Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spring loaded for her pleasure

I think a lot about the first five years of my life from 1974-1979, mostly because I'm trying to piece together just what the heck was going on. For some reason I have a lot of memory gaps but I know I wasn't on crack or anything. Maybe that was just what being a kid is like. Regardless, '78-'80 was a mysterious and terrifying time before I was truly self aware and I remember very little of it otherwise I would have been paying a lot more attention to the toy robot scene. Oh, I remember why I can't recall events from that time period-that's when Star Wars came out. I was a total Star Wars zombie as a kid. That movie totally eclipsed any aspect of my life that was not eating or sleeping. Consequently I remember nothing of my normal earth life but I do have vivid memories of growing up on a Tatoinee moisture farm.

Amazingly not all kids were mind numbed Star Wars nerds like I was. I do remember that in kindergarten there was this one kid named Adrian who was not only self aware and sentient at five years old, but he had a taste for toys that were not just Star Wars. So blinded by tractor beams was I that I didn't know such toys existed. He always brought the new hotness in alternative toys to school with him. And by alternative I mean anything that wasn't in a movie with Darth Vader. I clearly remember him bringing the entire line of Battlestar Galactica spaceships to school one day. So fiercely brand loyal was I that I remember considering Battlestar Galactica stuff just cheap knockoff crap. To me they looked like an odd combination of design concepts from shows I considered crappy-namely Buck Rogers and Star Trek. Ironically, I recently read on internets that the designer of the Battlestar Galactica spaceships was the same guy who designed the Star Wars stuff.

Adrian had the Viper and Cylon Raider which were easily recognizeable from the show but he also had those two other weird ones. From internets I have found out that one was called the Scarab and the other oddly phallic one was suggestively named the Colonial Stellar Probe. Ouch! Why is it that the good guy ships from this line all look like Princess Leia dildos?

My mom was a big fan of the Cylons and her enthusiasm is my most vivd memory of watching the show when I was a little kid. Seeing her get excited about the Cylcons made me excited about them. Hell I was only five. So when the space battles started and the Cyclons were shown piloting their ships and killing scores of humans in their genocidal space rages, I erupted with glee all happy to see the big shiny chrome robot dudes with their odd horizontally pulsating red laser eyeballs. Later on when the Transformer cartoon came out, my mom would get excited about seeing Soundwave because when he talked he reminded her of the Cylons. She'd always say he had a "Cylon voice". I don't remember the Cylons talking, mostly because I don't remember any aliens pre-1980 that didn't hang out in a wretched hive of scum and villany.

Not surprisingly, the only ship I ever had from Battlestar Galactica was the Cylon Raider. My mom really loved those Cylons. I didn't have a TIE Fighter so I had to use the Cylon Raider as a sort of stand in during my space battles. I think Mattel took the Cylon vs humans idea a bit too far because kids were choking on the little spring loaded red bullets that the ships would shoot. My Raider had the partially firing bullets because I got it later on after they modified the mold the first time, but I do remember Adrian's had the early release child killing choke missiles. He was an early adopter of toy technologies so he had the cool, pre-recall deadly stuff that kids died playing with. Oddly enough I don't remember Adrian being in my classes the next year in first grade or any year thereafter.

I also can't remember ever having the pilot figure that appears in all of the pictures of the Raider I've seen online. Again, I don't remember much at all from 1979 because I only had a partially developed brain at the time and what little RAM I did have was dedicated to proton torpedoes and Death Star exhaust ports and crap like that. Heck, I don't think my brain is fully developed now.

The first two ads for the large Battlestar Galactica figures are from Mill's Drugs and they ran November 23 and 28 of 79. The manufacturer closeout ad is from a store called Kresge's and it ran December 21st of '79.

So here's to Adrian and my mom. Thanks you two for the little I do remember about Battlestar Galactica and the non George Lucas inspired events of 1978-1980. I don't regret being such a total tool for Star Wars as a kid. Looking back I guess it was probably the best way to lose my fan virginity. It could have been a lot worse.

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