Monday, September 24, 2012

Memory Lane Monday: Nerdy Nostalgia and My Childhood Brain

My friend, Max found a toy store in Ohio that sells retro and old toys that are still mint in the box. Because he's such an awesome dude, he picked up his friends some goodies while he was there. He brought me a staple from my childhood that I had all but completely forgotten about.  Who else remembers these bad boys?

What baseball cards were to my dad and uncles, TMNT collectible cards were to me. They even came with a stick of gum, just like baseball cards of yore. I called my mom last week to ask her if she still had my old collection of TMNT trading cards in a box somewhere, but she had no clue what I was talking about.  My suspicion is that they were thrown out years ago. No matter, I found a website where you can still buy them. Plus, there's always ebay.

Oh yes. There is always ebay.
These card packs were in every grocery store and toy store checkout stand in Suberbia in the 80's and 90's. As a kid, every time I saw them, my eyes would light up and I would beg and plead with my parents for a quarter so I could buy them. I think they denied my request more often than not, but I do remember amassing a decent sized collection through saving my allowance, or I received them as birthday presents and stocking-stuffer gifts. Rarely would I get anyone to trade with me at school, being as I was the only girl with TMNT trading cards, the other girls just rolled their eyes at me and the boys would just laugh at my collection of cards, "Oh I have a million of that card. Oh, you don't have this card. Hmm." Because apparently they were showered with quarters for childhood trinkets, whereas my parents made me earn my monies with chores. *sigh* Parents. Always trying to prepare me for life...but I digress.

So, you guys wanna trade cards...or something..?
Original painting by J.C. Leyendecker
The funny thing is that I had all but forgotten about my TMNT trading cards until Max tossed them down on the table in front of me. The memories of them were almost lost in the rows upon rows of filing cabinets that, as a child, I imagined made up my brain. Hundreds of little elves would run through rows of card catalogues of my knowledge, standing on their tippy toes to reach the top shelves to dig out dusty bygone memories, or buried thoughts and facts. Like a library. A brain library. 
Like this, but with elves.
The Germans understand.
Holy shit! Child-me imagined my brain almost like the Library episode of Dr. Who I was just watching the other night...only with more elves and fewer disembodied faces. Steven Moffat, you are a time-traveling wizard. Stop stealing my childhood thoughts! Where are my royalties? Again, I digress...

The memory of my TMNT trading cards still hadn't fully formed in my brain until I actually picked up the sealed wax paper package from Max's table. The feel of the wax paper, that smell of cardboard and stale bubblegum finally triggered something in my brain. At last, the elves leapt from the dusty old brain shelves and cried "I remember these!" Our friend Adam even decided he had to try half a stick of decade-old gum. It pretty much just dissolved into nothingness in his mouth. We were all thoroughly grossed out by it.
So, thank you, Max.  Thanks for that nice little trip down Memory Lane.

Anyone up for trading some cards?


  1. I have two full sets of those TMNT cards!!

    1. This is why we're friends.
      Well, not the only reason, but one of them.

  2. TMNT was my favorite when I was a kid. Also love that episode of who, stay out of the shadows!

  3. I don't have any cards, but I found an old Lenoardo cereal bowl many years ago at a flea market that I used to have as a child and now it's my change bowl


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