Addendum to Nostalgia

So, I really don’t like to do this and don’t plan to make corrections often, but this is a rough transcript from my conversation with my husband last night:

Justin: “It’s Ed-209. Ed. 209. And he’s from Robocop and not Terminator.”

Me: “Well, you can’t make these things up.”

Justin: “Apparently you can. Also, that’s not the playable mini arcade figure. It’s a coin bank we got from Nerd Block.”

Me: “Oh. I wondered where the on switch was.”

So, only in honor of the fact I don’t want people trying to play a coin bank, here are photos of the actual playable figure, which, true to form, as it turns out, is actually Centipede, and not Space Invaders:

Centipede mini arcade game offCentipede start screen onCentipede playable on screen gameWell, I guess I messed that up, though to be fair the actual mini arcade figure was hidden behind my husband’s laptop. It just goes to show that positioning and arrangement in the Expedit (“Library of Babel of Action Figures”) is not always telling. Also, perhaps I should listen to my husband more closely.


Space Invaders and Nostalgia

Garbage Pail Kid and Space Invaders arcade mini figureFor my final post of the evening, I offer you this tiny unassuming action “figure” to the left of the feral looking Garbage Pail Kid. It is super hard to make out, but that is a tiny/mini PLAYABLE arcade figure for Space Invaders. I have to be impressed. I saw both Wreck It Ralph and Fist Full of Quarters. (Also, we recently watched Tommy, which I had never seen before, but is really really sad.)

However, the reason why I wanted to end with this post is that for me the mini arcade classic game figure also captures something about the nostalgia of action figures and probably action figure collectors of my husband’s approximate age, specifically. While probably too young to have actually played Space Invaders at an arcade (though maybe perhaps not??) I think this particular game activates a kind of false nostalgia, a kind of screen memory of what childhood was like. (For some reason I can believe Donkey Kong more than Space Invaders.) Even I have this feeling when it comes to classic video games or the scene of childhood.

I don’t think I have ever actually played a video game (though I’ve spent hours watching people play, for research on video game soundscapes.) In fact, the closest I’ve probably come to playing a video game was trying to watch my friend Liz play 13th Guest, putting Myst into my computer for a second, getting scared and then turning it off, and “playing” Sonic the Hedgehog on demo by accident. (For. An. Hour.) However, when I see a tiny PLAYABLE Space Invaders figure, it brings me back to particular moments that may not have been important or have really happened– going to Pizza Hut for the Book It! promotion, drinking from red plastic cups and pretending to eat salad from the salad bar or the ice-cold air conditioning all while magical black, purple, and blue arcade games whizzed and whirled on the periphery. (Apparently Pizza Hut was my only exposure to the presence of arcade games.)

In a much larger and more important sense, for my husband, this seems to be what is at stake for him as a collector– revisiting his childhood (some real, some invoked or imagined) and remembering each of those moments a bit sweeter than perhaps they ever were. There are certainly other ways to spend time and money, and it is definitely a hobby I do not really share, but I also think to say that the action figures my husband collects are just “things” or “material possessions” and not an experience, is to be missing part of the point.

Also, I refuse to comment further on GPK, which I hate. :)

Until next time! (Hopefully July or August!) Happy collecting/reading/researching/working/relaxing from me and the action figures my husband collects.

Another Labor of Love for My Husband

Many Marvel characters arranged based on a comic coverAll I can say about this display is that it has been a labor of love for my husband. I know it was arranged to mirror some Marvel comic book cover, but I do not know which one. I also only know/remember this detail and the significance of this arrangement because there were a few nights a couple weeks ago where action figures were falling from the shelf and Expedit. (You do not know the thrill of living until you wake up at 3am to the sound of thudding plastic feet from your bed.)

Also, on a side note, though our Boston terrier, Melvin (of #MelvinWatchesMovies,) is very keenly aware of people entering our space–like our friends, family, landlords–he appears totally indifferent to falling plastic at 3am, just feet from his face. I’m just saying, in a creepy reanimated doll movie scenario (where we would surely die, because have you SEEN “this totally inappropriate skull guy??”) we would have no help from our dog.

So yes, my husband is an artist. If you know the cover this display was based off, that’s cool for you. I just know this display is one of the main reasons why I use a ladder or sweet parkour moves to photograph his figures, even though my husband has generously told me that it is okay to take them down to photograph. Can you imagine? This kind of carefully articulated arrangement goes far beyond “getting them ready to go.”

MOTUC Disco Dancer

yellow and blue MOTUC female figure in disco poseHere is a MOTUC (Masters of the Universe Classics) figure. She appears to be female and is dressed in yellow and blue. Also, she is maybe a disco dancer.

I am sure Justin would have been happier with a post on Wonder Woman, who is both identifiable and has a good head sculpt. (See what I did there, Justin? I heard you approximately 2 days ago.) However, I’m still hoping to perhaps see Wonder Woman, or else think about that post a bit further. I’ve read a bunch of tweets on Wonder Woman, but as of yet am not sure what to say. All I know is that she’s a DC character and that there are, like, two guys with the same name (maybe Steve?) in the movie.

So, in the absence of a fully-formed post on Wonder Woman (and mostly based on the proximity of these figures and not really their female-ness) you must instead enjoy this disco dancer.

Also, it seems like most of my posts tonight involve dancing.


This post is one I can be a bit more confident about since it is about an action figure procured MUCH more recently.

Here is what I am about 92% confident is E-290 from the Terminator movie:

E290 killer robot from TerminatorHe looks super cute, but this is the weird old robot in the Terminator movie that starts killing people during a demo of his capabilities. I am not sure why this was such an important figure for my husband, but he described it as a “unicorn figure.”

I am guessing that means it is rare and he derives particular enjoyment from having found it/bought it? I am not sure why. It looks sort of like the homicidal ineffectual demo robot from the movie, if I were to remember that particular scene a bit better. Also, he is pretty big. I gather that is what makes him attractive as well. However, E-290 is no Monsters of Winnipeg.

I do not have a “unicorn figure” (anymore– see “Monsters of Winnipeg.) However, I have compiled a list of action figures I would rather own than E-290:

District 9 action figures

-Deleuze and Guattari action figures

Rubber action figure with background TV accessory showing jazzercise video (or whatever)

-Gem and the Holograms vs Josie and the Pussycats Battle of the Bands expansion set

-Babadook– but he is NOT going in our bedroom, I repeat NOT

Berbarian Sound Studio action figures

-action figures from any comic by Jason, but preferably Left Bank Gang

I would like to own these all much more than E-290. I’m sorry E-290. Also, I do not know who that teal robot is that is dancing next to E-290.

A Predator and An Alien Exercise

Well, while it is not *exactly* March or May 2017, I feel like I got pretty close in my assessment. However, I also thought that since I only blog ~every 4-6 months in 5-post batches I might start out with a favorite– Aliens and Predators.

You might be thinking that I chose these two because of the semi-recent Alien Covenant film, but that would be incorrect. I did not see it. I only know from my husband that it was at least two orders of magnitude better than Prometheus.

Instead, I thought I might start off with an Alien and Predator impromptu display (i.e. these were made “ready to go” and had not yet been places in the “Library of Babel of Action Figures”) partly because I knew that I had not yet written about them. I think. I hope.

However, embarrassingly enough while taking photos I did re-photograph this guy, who is still totally terrifying and inappropriate:

Skull person screaming with arms outstretchedYou may remember him from “this totally inappropriate skull guy.” I apparently did not.

Anyway, I can be reasonably sure now that while I have covered Grey Hulk and some other guy wondering: why are we such good dancers? I have not yet photographed a predator and alien exercising. So, here it is:

Alien bent down before predatorI am going to call this alien “blue alien” because he is blue and while I think he was acquired some time in late January, I do actually believe that could be the name that Justin mentioned. Also, he is blue.

a blue alien bending down close upSome people may fixate on the fact that this blue alien appears in a position of supplication, which I do not think is necessarily fictionally accurate. Others may derive joy from the detail of the sculpts:

close up on the detail work of blue alien legclose up shot of Predator with tiger markings on headHowever, I do not notice either of those things. All I see is burpees. All I see if this particular predator wondering at the alien’s lack of form.

However, maybe this is just my way of projecting. As I work on research this summer it is hard not to see the glaring, homicidal face of a predator looking down at all I do. Perhaps I have completely misunderstood this “ready to go” process. Maybe this was all about dancing all along, and while the alien is getting ready to bust into a floor move, all the predator can say is “hey, why are you such a good dancer?” Perhaps.

You Heard that Right–Monsters of Winnipeg!!

For my last post for a while (at least March or May of 2017) I saved the best for last. For Christmas for Justin I FINALLY fulfilled a long time dream of actually procuring real, original Monsters of Winnipeg from eBay. (I had never used eBay before.) If you remember I tried once to purchase these art figures directly from Cereal Art when they were released and my order was “cancelled.” (They oversold and decided famous collectors like Brad Pitt should have their orders fulfilled. Whatever.)

So, much to my surprise, when I was googling around for them again last August, they showed up on eBay, NOT for a million dollars.

So, now we actually own Sea Snake Man and Tree Man. So, that’s that.

Sea Snake Man Monsters of WinnipegTree Man Monsters of WinnipegOne day Margot will inherit these. Maybe they can befriend her classic movie monster action figures and all live in a haunted house doll house together. For now, Justin says they are not coming out of the packaging. For now, along with Castle Greyskull they are just proof of how epically I love my husband.

Until next time, Justin will continue to collect action figures . . . and I will almost, sometimes listen to him.

Scary Guy with Spikes

scary looking guy with spikesWho is this guy? He is scary and has spikes. Other than that, I have nothing. His sculpt is much too intricate for MOTUC and he looks too sturdy for Neca. (Sorry Neca!) So . . . I’m guessing this is an import, which is also less than helpful. All I know is that if it came down to it and this creepy guy with his skull throne, I would prefer Skeletor to him any day.

I <3 Skeletor always.

Cthulhu and Blonde Man

Cthulhu Blonde action figure Jason in ExpeditHere is another example of how crazy the Expedit has gotten recently during our bouts of child proofing. Our daughter is REALLY REALLY tall. (Like off the height percentile, greater than 99 percentile tall.) So, things in the “Library of Babel of Action Figures” are constantly moving. Here is an example of Jason, Clowns from Outer Space, and a Blonde man riding Cthulhu all inhabiting the same Expedit box. I am also reasonably certain that the blonde man is Aquaman. I feel like Justin would be really proud if I am correct. However, I am somewhat confused by Aquaman being blonde. I thought that the guy from Entourage was always trying to be Aquaman in the show. I thought it was like this unicorn movie that he never got to make. (Disclaimer: I have never actually watched Entourage.) But that guy definitely has dark hair, so maybe this isn’t Aquaman after all. At any event, it has to be someone pretty crazy or powerful because we all know that Cthulhu is no joke. I guess if you are a superhero this is some kind of “swimming with the dolphins.” Either way Cthulhu does not look impressed. I’m actually a bit worried for Jason in this scenario. I don’t think there are any Great Old Ones in Crystal Lake.

Batman with LED Eyes and Some Guy with Nunchuks?

batman-with-led-eyesHere you can clearly see a Batman figure who actually has LED light-up eyes. Also, there is some guy with nunchuks? I think rather than a giant blue disc, the accessory sculpt is meant to invoke a sense of action– spinning, if you will. Also, I think he may be a Battle Cat? I don’t know what that is, but my husband was VERY impressed by both of these action figures.

While I don’t have many feelings about either the Blue Guy or Batman with LED eyes, I do feel sentimental knowing that our daughter is being raised with an appreciation for superheroes. Along with her camper of Little People she also received a set of Little People figures all dressed up as superheroes (Batman, Superman, etc.) for Christmas. While the sculpts on these figures clearly leave something to be desired (Superman looks like Elvis,) and they have like 0 points of articulation (though Margot tries,) I LOVE that our little toddler will pick one up, make it fly through the air in her hand, and create a “fwoosh” flying sound. I also love how when I was packing the toy up from traveling I said to my husband, “we are missing one,” and he said “aww, you’ve already learned who is in this pack!” Then I said, “No. I just know there are 7. I just count them.” It is up to Margot to learn their names. She will probably not inherit that knowledge from me.