Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nerd Therapy Sessions: Aurora Barfealis

This tale takes me to 1976  and it’s a tale of Superheroes, long boring car rides and toy loss.
More after the jump, warning to the first three rows, you will get wet...

The set up to this story is that my Dad was a self employed “rack jobber” to the convenience stores across Ontario. (That's a shot of his show room in the middle 1970s BTW)  If you bought an Action Jackson doll in a “Becker’s” in the 1970s, chances it are it came from my pop.

 Dad’s company sold a wide variety of items like pantyhose and curlers, but I only really cared about the toys, seeing as I was five years old at the time.

 A lot of the toys were cheaper rack toys (sensing a pattern in my obsessions yet?) from AHI or Imperial, however some of the higher cost goods, like model kits were the result of close out purchases. Canada was commonly a “dumping ground” for US toy companies and good deals could be had. In 1975, dad got a sweet deal on the Aurora Comic Scenes Superhero kits. This of course put me in Super Hero heaven.

Original invoice from Aurora to my Dad from 1976 that I dug up , one of many I have and cannot bring myself to throw away. Click on it for a larger view.

I couldn’t paint kits worth a damn and nor did I completely grasp the concept, so I treated them like action figures for the most part. Sloppily put together and even sloppier painted action figures, no wonder I like Mexican knock offs so much.

It was not uncommon for me to bring these figures on any one of the long Saturday road trips the family would make. We’d go visit some town and my dad would make a few store checks along the way. Back then, there wasn’t a lot to see in Southern Ontario, mostly fields, so you’d make do by bringing toys with you and DREAMING of "science fictiony" devices like a television set in your car.

It happened quickly in the middle of the trip, my sister complained of nausea and while my dad attempted to pull over, she began to heave, into the closest thing handy, the box I had brought all my toys and comics in....

I looked outside as it was going on,  we were in the middle of freaking nowhere.

I honestly can’t remember crying but I really must have. I also don’t remember the rest of that day but what I do vividly remember is my mother flinging the box containing my Aurora models (and I guess, my sister’s breakfast) into some anonymous farm field and climbing back into our gigantic station wagon.

The thought that kept my entirely too sentimental five year old brain going was that some kid would find my toys, clean them up and take care of them. They would be okay.

My dad probably gave me some more Aurora kits but by that point, the selection was dwindling, Tonto was one I remember that remained mint in box until my mom threw it away in 1984.

Believe it or not, I'm not really much of an Aurora model collector. I only own one vintage kit, however my kids and I treasure "Model kit day" every October where we put together a mess of re-issued Aurora monster kits and use them as a center piece at the dinner table.

As for my sister, I never held it against her, it's also not the last time I would see her throw up but those stories probably won't make it on here.

I sometimes see some of my younger self in my daughter, she's very sentimental about her toys and has a long memory. I don't know how many items I've spared from my wife's (much needed) Value Village donation boxes.


Jason said...

What I wouldn't give for that AH-56 Cheyenne model! Wow!

plasticfetish said...

One of the best and worst stories ever.

benestro138 said...

Now I'm depressed, tales of lost toys always get me down.


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