This past weekend I had the fortune of visiting my folks back home for the 4th of July weekend. While home I decided to dig out two of my toy chests, giant plastic bins, with a hodgepodge of toys from every point in my life. My main intent was to photograph some of the more memorable items. Perhaps these toys are pretty kick ass, perhaps my nostalgia glasses are on full blast, but either way it was good to see some of them again.
For the most part most of my old toys are in pretty worn condition, some barely exist anymore. Take for instance what's left of my beloved Optimus Prime G2…
Poor guy. The key item of a Christmas morning long ago, it was the one toy I wanted and I didn't get it, until my parents handed me one last present.
I remember taking apart the trailer, not 100% sure why, but I think it was to get the little robot thingy free. Optimus himself took quite a beating from play, but never broke. Where he is today remains a mystery. Another toy I took apart was the Hess cop car. Hess toys are an interesting subject. From one prospective, they lit up, and lit up brilliantly. When it comes to their lights, they were more accurate, more detailed, and more well done than any other toy I can remember. On the other hand, they were boring, especially to a kid. No gimmicks, no crazy advertising campaign, no guns or lasers, none of that oooooh.
Of the three cop cars, I took one apart to look at the insides. I had intended to put everything back together but never did. Only three Hess trucks were found in my bins…
The brown one in the middle is the oldest of the three and one of the oldest toys I own. It’s from 1987, two years after my birth. I don’t remember much about it from back in the day, only that I was more jealous of a Friend’s Hess fire truck, which came out two years later. I haven’t the slightest clue why it’s turned yellow when the original was a nice white. I don't think it sat in direct sunlight for any extended period. Somewhere there are more Hess trucks. Another carrier for the other set of cars and a flat bed for that shuttle. Hess really jumped the shark when they released that shuttle. Although it didn’t help when they randomly released vehicles in a different scale during the 90’s.
For the most part all of my Matchbox/Hot Wheels are the same scale. There’s probably nothing special in my shoddy collection but the nostalgia is priceless. Countless minutes were spent playing with these guys in one way or another. I’m surprised, that after all these years, the wheels still operate fantastically. I wonder if they still make 'em like that today.
The wear on some should indicate their age and how much I played with them. More than any design aspect it was all about whether or not the car cruised along smoothly.
Another set of toys that got heavy wear were my Key Force cars. You remember those, right? Maybe this bitching commercial from the early 90's will remind you…
These guys were a lot of fun. I can’t decide which was my favorite, the cop car or the van/helicopter. These guys are in terrible condition. All the extra gadgets and missiles are long gone. I’m surprised I found keys for each type of car. Even more surprising is that I have a key that doesn’t fit any of them. Based on the commercial I think it’s for the bike. No idea where it’s gotten off to. In theory there should be another cop car in better condition hidden somewhere.
Also in good condition is this Micro Machines APC, hiding several micro machines inside!
Minus a few memories here and there, I don't recall these guys too much (tsss tsss or should I say micro memories tsss?). Micro Machines are really the epitome of innovative toy marking. When everyone was pushing bigger and more extravagant toys, in comes Galoob to convince us that smaller is better. And boy, did we buy ‘em. 1/44 gunpla modelers should get their hands on these, they’re apparently pretty close in scale.
Under the Micro Machine line Galoob also released Zbots. Like pogs, they came out of nowhere, and disappeared just as quickly, but never made the same impact.
Another fantastic commercial from the early 90’s. What a beautiful time that was. *cough* Anyhow, my collection is pretty awful…
I think all of the little guys are actually from Burger King happy meals. The missing parts of the big guy should be around somewhere. My main memory of Zbots was being jealous of some kid's collection during elementary recess. I remember he had three, which I think were white/blueish, that combined. Damn him!
I also found all but one of the great Exosquad robots I used to have. Sadly the one that’s missing was my favorite. Aside from one armor (not pictured) the ones I discovered are really shitty toys…
The larger one is suppose to walk on its own but really just shuffles around idiotically. It’s also a lot heavier, and with less cool gadgets than the main line, wasn’t nearly as fun to play with. Probably cost a fortune at the time too. The red one is as cheap as any toy can be. Two pieces of plastic joined together so that you could make it seem to walk forward by working it like a pair of scissors.
The main character of the show flew around in one of these…
It’s not an actual Exosquad kit, but a rerelease from not too long ago. As far as I can tell, except for a few color changes and the packaging, it’s the same as the original. Oddly enough this same figure, I picked up for $8, is selling out of box for $144 on eBay, while the original OoB is anywhere between $10 and $24.
These guys were really kick ass for the time. Who doesn’t love robots, bristling with weapons, detail, and semi-functional pistons?
Before I start to wrap things up, a couple of things for us anime fans from the end of the last millennium…
Those Trigun cards came with, I believe, only the first edition VHS releases. They’re the cover of the box in some sort of embossed/shiny foil. I remember going through a lot of trouble to keep them in good quality and collect them all. The card for The $$60,000,000,000 Man came free of charge from someone who knew my collection was one short. I’m not 100% sure of who or why, but I appreciate it to this day. For now I’ve decided to protect them in some cheap frames I picked up. I think it’d be nifty to get them properly framed and matted someday.
Those there are the Revoltech Evangelion figures from 1999/2000. I was thinking of selling them… until I started dusting them off. They’re pretty damn cool. Even figures this old are a must haves for modern Eva fans. I used to have the Mass Production unit as well but I kept that in its box and sold it off years ago.
That about summarizes my brief trip down memory lane. It’s entitled Part 1 as I’ll likely dig through some more boxes in my quest to rediscover and sort my past. If there’s one lesson from all of this, never throw away your toys. With any luck these will be around well after I’m gone.
Article, so not proofread.
Otaku Revolution is run by myself, Falldog, and long term associate PenguinTruth. We've had a few other contributors over the years as well, including Juu-kuchi and singled_out. It's been mainly just a place for our various nerd musings since 2008. At some point I thought it would be nifty to have a full blown anime site, but tallent and ambition aren't always hand in hand.
OtakuRevolution.com was born from another site, OtakuRevolution.net, which was a web forum and sprite comic site dating back to the early 2000s. I was a member at that time, and somehow snagged the .com TLD when it popped up. The Otaku Revolution name lives on in remembrance of that simpler time.