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Friday, November 4, 2011

THE HULK ROLLER SKATES DEBACLE

TALES FROM THE TOY CHEST

Stories of Childhood Toy Triumph and Tragedy



By
John "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" Cimino


CASE NUMBER: 3478-B 
THE HULK ROLLER SKATES DEBACLE!!


Age: 6 years
Date: 1979
Store: Osco Drugs
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts.

I absolutely adored the Hulk as a child, but I hated roller skating. If you grew up during the late '70s you would know that they were both a big deal during that time. Everybody watched the Hulk live-action series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno on Friday nights and everybody loved to go out to their local rink and get their roller skating groove on. So I guess it might seem to be an odd mix to have a rampaging man-monster be a roller skate, but to me (and the manufactures), it seemed to be a great idea. So in 1979 The Incredible Hulk DELUXE Roller Skates hit toy shelves all over the country. After I saw these skates being advertised on a television commercial, I became obsessed to get them.

First time I saw those Hulk roller skates in person was when I was alone in an Osco Drug toy aisle (it's the '70s and nobody watches their kids). I loved how ugly and pudgy the Hulk looked on the skates, it was cheesy toy ecstasy in my young naive mind. However, I had no money to buy them so I just compulsively took the skates out of the box and grabbed the empty box to go show my mother (who was grocery shopping at a Star Market next door) what I wanted. As I was walking outside I got stopped by a man who was an undercover security officer. I told the cop that I was just showing my mother the empty box so she could come back and buy me the actual skates I removed. The cop surprisingly lets me go to find her with the box. When I found my mom and asked her to get them for me she quickly said no. I was upset, of course, but I at least had the box and I wasn't giving it back (I have no idea why my mom let me get away with it). For the next few weeks I pretended I had those skates (because I had the box) and I put my other Hulk toys in it just to make it "official" (in my head anyway).

Eventually, I went back with my mother to the Osco Drugs and down the toy aisle to see this magical item. I showed her the skates and for some reason she still wouldn't get them for me. Even to this day, I don't know why (maybe she thought I was going to break my neck because you had to spin backwards to stop rolling... yes, you read that right). I started to cry and beg and cry and beg and cry and beg, but she continually said no. She said I could get something else and I reluctantly picked the Plasticine Hulk Modeling Set from Coloforms.

Even with that toy I began to persistently complain the whole time while she continued to shop. Finally, in the checkout line, my mom blew a gasket! She went nuts on me and said I couldn't get anything!! I started saying, "No mom please!! I want the Hulk Modeling Set! I'm sorry!! Please mom, please!!!" She threw the toy and her other items into a basket near the cashier and stormed out pulling me with her (can you imagine that scene to the people around us?).


When we got home, I went to my room and packed up my toys and clothes and told my mom I was running away. She didn't say a word. I was shocked that she didn't care. So then I locked myself in my room for a few hours. Later she knocked on the door and told me the Hulk television show was on and I eventually came out and watched it with my mother and brother with nobody saying a word. Things quickly went back to normal.

Eventually I forgot about those Hulk roller skates and went on to other adventures. About 20 years later I got them as a gift from a friend. For fun, I managed to put them on and try them out (hey, why not). Predictably, they never worked as good as they did on that blasted commercial. And judging from how many times I fell on my butt when I spun around to stop, I really would've broken my neck when I was 6 -- hey, thanks mom!


THE END?

Just to let you know, I got the Plasticine Hulk Modeling Set on my 7th birthday as a gift from some friends across the street. If you look closely at the packaging above it say's "Super Easy!" Well, it wasn't. It was "Super Hard." And I gave up on it after about a hundred tries and never played with that damn thing again. Years later I got it off EBay and I was tempted to take another crack at it and put it together, but the package was still sealed in its cellophane wrapping so I passed. Eventually I sold it off with a ton of other toys from my collection. Ironically, it's still in the back of my head if I can make that stupid thing...

Hulk smashed???

To Be Continued...



Other Tales From the Toy Chest:

THE STEALING OF THE SUPERHERO STAND-UPS
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2011/11/stealing-of-superhero-stand-ups.html 

BATMAN COLORFORMS AND MY DAD
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2011/11/batman-colorforms-and-my-dad.html 

MY TOP 15 GREATEST TOYS EVER
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-top-15-greatest-toys-ever.html

THE MANGLOR MESS UP
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-manglor-mess-up.html 

SUPER MARKET SKIRMISH: THE PDQ INCIDENT
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2014/05/super-market-skirmish-pdq-incident.html 

HULK OR HOLOCAUST
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2014/07/hulk-or-holocaust.html 

THE TOP 10 GREATEST G.I. JOE FIGURES EVER
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-top-10-greatest-gi-joe-figures-ever.html 

THE WRANGLING OF WRESTLEFEST
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-wrangling-of-wrestlefest.html  


John "The Mego Stretch Hulk" Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John still thinks he's really Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at johnstretch@live.com or follow on twitter at @Elastic_Hulk and have some fun.

7 comments:

  1. The type of roller blades that you purchase depends on your intended use, the type of skater you are, as well as where you plan on using them.

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  2. I remember these roller Skates, I had the Spider-man one's. And honestly, the stunk!

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  3. I'm glad your mom never got you the skates.

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  4. I like this section of your blog. It's good to see people writing about a time when toys were cool and the experiences with them were even cooler. Good fun here.

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    1. Thank you. I'm always trying to do something a little different from everybody else.

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  5. Why would any kid ever want those roller skates? They are horrendous!

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    1. But that was the the beauty of them! For some reason the uglier and cheaper the product, the more I wanted it.

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