The Elusive Gift

My husband, in all his childhood glory, loves to share the movies that he grew up on with our kids. Often they are a little inappropriate or boring for the kids, but he certainly enjoys the trip down memory lane. Many times, I find him watching the movies alone, after the kids have abandoned him out of boredom. Typically this happens because they lack the cinematography of today’s high budget films, but occasionally he’ll find one that they enjoy. Much to my chagrin, one of these movies is “Jingle All the Way,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The general plot is this: Arnold’s character is a busy father that often misses his son’s events. For Christmas, his son has asked for the coveted “Turbo man” toy, which is all the rage that year. Stores are sold out, and the closer to Christmas it gets, the harder Turbo Man is to acquire. Arnold’s character has put off the purchase until Christmas Eve. While he is supposed to be spending quality time with his family, he is out battling crowds to find the elusive toy. In the meantime, his efforts are continually thwarted by a disgruntled mailman that is also searching for the toy. I won’t spoil the movie, but an action-packed, slightly inappropriate adventure ensues.

This movie happens to be one of the ones that my son loves. It’s one of the most-requested movies during television time, and it’s been viewed more than enough times in my house. 

I’ve been probing my children for Christmas gift ideas, and what do you know, at the VERY top of my son’s list is Turbo Man! He’s been adamant, despite my attempts to distract him with other superheroes, that Turbo Man is the toy of his dreams. So here I am, living out a Christmas movie, trying to find this very rare toy.

I assumed that they wouldn’t have it in toy stores. Not only was it just a movie prop, but the movie was produced 20 years ago. I started looking in the place where all things are available, the internet. To my surprise, it instantly popped up on Amazon. Oh, Amazon, how I love you. I clicked away and found myself staring at the “Deluxe Talking Turbo Man” with electronic lights and sounds and three action accessories. I was amazed at how easily I found the elusive toy. Arnold would have been proud.

I looked over to the buying options… and there was my problem. $344 for an expired movie prop in “acceptable” condition. I scrolled through the list and found several options, none of which were under $100. To be clear, we are not looking for a collectible toy that will stay in its original packaging waiting to become an antique. My son wants nothing more than to rip it out of the package and play with this toy until it is worn out (presumably in a week’s time).

I scoured the internet for cheaper options—maybe I could buy a Flash superhero and paint it to look like Turbo Man? That seemed like a good option until he dropped the fact that he couldn’t wait to use the shield and boomerang. So I buckled down and extended my internet search. I finally found one that was the cheapest that I had found. Ebay had one for $70; however, once I investigated a little further I realized that the $70 Turbo Man was missing a left leg.

For the time being, it looks like it’ll be a Turbo Man-less Christmas. Touché, Arnold. Perhaps I would have had an easier time finding an affordable Turbo Man around your city while being chased by a maniacal mailman.

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