit more money than most the folks in the neighborhood. Not enough to like, move to a better neighborhood, but enough that they enjoyed walking around like they were better than everyone else.
This was most apparent in young Billy, who had every toy he could want. Think of any rare toy that came out in the 70’s-80’s that was either expensive, hard to find or just plain elusive… Billy had it. If he wanted something, his Mom would go out and buy it. Not only because they had the money to get just about anything that he wanted, but because his Mom was the type who would drive around town to every toy store to ensure that he got it. Billy was spoiled.
What made things worse was that Billy was also a brat. Anything that Billy wanted, Billy got and if he didn’t, he didn’t want to play anymore. Billy was much like Francis Buxton. No, not the British politician, the villain from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
“Waaah, I want all the rare toys.”
When my Brother played with him, young Billy would dictate which characters my Brother could play with. If they were playing Star Wars, Billy was Han and Luke and my brother would end up relegated to playing, I dunno, the Rancor Keeper or something equally as lame. If my Brother by some chance had a figure that Billy couldn’t get his hands on, Billy wouldn’t want to play with those toys anymore. Billy had it all. The big Star Wars vehicles, the huge GI Joe bases, the rare Transformers… And he made sure to flaunt it too.
It’s this sort of mentality that I hate in the toy collecting community. Recently the GI Joe Club announced that they were going to do a second run of their popular Oktober Guard 2012 Convention set. You would think that this would please collectors, right? A highly popular set that sold out in record time, is now being re-released so those Club members who couldn’t get it before, are now getting a chance. But if you thought collectors would be pleased, you’d be wrong.
Captain Action #1
Story by Jim Shooter
Art by Wally Wood
The second day of our Captain Action Advent Calendar brings us the vintage 1968 DC Comics first issue of Captain Action. This comic is somewhat historic because it not only has legendary artist Wally Wood and writer Jim Shooter at the helm, but it was also one of the first times that Jim Shooter was actually credited on a comic. He wrote about that in one of the modern Captain Action comics and regarded that as one of the only reasons that he really was glad he was a part of the Captain Action mythos.
Apparently at the time, Ideal (Captain Action’s original parent company) had saddled poor Jim, who was just a teenager, with an awful lot of demands about things that needed to be in the comic. Shooter also had to flesh out the origin story for Captain Action, who at the time, had no real bio to speak of. He simply was an action figure that could be transformed into other famous comic characters. With all that being said, Shooter was actually able to come up with a really neat origin story for Captain Action. In fact, it’s a story that I prefer over a lot of the other versions of the Captain. At least in concept, if not necessarily execution.
Click on the pics to make them bigger!
The comic is immediately an eye catcher with that bombastic cover of Captain Action pushing Superman out of the way. DC was infamous for these sorts of covers and often they don’t even reflect what the heck happened in the comic, but in this instance this is actually a panel from the book. We start off with a battle between Captain Action and a man named Krellik. I’m reminded of TNA’s Rellik (that’s killer spelled backwards!) immediately. In fact the very first page is what I suspect was originally planned for the cover, as it’s Krellik standing over Captain Action saying that his career as a superhero is over before it even started. I assume someone then realized that nobody reading comics would know who Captain Action was, but if they put Superman on the cover, it would get kids to buy it.
Anyway we see some of the battle between Krellik and Captain Action, as they use amazing powers to try and defeat one another. Then we flashback to just moments before where the Captain and Rellik duke it out. Immediately you’ll notice that these guys have incredible powers that most don’t associate with Captain Action. He shoots laser beams out of his hands, as an example.
Krellik calls the Captain an idiot for warning him before he attacked (which was pretty stupid) but Action says that he is like a rattlesnake and gives a warning before he strikes. That doesn’t make much sense to me, but hey, who am I to criticize Stone Cold Captain Action?!
It’s time once again kiddies to head into the dank and mysterious underworld filled with plastic movie toys and 5 points of articulation. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for another… TALES FROM THE TOY AISLE!
This week we’re headed to the local Walmart in search of something interesting. Will Walmart house any ancient discoveries or perhaps unveil a new product to us? Don’t hold your breath!
Right as soon as we enter, there are tons of Man of Steel toys to look at. It doesn’t look like the box office success of this movie is going to translate into toy sales. Part of the problem of making a more “adult” Superman movie, I suppose.
They even pulled out the old Wrestling Buddy format and made a Superman version. Sadly, these Mattel buddies are very undersized. Continue reading