Sunday, March 18, 2018

Toys, Toys, Toys....And CD's....Mostly CD's

Typically Dave Hart doesn't hold a toy show in Timonium, Maryland during March. Rather, the norm is one in July and another in December. So, when I heard about this oddball March event I naturally had to plan to be there.

As usual I started my visit at Mr. CD Guy - Obviously not his real name, and nabbed up several CD's. This time I was even smart enough to bring my own box to pack them in. I'll admit it. I'm not proud of everything I grabbed today...


In fact, in hind site, I can honestly say a good 50% - 60% of what I actually brought home with me could have stayed at the show and I would have had zero remorse of leaving it behind. But, when dollar CD's come calling I grab, grab, grab...And again, end up with things like the above.

Well okay, that may be the least desirable (to me) in what I came home with. However, the other items ranged from great to decent to listenable.

Of course you know I went for all things 80's. Unfortunately, I have so many 80's CD's that at this point I'm scraping the bottom of barrels in what I'm finding. Don't get me wrong, it's good (or decent) stuff. However, it's not the classics - Because I already own all of that stuff.

I know none of the songs on the ABC, Cure, Bonham or Yaz albums. I picked up the majority of them because they are bands from the era I know of. The only exception was Bonham which I had never heard of.

Fine Young Cannibals is actually an album I owned already, but it was so scratched up it doesn't play very well - That's what you get for a quarter at the thrift shop. I was happy to replace it for just a buck with all the great songs on it.

Bad English is the album with When I See You Smile and the Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam album actually has a couple good songs on it - Head to Toe and Lost in Emotion.

Since I'm running out of 80's music to buy, I've been looking a little into 90's stuff. I know a fair amount of it having been in high school during the early 90's. However, while I tolerate it, I really don't care for much of it.

Still, I thought maybe there are some gems out there I don't know about from the bands I'd heard of and listed to here and there. With this thought in mind I grabbed a few things to see if they pique my interest.

That moment you get when you realize you have a handful of Counting Crows CD's in your hand, but really wanted Black Crowes. Oops. Because I knew the guy would cut me a deal (as he always does) when I was done I didn't bother correcting this mistake. Instead, I just grabbed the Black Crowes CD's and threw them into the pile too. Besides, Counting Crows has a couple good songs I know. Around Here and Mr. Jones come to mind.

I ended up with a fair mix of bands; Black Crowes (obviously), Bush, Coldplay (honestly don't know who these guys are...Probably some whiny emos), Counting Crows (unfortunately), Marilyn Manson (actually one of my favorites), No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jon Secada (I want to say I know who this is for a specific song, but I can't remember), Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots and for some odd reason, Wilson Phillips.

I also ended up with a fair amount of albums from singers / bands I kept up with in the 80's but who fell off my radar in the 90's and beyond. Much like my last trip to Timonium, I've been making it a point to check out some of these folks later stuff to see if it's any good. I also nabbed a couple classics missing from my collection.

Janet Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, They Might Be Giants, Phil Collins and The B-52's were a part of this selection (just to name a few).

I didn't even know Paula Abdul had more than two albums. I'm going to take a giant leap here and guess her 1995 entry, Head Over Heels is just as awful as her prior stuff. Don't get me wrong. She had hits back in the day. They just haven't aged well.

Then of course there were some finds of the true icons such as Aerosmith, The Doors, Eagles, Pink Floyd and a few others.

I don't often dabble in the 60's and 70's stuff, but I can appreciate a classic hit or two here and there. Heck, I'll even go as far back as the 40's and 50's - Such as the Buddy Holly album seen in the photo. If I'm in the right mood I can listen to that kind of stuff all day.

Of course you know I'm not grabbing a bunch of CD's and leaving the soundtracks untouched. I honestly wish I could have done better in this department, but I'm not sad with what I walked away with. My hope was to at the least find several more Disney soundtracks for the animated classics, but unfortunately I only found one - Brother Bear.

I love how the Chariots of Fire soundtrack has an explicit lyrics sticker on it. Clearly it's not the original case, but it's too funny. I'm definitely keeping the sticker on there. For those of you who aren't aware, Chariots of Fire's soundtrack is all instrumental. There are no words in it - Let alone explicit ones.

I'm not big on rap music, and yes I know many of you who are will crucifying me for even considering these CD's I'm about to show you as such, but I do like a few hippity hop style stuff from the 90's. You know - White boy stuff like MC Hammer, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, C & C Music Factory and Technotronic.

Please don't throw rocks at me.

I don't know what a Blackstreet (the CD in the back left of the above photo) is and I suppose it wouldn't help my case if I said honestly that I thought it said Back Street when first grabbing it. As in Back Street Boys (see my shame all the way at the top of this post).

Okay, seriously, I don't even know any Back Street Boys or Brittany Spears songs. I do know that they were all the rage a while ago and that's why I picked them up. I figured there had to be something to them.

Speaking of throwing rocks at me...

Look, I won't condone or condemn the accusations against Bill Cosby right now, but I will say this. The Bill Cosby I know growing up was hysterical. So yeah, I picked up the two CD's of his I found.

Guess what? They're still funny.

Going back to my comments above about high school and 90's music, one of the things that was beaten into my eardrums by my mother during this time was Garth Brooks. Every weekend, Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks.

The end result of this brutal punishment was that I actually know and some what like some of his music. When I saw a handful of his CD's sitting there I went ahead and picked them up. I'm actually surprised to find I am missing five additional studio CD's from him. I didn't realize he made that many albums.

The last bit of CD's I nabbed up were more so geared towards my sister who continues to pilfer music from me. She is big into Broadway tunes so I figured, why not. I'll grab all the ones I find and see if they suit her fancy.

I can't honestly say that I know all of these shows.

That wraps up my CD haul from Timonium, but it certainly wasn't the end of my day. Remember, that was the first table I went to.

Toy wise, I was looking for quite a few things. Blaster and Soundwave from Hasbro's Transformer's line, am original Rambo from Coleco, Kitt and Michael Knight from Kenner, a couple Buck Roger's Mego figures (the 3 3/4 line), 30 / 30 from Bravestarr, McDonald's Changeables, any Karate Kid figures from the final waves, Batman and Superman from Kenner's Super Powers (thanks to Bill) and of course another batch of G.I. Joe figures...Well, Cobra figures from the G.I. Joe line.

There were three specific Cobra figures I was looking for. Crimson Guard, Zartan and Firefly. I lucked out on two of the three.

 Crimson Guard


Since I couldn't find Zartan I went ahead and grabbed a few more that were in the back of my mind.

 Major Bludd


 Cobra Commander (Silver Suit)

Snow Serpent

Not a bad haul of Cobras, huh? For now, I've definitely decided on focusing on Cobras and skipping on the good guys. Sure, there are a fair amount of Joes I'm interested in, but the Cobra characters are just so much cooler.

While I was able to find a Soundwave, it was missing the missile launcher. Because of this I passed on it. Fortunately the table across from where I found this had Blaster - 100% complete.

I wanted to get some of the cassette Transformers to put inside the tape deck and pose around him, but I wasn't going to pay $20.00 a piece for them. Not when Blaster was only $40.00.

While I was looking through all the CD's, my better half wandered around looking for McDonald's Happy Meal toys in hopes of finding me some Changeables. She was able to find about eight of them, but at $3.00 a piece with no wiggle room from the seller I wasn't about to buy the ones that weren't sealed in bags / unplayed with. As such I was only able to nab three of them.

Side note - She also ran into Brian from Cool and Collected, but sadly he and I never seemed to cross paths during the show.

Still, with these three on top of the ones I found at the DC Big Flea I'm two shy of completing the Dinosaur set. 

The set is coming along nicely, huh?

I have to say I like these far better in their McDonald's products form and really appreciate them for what they are. They represent a great nostalgic era when McDonalds actually had specific packages for each of its items vs. the very generic paper and cardboard boxes they now use.

I walked away with a ton of great stuff today, but sadly didn't get to put that big of a dent in my actual list. Still, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ecstatic with what I got. Okay, sure, there are some CD's noted above which could have been left behind, but hey, they have a good home now and will be taken care of.

Rambo almost made his way home with me, but I simply wasn't willing to pay $40.00 for a carded figure I was going to rip open when I got home. It didn't help that when I made mention of this to the dealer that his response was, "Well that's not really my problem, now is it?" Jerk.

I do think I'm going to skip the next Dave Hart show though. I saw a lot of the same stuff the vendors were trying to sell off in December and I think they need some time to disperse and replenish in order to really make the show pack a punch.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Perfect Example Of Why I Won't Go Digital

You want to see a perfect reason why I won't go digital?
This photo here is why I won't.

"But this is just four random CD's," you say.

Correction. This is four random CD's I paid twenty-five cents each for at a local thrift shop. Why buy digital when you can own the physical media for such a cheap price (and then transfer to digital media yourself)?

Let's break this down even further. Okay, sure I get it. There are probably only one in 100,000 people (if even) who would actually want the soundtrack from the television series Dinosaurs. But, guess what? You can't get it on iTunes. So right there my quarter was well spent.

Chris Isaak and the two soundtracks probably have a broader audience who would want them. Again though - Twenty five cents for Chris Isaak's Heart Shaped World on CD or $9.99 on iTunes. Tarzan on iTunes? $7.99. Charlie's Angel soundtrack on iTunes? Another $9.99.

Sorry, but if I am going to pay those kinds of prices for digital media, then I'll take the real deal all the time. $1.06 (tax of six cents) for four CD's vs. $27.97 for digital versions - And again, coudn't even get one of the four albums via digital distribution. Seems like a no brainer to me. Physical media for the win.

Let's not forget the obvious caveat to all of this as well - I actually own these albums now and am not just renting them.

"But storage," you argue.

My CD rack is two feet long by two feet wide and five and a half feet high and holds about 1,500 CD's. Trust me, that two feet area it sits isn't taking up that much space - and it looks a whole lot more appealing than a list of digital files on a screen.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Farewell To Toys R' Us

The final blow has been struck against Toys R' Us and every location will soon be closing across the globe. As the corporate office scrambled to restructure the company, the damage was already done and the final nails already hammered into the coffin.

It's true the heydays of Toys R' Us have long since been lost in the past. Toy isles today simply aren't what they used to be. The magic of going to the store has long since been gone - At least for this Blogger.

I remember going to Toys R' Us in the 1980's and finding a treasure trove of toys - Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, Silver Hawks, Go-Bots, M.A.S.K., Cops n' Crooks, Nintendo cartridges, Bravestarr, Madballs, M.U.S.C.L.E.S., WWF, Barnyard Commandos, Food Fighters, Police Academy, Cowboys of Moo-Mesa, Inhuminoids, Sectaurs, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (just to name a few) and more! It was magical, it was fun and it was exciting all at the same time. Back in those days it was awful to hear those dreaded words from your parents, "Pick one." How could they think this was even possible when every toy isle was filled to the brim with figures, vehicles and playsets?

However, these days I can easily walk in and out of a Toys R' Us in under ten minutes confident there was nothing at all worth buying. In fact, I dare say it's more so a chore to go and certainly not fun. What was once an experience of excited squeals of, "What will I find today?" became a bored, "Is there anything worth buying?" The isles were never stocked, the stores generally a mess and peg warmers a plenty strewn about with all the desirable stuff long gone by local scalpers.

The further downward spiral of this is what will happen to companies such as Hasbro, Mattel and to a lesser extent Funko, NECA and McFarlane Toys (as well as all the rest)? Who will sell their toys now? With the loss of Toys R' Us, these companies lose their biggest customer in the industry. Target and Walmart have very limited space for toys and make it a point to only stock popular items guaranteed to sell.

So what's the option? Amazon? No way. As a collector I can tell you I will absolutely not buy any collectible via mail order unless it's through ebay with thorough photos of every side of the box - Even if I intend on opening it. The last thing I want is a figure that looks like someone curb stomped it before sending it off.

Personally, I see this as a great opportunity for the return of the mom and pop store. All of these toy producers are in a bad spot which leaves a perfect opportunity for negotiated prices to potential dealers. If companies like Hasbro and Mattel were smart, they would start embracing this option sooner rather than later.

In a way there is also another good side to this. It forces said toy producers to focus on good quality toys which are all but guaranteed to sell. They can't produce three hundred thousand random peg warmers and only one hundred thousand of the popular character everyone wants. Those who would be willing to stock their toys would shut that nonsense down quickly when faced with a ton of merchandise they can't sell. Like I said, all the negotiation power is in the hands of the few retailers who can dictate the future of toys and will hopefully do so for the positive.

Is it sad to see Toys R' Us go? Honestly, not really. For me the store has been dead and gone for quite a few years at this point. I can't tell you the last thing I bought from them or even when. For me I've already been visiting a grave site for years. Now I'm to the point where it's time to stop going by and simply move on to bigger better things.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.


Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Last Jedi Digital Release Is Here!

Fans of Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be pleased to hear the digital version is available as of today. "Download" it from your favorite online streaming service for about $19.99 to $24.99.

Though it is far from my favorite Star Wars film in the franchise, I have to admit it is growing on me. I also have to admit I have already watched it three times today.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Peter Pan (Sears)

Peter Pan

LOL! Dig that fro on Peter Pan! Can you see him busting into Wendy's bedroom window in the 70's? First, he kicks in the window with his massive six inch platform shoes and bell bottoms. As Wendy springs up in her bed to a sitting position, he quickly snaps to a John Travolta / Saturday Night Fever pose - Finger pointing straight up in the air. He then says, "Hey groovy mama, I'm the Pan, can ya dig?" Followed by a snort of coke off his excessively long pinky finger nail, and the line, "I'm off to Neverland, baby."

Okay, maybe that's far out in left field, but this is certainly the image that pops into our heads when looking at this 1988 line of Peter Pan dolls released exclusively through Sears. Really the only stand out here in terms of not being laughable is Captain Hook. As for Tinkerbell, when did she grow into a four foot tall emo? Wendy could easily be mistaken as generic / random girl doll number 6,429...And again, that hair on Peter! Yikes!

This is definitely one of those lines which stands out as the perfect example of how not to do it. We've seen plenty of lines prior to this one which has won this award, and it definitely wasn't the last. However, for 1988, it's definitely the winner!

Okay, it's not all bad. The packaging is actually pretty good for a Pan doll line. The use of artwork from the original Disney animated film is a nice touch on the green background...But it really only stands to accentuate what these figures should have looked like.

Sigh...We just can't say anything further about this line because we're trying so hard to not just blast it for being so comical.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Where To Even Begin...


All logos, products, names, and descriptions are the property of their respective copyright and trademark holders. No infringement is implied. Photographs and articles (unless otherwise noted) are copyright of The Toy Box, and may not be used without prior written consent. This website and its pages herein are designed for educational purposes only. No items shown are for sale.

Market prices fluctuate daily, and the prices as listed herein are not intended to be a set point, but rather a benchmark of where prices were noted at during the time period in which the article in question was written/posted. The value of any item shown here is always subject to change based on supply and demand, as well as seller/buyer preference. We are not affiliated with any buyers/sellers, and have no influence on prices set by secondary market dealers or individual sellers.