Thursday, March 02, 2006

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK #32: Buttons!

Over the years, political buttons have proven to be very valuable collectibles. Own a Bush/Quayle '92 button? Or how about a Gore/Leiberman 2000? Yet - perhaps not surprisingly - there's also such a thing as science fiction film and tv buttons.

I think the first collectible I ever actually purchased with my own money (meaning my allowance...) may very well have been a button from Star Wars. This was back in 1977, and my favorite character was Chewbacca. Because he was kind of like a monster, I guess, and I was a King Kong fan. I was in the second grade when I bought my prized Chewbacca button at Englishtown Flea Market. After I bought it, you couldn't get me to take it off.

Over the years, I collected more, including ones from ALF, Space: 1999 and the like. When I was in high school, my sister bought me a personal favorite: a "Spock for President" button, which I guess is sort of the equivalent of a political button, right? I mean, imagine how much better our country would be if Mr. Spock really were President. If the decisions he made for our well-being were based on principles like logic, peace, infinite diversity in infinite combinations and the like. Not only that, he plays a mean game of three dimensional chess.

Anyway, "buttons" are the toy of the week. Anyone out there collect 'em? I'm guessing they're probably not as popular as other sci-fi collectibles because buttons are cheap, easy to create, and probably not even "official." Still, they're fun.

And I do own a political button, by the way. It isn't pictured here. But it reads "Jane Wyman was right..." Hopefully, someone out there understands what that snarky remark means.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:21 PM

    I actually have a rather nice collection of political buttons. My pride and joy is a "Nixon for Governor" button from his failed California bid. I also have buttons from Clinton's second inauguration that I bought on the very day in downtown D.C. I also have other various buttons I have picked up throughout the years. One of the great parts about political buttons is that when they are current, they are free!

    I also have some movie buttons. I have quite a few of the old promo buttons studios would give out before movies were released. I have Star Trek V, Batman, Day of the Dead, Ghostbusters II, Nightbreed, Total Recall, and even Ford Fairlane. They were all free too!

    I was a big enough nerd to actually were a Spock button that said "Live Long and Prosper" and another that said "Star Trek Lives!" to school in junior high!

    I don't have a huge love for movie buttons but I sure did like them when I was a kid. I used to like to wear the button to the premiere of its corresponding movie. Those were the days!

    -Chris

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  2. Anonymous5:21 PM

    Oh, I forgot to mention. I do get the little slam on Reagan.

    -Chris

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  3. i dressed up as dr. octagon one halloween in college and came across a free photobutton maker in the student union. i chose the silly and morbid caption "dr. booker: obgyn" the button guy proceeded to tell me an amusing story of a button he made for a group of nubile graduates from dental hygenists' school.

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  4. Like Chris, I have tons of the free movie and comic book promotional buttons that used to be given out at conventions in the late 80's-early 90's. A few that I can recall are Doom Patrol, Green Monkey, Innerspace, Superman IV, The Lost Boys, a thermodynamic TARDIS button, and a large V button that Fox gave to promote their initial re-broadcast of the mini-series. I actually had enough to completely cover a denim jacket, which I wore to a Halloween party as a spoof on how many people dress for conventions. It weighed in excess of 20 pounds when covered. When someone remarked that my "armor" should be called "button chain," I replied, "No, it's 'Fan Mail.'"

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  5. Anonymous1:54 AM

    I remember they had the thick plastic cover on them, so I took crap buttons apart and put my own cutouts in like the band Kiss (Gene Simmonds will probably sue me), and other stupid things that if I remembered, would make me cringe. Kinda like using a good hockey card to make my BMX bike 'fart' like a motorcycle!

    Hilarious site, but making me feel old...

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