Monday, September 14, 2009

Super Love

Most of you know the story of the time I got "Toy Punching Mad," but for newbies or for those that don't know the story, once many moons ago, when I still lived in Mobile, one Sunday, I went to Target to buy two new figures that were exclusively available at Target of Batman and Superman. I'd been waiting on these to come out and that day, they appeared in the Target circular in the newspaper (good ol' Mobile Press Register). So, excitedly, I went to Target with Richard only to find a barren shelf where Superman and Batman were SUPPOSED to be. Richard's idea of comfort was to say, "Maybe kids bought them" (as if that altered my circumstance of not having my Superman and Batman action figures), to which I replied "Fuck kids!" and punched a box of Legos. Long story short, to Richard, it appeared that I have "anger issues." I later shared this story with my therapist, who laughed and pointed out that I was not in a relationship, I didn't have strong ties to my family, I hated my job... basically, my reaction was perfectly normal, because super heroes and toys were all I really felt any passion for. So THERE!

See, here's the thing, and honestly I think Cathy is the only one on the same page as me on this, we're not like other people. We don't like the same stuff other people do. "Normal" people may think it's silly to still be buying toys for myself at 35. I think it's absolutely absurd to spend your entire Sunday watching football. I mean you do realize Target is open on Sundays, right people? How that doesn't get butts off couches, I will never understand.

And also, here's the deal, my EARLIEST MEMORY IN LIFE, is of watching "Super Friends." That is the FIRST thing in my life that registered enough for me to recall it this many years later. I remember it was the terrible first season with Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog. Of course, I didn't realize at the time that it was terrible. To me it was pure alchemy! The greatest idea that had ever existed and ever would exist. That one program inspired my entire life. I made my dad buy Super Friends comics and read them to me as bedtime stories! Because seriously, Wonder Woman can SO kick Snow White's ass, let's not kid ourselves. I even remember my very first comic, Super Friends #25!

Oh man, that cover (by the amazing, but underrated Ramona Fradon) was SO dramatic to me at age... I dunno, 4? This super villain (The Overlord, who existed only in the pages of the SF comic) was making the Super Friends fight EACH OTHER?! How dastardly! And WHAT happened to Jayna?! Why was she lying broken on the floor? (Kinda like Natalie Imbruglia only 25 years earlier!) Was she DEAD?! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Oh man, how could I NOT find out what happened in those glorious pages, even though I couldn't read yet?! (Turns out they never actually fight each other in the comic. They turn evil and fight other characters. Mild false-advertising.)

And it never stopped. I'm still reading comics all these years later. I sitting here blogging about it 31 years later. It led to my interest in art and story-telling. Wonder Woman alone helped me ace ever test I ever had on Mythology. Also, at that age, I thought Batman and Robin were married... and that Robin was the wife because Batman always drove. So, draw whatever conclusions you want there.

Also, and hate to get melancholy but, I believe life is a series of losing people. Not just in a death sense, although that is a valid part of it, but just... y'know people move on. Some people you get in a fight with and never speak to again. Others, you just kind of drift apart. People move away. People start dating someone, and you never see them again. People get wrapped up in work. But... Superman got married and I still see him all the time. Wonder Woman never started seeing someone and stopped speaking to me for six months, only to call after she'd been dumped six months later. I might not have agreed with Aquaman's decision to grow his hair long and grow a beard, but hey! We're back on speaking terms now. See what I mean?

And on a lighter note, I think the main reason I moved to Cincinnati, is because The Hall of Justice... I mean Union Terminal (the real-life inspiration for the animated HoJ) is located here.

So, yesterday, I got "Toy Punching Mad" again. I've been collection the DC Universe Classics action figures. The problem with this line is that it isn't based on a cartoon or movie, and in today's market, a line that is strictly based on comics, which most children don't read, doesn't exactly appeal to buyers for major retailers. The first wave was distributed widely, but the characters in that wave were pretty obscure, so they didn't

sell well. Heck, even I only bought Batman to begin with. So retailers weren't picking up the rest of the waves. I got lucky and found Wave 2, featuring Aquaman, at Kroger of all places! I think the same thing happened with Wave 3, featuring Green Lantern.

I then realized that I could quit looking in stores entirely and order full cases through the Internet, so starting with Wave 4, featuring Wonder Woman, that's exactly what I did.

So anyway, word hit the web a few weeks ago that Wave 9 was starting to hit stores. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Dammit, I needed Green Arrow and Black Canary! The rest, mmmm, sure, I'll take 'em. But those two I NEEDED!

So, then I get an email from my vendor that Mattel grossly under-produced this wave and my vendor and most retailers would only receive 25% of their orders. So... basically, I'm not getting my toys and became... you guessed it, "Toy Punching Mad!" Only this time, it was more like "Mouse Throwing Through Computer Monitor Mad." Well, not really, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to delight you with this little anectdote. If only I got this fired up over, y'know, real world problems. I could've been President by now! So now, my only alternative, was to buy them from someone else at a disgusting mark up. So I paid $50 for these two, when, had I gotten the full case, it would have only cost me about $100 for seven figures! Now I may not even get the rest, because I have seen nary a sign of them and I go to Target at least once a week. If they haven't shown up by now, looks like they won't ever. Toy. Punching. Mad.


  1. Bound AND broken on the floor! It IS Natalie Imbruglia! But which late '90s pop singer is Zan supposed to be?