Oooh, I stumbled upon a doozey this week! Even though I was a die-hard fan of 80s toys and cartoons growing up, most of them were gone by the time I started getting an allowance or going to the toy store with my grandma. Luckily, by then (the mid 90s) a whole slew of comic-based cartoons were hitting the airwaves as their toy counterparts appeared in stores. I was already into comics by then and loved watching superhero adventures, even if they were based on Marvel books (I was a DC kid through and through then). So, the Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons and toys were where it was at for me. Back then you could get a figure for about $5 and if you happened to hit a sale, you could walk out with a bag of figures for what it costs to get one today.
In other words, I have a lot of Spidey toys, including some of the ones from the Spider Force line which included the Avenger Wasp, Beetle, Nazi bee villain Swarm, Tarantula and CyberSpider Spider-Man. Oh, and apparently a Spider-Mobile (or Web Car) too! This is a pretty bonkers line-up when you think about it, but a fun one nonetheless. Notice how pose-y the bodies are. That’s the influence of companies like McFarlane Toys on the industry back then. I know for sure I picked up the Wasp and maybe a few others.
This week’s TCT is a fun little double whammy thanks to YouTuber CraigLeeThomas. As you can see it starts off with an Iron Man spot followed by an X-Men one. I found this particular video because I couldn’t remember if there were actual X-Men toy commercials back in the 90s. I figured there must have been more than that first one I wrote about a while back, especially considering the cartoon was so popular and that Toy Biz line seemed like it was around forever, but couldn’t remember any specifics.
So, we kick off with that Iron Man commercial and, while I don’t remember seeing it, I definitely had all of those toys. Those were the glorious days you could get four figures for a $20, so I added a lot to my collection especially while visiting my grandma in Cleveland. I loved the snap on armors with all the different accessories, but also how the bad guys in this line each had a cool action feature. Oh, plus, MODOK toy, right?
Then you’ve got the X-Men commercial which featured that huge, rad Sentinel toy. I didn’t have him, but I’m sure I wanted it if and when I saw it. Gotta love all those destruction points for a variety of play options. As far as the action figures go, that was definitely my first Wolverine toy and I might have gotten Rogue later on down the line, but I gravitated towards other versions of Gambit, Beast and Cyclops.
Finally, while I find the commercial’s conceit that Rogue would be so easily captured and need saving is problematic, it’s kind of adorable hearing that boy do a Southern accent.
I discovered this little gem while looking for a completely different commercial and just had to post it. I vaguely remember seeing these Rock Em Sock Em Robot type Big Time Action Heroes in the 90s on toy shelves, but never really got into them. I love how 90s this commercial comes off with the pointlessly black and white town and the EVERYTHING IS AWESOME voiceover. But the best part? Wolverine would be straight up murdering Spider-Man in this fight. His claws are out! One punch to Spidey’s face and his shish kabob. That’s not even fair. Not cool Toy Biz, not cool.
As I’ve mentioned several times, I was a DC comics fan growing up, but also loved the Marvel cartoons, action figures and trading cards. Back in the 90s there were plenty to be had and I gobbled them up, mainly focusing on the Spider-Man and X-Men/X-Force figures (yup, there’s a whole line of X-Force toys not to mention Generation X, X-Men 2099 and the like). While I came to the X-Men line a bit later than the toys shown in this commercial, I did manage to get my paws on that Wolverine which comes with a gun that looks like a video camera.
Better yet? This wave which includes arguably the most popular X-Man of all time along with one of the original team members, two longtime villains…and Forge. That still cracks me up. I knew nothing about that character, but I still love the look, which is what wound up drawing me in as a toy collector for the better part of a decade.
He-Man, Transformers and G.I. Joe might have been the action figures that made me fall in love with toys, but it was Marvel related comic and cartoon figures that kept me in the game for a while. I was a big fan of X-Men and Spider-Man when they aired on Fox in the mid 90s and quickly focused my toy buying gaze on figures from those lines. I have two large copy paper boxes filled to the brim, one with all X-Men related figures, the other packed with toys based on the Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Hulk, Avengers and Spider-Man cartoons. So, seeing this commercial with many of the early Spidey figures as well as that 90s-tastic opening theme music made me smile. Of the toys shown in this spot, I had that weird Spider-Man with built-in webs, Dr. Octopus. as well as Carnage and Hobgoblin who only show up at the end. I hope Lu’s still into Spider-Man by the time she’s old enough to play with action figures.
Pretty sure my buddy Sean T. Collins perfectly encapsulated what made me love He-Man as a kid and look at it sideways as an adult over on Vorpalizer.
I think I plugged Alex Kropinak’s excellent new blog already, but I’ve actually had time to read it. Dig his posts about What The?!, Twisted ToyFare Theater and his love of Marvel Legends.
I can’t accurately describe how freaking excited and nostalgic I was when I saw this trailer for Capcom’s upcoming DuckTales Remastered. I adored that game as a kid — it’s easily in my all time top ten — and have had a blast playing it here and there as an adult too. Adding to the excitement is that fact that my daughter is an in-the-works DuckTales fan!
That Patton Oswalt has a lot of interesting stuff to say, as he did in this Esquire interview with Scott Raab.
Not a fan of his movies, but I love that Rob Zombie plays and headlines giant music festivals just to hang out with his musician friends. That’s why I go to NYCC. Well, that and the freelance. (via Rolling Stone)
I still have no idea what Dub Step is supposed to be, but I was a big fan of Fatboy Slim/Norman Cook/Pizza Man back in the day, so it’s cool to see him getting some recognition for being at the forefront of electronic dance music by way of this Rolling Stone interview. I’m glad they stopped calling it electronica, but all the other names are dumb too.
Recalling 1993 sounds like a really interesting project. Head to any pay phone in NYC, dial 1-855-FOR-1993 and hear someone specific to that area telling you about the place you’re standing back in 1993.
Here’s hoping they can get Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo back for the new Vacation movie. They don’t need to have huge roles, but it would be nice to see them together in something other than a commercial for pants. (via THR)
I love the random times when adult-themed comics somehow spawn cartoons aimed at kids. Punisher appeared on Spider-Man in the 90s and got his own Toy Biz action figure, Swamp Thing had his own cartoon and media empire and even Savage Dragon scored his own toon. And then there’s Ghost Rider. Before he starred in his own movies, everyone’s favorite motorcycle-riding DEMON appeared on the Hulk cartoon and got two series’ worth of action figures and vehicles from Toy Biz. And, if this commercial is any indicator, it’s not like they tried to downplay the character’s comic book roots. That thing’s pretty intense and yet weirdly awesome. Kudos, Toy Biz!