For this Friday's feature, I get kind of personal and explain my love for Planet of the Apes model kits and how they made me the (largely unemployable) man I am today. Join me after the jump!
Recently, I spied a lot of Addar Planet of the Apes model kits on Hakes (shop there!). Finances weren't terrific (we were actually temporarily homeless due to a botched real estate transaction) but the sight of this model just broke my brain and I vowed not to lose the auction.
You see, back in 1985, I was desperately writing the (pricey) toy dealers in the back of Starlog hoping they'd trade the cool vintage toys they had for the stuff I could find in the local variety stores like overstock AMT Star Trek models and boardgames from forgotten shows like "Korg 70,000 BC" but nobody ever bit, 70s toys weren't in demand (except by me).
Until I found the Planet of the Apes Stallion &Soldier model in a store near my grandparents, it was the same store my parents got milk nearly every Sunday after a visit, I got a million comics there, my first starlog, even my first Han Solo figure was purchased there.
This store were a treasure trove of unsold 70s merchandise, I carefully compiled a list of what they had and mailed it out. Then the unexpected happened, somebody called.
A New Jersey toy dealer called frantically and offered me $75 in trade for the kit. I tried to not pretend I was a kid on the phone (my mom cutting in on the call destroyed that) but we made the deal. I begged my folks to take me there, spent the $6 for the kit and shipped it off.
Many, many weeks later, I received a carded Mego Space:1999 Captain Zantor figure from England. It sort of sent me on a path of Mego collecting that has yet to end I'm afraid.
That really sent me on my way, I begun hunting and networking, spending my free hours travelling to find old toys in those dusty corners. Often going to places that my parents probably wouldn't have been thrilled about me visiting.
That sense of wonder and discovery is why i have trouble driving by yard sales or why i still get up at ungodly hours going to flea markets and toy shows instead of sleeping like my friends.
During that time, I've found just about every Addar Planet of the Apes model in my travels, probably ten times or more.
EXCEPT for the Stallion and Soldier, I've never come across it since. When I saw it that lonely weekend, something just clicked and I had to have it. 32 years later, it's nice to be reunited.
It's probably not the same kit but I'd like to think it is....