Sunday, 23 March 2014
OL' PALOMINO PAL O' MINE...
Howdy, pardners! Lemme tell ya the story of the old West -
JOHNNY WEST, that is! Or to be more precise, his trusty horse
THUNDERBOLT. The Palomino you see in the photograph is the
very one I've had since I was 9 or 10 years old, and here's how it came
into my possession. In a previous post, I mentioned one of my boyhood
friends, JOHN FIDLER, who was ROBIN to my BATMAN whenever
we played at caped crusaders in the street where we lived. (Just as well
his nickname wasn't 'Kid' or he'd have had a hard life, eh?) Well, one
afternoon, around '68 or '69, John was in my back garden when his
eyes fell upon a big battered tin truck my father had brought
home one day, having found it abandoned in a ditch.
For some curious reason it was love at first sight for John in
regard to that truck, and he immediately offered to swap Johnny
West's Palomino for it. Naturally enough, being an animal lover, I
instantly agreed to his very generous offer. (Not without a nagging
sense of doubt it has to be said, as I'd got the truck for nothing while
John's parents had paid good hard cash for ol' Thunderbolt.) For
a while I expected him to renege on the swap and demand his
steed back, but he never did and I've had it ever since.
One day, in my bedroom, a corner of Thunderbolt's left ear
suddenly popped off and fell onto the new carpet. I recovered it
at once and glued it back on, and that's probably the reason why the
smell of that carpet fills my nostrils nowadays whenever I gaze upon
my plastic Palomino pal. Curiously, 20-odd years later, I acquired a
second horse and was surprised to see that it was missing a piece of the
same ear - of the exact same size and shape I'd glued back on its twin.
Both pieces would've looked identical in every respect, and I can only
conclude that there must've been at least one batch of horses which
suffered from a weak spot in the same place, prone to popping off
at any moment. (I repaired the other ear in case you were
wondering, and the fix is virtually undetectable.)
I didn't obtain Johnny West or CHIEF CHEROKEE until
sometime in the late '80s, 'though Johnny was missing his hands
and Chiefy had only one. Luckily, a company called DAPOL had
issued a limited run of their own versions of the duo (from the orig-
inal moulds), and, as well as purchasing both sets, I also acquired
spare hands and accessories so I could tart up and complete
the original LOUIS MARX TOYS figures and horses.
So, I've now had ol' Johnny for around 25 years, and his
faithful steed for around 45. Before Johnny reclaimed his equine
pal, an '80s ACTION MAN used to sit astride his back, but I later
bought another Thunderbolt (complete with box and accessories)
for PALITOY's most famous son to ride the range. After all, I
couldn't leave him bereft of a horse to get around on.
Now, hands up if you want to see Chief Cherokee.
Posted by Kid at Sunday, March 23, 2014