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Posts Tagged ‘action figures’

Destroy! All! Monsters!

December 19th, 2006 No comments

Yesterday I received a box full of giant monster goodness courtesy of my favorite Godzilla retailer (yes, there are more than one) Chibi Goji Toys, and while trying to figure out how to work a half dozen more vinyl figures onto my existing display shelf, I was inspired to photograph the assembled horde. Pardon the size of the photos, dial-up users, but Godzilla and his friends beg to be large.

Great gallopin’ Godzillas!

Mothra Squadron ready for takeoff!

Three generations of robot Godzillas.

Evil is on the march!

Earth’s monsters stand ready to defend the planet!

Destroy! All! Monsters!

Angilas finds himself outmatched by Mothra and Godzilla Jr.

All insects attack!

Dueling Godzillas and Ghidorahs!

Midnight…Madness?

April 4th, 2005 No comments

Last Friday was a big night for me: a performance by Jon Stewart, followed by the Star Wars toy-buying frenzy dubbed “Midnight Madness.” One of these turned out to be a bit underwhelming.

Jon Stewart was very, very funny. At first, I was concerned that he was simply regurgitating Daily Show material, as some of his opening, more timely jokes were similar to remarks I’d already heard on TV. But then he got into the meat of his act, and the laughs were fresh, frequent and hearty. At one point–describing a cat in heat and suggesting that it would not be a good idea for women to try to pick up guys in a similar manner–Vicky got in such a laughing fit that I was concerned she’d pass out.

It helped my own appreciation that Stewart’s political views so closely mirror mine, though he’s more critical of cloning. The audience skewed young and progressive, and the one guy who hooted in favor of the Republicans was loudly booed. Honestly, I thought that was unnecessary. Stewart may be left of center, but he’s just as disdainful of extremists on either side of the aisle.

The show let out before 9:00 pm, which gave us plenty of time to drive home from Chicago before the beginning of Midnight Madness. I went to the Wal-Mart on Prospect, where I’d had a lot of fun three years ago prior to the release of Star Wars Episode II.

As I suggested earlier, it wasn’t so hot. It’s not that there weren’t plenty of toys; in fact, I got very nearly everything I’d hoped to find on my initial run. And it wasn’t that there weren’t rabid geeks haunting the aisle, waiting for midnight. It’s just that everyone seemed so blase about it. Last time, when midnight hit, we all started diving into box after box, gleefully pulling out our prizes and even helping to stock the leftovers. This time, we all shuffled aimlessly around until I impatiently noted that it was already past midnight, and proceeded to quietly fill my cart, unimpeded by fellow fans. The stockers even took the rest of the pallet back to storage, even though it was likely we would make a significant dent in their display.

Meijer–which had also advertised that toys would be available at midnight–was worse. There were only two people there by the time I arrived (some stragglers from Wal-Mart arrived later), and there was no new product in sight. The stock person had been delayed, I was told, and was pulling a cart from the back. Indeed, she came out a few minutes later, and began to slooooooowly put the action figures on the pegs, one…by…one.

I started to take one down to purchase, but she told me, “I have to count these first.” She continued to unenthusiastically, mechanically unpack the toys one at a time. Now, never mind that one could easily tally the items by taking the count on the side of the freshly-opened packing case and multiply it by the number of boxes. She would not be deterred, even when I said, “Look, I’m only going to buy this one.” Finally, when I’d decided that I’d had enough and walked away, she realized that she could keep my one purchase in mind when she finished stocking.

I zipped over to the Wal-Mart in Savoy in hopes of finding Grievous’ Bodyguards and the Star Wars Risk board game. It appeared that perhaps a little more hoopla had occurred there, as the sole remaining shopper was sporting a special Star Wars button. We had a nice, long talk while I pawed through the pegs, ultimately snagging two Bodyguards and no Risk game. (I did find the latter the following day at Target.)

All in all, it was pretty unexciting, though I did pick up about 15 different, nifty figures, plus the thing I’d wanted most, the Star Wars Mr. Potato Head known as “Darth Tater.” The advertised “48 Hours of the Force” never happened at our local Wal-Marts. No giveaways, no character appearances, no nothing. It wasn’t Midnight Madness…more of a mild fever.