Understanding for Beginners
I have been collecting toys for years. They dominate my apartment, they eat a lot of my time and expenses, and I consider my collection my release. A year ago my girlfriend, The Princess of Power, was invited to move in with me. At first the toy collection was allowed to stay put, for we would be moving to a bigger place in a few months. However when the big move was upon us, we had to discuss what would be happening to the toy collection.
Discussion? What discussion? They're going all over the office and the kitchen and the dining room. If you're in a serious relationship, you'll know that you never have the final say on anything be it what's for dinner to what's on TV. I anticipated this and did some research to see how I could get her interested and accepting of my hobby by getting her started on her own collection. Hopefully this can help you too.
First off, if you've been reading this site for any amount of time, you know that I love playmobil. So I decided to start there. I scouted around eBay and found about $200 worth of Playmobil Victorian Dollhouse for around $50. I thought, this would be big enough to feel like a collection and an honest attempt to generate interest, without risking too much money. The idea was that whenever I brought home drunk pirates, I could also pick up the dining room or whatever, and not get into trouble. The dollhouse was initially well received, and it paid off, I even got a few playmobil sets as gifts. Lando da Pimp's bachelor party was held at my place, and for the event, I rounded up all the maids from the dollhouse, and chained em together near the pirate ship and had one pirate with the bullhorn selling them off. When we came back from the strip club, I was horrified to find all of the pirates bent over a barrel or chicken crate with various female playmobil figures running them up the ass with their own swords. There was also... a girl at the helm of the ship. Though emotionally scarred to this day, I really enjoyed the fact that she was enjoying these figures the same way I did. The move went off with out a hitch and we set clear boundaries, her toys go here, my toys go there, her potted plants and pictures go everywhere else.
Uncover Her Childhood
Through discussing the new MOTU line, I discovered she loved She-Ra. She started with He-Man figures when she was little, but her younger brothers kept taking them away and chewing on the hands. Enter She-Ra, with her pinks, purples, and rooted hair, and the boys kept their mouths to themselves. We went to her mom's place to dig up her collection, and we found that her favorite one was split in half. Though the story is too heart-wrenching to relive, I finally found my girlfriend's first Grail. I would replace this figure via eBay. Once she arrived in the mail, my girlfriend was thrilled. Right now my current goal is to get the message to Mattel that the She-Ra line will work. They have got to bring it back. (Ed note: BRATS which are more action figure than doll were one of the most popular toys last year.)
Some fun background, in my girlfriend's childhood, the She-Ra figures would often find the time to make sweet love with the Ninja Turtles. (He-Man was her sister you sick bastard). We have spared no expense to recreate that image for you here.
Finding Current Candidates
Well, She-Ra is not available now, and we've rounded out her old collection. What to aim for now? The Care Bear relaunch from Play Along is a God send. We've talked about which one was her favorite, and which ones she used to have or always wanted. Here is a whole new line of new things to wish for and collect and display. I managed to get Play Along to send me a Care Bear Castle. Hopefully this would balance out the MOTU Slime Pit (more on that in a minute)
Not only do we have rebirths of the original plush dolls, but a whole line of collectable 3 inch plastic Care Bears and playsets is available. We have the castle, we set it up, and we are discussing which set is coming home next. Check out the full review at the bottom of this article.
Luckily these are available at Target, Wal-Mart and online at ToysRUs.com so you can combine orders and shipping.
Find Balance Danilesan
So the big trick is balancing out the collections. You want to display the Mutant
Slime Pit? You're going to need something of equal if not greater estrogen
levels to balance it out. This Care Bear thing has Christopher Lowell written
all over it. Hearts, rainbows, clouds, hearts... it's a little gross to look
at. But that's the point. She has to know that this is a sacrifice on
your part. Contrary to popular belief, it is not my prerogative to have
the Care Bear Castle in my home, but it means more to me to have the Slime Pit
out of the closet. You will probably have to sacrifice a little dignity.
Ole Stand by... Plush Dolls
Ok, you're still looking, you still need to find that one hook but you need something in the mean time. Your 18" Tortured Souls are collecting dust. You can't go wrong with plush dolls. Beanie Babies are out, they're old, and they now have a stigma of old cat lady attached to them. My girlfriend said she normally wouldn't go out and buy plush dolls for herself, but enjoys collecting and displaying the ones I have bought her. This is great for me. I am single handedly controlling what this collection consists of. Don't like teddy bears dressed as southern belles? Don't buy any.
The plush Care Bears I've covered... I've also picked up both Babblin' Boo (not technically plush) and Costume Boo from Pixar's Monsters Inc. I don't mind these in the house at all. They were both a little hard to track down, but I got the thrill of the hunt with em. Along the nostalgia theme, we found some Popples. WARNING, this Popple came with a video of two 80's episodes... they were painful. One other tip is that Hallmark makes great plush gifts, and usually you can get them for really stinkin' cheap when you buy three cards or whatever. Comet the reindeer and the kissy-face bears were both well received and only about $5.
And if you're looking to get started, you might be interested in our Thanks, You Were Great gift bear available in our store.
Where Our Collections Stand
We went a little further and decided that figures could venture out of the office and go on display in the foyer area when you first walk in to the apartment. Score! We got some of those screw-in shelves from Target, and we each got three to put stuff on. I quickly loaded up my three with MOTU, the new Ninja Turtles, and some McFarlane guys. Things were beautiful for about a week. But then my Princess goes to her mom's place and freaks my shit out with her contribution. Stinkin' Jem dolls, with their neon hair, their neon rock instruments, and their towering foot-high frames. They completely dominated and dwarf whatever masculinity was left of my collection. So I learned my lesson. I shudder every time I walk by, but I do hear from my friends, often "Dude, you have Skeletor in your foyer. Hang onto that." And I do.
How MillionairePlayboy Can Help You
So our reason for being here at MPb is to help you, the loyal reader, make it through each day just a little easier than the last. Hopefully our tips gave you some ideas on how you can introduce or strengthen the toy collection lurking in your significant other's psyche. We'll take it one step further. We have an extra Care Bear Castle we'd like to give you. Though it's girly and tacky, and full of hearts, she'll love it. I mean, you don't love jewelry right? Same idea. Plus this will get you a lot of affection wink wink. Drop us a line about your dire need for a Care Bear Castle. Include details about your significant other's collection or lack there of. Pictures are helpful but not necessary. (unlike pimpin'). Be sure to include what kick-ass gross guy thing you'll be allowed to display if you suddenly acquire a CB Castle. You have two weeks, send us the e-mail before August 8th, and we'll pick the best one and send it out to you pronto. Make Care Bear Castle the subject header.
While you're working on that, here is a detailed look at the Care Bear Castle, and a deeper explanation on why She-Ra and Jem worked for my girlfriend. Maybe this can help you out as well. We also poked around and found some other lines currently in stores that may help you out. WARNING do some light detective work before any big surprises. My girlfriend never got into Barbie or My Little Pony and it could have been ugly.
Care Bear Castle: A Closer Look
Ok, what are we looking at here? It's about 18" wide, 8" deep and 15" high. Most
of the "action features" activate a sound and blinking light display. The swing
on the left plays a Care Bear theme and makes the adjacent stars light up. Plug
a Care Bear on the peg on the seat and he'll swing back and forth a bit. Next
to that is the "peek-a-boo" door. Stick a Care Bear on the base and you can slide
him in and out of the doorway, each time you get a corresponding slide-whistle
effect. In the middle is a switch activated "draw bridge" and plenty of places
to position a Care Bear to welcome wayward children. Then there's the sliding
board that activates more lights and sounds. On the side is a hot air balloon
that raises and lowers with the twist of the star on the top, and of course the
rainbow bridge that will activate more noise and lights when pressed upon. You
also get a carousel that two bears can sit on. There is an off switch. Believe
it or not, the girls love this thing. Oh you get four different 3" Care Bear
figures, Cheer Bear, Wish Bear, Funshine Bear, and Grumpy Bear,
he's a grumpy gus!
Filling the She-Ra quotient for the time being are Evil Lyn and Teela from the new MOTU line. With the same pose and size, these two figures harken back to the original line as well. Evil Lyn has a great, well, evil look in her eyes, and love her dagger. She stands a bit better than Teela. The sculpt is dynamic, the paint job is well placed. This is a great figure, and is technicallyavailable now. Here are the pics.
Truly Outrageous, Jem and the Holograms
My girlfriend said that the something special that attracted her to this
line was the whole musical group aspect. She had always wanted a band when she
was younger, and this was a great role-playing exercise for that. The hair and
changeable outfits didn't hurt either. She was very protective of the flashing
earrings years ago, and surprisingly, the red lights still flash when activated.
The piano below, turns into a bed. Lucky for purple-haired Rio Currently
no word on when these are coming back around. Also each figure came with a cassette
tape of original songs you could sing along with. There were Jem's Holograms and
of course the evil Misfits.
My girlfriend said that the original draw to She-Ra was that they were like He-Man.
You had good versus evil, you had swords and unicorns and of course hair to comb.
Instead of snakes, skulls and mutants, you have butterflies and
well, more butterflies. No, no... there are some peacock references as well.
One more time, Ninja
Turtle on Angelica action... yuck.
Other toys that may be collectable by your significant other
Remember to pick something that you can get more of. Nostalgia is high right now, but not the dominating force: