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Those Things That Divide Us Also Unite Us … Until They Divide Us

Toy collectors can draw some fairly definitive lines in the sand regarding their unique and personalized proclivities. Who among us hasn’t felt like stabbing life in the throat because an action figure hasn’t pleased us in some ephemeral yet poignant way? I know there have been times when I’ve stared at a toy, shaking, sweating, burning with an intense hatred such that would alight a plague upon the cosmos because that toy failed to be exactly what I wanted it to be. The merest mention of the word “Ultron” is enough to cause me to spontaneously combust.

I just don’t even …

Among these harsh divisions and strong feelings, there are three very very gray areas wherein lurk the strongest opinions, at least as I’ve observed lo these many years on Fwoosh. Like many, I have some fairly strong opinions on these subjects, but also, I can be quite fluid. So basically, as with most things, I’m as wishy-washy as Charlie Brown when it comes to toys.

Paper or plastic. paper or plastic. paper or plastic … oh please just kill me now.

Play or Display

This one is simple. I know it’s all too cool to proclaim “I don’t play with toys, I collect them,” like Lord Uppercrust Snootington the fourth, but we all know that old Snooty made Han shoot Greedo over and over when he was a kid, because Han shot Greedo and Greedo never had a chance to fire and that’s the end of it. To hold a toy and not pretend it’s about to main another toy is like holding a stick of butter and not smearing it on something, whether toast, corn, a cat, or Phil from accounting. If I’m holding a toy, at some point he will be going “pew pew” at something, and if I’m holding butter, Phil is going to be able to squeeze into tight areas with no trouble. That’s just how it is.

 

But — and hold on to your knickerbockers because this will stunulate you — there are people who don’t actually play with their toys. They don’t even move them. They remove them from the package, and they place them on a shelf. And then they’re done. There might be some shifting of limbs, or they might achieve the perfect “action stance,” but then that figure is on the shelf like a hobo in a refrigerator box during the harsh winter months.

And that’s fine. I mean, if you’re into that, it’s fine. I’m not judging.

Much.

Weirdo.

Now I don’t want to give the impression that I’m belly-down on the living room floor wreaking untold chaos with little plastic people like I did when I was a kid. I don’t have time for multiple-hour campaigns like I used to. I’m old, I’m tired, the floor is hard and cold. But I still need a figure to move like I’m going to be playing with it for hours and hours. I’ve got certain expectations from a toy in 20fillintheyearhere. I’m not satisfied if it only does the one thing it did in that movie, White which was stand around. I’m not satisfied if it just looks good standing on the shelf.

But in the next breath, it really needs to look good just standing there.

I know!

Some of my favorite figures are ones that look great standing there, but also can do the Funky Chicken, which is something I’ve never actually seen people do in person. I’m still traumatized by watching a bunch of people do the Electric Slide during prom.

Ugh, white people …

I can’t just put a figure on a flight stand to hide the fact that it’s an inch too tall. People do that, and man do I admire their ability to overlook things that literally invert my nipples. I can’t. I just can’t. Sure, it probably looks okay in a display, but once you take it down, that toy is going to dwarf everything else. If you put Shaquille O’Neal on a flight stand nobody is going to be saying “Well, he’s just the same height as everyone else!” Am I dating myself with a Shaq reference? Is there a taller, less retired guy out there? What about that Yao Ming dude? He’s like … taller than Shaq, right? Or is he retired too?

Kevin Hart shown actual size.

If they made a Stephen Hawking figure, 99 percent of people would be happy with zero articulation because he’d just be going on the shelf. I’d be the one complaining that he can’t get at least 90 degrees out of his elbows, for that time Stephen Hawking fought Batman, and Batman was all “I’ve already Batplanned out 15 ways I’m going to Batbeat you, using Batscience,” and Stephen Hawking’s robovoice was all, “M*********er, I am Stephen Hawking,“ and then kicked his ass with Quantum Kung-fu. Superpositioning crane kick!!

Close. Very close.

Which bring me to …

Compatibility

I don’t really neeeeeeed all of my toys to be compatible, but it would be pretty nice if at least some of them were.

I’m not much of a company crosser. I don’t really need Spider-Man to team up with Scooby doo to stop Darth Vader and Shredder. I mean, sure, they would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for that meddling wall-crawler, but there’s a limit to what I want from my toys. I’d never have Snake Eyes fight Captain America. It’s not that I couldn’t (Well, I can’t until they make a damned 6-inch G.I. Joe line) … but I don’t like the intermingling aesthetic and what it does to the core of the property. It’s like when Spider-Man showed up in the Transformers comic, or when Circuit Breaker showed up in Secret Wars 2, which is a reference two people will get, and one of them wrote the comic.

But Spider-Man and Superman? DC and Marvel? Mezco is allowing us to have Punisher fight Batman, or that Spider-Man versus Superman thing (eventually …). But those are costly. Sexy, but costly. DCUC and Marvel Legends have never really gelled together. DC Icons is apparently dying, and other than the female figures they were mostly frustrating. Send your emails of rage to [email protected].

But a large amount of people don’t really care about compatibility. I get it. At least, for some things I get it. For others I don’t. Or I don’t care, I should say. For instance, that murky 7-inch-ish figure height for some lines does get in the way of things. Like the Storm Collectibles figures kind of dwarf Marvel Legends figures. So if you want them to go together, you’re screwed. I have felt this pain with Masters of the Universe Classics. They didn’t quite fit in with DCUC, and having a Superman and He-man that can pound each other into muscley pertaters is something I’ve wanted since 1982. But He-man was in a slightly different scale, and it never quite felt right. Which is why NECA needs to make that Superman figure happen.

Hey, don’t call me anal, do I come to your job and give you anal? No I do not.

And finally

Height

It’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s … no, wait it’s a bird. Sorry, my prescription needs changing. Now, what were you saying, Mr. Claude Rains?

Let me tell you why you’re wrong about Juggernaut being 9 feet tall. At some point Juggernaut doesn’t want to Juggle his Nauts out in the open. At some point, he’s going to want to hide out a bit. At some point he’s going to want to put on a trench coat, go to a bar, and not pound the holy hand grenade out of Thor or Colossus. He just wants to be left along. Juggernauting is hard work, and trench coats are capable of concealing literally everyone. The Thing wore a trenchcoat and nobody could tell he was 500 pounds of friggin’ orange rocks. Raphael wore a trench coat and nobody knew he was a giant turtle. If Galactus really wanted to eat the Earth all he’d need to do was sidle up to the Cosmic buffet wearing a trench coat the size of the Big Dipper and he’d be done and burping before Reed Richards could say “waitaminnit, isn’t that …”

But in reality, nobody is going to ignore a 9-foot dude slamming shots of Jaeger in the back of a seedy dive bar, even if he’s wearing a trenchcoat. Whereas a 6-foot 11-inch dude is going to get some looks before everyone goes “Hey, he’s okay, he’s in a trench coat!”

This is just common math.

Also, pretend there’s an umlaut over the A in “Jaeger.” I can’t find my umlaut button. As opposed to my Ugnaught button, which I left on Bespin. Ugnaught rights for all!

In a pig’s eye!

Personally, I don’t need exact measurements. Some do. Some are measuring electrons. I just need things to make a general amount of sense. Sasquatch needs to be 10 feet tall, Hulk needs to be 7, Thing needs to be 6 or something like that. Juggernaut should be shorter than Hulk and Colossus. Superman and Batman should be the same size so they can dress up as each other, but not in weird way, Lois, so stop making that face.

I can’t stick Juggernaut on a flight stand, is what I’m saying. Nobody puts Juggy in a corner.

Others don’t care, and don’t know why I care, and then wonder what is wrong with me that I care. Usually with the terms “outdated stats” or “artistic license,” which are fun showstoppers.

But here’s the thing about that, at least for someone like me, who is at least partially insane about this whole thing: bollocks!

Yeah, I probably should come up with a reasonable counterpoint, but really, it’s all about personal preference, and mine just happens to skew a certain way. Other people are a bit more open-minded about various heights. And this has caused some extremely polite and not-at-all vociferous debating on Fwoosh.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get on a flight stand and pretend I’m anywhere from 3 to 8 feet tall.

While wearing a trench coat.

6 thoughts on “Those Things That Divide Us Also Unite Us … Until They Divide Us

  1. Make that four, I’m the dude who’s bugged Hasbro to make a Marvel Universe/Legends Circuit Breaker as a HasCon exclusive. 😛

  2. Three. THREE people got that Spidey/Circuit Breaker reference. -_-

    On that note, I blame my needing everything in scale to my previous hobby of plastic model making. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just fudgeable enough. And there are…exceptions. I’m not going to complain about my Harrier not being rivet-to-rivet 1/12 perfect scale, for example…

  3. “Juggernaut should be shorter than Hulk and Colossus.” Okay, but, like, see, I REALLY want a classic Purple Pants Hulk on that Juggernaut build-a-figure body.

  4. Technically they did make a Steven Hawking figure, only he was a Simpsons figure, and sporting some nifty helicopter blades.

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