Category Archives: action figures

Milt Caniff

20160319_150610

My 1967 Captain Action Steve Canyon action figure.

I have always been a deeply devoted fan of the Sunday funnies.  And one of the reasons I read the comics religiously was the work of Milt Caniff.  His comic strips, Terry and the Pirates, Male Call, and Steve Canyon set a standard for the age of action comics and adventure strips.

I read his comics in the 1960’s and 1970’s and always it was Steve Canyon.  But this, of course, was not his first strip.  I would discover in my college years the wonders of Terry and the Pirates.  When Caniff started the strip before World War II, he set it in China, but actually knew nothing about China.  So he did research.  He learned about people who became oriental hereditary pirate families and organizations.  He learned to draw authentic Chinese settings.  His comedy relief characters, Connie and the Big Stoop, were rather racist parodies of Chinamen and were among the reasons that the original strip had to mature into his later work in Steve Canyon.  But perhaps the most enduring character from the strip was the mysterious pirate leader known as the Dragon Lady.

20160319_150434

Steve Canyon is a fascinating study in the comic arts.  When he left the Terry and the Pirates strip in 1946, it went on without him.  It was owned by the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News distribution syndicate, not Caniff himself.  Steve Canyon would change that.  He created it and owned it himself, making Caniff one of only two or three comics artists who actually owned their own creations.  Canyon started out as a civilian pilot, but enlisted in the Air Force for the Korean War and would remain in the Air Force for the remainder of the strip.  Some of the characters in the strip were based on real people.  His long-time friend Charlie Russhon, a former photographer and Lieutenant in the Air Force who went on to be a technical adviser for James Bond films was the model for the character Charlie Vanilla, the man with the ice cream cone.  Madame Lynx was based on the femme fatale spy character played by Illona Massey in the 1949 Marx Brothers’ movie Love Happy.  Caniff designed Pipper the Piper after John Kennedy and Miss Mizzou after Marilyn Monroe.

919SuB6Z59L

I am not the only cartoonist who was taken with the work of Milt Caniff.  The effects of his ground-breaking work can be seen to influence the works of comic artists like Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, John Romita Sr., and Doug Wildey.  If you are anything like the comic book nut I am, than you are impressed by that list, even more so if I listed everyone he influenced.  Milt Caniff was a cartoonists’ cartoonist.  He was one of the founders of the National Cartoonists’ Society and served two terms as its president in 1948 and 1949.  He is also a member of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

81rkUIHYHJL

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, comic strips, commentary, inspiration

The Doofy Doll Collector

c360_2017-02-23-19-04-51-030

I suppose it is a rather girly thing… or maybe even a creepy thing, that a sixty year old man like me collects and plays with dolls.  This post, a lazy-writer short post, is intended just to show you some of my newest dolls and newest collections.  I am not going to waste time justifying why I like dolls.  That would probably require an advanced degree in abnormal psychology.  So I will just show you and gloat about what I have achieved in my own weird little way.

This Monster High doll is Frankie Stein, the daughter of Frankenstein’s monster.  I scored two of these at Walmart’s pre-Christmas clearance sale for three dollars apiece.  This is the one I pose and play with.  The other I am keeping as a mint in box.

c360_2017-02-23-19-25-48-709

These are the three lovely girls I bought with Christmas money from relatives back in Iowa.  I went almost to the limit buying Starfire at a pricey $19.88.  The collection rules clearly state, “Never buy a single doll worth more than $20.”

c360_2017-02-23-19-26-51-469

I bought Starfire to keep Harley Quinn, my other $19.88 doll company as part of my DC Heroines collection.  That collection as it now stands follows.

c360_2017-02-23-19-28-10-475

You can see I still need Batgirl and Poison Ivy.

So there is my lazy-writer post about me playing with dolls, poorly rationalized and barely explained.

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, collecting, doll collecting, foolishness, humor, photo paffoonies

Troll Time at the Local Doll House

c360_2017-02-24-13-19-49-187

You know that old doll house that my wife rescued for me?  You don’t?  Well, about six or seven years ago she spotted it on the sidewalk with a pile of other trash waiting for the city garbage collectors.  She asked the homeowner about it.  It was a kit they had bought at Michael’s but never finished, so my wife immediately thought, “My goofy old husband collects dolls all the time, so he will love this.”

“Take it,” said the homeowner, “It’s a shame to have to throw it out.”

So she brought it home and gave it to me.  I of course, collect twelve inch dolls and action figures, none of which fit in a doll house of this particular scale.  So it had to sit practically empty for a space of about four years.  Then my daughter got tired of some of the small Happy Meal dolls that she had gotten from McDonald’s when she was a wee gamin.  (Yes, that’s a real thing… you can look it up.)  I acquired two mostly naked Mini-Barbies, and four other doll-house size dolls, two baseball players and a Lullaby League Girl from Oz, along with a small Winkie Soldier.  Then Dreamworks did the Trolls movie.

c360_2017-02-24-13-15-54-504bb

They began moving in by two different routes, these trolls.  Teacher Troll and Baby Troll and Big Troll, whose hair in the back is the only visible part of him… or possibly her, moved in from where I found them in kids’ bedrooms and the garage while cleaning.  I used to keep a stash of them to give out as classroom prizes back in the 90’s.  I bought the movie Trolls from Walmart at $5 a shot over a bunch of weeks between Thanksgiving and last weekend.  The empty spaces where I didn’t even have appropriate doll furniture were now being filled by Trolls.

c360_2017-02-24-13-17-43-418

In the downstairs bedroom you can see the little yellow Troll has joined Naked Mini-Barbie, the Lullaby-Leaguer, Ceramic Book-Lovin’ Bear and the Angel who used to hold my wedding ring.  (I could never wear it due to arthritis, and it eventually got lost in the move from South Texas to Dallas.)  (Yes, I know it is not a good thing to lose your wedding ring, but it is possible my wife sold it so she could shop for a better husband.  At least, that’s what she told me while she was really angry.)  (And yes, I know I’m supposed to be talking about Trolls taking over my doll house, but I actually like bird-walking while telling such stories.  It lends such every-day Mickey-ness to the story.)

c360_2017-02-24-13-18-52-533The baseball player in the upstairs sitting room where nobody sits, once spent an entire winter at the bottom of the swimming pool.  That’s why his blue uniform turned a bit putrid green.  He stays in this room with my Wish-nik Troll from 1967 and the Winkie Soldier from Oz, who is naturally green in the face and never took a swim.

c360_2017-02-24-13-16-39-610

Also upstairs are my Troll-topped Pez dispensers, two more movie Trolls, and the former Teacher Troll who lost her apple and my daughter gave a modelling clay diaper to for modesty’s sake which has long since melted a bit (the diaper, not the modesty).

c360_2017-02-24-13-19-16-237

And at the top of it all, in the attic, are the two movie Trolls that I bought first and started this whole Troll-collection nonsense.  So now the doll house is no longer empty.  But the Trolls are beginning to complain that there is no paint on the walls, and I really ought to do something about that before they take matters into their own hands.  You never know what they might do in the middle of the night when nobody is looking.

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, doll collecting, goofiness, humor, playing with toys

Stupid Sunday

When you spend most of your time writing and thinking with the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head and the hourglass of your life looking more and more like the sands of time are running out, you are tempted to take the curves too fast and make extremely stupid mistakes that make your brain crash into a brick wall of stupidity.  You are stuck in a stupor of stupidity that must somehow un-stupid you with downtime and do-nothing brainless activity.  I won’t try to explain what I did wrong, because, after all, I am still stupid at the moment and don’t really know what I did wrong.

A Hermione Harry-Potter doll which is my birthday present. 

I bought myself a doll yesterday.  I spent some of my birthday money on it.  My octogenarian mother sends me birthday money every year to remind me how many years beyond sixty I have aged, especially now that, after more than twenty years spent not celebrating birthdays as a nominal Jehovah’s Witness, I am now no longer associated with prohibitions from God due to the arbitrary rules of religion.  It was a stupid act based on the fact that I have been avoiding wasting money on my doll-collecting hoarding disorder for a matter of months.  It could be like an alcoholic taking a drink after months of being sober.  But the doll is pretty in a magical sort of way and provides me with someone else to talk to when I am brooding about being stupid. 

It may seem like, since I am writing this while still stupid, that I am saying that being stupid is, by definition, a bad thing.  If I am saying that, it is only because I am currently stupid.

If you look at the smiles on the faces of the gentleman with the brown cap and Scraggles the mouser, you can easily see that being happy is a simple thing.  And it is the province of simple people, not complicated and extremely smart people.  I can testify from hard experience that being too smart is a barrier to being simply happy.  So, I benefit emotionally from being stupid this Sunday.

As to being stupid today and what caused it, well, it may have something to do with the fact that I am currently editing The Baby Werewolf, the most complex and potentially controversial novel I have ever written.  Horror stories often mine and expose the author’s own traumas and fundamental fears.  And I am trying to publish it as the fourth novel I have published in 2018.  Is that biting off more than I can chew with my old teeth?  I don’t know the answer.  I am currently pretty stupid.

1 Comment

Filed under action figures, autobiography, collecting, doll collecting, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, humor, novel writing, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

“Mickey, What’s Wrong With You?”

20171228_091308

Yes, I am trying to answer that old question that old girlfriends used to ask me back when they were young and I was young and too stupid to answer honestly. You know, the question always asked right before they tell you, “Why don’t we just be friends and leave it at that.”

After having spent my Christmas money from Mom on an 18-inch giant gorilla action figure of Kong on Skull Island to terrorize all the dolls on the Barbie Shelf after midnight when all the dolls secretly come to life, I feel more prepared than ever before to answer that particular question.

I am not in my second childhood. I am still in my first one. Yes, I reached the ripe old age of 12 and then Peter Pan Syndrome set in bigtime. On the inside, I will always be 12 years old. I still, at 61, play games and play with toys. I never really grew up.

The_mane_six_by_brightrai-d4ha5ye

I am not a Brony, but I am still buying My Little Pony dolls, and can name all six of the main characters. From left to right, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight Sparkle. And yes, I have watched the cartoon show and like it, but am still not a Brony, okay? There are a lot of things wrong with me, but I am not that bad! My kids, however, are embarrassed to be seen with me when I am shopping for toys at Walmart, Toys-R-Us, or Goodwill.

trainscene

I still play with the HO scale model trains that I have owned and collected since the first year I was actually twelve. I would love to get them running again. The Snowflake Special and the Toonerville Trolley seen in the picture both still ran the last time I tested them four years ago. I still love to paint buildings and HO scale people to live in my little train town. I am still working on a set of townspeople that I bought back in 1994. German villagers circa 1880.

20171213_124720

I have always been fascinated by imaginary places and the people who live in them. Especially imaginary places in the fiction of the past. Places like the castle of Minas Tirith in the realm of Gondor in Middle Earth, and like Pellucidar that David Innes and Abner Perry discovered at the Earth’s Core in their boring machine called “the Prospector”as part of the Pellucidar series created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan novels. So, another thing wrong with me is that I live mostly in the past and entirely in the worlds of my imagination. I have very little to do with the so-called “real world”.

trainfolks

So, to sum up, the things wrong with Mickey are; A. He’s a goofy old child. B. He still plays with toys. C. He likes girly stuff. D. He confuses fantasy with reality. No wonder the girls used to run away screaming. And I haven’t even added the part about Mickey thinking he is a nudist now and walking around the house naked when no one else is home and forced to see the full horror of it.

But maybe you should think on it for a moment more. What if the things that are wrong with Mickey are actually good things? What if he’s found the secret to long life and happiness in spite of a world full of troubles and illnesses and blechy stuff? It could be true…

6 Comments

Filed under action figures, collecting, commentary, doll collecting, goofy thoughts, humor, photo paffoonies, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Rise of the Bargain Bin Goon – Part 2

The vile Greek God of computer malfunctions, Sparkensputter Failtolodicuss, put his curse on this post yesterday as I almost had it completed.  He waved his dead skunk, the symbol of his unique power, and made WordPress delete my work and instantly save the changes.  I did some cussing and vowed to try and reassemble the post today.  It was intended to be a continuation of Action Figure Cartoons, starring Captain Action.  We shall see if Sparkensputter manages to thwart me again today.  He is hell at thwarting.

20160527_140447

So here is a brief and goofy explanation of what has happened so far.  Captain Carl Action and the Action Guy Action Team defeated the evil Dr. Evil as he tried to take over Mickey’s library.  You can find that whole mess in Mickey’s vault by clicking here.

Captain Carl Action not only defeated the evil Dr. Evil, he removed and stole Dr. Evil’s evil removable brain.  So Emperor Ming of Mongo, an evil incarnation of the evil Dr. Evil, came up with a plan to retrieve the brain by un-boxing one of Mickey’s mint-in-box bargain bin dolls… er, action figures.  You can review that whole mess here.

So, that brings us to today’s episode in the seemingly endless story of the sequel of a seemingly endless story.

Captain Carl Action has taken the evil brain of the evil Dr. Evil to the Action Guy Action Team Headquarters in the Fortress of Ineptitude, located on top of a useless computer in Mickey’s studio.

20160828_211117

As seen in this dramatic scene, you can probably tell that the Action Guy Action Team Headquarters is run by the Captain Action Council, made up of Captain Action in his Flash Gordon costume, the mint-in-box Captain Victor Action, and the vintage Captain Action in his Steve Canyon costume.  You can also probably tell by Steve Canyon’s goofy brain-eating bug comment that none of them are any brighter than Captain Carl Action.  They have all decided to rely on the dolls of Mickey’s big-headed dolls collection.  That decision also reeks of lack of brightness.

20160828_211616

Captain Carl Action has once again delegated primary responsibility for the situation to a group of dolls who are very good at guarding Crackerjacks.  It was fortunate that DC Comics recently released a new set of DC Super Hero Girls to attract Mickey’s collecting OCD.  It meant that big-headed Supergirl was available now to be an actual super-powered guardian.  Still, she had to find a strategy that would succeed.  So she turned to her crackerjack team for advice.

20160831_141713

Now, I hate to second-guess Supergirl, but why is she asking an evil bunny for advice?  And how did an evil bunny even get on to a gig like being part of the big-headed dolls’ crackerjack team?

20160831_141815

Shelf of Severed Heads?!!!?  That doesn’t sound right.

 

20160831_142207

Oh, my!  This is really not looking good for our heroes.  Stay tuned until next time… whenever the heck that is… same batty time, same batty channel.  And phooey on you,  Sparkensputter Failtolodicuss!

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, cartoons, collecting, doll collecting, goofiness, humor, playing with toys

Rise of the Bargain Bin Goon

20160527_131406

One of the biggest problems with being an action figure aficionado with raging hoarding disorder is the fact that every new dolly has it’s own personality… and sometimes its own evil agenda.  Once you own too many of these things, especially the evil ones, it is no longer possible to properly pay attention to what they are up to.

The last installment of Action Figure Comics had the hero, Captain Action (specifically Captain Carl Action) thwarting the evil Doctor Evil by taking away his evil removable brain.  (I know I use the word evil far too often in describing the evil Doctor Evil, but he is also repetitively redundant.)  I had thought this Achilles’ heel of Dr. Evil’s… er, rather, this Achilles’ brain of the evil Doctor Evil was just too convenient a solution to the problem presented by this irrepressible evil bad guy.  But as a rule I find ignorance is bliss.     I know now that I was wrong.  That was a terrible rule to follow.  As a former teacher you are supposed to know that ignorance is not bliss… it is evil.  After 31 years of fighting the War Against Ignorance in my classroom, you would think I would remember this.  I should’ve been watching Emperor Ming of Mongo more closely… or should that be closlier?  Battle scars from the War have left me unsure.

20160527_135655

 

One has to recall that Evil Emperor Ming is really just another incarnation of the evil Doctor Evil under his mask… although not one with a removable brain.  Notice that his minion, the evil Doctor Mindbender is no less evil when it comes to redundant use of the word “evil”… and he even commits the further sin of repetitively saying “no-good goody-goody”.  “Ach!  Ja!  Evil use of bad grammar makes my battle scars hurt more!” cries the former teacher driven to write this hopeless drivel.

20160527_140123

What’s this?  He means to destroy the new bargain bin wrestler doll… I mean, action figure that I just bought?  I had meant to keep that as a mint in box collector’s item until the lucha wrestling fans of Sin Cara are as old as I am now.  Then I will find one of them with hoarding disorder and sell it for possibly eight dollars.  I will have made a whole dollar by the time I’m 109!

20160527_140447

Yes, I should’ve been watching that dang evil Emperor Ming more closely!  Now he has ruined my mint-in-box action figure by taking it out of the box.  What bad thing will he do next?  Stay tuned to this goofy old blog.  You never know, I may actually continue this story if I can keep better track of what these goofy little dolls are doing.

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, comic book heroes, comic strips, doll collecting, goofiness, humor

Return of the Star Wars Figures

On a previous Saturday I admitted to the crime of using 12-inch action figures to play the Star Wars role-playing game.  The Dungeons and Dragons RPG world was horrified.  You are supposed to use scale-appropriate metal miniatures.  How can you simulate combat without small figures on a grid?  I have to confess.  It was via x’s and dots on graph paper.  But we didn’t use the action figures to represent ranges and lines of site in combat.  And one of my players was my niece, an actual girl.  So, I guess, to be honest, we were actually playing with dolls.

But it helps to have a lot of dolls.

20180127_090841

Emperor Palpatine, Snow Trooper, Obi-Wan, Jar Jar, Quigon, Droid Soldier, and home-made Mace Windu

We started play after the first two movies in the Prequel Trilogy.

20180127_091016

Wicket, Imperial Walker, Astroboy (What’s he doing there?) Darth Vader, Little Anakin, and Boba Fett.

We got creative with stories.

20180127_091501

Jango Fett, General Grievous, and Admiral Akbar

20180127_091246

Anakin Skywalker

20180127_091606

Robot from Lost in Space, R2D2, Slave Girl Leia, and a Green Orion Slave Girl Dancer from Star Trek

So there is evidence available to my offspring to help them have me committed to an institution.  The truth is, these are not even all of my Star Wars Dolls.  So this morning’s confession session is now at an end, though all of the horrible truth is not yet revealed.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, autobiography, doll collecting, Dungeons and Dragons, goofiness, humor, photo paffoonies

MessMaster 2018

toon1

Yes, my life is more or less a big ol’ mess.  I am bankrupt.  I am ill constantly.  I am an Uber driver who made $31 in the rain today.  I am a retired middle school teacher and ESL teacher.  So my messy mental conflagrations are certainly understandable.

20180107_081836

I had made a vow back in November I was going to clean the house and put everything in order, especially my room which I use as a studio for writing and drawing.  I even had the dolls, er, action figures all positioned in poses that were dynamic and artsy.  Then G.I. Joe decided he had to insert his nose between firefighter Barbie’s breasts, knocking her fire hat to who-knows-where.  Nothing stays where I put it.  Pictures keep falling off the wall because it is cold enough to harden the plaster-tack that I put them up with.

20180107_081716And, of course, I have hoarding disorder so bad that I can’t resist starting new collections of dolls when toy-makers are putting out the new stuff at Christmas, even though the Princess has thoroughly outgrown dolls.  And I am not alone in having hoarding disorder.  While we were cleaning bedrooms, my daughter found a fluffy rug that would be perfect for the bathroom.  But no.  My wife is saving it.  It has to stay folded and put away where it won’t get dirty.  We have closets stuffed full of clothing and other stuff that is rarely or never used.  And I do not dare throw any of it out or move it to anyplace else.  I can move my stuff, not hers.

But I did complete a collection.  I managed to get enough of the new Justice League figures to make a pretty decent Justice League collection.  20180107_183635

Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg have joined multiple older Batmen, Supermen, and Wonder Women to round out the League.  Of course, I have at least one Green Lantern too.  Though GL wasn’t in the recent movie.

20180107_081914‘There are dolls everywhere in my room, so any attempt to clean starts with picking them up off the floor and putting them somewhere safer.  These four are now living behind the TV.   I just wish they would stay put for a while and quit leaping off shelves when they come alive after midnight every night.

I fully intend to keep on cleaning and Uber driving and writing.  And I will probably continue in my spare time to play with dolls and rearrange stuff.  You have to understand, I am old.  And more than a little goofy.

1 Comment

Filed under action figures, autobiography, collecting, doll collecting, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

This is What Happens When You Leave a Crazy Old Retired Guy Alone With a Doll Collection and a Camera

Yes, I know this is supposed to be a Saturday Art Day Post, but you can make art in many different ways. That can include pictures made with a camera while I play with dolls… er… action figures and try horrifically to be funny. There is an art to that, right? Maybe?

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, artwork, cartoony Paffooney, comic book heroes, comic strips, doll collecting, humor, Paffooney, photo paffoonies, playing with toys