Toys I'm glad I didn't have when I was a Kid

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TristramEvans

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In the neighbouring city of Richmond, just across a bridge, what was once an expanse of farms and wetland has in the last decade seen a massive urbanization due to a large influx of Chinese immigrants. It is now a bustling cityscape, and visiting for the first time one would be excused for doing a double take as the trappings of Western civilization are suddenly transposed with what is now locally referred to as "Hong Couver"

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It's a fantastic place to find restaurants, out of the way bizarre gift shops, vast arcades, and even massage parlours...

But perhaps the best kept "secret" of Richmond is the so-called "Chinese Night Market". During the summer months, deep in the industrial district, in a large empty parking lot behind several factories along the river, the Night Market's tents, booths, and carts set up around 9 pm and lasts until the wee hours. Think a combination of a traveling circus commissary and Eastern bazaar and you won't be far off.

The main reason for going is the food. For $10 you can eat like a king. Some of the most unique and delicious dishes unknown to the West, as well as more traditional fairground entries like funnel cake, twst potatoes on a stick, and freshly made corn dogs, dipped in batter right before your eyes. But that stuff is for the rubes. Go with someone who is from China and knows what they are ordering, and it is a culinary extravaganza.

But besides the food there are also the vendors. So many vendors, all of duplicitous legality. There's the booth with swords and weaponry of any description. Places to get cell phones unlocked (ahem). Massive amounts of DVDs. Places to buy genuine "Rollecks" watches, etc. You get the idea.

It was here, a few years back, that I discovered perhaps the most amazing toy I've ever seen in my life. Ostensibly it was Spider-man. Riding a remote control dune buggy with the '89 Batman symbol on the hood. Wearing a superman cape. And when the vehicle moved it played a tinny rendition of "La Cucaracha".

5 bucks later it was mine. This began in me a love of really bad knock-off toys. And that is what this thread is about. The best of the worste. Often audacious, imminently bizarre, always entertaining, and cheap as chips.



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Dumarest

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My wife thinks Spook Chasers is hilarious. If I had the time I'd have to rip off West End Games and make Spook Chasers: The Dreadfully Jolly Roleplaying Game.
 

The Butcher

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Holy crap, some of those are hilarious and border on the sanity-blasting.

When I was a kid everyone's parents went South to visit Iguazú Falls (huge, stunning waterfalls near the triple border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay) and swung by Paraguay at some point to get cheap electronics and counterfeit toys.

Ah, the memories. I wish I had some of those still around; some truly bizarre robots and monsters. One looked like a monstruous, muscle-clad ivory-white centaur with a black-helmeted (robotic?) head with glowing green eyes, and an Acephali-like face painted in its shredded torso. Another looked like a regular toy robot, all black, with a vaguely demonic head, and when turned on the eyes glowed red and the head parted in two to reveal a dinosaur-like head.

These two would make great monsters for a crazy OSR science-fantasy sort of game.
 

3rik

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God Jesus and El Supermano are made of all kinds of awesome!

An RPG about cheap counterfeit knock-off superheroes would be hilarious, by the way.
 

Dumarest

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I'm pretty sure that's Champions as played by 90% of the kids I knew in middle school.

Still is judging by what I've seen on the Hero Games Forum when I lurked there.:clown: I'm pretty sure most of those guys spend more time working out loopholes to shave costs and squeeze maximum dice from each point than they do actually playing the characters, though.:trigger:
 

Bunch

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Still is judging by what I've seen on the Hero Games Forum when I lurked there.:clown: I'm pretty sure most of those guys spend more time working out loopholes to shave costs and squeeze maximum dice from each point than they do actually playing the characters, though.:trigger:
When that is kept to a minimum Champions is a good time.
I think that is an inch that many people like to scratch though. I used to work in a Naval Architects office. We delt with the American Bureau of Shipping. Those guys all seemed to retire and try to figure out just how big a ship they could build that had the minimum tonnage. For those not in the know tonnage is how you determine crewing requirements. They're trying to build 500+' ships with a crew requirement of two if they could.

It's just something humans do. How much for how little. It's probably pretty key to our survival as a species.
 

3rik

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These are all real, right?
 

Arminius

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Dumarest, that looks like it may be some real superhero (if you know what I mean by “real”). But the face looks like a blond George Bush.
 

Dumarest

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Dumarest, that looks like it may be some real superhero (if you know what I mean by “real”). But the face looks like a blond George Bush.
That is the part that makes it an unfortunate doll...but at the same time I'm happy to have any kind of Ralph Hinkley doll. The real ones cost a fortune.
 

Spinachcat

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I could see an entire Etsy channel devoted to weird hybrid toys. That bizarre Avengers shirt with Avatar, Batman and Spiderman would sell like hotcakes to weirdos like me and meta-hipsters. Betcha you could get someone to wear it on Portlandia!
 

Doc Sammy

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I love this thread.

All these knock-off toys are amusing to see, I think I owned a few knock-off toys back in the day. I was a fan of the off-brand G.I. Joe knock-offs and similar military action figures.

They were cheaper than real G.I. Joe figures (which is why I owned so many of them) and you didn't have to keep up with the latest iteration of the franchise's canon. Which meant that I could make up my own stories and backgrounds for the action figures, which is something my brothers and I did all the time.

Of course, my knock-off toys from my childhood days were more along the lines of cheap Dollar Store generic toys and look-alikes rather than blatant Chinese counterfeits.
 
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