So the kiddos and I went to Bookman’s tonight. I think just about every city must have some type of similar store where you can get used cd’s, dvd’s, books, records, games, other, etc. There are two Bookman’s in Phoenix, and three more two hours away in Tuscon. I try to hit up the local ones as much as possible, and take a trip every couple of months down to Tuscon to visit the other three. You never know what you’re going to find as their stock relies on people bringing in their old, unwanted crap. Tonight, I decided to grab a couple of old comics ($.50 each only!).
I picked the comics based on the covers alone, and the first one is this one here. I’m a sucker for stories like this where there’s an evil twin with a beard (ala Star Trek’s mirror universe, or South Park’s friendly Cartman), or in this case, a split between the superhero and the secret identity (think Superman 3, which had many things I didn’t like, but the part with Superman fighting Clark? I really quite liked that!).
Anyway, moving on. This was a fun little story about some alien beings trying to win a bet so they split Supes into two beings and bet on which part will figure out what happened first, Clark or Superman. Fun read, but that isn’t what hit me with this particular comic. What really got me, are the ads! They brought back wonderful memories of childhood, and so i thought, “Hey, maybe THAT is what i can post here on this tumblr thingie. At least for the moment. Some recollections of things from my childhood, spurred by the ads in these comics! That might be fun!” So here goes!
Ah the GOBOTS! I don’t remember the big battle between GOBOTS and TRANSFORMERS when I was a kid. All I really knew was that Transformers were much bigger (except for a few choice Super GOBOTS). Transformers had whole backstories/likes/dislikes/personalities to their characters! GOBOTS were just robots that turned into things. Transformers also required more manipulation for the transformations. Take the Transformer’s Jazz for example compared to the GOBOTS Tank. Basically you stood Tank up and he was a robot. You bent him over and he was a tank. Yep. That’s it.
I remember getting that Jazz figure from a friend for my birthday and promptly accidentally breaking the windshield while transforming it because, damn it, it just wouldn’t move the way it was supposed to! He even apologized for getting me a hard to transform figure. Looking back, I feel bad that he felt bad. I didn’t complain, but he was really the type of guy who would feel bad if someone was struggling with something . He was one of the smartest ones in our grade (5th grade I think it was) and the most sensitive, so I know he really meant it. Anyway, moving on.
Despite these differences in the two lines, I was happy with whatever I had in my toybox. I staged wars regularly between good guy Gobots (Defenders, I think they were called) and bad guy Transformers (Decepticons) and vice versa. Even He-Man and Skeletor and Snake Eyes would come to the rescue or enter the fray. Occasionally, my sisters Barbie was the damsel in distress. Ah… Barbie. Ahem. Well, that’s a post for another time.
One of my fondest GOBOT memories is from when I was probably younger than my previous story above. Maybe 4th grade. I had an ear infection and my mother and I had to WALK to the doctor’s office. Now, this was not a small town like Mayberry, but it wasnt a a giant place either. Still, we had to walk down Cherry Street which was our town’s BIG hill. IF you were bike riding, you rode the hell out of that hill going down, but coming up you’d hit another street that wasn’t quite so steep. My dad was working and my mother didn’t drive. We only had one car anyway. It was later, maybe 5 pm. The doctor’s office was still open, but like I said, we’d have to walk.
So we did. It was autumn, so the weather was a bit colder. We walked, and I’m sure I was complaining about my ear the whole way. I remember being uncomfortable. I don’t remember talking much, but after the appointment, we went to the local drugstore and got my prescription, and my mother also decided to get me something to lift my spirits. It was a generic version of the real GOBOT seen here.
The generic (Heh. Generic GOBOT. Oxymoron?) was all yellow, but it was so cool! I dont remember if it was my first one or not but I loved it and took it everywhere. Something about getting a toy I didnt expect, i hadnt asked about, it was a nice gesture. Now, years later i came to realize (and we’re going deep into the psychological here folks), that giving gifts was how my family showed love and care. Not the best thing in the world sure, but absolutely not the worst either. More on that in a future post maybe.
Anyway, I remember taking that GOBOT everywhere. Going back to my realization about gifts=love, I realize now that the little boy with the GOBOT carried it around as a symbol. His mother loved him. Here was proof. I still have this GOBOT, as I still have all my old transformers in a box out in the closet. It’s joints are well loose now from all the years of playing with it. People have asked WHY. Why do you keep them? I used to say it was because I wanted my future kids to play with them. Now though, I can see that I’m still holding onto them, because I want to hold onto the love they represented. My family and I have definitely come far, and we talk more now than we ever did. We’re somewhat more open than we used to be. Hey, it’s a work in progress.
And now that I have kids, I try and make sure I’m actually talking to them and not just trying to keep them busy with things. Instead of always buying things for them, we go places and do things. We play together, something I definitely didn’t do too much of with my parents. I have a feeling they’re going to grow up being able to express so much more than I could at their respective ages. They’ll be able to grow up knowing they are loved despite a lack of gifts or “stuff”. And THAT makes the little boy in me smile.