PlaidStallion’s Toy-Ventures Magazine Coming Soon!

Toy-Ventures is a magazine celebrating and cataloging toys and action figures from the 70s & 80s, and it’s coming to a mail-box near you. I am pretty excited for Brian achieving his goal of seeing this project come to fruition, and for myself having a print magazine actually worth picking up, which is very rare these days. You can help support this project on Indiegogo.

This is a passion project of Brian Heiler. Brian is the creator of, host of the Toy-Ventures YouTube series and the author of the book “Rack Toys: Cheap, Crazed Playthings” which was all about 1970s and 80s dimestore toys.

For the last 20 years, Brian has also been a freelance writer and photographer whose work appeared in publications like Famous Monsters of Filmland, Toyfare, Lee’s Action Figure Review, SFX magazine, Toy Shop magazine and was a regular columnist for the Village Voice’s Topless Robot.

Toy-Ventures is an old school print magazine about vintage toys from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s covering topics and items that don’t get the respect they deserve. Each issue will feature collector guides, rare photographs, interviews, and articles by some of the toy experts in the Collector Field.

Issue #1 will be a salute to the celebrated toy company Azrak-Hamway International or AHI.

Comic Book Collecting: Going Greener with Digital

   When I first heard of Digital comics my first thought was “Hey, that ‘s pretty cool, but it will never replace the same feel of actually holding the book in your hands and reading it.” That was then and this is now. Over my life I’ve had tens of thousands of comics and it seemed that with each move I’ve paired them down because, let’s face it, they can get damn heavy the more times you’ve moved them from one house, town or state to another. I’ve given some away, sold some to pay bills, traded some for other wants or needs and donated some to good causes. Right now I am down to about 500 actual paper and ink issues in my possession. The collecting of them was fun and all but I wasn’t in them for the money. I began my collection in the 70’s and then the 90’s really tried to beat the fun out of collecting. I’ll admit that I got caught up in some of the hype and made a buck or two but I was left with quite a few worthless issues that were over printed. Finally in 2006, after price hikes, fewer pages and more ads… I stopped collecting altogether.

   In 2010, due to some cross-over events and major changes, I decided to begin to rebuild my collection once more. This time it was to be different. The only space I would need would be on my hard drive (and my redundant back-ups and reading devices). I was going Digital. I still had roughly 1000 books in my possession and began to liquidate them, most of them. I first began with my X-Men collection, then Bat-Man and so on. I was now able to collect more Silver Age books than I was able to before and delve into the Golden Age with gusto. What used to fill a room now fills a portable hard drive and I no long have to be so careful when I wish to re-read a story or three in a few 40 (plus) year old comics. My collection isn’t done yet but it is at over 158 GB and growing.

   My name is Darran and I am a collect-a-holic. But the best part is that my collection has a far smaller carbon footprint (especially when I am out an about charging my reading device off of its solar panel) and it takes up a millionth of the space 🙂

   Do you want to go digital. The easiest way is to stop thinking about it and just do it. If you need more of a game plan then this article from LifeHacker can help you out: Other than the newer titles I get from DC, Darkhorse or Marvel I utilize CDisplay Ex, and on my android device I really enjoy using Perfect Viewer. I also love Comixoligy, now an Amazon company, plus a few other indie sources..

Happy Collecting my friends and fellow geeks. Excelsior!

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