By Anthony Vasquez, Staff Writer
You know that saying, “Out with the old, in with the new?” Usually I’d agree with you. Who doesn’t yearn for the latest phone with the new camera upgrade, or that new console shaped like a router looks pretty cool, and hey that new laptop just got an upgraded video card! Tech rules, and we are its most willing and obedient servants.
But not this year. I’m stepping off the tech train and stepping out with a bunch of Potatoheads. That’s right. Toys. Action figures. The kind of things you don’t need to plug in or download this or upload that. Toys, dammit!
I do. I still recall Andy, from the Pixar film “Toy Story”, and his connection to all his favorite pals. You had Woody, Buzz, Rex, Jessie, Ham, the Potatoheads, and my personal favorite, Slinky. The list goes on and on, but to Andy, those toys were more than just collectibles, or rare figures, they played a vital role in his childhood and allowed him to experiment with his imagination and creativity.
I wasn’t Andy. I didn’t have new shiny miniature friends. Most of mine consisted of hand-me-downs I received from my older brothers.
One of my faves was a Kenner 1993 Jurassic Park figure of Robert Muldoon, he was a white short-haired blonde guy sporting green cargo shorts, a green polo shirt, and a black vest.
The other was a McDonald’s 1995, White Power Ranger that my oldest brother got from his happy meal.
While these characters were originally from completely different series like Woody and Buzz, they became wrestling figures. Suddenly Robert Muldoon, was Stone Cold Steve Austin and delivering stunners to the white ranger who became Rey Mysterio and delivered high-flying maneuvers.
The figures I had weren’t the most flexible. Some action figures can bend every joint in their body while mine could move their arms and legs front and backward. But there was grace in their limited mobility, because I had to fill in the gaps. I had to tell them their stories.
Sure, the latest Iwhatever can do everything you could possibly imagine. But it’s a pre-programmed device. Who’s playing who?
And don’t get me started on longevity.
Toys are pieces of plastic with paint that can chip, fingers that get loose and limbs that can break.
But they keep coming back for more. Not these high-tech machines. Devices come and go as upgrades happen many of these devices decrease in value.
That iPad you paid $300 plus for after a few years will only be worth $80 and won’t function the same way it used to. Hell, it probably won’t turn on unless it remains plugged in.
The Jurassic Park figure I mentioned retailed at around $10 to $15 dollars, and if I wanted to, at 21 years old, recreate my iconic matches between my renditions of Stone Cold and Rey Mysterio.
I could do it affordably and pass it down with a simple purchase over eBay for that same price.
However, some toys that aren’t from my childhood like the original Kenner Star Wars toys from 1979 can shoot up in price for more than their original value. A used Boba Fett figure recently sold on eBay for $355.
So if your kid or family member loses interest in their once beloved toy, they are more than welcome to flip it for a profit.
So, this Christmas look towards toys, and they’re not just toys mom, they’re action figures and they’re collectibles goddammit!