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Thread: Dolls: Big Figures from Fantasy!

  1. #1
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    Plaid Stallions Dolls: Big Figures from Fantasy!




    I recently came across this wonderful article about action figures circa 1977, it mentions Micronauts, Pulsar, Metal Man, Electroman, Stretch Monster, Shogun Warriors and their impact on the toy market place. It features interviews with not only toy buyers but toy makers from Hasbro, Mego, Zee Toys and Mattel.

    Seeing as these are things that haunt my dreams 40 years later, I thought it might be of interest to all of you, read on after the jump!




    For more Fashion Mockery and 70's toy love visit us at Plaid Stallions.com


    More...

  2. #2
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    Always loved that photo of the Micronaut taken from low POV. Makes him look mighty and godlike with the warpy photo effects going on. They really knew how to photograph toys to make them look appealing.
    SELL ME YOUR LOOSE MINTY WONDER WOMAN!

  3. #3
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    Fascinating article.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_T7BhcH-_Lqw/Rph52zHLjQI/AAAAAAAAAWY/IRQJUp3saOs/s200/Hulk.jpg

    Looking for the following Mego "Comic Action Heroes" accessories: Penguin's umbrella and Green Goblin's satchel/shoulder bag.
    And one Mego Comic Activator (working or non working).

  4. #4
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    I bet the tone of the article would have shifted massively 1 year later. Star Wars was looming and they didn't even know it....

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    Yeah, SW was the exception to that licensing rule they talked about but it certainly wasn't wrong about every other property that came along after.

    It wasn't until toymakers could make their own half hour toy commercials in '83 that licensing spun out of control.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by palitoy View Post
    It wasn't until toymakers could make their own half hour toy commercials in '83 that licensing spun out of control.
    Yes, many 80s cartoons, Like MOTU and GI JOE, were based on toy properties. But I don't think it is fair to just call the half hour commercials. A lot talented people worked on those shows make them much more than that. Many talented writers like Larry DiTillio, J. Michael Straczynski and Paul Dini all wrote episodes for MOTU. Not to mention, Lou Scheimer was always vocal about instilling pro social messages in the cartoon.
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

  7. #7
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    I'm not belittling the talents behind those programs (although Dini referred to his time on MOTU as being "on the Conan wheel") it's just they are by their very nature Cart/Horse. The property was often based on the product and not the other way around. Sure, some transcended that, others not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palitoy View Post
    I'm not belittling the talents behind those programs (although Dini referred to his time on MOTU as being "on the Conan wheel") it's just they are by their very nature Cart/Horse. The property was often based on the product and not the other way around. Sure, some transcended that, others not so much.
    Merchandising has always been a thing. Even before SW and before 80s toons Disney always made loads of money on merchandising and has long blurred the line between cart and horse. My Mom collected Lady and the Tramp toys in Rice Krispies. The toys sold cereal and promoted the movie.

    The Lego movies every one loves are based on toys to sell toys. The popular Disney Marvel moves are driven by merchandising and they are all still good movies in their own right. But when 80s stuff does it, it's bad.

    I get a lot of 60s/70s kids don't care for 80s toys and toons and that's cool to each their own. But the pot shots (and to be totally clear I don't think you are doing that here) towards them just gets to be kind of a downer after a while, you know.
    Last edited by Werewolf; Apr 7, '17 at 1:06 PM. Reason: typos
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werewolf View Post
    Merchandising has always been a thing. Even before SW and before 80s toons Disney always made loads of money on merchandising and has long blurred the line between cart and horse. My Mom collected Lady and the Tramp toys in Rice Krispies. The toys sold cereal and promoted the movie.
    Oh, there's always been a tendency to do this, totally. I love the Marvel Micronauts comics but their main purpose was to promote the brand, it just happened to be good. Shogun Warriors comic? Not so much but I still like it.

    What I'm saying is, those programs were created to sell toys and the brand at their very heart. On many of them, the creative people cared enough to make something much less crassly commercial, absolutely and that is why they're enjoyed today.

    The Lego movies every one loves are based on toys to sell toys. The popular Disney Marvel moves are driven by merchandising and they are all still good movies in their own right. But when 80s stuff does it, it's bad.
    Now, it's all a long plan to sell stuff. No argument there. I don't know about widespread umbrage for the 80s stuff, I mostly read positive things to the point of hyperbole, I'm not hucking rocks from my glass house on that one.

    I get a lot of 60s/70s kids don't care for 80s toys and toons and that's cool to each their own. But the pot shots (and to be totally clear I don't think you are doing that here) towards them just gets to be kind of a downer after a while, you know.
    Yeah, I'm not, some of it is good, just speaking historically about how laws changed the game and allowed toy makers to make entertainment out of their concepts. Marty Abrams BTW was a huge proponent of this, had he been more successful, we would have been talking about Micronauts/Eagle Force cartoons.

    I know all about downers, I was a collector in the 80s and had to hear about the superiority of a 60s childhood ad nauseum. Apparently everything about my childhood paled to these baby boomer toy dealers and the stuff I liked was "Crap". It's so silly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by palitoy View Post
    Marty Abrams BTW was a huge proponent of this, had he been more successful, we would have been talking about Micronauts/Eagle Force cartoons.
    An Eagle Force cartoon would have been epic.
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

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