Wednesday, June 29, 2011

There's a New Blogger in Town

I've been standing in the toy aisle of my local Target for about 15 minutes, shifting my weight from one leg to another, shaking and squeezing 3 by 4 inch orange mylar bags. I've felt paint brushes, viking horns, and electric guitars, but so far, no hockey stick. That's right, the packages I'm holding are to the series 4 LEGO minifigures and I'm starting to feel a little awkward.

30 minutes. A 6-year-old girl and her sister play with the Hot Wheels display beside me, get bored, and disappear. I'm still poking and prodding bags. I've accumulated quite the pile of rejected candidates and a Target clerk approaches. I'm no longer blending in to my surroundings. He asks if I'm going to buy this mini mountain to my right. I politely tell him no. I have to stop him as he leans forward to pick up the bags. If he puts the minifigures back into the display trough, it will trash my system, and I'll be back at square one. After I promise to return things to their original state, he asks what I'm doing. I tell him I'm hunting down the hockey player from among the 16 randomly packed figures. It's for my brother. I ask him not to judge me. With his curiousity satisfied, he leaves with an uninterested shrug.

45 minutes? That same little girl, now with her whole family, passes by me again. She ineffectively whispers to her mother, "He's still feeling." My neck and face flush. Doesn't matter. Embarassed or not, I'm not going anywhere until I find this figure.

And then it happens. I feel a flared, angled end connected to a longer straight piece. I pin the piece against the side of the bag and press down. I can actually SEE the outline of a hockey stick. By lucky coincidence, I find the same employee I spoke to earlier and ask him to ring me up in Electronics. We walk to the register and I pass the clerk the bag and ask him if he can feel the shape of a hockey stick.

"I feel something", he says. "It might be a guitar..."

"No!" I cut in, "It can't be a guitar!"

I notice too late that I've raised my voice. He scans the item. I pay. For some reason, I want the clerk to share in my triumph and I ask for a pair of scissors. I'm handed a pair of wire cutters. They do the job. The top opened, I tilt the bag into my hand, the moment of truth. In pieces, the hockey player spills into my hand and the crowd goes wild! (The clerk was cheering too. On the inside.) Then, because Lego usually packages similar characters together, I go back to the shelf to find another. This next one is for me, plus I need a better time than 45 minutes.


"Hello. My name is R. Ticulation, and I'm a collector."

"Hello, R."

Welcome to the first, of what I hope are many, toy talks. Yeah. I know. I do most of the talking. The plan is to kick one of these blogs out a week, but for now it's going to be bi-monthly to see how it goes. Together we'll be picking apart the good, the bad, and the ugly of toys past, present, and future. (No, that's right. Future is possible. We can scream about the design of a figure before it hits the shelves.) On a similar note, from time to time, I'll be posting my own toy and action figure reviews from the vintage treasures of yesteryear to the case freshy-est toys of today. I know I'm looking forward to it. Feel free to join in the fun.

See you in the toy aisles,

R. Ticulation

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