Ah, another year, another birthday. While the pandemic put a hamper on actually going somewhere, my girlfriend did her best to make the day special. It all started with an Uber Eats order of Eggs Benedict from Eggspectation.
As I type this, I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo of the food, so I unfortunately have to settle for a Google image from the restaurant.
While we waited for the food to arrive, I took my daily walk, this time with the dog. I've been walking every day for the past six weeks, and despite it being my birthday, I wasn't going to allow myself to skip it. Especially since I knew some serious eating was going to be happening today.
As per usual, I got myself a couple gifts for my birthday. My gifts from me, to me, for being me.
Just a couple
After filling up, I decided I would open a few gifts. However, before I could start, my girlfriend slipped me a package she wanted me to open.
Inside was pure awesomeness! The Amazing Spider-Man issue 33. This is the final installment in a three-issue arc, which began with the introduction and first appearances of Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn. While they're not prominent in the story, nor is it a really interesting read, this is definitely a book that has been on my want list for a while. Now I just need to track down issue 32 to finish adding the whole thing to my collection.
My girlfriend also got me a few t-shirts, and told me that some shorts were still en route. She knows I hate getting clothing as a birthday or Christmas gift, so she wanted to slip those in after handing me the comic. Clever girl.
I was actually really content with just getting the comic. So much so, that I only opened a few of the packages I had gotten for myself. Now before I start showing the items within, let me just let you know you're going to see a re-occurring theme here. That would be Cobra figures from the original 3 3/4 inch line. Specifically focusing on 1988 - 1991.
Cesspool isn't a character I was too familiar with, but one that I wanted the moment I saw it. He looked so cool. Too bad the cartoon version from the DIC second series is represented rather annoyingly and over the top. Still, that doesn't stop the figure from being awesome.
This one actually took some "work" to get. I couldn't find a 100% complete figure, and ended up having to buy three separate listings to create one. The first listing had the figure, cannon and orange hose. The second contained the chainsaw and helmet, and the third was just the backpack. Based on prior sales, I ended up paying a bit more than I would have buying one complete. However, I really wanted it, and didn't want to wait.
Undertow was another figure I couldn't find 100% complete. All the listings were missing some form of accessory. I lucked out this time, spending no more for two than I would have for one that was complete.
The Python series of figures (as well as the Joe Tiger Force ones) were a great addition to the vintage Joe line in the late 80's. The reason being, many kids, such as myself, who started their Joe lines late in the game didn't get the opportunity to get some of the classic characters. Both Python Patrol and Tiger Force rectified this by offering the likes of Duke, Copperhead, Tripwire, Cobra Trooper and more.
Python Patrol (and Tiger Force) are two lines I wanted to collect, and while I'm still working on the latter, I rectified the Cobra side of things this year (more coming in this post). However, I continued my trend of having to buy multiple figures. The reason being, I was so quick to buy this figure that I initially missed that the crotch was broken. As such, I had to go back and buy another. This was unfortunate because this particular figure isn't cheap. In short, I ended up paying a ton of money for this figure.
Python Cobra Trooper
I had a special dinner planned, and it was time to get this going by putting my baked potatoes in the oven. As these cooked, I turned my attention back to the tube, this time switching to YouTube videos. Our rotation usually consists of watching street vendors or overseas chefs cook unique foods. instant regret / fail videos or funny animals.
As the last twenty minutes of the timer on the potatoes counted down, I started the rest of the food. I'd never had a Waygu steak before, but when I spotted them at the grocery store a couple days prior to my birthday, I knew this was what I was going to want. I also grabbed a pair of lobster tails and some fresh asparagus. All of this went on the grill and it turned out amazing!
It was after dinner that I turned my attention back to a little more Call of Duty with my brother. However, things weren't going well for us as a team, and I started to get annoyed at the game - Fast. This was when my girlfriend said to me, "You don't seem like you're having a very good day." This was true. My attitude had slowly been building since the morning, and I knew exactly why.
Despite all the great gifts and food, it just felt like Sunday.
Typically on my birthday, a fantastic day is planned with outings to not so local shops, a great restaurant, and in general, a day out of the house. The pandemic had in essence ruined this for me (and many others I'm sure). I wasn't happy spending my birthday at home.
While the thought crossed both of our minds that we could have taken a quick trip to Toy Exchange in Maryland, we both came to the same conclusion that there were already so many boxes of toys sitting there to open. Too many in fact. I was actually getting very overwhelmed by how many there were. But, with that said, since that was really the only thing to do, I opened a few more.
As I stared at the S.A.W.-Viper's ammo belt, I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was wrong. A quick trip to YoJoe.com identified the problem. It was broken. The ammo belt is supposed to not only be longer, but have two holes, one at either end, to attach it to the gun and backpack.
It was at this point that I learned a valuable lesson. Don't buy anything from Mercari. You have a three day window to open your package (upon receipt), inspect it, and file any complaints at that time. Fail to do so, and you are no longer entitled to a refund from the seller. Because this figure was received in late July, and not opened until today, it's not eligible for a refund or return. I can't even contact the seller directly, as this is not a feature on the site once those three days have passed.
Though I looked on ebay for an ammo belt that wasn't broken, I couldn't find one being sold separately. Out of sheer annoyance, I just bought another "complete" one.
She ordered a tiramisu cake from a local store, but when she went to pick it up found it to be incredibly small.
It really was. I dare say it wasn't but three by six inches. Plenty, but definitely small for the price she paid.
She wasn't content with this, and ended up buying an equally small white cake with vanilla frosting and coconut on it. She insisted I eat a small piece of both - Twist my arm.
Despite their size, they packed a wallop of deliciousness in them.
As we slipped off into a sugar coma, I called up my brother, and we hoped back online to play a few more rounds of Call of Duty. This went on until about ten o'clock in the evening, and then my brother jumped off for bed, since he has to work tomorrow (I'm off all week).
I decided to go ahead and give a final push to open up the rest of the packages. I did this while watching the new Transformers cartoon on Netflix - Which I only slightly paid attention to.
I didn't actually want the Air Commandos glider with Night Vulture, but I couldn't find a complete one in good condition. As is the case with these types of toys, the paint is all torn up on several of them on secondary markets, as a result of them being tossed through the air to the inevitable hard landing. I won't be keeping the glider, so if anyone wants it, let me know.
I was really bummed out when I opened my Sonic Fighters Vipers, only to find that the battery cover had broken into three pieces in transit to me. I contacted the seller to let them know about the issue, and will most likely have to return this one and buy another (thanks to ebay having a return policy). While I'd rather just get the seller to compensate me for the pack and buy another, I wasn't able to find one. Guess this will be another that I buy a full replacement for.
Vipers (Sonic Fighters)
Lampreys (Sonic Fighters)
One of the last packages I opened had two figures from the same seller. Convenient!
Interrogator and Crimson Guard Immortal
The last two packages I opened were not without their disappointments.
NIght Creeper's backpack was broken, and while I got the sword to stay in place, it's yet another figure from the batch I ended up replacing - Because once again, I couldn't find just the backpack. Of course, this too was a Mercari purchase, so guess who isn't going to get their money back?
The last package was a batch of comic books, and also the last issue I dealt with for the evening. This set was advertised as a complete collection of Untold Tales Of Spider-Man, with both annuals and a one-shot, as well as, all three of the rebooted Amazing Fantasy series.
However, the annuals and one-shot were not in the box. Because this was an e-bay purchase, I reached out to the seller to figure out how they can make this right. If they don't have to three issues, I did find a seller who does. But, the seller is going to have to pay me for the books. Considering these three issues will cost more than half than what I paid for the entire lot, I doubt they will go for this, so a refund it will most likely end up being.
Boy, what a nose dive these last two gifts ended up taking.
Great food, great new toys. What more could you ask for? Okay, I suppose I could, to be honest. While I don't want to sound ungrateful for all of the above, I really wish the day would have included more than just sitting around the house. Still, time doesn't stop, so with that said, there goes another birthday.