Stuff. I’ve found it. We’ll start with this Tony the Tiger baseball because it’s not an awesome collectible or ridiculously rare holy grail. It’s just a random proofs-of-purchase send-away item from the late eighties. It’s just a random baseball. And yet I’ve wanted it my entire life.
I guess it was just one of those things I got hyper-focused on as a kid. I saw it advertised on the back of my Frosted Flakes box and suddenly nothing else mattered. I wanted this baseball so bad. People, I need caps-lock to properly emphasize this. SO BAD. I had dreams about it at night. And I guess I didn’t get it because my parents didn’t feel like buying sixty more boxes of Frosted Flakes or whatever it took.
My friend actually had this baseball and I even thought about stealing it from him. And it would have been the perfect crime, because he was the kind of kid who was always losing his stuff. I plotted the evil scheme for days, but eventually I decided Santa or God or the Easter Bunny would find out.
I don’t even know how or why I’ve managed to carry this memory into adulthood. It’s not like my parents didn’t bend over backwards to instill happy memories and fulfilling experiences into my life. But when I saw the ball at a yard sale last weekend, I handed over a dollar for it without hesitation, even if I felt a little sheepish about it. The random-ass-Frosted-Flakes-baseball-shaped-hole in my heart is filled in. I hope you understand.
And here’s Stridor, another piece to add to my junky Masters of the Universe corner in my basement. Seriously, I have the saddest MOTU collection there is. Figures with missing arms, paint chips missing, and not a single He-Man figure. Well, except for a random bootleg bendy He-Man who’s uncomfortably naked except for painted-on red underwear, and yet I don’t mind. I hope you understand.
Next, here are some garden-variety water-squirting toys. The Spit Balls are from 1988, and the other is a Street Shark, which is my pet favorite oddball Ninja Turtles rip-off from the 90s.
Found Robie the Robot. Robie was a mechanical bank sold at Radioshack that especially bombarded the shelves around the holiday season. Old Radioshack robots rule. Too bad this Robie doesn’t work. I nabbed him for only a quarter so it’s not a big deal. Besides, his motor gears always sounded as though he was on the verge of breaking, even when he was in brand-new condition.
The Ninja Turtles Movie Storybook. Which I honestly attempted to sit down and read straight through. I made it to page two before giving up my noble venture, and then I just looked at the pictures.
Star Wars Pop Up Books from the late 70s and early 80s. Most of the pop-ups and action tabs are intact. And when they aren’t, it’s totally okay because you find alternative-universe storylines like this:
Darth Vader fighting a puddle of poo. That was my favorite part of the movie.
The Mother of All Supersoakers, the CPS 3200. This thing is like a bazooka. It’s so big, the water had to stored in an over-the-shoulder seven-liter sling, which unfortunately is missing. As much as I’d love to rig up some kind of hose/water thing to get this thing working, instead I sold it on eBay for $55.
This amazing 1980s Star Tours hat from the Disney ride.
And finally, a Donny Osmond coloring book. Come on, you’d buy it, too, for fifty cents.
Also, bonus annotations from either an older brother or a spurned-fan:
I hope you understand.