It’s not exactly “Toy Story” but it is the story of a toy. We all have that one toy from childhood that we wish we had held onto. My own favorites were the Trolls and the Troll Cave, and the original metal Creepy Crawlers. While I do not have the Creepy Crawlers, I still have the scars from the metal molds on my hands. So, my friend Jim Fitzsimons shares with us his toy story. His favorite toy, come home again. Thank Jim for guest blogging!
One of the world’s coolest toys…The Ghost of Capt. Kidd
I collect old toys. I should say I used to collect old toys. I no longer have the disposable income I once did. To tell the truth, I never really had the disposable income and yet I would collect old toys.
Not just any old toys, I collected the toys that I or a friend or relative had when I was a child. I used to say that I was buying back my childhood. One toy at a time.
There is one toy, however, foolishly given up in my youth, that has eluded my ability to buy back. It’s an action figure that was put out by Matchbox Toys. It was part of their “Fighting Furies” pirate series and he was called the Ghost of Capt. Kidd.
In 1973, when I was eight years-old, I was looking through the Sears Christmas catalog, something every kid must have done in those days, when I spotted him. There he was, the Ghost of Capt. Kidd. He was pictured with two or three other pirate figures, but I didn’t care about them. I wanted the ghost.
I saved up my allowance money and, when I had enough, my mom ordered it for me. I don’t remember how long I waited, but I’m sure it felt like weeks and weeks.
When the fairly plain and unassuming package arrived, I was beside myself with excitement. It was worth the wait, because it was such a great toy. It had a button on its side that you could push to simulate sword fighting. And though it was a bit smaller than my Johnny West and GI Joe, it had a feature that they didn’t. It could glow in the dark!
To this day, kids dig just about anything if it glows in the dark. Matchbox had the brilliant idea of painting, in pale white, a skull and skeleton on the figure. So, he didn’t just glow, he glowed so you could see his ghostly skeletal structure. It was a very cool and eerie effect.
Glowing in the dark! How cool is that?!
The Captain quickly became one of my favorite toys. I would frequently bring it over to my friend Todd’s house, along with my other action figures, and Todd and I would play with his GI Joe action set and his actions figures for hours.
Once I left the Captain at Todd’s at the end of one of our adventures. I think Todd may have asked me to leave the Captain, so he could play with it some more. Todd was very good to his toys, so I wasn’t too worried about him having one of mine for a while longer. The only problem was his family then went on vacation before I could get it back. My Captain was trapped in Todd’s house! They would be gone for at least a week and I’d be damned if I would be without such a favored toy for so long.
I hatched a plan.
Todd’s house had an attached garage which led to their basement. I knew that his family never locked the garage door (those were the days). My plan was simple: I would head over to his house, open the garage door just enough for me to crawl under, go in, and get my toy.
I’m certain the statute of limitations has long since passed, so I can tell you now. My plan worked like a charm. I retrieved my toy and no one was the wiser. I don’t think Todd ever knew I’d broken into his house. And I was single-minded. There was no taking of any of his toys or comic books, no stealing money, no going through his older sister’s underwear drawer (Come on! I was only eight!). I was there for the Captain and that’s all I took.
The Shroud of Turin?
As with so many of the other toys of my youth, the Ghost of Capt. Kidd went away. No doubt sold at a garage sale. How I have grown to regret giving him up.
I’ve never been able to get him back. I’ve seen him on eBay a couple of times and once came close to getting him, but, at the last moment, someone swiped him away from me. Now my money is needed for more mundane things. You know, food, clothing, mortgage. Nothing so exciting as the Ghost of Capt. Kidd.
Shortly before I had originally posted this at my own blog, I had called Mattel and asked if they’d consider reissuing the Fighting Furies, especially the Captain. Toy companies have been known to reissue toys from time to time.
They might. Pirates are so hot right now… in Somalia.
This piece was originally written and posted on my blog at www.dimland.com on 4/27/09. I have made a couple edits, but the most important edit is what you are reading right now. Kitty and I were reminiscing about toys from our youth when I sent the link to this story to her. She, of course, loved it and wanted to repost it on this blog.
Naturally, she was curious if I had tried to find the Captain recently. I hadn’t, so I took a look on eBay. There he was! And only $75.00 (I had previously seen him priced at $200 to $300) if I used the buy it now option. I had to buy it! I went through the necessary steps, but before pulling the trigger I had to take the most important necessary step. I had to ask my wife if I could buy it.
“Honey? Do you remember that one action figure I had as a kid that I have been wanting to get back?”
“You mean the doll that glows in the dark?”
“Action figure! And, yes, that’s the one. It’s on eBay and I can buy it now for a mere $75.00 plus shipping. Can I buy it? Can I? Please! Please! Please!”
“Of course, darling.”
So, I bought it and it has arrived. It’s smaller than I remembered, but oh so cool. That’s one more piece of my childhood back in the fold.
Jim ‘Dr. Dim’ Fitzsimons lives in St. Paul, MN and works as an office manager for a janitorial service. He is a graphic artist, cartoonist, and portrait artist. He has a wife, Amy, and a ten year-old son, Hayden. Jim hosts his own internet radio program (Saturday nights at 11 Central) called Dimland Radio on the Z Talk Radio Network at www.ztalkradio.com. Z Talk Radio is mainly a pro-paranormal station and Jim is their resident skeptic. You can view his online portfolio, buy stuff at his CafePress shop, and read his blog at www.dimland.com. Please like his Dimland Radio page on Facebook. It will make him smile.
Also for more on Capt. Kidd…check out this post..