Monday, August 15, 2011

#0022: Clifford the Rock Climber

I try and do due diligence (three times fast, go!) prior to making each of these entries. Most toys don’t need much research, because I’m already fairly clear on their origins. Though I occasionally meet an enigma like the smug Snoopy, more often than not, I can tell you each toy’s back-story, where I acquired them from, and why I’m feeling so compelled to get rid of them as though they were cursed.

This guy, however, he’s another story altogether. When I spotted him in that big translucent tub, I instantly saw that he was prime INAKA material. However, I knew next to nothing about him, except for his flashing chest feature, and the sparse info carved into his buttocks. For a solid six minutes, I cycled through the possible Google searches to unveil his shady past.

‘flashing chest toys’: Bad idea, do you realise how many toys have flashing chests?
‘spark lighting chest toy’: Lots of things about spark lighting, nadda about our boy here.
‘1992 spark lighting hair’: That one was just weird.
‘1992 ace novelty toys lighting chest’: Bingo. I doubt I will ever use that search phrase ever again.

So here, we have Clifford the Rock Climber.

If it wasn’t painfully obvious by now, the key to every little boy’s heart in the early- to mid-90s was emulating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If something had a team of ‘teenagers with attitude’, we were gonna love it. That’s why we loaded up with a series of ravenous Street Sharks. That’s why we giddily followed the adventures of the Biker Mice From Mars. And that’s why a small, sad percentile of the population ever even glanced at the Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa.

…Or maybe it was because of Tim Curry; in which case, I certainly cannot fault them.

Apparently, even the infamous Troll dolls, floundering in the cutthroat year of 1992, made an attempt to nab a slice of that (pizza) pie.

The result, tragically, was the Stone Protectors, a team of hip troll musicians pitted against the vices of the wicked Zok. That’s about as much as I could stomach from Wikipedia’s description before banging my head against the desk in fury. For all I know, the story could have taken a drastic turn towards an epic of Citizen Kane-like proportions.

Or more likely, it would have been so mediocre I would be wielding Rosebud like some description of melee weapon.

orson wells clap Pictures, Images and Photos

Orsonwellesclap.gif successfully inserted into my blog. Win.
Orsonwellesclap.gif successfully inserted into my blog entry about the goddamn Stone Protectors. Ultimate win.

My particular Stone Protector friend is the band’s drummer, Clifford, and I’m uncertain what his stereotypical personality may be. Though his facial features suggest the meek temperament and genius intellect of a Donatello, his country bumpkin accent and fancy of scaling mountains makes him seem more akin to a Michaelangelo.

I really can’t say for sure, because honestly, watching the cartoon intro makes me just assume them all to be the same horrible archetype. Except perhaps Angus, who’s a refreshing injection of Scottish army derelict.

Frankly, I'm amazed they were able to fill an arena. The lack of wide shots of the crowd could suggest that it was a particularly small arena, I suppose.

Unfortunately for Clifford, I have lost all of his tools of the trade, a necessity in these figures, which has rendered his rock-climbing capabilities shoddy at best. I mean, the dude’s got some boots and goggles, plus a purple knife he keeps dangerously close to his left leg, but he’s lacking in all of his sweet gear.

For those of you interested in what that gear was, and unconcerned for the amount of outsourced pictures and videos I have pilfered for this entry, here’s the super exciting bio card for big Cliffy, courtesy of a website called Comic Attack. Credit delivered where credit due for something as important as Clifford the Rock Climber™.

The most horrifying revelation behind seeing this imagery (besides the ludicrous notion that this man would go rock climbing with a plunger), is that he once had some sort of yellow bondage costume accessory. I am quite familiar with this accessory, having once attempted to locate its origin. I attached it to several Turtles and an unwilling Scrooge McDuck before giving up and chucking it away.

I am unclear exactly how this apparatus would have assisted Clifford in his exploits, but darn it all, it was his and I’m truly sorry for sending it away. It would be like someone throwing out my Paratroopa toy. I don’t know what purpose it could ever serve, but I’d hate to see it go. Plus, it’s yellow, too.

Before I proceed in my misery, however, allow me to question the validity of a purple equipment belt. I mean, why purple, exactly? Wouldn’t brown have been a more appropriate colour for a leather belt and the handle of a knife? I’m left assuming only that Clifford is a massive fan of Prince, and as such, is adorning himself with violet equipment. Plus, I suppose enemies won’t take you as seriously when you’re brandishing a shiny blade of purple. Thinking in these terms, it almost seems logical. Almost.

So finally, and most importantly, I suppose you’re hoping to see the Stone Protectors’ trick of the trade, a ‘flint module’ that ignites when you spin their right arm. As near as I recall, this archaic mechanical quirk was once used to ignite gunpowder, and shit, that sounds dangerous to me. Could a modded Stone Protector be used as a weapon, bullets whizzing from their grinning visage? What if a particularly exploratory child tore their toy to pieces, and then played with the exposed ‘flint module’? I can only assume the results to be pure disaster.

Though, come to think of it, touching these magic stones turned the lanky fools into mighty Stone Protectors to begin with, so maybe it won’t be that bad. Go ahead, TOUCH THE ‘FLINT MODULE’.

As you can see, the once benevolent hand of god prevalent in Greek tragedies has seen fit to smite Clifford forevermore.

…Did I just use benevolent and prevalent in the same sentence? I think staring into the blinding flash of the ‘flint module’ has fried my brain. Perhaps now, I can accurately pen a second series of Stone Protectors.

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