Free-range action figures

And if you’re not the kind of guy who pales when he realizes the truth of the matter, you can call them “dolls.” Because, you know, they are. And there’s no need to keep them locked away in their original packing material:

I always chuckle when I remove these from boxes — way back when I was a high schooler collecting dolls, there were a lot of arguments in the doll magazines about whether or not to remove from boxes. A lot of people were really hardcore that the dolls should not merely have their boxes kept (I usually don’t, any more — no room) but should be NRFB — never removed from box. And even back then, when I still believed I could sell them for actual money some day, I thought that seemed like no fun.

Nowadays, I realize that you’re not going to recoup any sort of investment on these. It’s only the really old rare stuff — like the old Jumeau bisque dolls, or the odd rare celebrity dolls of the 1940s — that fetches high prices, and you’re better off unboxing and enjoying. (And also — some modern doll collectors have found their dolls get discolored or otherwise spoiled from the packing materials. So even more reason to let the dolls be free and have fun.)

Twilight Sparkle still watches over my desk. (And lurking in the shadows somewhere is Aflac’s quacked-up duck. Both talk, when I can be bothered to check Twi’s batteries.)


  1. McGehee »

    6 December 2017 · 8:15 pm

    G.I. Joe, Major Matt Mason (wire-reinforced soft rubber, rather than jointed hard plastic — don’t ask how I found out about the wire), and something more G.I. Joe-like that I seem to recall was named “Action Jackson” with licensed disguise outfits like The Lone Ranger — those are the only “action figure” toys I can remember being let into a house with two growing boys.

    And if you’re going to buy dolls for your sons, you’re damn sure going to take them out of the box and make sure they get played with until they break.

  2. CGHill »

    6 December 2017 · 10:42 pm

    Somewhere in the last few days — I’m really not anxious to find out where — there was some video of the bloody (or at least dampish) dismembering of Stretch Armstrong.

  3. fillyjonk »

    7 December 2017 · 5:30 am

    A toy like Stretch Armstrong, in a house of kids, pretty much demands dismemberment, just to “see what’s in there”

    (My brother and I never had one, but we did try sawing golf balls in half, on the vague claim some kid at school made that the centers were somehow dangerous)

  4. McGehee »

    7 December 2017 · 7:23 am

    On Youtube, Taofledermaus has used Stretch not only as a target, but as ammunition.

  5. Roger O Green »

    7 December 2017 · 9:34 am

    In general, I agree with this, not just with dolls but Hess trucks, comic books and other “collectibles”

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