31 Monster Toys #7: Spawn – Vertebreaker
Vertebreaker, one of the early characters in McFarlane Toys’ long-running series based on the comic book Spawn, was notable (to me, at least) for two reasons.
First was the packaging blurb that breathlessly declared “16 Points of Articulated Evil!” These days, an action figure sporting 16 points of articulation isn’t anything remarkable, but back in 1995 it was a legitimate selling point. For some years afterward, “16 Points of Articulated Evil!” was a claim that I was all too happy to make about myself.
Second was that it was the first and thankfully, only time that I found myself in a toy aisle confrontation. Back then, it was not at all uncommon for adult collectors to find themselves waiting in a group outside Target, hoping to be the first through the doors so as to grab the “hot” figures. And Vertebreaker was one of those annoying toys that came only one to a case assortment, making it all the much easier for a scalper to corner the local market.
I didn’t actually read the Spawn comics, but I thought it was a cool monster, what with all of the articulated evil. And when I came across one at the Champaign Venture store (remember Venture?) during an early morning toy run, I found myself in contention with a fellow collector. To my later embarrassment, I became confrontational over an eight-dollar hunk of plastic.
Happily, it all worked out. I cooled down, stopped being an asshat, and apologized. And my opponent was gracious enough to allow me to walk away with my prize.