Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann
Action figure anthropologist, Professor Cantina Dan Neumann has been a scholastic contributor to the online community studying the complex world of parumplasticus populus {little plastic people} since the turn of this millenium. His primary focus is the visual cataloging of species exhibits through photo-journalism.
Read other articles by Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann.

 

January 11, 2010
A couple years ago the graphic design studio where I work, Esser Design, launched a self-marketing campaign that conceptually conveyed the message: Stand out from the crowd. We aimed to illustrate the theme through a series of images that portrayed a grouping of items wherein one from the group stood out. The images are simple…

 

December 31, 2009
Last year we began an anthropological study focused on the evolutionary changes visible within the species parumplasticus populus (little plastic people). Over the last several months I undertook to reexamine the fossil record. The findings range from predictable to surprising. Whereas today’s parumplasticus populus is more sophisticated in many ways, its ancestors maintain the genetic…

 

December 23, 2009
Recently I wrote a blog about the old AD&D toy line. In the post I included a 25 year old Christmas photo that showed some of those toys under the tree. It got me thinking about how many cherished childhood playthings I actually received all those momentous December 25ths. We didn’t grow up in the…

 

November 26, 2009
A Guy Walks into the Cantina How far our modern Star Wars figure collections have come. Even an optimistic fan of the cantina characters didn’t have high hopes for getting a figure of Leesub Sirln, a.k.a. Weird Girl. But she is a part of our bar scenes now. According to her cardback bio Leesub is hiding from Imperial authorities that suspect…

 

November 23, 2009
Looking back on all the toy lines I enjoyed as a kid LJN’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons stands near the top. So, yeah, this blog is gonna be a gush-fest. As a youngster I made one feeble attempt at the D&D role playing game. The D&D toys held my attention much longer! The first series…

 

October 5, 2009
Based on this list of products on display can you guess what toy store I visited this past weekend? My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Littlest Petshop, and Barbie. DCUC, Brave & the Bold, Movie Masters, DC Direct. NECA’s Twilight and Harry Potter. G.I. Joe 3 3/4 and 12". Marvel Legends, Marvel Select, Amazing Spiderman. Star…

 

October 5, 2009
The force was strong with my padawan, Johnny, when he surprised me recently with tickets to a touring show called "Star Wars in Concert". Basically this event combines the music of John Williams performed by a live orchestra and chorus with specially edited footage from the Star Wars movies played on massive screens. High society…

 

September 19, 2009
Please forgive what is essentially a self-indulgent travelogue. Because, really, who likes looking at other people’s vacation photos? Fortunately I was able to shadow Sgt. Rock as he embarked on a solo reconnaissance mission to Arizona’s "Red Rock" country: Sedona and its environs. Here follows a photographic recap of a week scouting in one of…

 

September 7, 2009
Other seemingly newsworthy events were overshadowed this past summer by the release and limited availability of a small blue articulated action figure representing Gleek the blue monkey. Indeed, the furor over his exclusivity caught many in the mainstream news media unawares. Allegedly available to attendees of the San Diego Comic-Con, this piece of plastic memorabilia…

 

September 3, 2009
Another Short Tale of Another Geeky Coincidence . . .  Last week just before I picked up Johnny to go see G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra I needed to stop and buy something at the local Gap outlet store. As I was browsing around the kids clothing section a a tee shirt caught…

 

September 1, 2009
G.I. Joe #21 and a New Generation I received one of my most memorable and influential gifts on Christmas day 1983. I was 11. My older brother, Joel, got me a one year subscription to the Marvel comic G.I. Joe. It was such a trill to once a month open the mailbox and see that brown paper wrapper with my name above…

 

August 24, 2009
This one is all about the nostalgia, folks. The moment I laid eyes on this set of figures some part of me was taken back 25 years. Even though I couldn’t remember many details of the cartoon Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, I knew it must have had an impact on my younger self –…

 

August 18, 2009
A week or so ago I was cruising my local Target checking to see if their most recent reset was complete. I was cranking down the back isle passing board games and Nerf guns, eyes fixed on the action figure isle. A row or two before my destination I caught a glimpse in my perif…

 

August 7, 2009
I bought my first Justice League figure in the summer of 2003. It was Attack Armor Green Lantern. I had been eyeing the line and once I saw that cool green translucent force field I bought in. Heck, there were only 6 characters. (Hawkgirl was ify at that point if I remember correctly.) I loved…

 

July 27, 2009
Once upon a time in the very corner of a large kingdom there was a city, and in that city a convention castle, and in that convention castle a fan. This is the tale of one traveler’s adventure to an event so fantastic that mere words and photographs struggle to convey its wonder. Yes, noble…

 

July 4, 2009
Hey there, Xenozoic fans! After posting a blog about the Cadillacs & Dinosaurs toy line a month ago I received some feedback from creator Mark Schultz. I had a couple specific questions I was hoping Mark would elaborate on and he kindly obliged. Although there are lots of other interesting topics we could talk about,…

 

June 22, 2009
My wife and I spent a good amount of time this spring building a landscape wall in front of our house. Over the course of one long weekend we had the task of applying this natural stone veneer one piece at a time. She would "butter" the stones with the adhesive mortar and I would…

 

May 27, 2009
BLOGcaddysNdinos-plate Between the years 1987 and 1996 writer/illustrator Mark Schultz composed 14 issues of comic brilliance called Xenozoic Tales. I struggle not to sound trite when describing Mark’s visual art and storytelling. I find when rereading Xenozoic Tales, for instance, I get stuck on certain beautiful panels that leave me just shaking my head in awe….

 

April 27, 2009
I don’t collect Mattel’s DCUC line but there have been some figures that I’ve wanted to pick up just because they’re so dang cool. Back when I saw wave 6 for the first time I grabbed the Hawkman, stared at it for a while and then reluctantly put it back in fear of the "slippery…

 

April 15, 2009
No, I’m not running for a school board in Kansas. But like the rest of you action figure biologists I’ve enjoyed observing the emergence of newly created figures based on characters that had action figures back when little plastic life on Earth was in its infancy. The last few years in particular have seen a…

 

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