Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Was the Coolest Toy You Ever Got for Christmas?

Doug: When I was 6-years old, I was joyfully overwhelmed to find the GI Joe action playset "Secret of the Mummy's Tomb" that included a big yellow ATV, a helicopter with working rotary blades, and a mummy's sarcophagus. Not much better than that, my friends. I played and played and played some more with those toys -- of course, this was back in the days when GI Joe's were 12" tall, with that "real" hair. All was just perfect... until warmer weather came and I took that helicopter outside, pushed the rotary button as hard and fast as I could, and then let that bird fly! Straight into the ground. Broke part of the landing skids. Aw, crap. But it was still so cool!

Doug: How about you? What was your "best Christmas"?


Rip Jagger said...

Without doubt it was Major Matt Mason. I got the little rubber figurine, and a case full of stuff like his moon suit and a moon sled. I played with that until I snapped the wire in his leg, then I played with it more.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

I had the Major Matt Mason stuff and the GI Joe Mummy's Tomb playset, but my favorites were the Mego superhero action figures. I remember getting a bunch of those one year, then the Mego Planet of the Apes figures the next year and playing with them together. Now I get socks and underwear and other grown-up items and that's almost as cool (sob).


david_b said...

I had lots of early, early Christmas memories ('68/69) of MMM stuff.. Those sets were the COOLEST, and yes, I played with them long after the wires broke.. Since a few years later my parents could find any more Captain Action/Action Boy stuff, I got the first issue Talking AT Commander (pre-kung fu grip..) and AT Headquarters. Whoah.., could never afford any vehicles, so my guys had to walk everwhere.., or borrow a tiny jetpack from MMM.

Ah, but years later, the Christmas magic came back...:

Back in '96, about a year before I met my wife, I was working at Peat Marwick (back when there were 'big 8' accounting firms..), and JUST started recollecting vintage 12" GI Joes. About a week before Christmas, I placed an order with FAO Schwartz for one of the brand new exclusive FAO Astronaut reproduction sets, stating on the phone several times, 'no worries, it doesn't have to get to me by Christmas, a few days later is just fine..'.

Well, as St. Nick would have it, I went out Christmas Eve to my church (with all the other singles..) to sing carols with the church choir. Lo and behold, when I got back home, 10pm Christmas Eve night, with the gentle snow falling..., under the side porchlight, indeed, there it was..

I had a lot of nice Christmas's as a child opening presents under the tree, but now as a 30something adult, this brought back the SAME childlike thrill..., all over again.

david_b said...

Sorry, meant to say above that they 'could NOT' find any more Cap or Action Boy stuff... :(

J.A. Morris said...

For me,it's a tie between 1977 and '78.
In '77 I got the Bigfoot action figure from 'The Six Million Dollar Man', the next year I woke up to find the Death Star playset assembled in the living room.

I never had the G.I. Joe mummy set, but the 'Abominable Snowman' and 'Sea Wolf' sets were among my childhood favorites.

Doug said...

I don't know this "Matt Mason" fellow -- gonna have to do some research!

I was a Mego nut, but I don't recall getting too many for Christmas! The only ones I know for sure when I was given them were the original Batman with removable cowl on Christmas and Tarzan in my Easter basket one spring.

I think the year the Planet of the Apes tv show was first out I got the Mego tree house. That was cool.

I think I also got the GI Joe tower with rope ladder and working wench (Barbie? hahaha) for Chritmas, too.

Perhaps I'll have to reconstruct my thoughts on all this and build out a way-cool timeline! Funny how we can remember this stuff from 35-40 years ago, isn't it?

Have a great holiday,


david_b said...

Megos came out a year or so too late for me to really collect. Love 'em now, and have a dozen MIB (and special acrylic display boxes..), and had a few earliest ones as a kid (to include the removable mask Batman and Robin..). I did receive Green Arrow for a Christmas present, which was pretty cool.

By the time the FF and other cool Marvel ones came out, I was already passed comics and way into Space:1999, later Star Wars and Galactica.

Karen said...

David: A very touching story - thank you for sharing it.

I had an older brother, and wound up playing with his GI Joes, Major Matt Mason, and assorted Whammo toys. All great fun. I also liked the Micronauts when they came out, but was getting too old for toys at that point. I was one of those kids who always liked getting books at Christmas. The Origins of Marvel Comics and Star Trek Manual were two great gifts I got for Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Four letters...and a hyphen....

AT-AT !!!!!!!

merry Christmas

Steve Does Comics said...

Doug, I had that helicopter too but mine was green, and the version of GI Joe we got in the UK was known as Action Man.

Lego was always welcome at Christmas, as you could make any other toys you wanted with it - as long as you didnt mind them not exactly being robust.

But I think the best toys I can remember getting were two "Space:1999" Eagle spaceships. One of which had a winch for picking up radioactive barrels. Let's face it, if you're eleven years old and don't want to spend your Christmases picking up radioactive barrels, there's something wrong with you.

david_b said...


I LOVE the Action Man/Gyper Man versions of AT vehicles.. I got a MIMB green ATV from Italy (had the chainlink pully line, instead of the Joe white string..), and it ROCKS over all the yellow used for the American verions. (If I had a few extra hundreds lying around, I'd grab more..).

I LOVED 1999, but never ended up getting the Mattel Eagles. I finally got one a few years back, painted up the figures and bought the custom Eagle decals from Canada. It's even more awesome now, and I haul it out every so often..

(Oh, and my wife watching me type this now wanted me to include my guitar amp she bought me for Christmas a few years back as well..)

Doug said...

Yeah, "winch" -- that's what I meant! :)


Edo Bosnar said...

I'm with Karen on this one: since I discovered comics way back when, I always preferred getting reading material for Christmas (or any other gift-giving occasion). Still do. I mean, I remember asking for and getting some super-hero and/or Star Wars action figures and whatnot, but the memory doesn't stick out as much in my mind as how happy I was when I got, say, "Son of Origins" or "Marvel's Greatest Super-hero Battles" at various Christmases in the late 70s.
Anyway, best holiday wishes to everyone!

Anonymous said...

Still remember the thrill of getting a Lincoln International ("Boy oh boy, a Lincoln toy!") Thunderbird 4 and a Zintar the Zeroid on separate occasions in my childhood...unfortunately I've no desire to remortgage my house in order to buy 'em now.

B Smith

Dougie said...

I got Zintar the Zeroid one year, possibly 69 or 70. I also had a Matt Mason AND his alien buddies, Callisto and Captain Lazer! I was a Space Age Scottish bairn.
A couple of years ago I bought an eBay copy of DC's From Beyond The Unknown(1971)which featured the gorgeous, reworked Murphy Anderson/ Matt Mason story.

Joseph said...

It's hard to beat my 1977 Christmas when I got the 'Empty Box' promise of the first Star Wars figures, the Star Wars soundtrack on LP, the Star Wars Story on LP, a few toy light sabers (one of them home-made), and the Mazinga Shogun Warrior. I wish I could somehow capture the joy of that Christmas morning again!

A few years later I got, among many other things, the Millennium Falcon toy. Years later, I realized that the avalanche of toys was due to my parent's guilt that they would announce their divorce a few days after that Christmas.

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