Here come the knock-offs!
Haven't done one of these in a while so bear with me while I struggle to remain coherent … When we launched this site, we wanted to talk about comics, and collecting them, and buying and selling them to get other comics that you always wanted to have, your personal grail. After joining this group, I have seen people get books that made my nose bleed. Funnily enough, though, that made me realize that (almost) every single comic is attainable, you just need to work hard to get it … or you can be really lazy like me and take the other route and decide you probably don't need an Amazing Fantasy #15 or a Detective Comics #27.
This might sound a bit weird, but once I bought my (really low condition) copy of Incredible Hulk #181 I felt like I had paid my dues to the kid that wanted that copy of Wolverine's first appearance really bad and felt happy as far as grails go. Don't get me wrong, I still want a lot of key comics, but I know what they are worth now, thanks to everyone here, and I know how to get it if the day comes, the Internet has made everything easier but has taken out a lot of the fun of the hunt. Especially here in continental Europe, where US comic shops are not that numerous and trips to London or conventions had so much potential.
For example, I have an almost complete run of Incredible Hulk vol. 2 (the one that starts with #102) but once I bought the ones that are the most difficult to find I lost all interest in completing it because it seemed too easy. If I had to start a new collection, I needed something that was open-ended, that had no way of being complete ever. I guess that explains my obsessions with gorilla covers or crossovers. Neither of those topics are so well documented that you could make a list of everything and find them over a few weeks. It's the perfect meal: everything's delicious, you are never really full and you don't know if the waiter is bringing more food or not.
Which kinda brings us to the topic of this article … I have never been a collector of action figures, but I have to admit that some of them are really tempting, but who needs to fall down that rabbit hole, right? Do I really need that Mandrake action figure from the 80's? Or that Bruce Timm style Demon? Or that Batman Zur en arrh? Probably not (I have argued with myself about that last one for hours, though). What if there were a totally random way to collect absurd action figures? Sign me up!!!
The way this works is really easy, you go to all kinds of bazaars that look the right way and if you find something that makes you laugh, you buy it. Because if you don't you will never see it again and that's it. There's no after market or second chances. You get what you find and you cannot do anything about it. A random knock-off toy collection. One that can never be completed. Is there anything better than that?
What follows is a run through of what I got in 2 weeks during my holidays somewhere in Europe.
Captain America, Iron Man and Hulk from some Avengers 2 set that might (or might not have) a total of five figures (Thor and the Hulk-Buster armor might have been part of it, according to the back of the packages, but who knows, right?). Captain America and Iron Man are predictably horrible, but, to be honest, that Hulk looks pretty good, were it not for the light in the chest, which all of Chinese action figures have these days because GOOL!! LIGHTS!!! Hope you will agree with me by the end of this piece that the English in some of these makes them absolutely worth the cost.
Speaking of Civil War … Do you remember when Captain America became a giant robot who could transform into a car?
If you didn't, then you were watching the wrong version of the movie! What's that, Cap? You have a message for all kids out there?
Let me end with fake Legos, because they are awesome (you haven't lived until you've seen the Paw Patrol Chinese fake Legos, which I didn't buy because I limit myself to comics). I submit these to you without commentary because they speak for themselves and I would only be distracting you from them:
The moral of this article is, as always, buy what you like, don't get too crazy and having a sense of humor will help you in life.
(If anyone pretends to like this, let me scare you off by saying I have literally dozens of knock-offs waiting in boxes to appear in a potential follow-up article).
Love you all!!! (Hulk angry, though)