In Love With Toys

Started by raycastile, December 25, 2007, 09:14:17 AM

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Way back in 1995, I produced a documentary about toy collecting called "In Love With Toys."  It received national distribution in retail stores, though I didn't make a dime off it.  In fact, it just about ruined me financially!  But I still felt proud the day a friend of mine in New York e-mailed me to tell me he saw "In Love With Toys" sitting on a store shelf in the Big Apple.

I was so down and out during that period that I sold my last copy for $20, leaving me with no way to view my own film.  Many years passed before I finally bought a used copy on ebay.  To this day, it is the only home-viewable copy I own.  The distributor kept the master tape.  I called and wrote trying to get them to return it, but their vaults had swallowed it forever.  Maybe they wanted to keep running copies without paying me.  Or maybe they just didn't want to bother sending it back. 

I think I watched the program once with Max when he still lived in St. Louis.  Aside from that, I have not watched it in 12 years.  Until two days ago, that is.

As a Christmas gift to the UMA, I digitally transferred my VHS copy and uploaded it to You Tube. 

It is presented in 10 segments, which I will post in this thread. I omitted two, a segment on 80s toys and another on 90s toys.  I didn't have enough storage space for the entire program.  I figured most people would be more interested in the 60s and 70s toys than the more recent stuff.

There are interviews with collectors, including our own Andy Williams.  Andy actually helped me quite a bit during the production.  Several scenes were shot in his parents' house.  He helped wrangle toys, lugged equipment and hooked me up with the right people.  And of course, he got paid nothing.  Even 12 years later, I am still grateful for his assistance.

The coolest parts are the opening and closing scenes.  If you watch anything, watch segments 1 and 10.  Instead of describing them, I will let you discover them for yourself.  Just watch them.

There are some neat monster toys on display throughout the program.  Plenty of AHIs, some Lincolns and Tomlands, Aurora models, Nightmare Before Christmas, Alien, Bionic Bigfoot, Colorforms Outerspace Men, and a Marx Frankenstein walking.

You will see the fabled 2nd series Colorforms aliens, a Creature 3D wall plaque, carded AHI Creature figure and jiggler, and other monster treasures. 

You will also see demonstrations of Electroman, Krusher, Pulsar and Hypnos in operation.  Yes, Krusher will expand before your eyes.

This was made before eBay, before online communities like UMA, before the Internet really took off.  It captures the hobby's innocence during its early, pre-tech stages when people bought toys out of magazines and talked over the phone instead of through e-mail.  They have no idea how much the hobby would change in just a few years. 

But there was also disillusionment.  Instead of trying to explain it, I'll let you see for yourself.  There was some bitterness among collectors back in 1995.  The magazines (Lee, Tomart) where not talking about it, so I decided to touch on it.

I hope you enjoy these videos.  Think of them as the UMA's own original production.

But be warned, the audio/video quality is pretty bad.  Especially the audio – I don't know what is going on there.  There's clicking and wah-wah like an old 16mm school film.  It's an old, used tape playing on an old machine, so I guess I can't expect THX sound.

The master looked and sounded much better than these You Tube versions.  Maybe someday I'll have the opportunity to properly restore the program.  What I would do with it then, I have no idea.

So here it is, "In Love With Toys."  Merry Christmas!

Raymond Castile


Two boys awaken Christmas morning, 1979, to discover goodies beneath the tree.  What do they do with them?  Watch and see.
Raymond Castile


Raymond Castile


Sort of a how-to segment on finding and preserving toys.  If you've forgotten what toy collecting was like before eBay and the Internet, this will refresh your memory.
Raymond Castile


Raymond Castile


Collectors give advice on maintaining a proper perspective.  Some of them are obviously exasperated with the hobby.  I think the Internet helped defuse this growing resentment before it ruined the hobby.
Raymond Castile


This is the reason I wanted to make this production.  A collector at a toy show daydreams that he is walking through the toy aisle of a 1970s dime store.  If you watch nothing else, watch Part 1 and this final segment.

There are more credits in the full version, listing all the copyright information for every character that appears in the production.  I figured you didn't need to sit through another two minutes of that!

In Love With Toys is copyright 1995 by Monster Castle Productions.
Raymond Castile


Wow ray, I STILL own this tape but, like you, I hadn't watched it in years.  I completely forgot or never knew you produced it.  Fantastic job, especially for the time considering the technology available and the costs involved.  Sorry to hear about the difficulties around the financial aspects and thank you for the sacrifices you made in order to get it out there.  Seems like ultimately it was worth it.  I actually retailed this in the store I ran at the time, bought it via Diamond Comics Distributors if memory serves.  This tape was the first time I'd seen a carded AHI Bend 'Em and I was so excited by that that I called several friends who came over later that day to see it.  Thanks as well for your generosity in posting all of this for us and Merry Christmas to you as well!


Shannon aka monsieurmonkey on UMA Y!


Wow! Thanks for making my Christmas morning. I love it.


This used to play in regular rotation at a comic/toy shop close to me. I think I've seen it a dozen or so times but I never tire of it. I always wondered who made it.

I forgot Bob Monko was in it, I used to run into him at shows all the time.


Unlike the others, I must admit I've never seen that before. But I really enjoyed watching it and I thank you for posting it. It's definitely neat seeing pre-Ebay collecting.  I just wish that historically I was better able to follow that "collect what you can afford" advice. I can't help it, but when there's something truly special available, I just have to make whatever sacrifice needed to make it happen.. You can always earn more money, but the truly rare things only come along once in a blue moon.