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Photos from a very geeky Christmas, circa 1979 - Blog of Much Holding

Photos from a very geeky Christmas, circa 1979

This is a self-indulgent post, so please bear with me. I recently visited my mom (who still lives in Alabama) and had the opportunity to look through boxes and boxes of old photos. Among them were lots of Christmas photos, and I was particularly excited when I found the ones I’ve scanned and posted below. First, some of the Christmas haul I got that year:

Christmas Haul 2

Micronauts Mobile Exploration Lab: Man, I was OBSESSED with the Micronauts. Had all the comics, had almost all the toys, and I remember DESPERATELY wanting the Battle Cruiser toy/playset. Well, I never got it as a kid (I finally picked one up on eBay about a year ago) and I got the Mobile Exploration Lab instead. It was quite cool, you could build different smaller vehicles and combine parts with some of the other toys.

Micronauts Hornetroid Vehicle: 1979 was when they introduced “aliens” into the Micronauts toy line, and this was one of the three vehicles they made. It was AMAZEBALLS. You could flap the wings of the thing to simulate flight, shoot missiles, and grab figures with it’s pincers. My mom  got rid of most of my Microsoft toys around ’85 (as well as my Star Wars toys) because I wouldn’t clean my room. I still occasionally remind her how much those toys are now worth (especially the Star Wars ones).

A Nerf football: Yeah, like I was gonna go outside and be active when I had all these cool Micronauts toys. Come on.

A robot piggy bank: I’m pretty sure this came from TG&Y, and was a gift from my grandmother (who lived with us and took care of us while Mom and Dad went to work).

A checkers set: My mom thought I would like to play checkers, when I was already playing chess by then. She wasn’t paying much attention.

Starcruiser 1 model kit: This was another FANTASTIC toy, a model kit that was designed by the same guy who designed the Eagles on Space: 1999, Brian Johnson. Once you put together the kit you had a modular space vehicle you could change into three different ships… As you can see, I liked building things (ironically, I was never really into LEGO as a kid, though I am a fan now).

A stuffed dog. Apparently, someone mistakenly thought I was a little girl.

You can also see our cat Mikey peeking out from behind the stuff. He was a good cat.

Here’s another picture, with me opening some more stuff:

Christmas Haul 3

And another item is revealed: THE HULK! Oh my God, I was such a Hulk fan. This was a great toy that came with a plastic cage  you put Hulk in and then blew him up with a air until he broke through the cage… I lost count of how many times I did that. I was such a Hulk fan that I dressed like him for Halloween that year.

By the way, my grandmother Marie sewed me that robe, as well as many of our clothes. About once a month we would go to TG&Y and look at Simplicity patterns of clothes, picking out the tackiest designs for us to wear. I’d share more pictures of my wardrobe from the time, but I don’t want to make any of you blind. Or insane.

Another pic, and the last gift reveal:

Christmas Haul 4

A plush Superman figure! I kept this thing FOREVER for some reason, even though it was really really ugly. Thanks to the Internets, I found a better picture of it:


See? Also, he had velcro on his hand AND feet, so he could hold onto things. No idea why.

At any rate, it was a good Christmas, though not as good as later Christmases that brought more Star Wars toys, an Atari 2600, and more Micronauts. Couldn’t find any pictures of that one.

Here’s one last pic, and it confuses me:

Christmas TV watching

It’s me, watching TV in my grandmother’s room. It’s around the same Christmas time, and I’m pretty sure that I’m watching Battlestar Galactica. The only thing is… it was canceled in the spring of ’79. Was this a rerun? It couldn’t have been Galactica 1980 because that didn’t start until January 1980. Oh well, one of life’s little mysteries…

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I still wish I had some of these items (especially the Starcruiser 1 model) but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that when I DID own them, I played the living heck out of them.

Joseph Dickerson is a user experience professional and UX Lead for Microsoft based out of Atlanta, GA. He has implemented processes in user testing, design and ethnographic research and provided design and consulting services for many different projects and organizations.

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