Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Retro Revival Blog Challenge Week 3: Toys

Today I am joining the Retro Revival Blog Challenge.  Seem like a good fit, they talk about a lot of 80s and so do I.  This is Week 3 and the first one I wanted to chat about.

This week's topic is on Toys.  Now the original post was about favorite toys. But instead, I want to talk about the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons toy line from LJN.

I was never a big collector of these, to be honest.  I had a few figures that I thought were cool, Kalek for example, but that was about it.  My brother had collected some and I bought some myself, but always said they were part of his collection.  I was 13-15 at the time and was not into buying toys anymore.

So a few years back I got the whole collection given back to me by my brother with bits my youngest brother added to it.  I remember buying the Ogre and the Umber Hulk.  The others were new to me.

You can see all I have left of Kalek is his spellbook.  Maybe I'll put that in my witch figure display in my game room.  I really like the ogre and the hook horror.  That hook horror looks like he walked out of my Fiend Folio and I still prefer this look to the "revised" one we get today.

Of course what my son was most psyched about is the Tiamat figure.  She does not have her wings anymore, but he quickly said "she is the god of dragons, she can fly without wings if she wanted to".  Plus he has been coveting my aspect of Tiamat D&D mini for a very long time.  So this is a nice little prize for him.

When I first got these from my brother I thought I would not use them in my games, but recently I have used the Ogre as a proto-Orcus demon and the Troll as Vaprak the Destroyer.

In the adventure, the boys were transported back to the Dawn War where He Who Was was killed by The Destroyer (who will become Demogorgon) and Dis, the god that dies and then becomes the demon Orcus.

I am not sure if finding the other toys in this line is something I want to pursue.  It would not be easy and it would not be cheap.  I hit plenty of swap meets, flea markets, and second-hand-stores though that when I find one, I pick one up.

Of course, no discussion of these toys is complete without mentioning Skylla.
I have taken my obsession with this character to, well, my typical levels of obsession.

She is the evil magic-user/with from the LJN Advanced Dungeons & Dragons toyline and Basic/Expert modules. So there is a lot of reason for me to like her.  So I made witch stats for her for every game I currently play.

I even made a Hero Forge mini of her to use in my games now (more on that tomorrow).

There you have it!  There is a great listing and discussion of all these toys at The Toy Archive.

Check out the other posting this week at Retro Revival.


JB said...

Huh. Like you I managed to get my hands on many of these D&D toys when I was a kid, but (as with you) it was really after I'd gotten over my "action figure" phase, so they weren't played with nearly as much as they deserved.

However, what is strange is none of my figures resemble any of the ones you own!

I have a Warduke, a Strongheart, a Kelek (who did NOT come with a spell book...instead a glow-in-the-dark wand and staff), a Melf, and that half-orc assassin (whose name escapes me...Zartan?). I had a Nightmare that Warduke could mount, and I think I had an Elkhorn (dwarf). But I don't even remember seeing the figures you have here on display, save for the hook horror (which I never owned).

For my birthday one year, my mom decorated my birthday cake with some small plastic minis, like the Skylla one (in fact, I believe I had "skylla"). I wonder whatever happened to these...they may still be in the closet of my old bedroom back in my mom's house.

As an aside, I missed on collecting (and always wanted) the large action figures, especially the "Ogre King" and "Young Titan." I wrote entries in my B/X Companion that were directly inspired by these two, long forgotten toys.
; )

Mickey Yarber (Retro Rambler) said...

Really good read, and thank's for participating in this week's Retro Revival Blog Challenge.

I never got the chance to play in the world of D & D, or any other role-playing game for that matter. My mother was one of the many who feared it's ties to the realm of Satan, lol. But I always thought it was cool and would have been loads of fun.

These toys all look really good, and every time I see stuff like this it makes me regret my lack of involvement even more.

Jeff said...

I have Strongheart around somewhere. I remember when there were sections in the store full of these.

Dr. Theda said...

the "Roper" was a cool "bendie" in that set... still ham "Neo-Oth" and Undead figures... Great post !!

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@JB, these are the monster lines. I never cared for the actual "Action figures". Though I may have had a Warduke. But if you grew up in the 80s and lived anywhere near a mall you were issued one.

Now that you mention it I do recall the glow in the dark wand and staff. I have no idea then where that spell book came from.

@Mickey, Thanks! It was great fun and I would love to do more. The nice thing about D&D is that it is still out there. You can still pick it up and learn to play.

@Jeff. I remember the same. Going to K-Mark or WalMart and they had tons.

@Dr. Theda. YES! Though mine no longer bends.

Zudrak (Michael G.) said...

Aw, man! I am totally jealous! I wish I still had mine. We had a mixture of both the monster lines and the action figures.

Nice pictures, Tim!

Cello said...

hi, the spell book belongs to the orange/yellow orc, the little pvc things representing pebbles (coins?) and bones belongs to the umber hulk :)