Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The greatest gifts part one: Castle Grayskull



Today we begin a special three-part holiday series on our favorite Christmas gifts of yore.

When you grow up with two sisters, especially when one of them is older, you can easily be led astray. I watched “Dirty Dancing”—with interest—more times than I could count. I cried during “Steel Magnolias.” When New Kids on the Block emerged and my sisters scooped up all the albums and merchandise, I thought NKOTB were the coolest guys in the world and I wanted to be a member of their singing posse. Until I went to school one day and my third-grade friends started making fun of them, and I was like, “Ha, ha, yeah, those guys are THE WORST. I’m really into Johnny Cash these days.”

But there were occasions when my natural, unconscious masculinity shone through. For example, I was very much into He-Man. These days, people might view He-Man (and that previous sentence) with some homoerotic skepticism, but I’m telling you—He-Man was a healthy representation of manhood back in the day. He carried a sword and rode a green tiger for crying out loud. The green tiger wore a helmet! That is gangsta.

As such, the first Christmas gift to leave an indelible mark on my childhood was not a He-Man figurine, which I obviously already had (plus the tiger, Battlecat), but Castle Grayskull. 

Castle Grayskull was, as Wikipedia notes, “a fortress located on the fictional planet Eternia” and, more importantly, “a place of refuge for He-Man.” Underneath the Christmas tree, it was an absurdly ugly plastic thingee with a giant skull head that opened in the middle. To me, it was beautiful.

What resonated most about Castle Grayskull Christmas, as it would henceforth be known, was the sheer unexpectedness of it. I cannot recall if I asked Santa for the fortress, but if I had, I was certainly aware it was a shot in the dark to ask Santa to include such an ominous-looking gift in his bag of otherwise pleasant toys. It was more likely I didn’t even know Castle Grayskull existed in plastic form, or, if I did, thought it too luxurious a gift to even request. We were middle class! If you had asked me that Christmas morning to guess the market value of Castle Grayskull as compared to that of, say, my dad’s car, I probably would have guessed $100 for the latter, $75 for former, exposing my 5-year-old grasp of Reaganomics.

I just couldn’t believe it. It was to the point where I actually felt bad for my sisters. Here I was gallivanting my figurines’ way through the LAIR OF HE-MAN. Nothing they received could possibly compete with this, and their stares of jealousy penetrated my skin and tinged me with a sense of guilt, my first lesson that no joy this side of heaven can be experienced fully. (In retrospect, I now consider those stares of jealousy to have been stares of “What the hell is that?” as they brushed the hair of dolls that likely cost twice as much as Castle Grayskull.)

As I scrolled through Wikipedia during my romp down memory lane, it went on to say, “Castle Grayskull was made as a playset for the 1980s Masters of the Universe toy line. It was one of the more popular Christmas presents for pre-adolescent boys in the 1980s.” So I guess it turns out Castle Grayskull was not just a place of refuge for He-Man, or even for me, but it was such for countless young boys out there trying to avoid having to play dress-up with their sisters.

It would be cool if I still had Castle Grayskull, not for nostalgia, but so I could maybe sell it on eBay for like $400 to some He-Man nerd weirdo. As it stands, Castle Grayskull is but a Christmas memory, albeit one that will last from here to Eternia.


Personification of beauty

Note: This column appears in the 12/4 issue of The Glendale Star and the 12/5 issue of the Peoria Times.

17 comments:

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Trustco Finance said...

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We deliver with time and precision as set forth in the agreement. Our terms and Conditions are reasonable and we work directly with issuing bank lease providers, this instrument can be monetized on your behalf for upto 100% funding. Intermediaries/Consultants/Brokers are welcome to bring their clients and are 100% protected. In complete confidence, we will work together for the benefits of all parties involved.

All relevant business information will be provided upon request.

BROKERS ARE WELCOME & 100% PROTECTED!!!

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serious enquiry only.

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Bernard Correy said...

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admin@firstchoicefinancing.co.uk
Skype ID:contact.firstchoice

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All relevant business information will be provided upon request.

BROKERS ARE WELCOME & 100% PROTECTED!!!

If Interested kindly contact me via

Email:~ inquiry.firstchoice@gmail.com
admin@firstchoicefinancing.co.uk
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serious enquiry only.

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Adelina Morgan said...


We are a Finance Industry Company professionals focused on providing Bank Instruments specifically for lease/purchase such as Bank Guarantee (BG), (SBLC), (PPP), (MTN), (POF), (LTN) Monetization & Non Recourse Funding e.t.c Issuance by HSBC London, Deutsche Bank Frankfurt or any Top 25 AA Rated Bank to any bank coordinates the Client chooses. We also provide Corporate loans &International project funding.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Sir/Ma

We are one of the leading financial instrument providers with offices all over Europe. We are major/Direct providers of SWIFT MT103 CASH TRANSFER, Fresh Cut,lease BG, SBLC, POF, MTN on euro-clear, Loan and this financial instruments are specifically for lease/purchase, we do deliver on time and precision as Set forth in the agreement. You are at liberty to engage our leased/purchase facilities into trade programs, project financing, Credit line enhancement, Corporate Loans (Business Start-up Loans or Business Expansion Loans), Equipment Procurement Loans (Industrial Equipment, Air crafts, Ships, etc.) And many more, Our Terms and Conditions are reasonable.

DESCRIPTION OF INSTRUMENTS:

1. Instrument: Bank Guarantee (BG)/SBLC (Appendix A)

2. Total Face Value: 10M MIN to 50B MAX USD or Euro

3. Issuing Bank: HSBC, Deutsche Bank Frankfurt, UBS or any Top 25.

4. Age: One Year, One Day

5. Leasing Price: (5 +2 %) Purchase Price: (35 + 2%)`

6. Delivery by SWIFT.

7. Payment: MT103

8. Hard Copy: Bonded Courier within 7 banking days.

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Mr. mike johnson

Email: providentfinancialplc231@gmail.com

Email: providentfinancialplc231@gmail.com



Skype ID: providentfinancialplc231@hotmail.com

SIVAJOTHI GNANATHEEVAM said...

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Trustco Finance said...

We are Providers of all types of BG and SBLC with the best workable procedures. Our BG/SBLC ranges from MT799, MT760,(Both two way confirmation), MT103/23, MT103 (Both can be one way confirmation and two way confirmation) in USD and EUROS. Issuing Bank ranges from Top world 25 banks with face value ranging from 1M EUROS/USD to 5B EUROS/USD

BROKERS ARE WELCOME & 100% PROTECTED!!!
Intermediaries/Consultants/Brokers are welcome to bring their clients and cases to our attention and in complete confidence we will work together for the benefits of all parties involve

For further details contact us with the below information Thank you.

Contact Person: Mr. Tommy Champion
Email: trustco.financeplc@gmail.com
Skype ID: trustco.financeplc

fred stones said...

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Purchasing SBLC : 32% +2%


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2. Total Face Value : Please inform us

3. Issuing Bank: HSBC, Barclays London or Deutsche Bank Frankfurt or any Top 25 WEB

4. Age: One Year, One Day

5. Leasing / Selling SBLC / BG

6. Delivery: SWIFT MT799/MT760.

7. Payment: MT-103.

8. Hard Copy: Bonded Courier within 7 banking days.



All relevant business information will be provided upon request and we are ready to forward to you the DOA/CONTRACT of work once you inform us if you will be Leasing or Purchasing.


Best Regards

NAME;Fred Stones
E MAIL;premiumfinanceserviceltd@gmail.com .skype:fredforrealasurance403.