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Retro Review: Toys from the 1980’s

So Plastic and Plush turns 10 this year. Most folks don’t know that I actually started and ran a now defunct toy news site called (way back in 2002) before creating this one. The concept was fairly simple. I’d review old toys I snagged off of eBay, Happy Meal prizes and the awful food I had to eat to get them, and randomly purchased cheap toys my wife usually picked up wherever she was shopping that day. The content eventually morphed into covering the “Designer Toy Scene” and now it pretty much runs the gambit of collectible toy geekery.

I was recently inspired to get back to my roots. To revisit why the site was originally created. Plus, I thought it would be a great way to pick up some old toys from yesteryear…that I remember playing with as a kid. So ready yourself for some Retro Review: Toys from the 1980’s. I’m hoping to make this a weekly post, but it all comes down to how much old crap I can buy before my wife starts yelling at me.

There’s only one caveat. All of the toys will be mint-in-box or mint-on-card because I don’t want a toy several generations of children have slobbered all over. You never know where that Go Bot was shoved or how many time Cobra Commander was dropped in a urine filled toilet.

Trust me. Every time I rip open one of the toys from the 80’s, it will tear off a piece of my soul. Imaging that a toy and its’ box sat in someone’s basement for the last 30 years without that person wanting to rip it open…is mind-boggling. So I will play the role of the villain. I will open up these toys so that you don’t have to. And I will tell you if it’s better that they just live on in our memories.

It was an honor being nominated…


So we've been nominated over at the Designer Toy Awards under the Best Blog section (thanks, Mom!). We're up against some stiff competition (I'm so out of the loop, I didn't even know about half of the sites). can vote once every 24 hours, with voting running until July 1st 2013. Go often...and you don't even need to vote for me. (Pretty sure that was my motto when I ran for student council in 4th grade)

Plastic and Plush in 2013

So I've been blogging about toys and the designer toy scene for nearly 9 years now. I started a site called in the summer of 2004. The basic HTML site was going to be silly drawings I did, random interviews, and reviews of cheap toys my wife and I picked up in the local Target. I wanted to emulate the classic X-Entertainment site.

Then I discovered Monsterism, Uglydolls, and the Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo...and I was hooked on designer toys. At that time, there weren't any sites reporting on this niche market. You had the Kidrobot forum...and that's pretty much where everyone went to get their news. It was around February 2005 when I signed on with Action Online ( to be their Designer Toy Portal. I thought it would be good exposure and help pay some bills (especially site/toy/travel related). Over six months, I made nothing. I left.

I decided to start up Plastic and Plush because I wanted to get back to having complete freedom over what I posted and when I posted it. I always said I started this and continued to do this because it's fun. And it's been a one-man-show.

If you think there's money in running a blog like this...choose a new line of work.  Over the last several years, the bastardization of "toy blogs" and the downturn in the economy have made it difficult to drum up enough advertisers and funds to make it to New York Comic Con...let alone San Diego Comic Con and Designer Con.

If you add in having two little ones under 3 and a full time realize that time management choices need to be time is precious. It's tough coming home from a long day at work to site behind a computer yet again. I do fiscal forecasting in my day job, so any given day I'm staring at a computer screen for 12 hours total.

Any wonder why I'm in the worst shape in my life? It was no surprise to me that Andy over at ToysREvil had his health scare. Sitting on your ass in front of a computer for 12 hours a day does a number on your physical (and sometimes mental) well-being. I'm not sure what's worse...that sedentary lifestyle or inhaling resin all day long.

With all of that said....

2013 is going to be a year of change on I'm going to get away from queuing up multiple posts every night. Don't be surprised if I post one item per day. Maybe even every other day. This will all be original reporting, focusing on toy reviews and specific new pieces. Maybe even some video reviews. Quality over Quantity. 

I'm also going to reach out to all of the artists and companies out there. I'm going to basically allow for artist submitted posts.

How will it work?

Shoot me an email at and ask me to be added as a contributor. You'll be able to copy and paste your press release or tell us about your latest custom in a basic web template. Add an image or two. Submit it for approval. I check it out to make sure you're not linking to porn...give it a standard look...and it gets published. (This will also help with those last minute press releases I often can't get to)

When will this all start?

I'm not sure. If there's anything you should know by now it's that I have a difficult time making up my mind (hence the semi-annual color and logo changes - I'm sure there will be one more in the near future).


I'd like to thank all of you for continuing to read the site and sticking with me as we move into this next phase of Plastic and Plush. Let's hope that 2013 is our best year yet. Go team! And all of that stuff...

New Release Feature

From now on, I am going to be doing a weekly new release post (similar to our weekly show opening posts). This not only cuts down on the number of articles that you must search through to find out what's dropping...but it also cleans things up and is more informative for you, the reader.

I've decided to include both the New Releases and Show Openings segments in the Featured Articles slider above. The New Releases post will be continuously updated as we find out about them, so it would benefit you to check in throughout the week.

With all of that said, future weeks will look a little different from this week. I'll be posting release info and a link to the previous posting in the weekly roundups. Feedback is welcome, as always...

I Feel A Change Comin’ On

As I had written earlier, things will be changing on December 1st 2011. Actually...a lot of those changes are already being implemented.

I'd first like to announce the site's schedule. You'll still see plenty of posts during the day. But around 12:30PM ET every weekday, I will be posting something special - according to the following schedule:

• Monday - Interview or Artist Profile

• Tuesday - Upcoming Shows List

• Wednesday - Toy Review

• Thursday - Special Feature

• Friday - Toy Review

I will also be tweaking the Toy Review format. As you can see below, the grading will be changed slightly...and be given a more graphical look.

Plush Grade Template

Finally, if you're interested in advertising on the site...our ad rates have been cut in half beginning on December 1. Click the Contact page if you have questions.

Changes to Plastic and Plush

Beginning on Thursday December 1st 2011, Plastic and Plush is going to be undergoing some significant changes.

I have realized, running Plastic and Plush since December 2005 and starting in mid-2004, that producing an up-to-the-minute toy news blog - in addition to an 8 hour a day job and being a father to a toddler (with another soon on the way) - can be physically and mentally draining. For those who don't know, it's only me running the show here.

There are several forces at play here. I just don't have enough time in the day to post everything I would like to. And there are about 20 other sites that drop the same press releases that I receive. So, you're basically going to see a lot of the same stuff at most sites.

This takes time away from writing real articles and informative reporting. I want to get back to giving opinions...and to bring the focus of Plastic and Plush back to our reviews. I'm looking for informative substance rather than blurbs. Quality over Quantity. And to bring my voice back to the site.

I am currently in the process of preparing a weekly schedule. You'll still see news about all of the upcoming toy releases and art shows...they will just be grouped into weekly posts. Each week, I will be focusing on a different artist (if you're interested, shoot me an email) with exclusive content, interviews, etc. And there will be set days for posting reviews.

Thanks again for reading the site, and please feel free to post any opinions or suggestions...or shoot me an email.


Plastic and Plush Events Calendar

I've been wanting to put together an events calendar for a while. We often post toy release news or show information a week or more before it happens, so an events calendar would be a place you can keep track of all of this information.

I finally found what appears to be the perfect solution. I've created a public events calendar that will allow users to add new events. If you have a small run launching on a certain date and time. Add it. If your gallery is having an opening, or you're an artist with an art show opening. Add it.

The web address is: 

You should be able to set up reminders, link to your site, export calendars to iCal. There will be some tweaking needed, but go ahead and get to work!

We’ll be right back!

As some folks might have heard, the Raleigh, NC area got hit with several tornados this weekend. We've seen some crazy things...houses demolished, sheds hanging from power lines, hundred foot tall trees uprooted, etc. Luckily we have power back, but they've estimated midweek for cable and Internet service to resume. That means posts will be sporadic until hopefully Wednesday or Thursday. Please continue to send in any news, etc. Thanks so much for checking out the site.