Tuesday, November 13, 2012

China Makes Crappy Army Men


The inherent beauty of the Christmas season is the pure volume of junk that gets released every year. And I'm not even talking about the obvious shit, the lights and decorations or the limited edition candies and other seasonal items with Santa shoved on the label.

Someplace beyond all that hullabaloo you'll find all the really interesting items. The ones tucked slightly out of sight, perhaps near the end of the Christmas isle and shoved haphazardly together on a dusty old shelf. I'm talking of course about those dirt cheap items we refer to as Stocking Stuffers!

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Do you know what the best thing about Stocking Stuffers are? Zero Expectations. It doesn't matter what is inside of them, so long as it is something. When I was a kid half of my stocking were filled with peanuts and it didn't even matter. I looked forward to those peanuts every single year.

Throughout November and December we are going to take a look at how brilliantly bad most of these mass released Stocking Stuffers are. You'd scoff at them any other time of the year but somehow, someway... they'll get a pass thanks to Christmas's watchful eye.

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Up first is a three piece set of generic looking Army Men that I picked up for the low price of $1.00. I wanted to start with these guys first because despite being absolutely the worst action figures I've seen in years, I for some reason cannot get enough of them.

What precisely is wrong with them? Well outside of the paint flaking off, the general inability to stand, the miss proportioned limbs, poor construction, and the fact that I sort of feel like I have lead poisoning after spending fifteen minutes photographing them, then I would say not much else is wrong...

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... other than the random holes in the back of each figures head and the fact that they didn't even attempt to cover up the screws that hold the body segments together. I am pretty sure that I've seen birthday cake decorations that are of a higher build quality than these generic Army Men.

And you know what, that is why I simply cannot get enough of these horrible toys. You can be so much more creative with a set of three random ass Army Men then you ever could be with licensed toys. Optimus Prime will always be just that, Optimus Prime... leader of the Autobots.

These guys can be absolutely anything you want them to be, and the poor construction quality gives each figure an added extra dimension that, while not intended, gives them all a hilariously bad back-story. Behold:

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I've named this figure Private Skin Cancer because look at his arm and come up with some other rational explanation for just what the hell is wrong with it. And those marks on his face? Exactly how it came out of the package. It looks like a three year old with parkinson's disease tried to paint on the eyes and kept missing the target.

But with a little creativity those suckers could be cybernetic implants designed to give Private Skin Cancer awesome heat seeking Predator vision. Perhaps those cybernetics are the reason why he developed skin cancer in the first place, as sort of an unforeseen side effect.

The plot just thickened, my friends!

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Lieutenant Goggles is kind of like a poor mans Robocop. But even a poor mans Robocop is still a pretty badass dude. If the guy with skin cancer has cybernetic eye enhancements then clearly the guy with the huge Robocop visor must have something even more badass behind it.

Or hes simply a huge LaDainian Tomlinson fan.

But for the sake of argument, I will imagine that he has some sort of Robocop / Iron Man HUD display going on behind all of that. You see that weird gray thing on the front of his chest? Clearly that is some sort of futuristic ray gun and the visor is the targeting system.

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Finally we have White Dwayne Johnson, he's just like the professional wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson .. only incredibly white. Doesn't matter though, because White Dwayne Johnson has the ability to raise the People's Eyebrow and potentially lay the smack down on some alien candy ass!

Clearly, this is our comic relief of the trio but I wouldn't bet on him making it out of many battles alive. Being a white version of The Rock will only get you out of so many situations before reality catches up to you in the form of a bullet in the ass.

Do these toys suck? Absolutely. I almost broke one of them while writing this article. But in the end, you've got to have something to strap fireworks to come July 4th. And cheaply made Chinese Army Men are perfect for doing just that!

4 comments:

  1. Hmm. What ARE the holes in their heads for???

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    1. If I had to guess it has something to do with the molding process that the heads to through. Its much more entertaining if you picture them all suffering from horrible, back ally brain surgery... though.

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    1. God bless poor Chinese painting processes! They give us unintentional People's Eyebrows on generic army men toys!

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