Life In Plastic: Why Retro Reviews?


So, every once in a while I get asked:  Why review so much old stuff?  Aren’t toy reviewers supposed to stick with the new, to help people buy things when they’re hot?  Well, yes, and if you haven’t noticed, I do that.  But I have a few good reasons for why I do Retro Reviews.  Why don’t we take a look at them?


1. Lack of Reviews For Old Stuff

A lot of my “retro” material came out before internet toy reviews were A Thing – for example, just look back a week or two to the three Spawn Movie Playsets.  They are great toys, but you can’t find a review of them online.  Now you can!  Internet toy reviews really started happening in the early 2000s thanks to sites like and Michael W Crawford.   But it took a fair amount of time for toy companies to recognize people like these, and start sending them product for review.  So for years, you had people who reviewed what they were interested in or could afford (more on this one in a second).  When it comes to legendary toys like Mandarin Spawn, you can find some reviews of the repaints, but almost nothing for the big guy.  It has this great reputation… but there’s nothing.  Alien Spawn II, despite being released after OAFE started, just doesn’t have much of an internet-review presence, either.  But it’s a cool-looking toy, and I had my eye on it for a while before picking one up.  A review would have been pretty helpful, in my opinion.


2. Budget!

You see, toys cost money.  And while I get stuff for free once in a while, it’s usually Indy stuff.  Sometimes my toy budget is pretty good.  Sometimes it’s low.  Retro Reviews are a way to help stretch it.  And hey, don’t you want to see stuff on this site?


3. Interest

I review what I like, for the most part.  I am also not a completist – so you won’t see reviews of EVERY Masters of the Universe figure.  Or Transformers, for that matter – there are too many, my budget would shrivel and die, and I’m not the biggest Transformers fan in the world.  So, what should I do when there is a dearth of stuff available that I like?  Go with something older!


4. They Are Pretty Cool

Nosferatu?  I love that movie!  Medusa?  Awesome lady!  So please, please explain to me why I should let these toys remain neglected on the internet.  Spreading the word about cool stuff is fun, and it’s useful!  Useful to anybody who might pick some up, and extra useful to keep this blog going.  Besides, they are cool toys, and wouldn’t you want to expand your horizons a little?


So, there you have it.  I have my reasons why I review old stuff intermittently.  You will probably see a lot in the near future, partly because of budget, and partly because I came into a lot of great old toys recently.  But fear not, I will review up-to-date toys when I see them!



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