Double Jump Company

Double Jump Company (May it Rest in Peace)

Posts tagged toys r us

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"You Bred Jurassic Park Toys?"

This article is gonna be pretty weak, but it’s leading up to something a lot bigger. Promises.

As I stated in an earlier article, dinosaurs went through a sort of silver age in the 90s thanks to Jurassic Park (and We’re Back!, and The Land Before Time, and that creepy-as-all-hell Dinosaurs sitcom on Disney Channel). Everyone loved dinosaurs. I loved dinosaurs. However, once the 2000s rolled around, the dino fad all but disappeared from American pop culture as mysteriously as they disappeared 65 million years ago.

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(Probably for the best…)

But fear not! Earlier this year, Jurassic Park was rereleased on the big screen in 3D, introducing a whole new generation to these prehistoric pimps, and it was totally rad!

So far, Jurassic Park 3D is one of the highest grossing films of the year, and it ain’t hard to see why. After being digitally remastered and converted to the usually-terrible 3D, it still holds up phenomenally well today. I overheard a kid in our audience who couldn’t have been older than 14 or 15 saying he couldn’t believe that this movie was made in 1993. He thought it was a brand new summer blockbuster…not sure how he could’ve thought that with the fanny packs and Samuel L. Jackson suddenly being 15 years younger than how he looked in The Avengers, but his point was still there: Jurassic Park holds up. Amazingly.

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So, of course, Hasbro is gonna try to profit from it. Unfortunately, they’re gonna have to try a little harder.

The Jurassic Park section of Toys ‘R’ Us is pretty bare bones, which is a shame, though not terribly shocking. I just remember JP toys taking up an entire aisle back in the day, and the toys were so much better than what kids are stuck with today.

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I mean, listen, a dinosaur is a dinosaur is a dinosaur. And, just like the classic toys of the 90s, each dino warrior has a flesh wound and wicked “JP” thigh tattoo. It’s pretty nostalgic, and if I was a kid I would cry to have these, it’s just…I don’t know, man. Maybe I’m just too old for dinosaur action figures these days? Maybe I need a Dr. Hammond Funk Pop! Vinyl figure instead…?

That’s one of the depressing parts of running a nostalgia blog. Not only do I get to revisit wonderful things from my childhood that no longer exist, but I also have to accept the fact that I’m no longer interested in playing with dinosaur toys.

But, hey, it’s OK. I’m sure there are some kids out there who would love to have a T-Rex and disproportionately-sized Velociraptor painted like Johnny Depp from The Lone Ranger reboot duke it out in their treehouses. 

Granted, there was one set that called to me, and I seriously almost purchased it if not for Toys ‘R’ Us’s infamous overprices. 

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It’s a mini-pack of little dinosaurs being so amazingly tubular. But not just any dinosaurs; two of my favorites! Velociraptor and Spinosaurus? Brightly colored and ready to fight?! Oh, sign me up to the greatest cage match in history!

Oh wait…nine dollars for this? Thanks, Toys ‘R’ Us, you’ve lost another potential dinosaur buyer. 

Filed under jurassic park dinosaurs toys r us t-rex spinosaurus velociraptor toys nostalgia may madness 2013

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DJC loves Eye-Brawl

Alright, guys. I caved.

A while ago, I wrote this article about toys I would’ve played with if I were a child today. In said article, I mentioned Skylanders, and acknowledged that it was a money-grabbing scheme tailor made for kids.

Think about this: What made like Beanie Babies so popular? Kids love to collect things. What made Tamogatchi popular? Kids love to collect monsters. What made Pokemon so popular? Kids love collecting monsters in video games. The reason Skylanders is such an enormous hit is because it’s collecting monsters in video gamesby purchasing toys, thus perfecting the business strategy what every child could ever want in anything ever.

I have absolutely nothing against Skylanders. As I mentioned in my article, if I were a kid today, I would be all over these things. And why not? I’m a sucker or collecting monsters, and some of them look downright awesome. Still, it was never something I wanted to invest time or money into, simply because I’m turning 23 years old this year and have more important things to spend my hard-earned money on than plastic figurines with computer chips inside of them.

Until I found Eye-Brawl.

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Guys, what is it about monster eyeballs? I can never get enough of them. They’re the perfect combination of creepy, cute, and cool, and I may have a slight obsession that goes all the way back to Ocula from Small Soldiers. 

I think it’s because it’s hard to screw up an eyeball. You can easily screw up, say, a vampire or a zombie, but an eyeball is an eyeball. It’s got this unnerving elegance to it, and…oh, hell, I don’t know, I just like eyeballs. So much so that I use them as “stars” in my reviews.

(For more on my bizarre obsession with eyeball-related stuff, click here and/or here)

Anyways, back to Eye-Brawl, the greatest Skylander to ever exist!

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Technically, he’s a Skylander Giant, which apparently means he’s bigger, stronger, and twice as expensive as a regular Skylander. This is perfectly fine by me, because just look at him in all his glory.

See that suit he’s wearing? How badass is that? It looks like it’s made out of some old-timey iron or something, which is totally rad. Maybe it’s a suit passed down from one generation of Eye-Brawlers to another? Maybe this Eye-Brawl built it in a cave with a box of scraps? Who knows and who cares? It’s awesome nonetheless.

So you’re probably asking yourself “I wonder what he looks like without the armor? Is he just some lanky cyclops? Is his entire body covered in eyes? What’s his deal?”

Well, let me tell you his deal, friends.

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See those wings? Those are only attached to the eye. Which means that Eye-Brawl is a giant flying eyeball with bat wings. He just uses the armor to, you know, sucker punch baddies in the freaking face,

Eye-Brawl comes with a stat card, that I think says he’s crazy strong offensively and defensively, but he’s not the fastest Giant on campus and has Peter Parker luck. That’s OK, Eye-Brawl. So do I.

Oh, he also comes with stickers. Stickers! According to the cartoon instructions, I’m supposed to put them on the stat card or whatever, but I’m not about to waste these stickers like that. I could put these anywhere! Anywhere!

I know nothing of Eye-Brawl’s origin, nor his place in the Skylanders universe. For all I know, he’s an anti-hero who only helps to save the day when it’s to his benefit. Like a one-eyed and more badass Han Solo. Yeah, I said it: a more badass Han Solo.

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Oh, also, the skull on his platform totally glows in the dark. Bitchin’.

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I really hope that this doesn’t start an obsession like the Daryl Dixon Funko Pop! Vinyl figure did. I can’t afford to start collecting Skylanders. It’s just that…they’re so detailed and well-made and they look so freaking nice on my shelf…

Anyways, yeah…if I keep spending this much money during May Madness, I’m going to have to file for bankruptcy before my Halloween Countdown… 

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Oh, and I’ve also obviously made Eye-Brawl the king of all eyes. That is all.

Filed under skylanders skylanders giants eye-brawl spyro undead toys r us ocula small soldiers eyeball may madness 2013

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Steve Finally Hatches Spron, the Test Tube Alien! (8/27/12)

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Ahhh, Spron. The evil alien warrior I raised from birth. He’s become Double Jump Company’s unofficial mascot. I’ve gotta be careful though; just because he’s constrained in that plastic tube doesn’t mean he’s any less dangerous. In-canon, he has mind control powers. Crazy.

Honestly, it was love at first sight with Spron. I obviously felt inclined to give his article some love, and I’ll take any opportunity to take pictures of this guy. For a supervillain from another galaxy, he sure is photogenic.

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Filed under aliens spron test tube aliens awesome toys r us nostalgia

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Steve's Quest for a Gamecube (3/19/12)

This is gonna be a fun advertisement. 

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Remember, a while ago, when I wrote a an article about how the Game Boy Advance SP was the greatest gaming console of all time? I was just throwing that in here, because we’re talking about video game consoles haha.

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The Gamecube. Some people consider it the beginning of Nintendo’s downfall. That doesn’t make any sense to me, because the ‘cube was just as powerful as the PS2 and the XBox. It wasn’t until the Wii Nintendo started just…doing so much wrong…

As I grew older, I started to appreciate video games more, and I realized that there were entire libraries of Gamecube titles I missed. Plus, I just really wanted my own console in my room. So, naturally, I began my hunt. Spoilers: I succeed.image

I’ll admit, I haven’t played it as much as this article would suggest. Luigi’s Mansion is currently inside, as I was prepping myself for Dark Moon (holy crap, how great is that game, guys?). 

I also still haven’t gotten any better at wielding my butterfly knife. Man, this article is depressing me.

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When you’re done, be sure to also check out the direct sequel to this article, Modern toys Steve would’ve played with as a child! It’s my favorite DJC article yet…just saying…

Filed under nintendo gamecube game boy advance game boy advance sp toys r us luigi's mansion nostalgia gamestop butterfly knife

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Steve reviews: Spirit Halloween

Spirit Halloween is like the Toys ‘R’ Us of Halloween stores. Slightly overpriced, but still packed to the brim with awesome crap. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Right off the bat, Spirit gets major props for being the only Halloween store with a 3D sign. In a world where Halloween stores are like traveling gypsies, and almost every other sign is just a plastic banner stapled to a building like birthday streamers, it’s nice to see what could pass as a legitimate store sign.

I notice these things, other Halloween stores. Pick up the slack.

Spirit Halloween isn’t a huge building, but it utilizes its space perfectly. Costumes, props, and decorations are all placed with purpose, like the most organized of chaos. It feels like a Halloween store, because there’s always something new or interesting around every corner.

Just like how Chuck E. Cheese reminds me of really bad terrifying animatronics, Spirit Halloween reminds me of really good terrifying animatronics. Honestly, there are so many great and scary robots that jump and scream at the push of a button.  You know you’re in a great Halloween store when you can hear children screaming inside due to the giant jumping spider or talking Ghostface.

Speaking of the talking Ghostface!

Last year, Scream 4 came out. I personally loved it, and apparently so did Spirit. All of the Spirit stores last year were practically spooky retail versions of Woodsboro High. There was a plethora of Ghostface stuff everywhere, and, sadly, this animatronic Ghostface is all that remains.

The whole gimmick is that the little plastic phone will ring, right? When you answer it and say “Hello?”, the animatronic Ghostface springs to life and says things like “What’s your favorite scary movie?” or “If you hang up, I’m gonna slice through your flesh until I feel bone!”

Does it sound stupid? No. Not at all. It sounds awesome. And I want one so bad. I’d talk to Ghostface all day long.

WEAPONS!

I need my Halloween stores to have weapons. It’s a requirement. No weapons in a Halloween store is like ordering a huge cheeseburger and receiving two buns and a slice of cheese.

Fortunately, Spirit has an arsenal. Do you want axes, machetes, or knives for a slasher costume? Spirit’s got ‘em. Do you want oversized swords or battle axes? Spirit’s got ‘em. Shotguns? Machine guns? Lasers? Got ‘em all.

Some are really fake and low-budget. Others look pretty realistic. They’re not exactly cheap, but I daresay they’re almost all worth it.

Now, OK…let’s take a look at one of the stupid parts of Spirit Halloween stores. The zombie babies:

Maybe I’m just getting old, but the whole “decaying, flesh-eating, demon zombie baby” fad bothers me. Like, it doesn’t offend me, it’s just too gross for me. They aren’t spooky or even scary. They’re just nasty, and that’s not what Halloween is about for me.

I’m sure plenty of teenagers who think they’re “like, so totally badass” will think the demon babies are hilarious or whatever. But I’ll stick with jack-o-lanterns, thank you very much.

VERDICT:

Once again, Spirit doesn’t disappoint this year. Costumes galore, plenty of awesome decorations, and more weapons than a barbarian redhead would know what to do with. Zombie babies prevent it from a perfect score, but I can’t stay mad at Spirit for very long. Four and a half out of five eyeballs.

Filed under halloween halloween countdown spirit halloween spirit toys r us halloween costumes headless horseman sleepy hollow wolf man werewolf ghosts ghostface scream scream 4 weapons swords guns the exorcist zombies demons eyeballs

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Danny Phantom: The ACTION FIGURE!

From 2004 to 2007, the brilliant Butch Hartman gave the world Danny Phantom. And then Nickelodeon took it away, the bastards.

Guys, I love Danny Phantom. In that bizarre period where I felt like I was outgrowing cartoons, four stood out and gave me hope, like the Bat-Signal in the night: Spongebob (pre-movie), Fairly OddParents, Avatar, and Danny Phantom.

Whereas Spongebob, OddParents, and Avatar each gained an enormous following, Danny Phantom was kind of pushed aside. Which really pisses me off, because the show was phenomenal, and easily my favorite of the four. Amazingly well-written, great pacing, interesting characters…it was basically Spectacular Spider-Manstarring a kid with ghost powers instead of spider ones.

One day, I’ll go into great depth as to why I love Danny Phantom so much. But we’re not talking about that today. Today we’re talking about the diamond in the rough I discovered at Toys ‘R’ Us:

Guys, Danny Phantom toys just don’t exist. Believe me, I’ve looked for years. With the exception of some subpar happy meal toys from Burger King a few years back, Nick never even tried to make DP merch.

Until now.

For whatever reason, Toys ‘R’ Us is selling a bunch of toys based on older cartoons. One section is completely dedicated to the Hannah Barbara cartoons of old, and right across from that was a “Nicktoon” section. Before you get too excited, these toys are all from more recent Nick shows: Fairly OddParents, Jimmy Neutron, etc. I didn’t see a single Doug or Ahhh! Real Monsters figure, despite searching for a solid five minutes.

But who cares? The obvious winner is Danny Phantom. Because look at him.

First of all, he’s easily the largest figure among the Nicktoons. And he’s triumphant. Look at his face. He knows he’s gonna stop Technus from taking over the computer store again, and he’s gonna do it all before Lancer’s class. Like a total boss.

Second, he looks exactly like he did on the show. It isn’t easy to pull off a 3D action figure based on a 2D character, especially with Hartman’s interesting style. But whoever made this figure makes it work perfectly.

And something I didn’t even notice until I took him out of his boxy prison was that the tips of his hair are invisible!

Seriously, this toy is amazing. I even think his eyes glow in the dark…can’t tell though. Still, the only possible way this figure could get any better is if they included the option to remove his legs and give him a ghostly tail…

Oh, hey, look at that!

Technically, this isn’t a “Halloween toy.” However, it is based on a character who’s part ghost, and I did find it in the month of October, and it is chilling on my Halloween Mood Table as we speak. So it totally counts. And now, finally owning an official Danny Phantom figure…I dare say this is gonna be the best freaking Halloween ever.

Filed under danny phantom nickelodeon halloween halloween countdown toys r us action figure butch hartman ghosts

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Steve Finally Hatches Spron (the Test Tube Alien)!

Do you guys remember approximately 65 million years when I posted this article about modern toys I would’ve played with as a kid? To this day, it’s one of my favorites. Because toys.

Anyways, today I finally did it. I finally picked up the one toy from that article that made my 8-year-old heart aflutter. I have no idea how it works, or if it’s going to be as awesome as I hope, but a Test Tube Alien is finally in my possession.

I picked up that fella named Spron. It was love at first sight, guys, I’m dead serious. All of the aliens looked pretty neat, but Spron spoke to me. He has these badass teeth in his mouth and on his hands. Dude, sign me up.

So I’ve got this instruction/survival manual that’s supposed to tell me how this little guy works. It doesn’t seem too complicated.

Oh wait yeah it kinda does.

OK, so step one: Take off the top of the test tube. Simple enough.

Step 2: Fill test tube with water to dissolve the cocoon. Alright, sounds neat.

Dude.

OK, this is really awesome. It actually fizzes over, like a shaken up Coke or, you know, a diabolical secret formula created by a mad scientist.

The pictures aren’t doing it justice. I’m having so much freaking fun right now.

OK, so the cocoon is, more or less, gone. There’s still some sperm-looking stuff floating around in there, but I can’t flush it out. I’ve tried fifty billion times. Oh well, I guess the sperm stays.

Normally, this would kinda bother me. Sperm floating around my test tube extraterrestrial. But in this case, I’m actually OK with it. Why? Because it reminds me of the not-so-subtle sexual undertones in the Alien movies. Really, the Test Tube Aliens are only following suit. Think about it: the cocoon was phallic-shaped. Now there’s sperm floating around. Even little Spron himself looks like an embryo.

Seriously though. Spron. He’s awesome. He’s a tiny little baby right now, but the box promises me he’ll grow into a badass. So right now he’s like a Charmander. I love this toy so much.

Step 3 is to feed it the “sloog”, which Word continuously wants to auto correct for me. It’s sloog, Microsoft. With two Os. Deal with it, it’s from outer space.

Sloog is actually just water mixed with a tiny bit of packaged stuff. It’s not Nickelodeon slime or anything like I thought it would be. Kinda lame.

Spron has a heart on his head, right? And it starts beating once he’s hatched. Once the light goes out, he’s dead. This is like a Giga Pet, only an alien. I really don’t have time to make sure it gets exactly 12 hours of light and 12 hours of shade each day. I’m a 22-year-old man. I should’ve thought this through.

Not like I regret this though. I mean, look at it!

So this is Spron. The whole hatching process was awesome and, in approximately 14 days, he should be a full-grown unstoppable, mind-controlling alien warrior. Bad. Fucking. Ass.

There’s a website you can visit to unlock your alien’s bio or play games or whatever. It’s kinda cool, but not exactly my thing. I prefer to keep my spermy Spron chilling near a window or my desk, and just watching. Knowing that, once he’s full-grown, he’ll have to reluctantly thank me for raising him.

I have a weird imagination.

I’ll keep you guys updated on Spron’s growth and whatnot. Because that way I can pretend I’m a scientist. 

Filed under alien aliens test tube aliens spron toys toys r us test tube SCIENCE!

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Monster Fighters and LotR LEGOS Available Early!

Hey, do you like LEGOs? Of course you do, you’re a living, breathing human being.

Do you have a Toys R Us by your house/apartment/cardboard box? Of course you do, those crazy places are everywhere.

Then do yourself a favor and stop by its LEGO section, because two of the most anticipated new sets of the Silver Age have arrived early.

These are the Monster Fighters sets. I’ve been extremely stoked for them ever since I found out they were gonna be hitting toy shelves near me. Each set comes with one of the titular Monster Fighters (Victorian-era steampunk badasses) and a classic monster from film or folklore. They remind me of the old Universal Horror-themed Studios sets, only these monsters are for real. We encounter monsters we’ve seen before (vampires, mummies, zombies) and some that are new to the LEGO Universe (Swamp and Bat Monsters).

Frankly, I can’t wait to rip some of these boxes open. I want to add these new mummy figures to my already-enormous Mummy minifig army, and I need to get the new Werewolf to add to my collection (I so far have all three officially-released Werewolf minifigs). See, The Wolf Man (the Curt Siodmak original, not the hideous remake) is one of my favorite films of all time, and I’m fascinated by werewolf lore, so…combining two of my passions is a thing of beauty.

Plus, The Swamp Monster is such an homage to Creature from the Black Lagoon, and I just want it. Badly.

They’re each awesome sets with incredible potential, but I know why you guys are really here. You crazy fanatics…

Yes, yes, Lord of the Rings LEGOs are available now.

I was never a huge LotR fan, but these look amazing. They look like the Castle sets, only obviously a bit more epic. Everyone is here, flawlessly recreated in LEGO form: from the Hobbits to the Ringwraiths, Aragorn to Gandalf, and Gollum to Orcs.

Despite the fact that I’m not Middle Earth’s #1 fan, I really want these sets. They’re gritty and dark, which is a huge departure from LEGO’s sun-shiny image. Seeing Frodo’s face while getting attacked by Shelob kinda freaks me out, and the various different warriors each have violent looks on their faces. It’s exactly like type of LEGO set that older fans would want.

However, the one that I was most interested in is the Attack on Weathertop set. It comes with these sick-looking ruins, two Ringwraiths, Frodo, Samwise, and Aragorn. What more could you ask for in a Lord of the Rings LEGO set?

Toys R Us thinks it’s OK to sell this set for $75.

I know that LEGOs are hella expensive, and that Toys R Us likes to up the price five or so bucks because they’re dickwads, but seventy-five dollars for some ruins and five minifigures? I was expecting $35, or $45 at the absolute most!

Then again, I think maybe LEGO and Toys R Us are trying to bank on the popularity of Lord of the Rings, because this set (which comes with two minifigures and a freaking wagon) costs $19.99. Sorry, TRU, but I’m not dropping twenty bucks on something that should cost seven, at the most.

But, hey, if you’re a huge die-hard fan and you have more money than JK Rowling, stop by Toys R Us and pick these bad boys up!

In other news, you know how you can tell which blockbuster film is better without reading any reviews? The good movie has LEGO sets…

…while the horrible movie has Kre-O sets.

Filed under what the hell is Kre-O? lego lord of the rings the avengers monster fighters werewolf mummy zombies creature from the black lagoon steampunk lego lord of the rings toys r us

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Modern toys Steve would’ve played with as a child!

So I had to drive about an hour away from my city to stop by very remote GameStop the other day. The reason: that was where the only used copy of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker in the entire state of Michigan was located. It was a journey that tested my very humanity, but I finally had the precious game in my hands.

See, I had played Wind Waker a long time ago. Borrowed it from a friend. He took it back and I never played it again. With my brand spankin’ new used Gamecube chilling in my room, I knew that I needed a brand spankin’ new used game to go with it. Wind Waker was that game.

However, this article isn’t about Wind Waker (that will be a much longer post filled with happiness and exclamation points). Nay, this is about the Toys R Us that was right next door to the GameStop, and the pretty awesome stuff I found there.

See, I’ve been out of the loop for a while when it comes to kid toys. I have no clue what the kids are into anymore. There was this thing called “Beyblades” that was hip for a while, I think, but now it’s something called “Bakugan”? I don’t even care. It’s all silly stuff that I would’ve never played with as a kid.

However, deep within the confines of this Toys R Us were…

TOYS I WOULD HAVE PLAYED WITH AS A KID

Stinky Little Trash Monsters

I wasn’t into the Garbage Pail Kids growing up, but I was into Meanies. Does anyone remember those bad boys? They were basically spoofs of Beanie Babies, which were insanely popular at the time. They had such wonderful creatures to collect, like the “Velocicrapper” and “Floaty the Dead Fish.” This little guy is named “Preemie.”

Yup. I ate those things up with a spoon as a young, impressionable child.

My point is that I’m no stranger to the “gross/bizarre” toys that are marketed to young boys. We are, after all, made of snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails. Guys like sick stuff.

I’m not sure the Stiny Little Trash Monsters live up to their names, but they are pretty cool. They each come in their own trashcan and have stickers attached to their bellies that are supposed to represent their insides.

The “gross” factor is still there, but it’s much tamer than it was when I was a kid. I’m alright with that, though, because 7-year-old me would’ve still wanted to collect all of these guys.

CREEPY CRAWLERS

Any guy who was born in the late 80s/early 90s remembers Creepy Crawlers. They were my “thing” in the family when I was young: my sister had Polly Pocket, my brother had Sonic the Hedgehog, and I had Creepy Crawlers. I made so many of those stupid sticky bugs and plastered them all over the house, constantly trying to reenact the commercial by freaking out my sister. It never really happened.

This box looks like it’s straight from the 90s, complete with the original logo and dark, colorful Creepy Crawler-making machines. This was, again, trying to cash in on the “boys like icky stuff” notion, and I played right into their hands.

My parents stopped buying me Creepy Crawlers after my fifth one got stuck in the carpet…anyways, moving on.

RETRO SONIC THE HEDGEHOG TOYS

Sonic the Hedgehog was the character that got me into gaming oh so many years ago. I played every single one of the games (Except Knuckles’ Chaotix. Even as a kid I wasn’t interested), watched the cartoon religiously, and even read the comics. However, I never did have a Sonic plushie. Lord knows I would’ve wanted one.

This is nice because, in an attempt to help sell (the rather brilliant) Sonic Generations, Toys R Us and Sega have been releasing retro Sonic toys. I’m insanely tempted every single time I see one to just buy it. Because I like my blue hedgehogs to be short, plump, and have black eyes. Modern Sonic just isn’t my Sonic…

Anyways, speaking of which, go play Sonic Generations if you haven’t yet. It’s pretty fun and filled with nostalgia.

UNIVERSAL MONSTER PLUSHIES

I wasn’t crazy into classic Universal horror as a kid, but damn am I now. However, there was no Wolf Man in sight, so I passed on these.

IRON MAN WEARING CAP’S MASK

This has nothing to do with anything. Just thought it looked funny.

KENNER STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES

As a child, I loved Star Wars. All of them, but especially Return of the Jedi. I had playsets, Legos, action figures, toy lightsabors, a ton of model ships…it was amazing.

Then Phantom Menace came out and suddenly it wasn’t cool to like Star Wars anymore. That didn’t stop me from having my B-Wing and Slave I duke it out in a dogfight to the death.

Anyways, these Kenner action figures are now being sold in the old-school packages, which delights the hell out of my inner child. Example, this guy is a B-Wing Pilot. He has no name and, aside from the fact that he pilots one of my favorite ships in the series, he means nothing to me.

But I was still tempted to buy him just to stare at the box he was in.

SKYLANDERS

I figured I wouldn’t have to talk about this as much, because you can’t walk into the video game section of any store without seeing this set-up. As an adult, I can see that this is all a scheme to get parents to spend a ton of money on unnecessarily-expensive toys that really don’t add much to the game.

But as a kid…this would’ve been my new Pokemon. It’s literally perfect for kids: Kids love collecting stuff. Kids love monsters. Kids love video games. And kids love toys. This combines all of these aspects into one epic money-grabbing game.

Don’t make that face. You know if you were 8-years-old you would be begging for all of these. And if you don’t think you would, think about that time you cried because your mom wouldn’t buy you that Beanie Baby you really wanted.

Skylanders is one of the most brilliant things I’ve seen for kids in a long time. However, this list has been building up to something. A toy I saw that literally made me do a double take. I would’ve wanted it as a kid, and I want it now.

TEST TUBE ALIENS!

Guys, out of everything on this list, this is the one I wanted the most. They’re aliens that you raise in a plastic test tube. They’re like Sea Monkeys and those stupid “it grows in water” toys you see in dollar stores, only better!

But look at this box. Just look at it. The premise is so simple, but the box says “No. This is important and amazingly awesome. You need this Test Tube Alien.”

Again, there are six gruesome aliens that you can collect. However, upon further research, I discovered that there were six more you could find. And these new six aliens were “pure evil” and fought the “good” aliens.

Ignore the phallic cocoon this guy is in. Because, according to the box, once you add water, the cacoon will dissolve away and reveal an infant alien. Inside of this alien are lights in the chest and brain that will freaking glow once it’s hatched, representing a brain and a heart.

Like…there is so much more I could go into, but holy crap I need these now.

There’s a whole backstory to these guys, too. And each little alien has their own name and bio. The guy I was drawn to was a little blue dude named Spron, who, according to the back of his box, “uses his beady red eyes for human mind control.”

Dude.

I dunno, this was the sort of crap I was into as a kid. Creepy monster stuff that had a backstory , like Skannerz. Anyone remember Skannerz? Talk about an epic marketing campaign! I think I even still have mine…

Aw yeah! These things were awesome!

Anyways…I’m seriously gonna go back and buy one of those Test Tube Aliens. Maybe even two, just for kicks. I’m glad that there are toys out there that still rely on and fuel a child’s imagination, and aren’t just there to sell movie tickets.

MINI MUGGS NICK FURY

Because I spent a ton of my money on Gamecube games earlier that day (I regret very little), I didn’t want to spend too much money at TRU. I settled on a little Nick Fury toy, part of the Mighty Muggs line. I’ll be honest, I never saw the appeal of the Mighty Muggs. They looked silly and weren’t as cool to collect as, say, MiniMates or the Hasbro 3 inch figures.

But I picked this fella up today, not because I’m a particularly big fan of Fury, but because I want him around in case I have a really stupid day. I can look at him and pretend he’s inviting me to be a part of the Avengers Initiative.

I’m a little pathetic, but I’m OK with that.

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