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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Toy & Action Figure Museum Named Centennial Destination Site

By Jim Richardson
Staff Writer For The Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

When November of next year rolls around, Oklahoma will be celebrating its 100th anniversary of statehood and communities all across the state are eagerly anticipating the year-long grand festivities.

Numerous schools, historical societies, libraries and museums are planning special projects throughout 2007 to commemorate the momentous occasion and the Toy & Action Figure Museum’s proposed project has landed it among a group of honored recipients.

“We submitted our plans for a centennial project and were later notified by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission board that the Toy & Action Figure Museum has been recognized as an official Oklahoma Centennial Exhibit,” said advisory board member Della Wilson.

“March through September of 2007 the museum will feature the evolution of toys and action figures over the last 100 years, with an emphasis on the social and/or political events of the times and how toys and action figures reflect the beliefs and concerns of different periods in that history.

“These exhibits will also cover multi-cultural and multi-generational subject matter as toys and action figures from many ethnic and age groups are highlighted.”

Due to their approved status as an official Oklahoma Centennial Exhibit site, Wilson said the Toy & Action Figure Museum, as well as the city of Pauls Valley as a whole, will reap the rewards of a state-funded massive publicity campaign to promote the upcoming centennial celebration.

“The Oklahoma Centennial Commemoration Commission will be notifying people all over the state and the country about the centennial festivities and we will get to capture that huge audience,” Wilson explained.

“It will make our vocation and city more visual through the advertising and promotions. It will help to get the word out about the museum and Pauls Valley, which will help to generate some much-needed revenue to this area.”

More information about Oklahoma centennial projects and festivities planned throughout 2007 can be found by logging on to the official website at or by calling 405-228-2007.

The Hire, published by Dark Horse, 104 pages, $17.95

Need to get from point A to point B as fast and as safely as possible? Need a read that jacks up your adrenaline level with adventure, humor and mayhem? The answer to both needs is the same: The Hire.

Based on web episodes found at, The Hire trade paperback collects the four-issue mini-series from Dark Horse Comics about a gentleman simply referred to as "The Driver." His talent? He's the best there is behind the wheel, when you absolutely, positively have to get where you're going.

Let's start with the obvious appeal; The Hire is as much an adrenaline rush as a comic book can be. And, while it's admittedly light on characterization, by it's very nature as an action story, the individual writers do manage to keep the characters from being boring.

Did I say "individual writers"? I sure did. That's another appealing factor of this book. It's written by some of the biggest names in comics, including Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, Bruce Campbell, Kurt Busiek and Steven Grant. Seeing all of these writers put The Driver through his paces in their own unique way, back to back no less, would be a thrill for most any comic fan.

Keeping with the "anthology" feel of the book, each story also sports a different fan-favorite artist. Matt Wagner (penciling his own story), Kilian Plunkett, Claude St. Aubin and Francisco Ruiz Velasco all put their mark on this BMW property.

So, the long and short of it? If you're looking for something that's fun to read and showcases many different creative styles, The Hire is for you. And, even being largely a "wait for the trade" kind of guy,I'll still recommend any of the single issues, as they all stand alone very well. And, let's face it, no creator is everyone's "cup of tea."

The Hire is recommended for all readers. Find it at comics shops and online comics retailers and auctions.

Mark Allen