Bootleg Toys: The Undiscovered Playthings
January 14, 2002 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Bootleg Toys: The Undiscovered Playthings documents the sale of misfit toys in Southern California. For boys, there's Robert Cop 3, the Mighty Morphin-esque Powerful Supper Raiders, and Space Wars: Episode I action figures. For girls, Sale Moon, Hallo Betty and the Spicy Girls. But the most controversial toy isn't a trademark violation: the Laden vs USA handheld video game.
posted by waxpancake (10 comments total)
I fear the 'Supper Raiders' coming in and disturbing my peaceful evening meal.
That said, I was under the impression that the look and feel of something could be copyrighted? is that not the case? If it is true, it seems sorta dumb to use these ridiculous names with action figures that clearly look like people / movie characters.
posted by chacal at 9:22 AM on January 14, 2002

For girls, Sale Moon...

Hey, some of us guys are int tune with Sale Moon. 'Cause that cartoon has got the BOOM anime babes that make us think the wrong thing...
posted by phalkin at 9:24 AM on January 14, 2002

When I was a kid, I had a 3 inch tall bootleg Spock with bendable arms and legs and a head that swiveled all the way around. I have no idea where I got it from. I remember the moment (much later on in life) when I looked at Bootleg Spock after watching Star Trek and said, "Spock, you are bootleg."
posted by iceberg273 at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2002

When I was about 3 or 4 I had a McLauren FI race car.
posted by riffola at 11:14 AM on January 14, 2002

How strange, indeed! I suppose bootleg anythings will one day be valuable, so long as they're rare enough or particularly badly done.

The whole phenomenon reminded me of one of my favourite Onion stories. The headline was "Fun Toy Banned Because Of Three Stupid Dead Kids". Here's the first paragraph:

WASHINGTON, DC - In cooperation with with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, Wisco Toys of Montclair, NJ, recalled 245,000 Aqua Assault RoboFighters Friday after three dumb kids managed to kill themselves playing with the popular toy, ruining the fun for everybody else.

I couldn't find the link but it's their Dispatches From The Tenth Circle(NY, 2001, p.47)and well worth reading in full.

But here's the thing - while looking for it I came across this spunky little pamphlet about fake amulets, written in arrested English, but entirely appropriate. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:38 AM on January 14, 2002

Here's what old Bootleg Bart says:
F**king Jerk! Eat S**t! F**k You! You're An A****le!

Heh heh. Beautiful like bad poetry.

I was surprised not to see any Calvin & Hobbes stuff. (Watterson never agreed to sell or license the rights for any merchandise, so any T-shirts, bumper-stickers, etc. you see with Calvin on them are bootlegged.)
posted by mattpfeff at 12:25 PM on January 14, 2002

I had lots of bootleg Transformers as a kid. I got them because they were cheap, but I always thought they were cooler because they had weird asian writing all over the boxes, and funky color schemes.
posted by dong_resin at 1:23 PM on January 14, 2002 has some wonderful reviews of various anime-related weird bootleg toys as well.

Scouring Chinatown for these things is so much fun.
posted by Jeanne at 5:37 PM on January 14, 2002

i got my friend a bootleg goku alarm clock.. i really haven't owned too many bootleg things, with the exception of imitation-designer clothing... my friend has a funny story of a guy stopping him on the street, pointing at his belt buckle, and saying, "Hey, Nautica doesn't have a 'G' in it."
posted by lotsofno at 7:48 PM on January 14, 2002

Speaking of Goku and animejump, the Flying Goku on animejump has got some of the best fractured English I have ever read.
posted by AFrayedKnot at 3:05 AM on January 15, 2002

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