Last Sunday the latest Lake City Toy Show was held here in Seattle. I've written about it once before on this blog and even mentioned I'd be back. It's an event held every April and October and I have a great time whenever I go. You can read the first post here where I basically run through my experience and then my shopping haul.
While I'm still going to share pictures of some of the best toys I saw at the show this article is going to be different from the original for a couple of reasons. First, I don't want to write the same thing twice a year (here's the cool stuff I saw and here's what I bought!) so I'm going to put a twist on this one. I had two ideas as to how I could recap this time; writing about all the funny things you can buy that aren't toys or trying to find an item I've never heard of and then researching its history. Thankfully I think I found things that cover both of those! Second, I shouldn't post pictures of everything I bought this time around because I picked up a lot of gifts. I don't want my friends who read this to have their surprises spoiled.
One more thing, I actually went to the show for the second time back in October but never wrote about it because the time got away from me. It was also a different experience in that I didn't buy a lot, I just got Billy Baloney, which you can read about in My Top 5 Toys of 2017 post. I did however want to share one more thing from that last trip. I found a My Pet Monster!
I've read a lot about My Pet Monster but I'd never seen one before. I know that children of the 80's consider it one of the best toys ever. Do an eBay search and you'll see monsters in condition like this going for as much as $250! He's before my time but I can see why so many kids loved him. My first thought was that he looked like a cross between a Muppet and a pro wrestler and I definitely would have wanted one based on that alone when I was a kid. At $150 I couldn't justify it for myself but I hope it made someone else's day!
Speaking of crosses between pro wrestlers and toys, on my trip to Toys R Us in January I found a figure of Michelangelo dressed as Rowdy Roddy Piper. I wondered what the rest of the WWE meets TMNT line looked like and found the answer this past week. The photo's a little blurry but I still wanted to share.
I prefer the Rowdy Roddy/Mikey mash-up from series two and that Raphael/Sting figure is amazing, but I think the clear winner is the Donatello/Undertaker combination. The bo staff lends itself perfectly to that scythe and while none of the turtles have pupils it looks best on 'Taker since he used to roll his eyes back into his head. If only it had purple gloves to match the purple bandana. Still, solid job on these!
This is the first Toy Show where I found knockoff figures. I've seen pictures online of ridiculous boxes named "Sense of Right" that included characters like Batman, Spider-Man, a Power Ranger and Shrek (found it) but until now I hadn't seen anything like that in person.
I loved seeing these vehicles and playsets. That picture on the Batwing box is hilarious! As cool as the Batwing is I think Beetlejuice's Phantom Flyer may be even better. I never had the Beetlejuice toys as a kid but I love how absurd and creepy they can be. I missed out on these! I also never had that Power Of The Force Slave 1 but I built a model that was very similar and I also had the micro machines version. Maybe one day when I've got the money I'll pick up some of those POTF toys I missed as a kid.
Like My Pet Monster, Nintendo's R.O.B. is before my time. I didn't know about him until they made him a playable character in Super Smash Bros but I researched him and thought the story was pretty cool. Nintendo made him in response to the video game crash of the early 80's. No one would stock games so he was marketed as a toy, even though he's really a controller for Gyromite. Too bad he wasn't more popular.
That about sums it up for my favorite toys of the show so, as promised, here's where I list all the funniest things you can get that aren't toys. First up, treat yourself with...
If I had this I would use it as a giant candy dish and always have Reese's Pieces on it. Seeing this makes me wonder if TV trays were like lunchboxes, or sleeping bags, in that you'd spend hours debating which show or franchise you wanted your friends to know was your favorite. My first lunchbox was Ducktales but I also had one with Taz on it at some point. My TV Tray was from Ren and Stimpy. Speaking of those two...
Comics and Magazines
If you've ever gone to a comic-con to look for old toys you know it can be tough. The number of toy vendors is dwarfed by the vendors selling comics and t-shirts, and understandably so, but that makes it funny to me when I walk into this place and see rows and rows of toys and then one table in the back with three longboxes. I have a backlog so I didn't get any more comics but I couldn't resist this magazine. I wanted to read the interview with Billy West and the show trivia was fun to see but these ads are what really needed to be shared.
Editing Note: The first version of this post had a picture of the Ren and Stimpy magazine cover and in the corner was a picture of John K. Because of the recent allegations, I've decided to remove the image. I don't want to hit the history eraser button on Ren and Stimpy because there were plenty of people who made the show great, but I also don't want to show anything that features its creator.
VHS tapes have become collectable again. Most of the tapes you find aren't that rare but they are a lot of fun. I saw Saturday morning cartoon collections, WWF videos from the early 90's, and classic 80's movies. I had to take a picture of what was the most rare VHS at the show, the Ewok Adventure. I love that the vendor brought in a TV to show it as well.
One tape I bought that I'd like to share is this Bill Nye VHS. I work at a little movie theater and we have a monitor in the lobby where we play all sorts of videos. We recently showed the documentary "Bill Nye: Science Guy" and Nye himself came to the theater to introduce the film and stayed after for a Q&A. I like the idea of playing this from time to time as a little reminder of that fun night. Believe it or not as he was leaving the theater I heard him tell his friend, "let's go pound some brews!"
I've already written about some of the card packs I discovered last time. While they didn't have Fright Flicks they did have an amazing assortment full of cards I haven't seen in years. Look at these pictures and then pick your top 3 from each one. It's hard, right? Too many good options this year.
You'd think Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and Gremlins would be easy choices but then you'd be leaving behind the insanity of Return to Oz and Howard the Duck. Maybe those Rad Dudes go hand-in-hand with the BMX guys. Tough choices.
If you love 80's pop then this one is clearly your rack. I hope you get a Ricky Martin rookie card in that Menudo pack.
If you're the type that likes to decorate your jackets with pins you'll find some great options at the show. The usual geeky staples are there but I thought these old election pins were the most unique. That Reagan/Ghostbusters mash-up works on so many different levels!
At my first toy show I found a Michelangelo cake pan and now I have Ninja Turtles cookie cutters to go with it! Baked goods will always have a theme in my house. Even though Donatello looks like he just got kicked in the stomach and Leonardo kind of looks like a troll I still can't wait to use them. My wife will be so surprised that I actually want to make cookies.
I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I found something I'd never heard of and isn't a toy. Well, here it is. Last on the list...
King Kong Whiskey Decanter
I read in the 70's when King Kong was popular again because of the remake starring Jeff Bridges there was a merchandise boom with the usual toys and board games but this decanter is regarded as one of the weirdest and best things to come out of it. Jim Beam produced it and even included a recipe for Kong cocktail. I don't have much in terms of novelty barware but a King Kong decanter would be a good place to start.
Thanks for reading about my latest trip to the toy show. If you're ever in the Seattle area I, of course, recommend you check it out and see for yourself. If you want to read more about the King Kong merch and see the cocktail recipe click here. Check back soon fo more fun. Thanks again!