The Toybox: Cardboard Adventures

As always, this is an open thread to discuss any and all topics related to action figure and toy collecting, so be sure to have at it.

As for my header, one of the best things about being a dad is making shit for my kids.  I did this kind of thing already, but children provided a justification beyond me being a dork.  While I mainly do modeling in styrene (those paying attention may know that I’m working on a Nostromo from Alien), cardboard allows for very quick and cheap builds that, if given enough support structure, can stand up to some abuse and genuine play value.  The star destroyer you see in the header was made five years ago, when my oldest son was still around 3 or 4 years old, and it’s still being played with to this day by my less gentle five year old.  It’s sustained some battle damage, but it still cuts an imposing imperial silhouette over the rest of the toys in the play room.  cardboard6

The reason to make something like this is because it simply doesn’t exist as an actual toy.  I’ve made other stuff for my kids from both cardboard and styrene for this reason, usually from either my own interest in the subject, or as a request.  Long before Hasbro launched a funding drive for the sail barge, my kid and I made our own out of cardboard and toilet paper tubes!

It’s actually a much more manageable size than the four foot monster that Hasbro is releasing (he says, filled with jealousy of those who will get the official toy), but this thing got so much play over the past three or four years that it basically disintegrated.  I’m sad to say that the sail posts were propped up with chop sticks and duct tape near the end.  Who knows?  We might have to make this one again.

But it’s not just Star Wars.  The Jakks Pacific Godzilla needed an antagonist to fight against, so after some consideration, we decided to make an enormous Mothra from cardboard, newspaper, masking tape, and papier mache.  He’s survived many run-ins and epic battles in the desolate landscape at the base of Mount Fuji and in the downtown core of Tokyo, and is still going strong after two years:


Sometimes, the toys you want don’t exist.  Which means that matters must be taken into your own hands, be it a spaceship or a castle keep or a kaiju for the imagination to truly run wild.