When I was a kid, I was an only child. And thus, I was spoiled. And I was spoiled at probably the best time for a kid to spoiled at. The 80s. Now there are children of the 70s that'll disagree, but the fact remains that they would be wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, absolutely brimming over with wrongablity. Now that I have settled that with rock solid proof, let's move on.
Now even as a spoiled brat there were still toys that eluded my greedy little grasps as a toy hungry youth in Regan's America. Of course when we look back, we always remember the things we didn’t have more then the things we did. So keeping that in mind I present the top 5 things I always wanted for Christmas, but never got.
Ok, if you don't know what MASK is let me break it down for you. MASK was a toy line of everyday cars and trucks that kind of "transformed" into other things like fighter jets and tanks. Each vehicle came with a little action figure that drove it and that action figure came with a Mask that gave the person special powers. It was basically Kenner trying to cash in on Transformers and G.I. Joe at the same time, and it was awesome.
I had a lot of MASK stuff, including all of the first "wave" of vehicles. All, that is, except Boulder Hill. I don't know how much this thing cost back in the day. How much things cost wasn't of much concern to a six year old. The more pressing concern for me was how big a fit would I have to throw to get it. But, no amount of fit throwing could get me Boulder Hill. No this was a job for the mightiest of all supreme beings.....Santa.
I don't know what Christmas this was...86 more then likely. But the big day came and went and no Boulder Hill. I kept getting MASK stuff for awhile, but had dropped the line before that Split Seconds stuff came out. Didn't much care for it. I never remember seeing a Boulder Hill at a garage sale or anything after that. And even in the late 90s when I flirted with collecting MASK, I was still never able to locate one. To this day this is an item that as eluded me and that just makes me want it all the more.
If you don't know what the Transformers are....then you must be living under a rock. Everyone knows the Transformers, but what the little kid running around with an Optimus Prime voice changing mask over his head doesn't know is that he owes me. Me and every other boy between the ages of 5-12 in the 80s that made this toy line huge. That's right you owe me...BIG TIME!
Now being born in 1980, I was only 4 when the Transformers hit the market. So I didn't have a lot the earlier guys. I think a had a Hound, Grimlock, Snarl, and Seaspray and Warpath from the premovie days, and that was it. I had a ton of Transformers after that, even had one or two Action Masters laying around. But I never had the original Optimus Prime.
I think maybe the reason I didn't get this one is because I most likely asked for it around like 86-87. This was a time when the original Prime was no longer sold as he was killed off in the movie by Megatron and Rodimus Prime was being shoved down our collective throats, but before Powermaster Prime showed up. I did end up with an Ultra Magnus, which was like a white prime, but never got I the original.
Since then I've had a couple of Primes. I found one in a Flea Market and scooped him up, but he was missing a lot stuff including the fists, which anyone that has owned a Prime knows those never made it through a childhood. Later I ended up with a G2 Prime as well, but the magic just wasn't there. Hasbro has recently offered a reissue of this guy, but at a 60 dollar price tag and smoke stacks cut short to meet American safety regulations, it just isn't the same.
To say I had a lot of Joes, would be a an understatement. I had a massive amount of Joes. I think the fact that they only ran a couple of bucks at Wal-Mart was the reason for this. It was a nice cheap toy that would keep me happy and content for the rest of the day. Now this huge bulk of actual Joe figures didn't translate into a huge bulk of vehicles and play sets to go along with them. I'm guessing the jump in price was enough that they put themselves out of "Here kid...now shut up." range. They might also have been cheap enough to put them out of acceptable Christmas present range. Although I think I would have taken a crap load of Joe vehicles over a few larger gift...or even over cloths. That's a thought.
The Terrordrome however was well within Christmas present range. I remember the first time I saw a drome in person. It was at a K-Mart and they had a lot of the toys on display, and this was time before they had to put them in Plexiglas boxes so people wouldn't steal them. So I got to look it over real good and actually play with it a little. After about 5 minutes of that I had made up my mind I had to have one these, and so on the Christmas list it went...and then I didn't get it. You know thinking back, this might have also been 86, same year as Boulder Hill. You'd think I would have got one or the other. In fact seeing Boulder Hill next to the Terrordrome should have meant I was a shoe in for Boulder Hill. I mean it was big and expensive, but it wasn't no Terrordrome. This is another toy that has eluded me to this day. I'd love to have one, if for nothing else just to get to play around with again.
Of all the toy lines that came out of the 80s, Masters of the Universe was probably my favorite then and now. I still have all the figures I had as a kid (something that cannot be said for Transformers of G.I.Joe. The show was a daily watch for me, sometimes more then once as it showed on at least two different channels in the afternoon here. I loved MOTU. So of course this toy line was a mainstay of Christmas mornings at my house. In fact one of my most cherished Christmas Memories was pulling a Man-At-Arms out of my stocking on Christmas morning. Other Christmas presents from this line included Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain
It wasn't until after I had acquired what I consider to be the best play set for the 80s, Castle Grayskull, that Point Dread and the Talon Fighter started to creep into my mind. In fact I think the major selling point was the fact that it connected to the Castle it's self. It also held two figures. If you know anything about vintage MOTU you know that hardly any vehicles held more then one figure at a time. So even though the windraider showed up a lot more in the toon, the Talon Fighter was the one I wanted.
But of course like all the other toys on the list, I never got this toy. This one does seem to sting a little. Since out of the 5 toys on this list I got 2 of them latter in life, and other two while cool to have, fell into the "oh well." category, but not Point Dread and the Talon Fighter. This is still a toy I look for when I go into a flea market, or hit up a garage sale. And even though it didn't take the number one spot, mainly cause of the Holy Grail like status of number 1 in my childlike mind, it is probably the one that stuck with me as the most bitter sweet of not getting it.
1. The MillenniumFalcon
This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that was a kid during the late 70s, early 80s. This was THE toy from THE toy line. Now I didn't have a lot of SW figures when I was a kid, a fact I made up for in my adult life by having them in spades. I was on the tale end of the craze as I wasn't born when the original SW came out, and too young for The Empire Strikes back. Return of the Jedi was my first Star Wars film I saw on the big screen (well I only saw about 1/8 of it as I hide behind my seat for all of the Jabba/Rancor stuff) and thus my first toy line was the Return of the Jedi Line as well. The figures I remember having where guys like Wicket and Princess Leia in Endor Gear as well as the ESB hold overs Removable Limb C-3PO and Sensorscope R2-D2. An Imperial Shuttle Pod made it's way into my home as well. But the Falcon didn't appear on my radar as an actual want till one fateful day.
We were out of town, I don't know where as my mom dragged me to hundred different places to visit a hundred different dying relatives in my youth. So I have no clue what city I was in. What I do remember was we were eating at a Wendy's. Which was crazy for me at the time we didn't have one in my hometown. The grown folk where talking so of course I was bored. My eyes wandered out the window and into the parking lot of the shopping center that lay behind the fast food joint. And that was when I saw it. Some lucky kid just a few years older then I was escorting his dad to his car with great care, and that care was not for his fathers well being. Oh no...it was for what he had in his hand. You guessed it the Millennium Flacon.
Now as a kid this box looked HUGE to me. I mean massive, like I was sure they were going to get it in the car big. It looked literally larger the life. You can imagine much later in life when I came across actual boxed examples how shocked I was at the size. Still big, but not like the huge mass of box I remembered. I really think I didn't get this one just because of how little Star Wars stuff I had as a kid. Of course I eventually got this one, in fact I currently have 5 Falcons. Two Vintage, 1 POTF2 loose, 1 POTF2 Boxed, and the recently released BMF Falcon. So I think I made up for not getting this, but I will never forget the sight I saw outside that Wendy's window that day.
Anyway...I hope you enjoyed this look into my childhood and get ready for KUNG FU FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE: PART 3, that should be up shortly.
See you next time, on the frontline.