Office Space (Mania.com)

By:Andrew Kardon
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2002

So I just started a new job. No, contrary to public opinion, writing about toys is not a million-dollar career. In order to support the evil, toy-addicting life we lead, many of us need to actually take on... gasp... yes, work.


Now, what I actually do is unimportant... let's just say it's a corporate office job. Standard 9-to-5 hours, business casual attire (no ties!) and a somewhat quiet and older crowd. What the hell does any of this have to do with toys? Well, hold your action features, I'm getting to that.


Y'see, anytime you start a new job you want to make a good impression. You don't want to be too loud, too obnoxious or too...well, weird. So my recent dilemma was whether to start decorating my office with action figures. Do I stick my SIMPSONS line on the bookcase? Hang MEGO SPIDER-MAN from the cork board? Line up the STORMTROOPERS fleet at the foot of my desk? Yes, believe it or not, these are the very important executive decisions that go on inside corporate office buildings.


Anyway, I decided to "play it cool" at first. Start real slow. A simple SPIDER-MAN PVC figure on top of my computer monitor. Then an old RUBIK'S SNAKE from the '80s on my desk. A mini wind-up GENERAL LEE racing car. That sort of thing. Fun interactive toys that scream "Nostalgia," not "Freak!"


It's been a few weeks now, and I think I'm ready to hand my office over to my action figures. Time to dig out the old STAR WARS gang. The crazy-sick McFarlane SPAWN toys. Even some classic DC SUPER POWERS figures. In other words, it's time to move in and make myself at home.


Heck, I figure one of two things will now happen. Either people will be so freaked out that they'll stay clear away from my office or they'll be hanging out in there all the time. Personally, either one's fine with me. As long as I've got all my little friends with me, work just becomes another place to hang with my buds.





TOY TIDBITS



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Talk about your big toys! Okay, so you already know how huge Spider-Man is at the box office, but the wall-crawler is literally gigantic in real life too. That's thanks to a 60-foot inflatable SPIDER-MAN created by Barking Dogs Promotions to help promote web-head's Hollywood debut. Weighing some 400 lbs. apiece, each inflatable Spidey contained over 388,800 square inches of vinyl-coated nylon and 120,000 individual stitches. Besides crawling around France's Arc de Triumph, Le Spider-Man has appeared in cities all over the world including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Tokyo and Berlin.




Think they've made every possible STAR WARS figure imaginable? Hah. You're wrong! They've only made 99.36% of them! So there. And if you swing on over to the Hasbro's official website, you can vote on which figure should be made next. The spaciest toy company of them all is holding its fourth Fans' Choice poll to determine which action figure gets made next. Fans can select from GENERAL RIEEKAN (EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), NYM (Expanded Universe), REBEL SOLDIER IN SCOUT TROOPER DISGUISE (RETURN OF THE JEDI), IMPERIAL DIGNITARY (ROTJ) or STORMTROOPER (based on a Ralph McQuarrie concept design). Voting ends on May 17, so move it or lose it!




EXCLUSIVELY YOURS



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Kiss your exclusives goodbye! Well, that's not completely accurate. It's more like kiss your exclusives hello. That's 'cause McFarlane Toys (geez, do these guys have a new exclusive every week or what?) has not one but two KISS exclusive toys coming up later in the year based on the KISS CREATURES OF THE KNIGHT figures. The limited-edition KISS CREATURES DELUXE BOXED SET features all four rockers (THE DEMON, SPACE ACE, THE FOX, THE STARCHILD) along with a complete stage setup that features a full drum kit and flashing lights. Then there's the 12-INCH DEMON FROM CREATURES figure that's, well... a 12-inch version of the DEMON. Both sets will be available in September exclusively at Spencer Gifts stores nationwide.




ON THE SHELVES


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Time for school again, kiddies. Now, now. There's no need to start whining, 'cause the only homework you have is to check out Toy Biz's X-MEN EVOLUTION series 3 figures. The line - which beautifully captures the animated style of the Saturday morning cartoon - features MAGNETO, NIGHTCRAWLER II, JUGGERNAUT and BATTLE RAVAGED WOLVERINE. Each features standard articulation and some funky action features.



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