Author: Monte

Show and Tell > Mezco 3.75-Inch Hellboy (by Monte)

Forgotten Lore

As a metalhead raised on a steady diet of Number of the Beast, How the Gods Kill and South of Heaven, routinely accused by my peers of Satan worship, predisposed to favor the darker corners of popular culture, I really should have discovered the wonders of Hellboy sooner; I didn’t become a fan until the release of 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and for all my tireless love of that film, I have yet to pursue Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics, nor the Hellboy prose novels I asked Poe about in response to his considerably more thorough Hellboy-themed Show and Tell from July 2009.

But I do own a Hellboy toy, and I like to think we can all agree: that’s what really matters.

Monte Reviews > Ghoulia Yelps (Monster High ‘Skull Shores’, Mattel)

I am becoming alarmingly obsessed with Mattel’s Monster High series, although unemployment has prohibited me from purchasing them with anything like my usual recklessness. While a tally of the hours I’ve spent studying Monster High photos would be startling, I just today purchased my first ever Monster High doll: Ghoulia Yelps, from the “Skull Shores” series of beach-themed variants.

Since Ghoulia will also be my last Monster High purchase for the foreseeable future, I have decided to get my money’s worth by making Ms. Yelps the subject of a guest review here at Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation. Perhaps others will find these strange, misshapen lasses as compelling as I do.

Show and Tell > Forest Ghosts versus Arçelik the Turkish Robot! by Monte

“Forest ghost brings you love and luck”.

I never met Sharon, my mother-in-law. Sounds like the opener to a tired joke, but it’s the simple truth; my wife Tara and I got together in 1997, by which time her mom had been dead from lung cancer for nearly three years. By all accounts, it’s my loss—everyone who knew her suggests she was a great lady.

Among those who knew her is a semi-retired college professor in Turkey named Esin Hoyi. When Esin was a young girl, she traveled to the United States and lived for a brief time with an American family—my mother-in-law (when she was a teenager) and her sister and their folks.

Throughout Tara’s childhood, her mother told her she had a Turkish “aunt”, and after Sharon’s untimely death, Tara and Esin started corresponding. When the time came last spring to embark on a follow-up to our great London adventure of 2009-2010, we decided to travel to Istanbul to partake of a new culture and to meet Tara’s aunt and uncle for the first time.

And to buy toys, should the occasion present itself.

Just before we left Asmara, Esin e-mailed Tara to share what must surely be the highlight of this people’s noble culture: they have a tradition whereby they make every effort to prioritize the indulging and spoiling of the niece’s husband. As such, Esin asked Tara to let her know before our arrival what I was most interested in seeing.

“Just tell her all the stuff you want to see,” I said. “And then add ‘toys’ and ‘ice cream’ to the list.”

And what do you know—they had a toy waiting for me in the form of Arçelik, a fully-articulated battery-powered robot with disarmingly cute eyes. Naturally, he speaks Turkish. (Full disclosure: the electronics company for which the robot serves as mascot is called Arçelik. I am not certain whether this is also the robot’s name.)

As if this wasn’t awesome enough, after a brief tour of the Blue Mosque, we visited some booths at the bazaar, where I found some keychain critters called Forest Ghosts. Here is some crucial information in the form of the packaging bio (the nonsensical syntax is the fault of the Forest Ghost manufacturers):


The Magic Power

He comes from a rude forest of African.he escape from the wild fires of forest. His strength is endless, he can travel through the time and space,he can convert different roles to rescue or punish the human.

I only ever snapped a few hasty photos of my Forest Ghosts and my Turkish robot before tossing the poor things into storage in Twin Falls, Idaho during our annual trip to the States. And really, I should have known better than to mistreat them so, ‘cause while we were in Istanbul, we also bought Oyuncak Hikayesi 3; you know it as Toy Story 3.

Ten Classic G.I. Joe Icons That Require a Pursuit of Cobra Makeover

Monte Williams returns to Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation to counter the cloying Mattel love with some praise and speculation for the world’s greatest toy company, Hasbro.

Ten Classic G.I. Joe Icons That Require a Pursuit of Cobra Makeover


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving Small-Scale G.I. Joes

The Pursuit of Cobra series features the most awe-inspiring figures Hasbro has ever produced under its many G.I. Joe banners. Like Mattel’s Masters of the Universe series of 2002, Pursuit of Cobra takes classic character designs and increases their dynamism by roughly three hundred-percent… and then adds stellar articulation and a dizzying array of accessories.

Thus far, Hasbro has treated Joe fans to Pursuit of Cobra updates of Destro, Spirit, Firefly, and many other classic G.I. Joe characters.

So who should they update next?

Guest Review > Battles Super Police & S.W.A.T. Police Super City Hero

The following is a guest review by Monte Williams.

I recently joked with my wife that I am thirty-three years old, and I am finally set to have my first grown-up Christmas. Turns out I was mistaken…

I have lived and worked for eighteen months now in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, in the Horn of Africa. Last year, Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation hosted my unique if cheerfully irrelevant review of a pair of African tribal dolls we purchased here in Asmara for our daughter. While I’ve no doubt that you’re all chomping at the bit for analysis of the rest of the dolls in the series, I must regretfully confess that I have not purchased any of the remaining dolls. Sadder still, I have purchased no new G.I. Joe toys! As you can probably imagine, the Pursuit of Cobra photos at Generals Joes and Chase Variant haunt me, but I’ll have to wait until we visit the States next summer and hope that the prices on eBay for Spirit and Recondo won’t be too astronomical by that time.

Show and Tell > Kunama and Tigrinya Tribal Dolls

In August 2009, my wife and daughter and I moved from our short-lived home of Idaho to a city called Asmara, in Africa. Thus far, the experience has provided me with an incredibly valuable lesson in perspective, not least because our first few weeks here were a struggle to adjust to a lifestyle that seemed filled with hardships by our spoiled Western standards, despite the fact that we were living like royalty by local standards. For example, my daughter, who was five when we arrived in Asmara, found it difficult to be comfortable in our new house, because she found it “old and dirty” (privately, I had similar feelings); to most of the local citizens, our house is a mansion.

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