Mr. Nostalgia Presents…the GI Joe Doll as Indiana Jones

Posted on: September 27, 2013

I remember one vacation to Disney World in 2004 with my wife we were walking around Disney-MGM Studios enjoying our day. While we would do all the rides there, sometimes we would skip The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular for a few years, and then see it, that way it always remained fresh to us. I always made it a point though every year to check out the Indiana Jones merchandise at the Adventure Outpost or little cart they had.  I liked seeing what they were selling, and since Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984, there hadn’t been any new Indy toys made until Disney started making park exclusive Indiana Jones merchandise.  But that day I was surprised to see something they had, because, while they had their regular exclusive merchandise, this was something else, something I had never seen them do before or since. It was a 12 inch doll dressed as Indiana Jones and on the box had the name G.I. Joe.

Now, this toy wasn’t supposed to be Indiana Jones himself like most toys are, but it was GI Joe AS Indiana Jones, as a stunt man for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.  There were two versions of this Indiana Jones/GI Joe doll, one African American and one Caucasian.  Both were dressed as Indy would be and were in nice, large boxes that gave you a good view of what the toy came with, with the GI Joe logo on the top of the box and a nice Indiana Jones one on the bottom featuring Harrison Ford in the Indy gear.

 

This Hasbro figure is actually re-used from a toy line called “Adventure Team Secret of the Mummy’s Tomb” back when Hasbro started to release different Adventure Team play sets between 2000-2004, just in time for an Indiana Jones version.

The doll came with the following items: whip, side bag, leather jacket, torch, three jewels, three snakes and a sarcophagus with a mummy inside. The back of Indy’s jacket reads “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” across it.

The box details are very nice, with a clear front as mentioned above.  The back has a great picture of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones from a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where he is in the Cairo Market Place (and makes me think it might be the scene where Indy runs into the Cairo Swordsman) and has pictures across the top from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, and above those pictures the name Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.  The text over the image of Harrison Ford reads: “Facing death-defying obstacles and clashing with the enemy is part of a normal day for Indiana Jones. The epic tales of this globetrotting archeologist have fueled the imaginations of would-be thrill seekers around the world, thanks to the magic of movies.

Making that magic look real onscreen means taking real-life risks that can only be handled by highly trained stunt people and experts in explosives and weaponry. The Indiana JonesEpic Stunt Spectacular recreates those amazing scenes, pulse-pounding explosions and awesome clashes of Indiana Jones’ adventures for a live audience.

While watching the professional crew and stunt people in action, some of the guests may be chosen as extras, but the director chooses GI JOE to play the most important role – Indiana Jones himself.

GI JOE has extensive combat training and nerves of steel that make him a natural choice as he faces the perils of performing dangerous stunts. Fending off a gang of masked attackers, jumping from rooftops, even narrowly escaping before being crushed by an enormous boulder are all handled deftly by GI JOE.

Emerging unscathed among exploding fuel tanks and army vehicles, he proves that even in the fantasy world of moviemaking, a role like that of an Indiana Jones stuntman is serious business, where only professionals need apply.”

This is a really cool Indiana Jones and GI Joe collectible.  It doesn’t bother me that the face doesn’t look like Harrison Ford, I mean, does the 12 inch Kenner head really look like Harrison Ford?  Not really, nor does the 12 inch doll released in 2008 for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I didn’t buy this that day, I figured I already had my Kenner 12 inch doll so I wouldn’t need another, but today I wish I did.  It sold back then for $40.00.  It’s kind of ironic, if you read one of my earlier posts about Indiana Jones where I was trying to find The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones action figure of Indiana Jones, I used to use a GI Joe figure and pretend he was Indy (that was until I traded a kid on the playground two bags of onion rings for the Indy figure, the deal cost me a total of 50 cents) and back in 2004 I could’ve had a 12 inch GI Joe doll and pretended he was Indiana Jones.  It’s the “Circle of Life” I tell you!

Until Next time,

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 2:01 am

mr. nostalgia presents…happy thor’s day!

Posted on: September 26, 2013

In honor of Thor: The Dark World coming out 7 Thursday’s from it’s Friday premier I present to you each and every Thursday leading to that day to be “Happy Thor’s Day”. Why?

Because Thursday is named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor. In Old English, Thursday means “Thor’s Day” or in Old Norse “thorsdagr”.

Thor, in the Old Norse Legends, is represented as a red-bearded god wielding the hammer Mjolnir, which was used as a weapon against the Jotuns (giants), and heard as the boom of thunder to humans. The Vikings, who worshipped these pagan gods before Christianity spread throughout their land, never feared the sound of thunder, for they knew Thor was out battling Frost Giants.

So, “Happy Thor’s Day” to you!

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 11:24 pm

Mr. Nostalgia celebrates the release of Iron Man 3 with a whole bunch of cool Iron Man toys…

Posted on: September 25, 2013

Not much to say in this blog except Happy Iron Man 3 day!  Here’s some cool Iron Man toy pictures:

  

  

  

 

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 1:31 am

Mr. Nostalgia Takes a trip down memory lane over an old Indiana Jones T-shirt…

Posted on: September 24, 2013

It’s hard to believe that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is 24 years old. Even harder to believe that when the movie first came out, the day after my birthday, I had just turned 14, would be graduating grammar school, and starting high-school that fall. But all of that is true. It’s no secret around here that I’m a huge Indiana Jones fan, most likely readers skip my blogs when they see me mention Dr. Jones, but I can’t help it, there were and are so many great collectibles about him that you can keep writing and writing about them all.

 This story actually begins on May 24th, the day Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released, which was a Wednesday back in 1989 and was released in time for Memorial Weekend. My mother, for whatever reason she decided, perhaps because my birthday was the day before, perhaps because she knew how much I loved Indiana Jones, or perhaps because she wanted to do something nice, or all of the above, let me go on opening night, which was pretty huge back then considering it was still a school night. I saw the movie the first time with my buddy Rich and another kid from our 8th grade class named Peter. I can still remember walking into that theatre and being the first ones in the room, and being so excited to see it. That summer, I would wind up seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 6 times in the theatre, the most I would ever see any film in the theatre. Leading up to that first showing, I was reading my Lucasfilm Ltd. magazines that had every issue  leading up to May dealing about Indy, like crazy.

 At one of my viewings,  it was the 5th,  my brother was there seeing it with my cousin, and my other cousin was there with his parents and saw me and I told him this was my 5th time seeing the movie, I bought this t-shirt below for $15.00 that they were selling in the theatre. Looking back, that seems kind of pricey for 1989, but looking even further back, it’s tough to imagine being 14 and this shirt fitting me. But I was and it did, and I wore it all the time I was such a fan of his.

 

 (I cropped the picture so you could get a better look at the shirt, but there it is.  Part of me wants to have it framed, and part of me likes having it in a draw so every now and then I can take it out and remember. Not really sure which I’ll end up doing, but either way, it was a cool shirt to buy back then and is still a cool shirt now.)

 I even wore it to Walt Disney World’s new theme park that had just opened Disney-MGM Studios (now named Disney Hollywood Studios) the first time I went there, though I couldn’t wear it to see the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular because it opened on August 25th, 1989 and my family was vacationing at the beach in Florida the last week of July and the first week of August. But, the next time we returned to Florida in the Summer of 1991, the shirt still fit and I wore it that day to see the stunt show (which recreated the exciting stunts from Raiders of the Lost Ark including a cool scene where spears came out of the ground, the giant boulder chasing after Indy as he gets the idol, the fight in the Streets of Cairo, and the famous fight around the plane that was to fly the Ark of the Covenant to Berlin).

 That year I was 16 and had been working part time on the weekend with my dad in a garage, and half days during the summer, so I saved up a lot of money for the trip.  We drove down to Florida, and on the day we went to Disney-MGM Studios (it was still called that back then) I spent over $200 on Indy merchandise.  I walked out of there my wallet much lighter, but my arms heavier from the items I had just bought.

 When my wife and I go back to Disney each year, we skip the stunt show for a few years, then see it.  As many times as I’ve seen it, I still like to watch it, after all, it’s based off my all-time favorite Indy movie as it is, so what isn’t there to like?

Below is a button I got at a convention one year for $1.00.  Sometimes, at a convention, you just feel like Indiana Jones when you make a cool find of something you collect.

 Until next time,

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 2:23 am

Mr. Nostalgia takes another trip down memory lane with Indiana Jones and the temple of Doom…

Posted on: September 22, 2013

 On May 23, 1984, besides turning 9 that year, the sequel to 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark came to theatres.  Going to a Catholic school meant that we got out before the public schools did, so on our last day of school my mother brought us home and told us that we were going to the movies with our neighbors Michael and Joey.  When we asked what we were seeing and my mother told us Indiana Jones, well, I flipped out.  I began running around the house and pretending my tie was Indy’s whip shouting, “If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones!” For the rest of that summer Michael (who was a few years younger than me) and I would wind up playing Indiana Jones a lot, with me being Indy and him being Short Round.  I’ll never forget those times running around our houses or neighborhood doing that.

While today I can easily say with no problem that Raiders of the Lost Ark and 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade are the best Indy films ever, back as a kid, before Last Crusade came out, I really liked Temple of Doom.  That’s not to say that I don’t like it now, but if I had to be honest, I think it was more that I saw it in the theatre, Indiana Jones was my hero, and I was watching this movie wishing I was Short Round, something I did every time I watched it.

While the movie was darker in tone compared to Raiders, something George Lucas wanted, people to this day will stay say the movie is too dark, something that both Lucas and Steven Spielberg will admit themselves.  But as dark as it was, there was Indy doing so many exciting things, fighting on the catwalks above the mines, fighting that giant Thugee guard on the conveyer belt, the mine car chase which looked like the best roller coaster ride that will never be created, and of course the scene on the rope bridge.  To this day I still like this prequel (that’s right, it’s a prequel, Raiders takes place in 1936 while Temple of Doom takes place in 1935) and will watch it if it is on.

Much like Raiders which had a toy line for the movie when it came out, so too, did Temple of Doom. Unlike Raiders, whose toy line was created by Kenner toys, Temple of Doom’s was created by a toy company called LJN Toys and only featured three action figure: Indiana Jones, Mola Ram and a Giant Thugee Guard. While figures for Willie Scott and Short Round were produced, they were never released, and I can honestly say I only remember seeing these in the toy stores once, and they only had the Thugee Guard on the pegs.  These figures, unlike their Raider’s cousins, were very large and clunky, and had a “Battle-mattic Action secret lever that makes arm move!” according to the card. Indy came with a removable hat, bag, his whip and the sword to cut the robe bridge, Mola Ram came with a removable headdress, staff and dagger, and the Giant Thugee Guard came with a pick axe, sword and whip.

The card itself had a great image of Indy on the rope bridge, one of the more famous scenes used for stills from the movie.  There were two versions of the Indiana Jones figure and the Mola Ram figure. One version of Indy had a darker shirt and pants while the other version was the lighter colors, and the Mola Ram figure, one version had a staff with a brown human skull on the top while the other had a white skull.

  

The next year when I started 5th grade, my lunch box was a metal Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom one, something I still have to this day.  I probably used it for half the year before I felt too old to be carrying a lunch box and started brown bagging my lunch.  The lunch box itself is in got pretty beaten through the years and has many scratches on it but the lid still open and closes easily, the handle is still there, but is missing the thermos.

 

I had a Mola Ram poster hanging in my room that is long gone, but still to this day have a pair of Temple of Doom buttons.  When 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out, Hasbro created the toy line and had figures for all four Indiana Jones movies.  The Temple of Doom line included: Indiana Jones without a jacket and shirt missing one sleeve, Short Round, Willie Scott, Mola Ram, Temple Guard, and Chief Temple Guard.

I also had the movie novelization to the film, which was one of the first books I read on my own, and as a kid who hated reading (but now as an adult who loves to read) to me that was a huge deal. I had the Nintendo video game, and I remember just one playing the movie arcade game of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but to this day I can only remember seeing it one time and that was it. I also had the VHS tape, I think the very first tape I ever personally owned, and watched it tons of times.  The box got beat up from the tape being taken in and out of the shelf, but for the early days when VCRs where new, to have your own film on VHS was pretty cool.

So, while it might not be my most favorite of all Indy film, the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is very special to me for many reasons, and it’s true, “If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones!”

Until Next Time,

Mr. Nostalgia

 

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 6:37 pm

Mr. Nostalgia brings more Disneyland-Marvel Comics related news…

Posted on: September 20, 2013

Today on the official Disney Parks Blog Erin Glover announced that the exhibit Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries has been extended for a longer time.  She also stated that, starting today as part of Disney’s “Limited Time Magic” you can get a special Iron Man 3 poster for the Blu-ray release coming September 24th, as well as one for ABC’s new Marvel related show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiers September 24th at 8:00 pm.

Be sure to read my other articles related to  Disney-Marvel news linked below.

Mr. Nostalgia

 

 
Filed under: Articles,Blogs — admin @ 11:32 pm

Sabrina the Teenage Witch to premiere on October 12 on THE HUB

Posted on: September 20, 2013

The Hub Network has set the premiere for the new CGI series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch on Saturday, October 12, 2013, at 12:00 PM (EST). The series promises to update the iconic Archie Comics heroine as she grapples with her half-human, half-witch heritage in addition to navigating the shoals of high school and sorcery school. Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical, Phineas & Ferb) will voice Sabrina; other cast members include Tabitha St. Germain as Aunt Hilda and others; Maryke Hendrikse; Erin Mathews as Aunt Zelda and others; Kathleen Barr; Matthew Erickson; and Andrew Frances.

 

 

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 6:10 pm

Power Lords at Store horsemen

Posted on: September 20, 2013

As you may know, the recent releases of our Power Lords: Power Soldiers and Elite Power Soldiers were far more popular than we were expecting and not only did the allotted amount of 250 pieces sell out at the 2013 Power Con in less than 40 minutes, but the 250 pieces that we had set aside to sell on Store Horsemen sold out in less than 4 minutes. Needless to say we were stunned and had a tough time managing the traffic that hammered our online store in that few minutes. So much so that we had accidentally taken orders for over than 200 more pieces before we had the chance to put all orders on hold to check the order amounts versus the amount we were actually going to have in stock. Even then we realized that there were MANY other fans that still wanted to get their hands on these figures, but for one reason or another weren’t able to.

We always want fans who want our toys to be able to get them if we can help it. This time we can…

We’re going to put these figures back up for pre-order for those of you that missed out, and you’ll have 72 hours beginning Thursday, September 19th at 3:00pm to place your pre-orders. We’ll then run however many orders for each figure that we get during that time period. Once the sale ends, the ability to get those two figures ends. These figures will have stickers on the outsides of their poly-bags which will be numbered #251 and up (the figures that have sold so far are numbered 1 to 250) and will be placed into orders randomly.

We’ve been told by factory representatives that we can have this new pre-ordered run of Power Soldiers & Elite Power Soldiers in our warehouse by mid-November. As soon as we receive them, we’ll immediately begin processing them and shipping them out to customers.

For those of you who have already placed an order through Store Horsemen – some of you were able to order successfully and you were able to purchase one of the 250 pieces that were available. You’ll know who you are when your account is charged later today or tomorrow. For those of you that were able to mistakenly place orders after we’d sold out of our original stock, your orders will still be honored and your account will be charged, but you’ll also receive an email stating that your order will be put on hold, has now become a pre-order and that the figures will ship out to you as soon as they arrive in our studio warehouse. If you’d rather not wait to receive your figures, we’d understand and we’ll be glad to cancel your pre-order and refund your money if you request for us to do so.

Thursday, September 19th at 3:00pm to Sunday, September 22nd at 3:00pm. http://www.StoreHorsemen.com/. Power Lords. Power Soldiers & Elite Power Soldiers. Get them before they retreat into Volcan Rock forever.

-FOUR HORSEMEN-

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 6:04 pm

Club Eternia back on Sale

Posted on: September 20, 2013

For those of you that have wanted to subscribe to the 2014 Masters of the Universe Club Eternia Subscription but missed it the first time, now is you r chance to subscribe.

On September 20th Matty collector will re-open the subscription to 2014 Club Eternia until Tuesday the 24th.  Still not sure if you want to subscribe here are the latest reveals that Matty Collector has shown.

 

Jan. 2014 – TWO-BAD

Feb. 2014 – Glimmer

Mar. 2014 – Hydron

 

Quarterly Beast – Modulok

 

April 2014 – Blade (from the Live Action Movie)

May 2014 – Scorpia

Quarterly Beast – Battle Lion

 

Subscription only figure – The Unnamed One

 

Subscribe now on Matty Collector

 

 

 

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 6:00 pm

Mr. Nostalgia wishes you a Happy Thor’s Day!

Posted on: September 19, 2013

In honor of Thor: The Dark World coming out 8 Thursday’s from it’s Friday premier I present to you each and every Thursday leading to that day to be “Happy Thor’s Day”. Why?

Because Thursday is named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor. In Old English, Thursday means “Thor’s Day” or in Old Norse “thorsdagr”.

Thor, in the Old Norse Legends, is represented as a red-bearded god wielding the hammer Mjolnir, which was used as a weapon against the Jotuns (giants), and heard as the boom of thunder to humans. The Vikings, who worshipped these pagan gods before Christianity spread throughout their land, never feared the sound of thunder, for they knew Thor was out battling Frost Giants.

 

So, “Happy Thor’s Day” to you!

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 10:58 pm

MOTUC Horde Troopers Review

Posted on: September 19, 2013

Greeting Fellow Collectors,

I wanted to start this review off by saying that I have been waiting a long time for these figures and just like most of the MOTU Classics these figures did not disappoint.  Since I purchased an army of Palace Guards my shelf space has been waiting for another army worthy to challenge the Heroic Guards.  Finally that time has come as Matty Collector will release The Horde Troopers.

 

 The Troopers come in a white mailer which is pretty standard until next year when Mattel will release the figures in a brown recycled box.

 

 The box is standard window packaging with the Horde Logo displayed on the window. The back of the box features a new Bio for the Troopers.  Again this is a great opportunity to show how creative you can be by coming up with your own names for your army.

 

 The Articulation is standard, the Head moves back and forth up and down, side to side.  Articulation at the wrists,ankles, elbows, feet and arms along with the stomach crunch are standard on all the Classics figures including the Troopers.  Now on my set of Troopers the joints are really tight especially on the legs.  The left leg was so tight I thought I was going to snap it off.

There is a lot of unique tooling on this figure besides the Head and Armor.  It looks like a new crouch piece and legs.

The Troopers have amazing detail that was sculpted by the Four Horsemen.  Beneath the armor you can see wires and rivets that you can easily tell this is a machine.  My favorite part of the details is that they created a “trigger” finger on the left hand.  The Figure’s armor is soft rubber prominently showing the Evil Horde Symbol.  The paint colors were fine, no scratches or marks.

In this box set you will get one Trooper unharmed and one Trooper Battle Damaged.  (The one pictured here is the Battle Damaged one because he has more detail.  Showing burnt marks on his collar

The Head and Armor are both removable.  However when removing the HEAD please be careful!!  The head is somewhat soft and I had a difficult time removing it from the neck.  The Armor is easy to remove and has pegs to clip on the sides.

 

Both Troopers come with accessories (weapons).  A Horde Shield, Staff, Filmation inspired Stun Batons and a Horde Crossbow.

There is a Horde Dragon detail on the staff.

 The Shield just snaps right on the wrists.One of the cool details as I mentioned before is the “Trigger” finger on the left hand and with some adjusting you can actually position the Baton  straight along his arm.  If you use the rubber bands that hold the figures in place (in the packaging) you can have him keep that Baton position on his hand.

As with most MOTU Classics figures the head is removable to allow different heads to attach to the body.  However CAUTION, I did have some difficulty attaching He-man’s Head to the Trooper body.  After comparing, it looks like the ball is slightly bigger than the He-man figure.  (I also noticed this at Power Con at the Matty display.)  It is possible to place a He-man head on the body just be careful not to use too much force to get it in. It is possible to get the head on.

I had no trouble attaching the Hordak Head to the Trooper Body which is great to have different options on the figure.  You can even recreate scenes from Secret of the Sword.

If you are in to customizing your figures, the Horde armor can go on any standard MOTUC buck.  Which is great to create new or familiar characters.  I had wish that this set would have included a General Sunder head or a head with He-man’s hair sticking out (Ala Secret of the Sword).

Send some of your mix and match character pics to FanMail@toy-lines.com and we will be post the pics on our facebook site.

Ok now to discuss what everyone is concerned about since the figure was announced, ‘Can the Troopers eyes look like the ones on the Filmation series?’

This is the closest you can get the eyes to resemble the Filmation series Troopers.  Now because this figure is super tight I was playing around with him and for the most part he retained this look.  Unfortunately when you move his head to the side you see a lot more of the yellow in his eyes.  I didn’t have to mess with his head or armor much to get this look.  The Unharmed figure that he comes with, I did have minor difficulty achieving this look because his armor kept going lower.

If you want this look and have trouble getting it, there are some things you can do.  These are some suggestions from customizers.  You can get sticky tac and keep the armor in the exact position to achieve this look.  You will no longer be able to remove the armor without damaging the tac but you’ll have the look that you want.  The next suggestion is to simply spray paint the black over the yellow using tape to get the look you want.  These are just suggestions and are not guaranteed to get the results you want.  Always use caution when trying to change something on your figure.

These are incredible figures that I am happy to add to my collection. I couldn’t wait to get another army builder set to battle my Snakemen army or Palace Guards.  I just need to find time to play with them again and you should too.  Now I understand that not everyone is in to army building which is cool but I highly recommend getting at least one Horde Trooper set just to complete your Horde Collection.  You will not be disappointed!!

The Horde Troopers go on sale on October 15th on MattyCollector.com and is part of the Club Eternia Subscription as the Quarterly Two-pack that is offered.

 

Tom Romero

Contributing Editor

Mary Griffin (Photographer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 6:11 pm

Mr. Nostalgia Presents…”In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit”…

Posted on: September 19, 2013

Since you’re reading this post, you no doubt know the story of The Hobbit, so I will skip the brief description of the story and get on with the toy details, though I will be going back to the book for reference points from time to time.

The Hobbit movie figures were designed by a toy company called The Bridge Direct.  There were two sizes of toys released.  The first being 3.75 inches and the second being 6 inches.  The 3.75 figures were sold in two different ways, one was five single carded figures and the second way was as multipacks, seven two-packs and one five pack set.

For the 3.75 inch five single carded figures they are:

Bilbo Baggins

Gandalf the Grey

Thorin Oakenshield

Legolas Greenleaf

Grinnah the Goblin

   

 

The 3.75 inch seven two-pack multipacks are:

 

Bilbo Baggins & Gullom

 

Fili the Dwarf & Kili the Dwarf

 

Balin the Dwarf & Dwalin the Dwarf

 

Legolas Greenleaf & Tauriel

 

Bolg & battle damaged Gandalf the Grey

 

Fimbul the Hunter & Warg

 

Thorin Oakenshield & The Goblin King

The 3.75 inch five pack features the following figures:

Bilbo Baggins

Thorin Oakenshield

Kili the Dwarf

Fili the Dwarf

Dwalin the Dwarf

The 6 inch figures include:

Bilbo Baggins

Gandalf the Grey

Thorin Oakenshield

Legolas Greenleaf

Tauriel

 

There were also two exclusive figures created by The Bridge Direct:

Invisible Bilbo Baggins

Azog the Goblin

Now, before we discuss the figures more, let’s just start off by briefly talking about the book for a moment. In The Hobbit, there are essentially 15 characters on a quest (a Hobbit, thirteen Dwarves and a Wizard, though Gandalf does run off and now and then). While Bilbo and the Dwarves do come across some other characters along the way, most won’t be happening until films two and three, which is reason for me to believe that this is just Wave One of a Three Wave toy set.

That said; let’s list the names of the major characters of The Hobbit just to avoid any confusion, because for some people the list of characters above might be causing just that.

In The Hobbit, the main characters are:

Bilbo Baggins

Gandalf the Grey

Thorin Oakenshield the Dwarf

Balin the Dwarf

Dwalin the Dwarf

Bifur the Dwarf

Bofur the Dwarf

Bombur the Dwarf

Fili the Dwarf

Kili the Dwarf

Oin the Dwarf

Gloin the Dwarf (Gimli’s father from Lord of the Rings)

Nori the Dwarf

Dori the Dwarf

Ori the Dwarf

Two other characters to note that are in the book and the movie, but are not major characters but have important parts, would be Elrond and Gollum, though we will talk about Gollum in a little bit, and hope in the future we’ll get an Elrond figure.

These are the main characters of the book that we read about and see in the movie.  So, as I listed above, the fact that we only have five Dwarves out of thirteen leads me to believe (or at least hope, I mean, you can’t make The Hobbit and NOT make all thirteen Dwarves) that this is just Wave 1 and that more Dwarves will be released with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug this December 2013, and the rest with The Hobbit: There and Back Again in December 2014.

A figure of Bilbo obviously had to be made because, well, he IS the Hobbit after all. Gandalf, too, needed to be made since he sets the whole story off. Thorin Oakenshield needed to be made since it’s his family’s gold they’re going after. With the exception of Balin, the oldest of the Dwarves and would know the history of the task at hand best, it seems that the rest of the Dwarf figures were picked at random.

Which leaves us with Gollum. He too, is a necessity to have in the first wave, not only is he an important part of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and appears in the films, but it’s his ring that Bilbo finds when he gets lost in the caves, and one might even say this is where the story of The Lord of the Rings really begins, the second Bilbo finds that ring in the dark.           

Now let’s talk about who was mentioned in the book briefly by name and how he was used for a larger part in the movie and got a toy, how characters from the Lord of the Rings who weren’t in The Hobbit but were added to the movie got a toy, as well as characters who weren’t in the book and were made up for the movie got a toy.

We’ll start with Radagast the Brown, one of the five Istari, or Wizards, that Gandalf talks to Bilbo about in the movie. Radagast is only mentioned by name in The Hobbit in Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings when Gandalf brings the company to Beorn the Skin-Changers home.  Here Gandalf introduces himself to Beorn and then says,”…perhaps you have heard of my cousin Radagast who lives near the Southern borders of Mirkwood?”

“Yes; not a bad fellow as wizards go, I believe. I used to see him now and again,” said Beorn.  

While that is the extent to which Radagast is mentioned in The Hobbit, he also appears in The Fellowship of the Ring the book, but not the movie.  He is mentioned in Book II, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond, when Gandalf tells his story how Saruman tricked Radagast into luring Gandalf to Orthanc and captured him.

However, in the movie it is Radagast at his home Rhosgobel on the Southern borders of Mirkwood, who discovers the spiders entering the forest and who also discovers the Morgul blade, and gives it go Gandalf.  I’m sure we’ll see more of Radagast in the future installments of The Hobbit because it doesn’t seem as if his story is finished yet, and hopefully we’ll get a figure of him.

Another character mentioned by name only in The Hobbit is the large Goblin Azog. Mentioned in Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party, Gandalf says to Thorin, “Your grandfather Thror was killed, you remember, in the mines of Moria by Azog the Goblin!”

While only mentioned by name, Azog’s exploits are told in more detail of what he did in Appendix A – Part III – titled Durin’s Folk in Return of the King.  Thror, wishing to reclaim Moria for his for his forefathers and the Dwarves, went with his old companion Nar, and walked right into Moria’s doors. Days passed then one day a body was thrown from the doors of Moria. Nar went to see what he feared was true. The body was Thror. His head had been severed, and a name branded in Dwarf-runes on Thror’s brow so the Dwarves could read it. Azog then called out from the darkened doors of Moria,”…But if his family wish to know who is now king here, the name is written on his face.  I wrote it! I killed him! I am the master!” said Azog.

The Dwarves joined forces and hunted out Azog from every Orc stronghold they found, killing any Orc in sight.  Finally all led to Moria and the Battle of Azanulbizar began.  It’s here we learn that Thorin’s shield was broken during battle, and using his ax to chop off a branch of Oak wood and shield himself with it, that is the way Thorin got the name of Oakenshield.

As the Orcs began to flee from losing the battle, Azog turned and tried to retreat into Moria, but right before he reached the door a Dwarf with a red ax named Dain Ironfoot attacked and took Azog’s head with his ax.

Though he dies here in the notes, way before the story of The Hobbit had even started, Peter Jackson saw a great enemy this Goblin could be and took the liberty of using him for the movie chasing after Thorin and company throughout the film seeking revenge and full of hate for the Dwarves and I’m sure to help add an even bigger amount of suspense at the Battle of Five Armies. Though Azog was created as an exclusive toy, perhaps he will be sold in the second Wave so collector’s can get him.

Azog did have a son who is in The Hobbit book.  He is mentioned in Chapter XVII – The Clouds Burst, and leads the Goblin army to war in the Battle of Five Armies.  He is also made into a toy for the film.

Though not in The Hobbit book at all, Saruman the White and Galadriel make an appearance at The White Council, which makes sense since Gandalf is always running off to take care of matters that have to deal with the Necromancer (who is in the book as well, and turns out to be Sauron). The addition of The White Council, who also includes Gandalf and Elrond, helps connect The Hobbit movie to The Lord of the Rings movies, and setting the way for the return of Sauron. No toys have been made presently for either Saruman or Galadriel, but perhaps they might make them.

In Chapter XI: Barrels Out of Bond in The Hobbit, the Dwarves are captured and taken prisoner by the Wood Elves, except for Bilbo, who uses his ring to follow them to the Elvenking of Mirkwood’s fortress. The Elvenking keeps them hostage for weeks until Bilbo thinks of a way to rescue his thirteen friends and they escape.  It isn’t until The Fellowship of the Ring: Book II – Chapter II Elrond’s Council that we discover the Elvenkings name is Thranduil the King of the Elves of Northern Mirkwood, and is actually Legolas’ father. Thranduil sent Legolas to the Council to let them know that Gollum had escaped from Mirkwood.

There is a great bit of dialogue here from the book when the Council learns of Gollum’s escape.

“Escaped?” cried Aragorn. “That is ill news indeed. We shall all rue it bitterly, I fear.  How came the folk of Thranduil to fail in their trust?”

“Not through lack of watchfulness,” said Legolas; “but perhaps through over-kindliness.  And we fear that the prisoner had aid from others, and that more is known of our doings than we could wish.  We guarded this creature day and night, at Gandalf’s bidding, much though we wearied of the task. But Gandalf bade us hope still for his cure, and we had not the heart to keep him ever in the dungeons under the earth, where he would fall back into his old black thoughts.”

“You were less tender to me,” said Gloin with a flash of his eyes, as old memories were stirred of his imprisonment in the deep places of the Elven-king’s halls.

Though Legolas was created for The Lord of the Rings, it is justifiable that he could have been in Mirkwood, his home, when the Dwarves were captured (one of which, Gloin, is Gimli’s father, who Legolas would form a friendship with, though at first they were weary of one another), and since Elves live long lives, and The Hobbit only takes place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, it is believable that Legolas was there and even at The Battle of Five Armies.

Taking liberties once more, Peter Jackson and his screenwriters created the female Elf Tauriel. While her name has a certain Tolkien-esque ring to it, I’m wondering why they felt the need to create the character when the book has so many already to begin with, and how she will be worked into the story.

My only complaint is that toy wise they released the figures of Legolas and Tauriel with the First Wave instead of waiting until the second movie when they appear.  They are shown in the trailer for The Desolation of Smaug, so there is surprise enough that Legolas is in the movie and wonder as to who the female Elf is, so releasing them later on would have seemed like a better idea to me at least.

Finally, there is Smaug himself.  He will be in the next film and have quite some film time. Will they release a toy of him, and if so, how large will it be?  Large enough to play with the 3.75 inch figures, or large enough for the 6 inch figures?

Hopefully questions like this, and whether or not we will get the rest of the Dwarves, Radagast, and a Saruman and Galadriel figure, as well as who will be made from the next two films will soon be answered as The Desolation of Smaug is now only three months away.

Until Next Time,

Mr. Nostalgia

 

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