Like most boys my age, even though I had a bunch of action figures, there were always a few that were my favorites. I would find ways of working them into every play scenario, or even take them with me when I would ride around with my parents. Unfortunately, it always seemed like these favorite toys were alway meeting with a tragic fate. 1. Super Powers Superman
Kenner's Super Powers is probably one of the most fondly remembered toy line from the 1980's. The figures were very well detailed for the time, and were almost exact likenesses of their comic book counterparts. Up until that point, I only knew of Superman from seeing the first movie and a bunch of the 1940's cartoons on VHS. I also had a couple of tattered Superman comics someone had given me, but at the time I was a bit too young to understand what was going on in them.
The Super Powers Superman was a gift from my grandmother, along with a set of Superman pajamas. As soon as I opened the box, I knew what I was going to be for Halloween*. There was just something about the character that fascinated me, and I held on to that figure for several years. Well, until Superman met his tragic end..You see, we had this dog named Rascal. He was half-chihuahua, half-terrier, all evil. He like to chew on things, more specifically things he wasn't supposed to chew on. Toys, table legs, fingers, etc..Well one morning I went with my mom to the grocery store, and hadn't put my toys away. When we came back home, I went upstairs to find Superman, staring up at me with one of his feet chewed off. I was devastated. I looked all around for Rascal, but he had gone into hiding. I guess he knew I was on the warpath. Even though he was ruined, I still couldn't bring myself to throw Superman away. Instead I just tossed him the deep, dark toybox and put his cape on another figure.
It wasn't until years later, when Toy Biz came out with their Super Heroes line that I was able to pick up another Superman figure. That was the figure that had a magnet in its chest, and came with a "Kryptonite" ring that also had a magnet in it. When you put the ring close to Superman, he would get pushed over. I loved this figure as well, and kept it for several years until it too met a tragic fate. Somehow Superman made it under my bean bag chair, and when I sat down I heard a loud "CRUNCH!
" I picked the bean bag up to find Superman, missing the bottom half of one of his legs. I guess I'm just not meant to have Superman figures.2. Transformers Jetfire
I actually picked up Jetfire from a yard sale, so he was missing most of his major pieces. That didn't stop me from making him one of my favorite Transformers though. In all honesty, I didn't like him because he was a Transformer. I liked him because I had just seen an episode of Robotech on VHS and he looked exactly one of the mechs in that series.** He was larger than most of the other Transformers I had, and more important to me at least, he was more poseable. Unfortunately, I didn't own him very long before I noticed that his hinges were starting to crack. I applied a generous portion of superglue, and things were fine for a while. Then one day I was changing him from one form to another, when he came apart in my hands. I scrambled around trying to find some glue, but it was over. his hinges were completely gone. I tossed him in the reject bin and went to sob in a corner. 3. G.I. Joe Duke v3
G.I. Joe was always one of my favorite toy lines growing up. I always liked the variety of the characters, as well as the large number of accessories many of them came with. Out of all the Joes, the two that I always considered my favorite were Snake Eyes and Duke. Unfortunately, I was never able to find a Duke figure where I lived, until the 1992 line came out. This wasn't long after Desert Storm, so of course Duke was decked out in desert camouflage, though I'm not sure how effective the red would be in a desert environment. Duke would go on to lead my Joes on mission after mission, until the day he was lost in battle.
It was a pretty windy day, and my friend and I decided we would make parachutes for our figures out of plastic shopping bags. Then we would toss the figure into the air and watch as it either crashed or floated gracefully to the ground. It was going well for a while, until my friend tossed Duke into the air. He must have caught an updraft, because he went higher than any of the other figures. I wasn't too worried until I noticed that he kept going higher and higher. Duke was also drifting out toward the large creek that was behind my house. I started picking up rock, sticks, anything I could throw to try and knock him down out of the sky. Unfortunately I threw like a girl, and Duke floated out to the middle of the creek before he finally crashed. I didn't have a boat back then, so there was no way I could have made it out there to recover him. All I could do was watch the beach over the next few days and hope he drifted back to my side, which he never did.4. My Buddy
I will admit that My Buddy never really met a tragic end, so much as cause some mild trauma to me as a child. It was a replacement for my old Raggedy Andy doll that had started to come apart at the seams. He used to just hang out with me, we'd go on adventures, that sort of thing. When I went to bed at night, My Buddy would be there, to keep me safe from whatever ghouls or monsters might be creeping around my house.
That all changed around 1989, when Child's Play came out on home video. You can't tell me the makers of that movie didn't know what they were doing when they came up with the look for Chucky. He looked exactly like the My Buddy doll, and that's where the trauma comes in. After that movie, I was never completely comfortable around My Buddy again. I always felt like he was watching me, and there were a few times I could have sworn I saw him move out of the corner of my eye. Then, one night I had a nightmare that My Buddy came to life and was chasing me around the house with a knife. When I woke up, I realized there was something on top of me. I opened my eyes to find myself face to face with My Buddy. I punched him as hard as I could, knocking him to the floor. My parents rushed in to see what was wrong, and found me crying in the bed, My Buddy laying battered in the floor.
That was the last time I slept with My Buddy, and whenever I found him on my bed, I would toss him in the floor. Not long after that, he was given away to Toys for Tots, so he could terrorize some other child.
Well, that about wraps up my first article. I hope you folks enjoyed it. I'm always open to criticism, so feel free to let me know what you think. The pics aren't mine, they're just whatever I could find on Google.
*My birthday is two days before Halloween.
** It wasn't until a couple years ago that I realized that Jetfire was actually one of the toys from Macross rebadged for the Transformers line.