Eternia Restoration Part 2: Hand Washed Plastic Pectorals

It looks like it’s about time for the next installment of my Eternia Restoration Project and if you’ve been waiting for a close up look at the individual action figures of my Masters of the Universe collection, then this is the post for you!

Cleaning up this group of figures wasn’t as nearly as difficult as cleaning up the mouse-urine-soaked hoard of GI Joes that comprised my Terrordrome Renovation Project a few years back.  By comparison this toy restoration will seem as easy as a sparkling wave of magic issued from the elegant fingers of the mysterious Sorceress of Castle Grayskull!

To begin I separated all of the accessories and weapons, figured out exactly what I had, and (after a quick internet search) sorted them all out to the appropriate heroes and villains.  Then over the course of a few days I gathered up small batches of the figures and gave them a dunk in a bucket of soapy hot water, gently scrubbed them with a toothbrush, rinsed them off, vigorously shook out any excess water from their hollow abdomens, then toweled them off and let them dry over night.

Like I said most of these figures were in pretty good shape, all things considered.  Sadly several figures I thought to be complete were actually missing arms, accessories, or were just completely broken.  Also there were a couple of otherwise flawless figures who had fallen victim to unprovoked pet attacks and were irrevocably scarred by dog teeth.  Apparently the family dog at the time was deep in the puppy chewing stage when some of these figures entered my collection.

Battle wounds add character!

In a few of these cases I was able to take a very small pair of wire cutters and trim away some of the gnarly plastic snags and gouges.  After some delicate snips and clips it actually helped shape up some of the nastier bite marks, making the figures slightly less disfigured.

As far as cleanliness went though there really wasn’t much to contend with.  One or two of the Eternians had been tatted up with some marker at some point, a couple were just mysteriously sticky, but the only real troublesome figure was the legendary Moss Man.

Covered in a fine coat of coarse green felt, Moss Man not only had fur adhered to his stock Masters of the Universe body but said exterior moss was originally endowed with a distinct perfumed scent.  All of that situation; a brillo pad fur, adhesive undercoat, and whatever chemical magic was used to induce that smell combined with years of play meant that Moss Man had gathered a lot of gunk, identifiable and otherwise, all across his namesake moss!

Even cleaning Moss Man however was not an arduous task, he just took a little extra time as I gently brushed out the years of embedded carpet fibers and pet hair.

All in all the best way to describe this effort is to say that I spent a few hours of my free time giving sponge baths to a large group of musclebound men in my basement.

But enough about that let’s take a look at the results!

DSC_0482

Clearly Eternia has a shortage of shirts.  Pictured are two average varietals of He-Man on the ends, Thunder Punch He-Man on the left, and He-Man’s alter ego Prince Adam wielding his fuchsia sword middle right.  Thunder Punch He-Man is the most complete all the other He-Men pictured are missing most, if not all, of their accessories.

 

DSC_0481

Here we see a group of recently washed heroes of Eternia: Mekaneck, Cyclone, Wundar, and Ram Man.  Mekaneck is missing his armor, Cyclone is complete with his lenticular chest piece and shield.  Wundar is actually a mail away promotional variant of He-Man given away from Wonder Bread.  Fans and collectors gave the brown haired version the name Wundar and the name stuck!

DSC_0479

More heroes! Fisto (you read that right!), the aforementioned Moss Man, Man-E-Faces, and Roboto with theme song by Styx.  Moss Man is complete with his brown club.  Roboto is missing one of his interchangeable arms. Man-E-Faces and Fisto are missing their weapons.

DSC_0485

Childhood favorite Orco with his weird stack of coins accessory which features other characters pictures on them.  (Of course most of those are missing)  He also has a rip cord that would send him spinning.  Also pictured is a random Orco stamp that was in my collection.

DSC_0486

Baddest of bad asses SKELETOR seen here in his battle damage variety and undamagable original flavor!  Although battle damage Skeletor is missing his accessories I was ecstatic to find that the classic version was 100% intact!

DSC_0474

Four of my favorite baddies: Fakor, Trap Jaw, Stinkor (the villainous scented equivalent of Moss Man), and Tri-Clops.  These guys were the best at being the worst!  Whenever I was plotting evil deeds these would be my go to guys to make it happen.  However in the process they lost most of their accessories.  Except Stinkor, though at this point he has lost his distinctive scent.

DSC_0477

Skeletor’s B-Squad: Mosquitor, Whiplash, Webstor, and Spikor.  (I’m sensing a pattern here with the names.)  Whiplash was one of the figures that received the worst of the canine maulings.  Although you can’t quite see it in the picture his entire right arm is chewed all to hell.  A lot of cool action features with these four though, dripping blood, whipping tails, zip lines, and retractable arms!

DSC_0475

The Evil Horde!  A revitalization of the Masters of the Universe meant new and better figures!  Enter the Horde, these guys pulled double duty battling He-Man AND She-Ra.  Who has the time?  Seen here Mantenna, Hordak himself, Grizzlor, and Leech.  Leech had a great feature, he had a vacuum sealing mouth.  When you pressed a button on his back he could suction up to flat surfaces!

DSC_0489

Let’s not forget about King Hiss and the Snake Men!  Actually let’s go ahead and forget about them, I was never really much of a fan.  But these two were pretty cool, Rattlor and Sssqueeze.  In my story lines these guys were always on loan from King Hiss in order to repay Skeletor and/or Hordak a favor.  These were the only Snake Men to ever grace my MOTU collection

 

DSC_0491

Sadness.  Let us not forget our fallen heroes (and villains).  Here we have the broken toys.  Clawful, Man-at-Arms, and Trap Jaw.  Thankfully I had two Trap Jaws and the other was in fairly decent shape.  Unfortunately Clawful is missing an arm, and that crazy crab curmudgeon was one of my favorites!  Similarly Man-at-Arms has encountered an equally disarming fate.  I’ll be vigilantly on the lookout for these missing limbs as I occasionally go through old boxes at home and at my parents house!

DSC_0493

Once again we have my wife’s She-Ra collection, finally reuniting Prince Adam with his sister Princess Adora under the roof of Castle Grayskull!  Pictured: SweetBee, Frosta, Perfuma, She-Ra, Bow, Glimmer, Castaspella, and the jealous beauty Catra!

 

DSC_0497

And just for shits and giggles here is my small collection of Masters of the Universe figures from the early 2000’s as sculpted by the legendary Four Horsemen.  As a kid I wanted the original Merman and Beast Man but they always eluded me but that all changed in 2003!

Well there you have it!  Up next the VEHICLES!

 

That is all!

Advertisements

Friday Funny Pages: Don’t F#*%K With Shockwave!


Today I have another quick one for you.  I’ve got a job interview this afternoon and I don’t really have a lot of time, so I wanted to use a panel that needs very little explanation.  This week’s image comes to us from the old Marvel days of the Transformers comic books, this is second generation stuff if I’m not mistaken, but beyond that I have no idea where this panel comes from.  (As it turns out I was indeed mistaken.  The name of the issue was Second Generation but this has nothing to do with second generation Transformers stuff. Idiot!)

I found it awhile back while poking around on the Transformers wiki doing some research for my Terrordrome Renovation Project and I thought it was perfect for FFP.  If you’ve never paid a visit to the Transformers wiki, go take a look.  That site is full of some of the funniest one liners I’ve ever read.  It’s nice to see a fandom that doesn’t take itself or its source material completely serious all the time.  Too many fan groups delve into their subject matter with a scholarly discipline that is on the verge of delusion.  At the TFWiki they certainly have all the facts about whatever Transformer toy or cartoon series that you’d ever want to know, but every entry has more than a few heavy handed goofball captions, or mocking running jokes that bounce around between pages.  I’m not a huge Transformers fan, but it’s always amusing just to search around that wiki and skim some of the articles.  (In a correction, I originally called it a wikia, but it’s not.  But I don’t know what the hell the difference is.)  <To learn what the difference is, see the comments section below!>

Anyway I’m pretty sure this single image from the 80’s Transformers Marvel comic inspired the playground scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.  (Jokes!)  But this is terrifying, and I’m pretty sure that kid in the picture is a goner.  Them’s the breaks.

This panel has given me an idea though, I think this is going to start a new segment of Friday Funny Pages entitled:  Don’t F#*%K With _____!  Where the next few weeks will focus on characters with whom you should not fuck with.  Yes, I like that idea, that’s what I shall do.  Excellent . . . . .

That is all!

Terrordrome Renovation 2011: Stage 6 (Terrordrome Sponge Bath)

Well the day has finally arrived, my G.I. Joe cleaning and restoration project has at last reached the final stage, that’s right the Cobra Terrordrome has been completely renovated and restored to its former glory! I knew that cleaning up the Terrordrome would be a considerable undertaking, but it proved to be more difficult than I imagined. Just by looking at the thing I could see it was a filthy mess, the compartments around the base of the Cobra headquarters and the circular command center at the top seemingly served as a great nesting ground for the rodents that made their home within the large cardboard box that stored the Terrordrome and the other Joe toys. Dust, debris, and blotchy brown mouse stains covered every part of the Drome of Terror. The real problem however wasn’t with how dirty the thing was, it was how huge it is! Originally I had planned to take the whole thing outside with a bucket of soapy water and the garden hose and clean it in my backyard. I nixed that plan however when the weather refused to cooperate and after about the third week in a row of rain my impatients and curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do what I could in the basin sink in my basement. Thankfully it worked out, but I had to do some serious wrestling with several of the wide, unwieldy sections of the Terrordrome in order to get them thoroughly cleaned.

Starting out I first completely disassembled the base, removing every wall panel and accessory that was still attached. After that I just made a few twisting maneuvers and was able to separate the top of the Terrordrome from the launch silo and the base. I was hesitant to take it apart completely; worried that it would be a pain in my ass to put back together. As I said earlier my first thought was that I would be able to just haul it outside and wash it down without having to completely break it down. Thankfully the base is designed in a fairly foolproof manner that makes it more or less impossible to put together wrong. The only concern was a few accessories that could be attached in various positions depending on your aesthetic.

Once the whole thing was taken apart the cleaning began. I started with the smallest parts first, the pie shaped retracting silo covers and the wall and door sections. Then came the dark blue ramparts that attach to the top of the base emblazoned with the Cobra insignia, they are actually some of my favorite features of the base. The large main turrets were cleaned in my initial wave of cleaning when I took care of all the loose guns and parts that were floating around in the bottom of the box, but the smaller rear turrets and the outer bay doors of the Terrordrome were taken care of this round.

Then it came down to the biggest sections, the top and the base. The top wasn’t too bad, after the cobra insignia ramparts were removed it was far more streamlined and fit easier into the basin sink, it was just a matter of turning it like a wheel and flipping it around in order to get it all cleaned. I abandoned most of my brushes which had served as my cleaning implements in previous stages, and took up a sponge that would be easier to work into the nooks and crannies of the Terrordrome’s varied layers. I suppose you could say I literally gave the Terrordrome a sponge bath.

That last part of the base, was the bottom with the launch silo still attached, together it barely fit into the sink enough to clean it. I had to wedge it in at an angle turning the faucet to one side leaving just enough room to be able to turn the water on and off and reach down to a small bucket of soap and water. It took a good twenty minutes to scrub that sucker down, twisting, pulling, shifting, lifting, and reaching around it in order to make sure it was spotless when I was done with it.

After that workout I decided to just leave it all out to dry and come back to assemble it later. When it finally came time to put the Terrordrome back together I was pleasantly surprised, as I said before it was fairly foolproof to reassemble. When it came to the minor details I was fortunate to have some of the original instruction sheets as well as the packaging images to refer to in order to figure it out.

Now that it is all cleaned up and reassembled it is a glorious sight to behold. The Terrordrome is a thing of beauty! They simply don’t make toys like this anymore, or else kids just aren’t interested in these kinds of things nowadays. This Terrordrome in particular is in great condition! Considering how much evidence there was of mouse activity within the Terrordrome itself there really wasn’t that much damage from the mice, not as much as there was with some of the other stuff. There are only few incidents of them chewing on the plastic parts, one of the turret seats have been gnawed on and a wall section has a few nibbles taken from it. The only other problems with it are minor ones, a few stickers in the wrong place, and two of the gun caps are MIA. With those few exceptions the Terrordrome is in surprisingly pristine condition and in fine working order.

But enough of me going on about the thing, take a look for yourself! Below are the pictures of the last of my cleaning efforts (click on the images for a larger version), but fear not this does not mean you won’t be seeing these G.I. Joe and Cobra toys again! I have been pondering what to do with these treasures and I have a few ideas in mind for a photography project that would make use of this stuff. In fact, there might be a clue within the pictures below as to what that project might be . . . . .

The base of the Terrordrome after being diasassembled

The various doors and walls of the Terrordrome

The top of the Terrordrome with Cobra insignia ramparts still attached

The base and launch silo in the sink mid-cleaning

Terrordrome in the process of being reassembled

It is complete! A fully assembled Terrordrome!

A shot from above, a chair for every computer terminal, and a computer terminal for every chair

Finally Cobra can get back to work terrorizing the world and the forces of G.I. Joe

There are three garage bays with deployable refueling stations

There are two smaller rear turrets that can swing out to fire on enemy forces, also pictured the launch lever for the silo

A prison cell for captured G.I. Joe forces, let's see them get past that "laser" gate!

The common area/ party room/ storage. This is where they have company birthday parties.

A closeup of one of the main turrets

That is all . . . . for now . . . .

Crazy F*#%king Toys

     Perhaps I was a weird kid, or maybe I just got caught up in a lot of the cartoon merchandising hype, but I remember playing with a wide array of odd toys throughout my childhood, in some cases, crap that you rarely hear about nowadays.  I of course had my main staples like the Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man, and my Star Wars stuff but there were a few toy franchises that made it into my playtime repertoire that were a bit more madcap.  It’s important to note that I had a lot of toys as a kid, hell who am I kidding, I still have a lot of toys!  I just never really grew out of the toy phase and though as time went on I gradually played with them less, I’ve always harbored an appreciation for cool and interesting toys.  That being said, my collection throughout the 80’s and 90’s gradually became an eclectic mix of freaks, weirdos, and mutants and I’d like to share just a few of those lovable misfits with you now along with my thoughts on what made these toys so cool.

blogpic1

Ketchuk and Dr. Gangrene. One of the basic AOTKT toy packs.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes– Yes this was a line of toys based on the B-movie parody of the same name, well actually it was based on a cartoon which was derived from the sequel to the B-movie parody of the same name, but let’s not get technical.

What can I say about Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?  I remember the cartoon series being highly ridiculous and entertaining, I’d be really interested to watch a few episodes now to see just how it holds up.  Overall this was just a zany concept and back then, as today, I love well executed, self aware, crazy humor.  I remember renting the movie around the time when the cartoon and the toys were hitting it big, and though I might not have quite understood all the jokes (or the actual concept of the movie for that matter) it was able to spark some awkward kind of devoted fandom within me.  Maybe because it looked like a movie that I could have been able to produce as a kid.  Whatever the reason I was tomatoes obsessed for quite some time.  It didn’t help that my father is notorious for growing tomatoes which kept me supplied with a surplus of actual tomatoes to perform various mad scientific experiments on.

I remember going through a scientific phase around this same time where many of my toys and action figures were put through the rigors of various medical experiments, generally resulting in their detriment.  Now that I think about it, it’s probably good I didn’t go with a career in science, I’m sure we would have all been destroyed by cyborg-zombie toenail clippers by now.

Anyway, these Killer Tomatoes toys, brought out by Mattel, were simplistic and insane and I owned all the main tomatoes from the show.  The best part was that these toys could easily be integrated with most of my others in order to create such exhibitions as Turtles VS Tomatoes or the Tomatoes Take Tatooine!

blogpic3

A sampling from the buffet of Food Fighters.

Food Fighters – Seriously though, I for one loved these things.  These guys were like playing with G.I. Joes during an LSD trip at a Denny’s.  You want to talk about ridiculous toys, look no further.  The tagline for Food Fighters was “Combat At Its Kookiest!”  Verily I say!

With names like Burgerdier General, Taco Terror, and (I’m not making this up) Mean Weiner how could you not love these crazy bastards?  These were around during my elementary school years and I only ever actually owned but one Food Fighter, Short Stack, the angry looking stack of pancakes topped with butter, syrup, and an army hat.  I did however have a couple of friends who had some as well and we’d do battle on the lunchtime playground.

There were two divisions of Food Fighters, the Kitchen Commandos and the Refrigerator Rejects.  Short Stack was a member of the Refrigerator Rejects, who apparently were the bad guys but I ask you, how can a stack of pancakes be menacing?

Whatever the story line was for these guys they had great designs, and were just all around cool and interesting toys.  One question though, why did they have human arms and legs?  We may never know.  The toy line also had a few vehicles that were amazing, one in particular was a tank made from an egg carton with a bottle of ketchup strapped to the top.  Unfortunately there was never any type of media outlet for the Food Fighters and as a result they were only around for a few years which make them all the more alluring, an unexplained flash in the pan (pun intended) which had a lasting impression on my school days.  Sadly Short Stack was stolen at some point in elementary school, and was never heard from again

blogpic2

Toxie from the Toxic Crusaders line of toys, now with 95% less sodomy.

 

The Toxic Crusaders – This show was right up there with Rambo and Robocop for the worst source material to derive a cartoon from.  The original Toxic Avenger movie produced by Troma was full of gory deaths, boobs, sex, and more gore.  Troma isn’t known for their wholesome, high quality, family entertainment but somehow somebody got it into their head that these guys could be the next Ninja Turtles.  I mean a mutant’s a mutant right?  It’s all the same.

The Toxic Crusader toys were produced by Playmates, the same company that made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures and as a result they were very compatible in scale and design to the Turtles.  Toxie and his pals fit in quite nicely.  Even as a kid I knew the Toxic Avenger movie was forbidden fare, spoken of only in hushed tones and cryptic riddles.  I recall some friends trying to rent it for a sleep over but being denied by the video store clerk when they took it to the counter.  Though it wasn’t until many years later that I actually got to see the Toxic Avenger in all its ultra low budget glory, I always felt that I was pulling one over on my parents by owning these toys, because my folks had no idea what the Toxic Crusaders were.  As far as they knew Toxie was just another one of those weird Ninja Turtles, and I felt like some kind of ten year old rebellious badass with such clandestine contraband in my possession.  Dork.

blogpic6

Death to the forces of R.A.M.S.!

Barnyard Commandos– The ceaseless battle between the P.O.R.K.S. and the R.A.M.S. for control of the farmstead was given form, the result being Barnyard Commandos.  Pigs and sheep armed with military equipment, what more is there to say?  Any badass street cred I received from my Toxic Crusaders figures was completely evaporated by owning these things.

These came to my attention when one was given to my grandmother (who loves pigs) as a gag gift.  It was obviously one of the P.O.R.K.S. commandos, Sgt. Shoat N. Sweet, who came with a machine gun barricade.  What really got my attention was the small “Code Book” that was included with the figure.  Inside the code book were instructions on how to speak Pig Latin, which I quickly became fluent in, there was also some general information about the pig side of the fight, and a bit of history about why the pigs and sheep were warring.  Well I am a sucker for a good toy narrative.  Simple in design the Barnyard Commandos were soft plastic pig and sheep figures that had removable weaponry for which to do battle against the opposing faction.  Not very complex at all.

I guess what I found so great about the Barnyard Commandos was the back-story.  Unlike most toys of the time the manufacturer didn’t take sides, neither the pigs nor the sheep were portrayed as the “bad guys”, the whole thing was just portrayed as ridiculous.

Each character had a file card on the back of their packaging with a brief history and such, and the code books were just cool little pamphlets that really added something to the toys.  A friend of mine had several sheep and I had three or four of the pigs and we had some good battles with those goofy farm animals until they lost their limited appeal and then abruptly the war was over.  My pigs had a hard time readjusting to civilian life but they found cameos in some of my other toy adventures and I remember them regularly floating around my toy landscape even after the height of their coolness.

One question remains though, what was in the R.A.M.S. code book?  If you have any answers please let me know, because I don’t think I ever got to look at one!

blogpic4

How many points is Bulbasaur worth?

 

Monster in My Pocket – Monsters in every sense of the word, Monster In My Pocket was a collection of small rubbery monster figures with varying point values assigned to them depending on how tough and/or epic the creature was.  Something like a run of the mill Witch was only worth 5 points, while monsters such as the Great Beast of Revelation were worth 25 points.  Apparently there were at least two board games that were compatible with Monster In My Pocket but I never got that deep into it.

These guys were another holdout from my elementary school days and at that time we would rather make up our own rules for playing with toys, instead of letting the man tell us how to do things!  We would just keep our monsters in our pockets as it were, draw one at random, compare the numbers and proceed with battling them out as deemed by our imaginations and the point values.  Ironically it was not all that different from what would eventually become Pokemon, right down to the obsessive collecting element of it all.  Funny story, these guys are the reason Pokemon is called Pokemon in the USofA and not simply Pocket Monsters as it is in Japan.

Matchbox found a real winner in Monster in My Pocket which went on for several years and involved cartoons, games, and comic books.  The monsters had partners in the earlier M.U.S.C.L.E. Men who were basically the same thing except instead of monsters they were extreme wrestlers.  To me it seemed like Monster In My Pocket was able to compile a complete list of every monster, ghoul, cryptid, and mythological creature ever known.  More importantly the figures informed me, with what I assumed to be complete accuracy, which monsters could defeat the others.

I learned a great deal about new and interesting monsters and my encyclopedia of horror was expanded exponentially.    Unfortunately I made some bad investments in the Monster In My Pocket stock exchange, and over the course of several bad trades I lost most of my monsters.  Today I am left with but a handful of low point rejects like the Phantom of the Opera and a mummy.  Oh well, I learned quite a bit from my time with those tiny pocket monsters.

blogpic5

So you wear a high-tech power suit fueled by . . . . wood?

Battle Beasts -Sounds exciting doesn’t it?  To be honest I have absolutely no idea what the story was with Battle Beasts.  What I do know is that they had a crazy mix of animals from lions and apes to crows and anteaters, all dressed in high-tech futuristic suits.  Often the Battle Beasts would have hands, or entire arms replaced with some sort of blunt force weaponry like morning stars or scissoring blades like Edward Scissorhands.  Most importantly the Battle Beasts were marked with thermal activated stickers like those found on the old Transformers toys.  Once you placed a finger over their chest you would be able to discover what elemental power individual Battle Beasts possessed, water, fire, or wood.

Of course you can figure out how that works out.

Much like Monster In My Pocket and Pokemon much later my friends and I would put together teams of Battle Beasts and line them up for individual battles revealing at the last minute which elemental mark each beast bared.

I still have quite a few of my Battle Beasts; the stoic faced little creatures remain awesome to this day.  Unfortunately due to the constant rubbing of their element signs, many of my Battle Beast’s thermal stickers have fallen off (good thing that doesn’t happen with everything, am I right? Zing!), but other than that they are still in pretty good shape.

It’s been awhile since I’ve sorted through my BB horde, but I remember having some goofy ones; the frilled lizard and the three toed sloth come to mind.  Really?  A Sloth?  Though I suppose it’s no stranger than a stack of pancakes wielding a gun or a pig with a flame thrower.

Perhaps in the near future I will go over to my parent’s house and round up some of these crazy toys and see just what I have left and take inventory and some pictures of the ol’ gang to share here on the blog, until than . . . . .

That is all!

Terrordrome Renovation 2011: Stage 4

      Things are moving right along with this little G.I. Joe project I’ve undertaken.  This stage of the cleaning was marked by the last of the vehicles being spruced up, which leaves only the Headquarters Command Center and the Terrordrome itself still to be worked on.  This may have also been the most complicated the restoration process has been thus far.  There wasn’t anything too difficult, but up until now the main effort on my part has just been to scrub these things down and search through the loose pieces I had to see what accessories went with which vehicles.  This time however I dabbled a bit more in the actual restoration of some of these toys. 
 
     First of all I was able to completely repair the two figures I thought were completely out of commission, Xamot and the D.E.M.O.N Driver.  Just as I was about to glue the figures legs on in order to at least make use of them in vehicles or the various bases I happened to come across a small screw driver I had which was the perfect size to undo the figures tiny screws.  This was a breakthrough and meant it would give me the opportunity to perform some . . . . surgery.  Xamot suffered from the most common G.I. Joe ailment, a blown o-ring.  The small rubber band that connects his torso to his pelvis and legs snapped causing him to fall apart but leaving him otherwise in good shape.  The D.E.M.O.N. Driver actually had a broken leg hook.  The small metal piece that attached to the legs and which hooked onto the o-ring was corroded and somehow broke.  Long story short both figures were saved by cannibalizing parts from other Joes.  There were several random figure parts and broken characters floating around in the bottom of the box where these toys were stored, from those loose and busted parts I was able to find a new leg hook for the D.E.M.O.N. Driver.  The o-ring for Xamot was a little harder to find considering that rubber can degrade pretty quickly, the only o-rings I was able to find from the random parts were shriveled up and brittle.  That component had to come from a Duke repaint which was nearly identical to another I had so I took him apart and extracted his fresh rubber band, I figured it was a worthy sacrifice to make.
   
     Next I attempted to move a few decals around on the D.E.M.O.N. itself which has some very cool stickers decorating it.  One in particular is an image of Destro’s head in gold with his name printed in gold letters underneath, which is just great.  I don’t think you can see it in any of the pictures below but when I examined the D.E.M.O.N. the sticker was in a completely wrong place where it could not be fully appreciated.  After giving the zany vehicle a good cleaning I ran the sticker under some hot water and was able to pull it off with no problem.  I tried to flatten it out as best I could and applied a latex based adhesive to it that dries clear which I figured would be similar to the original type of adhesive on the decal.  Because the sticker was folded and bent from where it was originally placed it doesn’t lay perfectly flat on the front of the vehicle but it’s worth it.  I just really like the idea of villains being cocky enough to plaster their faces and names across their fleet of war machines, especially Cobra, who are not known for their stellar victories.   Anywho the real challenge with all of this is yet to come however in the form of the two bases which will require major cleaning, some complex assembly, and minor detail restorations.  The G.I. Joe Headquarters shouldn’t be too troublesome to clean since it’s completely disassembled into flat plastic walls.  The Terrordrome though, is much larger, and short of taking the Cobra base apart it will have to be cleaned either in my garage or outside and hosed off.  That however requires for some decent weather, instead of the 40 degrees and rain we’ve had for the past month!
 
Finally as a last little tid bit I’ve identified all of the characters and compiled a list of figures that I have now, both from my previous collection and those acquired from this new cache of toys, check it out.  Following that it’s the before and after shots of the last four vehicles and the rest of the random items that were in need of some cleaning.  
 
Cobra:
Headman, Voltar, Cobra Commander (several versions), Destro, Firefly, Stormshadow, Baroness, Serpentor, Major Bludd, Zartan, Dr. Mindbender, Crystal Ball, Scrap Iron, A.V.A.C., Laser Viper, Cobra Officer, Air Viper, Star Viper, Shadow Viper, Fast Blast Viper, Rock Viper, Paraviper, Xamot, and Ferret (D.E.M.O.N. Driver)
 
G.I. Joe:
Gung Ho, Torpedo, Duke, Wild Bill, Big Bear, Deep Six, Mutt, Big Ben, Shockwave, Clutch, Crankcase, Major Storm, Road Block, Mercer, Airborne, General Tomahawk, Rock n Roll, Snow Job, Snake Eyes, Path Finder, Wet Suit, Scarlett, Surefire, Zap, Doc, Low-Light, Salvo, Ambush, Sneak Peek, Crossfire     
 
 

A fully repaired Xamot!

 

The mobat tank fairly clean but not in great shape. Broken canon and missing wheels.

The mobat cleaned up with Major Storm.

 

Disassembled bridge layer. The bridge portions were pretty gross underneath, something was living in them . . . .

 

The cleaned up bridge layer in undeployed mode. Still missing are the side guns.

 

The bridge layer fully deployed with the vamp making a cameo. Clutch, Mutt, and Doc pictured.

 

 

Destro's D.E.M.O.N. missing a few parts and dusty.

 

The D.E.M.O.N. cleaned up and the missing parts found and replaced.

 

D.E.M.O.N. in its elevated position, showing off the various moving parts. Iron Grenadiers Ferret (D.E.M.O.N. Driver), Destro, and Voltar in the cockpit.

 

The Terrordromes attack ship, firbat, in need of some thorough cleaning!

 

The firebat all cleaned up and the missiles attached. Firebat pilot A.V.A.C. at the controls.

 

Wind-up motorized accessories and a random unknown gun that were among the vehicles and other toys

 
 
That is all!

Terrordrome Renovation 2011: Stage 3

So the clean up effort of the recently acquired G.I. Joe toys continues. 
 
Yesterday was a fairly straight forward round of detailed cleaning.  There were one or two decal scares where I scrubbed some of the vehicles a little too hard and nearly lost some of their decal stickers, but thankfully everything is still intact.  Good decals were the best, I always loved putting them on vehicles and toys as a kid.  It could be a maddening process sometimes, trying to get those tiny stickers to line up properly, or working to fit them onto awkwardly angled surfaces.  I would occasionally take some liberties with my decal placements moving them around if I didn’t think they looked good where the instructions wanted me to put them, but only occasionally.  Star Wars vehicles often come with great stickers, one of my favorite examples is the recently rereleased B-Wing bomber which came with squadron markings, and little kill tally counters for the side of the cockpit in three different shapes for TIE fighters, TIE bombers, and TIE interceptors.  There were quite a few of the markings so I put some on my B-Wing and used the rest to decorate my X-Wings, A-Wing, and Y-Wing with some kills as well.  Ninja Turtles toys also had great decals, those toys were just fantastic and the stickers were ridiculous and awesome.  There was one figure in particular, Mondo Gecko, which was a skateboarding gecko who came with a small sheet of stickers to decorate his shirt and board with.  Good times.

Anyway!  Back to this G.I. Joe cleanup project.  Thanks once again go out to YoJoe.com for their great site that had the visual aids I needed to make sure these things were put together as much as possible.  I have a small box full of missiles and rockets that go to the various vehicles and having those visual references has been invaluable in pairing them up.  As another quick tangent I always liked the ridiculous amounts of missiles G.I. Joe vehicles had attached to them.  The missiles very rarely actually fired from the vehicles, they were just attached on pegs and you’d have to pluck them off and toss them over at the enemy.  I  suppose it added a bit of strategy to the play of the toys perhaps?  You couldn’t just point the vehicles and push a button you would have to create some type of rule for your battles, such as: “You have to flick the rockets with your finger and however far they go is it!” or “You can only throw them with your throwing hand touching the vehicle!”  Again I have to say I didn’t have these toys as a kid so I didn’t play with them that often but I remember arranging these mini Geneva Conventions beforehand on the rare occasions I did play with Joe toys at friend’s houses.  Maybe it was just me?

Also as a side note I learned from reading some posts on YoJoe.com that hydrogen peroxide can be used to whiten plastic on toys that has gone yellow over time.  I’ve had this problem with some of my Stormtrooper toys in my Star Wars collection and I know I’ve heard other toy collecting comrades complain about the same thing on Transformers toys and others.  The posts did mention that hydrogen peroxide should only be used on white plastic parts, and could fade the colors of other parts, so be careful to use it delicately around those colored sections. 

Ok tangents ended.  Below are some before and after pics of what I cleaned up this round.  From the  G.I. Joe Battle Force 2000 collection the Marauder and the Eliminator.  From the Cobra fleet of vehicles, one of my personal favorite names of all time, the Stellar Stilleto, and I also washed a couple of the smaller vehicle accessory doohickies.  So take a look!

 

The Marauder cleaned up and fully assembled.

As you can see the Eliminator was one of the grimier vehicles.

 

The Eliminator ready for battle after it is cleaned up.

The Eliminator in transport mode.

 

The Stellar Stilleto was in pretty good shape, just needed cleaned and have it's missiles attached. My favorite Cobra, Firefly, at the helm.

 

Some of the other vehicle accessories that I cleaned up. The two HALs, and some trailer that transforms into a command center, I don't know that is.

Terrordrome Renovation 2011

Well what an interesting day I’ve had, through a series of serendipitous events I have all new blog fodder directly related to my last blog post about He-Man and my childhood toys in general.  After posting the previous blog I went to run some errands, one of which was picking something up from my cousin’s house.  When I got there I found both my cousin and her husband doing some hardcore spring cleaning, pulling things out of their garage and shed and tossing anything that was taking up too much room.  After chit chatting with my cousin-in-law for a bit he snaps his fingers and tells me he has some stuff I might be interested in, some of his old toys, namely some old G.I. Joe stuff including “The Cobra headquarters.”

“What?!? The Terrordrome??” I asked agast.  To my delight he climbed up into the rafters of his shed and handed down a couple of huge boxes which we promptly cut open and started sorting through.  As promised the first thing we pull out is the one and only enormous Terrordrome, from my initial inspections the Cobra base seemed to be completely intact, a great find.  As we continued to look through the boxes we pulled out tanks, jeeps, planes, choppers, artillery, various Joes and Cobra goons, but then we started pulling out flat wall and floor pieces, ramps, more walls, and various other building type pieces until I realized we were looking at the G.I. Joe Headquarters Command Center!  Hotchi Motchi!  Double rainbow!  Although it wasn’t as assembled as the Terrordrome the Joe HQ also seemed to have all its parts at the ready for reassembly.  Most the vehicles weren’t as lucky when it came to completeness, they clearly had seen some action, most of it full of heavy fighting. 

The only downside to all of this is that the huge boxes that were storing the toys had also been home to some rodents at one time, with plenty of evidence for the rodent residency in among the Real American Heroes.  My cousin-in-law tells me it’s all mine if I want it, he wants to get rid of the stuff and clear things out, and would probably just wind up tossing it all eventually.  He of course knows this stuff is right up my alley, and I was more than happy to take it off his hands.  He has two daughters, neither of which seems that interested in the ongoing battle between G.I. Joe and Cobra, so I packed up the goods and hauled them back home to unload and inspect them in my garage.  Among the cool things I found, were three awesome G1 Transformers in great shape and an original Boba Fett figure, which I of course already have but a great find nonetheless. 

I of course had a few G.I. Joes growing up, you’d be hard pressed to find a guy in my age range who didn’t, but they were never one of my main toy universes.  I however loved the cartoon but because I never sought out any of the vehicles or accessories for the Joes and Cobras in my possession they didn’t ever see much action aside from cameos in my Ninja Turtle adventures or in some quick skirmishes in my backyard where inevitably one of their comrades would be buried.  That’s not to say I didn’t think the toys were cool, I particularly liked all things Cobra especially the B.A.T.S, the Cobra vehicles, and Cobra Commander himself.  I however was content with what I had, and though I might have swooned over some of my friends cool G.I. Joe swag, it never went beyond envious stares and a few hours of letting my lonely figures mingle with the better equipped platoons.  The toys I now have in my garage are items of childhood mythology, only whispered about, and once thought to be only speculation.  I have spied these treasures however and I am going to restore them to their former glory.   

Now what all this means for me, and you loyal readers (ha ha!), is that I have a new ongoing project to tend to which I am calling Terrordrome Renovation 2011!  A project that will consist first and foremost of a thorough cleaning of everything to remove the grime and gunk from its storage in the rafters.  I’ve already started with this project by gathering up all the small arms, missiles, helmets, backpacks, and other miscellaneous accessories I found and gave them a good scrubbing with a tooth brush, a dunk in a bleach/water mix, and a good rinse.  I scrubbed the Transformers with the tooth brush as well, skipped the bleach with them, gave them a good rinse and dried them well.  Normally I wouldn’t be so anal with this type of thing, I’d just swiffer them off and be done with it, but there is some real ghastly stuff on some of the parts and when it comes to cleaning off things that have lived with mice, I don’t fuck around.

So here is my two part strategy as of now, first the cleaning.  Dust, wash, and sterilize every part.  It will be fairly easy with the vehicles and larger stuff but the small parts from the bases are gonna be time consuming, like I said it’s an ongoing project.  Second, the restoration.  Putting all the parts together with the correct vehicles and bases they go with.  Luckily I do have the instructions for the Terrordrome which should help, but pretty much everything else will have to be referenced from the internet in order to put it all together.  I will be posting my progress here and showing pictures of the fully restored goodness.  Some folks restore historic cars or polish antiques I plan on restoring a few historic toys.  Long story short I will be in my basement playing with old toys if anyone needs me and if anyone wants to lend a hand come on over and grab an old tooth brush and lets clean up Cobra!

That is all! 

One of Destro's vehicles along with a pile of parts.

 

The vehicles in the acquired collection, some in bad shape

 

Slag, Astrotrain, and Hook the newest additions to my small Transformers collection

 

Parts for the G.I. Joe Headquarters Command Center, it's no USS Flagg but it's still pretty rad!

 

What I've cleaned so far, some G.I. Joe weapons and accessories.

 

Behold the Terrordrome in disarray

 

Cobra Commander says hello from the Terrordrome