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Top Five Modern Toys I Would Send Back in Time to My Younger Self

As an “adult collector” of toys, I buy a lot of toys for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that I don’t really believe in the label “adult collector” much in the same way I don’t believe in “kid’s toys.” I believe in toys. Toys for you, toys for me, toys for adults, toys for kids. Anything else is a false division. Toys are cool. Put that on your bumper sticker.

The only real difference in my toy buying habits as an adult and my toy buying habits as a kid is disposable income, which means I am punching my pleasure buttons with both fists, while as kid I was occasionally tapping it with an index finger. Being at an age where I’m seeing upgraded and improved versions of properties I’ve loved my whole life means my inner child is both extremely happy and super jealous. We fight about it all the time, but I’m a lot taller, so I usually win and take my younger self’s lunch money so I can buy a fudgesicle, which were the only reason school lunches existed.

A full list of toys I’d love to have had as a kid is theoretically endless. There is just … so much cool crap being made today. Plus, I now have the luxury of buying imported stuff, which was impossible on so many levels back then. If Japan had a hand, I’d shake it. Hell, if they had lips, I’d kiss them right flat on the mouth.

If I were forced to choose five (and they’ve got a gun to my head right now, so I am really forced to choose) toys that I could somehow time-travel back to my younger self and say “here you go little dude … here is the toy you’ve always wanted,” then I’d begrudgingly choose the following figures. In no order:

Transformers Masterpiece Megatron

Man, Megatron’s original toy was weird. I mean, I can still remember getting it for Christmas and how much fun I had blowing away Autobots with his primitive Fusion cannon, but when you look back at him now, he’s weird. He’s short, his legs are planks, his arms are columns, and he’s got a trigger-dick. The immeasurable amount of fun I had playing with ’80s Megatron is a testament to just how important a level of cognitive dissonance is when it comes to certain things.

Somehow, the Masterpiece Megatron is the toy that my brain saw when I played with him all those years ago. Somehow I managed to ignore the relative lack of poseability, the stumpiness, the overt gun-ness of him, not to mention the fact that he didn’t look anything like he did in the comic or cartoon. It only took a handful of decades for the world to catch up to what I saw when I made Megatron and Shockwave recreate their comic-book slobberknocker in my living room. Younger me would freak the funk out if he was able to play with something that actually looked exactly how Megatron should have looked.

Masters of the Universe Classics Ram Man

While MotU figures of the ’80s were clearly primitive, there was a utilitarian charm to their five points of articulation. Somehow, in some weird way, they managed to do exactly everything they needed to do. At the time, if their arms and legs moved and they could grip their weapons, then youthful enthusiasm caulked up the issues.

But Ram Man was a bit more stunted than your usual MotU figure. With spring-loaded legs and awkward arms, Ram Man was an oddball among oddballs. Though he was an essential component of my MotU playtime, there was always this nagging ache whenever I’d read his mini-comic. Imagination only went so far.

It was the MotU Classics Ram Man who finally gave him the respect he deserved. With fully functional legs that didn’t retreat into his abdomen like a frightened penis, he was an action figure, a toy, and a proud representative of a character I’ve always loved. There’s not a spring to be found on him, and his arms aren’t limited to weirdly spinning in an arc while jutting oddly from his sides. Hell, his head even turns.

Marvel Legends Juggernaut BAF

The Juggernaut has always been my favorite villain. While he’s not always been handled right, when he is there’s nothing more entertaining than an unstoppable engine of destruction. I would have killed for an action figure of him when I was a kid. While 1991’s 5-inch X-Men line would finally deliver the first Juggernaut figure, I was already a teenager by then, and therefore had lost out on many many years of valuable playtime.

While still not the perfect representation of the character that I see in my head, the BAF Juggernaut is as close as it’s going to get, and the best 1:12 version out there. Yeah, you can keep your oversized Marvel Select version with his weird proportions and clown feet, because the one I’d send back to kid me is the BAF version. All he’d need would be an excellent Colossus for him to fight.

Figuarts Kinnikuman

I’m not really sure why I was so fascinated by M.U.S.C.L.E. They were small, inarticulate, and peachy-pink. They were so far from G.I. Joes or anything else I played with they might as well been from a different solar system. But those weird little designs — that I had no idea were based on an actual property — dug their way into my head and wouldn’t let go.

So now that I’m able to collect fully-articulated versions of those tiny little things, I just want to buy a second one and send them back to myself as a child, because when I had them fight, this is what I always wanted them to do.

MAFEX Boba Fett

I’ve noticed over the years that Boba Fett’s popularity has, for some reason, created a backlash that has resulted in a lot of naysayers suddenly deciding that Boba Fett isn’t as cool as a penguin’s wing. I have two words for them. Incredibly, those two words don’t begin with an “f” or a “y” but an “n” and a “d.”

“No disintegrations.”

When the baddest man in the galaxy has to tell you not to turn a potential bounty into a handful of ash, sorry, but you’ve earned a lifetime’s amount of cool points, and nothing can take that away from you.

The vintage Star Wars figures were thin slabs of colored plastic with a small amount of color and five points of articulation, and they were the greatest thing ever. My toy-buying lifetime owes itself to C-3P0 and R2-D2, and that’s that. However, no Star Wars toy got as much playtime as Boba Fett. Why? Because he fought EVERYBODY. Jedi, Stormtroopers, Vader, Luke, Ben, Han, Ewoks, other bounty hunters … Boba didn’t get along with anyone. He had rocket launchers and a flamethrower and a jetpack and he was awesome. The. Friggin’. End.

The MAFEX version is — I know, I can’t believe it either — the best 1:12 version of Boba Fett. There’s an ESB version and an RotJ version, so it’s really a toss-up which one can go back to my younger self, but it would blow his tiny little mind if he got it.

Well, that’s my five. This list could literally go on and on, because I haven’t even scraped the surface. If you’ve got your own set of five, feel free to share!