Falling Short

When the parents get the wrong one.
June 02, 2011
This is my first time writing here and I have to say it is intimidating. There have been so many fabulous articles about so much nostalgia that I had a hard time choosing a topic. One thing I have not seen (at least recently) has been the longing and frustration of the child with oblivious parents that bought whatever was on hand and not what their child desired. I mean… I'm not saying I was one of those kids or something, but uhhh…
Okay, you got me. I was sooo one of those kids. My parents were the worst gift givers of all time. I will begin with the first set of G. I. Joes I received for Christmas. In 1982 my hopes had been set high. I had spent several months prepping the parents for the unveiling of the most incredible toy since Stretch Armstrong. G. I. Joe: Snake Eyes

I had so hoped for this toy with his ninja-like guise and mysterious presence. I dreamed of the great things we wold accomplish together. Maybe even the eventual takeover of the world! The day had finally drawn near. The highly anticipated Christmas morning was here. Imagine my wonder and glee as I awoke to find not one, but two Joes under the tree, but to my disappointment, no Snake Eyes. Instead I got Breaker and Grunt.

These were the worst of the G. I. Joe line at the time. This was not much better than a larger scale of the little green army men you got in a bucket from Kmart.

I mean really. Lame if you ask me.

Now understand, I played with those characters and thank goodness I had friends with well trained parents that loved their children or I would never have had the chance to play with the most intriguing character in the Joe line. I did get other “nameless” Joes, but never the ONE. And this madness did not stop here. Oh no, this was only the beginning.

Soon Mattel came out with another fabulous toy line called Masters of the Universe.

With this line there were two I wanted to get my hands on: He-Man and Skelator.

And of course, as you may have guessed, I TOLD my parents and even circled the Sears catalog entries. (Which I am still not sure why they even bothered to give me since they were never going to even consider the toys I circled , but chose to go with the more obscure characters of the line. Pure sadism I tell you.) The one I got was Stratos.

Now what was I to do with one Stratos and a small army of Joes (all of them nameless I tell you)? I guess he could have been air transport to help in the battle against... Oh yeah, there was no enemy still. Cobra was not even a part of the picture yet. The closest they (the sadistic parents) got to the right character(s) was when Faker came along.

This hybrid hero was a poor excuse for a Universe Master. Did the catalog He-Man have blue skin? Seriously folks, this was a disaster. Being as things were though, I had to make due. Well sort of. Truth being, when the line came out there was no real knowledge of who was the main good and the main bad. So I made Stratos the bad guy and "He-Fake" the good guy. I did get two of my favorites Beast Man and Tri-clops soon after. Those I played with religiously. Alas, no He-Man or Skelator.

The only case where they came through (I guess they had to throw me a bone somewhere) was in the Star Wars Line.

I did get the cool Luke Skywalker with the Lightsaber coming out of his hand. Princess Lea and well, as for Han, I got the Hoth version.

He will do.

Eventually the parents eased into mainstream characters. And I admit that I was a little spoiled. Maybe the parents weren't the "worst" gift givers. They may have blown it on the front end of purchasing a new line of toys, but they did okay in the end.I will go into detail of the favorites of my youth in other articles. That is, if you'll have me.lol Thanks for the opportunity to share my "retro" with you!
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