Thursday, June 14, 2012


The 46th episode of the Roboplastic Podcastalypse is as much fun as taking a 1.21 jigawatt taser beam to your earholes as I fire up the GoBackaTron 1985thousand and contemplate how swap meets in comic shop parking lots, overpriced Ebay auction nostalgia terrorism, cloning yourself the hard way, and going to the library too much are all actually time travel secrets of the Mandalorian moon masters. Would you trade a 1985 Matchbox Zentraedi Officer Battle Pod for a 2007 Hasbro TIE Interceptor? Is fifty bucks too much for an old button made out of aluminum foil with robot holograms on it? When did Kenner's original Star Wars figures and Hasbro's initial wave of Dinobots first hit the stores anyway? And would you believe me if I said I saw a Wookie with 9 backs? All this plus mysterious kindergarten secrets from 1979 my talking Boba Fett doll whispers in my ear in this "THE BEST TIME I EVER HAD IN 1985 IS THE ONE I'M HAVING RIGHT NOW" edition of the podcastalypse!

Or download it directly


The cheapy bins at the Tate's Community Park and Swap outdoor selling/trading event were really awesome. I was digging through the 25 cent bins to find my son something and I scored a Sonic the Hedgehog figure, an R2-D2 and some recent Transformer movie Happy Meal toys which were cool but then holy hell I found a five inch Shogun Warriors Great Mazinga. In the 25 cent bin! It was missing the jetpack and the swords but that bin was so amazing that they were probably there and I didn't look for them thoroughly enough. Well had the day ended at that point I would have been happy but then I found some cool Robotech vehicles in another bin. I got them both for 20 bucks! Not bad, but I figured that's about the going rate for this Playmates ExoSquad reissue stuff. But when I got home I realized that wasn't what these were!


So it turns out the weird blue tint on the Veritech from the Swap & Meet wasn't the only clue that this was an original '85 Matchbox release. It didn't have the Playmates copyright stamping and the boosters were also a different shade of green. All the pictures I'd seen online of the original '85 release showed it being rather white and that's how I remembered it so I didn't think this one was an original. I thought it was some kind of goofy Playmates variant color. But if you look really closely at the above picture with the original on the left and the Playmates ExoSquad version on the right, you can spot the slight blue tint and other differences. It's really hard to capture the light blue tint with digital cameras but it's obvious in real life. As for the Zentraedi Officer's Battle Pod, I traded that away at the Park & Swap for a 2007 Hasbro TIE Interceptor before I realized it was the original '85 version. I cried about that a little and it sort of started this depressive spiral of contemplation about the nature of materialism, nostalgia, and some of the latest embarrassing things I've done in the name of American toy robots of Japanese toy robots. I may not know original Robotech when I see it, but I know quality robotarded entertainment when I'm listening to it in my head, so I whipped out the recorder and vwaa-laaa!

Hecht Co. 09 March 1978
Otasco 30 March 1978


So I spend a lot of time in this episode looking for the best way to get the purest nostalgic hit possible short of jumping in a real time machine. But then I end up deciding it's pretty cool living in the present because of all the many ways there are nowadays to live in the past. Even if I could go back 1978 and witness the launch of the very first Star Wars figures, I wouldn't have the same experience as someone else in 1978 living in Chicago or Pennsylvania or wherever. But nowadays through the GoBackaTronian marvels of microfilm and internet newspaper archive sites, I can dig up ads from different cities and relive the fun as if I were in multiple places all at once, which wouldn't be possible in my single time machine scenario. So as I check out the above ads from early 1978 and see how stores initially only had nine Star Wars figures available (Death Squad Commander, Jawa and Sand People were not listed among these initial assortments), I wonder if the future would be an even better place to investigate the mysteries of the past. The conventional wisdom is that there were twelve Star Wars figures originally and not just nine, but these ads go contrary to that. I have faith that with the help of future technology, by 2078 we'll definitively know how exactly Star Wars figure assortments shipped in 1978. I just kind of wish we could come to a consensus on the what year the Dinobots originally came out before my 110th birthday in 2084.


    Not bad for ten bucks!

    DrugFair 02/03/85
  • Post Tate's Community Park & Swap excitement
  • Tantalyzing and mysterious Robotech score
  • The 50 cent bin Great Mazinga
  • Trading an '85 Matchbox Zentraedi Officer Battle Pod for a 2007 Hasbro elite TIE Interceptor
  • Last minute TF collector case adventure
  • promo-Voltron / Robotech power hour on WPWR Chicago
  • commercial-Robotech Wars VHS tape (It's the last one)
  • Lowdown of contents of the $10 TF collector case
  • Always lift up the tray!
  • Radio Free Cybertron segment about the tanking secondary market for G1 Transformers
  • Paying six bucks for Devastator at a garage sale in 1988
  • Slight trader's remorse
  • Color differences between '85 Matchbox and '95 Playmates Robotech vehicles
  • Getting a $15 B-Wing at K-Mart
  • The different nostalgic effects resulting from buying old crap
  • Mainline, substitutionary, and placebo nostalgic effects
  • Roger Barr's "Yeah That Exists" YouTube episode triggering Lazer Blazer Transformers button memories
  • Paying way too much for a hologram button
  • The $48.50 time machine
  • Succumbing to the overpriced buttholery of nostalgia terrorists
  • New segment on the podcastalypse-F.I.S.H.B.O.T. (Fuck I Should Have Bid On That)
  • Everyone wants the host to be sad
  • Fishbot #1-The Decepticon pack of Transformers Color Me Stickers
  • Nobody will appreciate those stickers as much as me (except the guy that won them)
  • commercial-TIE Interceptor / B-Wing
  • commercial-Early Bird Certificate
  • Live from Ft. Lauderdalius Maximus
  • Hot tip on a Dinobots ad
  • Different levels of nostalgic effect achievable through non-materialism based time travel
  • Longing for a more immersive time travel experience
  • The kid who would bring his Boba Fett to kindergarten in '79
  • Alternate methods of getting the purest nostalgic high
  • Cloning yourself the hard way (and letting him play with your toys)
  • Living through 1978 twice in one life
  • Living multiple childhoods by reading multiple different newspapers
  • The nostalgic effect of being a giant Boba Fett on the moon
  • The technological evolution of old newspaper ad looking
  • Online archives like googlenews and
  • The misconception that Dinobots were first released in 1985
  • Dinobots in an October 26, 1984 Eaton's ad
  • ...and also a December 9,1984 Eckerd ad
  • Still going to the library to hunt down ads
  • Combatra, Micronaut and Star Wars ad looking made easy
  • The early 1978 excitement retail stores had over getting Star Wars figures
  • Early Star Wars ads with only 9 figures in the line
  • The technologically obsolete Vintage Space Toaster Palace
  • Florida Supercon where Denny O'Neil, José Delbo, Bill Sienkewicz and me will be there
  • Don't Rocket Punch your friends!

Do as I say, not as I Buy-It-Now


Shawn Robare said...

Listening to this episode and I just wanted to say that hearing you talk about the button is the whole reason I started Branded. It's a mightly powerful feeling, that urge to reclaim your youth. Trust me, I dropped $50 on a Trapper Keeper recently. If there's one thing I'm happy about lately it's that I've exercised so many of these nostalgic demons through my site that I'm getting better at taming the urge to reclaim this stuff. Just out of curiosity, have you been cataloging all the stuff your son is into to try and save him the grief of tracking it down 20 years from now?

Dr. Geektarded said...

Hey, man! It's Matt from Geektarded. Just wanted to say you blew my mind not once, but twice yesterday afternoon. First I ran across the Robo Force tv special you posted on youtube and second the Ponoish Place unreleased second series of Voltron toys from '86!

Just when I think I've seen it all, new stuff! Amazing!

PS listened to a couple of the podcasts while working last night. Great stuff. Loved the one where you all were going through the catalogs as the auctions were ending.

Anyway, keep up the greatness,

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Shawn it's really tough to peg what toys/ephemera my son will look upon as the biggest loves of his childhood because he's all over the board with his interests. There's my parental pop culture influence that's all 80s based and also the more organic interests he has like Beyblade and video game characters like Sonic and Mario that grow out of what fads the kids he goes to school with are into today. So he's been exposed to a lot of stuff but I can't predict what he'll really latch onto and look back upon nostalgically.

I think five years old is a formative time in one's pop culturehood but nothing really starts sticking until ten, or at least that's what happened to me. I spent a good chunk of my childhood from 3 to 10 years old in the classic Star Wars era from '77 to '84 but I wasn't consumed by it like I was with the robots from '84 on.

So with my son I'm hanging back and trying to gauge what'll be a good toy to have a double of to give him later on his his life. But I'm not seeing a clear winner, especially since being a fan of Nintendo characters or Beyblades that aren't exactly tied to the collecting of a single specific character toy sort of eliminates much of the material possession side of nostalgia. What definitive character collectible is there really to track down later when you grew up playing Angry Birds, you know?

The first big contender so far is the Toys R Us reissue Soundwave that came out a few years back. The other day he expressed a strong liking of my beat up old Soundwave and I knew right there that I'd give him one of my two TRU reissue Soundwaves as a present one day, then give him the other a couple decades later. At least that I have a grasp of. These Beyblade tops all look the same to me, though.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Hi Matt! When I saw I was getting episodes downloaded from Omaha, Nebraska I was wondering if it was you! Yeah I've been stumbling upon a couple things here and there and it's made me glad I decided to start a blog. I'm also glad to see Geektarded is still alive and coming on strong after that little bit of a break you were on.

Thanks for the podcast thoughts. I'm glad you liked #43. For some reason that show with Colin during the eBay auctions is my most popular episode in terms of downloads within the first two weeks it was up. I think people liked that combination of auctions, toys, and discovery. And of course Colin is a great toy catalog subject matter authority so I can see why it beats my other shows with just me talking to myself about old toy robots newspaper ads.

william hamby said...

hey steve,
great podcastalypse man. i love how you are all about the "score" and then you realize that someone else was all about that too with the battlepod. priceless. hey, maybe it wasn't a matchbox afterall. :) i love going to tate's .....i don't get to do it enough. i've been going to that awesome joint since...97? right around there anyways. i've had some tremendous scores from that place. i love this site and i am in the process of looking at the links of all the folks you have on your site. gonna take awhile. :) once again, thanks for the awesome flashes of sticky....gooey memory fuzz that we have from time to time listening to you. will (mr. lionel playworld)

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yeah that was a fun day. Looking back I know I will miss Tate's a lot after I leave Florida.

It definitely was a Matchbox Battle pod. The Matchbox releases have a blue tint that the later Playmates ones didn't, and that one was super blue. I like having the Tie Interceptor on my Star Wars shelf, though. It's a tough call but if I really wanted another they can be had for cheaper than the Interceptors sell for on eBay.


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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.