Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monster Mayhem: Fantomenos Brings 30 Stories of Terror

Fantomenos writes in about his favorite, The King of the Monsters

My favorite monster? Easy. Godzilla. No hesitation. I remember watching him electrocute the smog-monsters babies on our tiny B&W TV. I remember the cartoon (with Godzuki...), and I remember the Marvel comic. Godzilla has been a constant in my life.

oh, jeez.  The Champions.  Well, Godzilla doesn't need my good luck wishes.

But, my clearest Godzilla memory is from the Christmas of 1979, at age 5. We lived in Sitka Alaska, which means that our X-mas wish lists were made with catalogs, well in advance. This year, the Sears catalog featured a line of plastic Shogun Warriors, maybe 2 feet tall with missiles and shooting hands etc. For some reason, Godzilla was one of the members of the line. Wheels on his feet, a lever in the back that would extend a small flame-painted tongue, and his right fist shot when you pressed the button in the crook of his elbow. Remember, safety regs weren't what they are now, so this was a hard piece of plastic that shot out pretty fast.

If only King Ghidorah would reach out the same way...

This item immediately shot to the top of my X-mas list, in the "get me this and I won't ask for anything else" slot. But, $5.00 was way to much for my parents to spend on a "hunk of plastic". My B-day follows X-mas by about a month, and again no Godzilla. But, I had received enough money (Grandparents and such) to send away for it myself. So I did.

Oh, Hanna Barbera.  The theme song to this show was awesome.

And it was magnificent. Pride of place in the toy chest. Totemic. I had also received this book:

kids, this was what passed for blogging in the 1970's

very '70's. Write your own book about yourself. Here's where the compulsive geekiness first rears it head. I put it together that if I can write a book about me, and Godzilla is the most important thing about me, it stands to reason that I should write "My Book About Godzilla". Which I immediately set about doing. Measuring his height, the length of the flame tongue, and most crucially, how far his fist could shoot, checking the distance of shot after shot. I remember it being around 5 feet, but that could be Proustian reverie.

So there it is, my first attempt at creative writing, being a completely uncreative compendium of facts about my favorite toy. Where'd Godzilla and his hagiography end up? No idea, we were a military family, and my parents were ruthlessly unsentimental about things. The late 70s were a weird time.

A League afterword:  I had this same Godzilla toy, and it was exactly as awesome as Fantomenos describes.  I once convinced this little German kid who moved in down the street that the thing was alive and would attack him because that little German kid was annoying.  Anyway, his mom came down and yelled at me in German.  It was traumatic, but certainly not the last time I would be yelled at by someone in a language other than English.  

Godzilla is currently in the attic of my folks' garage, and I have plans to retrieve it over the holidays.  However, Jason and I both believe that the missile fist may be missing.  I will send photos when Godzilla resurfaces.

Here's the cartoon intro:



J.S. said...

I love Godzilla, too. When I was a kid, he used to come on around lunch time on Saturdays, and Mom would let me eat my PB&J with chocolate milk and corn chips in front of the TV (a rarity in the Steans house- usually we had to sit at the table) so I could watch. I think I just loved the scale of destruction that occurred in Godzilla movies, with massive collateral damage to buildings and landscape occurring almost as an afterthought. I think I was just drawn, even at an early age, to the idea of a disaster movie where the disaster itself was actually a living, intelligent creature/character. I still love it!

Fantomenos said...

Check this out, y'all (via Dave Ex Machina):


The League said...

That's pretty darn great!