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Show and Tell: Going to war with army men and Z-Bots

5:30 PM on 07.15.2011 // Chris Pranger

Howdy all, it's Friday, so it must be time for me to talk about some nerdy obsession I had when I was a kid. And also still have. And also will continue to have. Anyway, I've gone through two of my big toy collections with Pokemon collectible figures and Dragon Ball Z action figures, and while I do plan on doing Ninja Turtles at some point, I figured we'd get side-tracked for a bit with something very simple yet something we can all relate to.

Of course, I'm talking about little green army men, just strange chunks of plastic shaped into amusing poses. Also, I figured I'd throw in something called Z-Bots. Ever heard of those? You will now. Hit the jump for the full video!

As I mentioned in the most recent episode of Tomocast, my parents weren't exactly rolling in it back in the day. Nor am I really rolling in it now. However, that never stopped me from having an awesome childhood, partly through hand-me-down toys, garage sales, and selecting toys that were extremely cheap. That's how I came across the simplest of boy toys with plastic army men. They came as cheap as US$1 a bag and I could get hours of enjoyment out of them, partly because it took hours to set them up in the proper positions and then hours afterward to convince my friends to play the little plastic war by my rules (rules that obviously gave my side an advantage).

I also happened to get a lot of strange things here and there, such as a collection of plastic cowboys and indians that included horses and covered wagons. Those were cool, but so were my plastic ninjas, which added a lot to the inevitable plastic war that was soon to come. Throw in some doofy aliens and a couple of supreme commanders and we were set. It was always USA vs. Germany (because those were the flags I had), with wave after wave of green and gray army men lining up to die. I had a few specialty guys like the one with a flamethrower, one with a bazooka, and one that looked like a wartime spy. The cowboys felt like the local militia coming to help and the Native Americans were like ... well I don't know, but they made about as much sense as the silent ninjas that would kick army men in the face.

And then there were the Z-Bots. I had a handful of these random miniature robot figures, but I can't for the life of me tell you what they're worth now or where they came from. Time to check Wikipedia! Okay, so it appears that Z-Bots were made by Galoob (same company that made Micro Machines) and that they're so ridiculous that I can't say anything more about them other than the fact that I owned one that looked like a robot-wolf who had a laser eye, a missile on his arm, and what looked like a metal-cutting device on the other. Totally awesome. If you can name any of the specific characters I show in the video or in the picture close-ups, serious kudos go out to you. Adding Z-Bots to any war of army men took things to World War VIII status.

That said, enjoy the video all about army men, Z-Bots, and whatever else the other things are.

Photo Gallery: (20 images)
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Chris Pranger,
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