“…the scariest things ever…”

Caron Eastgate Dann pens the most recent blog that I have started following…I didn’t spend much time online over the weekend – not necessarily a bad thing – as youngest daughter came to visit for the first time in a few months…


…but I do have to occasionally check the (e)mail for booking requests for the Chalet Raurimu, especially since it is ski season and the weather is so damn good at the moment.  Caron’s weekend post I, Robot or, “Danger, Will Robinson! “Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!) made me laugh out loud: it was so close to my own memories…

When I was a kid, robots were all the rage. Before the digital age, before the time of personal computers, they had a kind of mystique about them.

This was encouraged by the romanticisation of robots on screen as either heroes or villains. The loyal bodyguard-type robot in the 1960s series Lost in Space, which I saw in endless repeats in the 1970s, was endearing and long-suffering, as Dr Smith referred to him variously as a “Neanderthal ninny”, a “blithering booby”, a “nickel-plated Nincompoop”, a “tintinnabulating tin can” and many more sensational insults….

…so near my own experiences, it was scary…I too was terrified by Doctor Who and Lost In Space…Dr Smith was soooo despicably evil – quite the counter-role model for primary school me…last year, I found LIS Season 1 in the bargain bin at The Warewhare: for a price I couldn’t walk away from and so I grabbed it, enjoyed it and the next time I was in civilisation I was searching the bins for Seasons 2 and 3 – still no joy on Season 2 which is apparently quite elusive but Season 3 kept me off the streets during the rainy part of last summer. I can switch off any disbelief or even incredulity at the sheer hammishness of the dress-up monster and alien costumes or the flatness of the characters and plotlines and just enjoy it as a new phrase I heard last week, just enjoy it as “…brain candy…”


My own specific terrifiers were more the Abominable Snowmen (but I tried to find a suitable scary pic but now they just look like walking furry bean bags) and the Cybermen who have so far survived their First Contact with the uber-franchised new Doctor Who…I was more a child of the second and third doctors and the Daleks really made their initial play for power against the original Doctor. That notwithstanding though, I was sufficiently aware of the Dalek evil to have the stuffing scared out of me one afternoon exploring the darker confines of the Oamaru Squash Club and running headlong into a five-foot tall metal badminton shuttle which in the shadows to a six or seven year old liked exactly like guess what!!

My earliest scary memories are of Stingray, which must have been about 1967ish – definitely before I started school…not so scary now but good still entertainment…


…and from a few years later, Forbidden Planet when it screened as the Sunday afternoon movie – what were you programming people thinking?!!! The whole idea of an invisible monster that could creep stealthily up stairs – our house had stairs – and slay whoever it liked stuck with me as the most scariest ever movie til I saw Halloween (the original not the rehashed copies) around 1980…I used to carefully check our internal stairs for any signs that might indicate an Id monster on the loose in Oamaru…


Like Caron, I also did not get to see 2001 until sometime in the early 80s – having read the books a number of times, I must admit to being rather underwhelmed by the movie and more so by its sequel…for me the 2001 legacy is now much more than “open the pod bay doors” and some cool additions to the archives of cool spaceships with the Discovery, Moonbus, Aries 1B and Space Clipper all being wannabe builds I never got to – all bar the Space Clipper are now Uhu02 designs so I may finally get to build them…

uhuo2 aries 1b

…and, as I may have mentioned before, I am bitterly disappointed that all those 1960s and ’70s predictions of flying highways and moonbases and jetpacks and, yes, robots, especially robots that are our friends (but not nerdy like C3PO)…curse you, George Jetson and Gerry Anderson and…and…and you other predicting type people…!

I don’t remember having any robot toys but I do love the retro look of these toys – of many toys from this era – I was lucky that my parents kept all of my toys (those that survived three younger siblings) and – one day – I plan on restoring them all, purely for my own satisfaction. Many of these are 40+ years old now and some have had quite a beating: I’m looking forward to new technologies like 3D printing allowing me to just ‘print’ out a new set of hooks for Matchbox 1972 #74 Toe Joe, or a new deck cover (I still remember when the original was broken) for #61 Alvis Stalwart (no year listed so I’ll have to be careful that I don’t get parts for what ever #61 became as Matchbox used to rollover the catalogue numbers)…


Caron is right when she says that even the box for her brother’s robot toy would be valuable today… I misread  what she wrote and thought that the photo was the surviving memory of the robot but on checking it now, her mum is also a non-tossing mum and the robot lives. It would probably be worth quite a bit now as there are not that many toy survivors from that era but I don’t think that any amount of money could outweigh the memories that particular toy carries…that why I so glad my  mum saved mine: regardless of their actual or potential worth, they are valuable links for me to the younger me that believed in flying cars and moonbases…

So although I never had any, I still like the retro robot toys – not so much that I am likely to buy any of the repopped modern imitations – but enough that I will, in the fullness of time, build some of the paper model reproductions of these toys as they have a retro appeal in their own right…

ipmc 2013This little guy was designed specifically for this year’s International Paper Modelling Convention – each year there is a simple downloadable model – and by clicking on him, you can learn more about the convention next month and even download him and his buddies…we’re all kids at heart deep down inside somewhere…have a little fun…try it with the kids or grandkids: they’ll get hours of enjoyment watching mum, dad, poppa or nana playing with sharp knives and superglue…

So today’s meander from Supermarionation, 50s science-fiction, BBC, retro robot toys, paper models and moonbases has been inspired by The Crayon Files – please check it out, even if only to learn why its called The Crayon Files….

Afterthought note thingie – I just zipped over to Caron’s homepage to grab its URL and noticed that her home page introduction concludes “...“Actually, it’s fine,” he said. “Not everything old has to be thrown away”....” Nothing could be more right…

2 thoughts on ““…the scariest things ever…”

  1. Love it! Thanks for posting all those great images. And thanks for the ping-back too. The scariest movie ever for me was Aliens. I had avoided seeing the original, but was somehow conned into seeing the sequel. I was scared for months and months…sometimes I still am. The other thing that terrified me as a child was reading the book Day of the Triffids. I still get very suspicious of plants that suddenly start growing really fast.


  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Life Line | The Daily Post | The World According to Me…

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