Saturday, December 28, 2013
Bring On the Bad Guys
A post-holiday visit to my favorite thrift shop found me splurging on grab-bags full of toys, ancient boardgames, a couple books and some VHS. I'm not here to show off all the goods I scored, but to focus on a few of the action figures I picked up for mere dollars apiece. That's right, kiddies. We've got ourselves a good 'ole fashioned theme this time around.
We all love a hero. Capes and cowls and vigilantes hiding their identities behind masks to protect the ones they love. They wait patiently for the Bat-signal to light up those darkest nights, to announce to the scum and the wicked that the streets are theirs to keep safe. That crime will not go unpunished. Fists of righteous justice and striking fear into the hearts of the cowardly and the cruel.
For mom and apple pie and for The American Way..!
Sure, we all love a hero, but sometimes it's the Man in Black that we secretly want to cheer on. For every Batman and Spider-Man and Flash Gordon, there's an arch-enemy. Whether it's the Joker or Venom or Ming the Merciless, it doesn't matter. For each of these crime-fighting, world-saving heroes, there's a bad guy that catches our attention just as much as, if not more than, their heroic counterpart.
I've always been a bigger fan of the bad guys. Rogues and crooks and back-stabbing flunkies. I'll take Starscream to Bumblebee; Destro over Gung-Ho every time. Someone give me a comic series that focuses on The Injustice Gang or the Legion of Doom and I'll cut Justice League from my pull-list right this second. The same goes for any of the Flash's Rogues Gallery or Shredder and the Foot Clan. I really hope someday that The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man gets the chance to finally squash Ray Stantz.
Yeah, I love me some villains.
Like this guy here.
From the absolute tail-end of The Masters of the Universe toy-line comes Mosquitor. The "evil energy-draining insectoid" is a member of The Evil Horde and was released just prior to the cancellation of everything He-Man back in '87. I never owned him as a kid, probably because my parents were against the idea of their son owning an action figure whose main feature was a chest full of "real" churning blood.
They were okay with Stinkor, though, who was a villainous skunk and a toy that literally smelled bad.
Mosquitor wasn't alone in his grab-bag, nor was he the only bug-inspired baddie to dwell within. Joining him in his plastic prison, a sorta' Phantom Zone for decades-old toys, was Commander Waspax. I recognized him as a character from the short-lived Sectaurs line, but didn't know much else besides that. I wasn't even entirely sure if he was from the heroic faction or one of the series' villains. A little research revealed his identity and his allegiance, and I was glad to see that he was the exact kind of untrustworthy, cheating scoundrel that I so admired.
This guy right here, I'm not at all ashamed to admit, was a truly fantastic find for me. I've mentioned before that I was something of a Gobots fan growing up. It's not uncommon for the hardcore Transformers fan-base to dismiss them as glorified knock-offs, but I loved them just as much as the real deal when I was younger. The original Gobots toys were pretty inexpensive, so I had amassed a pretty good size collection. I definitely owned more of them than I did their more expensive, Hasbro-released "cousins". And really, there was room enough in my heart for both, so I was glad to collect from either toy-line.
Until now, though, I never owned Cy-Kill, leader of The Renegades and top-tier villain for the Gobots animated series. This is actually the Super- version of the figure, which is perfect, because its the one I've always wanted. He's bigger and badder than the regular release, naturally, and there's a good mix of die-cast and plastic pieces. That means his toy is heavy enough to cause some serious damage when I go and throw him at my sister's head.
Precisely the kind of thing my favorite villains would want me to do.