Omigodomigodomigodomigod! This post imagines what my blog might have looked like if I had one when certain things happened. This edition takes us way back to 1995…
I am loath to admit this, but I’ve literally dreamed of this day for years. Or at least for the years that there were no new Star Wars action figures on the shelves of stores.
THERE ARE NEW STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES ON STORE SHELVES… er, I mean… HOOKS!
This is the first one I’ve purchased:
Imagine James Earl Jones saying: "This... is Chewbacca."
This got me recollecting (ha!) about the first toys in each of my collections. Join me as I walk down memory lane…
1985 – M.A.S.K.
Secret raiders working overtime fighting crime!
Let’s be honest – it’s not really been ten years since I’ve purchased toys. Having a little brother to spoil means never having to stop. But this is definitely the last collection I had that was my own, and it all started with Condor. I remember asking for this, not even really knowing what it was.
1984 – The Transformers
More than meets the eye!
I was dying to get any Transformer for what seemed like forever. I really wanted Optimus Prime, but he cost twenty bucks! Having read the giant-sized coloring book long before these figures were released, I really took a shine to Jazzz (he had three Z‘s in the coloring book). The trick was this – my mom wasn’t too keen on me starting new collections that were similar to other one’s I started. I already had Gobots, so Transformers were kind of off the radar… until my aunt took my sisters and I shopping. I had the eight dollars it cost, and I begged her to let me buy it. She used the payphone to double-check, and my mom relented.
1983 – Gobots
We came out before Transformers!
Memories are fuzzy, and so it goes with this. The way I recall it all, there were animated commercials advertising Transformers long before they came out. AND THOSE COMMERCIALS BLEW MY EIGHT YEAR OLD MIND. Robots that transformed into cars and planes and guns? Sign me up! Well, they were nowhere in sight, so the Gobots had to do. And they did. Until I got Jazz. I still think Leader-1 was one of the best, but Gobots could never overcome their horrible names (Scooter the Scooter, Tank the Tank, Cop-Tur the Helicopter, Loco the Locomotive…)
1980 (?) – LEGO
My first set
I don’t remember exactly when I started getting “big kid” LEGOS, but I know this was my first set. The reason I say, “big kid,” is because when I first saw the LEGO spacemen at one of my parents’ friend’s houses prior to getting this set, that’s what I was told.
1979 – Star Wars
Obviously, my figure said "Star Wars" - not ROTJ.
I distinctly (and weirdly) recall receiving this from Santa, and I was fascinated by this strange action figure. Was he a space policeman? He had a gun and a helmet. Was he a space fireman? He was wearing orange. All I know is that I hadn’t seen the original film yet, and I was hooked.
My sister, Tammie, had a good chortleguffaw chuckle when she heard me ask this one time:
Hey Chris, what does it mean when my Wii’s glowing blue?
She lost it, and upon thinking how ridiculous it sounded out of context, others joined her giggles, myself included. As it turns out, she may slowly be turning into my foil.
Let me further explain.
Last night, one of my friends stopped by with his two sons. They’re cute enough, nice enough kids, but where my friend made the mistake was to inform his children that I had toys.
What I have are not toys. They’re collectibles. Two totally different things.
Upon arriving, and not expecting them to stay long as I had mentioned plans to head to trivia, the boys whipped off their scarves and knit caps and bundled coats and proclaimed, “Where’s the toys?”
I begrudgingly lead the trio back to my DVD room (yes, they have their own room… they kinda require a room when they reach 1200+). In there, I have Indiana Jones figures, Lego playsets, Transformers, and Matt Trakker of M.A.S.K. re-released as a G.I. Joe, all in their packages. Of course, the first thing to reached for is Trakker.
“I know how to put this together,” the oldest proclaimed.
“So do I,” was my response as I put it back.
On one of the cabinets, I have some open figures on display which include mini Ninja Turtles, mini Transformers, a mini Grimlock cartoon figure that does not move, and both versions of Bumblebee from the Michael Bay movie.
They moved onto these collectibles, and within minutes, Grimlock was in pieces (I don’t think he’s supposed to come that much apart, if even at all), the rubberbands holding the weapons in the Turtles’ hands were snapped, and the ’77 Camaro Bumblebee was being stabbed by his own laser sword.
I have learned patience through all the years of working with computers, but when it comes to children—
My friend kept talking to me and I kept thinking, doesn’t he see what they’re doing? The youngest had to go #2 and took Raphael with him. Raphael! RAPHAEL?!
When they were finally getting packed up to ship out, I told my friend he could visit with them again in about 10 years.
Now back to Tammie. As I recounted the situation to her, she just laughed at me again. The definition of a foil according to Answers.com:
One that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another: “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me” (Charlotte Brontë).
She said, “You do realize you’re complaining about children playing with your toys.”
There was a group of us… sixteen or so. We were on vacation in Europe. The group was comprised of mostly friends, some family… and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
As I was trying to organize who would ride in what vehicles (we had four four-seaters… green Volvos, they seemed to be), I noticed Brad and Angie were nowhere to be seen.
“They’re still inside unpacking,” someone informed me. I still hadn’t met them, and though I was excited to, I knew we’d be introduced at our final destination.
So the group divvied up. My cousin Liz’s car got Brangelina. And we each took off on our own accord (in green Volvos, not Accords).
Upon reaching our final destination, the bulk of the group was antsy to go in. There was no sign of Liz’s car, so I offered to be polite and wait, while the rest of the group entered the underwater horse racing track.
When the last car arrived, I introduced myself to the superstar pair. I played it sooo cool. My cousin and her fiance Sam were itching to place some bets and they hurried in. That’s when Mr. and Mrs. Smith let me in on a little secret:
“We’re here to save a horse.”
I knew the security was going to be tight around the animals, so I cautioned them.
“We already have some people inside.”
Were they talking about “my people?” My people couldn’t even figure out driving arrangements without me.
“That’s why we need you.”
Somehow, we fashion some alternate method to get into the underwater dome (see SIDENOTE below), and we finally make our way to the carriage house. A horse with a broken leg awaits its execution.
“With all the technology we have, why can’t we fix this travesty?”
Suddenly, Brangelina’s brood appears, and it dawns on me. They’re the “people inside.” The children work together to pickup the horse – their combined strength amazes me.
As the family makes it to their escape vessel to escape, one question remains: how did the kids get down there? And how are they so strong? (Okay, so it’s two questions.)
Angelina smiles. She let’s Brad answer, “Why do you think they’re named the way they are?”
As they disappear up to the surface, I contemplate Maddox, Zahara, Pax, Shiloh, Vivienne, and Knox. It finally hits me: they’re robots!
(SIDENOTE: The equipment we built to get underwater was out of giant Legos. Blame it on “Lego Batman: The Videogame” again.)
INGREDIENTS: Half a bag of Chips Ahoy!, some Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla frosting, a couple glasses of organic milk, a chunk of Velveeta cheese, and a 24 oz. Mt. Dew