Monday, August 28, 2017

Back to the future - or where I post stuff now....

So I don't post here anymore, but I am hooked on Instragram so please follow me there at _jamspeed_ ! I will keep this old blog open, and may jump on and post from time to time. I spend a lot more time creating and uploading my nerd mashup designs on Redbubble and Teepublic, so please check me out there. #jamspeed #toys #toycollector #80s #redbubble

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Returning home after the trip - 1 year later

I'm just going to recap how this year was for me after bringing a large part of mt childhood back from Texas. I have spent countless hours cleaning and organizing my rediscovered toys, also countless hours discussing with my wife how much these toys mean to me and why it was good I brought some home ( I will easily be able to pay off the trip and then some with toys I don't want by selling on Ebay.) It took 5 large boxes shipped from FedEx past 1:00 in the morning on last Superbowl Sunday, I had to drive an hour back to my hotel and continue packing after picking up a duffle bag big enough to transport a Cobra Nightraven in the upper compartment of the plane. I had a lot of organizing and packing to do in the hotel ...        

Still sorting through the mess at this point

 My C-3PO case, filled with my figures

All of the smaller figures and robots came with me on the plane, as well as the more rare figures that were loose. I had to throw away some older clothes to make room, my dress shoes got destroyed in the garage anyway. There were many things I still could not take that made it out of the garage, as well as items I had to leave the box for like the Cobra Nightraven.

I loved this game as a kid, it was too big to bring back, but I kept the metal figures

The poor toy souls I had to leave behind in the hotel room, if I could do it all over again the green dino at the bottom would have come home with me - Bionotops is actually real rare. I hope they all got good homes, maybe the maid took them home... if they didn't freak her out!

I was so exhausted by the end of it all but the joy of getting so much stuff back gave me the energy
to make it.
After several days waiting I came home  from work to my toys on the doorstep. There would have been more had FedEx not run out of big boxes and me running out of energy needing to catch a flight the next day.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vintage 80's toy find - my 30 years in the making toy rediscovery!

Well, it has been quite a while since I've written here, but I have a good reason. The first is life in general has been busy, but no one reads my blog for "real life" things. This blog is all about toy memories and nostalgia, whether you buy old or new toys, if you were a 70's/80's kid many of us love to think back and remember those fun times. One of the best ways to me is toys - they are like little plastic time machines that can instantly take you back to that birthday in 82' or Christmas in 85'!

The main reason I'm writing is this weekend is the one year anniversary of a toy rediscovery 30 years in the making. This is something that I had long since given up hope of ever happening. Family members have given differing accounts on what happened to all our things after my brother and I had to quickly move from Texas. These ranged from "everything was surely thrown out by now", to "we looked through everything and it's all worthless" and finally my dads version of everything is there safe just like we left it.

My grandmother was the one tasked with keeping everything in her garage, unfortunately things with some of my family there were strained - I didn't talk with my grandma for many years at one point. I had my own stuff going on in Florida anyway and traveling there for a quick visit and toy grab was not a high priority. Again, over the years I spoke to family in Texas and got different answers to what was there. More recently I reconnected with family there, but never got a real answer to what she had been storing for us all these years. I tried to make plans and visit, but again "real life" always seems to get in the way. Unfortunately my grandmother started getting dementia was hard of hearing, I couldn't talk with her on the phone anymore.

Grandma lived a good long life, and her rather quick passing was kind of a relief in a way - she was a very independent woman who would be miserable if she were bedridden the last years of her life. I miss talking with her, we would often talk about my dad who passed several years prior. Now I was faced with a choice to go and represent my family at the funeral or just send a card and flowers, I had to go. Of course I thought there might be some straggling things there from my childhood, maybe some D&D lead figures were kept away from other family members children and not thrown away ( I remember having a bunch of great ones like dinosaurs ) .

I know I've buried the lead long enough, and if you have read this far I appreciate it! I just have to get all this down for myself. I arrived in Texas and met with family, had dinner and went to the hotel. I got to meet many family members for the first time, I have an uncle named Ivan - how cool is that! Ivan helped me around town and I did mention to him I would like to visit the old house before it is sold, but I kept my toy dreams on the down low - I mean there couldn't be much left at this point right? I was afraid my Aunt who was in charge of things, like the estate, would not be interested in me getting anything from the garage - to her it was all junk to be donated or trashed.

Luckily, uncle Ivan came to my rescue. Unknown to me he talked to my aunt and let her know I wanted to visit the property one last time, she actually approached me after the funeral and offered to take me there as she had to stop by there and get some things anyway. I couldn't believe I was actually getting in the house. We pulled up and it was like going back in time, when an old home hasn't been updated for 30 years it's like 1985 all over again. the house had not been lived in for over a year and was really showing it's age. She showed me around the house and I gathered some old photos to keep, but I was never led into the garage. At one point we are standing there 5 feet from the door to the garage and my Aunt want's to go change her clothes before we leave as she needs to go back home in a couple hours. I am standing there 5 feet from a possibly amazing 30 year archaeological toy find, I had to check in the garage - so I went in.

There were many boxes stacked mostly on the right side of the garage, this had to be our things from the apartment we left in 85'/86'. I am thinking - holy shit I have stuff here! - so I look in the first box on top and find this...

I forgot all about this cool little SD model, but things all started rushing back! I could not believe it! I was so excited but also nervous because I was not sure how much time I could get to look around. It was possible my Aunt would refuse to let me take anything and say we have to leave. I put the model back and got back into the kitchen. My Aunt came out a few minutes later, and I just had to ask if I could look around in the garage.... she was actually cool about it and said I had a little time to get some things for my brother and I. We opened the garage door as it was musty in there, and I about shit my pants as I started pulling through boxes like a mad man! There was so much stuff, I just kept saying " I can't believe it's all here -  I can't believe it's all here - I can't believe it's all here ". 

My Vehicle Voltron, Millennium Falcon, Joe Sky Striker and Night Raven, Robotech SDF-1 (which was like new in the box!), All my vintage Star Wars figures, M.A.S.K, He Man, Lego, GI Joe, some Transformers and many other cool robot toys! I wanted to take pictures of the process or even video it but my Aunt never left me alone there and was starting to rush me. I had rented a car, basically the smallest car possible, a Fiat 500 but of course I never thought the toys would be there. What a wonderful problem to have right?

As you can see in the photos I crammed the hell out of the little Fiat! I could not fit any more toys, and there were several more boxes I could have brought if there were more time and room. After about 2 hours it was clear my time was running out as my Aunt had to leave... and that meant I was being kicked out. She tells me she has to leave, but I had not found my vintage Star Wars figures yet. There were 4 or 5 boxes in the corner to go through so I beg for 5 more minutes which she begrudgingly gives me and would you know the last box I look in contained my shiny C-3PO figure case along with my brothers Darth Vader case. We can go now!!! I was super lucky to find almost all my favorite toys, some still in the box, and also get many things to send to my brother ( he now has his Voltron Lion force, At-At, Optimus Prime, Soundwave, along with many other vintage action figures )

I think this is all for now, but I will update with some more photos and thoughts later this weekend.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Downtown Disney visit

I recently visited Downtown Disney with the family for the evening and had a great time. While we visit the Disney parks every year we never checked out this area, have to say we were suprized how much fun we had just walking around. It is basically like the parks without the rides and lines, we made reservations to eat at T Rex Cafe and continued to check the place out. The Lego store was a hi-light but was way too crowded. I was suprised to see all the large lego models like what they have at Legoland.

Basically just had a nice relaxing nite walking around, there were people playing latin guitar and jazz, lots to eat and check out. I'm going to post pics later, and need to put some actual toy stuff up here soon... but I'm so lazy :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This is 40

Yesterday was my 40th birthday, so I took the day off for some much needed "me" time. After getting the family out in the morning I kicked back with some vintage anime, some Gunbuster and half of the 86 Transformers movie. Then I planned to go to a newer comic/collectibles store on Florida Ave called Culture & Thrills Inc. After a little hunting I found it and was really impressed! They did not have any manga but for a super hero fan or pop culture fan there is a lot to see, from a life size lost in space robot to 50s science fiction mags and 80s toys.

After talking to the guy there for a bit I found 2 vintage TMNT comics and a Marvel Transformers Universe issue, that I have been looking for awhile. After my wife got home I was treated to a great home cooked seafood meal with crab stuffed mushrooms, shrimp and lobster. Good stuff, with chocolate cake.

Turning 40 is not really a big deal, I'm still a big kid.

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013's look back at 2012

Hello and belated happy new year!

2012 was an interesting year toy collector wise for me, basically I really wasn't buying much. This is mostly due to the lack of Transformers product, also my lack of interest in said product available. My notable purchases this year are the TRU Hasbro Masterpiece Optimus Prime and the new Star Wars Lego Jabba the Hutt set, I also finally got around to getting that W.H.A.M. 1/24 Scale Tachikoma I've been wanting for a few years.

I guess that has been whats different about this year, less toys but spending a little more on the ones I do get.
Probably due to the lack of TF toys, I have found myself buying into other lines I would normally not. At one point I was getting into the new Thunercats toys ( All of the ones I got were on clearance ) then I started picking up the new T.M.N.T. 3/4 figures ( Just the 4 turtles ). I recently picked up the Neca Robocop with leg gun holster, he is a great figure for 16$. As far a regular Transformers the only ones I got that's worth talking about is the Prime regular Vehicon and just recently 1st Edition (second release) voyager Optimus Prime - both of these guys are great! Can't think of too much else aside from a Lego purchase here and there. For Christmas I got the Lord of the Ring set with 4 Uruk-hai warriors, great looking figures!

I keep thinking to myself 2012 was the year of Star Wars, with all the great new Lego sets relating to the original trilogy and the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando that I was able to attend. I only bought 1 droid figure at retail this year, I picked up 2 older Droids I have been looking years for at Celebration. It seems its not the toys that were the best part of the year, but the nostalgia of them, or even just looking at pics online.

I'm still enjoying the toy hobby, now at almost 40 years old. Here's looking forward to a new Toy year!

Friday, July 6, 2012

M.u.s.c.l.e Things

"M.u.s.c.l.e. Things" were one of many simple plastic figures sold in the 80's, originally from Japan

Like "Guts" or "Army Antz" these are great toys to army build and play war!

This guy was my favorite for some reason, I would pretend he used his chain for beat downs!

Another fave, this guy is a version of Kinnikuman. He has a pose perfect for punching people.

This lizard guy is just cool, with his bladed samurai helmet he chopped up most of his foes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A thank you to the visitors...I never knew I had

So... I happened to be checking out my blog recently looking at my old toys (which are mostly boxed up) and I started to randomly see comments I never noticed. I was real surprised to see that more than just a few people are checking me out, then today I was looking over the new Blogger stats and whatnot and seeing way more page views than I would have thought! So my blog has become more than just a place for me to view and catalog my stored toys, people from all over have checked out my blog.

I enjoy the fact that some of you out there have hit my blog and found a memory or some info on a long lost
toy. Please feel free to comment with your own toy memorys, I love to hear from fellow toy enthusiasts. I do have some new photos coming here and also on my Flickr which you can find in my links section. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revisiting Daghoba

Vintage Daghoba play set, Kenner 1980 with modern Yoda figure

So Here we have my one and only vintage Star Wars piece, Yoda's Daghoba play set. I remember being excited to find this still at my mom's house a while back and rushing to Ebay to see how much this little gem was worth. I also remember my disappointment in discovering you could get a very nice one for under 20$ shipped, at the time I last looked 12+ years ago.

I do like this play set quite a lot, and the thing is almost indestructible. Only the foam was damaged so I replaced it with a peice from some electronic packaging that I cut out. Other than that this thing looks almost new, there are a few scuffs and some melted marks from an old rubber snake toy that was kept in the same box and had some kind of chemical reaction. I guess those things only add to the messy swamp look of the toy.

All the parts are here, as Yoda demonstrates with his "Force " levitation powers.

R2 D2, the dirty Daghoba swamp version, seems to be getting into trouble by the look thrown from Yoda.

One of the things I remember when playing with this as a boy was all the detail put into the toy mold. I probably spent hours looking for lizards, Dragonfly and bugs crawling around on the base. There are many great details in the hut also, bowls on Yoda's table, a coiled snake is chilling in there, just a fun toy to have both then and now.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy New Year... Oh yea that was 24 days ago

Hello fellow toy collectors. I have to make a sad admission, well it's obvious that I suck when I comes to updating and posting here on my blog. It is really tough to find the time to shoot, photo edit/do production, then post up with some heart felt "toy memories" to share. That said I'm not going to give up on creating my own little online toy universe, but I will be posting more onto my Flickr page (see link below and to the right).

I will still be posting here and I have some ideas in my head, but look mainly for my older 80's toys on here where I can comment on them and new stuff will just be visually cataloged on Flickr.

Don't look now but here come some photos!

Vintage G1 Wheeljack, incomplete as purchase from Ebay

Several months ago I purchased a cheap lot of G1 Transformers and this one was included. After selling the other 2 I ended up keeping Wheeljack since I don't have one and always loved his car mode. My younger brother had Wheeljack so I am familiar with him, and his awkward robot mode but I still really like this toy. It's condition is good, but he lacks a lot of stickers and the 2 spoiler parts for the rear, but this still displays very well.

Wheeljack's alt mode is a Lancia Stratos Turbo race car,
from the Diaclone toy line to the US in 1984

I really like the head sculpt on this guy, it's very different than the usual Autobot face. Not much to say about the robot mode or transformation, but he is fun to mess around with. Did I mention he has a great car mode?

Ahh G1, it still kicks ass ;)