Friday, January 11, 2008


A couple days after Christmas, I went to my local drug store to pick up a prescription. As is my habit, I walked down the toy aisle on my way to the pharmacy counter. Whenever I'm in any store that sells toys, I have to take a gander to see if there's anything I might be able to use for my custom action figure projects. During the last couple of years, toy companies have backed away from the 1/6th scale action figure format, so I usually hold out little hope that I will ever find anything interesting, but I always figure it doesn't cost anything to look.

Given my general state of cynicism, I was surprised to find a shelf full of 1/6th scale action figures with accompanying vehicles. The line was called Rescue Team, and while they won't cause anyone from Hasbro or Mattel to lose any sleep, they were still pretty serviceable toys. Each action figure was driving either an ATV or a chunky military-type vehicle complete with rocket launchers. The military styling didn't interest me that much, but I thought they could easily be modified to look like excellent vehicles for Captain Action. Still, I wasn't too keen on spending the $20 price on the box for a low-end toy I only want to experiment on. Then I noticed a tag taped to the shelf:

"All toys in this aisle 75% off!"

Of course! The after-Christmas markdowns! For five bucks each, the vehicles were looking more appealing. I still hesitated, however. For one thing, I had come on foot, and lugging one of those huge boxes home would've been a chore. Also, my house was already cluttered with lots of toys. I shouldn't add to the pile. Sullenly, I left the toy aisle, picked up my prescription, and wandered home.

During the walk back, I kept thinking about how I could repaint the body "Captain Action Blue" and jazz it up with my custom-made stickers and leftover bits and pieces from model kits. I was getting that sensation I call "toy lust," something I thought I had lost when I reached puberty and found another kind of lust. So lost was I in my reverie, I had strayed from my usual route home and had to take a lengthy detour to right myself. This gave me time to rationalize. "I can drive back to the store in my car and buy one of those vehicles," I thought. "And besides, I already sold a bunch of collectibles on eBay, so I've made plenty of room for one more new toy!" By the time I reached my front door, I had made up my mind.

After I drove back to the store, I grabbed one of the boxes from the back of the shelf without looking at which vehicle I had laid my hands on. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had bought the ATV. Although the other vehicle had those cool rocket launchers, I thought the ATV was more suited to Captain Action and probably easier to customize. I think it was the best choice.

So now I'm embarking on a new project. Here are some shots of what it looked like in its original form. Stay tuned to see its transformation into the new Captain Action ATV!

No comments: