Yesterday was my brother’s birthday and it got me to thinking about the good ol’ days. Things we used to do, plots and toys we used to play with. A simpler time when we didn’t worry about points of articulation, paint schemes or paying bills. So here are just a few things we did from a time not so far away.

Shellshock – This was the precursor to a larger set of stories. I don’t recall a lot of the specifics because I was pretty young during the first few incarnations of this, but it always stuck with me. The plot revolved around Shellshock 1 & 2, who I presume were robots of some kind doing battle with the evil Death Adder. Or was it Black Adder? See it’s all a blur these days. Anyway, this was a plot played with no toys. Just us running around the neighborhood being idiots.

One of the fascinating things about playing as a character when you’re a kid is that you can look like anything. Chances are my brother, myself and my cousin all had very different ideas of what our characters looked like. I like to think that the two Shellshock characters looked a bit like Cop-Tur from GoBots.

Death Adder or Black Adder whatever the hell his name was, I pictured to look a bit like his Golden Axe counterpart. Maybe with some more robotics.

Granted these are just approximations. Not exactly how I pictured our characters to be. I guess technically this is “role playing” but I tend to think it was more like elaborate childhood somerstock theatre, heh.

Hide the Fruit – Another game built out of childhood boredom. It’s not like we were starved for toys, we had a ton of cool toys. Sectaurs and MOTU, you name it we had some of them. Hell we had a ton of Inhumanoids, but for whatever reason sometimes you’d find yourself playing stupid games without any of those cool toys. Which is how “Hide the Fruit” came about. This was a game we devised where one of us would dress up like Elton John and hide and the others would go find him…

Wait, no wrong game.

Hide the fruit was a game where we’d hide my grandmother’s plastic pieces of fruit. I have no idea why she had a fruit bowl full of plastic fruit but I’m guessing it was posh in the 70’s. That was pretty much it. Hiding fruit and finding it. Not exactly the most fun game around. Yet I know we probably played it a couple hundred times.

Blimp – I never much cared for cars. Sure I played with some Hot Wheels from time to time, but aside from the Batmobile none of them ever interested me that much. Okay, that’s a lie because as I type this I specifically remember a Christmas at my Grandfather’s trailer where I got some color change cars (you know the ones that change in hot water) and it was like my favorite thing ever… But for the MOST part I didn’t care about toy cars.

However there was one elusive “car” that I always wanted. The Goodyear blimp. We lived in an area where some local sporting events would often bring blimps into town and they’d fly right over my Grandmother’s house where she babysat me during the day. I saw the Goodyear blimp sometimes every day for a week. Other blimps too, like the Shamu blimp.

Anyway, Hot Wheels made a Goodyear Blimp and it was a huge coup for me when I finally found it at a Walgreens one day. I then proceeded to play with the blimp for quite a bit that summer. There was something really fun as a kid about flying my Hot Wheels Goodyear blimp around while the actual Goodyear blimp hovered above.

Monster Wrestling – I’ve discussed M-Wrestling at length over at Poe Ghostal and I mentioned in it that Monster Wrestling in a way was the precursor to that. Monster wrestling was basically huge epic battles between various figures my brother and I had in our backroom. We used to have this backroom where we played at. We never were really allowed to play with our toys in our bedroom… Which now that I think about it was pretty odd.

This backroom was also a laundry room so my mother would come in and wreck our plots from time to time. This is also where we tried unsuccessfully to hide GI Joe filecards (my mom threw all that “garbage” away) underneath a clothes dresser and we had a drain where GI Joes would sometimes take a drop in.

Anyway on top of the dryer was a large clothes basket where a bunch of clothes stayed forever. I assume it was like old rugs and stuff that we didn’t use so this big green basket was always pretty much full. Anyway, this is where a large portion of Monster Wrestling took place. While the term wrestling was used, they didn’t really wrestle persay, it was more of a big fight.

Part of the charm of Monster Wrestling was emulating some of things we had seen on Godzilla movies and such. So the bigger the monster, the better the battle you were inclined to have. Which led to our two most famous gladiators doing battle on a nearly weekly basis. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Wampa from Empire Strikes Back.

These two gladiators had more stalemates than any two wrestlers in history. Battling it out for years. I still have them both too.

Reunited and it feels so good…

Poor Stay Puft was “fixed” some years ago when I decided I could clean him up by painting him with WhiteOut. Yeah, that went about as well as expected. Wampa is in decent condition but still has a few battle wounds from those days. Wampa’s ability to hold other figures often led to him being tossed from the top of the clothes basket to the concrete floor below with another figure trapped in his midst. This led to the creation of the famous “Wampa Slam” move many years later in my M-Wrestling fed.

And there you have it, just one glimpse into the fun of being a child.

2 Responses to Childhood Memories

  • Poe Ghostal says:

    Great stories there! I did a lot of the same sort of thing growing up, particularly with my cousin Mike.

    Our massive-scale toy battles culminated in Halloween 1992 with the infamous “Trick or Treaters vs. the Transformers,” starring Insane Luke, the two Megatrons and Insane Optimus Prime. I later wrote the thing down as an actual story…have to try to turn that up someday.

  • Ahh truly the fundamentals of childhood and likely a great reason my life went in the multitude of directions that it has……Delusions of granduer and whatnot….. But Newton left out some of the greatest epics….Slayer, the multitude of giant WARS, (I do believe he mentioned them once in a rant about “Doc” but I digress)and the TRUE title to the aforementioned Shellshock, which sadly was simply ” Bionic Robot” (ignore the obvious Oxymoron there WE WERE ALL Younger then and that evolved to the great Slayer as we grew older, but again I digress….) I too have at one time or another attempted to write out some of these great plots…. but alas have yet to have Micheal Bay call me for some of my ideas. None the less this trip down memory lane was the best birthday present (the only one actually) that I recieved, so Kudos to you bro.

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