Toys Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Retro gaming, robots, and bustin’ghosts

You’ve got all the games, consoles, and accessories wrapped and placed under the tree, but there still seems to be something missing. While video games are great, you’ll probably want to balance out your digital gift with some physical ones. Fortunately, we’ve put together a selection of several toys that would make great gifts for the children or adult collectors in your life.

Arcade Cabs

It’s getting easier and easier to own a home arcade nowadays, and the holidays are a great time to surprise a loved one with a cab featuring one of their favorite games of yesteryear. Arcade1Up came out with some fantastic new cabs for their ever-expanding lineup including a new ¾-sized Golden Axe cab and a Ms.Pac-Man cocktail cab. For folks seeking a full-sized cab, the AtGames Legends Ultimate is a great option and features a ton of classic arcade and home console games baked right into the machine already. If space is an issue, you can always snag one of New Wave Toys’ highly-detailed desktop cabs. Right now they’ve got a very cool Dragon’s Lair Replicade up for order that even comes with its own tiny little laserdisc player.


Let’s face it: Robots are awesome and they always will be. That’s why you basically can’t go wrong with getting someone any sort of Transformers figure. This year there were some particularly cool collabs that came down the line, including a Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Transformer and a Top Gun jet fighter one as well. Along with the new licensed collabs, there were plenty of traditional Transformers that hit store shelves in 2020. The Transformers Generations War for Cybertron: Siege Deluxe Refraktor 3-Pack (which are in our featured pic for this article) can change from bots to hover tanks and all three can combine to make a fancy camera. I’m also personally really into the new Quintesson Judge as it was one of my favorite characters from the original animated Transformers movie back in the day. The rate at which Hasbro cranks out new Transformers is pretty impressive and that hard work guarantees that you’re most likely never going to be in short order for a new model, so be sure to check out Hasbro Pulse if you’re looking for a particular Autobot or Decepticon.

Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand

Before the world spiraled out of control during this year’s global pandemic, we were supposed to get a new Ghostbusters movie that would’ve featured a ton of nods and winks to the original film. While that movie has sadly been delayed, it would appear that some of the collector’s merchandise that was supposed to go along with it have still made it to store shelves in time for the holiday season. One product in particular really caught the eye of our own Greg “Burkleton” Burke: Egon Spengler’s Neutrona Wand. This prop replica is actually pretty affordable when put up against its contemporaries and features several audio and LED lighting effects

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Torrington resident’s business cooks up colorful hand-dyed designs with retro style

TORRINGTON — Margaret Gumbs was considering what to do with her time when she retired — some day.

Already a quilter and having studied interior design, she took the advice of her husband, Rodney, and turned a hobby into a new line of at-home work.

The Torrington resident, who works as a nurse, placed what she calls Maggie McFly Designs, on the website Etsy. She offers hand-dyed cotton yarn, hand-dyed cotton fabric, organic cotton “onesies” for infants, hand-dyed table décor, and ice-dyed clothing. She plans to broaden the scope of her offerings even more as her business gains traction.

“I began just by making a tie dye shirt for my husband, and also made one for my son. They loved them and encouraged me to continue and offer them for sale,” said Gumbs, who spends four days a week immersed in her new cottage industry.

Meanwhile, her husband, Rodney Gumbs calls himself the CEO of shipping, handling and delivery of the items to customers via mail or other means.

Gumbs creates what is known as tie-dye fabric and clothing, wildly colorful patterns on cotton that became all the rage back in the 1960s and 1970s when flower power, and love and peace signs permeated society. The unique clothing designs faded with subsequent generations but never really went away. Tie dye has has become popular again in recent years among young people and some elders, who want to relive their days of rebellion and counter-culture living, at least in the way they dress.

In “ice tie-dying,” the T-shirt, or whatever fabric one is using, is completely wet, then wrung out. The material being dyed is scrunched up and placed on a rack over the top of another container or dish. The more “scrunching”, the more chances of white peeking through. Said Gumbs, “The dye comes in a very fine powder form. When you apply it you need to wear a respirator mask so you don’t breathe it in.”

The container holding the item being dyed must be large enough to contain liquids from the shirt. Gumbs then generously covers the fabric with ice. Crushed ice insures coverage of all of the edges without the risk of larger ice cubes sliding off right away. This step could be substituted with snow. The ice covered items must be left alone for six to eight hours or longer. The longer it sits, the more intense the colors get. The items must be rinsed until the water runs clear. Then, the item is allowed to dry.

The process of traditional tie-dye typically consists of folding, twisting, pleating, or crumpling fabric or a garment and binding with string or rubber bands, followed by application of dye(s). The manipulations of the fabric prior to the application of dye are called resists, as they partially or completely prevent the applied dye from coloring the fabric.

The ice tie-dye designs that Gumbs creates are free-flowing and almost replicate the works of avant-garde painters. The colors are vibrant with no

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