Archive for collectibles

Legoland Security Administration

Via Mark Crispin Miller, a new Lego toy, a “surveillance truck,” which allows police to use satellite dishes to intercept signals “from all over the world.” At the risk of driving traffic that way, here’s one website that is selling the truck.


I’ll admit that I’m fascinated and troubled by these children’s toys that condition them to police state tactics, or in the case of this George Bush action figure, promote Bush’s triumphalist militarism.


Brokeback to the Future

Speaking of time travel, here’s that “Brokeback to the Future” preview clip that has been making the blog rounds for the last few days.


Still Life With Action Figure

Just noticed that GZombie has posted a photograph he took in my apartment last weekend. Bonus points for anyone who can remember the animated series that “inspired” this toy.

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Don’t Call it a Comeback, or Return of the (Ruxpin) Repressed

Sometimes the blogging gods smile upon you, my friends. I’d come to terms with the fact that today would be a slow blog day, and then I learned from The Reeler that the lovably creepy (or is that creepily lovable) talking bear from the 1980s, Teddy Ruxpin, is making his return to toy store shelves. That’s right, Teddy Ruxpin is back, and now he’s Wired for the Digital Age, with his old cassette tapes replaced by MP3s.

Ruxpin’s return from the far-off Land of Grundo will be accompanied by the DVD release of all 65 episodes of the Teddy Ruxpin TV show (I had no idea there was a TV show) due to the “unimaginable popularity” of this talking bear. As The Reeler points out, this “unimaginable popularity” derives from a petition containing a grand total of 650 signatures. I think that part of what creeps me out about this whole thing is that Teddy Ruxpin was one of the first toys that I clearly recognized as a cynical marketing gimmick when I was a kid, and the nostalgic return to the 1980s collectibles, and more crucially their digitization, conveys that cycle of obsolescence and recycling of past fashions far too vividly.

The Reeler’s news follows on the heels of an article I noticed yesterday but failed to blog. It seems that after the relative box office success of the Dukes of Hazzard film, 1980s TV shows and collectibles are fair game for summer nostalgia films, with Miami Vice, Dallas, and The Transformers among the planned adaptations. Can a Diff’rent Strokes or Facts of Life movie be far behind?

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Check out this re-mixed preview for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Via KF and Dylan.

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“Thanks for the Last and Greatst Betrayal…”

Via GreenCine, a link to a short Gus Van Sant video of William Burroughs reciting his “Thanksgiving Prayer.” More great Burroughs sounds and images are available at the Reality Studio website. Van Sant’s direction, which consists primarily of laying iconic American images behind the elderly Burroughs, is far less powerful than Burroughs’ reading itself.

Also worth checking out: a Quick Time version of Towers Open Fire, a 1963 film scripted by Burroughs and directed by Anthony Balch. I hadn’t seen this film before, and as experimental film goes, it’s fascinating stuff.


Movies Under the Stars

Also via Green Cine, this fascinating collection of newspapers advertisements for Wisconsin drive-in movie theaters, many of which date back to the 1940s. It’s a great collection, not just for the films that are being advertised, but also (and possibly more importantly) for the “lost” culture of drive-in movie theaters found in these ads (originally via Rashomon).

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End Humpty-Dumpty

Enclosures is a blog that “collects ephemera found between the pages of secondhand books.” The blog’s only a few weeks old, but the most interesting find so far is the scrawled note, “End Humpty-Dumpty,” found inside a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (via Greg Gilpatrick).


More 9/11 Toys

It’s old news by now, but here’s a link to an article about the recall of bags of candy with 9/11 attack toys. The toy depicts an airplane flying into the twin towers (note: there’s a slightly clearer image at Boing Boing). I’ve been trying to collect links to 9/11 toys whenever I find them, so here’s another one for the list.

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Nous N’Avons Pas Vote Pour Lui

Via Andrea Jones, the AJC political blogger (who got it from Wonkette, though I can’t find the link), a Seattle luggage company is seeing skyrocketing scales because of their creative “care label,” which reads in translation: “We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn’t vote for him.” Go to the AJC blog to see the label for yourself.

Meanwhile, the bobblehead controversy I blogged yesterday is making the rounds.


Hasta la Vista, Bobblehead

According to the Smoking Gun, Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to sue an Ohio company that is selling a bobblehead doll featuring the name and likeness of the California Governator. The bobblehead company argues that because Arnie is an elected official, his image is public domain. Brian Flemming has an open letter to Arnold’s lawyer, Martin Singer.

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Learning From Toys

I’m fascinated by some of the toys and collectibles that have emerged after September 11. Here’s yet another innocent childhood toy from Playmobil, a security check in (here’s another image in case the previous one doesn’t work), complete with conveyor belt to screen luggage and a metal detector (via Metafilter).

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For Serious Collectors Only

As many of my regular readers may know, I find parodies of action figures to be very funny (see here, here, and here). This new “Dishonest Dubya” Lying Action Figure (actually a really cool animation by Angry Candy Productions) is no exception. “Dishonest Dubya” comes complete with four outfits and fourteen actual quotations from Bush speeches. A “remote control” allows you to change Dubya’s outfit or to cause him to speak or choke on a pretzel at the click of a button. Fun stuff.