Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas = Childhood

Before I get to my post, I wanted to share my book trailer with all of you. Some of you have already seen this, so forgive my indulging in showing it to you again. Once again, the artwork was done by the very talented Enggar Adirasa.

* * * *

I was talking about Christmases past with an old friend, and we talked about all the cool toys we grew up with. In this digital age, will the kids of today look back at their childhood and have that same sense of nostalgia that we all do? I wonder.

This year, my A-Z Challenge topic was everything 80s. It was totally radical. So I wanted to share some of the cool toys I either WISH I had as a kid, or did actually own. To this day, when I think of these fun toys, I always think of Christmas (in no particular order).

No Sarlacc Pit can stop me
Star Wars Figures. I wonder how many hours I spent playing with action figures. Half my childhood was spent on a tennis court and the other half was spent having my action figures (not dolls) re-enact my favorite parts of the movies. And in my version, Boba Fett survives and kicks Han Solo's ass.

Atari. This was a huge evolution in home entertainment. I remember getting Atari for Christmas and beating my dad mercilessly in Combat (which came with the console).

Stompers. These were so cool. At least the TV commercials made
Look at those tires!
them seem that way. These were little trucks with giant mudders that could traverse over everything. Even your hand! Or pencils! Or Lego pieces! I actually had one that you could replace the rubber tires with foam ones, and the darn thing could go in water.

Voltron. I got this from Santa (okay, not really. I was 12 and played along for my siblings' sakes), and it was incredible. It was die-cast metal, and it weighed a ton. It was made by Matchbox. I wish I still had that toy. In mint condition, I've seen it go for over $700

I want you back, Voltron!
G.I. Joe. I was one of those kids that mixed and mingled his G.I. Joe and Star Wars action figures. I know, take away my Geek Card. Snake Eyes was my very first one, and I had the lunchbox too. Had both of these things before G.I. Joe even had an enemy to fight (Cobra hadn't been invented yet).

Transformers. Okay, hell, my Transformers also entered my Star Wars/G.I. Joe Universe. My imagination was just full of all kinds of unholy alliances!

Maybe it's the holidays. Or maybe it's the fact that my birthday this week reminds me that I'm getting old. Either way, it's always fun to go back and remember a time before you had bills, taxes, traffic, back pain, and deadlines.

Deadlines...that reminds me, I've got some work to do. 

Have a great week!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hadn't seen the trailer - very cool! Really highlights the artwork.
If I did a retro toy post, mine would be from the 70's and some from the 60's. Remember getting Pong and playing that game for hours. Had a ton of the GI Joe stuff - the big action figure though, not the little one.

Tony Laplume said...

The book looks increasingly fantastic. I formed the whole basis of my creative development mixing and matching action figures (sometimes, with the G.I. Joe ones, quite literally), so I can't fault you there!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Oh, I loved Atari! Combat, Circus Atari, Pitfall, Super Breakout, Pac Man. :)

Thanks for the smile and the memory!

DEZMOND said...

It's a lovely trailer, Jay, and lovely toys too.
I didn't have many toys as a kid since we were very poor, so I mostly amused myself by drawing with pencils and crayons.

Melanie Schulz said...

Love your trailer- really want to read your book!

Pat Dilloway said...

I always wanted one of those Voltrons, but only the lion one. The vehicle one sucked. I think we had a couple of those stompers too with the foam wheels. Somewhere in my mom's house is probably still a bag of Star War figure heads since they seemed to come off pretty easily.

River Fairchild said...

Loved those Star War figures and Transformers! They populated my purse as I was always discovering my son had brought his toys with him in the car. :/ They also all lost their heads rather quickly...

That's one awesome trailer you've got going there, dude! (sprinkles '80s vocabulary around) Love the music to it. :)

Robin said...

The artwork in that trailer is fantastic. I think you found the perfect artist to represent your story. Woohoo.

80s toys. Ah yes, I do remember getting an Atari and playing those games. Great fun. I also really loved my Walkman back in the day. My action figures were Barbies and I had a fairly extensive collection. Also had a Farrah Fawcett "Barbie" and Tuesday Taylor. Tuesday was awesome because she had blonde hair on one side and dark hair on the other. The top of her head swiveled to change her hair color. hahahaha.

Kevin Hunsperger said...

Great post. Congrats on all your success. You deserve it!

Jay Noel said...

Alex: We had pong on a small TV in our traveling van. From the 70s, I remember everyone having Stretch Armstrong. We used to whack each other with it.

Tony: We didn't have much money, so I played with whatever we could afford.

Madeline: I was awesome at Defender, but my hand was so sore afterwards.

Dez: Everywhere I went, I had paper and crayons. It's still my go-to toy!

Melanie: Thanks. Not long's coming!

Pat: I don't get the vehicle one. I mean, if one pilot is sick, Voltron can't be formed.

River: I'd stuff my pockets with my toys. And thanks, dudette!

Robin: I wanted a Walkman so bad, but alas, it was too much money. So I had the cheap knockoff brand, which wasn't too bad. I remember the Farrah Fawcett Barbie!!!

Kevin: Thanks buddy!

David List said...

Very cool book trailer, dude. I'm stoked for the book's release!

Regarding mixing and mingling action figures - Dude. You and I would have had a blast. When I was a kid, the TMNTs, GI Joes, and Star Wars figures basically had their own fuedal kingdom / soap opera stretching from one corner of my room to the other. (I say soap opera because none of them ever died, they just got beaten up or imprisoned. AND my sister's barbie dolls frequented the kingdom, always to be fought over)
Whenever lego Kingdoms tried to arise, they were squashed like ant hills!

My two year old son is starting his collection of toys now. Soon enough, I will travel to my parents' attic where my old toys are stashed and his mind will be blown.

Rusty Carl said...

OMG... I forgot about Stompers. I had those! I loved those! Yes, they would totally run over a pencil. They were mean. I used to line of hot wheels cars and make the Stompers run them over like Bigfoot (the monster truck, not he hairy primate from the pacific northwest).

Wow, what good times. Oh, and thanks for the name of the movie you gave me today over at my blog. It had been bugging me.

Jay Noel said...

David: Thanks, man. And hell ya, we would have had a blast. We used to turn down the lights. Get a strobe light, and play background music while our action figures had massive battles. Bookshelves became chambers to tall castle towers. I miss those days!

Rusty: I did the same thing with the hot wheels. Not a problem. The Warrior's Way was eye candy. The plot could have been a little better, but the style was just awesome. And the movie is based on a well known Japanese myth.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Toys are great for all kids. So many memories. I loved the artwork for the trailer. Great work.

Jay Noel said...

Sheena-Kay: I still play with toys. I just tell people I'm doing it for my kids. And thanks!

Brinda said...

I loved playing with Barbies. My sister and I spent marathon amounts of time creating sets, clothes, and adventures. We were very creative.

I love that book trailer.

Crystal Collier said...

VOLTRON! That was my brothers favorite. And hey, I thought it was pretty cool too. I mean, the lions that individually transform? Genius. I loved My Little Ponies, and ninja turtles, and anything involving pyrotechnics.

All that artwork is amazing. Your book release is going to be epic!

Jay Noel said...

Brinda: My mom still has my sister's barbies...somewhere!

Crystal: Pyrotechnics!!! Amazing how kids today still love MLP and NT. What's old is new, right? And thanks!!!

Dana said...

I love the trailer. Very cool!

Atari was great!

J.L. Campbell said...

Happy birthday when it comes, Jay. I knew of these toys, but of course being a girl, I never had the privilege... :) Congrats on your book release. I see it's doing well. One clicking is going to get me into financial disaster come the near year, but I have my eye on it. Sounds like a lotta adventure and excitement.

Jay Noel said...

Dana: Thanks! I've thought about getting those new Ataris just for fun.

J.L.: I'm the same one. That One Click function makes it too easy!

Cherie Reich said...

Awesome book trailer!

I remember I used to always want one of those Hot Wheels tracks because it looked like a lot of fun. I mainly just got VHS tapes, stuffed animals, and some Barbies for Christmases when I was younger.

Jay Noel said...

Cherie: I got one nice gift every Christmas, and I thought that was more than enough. My other friends got tons of gifts, and that whole thing was alien to me. My folks didn't have the money for those kind of Christmases, but I'm glad.

J. A. Bennett said...

I think the nostalgia will still be there, just in a different way. But they'll never look at those toys and think about how cool they were. Just like I thought my dad's Lincoln Logs were pretty boring. I think they're cool now... sigh.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Beautiful trailer, Jay.

I was into Snoopy, so everything I owned had the Peanuts on it or was a toy. I also had a huge collection of plastic animals. I still do!

Emily R. King said...

Yay about your book!

And my son's Christmas list looks a lot like your past presents. Star Wars and Transformers are a huge deal for him.

Jay Noel said...

J.A.: Lincoln Logs can be deadly. Believe me on that one. And tinker toys. Boys can turn anything into a weapon.

L. Diane: Thanks!!! I love Snoopy so much, I named my beagle after him (R.I.P. buddy)

Emily: Yippeee! Now comes the hard part. And your son is my kinda dude!

Phats said...

First off Congrats again on your book so so awesome my friend.

I miss playing River Raid and Frogger on Atari best games ever! :)

Pk Hrezo said...

Yay it's released!! Congrats!

I know just what you mean about what kinda nostalgia our kids will have. They'll laugh back at the old days when nothing was holographic. ;) Anyway, I'm off to download Dragonfly Warrior!!

Jay Noel said...

Phats: I love Frogger!!! I wasn't very good at River Raid, though.

Pk: Thanks so much Pk!

Julie Dao said...

Ahhhhh!!!! Holy epic book trailer! Congrats on your release, Jay. I've ordered my copy and can't wait to read it!

Miranda Hardy said...

Love the trailer, Jay. It's great!

I was really into cabbage patch dolls. I had to have one.

Mr. Shife said...

The only toy I didn't really play with was Voltron. Everything else definitely was part of my childhood. Great trailer and very happy that your book launch has gone so well. Take care Jay and Merry Christmas.

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