Doctor Doom's Doom Roller
When I was a wee slip of a lad, lo those many years ago, I was a rabid collector of superhero action figures. Being a staunch DC Comics reader, I naturally gravitated toward Kenner's Super Powers Collection. Each figure had a "power action" that you activated by squeezing the figure's legs or arms.
During every trip to any store that had a toy department, my younger brother and I made a beeline to the Super Powers display to look for any figures or vehicles we didn't have. As we had almost everything, we ended up getting stuff from Mattel's Marvel Secret Wars collection. We couldn't leave without buying something.
Flash forward 20-some-odd years to a moment of weakness while perusing eBay, when I found myself the proud owner of Doctor Doom's Doom Roller. This, along with the Tower of Doom playset, were the two major pieces of the toy line that I wished I'd gotten as a kid. In relatively short order, I had them both and was planning on sharing them with my son (granted, he wasn't born yet, but nerds plan ahead).
After leaving the Doom Roller in its unopened box for years, I decided to put it together to show my now-existent son.
The Doom Roller was a car-size pod that was set in a giant wheel. When you turned it on, Dr. Doom would roll over anything in his path. That was the theory, anyway. After struggling far too long to get the pod set on its track properly, I was finally ready to show my then 2-year-old son what cool toys were like when I was a kid. I flipped the on switch, and...nothing.
I checked the batteries; they were put in the right way. Everything was the way it was supposed to be, except that it wasn't moving.
Now it might be a stretch to say that this primitive gadget broke my heart, but I didn't want my son to be disappointed. I braced myself to explain to him that the toy was broken, expecting the worst.
What I hadn't noticed was that in the time it had taken me to troubleshoot the Doom Roller, he'd already moved on to playing with his cars.
He must not be a Marvel fan, either.
February 13, 2009 4:00 AM PST
Photo by: Jen Sparkman
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