Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Image horked from this page
Spirograph is a toy I have pretty mixed emotions about.  It was cool really cool and it game kids a nice introduction into art and drawing.  But it automated the process to that you really developed no skill.  It's almost art for the talentless math nerd.  Its fun and sort of fractal but you really are not going to gain any skills with this.

I really didn't have any art training other than the mild art projects that were part of school.  I took drafting in my freshman year rather than actual art.  which is more like the high end of the spirograph technique.

The one thing I did go to religiously was a KTEH channel 54 show called "The Secret City Drawing Club with Commander Mark."  This was one of the best drawing shows that a kid could watch.  It was fun and had this on going mural that was awesome.  There were loads of terms and techniques that were demonstrated and host make it all very easy to follow.  I think any kid wanting to get into art should check it out and to make it easy here is a youtube video for you to check out.  Yes it is an awesome mustachio my friend, yes it is.

Colorforms Dungeons and Dragons

Toy Archive

This was one of the goofier toys I had as a kid.  I am not sure how I ended up with it really.  I know I was into Dungeons and Dragons and even had some of the figures that a present in this set but I really didn't know what to do with this thing.  I hope I didn't beg for it, because it didn't get much use once I got it home. Sure i played with it but it wasn't a go to toy by any means.

ColorForms had a wide variety of sets for all sorts of things and basically were repeatable stickers that you would use to make some scene.  The "Stickers" were vinyl and would stick with a gentle moistening of the display board.  In this case a dragons treasure horde in dungeon.  You had many of the characters from the D&D LJN action figure line present.  Warduke, Strongheart, Melf, both wizards and the cleric even the troll was there.  The problem was what if you got it to the point where you liked it, the "Stickers" eventually dried and feel off.  For me colorforms were just sort of a bad concept but if you liked them more power to you.  

Gi Joe Mobile Missle System
I am not sure when I got this one.  I was a fan of the smaller GI Joe stuff that came out in the early 80's.   I guess the change in size made them seem like they were my own.   They were not like Micronauts which my older cousin was into first, or even the big version of the Gi Joe.  It was something that was brand new for me and I was getting into it on the ground floor.  I don't know why that appealed to me so much.  Star War I had gotten into late but being the first on the block to get Gi Joe made me feel like these were the toys I should be into.  I guess I was being sort of like Cartman I got to have the toys first, well for a week then everyone had them and often better ones.  I got the mortor soilder first which was cool but not the best of the group.

This was one of the vehicle toys that came out a few months later after the figures were established.  It was sort of a trailer with missiles that could be pulled by the tank or jeep.  I guess it was cool I mean what is going to sand up to freaking missile but it seemed like a bit of overkill considering Cobra only had three guys at the time.

I think I was most impress that the figure Hawk it came with was the commander.  I somehow decided he was the top guy in charge of Gi Joe.  I don't know if that was wrong or right but I had to have this because of it.  I am sure I make my parents lives hell because of it.

Aurora Screechers: Spider-Man Meets The Fly Race Set
I can't remember if this came for my birthday or Christmas.   They are only a month apart so they sort of workout to pretty much be the same.  I sort of liked Spider-Man because my older cousin was into him and comics.  I really had no other interest in superheroes other then when my cousin had the mego dolls.  I personally only can related to Daredevil because he is handicapped and after that terrible movie not even then.

I remember getting a bunch of slot cars stuff over the years, not that I was really into them.  I have since learned that my Dad was a big fan of slot cars as a teenager and was reliving his youth through picking up slot car toys for me.  I can remember this one being on that I liked.  It was a fixed track that sat in a box you just took off the cover, plugged in the controllers and raced.  That was nice and easy for me.  It was pretty cool there were weird bits of fly paper on the track and points where you could bump.  The game lost its luster as the card board bits wore out.  I clearly remember the lizard bending and early on, and being forced to remove him.  The spider tunnel went next.

All in all I would say it was a great introductory slot car toy.  I still think the cars look cool though I have never heard of Spider Man having an enemy called the fly.  Maybe that was just too easy.  Aurora is still around though a much smaller player.  They seem to focus on retro copies of their models.  Sort of a shame they were pretty cool and Toy's R Us wasn't as cool when I wandered through over the weekend.

Star Wars: Death Star Space Station
Continuing my lead up to Christmas, here is another present I got back when I was a kid.  I was spoiled being a sickly only child.  This one was from my Gramma.  Its the Death Star Space Station from the good folks at Kenner.  It was cool if a pain to get out and put away.

It gives you the option to play several scenes from the movie all crammed into a kid friend play space.  You have the trash compactor, retracting bridge, tower that Obi Wan shut off the power and so much more.  No figures included those you have to provide on your own.

I remember there being two problems with this thing. The middle two sections have you inserting a cardboard wall which quickly got into bad shape and was eventually unusable.  The trash compactor was another bit of poor design. You have foam bits that constantly were getting lost so the compression of figures never would force the doors open after a point.

All in all it was pretty fun but sort of wanting when compared to the space ships or land speeders that everyone had.  It was better than the early cardboard only playsets like the Gi Joe cobra missile command base but still a little lacking considering the price.  I remember this thing costing a bit but I don't remember the exact number


Micronauts Star Searcher
One of my favorite toys of yesteryear was the Micronauts Star Searcher.  Micronauts were sort of weird toys as they came from Japan and felt like several lines of toys all thrown together.  This one fit in with the see through Time Traveller Micronauts and their little vehicles.  They all had parts that could connect together in some fashion and work to build new never through of toys.  I always liked that, it allowed you to use your imagination and was cool for those of us without legos.  This one was great as it was almost more of a building platform than a vehicle itself.  It has all sorts of components from a gun to a crane to a cockpit.

These toys really provided hours of fun with all you could do with them.  I wish they would redo the micronauts and make sure to keep in the building aspects of the toys.  But with Mego gone I really don't see that happening.  Any way a great toy from my youth.  The image comes from the good folks at Final Frontier Toys.

Battlestar Galactica Radio Control Cylon Raider

RC Cylon Raider
 Here is a toy I dug out of the closet over the weekend.  I was actually surprised I still had it.  It was something of an odd ball toy for me , i was a bit young for an RC toy when I got it.  I don't really know if this was something really appreciated at the time.  But here it is in all it's Cylon glory.  There was a lot of interest in Battlestar at the time as they had a big flap over the toys shooting missiles down kids throats.  I only ever had the lame slightly pop out missile versions of the toys and this thing.   In looking at the toy there are some marks in the bottom corner that look like Toy's R Us style text.  I am not sure but the toy may have originated at one of their stores.

Radio Control Cylon Raider
Popping open the much battered box here is the carton with controller and the actual space ship.  you have pretty long RC wire antennas on both.  You sort of have to feat them back into the box every time you want to put it back.  I remember a Styrofoam cover square but that appears to be long gone.
RC cylon control
 Here is the remote with an idea of scale its not massive, i have short fingers and big hands.  its pretty old school push the button and steer via the wheel.  I remember this thing was not very tough and would only really work on the linoleum and hard wood portions of my parents house back on Fallwood.

Here is the Cylon itself with both top and bottom shots.  You can see some of my Atari collection looming in the background. Having not been a go to toy for me I think its in pretty decent shape.  I am not sure the thing actually works though.  I sort of thing it does not but I could be wrong.  It's sat for year and years so is missing a battery cover on the controller.

RC Cylon Raider
RC Cylon