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Sunday, December 23, 2018

#916 FIGURAS EN ACCIÓN (F.E.A.) Nr. 19 + THE ZOMBOOK (ALLAN GRAVES)



This is the newest issue of Figuras En Acción. It is a classical issue with a set of various (and varied) articles, in which one article about Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos and other Chuck Norris´ figures tower above the rest.

We also interview Martin Cage from Distinctive Dummies and Miguel De Luna, a Mexican Madelman collector. There are other two great articles dealing with Masters of the Universe 200x and a promotional set of figures from the TV series "Wisdom of the Gnomes" (in Spanish "La llamada de los gnomos"), as well as an article gathering a psychologist´s opinions on different kind of toys, like weapons, soldiers, board games, video games, disguises and so on.

A few other sections complete over 80 pages of vintage toy stories and images: news, books, museums and more.

Free download from the official blog of the magazine: 

I continue with another publication I have read in the last months.

 
The Zombook is not a book about toys, although some pages show toy figures customized as zombies. It is a book about art: painting, drawing, design, photography, make-up... and very different styles: from completely realistic to cartoonish, everything can be found in this eclectic volume.

Allan Graves gathered a group of over 100 international artists to provide the ultimate collection of Zombie art, and compiled everything in an imposing volume (approximately A4 size, hardcover, exquisite printing...) released by Grafitto. The book contains several chapters that follow the different stages of becoming a zombie, starting with "outbreak", and ending with "Apocalypse" and "Survival".

The mixed set of styles through the pages of this book make it fun and even surprising at times. Some of the images have also references to movie, television, celebrities or pop culture in general, and in many cases they have a certain dosis of black humour.

Very highly recommended!

Monday, December 10, 2018

#915 FOX´S PETER PAN AND THE PIRATES - ROBERT MULLINS AND ALF MASON (1991)


I was not aware of this toyline until, by chance I got two figures in a bigger lot of stuff. I think this TV series from 1990 and 1991 was shortly aired in Spain after the great success of Steven Spielberg´s Hook, maybe in 1992 or 1993.

If I recall well, the series was kind of disturbing to me, since the characters were very different from the Disney ones, or from the ones in the movie, and I couldn´t recognise most of them.


This toyline saw only one wave with 8 action figures (plus four plush dolls, sold only in America and not displayed in the European card shown in this entry). I am not sure if the toyline was initially intended for girls only or for both boys and girls, fact is that the female figures are very much doll-like, while the male figures look more like real action figures. I have these two pirates only. Note that they come with two action features each. The first one is some sword attack movement tha can be activated by pushing the button in their backs. The second one is activated pushing the button in their chest, and makes the figure lose its hat or fall its pants, which is something very cartoonish and funny.

Of course these pirates are quite secondary characters in the story. The collection also features Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook and Wendy, plus the Mermaid (I do not recall any Mermaid, do you?) and Smee, who seems to be a third pirate.

The toyline is interesting, and apart from the U.S., it seems to have been only available in Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain, distributed by Ideal. They were sold in a small scale (compared to, for example, Mattel´s Hook), maybe this is due to the fact that the toymaker, namely THQ, Inc. was not a big player at the time.

THQ is an abbreviation for Toy HeadQuarters and was founded in April 1990 by one of LJN founders, Jack Friedman, after investing 1 million dollar. Only a few months later, in September, THQ acquired one videogame company called Broderbund, famous for Lode Runner or Prince of Persia. On January 1991, THQ released the videogame based on this same TV series, and was called "Peter Pan and the Pirates". The company grew rapidly when it was acquired by an investing fund called Trinity Acquisition Corp. With that fresh money, other videogame companies were added to the corporation, like Black Pearl Software in 1993. THQ Inc stopped produced toys in 1994, focusing only on videogames. Jack Friedman left the company in 1995 to found Jakks Pacific.



There were very few toylines made by this company, all of them very unknown, but some of them based on popular movies. Note for example the figure of Kevin or the board game from the movie Home Alone or Strawberry Shortcake dolls. A curious line was a set of figures representing the rap singer known as Vanilla Ice, who became hugely popular in 1990.



The company continued making videogames until 2012, releasing titles for many different platforms, from PC to Nintendo Wii or Playstation 3. Because I do not know much about videogames, and it is not the goal of this blog to talk about them, I will skip this part. This information can be found in many other websites.



FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: ROBERT MULLINS AND ALF MASON
  • Toy Line: FOX´S PETER PAN AND THE PIRATES
  • Year: 1991
  • Company: THQ (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 10 cm
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