Awkward Toy Family Photos…

By Shawn Robare

Though I’ve been more or less away from the site for the last few months, I’ve still been mucking about with some geeky nostalgic stuff.  In particular I’ve been having some fun on Instagram taking a series of photos of my current toy collection.  Since I’ve broken down and started picking up some more vintage toys lately (ones that I used to own not mint on card or in box), as well as picking up some modern nostalgic figures here and there, I thought it would be cool to jumble these up and create some goofy Awkward Toy Family photos to document the collection.  That’s one of the things that I enjoy about Instagram is that it only takes a few minutes to grab a few toys from the shelf and snap a picture before heading out to work.  It’s never going to replace Branded, but when I’ve got a crap ton of real life things eradicating my time to write, it’s a great way to still feel engaged. So, with that in mind, here are some of the photos I’ve shot over the summer…


This is one of the first I shot, and it was just totally on a whim.  I love the idea of Faker giving piggyback rides.  My good buddy HooveR had sent me this Captain Power figure and that small act of kindness is pretty much what helped me break through my aversion to procuring loose, used, old toys.  I had forgotten how cool the Captain figure was and had a blast pairing him up with my Masters of the Universe figures, so I just said “screw it” and started hitting up eBay.  So thanks Hoov! ;)


Speaking of the Captain, here’s a photo for a failed 80s band that could never reproduce the popularity of their first and only major label record.  Emmdubs, a swell dude I follow on the social media was kind enough to send me his old Miles Mayhem figure, and I had just recently picked up that sweet Tux Go Bot mint on card at a local antique shop for only $7.


I envisioned this photo as three hard working dudes getting together after a tough day of doing whatever jobs requires wearing these cumbersome masks.  Emmdubs has also sent me this Matt Tracker figure, and I went ahead and pulled the trigger on two of my favorite childhood action figures from the Star Wars and G.I. Joe lines (the AT-AT Driver and Wet Suit.)


Next up is my cadre of feathered heroes including Quicksilver from the Silverhawks (the only Silverhawks figure I owned as a kid), Jason from Battle of the Planets, and Gizmoduck from DuckTales.  I had this GD cereal premium as a teen and cherished it so much that I turned it into a lucky necklace and wore it to my high school graduation.  Some ridiculous teacher saw it and snatched it away from me and I never found her to get it back.  By the by, man is it ever hard to find a decent condition Silverhawks figure.  The chrome plating wears off so easily so 97% of the loose figures I’ve seen look terrible.  Took forever to find this one…


Here’s a weird toy robot family photo including my all time favorite Transformer Sideswipe, Cliffjumper, a cool Decoy of Smokescreen, and my favorite Go Bots toy, the Super Go Bot Psycho!


Switching gears a bit, here’s a picture of some of my favorite childhood motorcycles (Sly and Piranha & Brad Turner and Condor from M.A.S.K. along with Afterburner from the Transformers.)


Here’s another early one that I’ve posted before featuring a D&D Wardule, Tonto from the Gabriel Lone Ranger line and a demon from Blackstar.


For those of you who are longtime readers you’ll know that I love Robo Force and I REALLY love their sweet hugging action feature…


Remember that time He-Man and Teela ended up in the spirit world and really needed some help getting the new tenants of Castle Greyskull to move out?  Beetlejuice was not the greatest option, but they had to try…


Some of my favorite super hungry and ornery aliens and ghosts!


Hands down, my favorite G.I. Joe figure had to be Dial Tone.  Such an under appreciated figure and character.  He’s posing with a sweet water color portrait by the kickass Christopher Tupa!


I also ran across some of my Micro Machines star wars tiny mini figures, so I did a couple of shoots with them and their larger counterparts.  Admiral Ackbar can not repel cuteness of that magnitude!  As for the Gamorean Guard and Greedo, I think the guard got the better end of this trade by far…


And speaking of Greedo, last but not least, Greedo playing Space Invaders (which was what I was fiddling with while recording a recent episode of the Nerd Lunch podcast with the Retroist as a guest…)


So check me out over on instagram.  I try and post regularly and do my best to keep it fun!


  • That ET & Alf photo is priceless.

    • That is my all time favorite E.T. figure. I am sooooo glad they made the drunk and surly E.T. I need to find a tiny Coors can for him to hold…

  • TheNavigator

    Those are brilliant photos you gotta love the classics. My collection is a mixture of original 80s and modern 80s based figures too and they blend together well as its the perfect 80s designs that make them awesome not necessarily when they were made. Its god to have a mix as the new figures are more accurate to the movies or cartoons like your E.T & Beetlejuice but as there are no new Silverhawks or Visionaries figures (and many others from the 80s) you have to get the classics!

    • You were totally right sir! I found one with good chrome but there are chips on the flesh colored paint that I want to touch up. And yeah, I’m having fun mixing modern and vintage figures. The modern tend to be way cheaper…

      • TheNavigator

        I wouldn’t be too bothered about the paint on Quicksilver or any of the vintage figures as ive bought some vintage toys that were MOC just to open them that still had paint loss either from rubbing on the card or a factory defect. And with the modern figures I have to go through about 5 or 6 in my local comic shop to find a good one and even then they can still have something wrong with them when I open the package as NECA (who made you’re Beetlejuice & E.T and lots of other great cult figures) are known to have hit & miss quality control. So the way I look at it is no toys are perfect each one is different from the next in some way so just look at yours as unique rather than damaged :)

        • True, I’m pretty meticulous when picking out modern figures to get good paint. Hell when I opened up the E.T. figure his arm snapped off getting him out of the “protective” packaging! Had to glue it back on. Honestly, I really just want to touch up Quicksilver’s nose as the paint has come off on it and it makes him look weird ;)

  • Ben Rollier

    Lol, these are awesome. LOVE that Gizmo Duck figure

    • Thanks, yeah I’m so glad I finally have one again. I want Disney to make some nice upscale versions of DuckTales figures like the MOTU Classics…

      • Ben Rollier

        Oh man, yes, an upscale line of their 80’s & 90’s cartoon figures would be amazing. Ducktales, Tail Spin, etc

        • I’m actually surprised they haven’t done that, but maybe with this incoming tsunami of 90s nostalgia that’ll change…

  • Those are some great shots Shawn. I particularly love that picture of Greedo and the Gamorrean Guard making their trade.

    I just realized that Captain Power’s face looks an awful lot like He-Man’s. Coincidence? I think not..

    • Thanks, and lol, good eye! Captain Power totally needs to face off against the New Adventures of He-Man incarnation of the character and they can finally have a showdown to see who really has the Power ;)