One of my favorite sites in the blogosphere is Cool & Collected, a pop culture site run by Brian Adams. A couple weeks ago, Brian starting posting some excess toys he was wanting to get rid of (something I should probably do) and one of his posts caught my eye. I love action figures as much as the next geek, but something I’ve never really blogged about that I have a major addiction to is PVC figures. When one of Brian’s posts contained a bunch of them, I snatched them up.
I swear guys, I didn’t even know I was collecting these things. I just realized that I have a ton of them from when I was younger, and some of them have been played with more than my old action figures. They were usually made by Applause or Schleich, and based on the figures I have, were sold at Disney theme parks a lot. I have a lot of Mickey, Donald, Figment, and various Disney characters in tiny PVC form.
They also came in Happy Meals quite a bit. Muppet Babies, Garfield, Fraggles, and Peanuts PVC figures bring back memories of trying to cram fast food as many times in a week as I could to make sure I got the whole set. Kellog’s ran a promotion in the 90s with a bunch of figures based on the Disney Afternoon shows, and I have a lot of those.
The amazing thing about PVC figures is also daunting if you want to try and collect them. There have been PVC figures made for just about everything, in a million variants and exclusives, and there’s not really a good database to use to research them. They were cheap, throwaway toys that a lot of people didn’t pay a lot of attention to.
There were a few other little knick-knacks in the bag I got from Brian, mostly Happy Meal toys of the non-PVC, but still totally nostalgic variety. The Fraggle Rock cars and McDonald’s transforming food will always be burned in my memory. Some other cool nuggets from this grab bag of toys include a random Kermit the Frog toy from 1985, a big Scar from Lion King that I use to have, and a bunch of Smurfs. Smurfs probably represent one of the most popular themes in PVC figures, but for some reason I didn’t really have any growing up. Thanks to Brian, now I do.
Oh, and California Raisins, who can forget those guys? When I was little, my Dad owned a pizza restaurant with a big picture window looking into the kitchen, so customers could watch people flip pizzas. One employee brought his whole collection of California Raisins in and lined the inside of the window with them. He was my hero, but at the same time, all I could think about was stealing his toys. Now I know how my nieces and nephews must feel about me when they visit my office.
I’m sure I’ll be chronicling my new obsession with vintage PVC toys on the site more in the future. Chime in below and tell me if you had many of these growing up!
Bonus: Brian even threw in some Pogs, what a guy!