Figure Friday: General Mills Monsters, Hot Wheels’ Batmobile

Another fortnight, another Figure Friday. Let’s get it.

General Mills Count Chocula and Franken Berry Action Figures by Jada Toys

This Sunday will be August 1st and it will also be socially acceptable to start planning, decorating, living and breathing Halloween. Real Halloween fanatics started thinking about it about a month prior to this or, in all reality, never stopped.

One of my favorite annual traditions is the return of the General Mills Monster cereals, the breakfast food that reigned supreme in the ‘70s and most of the ‘80s. This year marks the FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the line so we’re getting all sorts of good stuff in celebration of it. I’m making a note for my future self for the 31 Days of Horror posts in October so I can pay these titans of advertising the proper respect they deserve.

I was surprise to see that the monsters are finally getting their own action figure line with the release of Count Chocula and Franken Berry figures. However my surprise quickly turned to sadness when I realized that my personal favorite was missing…Boo Berry.

Arguably the best of the Monster cereals, it’s offensive to me that Boo Berry was not included in the initial offering. Don’t come at me with Fruit Brute or Yummy Mummy either unless you want to catch these hands. The only thing I can think of is that Boo Berry wasn’t introduced until 1973 and won’t be turning 50 for another two years. I sincerely hope I don’t have to wait that long for the Boo Berry action figure that society owes me

The figures were getting are pretty darn cool but I’m torn about ordering them. While it’s true Boo Berry is my fave, the other two are perfectly serviceable mascots and I would hate to break up the band. The paranoid part of me also wonders if these two don’t sell well enough then maybe we won’t GET Boo Berry.

Watch this space, I guess.

Hot Wheels The Batman Batmobile

This was a toy purchase that I didn’t see coming this week…me buying an actual Hot Wheels car for the first time in…decades?

In the past I’ve had discussions with other toy collecting friends and we’ve all come to agree that when it comes to other collectors, Hot Wheels collectors are the ones you do NOT want to fuck with. They’re usually older than us by a decade or more and can often be seen at various big box stores as soon as they open. Once the store is open they’ll hot foot it to the Hot Wheels aisle and dive headlong into whatever bin the toy cars are stored in.

Personally, I have witnessed a man in his 60’s clear multiple pegs of Hot Wheels looking for a specific car and then move on, much like a tornado, leaving destruction in their wake. May whatever god you pray to help you if you encounter two competing Hot Wheels collectors. It’s kind of like those nature documentaries where the two rams head-butt each other to be crowned king of the mountain.

Back to the Batmobile.

This Hot Wheels caught my attention because it is the FIRST piece of merchandise associated with the forthcoming The Batman movie. Obviously, this was in the pipeline when the movie was still scheduled to come out this year and Hot Wheels just went ahead and released it anyways. It’s a cool car and it’s quite unlike any other Batmobile to date since it’s not a weird supercar or a tank. This Batmobile has more in common with the classic Detroit muscle cars that are still so prominent in the area of southeast Michigan where I live. I’m really curious to learn more about the making of this Batmobile and find out what it was made from when the movie releases.

This week I had an unexpected day off when my car had to go into the shop so I stopped at a nearby Target store and halfheartedly glanced at the Hot Wheels bin. To my surprise there were actually a couple of the new Batmobiles in there so I snagged them and hightailed it to the checkout. I had managed to catch the new stock as it was being put out and the the initial wave of collectors missed by being there as soon as the store opened. Also, here in the US Hot Wheels still generally retain for one dollar OR LESS.

A lot of my toy collecting over the last year has shifted to online preorders since it wasn’t quite safe to go from store to store looking for toys in the middle of a pandemic. Sure, it was a guaranteed score for stuff I wouldn’t have found normally but it also removed the “thrill of the hunt” aspect of toy collecting. It may sound a little odd to a non-collector but finding a toy on the shelf that I had been searching for gave me a bit of a jolt and reminded me of how things used to be.

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