It’s time for Figure Friday brought to you by the fine folks Outrun Collectibles, a super cool and CANADIAN online toy store! If you use code BIFFBAMPOP you can get 15% off your order!
Cartoons are cool. Toys are cool. Cartoons that are nothing but half-hour advertisements for toys are somehow the coolest of them all. Now that we’re four decades removed from the beloved advertainment cartoons of our youth I think we can all safely say that
all a lot of those shows were utter CRAP.
A strange if unintentional side effect of these shows was the legions of brainwashed fans (myself included! Put away the pitchforks) they produced. By the time the year 2000 rolled around some of these fans were grown up and entering the entertainment industry, hellbent on rebooting or remaking these shows but this time they’d make them as good as they remembered they were. When I was in college my mind was blown that Transformers: Beast Wars actually told a compelling story with characters that possessed more depth than the ropey CGI of the era would have lead one to believe.
After I had graduated college and was working as a directionless temp in a sea of beige cubicles, the internet was not quite as omnipresent as it is today. I had to work some nights and the odd Saturday here and there but I was largely on my own and the company I worked for at the time either hadn’t heard of or straight up did not care about web filters so I was left largely unsupervised to read various blogs to my hear’s content. It certainly made the hours fly by.
In the pre-YouTube era there wasn’t a one-stop shop for the complied wealth of internet videos. If the site was really fancy they were able to host their own videos but mostly it was clicking link after link and hoping to find something good. But one random Saturday I struck internet gold…
The Fensler Films G.I. Joe PSAs were some of the most unrelentingly silly things I had ever seen on the Internet. Remember, back then it was just blogs and email…this was something weird and different. It didn’t make sense because it didn’t have to. The YouTube video I linked above is one of the older videos on YouTube which I chose mostly because of how low-res it is. It really takes you back to a simpler time before a bunch of tech bros decided it would be cool to start collecting everyone’s data, turn your uncles racist, and destabilize democracy.
To their credit, Hasbro tried to C&D Fensler Films and keep the PSAs out of the spotlight but the genie was already out of the bottle and copies of the PSAs spread like wildfire to every site across the internet capable of hosting videos. Honestly, the internet probably peaked then and we should have called it a day. “Blogger” could probably still be a legitimate career…
In what was first thought to be an April Fools Day joke but was ha-ha later related to be REAL was Super7’s G.I. Joe PSA figures. I must say that I am incredibly enamored with the idea of these figures due to how silly they are. True, it’s a bit like the parent company saying, “Hello, fellow kids!” 20 years after the fact, but I am blinded by my love for these videos and the nostalgia of the good ol’ days.
The ReAction figures are mostly just tiny pieces of art in my opinion. The line reimagines several popular properties through the lens of “What if all 80’s figures were made like Kenner Star Wars figures?” All figures have 5 points of articulation, all figures look vaguely like their characters…and that’s about it. These are made to be kept in their boxes, sit on your shelf and look nice (or funny as the case may be with these). The ReAction line could quickly be eclipsing Funko as the ubiquitous plastic ephemera of the day.
I may have a couple ReAction figures sitting around but it’s not a line for me…generally. When it was revealed that Body Masage Roadblock was a real figure I could feel my defenses begin to crumble. I’m going to have to order one of these things, aren’t I? Side note: I can’t believe they didn’t release a “Porkchop Sandwiches!” figure as part of their initial offerings.
“Who wants a body massage?”
It’s me. I do. I want a body massage, Roadblock.