While at Toy Fair in New York, I had a few dinners with vendors and let me tell you: when you live in the basement and work with toys all day and have no kids, there aren't a lot of wonderful tales to tell. So I steered the conversation toward the things I do, and the likes of Red Beard came up. After a few drinks, a table of toy industry people will not believe you when you tell them "so yeah, the wife and I picked up some electronic tarantula toys dressed up as Mexican wrestlers" to the point where they will inevitably demand proof. And proof they shall have. This particular model was a later purchase and a pain to get, but check him out: he's got a hook for a hand! It's non-removable, but it's awesome.
The concept is, of course, so totally ludicrous that you pretty much have to be on board with it immediately. Toys like "Army Ants" were to homogenous, Tarantula Planet have more distinctive personalities. Like the other figures in the line, it shares the same body type and mechanism-- but unlike the others, he has a pirate hat and a little parrot to sit on his arm. Really. I can't make this crap up.
There's no articulation to speak of, and at its heart it's just a black tarantula with a red "beard" and a skull painted on his backside. It's such a crafty idea it's impossible not to look at it and smile, the only thing I felt missing from this toy was one (or more) eyepatche(s). These are largely being phased out of retail stores in the USA, but you might find them at the odd mom-and-pop or at Toys R Us still. It's also probably still available online from Uncle Milton, and while I wouldn't suggest you drop $15 on it this is totally worth $8-$10 as a ridiculous thing for your desk at work. If you need a test to see if your co-workers "get" you, this is potentially it.
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