Friday, May 10, 2013

Toy Denial Contest Winners

I'm pleased to announce the winners of our 7th Anniversary "Toy Denial" contest winners. Like most of the contests I've run here, I've really enjoyed reading the input from you all and found it hard to make a decision.

You can read the results after the jump.

First off I was originally only going to have 3 winners and 4 runners up (cause it's 7 get it?) but I had trouble picking just four, so I've increased the runners up selection considerably. I'd like to have included all of you but there were just so many.

The Runners Up- These people receive a PS prize pack loaded with oddball goodies.

Justin learns never to trust an older sibling....

"We were all home for summer break....this must have been 1987, considering the toys involved. We were each allowed to pick out a toy and I chose the Silverhawks figure "Bluegrass", while my older brother picked out the GI Joe Cobra Buzz Boar.

Here's where the shoe department fits in: my mom was trying on sandals and my brothers and I were goofing off in the adjacent aisle. My older brother asked me to "Say 'Clock' without the 'L'!" Which I instinctively did. My mom overheard me (but of course didn't hear him prompting me to) and so I didn't get my toy that day, and he did.

It was a valuable lesson in sibling rivalry. One day, not long ago, I finally did get a MOC Bluegrass and he is an important part of my collection."

Tony W's tale sounds weird but my friend had to deal with the same policy:

My Mom refused, flat-out refused, to buy me any toy that was A.) A
snake, B.) Looked like a snake, C.) Came with a snake, or D.) Had the
word “snake” in it. This was because she was terrified of them in real
life. This meant no Yoda (He had a tiny plastic snake around his
neck), no Bib Fortuna (His head had tendrils that looked like snakes),
and no King Hiss (For obvious reasons). Don't even get me started on
G.I. Joe.'

Mark R's didn't have issues with his mom but wow, his dad would not be classifed as a nerd:

"I remember being in a G.C. Murphy's store and proudly showing my parent's the birthday gift I wanted: a Kenner Star Wars Snowspeeder for the 3 3/4" figure line.  Now, if it had just been my Star Wars-loving mother, I'm sure she would have said something like, "Oh, that's neat!"  However, my father was the opposite- he hated going to the movies and didn't understand his kids' fascination with some stupid "space movie."  So, when I held up the box to show him, his exact words to me were, "I don't care if that thing can fly by itself and play the Star-Spangled Banner, I'm not buying some toy." Needless to say I didn't get the snowspeeder that year."

Lisa B's tale of woe is something as a former child I empathize and as a parent, kind of understand:

"It was about 1975.  My dad was a fireman.  I was eight years old and was being dragged, in full holiday finery, to the annual fire department Christmas party.  The local crossing guard doubled as Santa during the holidays and the highlight of the evening was, of course, gifts.  This year someone chose generic red mesh stockings filled with high quality rack toys.  Each stocking was different.  Mine had some crappy army guys, one of those face things with the metal shavings and a magnet pen to make a beard, crayons, etc...While I was lamenting the horribleness of this holiday compared with those in the past, my arch nemesis opened their stocking and found a set of purple glass with silver sparkles CLACKERS!  I"m sure you remember these amazing glass balls on a string?  the point was to make them bang together, making a great noise, and hoping they didn't shatter.  I ended up trading my avon snowman perfume pin and the entire contents of my stocking for this coveted toy!  I was thrilled..clacking all over the place and loving the sparkly purple-ness of it all...until my mother saw me.  From across the room  I heard her  "LISA COLLEEN...GET OVER HERE NOW".  I thought she was impressed with my clacking I clacked all the way across the crowded room..I was sooooo proud.  Then my world came to a crashing halt when she announced that they were too hazardous to be played with!  The other mothers agreed with her and they not only confiscated my beautiful purple clackers, but a few other sets too..My mother was the target of children's stink eye all night, and I left the party with absolutely no gift from Santa."

Scott P's tale about Bulletman is a bit how you say, insensitive these days but this was 1976:

"I showed {my parents] a picture of Bulletman last week and asked them why they would not let me have him as a child.  I too wanted to attach him to a clothesline and smash through a stack of plastic cups.  I was told, and I quote,"He looked fruity, like a big chrome d***."
Now, they were totally cool about everything else I wanted and fully supported my action figure obsession as I was an only child and had few friends.  I can't remember the reason they told me as a child but this new revelation is just fantastic.  Tolerance was not their strong suit.  Yeah, someone try to beat that one..."

I've heard older Joe collectors deride Bulletman before but never quite in that way...

Anthony B wrote:

"The J.C. Penney Christmas catalog's mid-fall arrival was always a happy landmark in the interminable wait until the late-December chance to open a small village's worth of new delightful plastic novelties.  On the school day when I came home and noticed it had magically appeared on the counter, I immediately grabbed it, rifled through to the toy section, and circled approximately $17,000 worth of gifts I wanted.  Most extravagantly, I used to always ask my mom for a Power Wheels, those battery-fueled kid-sized cars.  She refused, but not because they were a pricey luxury plaything that would have turned me from a mere spoiled kid into an insufferable brat.  Instead, her reason was that kids needed to exercise.  Apparently, her thinking was that Power Wheels would have made me sedentary.  Um, I wasn't going to use my motorized ride to change my mode of commute to school from a walk to a drive: I just wanted to zip around the block for fun.  So, I never got one, which is for the best, although I think I would have burned the same number of calories either way."

Darren has one I can totally relate to:

"When i was about 9 years old my mom wouldn't buy me either the 16 inch star wars chewbacca figure to go with my han solo OR the six million dollar man big foot figure to go with my steve austin  because she felt that both of those figures were demonic monsters and she didn't want them in the house.  crazy huh! lol!"

Brian B's mom didn't want him to have G.I. Joe but seeing he adored the cartoon, he fought like a champion. This tale, it's worthy of O Henry.

"I tried to make what felt at the time to be a very logical and eloquent argument for my cause. I explained to my Mother that at the age of eleven, I was pretty much already the person I was going to be for the rest of my life, and playing with G.I. Joe now would have no adverse effects on me. I pointed out that I had played with violent toys my entire life, and they had not made me a violent person. I had a Dracula doll, but I did not bite people on the neck and try to turn into a bat. Each of these arguments felt like a solid, knock-out punch at the time. 

My Mother gave me a good long look, sighed dramatically, and asked me to make a list of the horrible war toys I wanted for my birthday. I gave her the worn Sears Wish Book, by now a sacred document to me, with almost every G.I. Joe figure circled in marker. I had spent countless afternoons fantasizing of being able to get the toys on these pages, and now it would finally come true. 

Or so I thought.

You see, when my birthday finally came, there was not a single G.I. Joe in attendance, but the fault was actually entirely my own. I thought my logic was completely sound, but as it turns out I had been looking at that catalog for much too long, and apparently it was already old when I had found it. I had asked my Mother for the entire 1986 line of G.I. Joe toys, and my eleventh birthday took place in 1993. To be fair, the G.I. Joe cartoon had stopped making new episodes in ’86, and the concept of “syndication” was completely foreign to me. I was also probably a little dumb. "

Erin wanted to be a drummer, apparently 

"o, when I was making out my Christmas list, “Drum Kit” was usually number one on the list. (Hey, if Chris Partridge was my inspiration for playing drums, it makes sense that the quality of the drum kids offered by Sears wouldn’t matter all that much to me) And, since I knew that was a pricey item, it was usually the only item on my “A” list. My “B” list would usually include a snare drum, plus other items. One year, I included a “C” list because I strongly suspected the main items on “A” & “B” would be no shows under the tree. It was the “Latin Rhythm Set”  - Bongos, Sticks & Maracas.

I did receive that set for Christmas, and I still have them to this day.  And, judging from audio clips of myself & my friends playing these, I think I can understand why I never received the drum kit.  But, no, my lack of rhythm when playing these items was not the reason for the drum kit refusal.  No, I was not allowed to have drums solely because… “Girls don’t play the drums”.  (this was the early-mid 1970s *G*)  I’d counter with “Karen Carpenter plays the drums” but that argument never got me a drum kit."

Someone needs to tell Meg White.

Chris T has one of those "all that hard work for nuttin'" things going on...

  "Like most children from the 70s/early 80's I was Star Wars crazy. Unfortunately at school I wasn't crazy about multiplication tables. I hated doing the weekly 3 minute timed tests of 100 multiplication problems. I would not even try and just write in any old numbers so I could finish. The test really stressed me out. So after a talk with the teacher about my poor math scores, my mother decided that some form of incentive was needed to get me to apply myself to do better on the math tests. She told me if I scored 100% correct on my times tests that she would buy me the most bad ass Star Wars toy at that the time. 

The AT-AT walker.

It took a little bit but eventually with some hard work I did complete a few tests with 100% correct scores. My mom displayed them on our refrigerator. Alas the AT-AT was not to be mine once my mom saw the price tag of $50+ dollars. All that hard work for nothing. I still hate math."



Christopher B sent in more than a few tales (and actually a super decent mall appearance shot I'll feature on the weekend) This one answered my long running question of "what kid would want the LJN Dune action figures?", kids like Christopher:

"When 1984’s Dune line of toys were released I had my mother make a special trip to Woolworth’s under the guise that they had the cheapest cough syrup and I was coming down with something.  As always I ran straight for the toys, but she took one look at the hideous  Baron Harkonnen and Feyd Rautha action figures and said, “NO.”  Feyd came with some kind of cat in a box which horrified her.  Something in me snapped, perhaps due to the imaginary cold I was laboring under, but I caused a small scene by throwing both figures on the well-worn tile floor and shouting

YOU BENE GESSERIT WITCH!  For which I was popped in the face in full view of startled shoppers.

Now that's fandom, I had to look that term up.

Second Prize Winner: 

Amy K has a tale that even my own wife can relate to, gender barriers and parents sending mixed messages:

"When I was seven, I desperately wanted Maskatron for Christmas.

I would never get Maskatron. Why? Because he was “FOR BOYS.”

This came from the same parents who got me a soldering iron when I was six and sent me to a summer biology course that culminated in the dissection of a dog.   

Though I retain my soldering skills and a passing familiarity with canine anatomy, I still do not have Maskatron."

I don't have a Maskatron for you Amy but you have won a copy of Rack Toys.


Mike S's mom should have the nick name "IMDB", the following tale is exactly what I meant by "Mom Logic".

""My mom never let me get "doubles" of anything. when it came to star wars i had one stormtrooper, one jawa, one tusken raider. This was the same for the stars. i had x-wing Luke, and never got any other Luke.

But the worst of all was that this crossed to other lines.  I was not allowed to purchase a Kenner Indiana Jones because my mom decided "he is the same guy as Han Solo. Just play with Han Solo."  So many sad adventures were had with Sallah and Hoth Han raising the ark out of the Well of Souls playset

Mike get's a Woolco Carded Brick Mantooth to ease the pain but I guess by his Mom's thinking, he now can't have a Mego Museum Super Collector doll...

Thank everyone for playing and being great sports, it was a blast to read through all the entries. As always, thanks for your support.


epicanthus said...

Thank you SO much. I loved reading everyone else's stories, too. Long live PS!

Joe Green said...

I just cannot stop laughing at that Dune story.

Also, I remember all sorts of variations on that whole "trick another kid into cursing" thing that figured into Justin's story:

"Say 'Sun Shine City' over and over again real fast."
"Say 'britches' over and over again real fast."
"Hold your tongue and say 'as'."
"Hold your tongue and say 'mother, father'."

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm taking the whole thing too seriously, the stories from Mike S and Mark R depressed the hell out of me. Truth is, you're young only once. Later in life, you can buy the finest MOC/ NIB/ NOS version of the toy your parents refused to get you but the magic of make-pretend is gone forever.

If there's any justice in the world, those guys will remember the way their parents wrecked their childhoods when it's time for choosing a nursing home.


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