As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve been showing off bits and pieces of my own Hoverboy collection for months now, trying to recall the days of glory and wonder that was the Battlin’ Bucket’s heyday. (And let’s be honest about this: I won the rights to the character in a poker game with the grandson of original co-creator Charles Nutt, and my efforts are selfish…I plan to make the Hoverboy movie someday, and want the character fresh in everyone’s minds before I do!) But today, I have something to show you from my basement, AND something wonderful sent in from a fan in Europe, (where Hoverboy is vastly more popular than he is in North America).
My home collection includes about half of the two hundred and thirty-six published comic issues, but only about seventeen of the officially licensed toy figures, so I’m not as well stocked with the 3D Hoverboy collectibles as I’d like to be. Still, I do have a few and the stuffed toy to the right was my first. As old as it is, it’s still in excellent condition after more than thirty years in my possession. To be fair, the toy is stuffed with wood chips and the plush daycron/rayon/einsteinium surface gives you a rash if it touches your skin, so it wasn’t played with much when I was younger, and my kids don’t care about it at all. But it’s official, and it’s very old, so it’s a treasure.
Far less official is this “Inverse Hoverboy” custom figure I made when I was about twenty four years old. It’s based on a REGULAR Hoverboy action figure, I simply repainted him and peeled off the H decal, and reattached it sideways for the familiar “I” of Inverse Hoverboy. Of course, reattaching it, I made a mess, and outlined it in marker, which clearly shows. There’s a thriving underground of unofficial Hoverboy toys, as so many of the officially released ones were used as evidence in civil cases (and a few criminal ones), making them very hard to find in perfect shape. Or, in the case of the famous “Iroquois Cereal Choking Toys” of the fifties, it’s impossible to find one not covered in mucous and expectorate substances.
But below is the toy considered the holy grail of Hoverboy collectors. Known simply as the “HOVERBOY TIN TOY” , it was manufactured in Belgium and sold around Northern Europe JUST before the Nazi invasion put a stop to that for the duration. Hitler himself issued the order, claiming that Hoverboy’s likeness was a clear violation of the Nazi trademarked character UBERMENSCH, and there would be lawsuits involved if the Belgian manufacturer continued. Less than a thousand were ever sold, and only eight are known to exist in any form.
The TOMART’S FIGURE GUIDE lists the value of this at well over a hundred dollars, but I’ve never seen one in as beautiful shape as this one is. One wonders if the photo is retouched…yet I’m assured this is genuine. I’ve offered the fan $128 dollars (CDN) for this item, but he’s refused (and he’d like to remain anonymous to avoid the flood of offers he’d get otherwise). At least he was kind enough to send us this photo, where I can share it online so that you might gaze upon the toy that drove Hitler crazy and smile. Thanks to Alain Mauricet of Brussels, let’s give him a hearty “HOVERBOY AWAY!” from the gang.
For more of this Bucket based madness, as always, you may visit the Hoverboy Museum. Unfortunately, since Marcus Moore, curator of the museum, has been listed as “officially missing” since his experimental jet went down on Baffin Island shortly after Christmas. The museum hasn’t been updated in months, and Moore’s heirs are squabbling about who “owns” the site… a twin brother with an eyepatch was seen lurking about the estate in recent weeks, so there is still no real sense that things are settling down. Still, there’s much to enjoy at the site until such time as we get it up and running again. Keep Marcus in your prayers.
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