Ralph Wiggum put it best when he said, “Fun toys are fun!” That they are, Ralph, that they are. So we asked you to take a look back at your childhood and the fun times you had with your fun toys and tell us which of those toys was your favorite. Hart and Dagger are first, then our readers’ responses, then after that you can all enjoy the day off and play with your toys.
Hart: Picking just one toy as my favorite was no easy task. Just looking around my living room and seeing an Andy Kaufman, Homer Simpson, Run DMC, and Black Jesus action figures so I knew this would take some thought. So I went into my closet and pulled out the two bins filled with my action figures and started to rummage through. Then I got distracted as Spider Man and The Incredible Hulk teamed up to fight The Kingpin and Juggernaut. Then all hell broke loose as the Terminator showed up and shot the hell out of the place.
So as picked up the mess I just made, and I knew my answer had to be an action figure, but which one would it be? When I was younger my cousin and I would spend hour upon hour cooped in my room playing with these actions figures. We had He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, and Marvel Comics. We had a selection from each of those groups that we created back stories for. Everyone had their own clique. We basically had these toys living a soap opera life, but with more fighting.
If I had to choose just one these characters as my favorite, I think it would have to be Wolverine. Wolverine wasn’t even my favorite super hero, but there was something about this toy that was just so great. Maybe it was just the bright colors, or the snarled face, or the fact that he had those claws. He was the main focal point of my stories when my cousin and I played. I’m sad to say though my story lines were never quite as cool as they were in the comic books, and later the movies. I guess that’s why I write for CJS and not Marvel comics.
Dagger: I grew up with a shitload of action figures. My first big collection was He-Man. There’s a video of my 4th birthday party at my parents’ house, and as I open the gifts, you’ll see I get most excited about Skeletor vehicle Land Shark , He-Man vehicle Attack Trak and Fisto’s horse Stridor. By the way, try typing “Fisto’s horse” into Google and check out what kind of crazy ass porn comes up. Gross.
And while my love of those He-Man figures is not to be denied, they’re not my all-time faves. I had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joes, DC Comics figures, and many others, but I spent most of my time with Hasbro’s WWF figures. These guys were about 4 inches tall and had special moves unlike the giant LJN rubber wrestlers I had as an even younger kid. As I got older, my collection grew and somewhere in my old room is a big tin full of about 80 or so of these guys just waiting to be played with again. I’d like to say it’s been nearly two decades since I busted them out, but I’m not proud to admit that I finally got bored with them at the tender age of 19. Does that make me a loser?
Yes. Yes, it does.
But c’mon, look how much fun these guys look! And who can resist the charms of the batshit insane Macho Man? Every time WWF made a new commercial, I got perhaps inappropriately excited. I remember getting a call from CJS Regular Dzayson about his recent trip to K-B Toys where he found Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Razor Ramon, Yokozuna and Giant Gonzalez all together – five figures I didn’t even know they made. I begged my mom to take me there the next day after school, and as the total ran to about $45, I asked her to advance my allowance for the next two months and buy them. She did, and I didn’t get another dime from her for the following 9 weeks. I didn’t care, and it was money well spent.
But playing with these guys served another purpose. Since this was wrestling, you need good storylines as well as the desire to play with little plastic guys. So I filled two notebooks with ongoing storylines from the main event to the opening match. I’d draw the logo of each big event (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Summerslam, etc.) at the top of the page and lay out the card like you’d see on the back of the VHS boxes. The following pages would include results and key plot points that happened between pay-per-views. It was a fabulous creative writing exercise and fantasy fulfillment because unlike the WWF, I always paid off my storylines and got to see my favorite guys become champion.
If the WWF followed my storylines, I might still be watching them.
Super heroes and wrestlers, couple of nerds here at CJS, but you probably already knew that. All that’s missing are some Star Wars figures. Let’s see if some of our regulars will nerd this up more, or save us from further geekdom.
Maristredfox: I was born in 1978, so I lived through the Golden Age of Action Figures. I had He-Man, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, StarCom, Fisher-Price Adventure People, Little People, Weebles, Transformers, Voltron, and a rather obscure toy line called ManTech.
But the KING, the GRANDDADDY, the GODFATHER of all action figure lines was, of course, Star Wars. I never had the big-ass items like the Death Star or Millennium Falcon, but I still had a ton of figures, vehicles and playsets. I had the Ewok Village. I had Dagobah. I had the awesome Taun-Taun that you could stick Luke into. I probably spent more time with those toys than I did with other kids (at least judging by my social skills when high school rolled around).
Unfortunately, they were loaned/given to a family friend for her kids to play with and when we asked for them back, they accidentally gave the whole collection to charity. I’m telling you, I would have either an awesome collection on display right now or absolutely zero debt.
I tried to recreate my childhood joy with the Star Wars toys that came out in the 90s, but it wasn’t the same. For one thing, I didn’t take them out of the box because they were “collector’s items,” so what’s the point? They sat in my dad’s basement for ten years until I just said “Fuck it” and sold the whole lot for $500 (which helped me get a MacBook, so I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.)
It didn’t take long to find someone to throw in the Star Wars factor and keep the nerd train rolling along. Now, how about some fun from Denmark! What are we talking about? Read on and find out.
Flickerbock: Maybe it is because of the practice of confessing every week, but these things are getting way, way easier! Without a doubt, my favorite toy growing up was Legos. And yes, I still have them all to this day. I can remember dumping every piece I owned onto my bedroom floor and creating things for hours. Cars, buildings, spaceships, planes, whatever my imagination wandered to that day. Looking back, it is pretty easy to see how I morphed into an engineer professionally. I basically am playing with grown up Legos now (in a sense) any time I am designing something. Thanks for a great confessional topic this week. I may have to bust out my Legos for a while to see what sort of awesomeness I can create at 26!
Deuce: My favorite toys growing up were always Legos. It was always enjoyable to build and rebuild and create something new. What will it be today? A house, a car, a submarine that look like a pyramid??? The sky’s the limit. We (my sister and I) only had a few of the actual pre-designed play sets, most of our Legos were in the big tub and just generic pieces. I did enjoy our small castle and our Robin Hood tree house, but overall I think the generic pieces were better to have. That way I never cared if what I built got destroyed when I dropped it down the stairs, you’d just build something new. Now that little Trey is around, I anxiously look forward to the day that he outgrows the Duplos and we can play with real Legos together.
Having a child, the ultimate excuse to play with all your old toys again. But if you don’t have a kid and want to play with your old toys, we say go for it. We won’t judge. We may ask if we can come play though.
Don’t have a child or toys to play with? How about playing with a dog or a cat? That can always be fun, but which do you choose? This week we are asking you to help us settle the age old debate: Are you a “dog person” or a “cat person?” Give us plenty of justification for this and let us know – dogs or cats? Only one can rule while the other drools, so throw in your two cents.
We want to know more about all our readers. So don’t hold back. If you haven’t confessed, or it’s been awhile, or even if you did it last week, we want to hear from you. Don’t be shy and send us your response, along with your posting name to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put them up next week.
Hart and Dagger
07 Sep 2009 CJS Staff