Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Deep down we are more like than unlike Stephen Hassenfeld OR: I am not proud of the things I did with that robot Triceratops, but I am not alone

Just as there are Steves and Stephens in english, there are Estevans and Estebans in Spanish. I like to think that my given name Esteban translates into English as Stephen so I have something in common with Stephen Hassenfeld, Hasbro's CEO in 1984. (Either that or I have to find a guy named Steben.) Hassenfeld was a true roboplastic hero and someone to look up to because he wasn't a crazy idiot like that ShamWow guy. My favorite Stephen Hassenfeld story was how he did an interview for People magazine in 1984 and the photographer had him get down on the floor and pose like he was playing with a bunch of Transformers1. Afterward he said he felt like he was "transformed from CEO to clown"2. Thus Stephen Hassenfeld goes down in roboplastic history as the first self-diagnosed case of Roboplasti-tardation, which is the horrible feeling of shame and regret a grown man has because of toy robots.


I was recently confronted with my own history of embarrassing things I've done because of toy robot triceratopses. This week I learned Yahoo announced it is going to be killing off geocities, which is where I first started doing excruciatingly horrible, terribly embarrassing toy robots webpages. Back in 2000 I didn't know that GeoCities was supposed to be for meeting future girlfriends. While some were using it as the even-more-horrible-than-MySpace MySpace of the 90s, others were using it to create awesome tributes to transforming toy cars of the 80s. I can see why Yahoo decided it needed to be destroyed.


I applaud Yahoo's efforts in trying to cure roboplasti-tardation by aborting Geocities, the SkyNet of the Roboplastic Apocalypse. But it's too late because I've spent all my free time over the last few nights moving everything I had at GeoCities over to I got a good hard look at all those files and it brought back a lot of memories. When I look back on that time now it makes me cringe because of how nerdy I was, making giant spaceships out of cardboard and sculpting a statue of Megatron. God what an idiot! But some of that stuff I did like the mini guide to the Mystery of Convoy Famicom game is actually pretty cool. I ended up taking the good with the bad and just rolling with it even if I feel like toy robots transformed me from a man to a clown (with basic HTML skills). Stephen Hassenfeld I feel your pain.

1Deck the Halls with Squads of Robots: Hasbro Takes on Tonka in the Toy Wars of 1984. (1984, December 3). People Weekly

2Tough Game: Hasbro Bradley Scores With Its 'Terror' Toys, Adroit Licensing Plans. (1984, December 13). Wall Street Journal


Sean said...

That sucks because most of my toy reviews are posted there. I write the reviews and then I link them to my main toy collecting page. And I'm a paid member too. You'd think those pricks would let me know that my paid service was coming to an end but I haven't gotten an e-mail or anything from the bastards.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Maybe it's just free Geocities accounts getting deleted? I think once you start paying it's called Yahoo Hosting and that's staying.

Tresob said...

And here, I only just discovered your Scramble City page snooping around the Internet.
It made me want to go back in time and teach little-me that the gestaults were supposed to fuse with the cities...
I'm sure many decisive battles on the basement floor would have turned out quite differently if only my ranks of Autobots had possessed such vital intelligence back in 1986. (I'm not sure it would have helped the Decepticons, though, as I never owned a Trypticon.)
Anyway, I've had a ball exploring your old pages! Thanks!


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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.