Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
August 29, 2019
Crowdfunding Unicron
Category: Toys

So it totally makes sense to me that individuals or even independent studios (like the Four Horsemen) would rely upon crowdfunding in order to realize their wares, but now even the major companies are crowdfunding certain products. And honestly? I'm not sure how I feel about that. In a way it makes sense, but I feel like Hasbro should have the resources to bring a product to market, and if they're not confident that said product will hit their minimum profit threshold then they just shouldn't make that product.

As it is, it creates this weird dynamic among fans and collectors where -- because the toy in question, Hasbro's massive and ambitious G1 Unicron, only gets made if 8000 people plunk down close to $600 to make it happen -- you've got some collectors actively criticizing and sniping and subtly digging at others for not helping to get Unicron made. You also have people who are in no way paying $600 for a goddamned toy -- and who don't particularly need or want a toy over two feet tall -- and so resent all parties for attempting to goad them into such a ridiculous purchase. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 10:49 pm | Comments (0)
June 27, 2019
NECA Toys: Some (dis)Assembly Required.
Category: Toys

Don't get me wrong -- NECA makes gorgeous action figures. They're pumping out spectacular-looking releases from properties near and dear to my heart: TMNT, Terminator, Alien/Predator, and Godzilla among them. Heck, I often pick up NECA's pieces even when I'm not familiar with a property. The toys just look that damned good, and I love adding new NECA figures to my collection.

But I really don't understand how anyone but fairly competent customizers (or collectors who never open their figures) can be satisfied with NECA products, since it seems like 8/10 figures require significant attention to fix some problem. Like, even beyond the typical heating of joints required to get a given NECA release moving. (Which, btw, is a thing I can't ever recall having to do with a Playmates TMNT figure. Just saying.) For example, the 1962 Godzilla I recently bought had one of his hip balls glued stuck -- even though it was clearly intended as a point of articulation -- and so I spent a good deal of time prying apart that joint and sanding away the excess glue within and lubricating the joint to ensure smooth motion and then reassembling the figure, all to get it to move how it should have moved right out of the box. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 8:33 pm | Comments (0)
June 9, 2019
You keep your cartoon Casey Jones :P
Category: Miscellany … Toys

Time for a random weird complaint post! No, I'm not going to gripe about people calling Raphael "Ralph." ;P

So I spend a lot of time on toy forums where people frequently voice their opinions about the characters they'd like to see made next in various action figure lines... and one of the things that bugs me is the amount of people who so desperately want Casey Jones in NECA's 1987 TMNT cartoon subline. Like, it'd make sense to me for the movie or comic lines -- Casey was hella important in those. It'd make sense to me if they wanted him in a line that took its cues from the vintage toys, since he was among the early releases. It'd make sense to me if they wanted him in a video game line, since he did feature prominently in 2/3 versions of TMNT Tournament Fighters (though he was reduced to a background sprite in the very best version). It'd even make sense if people wanted the 'toon Casey as a stand-in for one of his other incarnations... but that doesn't seem to be the case.

No, it really seems like these collectors legitimately want the cartoon Casey, who showed up in a handful of episodes and (IMHO, obviously) was kinda dumb. They want him more than April or Splinter or Baxter or the Rat King or the Neutrinos or Traag or the Punk Frogs or any of the other characters who featured in more episodes and who were arguably more integral to the TMNT universe (like Irma, Vernon, Burne... even Zach) than the nutjob outlaw hero. So I can't help but groan every time someone expresses a passionate desire for a Casey Jones figure in the Fred Wolf assortment. It's like ugh... did you even watch the cartoon???

Obviously this isn't remotely important, and obviously I'm not seriously angry about it -- it's just toys, and NECA's gonna do what NECA's gonna do (though admittedly I will be even more peeved if these misguided not-fanboys convince NECA to release Casey before April). But I wanted to gripe about it somewhere and I thought y'all might understand. Thanks for reading. XD

-posted by Wes | 4:38 pm | Comments (0)
July 23, 2013
I think I hate toy collectors.
Category: Toys

Yep. I think I hate toy collectors.

I don't hate all toy collectors, obviously. Some -- many -- most -- of my favorite people collect toys. I collect toys. But I never set out to collect toys, and I don't much enjoy the activity of collecting, per se. I don't pride myself on the size or value of my collection or the rarity of items in it, and I don't compare it to the collections of others as if it makes me more or less worthy -- I hate the "he who dies with the most toys wins" mentality. I just really love toys, so I buy a lot of toys, and I've amassed a collection because of that.

So it's the collectors who treat collecting itself like it's a sport -- like it's golf, even, 'cause that's the expensive one -- whom I really despise. I want toys, so I guess I "hunt" for them -- but not only do I not enjoy the hunt, I don't think it should be necessary. (My favorite lines right now are TMNT and My Little Pony, because they don't require hunting. I don't have to buy a figure on sight, afraid I might never see it again -- it's all but guaranteed that I'll see it again, multiple times, over the course of many, many months.) I hate the hoops companies like Mattel make us jump through to collect certain lines, and I hate how difficult it is to get most convention exclusives. (I found NECA's process to be really easy this year, but I even have problems with that. It just so happened that I was sitting at the computer when the figures were made available the second time, and folks who were elsewhere should be able to get them too. I preferred it when NECA sold the exclusives via their Amazon store.) (more...)

-posted by Wes | 2:09 pm | Comments (0)
January 24, 2012
SC Blog: Toy and Collectibles Show
Category: SC Updates … Toys … Travels

So I posted a lengthy blog entry on Scary-Crayon -- the first not attached to an article/feature, I think -- that details my thoughts on (and purchases from) the toy and collectibles show I attended last weekend in Timonium, MD. I think one of the great tragedies of my life (and there are many) is that I largely despise the cultures surrounding and the people involved with the things I enjoy the most.

My dad often says that I should open a toy shop, and sometimes I think that that would be cool. But then I remember that not only would I have to deal with people I loathe on a regular basis: I'd essentially have to become one of those people just for my business to remain competitive. And that would not be cool at all.

-posted by Wes | 3:37 pm | Comments (0)
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