This week, Isaac Heller, Co-Founder of Remco passed away. It’s rare we mention toy company owners or creators deaths here at Infinite Hollywood, but Heller is a special case because he helped create Remco. Because Remco was such a small company and one that never quite got the mainstream attention that it deserved, we thought it only fitting to pay tribute here to a man who helped create one of our favorite companies.
Heller started his company in 1949 along with his cousin. Their early toys were built around remote control concepts and the name Remco, came from that idea. Eventually they would spread out and do plenty of different types of toys. In the mid 1970’s, Remco was bought out by AHI (Azrak-Hamway International) and went on to produce some of the most memorable toys of the 1980s, including AWA Wrestling Figures, Universal Monsters, Crystar, Lost World of the Warlord and even SWAT Kats.
While Isaac Heller didn’t have any input into those toys, it was his creation of Remco that led to such things eventually being produced under that brand name. Heller likely had no idea his toy brand would eventually become synonymous with classic action figures, but eventually it did. If it weren’t for a pioneer like Heller, we’d likely never gotten those awesome Remco toys of the 80s. So today we memorialize this icon of the industry.
It’s hard to characterize Sungold as distinctly bootleg toys, since the company existed for a long time, marked their product and had many of their toylines legitimately bootlegged. So starting off a new feature on the site about bootleg toys, with a toy that’s not a bootleg in the most direct sense of the term isn’t exactly full of journalistic integrity. But the truth is, Wacky Knockoffs didn’t have the same ring to it and people seem to interchange the terms of knockoff and bootleg pretty freely these days, especially where it comes to Sungold toys.
Sungold produced a ton of Masters of the Universe type knockoffs throughout the 1980’s and into the mid 1990’s with a variety of different concepts. Most were pretty straight forward lines, inspired by the sword and sorcery genre. Naturally it was only a matter of time before wrestlers, mutants and monsters all followed. Today though, we’re taking a look at one of the later releases, which doesn’t really fit into the aforementioned categories very organically. It’s the SKATE MACHINE!
After years of producing MOTU knockoffs, Sungold freshened up their line with a rather obscure and pretty hard to find late addition to their offerings. A spinoff of the Galaxy Warrior line, it was titled, Galaxy Warrior: End of Time – The Last Battle. The figures were more colorful, reflecting the early 90’s neon craze and offered up a bit more in terms of weapons and armor. Perhaps strangest of all, the line used largely all new sculpts of bizarre creatures that seemed more like Mego Star Trek aliens than He-Man bad guys. Continue reading
Dr. Evil (Basic Edition)
12 Inch scale
By: Round 2
$29.99 Retail (Currently Exclusive to Toys R Us)
Captain Action is back! After returning to the toy shelves this past summer, Captain Action has been followed up by a new set of Fall releases. Among them is the Captain’s arch nemesis, Dr. Evil! Yes, this Dr. Evil shares the same name as the Austin Powers main villain. In fact this guy had to briefly change his name to Dr. Eville because of the Austin Powers trademark. However, Captain Action’s Dr. Evil actually predates Mike Myers character by decades.
Introduced in 1968, Dr. Evil is a mad scientist and/or alien (depending on the canon) who hates Captain Action and wants to take over the world. Hey, it may not be the most elaborate back story ever, but it works. Captain Action Enterprises and Round 2 have decided to give Dr. Evil quite a bit of a makeover in their new version, hoping to amp up his status and let him have some 21st Century sensibility. There are two versions currently on the market, the basic one that we’re reviewing here today and the deluxe version which we’ll review later. The basic version is only available at Toys R Us at the moment.
I consider myself a bit of a fruit snack connoisseur. Through the years I’ve eaten tons of these rubbery, “fruit” products. Oddly enough, as a child I almost never had fruit snacks. It just wasn’t the sort of thing my parents would allow in the grocery budget. Once I started buying my own food though, fruit snacks became a staple.
In the early 90’s a company named Farley’s made TMNT fruit snacks. In 2003, Betty Crocker got the green machine to do another round of fruit snacks. Now here we are in 2013 and the turtles are once again in fruit snack form. These fruit snacks seem much more a kindred spirit in shape and design to the vintage Farley’s fruit snacks despite once again being made by Betty Crocker.
The side of the box shows off the shapes and flavors of the six various Ninja Turtles fruit snacks. It’s interesting to note that this is more flavors and shapes than the 2003 version, but not as many as the 1990’s version. I like that these are simple designs as opposed to the more overly complex shapes.
This is also only the second time that Splinter has appeared as a fruit snack. He was a late addition to the original 1990’s fruit snacks after the second TMNT film. Sadly the snack of Splinter looks more like a hovercraft or the Batmobile than the Turtle’s sensai. Continue reading