I was shopping in my local Wal-Mart the other day. Just picking up some last minute gifts, Mountain Dew, and of course some Cheese Curls. I turn the corner into one of the toy aisles to find a Transformer for my nephew. As I was checking out the display of what few Transformers they had to offer, I saw a woman pick up a figure, look at it quizzically, then hang it back on the peg. She seemed confused about what she was looking at. She was obviously, not a collector. I knew I had to try to help.
“Are you looking for a Transformer for a child?” I asked casually. She turned to look at me with what can only be called concern. “Um, yes I am.”, she answered. Obviously unsure about where this conversation was headed. “I am a collector.” I responded quickly. I was trying to put her at ease that I wasn’t some weirdo woman stalking the toy aisles. I smiled and asked “What age child are you shopping for?”
She appeared to relax and responded, “He’s eight,” she said, “and I have no idea what any of these toys are.” I smiled, scanned the limited choices and then picked up a Bumblebee from the Robots in Disguise line. I handed it to her and said “He might like this one. It has an easy transformation that won’t frustrate him very much but is fun to do, and there is a current cartoon series that he will be able to relate the character to.”
To say she was completely relieved would be an understatement. This young person she was buying for must mean a lot to her. You wouldn’t fret over a toy that much if they didn’t. She turned the package over and over in her hand, reading everything written there. She seemed intrigued by this toy. I picked up the figure I was going to buy for my nephew and scanned the small section for anything new. The woman put the Bumblebee into her cart, smiled a huge smile, thanked me again, and then walked off.
I finished my stroll through the toy aisles, replaying the encounter in my mind. A smile crept onto my face and I was truly happy to have helped that woman out. As humans we should always try to help one another when possible. As collectors, that means we should use our passion for good, not evil. Share what you know if you can. If you see a person who clearly needs some guidance on a toy purchase, please help them. That just might be the purchase that gives birth to another collector.
Anna "First Lady Of The ROC" DuBois