Thursday, October 31, 2013

Diamond Select Toys Munsters Select Marilyn & Eddie Action Figures

Marilyn & Eddie
 COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN 2013
Diamond Select Toys Munsters Select
MARILYN & EDDIE ACTION FIGURES

I've reviewed the other Munsters action figures Herman, Lily, and Grandpa, already, so I don't want to waste a lot of time going over the same stuff.  The packaging for Marilyn & Eddie is the same as the other figures, and like the other figures, the stuff inside is secured by a bunch of pain-in-the-butt twist ties.

Marilyn Close-Up

The accessories that come with this package are a little sparse, especially compared to the Grandpa figure.  Marilyn comes with a book, I guess just because they couldn't think of anything better to give her.  Eddie comes with his Wolf-Man doll, which is pretty sweet.  It also comes with a giant collar for Spot, the Munsters' pet dragon that lives under their stairs.


Eddie Close-Up
The figures are about the same quality as the other figures, and have the same decent level of articulation.  My Marilyn figure has a tendency to lean backwards a bit... not to the point of falling backwards, just enough to make her posture a little strange unless you work at getting her pose just right.

Eddie's Funeral
Overall, these are fun figures, and they pair great with the rest of the Munsters, as well as other monster action figures.

This is my last post for the Halloween Countdown, I hope you enjoyed it!  Check below for more pictures of Eddie and the gang.  In November I'll have more movie and toy reviews (including a bunch of Batman 1966 stuff) and I'm going to start reviewing season 2 of the 1970's Hardy Boys TV show, so I hope you'll keep coming back for more!

BONUS!  MUSIC VIDEO:
Eddie and the Monsters (Butch Patrick) - Whatever Happened to Eddie?




Marilyn & Eddie's Package

Marilyn & Eddie's Accessories






Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jimmy Olsen is a Sweet Transvestite in the Final Installment of Jimmy Olsen's Greatest Costumes and Disguises!


Jimmy Olsen's Greatest Costumes and Disguises #1
"JIMMY OLSEN: TRANSVESTITE" 


When counting down Jimmy's greatest costumes and disguises, one costume is clearly Jimmy's favorite, as he dresses in it more often than any of his other disguises.  That would be Jimmy Olsen dressing himself in women's clothes.  There are some interesting things going down in Jimmy's transvestite stories.  For one, men seem to be irresistibly attracted to Jimmy when he is dressed as a woman.  He is constantly meet with wolf-whistles and lewd comments on the street, and men fall in love with him right and left.  And while Jimmy's thought balloons make him out to be a reluctant woman, the looks on his face tell a different story.  Just look at the sly smile on Jimmy's face, in the comic panel above, and tell me Jimmy isn't in to it.

I'm going to be counting down the five cross-dressing stories I've found from the pages of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen comics.  I'm ranking them based on how interesting they are psychologically.

TRANSVESTITE #5
THEY DAY THEY UNMASKED MR. ACTION
from SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #159


In "They Day They Unmasked Mr. Action," Jimmy has been falsely accused of a crime, and is on the run from the police.  He makes a quick trip to the second-hand store, where he buys women's clothing, a wig, and make-up.  Then he changes into these clothes in an alley.


This story is probably the least interesting psychologically, because it's clear Jimmy is doing this to escape from the police, and he doesn't seem to be taking that much pleasure in it.  But it does have a scene where Jimmy walks down the street and is met with lust from the men hanging around on the corner.  In the story Jimmy's "man-hands" quickly give him away to the police, but it's okay, because it turns out to all be a ruse by the police to catch another criminal.
"...Are you ashamed to face him... ashamed to tell him you're a criminal... ashamed to tell him you're a transvestite?"

TRANSVESTITE #4
LESLIE LOWE, GIRL REPORTER
from SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #67


In "Leslie Lowe, Girl Reporter," Jimmy is feeling emasculated after finding out that his girlfriend, Lucy Lane, makes more than twice as much money as he does.  So he demands a raise from his boss, Perry White, and, failing to get it, quits his job.  However, he finds himself unable to get a job anywhere else.  Rather than humiliate himself further by going to Perry White and asking for his old job back, he decides to dress up in women's clothing and apply for his old job under the guise of "Leslie Lowe."

Jimmy's plan is to do the job as bad as possibly as Leslie, so that in the end Perry White will get fed up with her(him) and gladly give Jimmy his old job back.

Doris Ziffel almost discovers Jimmy's Secret
But Jimmy's fan backfires, because every time he tries to do something wrong, he ends up doing it perfectly instead, making the male Jimmy Olsen look like a chump by comparison.  In the end, though, it turns out that Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Perry White knew that Leslie was really Jimmy all along, because he forgot to take off his Superman signal watch.  Then they all have a good laugh about it, and Jimmy is hired back at the Daily Planet.

Jimmy Olsen: Shameless Hussy


TRANSVESTITE #3
JIMMY OLSEN'S SECRET LOVE
from SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #74

"Jimmy Olsen's Secret Love" is the first of the "Magi the Magnificent" stories I wrote about in a previous installment of Jimmy Olsen's Greatest Costumes and Disguises.  In this story, Jimmy, while disguised as a magician named "Magi the Magnificent," falls in love with a British movie star named "Sandra Rogers," not realizing that Sandra is actually his real-life girlfriend, Lucy Lane, who is also in disguise.  Jimmy only cross-dresses for a few panels in this story, but they are interesting ones to think about.  In the story, Magi and Sandra are forced to part ways briefly, to keep their dates they have in real-life with Lucy and Jimmy (in other words, each other).  The date in question is at a masquerade party, so Jimmy, who has fallen deeply in love with Sandra, decides to dress up as Sandra.

Psychologically, it asks some interesting questions.  Has Jimmy fallen so hard for Sandra that he literally wants to become her?  Or, was the fact that Sandra is a pretty red-headed girl, that resembles what Jimmy looks like when he wears women's clothes, what attracted him to her in the first place?  Does he see her as a reflection of himself?  Interesting stuff.

TRANSVESTITE #2
JIMMY OLSEN'S FEMALE FAN
from SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #84 
"Holy cow! A... a girl!"
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a man who fell in love with his reflection   In "Jimmy Olsen's Female Fan" Jimmy seems to be falling under the same spell, as he disguises himself as a girl, then joins his own fan club. Joining your own fan club is already an interesting bit of narcissism, but Jimmy then takes it to the next level, by appointing his female alter-ego as the leader of the club, and then forcing all the other boys in the club to dye their hair red and paint freckles on their faces, so that they will look like him.  Jimmy Olsen, dressed as a girl, surrounding himself with young boys, dressed as Jimmy Olsen.  This is some fascinating stuff, especially considering these comics were written for children.

Jimmy's Wildest Fantasy Becomes a Reality

TRANSVESTITE #1
MISS JIMMY OLSEN
from SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #44 

"Miss Jimmy Olsen" was Jimmy's first cross-dressing story, and possibly his best.  In this comic, Jimmy goes undercover as a chorus girl, in order to keep tabs on a gangster, "Big Monte" McGraw, and his chorus girl girlfriend, and figure out here they stashed a set of stolen jewels.  Not only is Big Monte fooled by Jimmy's female impersonation, but he quickly falls in love with her(him), and showers her with presents and affection.


Monte is also violently jealous of any other men who have eyes for Jimmy.  He has one man beaten for flirting with Jimmy, and has a fellow gangster who sent Jimmy a love note shot to death.  In one of the weirder parts of this comic, Jimmy doesn't even bat an eye during this murder, thinking that the man was wanted dead-or-alive by the FBI, and that "the law was spared the expense of executing him."

In addition to the transvestism, there are also hints of bestiality in this comic.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the two things are comparable.  Bestiality is f---ed up.  Cross-dressing is just a lifestyle choice, there's nothing wrong with it.  But this comic was written in 1960, when both of those thing were considered to be sexual perversions.  There is a subplot in this comic where Jimmy has to take care of both a chimpanzee, and a large Great Dane.  There is an odd panel in the comic where the Great Dane is standing upright, propped up on Jimmy's back, and licking his face (while Jimmy is dressed in women's clothing), that just seems, a little weird.  Then there is a later scene where Jimmy tricks Big Monte into passionately kissing the chimpanzee for several panels.  It's played for laughs, sure.  But it all adds up, and makes you start to wonder just what the writer had in mind when he was creating this children's comic.

Ah, come on, Monte.  At some level you always knew, just admit it,
Eventually, Big Monte discovers that his new love Jimmy is really a man.  He is just about to shoot Jimmy dead, but the chimpanzee steps in at the last minute and saves Jimmy's life by hitting Monte in the head with a baseball bat.  Afterwards, Superman shows up, and finds the stolen jewels.  The story ends with Jimmy Olsen back at work at he Daily Planet typing up his story.  He is surrounded by his male coworkers who are good-naturedly razzing him, saying things like, "Hey cutie, how about a date?"  Which is all in good fun.  But then you notice something...

Jimmy's undercover assignment is over.  Jimmy clearly has had time to go home and clean up, because he is not wearing make-up or a wig, and he is not wearing the same clothes he had on in the earlier panels.  But he is still wearing a dress.  There is no reason in the story at this point for Jimmy to be dressed this way, other than that he just likes doing it.  The story ends with Jimmy typing away while wearing a dress, and winking at the reader.  God bless you, Jimmy Olsen.  Live your life the way you want to live it.

Uh... no comment.

BONUS!  MUSIC VIDEO:
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Sweet Transvestite





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mad Monsters by Figures Toy Co. aka Classic TV Toys

The Monster Frankenstein, The Dreadful Dracula, The Horrible Mummy, and The Human Wolfman!
 COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN 2013
THE HAUNTED TOYBOX
CTVT MAD MONSTERS REPRODUCTIONS
Weirdo Playthings

The Mad Monsters were originally made by Mego in the 1970s.  These were Mego's version of the Universal Monsters.  The four figures were Human Wolfman, Dreadful Dracula, Horrible Mummy, and Monster Frankenstein.  Mego didn't have the license from Universal to do official versions of these characters, so they are all a little bit off-model, to avoid being sued.  For instance, Frankenstein has his bolts on his head instead of his neck.

The Monster Frankenstein and The Human Wolfman
The vintage figures are pretty pricey.  Mint condition figures in their original packaging go in the hundreds, and even a loose figure that has been played with can go for $50 or more.  Since that's a bit out of my price range, I was happy to buy reproductions of the Monsters by Figures Toy Co.  Figures Toy Co. is also known as Classic TV Toys.  It's the same company, but they have different websites.  I'm not really sure what the deal is with that...  I think they might be trying to transition away from the name Classic TV Toys, but I'm not really sure.

The Dreadful Dracula
Figures Toy Co. is the company that is making reproductions of Mego's World's Greatest Superheros Batman figures.  They are also adding some new figures to that line that Mego never made, like Alfred.  Plus, they are coming out with a line of 8-inch retro figures based on the classic 1966 Batman TV show.  While surfing their sites, looking for info about their upcoming Batman toys, I stumbled on a great deal for the Mad Monsters.  On the Figures Toy Co. site, the figures sell for $14.99 each, or the set of 4 for $59.99.  But on the Classic TV Toys site, they have a deal were you can buy all 4 of the figures loose, with no packaging, for only $29.99!   I don't collect figures mint-on-card.  I like to open them up, play with them, and display them.  So I was pretty excited to be able to buy them so cheap loose.  They have some other deals on the CTVT site that aren't on the Figures site as well, so you'll probably want to comparison shop both sites before you buy anything from them.

The Horrible Mummy
Judging by photographs on the internet (I don't own any of the vintage Mego figures for a true side-by-side comparison), the CTVT Mad Monsters are not as high of a quality as the original Mego figures were.  The sculpts look a little soft.  This is probably because these were made by making a cast of the Mego figures, instead of being produced in the original molds.  The paint on the figures' eyes and eyebrows looks sloppier on the CTVT figures than on the original Megos.  The figures have glow-in-the-dark hands and eyes, but the glow in the dark effect is pretty faint.  I could see it, but just barely.  There are also several paint defects on the Mummy's face (check out the photos to see).

The Snarling Face of the Human Wolfman
I've heard mixed reviews about the quality control on CTVT's action figure bodies, lots of stories about figures being cracked, or broken, and what not, so I was curious to see what I would get.  Right away, I was happy to see that none of my figures had any serious issues.  Nothing was broken, or missing, or anything like that.

Dracula is goofy looking from the front, but is actually kind of evil looking in profile.
All of the CTVT figures can stand on their own, which was a pleasant surprise.  Mego-style figures often have issues with that.  You'll still probably want to get a doll stand for them if you want to display them, but that's true of all figures of this type.  The range of motion on the shoulders of my Dracula, Wolfman, and Mummy figures was limited, and it was hard to pose them.  I would chalk that up to the limitations of this type of retro action figure body, but my Frankenstein figure had much more poseable shoulders, and I could move his arms in many more positions.  The Human Wolfman figure also had very loose wrists.  No matter how you posed them, they would just flop back into the same position.


Overall, I would rate the quality of these figures as acceptable, especially for the price I paid for them.  However, I might end up buying some higher quality replacement bodies from someone like Doc Mego, and just swapping out the heads and costumes on to them.  Supposedly the quality of Figures Toy Company's toys has been increasing lately, so hopefully I won't have any similar complaints about their upcoming Batman figures, because I really won't to like those.


Monday, October 28, 2013

So, Jimmy Olsen, You Wanna Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star?



Jimmy Olsen's Greatest Costumes and Disguises #2
"JIMMY OLSEN: ROCK STAR"

Jimmy Olsen disguised himself as a rock star on several occasions in Jimmy Olsen comics.  These aren't the only stories where Jimmy becomes a rock star, either.  For this list, I'm looking at four stories where he did it while wearing a costume or disguise.

ROCK STAR #1
ROCK'N R'OLSEN

In "The Rock 'N' Roll Superman," from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #32, Jimmy disguises himself as "Rock'N R'Olsen," aka his cousin, Jerry Olsen.  His cousin Jerry is a rock star that seems to be modeled on Chuck Berry, with a dash of Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis thrown in for good measure.  Jimmy steps in for him when Jerry get the measles and can't perform.  Luckily, Jerry is one of those Patty Duke style "identical cousins" whose only difference is his hair.  So Jimmy dons a wig, a fake mustache, and a flashy suit, and he's good to go.
In this comic, Jimmy just pretends to play the guitar, and lip-synch the vocals, to a tape hidden in his guitar.  In the wacky twist, the tape recorder somehow interacts with Jimmy's Superman Signal Watch, and beams signals into Superman's brain forcing him to rock 'n roll dance wherever he is.  This gets Superman into a bunch of trouble with some stuffy old ladies who think he is uncouth.

I wrote a more in depth article about this story a few years ago.  Click here to check it out.


Yeh!
Separated at Birth?


ROCK STAR #2
CHIP O'DOOLE

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #49 features the story "Alias, Chip O'Doole."  In it, Jimmy is jealous of Chip O'Doole, who is billed as "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Singer."
Note how Jimmy goes from, "O'Doole's sappy face" to "he looks a little like me," without a hint of irony.
Lucy is blowing Jimmy off to stay at home and listen to Chip O'Doole records, so Jimmy decides to disguise himself as the singer, then act like a jerk to Lucy.  This way, Lucy will hate O'Doole, and start spending more time with Jimmy again.  Luckily for Jimmy, Chip O'Doole looks identical to Jimmy, except for a pair of sideburns.   It's kind of amazing how many people in the Jimmy Olsen universe, look exactly like him, except for a small difference like a mustache, scar, or sideburns.  Was Jimmy part of some cloning project that went wrong, or something?  Or maybe, Jimmy is the ultimate human being, and all of humanity is evolving in that direction.  In a 1000 years, maybe everybody will look like Jimmy!
After Jimmy's previous lip-synching disaster, that forced Superman to dance whenever Jimmy performed,  Jimmy plays it safe by singing an playing the guitar himself in this one.  He doesn't however, take the time to learn any of Chip O'Doole's songs, and instead he just makes some random crap up whenever he needs to sing. 

And the local kids go nuts for it.

It's kind of like Jerry Siegel, the writer of the comic, was like, "It's just a bunch of noise anyway, the kids won't be able to tell the difference!"
Jimmy doesn't know any of Chip O'Doole's songs, so he just makes random stuff up.

ROCK STAR #3
THE RED-HEADED BEATLE OF 1000 B.C.  


Yeah-Yeah-Yeah! Yeah-Yeah-Yeah!
Of all the Beatles, Superman picks "Ringo."
In issue 79's "The Red-Headed Beatle of 1000 B.C.," Jimmy gets stranded in the year 1000 B.C. by an evil time-traveler.  Luckily for Jimmy, he has his "Beatle Wig" in his pocket.  So, naturally, he decides to start a Beatles craze in the year 1000 B.C.  He does this by wearing the wig while banging on a drum, blowing into a ram's horn, and shouting "yeah yeah yeah!" 

And the local kids go nuts for it.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Soon Jimmy is surrounded by throngs of Beatle wig wearing, Iron Age teenagers, dancing to his "music"  This upsets the evil time-traveler, who has been lurking in the background, so he arranges to have Jimmy thrown in a dungeon for stealing scraps of wool.

Eventually, Superman shows up and smashes some stuff and sets everything right.  He takes Jimmy back to the present, but allows him to perform a 1000 B.C. farewell concert before he goes home.  While watching Jimmy perform, Superman tells him that he is "more popular than Ringo."
So wait... for all of these years that I've been listening to the Beatles WITHOUT wearing a wig, have I been doing it WRONG?
ROCK STAR#4
BIZARRO JIMMY, ROCK-'N'-ROLL STAR

In "Bizarro Jimmy, Rock-'N'-Roll Star," from issue 87, Bizarro Jimmy #1 shows up at Jimmy Olsen's apartment, and kicks in the screen of his TV.  Since he is a Bizarro, this is meant as a friendly gesture.
It seems that Bizarro Jimmy has come to Earth in search of a scoop for his newspaper, The Daily Htrae.  Jimmy agrees to disguise himself as a rock singer version of Bizarro Jimmy, and perform on a local TV music show.  The plan is for Jimmy-disguised-as-Bizarro Jimmy's act to be a disaster, which for a Bizarro, would be a good thing.  The real Bizarro Jimmy could then go back to the Bizarro World and report on "his" failure to be a rock star.  So Jimmy goes on TV, and performs an insane show that has him singing while standing on his head, threatening the crowd, releasing a swarm of live flies, and singing songs about ugly girls.

And the local kids go nuts for it.
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Four Seasons, and The Detergents.  To this day, the four most important groups in the history of rock 'n' roll.
Jimmy ends up starting a "Bizarro Beat" nationwide rock craze.  Poor Bizarro Jimmy has to return to the Bizarro World in shame, and is "punished" for his failure to fail, by being promoted to editor of his newspaper, and given a raise.
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!!
When JIMMY OLSEN thinks you're acting weird, you know you're in trouble.

BONUS!  Music Video:
The Byrds - So You Want to be a Rock 'n' Roll Star


DOUBLE BONUS!  I just stumbled on this video from "The Detergents," who were mentioned in the Bizarro Jimmy comic above, and it's perfect for Halloween!  Thanks to "thedeadfraggle" for uploading this as part of the 2011 Countdown to Halloween.
The Detergents - Igor's Cellar

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