Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#0013: Slobster

Some toys are ugly. They’re lumpy, awkward and reprehensible. If we were to see their visage in real life, we would flee in terror, praying for our lives and the lives of our unborn grandchildren.

Some toys are pretty. They’re detailed, up-market and precise. These are the pretty boy toys with rich parents who never had to work a day in their lives, who get everything they want. They’re the toys other toys hate, but secretly always wanted to be.

Some toys, like Slobster, are both.

It’s hard to express exactly how difficult it is for me to part with my very first bit of Street Sharks paraphernalia, even if it is with my least favourite character. Do I ever recall doing much with Slobster, other than having him kicked in the face and making silly crustacean noises? No, but he was mine all the same. Street Shark toys were simply made to be yours.

From the moment you took a look at them in their packaging, you said to your parents, ‘golly, I want me one of those’.

Odds are, your mother took one look at the hideous lobster monster within and then questioned your sanity. But if you were anything like me, you got your way and you got your toy. And like me, you were probably also very bossy and very bitchy, so you didn’t have many friends to share your Slobster with. Which is even better, for it is your Slobster and yours alone!

His vaunted ‘seize and slice claw’ is not really that exciting, you simply push his leg in and his oversized pincer clamps shut. I know that, in the right context, it’s menacing, but at face value, it looks more like he’s ticklish.

Incidentally, carrying around that claw for the last seventeen years has clearly been most taxing on his poor arm, because unless you wedge it right under his face, he can’t handle the weight and it merely veers down towards the floor. It’s like those women with really big breast implants. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but you know that in their elder years, it’s going to be a problem for them. Poor vain Slobster, he only wanted to look pretty.

His antennae are removable, though I’m not sure if they were supposed to be. I don’t know what purpose it would serve, but if you want your Slobster to be bald, he’s ready to accommodate.

Putting him up against a Ninja Turtle (the benchmark for how big your toys should be) reveals that Slobster is effin’ huge. Holding him in your hand makes you feel like you’re carrying an actual lobster around. All Street Sharks toys were big, and it makes me wish that I had had the balls to wage franchise wars between the Sharks and the Turtles. It would have been so epic. I suppose I could still do it, but it wouldn’t be as epic. Particularly since I’m currently unemployed.

Once he’s gone onto the next generation, the only thing we know for sure is that Slobster will still be a villain. Just look at his angry sneer, he’s destined to always be typecast. But as I doubt he’ll end up with other Street Sharks, I can only ponder who his enemies will be from here on.

…I hope it’s not just some dick.

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