FW Presents: Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys Ep.1

Chris Franklin launches a new series of mini-episodes focusing on one toy from his collection in each installment, along with character, publishing and media history! First up is the Gentleman Ghost figure from Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line!

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Clip credits:

“Toyland” by Doris Day

“Highwayman” by The Highwaymen

“Grim Grinning Ghosts” from Disney’s The Haunted Mansion attraction

Audio clips from Spaceballs, Batman (1989), The All-New Super Friends Hour, Batman: The Animated Series, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold

23 responses to “FW Presents: Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys Ep.1

  1. First things first: Great premiere episode for Wonderful Toys! I loved the opening theme and the production was great. The shorter twenty-minute episode format was perfect for this type of spotlight show, giving us the character history, your history with said character, and a focus on the toy in question. Well done!

    Second: I LOVE the DC Universe Classics line! These guys are awesome and it still makes me giddy thinking about some of the C- and D-listers who appeared in this line. However, there was still so many more heroes and villains who didn’t get the DCUC treatment before the line died off.

    If you ever want a guest to discuss other figures from this line, I’ve got a pretty decent collection. Not all of them, but quite a few.

    I’m glad you touched on the scarcity of some of figures in this wave. Doctor Fate is the only Earth 2/Golden Age character from the line that I don’t have because I haven’t seen him for sale for less than seventy dollars.

    Third: This Gentleman Ghost is, as you say, a wonderful figure. I picked up the 2-pack with Hawkgirl at a time when the Ghost was going for an obscene price. It meant never being able to collect-and-connect my beloved Giganta, but oh well. Then, about a year later, my friend Paul gave me the individually packaged Gentleman Ghost for Christmas. I didn’t need a duplicate, though I’d never complain about having more of such a cool figure. Plus, with the individual Ghost, I finally got a tiny Atom toy!

    I think, though I would have to look at them closer, that the Ghost’s arms and legs were reused for the Golden Age Sandman figure.

  2. Thanks for the kind words pal! If you want to talk DCUC down the line, you’re in brutha!

    I don’t have all the DCUC figures either. Some of it comes from not being able to find them, and then there’s the whole kids thing where you feel guilty about buying toys if they don’t get one. You’ll soon understand. :-) Actually there was a lot of duplicate DCUC purchases for both Andrew and myself, and sometimes I’d just buy it for him, and not myself. Now that’s love.

    I do have Doctor. Fate, and he’s one of my favorite figures from the whole line. I don’t have Zatanna however! Doing research on this episode makes me want to go back and fill in the holes.

    Good on you for getting the single Gentleman Jim, and that tiny Atom!

    Chris

      1. I saw her ONCE at a Wal-Mart near here (I think she was a Wally World exclusive), but it was around Christmas, and I didn’t feel right about spending the money on myself at the time. Went back to get her afterwards, and she had “deraeppasid”.

        Chris

  3. Great first episode Chris!

    I’ve always loved the Gentleman Ghost–from his name, look, power-set, he always seemed like a really cool bad guy and I’ve always wondered why he wasn’t used more. That episode of SF you mentioned is surprisingly horror-y for the notoriously safe Hanna-Barbera, it remains one of my favorite episodes of the series.

    I had no idea there were even so many GG figures, that’s great. Like you, I loved seeing him in LEGO BATMAN, I think when he shows up that was the moment I knew whoever wrote this movie was deep into DC Comics lore.

    Great needle drops this episode too! Willie Nelson FTW.

    Awesome start to this series of shows!

    I would be concerned that Solomon Grundy knows where you live.

    1. Thanks Rob! I managed to sneak in some Cash too. Love me some Highwaymen.

      If you think the Grundy situation is bad, remember, I live in Kentucky…the House of Mystery is right down the road!!!

      Chris

  4. Hi, Chris! What an excellent podcast — you covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. I only collected a handful of figures over the years, so I really learned a lot. You did a great and thorough job with this; the history; and it was nice hearing your perspective on it — something you are really into.

    The first time I saw the Gentleman Ghost was in Secret Origins #1 from 1973 which reprinted the story from Flash Comics #88. I loved the appearances in Batman #s 310 and 318; and he was a recurring villain in a Batman rpg I was in ages ago. Great call focusing on him!

    Chris Karnes
    Bat Books for Beginners Podcast
    Batman ’66 review/Batgirl to Oracle Podcast

    1. Thanks Chris. I had forgotten about that SO issue. That series is a blindspot for me. I only have the last issue with Robin and Aquaman. I’d love to get the rest of the series, but early Bronze Age comics are getting pretty pricey nowadays.

      Chris

  5. Great inaugural solo episode! Though, it did seem odd at first to not hear you interacting with someone else. I hope this doesn’t mean that you’ll be breaking up the band to pursue a solo career.

    I’m not a big toy collector, but I still found this to be an enjoyable and informative episode. I recently rewatched Gentleman Jim’s appearance on the Super Friends. It definitely has its creepy moments, with people being turned into ghosts. Reminds me a bit of that other Super Friends episode where everyone is being turned into Swamp Thing-like plant monsters by a meteor. Those two episodes are probably the closest Super Friends ever got to a zombie apocalypse story. Good stuff. I look forward to future installments.

    1. Thanks Brian! The Super Friends vs. Dracula episode is probably as creepy as SF ever got, so I’d recommend that one too!

      I’m not going to break up the band. We all know Ryan is going to be the first one to leave. It’s in his contract.

      Chris

  6. I’m not going to break up the band. We all know Ryan is going to be the first one to leave. It’s in his contract.

    Ryan is Natalie Merchant to our 10,000 Maniacs.

  7. Great new show and a fun episode! Can we expect a ” meta episode” on toys based on Superman foe The Toyman?

  8. Even though everyone else has said I will say it again; great first episode! This is a really novel idea for a show. If I had more money and space I’d probably be right there with you in terms of owning toys and action figures, especially the DC Universe Classics line. I loved that DC finally got it’s own version of Marvel Legends, though like Legends the line that followed it is beset on all sides by the inequities of sculpting. Some of the newer Multiverse figures are nice. Some are just…not.

    My favorite part of the episode was the information on the character. It’s cool hearing about the different Gentlemen Ghost figures that are out there but hearing about the character and your opinion on him was what made the episode so good. I was a faithful viewer of the various Super Friends shows and I have no memory of the episode he appeared on, which means I really need to get off my duff and watch the DVDs I own.

    This is a fine addition to the Fire and Water family of shows. Thanks for starting it.

    1. Thanks Michael! I plan to stick to this format on future episodes. For characters like Superman and Batman, I’ll probably zero in on the era the toy represents, vs. the whole legend, but you get the idea.

      That Gentleman Ghost segment of Super Friends is actually part of the last episode on disc 2 of “The All-New Super Friends Hour”. In fact, it was the last episode of that particular iteration of SF.

      Chris

  9. Sorry you had to wait so long for my comment. Ipod died in the middle of your introduction and I’ve just now dug out an old one I have to hold up like a phone because its headphone jack doesn’t work.

    Nice show. I don’t know how interested I am in toys (as a geek, though I do seem to have a lot of Doctor Who figures and I treasure my few Super-Powers action figures), but giving us some background on the featured character in all media is what made it work. You also deduced that a single person talking can get boring and pepped it up with clips and a special guest star! A lot of fun!

    1. Thanks buddy. I appreciate the lengths you went to just to listen to this! That’s dedication!

      Super Powers…hmmm…I might have a thing or three to say about those. Stay tuned.

      Chris

  10. FYI: Gentleman Ghost is the visual inspiration for the ghostly Marquess of Queensbury (voiced by Oscar winner and Community costar Jim Rash) on the funny but profane “Mike Tyson Mysteries” on Adult Swim
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7yC9wVZdfY

    Yes to Super Powers episodes! I’ve been waiting for a Golden Pharaoh episode.

    1. Hey thanks for the head’s up on the Mike Tyson character. I was semi-aware of it, but it slipped my mind.

      Golden Pharaoh…hoo boy. I kind of hate to talk about that guy. He is the center of one toy moment I AM NOT proud of. I think I’ll save it for the show.

      Chris

  11. Great first episode!

    DC Universe Classics, like Marvel Legends, were a source of obsession. The figure wave with Gentleman Ghost never came to my town, but I was thankfully able to procure the entire wave with the help of a kind collector on the Raving Toy Maniac board. I had hopes that the wave would be re-released like the first Walmart exclusive wave (with the Metallo BAF), but it was not to be :(

    Looking forward to your Batmobile episode. Or should I say episodes?

  12. I had no idea that “Gentleman Jim” was given 2 shots as a figure. I first saw the Gentleman Ghost on Saturday mornings in the Superfriends show. Thanks for covering him in your premiere episode. Now i have to start hunting both releases down.

    Also, I heard the ‘gag’ Solomon Grundy promo for April Fool’s Day. He strangely sounds like Mr. T.

    Keep up the good work on all your podcasts!

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