For the love of a toy.
I wrote this essay for one of my creative writing classes about a year or so ago. As it is NA related I figured I should share it here. I do sincerely hope you all enjoy it.
The year was 1989. A young male child with curly golden locks that extended beyond his Dumbo-like ears had been entranced by He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power. The cartoon aired daily on the USA Network and, he watched fascinated as if it were a religious experience. There was not an aspect of the show he did not like from the swords and the sorcery to the flying unicorn. He held it all so dear to him. He still does.
However, like all things in life, the one constant is change. During that same year, Mattel released a new toyline called He-Man. While the toys looked nothing like the characters he saw, on TV, they quickly became his favorite and his grandma was the first person to grace him with his first He-Man figure during a visit to Big Bear. That was not the toy that affected him. He did not know about the toy that would affect him until he saw the commercial.
“The New He-Man Power Sword!”
“Cool! It makes sounds!”
“Give me that sword!”
“The New He-Man Power Sword makes eight awesome sounds! It lights up with power! You can be a Hero with the New He-Man Power Sword!”
The commercial was instantly burned in his mind. Fighting Skeletor, having the power of Grayskull right there in his fingertips he had to have it. Today that would be called a case of the “I Wants.” To him it was a case of the “I Needs.” Kinda makes you think he is a little like Gollum, eh? The kid was smart. Asking mom would yield nothing. Dad was out of the picture so that was out. His aunt was a maybe but he knew the one person to ask- Grandma. Why? Because that is, what grandmas do. It’s required.
His chance was there, but he did not know that. He was staying overnight with his grandma. It was a pastime that he enjoyed even into his later years when staying with grandma was not considered cool by his schoolmates. What did they know? They went to Hills Department store. Grandma intended to get more jeans. These kinds of trips were common with Grandma and the way they did things was the same even to this day. She went to look at clothes, and he would go to the toy department. He would find something he would want, he would ask for it and he would get it.
To the kid, Hills Toy Department was a temple. Everything awed him save the sports toys and Mattel’s blonde bimbo. He could not understand the appeal of Barbie. He still does not. However, he did understand and loved My Little Pony. Little did he or his family know that by the time he was 26 years of age he would have over 250 different ones. He found a blue Pegasus, which was a nice change. He usually went for a unicorn almost instantly, but that day he was feeling a little flighty. It must have been the hair.
He then went to the action figure aisle. He passed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Considering his animosity for his brother, it would have been difficult to blame him. His brother loved the turtles so by nature the kid hated them. He still has not given them a fair chance. He went for the He-Man figures. There were some he did not have; the colors were neat to him. He knew it was either a pony or a He-Man figure. He never bothered to think about asking for a vehicle or playset. Those, he knew, were Christmas or birthday presents only. However, he did look at the He-Man vehicles. There were a few there but the thing that made him lose interest in everything was there, too. He placed the My Little Pony on the shelf and picked up the Power Sword. He had to resist all urges to **** himself. He succeeded. He rushed to the fitting room.
Like all kids, patience was lacking in him. He went to the room. She was not there. He went back to toys and then back to the fitting room. It seemed like an eternity when it was probably only about ten minutes. She finally came out and he walked over to her with his soon to be trophy. There was small talk about it. The issue became the price. Grandma knew he wanted it. However, the 30-dollar price tag killed the hope he would get it. So, instead he got a new figure. Grandma swore she would get him the sword for Christmas. He would not have to wait that long.
It was Easter week, which meant no school for a whole week, and for the young kid the time was slow and filled with fun. He played in the playground of his apartment complex with many of the other kids. Then, one day his aunt came for a visit. She had something for his brother and him as well. As he came out the door, he saw his aunt coming out of her familiar red Chevy Cavalier. The first thing she pulled out was a huge remote control truck. That was for his brother. However, the next box was long, dark blue and on it was a hand holding the Power Sword. After months of waiting, as soon as he got hold of the sword, something changed. The hero was born.
Instantly he became the cool kid on the block with the coolest toy in the world. Between the lasers, the clashing noises and the lightening sounds, the sword fascinated all the kids even the girls. Not like, he cared much about the girls. They were fun to play My Little Pony with but not much else. To this day, girls are still good friends of his but they do not tickle his fancy. In his mind, he was now a hero. He got his chance to prove it one day.
His apartment complex was in a valley, and at the top of the hill, there was a house. All the kids in the complex feared the house. Not because of who lived there but because of what came from it. Once a week at least, two Dobermans were released from the house; terrorizing the kids sending them running in deathly fear of the dogs. Including the young hero. One day however, enough was enough. The young kid knew the path these monsters took. That day he decided to get in their way. No more fear, just courage. He was a hero and, it was time to prove it. As the Dobermans got closer, he held his sword ready when they were in range he struck. The dogs ignored him but the master of the dogs must have noticed, as the dogs were never seen again. The hero did end up with some muddy jeans, much to the chagrin of his mother. Thanks to the sword, the hero had proven himself as defender of the playground.
Sadly, all truly good things must end in one form or another, and one day that happened. He was play fighting with his little brother, and during that fight, the blade of the sword broke off. He asked his mom’s boyfriend to fix it but there was no fixing it. Instead, a month later the sword was replaced. This cycle continued six times until the sword was permanently gone. There were no others to replace it in stores. The He-Man toyline had ended.
Years passed and the kid grew up. However, the memory of that sword stayed with him. Thanks in part to a video of the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon. The video showed some of the commercials, including the one for the Power Sword. It was a bitter reminder of how he had lost the sword. It was like this for nine years. At the age of seventeen however, the hero discovered the wonderful internet website that has become much like a god to him- eBay. He looked for the sword daily and one day there, it was. Fortunately, eBay was new and not many people liked the New Adventures He-Man cartoon or toyline. So, he won his auction, paid for the sword via a Postal Money Order and waited. Another eternity passed. Until, one day after class, there on the kitchen table was a box a long box lying in front of his mother as she smoked her cigarette. He knew what it was. He had been talking about it for weeks. He grabbed the package of AA batteries he had bought just for this moment. He grabbed the box and made his way to the backdoor leading to the backyard. The box did not make it to the backyard. Instead, it ended up on the floor of the little room just before his backyard. He knew where the battery compartment was. He opened it, shocked to find it needed four batteries and not two, but he put them in anyway. As the final battery was put in, the sword came to life with lights and sounds. He had missed something all those years that had to be done first and foremost. He pushed the little blue lightning bolt button. He lifted it to the sky and yelled “By the Power of Eternia…” From the sword came the sound of lightning crashing. “ … I HAVE THE POWER!” The hero had been reborn. There was no stopping him. He laughed, he cried as if an old friend had returned. In fact, it was a friend- a friend that would later help him with relieving stress, a friend to help remember the past and even a friend to help occasionally with class presentations.
I am sitting here, now, at Killer Kern Park. The golden afro is gone. Thank goodness. The Power Sword is still here and still with me. I will never give it up. I have already determined that in my will there will be exact instructions to be buried with it along with a slew of other things from my collection. Maybe a note too for the aliens that come to Earth after the sun explodes and then becomes a red dwarf. I hope they can read English. I am about to go and practice with the sword, destroying mutant troopers ending with a showdown with Skeletor. I am still a hero. However, not in the way I was when I was young. The sword is not a weapon; it is a toy. Instead, my weapons are a sense of humor, a kind heart, the know how to give a good hug, a positive outlook, and to be there when needed for friends or family. I am not physically strong but I am not afraid to try. I still have the power. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some ass kicking to do.
You make me smile. :hmgrin:
My good sir, as an amateur writer getting a compliment from you in regards to my writing has got to be one of the greatest honors I have ever received. I humbly thank you and round of beers at Power Con is on me.
Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
Nice story. The power sword is a fantastic piece from the NA He-man collection.
And as a professional writer, reading your story and knowing that I had a positive influence on a child's life is one of the greatest honors I've ever received. Fans and children mean everything in the world to me. I've often said that writers, producers, directors and actors would be nothing without fans. Thanks for making my day.
Originally Posted by Swift Wind
This is a great story. It made me think back to similar times from my childhood. There were many toys that I loved, but I think the closest one to the level of the NA Powersword was the bigger scale Sky Shadow from Silverhawks. When I saw that toy I wanted to so badly, but my Mom told me that I would have to wait and save for it with my allowance. I was so angry! I even pitched a fit hoping my Grandma would cave and buy it (she almost did, but my Mom held fast). And when I had saved enough I got Sky Shadow and it was awesome. I even (very grudgingly and with bitterness) learned the value of saving and choosing between buying something I had the money for then or waiting.
I'm not sure what happened to Sky Shadow. I think he got broken and eventually was thrown away. However one day it did click that I could get one from Ebay, and I looked and finally found one. I paid and waited...and he never came. Turned out there had been a mixup and it had been sold. I was ticked, and there were not any other ones on Ebay so I let it go.
A few years ago I found one at a local flea market in great shape and bought it without hesitation. He holds a special place in my toyroom (I have him hanging by his feet from the door frame into the closet).
This story reminded me a lot of that. Very well written and thanks for sharing!
Wow. This is one of those feel-good stories that just solidifiy why I love this brand so much. Nice job. I hope you never loose your passion. And I also hope you got an "A". :D
cool..but the My Little Pony thing I just dont get:hmconf:...to each his own I guess!