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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well No, He Doesn't Sparkle...

But his name is Bela, which is kind of like Bella* right?
Tis the season and as such, I'm going to dedicate all of my blog postings for the next two weeks to telling amusing stories of my family's holiday antics ala Gene Shepard.
So how does Mr. Lugosi fit into all of this?
I'm starting with a very recent story. So recent in fact, that it happened today. You see, somehow over the last 15 or so years of my life I have become a reluctant collector. This comes from having unusual tastes, friends with unusual tastes, and many, many geeky friends who do in fact collect things such as dolls (excuse me, action figures) and movie/TV show related items.
It started out innocently enough when, as a fresh faced 18 year old out in the world for the first time, I snagged an extremely part time position at a local movie theater. One of the last free standing, single screen theaters at that! Any movie posters and reels of film trailers that were passed up by the full time staff were mine for the taking.
One poster in particular started the collecting "craze."
The Nightmare Before Christmas.
No one had paid much mind to House of Cards, Bleu, or any of the other "art film" posters gracing the walls of my apartment, but then I acquired The Nightmare Before Christmas and suddenly my birthdays were full of gifts in homage to not only that film, but to most everything Tim Burton or those of his darkling ilk made.
Then one day I bought a Star Trek Barbie and Ken set, then a Breakfast at Tiffany's Barbie, and suddenly I was collecting dolls. Not just any dolls though, only collectible, stay in the box dolls that were slightly off beat.
Fast forward to the last 5ish years of my life when I realize that I have far too many dolls suffocating in their plastic packages. I've given many away to people who I trust to to give them to their kids, who will take them out of the boxes, give them punk rock hairdos and love them in the destructive way that only a child can. I thought about ebay and Craigslist, but to be honest, I didn't want the headache of trying to sell these things only to end up with a couple bucks.
So today I rounded up the remaining toys and headed out to the Toys for Tots drive at the local Toys R Us.
I walked up with a full garbage bag, lawn sized at that, to the two marines in dress uniform and their eyes bulged a bit.
"Is everything in here new?"
"Well the boxes have never been opened, but some I've had for years."
I handed over the bag, and I think that for a minute, one of them was going to thank me for my generosity, when the other pulled out the top box, a Bela Lugosi as Dracula 12" collector series doll, beautifully done in black ans white. I then got a puzzled look.
"Um, vampires are very in with teenage girls." I gave my most winning smile and walked as casually back to my car before they went through the rest.
Here is a list of donation items that I remember off hand:
Nosferatu 12" doll (same series Bela came from)
James Bond 12" doll from Dr. No, complete with guns and Martini shaker and glasses
12" James Dean from Rebel without a Cause
12" Outer Limits character from episode The Sixth Finger
John Stewart Green Lantern action figure (which, seriously, someone bought me because I though that the fact that his name was John Stewart, like, the Daily Show host, was funny. I didn't know anything about the comic beyond that)
Crazy Harry Muppet action figure
A Goth Girl Bobblehead
Mr. Spock 7" action figure

I just made some aspiring fanboy's Christmas extra special.

*Please note that I have never actually read the Twilight series or seen any of the movies.


  1. That's fantastic! I love that you gave it all away. I bet some kids will be really happy to have those off beat characters!

  2. So cool! I have a massive collection of Pez dispensers that I'm saving for retirement. I have been contemplating dissembling the collection though. Very inspirational!

    BTW - Check out the 9/21/09 Cheesedreaming post for more info on Shropshire Blue. Totally yummy stuff.

  3. That's pretty amazing. What a nice donation! I also think it’s funny that there’s a Jon Stewart Green Lantern guy, but I’m happy I don’t have the doll. (I don’t know what I’d do if my husband started buy dolls/action figures.)

  4. Awww what a sweet and charitable thing to do! Way to go!