Well, that changed recently when I had the opportunity to pick up a sizeable stack of menko. Not baseball menko, mind you, but something that'll be nostalgic for most 1980s kids like me:
I have to admit that for a little while I had buyer's remorse. Why did I need so many of them? I would have been more than happy with just a few, for a little nostalgia.
The other side of the coin, however, is that I don't think I've ever seen these menko come up on auction sites before. And I've already found one blogger who can use some of the duplicates (they're in the mail, SumoMenkoMan).
So enough with the rationalizing already. For many of you collectors out there, buying a few dozen cards is probably known as "a weekday". Let's get to the cards.
First, the Autobots.
A nice group of Autobot vehicles came with the stack. From left to right: Bumblebee (Volkswagen Beetle), Hound (Military Jeep), Wheeljack (Race Car), and Prowl (Police Car).
Next we've got Red Alert (Lamborghini), Trailbreaker (Camper Truck), Inferno (Fire Truck), and Sideswipe (Lamborghini). The colors on all of these menko are still impressively vibrant.
Also included were all five Dinobots: Grimlock (T-Rex), Slag (Triceratops), Sludge (Brontosaurus), Swoop (Pterodactyl), and Snarl (Stegosaurus). Kids love dinosaurs, kids love Transformers. Good marketing decision by someone at Takara/Hasbro there.
And two combo cards (Optimus Prime/Scrapper, Megatron/Perceptor).
Each card measures approximately 1.75 inches wide by 3 inches tall. They're pretty thick, too—I'd say almost three times as thick as a standard 1980s baseball card.
Here are a couple of card backs, one Autobot and one Decepticon. On the bottom you'll see that kids could have used these cards for a rock-paper-scissors game, as well as a game that simulated some sort of dice throw.
Now let's get to the Decepticons.
Impressively, the stack of cards also included the complete Construction group. From left to right, we have: Hook (Crane), Long Haul (Dump Truck), Bonecrusher (Bulldozer), Mixmaster (Cement Mixer), Scrapper (Front-End Loader), and Scavenger (Power Shovel).
And when all six of those neon-green machines assembled together, they created this guy, named Devastator. Seems like it would be tricky for a robot to maneuver with a front-end loader as one foot and a cement mixer as the other, but by gosh Devastator did it.
Here are all three Insecticons. From left to right: Shrapnel (Stag Beetle), Kickback (Grasshopper), and Bombshell (Boll Weavil).
Next we've got Frenzy and Rumble (Audio Cassettes). I always liked these guys, because in the original cartoon they spoke with a slight "tough guy from Brooklyn" accent. Just watch and listen to this short clip, as Rumble gets fooled by some Autobots.
"I must have static in my rectifiers", he says.
Here are another two audio cassettes, Laserbeak and Ravage. I think Ravage may have been the first Transformer I owned way back then. My dad bought it for me one night from a vendor on a Manhattan sidewalk as we were walking back to the apartment.
And why are there so many audio cassettes, you ask?
Finally, there's Reflector, with a cameo on the lower left by Shockwave. I didn't know much about Reflector, but in my research I discovered that three smaller Decepticons (Spectro, Spyglass, and Viewfinder) would join together to create him. He's a camera in his other form.
These menko will always provide a great little trip down memory lane for me, and I can imagine they've done the same for a few of you folks who grew up around the same time.
Did you have a favorite Transformer back then? Own any of the toys? Share in the comment section, and thanks for reading, as always.