Hold on tight, because today I'm goin' off the rails on the nerd train folks!!! That being said...
I'm not really into toys. Well, a little bit. I have a weakness for certain toy franchises from my childhood.
GIJOE? Yep. I never really gave a toss for the vehicles, but some of those figures were just so damn cool. 2nd generation Snake Eyes? Oh yeah!
Transformers? No, not really, although I still have my original Metroplex City and a Galvatron figures displayed in our second bedroom (the music room) and there are a few things I remember having that stick out rather fondly in whatever that goopy part of our memory is that makes us go back and buy this kind of thing later. With Transformers it would mostly be some of the more obscure items that I remember having and that were later on in the original franchise's life and not utilized as much in the marketing, specifically figures like this:
I wouldn't go out of my way to own it, but I really appreciate how it looks and as with most of my toys, have NO idea where it went. If I found it at a garage sale or thrift store, I'd snap it up in a second.
Now, a much more volatile toy relationship from my childhood is the Masters of the Universe line (simply He-Man to most of us). I remember in the mid-90's when nostalgia for this first hit and I fondly remembered the cartoon - only to have someone lend me dubbed VHS copies of it and find out it was horrible! But as relatively cheesy as a lot of the toys look now, there is one item from the original He-Man line that occupies an almost unattainable level in my heart – Hordak's Evil Slime Pit (as opposed to the 'good' slime pit).
Dude, I got this thing in '85 or '86 and LOVED it! Then, despite the fact that the canisters of slime actually say NOT WATER SOLUBLE on them a neighbor kid added a bunch of water to it and ruined my slime!** It never got replaced and soon enough He-man started to seem silly.
Until... flash forward to somewhere around '97 or '98. I was in a band called The Schlitz Family Robinson with Mr. Brown and a few of my other (still) dear friends. Ebay had not yet become the cultural phenomenon that it would in short order and one of the guys in the band – we'll call him Mr. W – who was always the tech savvy one, started talking about finding collectibles with ebay's help. I immediately thought of slime and with Mr. W's help I ordered three sealed canisters of it for ~$20. In short order my slime arrived and one or two Schlitz practices were followed by drunken slime pit debacles. It was a bright time in the Universe's history, indeed!
Schlitz practiced in a studio apartment above my parents' garage. We lived in a suburb that was essentially still largely a forest-preserve and this made for ease with the volume affecting the slightly distant neighbors (until Hammerstock came around, but that's a tale for another time). There wasn't much furniture in the apartment, simply a 'kitchen' table and a fridge, the former perfect for my Tascam 464 portastudio and a stereo, the other for, of course, BEER! Well, beer and slime, as after my expenditure on ebay I relegated the strange substance to the back of said refrigeration unit. Now comes the dark days though folks, as at some point my father, who despite this story I Love and Respect to no end, found the slime in the fridge and threw it away.
Wait, let me repeat that last part for dramatic effect:
...found the slime in the fridge and threw it away!!!
Of course, when I asked him about this he looked at me in a slightly concerned, slightly uncomprehending way and simply said something like, "yeah, I found three can of green sticky shit in the fridge and threw it away. What did you want me to do with it?"***
I quickly forgot about it. As I said, shit like this is so peripheral to me – I'm not much of a collector (or maybe just a lazy one when it comes to anything but new beer experiences). But now, for some reason, Slime has reared its ugly head in my brain again and I'm scouring the internet for it and NOT BLOODY FINDING IT!
I'm NOT about to pay $100+ for a still-wrapped slime pit on ebay. All I want is the damn canisters! Just one measly slime canister... I mean, they used to sell the shit separately, remember this display?
I'm in the process of contacting paula cole's people - I'm thinking I could raise awareness of this slime drought if I can get her to perform her one hit song with the lyrics changed: 'Where have all the slime pits gone?" or something like that.
Ok, end Nerd Nervous Breakdown. Next blog should be appealing to people over the age of ten, I swear.
* It was actually really hard to link to a video of this First - I never would have guessed I would be lucky enough to find something like this on youtube (I don't go on it too much, so I'm still learning that – as everyone tells me – EVERYTHING is on the youtubes! Second, this one has great audio, but annoyingly devolves into some terrible hip-pop song after the initial commercial is over. The only other one I found had terrible audio. I went with this one, but recommend you just stop it before the shit begins.
** Can you believe I'm going on about this with all the more important shit in the world? Once every ten years or so I get a bug about something like this.
*** He said something similar when he threw away the giant 1-800-DIV-ORCE sign tat Mr. Brown, our friend Sonny and I stole off the Orange line (the El for non-Chicago residents) and covered in strobing christmas lights to use as a faux sponsor-backdrop at some shows.