#throwbacktoythursday: Carded Comicbook Collectibles of the 90s

The late-90s was a real boon for comicbooks, in that there was a fantastical range of "indie" brands sprouting, beyond the Big 2 that was MARVEL and DC ("Dark Horse" was considered "3rd"???) - which included Image Comics (including sub-imprints Wildstorm, Top Cow etc) and Valiant. coming in after indie labels like Eclispe, Caliber, Kithcen Sink Press, Fantagraphics Books et al - the beauty of it all? NOT ALL of them were about the spandex-clad superhero-set, but also "everyday" or alternative realities, featuring everyone and even mutated kung-fu trained turtles and hamsters - the simple genesis of a distinctly geek-fueled fictional world we see today in animation, film and media!

That period also saw the proliferation of trading cards, AND carded toys, providing the geek with even more reasons to be sucked into the geekdom of imagination, and without a doubt leading to my personal slow and toxic spiraling downfall through the decades, I insist ~ LOL

A photo posted by TOYSREVIL (@toysrevil) on

I had casually enjoyed Matt Wagner's MAGE, which had led to his other opus, GRENDEL (now THIS, I relished!), and around the same period I was obsessed with Mike Allred's MADMAN (want to see my trading cards and uncut raiding card sheet collections? :p) .. imagine my utter geekjoy when "action figures" of the trio of characters were released?

Released circa 1998 by Big Blast, these articulated action figures stood out amongst the myriad of "regular" heroes from comicbooks from said "Big 2", beside McFarlene's SPAWN, in an era where an action figure boom gripped at collective geekdom! The 3 3/4 sized figures had given way to a larger universe of 6-inches and above!

And as well, "articulation" meant possibility and playability, unlike "display-only" collectibles like PVC figurines and statuettes. If they could't "move", might as remain flat on a 2-dimensional comicbook page, innit? LOL

The thing about these figures, were also the design aesthetics. They looked as if they jumped out of the 4-color pages ("as close to", anyways), as opposed to the overtly-muscled adaptations of comicbook characters as most toy adaptations are wont to have, even until this day.

I will always remember the self-satisfying feeling of self-importance in supporting "indie characters", especially as I was also a "reading" fan of their comicbooks - which in turn meant I'd kept them MIB and unopened til now, as they are now lost amidst the carton boxes which line my former bedroom, like the government storeroom seen at the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (I wish, right? LOL).

FYI: The image shown above is of a snap of a photography I had taken of them, to list for sale, in the mid-2000s.

On the other side of the coin, was me ripping out their HELLBOY release (also by Big Blast) and playing the hell out of it! BUT not remembering any of the toy-joy, and am now left with a faint memory of owning it, eventually loosing both figure and backing card, perhaps laid up somewhere somehow in my Hoard of Plenty.

I am constantly fascinated with these, as they too preceded the "art toy" movement/notion, and without a doubt grew from here, in one way or another, IMHO.

"Collectibility" is a double edge bitch blade, innit? At the very least we have "pictures of pictures" for posterity sakes, yeh? LOL

Have a swell #throwbacktoythursday, folks! :)