I started this blog on December 18, 2011 which is nearly 3 years ago. I was inspired by the G.I. Joe blog, JoeaDay, where Rob Buzan reviews a new G.I. Joe figure every single day. He’s done that for over 3 years now which is insane. I tried to maintain that pace initially and while I did manage to write 365 reviews in my first year they weren’t posted daily. For my own sanity I took that pressure off myself when I went into my second year. I vowed to only write when I wanted to but also to make an effort to post regularly. My output was cut in half but it allowed me to continue to enjoy doing this. I do still set blogging goals for myself and my most recent mission was to reach 700 posts before my 3 year anniversary. Well I’m 24 days away from my anniversary date and this here is my 700th post so mission accomplished. It’s crazy to think that I’ve written about 700 different toys and I feel like I’ve still only barely scratched the surface of my collection. I still have SO MANY more toys to write about. Even if I never bought another one I could still keep this blog going for years to come.
So thank you all for reading. People have come and gone over the years but I’ve maintained a loyal few readers that have stuck with me for quite some time and I still get over 200 views a day. I especially appreciate all of you who comment regularly. I’d also like to thank my girlfriend Vanessa for all her support. If you’re a regular reader you may be aware that Vanessa and I split up last winter and I moved into my own place, hence the post “Man Cave no More”. Well I’m happy to report that the break-up didn’t stick and we’ve been back together since the summer. Since I began 3 years ago Vanessa has bought me a bunch of cool toys (Snake Eyes, Cobra De Aco, Dr. Venom, Frankenstein, to name a few), a camera, and the portable photography studio that I use to take all my pictures. Plus she actually reads some of these posts.
For these milestone posts I try to choose a special figure that’s either super awesome or holds a lot of sentimental value. For my 200th review I wrote about a toy that wasn’t an action figure but was very dear to me, my stuffed mouse Mack.
I like to think I was a unique character in high school. I was kind of artsy. I loved to draw and I “published” my own comic book ‘zines. I’ve previously reviewed some home-made figures based on those ‘zines like Chiliwac the Ant and Lance the Dolphin. I was also a skateboarder who was out on my board most nights of the week (though I was never any good at it). I was a big fan of punk/alternative music and spent my weekends in the city jumping around in mosh pits at punk shows. And I was also a raver who attended all the underground parties held in condemned buildings, old church halls, and exhibition grounds.
My “look” was a blend of skater/raver with my own unique twist. I had dyed hair, rubber bracelets covering most of my forearms, large beaded necklaces, and ridiculously over-sized pants paired with band T-shirts and skate sneakers. I also had a book bag covered in iron-on patches that had compartments full of random dollar store toys. A few people around town used to call me “Toy Boy” and I actually considered creating a clothing company with that name for a time. I had a long white plastic wallet chain made up over oversized links that hung past my knee and I had a rubber dolphin hanging from my belt loop. Despite all this, I promise you I wasn’t as weird as I sound.
One of my many unusual wardrobe choices was that in the breast pocket of my jacket I kept a stuffed dinosaur. His name was Templeton, named after Ed Templeton who was one of my favorite pro skateboarders. I can’t recall where I first got Templeton but I imagine he was an impulse buy at a dollar store probably when I was drunk. I stuck him in my pocket and that’s where he stayed for probably 2 years. Sadly I don’t have any pictures of the 2 of us together. My high school years pre-dated the era of cell phones and social networks and I was relatively camera shy anyway.
Templeton started out as a cute little thing. He was bright orange with a yellow belly and pink hair. He had little rounded arms, a nubby tail, and little Godzilla plates down his back. I assume he’s supposed to be a T-Rex.
I enhanced Templeton by piercing his nose, ear, and genitals with safety pins. He doesn’t actually have ears or genitals so I approximated their location. I linked the 3 piercings together with a small chain that was part of my original wallet chain before I replaced it with the white plastic one. The chained piercings were inspired by Rachel Bolan, the guitarist from Skid-Row who had a chain linking his nose ring to his earring. I also dyed Templeton’s hair green with a Sharpie marker but most of that seems to have faded away.
Me and Mack the Mouse shared some great times at home when I was a kid but no other toy in my collection has shared as many life experiences with me as Templeton did. He was with me on dates, at parties, at raves, at rock shows, etc. Everywhere I went, he went. Even with the chain and the jewellery, and the dolphin, this little guy was probably my most notable calling card.
I don’t have the same sentimental attachment to Templeton as I do to Mack but he does bring back a lot of good memories when I look at him. He’s kinda gross looking these days, dirty and stained, his colors faded, and the tip of his tail burnt, but that doesn’t take away from him in my mind. All that wear and tear is evidence of the good times we had.
This is most likely the highest rated dollar store toy I’ll ever review. 10 out of 10.