Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jay J Armes and his mobile investigation unit

Ideal's JJ Armes has to be one of the more interesting licensed action figures of the 1970s, mainly because it's not based on a TV or comic series but on a real person. 

Armes is a Texas area private investigator with a single acting credit (a Hawaii Five-O episode) but his autobiography and subsequent talk show appearances made him a national celebrity.

I vividly remember seeing the commercial for this line and WANTING this van for a Saturday, it was quickly forgotten and I don't think I ever saw JJ or his killer vehicle in a store.

Ideal had planned a playset that was never released, see below:

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Avacado Paradise

The biggest fight I ever had with my wife was whether the bathroom should be avocado or violet. She didn't want either.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

BIG Toys Week: Rodan by Mattel

I cap off this theme week with one of my absolute favorite BIG toys of all time, Rodan! Toho movies were a treat for me growing up, rarely playing on TV, I can vividly remember watching each one I did catch.

The weekly Godzilla cartoon and monthly Marvel comic were also enabling my love for Japanese Kaiju cinema. My single attempt to get a Mattel Godzilla toy was begging my parents to buy me one at Woolco.

It didn't go over great.

Rodan was not released in Canada, so I was blissfully unaware of it. When I began toy collecting in high school, Godzilla and the Shogun Warriors were on my short list, basically I was fixing Santa's mistakes.

 I started by visiting kids I grew up with and asking if they still had their toys, I got a lot of weird looks, I also got a lot of cool old toys. I eventually graduated to late night calls to the shadow network of dealers and collectors in the United States.

Everybody knew somebody and you'd get off the phone with one guy and have a new contact to call. One of them mentioned he had a Mattel Rodan, I probably swallowed my gum, I'd never heard of this toy, I NEEDED it.

So after some negotiation, at 17 years old, I had a Mattel Rodan hanging over my dresser mirror complete with a cigarette in his mouth and a pair of tiny sunglasses. I wish I had a picture of this.

He would be the first thing I saw every morning until college when I sold him for car money. It kind of stung to see him leave at that toy show...

Flash forward to 2007 when I encountered a great deal on a boxed Rodan, I snapped it up and put it on display. It was pretty magnificent, I'd hate to think what it would sell for now.

 But for some reason, it brought me little to no joy. I eventually sold it to a friend for a friend price, he still mentions it.

Later on, it dawned on me that sometimes "Mint in Box" isn't as fun as loose. The Rodan I had as a teen didn't have a box, heck he was missing his feet! So if I wanted a Rodan, it would have to be loose.

And here he is, my 3rd Rodan toy hanging with some of my childhood toys,  hung over my workspace, he's often one of the first things I see every day (after my dog). He never fails to bring me joy.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

BIG Toys Week: GI Joe Big Trapper

The GI Joe Big Trapper vehicle is a kind of a bittersweet item for me. I really wanted it for my birthday that year but ultimately chose the Capture Copter, either way, I kind of won. The only downer was, these were the last GI Joe vehicles ever made.

Many collectors view the Big Trapper as the "Poor cousin" of the Mobile Support Unit produced a couple of years earlier and well, I get that, it's a quality vehicle full of science fiction flair.

Nobody is wrong here but for me, the big trapper just captures that "Ark 2" vibe and well, I was five years old when it came out.

Above is the British version, usually Palitoy made things cooler but i prefer the Hasbro big yellow.

This is mine, I got it in a flea market outside of Buffalo NY right after college. Even though it was bigger than my apartment at the time, I couldn't resist it's $20 price tag. I still have the cage somewhere too. Every time I look at it I think of the day that I bought it and it still brings me joy.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

BIG toys week: The Wayne Foundation by Mego Corporation

The Mego Wayne Foundation is like a Barbie Dreamhouse but it's for Batman, so it's completely awesome and not a doll house.

For this entry, I can swipe all the photos from the MegoMuseum because I work there (mainly to steal stuff from the break room and use the photocopier).

I never had the set as a kid but i saw it in a comic book and it haunted me. I must admit that I LOVE THIS PLAYSET! 

I bought one when i was 17, sold it in college (for beer money) and then bought another one from a struggling college student who needed beer money (Circle of Life!).

This 40-inch tall playset was sort of the zenith for Mego World's Greatest Superheroes, as the line started to decline the following year as kids started getting more interested in Star Wars and 3 3/4" action figures. Man, it went out with a bang!

This is the original prototype from the Mego archive, shame they ditched the plants.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

BIG Toys Week: Earthquake Tower by Remco

I think this is one of the more infamous toys we’ve ever discussed on PlaidStallions. Remco sought to cash in on the Irwin Allen disaster movie craze (but not pay for it) by creating this playset that emulates a massive earthquake hitting a tower. 

Earthquakes are real events, unlike King Kong or Godzilla attacks, the Remco Earthquake tower is well, one of the more morbid toys ever conceived (with this being a close contender for #2).

Remco sold it as a sort of rescue game, your goal was to save as many civilians as you could using your copter and fire truck but as a former 7 year old boy, I'll tell you right now, those people are toast.

 It’s also, as the theme week would anticipate, really, really big. It's five feet tall, which means bigger than most kids.

Remco even included a floppy vinyl record of explosions, sirens, and perilous music to help you simulate this environment; it is, however, tastefully bereft of screams. Give it a listen if you like, I put it on Youtube.

If the embed code is showing up on your browser, here is a link to it on Youtube.

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Monday, May 07, 2018

BIG Toys Week: Bionic Bigfoot by Kenner

BIG Toys Week: Bionic Bigfoot

OK, so this isn’t the biggest toy to start off with but this toy inspired this week’s theme, so there.

I recently came across one of these at a semi-local comic shop called Big B. I never tracked down an affordable Bigfoot and the combination of the price being in Canadian dollars, a “Make offer” button and two cans of “Spaten” made this purchase a lock.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

PlaidStallions BIG Toys Week

PlaidStallions BIG Toys Week 

 We haven’t had a good old-fashioned theme week here in a while and I thought it fun to celebrate the truly colossal toys of our youth, the playthings so massive (and often costly) that you weren’t even sure if Santa could get the job done. 

Every day this week we’ll look at one of these items from such folks as Kenner, Mattel, Mego and Hasbro to name a few.

I hope folks will chime in here and on the facebook page with their recollections of some of these classics.

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Friday, May 04, 2018

Random SuperHero merchandise from 1980

Here are a few random pages from the 1980 Pedigree Toys catalog from the UK, being 9 at the time I can honestly say I WANTED ALL OF THIS! I had a special love for the Remco utility belts.


Please add a long life obsession with the Remco Batcopter to my life long list.

OK, I never had anything to do with roller skatea and these looked really weird and dangerous...
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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Daddy's Girls swing into spring!

Inspired by the ad copy I referred to my wife and daughter as "Daddy's Girls!" and that is why I now live at this motel.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2018


There are NINE PAGES of Annie merchandise in the 1983 Sears catalog. More than any of the other themes like Smurfs or Strawberry Shortcake and exactly nine pages more than "Wrath of Khan" which was more successful at the box office.

Not being a young girl at the time (or any time for that matter) I have no idea if "Annie-Mania" swept through households the way Sears was hoping. Anybody have a bedroom like this?

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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Dungeons and Dragons Mania


I  remember that "Mazes and Monsters" TV Movie really wrecked Dungeons and Dragons for more than one friend of mine. Thanks a lot, Tom Hanks!

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Summer People

This is the cast of every Italian Zombie/Canibal film I've ever seen (and brother, I've seen a bunch).

Friday, April 27, 2018

Pod Stallions 61: Superman!

We return once again with an all new Pod Stallions and in celebration of the Man of Steel's 80th birthday we thought we'd make him our topic (We haven't done this one right? Cause it feels real familiar).

So we dig right in and talk about George Reeves, Filmation, the Super Friends, Dean Cain, Superboy, Mego figures and we finish along the way with what we think of the current incarnation of the Man of Steel.

Sidetrack conversations include Records, Michael J Pollard sightings, the Martian Chronicles, another "Brian was a dumb kid" story, local tv celebrities, Spawn and a whole long diatribe about Condor Man. 

Can you read our mind? Listen along and tell us!

What's your favourite Superman incarnation?  give us spirited debate on our facebook wall.

Plenty more content on the PodStallions Facebook page!


Thursday, April 26, 2018


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