My White Whale (aka how I found a childhood toy)
Posted in Identify Help
Before I begin, I'd like to say hello. Since this is my first time posting an actual topic at the forums, I figured I'd share a story. It's a personal story, I suppose, as I'm sure that many others here know the same feelings I have and had, trying to find that one item of their childhood or the one item they wanted from their childhood but never had. So, Mr. Peabody, let's set the Wayback Machine to the 1980s.
I am a child of the 1980s. I was born in 1982. I share the same year as many classic Sci-Fi movies and TV shows. One of them, which I have been a long-time fan of, is Knight Rider. And one of the toys I wanted when I was younger, but my parents weren't able to afford at the time, was the Kenner Knight Rider Knight Industries Two Thousand with Michael Knight action figure.
So, around 13 years of age, I started to try to find one for myself. I tried everywhere possible to find one. eBay, whenever I could check, had some of them listed for $50 or more, including shipping and handling. Of course, this was eBay back before they had the "Buy It Now" option, and bidding was literally a roll of the dice, and anything greater than $40 was out of my reach at the time on my allowance. And as each year passed, even after I grew out of the toys I used to play with, I continued to search, even though I knew finding it at a thrift store or a flea market was impossible. Eventually, I bought the Joyride 1/18 scale diecast KITT in 2005. I felt it was a worthy compromise, though not the toy I wanted ever since I was little. So, I stopped trying to find it.
So, no more than two days past my 29th birthday and on a whim, my dad and I decided to go over to Valdosta, Georgia to bum around the thrift stores to see if we could snag some retro-gaming items. After we had lunch, my dad and I went to the first thrift shop. At 11:01, there it was. It was sitting on the shelf, the first item my eye caught after entering the store. And with the price tag of $30 and Michael Knight sitting in the driver seat looking straight at me, I wasn't going to pass it up.
As we continued on with our tour of the local thrift shops, I sat with it in my lap. I even had to ask my dad, "Dad, am I dreaming?" I asked because it seemed so surreal, and I was expecting to wake up in bed only to realize that it was a dream. But, it wasn't a dream. I had found what I had long since dubbed my White Whale. Thanks to my dad, we repaired the voice box to work and cleaned the car. If you saw it in person, you'd swear it came out of the box and off the shelf.
Even now, it seems so surreal. But, here it is. Sixteen years of searching, over 20 years of wanting. $30 and a chance of random browsing at a thrift store that hadn't been open until some time late last year.
Here are the photos, taken by me. Ladies and gentlemen... This Ahab presents his White Whale.
Thank you for your time. :*)
Posted by CB2001
on Monday, August 22, 2011