What are Crazy Bones? Imagine a cross between designer vinyl-style toys and Monster in My Pocket. Why that's just... crazy!
A Brief History of Gogo's Grazy Bones
The original Crazy Bones were released in the early 1990s and were a phenomenal success, combining collectability and cool designs with schoolyard-friendly gaming (being based upon the Ancient Greek game of Knucklebones, a variant of the popular Jacks game.) Although I have a few of these older releases in my collection, it's the current releases we'll be looking at today.
|Vintage Crazy Bones|
Each standard release comes in a blind-bag pack of three figures. The packaging is eye-catching but functional. However, given you're going to just rip it open and discard it, it's not like it's going to lose any points over that.
With the pack ripped-open, let's see what's inside...
Gogo's Crazy Bones
So what exactly is a Gogo's Crazy Bone? Essentially, each is an inch or so high, solid plastic figure produced in a variety of designs, colour and paint variations. OK, so that really doesn't sound particularly interesting, but trust me, there's more to it than that.
For starters, Gogo's Crazy Bones are sold blind-bagged. I'm a sucker for a good blind-buy, which is why I started buying these toys. I love the anticipation before opening and the surprise when you find a new figure or rare piece and that's what Gogo's Crazy Bones are all about. Imagine one of those cool bubblegum-style toy machines (''Gashapon'' as our Japanese cousins call them) but instead of every toy being crap, each was instead a miniature work of art. That's the vibe you get from every bag of Gogo's Crazy Bones.
Another great plus-point is that the toys are so incredibly affordable. Each pack is around $2 and change and for that you get three Crazy Bones toys and three stickers. Given how many individual models there are (over one hundred) and that each has at least five variants, chances of getting the same pieces twice are slim. Indeed, I believe in my collection of almost 200 I have only 3 matching pairs.
Even if you're not a fan of the blind buy, there's still a lot of fun to be had here. The designs are superb and remind me a lot of the kind of thing people in the designer vinyl world tend to produce - TV-headed robots, cute ghost-creatures, emo DJs and more. And this is another aspect of why I love Gogo's Crazy Bones - they just look so awesome and there are some amazing designs. Check the Image Gallery and you'll see what I mean.
Each figure is cast in a solid colour (sometimes semi-transparent) with painted highlights. The paintwork - although simple - is beautifully-applied and it puts to shame many larger scale action figures and toys. For all they retail at just over $2, there's a level of care and quality control here that's lacking in more expensive toys and I think Hasbro could learn a thing or two from this.
OK, so they're not articulated. You can't pose them. But you know what? It doesn't matter. They look great on the shelf and all are capable of standing unsupported. They're also tough and durable (indeed, most of the games suggested on their site involve throwing them, dropping them or smashing them into each other) and they feel sturdy, being cast from a solid plastic.
Put simply, they're a fun collectable toy. And that's a good thing in my book.
Each pack contains three Gogo's Crazy Bones photo stickers. It's worth noting that the stickers themselves are also a form of collectable and they're packed at random along with the figures. In other words, you probably won't find a figure's matching sticker packed with it.
There's a real hole in the toy market: the blind-bagged, pocket-money toy. In the 80s and 90s, they were all the rage, with virtually every store carrying M.U.S.C.L.E. Men, Monster in My Pocket and more - a plethora of easily-affordable, collectable and tradeable toys. I find it a real shame that there are so few toys now like this (the Lego Mini-Figs being the only ones I can really think of that are in a child's price-range) and so it's one of the reasons why I love Gogo's Crazy Bones so much.
But there's more to it than that. If the toys were cheap and nasty, low-quality, poorly-produced pieces then I wouldn't be talking about them so fondly. It's the fact that they're also superbly-designed, with a very cool kind of ''street'' style that incorporates elements of graffiti and the designer vinyl that makes them just so great.
And best of all is the price. For less than you paid for your lunch today you could get yourself a three-piece of cool little desk toys. Go on - next time you see them in your local store, pick-up a pack because at that price, can you really say you've been swindled?