Thursday, 5 April 2018

Trading Money For Memories aka The Snausage Factor

-mantis nine nines

I almost died. My mom pulled into traffic and all I can remember is the slow motion impact of the car smashing into the side of our van right next to where I was sitting, back seat driver's side. I was about 10 and we were late to church. Mom ran the red light and BAM. Other than a concussion, sprained wrist, and some wicked bruising I made out with no broken bones or internal bleeding, a shock to all who saw the wreckage. Whatever else I may be no one can deny I'm lucky, a few inches over and the impact would have been through my legs. In my short time as an EMT I saw what that can do close up, so I truly understand how fortunate I am.

Our red Nissan minivan (known as the "Snausage") was not so fortunate. It was almost folded in half, shattered. But in my haze I still managed to salvage something very important: Tote. That little micromaster had been a staple in the van since we bought it, I spent many an hour while riding pretending he was ironhide, or that he represented the van I was in which was secretly a super mecha. All the fun a kid can hope for when stuck in a seat while your parents argue and listen to talk radio. That cute crimson robo was there for every minute.

I'm reminded of this story as I unpack my brand new MPP-27 oversized KO Ironhide. True I love it for it's 1/24 scale and perfect fit in my collection, but those are rationalizations. Deep down it's the emotion that matters. And by emotion I mean more than nostalgia. Nostalgia is a nice warm blanket feeling we all get whenever we experience that tune, that smell, etc. What I refer to are very specific attachments that leap to mind crystal clear. As awful as that car crash was it remains a pleasant memory in the way the details are so permanently and distinctly preserved. It is as close to time travel as any of us will ever experience.

There are a few bots for me that accomplish this. My G1 Soundwave was purchased by my father after taking me to the disaster that was the 86 movie. It will always carry a residual feeling of the comfort it provided after watching my favorite characters coldly executed and replaced. My original does not travel, but MP Soundwave substitutes just fine. 

There are so many different reasons people collect. Some have an interest in the puzzle play, some find it a way they can sooth a compulsive nature, or even (foolishly) seek future fortune off a complete set. Whatever the reason, we plunk down our hard earned cash and walk away with a little piece of plastic paradise. I would have never guessed one of my favorites would be one of the smallest as well.

Contact Dan on Twitter @mantisninenines 


  1. Hello! did you know the name and the manufacturer of the mini van over ironhide?

  2. The little toy car is Transformer micromaster tote by Hasbro. The van Ironhide is based on is the Nissan Vannete. Hope that helps!