Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vintage 80's toy find - my 30 years in the making toy rediscovery!

Well, it has been quite a while since I've written here, but I have a good reason. The first is life in general has been busy, but no one reads my blog for "real life" things. This blog is all about toy memories and nostalgia, whether you buy old or new toys, if you were a 70's/80's kid many of us love to think back and remember those fun times. One of the best ways to me is toys - they are like little plastic time machines that can instantly take you back to that birthday in 82' or Christmas in 85'!

The main reason I'm writing is this weekend is the one year anniversary of a toy rediscovery 30 years in the making. This is something that I had long since given up hope of ever happening. Family members have given differing accounts on what happened to all our things after my brother and I had to quickly move from Texas. These ranged from "everything was surely thrown out by now", to "we looked through everything and it's all worthless" and finally my dads version of everything is there safe just like we left it.

My grandmother was the one tasked with keeping everything in her garage, unfortunately things with some of my family there were strained - I didn't talk with my grandma for many years at one point. I had my own stuff going on in Florida anyway and traveling there for a quick visit and toy grab was not a high priority. Again, over the years I spoke to family in Texas and got different answers to what was there. More recently I reconnected with family there, but never got a real answer to what she had been storing for us all these years. I tried to make plans and visit, but again "real life" always seems to get in the way. Unfortunately my grandmother started getting dementia was hard of hearing, I couldn't talk with her on the phone anymore.

Grandma lived a good long life, and her rather quick passing was kind of a relief in a way - she was a very independent woman who would be miserable if she were bedridden the last years of her life. I miss talking with her, we would often talk about my dad who passed several years prior. Now I was faced with a choice to go and represent my family at the funeral or just send a card and flowers, I had to go. Of course I thought there might be some straggling things there from my childhood, maybe some D&D lead figures were kept away from other family members children and not thrown away ( I remember having a bunch of great ones like dinosaurs ) .

I know I've buried the lead long enough, and if you have read this far I appreciate it! I just have to get all this down for myself. I arrived in Texas and met with family, had dinner and went to the hotel. I got to meet many family members for the first time, I have an uncle named Ivan - how cool is that! Ivan helped me around town and I did mention to him I would like to visit the old house before it is sold, but I kept my toy dreams on the down low - I mean there couldn't be much left at this point right? I was afraid my Aunt who was in charge of things, like the estate, would not be interested in me getting anything from the garage - to her it was all junk to be donated or trashed.

Luckily, uncle Ivan came to my rescue. Unknown to me he talked to my aunt and let her know I wanted to visit the property one last time, she actually approached me after the funeral and offered to take me there as she had to stop by there and get some things anyway. I couldn't believe I was actually getting in the house. We pulled up and it was like going back in time, when an old home hasn't been updated for 30 years it's like 1985 all over again. the house had not been lived in for over a year and was really showing it's age. She showed me around the house and I gathered some old photos to keep, but I was never led into the garage. At one point we are standing there 5 feet from the door to the garage and my Aunt want's to go change her clothes before we leave as she needs to go back home in a couple hours. I am standing there 5 feet from a possibly amazing 30 year archaeological toy find, I had to check in the garage - so I went in.

There were many boxes stacked mostly on the right side of the garage, this had to be our things from the apartment we left in 85'/86'. I am thinking - holy shit I have stuff here! - so I look in the first box on top and find this...

I forgot all about this cool little SD model, but things all started rushing back! I could not believe it! I was so excited but also nervous because I was not sure how much time I could get to look around. It was possible my Aunt would refuse to let me take anything and say we have to leave. I put the model back and got back into the kitchen. My Aunt came out a few minutes later, and I just had to ask if I could look around in the garage.... she was actually cool about it and said I had a little time to get some things for my brother and I. We opened the garage door as it was musty in there, and I about shit my pants as I started pulling through boxes like a mad man! There was so much stuff, I just kept saying " I can't believe it's all here -  I can't believe it's all here - I can't believe it's all here ". 

My Vehicle Voltron, Millennium Falcon, Joe Sky Striker and Night Raven, Robotech SDF-1 (which was like new in the box!), All my vintage Star Wars figures, M.A.S.K, He Man, Lego, GI Joe, some Transformers and many other cool robot toys! I wanted to take pictures of the process or even video it but my Aunt never left me alone there and was starting to rush me. I had rented a car, basically the smallest car possible, a Fiat 500 but of course I never thought the toys would be there. What a wonderful problem to have right?

As you can see in the photos I crammed the hell out of the little Fiat! I could not fit any more toys, and there were several more boxes I could have brought if there were more time and room. After about 2 hours it was clear my time was running out as my Aunt had to leave... and that meant I was being kicked out. She tells me she has to leave, but I had not found my vintage Star Wars figures yet. There were 4 or 5 boxes in the corner to go through so I beg for 5 more minutes which she begrudgingly gives me and would you know the last box I look in contained my shiny C-3PO figure case along with my brothers Darth Vader case. We can go now!!! I was super lucky to find almost all my favorite toys, some still in the box, and also get many things to send to my brother ( he now has his Voltron Lion force, At-At, Optimus Prime, Soundwave, along with many other vintage action figures )

I think this is all for now, but I will update with some more photos and thoughts later this weekend.

Thanks for reading!

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