2009 December 17

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

The difference between paranoia and prophecy is what happens next.

There is a reason I’ve always felt a sense of deep geek-shame when I’ve walked into a toy store looking for a new Batman. There’s a stereotype of toy-collecting geeks that, unfortunately, rings true in many cases. I might even fit some of the outward appearance cliches, but I assure you – I bathe, I can carry on a conversation, I’ve had girlfriends, I’ve seen them naked, and yes, they were hot as hell, and you wish.

I won’t go into the stereotypes here, or why I collect a few toys, but let me assure you – my development is not arrested. And I have a job that pays me to do these things.

skeletorOnce a month, Mattel releases web-exclusive items into their online store. These are generally things that are produced in a limited edition, as a typical retail environment couldn’t support them properly. Items are scheduled to be released, the collective nerd populace with credit cards flocks to their website, buys a few things, and disperses. Sometimes, this makes the website perform slowly or temporarily crash.

I accept these digital hurdles as a simple fact of the internet. Other toy nerds take them as cues to hurl anger, vitriol, and abjectly ridiculous threats. Yesterday had a few very intense hours – all because the website’s current allotment of a Skeletor action figure sold out before some people could get him. Personally, I bought a B’Wana Beast and Animal Man 2-pack, and a Ghostbuster. It took a few minutes, but the order went through just fine.

The internet has recently caused many friends, acquaintances and otherwise to act out of character – or perhaps more in character than I previously perceived. I feel like I need to record some of the comments left on Mattel’s Facebook page for posterity, and as a lasting example of exactly why we need to calm down over tiny plastic men. I post these without editing for clarity.


Jeno B. : by back up and running, you mean the site is a fucking mess that doesnt work, right? just like every month when you release stuff and it doesnt work,

Mike V. : every month you have an issue fuck you..i ever see you anywhere im putting my foot up your ass
Steven Z. : liar liar lair lair lair lair lair lair lair lair
Justin S. : what pisses me off the most is that i wasted my damn lunch hour to come home and order skeletor, and then they don’t have it. bastards anyways [because toys are more important than food]

One fine chap suggested that ‘someone’ start a website called ‘I hope Mattel dies in the next 9/11 dot com’. And he was serious. We have reached a point of fevered insanity over a Skeletor action figure that provokes us to wish another horrible tragedy on our country, and the deaths of thousands of people, just so that one person at Mattel will lose their life. Or perhaps this person thinks that Mattel IS a person. At this point, it was difficult to see through the geek froth.
Either way, people, life is full of disappointment. A little evil skeleton dude that fought all sweaty ‘n’ bare-chested with another dude with a bowl cut isn’t really a great thing to start threatening people over. And tough words on the internet are just that.
Well, THAT, and hilarious.