THE MARACA BROTHERS (Mixer Taite)
Early tomorrow morning I leave for Mexico. My best friend Miguel is getting married down there and I’m his best man. I live in Canada, the Great White North, and I’ve never been down south before. I’m excited about the trip but I’m equally trepidatious. I once got third degree burns when I stayed out in the sun to long here at home. I’m pretty much doomed once I get down there. Besides the deadly sun I’ve also received the following warnings from various people:
1. Don’t drink the water.
2. Stay near crowds to avoid getting murdered by the crime families who run the resorts.
3. By wary of deadly jellyfish swarms, and
4. Wipe down all the utensils so I don’t get worms.
That’s just a few of the things I have to worry about. Don’t even get me started on airplanes and sharks and all the other dangers that await me. But I’m trying to stay focused on the positive aspects of the trip. I’m sure it will be a blast. It’s mine and Vanessa’s first vacation together and I’ll have a bunch of my good buddies there too. It’s two weeks away from work if nothing else.
In celebration of the trip I thought I’d review a toy with Mexican ties but I had a really hard time finding one. Most of my toys are made in China. I think the only Mexican made toys I have are the terrible Batman and Nightwing bootlegs that Miguel brought back for me as a souvenir a few years ago.
I tried to think of Mexican pop-culture characters. The first one I thought of was the Spider-Man villain Tarantula who I could’ve sworn was Mexican but after reading his Wikipedia page I discovered that he hails from a fictional South American country. The next one I thought of was Arana but I already reviewed her a few months back. I couldn’t think of any other Mexican super heroes and I couldn’t think of any Mexican G.I. Joes either. I then pondered if I had any figures of Mexican wrestlers like Rey Mysterio. It turns out I don’t but that line of thinking made me remember these two little figures.
M.U.S.C.L.E.(Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere) was a Japanese toy line exported to North America by Mattel in the 1980s. They were small flesh coloured wrestlers and they came in all kinds of weird varieties. I have previously reviewed two batches of them (Muscles 1 and Muscles 2). My brother Doug and I collected them and we each had sizeable collections of the little guys. None of the characters came with names or back stories so we had to make it all up ourselves. I thought these two guys looked like maracas so I named them the Maraca Brothers. They were some of my favorites and the were my reigning tag-team champions most of the time. I viewed them as Mexican Luchador wrestlers which is why they ended up the subject of this post.
The two figures are very similar. From the waist down they’re identical. Their maraca shaped torsos share many similarities such as the flower pattern near the belt buckle, the “handle” on the top, and the round masked face in the center. The differences are that one has a necklace of shrunken heads and an arm up in a punching position where as the other guy is jewelry free and has both arms at his side. I always imagined the guy with the necklace of heads was the crazier of the two; the one who would fly off the handle in pre-fight interviews and stuff like that.
Regrettably I decided to add some color to these two one day which is why they look the way they do. I actually don’t mind my color choices but I used a type of marker which didn’t age very well. A lot of the ink has rubbed off entirely or bled into other colors over the years. Apparently my 10 year old self didn’t feel the need to color the back of one of the figures for some reason.
Before I sat down to write this review I googled this character to see if I could find out his real name. Apparently he’s called Mixer Taite and he’s actually a blender, not a maraca. That flower pattern near his waist is intended to be dicing blades seen through what would be a clear glass body…strange. Also, I couldn’t find any reference to his partner so I think these figures are actually supposed to be variations of the same guy. It’s neat to find that kind of stuff out after the fact but I still like them better as the Maraca Brothers. 6 out of 10.
So adios mi amigos. Hopefully I survive the trip and this is not my final post. If all goes well I shall return in a week with a bunch of crappy Mexican bootleg figures to review.