I’ve been wanting to do this post for sometime now but didn’t have all pieces to complete this set. What you are looking at is my childhood … in plastic form of course. Each one of these figures represents my favorite toys when I was a kid. All my favorite lines are represented. And as you can see, I was into pairing. For me, I was always into the bad guys (I don’t know what that says about me as a child). But a bad guy was never any fun without a good guy trying to stop him. One without the other is meaningless, so I always had to have a good guy to pair up with my favorite baddies. And these figures above, were my favorites. Ok, well not all of the figures above. Some of these are just newer incarnations of their classic counterparts that I loved as a kid. Oh, and be sure to click the headers for links to my photos of these figures on my flickr site.
Star Wars toys were my all-time favorites when I was a kid. No other toy line had the film or TV counterpart that was anywhere as awesome as Star Wars. Nor does any other toy line hold as many happy memories as Kenner’s classic line. And my favorite characters? Bespin Luke and Boba Fett. By the time Kenner got around to ESB, the goofy early-bird lightsabers were gone only to be replaced by the less goofy (but not by much) lightsaber sticks. And the newly sculpted Luke was my favorite. This took his goofy lightsaber to any all other toys who opposed him. And no other baddie, including Darth himself, got as much play time as Mr. Fett did. And yes, kids were making up lies about having the one that actually fired the rocket from his jet pack way back then. Mine didn’t nor did I care. And this guy wasn’t afraid of battling baddies good guys from outside his line either. Nothing takes me back like Star Wars christmas’ and themed birthday parties. Good times.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Like the cartoon series, seldom was a battle waged in my plastic Eternia that wasn’t led by He-Man. He was my go-to guy for stopping Skeletor in his tracks. And when it came to baddies causing trouble, it was always Mer-Man. He was and still is my favorite He-Man figure. I know he was silly and seemed to always get pissed when He-Man tossed him in lake (I don’t know why, isn’t that his home?). But in my backyard he was the evilest of evil, controlled reptiles and yes, he even spoke to my fishes.
G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero
Even when picking good guys, I still like them bad. My all-time favorite JOE growing up was good-guy Storm Shadow. Now I loved Outback, Alpine and Tunnel Rat but that sense of never knowing when ol’ Stormy would flip his switch and run back to COBRA always made him my favorite. But when it came to COBRA, no baddy held a candle to Zartan. I mean come on, he had a bad ass swamp skier, swappable masks and he changed color in the sunlight. He had it all. I remember buying Zartan for my best friend on his birthday. After nom-nomin’ on pizza all afternoon, watching his older brother fight with his parents (resulting in his being kicked out of this house for the afternoon) and some crafty trading strategies on my part, I left the birthday party with Zartan in tow. I don’t even remember what I traded him for it, but whatever it was, it was worth it.
Batman and Robin were tops at my house. Superman was nothing. Batman and Robin handled just about any and all bank heists, break-ins and attacks that the DC universe baddies could throw their way. And when Mattel releases classic Robin next year, I’ll be one happy camper. Now don’t get me wrong, Battle Armor Lex Luthor and Darkseid were both pretty high on my list of favorite Super Powers baddies growing up but there was something about Steppenwolf that I just couldn’t put my finger on. I remember going to the store with my parents specifically to get a bad guy for heroes to battle and with no good choices on the rack, Steppenwolf was my only choice. I grabbed him reluctantly (I certainly wasn’t going to turn down a new figure) but when I got him home and started breaking him in, I realized he was pretty cool. First of all, he looks completely bad ass with all those spikes and straps, but that evil-as-hell mustache and huge ax sold me on him. I remember all my friends asking me who he was every time I’d bring him out to battle. I always answered the same way “I don’t know who he is either but I know he’s gonna win!”
I didn’t get into the Secret Wars figures as much as I did Super Powers but they were Marvel and were better sculpted and I actually liked the fact that they didn’t have all the silly squeeze-action features the DC figures did. But looking back I guess I did have all of series one and few from series two, but no two figures were worn out more from battle than Captain America and Dr. Doom. Yeah Cap’s shield had the goofy lenticular card in it and didn’t look right and Dr. Doom was missing his trademarked cape but those facts didn’t keep these two figures from battling it out way past my bed time.
M.A.S.K. Mobile Armored Strike Kommand
I know that I didn’t pick two bad guys this time, but in all honesty, when it came to M.A.S.K., all my favs were on the good team. Matt Trakker and Brad Turner were my team. What’s not to love about a car turning into a jet and a motorcycle turning into a helicopter? M.A.S.K. also almost cost me my best friend (the same one that I trader for Zartan with). Long story but Bruce Sato is not welcome in my house … ever. M.A.S.K. is one series I’d love to see rebooted but then again, with a baby on the way, maybe not. I want to stay married.
Ah, good old Transformers. This was the best line as a kid. You have best of both worlds; fast and powerful cars, jets and tanks and bad ass robots. Instant awesome. And like all the rest, the bad guys were on top for me. My favorite, hands down was Soundwave. I think it was because when he transformed he actually looked and was the right size of a real tape player. I loved that. And he tapes that turned into Ravage and Laserbeak! Come on that’s killer! But there was no better good guy, probably in all of kid toydom than Optimus Prime. A huge hulking semi that turned into a huge, hulking robot. Optimus will always hold a special place in my heart and only my dearest and closest friends know why. He will always have a place on my shelf.