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The Longing for Lost Toys

July 22nd, 2010 by D.Billy

This little tableau was one of the first photographs that I ever took — maybe around age 12 — with my very first camera, a cheap plastic Vivitar 110:

Skeletor Crew

It shows three Masters of the Universe figures that belonged to my brother and I — Jitsu, Tung Lashor (in the Land Shark) and Battle-Damage Skeletor — lined up against the wood panel & linoleum backdrop of the trailer-with-added-rooms that we grew up in, and I f*cking LOVE IT.

I remember the spot where this photo was taken, and I remember that just down the hall under our bunk beds, and under the desk in my father’s “office” there were plastic tubs and wooden boxes of other action figures and vehicles… Transformers, G.I. Joe, Hot Wheels, Marvel Secret Wars, DC Super Powers, M.A.S.K., M.U.S.C.L.E., Battle Beasts, Centurions, and probably others that I’m forgetting. We also had a giant-sized bin of LEGO blocks, all jumbled in together like an 8-bit plastic gumbo. I can remember the feel of the blocks’ corners and the shooshing, tinkling sound as I rummaged through them looking for just one more clear red dot to cap off the wing of my spaceship.

We still have a few of these things in a closet at my mother’s house. (Or we will until I steal them this summer. Heads up, Mom.) But the bulk of them were given away to our nephews or other kids-of-friends-of-the-family, and from what I hear, many were promptly broken. (*single tear*)

So in pining for my lost clumps of cast plastic and rubber, I decided to fire up the group nostalgia engines. I asked my fellow contributors Jeff, Brad and Cyndi if they had any thoughts along these lines to share, and indeed they did…

CYNDI:
“Where did my Dawn Dolls go? In 1960′s and 1970′s. My friends and I had all the accessories, The Dawn Disco, The Dawn, Beauty Pageant. We would take our Dawn dolls with us for play dates and so my Dawn doll got out and partied. My dawn doll enjoyed the fine art of strip tease – after I saw Gypsy. My accessory? A Dawn Doll purse. It was a plastic purse that had compartments for Dawn (with a sliding window so she could breathe) and room for her clothes. Plus a section in back for your wallet etc. Here is an amazing promo video that was probably used in trade shows that shows it all!:

Where did they go? I’ll never know. I imagine that great doll disco in the sky.”

BRAD:
“I don’t have a lost toy story… but there was a giant box of Peanuts books, those $1:50 (in the late seventies/early eighties) mass market size, pulp books of comic strips.

Every time we would go anywhere, garage sales, grocery store, Wal-Mart, I would beg my Mom to buy me one of these. By the time I was in high school and not reading them anymore, there were about three hundred of these in a cardboard box. By the time I was in my twenties and old enough to be nostalgic for them, that box was gone and nobody knew what happened to it. I still look for it when I go home.”

JEFF:
“I’ve had this Han Solo since 1981/1982. Chewbaccas came and went. I once lost a Chewbacca in the yard and found him a year later, his arms and legs turned green. Now he’s gone.

photo.jpg

I was fiddling with this photo while listening to Slint’s ‘Good Morning Captain’, and started imagining Hoth Han here as the ‘captain’ in the song, sending a message via a dying camera to a lost Chewbacca.”

What about you, readers? Drop your nostalgia in the comments.

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