As the years have gone by and I’ve gotten older (and wiser?) I’ve come to notice that every time one of our “distinguished men of AFi” have posted pictures of their past childhood holiday toy pictures that something has been missing from my life: namely, any similar pictures of MY childhood Christmases filled with toys. For that matter, I really never had any pictures of much of my childhood, period, outside of the typical family portraits. Or so I thought. Last year while home for the holidays I made an off-hand remark to that effect to my mother, who then asked why didn’t I look in all the boxes of slides we had stored upstairs. Turns out that my parents DID take a tremendous amount of pictures, only they were almost all slide film and then put away once we stopped gathering around the ol’ Kodak Carousel. Since I was curious as to what slides we had, I took it upon myself to scan them all and convert them into nice digital files.
Well, over 6000 slides, 12 months, and many hundreds of hours later, I now know what is on all of those slides (and might I add they date back into the 1950s, well before I was around). And I still have around 2000 more slides to scan…unless they find even more boxes, which is a very distinct possibility. But within all of those pictures, I did find a number of great shots of what I received for Christmases past. I haven’t gotten into the 1980s yet, and if you had asked me before I scanned them what toys I received, I would have told you that I mainly got cars & planes, model trains, and a toy drum set until 1978. At that point my life was overtaken by Star Wars, (I even made my own xmas stocking shaped like Boba Fett’s leg, seen at right!) and I can’t really remember owning any other toys until I started collecting in earnest in college (well after throwing away everything I had in childhood). What I wouldn’t have said I owed was any GI Joe toys. I do remember having the awesome Sea Wolf sub, and maybe a Joe with Kung-Fu grip, but I would have stopped there and said I didn’t play with the Joes. I would have been a damn liar. Turns out there is photographic proof that I indeed played with Joes. In fact, I owned a number of Adventure Team Joes, playsets and vehicles. And now that I’ve seen all these sets in their awesome packaging, I really, really wish I still owned them! Ah well. Take a look at the coolness below, along with some other early 1970s toys I wish I still owned, and a few other shots for a geeky childhood. I do still own that great Mickey Mouse head bank, along now with the other 3 characters they made. And as much as I claim to not like the Muppets, I apparently liked them enough back then to have a big-ass poster of Kermit and Fozzie on my wall. Anyway, enjoy the nostalgia!