Lazy Luddite Log

28.11.18

Odds And Ends

In the past I have blogged about collecting toys but with an emphasis on just a few key collections. Recently however I have visited a number of retro collecting events filled with stalls selling everything from stamps to Smurfs. I enjoy simply seeing all these nostalgic things. Some I owned as a kid but have since lost. Others I never had but admired on shop shelves. And I still have odds-and-ends from many other brands. Here I will describe and embed images of some of them. The photos at FlickR provide more information on vintage.

Smurf Band (Schleich)

Everybody loves Smurfs. I had a bunch but in adulthood have reduced and altered that collection to be musicians specifically. This is a mix of old and new Smurfs. All are of classic design except for the keyboard, which comes from a much newer Smurf (absent from the image because it has too many clothes on for the classic look). Olav, a frequent visitor to Germany, has in the past helped me refine this set.

Collecting Smurfs Is Smurfy!

Collecting Smurfs is Smurfy! This poster came from BP petrol stations and helped kids to amass a collection. BP initially were the exclusive sellers of Smurfs and it was sold to them as a way of making extra cash at a time in which they still mostly just sold automotive products and services. If you look closely you can see pen marks showing which Smurfs my brother Lukas and I once had.

The Three Hunters from Lord Of The Rings (2001)

I never knew why but for a short time there were both Hungry Jack's and Burger King branded stores coexisting here in Melbourne. They all reverted to the preferred Australian name (Hungry Jack's) but while Burger King existed here they offered these one piece molded figurines of Lord Of The Rings movie characters as parts of kids meals. As an adult I visited a number of stores to get these, finding that they would sell them without food. These three and others stand guard over my fantasy book shelf.


Dungeons & Dragons Mini Figures by LJN (1984)

Before I played Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) I had a handful of D&D figures by LJN. The characters depicted were pretty much designed for merchandising and featured in things like colouring books. Here is Ringlerun, Zarak, Strongheart and Skyla. I rarely touch these as they are stand-alone, in contrast to some other fantasy figurines specifically employed in playing games.

Snoutspout

Snoutspout is a Masters Of The Unvierse toy (called Hosenose in the She-Ra cartoon). He is an 'heroic fire-fighting' cyborb and even today this decades-old toy can squirt water from its trunk. I gave him to Belinda because of her love of both elephants and kooky toys. He sits on my Fearsome Flush toy from the Real Ghostbusters range. Many of the toys invented for this line jumped on the 'gross' toy fad of the time and this toilet hides within it a slobbering monster. I found both recently in the Just Collectibles store that has since closed.

Assorted Comics

I've never been a comic book collector. I find it easier to read flowing text. But I've come into possession of some over my life. I cannot now recall if they came from relatives or friends. The Transformers one however came packaged with the toy character depicted.

Some Very Different Comics

These two comics contrast nicely. Misty is a British comic from the 70s about a teenaged girl who finds herself investigating all kinds of supernatural and spooky events. Bug And Stump is a comic by some Monash Uni students of the 90s - it is set on campus and references many other comics and aspects of pop culture.

Takeaway Food And Robots

I see fantastic things in the most mundane of objects. Recently I collected some takeaway food containers and made a futuristic base with them. They work well with different toys and here are shown populated with some tiny crappy army robots.

Sonic Screwdrivers

I specifically got these Doctor Who toys for a costume party. My initial plan was to get just one sonic screwdriver at Minotaur but then I saw this set of three for a good price. They each separate into four parts and can be re-combined to 'customize your sonic'. There is just one light-and-sound unit to share between the three. Can you tell which it is currently in? Nope neither can I.

Assorted Toy Spaceships

This assortment of spaceships from different settings (or none at all in the case of the pencil sharpener) defend my science fiction book shelf. I got most of them as a teen or adult. The most recent addition is the Buck Rogers Thunderfighter, which I found this year at the Waverley Antique Bazaar, and replaces one I lost in childhood. I personally think this design is better than both the Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactica and the X-Wing Fighter from Star Wars (which I refer to as all three were designed by Ralph Mcquarrie).

Ebony The Triceratops on Land Of The Lost lunchbox

I got Ebony in the 80s and, at the time, felt she was the best-looking toy dinosaur I'd ever seen. Things have changed since then, rendering my triceratops outdated and tacky, but I'm still fond of this toy. The Land Of The Lost lunch box I got recently from an op-shop off Spaghetti Junction in Springvale. I never had a cool lunch box as a kid but I do now!

Assorted Catalogues And Card Backs (1979-80)

I keep catalogues even if I have sometimes lost the toys they came with. As a kid you always wish for more and so just looking a these images and imagining having them was fun in itself. I still get a thrill looking at these bits of paper.

Random Things

This is a truly eclectic image. The card backing is from Kronos the Micronaut and if you look closely you can see the only part of that toy I still have - a phosphorescent horned brain! The trans-pink coin next to it is the only thing I have left from the Push Button Small Mall playset. Finally the Matchbox car there was presented to me for my birthday on a figure-eight racing track cake. I understand this design of cake is still made to this day.

* * * * *

It seems like I own a lot of random junk. I feel a bit indulgent in looking over these and wonder if it is wasteful. But then I think this feeling is more the product of some wowserish tendency rather than any concern for over-comsumption. The fact is, pretty much everything I own fits in one room, a tidy one at that, and most of these items are second-hand. They make me, and sometimes others, happy and so I think I'll be keeping them.

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2 Comments:

  • Regarding the momentary coexistence of Burger King and Hungry Jack's - it happened in Sydney too, and it came up in conversation one day - turns out there's an entire section about it on the Hungry Jack's wikipedia article.
    It's not a particularly fascinating read. tldr is that "Burger King", originally an American business, wanted to expand to AU, but the name as a business already existed in SA, so Hungry Jack's was born. When the rights to the Burger King name expired, some business underhandedness regarding parent companies, franchising, and market takeover was attempted, court proceedings happened, and now they are all branded Hungry Jack's.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 22 September, 2020  

  • I love it when Wikipedia pages are that thorough. It even mentioned Wendy's existing in Victoria for a while. But it only makes it frustrating when other pages are not as thorough.

    I knew of the origin of our stores being called Hungry Jack's (and interestingly adding the 's' is very Aussie - for instance our family always called the well-known department store Myer's even if it was always branded just Myer).

    I had to guess at why we suddenly had both Hungry Jack's and Burger King, and mostly guessed wrong. My hunch was that the Australian rights to the Burger King name had expired, allowing the US franchisor to use it. So far, partly right, but then I guessed that they started the process of re-branding all stores, starting with new ones, but discovered that local consumers preferred the more familiar name and menu, so then turned them all back to it. I never knew of the legal clash.

    Interestingly, the first ever Burger King I encountered was one at Melbourne Airport, co-existing with a Hungry Jack's. At the time I assumed it was because the airport was international territory, but maybe it was my first sign of the wider conflict. I'm happy it was resolved as it was, because having both was confusing and rankled with those of us who liked to call Hungry Jack's our own.

    Still, I got some cute toys out of it. :)

    By Blogger Daniel, At 23 September, 2020  

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