Like a kid again…

Posted: July 9, 2007 in Happenings

Optimus Prime

Saturday I went to see Transformers in the theater.  My initial expectations had been low, but after my brother and my old friend Chad both recommended seeing it, I decided to go.  So Jason (Eli’s husband) and I grabbed some tickets and we spent 2 1/2 hours in a cinematic fountain of youth.

Without trying to sound too much like a movie review, I will at least say the movie was exciting and it exceeded my expectations in areas of special effects and script.  But it’s also rare that a movie makes me feel like a kid again.

I grew up with countless Transformers toys:  Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Ironhide, Sunstreaker, Jazz, Starscream, Jetfire, Ramjet, Devastator, Megatron, Shockwave, Soundwave, and many others which  I can’t remember the names of off the top of my head right now (heck, one was even a working (sort of) microscope that turned into a robot).  My parents’ den was often transformed into an epic battleground where Autobots fought the Decepticons on nearly a daily basis.  Heck, we even threw in some lame Gobots to try to make the battles feel more “epic.”  And like all kids did at the time, we would try our best when changing the robots to vehicles (or vice versa) to mimic that classic tschee-tschaa-tschoo sound that became so iconic in the cartoons, though the transformation process usually took several minutes instead of several seconds.

 Today, however, most of those toys (or pieces of them) are all resting peacefully in a box in a closet in a spare bedroom at my mom’s house.  Were it not for all the missing pieces, these might become toys for my own kids one day.  Some people have chastised me over the years for losing pieces to valuable collectibles, but I argue that they were meant to be played with, not collected.  And that they were.

So seeing favorite toys of my youth become giant, nearly believable renderings on the big screen was awesome.  It was almost like the whole concept grew up, just like all of us kids who played with these things 20 years ago did.  The special effects were so believable and the characters so true to the originals, that I half expected to see cars in the parking lot at Regal Cinemas make that classic tschee-tschaa-tschoo sounda and transform before our very eyes.  If you’d put an old transformer toy in my hand at that moment, I might have stopped and even played with it right there on the sidewalk (which, no doubt would’ve look quite odd and forever tarnished my reputation as a “grown-up”…um…if I even have such a reputation anyway).

On that note:  Now this question…how can I justify a $40 purchase of the Optimus Prime toy as a 35-year-old male with two kids and other responsibilities?  Can I get it and call it a desktop ornament?  Can I get a bunch of Transformers toys and play with my kids?  Can I call myself a collector?

Like I said, I feel like a kid again.

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