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Flea Market Bootlegs, take 4

15 November 2003 by Gnoll 9 Comments

Based on the popularity of the last few month’s articles as well as my own addiction to finding the little buggers, I’ve decided to devote yet another article the finest little bootlegged toys that were ever assembled in South East Asian sweatshops. And depsite what you may believe, I haven’t milked this cow dry yet. These actually get better as time goes on, and this month’s stuff is so good that I’ll not only let you see it, but you’ll even get to hear some of it in action.

Over the last few months, I’ve made hauls all over town in search of these fun little items, scouring flea markets and dollar stores on all ends of the city, but several of the items showcased this month are actually imported from the faraway land of Melbourne, Florida. My girlfriend hails from there and went home over the holidays and again last weekend, returning with some real gems. Some of it covers familiar territory, but some of it is altogether a new experience.

First up, though, before I get in to the Floridian imports, I’ll start off with something that appears to be somewhat of a variation on our old friend, the Spider-Man Telephone. Possible made in the exact same low-wage factory and still finding its way for happy time American consumption is the lovely Hello Kitty Phone.

As you can see, the Hello Kitty Phone has a nearly identical keypad to the Spidey phone, and also features the flashlight capability of its web-slinging cousin. In addition, though, the phone has a mock antenna that lights up with a warm pinkish glow when any of the keypads are pressed, as a (very loud) tone is heard as well.

This month, as I mentioned above, we bring you a special treat: the sounds of some of our bootleg toys as they spring in to action. Now, the Hello Kitty phone also makes the same sounds that the Spidey phone does, so now if you’ve ever wanted to know what it sounded like you’re in luck as well. These sounds don’t correspond to particular keys, but rather seem to come in random order whenever you press a key. The first of these sounds like a 56K modem talking to a network. The second of these sounds is a random pattern of beeps followed by an operator with a heavy accent saying “Can I help you? Information.” The third sound is some high-pitched ringing with the same woman saying “Operator”. And the fourth sound, well, why “Mary Had a Little Lamb” needed barking dogs randomly jumping in is a mystery, so just give it a listen.


Listen to Hello Kitty Phone #1
Listen to Hello Kitty Phone #2
Listen to Hello Kitty Phone #3
Listen to Hello Kitty Phone #4

I’ve also given the Hello Kitty Phone a chance to pose with her kin, in this touching photograph:

This is actually not the only Hello Kitty Phone in existence, apparently. There is yet another variation on this theme, which we found at a flea market after purchasing the one you see and hear above. It’s got a different color scheme, has its own special packaging, and comes with accessories as well. Here is the alternative Hello Kitty Phone, which we ultimately passed on because four dollars for a retread was just too much to pay.

Of course, no bootleg toy run is complete without the aid of Spider-Man in some incarnation, and lord knows we found a winner when the Super Deformed Spidey Gun of Doom presented itself to me.

When I found our web-slinging friend here, I was mesmerized not only by the fact that he has a giant glowing green hand, but also by the idea that in order to squeeze Spidey’s trigger, you have to lovingly wrap your hand around his leg and bury your index finger into his crotch. Ewwww. Also, looks can be deceiving when you see something along these lines. Upon first glance, and up until I got the thing home, I assumed it was a water gun. But when I removed it from the package and saw the exposed wires in the barrel as well as the battery cover, I realized that this sucker was electronic.

Here’s me firing off a couple of rounds with Spidey-gun, showing the bright green glow that emanates from the barrel. The gun also makes sounds, but they’re nothing you’ve never heard before if you’ve ever have one of those stupid little keychains that make machine gun and bomb noises.

Next, I bring you the first of the Floridian goodies, and a variation on a toy we’re all pretty familiar with: The Ben Affleck Rubik’s Cube!

  

Now, for some reason, whenever I find a bootlegged toy with Daredevil’s likeness on it, they always use the image of Ben Affleck as the blind superhero from that shitty movie from a year or so ago. Spider-Man, Batman, Hulk, Superman, and others generally are always artistic renditions, but Affleck gets to have his face plastered all over little Mexican and Chinese bootlegged toys. Sure, There’s less Daredevil stuff than Spidey by a longshot, but there’s still a fair amount out there. I’ve also included a top view of the Affleckube to show the fact that the white side of the cube actually has the big mosaic Ben rather than lots of little ones.

Nothing too exciting, but the fact that it was kind of a new angle on things was enough to justify me including the item in this month’s update.

The following two items are a continuation on a phenomenon that quite frankly boggles my mind. If you’ll go all the way back to the very first bootleg toys article, I found “Hero Household”, a trio of rainbow-colored Spider-Men packed together as a unit. Now, the idea of owning a single Spider-Man toy is perfectly normal, and owning variations of the character seems like it makes some sense as well. But packaging them together? I’m not sure what the marketing wizards behind this idea were thinking, but they apparently went the extra mile when they gave us this:

The Spideys have again multiplied, this time arriving in a four-pack. There are only two variations this time around as well: two “normal” Spideys, and two in a hideous blue and gold motif. As you can see, these are part of the ever-growing Super Change line of bootlegs, which apparently consists entirely of different-sized Spider-Man figures. The art on the card is also puzzling, depicting some hero type men of unknown origin that have nothing at all to do with the characters found within the package.

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any more Spidey-ful, we find the following:

This item was not purchased, since there are only so many Spider Multi-packs I can handle, but I think that the toy is named “Super Hero Craze”. Again, multitudes of Spideys are packed together, this time with three “normal” web-slingers as well as a Christmas Spidey and an all-Crimson Spidey. The packaging also indicates that there are non-Spideys in the line, but I can’t seem to find any Batmen or Power Rangers anywhere. The multi-Spidey thing is apparently the biggest thing going in third world countries, and I’m not one to question it. Also, all of the Spideys packaged in these sets appear to have the ever-popular “LED on chest or crotch for no apparent reason” design as well.

This brings us to this month’s big finale. Prepare to be taken to Bootleg Toy Valhalla…

As promised, we give you the greatest Bootleg toy there ever was…the Spider-Man Guitar!

Now, this package is fairly large, measuring about 24′ wide by 10″ long by 2″ deep. It’s in some pretty heavy corrugated cardboard, safely protecting the contents inside. The idea of a Spider-Man Guitar is a bit on the unusual side, but in the imaginative world of the bootleg toy, it’s no great stretch of the imagination. As per usual, there are snippets of broken English interspersed along the item. Well, the first one is actually in perfectly proper English, but it doesn’t stop it from being funny as hell:

IT WILL GIVE YOU INFINITE PLEASURE!

This type of caveat is something I might expect on something purchased at the local adult novelty store, but not a child’s plaything. But I was willing to test this theory, so I’ll look further into the packaging to see just what kind of infinite pleasure I’m entitled to.

Of course, there’s also this little gem of a phrase:

THE animal voice of various interestings is with the wonderful music

Huh? What the hell is that supposed to mean? What is up with the animal voice? And since when can you pluralize “interesting”? This thing is just getting better, and we’ve only looked at one angle of the box’s exterior so far.

So, let’s take a look at the side:

Well, that’s an new deal altogether. The Spider-Man Guitar is apparently not just a Spider-Man Guitar, but rather is a Spider-Man Animal Guitar. What the hell this means is still a mystery, and how animals can figure into a guitar is going to require a mind more creative than the one that I possess. So, let’s take a look at the back of the box:

Along with the logos and phrases we saw on the other side, now we can catch a glimpse of the contents…and I’m practically speechless. I guess we know now what all this animal talk was all about, as there are various buttons that represent animals on the actual guitar. I’ll even show you the descriptions they give on the packaging for the different functions of the buttons:

Sheep and Ducks and Hens and Frogs…

Dogs and Cows and Horses, which covers the animal sounds, and it would appear there is some flashing light that probably bops along with the sounds. But what happens when you push the creepy fetal-position Spider-Man button on the left?

Okay, so we have 10 keys which I imagine are going to produce little songs, but what is “Funny Enfant Song?” Are we going to have some singing French baby like that Jordy phenomenon from about ten years ago? I’m almost scared to find out. The box also mentions that the contents inside may vary from the description, so let’s take a look at the actual guitar and see if it meets our expectations.

Well, aside from a missing cover on the LED, everything looks pretty hunky-dory. I’ll even give you a closer look at the main body of the guitar:

So now you’re saying, “That’s nice and all, but how can we fully get the grasp of a toy guitar unless we can acually hear it?”

Funny you should ask. Thanks again to my wonderful girlfriend, who not only found this amazing item in a flea market in her hometown of Melbourne but also went through the trouble of converting some of the sounds that emanate from this beautiful monstrosity so that you can hear them as well.

First, let’s hear the musical scale that one can play with the notes on the neck of the guitar.

Spidey Musical Scale, 39K

Yeah, it’s just a music scale so it’s not all that interesting. So how about the “10 Dulcet Music” buttons that we assume play songs?

Unknown Song, 52K

Unknown Song, 99K

This Old Man, 61K

Old MacDonald, 98K

Mary Had a Little Lamb, 50K

London Bridge, 25K

Unknown Song, 61K

Unknown Song, 49K

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, 73K

Ten Little Indians. 50K

Some of those “various interestings” are better than others, but none of them match what happens when we finally cover the “Funny Enfant Song”. And while I realize that Old MacDonald has already been covered in the above songs, that version pales in comparison to the grandpappy of them all. Warning: This is a full two minute rendition of the song, complete with animal sounds.

Spider-Man sings Old MacDonald, 462K

Wow. I’m speechless. I think that’s Spider-Man singing, but I’d swear it was Elmo. The other animal buttons aren’t nearly as interesting as the sounds found within this rendition of the song, and many of them are covered anyway. But there it is, in its full glory: The greatest bootleg toy I’ve ever seen. I think the world would be a much better place if everyone owned a Spider-Man Guitar. I know my world is much brighter now that I know that I can rock out with the web-slinger at my leisure.

9 Comments »

  • Cooper L said:

    Oh dear lord, thats just messed up

  • yelinna said:

    Man, you look so cool with that guitar!! :D :D :D :D
    ;)

  • isaiah lee said:

    this isnt spam!!!

    okay so i loved the enfant fun song so much that i put some out of sync drums to it, and out came the weirdest song ever.

    if you want to hear the remix go to

    http://www.myspace.com/theoryofyroeht

    seriously this isnt spam check it out.

  • Noel said:

    OK, the enfant remix just absolutely rules. And honestly, I think that’s the first time I’ve listened to all of that version of Old MacDonald.

  • adam said:

    That was AWESOME! Out of all the various interestings is with the wonderful day, that was the most interestingsest.

  • Greg said:

    well well well… that fun enfant song had some interesting verses (especially the one after pigs which ,it seems to me can, only be the sound of a truck attempting ignition) All together an excellent find

  • Arashi said:

    Not sure if you care at this late date, but the unknown song #4 that is 49k is the German children’s song Hänschen klein.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A4nschen_klein

  • Charlotte said:

    LOL that guitar is funny/weird XD

    BTW: i think the unknown song 49k is called little bird

  • Xing chen said:

    I AM ENVIOUS OF YOUR INFINITE PLEASURE

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