Toy Talk
Volume II

By Mark Patraw
Posted on 8/19/13

I bet Doc must really feel like a fish out of water here!

Here are five more secondhand toys that I recently bought from local thrift stores. In the front, from left-to-right, we have a 2011 Mattel WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Rey Mysterio Jr., a Mattel Superman Returns movie Superman, a Snow White Doc, and a 2006 Playmates TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) movie Foot Soldier. And, finally, looming menacingly is the back, is a Scholastic Skulls! educational model kit. I purchased the Skulls! set and Doc figurine at the Vista Theater Thrift Shop on 8/12/13 and the Rey Mysterio, Superman, and Foot Soldier action figures at Goodwill on 8/16/13. If anyone reading this knows more information about any of these figures, that I haven't already discussed below, and would like to share, feel free to e-mail me and let me know!

Here we have a 2011 Mattel WWE Rey Mysterio Jr. action figure. The tattoos on his torso and arms are really nice and crisp; the spinal columns and ribs on his back are particularly impressive. He has a ball-jointed head (although his mask's edges limit the up and down movement), rotating cut biceps, waist, and hips, pin-and-post shoulders, wrists, and ankles, and pin-joint elbows (restricted to some extent by the pads) and knees. His upper body articulation is pretty good, but the lower body is more limited. This is a really nice figure of Rey Mysterio Jr., but, given how acrobatic he is in the ring, I wish that his legs could strike more dynamic poses (ball-jointed hips would have done wonders), although, to be fair, thick, baggy pants aren't the easiest thing in the world to articulate well and still have them look good.

This is a toy representation of the titular hero from the Superman Returns movie (played by Brandon Routh), a film which I still have not seen, and, in all honesty, probably wouldn't watch even if I was presented with the opportunity. I've never cared much for Superman (when it comes to DC, my two favorites are probably Batman and Swampthing), although I did read a fair number of his comics in my teens. While I may not be that keen on the character, I will say that this is a nice looking figure; I particularly like the micro-texture pattern running all over his costume and the details on his boots. Articulation-wise, he's got a ball-jointed neck, rotating cut shoulders and hips, pin-joint elbows and knees, and a spring-loaded cut waist that only turns to the right, and then springs back, allowing you to have Superman punch some unlucky sod into the next time zone. While the head doesn't really pivot upwards far enough, you can get a halfway-decent flying pose out of him. It's rather plain in appearance, but his cloth cape is nice, which, in this case, I actually prefer to a sculpted one. Oddly, there's a thin tab projecting out of his back--I'm guessing that this is either (1) a handle to facilitate his spring-action punch action or (2) an element designed to make his cape flare out behind him. Said mantle hides it okay, but I wish it wasn't there. The blue plastic is showing through in some spots where the paint is worn, and there was some red crap on his face when I got him, but that washed off easily with water. I probably wouldn't have bought him if he wasn't in a bag with a bunch of other toys, but, now that I have him, I'm pleased with the figure.

This is one of those educational snap-together model kits. As you can see from the photos, there are eight skulls in this Scholastic set (which aren't in scale with one another, as a T-Rex skull would dwarf the others). I was pretty amazed that, as a secondhand purchase, none of the heads were missing. From left-to-right we have: a dolphin, a komodo dragon, a wild boar, a sabertooth tiger, a human, a tyrannosaurus rex, an eagle, and a piranha. I like that they went with some less conventional choices for the animals. All the skulls are molded in an off-white plastic and the brains are likewise done in pink. Each one also has an articulated mandible. It would have been cool if the bones had glowed-in-the-dark, but, that's not the case. There's also a 32-page, full-color informational booklet that contains facts/trivia about skeletons, brains, and the eight organisms, as well as instructions for assembling the models. My set is missing the cardboard display stand, which I could care less about, and three of the miniscule pink brains (the sabertooth cat's, komodo dragon's, and wild boar's), but, as I regard that not-so-gray matter as a bonus above and beyond the skulls themselves, their absence doesn't trouble me (you can't see the brains when the skulls are assembled anyway). Oddly, there were also two pieces of wood in the box that looked like really thick chopsticks, but, because they weren't listed on the package's contents, and I had absolutely no use for them, I took them out and left them on a shelf in the store. According to the box, this set retailed, brand new, for $7.99. I paid $1.89 + sales tax, which seemed a tad high to me (the combined cost of all of Toy Talk Volume I's figures was less than that), but, keep in mind that I'm also a notorious miser. If you have a Predator toy (which, alas, I do not), these skulls would make great trophies for him.

This is Doc, one of the seven dwarves from Disney's classic Snow White animated movie. I believe that this is a fast food toy, although I'm not certain. While I liked the cartoon, I probably wouldn't have purchased Doc if he wasn't attached to that awesome diamond cart (I actually passed on buying him the first time I saw him, maybe a month or two earlier, which I then ended up regretting, but, fortunately, he was still there patiently waiting for me the next time I popped in). The diamonds, molded from transparent tinted plastic, look stellar, and the giant, central gem spins around-and-around when you roll the figure across any surface, which is a fun effect (the two wheels on the cart, as well as a pair of smaller wheels embedded in the soles of his shoes, that you can't see in the photos, both spin). It's a simple but well-designed toy. I have to wonder though, if the dwarves own a diamond mine, what the heck do they do with all the money that they must be raking in, hand over fist, from selling those precious gemstones? They live in a simple, rustic cottage, but, you'd think, as diamond dealers, they could afford something a lot more luxurious, like a castle...

This is a 2006 Playmates Foot Soldier action figure from the last TMNT movie (the computer-generated one). It's been some time since I watched that film, but, as far as I can remember, this is a pretty accurate representation. While the robotic purple Foot Soldier from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, toy lines, and video games is still my preferred design, this rather sinister looking ninja is pretty slick too. There are a few scuffs and stray paint marks on him, most noticeably on his left pectoral muscle, but he's in solid shape. The proportions are a little strange (huge hands, scrawny body). He's got cut joints at the neck, shoulders, biceps, wrists, and waist, pin-and-post ball joints at the hips, and pin joints in the knees. Being secondhand, my Foot Soldier is missing all of his accessories, namely two swords (one with a working sheath), a sickle, and a shield. On a related note, Goodwill also had a Foot Soldier from the 2K TMNT cartoon line in another bag of figures, but, because that was the only thing I wanted in that particular bag, I left it there, as it's generally my policy not to buy a bag of toys to get one item, unless it's something I simply must have or rare/valuable.

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