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Toy Lanta AAR

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  • Toy Lanta AAR

    Joe Lanta 2019 AAR. (A fond farewell to the Marriott Century Center)


    Another Joe (Toy) Lanta in the books and another great event. The little show that could has grown into the place to go for toy goodness. Good venue, good friends and a good time as always. David Lane and the posse should be commended again for the work that they put into this event. It seems to get bigger and better every year.


    Before I get into the weeds of this report, I want to give a tip of the hat to the Marriott Century Center for putting up with a bunch of oddball, outcast toy nuts who transform their elegant hotel into their personal playpen annually. Sadly, this show closes the book on the marriage of Toy Lanta with that hotel. A needed change that was required due to the show out growing the venue. Breaks my heart as I have so many fond memories of that hotel. The parachute drops are stuff of legend. From bouncing figures off of the grand piano at 2 AM, to watching Char and Buddy pleading with hotel security saying “nothing is going on” as a Skyhawk glides across the sky 11 stories over their heads. It was a great ride.


    Trip down was uneventful until north of Nashville (24 East) where some genius thought it would be a good idea to close the highway. Was rerouted through hog’s knuckle Tennessee and lost almost an hour on the road. Grrrrr. Arrived in ATL still ahead of schedule and was able to make it to Lucky’s to watch my friends slowly drive nails into their cardiac coffins. Those keeping score at home, I had the chicken. But, only after I had to reorder because our waitress apparently misunderstood the phrase, “I would like the Chicken Sandwich please”. Then proceeded to pour water into my unsweet tea, only to replace it with sweet tea. . .I could go on. . . When I did get it, the sandwich was good. Still finished before the folks wolfing down their 8 pound Grim Reapers. Thursday I spent the day working on Dios at Buddy’s with Steve. We had breakfast at the Red Eyed Mule and dinner at the Hawg and Ale Red Eyed Mule was really neat and the food was really good. They had a chicken breakfast sausage that I wished I could find here. Took me back to my happy place. But the Hawg? Get outta here! What a hoppin little joint Buddy has created! Really had a good time with 30+ folks from the show and watched with glee as a certain someone kept spiking another someone’s drinks. Rolled outta there and drove to the airport to pick up Charlotte. Word of caution, there is a north and a south gate at the airport, something I found out the hard way. After picking up Charlotte it was off to the show.


    The hotel: Again, great hotel and a great rate. The food was good this year, REALLY good. The lunch and dinner buffets made it difficult to want to leave. Only thing I was not fond of, and I may have mentioned it last year, the beds are not a comfortable as the old beds were. They reminded me of a bed in a box like you would get at Ikea. Then there was the noise from the bar. I had never had an issue with noise like I did this year. Then Charlotte pointed out that all the carpeting was removed and laminate flooring was put down. There was nothing to deaden the sound. We were on the 6th floor and it was loud, but the folks up to the 11th floor had it just as bad. The staff and everyone we ran into there were friendly and seemed truly happy to see us again. I am sad we won’t be going back there, but will not have to deal with as much traffic to get to the new joint which makes me smile.

    Show Staff was on point as always. Buddy was a blur and once again was the show celebrity. Everyone wants to be Buddy! He embodies the inner child in all of us. That is why we love him so. David Lane was ever present and the dad of the gig. With his ever present Stetsen, he stood as tall as Mclintock, making sure the cattle were properly herded. Marten was 110 MPH all weekend. I honestly think I only got to visit with him for a few moments all weekend. I did miss seeing his daughters there this year. It has been fun watching them grow. Ricky and Bambi with their soothing tones serenading us as we reached for our wallets, and of course Sarsaparilla the singing Gorilla! EJ was hawking his wares as always but was visibly slowing down. We love us some EJ, but he needs to not try to undertake so much, his reserve tank looked to be running on fumes. Kathy and the sign in staff were friendly and a truly welcoming site. Hotel/Show security was ever present and from what I understand put to the test this year. Great to hear that the good guys won!


    The Show itself was the biggest ever! The sales floors were packed with anything and everything you could ever imagine. If you wanted it, it was there (unless it is a set of black fins for a Mattel Sea Devil. . .anyone?) Bargains were around every corner and seeing old friends made it even better. Seeing Derryl DePriest digging thru $1 bins brought back so many memories. Truly one of the good guys. My favorite DDP story from the show was he and I watching Ricky Puckett’s booth while he was on a nature break. Having a guy ask about some 3 3/4 figures that Ricky had no price on, only to have Derryl step in and quote a price. Then have Derryl sell a Road Pig to the guy. All the while the man had no idea who he was. Honestly Derryl couldn't have been happier, and I was just happy he quoted the price because I didn’t know how much it was worth.

    Some of my pick ups:



    Singapore stamped Bazooka



    Mint Raging Inferno uniform







    Ricky Puckett footlocker finds (One a talker)



    Marauder Mech





    Cotswold goodness




    Eagle Eye Bulletman head




    Original Hot Wheels Custom Mustang from the Sweet 16



    The sales floors could have been better distributed in my opinion. I know it is a tough nut to crack to have a perfect customer flow, especially with so many quality vendors to choose from. I also understand getting a balance of product on the sales floor. I just hope the new joint doesn't force the staff to place different vendors into different sales rooms. Each booth I saw had the potential for big sales numbers and since there were so many rooms, it is hard to decide which was “the main sales room”. Please keep in mind, I do not have any knowledge on how folks were selected for each vendor room, just making an observation. Also, it should be noted that at “Rope Drop” on Saturday morning, the side rooms were filled to capacity and there was nobody on the main floor! So much so, one vendor expressed a concern that he had not seen a single customer but me for the first 10 minutes of the show. I thought that was rather funny, o sooner than he voiced his concern, the patrons began to flood in.

    All in all, I would say this was one of the best Toy Lanta’s I have attended. Records were shattered in attendance, money raised and product sales. It is not a secret that this show is one of the best toy shows you will ever attend. If you have been on the fence about coming, you really need to consider it for next year. New venue with two floors of product. The show hotel info will be coming soon and I am sure folks will be thrilled with the new joint. The new hotel is closer to downtown restaurants and I have it on good accord that we are darn near walking distance from a certain BBQ joint that is the most happenin eatery since food was invented. Deep Fried Moon Pies? Who thinks of such wonderful treats. . .

    Again, another show in the books and another great weekend with friends and family. David Lane and his crew should be commended for another great show, and I know Cody is looking down and smiling knowing his memory is alive and well in our hearts and in this show. We love you guys, until next year. . .
    - Scott
    PH and Proud
    Bulletmann - Hyatta
    See photos of my collection on my Pinterest Page https://www.pinterest.com/scottbeckmann/gi-joe/
  • #2

    Excellent AAR, GI Defender! Sounds like an awesome show... and you made some phenomenal scores! I might've missed Atlanta, but I can hardly wait for Kentucky...


    - ATC
    AT Commander's HQ: www.gijoe.50megs.com

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    • #3

      Wow!!! What a great report. I am glad you got your Singapore Bazooka. I am going to have make time to go to one of these events.

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