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03/29/07 ::: Smallonaut OBO

Never mind the Evil Go'ons, I have decided to "sell" a single (x1) official ASA Smallonaut. Yes, it comes with the exclusive edition of How to Play With Your Toys, and yes, it will only be available at The Emerald City ComiCon in a few days. And yes, there is a catch. How did you know all of that?

Special Mission Smallonaut OBO will be available to the maker of the best offer at ECCC, on our newly printed Make An Official Offer forms. You can offer money (we like money) or just about anything else, keeping in mind that the judges in this matter enjoy originality above most other things. Torrid and/or rude offers will be voided immediately but all others will be considered in ernest. And YES, someone will win this exclusive Smallonaut this weekend!

There may never be another chance to attain your own personal Smallonaut figure and we hope the pressure brings out the best in everyone.

This is probably my last post before ECCC. Unless I can get connected in my hotel room somehow, I probably won't be able to update my Legions of Fans until after the event. Page 2 of this SmBlog is getting out of hand anyway so we'll probably start a Page 3 to cover post-show reporting.

I just thought it was important to mention, so there you go.



03/26/07 ::: CHUD and Sons Rat Catchers

A few months back we had some work done under our house. It was costly and trying, and there were mummified rats (which is even worse than it sounds).

In the middle of this work my old friend the Evil Robot sent some great toys to us, to remind us that play is valuable and worth the effort. I'm proud that these toys now live in our crawl space and I feel safer for their being on duty. Thanks, Evil Robot!

Felix is the one in the purple pants, driving the CHUDmobile. Barry is the yellow one with the nose ring and temper. Oscar is the red one with the strong "front office" jaw. Their last names are CHUD. They claim to run a family extermination business but I can't see how they are related. Their pet rat is named Prudence.

This is all of the information I have on them right now. Their applications were decidedly incomplete, and I don't like to pry. They do seem comfortable here, and to their credit we have been rat-free since they arrived. Not counting Prudence, of course.


CHUD and Sons #1

CHUD and Sons #2
CHUD and Sons #3

03/21/07 ::: ECCC Update (We are Booth #214, for instance)

Well, it has been a bumpy ride but plans and details are taking solid form now, and Trinket 19's appearance at The Emerald City ComiCon appears unstoppable.

We've added a third hand to the official T19 road crew (welcome aboard Thomas!), reserved a cargo van for the weekend, booked a hotel room, and we even made a slick wooden base so the ship won't roll off the table and break innocent people. Good moves, all.

I've also finished folding nearly 200 of the Small Books listed previously in this SmBlog, and I even made a series of exclusive alternate-cover editions of How to Play With Your Toys that will only be attainable with the purchase of any Evil Go'on.

Speaking of Evil Go'ons... they are ready, too! I'm pleased with my first series of made-to-sell toys and I'm not as shocked by my own shameless selling-out as I once imagined I would be. Each Evil Go'on comes in its own containment tube, so you can examine the specimen's hideous nature from behind the safety of a layer of poly-plastic or you can take the little monster out and play with, using your actual hands. It's your choice, so you'll have to suffer the consequences.

I'm not all that motivated to sell the Go'ons so if all or a few of them end up coming back home, that'd be just fine. But obviously I'd prefer the cash.

Also, I'm pleased to drop hints that G7:e1 The New Bingo will soon be getting a much needed once-over. I don't have clearance to use his name yet, so we'll just call him Ramón. He's the guy who helped to make my recent Small Books look so good, and he has agreed to re-letter my wee space adventure. I'm thrilled by the prospect and will keep the world informed of our progress right here in this very SmBlog.

So just stay right there and keep hitting Refresh or Reload until something happens. You know you want to.



Go on... Refresh again...


Evil Red Go'on: Our high-end product.

03/13/07 ::: "And then the little boy woke up and everything was OK!"

It's funny how when you get kicked in the head with an iron boot sometimes everything is fine again the next day. To wit, our plans to attend the Emerald City ComiCon are again GO, and glossy smiles have returned to all faces here at

The ridiculous, mixed-up, backwards, fascist rule where people have to hire union laborers to haul their stuff from the curb to their booth at Big Fun Conventions is indeed the law just about everywhere in the country except The People's Republic of Washington State, and the poor kid I talked to yesterday didn't know about the WA exception. I only learned this critical detail from a very cool guy named Jim at ECCC who called today to save me, and to clear the way for my glorious toy spaceship to land at the event. All of our 500+ tiny hats are off to you, Jim! A complete set of Small Books and our eternal gratitude are yours.

Boy, I sure am glad that I resisted the urge to torch the entire collection and jump off the bridge last night. I was so depressed I didn't even want curry. But now it sounds really good...


03/12/07 ::: How do you say "oh well" in Klingon?

Dear Mental Readers,

We are saddened to report that plans to attend The Emerald City ComiCon at the end of this month have been scrapped.

As it turn out, a person who wants to display a giant custom toy spaceship, for instance, is not allowed to carry said display into the event area themselves and instead must pay union laborers to do the moving. Besides the bend-over fee structure for work that I am qualified to do, I simply can not allow anyone but myself and my one trained and trusted assistant Maurice to touch my spaceship. This is why spaceships have Crews.

It is clearly a case of poor planning. I really should have done more research, but I guess my nonrefundable deposits will teach me a lesson. Business is business after all, and I'm sure this all makes sense to some lawyer somewhere.

In other news, is going on extended holiday. Thanks for playing and please be nice to each other.


Evil Containment Tubes (ECT)

03/07/07 ::: Making Evil Aliens the Old Fashioned Way

Rumor has it that the Evil Go'ons are clones of the worst kind of Cyan Moonling, the Mukoids. Mukoids live at or near the center of the Cyan Moon Cluster where they have oppressed the vast majority of other Moonlings for generations.

The Go'ons originally snuck out through my pencil tip very much by accident one day and I have included that first drawing and a few other visual notes about them for your evaluation. Go'ons also appear in the new 2XL+ Episode 5.5, and in the short, ugly film "Attack of the Go'ons!" which is still on YouTube for some reason. My Adult People Who Play group encouraged me to bring this evidence forward so I hope it does some good.

It's weird to look down at the thing you have been drawing for a few minutes and have it be a hideous monster face with random wires in its head, but life is a rich tapestry or something.

Anyway, I made the first batch of four Go'ons based on the drawing. I was so pleased with their horrific countenance that I decided to make a series of them to sell at ECCC. I'm making five Blue Go'ons and three even scarier Red Go'ons.

I just thought you should know.


1st Go'on sketch, still very creepy.

03/06/07 ::: Making Book

I have seven small publications that will be for sale at ECCC. They are single-sheet, 8-page booklets that I'm printing and folding here at home because it is fun and because my hands need a lot to do. A title list and synopsis for each is offered below. Note that we will be making as few of each edition as possible.

How to Play With Your Toys: An Illustrated Guide to Effective Merriment
In today's world of modern collectible nonsense, I believe that some chimp was eventually going to write this definitive tome on how to play, and I wanted to beat that damn dirty ape to the punch. Exclusive editions of this critical modern thesis on the value of play with alternate covers will be included in each Official Toy Tube (OTT) offered at ECCC, which might make sense later.

Toys in Space: Alien Life #1 : GROG
A travel guide to the moist homeworld of the Grog, this tiny book reveals interesting infobits about everyone's favorite quasi-hulk space aliens, Grog.

Toys in Space: Alien Life #2 : INSECTIANS
Their entire mystery could never be told in so few pages but this edition hits the critical highlights for a basic understanding of the alien toy enigma known as Insectians.

These are Our Toys Vol. #1 (Reanimated Man Cover)
Some of our favorite toys. Well, some favorites and some other ones.

These are Our Toys Vol. #2 (Jerko the Clown Cover)
More of our favorite toys, including the new super-celebrity, Pepper!

These are Our Toys Vol. #3 : Current Trinket 19 Crew Profiles
T19 has a remarkable crew, and most of them are detailed in this handbook of action heroes currently serving aboard the coolest toy spaceship on record. This is our exclusive ECCC Program!

"Listen to Your Daddy"
Honestly, I don't know where this came from. I had a grumpy old toy who refused to get out of his chair and I took some shots as he was berating his boy child. It's mean and dark and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but it is Lucky #7 in our small book offering, so please buy a few!

Oh, and there will be Go'ons for sale, too. Blue or Red, take your pick or collect them all!


Go'ons are Evil, no matter the hue.

Fear This Toy

03/05/07 ::: The Milk Line - A True Story

When I was in 4th or 5th grade in Southern California I was selected or sentenced to work in the school cafeteria. I'm not sure how it all went down but I remember that one day they told me I had to go help the barrel-shaped ladies with facial hair that made the troughs of kid slop we had to eat. I kind of remember it happened after I enrolled in the Public School Soggy Industrial Breakfast Program, a brief period but a vivid one. I had Boy Scouts meetings in the same lunch room. It was weird to eat greasy eggs and damp toast in the morning, and that same evening in the same room receive a Citizenship Badge. There is probably a GAP store there by now.

Anyway, they came and told me I had to work in the cafeteria and before I could even cry, there I was in an apron and plastic hair bonnet. Much like a toilet seat cover for your head, the plastic hair bonnet was a common sanitary tool in the food service industry of that era and has now mercifully been replaced by the more flattering hair net.

There were a few other kid-victems of the Food Service Press Gang that week, too. One huge latina named Stephanie who had long black hair so thick the Navy could weave rope with it, and a boney redhead named Mike with high-contrast freckles. Neither of them had any idea why we had to work, either. Maybe it was a psychological battery of some kind, exploring the shaming effects of plastic hair bonnets on sensitive boys and enormous latinas named Stephanie.

Whatever the reason, that week we had to serve lunch to all of our schoolmates dressed like complete dorks. High-contrast Mike had the worst of it because he had to wield the giant spoon of vegetables, no small task considering the raman noodles and drinking straws that passed for his muscles and bones.

The Veg-Spoon was the lowest job in the lunch line as it exposed the child worker to higher than average spill potential, a guaranteed emotional scar if there ever was one. The highest child worker duty was Dish Washer, which involved no direct contact with one's fellow children and spared one from much of the humiliation of the cafeteria work week. Giant Stephanie was appointed to this safe but moist neutral zone thanks to what I understood even then to be, "friends on the inside."

That left me in the middle slot - the Milk Boy. The job was pretty simple, just give each kid the kind of milk it wanted as he or she walked through the door. We had "Regular Milk" in blue cartons, "Chocolate Milk" in brown cartons, and "Slim Milk" in green cartons. To this day I can't believe how many kids didn't want the Chocolate Milk.

I don't know what happened to me that week but it was pretty weird. First of all, I started talking like I had a kazoo in my mouth. I'd be "saying" stuff but it was all way too fast and through my nose, not real language with words. In order to make these sounds I had to push my lips out, so I looked like a duck. I think I did this in an attempt to be someone else, anyone else, as every kid I knew filed in to the cafeteria. As a giver of milk I felt like quite the teat.

The other thing I did to avoid the humiliation was get people's order wrong on purpose. They would say "Regular Milk" and I'd put "Slim Milk" on their tray, then catch my error with a high nasal snort and super-fast switch it out for "Regular." Sometimes I'd get it wrong the second time, again with a cartoon soundtrack. I was a slapstick Jawa, and it all came naturally to me.

Thinking back on that week I'm surprised I was never reprimanded for my obviously spastic behavior. I guess the kids in line got what they asked for eventually, and Mike was somehow bolstered by the fact that I was taking everyone's attention off of him and his struggles with the giant spoon. Even the barrel-shaped ladies with facial hair seemed amused by my antics, over which I had no control and for which I have no explanation to this day.

It was around this time that I perfected my technique for making toy-sized SCUBA gear with masking tape and AA batteries.


3/3/07 ::: Spaceship Christening Declared Official

It has been our habit to have shows in March. In previous years (3/6/99 and BS2) we packed everything up and snuck into a local art gallery, which was fun but also smacked of effort. This year instead of exporting dolls we imported people to look at them, and I'm happy to report that the Trinket 19 Christening Party was a modest success.

March is one of those twelve months out the year when we get a lot of rain so I was dubious about lighting the playsets in our barn. If memory serves me correctly, copious extension chords and standing water is the recipe for nerve gas, so inviting people to wander around in the dim light of my moonbase through a minefield of wires and puddles was cause for some concern. Luckily, nobody interesting was seriously injured. Pics of the junk in Studio B are (or soon will be) included in the Red Room section of this website.

But the real meat of the issue at hand was inside, hanging from the ceiling. My latest and greatest toy spaceship was officially declared "GO!" by the Trilateral Council of Space Matters and Declarations, and once the pronouncement was muttered we all went outside and had a nice bonfire. I am lucky to know such kind and interesting people and we were honored that ya'll could be a part of our unusual toy ritual.

As it turned out, I didn't take a single picture of the evening's events. I saw a few cameras going off so if anybody got good shots of anything please forward them on to us!

With the christening done it looks like the runway is clear for T19 to take off for ECCC. I just got a package of Official Forms and Regulations for Dealers and each page is a curious legal road trip through the Jungles of Confusion and Doom. Readers will note the polite spin tactics employed. Anyway, it seems a pleasant enough ordeal in the end, and the chances of someone there having a cooler toy spaceship than mine seem slim at best.


Poor Joe

02/27/07 ::: Plastic Animals - Try Them!

Tonight we are eating pizza. Lots of people eat pizza every day all the time, so I guess we aren't so unusual in that sense. It's homemade, or at least we assembled it here.

We also assembled some pirates in speed boats for our bathtub, and tossed in a few rubber sharks and starfish just for good measure. You may be surprised how refreshing being surrounded by plastic animals can be. We have a huge salad bowl of those little Noah's Arc animals they used to give away at gas stations and they have begun to migrate all over the house. There are hippos in the plate rack and giraffes on top of the picture frames, besides the afore mentioned sea life in the tub. So the pirates are late to that game, but they are well armed so life's balance is once again achieved.

In other news: Trinket 19 in ready to launch, books are being patiently crafted, and a team of Evil Go'ons is under construction (including some new, hideous Red Go'ons - stay tuned).


02/11/07 ::: Finally, a break in the case.

While much mystery still surrounds the true identity of Anna Nicole's daughter's father, one thing is certain.

Whoever it is, he was Time's Person of the Year for 2006.


02/04/07 ::: My Inner Bubba Knows...

Hail, Legions of Small Fans!

I've been busy cooking up stuff for the Emerald City ComiCon where, if you haven't heard, we have booked booth #214 and will there establish and set up many interesting toys that you have never seen, among them the entire Trinket 19 Space Ship Experience, pods and all.

We can't hang it from the ceiling at ECCC but T19 will still be pretty cool. This toy space vessel is as big as our dining room table, as thick as both of my thighs put together, and the whole dang deal lights up now. The crew keeps growing like a weed in the sun and I'm so happy I have this junk to play with, I can't even tell you. Adventure, thy name is Trinket!

One of the other things I have been basting is a series of smallish books. I figured if I was going to a comic book convention I'd better have something on paper to show. A sample of a possible test cover thing is offered to the right. Thankfully, specific production deals have recently been reached and as a result we are confident that this series of books will be as sharp as tacks, so don't set them on teacher's chair. Unless they teach jive and have it coming. But no really; don't.

The figure in the test cover is Jack Bean, an old-school freelance test pilot aboard T19. He lost his facial details in an acetone accident a few years back but he hasn't let is slow him down a bit. And neither should you.


01/11/07 ::: Comfort, Power and a New Year

Here on the Island of Misfit Toys we have lost electricity so many times in the last few weeks we are actually getting good at it. Before and after what was called "the biggest storm in a decade" we enjoyed episodes of wind and rain of notable strength and volume, and each time the lights go out. The longest dark stretch was three days. On one day we lost power five times.

When the power goes out here everything is quite. The filter in the crawlspace dies, the freezer hum stops to take a breath, and the clock becomes a useless mass perched on the end table. Computers in this environment fail to impress consumers, and serve only as landing pads for dust. It is a time of odor and reflection, and a good reminder of the beauty of candle light. Plus, who doesn't love running the toilet with rain water?

Eerieguardless of these modern dramas, play continues. T19 construction is limited in the dark, as is digital photography, so you'll have to trust me when I say that work on my glorious spaceship is progressing as planned. I did manage to install some space chains so now the ship hangs from the ceiling of the Red Room, which is how it is most comfortable and where it looks best.

I've been working on a few other things, too. I made a new Millionaire Hippy guy, and I started a group of Go'ons to sell at ECCC. Obviously this is a small run, and since I have never (ever) offered my toys for sale to the public (and probably won't again at this rate), this is indeed a rare opportunity.

I'm also working on a new "point-five" episode of 2XL+. One thing you can do in the candle light is draw, so I spun a short space yarn on paper and we'll just have to see how that goes.


2XL+ Episode 5.5

12/27/06 ::: T19 Construction Update - new pictures

Things are humming, and I mean that literally. I installed some wee speakers so I can plug my iPod into my spaceship (they play a lot of Puffy as it turns out), and I'm also using a micro-cassette recorder to play grinding and humming machine noises. Together, Trinket 19 sounds very much alive.

The electrical systems are expanding heroically. Each section has at least one computer terminal and a few cabin lights. I even installed a Red Alert system, which I think is required by Code. It has a toggle switch. Someone pinch me, for mine is a beautiful world.

I am way ahead of schedule on the interiors, too. Last week my Hanger Bay was nicely rounded out and recently the Velcro Lounge gained bunks and some comfy-chairs made from styrofoam packing corners. I even installed some drawer magnets to keep the Bay Doors in the up/closed position.

Everything is still in process of course, but I have included some pictures. Launch is set for March 3rd, 2007 around 8pm. Write for details.


Agent 2nd Class Juanita Havoc

Aft Engine Lab
Aft View, lower
Hanger Bay (no pod)
Hanger Bay (with pod)

12/26/06 ::: The Island of Vampire Deer

This one time, on Christmas, I saw a reindeer licking an elf's head wound.


12/18/06 ::: Have You Seen Mr. Bones?

Some of the best characters simply step out of the shadows one day and announce their arrival. Afterwards, one can hardly imagine life before they appeared.

Such is the case with Mr. Bones. I first made contact with Mr. Bones a few years back while discussing cartoons with my wife. Both of us had limited recall of the animated Star Trek series we had seen as kids, and as we discussed these dim TV reflections the story of Mr. Bones unfolded.

My wife asked, "Do you remember Mr. Bones? He was the skeleton, a crewman on the bridge of the USS Enterprise?"

"Do you mean 'Bones' like Dr. McCoy?" I ventured.

"No, he was a skeleton on the crew. Made of bones. He was Mr. Bones, don't you remember him?"

She was certain. I was dubious. I did remember that some aliens served on the crew, and that the cartoon was pretty far-out in general, so it made (confusing and unusual) sense to me that they could have a skeleton on the bridge. Hey, as long as he can pass the physical exam Star Fleet should let him serve, right?

Needless to say, Mr. Bones became my favorite animated character that I had never seen. The thought of a skeleton with a phaser and a tricorder clanking around in the halls of the Enterprise tickled me. Imagine how awkward it would be to get into one of those pajama uniforms if you were a skeleton.

And then there is the great utility of being skinless in space (or "Dermalogically Challenged" as they prefer to be known). Wouldn't he be useful in the Engine Room, when Scottie can't stand the radiation anymore? Deadly gas threatening to destroy the Away Team? Clearly not an issue for the heroic Mr. Bones!

Obviously, when I heard that CTVT was selling skeletons of the appropriate size I knew what I had to do. If my poor Mr. Spock figure had emotions he would be royally ticked-off that I stole his gear to make this guy.

My first wife recently surprised me with the DVD set of Star Trek-The Animated Series and we are almost certain now that her memory of Mr. Bones was inspired by the alien navigator, Mr. Arex (bio), who sports a very skeleton-like head. He also has three arms and three legs.

Alternately, and this is my favorite theory, the episode with Mr. Bones the skeleton who served aboard the Enterprise was somehow left out of the DVD collection. I'm sure if Majel had done the voice it would not have been omitted.

Anyway, we are checking on that possibility and will let you know.


"Mr. Bones is a skeleton.
He serves aboard the USS Enterprise
as a crewman on the bridge.
He is a science officer."



Mr. Arex - whatever.

12/12/06 ::: Pale Dome Floating

Thanks to the Evil Robot, I'm one step closer to my "one of every head" goal!

He used to be a Star Trek alien, and now he is Pale Dome Floating, the Alien Indian. His heritage is mixed. He has been spotted stealing shark's teeth but we are unclear if he needs them for his ancient rituals or if they act as fuel for his strange, nonfunctioning space craft (not pictured).

We feel certain that he could get into the college of his choice.


12/02/06 ::: Tailpipes

We had some snow this week, so obviously I had to move the new spaceship from the barn to the Red Room. With the help of Maurice Buzzetti we were able to land Prosperity 8 in the barn, and then fly Trinket 19 from the barn back home. All of this in the pouring rain, too.

Now that my best giant spaceship is inside (where it is warm) I can work on her as time permits. This week I redesigned the aft end and installed some tail pipes, each with a flicker-bulb inside. I also added some trim to the wing.

I decided that I should impose a deadline on myself, so on March 1st, 2007 we will host a T19 Christening Party. This means I need to finish my fabulous toy heap by then, and if I succeed that gives me a few weeks to break it all down again for transportation to ECCC.

Teleportation would be so much easier.  


"Atomic batteries to power... turbines to speed!"

11/22/06 ::: Custom Action Figures - What does it all mean?

I have not yet explored the numerology behind this magical phrase but I can tell you that custom action figures are very important and a lot of fun. This is not just conjecture, it is solid scientific fact and it happens to concur with the cumulative experience of my whole life, starting at naught right up to now.

Let's break this down:

"Custom" is a great word. It sounds expensive, a thing made just for you. It also evokes the human elements of attention and craftsmanship. Handmade is personal. A custom dress is different than a catalogue frock. The right custom Chevy can make grizzled men weep.

"Action" is a great word. All talk and no action is generally discouraged, unless it is crazy talk. Any plan of action worth attempting will have some kind of result - things happen, tires screech, giant boulders start rolling, whatever. When the director decides it is time to begin the illusion he yells, "Action!"

"Figures" is an ok word. Not great like Custom and Action, but pretty good. Personally, I believe that "figures" is a code word for the more accurate "dolls," a phrase banished from use when ugly 1:6 scale soldiers first fought their way to market in the early 1960s. I'm ok with the term dolls, but some people don't like it. I'd like to point out in haughty tones that a "doll" and a "dolly" are very different, and if you don't know that then you probably already have the cooties.

So, from this evidence we can conclude that a Custom Action Figure is a handmade thing that will generate results, an illusion formed of human attention and will, and a doll that you dress-up all by yourself.

Also, technically, if they are in a box they are Static Figures.


11/10/06 ::: Smalls Go Public at ECCC is happy to announce that we have secured a booth at The Emerald City ComiCon, March 31st-April 1st, 2007. While we do plan to sell our original toy space comic book G7:e1 The New Bingo, the real reason we decided to do this was to show an unsuspecting public our giant space ship.

I have not decided which ship to take, either P8 or T19. The latter is only about 3/4 finished at the moment. Since either wee spacecraft will take up most of the 10x10 booth it is an important choice. I'll also have the G7 and 2XL+ crews on display, and maybe the Space Marines and the Go'ons, and possibly even groups of Grog, Avians and Insectians.

I don't know of anyone else who set themselves up as a "Dealer" at a comic book convention just to show off their (not for sale) toys. I do know that every time I have introduced the Smalls to the general public it has been a heck of a lot of fun. So I figured, "What-the-hey?"

The Galaxy, Ad Infinitum!


10/19/06 ::: "Blue Mars" ::: MDRS

OK everyone, this is another one of those non-toy entries. If you don't want to hear about anything other than toys (and who can blame you for that?) then please excuse yourself. We won't hold it against you.

This morning in a fit of insomnia I discovered the Mars Desert Research Station. This is a bunch of people who spend weeks out in the desert wearing bubble helmets and living in close quarters to advance our vision of a human presence on Mars. They have a greenhouse, ATVs, and what appears to be a heck of a lot of fun.

I am proud to know that smart people will agree to live in a rounded shack in the desert for weeks on end and face great personal hardships to better understand a possible life on Mars. What a cool species! Besides my obvious fascination with bubble helmets, this project is AWESOME!

The ASA Smallonauts salute the MDRS!


Images courtesy of The Mars Society

10/18/06 ::: Roman water victories still unknown in PNW.

Dear Mental Readers,

We write to you tonight from the depths of the underhouse, where a team of crawlys have toiled for days to rid us of evil rat mummies. Toys and that are on hold until things work out and bows get tied. And Evil Robot says he'll soon send a picture of Pnod.

There. That's the update. Maybe there is more later. Who knows?



10/05/06 ::: Karma and (Evil) Robots, a trade practices treaty.

As we have detailed in other sections of this web site, has for some time now been in contact with Evil Robots. They mail parcels containing unusual and often inhuman things, they send copious email, and in one way or another Evil Robots simply infest what happens here.

One day, in the middle of a red-eyed digital rant about Marvin Hamlisch, an Evil Robot let slip the fact that it is working on a limited line of custom action figures (called The Cosmodollitans) that will be for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area at undisclosed locations and times, we assume in the future. With the casual aplomb of a goat-faced boy I coyly asked,

"Evil Robot... I'd like to buy an entire set when they become available. I can PayPal you in advance, but I need to know that the packaging is MINT."

New, lost, or forgetful readers may not recall that packaged action figures are ridiculous wastes of money and storage space, and have for a very long time now been eschewed by both and the Evil Robots (a point of agreement that has always chilled me). So when I said the bit about the packaging being MINT I was indeed baiting the mechanized horror. It's a little hobby I have. But, just like Stumpy the former bear trap technician, I was about to get a big surprise.

Evil Robot seemed willing to deal but his reply was ominous...

"My processors indicate that The Cosmodollitan's packaging will give you fresher breath. Unfortunately, financial queries have resulted in a NO CASH policy. Evil Robot will accept a karmic trade agreement of ONE DOLL FOR ONE DOLL. No more, no less."

It always creeps me out when robots refer to themselves in third person italics. But beyond his compelling prose, what was I to make of this? A toy trade deal with an insane machine, one armed with eye-lasers?! I saw the Cosmodollitan mock-ups and they looked very much like the work of Evil Robots.

I agreed immediately. What else could I do? It is possible that I have walked into a trap, and I guess deep down inside I knew that the job was dangerous when I took it. The funny part is that it all seemed so entertaining at the time, and still does to much the same degree or more.

In order to throw off his Evil logic circuits I made and sent the first trade package, Mr. Media (right). As you can see, he's totally hip and 98% bacteria-free. Crazy with the thought that I could somehow turn this twisted karmic agreement to my advantage I made and sent a second trade package, named Pnod. I'm not really sure what I was thinking - so far I'm down two toys in the deal. I didn't get a shot of Pnod before he went into the mail. I really am slipping.

So mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Evil Robots!
Or Tori Spellings for that matter.


Mr. Media
has an agenda, and partial hearing loss.

10/03/06 ::: The Jpop Invasion,
or I Love Puffy AmiYumi Very Much!

Sometimes it's just really great to be here and this is also one of those times. (Not much doll news here so toy purists will want to skip this entry.)

It all started about three months ago on YouTube. I was sifting through the internets when I stumbled upon a music video called Momo No Hanabira by jpop idol Ai Otsuka. THIS LINK will take you to a bio page with the video I saw that night (saucy lawyers have since removed the vid from YouTube, like they do.)

Something about this song made me play it again. And then again. And also then again a few times. In a likewise fashion I listened to it many times daily for about a month solid. Yes, I'm obsessive.

Let me make one thing abundantly clear: I don't speak Japanese. Heck, I can barley manage English some days. In 3rd grade or something we "studied" Japanese culture for one week, where I learned that they all wore wooden sandals and ate cold rice wrapped in seaweed. I have since recalled some of the basic vocabulary (sounds mostly, not meanings) from that week, which stuns me still. We covered Hungary the next week and all I remember is that goulash has paprika in it, just to give you an idea of the level of research involved.

Anyway, what I didn't know about the words Ai Otsuka was singing somehow freed me to hear the song that was playing. Or something like that. My friend Tim says he gets the same kick listening to French dance music. All I can say is that on that evening I heard pop music again for the first time in years, and ever since that night I have been listening to nothing but music from Japan. I didn't plan on this, it just happened.

The first thing I did was buy LOVE JAM and LOVE PUNCH (Ai Otsuka), two candy-like albums replete with hooks, grooves, and bird sounds. I also rolled the dice on a series called Japan for Sale (Vol.1-4) which have served as nice samplers. From them I have flipped over bands totally new to me, called things like: Dog Hair Dressers, Jenka, The Brilliant Green, Feed, DJ Krush/Boss MC, Guitar Vader, Rhymester, Chicochair, Aiha Higurashi, and Tommy heavenly6. If this is what exposure to Godzilla can do to people, then I'm in. My iPod are I on fire!

POLYSICS (who obviously took Devo very, very seriously), Supercar, and Guitar Wolf all stand out as my kind of music but one band among them all is the brightest light in the new heaven I have discovered, and they are
Puffy AmiYumi.

I'm going to keep the details of my glee about this band to myself for now. There is simply too much good to say about Puffy, and I have more CDs to listen to coming in next few weeks. I just wanted to make it clear that starting now I have a new favorite band, and much of the time I have no idea what they are saying.

When toys get interesting again we'll talk about that more.


Momo No Hanabira - Ai Otsuka


9/30/06 ::: Traveling Man in Arizona!

Sometimes it's just really great to be here and this is one of those times.

Thanks to the dedication of our friends Jon and Brenda we are pleased to offer some great new shots in the Traveling Man Adventure! TM visits the Grand Canyon, sleeps on a basset hound, and Fords a Sedonan Stream.

Actually, he does a lot in Sedona and you need to see it all:

do it!


see the new TM pics!

9/21/06 ::: T19 Update

The big toy space ship in my barn continues to grow and thrive. With her new KAPABLOCK wing and the modest beginnings of an electrical system, Trinket 19 is clearly the finest playset ever devised by man, beast or machine. I challenge any league of fighting midgets to a duel against her, any day.

But what is a space ship without Smallonauts? Probably nothing more than dangerous junk hanging from chains when you get right down to it, which we won't. It is in that dim light that I offer these crew files for all current hands aboard T19.


Commander Cotton
A2 Juanita Havoc
Mayor Jules

9/9/06 ::: Fraudulence and True Confessions:
Traveling Man Rocked by Scandal

SPOILER ALERT: If you want to know nothing and live unchallenged in a comfortable fantasy world (and who doesn't now and then?) you are advised to skip this important SmBlog entry. You have been warned.

This week had its first rescinded offer to host Traveling Man. I know what you are thinking... ok, maybe I don't.

Except for the recent awesome shots (from an Evil Robot) of TM in NYC, Traveling Man has been inactive for nearly two years. People were writing in asking to host TM on a next-to-never schedule, and I certainly do not travel much in the material world, so, like many things, the whole adventure had come to a lurching halt. Every once in a while I'd daydream about TM at the ISS but this kind of thing happens a lot to me, and apparently the fantasy is satisfactory because I haven't even pursued that vision with much vim.

But last week I got this letter from a total stranger, Chris C :

"hey, i live in illinois and i feel ashamed that TM did not get to see the sites in and around chicago. i also have friends all over the country, so i can help him visit arizona, tennessee, texas, oklahoma, WV, indiana, idaho, and more!"

I was delighted and replied immediately, thanking him for his interest in playing. Then without thinking, I said this:

"Do you have a Mego Tarzan figure? If you do, then all you need to do is get him some casual civilian tourist-type clothes, and you are good to go!"

In his second and last reply to me, Chris C said this:

"oh man, you broke my heart. there's more than one traveling man? i'm sorry, i can't be a party to that. it's just goes against everything i stand for."

He clearly rejects the oppression inherent in capital letters, but what does it all mean? I've only posted excerpts but you get the idea. Chris C seems like a nice enough human being, may he/she live long and have many fat children, but the curious nature of the defection has forced my hand, and so here is all the dirt upon which I am about to spill the beans.

(deep breath)
Traveling Man is not "one doll." He is a composite of Mego Tarzan action figures, real exotic locations, and a burning desire to play with toys. Like a lot of things, the shape of TM's life is not true to the original concept but the spirit is larger, and growing still. Below, for the first time ever, is the Traveling Man story revealed.

We offer these facts in an attempt to get right with the world. If people want to play but then drop out because they feel they were duped by my toys, then I need to look inside myself and seek balance. I also have allergies and can't sleep.

In 1999 our friend Warren was living in Egypt. I thought it would be cool to get a picture of a Small in front of the great pyramids so I mailed a box that had a Tarzan (dressed in something that I hoped would help him blend in with the locals), some disposable cameras, and granola bars for padding. I was doubtful the package would ever arrive but it did, and a few months later Warren gave me the pictures which remain some of my favorites.

Warren said that one of his Egyptian friends gave the toy his name as everything was being unpacked. Pointing to the teflon tape I had used to mend the original TM's cracked feet he said, "Look, his feet are wrapped... he is a Traveling Man!" And the name stuck.

I had given Warren absolute authority to send the toy off on any adventure he thought worthy because I was more interested in seeing new Traveling Man pictures than getting the Tarzan back. His feet were busted, anyway. So Warren gave TM to some new friends who were headed for India, and that is the last reported sighting of "the original" Traveling Man.

I was giddy with the results my little package to Egypt had yielded but I sort of assumed that the Traveling Man story was over at that point. The error in logic was a simple one... "toy gone = no more play." But I was about to learn how perfectly, wonderfully wrong I can be at times.

One day via email from a total stranger I received two digital snapshots of Traveling Man in Japan. They were sent to me by a fellow named Andrew Grubb and were taken while on vacation at Nagoya Castle. Andrew said he had seen the shots of TM posted on my old SmallNet web site and he, "just thought you might like some pictures of your toy in Japan, too." I have not heard from him since, but his kindness and insight set the tone for all TM adventures to follow. I can not thank you enough for that, Andrew.

So the game was on! This was proof positive that one did not need "the" Traveling Man to be a part of the adventure, all that was needed was the desire to play along. And play along people did!

Over the next few years Traveling Man would visit Italy with Rob Chatlin, allegedly see Europe with Benjamin Holcomb, tour a backyard in Canada with Pablo, go on a cruise to Alaska with my mother, jet back to Japan and thence to the UK with Chad and Jeff, see a growing number of states in the USA, and go monument hunting in several Central American countries with old friend Warren. Some of these adventures were going on at the same time, some continue still, and none of them featured the original TM. Like Lassie movies.

In the process of writing this dire confession I was contacted by a guy calling himself Creepy Uncle J who wants to host TM in TX, so the story goes on and on... And I couldn't be happier!

Man, it feels good to get all of this off my chest.

If you would like to play along with Traveling Man... now you know what to do!


9/4/06 ::: Let there be (pictures of) Lights!

I posted some new pics in The Red Room today, showing off just a few of the neat new modern toy living spaces now emerging.

As seen in Shelf Life Magazine!


9/3/06 ::: Let there be Lights!

For some time now I have been thinking to myself (my favorite way to think), "By gum, I want to add some general lighting to my new Shelf Habitats." As usual I don't have any pictures to prove it, but I'm happy to report that I have actually made progress in this important area this week. Let's all take a second to reverently thank IKEA for all of their important work.

Think about it... according to some timelines, the heavens and the earth were made IN THE DARK! But right after that first day, light became a key player in the games of Seeing Things, and also Moving About Without Hurting Your Ankles. Oh sweet mystery of life; at last I've avoided hitting you.

Light also means pictures which, as I previously mentioned, I have none of right now. I can tell you that the new monster diner has flicker-bulb torches. Is that enough to hold you?


8/27/06 ::: Okard Studios is proud to announce a special limited engagement. Two soon-to-be-classic stories cooked up in the mad rumpus room of Dr. Robert Stiffler are now available for the clicking! The heroes are gritty, the action is intense, and the special effects blow me away every time! Kids, go ask your parents what all those funny words mean, because we have no idea...

I like the fact that Robert gets down and plays with his toys, and I like the way he takes pictures of them. Photographing toys in their natural habitat isn't easy work, but Dr. Stiffler proves he's up to the task. Thanks for letting us host your stories, Rob!


 "Jet Jungle vs. The Hand"

"Monkey See, Monkey Die!"

8/26/06 ::: Some New Smalls, at last!

Golly it's been a long time since I even thought about the Small Census! Finally it struck me today, "Hey jack, you have some new toys that are not even on the internets yet!" ...and so quick like a bunny, here they are:



Holly B.
Sheriff Shorty
Sea Adv. Mejoe
The King of Canada
Hurley de America

8/23/06 ::: TM Does Coney Island!

That's right Small Fans, our own worldly action plaything Traveling Man has been spotted in beautiful (in its own way) New York State!

The Evil Robot that sent these picture to us wanted me to make sure to mention that the awesome glory of taking the first TM picture from the top of the Empire State Building is his, and I'm also required to say that robots are the overlords and that humans are puny, worthless and strange. There; are you happy now?

Anyway, it is great to see Traveling Man on the move again after such a long time with no word of his exploits. I had heard a rumor that he was back in the Pacific NW camping on the Sol Duc River but we unless we get pictures to back it up, I can't confirm the sighting. I don't make the rules here, that's just how the game is played. Feel free to complain.

There has been some other stuff too, I guess, like the fact that I found a full Veterinarian's Office playset at the 2nd hand store for $10.00 the other day. Besides the nifty orange and purple building the set included a series of animal cages that I have been filling with incongruous life forms, just for the laugh. One of them now houses every toy snake I had on hand, which numbered well over 12 as I recall. There are some hippos in another, and a manta ray to keep them company. Because it's natural. And because it makes me laugh, but that's to be expected, isn't it?

I've also restarted work on a grand skyscraper project that I abandoned a few years ago. Using a rotating magazine stand as a base I built a crude living tower with five floors, and now after three years of gathering dust in the barn it is back in the shop and under re-construction. It is very, very ugly right now but a lot of things are, and a lot of them are not, so there you go.



snakes in a cage



8/11/06 ::: Beauty:

"Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."

-Abraham Lincoln


8/9/06 ::: Go'ons and stuff

Hello internets,

I posted a larger, better version of my new movie "Attack of the Go'ons!" because I have the space (right now), and I've been unhappy with the video quality at YOUTUBE. I even put the Evil Robots to the task but it appears the Go'ons will have little or no compression. It's just their way, and you can't fight nature. Well you can, but you end up all pinched and full of jive. Speaking of jive, the link above is to a file 146MB .avi video - takes some time to download but might be worth it in the end; who knows?

I also added some very scary Blue Sun Agents to my Firefly collection. Suits by Dr. Mego, hands provided by kind donations from Hulk. I picked the heads based on their size (large), and the evil impatience in their expressions. Can you believe these are kids toys! Yikes.

I'm pleased to report that a runty little Badger is also coming along, with a very fine hat and shiny coattails, even. I've also been toying with Ex-Federal Agent Lawrence Dobson as he appears (kind of) in the comic book Those Left Behind. I like Dobson and I was tickled to find him in the comic. I just need to go a little bit Borg on a Scotty head, and when I'm finished I'll post the results here. Obviously.

Boy, I guess that's about it. I thought there was something else but I don't remember what it was.


8/4/06 ::: Attack of the GO'ONS!

I'm pleased to announce my second short film at!

I had to compress the poor little video a heck of a lot to get up uploaded and the picture quality got pretty stinky in places, but I hope it gives you the idea. As soon as I shake a better copy out of the Tree of Versions, I'll post it for you.

Attack of the Go'ons (pronounced goh-awnz, like what you tell the dog who shouldn't beg) is my second tiny feature film. I started with a pencil and made a short story board, then I shot everything in Studio B. I probably took 30 short (40 sec) soundless b&w films with my Nikon CoolPix 3100. I feed those into iMovie and started playing monkey-monkey with the dials and canned soundtracks. I even did the freakish voice-overs. Oh, and it's all toys, did I mention that?



7/27/06 ::: Firefly Action Menu!

I just had to make a place for them all to be together! Included are rough versions of Inara and Jubal Early. I'll add custom recipes and other critical data later.

I also (finally) added some new shots of things in the Red Room.



7/24/06 ::: Page Two - Now 100% More Backwards!!

Hey, would you look at this? We got us a Page Two!

Obviously, legions of fans, I haven't been keeping up my end of the weekly SmBlog update schedule and I apologize to both of you. I've got plenty of excuses but it all boils down to that old wise saying, that I forgot. Anyway, we'll try to do better in the future.

I should mention again that from now on SmBlog will be in reverse chronological order, which means the newest entry will be at the top of the page. I didn't reformat Page One to match because... well, because I don't want to. You'll just have to muddle through somehow, and I salute you for your efforts.

You should know, mental readers, that just because SmBlog entries stop for a while there is no reason to believe that the play has subsided. On the contrary, we've made some big hops forward these past few weeks and honestly I don't know where to begin! Look at me; I'm all aflutter.

Let's start with Trinket 19 Update ::: WOW, THIS THING IS HUGE! And at this writing it also has a nearly complete electrical system (known locally as "the electrics"). We've been having a heat wave here on the Isle of Misfit Toys so I've been spending some quality time in Studio B, where I can be closer to the cooling effects of concrete, and also tinker on my space ship late into the evening. I finally cut out the actual wing and have retired the old cardboard template. Besides the electrics I have also been adding circuit boards, switches and dials, wire bundles, command chairs and other things that upon close inspection simply look and feel right. The intuitive construction continues unabated!

I couldn't help myself and I took some pictures of the crew inside the ship, even though nothing is really "done" yet. I also took some video of Trinket 19 and with the help of iMovie I put everything together in this (my first) short film:
Trinket 19 ::: I Love My Space Ship (3:07 hosted at

Show and Tell :::
On July 17th we were pleased to offer a 30 minute presentation to
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects in Seattle. Our friend Tim Bies set the whole thing up - thanks Tim!! We took about 100 free-range action figures, three smallish spaceships and some assorted beasts and machines of burden. I started with a short slideshow and took questions as we went along. It was a great experience and I really appreciated the opportunity to get out.

I confess at first I was pretty nervous wiggling my dolls up in front of all those well groomed and demonstrably educated folk, but I soon discovered that I was among people who were, for whatever bizarre personal reasons, interested. In fact, for the Smalls this was the largest single crowd encounter outside of their Red Room homeland, and I'm still buzzing from it! The event was caught on video so I hope to offer some of that at some point, because it was heap big fun.

Can't Stop The Signal ::: More Firefly!!
You know that Simpsons where Bart keeps hounding the Mail Lady for his Spy Camera, and he's all cranky and demanding with points on his head? Well, that's what I was like during the excruciating wait for my latest batch of fuzzheads to arrive, because I knew Shepherd Book was inside!

I can't recommend highly enough the fine custom flocking services of Joe DeGrella, a.k.a. The GI Joe Medic. I've been sending Mego heads to him for years because he can give them that stunning "lifelike hair and beard" popularized by a certain line of quasi-military 12 inch adventure toys in the late 1970's. The name escapes me right now.

Anyway, after the very kind Merlyn1976 sent (heck; he GAVE) me a Black Action Jackson head, I stuck a bit of hardware on the back and sent it off to The Medic with specific instructions to make him look like TV's Ron Glass. Thanks Joe and Paul - you guys are the most!! And now, without further ado, low and behold ladies and gentleman of the Jury, I present to you Shepherd Book!


Shepherd Book

above: Pre-Fuzz Book. That brass piece has been floating around in various drawers for years - I finally got to use it!

below: Fuzzy and from the back. Obviously I'm still... uh, tailoring the shirt.

See more Firefly figures on Page One!