All the hub bub over the Masters of the Universe Classics Moss Man a couple weeks ago got me reminiscing about the vintage Moss Man. An original series figure I did not get. Oh, I remember quite vividly seeing him hanging on the pegs at the County Variety 5 & 10 in Kinnelon, NJ. I remember staring at him longingly and at length and on multiple occasions. So why the heck didn’t I get him? Because I had decided I had to quit buying action figures. Of course, I had some help making that decision!
It was 1985 and I was around 13 years old. My older brother, Joel, made it perfectly clear that I was getting way too old to be playing with toys. My heart didn’t think so but that’s an age when the feelings of peer pressure are strong. Lord knows, I didn’t give in right away but eventually I came to the decision that it was time to go cold turkey with the toys. And I did. In fact, the decision was so deliberate that I clearly recall the very last action figure I got. I wasn’t into Thundercats but I must have been looking at them in the JC Penney Christmas Catalog that year and I thought the bad guy, Hammerhand, was pretty freaking cool. (Uh, yeah, he’s a pirate viking with a massive claw fist!) So I put him on the list, mom assigned him to my grandma Nanny, and I unwrapped this last action figure at her apartment that year. Somehow I still have him.
So that was it, time to grow up. Psh. Before long I found myself wandering into places like the Disney Store at the mall. As they would re-release the classics, Disney often produced little PVC figurines of characters from the movie. For some reason I didn’t feel like I was disobeying my "No More Action Figures" injunction by picking stuff like this up.
Hard to believe I wasn’t able to stop with the Disney Store’s PVC offerings.
Fast forward to 1999. A little known movie called Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was on the horizon. In the weeks leading up to the premier we watched the trailers over and over again at work. I got pretty good at imitating our favorite Gungan: "Yousa people gonna die?" On a whim I stopped at a Toys R Us on the way home one day and ended up buying the Collection 1 Jar Jar Binks. Yes folks, the most maligned character in all the Star Wars universe is what’s responsible for reigniting my love for the little plastic people. (In fairness, its a pretty good figure!) I refer to it as the Jar Jar Slippery Slope. Was there a particular figure or line that got you back in the saddle?
So from Hammerhand to Jar Jar I was off the action figure sauce a good 13 years. Definitely missed some stuff in there. Like I’m sure I would have picked up lots of the Toy Biz Marvel figures. I’m curious about other quitting stories. Let me know your experiences transitioning from a kid action figure lover to an adult action figure lover.
Let’s tie this back up with Moss Man. Months ago when we first got word that old Mossy would be coming to the MOTU Classics line my heart kinda skipped a beat. Here was my chance to redo my adolescent decision not to get this awesome character’s figure. In preparation I bough a vintage Moss Man in decent shape from our local action figure haven, Toy Anxiety. Brought him home, got him acquainted with the lint roller, and set him in a convenient place to eagerly await his evolved counterpart.
And then Matty.com / Digital River intervened to repeat history. No Moss Man for you! "Ah, well," I mused, "some things just aren’t meant to be." Then I got a PM from one of AFi’s finest, a member I’ll refer to as J_A_. He noticed I was one of the many who missed out on Mossy, said he was lucky enough to get an extra, and inquired if I’d be interested! In that one stroke of "got-your-back" collector buddy kindness the space-time continuum was rent and an alternate reality formed. One where ‘ol CantinaDanny does not go without Moss Man. Thanks for my new favorite figure, J_A_! Against my better judgement, I doubt I’ll ever quit the little plastic people as thoroughly as I did back in the day. After all, my brother can’t tell me to grow up anymore!