Transmission Date: Dec. 20 2012
Top 10 best Xmas presents ever!Everyone has their favorite memories of Xmas morning and opening those cool toys that many of us wish we still had. Strap in Heroes we are on the way back to 10 different Xmas days in the life of your narrator. Enjoy!
10. The Power Glove: What has not been said about the Power Glove? the commercials, the comic book ads, the Movie “The Wizard” and praised the virtues of this revolutionary new glove that would change the face of gaming..the POWER GLOVE for the NES system. The glove promised to replace the controller and put power right literally in your hands. It did..somewhat. The Power Glove looked cool. I mean this thing was the talk of the room when people would come over during Xmas. I was proud of my Power Glove..as well I was the ONLY one of my friends with it! The Xmas it debuted this thing was in low supply. No stores in my town had any. It came down to one late night viewing of the Home Shopping Network in Canada that my mother scored me one of these bad boys. I was literally jumping up and down at receiving this gift then I played it.
The Glove came packed with a sensor bar that was to be velcroed to the side of your TV and could adjust to fit any TV set of the day. It also came with a code book that contained many codes from the most popular titles the NES had in its library. You could strap this thing to your arm and enter the code and you were ready to `Play with Power. The Glove was a dud. It was very limited in range and would drop out regularly if you went out of range of the sensors on your tv. The trick was to open up the senors as far as possible even if you had a small TV to broaden your range and eliminate drop out. It was not uncommon for the game code to drop out altogether and you would have to stop mid game and clumsily plug in the code in the key pad that rested on the sleeve of the glove.
The Movie the Wizard deceptively showed a young child using the glove for the game Rad Racer and I will admit to watching that scene more than a hundred times but after two days with the Glove and using that same game Rad Racer I quickly discovered that holly magic had made the Glove appear like something other than what it was. Clumsy, choppy, and unreliable. Shame cause I still love my Power Glove but its much better sitting in its box than in use. There is nothing quite like strapping it on for the first time.
9. Stretch Monster: For those who did not have a Stretch Armstrong toy in the very late 70s and early 80s than you really missed out. Stretch Armstrong was a super hero who could stretch great lengths and wrap himself around anything. One problem with Stretch was that he was alone. He was a one man universe that is until his nemesis was created and launched into retail stores. Stretch Monster was mean, he was green and he was incredibly HEAVY. The Armstrong toys were filled with a green gelatinous substance which weighed a small ton and made these toys difficult to manipulate right out of the box.
It was a real treat to play with both figures at one time. You could twist pull, and tug these figures. If you grabbed these figures by their arms you could actually stretch them quite far. I was very proud of my Stretch Armstrong and when I got my Stretch Monster to complete the set I was overjoyed. I played with these figures a lot..so much so That Stretch Armstrong began to show cracks under his arms and his green ooze began to seep out and finally lead Armstrong to an early grave. Stretch Monster seemed to last substantially longer but met his demise on show and tell day at elementary school. I still have not completely forgiven Trent for over stretching Monster and almost ripping his arm off. I did ever thing I could to repair him but the material that the figure was made up of was unrepairable. R.I.P. Stretch and Monster you were good friends.
8. GI Joe Skystriker:Let me say this. There was no a better toy line in the 1980s than GI Joe. The Joes waged war against terrorist group numero one..COBRA! The GI Joe line was extensive and featured some of the best action figures and vehicles, the best of which was the SkyStriker. The toy was a massive, was a white fighter jet that was loaded with missles. It also came with a unique figure only to the Jet named Ace who was equipped with two parachutes! Friggin awesome are the only words appropriate for this toy. It was very large and cumbersome at times to play with but it was a center piece to any action figure fan. You knew shit was about to go down if I busted out my SkyStriker.My satisfaction exploded with this toy when it was accompanied by its nemesis, Cobras answer to the SkyStriker was the Rattler. When these to vehicles waged air combat it was sure to be a great time. GI Joe was hot and so was its robust toy and comic book line. Cool features included pop out wings, it was fully loaded with missles, and featured a cool interior cockpit and ejector seat. If you can find one intact online for a decent price..hell even one for a super over the top expensive price tag, just buy this bad boy. It will not dissapoint. In an unrelated incident my Ace figure just recently died i action (broke) while on duty near my washer and dryer in the hands of my 4 year old son. Yo Joe!
7.Mego KISS Gene Simmons Demon. 1980 I was very young and had no idea who KISS was. What I did know was that this figure I got for one of my first Xmas gifts was crazy looking and looked awesome. Plus he went well with my Bionic Man collection and was a great heel to Steve Austin. It would be years after when this toy was long gone in the trash I discover what I really had. First I loved MEGO figures. I had SpiderMan, Batman, Superman, and Robin. This one however was massive. It was Barbie size and was dressed in a chain mail like clothing, with shiny silver boots and crazy hair. I called him simply Kiss.
I fell out of favor quickly with the Kiss doll as parts of the costume began to fall apart. Gene had a chain on his figure that just didnt want to stay on the toy. The boots ripped easily and soon Demon looked like he was on skid row minus a pot to piss in. Looking back at pictures though this toy stood out as easily one of my bragging rights and would be more appreciated years later especially when one of my first records happened to be Kiss Love Gun!
6. Weebles haunted House. This may seem like a wild card pick but this house kicked some serious ghost like butt. The House itself was plently of Weeble fun. Weebles were weighted egg shaped characters who could not tip over as they were designed to always bounce back up. The Weebles playsets were always well designed. I was lucky enough to have the Jungle Tree House and of course The haunted house. The house was very portable but when it opened up it was great. It had a hidden wall. A fun house mirror revolving bookcase. A chimney that acted as a slide to another floor. It also came with a glow in the dark ghost weeble.
The Weebles I honestly could have cared less for however the house was a playset for my massive GI Joe and Star Wars collections. Many scary adventures played out in those hallowed halls. At the time in my town there were very few places to actually shop and you were limited as to what you could buy without traveling to the city to hit the big box stores but that could be pretty costly. Well it seems that Santa shopped at a place called `Loveless and Sons which carried a back load of different toys. I knew that because I was brought there as a kid and asked quite bluntly if I liked this toy or that toy, not putting two and two together that I was agreeing to my own Christmas list. I chose wisely at a young age! Got some wicked Fisher Price stuff that trip too! Self High Five!
5. Transformers Megatron Mega friggin tron. Early Transformers were some of the coolest hard to find toys of the 80s. Megatron is no different. Megatron is in his original gun format and not the stupid helicopter of the movie fame. These are now collectors items and at the time as well Transformers had not began to air as a cartoon in our market as Go-Bots had been the robots in disguise of choice that my fave tv network choose to carry. I did see the commercials and I knew all about transformers from catalogues, and toy shelves at our two discount stores in our town. One Xmas morning I woke up to that bad boy and I was pumped.
Megatron is an impressive looking gun. Shiny silver, with a sick Decepticon logo on the side as well. Megatron came with a weird attachment that hooked on to the back of the gun that was really of no use. It extended the gun but servered no real use and to my knowledge was never seen in the show. The Transformation process was ackward as well. Megatron was incredibly difficult to turn into robot mode and once he was back into gun form parts such as his leg would easily disengage. Megatron did NOT look like his cartoon counter part at all and when transformed looked like he had a giant trigger unit between his legs that stood out prominently. The guns scope acted as a giant arm cannon for the toy. I still loved it..or at least consistently reminded myself that I should. Megatrons legs after constant use became loose and Megatron lost the ability to stand up and has long been sentenced to the Charlton Hero glue factory for toys.
4. Robotech Figure Collection. Robotech was one of my all time favorite TV cartoons. The toy line however was not something easy to come by in my town during the mid 80s. In fact there was NO Robotech merchandise of any sort available in any store in my location. One of the big xmas events in our town was the arrival of the Sear Xmas catalogue, aka “The Wish Book”. THese toys appeared for one year only and never returned. Robotech in my town was rare. To like the show was considered fringe because Anime back in 1986 had not become popularized as it is today. Robotech to many of my friends was the cartoon where everyone had big eyes and big hair and their dialogue was out of sync with the mouths of the characters. I loved it. It was my soap opera and better than any cartoon I had ever watched.
So I discovered the mother load carefully hidden in my spare bedroom weeks before Xmas and would often sneak a look at the toys every chance I got. I could not wait to get these figures. I had every one of the figures available, plus a Bioroid, and a Robotech Masters battle tank. Even though I ruined my surprise for Xmas it didnt matter cause now my GI Joes had some extra fire power! The Joes with the help or Rick, Roy, Max, Scott, and Zor took on the Zentradi several times over that Xmas even leading to wanna be Zentradi leader Kyrhon doing a suicide run of my GI Joe headquarters. Fun times. These figures looking back were very basic and most of them shared the same mold. They did not hold their guns properly and the joints went loose very quickly. But it was one of the best figure lines I could remember from my childhood. Thank you Matchbox..I am still waiting on that Veritech. If anyone has one and wants to give it away I will accept free donations..LOL.
3. Snake Mountain: Skeletors answer to Castle Grey Skull. This was an eye catching piece if there ever was one and my interest in He-Man was at an all time high. I had almost the full line with the glaring exceptions of Merman and Man At Arms!?? I had Castle Grey Skull but battles in that set were getting old. In fact He-Man itself was on a personal down turn in terms of my interest until Snake Mountain. Complete with large Snakes , a jail cell and a moving Snake head mouth in the middle of the set. It was neat compact and its best feature was its own built in boom mic which allowed the players to speak in a deep scary echo like tone. That feature was the drawing card for all my friends.
I still have this set and it is an amazing toy that seems to catch any kid who sees it. Even though my He-Man collection has dwindled over the last 15 years this set always brings me back to Eternia where men were men and the evil forces of Skeletor ran wild!
2.The Giant Size MR. T Doll. The A-Team was an incredible show in the 80s. Our heroes of the Los Angeles under ground were hotter than hell and none hotter than Mr. T himself! He played B.A. Barackas, the muscle behind the A-Team with a big fear of flying. Mr. T was known for his style. He had a serious mowhawk, he wore overalls with big white sports socks and buried himself in gold. Mr. T was a massive TV icon who could not be missed on TV during the 80s. With his signature line “I pity the fool” T resonated with TV audiences of the day.A-Team experimented with several variations of action figures. They had all sizes from your standard GI Joe size set, to the bigger He-Man size collection. Then came the Giant Sized Mr. T.
This toy was amazing. It did all things a regular action figure could do and was loaded with accessories. The T doll suffered the same fate as the Kiss Demon mentioned above as there were no other figures released. It was not a official A-Team toy even though it was featured with the A-team figures on Toy shelves. So Mr T. became a wrestler in my fantasy wrestling league with a bunch of my large LJN wrestling figures. Still poor Mr. T was too big. Eventually, his overalls would fall apart, earrings went missing, and to the closet went T. This doll is still somewhere naked and alone. Sad the rest of the A-Team were never made as this would have been an impressive collection. The You tube video below is kind of sad as two boys play with the giant sized Mr T very ackwardly. Really what do you do with him? Still damn cool and one of my faves.
1.The Death Star Space Station. Bar None the BEST Toy I ever got for Xmas in the VERY early 80s. I had not seen Star wars at that point but had seen clips, I had the toys and even a few comics. As said before stores that carried a good selection of toys were few and far between and I didnt even realize this toy existed. As I opened it I can remember the shock. I was amazed. The box was big under the Xmas tree and never in my dreams did I think it was a Star Wars toy! I had all the toys from that year, Luke , Han, Leia, C3P0, Chewbacca, Vader, Storm Troopers you name them I had them. Now I had the grandest stage of them all, the fuckin Death Star. Sorry about the profanity but its applicable in this case!
The Death Star was immense three levels of fun. It had all the good scenes built in from the movie, The Trash compactor with trash monster and loads of foam pieces that resemble trash. It had a huge elevator. It had a deck where Luke and Leia could swing across just like the movie! It had the giant cannon..this was jacked! It remains the one toy that I have yet to see in person since. This set last for years and played until play could not happen on it anymore. If I could recommend a vintage toy this would be it! For the pure Xmas adrenaline rush and the biggest POP I ever actually gave a Xmas present the Death Star deserves my first place finish!
I am sure everyone has their own toy list as well. This was my list of the toys I felt the biggest connection with upon opening them. I am sure this is not even close to a top ten toy list but it is simply my favorite memories of those shiny presents under the Xmas tree in my youth that I can still vividly remember to this very day. I now feel like Kevin’s narrator on the Wonder Years when I say now that Xmas means more to me watching my own kids light up with surprise and wonder. So to all my Satellite Heroes I wish you all a very merry Xmas and to those not into that a very Happy holiday season! See ya in the new year!
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