Marina Bridges’s Zombie Report: Zombies in Toyland


Jaye wants me to call this post “Zombies In Toyland.” That’s a good title, but the zombies aren’t in Toyland. They are in my closet.

(For the record, Jaye rarely gets what she wants, unless she acts in a sly, sneaky, subversive manner and goes ahead and gives the post the title she thought of, then thinks about it and puts a subtitle in, which is actually what people will pay attention to anyway.)

I hoard toys. It’s an obsession I developed after I sold some vintage Star Wars action figures on eBay for a friend. He made a tidy profit. It would have been an incredible profit, but sometime in the 1980s he tore a corner from every single bubble away from every single card so he could poke the little plastic Luke Skywalkers and Darth Vaders and Han Solos with a finger. I will never understand it as long as I live. I hope those pokes were worth thousands of dollars, because that’s what they cost him. The value of toys is often (stupidly) in the packaging. Mint condition packaging is the real rarity, not the toy itself. What a poke will cost you aside (and they’ve cost billions of divorcees plenty, believe you me), I wondered if I could pull off a similar financial windfall by collecting some toys for future sale. Cheaper than playing the stock market and a helluva lot more fun. If they turn out to be stinkers, I can always give them to Goodwill and take a tax deduction.

(Okay, fine, my little asides are kind of dumb, but this is so Marina knows. I collect Breyer horses. And I play with them. I throw away the boxes and dress them up and put beads on them and sometimes daub them with paint. In the distant future some collector is going to curse my name. Heh.)

I buy toys dispassionately. I often don’t like the toys I buy. I buy them with an eye toward their future desirability. 1968 Television Batmobile Hot Wheels? I got a billion of ‘em. I picked them up whenever I saw one on the Walmart Hot Wheels rack. I don’t like them, I think they are stupid. They don’t really look like the Batmobile from the Adam West television show. They have doubled in value in a very short period of time. They were a good buy, and someday I’ll unload them.

When I heard that McFarlane (one of the better action figure manufacturers) was going to release a series of AMC’s The Walking Dead figures, of course I had to have those. Those are going to go up in value for sure. Back then (less than a year ago) Series One was available for pre-order. Series One is always a biggie with toys. By the time Series II comes around and some fans realize that the figures even exist, they’ll be shit out of luck on buying a Daryl Dixon With Crossbow from a store. They’ll have to buy it from me. For a lot more than I paid. It’s already happening.

I ordered my figures from The Big Bad Toy Store, and I spent a little extra dough to upgrade to Collector’s Grade because IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PACKAGING. I got Sheriff Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon With Crossbow and a couple of zombies. At least I think that’s what I got. See, when my order arrived, with the figures individually boxed in plain cardboard boxes, I didn’t open the individual cardboard boxes. I didn’t want to risk ruining the cards and the bubbles. I want them safe and sound and in mint condition for a long, long time. Or at least until I can get at least $100 a pop for them.

The stupid thing about this is I finally have some toys that I would enjoy looking at and possibly displaying (no, I would not play with them…okay, I might play with them).

(Ha! You know you would, Marina. Ooh, I have a beat up Breyer that would look great as a zombie horse. A little plastic clay, some paint…)

I can’t even see them. I have four cardboard boxes to look at and display and play with, and that’s way too much like me being a toddler (which I’m not) rather than me being a pre-teen boy (which I’m also not). Hell, the Big Bad Toy Store could have sent me four boxes with some Littlest Pet Shop shit in them, and I’d have no way of knowing. Irony is a cruel, brain eating, zombie mistress.

On a happier note, variants rock and my friend Dee sent me Bloody Black and White Rick Grimes for my birthday! No, I don’t play with it. Much.

(I bet you snuggle it and kiss it, Marina, and dress it up.)

If you would like to join me in zombie toy speculation, Series II of AMC’s The Walking Dead McFarlane action figures are up for pre-order!

Important tip for collectors: If you should start collecting toys and develop a compulsive need to open corners of packaging to poke them, remember that it will be far cheaper in the long run to get one to keep and one to poke.

Jaye here: Speaking of poking, I’ve poked Marina into finishing her story collection, Zombies Take Manhattan! It’ll be up and available for your reading pleasure within a few weeks. Watch this post for the big launch announcement!


15 responses

  1. […] Marina Bridges posted her latest zombie report over on my other blog. Now she is saying Don’t play with your toys! […]

  2. This may well be the best phrase I read all day: “Irony is a cruel, brain eating, zombie mistress.”

    1. Only because it’s true. Heh.

  3. Love love love the zombie toys!!!!! Cant wait for more to come out. And yes nevah open and play with!

    1. Which is why Marina doesn’t send me toys. She knows I’ll play with them.

  4. I cannot wait to read your book! And now I’ve gotta get me Daryl and Shane and Andrea dolls, ASAP. And I will never take them out of the boxes. Pristine and perfect.

    1. We’ll just stick to that story (not playing with the dolls), won’t we, Julia?

      1. Hey, have Marina fix my typo! Thanks!

  5. This reminds me of the episode of The Office where Dwight buys up all the Princess Unicorn dolls in advance of Christmas to sell them to desperate parents doing last minute shopping.

    I never collected the Star Wars figures beyond a passing interest, but I still have a whole bunch of He-Man action figures from my younger days. I held on to them thinking they might be worth something, but have come to the realization that sans packaging, they aren’t worth more than just memories. I was going to get rid of them after having my daughter, but now that I’m expecting a son as well, I’ll just have to hold onto them, I guess.

    Fun post.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

    1. My son loved He-Man action figures. I believe there are still scars on the soles of my feet from stepping on them. And those little swords? Best toilet-plugger-uppers ever.

      Hmn, maybe you should keep He-Man in the packages, Paul.

      1. Paul doesn’t have the packages, Jaye. PAUL OPENED THEM.

      2. And damn him, he PLAYED with them!

  6. Hey, guys, I think Marina is thinking I run with a bad crowd. Toy Ruiners! Package Pokers!

  7. if you wanna play with zombie toys.. there are toys out there that will probably never become collectibles but are very fun to toy around with
    on topic though… you’ve scored big time with the daryl figure. DO NOT SELL IT! let your children sell it for college money or whatever that’s ok, but please do not sell daryl for 100 bucks ever. Both the character and the toy are awesome

    if you wanna see what were good investments with zombie toys, check out some resident evil collectibles. They can go up to a thousand bucks and even more! scary stuff!

    1. Okay, Zombie Toys. I won’t sell Daryl!

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