Tag Archives: Halloween

I’m having a nostalgic ReAction to these toys!

If the 80s was all about an insane amount of merchandising and toy branding, there was one small place where we were all sort of collectively let down by this blitz and that’s movie-themed toy lines.  Sure, we had a ton of Kenner Star Wars figures, there were a handful of Raiders of the Lost Ark toys, and we even got four Legend of the Lone Ranger figures from Gabriel, but there were so many hugely popular flicks that never had lines released.  I’m looking at you Ghostbusters.  Most of the toy lines were tied into either cartoons, or cartoon spin-offs of movies (okay, we did have Real Ghostbusters toys, but it’s just not the same.)  It really wasn’t until the 90s when we started to see movies regularly getting their own short run toy lines (the Shadow, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, and Dick Tracy all spring to mind.)  So for years us 80s kids had to really concentrate, evoke the theme song of the Muppet Babies, and use our imagination (said with all the extra syllables baby Piggy added in the cartoon.)  I distinctly remember using my G.I. Joe and Star Wars figures to play V or the Last Starfighter (the B-Wing pilot from RoTJ made a good stand in for Alex from the Last Starfighter, and if you turned his head around he makes a nice Shocktrooper from  V.)

In the past couple of decades a lot of toy companies have done some fun work addressing the lack of 80s movie toys, but the figures are usually in the 6-8″ scale and are sculpted in such a way where they tend to only work as one-pose plastic statues.  Again, fun, but it they never really hit that “action figure” nostalgia I have for Star Wars and G.I. Joe figures.  Well, last year a couple of companies teamed up (Funko and Super7) to release vintage Kenner-style figures based on original molds for the movie Alien.  These were a huge hit with really fun retro inspired cardbacks and limited articulation and detail in the sculpts.  Sure, it’s a little gimmicky and it evokes a false sense of nostalgia, but who cares, these figures are a lot of fun!  Based on the success of that line Funko and Super7 have launched a much larger line of these ReAction figures that will start hitting stores this month.  Most of these toys feature characters from movies which either never had toys or never had complete lines, but there are also a few sets of TV Show figures thrown in as well.  There’s a lot of great stuff in the line including stuff from the Terminator, Predator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, Halloween, The Crow, Escape From New York, Pulp Fiction and the Rocketeer, but the two lines that have really grabbed my attention are a series of Goonies and Back to the Future figures!

Sloth

I can’t even express how long I’ve wanted to have vintage style Goonies figures.  In this first wave there are five figures including Sloth and the kids (Mikey, Mouth, Chunk and Data), and I hope they sell well enough that we can get a second wave featuring at least Stef, Andy and Brand, but I’d love a set of Fratelli’s for sure.

Mikey

Mouth

Data

Chunk

I know a lot of folks have been bummed that the sculpting and paint apps are super simple, but I actually like that.  It reminds me a lot of the original Star Wars figures and honestly these toys aren’t about photo-realistic accuracy, they’re about having fun toys to have further make believe Goonies adventures with.  Besides, if you’re like me then you’ll want two sets, one I can open (and have fun with) and one to hang on the wall of Branded HQ.  The card art alone is worth it for me on these.

I’m not quite as jazzed about the BTTF figures, though mostly this is because the design team at Funko/Super7 chose to use one standard image for the card art (and in doing so chose NOT to license/use the bitchin’ Drew Struzan poster art.)

Marty

It’s not a huge deal, but because of the repetitive card art these won’t look as good on the wall, so I’ll probably just end up opening a single set…

Doc Brown

George

Biff

Again, I hope these sell well enough for a second wave because I’d really like to have a Loraine, as well as a Marty in the radioactivity suit as Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan!  As it is, at least I can re-enact George punching Biff in the parking lot of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance…

The Goonies figures are slated to be released in October while the Back to the Future figures should be hitting pegs in June.  They’re all up and available for pre-order at Amazon right now!

Happy 2013 Halloween from Branded in the 80s!

Well, we made it though another Halloween season.  I want to personally thank everyone who follow my countdown this year via the site, facebook, instgram, and twitter, and I hope each and every one of you has a monster haul of candy this evening.  Do what you can to avoid Endless Mike and the pumpkin-smashing Hallo-Weenies, compliment Bill Haverchuck on his rad Bionic Woman costume if you see him, and remember to stop by the pumpkin patch and say “hi” to Linus (he needs the encouragement.)

So, to end this countdown of vintage ghoulish Garbage Pail Kids with a bang, here are some very seasonally appropriate sticker cards!  First up, from series four comes 153a&b, Jack O. Lantern and Duncan Pumpkin painted by David Burke!

31 - Jack O Lantern

You have to give props to a kid who can carve their own face so well!  Next up is a gross later entry in the GPK cannon, stickers 438 a&b, Hallie Ween and Trick or Tricia, which hail from series eleven and were painted by Tom Bunk!

31 - Part 2

Alright folks, everyone have a safe and awesome Halloween!

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Yummy Mummy 200

Day 30 is alive, ALIVE!

We’re up to the, uh, eve of All Hallows Eve, and have the final classic monster of the 2013 Garbage Pail Kids Halloween Countdown.  Not only is this the final last of the classic monsters, it’s also my personal favorite monster, Frankenstein’s monster to be precise…

30 - Frank N Stein

Stickers 112a&b, Frank N. Stein and Undead Jed hail from the 3rd series and feature artwork by Tom Bunk (seriously, those dimples always give it away.)  What is it about hulking monsters and pink and purple pants?  Maybe it’s why they’re always so pissed?

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Franken Berry 200

Day 29′s Halloween GPK will have you howling at the moon!

We’re moving right along with yet another classic GPK monster for day 29.  Creeping out of the third series we have stickers 116a&b, Eerie Eric and Berserk Kirk!

29 - Eerie Eric

I’ll be honest, I wanted to keep the classic monsters together for this countdown, but I also wanted some of my favorite pieces of art to fill the last week of the countdown and these Tom Bunk paintings just aren’t some of my favorites.  Though I respect him as an artist, this card in particular just feels off to me.  Bunk’s kids are a little more static and “hard” (it’s those dimples!), a little rougher around the edges and this werewolf just doesn’t get me howling.  It never really did.  Even though, I’m glad there was a werewolf in at least one of the sets and he’s not horrible, just not my cup of wolfs-bane tea…

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Fruit Brute 200

A Nasty Way to Kick of the Last Week of the Countdown!

Kicking off the last partial week of the 2013 Countdown to Halloween with the head vampire, so to speak, sticker number numero uno, 1a&b, Nasty Nick and Evil Eddie!

28 - Nasty Nick

The concept in this painting is just so perfectly beautiful.  As a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids, to have a Vampire kid seducing a Barbie Doll is just, so, darn, perfect.  My only complaint with the art in this one is that the bat, star and moon muddle up the image and aren’t needed in the slightest.  Series one, John Pound.  Sigh…

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Boo Berry 200

GPK Halloween Countdown Day 27 wants to suck…his own blood!

For the last weekend day of the countdown I decided it was nigh time to share a true vampire; the Bat creature from before was vampish, but this guy is pretty hardcore!  Sticker 411a&b, Van Pire and Bud Sucker…

27 - Van Pire

These suckers hail from the 10th series and were painted by the talented James Warhola.  I love this concept of sucking blood from an IV like a Capri Sun pouch!  Since this is such a specific concept I thought it would be fun to share another variation that was just release last year as a part of the newer GPK magnet card sets (as well as a bonus vampire!)

27 - Van Pire extras

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Franken Berry 200

Halloween Countdown Day 26 will put a spell on you…

We’re up to the last Saturday in this year’s Countdown to Halloween, and I’ll be ramping up to my favorite holiday by sharing some more classical, monster-y GPK fun!  Today, we’re going all the way back to series one for a pair (does two make a coven?) of witchy sisters, stickers 16a&b, Weird Wendy and Haggy Maggie!

26 - Weird Wendy

This one is filled with enough Halloween-y imagery to choke a newt, and was again painted by the amazing John Pound (starting to run out of positive adjectives for the guy!)  This is one I have an over-sized card of hanging in Branded HQ, right near my Dead Ted and another card that’ll be popping up on the countdown soon…

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Yummy Mummy 200

GPK Halloween Countdown Day 25, You’ve got the Body, He’s got the Brains….

Though there were a few obvious pop culture references in the GPK series from the start, they didn’t start getting super overt until towards the end of the run.  Not that I’m against it, in fact, I’m kind of sad that the following Freddy Kruger homage is the only “branded” horror icon to really show up in the GPK universe…

25 - Claude Flesh

Stickers 617a&b, Claude Flesh and Slasher Asher, made their debut in the final series (15) back in 1988, and was painted by long time artist Tom Bunk.  Not only was this the final series, but these cards were also some of the final in the original numbering scheme (if you haven’t noticed, the number picks up from set to set…)  I really like this card and the art, not just for the Freddy reference (which is rad), but because it’s also simple and straight forward, and in a way a callback to the original series stickers.  I’m also glad that bunk chose a darker palette for the painting, side stepping a super gaudy red and green sweater and sticking with something a lot more moody and atmospheric.

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Count Chocula 200

Day 24′s monster will destroy your city!

After today there are only 7 more days till Halloween!  In honor of that I think Godzilla should destroy a city or something.  Or at least I can share this parody of Godzilla destroying a city or something…

24 - Fryin Ryan

Stickers 54a&b, Fryin’ Ryan and Charred Chad hail from the second series of Topps’ Garbage Pail Kids.  I remember pulling a Fryin’ Ryan from a rack pack of mixed 2nd and 3rd series cards back in the 80s and I was so excited.  This was one of my first monster GPK stickers from that series if not ever.

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Count Chocula 200

One last Skeleton for this GPK countdown on Day 23!

The skeleton sub-theme of this countdown concludes today with one of my all time favorite zombie/skeletons ever, stickers 5a&b, Dead Ted and Jay Decay!

23 - Dead Ted

Not only is the artwork totally rad on this card, but it’s just so very Halloween-y and macabre!  The worms, the clawed hand silhouetted by the moon, the missing eye and the single buzzing fly, seriously one of the best GPK stickers ever.

Once again, I’m also helping to organize the annual Countdown to Halloween alongside the tireless and super cool monster kid John Rozum. So if you like what I’m doing over here, you might want to head on over to the Countdown site and check out the huge list of other sites participating in this year’s spooky festivities. There’s also a like-minded sister collective called Blog-O-Ween being put together by my pal Cody, the Crooked Ninja Turtle Sensi. Be sure to check them out as well.

2013 Fruit Brute 200