[80s Toy Shop] All Choked Up (and/or Tales of Work and Coworkers)

Posted by gingaio 
[zodiactoys.webs.com]

Dear lord, someone hold me. I'm weak at the knees. Perusing these pics made me seize up a bit, tear up a little, sort of like how I imagine Prometheum5 gets when a fresh My Little Pony episode airs.

Selection = Luminous
Packaging = Minty and crisp

There are thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of merchandise here!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2011 01:18AM by gingaio.
Oh Sanjeev's Various GODS....!!! These are amazing. The question I have is who was taking those. I mean, holy crap that is on FILM. I am in love with the Transformers shot. Not to mention the shelf of M.A.S.K. and the 12" Joes...

Gingaio: I feel faint as well...
Wow, that took me back.. awesome shots all around. got a kick out of seeing actual toy guns without the orange barrel caps.
mcfitch (Admin)
Oh man that was a treat. I love the "boy's toys" shot with the Big Trak.
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Sanjeev (Admin)
fel9 Wrote:
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> Oh Sanjeev's Various GODS....!!!

Indeed!

That was like a Western Mandarake. I wonder how much foot traffic they get. Pretty damn epic!
Love it! So great to see all those lines on shelves.

For me, though, this store is too nice inside. Our local toy store - Heights Furniture & Toy - had the old uncarpeted wooden floor. It was dusty and in some of the back corners it got fairly dark. It had a particularly odd smell, but given that the store also sold things like pool tables (thus the "furniture" part of the name), it's possible that that was the source. The place was still open (having moved) up until about 10 years ago.

More serious than thou
Reading the front page of the site, it's amazing how close the story of that toy chain mirrors the fate of Musicland/Suncoast. Starts out small, grows, gets a new person in and the timing of the market makes it explode- then bought up by a company that is clueless which ruins it, tosses it aside after a couple of years and the final people in charge totally runs it into the ground.

Those pics of the sales floor would have been used to show the different companies that their product is being properly displayed, there would be co-op money involved.

There were bubble carded Sectars?! I thought there was only the big box figs (with bug glove puppet) and the small box figs.

I miss toy stores. I miss the time when EVERYBODY carried toys, ya know? The dime stores, the department stores, special shops that opened for Christmas. I miss it all.
SteveH Wrote:
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> There were bubble carded Sectars?! I thought there
> was only the big box figs (with bug glove puppet)
> and the small box figs.
>
This is/was a UK store, so some of the items are packaged differently (I've never seen US-released bubbled Sectaurs either). Also, that's why the Starriors are called something else.
Wow, a time when toy stores were actually stocked with toys. Now all I see is how hard it is to find a particular figure at retail (I guess because there wasn't the existence of scalpers then).

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Days gone by.

Sniff.





From this thread: [www.toyark.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2011 12:37AM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - Vintage Aisle 1.jpg (67 KB)
open | download - Vintage Aisle 2.jpg (116.9 KB)
It must be because I was raised on the jungle steppes of Gongaland by a family of ape-wolves, but I never saw a toy store like the above when I was a kid. I could never have imagined the type of 1980's consumer surfeit shown in the photos above. Where the hell were people actually able to shop like this? El Dorado?

My childhood memories of the toy isles in general stores and even the contents of specialty chains are dim affairs mostly full of uninteresting stuff. If there was some kind of toy that I wanted based on a TV ad or cross-sell, it was usually difficult to find. Most toy trips ended with choosing between things I didn't really want or going home empty handed. I still had plenty of toys, but I can't recall a store ever seeming so opulent.

I remember looking for a Rancor monster after Return of the Jedi came out. We searched a long time and eventually found one at a local K-Mart. Except that it had no box, and looked used. I thought some kid might have left it at the store and suggested we try to find him to return his toy. We explained to customer service how we found the Rancor "as is" on the toy isle and asked if anyone had reported a missing toy. They said no and then sold it to us for 50% off.

Dirty. That's how most of my toy hunting went down.
Reminds me of Lionel Playworld or as we called it when I was a kid "Kangaroo Store"...

Also, I remember the toy aisles of the local Service Merchandise looking very similar.

Oh, and in that first picture gingaio it looks like Storm Shadow is clogging the pegs...
SteveH Wrote:
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> I miss toy stores. I miss the time when EVERYBODY
> carried toys, ya know?

Seriously? As much as I never saw a toy store like the above, there are tons of places that still sell toys aside from TRU, Wal-Mart, Target, or whatever. Gobs of warehouse shopping clubs have them, discount and close-out stores have them, corner drugstores have them, and even supermarkets have them. They may not have toys you want, but there's certainly no shortage of toys in general out there.


Vincent Z. Wrote:
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> Wow, a time when toy stores were actually stocked
> with toys. Now all I see is how hard it is to find
> a particular figure at retail (I guess because
> there wasn't the existence of scalpers then).

It ain't the scalpers, it's the changing logistical nature of production and distribution networks. The reason you can't find the latest Transformers on the shelf at the nearest retailer has to do with the increased corporatization and sophistication with which consumer behavior is managed by retailers. Think about it like this - if a scalper buys a whole case of the latest Transformers as soon as they're put on the shelf, the store has still moved product. This is what the store cares about - selling shit. The store's subsequent willingness and ability to replace that case at all, or in a timely fashion, for you is contingent upon their inventory management system - their streamlined way of making more efficient money through the selling of shit. And it's that system which doesn't really give a damn about your tastes in toys. Go figure.

If anything, it's the scalper that really cares about the things you want to buy; and he's kindly taken the time to do the shopping for you and then put the stuff you want on Ebay so you can buy it and then have it delivered directly to the comfort of your own home without ever having to waste the time and money going to the store. And frankly, the scalper ain't making a lot for his troubles since there isn't much viability in the secondary market for the majority of retail toys. The way scalpers would have to adjust their markup is outrageous if they even plan on covering time and fuel as expenses, let alone Ebay and Paypal's cuts. They're making pennies. And I don't know about you, but my time is worth something. The extra $4 a toy might cost on-line is certainly less than the hour in time and gas I'd spend looking (sometimes unsuccessfully) for it at the store.

Also, there totally were scalpers and speculators "back in the day". They have always been around. I remember trying to find a Zuckuss (or 4-LOM as it is now know) figure around the time of Empire Strikes Back after a classmate brought his to school. The only place that had the figure was some seedy downtown drugstore where the owner was selling loose figures, often missing accessories, at a gross markup from within a lighted glass cabinet displayed next to the cash register. Turns out that's where this kid got his, so I begged my mom to take us there to buy one. She took us there, but even I balked when the guy wanted $10 for a used Zuckuss without a gun - despite it being a figure supposedly readily available on retail shelves. We didn't buy it.
Gcrush Wrote:
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> Zuckuss (or 4-LOM as it is now know)...

What?

--------------------------
I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
Kenner switched around 4-Lom and Zuckuss's names back in the day.
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It must be because I was raised on the jungle
> steppes of Gongaland by a family of ape-wolves,
> but I never saw a toy store like the above...

I never saw a wall of Skystrikers and GI Joe bases, but that's probably because those were on shelves while I was either on the plane to this country or had just landed, and toys stores were probably the last thing on my parents' minds.

That said, the cool shit was plentiful here in El Dorado--we had Fedco, Gemco, Best, Toy City, Pony Toys Go Round (which unfortunately I didn't discover until high school), and of course, Toys R' Us, where I remember seeing an aisle full of 1/72 Dougrams and Soltics.

Whether or not I saw what I wanted was a matter of timing, so that's not different today. For example, my brother got his Storm Shadow and Snow Serpent, but I never found my '85 Snake Eyes (instead there were piles of all the other figures from that year).

The other toy I really wanted was a Starscream, and I remember seeing stacks of it at a TRU when it first came out. My birthday wasn't for another few months, and my mom wouldn't budge, and I remember telling her that if we didn't get it now, we'd never see it again. And I never did see it in a store again, was how I ended up with Thundercracker.

>The way scalpers would have to adjust their markup is outrageous if they even
>plan on covering time and fuel as expenses, let alone Ebay and Paypal's cuts.
>They're making pennies.

I'd be interested in reading about or watching a documentary on toy scalpers. Like what's the motivation there? Why spend all this time on the hunt when you're probably expending more energy and capital than what's gained in return?

>And I don't know about you, but my time is worth
>something. The extra $4 a toy might cost on-line is certainly less than the
>hour in time and gas I'd spend looking (sometimes unsuccessfully) for it at
>the store.

And realizing this will set you free. I remember when the Phantom Menace came out and I was bit by the toy hunting bug--it was a perpetual cycle of self-loathing counterbalanced by a scant trace of occasional joy when I did actually find something. These days, I'm happy to just place my preorder at wherever and let the shipping boxes roll in. Recently bought a Sgt. Kup for $10 from BBTS. Actually saw it at a store, but the retail + tax would have cost more, as I already had other items prepped for shipping at BBTS. Granted, this kind of serendipity almost never happens, but for sure the days of driving all over the place for nothing are done, thank god.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2011 02:33PM by gingaio.
MSW
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gcrush Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Zuckuss (or 4-LOM as it is now know)...
>
> What?

One of the background bounty hunters in The Empire Strikes Back.

Anyway, I agree with Gcrush. I never saw toy stores like that back in my day. Of course, since I was born in 1969, and had a drivers license since about the time Transformers appeared. Heck, I could have stocked those shelves or could have checked your purchases out. God, I'm old.
VF5SS Wrote:
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> Kenner switched around 4-Lom and Zuckuss's names
> back in the day.

Ah, I see.

--------------------------
I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
gingaio Wrote:
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> That said, the cool shit was plentiful here in El
> Dorado--we had Fedco, Gemco, Best, Toy City, Pony
> Toys Go Round (which unfortunately I didn't
> discover until high school), and of course, Toys
> R' Us, where I remember seeing an aisle full of
> 1/72 Dougrams and Soltics.

Lordy, it was El Dorado! I can scarcely imagine it.


> >The way scalpers would have to adjust their
> markup is outrageous if they even
> >plan on covering time and fuel as expenses, let
> alone Ebay and Paypal's cuts.
> >They're making pennies.

While you were composing this passage, I was punching numbers in their faceholes. Check it out.

I have no idea what makes someone roll like a scalper. I personally use Ebay as a clearing house for unwanted shit. And I practically always expect to lose money. I flirted with scalping when I stopped by a Wal-Mart a couple of months ago and saw rows and rows of the "lost wave" of Transformers figures there. I almost thought about buying some extras to sell. Then I pushed the numbers around in my brain and quickly ran from the store, never to look back. Fuck that noise.

Oh, and did you get an iGear head for Sgt. Crotch? They rock.
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> gingaio Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > That said, the cool shit was plentiful here in
> El
> > Dorado--we had Fedco, Gemco, Best, Toy City,
> Pony
> > Toys Go Round (which unfortunately I didn't
> > discover until high school), and of course,
> Toys
> > R' Us, where I remember seeing an aisle full of
> > 1/72 Dougrams and Soltics.
>
> Lordy, it was El Dorado! I can scarcely imagine
> it.
>
My most vivid childhood toy memory is going to Little Tokyo and ending up in some dinky shop where I affectionately fondled a Microchange Ravage. My brother steered me toward what he thought was a much worthier prize, a 1/55 Elintseeker, case fresh, though I was disappointed because it wasn't either a) Jetfire, or b) Skull Leader. Because I didn't know what the hell it was, I went back to fondling the Ravage.

Anyway, my parents allowed for nothing that day, so thankfully I wasn't afforded the opportunity to make a stupid choice.
>
> Oh, and did you get an iGear head for Sgt. Crotch?
> They rock.
>
Indeed.



If the Classics line were to end today, Shitpiece would be HasTak's crowning achievement. Comparing this one to Classics Rodimus, it's like the toys are from two different decades. It ain't perfect (inaccurate alt mode, weird shoulder/arm design), but it perfectly captures the spirit of the character (and looks damn convincing in robot mode), is well designed, and is well-produced. I have no QC issues with my United version, but the Hasbro version, at a quarter of the price, manages to have even tighter joints and tolerances--this sucker has not a single gimpy or loose piece. There are Classics characters I like more, like Jazz or Cyclonus, but taken as a whole and including the oh-so-important fit/finish, Shitpiece is ahead, if maybe just barely.

That said, Shitpiece also exemplifies Hasbro's Halfassedness. We can start with the head and go on down to the unpainted abs. Until you compare the before/after, you have no idea how big of a difference spray-painting those abs silver makes. It completes the look of the figure. I'd do the rims, too, like on the United version, but it's a bit trickier and I'm too lazy and unskilled at the moment.

Shitpiece: Halfassed Mode--





Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2011 07:56PM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - 100_2924.jpg (136.4 KB)
open | download - Shitpiece Unmodded.jpg (85.4 KB)
You mean the difference is in how one's face looks like he is going to tgake a crap, and the other looks like he is taking a crap?

The mind boggles.

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
Love the shot of the wall of Joe, had a Toys R Us just like that in the Chicago suburbs where we grew up. That's where they had the tower of Shoguns as well, it was a huge display of the jumbos about fifteen boxes hight from the ground up and about thirty wide, like a truckload sale. It was crazy. Not for kids to climb on or around mind you. Tempting though.

Also the same store that had an entire Godaikin section, as well as crates of the God Marz and Combattler toys in the non-Godaikin boxes on clearance for thirty or so bucks each. Given all of my toy store visits during that timeframe, I still never remember running into the 5 inch or 2-in-1 Shoguns, or the action vehicles...inexplicable.
thomas Wrote:
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> You mean the difference is in how one's face looks
> like he is going to tgake a crap, and the other
> looks like he is taking a crap?
>
Word.
The Hasbro Kup looks like he's orgasming.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
iGear Kup is tainted by IDW :<
Ginrai Wrote:
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> The Hasbro Kup looks like he's orgasming.

True dat!
VF5SS Wrote:
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> iGear Kup is tainted by IDW :<

Sho 'nuff!
thomas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You mean the difference is in how one's face looks
> like he is going to tgake a crap, and the other
> looks like he is taking a crap?

Ginrai Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Hasbro Kup looks like he's orgasming.


This reminds me of a completely inappropriate story. For purposes of this tale, and to protect the identities of the debaucherous, I will refer to my former coworker as "Randall". During the long, hot jungle nights at the shipping company where we both previously worked together, Randall used to tell tales of the most hideous sexual escapades ever imagined. Many started out as standard fare, stuff like his bi-sexual fiance picking up girls at the strip club for both of them, and ended with the grotesque, like said stripper menstruating all of their bedsheets during the threesome. Consider yourself warned.

In this particular tale, Randall started off describing a horrendous case of constipation that was 48 hours deep - a veritable lifetime for a man whose self-assessment of "normal" elimination was defecating at six hour intervals like a Swiss clock. To cure his condition, Randall opted not for a gentle laxative or travel-sized enema, but for a half-dozen tacos from a well-known fast food establishment and a liter of grape soda. Because, again in his own words, "That's what usually works." And, apparently, it did work.

In short order Randall was sitting on the toilet clearing out his backlog before work. And then his fiance came home. And then, at his request, proceeded to give Randall fellatio. While he was still in situ, fulfilling his former obligation. The scenario culminated in the simultaneous completion of both events. Unfortunately, the time consumed during the immense mental and physical strain of, "Having to concentrate really hard on my boner," put Randall at risk of being late for our shift. With quick thinking, he made up for lost time by using one of his socks to clean his girlfriend's chin and bolted out the door without properly mopping himself up.

Upon relaying this escapade to us at work, Randall's story was met with claims of bullshit by the audience. To which Randall offered to let them inspect his still reeking anus for proof of his split decision. No one rose to the occasion and we all carried on with our work uneventfully. I have no idea if Randall's story was true, but I can vouch for the fact that it was plainly visible he was wearing only one sock to work that night. In any case, if it were not true it was probably a cover story for an even more repulsive exploit better left undisclosed.

And now, years later, thanks to your quaint descriptions, all I can see in Sgt. Shitpiece's countenance of orgasmic elimination is the immortalization of the above story in perfect, plastic toy form. Whereas it had previously and mercifully been without images, that has all changed. Congratulations, everyone, for etching the picture of a geriatric Transformer getting a blumpkin into my mind's eye. Good work.
plaidstallions has an *excellent* gallery of user-submitted vintage toy store photos.

As for toy departments in every store, I remember seeing a stack of Kenner Micro Collection Millennium Falcons for sale in a Mervyn's toy dept for $9.99 each, next to a stack of Matchbox Vehicle Voltrons (didn't even look at the price on those). I picked one up, carried it around while shopping, and eventually put it back and bought a couple of shirts instead. Figured I could probably do better than $9.99.

I offer no excuses. Sometimes you are poor and want shirts.
Gcrush Wrote:
>
> In any case, if it were not true it was probably a
> cover story for an even more repulsive exploit
> better left undisclosed.

G, when you tell these stories, I sometimes wonder if you live in a separate universe than I do, one where everyday existence is rife with lowbrow comedy in a way that would be unbelievable in an actual work of lowbrow comedy. I don't envy the inhabitants of this universe.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
...I kinda can believe the existence of such people, Paul.
People in which the unintentionally malicious and Stupid(TM) come together in a wondrous cocktail so potent it will blow your mind again and again and make you wonder whether there's a hidden camera somewhere filming all of this delicious parody of reality you seem to have ended up in.

This is mostly based on one of my co-workers, who spends most of her time on the phone chitchatting and wonders all the time she has so few time to actually do her work. And then ends up being OVERWORKED.

This week's she's been whining the whole time about HOW INCREDIBLY OBNOXIOUS the upcoming internal move is, HOW SHE HATES IT, and HOW BADLY THEY ARE INFORMING HER. For the record, there have been and will be several information meetings and emails explaining the move and its logistics, and if all else fails, the persons responsible are easy to question. But apparently she wants those people to come up to her desk personally and inform her ad infinitum about every little detail...24/24h 7/7d

She also once managed to whine for a whole day about a parcel that had not arrived, despite, by her own admittance, giving them the wrong zip code and street number (which are used for postal distribution over here). But hey, she attempted to convince me, THEY OUGHT TO KNOW WHERE SHE LIVES, AFTER ALL, THE POSTMAN KNOWS HER, eh? AND IF THEY CAN'T FIND HER HOME ADDRESS IN HER HOMECITY, THEY OUGHT TO JUST BRING IT TO HER WORK, IN ANOTHER CITY. I MEAN, THEY CAN JUST ASK HER WORK ADDRESS BY ASKING HER HUSBAND, WHO WORKS AT HOME, eh?
Fun game: take a drink for each logic fault in those words...

Unfortunately, I share a room with her.
Unfortunately, she also takes my sarcastic quips at face value - I can't get any more rude than I currently am aside from actually insulting her, yet she fails to get it. >_<

Thankfully, the upcoming move will see her move into a room with more, other people in it, and me to another room. Which unfortunately means I won't see the hilarity of those other people getting fed up with her...

But make her male and with a higher sex drive, and I guess you get someone like G's 'Randall'.

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
mcfitch (Admin)
thomas,
Please for the love of god get a hidden camera and mic in that room before you move.
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt &quot;I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!&quot;
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> standard fare, stuff like his bi-sexual fiance

Do you know if she was hot?


thomas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This week's she's been whining the whole time

Is she hot?

If not, then who cares.

--------------------------
I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do you know if she was hot?


According to Randall, she was a stripper.
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> thomas Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > This week's she's been whining the whole time
>
> Is she hot?

Well, I don't think so, but somebody unfortunately did, since she has already multiplied. If I have to believe her stories, a slab of concrete is infinitely more useful than her husband, so I think her kid is best thought of as the Antichrist: Best kept in a well-locked cellar because of the risk he'll accidentally destroy humanity if he reaches any meaningful position in life.

I'm beyond desperately asking why these people exist; I'm at the stage of questioning how they haven't managed to kill themselves yet through some terminally stupid incident...

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
thomas Wrote:
>
> She also once managed to whine for a whole day
> about a parcel that had not arrived, despite, by
> her own admittance, giving them the wrong zip code
> and street number (which are used for postal
> distribution over here). But hey, she attempted to
> convince me, THEY OUGHT TO KNOW WHERE SHE LIVES,
> AFTER ALL, THE POSTMAN KNOWS HER, eh? AND IF THEY
> CAN'T FIND HER HOME ADDRESS IN HER HOMECITY, THEY
> OUGHT TO JUST BRING IT TO HER WORK, IN ANOTHER
> CITY. I MEAN, THEY CAN JUST ASK HER WORK ADDRESS
> BY ASKING HER HUSBAND, WHO WORKS AT HOME, eh?

That's beautiful.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> G, when you tell these stories, I sometimes wonder
> if you live in a separate universe than I do, one
> where everyday existence is rife with lowbrow
> comedy in a way that would be unbelievable in an
> actual work of lowbrow comedy. I don't envy the
> inhabitants of this universe.


The lowbrow Fox Mulder, I'm always been ready to believe. Probably because I've been privy or party to too much. And too soon in life. Anyway.

At first I thought it was an aspect of my surroundings, having been raised by ape-wolves on the jungle steppes. But when I Tarzaned out into civilization nothing changed. I've even gone across several oceans only to run into the same types of scenarios and characters, just with different subtitles. It's nuts.

The only empirical conclusions are either: 1) I'm a magnet for loonies; 2) People are just generally absurd.

You can see how they're only slightly, but significantly, different propositions.
Maybe Gcrush is actually all these people. Maybe we are all Gcrush.

--------------------------
I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Maybe Gcrush is actually all these people. Maybe
> we are all Gcrush.

Indeed.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2012 10:23PM by gingaio.
Gcrush Wrote:
>
> The lowbrow Fox Mulder, I'm always been ready to believe.

Clearly that's it - it's the enthusiast researcher attitude that's key. When you pass a situation at which any of us would shake our head, say "what a dumbass", and move on, your keen view translates it into an epic example of the extremities of human indignity.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
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