Saturday, July 27, 2019

Vintage TOY Memories

For you toy nerds, this will be a fun one.

I decided to run down some of my favorite toy lines from when I was a kid. Now, I will say up front there are a couple major toylines that everyone loves that I had none of. That being TRANSFORMERS and GI JOE. I wasn't into Transformers, although I do recall having a couple GOBOT toys from Mcd Happy Meals. And GI JOE I wasn't allowed to get into because it "promoted war and it was against our religion." So it goes.

But I don't say that to knock my parents at all. They bought me a shit-ton of toys when I was a kid. When I sometimes find old toys on con tables or in vintage antique toy magazines, I'm always remembering, "Wow I had that!" I had a lot of toys. (Thanks mom and dad) But I thought I would highlight some of my favorite toylines and give some of my memories about them:

Of course it all starts with KENNER's Star Wars toys with me. I was born in 78, so I didn't see STAR WARS until it came out on Betamax home video around 1982 or 83. But of course, I loved the movies. So as the movies came out on home video and I also read the kid's books and had the books on record covering the movies and the side fictions, I made my own stories up too with these figures. I still have around 16 of my original Star Wars figures too. Those were my BUZZ and WOODY of my life, I suppose. My favorite figure was my Endor Han Solo. I had the original Han Solo, but his head broke off the first day I had him. My mom tried to glue his head back on but it didn't work. So I had a headless Han Solo! I had a ton of the figures and the Falcon, Landspeeder and not much else vehicle-wise. Truly, the best of times.

In the 90s I had a complete set of the POWERS OF THE FORCE line. Now I just have the orange backs and some of the green ones of characters I like. I have a few random 40th anniversary, vintage collection, black series (small and large) and others. Its very piecemeal but I get what I enjoy.

While STAR WARS was in my life first, I discovered STAR TREK shortly after and it became my favorite thing, as many of you know. When I was a kid, TREK toys were severely lacking. I missed the 70s Megos but I did have a few of the MOTION PICTURE Mego figures. And I had all the ERTL Trek 3 figures. I had to make my own accessories out of cardboard. I had about 85% of all the episodes all dubbed onto Betamax compilations, and those were edited for TV. So when I got the DVDs later in life, I saw all these additional scenes. They still take me aback for a second when I see them now cause I saw those older tv versions over and over and over. They are drilled in there!

In 1987, TNG came out and I had all the Galoob figures and the aliens. I didn't have any of the vehicles and they teased playsets on the back of the packaging but they never came out. The toyline was cancelled before they released them! But I had them all and still have some of them loose. I had a few of the Playmates toys in the 90s but by then I was in my teens and into video games more and out of toys. But I do have a bunch in the box now. Not a complete collection by a longshot, but quite a few!

Probably the toyline I was most into and had the most of was He-Man. I think I had every figure up until She-Ra kinda took off. I had a lot of the vehicles and play sets too. Castle Greyskull and Snake Mountain. Attack Trak and Mashor... I had a ton of them. I loved the toyline a lot. Eventually when I grew up, my mom gave all my toys to a friend of hers for her young son. I wish I still had some of them, honestly. In the box, some of those are worth MAJOR money. Luckily they will be re-released next year. I think I might snag a couple for old time's sake. I do have one He-Man out of the box just for the shelf. Cause why not.

Of course I am a major Ghostbusters fan and I loved the REAL GHOSTBUSTERS cartoon. I had a lot of the major figures, ghosts and the Ecto-1. The last Christmas I had as a kid I got the Firehouse HQ. I didn't even know it was a thing but my parents bought it. Despite that there wasn't much to the toy, I loved that thing. I still have a couple of them. These are VERY expensive in the box. So I will have to work up to getting them. I'm sure the fever for them will only increase when the new GB movie comes out. One of my favorites of all time.

I was big into PEE WEE HERMAN as a kid too. I had everything you see in this pic above. But I don't have any of them anymore. I am not even sure what happened to them. Probably went to that same kid who got my He-Man toys. I miss these guys.

In the late 80s, a RAMBO cartoon came out and lasted maybe a season. But I had about 5 of the figures from it. Plus a helicopter and a playset. It was an awesome toyline! And I loved how they had his chest scars from FIRST BLOOD PART 2.

I don't talk about it much but in the 80s I got into WWF wrestling. I watched from around 1987 to like 1992. Then for a year or two around the WCW NITRO era. I had a bunch of the old bendable figures, the giant unbendable figures and then these stiff ones came out. I saved up allowance money to buy the ring and steel cage for the figures. Old skool wrestling is something I toss on while I am drawing once in a while. I can't get into modern wrestling. I've tried. Something about the cheese and innocence of the 80s storylines and characters I enjoyed a lot. 

The last official toyline I got into before I got serious into video games was TMNT. I had all the classic figures and the Turtle Van. I was way into the cartoon as well. But it slowly turned into the 90s and things like Nintendo and grunge music was turning my attention away from toys. I don't have any of these guys anymore. I wish I did.

So there you go. Just a quick run through memory lane from me. I wish I still had all these figures. Cause getting them again, complete in box will all cost major major money! But for now I watch youtube unboxers and collectors and also look at people's vintage toy collection pics and videos to remember and enjoy that I am not alone in how I feel. I have many toys that are opened for my kids to enjoy and I have a bunch hanging on their walls. But they don't really seem interested in action figures like I was. Its all ipads, youtube videos and video games. So maybe it is all dying out once we old fogies croak. And these in box toys can go to that great antique store in the sky... or a landfill with Atari games!

Luvs, T

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