Best Present Ever.

Hey pal! What's that big glowing butterknife for ... ?

On Christmas Eve, I thought it would be a good time for us comic book nerds to all talk about our favorite nerdy Christmas presents ever. I'll go first, but I really look forward to hearing some of your fondest Christmas gift memories.

Most of my super-hero memories involved laboriously tracking through the Sears Catalog (this was before the Internet, see, we actually used paper and the telephone for ordering things!), marking every Star Wars action figure I wanted. I considered myself Santa's little helper, apparently, figuring surely he got some kind of volume discount. Plus I knew Santa didn't really know squat about which figures were best, so he might need a hand picking the choicer ones.

I did the same thing with the MEGO 8" tall fully articulated and clothed super-hero action figures. Those things were awesome. Unlike the Star Wars figures, which couldn't move at the wrists or elbows or knees or ankles, these guys had joints where you needed them. And their outfits were actual sewn cloth, not molded plastic.

The highlight of Christmas morning for me was seeing which, if any, of the figures whose pages numbers and prices I'd written in a neat list for Santa showed up under the tree. Generally I'd lose at least one piece before the day was over, but that was all right; toys were to be played with, darn it, not kept in a box forever!

I still remember the Green Arrow figure, whose hat, boots, bow, quiver, and arrows all disappeared in fairly rapid fashion. Without his gear, he's just a guy, so I decided I'd retcon him. I used Scotch tape for new, form-fitting boots over his stockings, which gave him a neat banded look. But the beard was so clearly Green Arrow, it had to go. So I heated up the electric stove, held a butter knife to it till it got really hot, and proceeded to do my best Barber of Seville imitation.

Unfortunately, eight-year-old Jeff was unaware of the finer points of shaving techniques, and used the serrated edge of the knife to remove the offending whiskers. As a result, The Green Scar Face too to the streets of my home town to fight crime. I thought the contrast between the horribly ravaged, black-edged melted face gouges and the shiny boots was particularly piquant.

What are some of your favorite geeky Christmas memories?

And I hope you spend the holiday either surrounded by beloved family and friends, or gloriously alone and untroubled by crappy family and friends! Either way, so long as YOU are happy, I am happy.

Thanks for following along on the blog this year and for sharing your thoughts and creativity with everyone. Happy Holidays and/or Merry Christmas!

17 Responses to Best Present Ever.

  1. Myro says:

    I remember getting a 12″ Boba Fett the Christmas after the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Dude was badass! It was one of the few Star Wars toys I had that everyone else was jealous of (given that I never got the Millennium Falcon or Death Star playsets like some of the kids I knew).
    I had a Star Wars thing going since the release of the first movie, so that was where my interest lay when I was a kid (and even still now), but the comic book nerdiness didn’t emerge until I was a teenager, so I wasn’t interested in collecting superhero “toys” until fairly recently. I do remember, however, having a decent Transformers collection while the cartoon was in full run, though. Optimus Prime was a jewel of my Christmas collection one year.

  2. The Imp says:

    I remember getting the Trash Compactor set from the original Star Wars when I was around 7 or 8. Looking back, it wasn’t that great a toy, but I had lots of fun with it. Thinking up new uses for the sponge block ‘trash’ that came with it was especially fun. 😀 And I remember thinking it was awesome that they included the trash monster; you never got a really good look at it in the movie, so I was like ‘So THAT’S what it looks like!’.

  3. ajw says:

    For me it will show just how young i am, one year i got an underwater justice leauge set with superman, flash, green lantern (jon stewart of course), and the viking style aquaman(long hair beard and a blade arm).
    Then last year joker squadron from star wars a entertainment earth exclusive, five removable helmet stormtroopers and a quarren sith. Then two jokers a high quality batman and the high quality scarecrow from the dark knight, and before that an old Longshot marvel legend, though no dazzler to go with him, but he did have a part of mojo. That scarecrow is one of my favorite figures, Longshot just clashes with the rest of my xmen figures. I love Christmas.

  4. remy says:

    I personally don’t celebrate Christmas, but one year for Hanukkah I also got some of the clothed 8” superhero action figures (I still have them somewhere). I got one of the Vision, and one of Hawkeye. One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever gotten is a comic book store gift card.

  5. ajw says:

    remy i think those have to be my favorite avengers.

  6. jay says:

    i think one of the best was when we got a snake mountain set from heman. we loved the snake on top because it distorted your voice, though, lookin’ back, i think we sounded more like the dude from the mcdonald’s drive-threw then skeletor lol,!!!

  7. X-stacy says:

    My favorite present ever was the XBox 360 my brother surprised me with a couple years ago. That (with Saints Row 2) is probably my favorite thing of all time.

  8. Rick says:

    One of my best was getting the Millenium Falcon and a slew of action figures. I must have “flown” that thing around the whole day. I remember getting the Death Star that year too I think. I used both those along with my Space 1999 Eagle as the sets of the greatest adventures of my various 3 3/4 action figures from Buck Rogers to Star Wars to GI Joe etc. The Falcon and Eagle in particular had the prime storage location under my bed for far longer than I should admit!

  9. The original Prowl Autobot. Awwww yeah…

    That same Christmas, I got an Easy Bake Oven. Uhhh yeah…

  10. Darth_Neko says:

    About five years ago, I got a Star Wars Plo Koon Force FX lightsaber that was only exclusive to Gamestop. It was a rare color, yellow and I loved that thing to death. For my birthday earlier that same year, I got two of Darth Maul lightsabers so they could connect, and I begged my grandmother relentlessly for a different color to fight against one of my friends as a Jedi. (Because who doesn’t loving acting a jedi? :D)

    I mean I have a huge collection of Star Wars memorabilia, but out of all my collection; that is the most near and dear to my heart.

  11. HalLoweEn JacK says:

    When I was seven, I awoke one Christmas morning to find over dozen Masters of the Universe figures set up in a diorama battle all over the coffee table. It was the mid 80s and my parents had bought them second hand (not that I had any understanding of the social stigma often attached to second hand gifts at that age). I remember looking at the battle scene for ages (probably five minutes in reality, but it’s my nostalgic memory) and one of my parents (I can’t remember who) saying “you’re allowed to play with them”. The presentation as a gift was just so damn cool.

  12. Bael says:

    The one that had the most impact at the time was the train set. It literally took over the dining room for… well, it seemed like years, but t probably wasn’t.

    Mom and Dad set up a ping pong table over the dining table, and laid a full sheet of plywood on top of it, so I could nail down the grass mats and the trees. We even had a second level on one end, another piece of plywood elevated about six inches with long (long) grades up to it along each side. I meant to use something to turn the lower tracks on that end into a tunnel, and the top into a mountain side, but I never did.

    I remember having to pull the dining room table out under one end, to do homework, and push it back after, so we could get into the kitchen.

    Damn. I had almost completely forgotten that.

    These days, I have to admit, I’ve acquired a large number of Cobra soldiers for no geed reason. And Dreadnoks. and a few vehicles. Um. Yes, I’m 38. Deal with it.

    Merry Christmas.

  13. pdubbs says:

    This wasn’t for Christmas (it was for my birthday) but it was still the greatest gift I ever received. I had been trying for months to track down volume 1 of Batman: Hush in hardcover. I don’t if anyone has ever tried but its a pain (this was around the time Hush was returning in Gotham Knights). So my mom got wind of my hunt and began to help too. If she went to a bookstore she would check or would look online. Eventually she called up DC Comics to ask if they had some left, the woman on the phone said she actually had an extra one signed by Jeph Loeb and would send it for free.
    My mom gave it to me before I went off to school on my birthday. I was so excited and then she told me the story of how she got it and it just blew me away that somebody would be willing to give it up for someone they didn’t know. I read the heck out of that book (I’m not one to save and preserve comics) and every time I open the front page and see the signature I think of that woman.

  14. watson bradshaw says:

    Merry christmas everybody. I remember being 12 and getting a whole slew of Batman Returns action figures (including penguin commandos and catwoman) it was simply awesome.

  15. ajw says:

    today: signed stan lee book on how to create comics, awesome.

  16. Nick Hentschel says:

    I remember browsing the Transformers when they first hit, in both the Sears AND Montgomery Ward catalogs. I actually learned a lot of the characters’ names that way!

  17. Phatchick says:

    The Klingon Dictionary a friend of mine gave me when I was in college. I actualy put it to good use, translating a couple of filks I’d written.