Tag Archives: toys

Desk Detritus

I have a lot of crap on my desk at work. One afternoon, while waiting for a program to run, I sketched a few of my knick-knacks: a plush “happy beer” I picked up at an anime convention years ago, a giant squid from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Disney Vinylmation Park Starz series), and a 3-D printed warrior my cubicle neighbor gave me when she went on maternity leave.

My Own Toy Story

Now that the weather is turning chilly, I am reminded of the days when Mom would get out the flannel sheets for the winter. It was cozy then, but I imagine I would roast in them now. I think my internal thermostat is busted.

Our sheets are kind of boring these days (solid colors or maybe striped if we’re feeling crazy), but I had patterned sheets as a kid. I can remember Peanuts in particular, which aside from Snoopy on his red doghouse was largely baseball-themed. One of the pictures had Charlie Brown on the pitcher’s mound yelling, “AUGH!” I can honestly say that I learned the word “augh” from bedsheets.

I also had Rainbow Brite sheets. And a puzzle, a coloring book, and a doll. My childhood was full of vaguely fantasy-themed toys, many of which were tied to cartoons I’d never seen (or, in some cases, was even aware of). I couldn’t tell you the plot of Rainbow Brite – I think the bad guys were trying to remove color from the world for some reason? – but I liked her horse and her little sprite friend and her awesome boots.

My mom was (and is) the queen of the garage sale, so I honestly don’t know how many of my toys were bought new. I like to think most of them were secondhand, if only because I had a rather alarming quantity. I had no idea until sometime in college when my interest in Jem led me to assorted other doll lines from the 1980s and I discovered that, for instance, I had owned just about every single She-Ra doll ever made, and a fair number of Strawberry Shortcake dolls as well. I think Mom still has a bucketful of my old Charmkins, and there are definitely some My Little Ponies in a box somewhere.

This “research” led to reminders of dolls I’d forgotten even existed, much less that I owned, like Rose Petal Place (I had two or three of them), Lady Lovely Locks (apparently the one I had was Maiden CurlyCrown, but I very creatively referred to her as “Lady Lovely Locks Doll”), and Herself the Elf (I definitely had three, and may have owned all five). I had the green Fluppy Dog plushie, but we also watched the movie several times and would sometimes pretend to be Fluppy Dogs while riding our bikes. Having not seen the movie in a couple of decades, I could no longer tell you what bike-riding had to do with Fluppy Dogs (which Wikipedia tells me is about time-traveling dog-like aliens). (…yeah.)

With the exception of a single Cabbage Patch Kid (named Kara – why do I remember that?), I wasn’t too interested in baby dolls. My toys had adventures. When they weren’t fairy princesses or similar, they were anthropomorphic animals, like Sylvanian Families or random plushies. Honestly, if the animals didn’t talk, I wasn’t all that interested.

Not all my toys were girly, of course – I played with Star Wars figures and LEGO and Matchbox cars – but man, what I would have given to be a magical little pixie, flitting about the forest and befriending woodland creatures.

What kinds of toys did you play with growing up?

Repainting Burger King Toys with Office Supplies

Burger King has the best toys in their kids’ meals. Or maybe it’s just that they happen to partner with things that amuse me, such as Neopets or the Twilight franchise. However, sometimes I get toys that are repeats or simply ones I don’t want, and then I’m not sure what to do with them.

So I decided to paint them.

But the thing is, these toys tend to find their way into my office, as I have much more room on my desk for dust-catchers than at home. The first one was a few years ago, during the Neopets promotion. I was buying the kids’ meals strictly for the prize codes for use on the site – the toys didn’t interest me so much since there wasn’t a Xweetok toy. One day, after hitting up BK for lunch, I brought a Poogle back to my office. It sat there on top of my PC for weeks until one day, during a slow afternoon, my officemate and I were discussing The Dark Knight. (Comic book movies were one of our most common topics of conversation, actually.) My officemate was cleaning out his desk, as his last day was coming up (he left to go to graduate school full time), and I decided I wanted to give him something. So I painted the Poogle like Heath Ledger as The Joker. Needless to say, my coworker loved it.

Fast forward to a few days ago. BK was out of Twilight: Eclipse toys, so they stuck in a Marmaduke toy instead. (I guess they figured something random was better than nothing at all.) Before you chastise me, the Eclipse toys are hilarious. My Bella Bracelet looks like it was made by Duplo, and my coworkers really want me to get the Edward hologram ring. Anyway, back to Marmaduke. Or Giuseppe, rather. While the other toys had action-packed names like “Pouncin’ Marmaduke” and “Darting Lightning,” I got Loungin’ Giuseppe, whose special talent was described in the pamphlet thusly: “Giuseppe can sit on his pillow.” Whee.

In the film, Giuseppe is a hairless Chinese Crested dog. When cast in plastic, this means he has Ears of Doom. We decided he looked a big like Gizmo from Gremlins. And thus a new project began.

I thought about making this a tutorial, but there isn’t much to say. Take a plastic toy and recolor it using stuff around the office. And….that’s about it. So instead I’m just going to share the results with you.

Why so serious?

Poogle as The Joker

Materials used: Liquid Paper (or generic equivalent), red and black Sharpies, green dry-erase marker

Don't feed it after midnight.

Giuseppe as Gizmo

Materials used: Liquid Paper, brown dry-erase marker

Yes, I only colored their heads. There’s only so much Liquid Paper I’m willing to waste on these things, after all.

My coworker, having seen my handiwork, was sad that I’d given away my first Joker Poogle. Luckily, I had another one (a green one, this time), so I brought it in and repainted it. Now he has it on his desk, and he loves it. He also suggested I start a blog dedicated to kids’ meal toys repainted with office supplies. Which I would totally do, except I have no more toys, and I don’t really like kids’ meals enough to go purchase them on my own.

giant microbes

GIANTmicrobes! Oh my god I want one of these!

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