Firstly I should state that I am not sponsored by The Toy Box, I just have a big appreciation for old toys. I have probably mentioned before, but in the 1990’s hitting up carboot sales, charity shops and collector fairs it was easy to pick up lots of awesome toys from the 70’s and 80’s. I acquired a huge vintage Star Wars collection, and had quite a few Ninja Turtles, He-man and Transformers toys. I really wish it were so easy to find such treasures for mere pence in this day and age.
After seeing an unboxing video online, I was introduced to The Toy Box. It is much like other boxes of goodies delivered to your door, with the exception being that you don’t have to subscribe, and can just buy a one off, and if there is something you want more than something else, if you contact them they will try to match what you ask. The contents of the boxes are based on a point system, for example you can get a retro video game which takes up so many points, an action figure which so many more, where as miniature toys and trading cards take up less. I think if you decide to take on a monthly subscription, you get extra points for your box. Oh and finally, they do 80’s and 90’s boxes, the 80’s costing slightly more. I previously had received an 80’s and 90’s one and found the 80’s one had more stuff in it that I recognised and loved as a kid.
So after being gifted another 80’s box by my girlfriend, I thought I would share my experience!
As you can see, the box is pretty nondescript, a plain white box with THE TOY BOX stamped on it in ink. You can also see my finger in shot, as I am a moron and don’t realise that I have goofed on a picture until I have uploaded it. But it can stay there now.
Opening the box, the first thing at the top of the box is a little piece of paper with a picture of an original grey Gameboy on it, thanking me for my purchase. I would feel even more thanked if it was a real Gameboy, but that would be a tad over expectant on my part.
Besides, the original Gameboy’s had really really shit picture quality with the screen being an odd kind of murky green. I had one when I was a kid, and I am amazed that I played and completed any games on it. I remember carefully having to angle it so as the light from whatever room I was in would light up the screen. It was a fools dream to think you could play it in the car on a sunny day. The preferable weather for adequate Gameboy playing was cloudy but bright. Luckily living in England, it was often cloudy, but not always bright. How kids have it easy these days.
So moving underneath Gameboy picture, in a little ziplock bag sat my first retro item.
Garbage Pail Kids trading cards! I will confess, I have never owned or even seen any of these before. As I grew up in the 90’s I am guessing a lot of parents would have just thrown these away instead of taking it to a carboot sale. I however am now a fan of them. Varicose Wayne? A kid with veins popping out all over his face? And Walter Melon, a kid shaped like a watermelon and sliced open? I’m down for that shit. There is something that feels inappropriate about them. I don’t know if I would have been allowed them as a kid, I probably would have been, but at the same time I can imagine my mother seeing one and giving me a somewhat disapproving look.
So, item(s) number two.
M.U.S.C.L.E figures. I will state upright, I am not the biggest fan of these. I used to have them as a kid if I bought a job lot of Monsters in my Pocket. Try as I might, I just could not get into these. Where as MIMP were toys that were overly bright and almost fluorescent like a high visibility jacket, these flesh coloured figures just look like they were naked. I also didn’t understand what they were, Monsters in my Pocket were monsters, Monster Wrestlers in my pocket were wrestlers. These looked like they didn’t know what they were. If anyone reads this and wants these particular two, send me the postage and they’re yours.
The next item! A video game!
Space Invaders for the Atari! I don’t own and have never owned an Atari but this sure as hell seems a good reason to get one. I love old video games, and I think everyone has played space invaders or one of its many clones. What I love about old games is the artwork on the front.This looks like a very War of the Worlds-esque picture and I really dig it. Nearly always was the cover art a false representation of the game, usually looking more like a movie poster than an accurate portrayal of anything the game was about (Early Nintendo Entertainment System games seemed to do the opposite, with simple sprites from the games as artwork, it seemed a much more honest approach. I find it interesting and boring at the same time but following the video game crash of ’83 I can see why they would go for a more literal look.) When I eventually get an Atari, I will report back on what I thought of the game.
And the final item!
Fuck yes! For anyone who doesn’t share my appreciation or recognition for this green tiger, this is Cringer from He-man. Basically when He-man is just Prince Adam, this tiger is just Cringer, a big cowardly pet. When Adam uses his sword and turns into He-man, Cringer becomes Battle Cat, an armored and saddled steed for He-man to charge into various conflicts upon. Or he could be Action Mans pet cat, like mine was many years ago.
I actually saw one of these a few weeks ago in an antiques shop and excitedly explained to my very patient girlfriend who and what he was, and was very tempted to buy it. But it wasn’t cheap and it looked like shit. Now I have my own, and considering his age, he looks like a pretty well groomed kitty.
So that was my 80’s toy box! I think it was around £18.99 which isn’t super cheap, but considering the things inside haven’t been in production for a very long time, I think the price is very fair. The guy who runs it is also very friendly and will help out if you have any queries.
For anyone who is interested in an 80’s or 90’s box of their own, the address is http://www.the-toy-box.biz
Thanks for looking!