And then there’s that time you almost spent $600 on a toddler toy…


By Shawn Robare

So, felt a little listless hanging around the apartment this weekend and decided to make the 45 minute trek up to my favorite local vintage shop called Billy’s Toys.  I just recently picked up an almost min-on-card Transformers Afterburner there and I was curious about some of the store stock that I probably missed on my first visit.  The place is literally packed floor to ceiling with toys, statues and comics.  They’re hiding in buckets and boxes, tucked in-between shelves and even slid underneath some of the glass display cases.  It’s kind of ridiculous in the best way imaginable and feels a lot like falling down the rabbit hole when you step inside the small store.  I decided to give myself a strict budget of $30 because if I didn’t I’d probably end up signing over my bank account and all future earnings with the sheer amount of stuff that I want to take home from this place.

There were a few things that caught my eye in the $20-$30 range (in particular a couple of mint carded action figures including Rock 1 from the Bionic Six and a Gabriel Tonto) but I restrained myself and ended up leaving only ten dollars lighter in the wallet.  I’ll be taking some pictures and scanning in some amazing artwork for a piece later in the week to share my new treasure, but I have to share something else I saw in the store today, something I’d only heard rumors about and have never laid eyes on until today.  Much like the supremely rad Star Wars Speeder Bike Jungle Gym, the following holy grail item is proof that there are kids out there that had a way better childhood than I did.  Behold, the Masters of the Universe Battle Cat toddler hopper!

Battle Cat Hopper

This piece was truly a thing of beauty.  It’s easily three feet long, four feet high, and 2 and a half feet across.  Seriously, this would be like having a baby Battle Cat as a pet, it’s that large.  I can’t even count the number of times I daydreamed about hopping on Battle Cat’s back and riding him through the woods near my house, chasing down all the older kids who picked on me and giving rides to all of my close friends.  To find out that I could have had that experience as a kid (well, more or less) is kind of mind blowing.  I have to be honest.  Even with my very strict budgetary limit set, I seriously mulled over the idea of dropping six bills on this guy if only to mount him over my bed or couch.  I practically had to drag myself out of the store!

I wonder what other amazing pieces of ride-able pop culture amazingness I missed out on in my childhood?  Was there a coin-operated Airwolf ride in malls?  A fully decked out Street Hawk BMX bike?  A Transformers Sideswipe Power Wheels?!?

  • TheNavigator

    I spent a year or 2 buying at least one thing from all the different toy ranges I had when I was younger. It was quite time consuming as my buying policy was either bad condition MOC to open or MINT loose as I only wanted lose displays im not into keeping things in package as im not selling them. But I had a price limit for one figure of £30 ($50) and managed to get all the ones I wanted. I only buy the new classic stuff now though like He Man or Turtles Classics. That Battle Cat is nice though if you think you could stop yourself from dressing up as He man and riding it! :)

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Cool, yeah, I’m the same way (thought for slightly different reasons). I have a hard time buying up other kid’s memories, even if the toys are exactly the same and can usually be cleaned up. It just feels a little weird to me. Would rather have mint on damaged card any day. As long as I can get a scan of the card art and I have the toy.

      One of my good friends made the comment that at $600 this thing better come with a pageboy haircut and a pair of furry underpants!

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  • http://www.poprewind.com/ Pop Rewind

    I applaud your restraint! What an awesome find!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, I’m glad that I at least got a chance to see this in person (as well as getting a chance to finally pat Battle Cat on the head and tell him “good boy” ;) )…

  • jtcarter

    That bad boy was on eBay about a decade ago, and I almost forked over $250 for it. Can’t remember if that included shipping or not. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t win the auction, but it was fun bidding up to the last minute.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, $250 seems to be the going price collectors are willing to pay. It would make an amazing piece of pop art for sure, but I’ll take my chances trying to find one for under $100 at an antique store… :p