I still think it’s amazing that, back in the 80s, it was standard practice to simultaneously launch a comic book along with a cartoon/toy line. These days, comic book characters are bigger than ever, but I’m not so sure that reflects back on the medium itself, but back then it was assumed that kids would want to plunk down the money they didn’t spend on toys on a monthly comic to fill out the story.
Just today, I wrote a post for Marvel.com about the tie-in comic for Star Wars Droids as part of my weekly Star Wars Spotlight column. While researching, I was reminded that the Kenner toys based on this short-lived cartoon were actually pretty rare so this will probably the most I ever see of them. It’s too bad because those vehicles sure look cool!
Why did I choose The Shadow for this week’s TCT? It just popped into my head when I went to YouTube today to look for candidates. These Kenner figures were released in conjunction with the 1994 film of the same name starring Alec Baldwin. I miss the days when action films were based on pulp heroes no one remembers, while also inspiring full-on action figure pushes with vehicles!
I was about 12 when Batman Forever came out. I’m fairly certain I saw it in the theaters, but don’t have much memory of the outing aside from chuckling at the “Holy rusted metal,” line that Chris O’Donnell says at the end. Even though I was down with Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face and Jim Carey as The Riddler, I think this was the first movie I saw where part of my brain was like, “This might not be good.” I can’t say for sure that’s where my love of bad movies started, but I can say that I liked it AND that I didn’t see Batman and Robin in theaters, so take that for whatever it’s worth.
At that time, I was still fully engrossed in the world of collecting Batman toys and did get the Two-Face toy, which comes with a gun permanently melded in his hand and a scratched up coin. I didn’t have the Dick Grayson seen in this spot, but would have grabbed him given the chance because that was my idea of awesome as a kid. Man, what a bonkers line and movie!
I don’t usually post these commercial compilations, but this is the only place I could find the Ghostbusters commercial with the live action appearance by Frankenstein and Dracula, so feel free to stop after the first entry or go on through the whole thing. I knew that TCT would be tricky when I decided to go vampire themed this week. Vampires were never the star of the show when it came to kids cartoons and toys in the 80s and 90s, so I wasn’t exactly sure which way to go and then I remembered the awesome array of monsters that appeared early on in the Ghostbusters line from Kenner.
I never had either of these fantastic facsimiles of the Universal Monsters, but I still have that Venkman figure with the green ghost that attaches to his chest causing his arms to spin around. Frankly, if these guys are so scared of ghosts as we can plainly see by their action features, maybe they need to rethink their line of work.
While looking around for last week’s Toy Commercial Tuesday offering which featured a variety of Beetlejuice toys, I came across this one for the Creepy Cruise as well. Next to the Vanishing Vault, this car has got to be her favorite piece of Beetlejuice merchandise from Kenner.
I don’t know if there’s anything about this car specifically that she loves, but she does enjoy having such a large car to push around. It’s currently sitting in my office next to previous TCT entry the praying mantis bug car from Ghostbusters which she and I will roll across the floor filled with any variety of toys I pull out of boxes and hand to her. What’s your favorite toy car in that scale?
I hope you’ve noticed that posting around here slowed way down for a few months there. Between the huge rush of work I had in October, moving throughout most of November and then all the usual craziness of December, it’s been tough setting aside time to blog. But, I’ve been busy ready, watching and playing which brings us back around to this latest Toy Commercial Tuesday entry: Beetlejuice and the Vanishing Vault.
As a kid I was both freaked out by and obsessed with Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice. So, when a toy line that was actually based on the film and not the animated series popped up from Kenner, I was all over it. As it turns out I have everything seen in this commercial except the Otho figure. A few weeks ago, I was looking through some of the boxes filling our garage and came across the Beetlejuice toys. Since then, my three year old daughter has been playing with them when she hangs out in my office. She’s a big fan of the Vanishing Vault and even puts other larger figures in there to turn into tiny Beetlejuice. I never thought I’d say this, but sharing my toys has been a lot of fun!
Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have shown our daughter the three original Star Wars movies. She’s gotten pretty into them which is an awesome thing for me as a longtime fan of those movies. With the movies on my mind, it made sense to dive into anold school Kenner ad for this week’s TCT.
I’ve always wanted an AT-AT, though I was mostly thinking of the modern one. I have seen this original Kenner one at a few flea markets here and there, but had no idea it had that many action features. I love it! How can you not?