O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

You Can Always Get What You Want

Like a lot of people, I've been rebuilding my childhood toy collection slowly but surely for years now.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Andy Allison, for outsideleft.com
originally published: October, 2005
Every toy you circled in the Sears catalog 25 years ago is out there somewhere in mint condition.

You know what's fun?  Matchbox cars!  Man, I like sitting on the couch with a wadded up afghan and a pile of Matchbox cars.  It's fun to sculpt a blanket into a hilly ravine with secret garages for tow trucks, racecars and school buses.  Truth be told, Hot Wheels had cooler wheels than Matchbox, and they rolled further, too.  I found my cookie jar full of Matchbox cars recently, can you tell?


Like a lot of people, I've been rebuilding my childhood toy collection slowly but surely for years now.  Now that I'm in my 30s and have a little jack in my pocket, online auctions afford me the opportunity to bid way too high on that dope Evel Knievel stunt motorcycle I had when I was five years old.  That ride flies, B!  I want to crank that thing so fast that the cycle soars over my backyard's makeshift Snake Canyon.  Hell yeah!

Are you like me?  Do you have a box of vintage toys that you've only recently purchased?  For yourself?  One of my favorite toys was Mighty Mo.  Goddamn, I love a motherfucking Mighty Mo.  They're these big, Tonka-like utility vehicles with oversized plastic tires, and damn if they don't roll over a whole pile of your sister's My Little Ponies.  Go go, Mighty Mo, put a hurtin' on those smelly horses and roll into the heroic sunset!


Check it, I remember when my pop bought me a groovin' slotless racecar track.  That's right, jealous ones, my cars weren't bound by slots at all.  Flip a switch on the controller and that son of a bitch zips right into the adjacent lane.  Block your opponents!  Send those fools flying off the track when they try passing!  Slip an 18-wheeler body on the chassis and clear the fucking road, honk honk.  We got a big ole convoy, rockin' through the night!


Where am I going with this?  Does it matter?  I just saw a shelf full of toys tonight and started writing, kid.  But then I started thinking about all the folks my age who are going through the same second, third or fourth childhood.  Why are we reclaiming these possessions?  I'm saying we all want to acquire what we've always wanted, and with the means to do so, it sure is easy, dig?  Every toy you circled in the Sears catalog 25 years ago is out there somewhere in mint condition.


Let's reminisce for a minute.  Back in 1981, I wanted a Dukes of Hazzard Barnbusters set like you wouldn't believe.  A wind-up General Lee jumps through a plastic barn and scatters piles of barrels.  Neat!  Then on Christmas Day that year, Santa brought it for my fucking brother instead of me.  My family has photographic evidence of my very excited sibling running with box in hand.  Damn it all to hell!  That was supposed to be for me!  Simple parental guffaw, you say?  Fuck that, man, so watch out, I'm about to bid a c-note for that motherfucker on eBay!  It's MINE!
see more stories from outsideleft's Culture archive »»

more stories you really could read...

thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...

sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Residency: Elisa Vegliante, Mondo Expressionist
Don't Say Youthquake (Not Yet)
Our latest recruit, and by some margin our most youthful scribe gives the lowdown on the first festival for 14-17 year olds.
I'll Give You An Annual Review #21... Hector Plimmer
Hector Plimmer's beautiful neo-soulful 'Sunshine' LP gets A-list DJ's working up a lather for the remixed version
American Apparel
Don't Be a Victim: The Sheer, Shiny, Sequined Consumer Distraction Method
It's Still Not Easy Being A Morrissey Fan.
JJ Superstar
JJ Swimsuit is on the cusp...
Some of our favorite things...