Monday, December 08, 2008

Movies & Toys

I like movies. I'm probably addicted to them. My mother claims that I will watch any movie. Moreover, she claims that I like any movie I watch.

I'm sure this isn't true, because I remember hating every minute of The Doom Generation. If I ever see Greg Araki, I might just have to punch him in the jaw.

And, despite my total devotion to Nicole Kidman and anything she is in, I can say for sure that I hated every minute of Batman & Robin, but I watched it all the way through. And I wouldn't part with my Chase Meridian poster. Also on the Nicole Kidman front, I have still to this day not managed to make it more than 30 minutes into The Portrait of a Lady. It's just way too fucking boring.


I've been hunting for Blu-ray bargains. Blu-ray, being on the cutting edge and all that, is still enjoying the "HEY THIS IS NEW LET'S CHARGE A LOT MORE FOR IT" days when it comes to buying movies. But there are some good deals to be found. For example, I got Transformers on Black Friday for $9.99. I got Reservoir Dogs and Crash at Wal-Mart tonight for $10 each.

But, in searching for crap on Ebay, I forgot that I was in the TOYS department (as I was watching the special features on the Transformers disc and wondering whatever happened to my Megatron and my Soundwave guys) and I punched in a new search. "Blu-ray" I typed into the box.

But, since I was still in TOYS, I got the results for Blu-ray toys.

Now, you might not think there are any results for Blu-ray in the TOYS department, but you'd be wrong. You see, last year when Disney/Pixar released Cars on Blu-ray, they included a coupon with it. Actually, all Disney movies come with a code you can punch in online and get points toward prizes. And, just like with Skee-Ball, if you collect 50,000 points you get to pick something you might, but don't really, want.

But, with the Cars Blu-ray, just punching in the coupon gave you an immediate reward. The reward was a blue version of Lightning McQueen as seen in his dream sequence when he is wearing the Dinoco colors. Sure, it was a few bucks for shipping and handling, but I figured my little boy would like it, so I paid the whole two-dollar shipping and handling charge. A few weeks later, a little blue car showed up in the mail. It was made by Mattel, and was clearly a Hot Wheels style car, but it didn't say Hot Wheels on it.

So, back to my search results... there is the blue Lightning McQueen shown about 30 times on the page. And I stared in amazement at the prices. $49.99 with five bids and two days to go. $99.99 buy it now. Over and over, most with bids above $50. I clicked on the Completed Auctions option and saw prices from $45 to $99. For a free toy. All the auctions said the same thing: Limited edition of only 15000, never available in stores, the promotion has expired there is no way to get a new one ever.

So, hoping for the best, I went to find Roland's blue Lightning McQueen. I wasn't sure if it would be scratched up or if it would still look shiny and new. He hadn't played with it much, but I recalled several times he was playing with it making ramps in the living room.

After a few minutes of looking around, I found the little blue car in the bottom of a box of other cars. I picked it up and looked at it hoping for the best.

And right there on back of Mr. McQueen - along the top edge of his spoiler was exactly the thing I was hoping for. The paint was scraped off right down to the metal. There were dings and scratches in other places, too.

I never thought for a second that I would sell the car on Ebay, even if it was in pristine condition. On the contrary, I was elated to find that it had plenty of signs of being played with and loved by a little boy. I think that's especially fitting for this Pixar toy given the way Pixar's Toy Story 2 plays out.

But, thinking about it now, I'm tempted to take a picture of it and put it on Ebay anyway. I would do it if there wasn't a stupid fee just to list something. I could take a picture of it showing off the scuffs and list it as "Blu-ray Lightning Machine Car - Limited 15000 - Absolutely Perfect." I'd put a starting bid of a million dollars on it with a Buy-It-Now of infinity.

No matter how much money some collector thinks those cars are worth wrapped up in their plastic bags or their custom collector cases, it's worth infinitely more to me to know that my little boy has loved playing with that car.

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