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Toys "4" Cheap: The Magic of Toys Will Shut Up Your Child Paperback – October 26, 2016
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"Sharp, fearless humor… incredibly funny."
–Michael Kupperman, Tales Designed to Thrizzle
"Asterios is one of the most obtusely cantankerous comedians I know, and is able to send me into a giggle fit as if there was a lack of oxygen in the room."
–Jonah Ray, Mystery Science Theater 3000
"Asterios Kokkinos is like a modern day Mark Twain, if Mark Twain was Greek and really hairy, and instead of writing the great American novel came up with a bunch of horrific children's toys."
–Dan McCoy, The Flophouse & The Daily Show
About the Author
Asterios Kokkinos is a comedian who has written and performed for The Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, Paste Magazine, Something Awful & the Maximum Fun podcast network. His only childhood friends were toys, and even they eventually disappointed him. When not writing insane stuff for people who have somehow agreed to pay him, Asterios can be seen yelling at the TV with his father or taking a nap. For more, visit asterioskokkinos.com and follow him on Twitter @asterios.
Jimmy Hasse has contributed to The Devastator since the beginning. Originally from Ypsilanti, MI, Jimmy moved to Chicago with a BFA in Illustration from Grand Valley State University, and a deep understanding that nobody would really give a shit. After three years of freelance illustration and working at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Jimmy became an intern at The Onion, where he worked his way up to his current position, Managing Graphics Editor. Jimmy is, ironically, a toy collector, and those financial decisions echo in his bank account to this very day. For more, visit jimmyhasse.com.
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Asterios almost reminds me of Douglas Adams. When you read "Hitchhikers" it's such a sequence of non-stop jokes that your head starts to spin. All that being said, 'Toys "4" Cheap' is a great way to harness the Kokkinos to the benefit of all humanity! This book is laid out like a catalog produced by the world's biggest sleazeball. However, the ironic thing is that it just overtly states the subliminal messages that advertisers actually do try to convey to kids "if your parents don't buy you toys they don't love you" etc. So I'd say, in a sense, although this is a catalog of a sleazeball at least he's honest about being a sleazeball.
I also read "The Enemies of 20 Something MegaMan" by Mr. Kokkinos which is also funny, but believe me that "Toys" is a LOT more ambitious project. You can burn through "Enemies" in about 5 minutes, but "Toys" is approximately 56 times longer (magnifiers approximated). Also, the illustrations are really funny. This is sort of like an extended bit from a 1980s Mad Magazine. I could see any individual page of this book appearing in Mad...this could easily be a collection of "Best of" articles that were published previously for about $1000 a page.
The section on the star wars characters cracked me up because it was laid out just like the old Sears catalog spreads I used to sit and memorize back when I was a kid. I'd totally forgotten about that, but this catalog instantly brought that memory back (a bunch of toys I never actually got of course). There's a cheap knock off section of Marvel characters featuring the super heroine "Girl," and "not-hulk." I also like the fact that they try to sell a two dollar bill for 3.95.
Good in flight entertainment for everyone. In fact, I recommend that you buy thirty or forty copies and leave them in airplanes. Asterios will really be in the dough if we can get together and convince imbeciles that this is a real catalog. Mr. Kokkinos, I accept your sincere thanks in advance.
Also, if you like this book I recommend following him on Facebook, as he posts links to his other content on there.
It is my assertion that Kokkinos is a rare breed of hysterical Greek that was cryogenically frozen in the 90's in an effort to preserve the endangered whimsical species from being contaminated by the toxic comedy of mediocre Greek, John Stamos. Asterios was thawed 20 years later and unleashed on the world like a less contrived Mediterranean Encino Man for the purpose of creating buck-tons of comedy. People argue whether he's a myth. Others argue whether he's a man. Nobody argues whether he's a legend.
What do I think about Toys "4" Cheap?
Look, it fits right in with the other stuff I got lying around here and that's all I can ask
What I like best about Asterios' latest book is that each page adds another layer to the comedic narrative, resulting in a book that it's completely self-consistent in its depiction of a toy catalog from a hellish, dystopian otherworld of fun... and value. The comedy is neither low-brow, nor too preachy and there are just enough references to familiar toys from the 70s-00s to keep everything grounded.
Oh, and the kindle edition is lovely, but I recommend ordering a physical copy so that you get the full effect without having to zoom in and out to see all the detail of the artwork on your screen.
Most recent customer reviews
I was delighted to hear the laughs from its recipient!