Vintage Month > Memories of Mr. Big Toyland

To kids growing up in the Boston area in the 1970s and 1980s, one of the most magical places on Earth could be found at 399 Moody Street in Waltham, MA. That was the home of Mr. Big Toyland, the world’s greatest toy store. This wasn’t your usual toy store; you didn’t just go to Mr. Big for the latest He-Man or G.I. Joe figures (although you could–they had those too). You went to him for Godzilla, for Gaiking, for all those imported Japanese toys you didn’t even know existed until they showed up in his ads. Continue reading “Vintage Month > Memories of Mr. Big Toyland”

Toy review roundup (via Fanmode), 1/31/09

fanmode-copy yo go re reviews the DC Direct Watchmen Rorschach figure. Excerpt: “This figure is only slightly above ‘mediocre’ by 2009 standards …”

Jeff Saylor reviews the NECA Gears of War 2 Marcus Fenix vs. Locust Drone two-pack. Excerpt: “… the best Marcus Fenix figure ever released.”

Philip Reed reviews the Mezco Toyz HB II Hellboy San Diego Comic Con exclusive 3.75-inch figure. Excerpt: “As nice as some of the other Hellboy figures out there look, I really prefer this 3.75″ version …” Continue reading “Toy review roundup (via Fanmode), 1/31/09”

News roundup, 1/9/09


  • On the Matty Mattel Facebook page, they’ve just announced they’re almost sold out of MOTUC He-Man and Beast Man. If you’ve been holding off on ordering and don’t want to miss out, now’s the time.
  • SOTA Toys rises from the (presumed) dead to produce Robot Chicken humping robot–with real humping action. (TNI)
  • Ghostbusters videogame gets release date–June 19, same day as the Blu-Ray disc. (IGN)
  • Transformers 2 teaser poster revealed (Yahoo) – What am I looking at here?
  • Target taking pre-orders for upcoming G.I. Joe & Cobra collector packs (Hisstank)
  • Interview w/ Hobby Figures ( – They make anime statues.
  •’s advanced review photos of Stratos and Faker – I really like this pic of Stratos. It reminds me of the old days, in a good way.

5 Questions with > Rob Bricken of Topless Robot

Codename: Rob Bricken
Specialty: Writer/editor
Base of Operations: Topless Robot
History: Rob Bricken was a normal, nerdy teen who simply enjoyed anime, comic books and terrible science fiction and fantasy novels in reasonable amounts until the new Star Wars figures came out in 1995. This set Rob down a dark path of insane toy collecting, which led to him waking up at 5 am on Saturdays, during college, to wait outside Toys R Us for the possibility of buying a Rancor Master figure. At a certain point, Rob realized his toy obsession had reached Trainspotting/heroin addiction-like proportions, and decided he want to know the touch of a woman again, and gave it up.

Unfortunately, he was almost immediately hired as an Associate Editor of ToyFare magazine in 2001; however, by forswearing all Star Wars figures, he managed to keep his toy-buying at a reasonable level. As Rob was the only person at Wizard Entertainment who knew why Goku’s hair sometimes turned yellow in Dragonball Z, he was put in charge of Anime Insider magazine, which he edited until 2006.

After a doomed, duplicitous internet venture, Rob was hired by Village Voice Media for incredibly low pay to create, write and edit, the internet’s 466th most popular site for nerd news and humor, covering movies, games, anime, comics, acts of nerdery, and whatever Rob finds himself able to rant about. Since he has no other job, he tends to write for it all day, as well as editing feature-length Daily Lists of various nerd interest and discussion. Topless Robot receives about a million visitors per month, and has been mentioned by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, and several other far more popular and influential websites.

PG: What were your favorite toys or toy lines when you were growing up?

RB: I’ve always been a big Star Wars fan, but Masters of the Universe was my obsession as a kid (and pretty much now). The incredible variety of characters, designs, and action features just captivated me. Between my younger brother and myself, we had just about everything in the line. I honestly feel MotU is more than the sum of its parts; by having all of them, it was something far more unique and special than Transformers, G.I. Joe or even Star Wars. Continue reading “5 Questions with > Rob Bricken of Topless Robot”