Friday, December 31, 2010

PlaidStallions 2nd Annual Retro Awards

Plaidstallions retro awards
As another year passes, it's time to pay tribute that things that were so full of "Retro Win" that they need an imaginary award from an anonymous blogger in Canada. Yes, it's the 2nd annual Retro Awards and it's been an exciting year  as competition was fierce for my allowance these past twelve months.

Best Movies-
I was completely blown away this year by Black Dynamite a sharp as nails parody of the 1970s blaxploitation craze. Like all great parody, the film actually retains the feel of the subject matter, no mugging to the camera, no tired Britney Spears jokes. It makes stuff like "Epic Movie" look like the thrown together crap it really is. This film should have had a wider release as it is the best comedy I saw last year. If you haven't seen it, correct that mistake right now! You will be quoting it the next day.

Sandy Collera's Hunter Prey is on here because not only is this a solid science fiction film but it somehow invokes that "70s Vibe" so damned well. Shot on a shoestring, the movie looks better than a lot of big budget features. I've missed movies of this ilk, Hunter Prey sits proudly on my shelf next to stuff like "Planet of the Apes" and "Alien". I noticed fun little nods to properties like "The Micronauts" comic books in the script, which Sandy himself confirmed were intentional.  You can't not love stuff like this.

Best Toys- 2010 seemed to be all about 70s Mego love, which I'm perfectly fine with, while this year was one for the books in terms of me wanting to buy modern toys, three things really stuck out.

Firstly, BifBangPow! just unleashed so much toy love onto the world with their many wonderful toy lines like Twilight Zone and the awesome Venture Brothers. If I had to pick a favourite (and it's not easy), I'd have to say it was their Flash Gordon line of 8" figures. I waited a long time for these things and I wish I could send these back to my ten year old self, they are truly beautiful. Not to say that I don't love the hell out of my Brock Samson doll (I do!) but there is just something about waiting 30 years for a toy.

Speaking of waiting 30 years for something, the good folks at Super 7 had a "why didn't someone think of this sooner moment" when they married the goodness of Star Wars with the fun of Jumbo Machinders and pure awesome just came pouring out as a result. Seriously, the Super Shogun Storm Trooper brings tears to my eyes with it's brilliance. For added fun check out this cool series of retro Christmas images that was featured on Wired, if only this was real.

Speaking of beautiful, EMCE Toys and Diamond Select knocked the Universal Monsters line out of the park with their first two figures. I have more monster dolls than I need but these two figures were something I coudln't mince around with I needed these figures and I needed them now. As a bit of trivia, Sean Sansom sculptor of the upcoming Brick Mantooth figure also sculpted the Frankenstein, so they're sort of related/kinda...

Best DVD-

The hands down winner this year is the Time Life Six Million Dollar Man set. Time Life could have released this bare bones and I'd have bought it but no, they loaded it with extras and interviews and wrapped it in the coolest nerdiest packaging I've ever seen. Upon reciept of this fine set I went on a "bionic binge" that I am not proud of.

In the "never thought I'd see the day" department is the Warner Brothers Archives release of "Legends of the Superheroes" the ultra campy attempt to marry the Superfriends to the antics of the 1966 Batman TV series. This thing was the talk of the playground when I was a wee lad so it kind of made me misty to see it available in non bootleg fashion. Now if only they would release those forgotten 70s Archie tv pilots and perhaps ship to Canada...

Best Books-

I was elated to get a copy of Rich Handley's "Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes" which is a real treat for fans of the film, TV, book, and comic adventures on Pierre Boulle's Monkey Planet. Seriously this book is just exploding with facts on one of my favourite subjects and I heartily recommend it for casual fans and the hardcore ones who know what General Urko's wife's name is.

OK, it's kind of cheating seeing as I had some input on this book but seeing as likely I accounted for 0.001% of what makes Star Trek 365 so great, I feel safe. It's just a great big, beautiful, fun book about Star Trek at a terrific price. I'd also like the say the good folks at Abrams publishing were a total joy to work, unlike my other contribution deal this year which I won't get into. *Shakes Fist at Superman*

And that's my wrap up for a (very expensive) 2010, hope you enjoyed it. As we progress into 2011 I am truly excited at the new opportunities that abound for PS and hopefully I'll some fun announcements to make in the coming weeks.

Until then, thanks everyone for reading, contributing and most of all  making me laugh. It's been a joy and I wish you all a swinging new year in stereo.

Peace- Brian

Friday, December 24, 2010

Vintage Toy Stores Part Nine

Aw yeah, here's a present from me and Mantooth, another chapter in my favourite part of the site, Vintage Toy Store shots. This year we spend a lot of time in 1978 when the Star Wars phenom was taking hold but we also explore a local Heroe's World store (most toy collectors know from whence I speak)

Lots of fun sights this time around including vintage Corgi, Matchbox, AHI rack toys, Zee Toys Metal Men, Shogun Warriors and a big sopping pile of Nerf.

Click here to visit Vintage Toy Store Photos Part Nine

And with that, I bid you adieu for the Christmas season, I hope 70s will leave you all lawn darts and Billy beer.

That's it for Plaidstallions this year, I'll return on New Years Eve for the 2nd annual retro awards until then I have toys to put together and well, malt liquor to consume.

Thanks again for all your kind words and insanely funny comments this year, you folks make this site the reason I sit here and scan.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Santa...

I was perusinga bunch of vintage toy ads this week and thought it would be fun to do as an adult toy nerd what I did as a wee nerd, cut out the toys I want and create a wish list.

So here are three things I wish were under the tree so I would, um, not open the box or play with them.

Mattel's Moon Base Alpha Playset- this set almost made up for the less than spectacular figures, as playsets this one is a vinyl dream. It seems weird nowadays that kids would want to play with a Martin Landau doll but dammit, we did.
Shogun Warriors Utility Belt- OMG, I would never take this off not even for showers or family functions.
Lincoln Monsters Wolfman- Seeing as they're a buck a piece, why not bring me a whole set? I won't mind....

As a bonus, I've added a vintage toy ad in case you want to create your own wish list. Just click on them to enlarge and start circlin'!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Funky Christmas

Inflatable Santa is the perfect touch to this room but might I also be so bold and suggest a cardboard fire place?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

International Bionic People

From the UK I bring you James Austin and Stevie Sommers, the "Don't Sue Us" Bionic couple. These unlicensed wonders were created by Tomland, a company that seemed to get it's kicks from knocking off Star Wars and other films. Their Star Raiders and Famous Monsters line are a both a child's and a lawyer's dream.

Our Bionic Man actually had another life as "Dral" a member of the aforementioned "Star Raiders". Recognize Dral's outfit? That's cause it's a rip off of Mattel's Pulsar outfit. So technically, he's wearing a knockoff off a suit that was in itself a knockoff, kind of makes you dizzy. Tomland knew no shame and we're better for it.

As a palate cleanse, I bring you the completely licensed "El Hombre Nuclear" from a toy company known as BASA in Peru. Lucky Peruvians had themselves a Steve Austin on a Mego body, I cannot tell you how much I love this toy, words have no meaning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blunders in Marketing

Ladies and Gents, I present you with Packables, a line of Mrs Roper/Dorothy Sbornac type clothing with a name that cleary has contempt for it's core demographic. From the makers of "Turkey Neck" scarves and "Cankles" brand boots.

Friday, December 17, 2010

1977 Western Auto Toy Catalog

Christmas is that magical time when stores that don't normally carry toys start selling them in a big way. In my neck of the woods it was Canadian Tire but for many of you in the states Western Auto was the unlikely source of fun.

Known year round for Auto parts and fire arms, Western Auto stocked the hottest toys during the holiday shopping season.

1977 was a great year to believe in Santa, boys got bionic and stretchable heroes, even ones with guts you could see. Girls got Donny and Marie and Farrah hair for everyone!

Click Here to Visit the 1977 Western Auto Toy Catalog

Other Toy Flyers and Circulars from the 70s
..1975 zayre toy flier

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dinky Space

This ad is from 1978, I find it funny that kids were playing with ships from Gerry Anderson's (IMO amazing) UFO series a good seven years after it was cancelled. Those Eagles were also more fun than should be humanly allowed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Origin of Slade

It should be obvious by now that I have a mild obsession with the Shindana Slade doll, which most would instantly recognize as being a non licensed doll version of Richard Roundtree in Shaft, it's pretty obvious but as I explored a little further I noticed some other factors that inspired the so called "Super Agent's debut, namely Big Jim and his Wolf P.A.C.K....

More After the Jump

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jeans and Geometrics

I really don't mix my pants with things that my inability to grasp kept me out of good colleges. Seriously, my campus was known for it's wide variety of prostitutes...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bionic Advertising

Recently found these smoking trade ads for Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman toys and had to share. I've shrunk them down for the blog but you can click on them to see a larger view.
A close up of the drool worthy display of Bionic Man outfits.

More Bionic Goodness

Friday, December 10, 2010

1980 Ideal Team America Catalog

By the late 1970s, Ideal Toys had a bit of a problem on their hands. Even though Evel Knievel had fallen out of favour with the public, their stunt cycle toy was still a viable product. The only logical choice was to rebrand the toy, their first attempt was in 1978 with Scare Cycles, a neat concept but not the home run they sought.

In 1980, Team America was born and in a wise marketing move so was a Marvel comic book of the same name.

Ideal (tee hee) Links
evel knievel comic book1975 evel knievel catalog1976 Evel Knievel Catalog Ideal Scare Cycles


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