12.03.2009

Christmas Toys 1976

Although every Christmas I've written about so far was fantastic (and we haven't even got to Star Wars toys yet), I think if I had to pick one Christmas morning to live again it would have to be 1976. Every toy I received that year was simply spectacular, and I'm not the only one who thinks so, judging from all the fond memories other people have written on the web! I guess I'll begin with the biggest LEGO set I've ever owned (I remember it included lots of large green bases which were so useful), followed by the absolutely huge Earthquake Tower (a very strange toy when you think about it, but I liked it because it was almost as tall as me!). To add to my Star Trek collection, I got a cool Controlled Space Flight toy so I could fly the Enterprise (with a propeller!) around in circles, plus the magnificent Mission to Gamma VI playset for my Mego Star Trek action figures! It was such a beautiful set with a giant mouth (which reminded me of the episode The Apple), with a rubber band trap and a "living" plant monster (a green glove!). Next was practically a whole collection of Six Million Dollar Man toys in one shot, including the Steve Austin figure himself, the incredibly-named Bionic Transport and Repair Station (which was a big rocket), and the awesome Mission Control Center, with its cleverly designed inflatable dome structure! I had so much fun putting these together, applying decals and attaching tubes. But there's still more! This same year I also received the Space 1999 Eagle (definitely a Holy Grail for many collectors), which was so giant you had to fly it around with two hands. I was crazy about Space 1999 as a kid (I even drew my own comics of the show), so I really enjoyed this toy, and every time I'm in my parents' garage I am taunted by the original box (which is being used for storage)!

But even with all of these great gifts, the best was yet to come with my beloved Star Trek Tricorder. This was the one toy I wanted the most that year, and my parents decided to pull the same trick from A Christmas Story by hiding it until the very end of Christmas morning. I can remember pulling back the drapes and seeing Kirk and Spock on that box, and I can't express how much I loved that souped-up cassette recorder! Throughout the year I began to record my own pretend radio shows (with lots of help from Dad), and of course I had a lot of Star Trek adventures as well. I'm kind of overwhelmed just writing about all this fun. What a Christmas!