Sunday, April 17, 2011

For corporate men and catalog archivists!

The 28th seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse cracks in half like the spine of that rare 1986 pre-Toyfair Hasbro catalog when you first opened it! Yes it's time to talk toy catalogs with special guest co-host Colin Betts of! Thrill to Colin's tales about his experiences amassing a most impressive collection of Toyfair catalogs from the last 25 years. If you thought those little catalog leaflets that came with toys in the eighties were cool then wait till you hear about their supersized book-length cousins that only made it into the hands of toy store owners! Hear why when it comes to Toyfair catalogs, collecting pictures of old toy robots can be more fun than actually collecting old toy robots (and also maybe learn a thing or two about Japanese GI Joes) in this SO HOW DO THEY SPELL 'CATALOG' IN CANADA ANYWAYS? edition of the podcastalypse!

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Long time readers of the Roboplastic Apocalypse will already be familiar with pages out of mid 1980s toyfair catalogs from toy companies Hasbro and Ideal. They are treasure troves of information on old toylines printed in a format way larger and with descriptions more thorough than any pack-in catalog that came with action figures of the 80s. Fellow toy and catalog collector Colin Betts joined me for this episode to talk about some of the more interesting aspects of collecting toy company catalogs including how he got started, what kind of information is contained within them and how relatively hard they are to collect. We also talked about other paperwork that was only available to wholesale toy buyers like line art catalogs and toy company price lists. He even did the show intro!

From the Hasbro 1990 Toyfair catalog there's this page which shows prototypes of the Assortment III Action Masters. The final production versions of Banzai-Tron, Snarl, Skyfall, Kick-Off, Inferno and Shockwave were all painted and molded differently.

Here's an example of line art from the 1988 Hasbro line art catalog. These drawings were supplied by toy companies for use in retailers' newspaper ads throughout the 80s. At the start of the decade this type of material was used extensively in newspaper ads (as with the Transformers in 1984) but by the late 80s line art began disappearing from ads. I have yet to find an ad that uses this Squawkbox art. Scan courtesy of

Snippets from the 1988 Hasbro price lists from Canada (on the left) and the US (on the right). These order forms were what retailers used to order toys and can sometimes provide insight into wholesale cost figures and assortment availablilty. Canadian price list courtesy of


Unproduced Shogun Warriors vehicles
from the 1980 Mattel toy catalog

scan courtesy of
  • Hello fellow Macaroni-ans! (intro poem fairplaythings edition)
  • Being born without Frank Welker bones
  • The Roboplastical-archaeological significance of old Toyfair catalogs
  • Colin's start in collecting toy brochures
  • Dumpster diving at a Canadian toy store in the 80s
  • Pictures of toys that don't exist and the books meant to sell them
  • The Shogun Warrior 3-inch Raydeen prototype from the '78 Mattel Germany catalog
  • MegaForce art from the 1990 Kenner catalog
  • G.I. Joe strangeness in a 1987 Takara catalog
  • Other late 80s Hasbro toy robot catalog strangeness
  • Line art catalogs!
  • Whose line art is it anyway?
  • Mego toy representative Micronaut product sheets and their conspicuous lack of Gyrotron
  • Marty Abrams stating that the Gyrotron was released
  • Unintentional catalog hoarding by older, less technologically adept collectors
  • Shout out to the Thoroughly Informative Transformer Themed Internet Entertainment Sites
  • Unproduced Wheeled Warriors in the 1986 Mattel catalog
  • Unproduced Shogun Warriors vehicles for the 3-inch figures from Mattel's 1980 catalog
  • Toy company price lists and what we can learn from them
  • Why hardcopy toy catalogs are a dying breed
  • Super rare, super valuable samples of unreleased toys given away at Toyfair in the 1980s (and the kids who broke them)
  • Prototype Sectaurs Stellara that went for $11.50 on eBay and was flipped for $550
  • The 1986 Hasbro Pre-Toyfair catalog at
  • Don't rocket punch your friends!

Lionel Playworld ad from 30 November 1979 alongside a page from the Micronauts salesman sample brochure

scan courtesy of

Monday, April 11, 2011

ROM Only Memory!

The 27th seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse disintegrates into a dusty pile of ashes like a dead Dire Wraith! Yes it's a ROMtastic Podcastalypse as the Nostrodomatron tries to figure out why the heck there hasn't been a ROM action figure in the past 30 years and what's up with that Boobs McSpaceknight over in the Marvel Annihilators mini series right now. Plus I go looking for someone to talk some ROM with and I find a guy named Chris at the local comic shop who knows a thing or two about comic books! There's all that and more in this "IS THAT AN ENERGY ANALYZER IN YOUR SUBSPACE OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO MEET ME?" edition of the podcastalypse!

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ToyCo 18 November 1979
FedMart 28 November 1979

ROM in Silver Surfer Episode 5 and IKON in Annihilators #1


Woolco 12/02/79

Minibox 3 Column Blogger Template by James William at 2600 Degrees

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.