The Toys in The Attic
By: Chris Darkes - May 30, 2015
Category : Toys/Nostalgia
Other than the story in films, the most beautiful thing that captures the audience is the use of sound and imagery. Ironically, if done right both are taken for granted. I remember as a kid I used to love watching certain scenes in films strictly because not many other things could capture my imagination like the rush I’d get from reliving those memories. The second best thing to me was buying the action figures (or begging my parents to) so I could continue with the story on my own terms. Usually I’d take several pieces of different items like: the firehouse from Ghostbusters my aunt bought me for my 4th birthday, the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, the batcave from Batman ’89, and a box of Lincoln Logs and construct an elaborate map of different parts of my “world” on my parent’s dining room table. This would end abruptly when they needed to use the table for a party or some other event. As the technology wasn’t as great, I would usually take a photo from one of those Poloroids from different angles to construct it back up when the party was over. This ensured accuracy, and not a lapse in my continued stories.
As I grew up I went through a few different phases of toys, but kept all of them. Ghostbusters, Batman, Dick Tracy, Star Wars. Anyone in my family will tell you I was borderline obsessed with these. The Ghostbuster’s firehouse was especially fun.
The truth is I still have the figures and playsets all tucked away. Placed in nicely labeled boxes up in my parent’s attic. It’s been years since I last went up there, but those toys held a special place in my past.
Something happened in the mid nineties. The toy lines changed. The marketing of movies changed, too. It made sense they were no longer issuing toys for R rated movies. But why were those toys so popular for so long in the years previous? There was a period of time I refused to even look at the newly created products these toy companies were pumping. They all seemed cheap, sloppily made, and no attention to detail. When you look back at some original Star Wars figures, you see the detail, the likeness to the real thing, and the craftsmanship. A lot of those toys were made in 1980 and still hold up. When the films were rerealeased in ’97 I pretty much wrote these companies off. It was all cheap knock off stuff in comparison. That is until about ten years ago, when I discovered Hot Toys. The company caters to two types of people. They are 1)the erudite types that like buying figures and explaining why each character is relevant in the universe, who could win in a fight,etc. Or (and this is the category I fall in) 2) The types that enjoyed the movies they love, and want to keep a piece to capture that memory. Not only are the pieces beautifully crafted, the likeness (with few exceptions) is incredible. Moveable eyes, all the gadgets, fully poseable. They recently started to go off book, with toys connected to cult films like Escape From New York, Commando, and Back To the Future. Still waiting for them to make some Dick Tracy figures, though, it took them awhile to get the licensing to make the Batman ’89 figures. But they were worth the wait.
A few months ago, I had the chance to explore the Frank and Sons Hobby Show. I’m going to try to get back in a few weeks to capture some pictures. They have a whole ton of custom figures. Some extremely affordable. Others out of touch with reality.Regardless, it’s truly amazing to see the detail these artists put into each piece. All the obscure movies I loved as a kid are now in toy form. I’ll post them when I get a chance.
Next time I’m back home, I’m going to crack open the box to those figures, and see what else I can find. It’s always fun to explore an attic.