5 Questions With > Dr. Mrs. Ghostal

Poe’s note: I’ve got a special treat for you all today: an interview with my one and only, Dr. Mrs. Ghostal. What can I say about my lovely, understanding wife that I haven’t said on this blog a dozen times already? Brilliant, beautiful, geeky, and more than I probably deserve.

Code name: Dr. Mrs. Ghostal, DMG, DottyGale
Specialty: Biochemistry, Knitting
Base of Operations: Brighton, MA.
History: Born and raised in SoCal as a child of the 80s, but was more into TV and books than toys. Got pulled into the world of action figures when I started dating Poe 5 years ago, and have had a house full of plastic men, women and creatures ever since.

1.) What were your favorite toys as a kid?

Like I said, as a kid I wasn’t all that into toys.  I had a lot of stuffed animals of various sorts.  My mom says that I was a “social doll player” in that if someone else wanted to play with the Barbies or the Cabbage Patch Kids I would play, too.  I think the toys I really remember the most fondly were these little animals that my sister and I collected.  They were plastic, but furry, and wore tiny doll clothes.  We had bears, rabbits, little baby moles.  I can’t remember what they were called, but we sure had a lot of them.

Perhaps the funniest thing I can remember is that when my friends, my sister and I played with toys, the story lines were really influenced by the TV my babysitter watched, which included a good share of talk shows and soap operas.  I’m pretty sure that Barbie’s Dream Wedding was interrupted by a mysterious stranger with a scandalous past!

2.) What toys do you collect now?

The line I like the most right now is the Futurama line.  Great show, great figures (so glad it’s coming back!).  I think we’ve got them all except for the alternate universe ones (but seriously, if alternate universe Leela doesn’t come with a diamond scrunchie, what good is she?).  I really, really need a Professor Farnsworth, though.

On the same shelf are my female action heroes, an fabulous bunch including April O’Neil (from TMNT), Storm, Raven, Jane Austen, and Dorothy (of course!).  I also have a bunch of the superhero Barbies, which are awesome and have pretty hair.  There is something satisfying about having things which are both very, very geeky and very, very girlie.


3.) Which figure(s) of Poe’s do you most like?

Judging by how often I’ll pick up a toy if it’s sitting around, I’d have to go with Clayface.  I love the squishy arms.  There is also a special place in my heart for the various figures that decorated the tables at our wedding.

The far easier question concerns the toy I least like, which would be the Balrog.  So large, so ugly.  The best part is that when I asked Poe where he was going to keep it, he said “I was thinking on the TV”.  On the TV?!?  I’m not having that thing staring me down in my own living room!


4.) Is there any particular character, in any franchise, that you’d really like to see made as an action figure?

Not really.  My current favorite cartoons (Futurama, The Brave and The Bold) already have action figures, and I’m not a huge fan of figures based on real people because it’s so hard to get the likenesses right.  What I’m most into now are comic and video game related knitting patterns.  Green Lantern baby sweaters, Super Mario Brothers afghans, that sort of thing.  There’s even a full pattern for a Wonder Woman outfit.  The very best thing would be if they published the patterns of the knit Heart of Gold crew from the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie (there’s one quick scene where everything turns knit).  That would be completely awesome, and I would make them ASAP.

5.) When you first got to know Poe, what did you think of his toy collecting?

Poe and I had our first conversation about toys when he lived right across the hall from me.  He called me into his room to show off his Superman, which he had hung from a shelf using fishing line so that it looked like Supes was flying.  He was really proud, but I gave him a funny look.  I think he thought I was judging him because of the toys.  Really, I just thought that using fishing line was kinda obvious (it’s clear and strong, what else would you use?)

I think that there are people in this world who are “stuff” people, and other people who are not.  I come from a stuff kind of family, so I’m used to a lot of stuff around the house. Toys make pretty good stuff because they’re fairly cheap, and often come with funny cartoons.  Plus, as I’ve said before, if I don’t say anything about the toys, he can’t say much about the yarn.



Pic of the Day


Pic of the Day


  1. Templar

    @Dead Man Walking: DUDE – Mandarin Spawn laughable ? Has she seen the 12-inch version, or the repainted Blue-green one, or the second sculpt of it in Spawn Series 28 regenerated?? Oh, well – that's ok, to each his / her own taste. As we know, it takes a wide swath of an open mind for non-collectors to understand our hobby. It's very simple to me – we fanboys simply have a huge (manic?) appreciation for nostalgia, both in popular & obscure cultures, and a love for kick-ass artistic manifestations of all of the above (i.e.- yep, we are STUFF people!).

  2. Dead Man Walking

    @Templar: That's funny, my Chinese ex-girlfriend found Mandarin Spawn laughable. She also thought Marvel's Mandarin was stupid. I love Mandarin Spawn though.

  3. Sounds like that old toys you remember best are the original Calico Critters line. The line has actually been re envisioned by International Playthings and can be seen here:

    Nice to meet you MDPG

  4. Mumma Ghostal

    What a totally great interview! I made sure that other family members got a look at it! I remember when Poe and DMG told me that they were using action figures for the wedding centerpieces, thought it was a perfect idea-although I have had to explain Hellboy to my more conventional friends who wondered where the oversized matching posies were! I don't get to spend near enough time with my DIL and her geeky husband, and this was a great surprise at the end of a really loooong day.

    @Scott-thanks for mentioning the mumma that fed the monster all of those years!!

  5. Scott

    Nice interview. Surely an interview with Mumma Ghostal can't be far behind, right?

  6. RageTreb

    I hope to meet a girl as accepting as you in the future.

  7. Fengschwing

    Heh, love Danks 'The Women Who Support Us!'

    Nice to hear from DMG.

    My wife very much puts up with my hobby. She likes Ugly Dolls and has a fair collection of them. She went nuts trying to find one of the recent Ice Bats that was blind boxed, "Welcome to my world," said I.

    We had the McFarlane Mulder and Scully on our wedding cake instead of a bride and groom.

    Enjoyed that one, thanks.

  8. Templar

    That's a rare good lady you got there, POE – understanding & even geeky enough to know how to roll with whatever gets your freak on! As for my experience, I owe a LOT to McFarlane's Mandarin Spawn – an excellently sculpted & painted figure that impressed a couple of (ex) girlfriends back in the day. It really helped them to view some action figures as more like "posable statues / works of art" than cheap plastic pacifiers just for kids. In fact, my Chinese girlfriend at the time loved Mandarin Spawn so much (obvious cultural idoling!) she began collecting Spawn series 14 & rekindled her nostalgia for die-cast anime figures like Mazinger, ect….Alas, even if the relationships didn't pan out, it's still nice to have real cool chicks who remain friends & who have open minds about our collective hobby….

  9. Very cool Poe & Lady Poe. My GF allowed me to put up a ton of toys in our old apartment and for some odd reason I chose JLU. Which meant figures were falling all the damn time. Needless to say when we moved I did not make that same mistake.

    Cool interview.

  10. Mario

    @DMG: Wow! I had totally forgotten about those pants… God it takes me back.

  11. DMG

    @Mario: Those are the toys! I especially remember Bubba the bunny with his spectacularly ugly yellow and black plaid pants.

    Also @ Pete:
    Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.
    The Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
    Alice: How do you know I'm mad?
    The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.

  12. Mario

    I believe that the toys that Mrs. Ghostal was so fond of were called Silvanian Family, by Tomy.

    They're actually quite cool.

  13. DankOne

    It's always good to hear from the flip side of the madness that is Toy Collecting. THE WOMEN WHO SUPPORT US! 🙂

    I recall a few years ago when my wife would roll her eyes while being dragged through the many Toy Aisles of Brick and Mortar stores. She hated it. I got wise… I started buying her The Littlest Pet Sop toys. She fell in love with the little cute animals and started to collect. Yes my evil plan worked. Now she and I both roam the aisles in search of the toys we need and want. And every time I make a big purchase I make sure there is a pet of some kind in my bag. Sure it does not make it less expensive of a hobby, I don't get the look as much. Oh and her collection has amassed to the point of requiring it's own set of shelves. It's really worked out well for me and probably saved a marriage. 🙂

  14. A…mad scientist?

  15. Poe

    @Dead Man Walking: Biochemistry. She's a scientist, basically.

  16. PrfktTear

    @DMG: Great 5 Questions! I enjoyed that. Poe is lucky to have you! 😉

    I definitely come from a "stuff" family. Some people live in glass houses that look like they could be featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Mine is definitely not one of those houses. Both my parents are borderline obsessive compulsive pack rats, so its something I've "inherited" and have to fight tooth & nail (and its usually a losing battle). That said, I think houses with stuff actually look like they're lived in look more homey than a house in pristine condition which look like you're walking through Jordan's furtniture or a showcase model home.

    I always enjoyed roleplay as a kid, either playing He-Man/She-Ra with my cousins or some variation of wizards & warriors with my friends. With toys, I liked the social aspect of it moreso than solo play. I remember laying out my TMNT collection and we'd each pick from them and then have giant battles wih them.

  17. Dead Man Walking

    So what is Dr. Mrs. Ghostal a doctor of?

  18. Cade

    I never knew there was a jane austen figure…we need some kind of write up on it.

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