Well as a young lad in the very early 70's, an older boy named Jeff lived up the road from me. He had a ton of the coolest plastic monster toys. They were about the size of army men. I thought they were awesome. You couldn't buy them in stores, his mom apparently had bought them at a carport sale. I was so jealous. He had this cool back porch on his house that didn't go anywhere...no door just a big concrete stair. He would spend hours building castles for his monsters. Moats, walls, pits. As a youth of 6-7, I was mesmerized. I was too young to "play" of course, I mean he was 11, way too mature for the likes of me. But from time to time I was allowed to come over and see what he had built. A few times he even let me pick up some of the monsters. I vowed then that I would get some monsters of my own!
My grandmother heard my pleas and scoured the local garage sales to find me some monsters of my own. She was the best grandmother a kid could ever ask for. One day she came home with a big grin... She presented me with my very own green skeleton!!! I was on cloud nine! I immediately raced down the street to show Jeff my new acquisition. He took one look at my GREEN? skeleton and laughed. Said that a green skeleton was silly. Never mind his wolfman was purple..... I was crushed. I walked home. Clutching my green skeleton. It might be green but it was mine and Jeff didn't have a green skeleton! That skeleton fought hordes of army men, Vikings and even survived the Cicada (Shell) invasion of '76. I never got anymore of those plastic monsters. Star Wars came out and I became an action figure nut.
Then something changed....My cousin came in from California and showed me this new game; Dungeons and Dragons! It was in a box, had a cool red dragon on the cover. We set down and played, or tried to. I made up a dwarf and died. It was awesome!!! He told me that people used little metal miniature monsters with this game. I got so excited. Recalling Jeff's plastic monsters! Unfortunately no store in my area carried them. My wonderful grandfather took me all over the city looking for them. None could be found. My cousin and Aunt would send me some for my birthday/Christmas etc. but my collection was very slow in growing.
Time passed, my grandmother died of cancer, I quit playing D&D for awhile. Life stuff happened......
Fast forward. My grandparents passed away several years ago I'm now way beyond my youth with children of my own but somehow I'm drawn back there. I've got my monster collection now, all kinds of monsters! They're not plastic, no they're little 28mm metal nasties! I'll be featuring many of them on this blog. My wonderful wife is letting me convert the bonus room into a game room. I think I just might have to paint one of my skeletons GREEN! Think I'll call him Jeff!
Dedicated to the memory of my incredible Grandparents! They were indeed THE Greatest Generation!!