Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sci-Fi of Christmas Past

No, I didn't get any science fiction or gaming-related gifts for Christmas this year.  Instead, I got clothes, which is what I needed and asked for.  I guess that means I'm growing up--at least a little.  Still the holiday has me reflecting on past Yuletide holidays, and the gifts I received as a young space cadet.

I was interested in astronomy and science fiction from a young age, but I don't remember getting many space-oriented toys until Star Wars with its massive merchandising.  One year, I got a book I still enjoy, Space Wars, Worlds & Weapons.

Once the movie toys started coming out, my brother and I could expect vehicles under the tree and action figures in our stockings.  I'm sure everyone else around my age has similar memories of the Original Trilogy and its associated products, so I won't go into detail here about the cool Star Wars toys I got over the years at Christmas.

Before that, however, my brother and I received some sort of plastic building blocks--not Legos, but some generic brand that wasn't compatible with any other brick set.  I think they were even called Bricks or something like that.  The typical piece was flatter and wider than a Lego, and the pins were much narrower.  The pictures on the box showed you could make all sorts of hi-rise buildings that all looked like mid-20th century urban architecture.  Of course, I quickly used these bricks to make all kinds of spaceships.

One year, the Micronauts toy line came out.  There was even a Marvel comic book featuring many of the characters and vehicles.  One of my favorites was the Battle Cruiser, a huge toy that separated into multiple vehicles and carried several characters.  I had seen it in the comic book and in advertisements, but I didn't have any Micronauts stuff.  In the month leading up to Christmas, my brother and I started building our own version of the Battle Cruiser from our brick blogs.  Our home-grown design was shaped like the commercial version and even split into several different ships, just like its inspiration.  I don't know if my brother and I were purposefully dropping hints--I knew it, at least on a subconsious level--but our parents noticed what we were doing.  That Christmas, under the tree, Santa had left us this:

What science fiction toys do you remember receiving as a gift, at Christmas, for your birthday, or any other time?


Porky said...

Cool post! Christmas always takes me back too, and gifts becoming clothes must be a universal sign of ageing.

The names of toys escape me. They were generally made of plastic though - rather than wood - and in many cases pulp sci-fi in theme. The love caught us young it seems. I remember Saturday morning ad breaks being a key means of contact with the manufacturers and retailers. They knew what I wanted..!

Merry Christmas!

ckutalik said...

Great post. I loved the Micronauts as a kid. The comic book was beautifully dark (well at least how I remember it at nine) and the toys had a weird cheap Japanese charm.

ckutalik said...

Forgot to add that one of my fav toys of that era was this foot long Space 1999 (the future!) spaceships. That thing rocked.

Spartan 117 said...

Anything from the Micronauts was a very welcomed gift on Christmas, actually, anything sci-fi related was very much appreciated. Parents thought all I needed was clothing, but my Grandmother always came to the rescue and supplied the real needs.

Spartan 117

Mike Slade said...

I got the Eagle Transporter with the 3 action figures. I was the envy of all the other kids in the neighborhood, until Star Wars came out and they released the Mullienum Falcon.

Captain Jack said...

I'm a it older than Mr. Dreadnought. The space toy line of my youth was Major Matt Mason.