As a child of the 80's there was a tremendous amount of peer pressure when it came to decide which toy robot faction you would be a part of. There were two clear choices, Transformers and Gobots. Now, everyone wanted to be on the Transformers side of the fight, but cost played a huge factor in what bot you could get. The cartoons were great and Transformers were superior in presentation, scale and hype. Since there were more episodes in syndication, the content was always fresh. Gobots seemed to be a Saturday morning cartoon even though it was in syndication due to there not being as much content. The choice was clearer than glass, Transformers were the clear winner by far.
I bought my first Transformer in 1985 in Spokane, Washington for around 20 dollars. Bluestreak was an awesome first bot to get and would be the only transformer I would have for quite some time. This led me to the path of the Gobots.
Over the next year I received quite a few Gobots. Parents viewed one robot toy as being good as the next with a cheaper price tag. This parental theory is wrong. How could you show your face amongst the Soundwaves' and Iron Hides' when you show up with Cop-ter? Not a fun time to be "that" kid.
Now with the scene set. One Friday in 1986 being the only kid watching Robotech, a toy line known as Convertors was made evident to me! I had picked up a VF-1 fighter jet from Woolworth, which was an awesome store and needs it's own space here. The VF-1 jet was cool but a little on the cheap side.
One Friday a few boys in my class brought there bots of choice and performed a toy swap. Equal trades in everyones eyes with one left which was bestowed as a "gift" to me as I didn't have anything to trade. My day was going great, it was Friday, the sun was shining for the next two days and I just got a new bot!! The ride home was better than any other, getting a new toy at school to bring home really sets the stage. While I was basking in the robotic brown bronco goodness, three things happened. One, my mother asked where did I get this new toy. Two, the right arm broke off. And Three, the dreaded "You are going to give that back".
My weekend excitement turned to dread in a matter of seconds. I'm pretty sure a small rain cloud following me around the whole weekend as I frantically searched for the model glue to repair the damage done. I was so stressed out I didn't even watch my daily afternoon routine of G.I. Joe, He-man, She-ra and Thundercats. I was goal oriented to fix the bot before I had to bring it back the owner. I did glue and discovered I had glued the arm straight out and the tire was glued in place as well. Attempt one, Fail. Saturday didn't fair much better, my impatience to fix the problem only resulted in melted plastic that would not stick. Attempt two, fail. After losing sleep Friday and Saturday night, I gave it one more try. I cleaned off the glue and used rubbing alcohol to prep the area and glued again the broken arm in the correct position so a transformation could be achieved. Attempt three......success! or so I thought. The arm was back, but I glued it to where the arm was in truck mode and could not be pulled out.
Monday morning before school, I was a nervous wreck and the weekend had gotten away and I needed to get up the courage and return the bot. The ride to school seemed to take about 4 hours and all these things ran through my 9 year old head: how am I going to give this back, maybe I can be sick quickly, maybe the owner would be sick, maybe he transferred schools. But alas no, he seems to be shining as if Heaven opened up and cast a light and a voice saying, "This is my son for he has all the Transformees" Cybertron 6:13.
Mustering up all the courage I could, I returned the somewhat repaired bot and apologized for breaking it. To my astonishment I was greeted with a, "I really don't like this one and don't even want it" then he proceeded to throw it in the trash. I stood there dumbfounded and my jaw hit the floor, I stressed, lost a beautiful weekend and sleep worrying that my world would end only to have the source of the stress thrown away?? Lesson sort of learned, anxiety and worry have stayed with me my whole life and this may have been the point that it kicked in, don't know.
I have finally discovered after all these years that this source of stress was a Convertor name Voyager. If your kids want Transformers, help them out and let them work for them that way they earn and appreciate them a whole lot more. And please, if you give someone a robot make sure they tell your mom they you can have it.
Till next time.