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We Interrupt this Blog…

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

New York Toy Fair comes around each year at this time. For a span of twelve years, I would have to work eighteen hours on – then sleep six hours before beginning again. This would last for almost a month to keep up with all the demands from clients for Toy Fair models. This year, I thought would be easier, but I am fighting some tight deadlines again before I attend Toy Fair the weekend.

I also want to keep up with my commitment to my loyal readers who keep encouraging me. So rather than discuss the behind the scenes stories that require me to check my details, this week, we will go deeper behind the scenes.

Why make all these 12-inch figures? To play with them of course! When I was on the GI Joe Team, it was a great balance as the more seasoned designers really wanted to focus on collector detail. They were also very good at it. While I love collector detail, at the end of the day, it is all about making a great toy to play with. If you followed many of these articles, you know that the toys I played with had a significant influence on the toys I made – and continue to make.

Therefore, this post will reveal some real Backyard Battles I had with my daughter and son. We documented these few as we played or reset for photos. There are not too many out-of-the-box figures here. Many were modified for the adventure or were created just to act out that story.

Note that most of these were shot on film… so you could not see how well everything was in focus.

Please enjoy these while I finish some other designs and provide another full, fun-fact article next week.

Wagon Train on Old Marx Trail

This started as, “Can I put all my Western Marx figures into on big scene to shoot?” It really took three. This was decades ago so it would take even more now.

Marx Shoot Out at the Wagon Train

Sherriff Garrett takes Sam Cobra into custody

Marx American Native Village

Marx Cavalry with Scouts

Marx Cavalry with the General

Marx Cavalry with scouts ready to move out

Marx Cavalry and scouts ready moving

Pacific Amphibious Landing

This image is a small view of a large scene created at a local Joe club picnic. The entire scene was comprised of about 100 marines outnumbering 50 enemy soldiers, 2 jeeps and a buffalo landing craft. The marines were assembled in squads for different duties. Besides the bazooka teams there were machine gun crews, mobile communications centers, sharpshooters and engineers removing beach obstacles. The location was a reservoir lake made by the Army Corps of Engineers. The ripples from boats on the lake made perfectly scaled beach waves. It took about six of us an hour or so to set this up.

The Phantom Foils the Mercenaries

Phantom meeting mercenary poachers – but they disregard his warning

The Phantom has always been one of my favorite superheroes. Many of you who have known me for years are probably thinking, “It’s because he is wearing purple, right?” They may be right. In my teen years, I even shot a short film using an 8mm camera about the Phantom. Fast forward to a big backyard adventure with my daughter.

Mercenaries hiring native rouge thugs

Sleepy Native village at night

Mercenaries attack the village

Mercenaries in a sticky situation

Mercenaries in the Deadly Desert Sands

Mercenary caravan

The Phantom subdues the remaining mercenaries and the rouge tribe

The Adventure Team Mystery of the Hot Desert Sands

In this case, the hot desert sands were in Myrtle Beach, but my son and I still had fun.

The Adventure Team Searching in the Desert Sands

The Adventure Team Discovering a Lost Mummy

Joe battling the skeleton at the step pyramid

Snow is a fun place to play – but you have to do it quickly to avoid frostbitten fingers. Here is a Hoth adventure.

Luke crashed in snow

The Force is frozen with this one

Rebels in the Snow

Bounty hunters in snow

Snowtrooper on patrol

Speaking of Yeti

Capture the Yeti – or Joe About to be Captured by Momma Yeti

My Yeti Shelf, which reappears each Christmas to help decorate the house. I am sure EVERYONE has a yeti shelf at home – right?

Post your favorite 1/6th scale Backyard Adventure.

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