Toys throughout the nineteen hundreds were sometimes creative, sometimes unique, sometimes odd, many times dangerous, and often very fun. Many items were made from metal, came disassembled, and required tools for assembly. It was your parents job to drink and curse as they put the toys together. Maybe you did it with them as a project, but most of the time you needed to stand back. Finally they would give you a toy that resembled what the box showed, but never matched exactly. It wasn’t their fault though, the box art was simply much cooler than what you were getting. Things were interesting in the toy section for most of the nineteen hundreds.
Then the 1990’s came along and messed it all up. The toys were created in a safer way, made with more plastic and less metal, assembled before hand, and worst of all, made with softer edges and no more pointed tips. Even cap guns lost their realism. What a freakin’ bummer. We still had a few companies trying to hurt kids with creative toys, but not as often. Moon shoes were still a thing and were still doing their best to break ankles. Lite Brite pegs were happily available to increase choking hazards. And most dangerous toys lists were just starting to come around. Your parents could easily find out what NOT to get you. However…
The list of most dangerous toys was also a guide. It obviously wasn’t a guide for parents, but it absolutely was for older siblings. Older siblings that could buy the items on the list and give them to their younger siblings were doing it absolutely right. Older siblings could go into the right store and find the section of dangerous toys, pick through them, find a perfect gift, and then give that to their younger siblings. It was the way of the world back then. Older siblings were, and are still, supposed to corrupt the minds of their younger siblings. It’s kind of the rule.
I have an older brother.
In the final year of the last millennium there was a list published of the most dangerous toys. This could mean inappropriate or physically dangerous. There was a store back then that not only carried the items on the dangerous toy list, but made sure you were aware that they were. This obviously meant that it was the best section of the store. In that section my brother found me a gift. I believe it was a Christmas gift, but it could have been a birthday one. It has since become one of my most prized possessions. It represents a time gone by. Toys that won’t be made again. A world that just doesn’t exist anymore.
That toy is called the Sin City Death Row Marv.
If you aren’t aware, Sin City is a comic (and movie as well) about seedy characters doing seedy things. Marv is a giant, a criminal, and a seedy character. Because of this, he’s placed in an electric chair. Electricity, however, doesn’t always kill a person. Just like it doesn’t always kill Marv. Marv, the beastly man, was like a Timex, he could take a licking and keep on ticking, and that’s the idea my toy was built on.
The toy itself is masterfully crafted. There’s high attention to detail, fun additions like a real working switch to flip, and his eyes light up as the electricity pulses through him. His hands and head are loose, so when he’s getting a jolt he bobbles. He shakes and even utters his classic line “is that the best you can do? You pansies.” It couldn’t be any better. It’s just an amazing toy, action figure, or whatever you want to call it. I call it my favorite.
In the interest of being honest, I would like to point out that mine is not fully original. The item itself is completely as-is from the original box, minus the pointy piece on the switch that triggers the electricity. Mine broke off, so I had to fix it by cutting up a toothpick and gluing that on. Hopefully, you wouldn’t know it was replaced (you totally would if you saw it close). That being said, the backing I have was created by me. I didn’t like him sitting in the open anymore, so I built him a little piece of a room to sit in. Personally, I think it turned out amazing. You can judge me all you want though, I know this is the internet and some people would even say the surface of the sun isn’t hot if I claimed it was. I think my set up speaks for itself though.
Oh, so in the video you will notice that I bring my shaky hand in and poke the on button with a toothpick. I have no idea what happened, but flipping the switch isn’t currently working. It all lines up, nothing seems to be out of place, but if I use the switch it doesn’t work. If I use a toothpick it does. Maybe the switch slightly changed angles in the 24 years I’ve owned it. Who knows. But I do know that it’s still incredibly awesome. Take a look:
I’m sure you want one of your own now. Well, you’re in luck. I won’t be selling mine and I can’t find any new ones. I can, however, see them on eBay. So if you’re looking to grab one of these awesome Marv action figures, head over there and see what’s available.
I’m not sponsored for this post. I just think this is kickass and should be shown off. Thanks again to my big brother, Andy!