SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL: A memory for the ages…
TV has A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story — reruns that are holiday traditions. At 13th Dimension, we’ve got the SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL — a series of timeless remembrances by some of the best in the comics biz, including Annie Nocenti, Kelley Jones, Ron Marz and MORE! Click here to check ’em out!
Every year at Chanukah, I post the story of when I got my Mego Batcave. (Click here.) It’s by far the most memorable holiday of my childhood and the Batcave to this very day remains my all-time favorite toy.
Three years after the Batcave came out, Mego in 1977 produced the Wayne Foundation tower — but I didn’t know about it until much later, when it was too late to get my hands on it.
Since I was able to snag a Jokermobile not long ago, the Wayne Foundation remains the biggest gap in my Mego collection — and one I’m unlikely to fill given how expensive it is on the secondary market.
Like mine, it’s also a story about a Mom who knew the perfect gift.
Here it is in full. Enjoy. — Dan
By SCOTT TIPTON
My family was never particularly religious. I don’t ever remember a time we all went to a church. There were various books of worship in the house, but it was always left up to us if we wanted to read them.
But we loved Christmas.
In the days leading up to Christmas, the gifts would accumulate beneath the tree for all of us, me and my brother and my mom and dad. But the big gift, the main event, wouldn’t show up until Christmas morning.
Lots of my favorite toys as a kid showed up on Christmas morning. The Star Wars Death Star. The Millennium Falcon. But my all-time favorite Christmas present showed up in the Christmas of 1977. I still vividly remember sneaking down the hallway to the still darkened living room, before the sun had even come up yet, wondering what I would find, only to see this, an enormous box taller than I was.
Batman’s Wayne Foundation, from Mego.
As I recall, it wasn’t even wrapped, it just sat there, propped against the coffee table, barely lit by the sunlight starting to peek through the skylight windows. My mother probably didn’t bother wrapping it because it was so big, but I like to think she knew that the shock value to my 6-year-old mind of immediately seeing what it was would be far more satisfying, And it was.
And even though I loved this goofy-looking thing and kept it out of the box and assembled as much as possible year-round (much to my mother’s chagrin), in my mind I still to this day think of it as a Christmas thing, I suppose due to that white-hot shock of surprise from that Christmas morning so many decades ago.
So nothing seems more natural now, having rescued it from a crawl space in my parents’ house, than building the Wayne Foundation one more time and setting it up next to my own Christmas tree. The instruction sheet was still in the box, but I didn’t even need it. I could build this thing with my eyes closed.
May you all find a piece of your childhood joy under your own trees this season.
— THE MEGO BATCAVE AND ME: A Chanukah Fable. Click here.
— The SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL Index. Click here.