Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pondering the imponderable mysteries like the anthropological worth of toy robot collections and should I renew my website hosting

When I was eleven years old in '85 I thought the Transformers from 1984 and 1985 would always be in the stores. Then in '86 as all the old guys disappeared from the shelves I realized this wasn't the case. I felt like I missed out forever and this feeling was a strong motivation for me to start hitting the garage sales and flea markets while other teenagers were busy hitting other stuff. I was a self-appointed teenage Noah of the roboplasticos, trying to save the toy robots from extinction so that I could one day repopulate the world with my collection of Dinobots.


Then in my early twenties the internet came along and I saw a lot of other guys were just as batshit crazy as me. At first there were websites with text lists of people's collections and later there would come colossal photo archives. How un-special I felt at discovering were lots of toy robot Noahs (even Japanese ones) and it turned out they all had bigger Arks than me. I felt humbled at having been so thoroughly bested in my goal of creating an Indiana Jones warehouse of toy robots, but also very relieved because it meant I didn't have to keep thinking my Gears was the last surviving example of that toy in all the world and I had failed humanity because he was all fucked up and missing an arm.


Thanks to the internet the impending roboplastic apocalypse that I was building an Ark full of toy robots for was averted. I was pretty sure we were covered if hostile reptilians from outer space came to destroy earth unless we could show them the entire Transformers product line from 1984 through 1990 still in the box (and with examples of Japanese packaging). So I turned my attention to a separate and somewhat scholarly, yet still incredibly robotarded pursuit-that of collecting old toy robots newspaper ads. I figured I could still carve out a niche. Even if I couldn't be the roboplastic Noah maybe I could be the guy selling flood insurance after the waters subsided. I SENSED THERE WOULD BE A MARKET.


But it just dawned on me last night that as technology advances it is almost guaranteed that all libraries will eventually digitize their microfilm archives and make them freely available on the internet. It's inevitable. All this running around I do to different cities in search of new* toy robots newspaper ads is another epic waste of time and effort on a scale of biblical proportions. One day we will all have access to centuries of digitized newspaper archives that will make my Vintage Toaster Space Palace look more like a not-so-vintage space toaster porta potty. Thanks to the internet I went from being the Noah of toy robots fandom to the flood insurance salesman of toy robots fandom to finally the porta potty janitor of toy robots fandom.


The internet needs to see this now!
I'm better off realizing all of this now instead of later. It's not going to stop me from doing the old ads thing and I'm not going to stop paying my webhosting bill anytime soon just because library websites will one day kill the only sense of self worth I derived from my pointless hobby. Ultimately everything in life is pointless but we still keep wiping our butts. This isn't one of those things we do because it makes us happy. I know one day my obsolete Vintage Toaster Palace Toaster Space website will be nothing more than a broken link to content that disappeared off some server a long time ago. But until that day, the world needs its toy robots ads porta potty emptied now and I don't see the roboplastic internet Noahs rushing to do this job. YOU'RE WELCOME, VOLTRON FANS!

*twenty five year old


Sean said...

While I do think that the libraries will eventually put their microfilm online, I don't think it'll be an easy thing for people who don't know what they're looking for to find necessarily, whereas your stuff is all at your site and is ready to look at so I wouldn't really worry about them taking away your viewers.
By the way, what toyline does the "gay" helicopter belong to? That really made me laugh in a day where I could use one.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

There was a company in the late seventies/early eighties named "Gay Toys, Inc." that used to make vehicles in scale with 3 3/4 inch figures. The set I remember most is their "Laser Force" spaceships. To me, Gay military helicopter looks similar to the Cobra Fang. Sometimes Gay Toys Inc. got in trouble for how closely their toys resembled those of other manufacturers.

"Gay Military Helicopter" is one of my favorite examples of bad ad copy writing. Usually ad text writers would put the "Gay Toys Inc." logo alongside pictures of the GTI toys being advertised. But instead of advertising this as a "Gay Toys Inc." military helicopter, the ad copy writer at Long's Drugs figured everybody knew what was being referenced. Hilarity ensued.

Heavyarms said...

You're looking at this all wrong. You aren't doing something futile that will eventually be bettered by organizations with more money and resources. You're a trailblazer.

But then again, no one remembers who Joseph Wilson Swan or Johann Philipp Reis are, either. Sorry, dude.

Rob said...

Would a sane businessperson name a company "Gay Toys" and expect parents to buy its products for their children?

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I think the term "gay" hadn't yet taken on its current pejorative meaning by the late seventies/early eighties. The old world meaning of the term with its happy connotation was probably what the Gay Toys, Inc. founders were alluding to when they named the company.

Or maybe they were going after a very specific niche market. Heck, Hasbro's line of roid raging Village People they call GIJoe has proven there's enormous demand for little plastic metrosexual military dolls. Marketing a gay helicopter was like taking Wild Bill out of the closet and calling a spade a spade. Bravo I say.

Weasel said...

We need more gay toys.

Shawn Robare said...

I don't know man, the libraries here in GA destroyed much of their microfiche. I think more and more libraries will destroy rather than digitize because it'll be cheaper and they don't get tons of financing as it is.

You might just be Noah.

I think I want a big Gay Humvee toy, but it would be cooler if it transformed into a big gay robot.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I did not know that! I never thought any library would do such a thing. That's unbelievable. I cannot believe it. I could go on and on about how awful that is. I'm shocked. I'm also thinking this hobby isn't as pointless as I thought! Thanks!

We are fortunate that Hasbro has been filling consumer demand for gay robots since 1984.


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.