The Perils of Plastic: Aerialbots
Few things are more important to a young boy than his collection of treasured toys. This was certainly the case in my formative years. Additionally, I was so protective of my toys that I wouldn't even let my younger brother play with them, which is why it still boggles my mind why I would let a total stranger "borrow" my newly collected Aerialbots.
I don't remember the boy's name after all these years so I will just call him Matt. Matt was the son of the contractor who was building the house next door to mine. The house was being built during the summer and I could usually be found playing outside during that time.
One day I noticed a boy around my age playing with what looked to be a Transformers. More specifically it looked like the Decepticon Triple Changer, Astrotrain. Now, I had never seen this particular Decepticon toy in real-life plastic so I approached the boy and asked him if it was indeed Astrotrain and it was. My eyes grew as wide as my grin. What were the odds that a kid my age would be playing with toys I coveted basically in my own backyard?
I told him how I had just finished collecting all of the Aerialbots and asked him if he wanted to come over and play transformers with me. After that we spend the rest of the summer playing with each other’s Transformers and having fun. Towards the end of the summer he asked me if he could borrow my Aerialbots. He said I could borrow his Astrotrain. He said he would bring it them back the next time he came with his father. Little did I know that his father's time in my neighborhood would be coming to an end very soon.
The next time I saw his father working on the house Matt was nowhere to be found. I went next door and asked his dad when the next time Matt would be around. I explained that I had lent him some toys of mine and that I still had his. Matt’s dad told me that he wouldn’t be coming back because school was starting soon and they were just about finished building the house. My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. I had just finished collecting all of the Aerialbots, one by one, which is no easy feat when you’re a kid. I asked his father if there was any way he could bring over my toys before he left for good and he said he’ll “see what he can do” which I knew was adult speak for good luck getting that to happen, kid. Matt’s dad then told me I could give him his son’s toy to give back to him. I was replied that I wasn’t going to do that until I got my Aerialbots back. He didn’t press the issue so I went home.
I never did get my Aerialbots bots back and Astrotrain was a poor substitute. Not that I didn’t like that Triple Changer but he was a constant reminder of what would never be for me. In fact, I do believe I ended up trading him to another friend for Optimus Prime being that I hadn’t owned Optimus yet at that point. So I would now have the “real” Optimus Prime and his “ghost”, which is what I called the Ultra Magnus white Optimus Prime figure. I would think twice before letting anyone borrow my Optimus’.
Image credit: dan-the-artguy