Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New for '75

The "L'il Honkies" collection is available exclusively at all "Dad 'n Lad" stores!

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Force Beam

I remember watching an informercial in the 80s that interviewed the creator of the "Force Beam". He claimed he invented it while walking around a department store and it was just a golf tube stuck on a flashlight.

I'm sure George Lucas had steam coming out his ears when he saw kids playing with these.
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dr Steel International

My pal Jesus posted this yesterday and it's too good not to share, behold the many different faces of Dr. Steel one of my favourite action figures of the 1970s.

Mainly known as Dr. Steel, the notable exceptions are when he's called "Dr. Acero" (Steel) in Spain and "Doctor Drago" in Mexico but that's only because Big Jim himself is called "Kid Acero" there. 

That's probably a lot to take in, sorry.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2018


It was at that moment that Steve & Kip began to realize that the girls they met online may not have been real people. Follow Plaidstallions on Twitter
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Monday, January 08, 2018

The Great Sci-Fi Toy Slump of 1979

It's really hard to believe but in 1979, Star Wars and other Sci-Fi related toys hit a major slump. So much so that many retailers considered it all a "fad" and stopped ordering new items.

This article taken from a "Toys, Hobbies and Crafts" magazine interviews major buyers and the vice president of Mego about the then-uncertain future of  space toys. Surely Star Trek the Motion Picture and the Black Hole were going to kick it back into high gear!

The recent release of two new space movies, with a third on the way for the spring, means kids will again be looking into space toys in droves, say manufacturers.

But retailers are leery about space, since sales dropped off as much as 30% for some last year on licensed and nonlicensed space toys.
The retailer's attitude for 1980s a "wait and see" philosophy. Most are hoping that Star Trek, The Black Hole and the Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, will rejuvenate sales.

Still, buyers say they plan to go slow in placing orders for sci-fi toys, depending upon the interest.

TH & C spoke with representatives from Heck's, Winns Stores, Singer and Co., Sprouse-Reitz Co.,Toy Fair, Kenner and Mego. This is what they had to say:

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Sunday, January 07, 2018

Spotlight: Planet of the Apes Game by IDW

This past week when I went to my local shop, (World's Collide BTW)  I was presented with this Planet of the Apes tabletop game by IDW.

 I like games and if you pair them with an established property, well I'm an easy mark, so even though I didn't sincerely recall ordering it, it sounded like something I'd do and I went on my way.

What it is: Planet of the Apes is a cooperation game, meaning all players work together rather than pitted against each other. I like this concept a great deal although I've never been particularly successful at it. I'm a big fan of Star Trek Cattan BTW....

How it's played: Each one of the up to four players is Taylor, albeit in a different emotional state, there is Clever Taylor, Defiant Taylor etc.  

The game works sequentially in the film's timeline as you race against time to go through the various stages of the film.  Each area has different challenges and relies often on dice to get you through. 

If the Soldier Ape or the Statue of Liberty gets to the bottom before Taylor, well, you blew it up you maniacs.

How it Looks- It's a pretty darn gorgeous game, the box art is by Jason Edmiston, a super talented dude I got to have a beer with a few years ago and have been a fan of ever since. The interior art is equally as beautiful, this is a joy to look at.

I got an early edition of the game and it came with plastic figurines of the Icarus, Taylor, a Soldier Ape and the Statue of Liberty but honestly, the cardboard pieces are super nice. I'm an Ape toy geek, so these do make me happy, I admit it....

So do you like it? Honestly, i've had a lot of fun but I'll freely admit this, I'm not sure if I'm doing it correctly. 

Planet of the Apes is ambitious and a little complicated, even on my second play, I had some questions. Now, that isn't a bad thing, the game rather new and I expect more and more Youtube videos of actual game play will probably answer all my questions.

I do see myself playing this a few more times as I've enjoyed the experience thus far.

Where to get it?

The absolute best place to get this is your local brick and mortar comic or game store. Keep them in business, spend your dollars locally.

Failing that, you can get it on Amazon or Ebay and if you click these links, you help out this site. Which would also be awesome.

Friday, January 05, 2018

The 1978 AHI Toy Catalog

The undisputed king of the "Rack Toy" in the 1970s was Azrak-Hamway International or "AHI" for short.

They were riding high with past hits like Batman, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Space 1999 but 1978 saw them add James Bond 007, Farrah Fawcette, Donnie and Marie, the Walt Disney characters and their answer to Star Wars, Star Fleet!

It's a real blast down the pharmacy toy aisle, check it out here:
1978 Azrak Hamway Toy Catalog on PlaidStallions.

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Thursday, January 04, 2018

A world of Fisher Price Adventure

By '81 I had moved on from the wholesome (and awesome) Fisher Price Adventure People line but it was such a happy memory that I can honestly remember pouring over the new sets in every wish book.

I especially recall being kind of miffed about the submarine complete with octopus "Oh sure, now they come out with that!".

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Monday, January 01, 2018

Confessions of a 1982 video game junkie

When I think about 1982, my mind drifts to three things, action figures, Doctor Who novels (mostly written by Terrance Dicks) and VIDEO GAMES.

My then eleven year old brain had Pac-Man fever bad, I was a total junkie. I bought terrible magazines about video games where even i could point out the grammatical errors, drew pictures of them, pretty sure I even bought that weird "Atari Force" comic book that DC comics made.

My parents were not shelling out for a home system and they forbade Grandma to help in anyway but my dad knew of a job opportunity in printing that only a kid would take.

So, the winter of 1982 was the year i toiled for weeks tearing misprinted sheets out of 35,000 Ottawa tourism booklets for exactly one penny each.

 Nights, weekends, I spent the entire March break tearing watching day time TV and tearing out that same page out of that damn booklet.

The above page was my spirit animal, I stared at it during this period so much i probably bore holes into it.

Eventually, I raised $300 from my endeavor and my dad took me to Pinocchio's toys in the midtown mall to purchase a system. He would also help me buy a game as well. I remember pressing my face against that Jeweler's case and picking out Activision's Kaboom!

All was right with the world, I was so proud about owning this thing and played combat until 2am with my dad (who was also a big arcade enabler to be honest). 

However, i would encounter one little problem the following Monday, a problem by the name of George Plimpton.

Mattel had launched a competing system called Intellivision and used Plimpton to snobbily tout it's superiority to Atari. This ad campaign was especially effective at my grade school where kids would quote the man (who probably never visited an arcade in his life) to mock the 2600 and my choice.

Me, filled with incredible pride of ownership (after all, i earned the money) took it all too personal and often challenged the other kid to a fight, this was despite my 40/60 success rate in playground scraps, never tell me the odds or the stats. 

BTW I attribute my prodigious ability to snore as an adult to these pointless donnybrooks.

Happily, this lead me to my tribe of the other Atari 2600 kids and we would happily swap games, occasionally, I would get a cartridge that totally reeked of cigarettes, causing my mum to have kittens but how else was I going to play Atlantis?

While the rivalry existed between 2600 and Intellivision kids remained, we both looked our noses down at the Odyessy 2. This weird disdain totally disappeared if I was a kid's house who had it though, mostly because I wanted to play it of course....

And then there was Leisure Vision,  the system that you get when you send your dad to the store but don't come along to supervise. It's low priced and looks like the Intellivision and Atari had a baby, so you can't blame frugral parents and grandpeople for surrendering to it's siren song.

My obsession with video games would last until about 1984 until I got caught up in the world of Home Computers (more on that later) and well, girls but i always think fondly of this weird little era where I had the fever...


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