Today is my husband Thomas’s 32nd birthday. And it is also the first time I’ve given him a gift that has made him speechless.
I suppose I should explain. Thomas is one of those typical men that will find something he likes, mention it to you in passing, and then buy it for himself so you can’t get it for him. This has frustrated me to no end about him. We came to a gentlemen’s agreement some time ago that when gift-giving occasions come around, he has to go on a spending freeze and is not allowed to buy anything frivolous for himself until after said occasion.
Each year I would do my best to get him something I was SURE he would like – a book, a movie, you name it – and each year I would inevitably end up giving him the “safe” gifts. Clothes. Shoes. Coats. Boring, boring, boring. I think after a while he started to just expect that I would be slowly replacing his wardrobe, so he stopped bothering to buy his own things.
This year I decided it would be different. This year, I was going to wow him.
My husband is a collector of robots. But not just any robots – he loves Transformers & Macross and very recently, Jaegers (from Pacific Rim). It’s not just a hobby though – he’s actually turned it into a side venture – but I’ll save that for another post (ooh, teaser).
Because my husband is a collector, he knows his stuff when it comes to Transformers. I have often heard him bemoaning the cheap, unarticulated reimaginings of the Autobots & Decepticons of his youth when wandering the toy aisles at Target. He can often be heard saying “they don’t make them like they used to,” or some incarnation of that phrase.
And one day it hit me.
I could get him a Generation 1 Transformer – one of the originals from his youth. One that wasn’t a prominent member of his already extensive collection. But where to find one?
That’s right – Etsy.
You’d be surprised by the amount of “vintage” Transformers I was actually able to find on Etsy. So much so that I was a little overwhelmed and out of my depth. So I decided to consult the experts – his brothers.
Little did I know that my Optimus Prime-collecting Autobot of a husband was secretly a lover of Decepticons in his youth. I felt so lied to.
So it came out that he had a soft spot for Sixshot and Scorpinok – neither of whom I’d heard of before. Scorpinok was a no go, at least on Etsy, and just when I was about to give up hope, I found him – Sixshot. Generation 1. In great condition with the original box.
Granted, I had to import it from Canada (ugh, customs), but it was worth it. When I opened up the box, I could see the appeal. I wrapped him back up carefully in bubble wrap and eagerly waited for Thomas’ birthday to arrive.
Now of course, I had to get another present as a decoy, to throw him off the scent. So I went to my usual standby and bought him a nice new winter coat to prepare him for the impending Minnesota chill.
The day of his birthday, I made sure he opened up the coat first. It was a hit, and fit him like it should (which I was very thankful for), but I wasn’t too worried about it.
As my oldest handed Thomas his present, I made sure to keep a close eye on his face as he opened the box. And I was not disappointed.
At first, he couldn’t really believe what he was looking at. The box that he came in was pretty beat up and barely holding itself together, but the look on his face when he unwrapped the Transformer was one I won’t soon forget.
He was remembering.
It was the look that you’ll see on someone’s face when they recall a pleasant memory. As he started to Transform Sixshot into the six different modes he can turn into, he started to tell me about how he had one as a child and used to take it with him everywhere. He wasn’t sure what happened to his – perhaps sold at a garage sale or donated to a Goodwill.
He looked so happy, if a little befuddled. After he spent some time looking at Sixshot, he went downstairs and came back up with the newer model that he had recently purchased. It was interesting to see how similar yet different they were to one another.
I’m glad I was able to finally find something that made such an obvious impact on his life. I think that was better, for me, than the gift itself.
So what about you? If you could have 1 toy from your childhood again, what would it be? I’d love to hear.
Until next time, Autobots – roll out!