I've been collecting toys for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories of toys were Gabriel's Lone Ranger and Tonto, Hasbro's G.I. Joe (back when he was just a soldier, not an entire team), and Mego's World's Greatest Super Heroes. Most people say, " You didn't collect toys, you just had toys, just like every other child." But for me, it was different.
I played the tar out of my toys, but I also liked to keep them in pristine condition. Whenever a part would break or be lost, I always wanted to replace it. I really wish Paul Clarke (AKA Dr. Mego) was up and running back in the day. I also kept the boxes that the toys came in. Including the part bags, decal sheets, and cardboard inserts. It was like I had a sixth sense of what was to come of these childhood treasures.
Throughout the 70's, Super Heroes, especially Batman, ruled my world. I couldn't get enough of Batman related toys, but Mego's World's Greatest Super Heroes was always my favorite. My favorite from that line was the original Removable Cowl Batman. To my dismay, along with other collector's in the world, Mego later replaced the RC Cowl with a molded version. For almost a decade Super Hero toys and the TV series, movies, and comic books that inspired them were my obsession. Until a little known movie called The Empire Strikes Back was released in theatres.
I was awed by the original Star Wars when it was released back in 1977. I remember kids flocking to the Star Wars toy section, but Star Wars toys didn't interest me in the least. Even with the majority of my friends jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon, I just wasn't drinking the Kool-Aid. Until a certain trailer was released.
Unbeknownst to me, a second Star Wars movie was to be released. While at the theatre and getting ready to watch, I think the Black Stallion, a trailer for The Empire Strikes Back began to play. I was blown away by the AT-AT's blasting away at the Rebels, the Millennium Falcon racing through an asteroid field, and the intense lightsaber fight between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, had me counting the days until it's release.
But even after The Empire Strikes Back was released I still didn't jump in on the Star Wars Toy Craze. It wasn't until months later that I finally jumped into the Sarlaac Pit feet first. My friend David was a huge Star Wars fan and had just about every Star Wars Toy ever made (It seemed that way anyway) and at his birthday party that year even more toys were added to his collection.
It was on that day I was bit by the Star Wars bug.
My birthday was just two weeks later and my toy world had switched from Super Heroes to Star Wars. My birthday that year kicked my Star Wars collection into high gear with me scoring the Millennium Falcon and several action figures that included: Han Solo (Hoth Outfit), 3 Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues), Lando Calrissian, C-3P0, Snaggletooth, Luke Sywalker, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot), Princess Leia (Bespin Gown), and Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear). Also, with the birthday money I received, I bought the Imperial Attack base, and Creature Cantina.
As Kenner continued to release new Star Wars toys and Mego kept cutting the World's Greatest Super Heroes line and stopped adding new characters, my Star Wars collection grew and my Super Heroes collection swayed. Shortly before Mego went bankrupt, I did pick a few action figures on clearance. Wish I would have had the money to pick up the plethora of carded Robin's and Hulk's that were available for a $1.
After Kenner pulled the plug on Star Wars toys, I began developing an interest in G.I Joe and my interest in Super Heroes was re-born with with Kenner's Super Powers Collection. However, both of those interest faded quickly as I was entering high school and my passion for toys was put on the the sidelines.
It wasn't until the Internet got into full swing that my interest in toys was re-activated. Discovering sites like eBay, Mego Museum, and Dr. Mego, brought back a flood of memories and had me wanting more.
I unpacked my remaining toys, that had been stored for years and I felt just like I did as a kid. An describable feeling of joy, peace, safety, fun, excitement, and adventure all rolled into. Since then I have curated, restored, displayed, and expanded my toy collection.
I intend to continue doing so and at the same time help others with a passion for vintage toys re-live their childhoods. I hope you all enjoy visiting The Batcave Toy Room and watching me build the world's greatest toy collection.
About the author: John Sholtz is an avid toy collector and the interim editor of the Batcave Toy Room due to the abrupt death of Bruce Wayne. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter at, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin.