Category Archives: Retro Toy Corner

Five Really Cool Vintage Toys Spotted In Silent Night, Deadly Night’s Ira’s Toys!

Five Really Cool Vintage Toys Spotted In Silent Night, Deadly Night's Ira's Toys!

Well, it’s that time of year where we move on from gawking at all the cool, nostalgic shit Halloween 4‘s Vincent Drugstore had buried within that film, and move on to some Christmas toy spotting in, of course, Ira’s Toys from Silent Night, Deadly Night!

Now, when I see a movie of any kind presently from the 80s and 90s and said scenes are in grocery stores, toy stores, or shopping malls, I can’t help my eyes from wandering into the background of scenes and looking for nostalgic treasures from our childhood. It’s a weird tick I have I guess, but nevertheless, actually a fun game for oneself when revisiting old classics and can make them new to you all over again when you watch with a new set of eyes.

Ira’s Toys set the stage for traumatized Billy Chapman to begin his murderous rampage against all the people he deemed as “naughty”; which was pretty much anyone doing anything remotely sinful to him. And the toy shop is undoubtedly, now an iconic image among horror movie fans across the board. So let’s get to some vintage toy shopping, shall we?!

Masters of the Universe: Castle Grayskull

Introduced by the Mattel toy line in 1982, the coveted Castle Grayskull from Masters of the Universe sold a whopping 3.5 million sets during its run in the 80s! The He-Man and Skeletor figures sold separately each came with half of a plastic sword which could be joined into one “complete” sword, corresponding to the storyline in the included mini-comic. Together, the combined sword was used as a key to open the jaw bridge to the Castle Grayskull playset. It was a pretty badass playset.

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI JABBA THE HUT ACTION PLAYSET

Released in 1983 in conjunction with the great Return of the Jedi, Kenner spared no expense in its wildly successful Star Wars line. The toy version of the intergalactic gangster was kept strictly under wraps until the debut of Return of the Jedi in theaters, seeing as how the playset mimics a spoiler-y scene in the film complete with a “slave chain”. Pretty sure that wouldn’t go over too well with today’s audience.

Snoopy’s Dream Machine

Now, THIS is a rare find indeed for just about any toy scavenger- the 1979 Snoopy Dream Machine! This motorized contraption of Snoopy and his arch-nemesis the Red Baron required batteries and has a spinning propeller with flashing lights as Snoopy chases The Red Baron in his famous plane. It was hard to spot, but here’s a close-up picture of what the toy actually looks like.

Worthpoint

Dick Smith’s Monster Makeup Kit

Oscar-winning Makeup Artist Dick Smith (The Exorcist, The Godfather, Taxi-Driver) released several how-to books and make-up kits back in the 70s and here we got one right here at Ira’s Toys! This particular set was first issued in 1976, came with 16 molds, a manual, flex flesh, and a bottle of blood. For eye candy purposes, here’s a set I found a google that gives us a better look at it.

Worthpoint

And finally… Glorious 80s Halloween Plastic Costumes!

Ahh. The wonderful sounds and smells of a plastic garbage bag Halloween costume. Going to our local drugstore for the very latest, and greatest in noisy plastic wear was part of the Halloween tradition right along with grabbing a fun horror flick next door from Action Video, (my Mom and Pop rental store growing up). Of course, the Ben Cooper costumes were the heavyweight when it came to Halloween, but even the knockoff brands were just as good- well, I mean if they held up until the end of the night, you were in good shape- and most of the time they did. However, while they may look ridiculous, they are FAR more menacing than any kiddie costume you’ll see at the big chain stores today. I suppose Ira’s Toys here was no exception and stocked the noisy plastic wear all year long! What a great gal that Ira was.

Ira’s Toys, which is named after the film’s producer Ira Barmak, WAS an actual toy store at the time located in Herber, City, Utah, but has since been transformed into a Crossfit gym named The Mountain Gym. While you won’t be able to go there for any nostalgic toy-gazing horror movie style, you can always work on your sprints and jogging time with the spirit of Billy in the air. That outta get you going gon that treadmill a little bit faster!

Silent Night, Deadly Night – Collector’s Edition [Blu-ray]

Check Out This Custom Lego Myers House Halloween Set!

It’s almost Christmas, and everyone is entitled to one good Lego set. If only this were an official Lego release, this would be the dream build for both Lego and horror fans alike; right alongside an Elm Street house at that. But, we can live vicariously through a custom YouTube builder and dreamer on what COULD be if Lego got their shit together and made something like this for fans.

Bricktory Lap, a Youtuber and Lego Imagineer pieced together a superb build of the Myers house from the 1978 film, complete with Laurie, Michael, and Loomis minifigs. The set consists of 589 pieces total and is play-accessible with four bedrooms inside the house. Particularly, the room with Judith Myers’ tombstone on the bed paying homage to Annie’s death discovery. He even put the dead dog in there that Michael ate for breakfast on that fateful Halloween!

From designing the build to a cover box-set, Bricktory made a great concept here that I could see being a huge hit on the market.

Beautiful stuff here.

Make sure to check out his channel for other pretty cool builds, including Squid Game and Back to the Future!

The Downfall Of The My Buddy Doll Thanks To A Good Guy Named Chucky

Without skipping a beat, 80s’ kids know that My Buddy jingle- and we also know without a doubt, THIS, without a doubt, is the true inspiration behind the Child’s Play franchise. Sure, the Cabbage Patch Kids as originally stated, served as some inspiration for good ol’ Chuck. But My Buddy was in itself, was inspired by the Xavier Roberts’ line. Also, looking at this pair side-by-side, it’s beyond obvious we know where he got his look from.

In the earlier part of the decade, Cabbage Patch Dolls rules the ugly doll market with a mighty fist; crushing any and all competitors that stood in their creepy, cabbage-dwelling way. Although considered non-gender specific, the dolls were mostly marketed towards little girls. The boys had their GI JOES and HE-MAN, and that seemed to be the way it just was. Up until Hasbro launched a market campaign with a doll, directly marketed to boys as, “A little boy’s special friend! Rough and tough, yet soft and cuddly.”

The My Buddy doll was officially stocked on store shelves in 1985 and actually sold fairly well – ranking in eighth place officially as the top-ten selling toys for that year. But it didn’t last long. And neither did his off-shoot Kid Sister either- which I TOTALLY HAD.

And intro the theme song that will probably be stuck in your head the rest of the day. In which case, was most certainly the biggest selling point of this doll.  It truly was the perfect combination for creating a memorable identity for a toy while cleverly referencing the doll’s name throughout the “earworm” so much so, all kids’ would remember the name My Buddy or Kid Sister when asking for an oversized bundle of plastic and stuffing with sewn-on clothing.

Then, 1988 happened and in comes Chucky to permanently bury that pussy My Buddy/ Kid Sister duo forever into the hallowed grounds of unwanted toys.

Now while, it has already been confirmed via Don Mancini himself that the Cabbage Patch Kids served as some sort of muse for Chucky, along with other things, (NOT that garbage Robert the Doll story that has been circulating for years); it wasn’t until fairly recently that Mancini himself admitted to there being an inspiration from My Buddy as well. This could be due to any possible lawsuits that could have come his way and towards the studios with such an admission. Which, of course, is fair enough. However, we all knew better anyway.

Hell, everything from the look itself, the fake toy box, all the way down to the commercials screamed this was a blatant killer copy-cat. Come on… Even in the original pitched script Chucky’s name was “Buddy”; which of course, was later actually utilized in the reboot of the franchise in 2019.

Now don’t get it twisted. I’m certainly not giving the guy (Mancini) any shit. I’m eternally grateful to have such a marvelous, witty, pint-sized horror maniac in the horror movie legends roster. But, let’s face facts. Chucky was directly inspired by My Buddy- who in turn, had a hand in the down-fall of the doll.

Just like with Freddy, every kid in the late 80s’ early 90s’ knew all about Chucky; and we closely associated the plastic terror with the My Buddy doll. My younger brother had a My Buddy doll prior to the movie coming out, as I did as well with his sister companion. However, shortly after seeing the movie, we got rid of those fuckin’ nightmare inducing wads of stuffing on the fact it resembled it TOO much; and it did give my brother several nightmares. He did NOT want that thing in his room anymore; and unfortunately, that same scenario rang true for many other kids as well. Whether it was the kids themselves, or parents making that association, the My Buddy toy line suffered. Hasbro subsidiary Playskool continued manufacturing the doll into the 1990s, while changing up his look a bit to distance the toy’s legacy away from the Child’s Play series. But, it didn’t have the effect the toymakers’ thought it would and My Buddy went completely off line in the 90s’ due to poor sales.

Prior to the upcoming Child’s Play series coming in October from SyFy, Chucky’s kill count sits at 74. Let’s just make it 75 because My Buddy deserves at least that.