We’ve all done it — the shameful act that can elicit shrieks of terror and uncontrollable sobbing. Yes, I’m talking about that moment when tragedy strikes and we accidentally destroy a prized possession in our collection. It might be an item falling off a shelf and smashing to bits on the ground far below, or clumsy fingers losing an important, but tiny piece in the shag carpet. It’s an unavoidable truth — if you collect long enough, you will eventually lose or break something.
Last night, I was moving things around in the cave and reached for this plastic Planet of the Apes Dr. Zaius bank that was sitting on the floor. I grabbed the top of the bank and my thumb went right through the plastic with almost no resistance. Huge chunks of plastic broke off with the slightest touch. This bank had not been sitting in sunlight or anything, but for whatever reason, the plastic had become brittle — now, it’s like the world’s thinnest chocolate Easter bunny — if I jut tap it, more pieces fall off.
This bank is just one of seven AJ Renzi blow-mold banks that I have lined up in a row in the same location. All of the other ones seem fine, but I’m not convinced they won’t decide to crumble away one day. Luckily, this isn’t a high value item, but they’re not too easy to find. Man, I hate to see vintage toys busted up and destined for the trash heap. Every time one of these gets taken out, the more valuable they get, right? I better find a replacement quick!
What are some of your horror stories? Has your cat knocked a prized statue or figure off your shelf? Add your story in the comments below so we can all commiserate together.
Cody Mix says
Have had the same thing happen in the past, not all plastics can stand the test of time.
Yeah, I’ve been googling how to preserve plastic. I might try something like Armor All on it — can’t really hurt to experiment at this point.
Shawn Robare says
Slice that down the sides and mount the front in a large shadow box 🙂
That’s actually a pretty good idea! I could make an Apes-themed shadow box. hmmm. I like it!
Guilty. I dug out my dark brown Mr. Potato Head I got for Christmas in the late 70’s. ” Wonder if he’s flexible” I thought to myself as I gave him a gentle squeeze. And poof, just like that, he was mashed potatoes. Horror ! He had been kept in the dark like a good potato should since the mid 80’s. Luckily, I had just found more MPHs at the goodwill, in the boxes, with all the parts, minus the felt eyebrows and mustaches. Must have been owned by an only child, no repeat play.
Sorry to laugh at your misfortune, but mashed potatoes indeed! 🙂
I accidentally broke one of my husband’s Adventure People vehicles a few years ago and I still feel terrible.
Sorry about Dr. Zaius … you need Dr. Rudy Wells! Maybe Dr. Zaius can be an OSI agent 🙂
Dex1138 (@Dex1138) says
Not quite the same thing, but years ago I ordered a collectible Star Wars stein. There were only 1977 made. When I opened it, the handle had broken in shipping. I contacted them and they replaced it no problem but from my talk with them it sounded like a common issue. I still wonder how many of the 1977 produced are actually still intact.
As a collector, I actually seek out fragile items, knowing that many of them must have met an early demise. I love old paper or ceramic items just for this reason.
The Rebel says
Oh no! That must’ve hurt (inside)!
Not all plastics stand the the test of time. They brittle…eventually…or do they?
I got some collectibles straight from the 80s which stand vigorous rounds of play till today and yet I find some toys which I bought during the last 5 years or so crumbling away at the slightest touch. What gives eh?
I’ve always stood firm by my belief that plastic stuff last way better out in the open air, so keeping them MISB/MOC/BIB whatever just doesn’t cut it for me these days. But then again it’s all down to luck I suppose. Some plastics just give way and some doesn’t (easily).
I’ve often wondered about the longevity of the toys we grew up with. You see tin toys or cast iron toys from the early 1900s and they can look exactly like the day they were made, but I doubt plastic toys are going to have the same luck in a hundred years. Time will tell!