The Mego Batcave and Me: A Holiday Fable

I lied to my mom and lived to tell the tale …

holiday

It’s the SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL: a series of holiday remembrances by columnists and creators — like Christy Blanch, Annie Nocenti and J.K. Woodward! Click here to check ’em out!

When I was 8, it was all Megos, all the time. So after school, I’m watching TV and this comes on:

And the skies opened and the Lord spake and He said, “Young Daniel, you must have this for Chanukah.”

And it was good.

We were not a family of means. My folks had split and my Mom did the best she could. So asking for a Batcave was no guarantee. But ask I did. Over and over again.

Anyway, late some Saturday afternoon, with the skies dark and Hanukkah right around the corner, I found that I just couldn’t take the suspense any longer. I had to know: Did I get the Batcave or not?

So while Mom was downstairs ironing in our Old Bridge, N.J., garden apartment, I crept into her bedroom and went into her closet, where I knew she hid the presents. I burrowed to the back and saw the piles of swag still in shopping bags. I poked and prodded as quietly as I could. And there, in shadow, was a box that looked just like this:

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Oh, my Lord, there it was. It may have been the most exciting moment of my young life. It was a moment rivaled only by the first time the skies opened and I saw Mego Batman and Robin for the first time, standing on my friend Phillip Tagliaferri’s dresser.

Also there? Mego Batgirl. And, if memory serves, that clog with a propeller they called the Batcopter.

Euphoria. Excitment.

Then dread. And guilt. I got what I wanted, sure. But I found out in such a sleazy fashion. I cheated!

But I wasn’t stupid enough to confess.

I went back downstairs, and hey, guess what Mom asked me: “So, Daniel, what do you want for Chanukah?”

Think fast! Think fast! Does she know? Think fast!

“Oh, um, I dunno, a Batcopter, I guess…” — and, in order to throw her off the scent, I made up some other things.

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But I also knew if I didn’t mention the Batcave, she’d smell a rat. But I also wanted her to know that she did right by me. She’d been through enough shit even an 8-year-old could see it.

So, I added: ” … and, of course, I really want a Batcave.”

She just kept ironing.

So Chanukah came and I opened the presents and life, it was good.

Years later, when I mistakenly thought I was over comics, that Batcave and all the Mego figures and vehicles that went with it, made their way to the curb.

Well, I’ve managed to rebuild that collection, in a fashion. Plus, now with companies like Figures Toy Company and Diamond Select Toys building their Wayback Machines, everything old is new again.

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As an adult, I finally ‘fessed up and told my mother this story and she said she’d had no idea. She thought it was amusing, though.

But you know what?

I never snooped again.

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For more SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL stories, click here.

Author: 13th Dimension

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11 Comments

  1. I also snooped once, before Christmas, to see if I’d gotten the Transformers toys I wanted. I had, and I felt terrible about peeking. Never snooped again!

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  2. Your story made me think of Ralphie telling his mom and Santa what he wants for Christmas. “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

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  3. When I was 14 I thought i was too old to play with my action figures. so, I gave approximately 20 figures, the Batcave, The JLA headquarters, the Enterprise, The Wayne Foundation and the Pirate Ship to the kids across the street. They also got my Batcopter, my Batmobile, the Jokermobile and the Spiderman Car. I now weep like a child every time I see these toys of my youth because in order to prove how grown up I was I gave them all away.

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  4. I think I commented last year that mom always accused ME of being a presents snoop. Even well into adulthood I would hear about it. But I never did. I’m vindicated!

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  5. Great story! It resonates; coincidentally, I was recently telling my son about how I searched for birthday presents one year and discovered a Mego Captain Marvel in his blue box. My Mom learned I had done so, and as a result I NEVER got him. I wonder where he ended up? She doesn’t remember…

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  6. One time I snooped and found a present they forgot about that had been in the closet for over a year!

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  7. I love that the box says “DOLL FIGURES NOT INCLUDED.” Mom, they’re not DOLLS, they’re ACTION FIGURES!

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  1. SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL: 2016 Edition | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] — Editor DAN GREENFIELD: The Mego Batcave and Me — A Chanukah Fable. Click here. […]

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