Showing posts with label mail-away. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mail-away. Show all posts

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hasbro, you're pretty cool.

Many, many years ago, in the year 1994, I came across this insert in one of my G.I. Joe figures:

Photo from YOJOE.COM

An offer to buy the first guy to be known as G.I. Joe? Sure, I'll go for it. Something I find odd, the flier said to send in UPC's and money for shipping, rather than the usual flag points. I could have sworn I used flag points for this offer, but no matter. I quickly decided I wanted to get both figures. I already had a couple of the 12" Hall of Fame figures, and thought a 12" Joe Colton would look nice on the shelf next to them. He also came with that nice looking stand that had the plaque on the front. Just look at how dignified he looks in that picture. I could almost picture a 5 star general sitting in his office, looking at that figure and wondering, "What would Joe Colton do?". That's the kind of figure that an adult would proudly display in his study, next to the books on military theory and the model bi-plane. As for the 3 3/4" figure, I just needed someone that could boss around the little guys.

So I gathered up my UPC's (or Flag Points), wrote out a money order, and sent the whole thing off to Hasbro headquarters. The usual waiting period for these offers was 6-8 weeks,which in kid time is 10 minutes short of forever. I feel pretty certain that I pretty much forgot about the whole thing a few days after sending off the order. You would think I'd stake out the mailbox, waiting for any suspicious packages, but nope. Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I didn't feel some excitement over the prospect of getting G.I. Joe figures in the mail. I was turning 13 that year, but it's not like I had a lot going on in my life. I was getting to the point where I was starting to feel too old to want to play with toys, so maybe that's the reason for the lack of anticipation.

6-8 weeks later, I received two envelopes in the mail, both of them from Hasbro. The first one contained the 3 3/4" G.I. Joe, while the second contained this letter:

Photo from YOJOE.
I wasn't quite upset, but I was a little disappointed. Demand was too great, and rather than make more figures to fill all the excess orders, Hasbro decided to give the folks that missed out a refund. I always thought it was rather honorable of them to issue refunds, when they could have just kept all those checks and money orders. I'm sure they figured most people wouldn't have complained, since they were only out a dollar and a few pieces of cardboard. Hasbro did the right thing, but they weren't finished yet.

Not long after I got the letter from Hasbro, my parents bought a new house, and we moved. I had given away or destroyed most of my toys, and my mind was occupied with thoughts of girls, cars, and video games. The last thing I was thinking about were action figures. Then one day, I got a random phone call from one of my cousins. She had started renting our old house after we moved out, and she was calling to tell me I had a package waiting there. Since I didn't remember ordering anything, I was curious as to what could be waiting for me. My parents drove me to my cousin's house, and she handed me a rectangular cardboard box. Still puzzled, I opened it up to find this guy waiting for me:

Hasbro had sent a different version of Joe Colton to all of the folks that missed out on the original G.I. Joe offer. It still amazes me that they did something like this. Granted, this version used a standard body, and the arctic gear was already something they made, but I have to imagine this still cost them a bit of money. There really wasn't any reason for them to send these figures out, since they had already mailed people a refund for the other figure. Admittedly, it's not quite as cool as the version I ordered, but it's hard to beat a free action figure, especially one this size. It was a gesture that meant a lot to me, especially since I was entering those jaded teenage years. Arctic G.I. Joe Colton occupied a place of honor on my shelves for several years, until he went M.I.A.

So, if the person responsible for making the decision to send me a free figure is out there, all I can say is thank you. You're a pretty cool guy, or gal.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mystery box what do we have here. A plain brown box with a mysteriously customized sticker.

"Itssh id aye, umm rah!"

Whoa!, did anyone else hear that? There's someone in there! I really hate hiding bodies of any size, so I better get this box open quick.

Whew, what a stench. Looks like I'll need to hide a body after all. It smells like a thousand year old green skinned man, wrapped up in dirty linen.

"It is I, Mumm-Ra!"

Ah..that's because it is a thousand year old green skinned man wrapped in dirty linen.

This is the mail-away version of Mumm-Ra from 1986. As far as I know, this version of the character was never released on a card. This meant if you wanted the original form of Mumm-Ra, you had to clip the points off your figures' cards, add S&H, and send it off to Thundercats headquarters. 6-8 weeks later, and you'd get that plain looking box with your address on it. There really isn't much to the old fella. He's articulated at his neck and shoulders, and comes with his bull head staff. Mumm-Ra's more statue than action figure, but then he never really did much fighting when he was in this form. This is more of his lounging about watching soap operas attire.  I mean, just look at what he's wearing. Anyone wearing a robe like has to be a guy that enjoys his daytime tv and doesn't care who knows. That's probably why Mumm-Ra hates the mutants so much. He sets up his VCR to record his stories while he's off fighting the Thundercats, and he comes back to find someone changed the channel and taped cartoons instead. Mutants, you can't live with them, but you can send them off to a horrible beating via humanoid felines.

If you want to own your very own Mail-away Mumm-Ra, I suggest you go check out Matt's site, Dinosaur Dracula. Originally, he was the owner of X-Entertainment, but a desire to upgrade resulted in his new website. It seems he came into a case of Mumm-Ra's through some shady, back alley dealings, and is currently selling them on his site. They're a bit spendy, but his price is actually cheaper than what they go for on E-bay. Also, if you enjoy his site, you'll be helping fund his ability to keep us entertained.

Until next time, Thundercats HO!
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