When you are seven years old you think everyone likes the things you like or knows what you are talking about. A strange translucent toy was presented to me when I was seven years old. This figure was Crystar. Up until this point in my child mind I had no clue you could have action figures that were see through.
This leads me to one of the finer points of 2nd grade where I had my first forte into improv. Our teacher gave us the option to write out what we like or have the chance to act out a scene and the class would have to guess what it was. Without hesitation I leaped from my desk to be the first to unleash a gargantuan scene to which there would be no rival. I believe it hasn't been matched to this day, good luck Michael Bay. I proceeded to whisper my scene to my teacher, she said, Ok let's see.
As I raised my imaginary Crystal shard sword, I could see the Magma Men looming in the back cubbies and peering from in the coat racks with fire in their eyes. I was the target that needed to be eliminated to get to the 1st graders next door. I could have swore that the room felt as though I was at the Earth's core itself, or my nerves were making me super hot, I could not tell. With the oncoming onslaught, I defended my classmates without them even knowing the dangers that were approaching them. I fell under the weight of the fiery maces crashing down upon me and as my classmates tried to guess, I could only shake my head. How could they not know that with this skill of the crystal sword that I was not Crystar of the planet Crystalium? No one could guess? All wrong answers, but it would have been hard for me to sit there in class and not act on the pressing danger that was so close. As the smoke cleared and I was exhausted and out of breath from this life or death battle, I revealed that I was Crystar warding of legions of Lava Men and Magma Men. This is what went through my mind, but in reality, this 2 minutes of grander came and went. I then realized that what I enjoyed was not enjoyed by everyone. As I sat there processing this info, I was at a crossroads that I needed to conform or be myself. Being myself won out by the end of the day. I knew what I liked and if enough people saw that it was cool, they would see things my way.
Crystar was a toy line that was put out by Remco in 1982 and had quite a few figures and monsters. The toys were great and even to this day they still are stunning to behold. There is just something about translucent figures that gives a new dimension to them. It's like you can see whats going on inside of them. I found out later that there were other translucent toys but none of them matched the Crystar line for me. A comic book would come out a year later in 1983 by Marvel comics. This was hard to find for me because the only store with comic books was K&B Drugs that was visited maybe once a month. I owned Crystar and War Bow and eventually I would pick up some Magma Men, Moltar and Lava Men when my dad bought a ton of toys from Lionel Playworld in 1984. This was quite a fun trip to Houston Texas that year.
Would this be the last time I tried improv? For a while yes, but in 1987 I tried my hand at Stand Up comedy. I faired better but did not pursue that line in my career. I did live to fight another day and one day if you smell smoke and it gets warm, there just may be some Lava Me around. If so, I will pickup my mantle of the crystal sword and take care of the problem.
Till next time,