I went looking for the ghost of a childhood memory the other night. The memory of a toy I used to have. Two toys really. A set. One little orange man and one purple one. They had big heads on tiny bodies, and that’s all I could recall, apart from the general time frame. I searched around the typical places, but couldn’t get any search engine to narrow the field down enough to get useful hits. I had them at around the time Empire Strikes Back was out, and they had those lame eraser like Star Wars figures in stores. Also Magic Sand’s first incarnation was around. Try as I might I couldn’t find a decent lead.
Eventually I gave up and posted a little post about it on DA. A little while later one of my friends there came back with the right information. The Other World was the toy line in question. It was really wild to suddenly have a vague memory re-solidify in the span of a few seconds. Little bits of extra things I had forgotten came back to me as well. I spent a fair amount of time on Youtube looking up stuff about toys I used to enjoy. It’s kind of amazing how many commercials survived so long.
I still have many of my old toys in storage, or at least the parts to some of them. Anyone who’s read my writings here could probably have guessed that much. The Real Ghostbusters guys are still in pretty nice shape. My generation 1 Transformers didn’t fare as well. My one Boglin still survives. He had a production error that bugged the hell out of me as a kid. The blue one that talks in the link is the one I have. The parts for the Mad Scientist Monster Lab are still around, although I expect the Living Ice is probably a biohazard by now. It would be a good idea to never open those cannisters now that I think on it…
Eventually I got more in to video games once Transformers and Ghostbusters faded away. Those were by far my favorite toys the longest. The new Transformers toys have been largely awesome (except the movie ones, which only some I like.), but the new Ghostbusters ones that just started appearing are a fucking slap in the face. Not for lack of quality, but lack of availability.
Anyway, what were the touchstones of your youths?