I’m Down With OPP, er, Coveting Other People’s Property…

By Shawn Robare

This week The League is hosting another virtual shopping spree through a very real (and pretty darn awesome) auction being held over at Hakes.  In the last auction I put in my bid on a set of Sanrio prototype aquatic action figures that never saw full fledged production.  It was pretty rad stumbling across the archeological remnants of proposed and designed toy line that sadly never came to be, and there are some more rare production prototypes and carded figures for some rares 80s toy lines in this new auction.  But I wanted to take a slightly different slant with my shopping spree this time.  In fact, I don’t really want to go on a spree at all.  There’s one item in particular that I have my sights on, but I’ll get to that in a moment.  First I wanted to highlight a few items that I would have, um, virtually bought, had I not put put the brakes on my fake spending.

Hakes Stuff

Pictured above are a few of the 80s centric items that caught my eye in the most recent Hakes auction.  There are some pretty cool Flintstone Kids Pizza Hut premiums that I would proudly pin to my messenger bag (not to mention that I sort of have a fetish for pinback buttons.)  There are a handful of rad and kind of rare Infaceables action figures released by Galoob in 1984.  I love the idea of action figures built around transforming from human to monster and back again.  And last but not least, a seriously awesome Street Hawk lunchbox.  I came pretty darn close to winning the original artwork for this lunchbox back around the time I started this site and I’ve always been a little miffed at myself for not bidding just 20 bucks more, ’cause if I had it’d probably be framed and hanging in Branded HQ right now.  As it stands I’d love to have the actual lunchbox as a memento of balking at the auction price 7 years ago…

But as I mentioned, I had to take a trip back around the virtual auction house, virtually putting all these cool things back on the virtual shelves.  Why you might ask?  Well, because as I was browsing through all this neat stuff I was feeling a little bit like I was walking through someone else’s house full of bitchin collectibles.  I can’t explain it, but I get this vibe a lot when I’m hunting through flea markets and picking through antique stores.  All these things came from someone else’s childhood or estate.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not going all Mikey from Goonies here.  I’m not saying we should all thROW back the rich stuff from the bottom of the wishing well.  It’s just a thing I struggle with from time to time.  What cemented it for me was stumbling upon this next item, a toy that I have a very covetous history with, the Star Wars Return of the Jedi At-ST Scout Walker released by Kenner in 1983


Now I had a lot of Star Wars stuff as a kid, a ton of the action figures and my fare share of vehicles including not one, but two At-At Walkers.  But, as it goes, and like I mentioned in this post a couple weeks ago, it’s always the things that you don’t own that seem to be what’s coveted the most.  In the case of the At-ST Walker, well, I never came across one in the store or at any of my friend’s houses.  I saw my first and only AT-ST toy back in the summer of 1983.  My family was picking up stakes from our home in Tampa, FL to move a couple hours due east to Orlando.  I had just turned six and my folks decided to let me tag along on some trips out of town while they did some house-hunting.  On one of these excursions we stopped at a house that still had a family living in it, and while we were taking a tour I spotted the above toy sitting on the bureau of some strange kid’s bedroom.  Being six, the thought hadn’t occurred to me that the stuff in the house wasn’t part of the bargain.  In fact, I spent the next three hours trying to convince my parents that out of all the houses we’d looked through to that point, this last one was obviously the one we should go with.  I mean it was two stories, had hardwoo…screw it, it was because there was an AT-ST in one of the rooms that I really freaking wanted.  After it was explained to me that buying a house didn’t quite work the way I’d hoped (and boy was I a tad relieved when they pointed out that if it had I’d be losing all MY STUFF), I was a little crushed.  Hungry Howie’s Pizza later that night didn’t make it better.  Getting to listen to my Michael Jackson Thriller tape on infinite repeat during the two hour trip back only helped a little.  If I have to be honest I’ve always sort of had an AT-ST-sized hole in my heart over the years.

Seeing that piece up for auction, well it both reminded me that I still kinda sorta (read – desperately) want this toy and that even if I don’t get it, wanting it still feels pretty good in it’s own weird way.  So that’s why if money were no object, I think I’d walk away from the auction with just this one treasure to fill that mechanical chicken-shaped hole in me…

So, check out the Hakes Auction, pick out your own weirdly shaped coveted item and fill in that hole that’ll make you feel a bit more, well, whole.  When you’re done, check out these other League posts to see what they found…

Jaime, Shezcrafti, seems to have some pretty damn similar tastes in stuff as me

Dex, AEIOU and Sometimes Why, picks some choice items

Chris, Random Nerdness, has a basket full of, well, random nerdy things

Victoria, VikkiVerka, has a taste for BLOOD, well, books about blood and guts

RobotPJs, Robot’s Pajamas, runs down some fun bad Ditko artwork

  • Six year old Shawn’s understanding of how moving works is about the most precious thing I’ve ever heard.

    So, do you think you’ll ever spring for that AT-ST someday or is it more meaningful for it to remain a coveted Holy Grail item?

    • As weird as it sounds, I think I’ve grown accustomed to that AT-ST hole in my heart, so yeah, I’m thinking I’m just going to covet from afar (and stare lovingly at the .jpeg above from time to time…) ;)

  • Phillip Lozano

    The original Kenner AT-ST actually came in an “Empire” box (though it was only in two brief shots in the movie, in the background), but it was later reissued in the 1990s Power of the Force II line and recently in 2010 as a Target exclusive “Attack on Hoth” playset with E-web cannon and figures. (http://www.starwarscollector.com/photo/vintage_2010_exclusive/attack_hoth_920503/920503html/920503cb.html)

    • Huh, I didn’t realize it made it into the Empire line. I remember the brief shots of them on Hoth, but I always remembered the toy from the ROTJ days. I’ve been tempted to bite on some of the vehicles released in more recent years but they never make it all the way to the register with me. As much as I’m a kid at heart who still loves buying toys, there is a pesky adult who constantly begs the question: “What the hell are you going to do with that?!?”

      Either way the box above is clearly Jedi, which plays into my memories perfectly. Of course I’m not sure if it’s worth parting with a sawbuck for, but it would look nice on my shelf… ;)

      • RobotsPJs

        Yeah, I got it as a gift when Empire was big. My parents called it the “chicken walker”

        • It certainly has “chicken walker” action!

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  • Tintod

    The Scout Walker was a pretty cool toy. The leg walking action was kick-ass. However, for some reason mine never could stand up straight. It leaned heavily to one side and looked a little drunk or bummed out.

    • Yeah, the one drawback to toys that had legs with “action features”. I had a couple Karate Kid figures that had to balance on one leg, and not to do a crane kick! ;)

  • Tintod

    Also, “AT-ST hole” sounds like a geek centric euphemism.

  • MosEspa83

    I love this post, I bet most of us reading this have that toy that got away. Mine was a G1 Jazz that I had for all of a couple of hours before I broke it and it got thrown away. Bad times.

    Anyway, the AT-ST was the sixth member of my list, and came within a whisker of being added. Good to see it getting some love here!

    • Yeah, I guess that nerdy “hole” in each of our geeky hearts is shaped like a different toy! Jazz was a coveted toy for me as well as I never had many of the larger G1 Transformers as a kid and he was so cool on the cartoon.

      Also thanks for stopping by!

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  • Stacey Rader

    I get what you mean about feeling like you’re pilfering someone else’s childhood, especially since we frequent flea markets often in search of treasures. But then there’s that rare occasion where I buy a piece that comes with a story and it makes it mean that much more. Here’s a good example: we bought a huge Princess of Power collection on Friday. PoP was my favorite thing as a kid, and since we’re redoing our bedroom with a MoTU/PoP motif, I wanted a Crystal Castle. What I ended up with was not only a Crystal Castle, but this guy’s sister’s entire collection. All of the figures looked brand new except She-Ra and Mermista. The guy told Brad that Mermista actually traveled with the family to a beach in France, and she still has a bit of sand and saltwater in her hair.

    So while sometimes it makes me sad to think about discarded toys (damn you, Pixar!), every once in a while a toy comes with a cool story from the kid (or sibling of the kid) who owned it, and that makes collecting worthwhile (much more worthwhile than buying it from some creep who doesn’t care about it).

    • I love this thought Stacey. And you’re right, if you can put the item into it’s proper context and get some of the personal history with it, it makes taking ownership of it much easier. I feel that way about my set of series 1 Garbage Pail Kids. They were given to me by a co-worker (from their childhood collection) and even though they aren’t in perfect shape, they’re still pretty rad because co-worker had scrawled her name on some of the card backs and stuff. It gives that part of my collection an extra special meaning and I appreciate them more for it for sure. So very good point!

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