Thursday, March 29, 2012
#0051: Adam Maitland
There are a lot of directions I could have gone in, following the lavish display that was the Ripster puppet. Before me sat (and still sits, actually. I haven't stood in about forty minutes) an extensive selection of toys that I felt could be appropriate options for tonight's entry.
In the end, I chose to opt for a toy from a beloved movie from my childhood. I went with a Beetlejuice figure. In retrospect, it probably shouldn't have been a movie from my childhood; with Beetlejuice's frequent perverse behavior and crass language, it wasn't really one for the kiddies. But I watched it as a wee tyke, and I loved it all the same. I'm sure many folks my age would attest to the same. I guess we just didn't notice the lewd content at the time? It was pretty well disguised, after all.
Above all else, I went with the Adam Maitland toy because this is a toy version of Alec Baldwin. I mean, how freaking cool is that? I have toy versions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jordan, but the fact that I have in my possession what amounts to an Alec Baldwin action figure is just something worth celebrating. I'd shout it from the mountains, but there are not currently any available to me. There's a hill that teenagers like to drink at, though. Maybe I'll take my Beetlejuice toy there.
So what do we have here with the dashing young Mr. Maitland? We have a curious toy, to be sure, and I'm saying this for reasons beyond the obvious notion that his head is prone to coming off, sliding down his shoulder, and disappearing into the garage for roughly twenty years.
It's odd, because he's wearing a random red cap with a really long brim. Good gracious, it upsets me so, because I don't remember this hat featuring in the film at any point. Structurally, I assume it's there to support the mask accessory the toy originally came with, a long-nosed face that Adam is able to contort into. But canonically, it's a silly red cap! To blazes with it!
The toy is fairly unspectacular. Beyond the garish checkered shirt, there isn't a lot to look at. For one thing, Adam appears to have just come from a clearance sale on khaki clothing, sporting a belt, pants, shoes and even shoelaces of the one monotonous colour scheme.
Granted, the toy is from 1989, and I have significant doubts that the people at Kenner held any concerns that, twenty-three years later, some random ass-hat would lambast them for their lacking palette.
Adam's major function is of course the detachable head, which slides off his shoulders and whizzes across his right arm via an obtuse slot. Unfortunately, his hand is 'un-slotted', which means you can only ever get his head down to his forearm, a definite party trick faux pas. If you're gonna jettison your head, bro, you gotta hold it in-palm for the ultimate crowd pleaser. None of this queer arm-based noggin peering at bemused onlookers. Then it just seems silly.
Unfortunately, I lost the mask and 'Creepy Crawler' that Adam came with so long ago, I didn't even know they existed until an Adam showed up on Amazon (henceforth Adamzon). So all my Adam has going for him is his zany head and shitty fashion sense.
Also noteworthy, Adam is one of thousands of toys that have small holes in the soles of his feet. This, as you might have noticed, is a consistent feature with action figures of all shapes and sizes. I always just assume they're there for slotting the toy onto pegs for a vehicle or playset, but in this case, it seems quite odd. I tried to seek out a definitive answer on Google, but I just got unrelated articles predominantly on pet care, including 'how to prepare for your pet octopus'. So I'm no closer to solving this mystery, but at least when that octopus arrives, I will be ready for it.
We own a few different Beetlejuice toys, and this one was clearly the most expendable. Really, without the familiarly-shaped mask accessory, it's not that clear that this toy is even related to Beetlejuice. It's all about the titular antagonist, and you'd best believe I'm not getting rid of those ones any time soon.
The more I dwell on it, however, the more I would have preferred a Victor Maitland toy. With his sinister sneer and gaggle of thugs, he'd be an awesome toy to own. Plus, I like to think he'd pull out all the stops, remove his head and hold it in his hands properly, perhaps even juggle it in front of the impressed crowd at the country club. ...That would be a neat trick!