Group Post: Modern Shots of Vintage Toys

While modern toys may boast improved details and articulation, it’s hard to beat the charm and appeal of the classics. In this post, I’ve asked the Toy Photographers team to dig into their toy boxes to put some of their old toys back into the spotlight.

Adam Burke (@burkeheadtoys)

“Here kitty kitty kitty”

This is the 1986 Coleco Talking Alf. I’m pretty sure this is my wife’s, but like most kids from the ’80s, I was a huge fan of the show and I had one of my own. He’s survived all these years by hiding in a forgotten spot of our basement. But now that he’s crawled out, Alf has rekindled my long-dormant interest in the show and we’ve been looking up clips. Now I’m ready to rewatch all four seasons!

Alan Rappa (@alanrappa)

GONK!

I’ve had a soft spot for Star Wars droids ever since I was a kid. The GNK power droid from Kenner on the left, affectionately known as GONK, dates back to 1978–1979 and has always been a favorite of mine. I have a few of these in my collection, so I can’t be certain if this one is from my childhood or not. Regardless, he’s getting along smashingly with my most recent addition—a 1:12 scale custom GONK from the amazingly talented @hammerfallcustoms.

Matt Frederick (@fredbricksburg)

Micro Machine toy car rally race.
Trying to outrun the sun…

I don’t have many old toys left. They were passed along to cousins, neighbors and donations as we grew up, but they were definitely all well-loved. (I recall certain Star Wars figures being blasted into oblivion during neighborhood battles, and do wish I had kept a few Stompers.) I did manage to save some toys from childhood and later adolescence—including a little box of Micro Machines I hadn’t looked through during 3–4 moves. They still make me smile, so here’s a shot of this little Audi-ish rally racer to enjoy.

Oliver Peterson (@oliversees)

The Fridge charges in, happily aware that no Cobra laser ever hits its mark.

G.I. Joe is making quite a comeback since Hasbro released their 6-inch Classified Series, but my obsession with Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Drednoks and the rest began way back when the 3.75-inch, A Real American Hero line was introduced. These were the first action figures I really collected—I even took my first toy photos of Outback and Leatherneck way back in 1987 or ’88—so it only seemed right to dig into my old bins of Joes for this post.

Folks under 30 (or even 40?) have probably never heard of William “The Refrigerator” Perry, but he was a BIG DEAL in the 1980s. The 350 lb. defensive lineman helped win Super Bowl XX for Mike Ditka’s legendary 1985–86 Chicago Bears team, which also included larger-than-life quarterback Jim McMahon and running back Walter Payton. The fact that I, an absolute sports dummy who cares nothing for football, know this goes to show what a phenomenon this team was at the time. They even had a “Super Bowl Shuffle” rap song, dance and video. And, of course, Perry aka “The Fridge,” got his own G.I. Joe action figure the following year.

Like Steel Brigade, Starduster and the chromed-up Super Trooper, Fridge was available only through mail order—free with just five special Fridge proof of purchase certificates! The figure in this photo has remained in my collection since those bygone days 33 years ago, and putting him in front of the camera brought back some cherished memories of my burgeoning love of toys. It was a wonderful time to be a kid.

Do you still have your old toys?

So, there you have it. Let us know in the comments what your favorite classic toys were/are, and if you still have any in your collection. And be sure to post links to your photos of them.

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