When I was a kid, one summer in the late 80s my family and I went on this mega 2-week vacation trip to Washington, DC and the surrounding area. It wasn’t just my family that went on this trip though – some of my parents’ closest friends and their families also accompanied us on this trip. Some of parents’ friends also brought their kids on this trip, and my brother and I were friends with a lot of these kids. In fact, a close friend of mine was among on the kids that came on trip.
So we all got into our cars, went to a local restaurant to meet up, and then drove about 16 hours to the Washington, DC area. Most of us, including my family, took our own cars, but a few did go rent a car.
It was a very fun trip. We did the whole tourist thing, we went to see all the sights and my parents took a lot of pictures. One really cool thing we did we was went on a tour of a cave and we got see some real bats in person. That was a very cool and unique experience. What made this vacation trip extra special is that I got to experience this trip with some of my friends.
I remember one day we went to a Burger King for lunch and all the kids including my brother and I received the paper Burger King crowns and all of us kids wore the BK crowns in that BK restaurant. I don’t remember if these crowns came with the kids meals or if they were available to kids without having to buy kids meals.
My parents took pictures of us wearing those crowns as we ate our food. The funny thing is that we didn’t just wear those crowns at that Burger King. We wore the crowns the entire day! Wherever we went that day, we had those crowns on our heads!
Anyway, on a different day, the adult females in our group, including my mom, decided to take us kids to one of the malls in the area. I don’t remember what mall it was, but man, this mall was huge! And it had one of the biggest toy stores I’ve ever been in. I don’t think it was a KB Toys store, but it might have been.
The adult ladies had a discussion earlier that day, and the decision was made that each one of us kids could buy a toy that cost up to $20. Who exactly was responsible for paying for these toys, I don’t know, but I’m guessing that the ladies pooled their money together.
Now if you’re a kid and you’re told that you could buy a toy that cost up to $20, what would you do? Well, if you’re like most kids, you would try to go find a toy that cost exactly $20, or at least close to $20.
And that’s exactly what most of the kids did on that day. In fact, my brother and my close friend each got a toy from the Centurions toyline. The toy they got included a figure and a robotic vehicle-type thing that you could put the figure in. My brother and my friend got different Centurions toys. The Centurions was a cartoon that my brother and my friend were heavily into at that time. I was also very much into the show, but I didn’t end up getting a Centurion toy that day.
So what did I get? Well, I looked around the store trying to find the perfect toy. And then I saw a toy I had been wanting to get for awhile. This toy was a small Gobot toy named Turbo. I had been looking for this toy for a very long time, and here it was, right in front of me. Once I saw this toy on the shelf, I knew that I wanted nothing else.
Now here’s the kicker – this toy only cost $3! There were plenty of other toys that cost $20 that I could have picked out that day, but I wanted to get this $3 toy. You can see pictures of this toy way down below, near the end of this blog post.
Gobots, or rather Challenge of the Gobots, is a cartoon featuring transforming robots (similar to the Transformers cartoon), and it was the very first cartoon that I remember watching as a kid. I absolutely loved this cartoon and Turbo was my favorite character. I had already gotten a few Gobot toys but not a Turbo toy, because I just could not find him in the local toy stores. I don’t think he was a rare toy, I just think that he was so popular that everyone else bought him, so the toy stores were temporarily sold out of this toy.
Anyway, I remember bringing this Gobot toy up to one of the ladies in our group who was standing near the cash register. She looked at me kind of funny and said, “That’s it? You just want this toy?” She tried convincing me to go pick out another toy that was more expensive, because I think she felt bad that the other kids were getting these bigger $20 toys and she felt it wouldn’t be fair if I just got a small $3 toy.
But I was having none of that. It didn’t matter to me that this toy only cost $3, and that the other kids got to buy $20 toys. This toy, without question, was the only toy I wanted. She tried for a couple of minutes to get me to go get another toy, but I just stood there and did not move. She knew now that I was serious about getting this $3 toy.
The lady ended up being so amazed by this whole incident that when we left the store and went to lunch, she told the other ladies about how I got this $3 toy while all the other kids got $20 toys. She said that since I was one of the older kids (I think might have been the oldest kid), perhaps I didn’t feel the need to get an extravagant, expensive $20 toy. I had a little laugh when I heard her say that. Maybe it was a slow day, but this was the topic of conversation among the ladies for the rest of the day (and for a few days to come).
As you can imagine, I didn’t want to get this Turbo toy just because it was inexpensive and I wanted them to save money. I wanted to get the toy, regardless of price, because this was the toy that was based on one of my favorite cartoon characters at the time. It didn’t matter if this toy cost $1 or $100, I would still want to get it. It just so happens that the toy only cost $3 (plus tax of course).
Anyway, not only was I really glad that I got this Turbo gobot toy, this toy became my favorite toy out of all the toys I owned as a kid. I did have a pretty big collection of toys that mostly included G.I. Joe figures and a couple of Transformers, but there was no toy that I loved more than this Turbo toy.
Unfortunately, as I got older and played with my toys less and less, to the point where I barely touched my toys, my mom eventually took all my toys and sold them in a garage sale or gave them away to some younger kids. Now it wasn’t like I was begging my mom to sell my toys, but I had reached a point where I no longer played with my toys, so when my mom decided to sell my toys, I didn’t put up much resistance.
Therefore I unfortunately do not own any of the toys that I had as kid. Nowadays I do wish that I still had those toys, but back then, who knew that as an adult I would get nostalgic for the toys of my childhood.
Anyway, one day a few years ago, out of the blue, I decided that I wanted to buy a Turbo gobot toy, just like the one I had as a kid. So I looked on eBay. I saw few auctions for toy that were still unopened in it’s original packaging. The price range for those unopened Turbo gobots, if I remember correctly, was between $40-$50, and I didn’t that was very expensive. So I decided I would shoot for one of the unopened ones.
However, for some reason (maybe it was that I wasn’t really paying attention, haha), I kept getting outbid and I kept missing out on winning those auctions.
So I finally decided to go for a loose (used) Turbo gobot toy. This time I did end up winning a auction, and the price I paid, including shipping, was about $8. I paid the seller and the toy arrived within a week.
When I got the toy, man, I was so excited! Playing with the toy just reminded me of the great memories I had as a kid, watching the Gobots cartoon and playing with my Gobot toys. This was $8 well spent!!!
Now if only they would release the entire Gobots cartoon on DVD (or blu ray)…
The Turbo toy that I won from the auction is in pretty good condition, considering it’s a toy that’s over 20 years old. The joints are still pretty tight, which was something the seller did mention in his auction. There’s some paint chipping, which I don’t mind too much, but I guess that’s something I can take of, if I wanted to.
Turbo is a red Gobot toy that transforms into a car. The Turbo toy that you see in the pictures above is the one I bought from ebay. Yes, I am aware that this Turbo toy is very similar to the Transformer toy that you saw in my blog post about the toy next to my PC.
Perhaps getting this Turbo toy was just the first step to “recapturing” the toys of my childhood. Perhaps one day I will attempt to look for and buy all the toys that I had as a kid (or at least all the ones I remember having).
Maybe I’ll buy some 80s G.I. Joe action figures and stage an epic battle – just like I use to do as a kid.