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Metal Lunchboxes and Americana

by Radar Toys

Here at Radar Toys we spend a lot of time doing one thing - time traveling. Epic nostalgia adventures into times gone past, until we wake up and it's time to pay bills. The great franchises of story, television, and movies from the last five decades have been aging very well and holding their own against the media of today. And given the media of today, originality, it seems, is harder than it appears. The fashion the last few years is to revisit, re-make, and reinvent things that were revered in the past. So, it seems these days that anything good is actually only "recycled good." We could insert a very long list here that could go like, Transformers, Willy Wonka, and about a dozen superhero movies. And you know what....

That's okay. People enjoy seeing their revered franchises see the light of day again, and they cross their fingers that the new spin will do the franchise justice. It gives people the opportunity to share something that was special to them at one time, with someone that they care about and experience it once more. If done well, it can be a very good thing for beloved franchises. So what's the point of all this, you say?

The other day we were time traveling again and sharing stories. The conversation turned to a product that we all had as kids, and yet they were all different. What was it, you say? It was something awesome, something functional, and something we loved and yet, beat up on with healthy amounts of abuse. Drum roll please..we give you... metal lunchboxes. At Radar Toys we are certainly all unique and different individuals, and yet, we laughed at how amazing it is that we all had this one product in common. 

Nobody is needed here to debate the awesomeness and quality of the BioShock video game franchise. It was detailed, thorough, unique and stunning. Award winning design, beautiful graphic art, it was a masterpiece of an experience. Here at Radar Toys, we are huge fans. What really made us stand up and take notice however, was the fact that the line of action figures were actually given their due respect when it came to design and quality. Too often great franchises are slighted with sloppy, mass produced figures that end up cheapening and staining the series for years to come. Examples that are sitting on the shelves at this very moment are abound. Green lantern movie merchandise anyone? Perhaps Thor? These are perfect examples of cheap products that are not doing justice to the franchise. 

And I know, they're for the kids right? Well, kids form great memories from their favorite and beloved toys, and that has the power to turn them into collectors that can sustain a franchise for years, decades even. Why companies can't seem to grasp this is beyond us. A little more effort in quality, detail, and design can go a long, long ways.

Thankfully, BioShock was spared this slap in the face. Our guess is that because it is of a mature nature, it was treated as such, and reaped the benefit of that. So what made the BioShock figures so great and instantly collectible? The easily evident first attribute was the pool of material they had to start with. Perhaps the most recognizable character from the franchise is the Big Daddy. Scary, tough as nails, and hell bent on protecting his Little Sister, he is gorgeously designed. Drill, tank, suit, the Big Daddy has all the components for a really cool and unique figure. Lets look at some pictures:

Hey everyone, we're running a contest this week for two free Green Lantern Blackest Night Series action figures. Since the movie is about to debut, and the movie merchandise is ridiculously weak looking, we decided to show the people what real Green Lantern figures should look like. Here's the prizes:


Mega Bloks - The Untold Story

by Radar Toys

When it comes to construction and building toys, one name says it all, and that name is Lego. It is almost universally accepted that Lego owns and dominates the arena of building sets for kids and enthusiasts. The reason for this is easy - Lego makes outstanding products. We love them, you love them, and most importantly, the kids love them. But what do you do if you are a competitor of the Lego juggernaut franchise? You'd better have some good ideas under your belt, because we have a feeling that Lego is not going to make it easy for you...laugh.

Thankfully, MegaBloks has some smart ideas and the last few years they have been seeing them come to fruition. MegaBloks is not a new company, they've been around for years, and they have a solid brand name that is instantly recognizable. Traditionally, they have been satisfied occupying the role of building toys for the early childhood market. The bigger, giant building blocks for children under three. That's great and they've done very well there for years. For the most part Lego has seemed content to let MegaBloks have that arena and stay there. However....

The last few years MegaBloks has been brewing up some new ideas, to the benefit of their company and the customers that are shopping the shelves. So what has MegaBloks been doing that is so smart? The first and most beneficial has been their improved licensing. We guess it's true what they say, you've got to spend money to make money. The last four years has seen MegaBloks putting some great franchises on the shelves, like Spiderman, Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean and Halo. These licenses have the draw and power to pull MegaBloks out of the early childhood market, and into more direct competition with Lego. Take a look: 

Given the fact that the new Green Lantern movie is about to debut, we thought it was appropriate to take a look back and see what made the franchise so great. What kept it so fresh for decade after decade? A DC Comics powerhouse, the Green Lantern franchise debuted in 1940. That’s some serious roots in the world of comics. What we love about the appeal of the Green Lantern storylines is that the powers are derived from special rings. You aren’t born with special abilities, you just need the ring. Can’t you just imagine slipping one of those bad boys on? Now that’s some serious bling! Excuse us, while we suppress our power hunger right about now.

After the original story of the Green Lantern, which was the legendary Alan Scott character, the Green Lantern story evolved into many rings. That helped create the room for more characters and more complex storylines. It was a smart move and helped the franchise survive the 1950's, 60's and 70's. It helped shape and give birth to the richly detailed world of the Green lantern.

To us, more recently, the best thing to happen to the franchise was the Blackest Night storyline. You have a superb mixture of characters from many DC franchises mixing it up. Some alive, some dead, some resurrected good guys becoming bad guys and vice versa. It’s awesome. Ever want to see an evil Superman? A rotten Batman? A Lex Luthor trying to help? It’s a fantastic storyline and helped to renew the Green Lantern franchise for another generation. Plus, it gave birth to waves of figures that were unique and interesting. Here’s a quick look:

green lantern blackest nightgreen lantern blackest night

Will the movie do the Green lantern justice? Who knows. We certainly hope so. At least the stories are on the path to success with the recent Green Lantern Brightest Day series gaining steam. So here’s to Alan Scott, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner – Green Lanterns.

Who knows more about the Perry Rhodan Figures from Fredy Martin Schulz?  I know that he made these figures from 1967 to 1970 and then lost the licence. But did he still make the figures for a longer time? Which figures did he make? For those who do not know the Perry Rhodan Figures: They are about 7cm large, made of hard plastic and handpainted from Fredy Martin Schulz.

And the last question: Do people from other countries than Germany collect these figures?

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