TONKA: Willow

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UPDATE- SCROLL DOWN FOR PICS!

I didn't buy them when the film first came out, but I've amassed a pretty good sampling, plus some duplicates over the ensuing years. Last year I finally got the last figure-on-horseback that I needed (Airk Thaughbaer).

I even won an auction for one of the three elusive Sears-exclusive sets. I'd love to talk Willow collecting with anyone out there who likewise enjoys these toys... especially if you've got any of the Sears sets for sale.

Alex N.
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

They're currently boxed from my most recent move, but I can get them out and take some shots if there's sufficient interest.

Probably the pride of my collection is the Eborsisk, the two-headed dragon (named for movie critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel). I always like to set the swashbuckling Madmartigan in front of that, in that moment just before he realizes that the Nockmaar army is NOT frightened of him, but rather the huge monster behind him.

I think I resisted these toys in '88 because they were pre-posed, like tin soldiers. I didn't grow to appreciate them for some time.

Sorsha and Bavmorda were probably the last two main characters that I bought. Bavmorda eluded me for many years, the worst instance being a vacation in Indiana when I'd already spent my allotted collectible money, just before being shown a GREAT toy store by Jamie Follis of Wook's Workshop. I rounded a corner, and there on the wall were all these MOC Willow figures, Bavmorda mocking me on the front of the nearest peg.

Finding the 'Elora Danan' variant of Willow took a while, too, the one which includes a removable baby in papoose. It's interesting, once you actually have the baby, you realize that the odd poses of some of the figures may have been chosen so the baby could also be attached to them if need be. For instance, Madmartigan has his arm straight out in front of him, and Elora Danan will hook right over that.

Once I had the various versions of Willow, I allowed one of them to hang out in Mos Espa for a while. Can you guess where? Yep, watching the Pod Race from Watto's Box... right where Warwick Davis sits in Phantom Menace.

And then there's General Kael (also named after a movie critic, Pauline Kael-sp?)... I have a few duplicates of this Vaderish villain with the skull helmet. I think I even have two of him on horseback, because I bought one loose collection just to get duplicate horses to help fill out my shelf.

Speaking of horses, the Sears-exclusive that I really want to find is the Chase Chariot. I can't remember offhand what the other two sets were. I know one is the Mangonel (sp?) but the name of the other eludes me, and I'm not sure which one of the two I have. If memory serves, it works like a catapult, though. I just knew they were few and far between, and pounced on the auction when I saw it.

I also found a great generic toy mountain to pose them around, it was probably made for little plastic army soldiers. I saw it in the garage of one of my wife's cousins, and inquired about it. He sold it to me for $5, and its numerous levels of cliffs and caves really made the collection come to life, since no playsets were made for it. I contemplated buying a Helm's Deep playset from LOTR so they'd have a castle environment as well, but never got around to it. I think I was afraid it would lead me to trying to track down the rest of the LOTR toys in future years!

Alex
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

i would like to see pics, sounds pretty cool.
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

I've only got a couple of these figures. It's a line i definately like but don't have a hardcore interest in completing.

I know that forum member Madmartigan (Paul) has a nice collection going. Hopefully he'll chime in.
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

I was really excited about these toys when the movie came out, and I just remember being so disappointed.

I really wish one of the proven action figure companies, (Hasbro, Mattel, Kenner) had acquired the license.

The playability factor was really lacking. I can see how as an adult collector they would be cool as diorama pieces for display purposes, but that's the same reason it was a short lived line to kids. There was no "action" in those action figures.


-Jeffery
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

I have several mint in sealed bagged Willow figs available if anyone has an interest? They are the Tonka brand. Willow waving his wooden wand! Private Email to Glawsons@comcast.net Thanks
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

The wife has just asked me to ask you again for pics... It's her favourite film, you see.
 

michael_mensinger

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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

I remember this line from back in the day, although the only piece I have from it is the boxed Eborsisk Dragon, which I picked up on close-out at a local, now defunct department store called Dry Goods. Couldn't pass that piece up at the time since it was widely known as a rarity back then. Overall, the non-poseable nature turned me off from collecting much from the Willow line at the time.

-Mike
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

Killer_Klown said:
The wife has just asked me to ask you again for pics... It's her favourite film, you see.
I will probably not have the opportunity to unbox them and photograph them before this weekend, but I think it will be fun to show them off to this community.

Alex
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

well untill New_Bornalex can take some pictuers... here is a website that has pictures of all the ones released!

Willow
and another one thats even better!
Willow 2
 
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Re: Anyone here collect \'88 Willow toys by Tonka?

I had em all. Bought them at Building 19 in Mass for dirt cheap. I loved these figs as a kid and plaid with them around my lego castles. Sadly sold them all when My wife and I needed casholla.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

Well, I was unable to photograph the toys over the weekend. However, I now have a digital camera, so waiting the extra three days has resulted in extremely better results.

Closeups to follow, but here's the overview to get you started...



Alex N.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

Let's start at the top of the generic plastic mountain...

At upper left we have the High Aldwin. At upper right, we have the 'greenshirt' variant of Willow Ufgood.

At lower middle, from left to right, Madmartigan fights General Kael as Airk Thaughbaer recoils, mortally wounded.



By the way, did you ever notice how Ron Howard almost always puts his brother Clint in his movies? I was wracking my brain trying to find Clint Howard in Willow-- maybe he's a Troll?-- but then a more bizarre connection occurred to me. Ron Howard's OTHER brother is in Willow.

Airk Thaughbaer is played by Gavan O'Herlihy, right? Well Gavan was the first of two actors to play the disappearing older brother Chuck Cunningham on Happy Days! So, even if Ron Howard's real-life brother isn't in Willow, at least Richie Cunningham's is!

Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

The Eborsisk dragon. At one time, it was reported that this item was never released, though it exists in sufficient numbers that the claim had to be recanted.

In this pic, notice that the toy is flocked for the 'manes'.



Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

The pegwarming Troll. No one should have any trouble finding this figure for dirt-cheap. It's easily the worst sculpt in the line, but then someone had to be, right?



Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

By the way, in case you haven't noticed, the good guys have tan bases, and the bad guys have black bases.

At middle, the evil sorceress Bavmorda. At right, the regular blue-shirt Willow Ufgood wearing the papoose accessory with removable Elora Danan baby.

At left, her back to us, is Sorsha, Bavmorda's daughter, who switches her allegiances midway through the movie. No big surprise back in '88... the toys clearly denoted her as a good guy, with a tan base.

About as shocking as Boushh taking off the helmet in '83, if you'd already seen the toys.



Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

The elusive Sears Castle Catapult. Notice that it includes a Rebel Trooper whose deco is different from the regular single-carded figure.

I still need the Chase Chariot and the Mangonel, the other two Sears-exclusives. They'll cost me a pretty penny. Too bad I don't have a time machine; the box for my Castle Catapult has handwritten notes on it: "Was $9.95, Now $7.00!" Ouch.



Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

I've collected multiples of some of the evil Nockmaar characters, including the Nockmaar Warrior on horseback, the single-carded Nockmaar troops, and even a small pack of marauding Death Dogs, as you can see here.

One of the Death Dogs had some 'fuzz' on him in the blister card. I opened him thinking he might be a variation, and the 'fuzz' wiped off the raised areas. I liked the way it looked down in the crevices of his snout, though, so I didn't scrub him thoroughly. He's the one at far right.

This shot shows Sorsha on horseback at upper left (also sporting a tan base), and Madmartigan and Kael on horseback duking it out.



Here's a closer shot on Madmartigan and Kael. You can see a Nockmaar Lieutenant in the distance. The white horse at left is Airk's, the last horserider I needed. I didn't get any closer shots of him, though, as his sword blade was comically bent from being packed up. It should straighten out soon. If not, I still have another in a boxed set.



EDIT: I just noticed that from this angle, it looks like Madmartigan and Kael are riding identical horses. While the two horses are indeed an identical mold, they do actually have distinct deco's.

Sorsha's and Airk's horses are from a second mold, also shared by the Nockmaar Warrior and the elusive Sears Chase Chariot.

Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

And here's one last pic for today. It's just a different angle on Bavmorda, looking down between the Eborsisk's heads. (See Airk's curving sword, at lower left? It's not supposed to look like that!)



Hope you all enjoyed them!

Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

Alex, Neat set. I don't remember these at all, then again I was probablly at the skate shop when these were in stores. Either way a cool set from a cool movie. Ryan
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

Jason_West: I thought my carded duplicates (of which I only have three or four) would be in the same box with these loose ones, but the only other thing in there was the boxed Hero set with Airk on horseback. I'll get you a pic of it soon, let me check for my other carded ones first. And I know that somewhere I've still got the Eborsisk box, most probably in my parents' attic with the remainder of my GIJoes, Transformers, and Real Ghostbusters.

Bantha5: Speaking of skating, and by extension skating rinks, that reminds me of my high school girlfriend... Yes, I suppose being a senior in high school when Willow came out also contributed to me not buying the toys then. In hindsight, though, I wish I'd dumped that little psycho and spent my (parents') money on the toys instead! At least I'd have something to show for it.

Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

Jason_West said:
Looking forward to pic's of the MOC set.
Here you go, this is the Heroic Collector Set #2...



I got it fairly cheap, just for Airk. But when it arrived, the box was SO pristine, it was a shame to open it, so I wound up buying a single-carded Airk on horse just to open. Good thing it was intended for opening, too, because when that one arrived, the blister had torn off in transit. I'd have been sick if it was meant to stay carded.

Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEWEST PIC!

Merry early Christmas to me! I bought this Sears-exclusive Chase Chariot from eBay, it's one of only two items I need for a complete collection of Tonka Willow toys.



Now all I need is the Mangonel. The same seller had one that sold for $200, but I couldn't justify that much this close to Christmas. Ah well, maybe I'll find one next year.

Alex
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

Great collection. All I have are two of the boxed sets.

BTW, anybody here has stuff from another 'forgotten' fantasy movie, Dragonheart?

They were great figures and I bought them all, but the line didn't last very long at all.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

Isnt there sapposed to be another Willow movie coming out? I thought that I kept hearing about one but it never comes out.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

I don't know about another movie, but I know that there were at least 2 novels that came out in the mid-90s.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

There were 3 books total, Shadow Star being the last. Never got past the first book (or through it completely!). Couldn't get over how jarring it was compared to Willow... like watching ALIENS and thinking "That's the end!", then Alien3 pops on right after.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

I had the whole run of these minus the war machines. A few years ago I ebayed 'em, and have regretted it pretty much ever since. I did keep doubles of the high aldwin, willow and I think I've got general kael.

I've been meaning to take a stab at some 3 3/4" willow customs, but they keep getting back burnered
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

well I just found this thread so I thought that I would chip in, I have a pretty good collection going, missing most of the horses but I am working on those. If anyone knows of any prototypes that survivied please drop me a line. I had heard that a Nockmarr Castle was in the works but have never been able to confirm that it existed.

I will post some pics of my collection when I get them.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka-- ALEX\'S NEW PICS!

I read the Nockmarr Castle never made it to production but it was in the works. No word on whether a prototype of it exists or not.

Also, if anyone's interested, this is the most comprehensive Willow Site I've ever come across.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka

I've just recently gained interest in this line, and was lucky enough to come across all 12 figures & 5 figure/horse sets for $7.00 on eBay.
Really cool line and I'm glad I finally picked them up. I also just picked up a MISB Eborsisk today...can't wait to get that one.

I've added images of each figure (carded front and back and loose shots) to the Willow section of ToyTraderz. I'll probably take a group shot tomorrow, but I'm a bit tired right now.


John
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka

the only figures that I ever got were the Nockmar soldier, General Kael, Aerik, and one of those beast dogs. I dunno where my Aerik figure is but I still have Kael and the nockmar soldier
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka

What an interesting thread - I had these as a kid, and my mom actually found them at her house this year when cleaning, they have been stored in a box since the 80's! I only had 4 figures and an Eborsisk, but I really enjoyed them, just like SW figures - I'm glad she saved them.

By the way, I did a custom Queen Bavmorda figure last year, in scale to SW figures, if anyone wants to check it out:

http://threads.rebelscum.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB7&Number=1698422
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka

Just scored the catapult with the figure and boulders still in the baggies. Just the Mangonel and a few carded mounted figures left to go.
 
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Re: Willow toys by Tonka

Wow! I remember these. I had a whole bunch of them. Well about 12 anyway. They actually had like metal stands.
 
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