Toy Talk
Volume III

By Mark Patraw
Posted on 8/26/13

With this installment of Toy Talk, we're still working our way through all the stuff I bought from Goodwill ten days ago on 8/16/13. Starting in the back, from left-to-right, you're looking at a 2009 JAKKS Pacific WWF Batista, a McDonald's 2012 Power Rangers Super Samurai Red Ranger Jayden, and a Russ Berrie Stego plush. And, in the front, there's Snow White Happy & Grumpy and a Kellogg's bendy Monsters, Inc. Sully. 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!

We'll start things off with a look at the Russ Berrie "Stego" dinosaur beanie. I don't know how they did it, but the material they used for the exterior surface does a really nice job of approximating scales, and it has a pleasing, slightly-metallic sheen to it too. This prehistoric plush reptile was missing its left eye, so I made it a new one out of white glue, tissue paper, and acrylic paint--however, it's not the best match in the world because the remaining original eye is done with some sort of soft, sewn material, with an irregular surface, and the new one I made is hard and smooth. The replacement looks okay from a distance, but the difference is noticeable up close (inspect the frontal shot above, on the right, to see what I mean). There are also a few very small holes in the material near the seams, which I'm probably going to have to get out a needle and some thread to fix at some point. While I will occasionally purchase a plush figure, and I have always liked dinosaurs, Stego probably isn't something I would have bought if it hadn't come in a bag with some action figures that I wanted, but, minus the damage, Stego is a pretty nice stuffed animal.

Damn, I should have known that, when I bought Doc (see Volume II), he'd start scheming to find some way to get his six missing compatriots into the house--and succeed he did. Given their size and design, Happy and Grumpy (which is a nice pairing, as their dispositions balance one another out) are almost certainly from the same toy line that spawned said Doc figurine. The sculpt on this item is pretty nice, I particularly like the little woodland animals in raised relief on the fulcrum (a rabbit on one side, a squirrel, holding a diamond, on the other). Like Doc, there's an action feature when you roll the toy across any hard surface: the two dwarves see-saw, back-and-forth, on their trolley cart. At some point, Happy and Grumpy must have been left out in the rain or snow, or used as a plaything in the water, because all the metal screws on the toy are pretty badly corroded (although the see-saw mechanism and wheels all move fine without a hitch). The rust doesn't actually look all that bad when one considers that the orange/brown oxidized metal matches the predominate color scheme of the toy. I will not be at all surprised if, the next time I pick up a bag of random figures, I find either Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy, or Bashful's face staring out at me from the bag with a knowing glint in their eyes...

Rey Mysterio Jr. is getting pounded on here by JAKKS Pacific's 1999 WWF Dave Batista action figure. While he looked familiar, for the life of me, I couldn't remember who he was, so, I had to search online to refresh my memory (that Chinese dragon tattoo on his back was a big help in identifying him). Batista's got a ball-jointed neck (with a limited range of movement, thanks to his thick, corded muscles); pin-and-post shoulders; cut wrists, waist, and hips; and pin elbows, knees, and ankles (they barely move at all though--I don't know why they even bothered to articulate his ankles--seriously, they pivot about 10 degrees and that's it). The right shoulder/chest region wasn't designed very well either, because he can't bring that outstretched arm any closer to his body than a 35 degree angle, which looks weird (his left arm bends inwards a lot closer than his right does). For some reason, his left foot is also hollow (the sole of his boot is screwed on), which is odd. Batista's ability to replicate a variety of wrestling moves would have been improved greatly with the addition of cut biceps/hips and ball-jointed thighs, although he does have a fair degree of poseability as-is. Looking at photos online, I think my toy is missing elbow and knee pads, which would have spiced up his appearance a bit. He's got a nice, muscular sculpt, and the tattoos on his back, upper arms, and belly help him to stand out from other grapplers. Batista is a pretty nice wrestling action figure, but I think JAKKS Pacific could have done more with the joints, both in functionality and number.

This a bendy Kellogg's Sully figure from Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc (the character is voiced by John Goodman in the film) . I don't know if this came as a prize in one of their food products or if you had to mail away for it. The Monsters, Inc. movie didn't do a whole lot for me, entertainment-wise, but I did like several of the creature designs (I have several other Monsters, Inc. beasties in my toy collection). The main problem with this figure, from a visual standpoint, is that Sully is supposed to be a hulking, shaggy beast--this toy makes him look like he's suffering from anorexia. I understand why they changed his physique, as you'd never be able to get his limbs to bend if they were as thick as they're supposed to be, but the disparity between this toy and the movie's computer-generated model is very noticeable. That said, the sculpt is nice, with fur lines etched all over his body and well-defined facial features and nails/horns. The wire armature inside his rubbery flesh works well; you can contort him into a variety of poses. Other than his inaccurate physique, this is a solid toy. While bendy figures aren't without their charms, in this case, I think Kelloggs would have been better off making Sully thicker and giving him more traditional articulation (i.e., rotating cut joints), in order to truly capture his cinematic likeness.

This is a 2012 McDonald's Happy Meal toy of Red Ranger Jayden (portrayed by actor Alex Heartman in the televison show) from Power Rangers: Super Samurai. The figure is permanently attached to his base (well, I suppose you could get him off with some work, but he probably wouldn't be able to stand independently without it.) The detail, on both Ranger and base, is very good, and Jayden has some nice paintwork for a cheap fast food toy. The Red Ranger only has two points of articulation: the arms pivot up and down, as one unit, and his waist is spring-loaded--twist his torso to the right, and then let go, and he'll swing back, smacking anyone or anything unfortunate enough to get in the way of his mighty blue blade. I watch Power Rangers every now and then (mostly to see what the goofy monster-of-the-week is), but I don't think I've ever caught any episodes of the Super Samurai incarnation of the franchise. For a fast food toy, the Red Ranger is okay, although I think he'd be more fun if he wasn't anchored to his stand and had some more articulation--he makes a pretty nice display piece though. Jayden is another one of those things that I just ended up with because it came in a bag with other stuff, not because I really wanted it.

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