Sunday, July 31, 2011

CandyRific M&Ms Military Vehicle Dispenser

Today we're taking a break from Batman! I do have more Batman collectibles but they're in the queue waiting to be photographed, which may take a couple of weeks. In any case, Sunday's have evolved into a comic themed day here at 'Toys & Stuff' and today we have somewhat of a comic derivative - an M&Ms candy dispenser. There are a lot of people like me who simply cannot stand to watch television commercials. They are loud, obnoxious, and usually just plain stupid and 90% of the time, I take the remote and hit 'Mute'. But not always. There are some commercial franchises that are so well done, so creative and funny that often times they're better than the program I'm watching. The Mars M&Ms commercials fall into that category. While M&Ms have been around since 1941, the cartoon characters didn't make their television debut until 1954. Since then the cast of characters have grown to win international fame and just this past year a whole new variety has been introduced to the M&M line - M&Ms with pretzel. Each of the characters, simply referred to by their color, has a distinct personality: 

 - Red is smart, but he's a know-it-all, believing he knows more than he actually does
 - Yellow is an all-round goofy kind of nice guy who likes the ladies and often times finds himself in unusual predicaments
 - Green. In the candy world she's a babe - and she knows it! Candy at its sexiest.
 - Blue, is a cool, confident ladies man
 - Orange is the paranoid in the group always looking both ways and over his shoulder. He thinks everyone is out to get him. He might be right!

There are a couple of real neat M&Ms websites I came across. One of the neat things is they offer desktop wallpaper downloads:

M&Ms U.S.A.                              M&Ms Australia

Now, on to the toy. This was an exclusive available only in military exchanges this past Christmas season and made by CandyRific, a company specializing in novelty confectionery products. Its a terrific M&Ms dispenser with plenty of action. First of all it's modeled after the Jeep military utility vehicle and has functioning rolling wheels. Blue is driving the Jeep and Red is the passenger. While they're both wearing camouflaged headgear you can tell red is in charge - blue is wearing a simple utility cap while Red is wearing the Garrison, or 'Bus Driver's, cap. Red has his right arm raised and is holding a faux American flag. When you lower his arm several things happen; the Jeep makes a 'vroooom' sound., the headlights blink on-&-off, and a spring actuated mechanism drops M&Ms into a pan beneath the front end of the Jeep. The pan slides out so that you can retrieve the candy. Lifting the hood reveals a chamber wherein the candies are loaded. It also reveals Yellow - stuck underneath the hood - in a jam yet again! The Jeep is peppered with graphics and  even the hubcaps are designed to resemble M&Ms. It's a fun dispenser and about as 'cartoony' a toy as one could get. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

AOME LOTR - Gondorian Soldiers

Today's AOME LOTR offering is the Soldiers and Scenes pack "Gondorian Soldiers" containing; Royal Guard,  Aragorn in Gondorian Armor, and Gondorian Bowman. 

Looking at all the LOTR offerings by Play Along Toys one can't help but think of all the awesome diorama making possibilities. In this set alone exists the potential for a simple scene at the Citadel of Minas Tirith or  the Great Battle for Minis Tirith. One would need more bowman for a big scene, but a small diorama highlighting this one archer would be just as nice. Speaking of diorama building, I came across the following website the other day. The gentleman has built a number of really fine LOTR dioramas some of which are intended for use in war gaming. Some dioramas utilize Play long Toys figures and some use the smaller scale war gaming figures but the techniques shown are good regardless of size or scale. Here's the link:

On that note, let's get to the photos - Enjoy!

Gondorian Soldiers: Royal Guard, Aragorn in Gondorian Armor; Gondorian Bowman
Wave 4
Issued by: Art Asylum / Play Along Toys
Assortment: 48100
Item Number: 48113
Issue Date: Spring 2004
Issue Price: $8.99

Royal Guard

 Aragorn in Gondorian Armor

Gondorian Bowman

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reader's Digest (1999) 1948 Task Master

Today on Fire Engine and Emergency Vehicle Friday we bring yet another in Reader's Digest series of 1/64 scale die-cast fire engines, the 1948 Task Master. The neat thing about fire and emergency vehicles is that there were so many manufacturers who produced them. The uninitiated would perhaps think that only the major auto and truck firms made fire apparatus and emergency vehicle but in point of fact there were a myriad of companies like: Ahrens-Fox, American LaFrance, Ward LaFrance,  Christie, Ford, Garford, Nash, Seagrave, Studebaker, Mack, Stutz, Gramm Bernstein, Maxim, FWD, International, Task Master, Buffalo, Dodge, Packard and so on. It's a lot of fun tracing the development of these fascinating vehicles over the years and one of the neatest ways to do this is collecting miniatures. The Reader's Digest series is great because it doesn't take up a lot of shelf space. Because of its small size it may be lacking in finer detail, but is nevertheless a terrific way to build a collection. Enjoy!