Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Presents

No-one likes Christmas as much as I do. I like the excitement of Christmas Eve, the presents, the music, the cheer and the warm indoor feeling. I'm not keen on Christmas cards, decorations, shopping or the "real meaning of Christmas" stuff. I do have fond memories of Christmas presents past:

Action man gear

Vintage Action Man - 1970sOne Christmas morning I gratefully received some garb for my Action Man. It consisted of a knitted jumper, a tent made from canvas and a wire coat-hanger for the frame and some sleeping bags. All of this gear was hand-made, the inspiration coming from Blue Peter. The action man had rubberised hands which were designed to grip the accompanying rifle but soon perished, leaving our hero a few fingers short of a compliment.

My Action Man served bravely for several years an his infantry capacity until armoured reinforcements arrived in the form of a green plastic tank. This wasn't the "official" Action Man tank, but a cheaper rival brand's tank. It was slightly smaller than the genuine product so he had difficulty persuing the war effort clumsily jammed into the turret.

I may be mistaken, but I may have had a motorcycle and sidecar for my Action man. I'm pretty sure he wasn't the "eagle eye" model.

I think my Action Man looked something like the one in the picture and nothing like the skateboarding, base-jumping, surf dudes that pass for Action Men now.

Subuteo Floodlights

Subuteo setI was a keen player of the flick football Subbuteo game Subbuteo and had a generic red and blue team that were often imagined to be Middlesbrough and Hartlepool, respectively. The men, on their sturdy circular bases, often were snapped by a misplaced elbow or foot. Casualties were glued with large blobs of Araldite making the players much heavier on their return from injury and with the appearance that their feet were encased in toffee.

The basic set contained a cloth pitch, two teams of players (the goalies had large green handles attached to their bases) and a couple of balls. More elaborate sets contained scoreboards, surrounding fencing and even stands.

One Christmas, I asked for a set of floodlights to add some night-time authenticity to my games (see picture of a top-of-the-range set that came with floodlights). Instead I got two pieces of chipboard hinged together with a light fitting screwed onto it. It was, however, really bright.

There was a home-made theme to a lot of my presents. I think my parents, like Action Man, thought the war had never ended.

TCR - Total Control Racing

TCR - Total Control RacingScalextic was the market leader in the field of model racing cars but I found it a bit mindless - just press the controller down and watch the cars racing around. A TV advert for TCR caught my eye. You could make the cars change lanes to overtake if you wanted to. It came with two racing cars and a "Jam Car" - car that was slower than the rest and had to be overtaken every few laps.

I got the pictured set one Christmas and was thrilled with it. It soon became a bit of pain because all of the electrical contacts became dodgy as they aged and soon it was a useless.



Blogger Polarbear said...

TCR was Ace!
The 'jam car' concept.....Genius.

5:55 pm  

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