Rolling Thunder


This edition (Otherwise known as the 1st edition) of FLASHBACK FRIDAY is going to be a doozie! After sharing with everyone a box full of my childhood awhile back, I said to myself, I need to do this more often. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen. FLASHBACK FRIDAY’s are a look back into my childhood and things that impacted it. It might be a movie, cartoon, tv show, video game, toy… what have you.

I knew I needed to start off with a bang, that this 1st edition had to be huge. So, I pulled out the big guns, literally.


Seriously, this guy was a freakin monster. Released in 1988, retailing at only $24.95, it was a little over 3 feet long, and was only surpased in size by the USS Flagg. Rolling Thunder was the answer to, well just about any problem that GI Joe had on land. And the aircraft carrier took care of everything at sea. Thinking back I don’t know why they saw fit to even bother with any other vehicles. This was all you needed. And if you were like most kids, you probably barely had enough GI Joe’s to actually man this vehicle anyway. There’s 8 guys in the picture on the box alone. I was lucky if I could scratch up 8 GI Joe figures period. And I’ll be damned if you could fit Leonardo and Raphael in that gun turrent.

Here’s an actual picture of the toy. Glorious isn’t it? Take a minute and let’s count the guns mounted on this beast. I got 200, what’d you come up with. Oh, you must’ve forgot to count the one on the little ATV. There’s enough firepower on Rolling Thunder to demolish every Cobra vehicle twice over. And missles… don’t get me started on the missles…

The two big ones are called “Lightning Rockets” and all of those yellow missles on the right were mounted inside them. So not only were you shooting giant rockets at the Cobra A.S.P., you were also raining down 1800 little missles. And to top it off, along came a brand new Joe!

His name is Armadillo, and upon doing some research I found that he was made specifically for the Rolling Thunder vehicle. There is no other like him in the entire world. Which is probably for the best since he looks like a GI Joe shaped dildo.

His file card says it all. “He’s the most reliable driver in the whole GI Joe motor pool!” Well I’d certainly hope so, he’s driving the biggest thing on wheels. If you read down a couple of lines, you’ll find out that Armadillo is “No fun to ride with.” I can just see the arguments between Shipwreck and Lady Jaye about how sure, he’s reliable and all, but how he won’t let anyone listen to anything on the radio but News/Talk.

Easily the biggest toy that I ever owned, with the exception of a trampoline, Rolling Thunder was my key to being the coolest kid my parents had. An award that I’ve won all but two years of my life. And trust me, since I’m an only child I’m not sure how I lost either. The damn poodles aren’t that cute.

As a special bonus just for you, check out the actual commercial for Rolling Thunder… they kinda don’t give Cobra any credit at all, they get ran over alot in the spot. I can see why Rolling Thunder never made it into the show very often, it’d be 30 minutes of Destro getting crushed by giant wheels, Armadillo being an ass about the air conditioner, and Cobra Commander sobbing quietly because he doesn’t have one.

My Old Toy Box

Occasionally my parents surprise me with a box full of toys. And I will think… holy shit, is it Christmas already? And my Mom will say; “We were cleaning up the attic/basement/closet and thought you might want this stuff.” I’ll open the box with such joy and gusto only to find a bunch of my old toys. As you can imagine, the thrill isn’t quite as large, but don’t get me wrong… it’s still there. I mean, sure, they’re dusty, broken, and outdated, but they’re still toys. And they’re mine!

The latest box was absolutely full of the widest variety of junk that you could imagine. I mean, this is an Ebayer’s wet dream. Allow me to share a few of the prizes of my yesteryears.

The C-7 Air Cargo Plane was released in 1989 and offered the owner an easy way to transport 50 or so vehicles from the living room to the basement. I can remember making vehicles line up to await transport at my Micro Machine Airport only to wait for hours, do to a delay that took place in the kitchen because dinner was ready. The tiny drivers never complained of course. I was 1000 times their size, and could crush them.

Oh snap! I really wish I still had the controller to the remote control Batmobile. Because I guarantee that I would do exactly the same thing I did with it 18 years ago: chase my dogs around the house. My mother would get so uptight about me “freaking out the puppies”. Batman doesn’t care about puppies’ well being. Neither did I.

My school would have an event once a year or so that more often than not led to most of us young people’s first orgasms. The BOOK FESTIVAL! Several weeks in advance, our teachers would send us home with a catalog containing the names and pictures of literally thousands of books. Don’t get me wrong, reading wasn’t exactly your ticket to coolness in elementary school. But, if you didn’t buy at least 30 books, you were labeled an outcast by your peers. I wasn’t to be one of those. My Mom, if it weren’t for my Dad, would have made my name Reid. Yeah, I would’ve been Reid Moore. “Read More.” She wanted me to be a walking, talking billboard for literacy. So, long story short, I was sent to school with a blank check, with a note that said “Give him teh bookz!” I came home with Tree Vipers among others.

HA! Proof that I wasn’t always a lazy couch potato! Trophies and medals. I played Soccer, Baseball, and Basketball most of my life, and apparently occasionally I was good enough to deserve a reward. I can only guess that the medals were in fact recognizing my accomplishments in book buying though.

On top of being an actual Baseball player, I also made it a point to collect baseball cards. And here’s one of my pride and joys. A Kevin Maas Rookie card. Cost, $5.00. At the time, this was a heck of a buy. Kevin Maas was the future of baseball man. After finding this card, I had to know what it was worth. I did some research. After searching “Kevin Maas Rookie Card” I was directed to a page entitled: SPORTS Biggest Hobby Flops Of The Recent Era. Oh crap. Number one on the list? Kevin Maas.

1. Kevin Maas
Deemed the heir apparent to Don Mattingly, Maas started his big league career on a tear, belting 10 homers in his first 77 at bats. Hobbyists responded by hoarding his rookies.

“In 1990, I remember being at a card show in New York and Kevin Maas was as hot as you could imagine,” recalled Kruk.
Jim Kramer, owner of Southpaw Cards in Roseville, Minn., had a similar experience. “I was always selling them as quick as I had them,” he said.

But Maas could never match the magic of his first few months in the majors. His power numbers evaporated after two seasons and he struggled to get his average above .200. His career lasted only five years.

Current market value… .50 cents. Dammit.

Hell yes! STRIDOR! This metallic pony carried none other than He-Man into war when Battlecat was stuck in the litterbox. Check out that gun on his ass. Tail? No thanks, I’d like a gun thank you very much.

Where Kevin Maas let me down, Spider-man will not. This folks is a box containing a Genuine Spider-man 100 piece puzzle, out before Spider-man ever hit the big screen. Hell, at this point I don’t even think the webslinger even had a cartoon. Just proof that I wanted to be Spider-man before being Spider-man was cool. This baby is worth some bucks. Of course, I’ll be damned if I ever part with it. In fact, I’m probably going to put it together in a few minutes. I might even frame the damn thing and hang it above my bed.

Transformers, more than meets the eye! No matter the age, these guys will always be cool. And these fellas had something else going for them. They fit in my pocket. I remember I had no less than ten thousand mini Transformers, and I made every attempt to fit all ten thousand in my pants to take to school everyday to show my friends. I have no idea what these guys were named. We’ll call them Lil’ Ironhide, and Stupid Arms Optimus. Stupid Arms Optimus, how do you feed yourself and clean your arse?

LOL, wtf.

Omg. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves action figures! Left to right… Robin Hood, Little John, The Sheriff of Nottingham, and a Dark Warrior. These guys were great, and I even had the playset!

Don’t be confused, the playset was redesigned for the Robin Hood movie from the Ewok Village playset in the Star Wars series. Little fun fact for you there. Thank me when you win Final Jeopardy.

And I know what you’re thinking. Mav sure does like to take the shirts off his action figures. He’s such a gay. Well, I assure you. That is not the case. And I promise the next toy I pull out of my box of treasure will prove it.

Sonofa bitch.

A Trip To The Dollar Store

Oh Happy Day!

I got to go to the Dollar Store the other day!

And nothing makes me more happy!

Than getting things that are so crappy!

I love getting stuff. Especially stuff that I don’t really need. I suppose that it makes me feel like one of those rich people that buys planes, cars, and pools even though they already own planes, cars, and pools. I like getting things I don’t need, and adding them to a collection of other stuff I don’t have any reason to own. Then I can be like: “Hey, look at all this stuff I have that I don’t need.” And secretly I think to myself. “Yeah, they’re impressed. They don’t have this kind of stuff.” And the best place for me to fulfill my desire for stuff I don’t need, is the Dollar Store.

The Dollar Store is the only place I can go in with nothing in my pocket, and still come out with something spectacular. And recently, I did just that.

The treasures I brought out of that store would make a pirate weep. I was the owner of the coolest of the coolest of things. The first thing I found however, worried me.

The “Fun Bubbles” Play Set. Seemingly harmless of course. What harm could come from bubbles. Bubbles are fun, and good wholesome entertainment for the entire family. This toy shouldn’t really be a big issue. But oh, then I looked a little closer.

Look at this kid. He’s not actually enjoying bubbles. He’s enjoying his first BONG! I couldn’t believe it. Ages 4+ it says. It might as well say, “Good for everyone who wants to dabble in the illegal substances available on the streets.” This poor child didn’t know what was he was getting into. Check out that smile. The innocence.

I can only imagine this child’s future after playing with the “toy”.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Wasted, and Baked, and Red-eyed is he!

Let’s move on.

The Magic Growing Beast.

“You may not become a beast trainer, but you can grow one!”

OMG! LOL. Just add water it says. And I can become a grower of beasts. Or beast trainers. I guess it’s all in how you read it.

It looks harmless enough sure. And of course the package tells me up front that I’m not going to become a Beast Trainer. So I have nothing to fear.

This will not be me

“Fill with clean water…” Then what? I didn’t know. The words just kinda trail off there. White letters over a partially white backdrop? Sounds grand, print it!

The package did nothing else to guide me. So, of course. I put the item in my mouth.

But, of course the package came with a warning. And of course, it’s a warning that most kids, and twenty-somethings would not give any credit too, or even notice until it was too late.

“Do not swallow.”

DO NOT SWALLOW?!?! What kid would even consider such a thing!?!? It’s not like this was a package of Pringles. I tell you this with the upmost of authority. This warning should be on the front of the package, not on the back.

After an hour or so, I was able to make it back to my prizes.

The next item I found at the Dollar Store was something that should not even be in my possession. Or anyone’s possession for that matter. It should still be in it’s glass cage.

We’ve all seen them, the 25 cent machines, offering prizes galore. Prizes worth much more than the price it takes to play. And of course you never get anything close to the value of the items advertised.

But, they look so damn appealing. “I can be a winner for just 25 cents!”

I wasn’t a winner.

Domes of Joy these were not. The quarter machine claimed it held “Sweet Prizes”. What I got was from from Sweet, and certainly no prize. I got two plastic girls from the movie “Grease”.

Just look at them. Pieces of crap worth less than the 25 cents I paid for ‘em. However, I do like the effort they went to, giving them personality. The girl on the left… Betty, has a leather jacket and is a bad to the bone biker chick. Stacey is her polar opposite, she chews gum, blows bubbles, and wears pink. I especially like the way Stacey tilts a little to the side. Almost as if Betty has spiked her milkshake with liquor in a cruel joke to impress her friends down at the Shake Shop. But, I suppose there’s worse things I could buy…

But this friends, was not one of those things. “A Surprise For A Boy” offered the chance to redeem this trip and the $5 I had spent at the Dollar Store. I’m not gonna lie and say that I wasn’t completely thrilled to open this package. It could’ve contained nothing more than a note saying “Surprise” and I would’ve been just as happy with the results. But, A Surprise For A Boy did not let me down.

I’m a boy, and this was a surprise. And in my mind, it was Christmas in July.

That face should say it all. This dollar was well spent.

No, I’m not about to poop on myself. I am making the face that anyone would make after finding out that they had just unearthed a Giant Plastic Grasshopper…

…and Giant Plastic Bat.

And of course. I did what anyone in their right mind would do.

But, the Grasshopper and Bat were not all I found inside this Prize of Prizes.

I had also become the proud owner of an official USGI Action Set.

Face of a proud owner

The USGI Action Set, easily the Creme de la Creme of playsets offered up not one, but 6 Action Figures. These guys were replicas of soldiers fighting for our freedom against… something. And thank goodness they were fighting.

Otherwise, plastic women from the movie “Grease” and Giant Grasshoppers would be killing us all. Or humping us. I’m not sure which.

Could I have spent my 5 dollars elsewhere and been been better served? I’ll leave that decision up to you. But I know this, I’m 5 dollars poorer.

That’s it, no words of wisdom. I’m 5 dollars poorer.