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Welcome to the Universe of Imagination!

Action Figure Universe, where the comparative mythology of Joseph Campbell meets pop culture & modern mass media memorabilia, is an interactive entertainment scrapbook & resource site, all about figures of action & adventure of the mythic past, present & future, as they appear in their various forms in human history, popular art & the ever-expanding collectible toy market.

For me, collecting, enjoying & studying action figures isn't just about childhood memories.  It's an important part of personal growth & self-actualization, as well as a fun way to remain creative & imaginative throughout life's amazing journey.

Many of the action characters (heroes & villains alike) you will find here were conceived for adults, while others were originally intended for a younger audience.  Bearing in mind that no one is ever too old to be young at heart, I bid you welcome to the Action Figure Universe.

While you're here, feel free to explore the boundless reaches of child-like wonder & imagination that have long inspired people of all ages to not just dream, but to do, create & of course, PLAY.  As you step beyond the threshold of the so-called "real world," take heart & remember...

"The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play."


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Friday, March 30, 2012

MEGO Spock Takes Sheldon to School

Okay, so he's a theoretical physicist!  Okay, so he's got an eidetic memory and can rattle off hopelessly complex factoids with the greatest of ease!  Of course he can.  He's Sheldon Cooper, for crying out loud!

But can Sheldon spot a vintage original MEGO Star Trek figure when he sees one?  We can only assume so, since he ends up having a, shall we say... "dreamy" little conversation with 1:9 scale MEGO Spock in the latest geektastic episode of The Big Bang Theory on CBS.

Lucky dog!  He's even got the rare MEGO Transporter play set too! The conundrum is of course, whether to take it out of the box and actually play with it or not.  The ever logical MEGO Spock argues that the highly valued vintage toy should definitely be played with.

Or maybe it's just good ol' Shelly Cooper tilting with his own ego again...  
Be that at it may, do be a lamb and beam on over to the The Big Bang Theory - S05E20: The Transporter Malfunction page to get the lowdown on how to tell your 1:9 scale Spocks apart, won't you?


1:40 am jst

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good Guys, Bad Guys and Marx Toy Memories

So who are the real good guys and who are the actual bad guys?  More importantly perhaps, do kids really care as long as toys are fun to play with?

There was a time, not so very long ago, when everything was crystal clear.  When the cowboys fought for law, order and justice in the old American West and the Indians were... well, in the way, apparently.

Or... something like that anyway.  In truth, the grand tapestry of the American Western frontier and how it all played out over the course of successive centuries is a somewhat complex tale that must be continually reexamined if we are to fully comprehend and appreciate it all.

And what's it all have to do with the Marx Toy Company?  Well pilgrim, the Old West was a highly lucrative mythos that the now defunct toy manufacturer frequently capitalized on.

And it's a good thing too, since company founder Louis Marx left behind a whole lot of highly durable and wonderfully inventive figures of action and adventure that came straight out of the American frontier past.  Or... out of the way we always imagined it anyway.

Visit the Marx Best of the West page to get a heap'n help'n of my thoughts on why, even though we can't change history now that it's all said and done, we can hopefully all look back and learn a heck of a lot from it.


11:49 pm jst

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Johnny Goes Dark

Oh boy!  How long have Dark Shadows fans been waiting for this?  Only a few decades of course, but it has often seemed like the countless ages a particularly long lived vampire is cursed to walk as one of the fabled undead.

Sort of like the epic legend of Barnabas Collins, really.  But don't look now!  Tim Burton is at it again, with yet another remake/"re-imagining" (mangling?) of a beloved classic.

Surely, if the upcoming film fails to live up to Dark Shadows enthusiast's high expectations, it won't be partly Johnny Depp's fault....  Will it?  Nah!  Maybe we'll just be able to blame writer Seth Grahame-Smith for this new take on the fabled blood sucker of Collinsport, Maine.

Visit the Dark Shadows page to see the trailer for the film that looks, at this point, like the project may be more tongue in cheek than truly faithful to the classic series.


3:27 am jst

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Hiho Silver, Away!

Time to return now to those thrilling days of yesteryear that originally brought us classic heroes such as The Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion Tonto and their fiendish arch foe Butch Cavendish.  The franchise has floundered a number of times over the years, but surely Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp can make lighting strike in the same place yet again in May, 2013 when the film is due to be released to theaters worldwide.

What are you watching for, stranger?  Hop on your horse and get on over to the The Lone Ranger page for more news, trivia and more links to more... news and trivia.


6:57 pm jst

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rediscovering a Controversial Classic

War.  What is it good for?  After all, "It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker.  Got one friend, that's the undertaker.  War has shattered many young men's dreams.  Made him disabled, bitter and mean.  Life is but too surely precious, to spend fighting wars each day.  War can't give life, it can only take it away!"

This now iconic protest song penned by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1969, and later immortalized by American Soul vocalist Edwin Starr in 1970, might just as well have been inspired in some small way by classic Twilight Zone episode #151.

Starring legendary actors Neville Brand and George Takei, the riveting teleplay was initially only broadcast once in the United States by CBS, on May 1st, 1964.  Subsequent repeats for syndication were pulled due to concerns on the part of the Japanese American community about one of the major plot points of the story.

But sadly, perhaps the true lesson that this particular foray into the darkest regions of the Twilight Zone so dramatically illustrates should have been learned way back in 1964, as America was just gearing up for involvement in the war effort in Vietnam.  Who's to blame?  Maybe no one.  For isn't that how wars inevitably get started anyway?
Revisit this timeless classic and ponder the ramifications for yourself, on the Twilight Zone: S05E151 - The Encounter page.

4:46 pm jst

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cowabunga, Dude!

The vaunted "Heroes in a Half Shell" are back!  Well, they never really left, but the now mighty franchise that first began as a one off comic book parody, originally published by Mirage Studios in 1984, has grown to such epic proportions, that creator Peter Laird was actually able to sell the beloved property to industry giant Viacom in 2009, for a reported 60 million US!

Most recently, independent film maker Kyle Roberts, head of Reckless Abandonment Pictures, has released an all new tribute video that revisits the original cartoon series, but in the form of a cleverly conceived stop motion short.  Luckily, you don't even have to visit a theater near you to see it, as this entertaining new flick can be seen RIGHT HERE (courtesy of YouTube), along with an impressive behind the scenes companion video promo.

So, what are you waiting for?  Read all about it on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles page!

12:12 pm jst

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