I‘m very much an 80s kid. I grew up with Transformers and G.I. Joe, not Rugrats and Ed, Edd n Eddy. Though I did spend a good chunk of my childhood in the 90s, growing up in Muscat, away from the twin cultural juggernauts of India and the US, meant that some things arrived later, and stayed around more. And 80s cartoons, and a love of the toys that came with the subculture, is one of those things.
Now as an adult with a minor disposable income and questionable taste, I can indulge myself by getting some of the toys I just couldn’t as a kid. Alas, living in Dubai now means that toys are horrendously overpriced (seriously, one of those big Optimus Prime toys that cost $50 is over twice as much here), and I don’t really want to bother with shipping them in, because I have too much stuff anyway.
Still, once in a while I’ll pass through the supermarket’s toy section and come upon some cheap range of toys that are surprisingly good, if kitsch, and pick one up. The last time this happened I got the awesome Dark Warrior toy.
Today, I picked up this ‘Transbots’ action figure. It’s not particularly well painted, but the original mould (I’m guessing it was an official Transformer once***) is solid and for something that costs AED 24 it’s not bad at all. I literally haven’t played with it yet, but in robot mode it’s very poseable, with nicely jointed legs.
I have some Revell paints left over from when I bought a Star Wars jedi starfighter kit, and may repaint this guy at some point. And maybe I’ll even pick up another from this set to go with it.
So maybe I don’t have all the fancy toys I’d like to; honestly, I can’t say spending my money on a huge toy collection is a great idea. But I do have an increasing number of strange Chinese knock-offs, and they are for me what toys should be: fun.
***(UPDATE: Identified the original as a Starscream toy from the Transformers: Cybertron ‘Galaxy Force’ line. This knockoff has basically stripped a few of the more complex clear plastic parts)