I was walking through the Walmart and I came across this:
For those of you not in the know, this is the Millennium Falcon, cargo ship of smuggler Han Solo and his faithful co-pilot Chewbacca. It made the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs. It was the ship that distracted Darth Vader long enough for Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star in the Battle Of Yavin and was flown by Lando Calrissian and escorted the rebellion into the reactor of the new Death Star destroying in the Battle Of Endor so they could be greeted as liberators by Ewoks everywhere.
I was seven when I saw Star Wars and rightfully obsessed. I had a handful of figures. Never a vehicle. When the Rebellion staged an attack in my bedroom, they walked. Brown blankets became sand dunes. Styrofoam packaging became an ice fortress. Raymond Barnett lived one block over from me and had everything… even the ever elusive Death Star playset which had three floors and a trash compactor. I think I have seen three of these in my life.
I don’t remember my friend Star Wars toy when I was a kid. I remember my brother’s was Han Solo and my father specifically told him do not open it until he were home. He didn’t listen and somewhere between the supermarket and home he lost Han Solo’s gun which pretty much made his only weapon his dry wit and harsh language. Hardly adequate when fighting with Sith or nearsighted Storm Troopers. But we were kids, what did we know? I spent several years referring to the preferred weapon of the Jedi and Sith as a Lifesaver which made sense since I didn’t know what a saber was.
In truth, I was a GI Joe man.
I never went without in my youth. I never have looked back and wished my parents had gotten me something that they didn’t. Thought that my life was somehow a little more empty because of a toy or game I missed out on. Standing there in Walmart, at age thirty six, there was a part of me that wanted to buy this. I wanted to finally own that thing I wanted almost thirty years ago but my father refused to buy me.
Then I saw the price in enormous numbers that I somehow overlooked in the return of my childhood glee.
$149.99. Are they out of their fucking minds?
Screw that noise. That’s our electric bill. Half of Natalie’s car payment. Gasoline for a month. Seven trips to the movies. Five dinners out.
That’s thirty DVDs from the Walmart $5 bin which is right over there.
Are these toy companies trying to make parents look bad? I buy a lot of stuff I don’t need because I am a lot like a seven year old with a paycheck. I can imagine me trying to explain this to Natalie which is immediately followed by her dragging me back to the Walmart (which she detests) to get our money back and explain to Ruth at the Customer Service counter than I don’t make mature decisions.
Now had this been the GI Joe USS Flagg we probably would have some issues.