Friday, November 21, 2008

Winged Monkeys Flying Through The Roof!

Last Saturday, my brother and I went to Eckman's Card, Comic and Toy Show in San Antonio. This is the biggest whoop-ti-doo of this kind in our area, with over 200 dealers showing their wares. I had been there once before, and my brother wanted to at least see one and see how it was. We took along his son and my sister's little boy, so the conditions for peaceful browsing weren't optimal, but we all had a blast. The greatest part was all the memorabilia and "vintage" toys ("They were all new when I bought them!") that were available. There were bins of cheap-os and pieces that the kids loved digging through, There were fairly recent toys still in package for low low prices (I got a Moria Orc Archer for $3). There were books and comic books (I got The Sandman Companion for $10). Then there were rarer items, like The Flying Monkeys.
Tod McFarlane ran a line of action figures called Twisted Oz. This included characters like Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Toto, and the Wizard of Oz. All of them were "twisted", that is, more adult and violence designed. I really didn't care to have any of these. But then there was a "Collector's Club Exclusive" the Flying Monkeys. And I had to have them.
There are two Flying Monkeys in the package, and a bizarre little Munchkin thrown in for good measure. One Flying Monkey looks like he was created cybernetically from a dead chimp grafted with feathered wings and mechanical leg; the other one looks like a demonic/gargoyle ape with leathery wings. Both are about three and a half inches tall, and are creepy cool.
I made a newbie mistake about them, though. I bought them right off the crack, and later as I was leaving I saw the entire set (out of the box) going for only slightly more than what I'd paid for just the monkeys. It's probably just as well, though. Some of those others are a wee bit unpleasant, and I'm not sure I want them around. Coming up in another post: the incredible artifact I bought for much less than I thought I would ever find it.


Anonymous said...

What is it about winged monkeys that is so creepy? I love monkeys, wings are cool; but put 'em together and yeeegh!

Brer said...

Perhaps it's because they seem like a parody on an angel?

The winged monkeys in the movie were frightening because 1) they were under the witch's control, and 2) they had a sort of manic energy, always bobbing up and down and hissing and burbling. Nikko's (the head Monkey) cold reaction after the Witch's demise was pretty harsh, too.

In the book the winged monkeys were much more neutral, if naturally mischeivous. They had to do whatever the owner of the Magic Cap said (which is why the Witch brandishes it in the movie when she's ranting about her power; it's that gold floppy thing); under Dorothy and later Glinda's control they did good things, and were later released when Glinda gave the cap to their leader.