I sit here in a well-worn easy chair, the faded green velour fabric reminiscent of 1970. I wonder who else sat here before me, quaking in fear.
But I have no time to worry about retro furniture. The enemy is approaching – and fast. As Imperial Stormtroopers advance, their weapons drawn, At-At walkers march behind. As I idly wonder how much gas those things take, what with gas prices ever-rising these days, Clone soldiers surround me, ready for my escape. And just when I think it couldn’t get any worse, Fisher Price people circa 1975 swoop down from the ceiling like a 2-inch high SWAT team tactical unit.
The Death Star looms over me, its shadow darkening the words on my page. I just know – no, feel – Darth Vader gazing down on me, a maniacal grin on his face.
No wait, he has a plastic mask; the mask can’t grin. Or maybe he was grinning under the mask, or maybe….
Oh, never mind.
Princess Leia flaunts her youthful body, mocking mine – at least my hairdo is better than hers. As for Jabba the Hutt? Well, he could do with a lot more than just a few Botox injections. He needs to work on his manners; beauty starts from the inside.
Lego® mini-figurines skulk behind the circa 1980’s arcade game – still 25 cents a game.Wait – what? I didn’t know that the galaxy far, far away had arcade games?!?
GI Joe, his pals, as well as countless Transformers look on - many still in their packaging. Joe’s cocky grin reveals his thoughts - “Those stupid Ewoks! I’ll show them!” Decepticons, the bad guys of the Transformers clan, are positioned and ready for battle. With all this chaos, they should just jump in the Radio Flyer fire truck and make a break for it.
And that isn’t dramatic, galactic music setting the mood in the background! Retro toy commercials and cartoons from the 70’s and 80’s continuously play on big screen TVs.
Now I am really confused. Someone must have spiked my coffee I purchased down the street, because I am nowhere near where I thought I was.
Desperate for fresh air, what with all the galactic exhaust from X-Wing fighters and Tie-Fighters zipping around, I run outside, knocking over Strawberry Shortcake and Huckleberry Pie having tea. On the sidewalk I turn, sure to see GI Joe racing after me, and look up.
Outside, I am in the current year and proper galaxy, but inside….I was in a swirl of 1970’s and 80’s toy nostalgia – in Cherry Bomb Toys.
Their business card says, ‘Toys with Memories Included,’ and as I skulk back inside to wander around with my three men, those four words pretty much sum it up. Star Wars toys, Legos, GI Joe figurines - many of which are lovingly stored in display cases - are in every corner. X-Wing Fighters are suspended from the ceiling in perfect attack position; Strawberry Shortcake and Huckleberry Pie dolls from the 80’s are now safe behind glass. I am thrown back in time perusing the shelves and cabinets displaying toy history. Girlfriends and wives tagging along with their men constantly sigh, “I remember this!”
I run a household, a galaxy of its own, where I am the minority. A mere mother in the 21st century with a house full of men - with anything and everything galactic - I find a way to fit in with my own memories.
I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s, and played with Star Wars figurines on my neighbour’s front porch – many neighbours kids' were boys. But as I watched Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI, I didn’t want to grow up to be a Jedi Knight. I longed to be Princess Leia, swooning in the arms of Hans Solo – what a hunk.
Memories of an era not so long ago help me fit-in in my galactic household….in a galaxy not too far from here. And Cherry Bomb Toys brings it all back.
Minding the life-sized cardboard cut-out of Boba Fett, I put my (non-spiked) coffee on the floor, and spy a collection of vinyl records from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I flip through, and find another one of my hearts’ desires (sorry Hans)……..
A Rick Springfield record! There was something for me, here, after all!
(To be transported back in time, visit Cherry Bomb Toys at 1410 Broad Street, Victoria, BC. For more fun, visit Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Road, on May 1st for the Toy Fair put on by Cherry Bomb Toys)