Friday, November 21, 2008

Please Save Me Again: WHAT HAVE I DUNE? (or not Dune or Lego or other stuff)

I screwed up No Blogging for Old Robots Week by mentioning I would put up some Dune ads and then never doing the Dune. Instead I spent the whole time giving 900 word blow jobs to He-Man. Before I go off fingering the Lion-O for a couple of months I want to prune those Dunes and other miscellaneous crap so that if I die in a car accident on my way to Texas, future visitors to this site will see this very last post and think the whole blog was about Dune, Legos, Cheetocats and the Megan Fox anal pics they came looking for in the first place.

YOU DUNE IT WRONG!

Toys R Us 12/06/84Pay n Save 12/26/84
Dune is something I know absolutely nothing about and never had toys of but that I knew I needed to get ads from when I saw them. That movie came along in 1984, a time when the toy buyers for the big retail chains thought a big license was all that was needed to carry a toyline to success. With Toy Fair in February and the movie's release in December I can see how they felt willing to gamble that Dune would be the next Star Wars. But 84 ended up being all about toy robots instead and Dune died on the shelves. It was the first big movie toy licensing bust and it got buyers to realize that movie tie-ins weren't all gold. People rag on the movie's poor box office performance being the main factor but I think it was more a victim of the popularity of toy robots. Also the name was pretty bad for a toyline. I don't care how strong the robots were, if Dune had named itself "Megan Fox Anal Pics" I guarantee it would have sold tons of toys.

BRICKS IN SPACE
Mervyn's 11/21/85
JC Penny 11/24/82

I loved the space Legos in 1984. I think it was the last toy that came along before the robots thing hit me like a ton of bricks. The two ads above show pretty much every Lego Space set my sister and I had. I was grateful for the space sets not because they helped me play out my fantasies of being an astronaut and making giant leaps for mankind, but because Lego Space sets had the vital components I needed to complete my Lego Voltron with which I played out my fantasies of cutting the earth in half and murdering the entire planet.

BALLS OF FURRY

Thundercats lick their own balls! Like GI Joe, I have never understood their popularity and suspect they may be some sort of mind control program gone horribly wrong. I have read the work of psychologists who theorized that the boom in toy robots popularity was a result of children trying to cope with and understand technology. The "trying to cope" angle explains well a lot of hot toy trends of the 80s. Care Bears could be an attempt to help kids deal with feelings, Strawberry Shortcake helps little boys understand that girls smell, and He-Man taught us it was okay to be gay, but what were kids thinking when they were playing with Thundercats? What were they trying to cope with or understand? I'll tell you what Thundercats was all about-keeping kids from having vaginal intercourse with the family cats. It's the only thing that makes sense unless they intended to turn everyone my age into furries, which is what happened.

6 comments:

Paul said...

I don't think toy robots can be the major reason for the failure of Dune, because there were a lot of non-toy robot themed toys that were. I'd agree that poor box office didn't help either, but the major thing that killed the line was that it wasn't a film for children... at all. I love the movie despite it's flaws, but it's a long, dense, dark, and disturbing sci-fi world. If any kids even saw it, I'm sure they would have been scarred for life.

By the way, if you ever need a Dune movie expert, you have your man. heh

naladahc said...

The Dune toys kinda suck though.

Well... I like the Sandworm one.

But I ask you... where's my City of Onn/Sareer action playset?!? Where's my Leto on his suspensor cart?!? Where's my hordes of Fish Speakers?!?!?

I can't keep using an old 80s Jabba The Hutt, a sandbox, and a ton of GIJoe Scarlets I bought at a garage sale!!!

And don't get me started with the fact that I don't have a Darwi Ordrade figure!!!

I'm still hoping for a Judy Dench action figure so I can kitbash a Reverend Mother Bellonda!!!

Grrrrr!!!

Jaysun said...

Dune toys didnt look as fun as the Tron light cycles.

sean said...

How could you be really into He-Man when you were a kid and not the Thundercats? I LOVED that shit when I was little. I had all the figures (I had all the He-Man stuff as well). To me Thundercats was like a darker He-Man where characters actually died.
Mumra < Skeletor. Yeah, I said it.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

That's a good point, Paul. I've read the same argument made to explain the poor sales of Gremlins toys that year, too. The retailers bought that line in February figuring it was Speilberg so it had to be good, then the movie came out around the holidays and kids saw the cuddly furballs turn into monsters and get frapped in a blender.

Nala, I think the biggest tragedy is the loss of a pre-Star Trek Patrick Stewart figure.

Jaysun I don't think Megan Fox naked looks as fun as Tron light cycles.

And Sean, are you really really really absolutely sure you "had all of them"? Like if I were to pull out a checklist and name some relatively scare He-Mans would you be able to say you had those, too? It is such a bold and broad statement to make that usually when someone makes it my eyes roll and I have to figure out what exactly they were trying to say.

sean said...

Yeah, I probably would go as far as to say I had all the He-Man figures when I was a kid. At least all of the figures that came out from the time the line started to '87 when I got the toys. See, this kid in our neighborhood had sixty or seventy of them in his room and I'm not kidding around or shitting you there. That was like the whole line up to that point plus some duplicates if you go by the master list at He-Man.org. He was getting rid of all his stuff though because he thought he was too old for the toys and he came to our house with seven or eight boxes of the figures, including the Greyskull castle.
So I had all of the figures from your most popular guys like He-Man all the way down to the really obscure figures like Clamp-Champ and Tri-Clops. And they were all in good shape with their accessories too. Some of the kids in the neighborhood were really jealous and my mom kept telling me over and over again how lucky I was to have all the figures but I was just kind of "eh." I mean, other than He-Man and that green cat guy he rode on and the castle of greyskull and your occasional fun/weird character like Stinkor (I loved that they gave the toy that weird stink to him) that was just a boring/lame toyline (no offense to you really loving the toyline of course). As I said in my initial post, Thundercats was He-Man done better. As I said, I really don't get how you could be indifferent to Thundercats or think they were for pervs when really the toyline/cartoon wasn't really that dissimilar to MOU. If anything the series was a lot better in terms of the darker plots and the better animation.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm not trying to start a flame war, I'm just defensive of the Thundercats and the toyline. :) You have to admit that the playset for the Thundercats castle kicked some major ass. I mean, come on, how was that not awesome?

 

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.