11 Aug 2007
HowStuffWorks.com’s Senior Staff Writer Tracy V. Wilson was once heard to remark that her cousin’s Star Wars figures were ruined because he’d stored them in their attic, where they were quietly baked into runny little puddles of non-action figures. Something to do with How Attics Get Really, REALLY Hot. As she related the story I quietly bit the inside of my cheek and thought to myself “Dude, you so have to check your Star Wars figures, up in the attic.”
But of course I didn’t.
It’s strange… sort of like when your inner hypochondriac insists that you have contracted some terrible, loping disease of the soul and yet you avoid going to the doctor to have him confirm your worst fears because if you don’t look for the problem, it doesn’t exist. Ladies, just in case you’re wondering, this is the mathematics, the physics if you will, that underlies the way that we guys think.
It takes something fairly significant to shake us out of this head-in-the-sand behavior…. something like a triple-digit, death-dealing, nation-gripping heatwave…. you know, like now.
So this morning I get the ladder and head up to investigate the state of my own small Star Wars figure collection, you know, for the Estate valuation and all. Waving my arms through steely black widow webs, crawling over the crushed bodies of a million ladybugs and brown beetles, I finally located the prize and retreated back to the comfort of air-conditioning holding the box over my head like an Academy Award envelope for Best Picture… pregnant with riches or ruin.
Imaginary drums rolled as I carefully sliced brown paper tape away from the heretofore hermetically sealed cardboard box. Inside the box were three smaller white boxes, also carefully labeled. This was interesting, I didn’t recall having spent this much time on these things….
By this point I’d become more interested in my own archival abilities than in the outcome of my geeky toy collection….. so I slid one of the three white boxes out and sat it on top of the big box.
Then I lifted its lid.
To my utter astonishment there were several dozen even smaller boxes inside the small white box. It was like the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Daffy Duck wins the “Million Box” except that every one of my little boxes was labeled with a sticker and carefully taped shut. I looked at the inventory for the box and found that box #063 was “Luke Skywalker – earlybird figure (1 figure, 0 accessories)”. That’s the very first Luke Skywalker figure ever sold… the one that has a little plastic lightsaber that slides out of the toy’s arm… the only one that has an even smaller sliver of plastic that slides out of the first bit of plastic to replicate the extending blade.
I held my breath as I peeled the paper tape away from the tiny box’s edges and lifted the lid….
Sitting there, encased in bubble wrap, was a wholly intact figure.
Eat your heart out Howard Carter… my Early Bird Luke Skywalker is in mint condition!
And headed for new, safer digs as we speak!