December 16, 2013
A few days ago I went to an antique store in my neck of the woods looking for chairs. This particular store specializes in woodwork and restoring wood furniture, but I really like them for the glassware — lots of quirky liqueur glasses and vintage sets and so on. I got my retro martini glasses and tumblers there.
This time, I found something I completely and totally wasn’t expecting — because this store doesn’t do toys and kitsch and obscure geeky things. What I saw was a red box with a familiar logo tucked away on a bottom shelf, forgotten. I dug it out of the pile of dust, and sure enough, it was this:
The Captain Power Powerjet XT-7. This was the thing you had to buy to be able to interact with the interactive, shoot-em-up elements on the TV show. I loved the TV show, but I never had any of the toys and was frankly deeply annoyed at the commercial element of it all. And the fact that my viewing happiness was interrupted by those red flashy bits that showed up whenever the bad guys did because that was how the show signaled to the toys that something was happening.
The owners of the store heard me gushing at my friend about the amazing thing I discovered shoved away on a shelf, and wanted to know what I was talking about. They had no idea what this thing was — they bought it as part of a lot of games and toys they’d acquired in a sale (one of the two owners still seemed rather annoyed that the other had done this). While I explained to them about the show, the toys, the interaction, and so on, they starting looking the toy up on eBay because they hadn’t priced it yet and didn’t know what to charge me. So I made a preemptive strike as it were, and made them an offer before they could figure out what it was actually worth (and then jack up that price because I was so obviously a fan). “Sold!” They were obviously very excited to get any money at all for this thing that they had no idea what it was.
This means that after 25 years of being a fan of Captain Power, I now own a Powerjet XT-7. It’s not that I particularly wanted or needed one — several are usually available on eBay at any given moment, if I’d ever decided I wanted one. I’m not much of a collector. I love concepts and shows and worlds and ideas, but I don’t really need things, and almost every action figure or Doctor Who or Star Wars thing that I own was a gift (geeks are so stupidly easy to shop for). But I bought the XT-7. Because you see, I had to rescue it. It didn’t belong in that store, surrounded by 19th century furniture and old china plates, and people who’d never heard of Captain Power. It belongs with a fan. Like, me. So I rescued it.
Next step is to find batteries, put in the DVD’s, and see if this baby still works…