This post is part of the #CHERISHED Blogfest of July 2015!
When I was young, I didn’t have a lot of “girl” toys; my favorite Barbie was a bicyclist that I mostly valued for her ability to sit on High Stepper with her hinged legs as the mechanical horse shambled across the tiled kitchen floor. I played with stuffed animals, loved Legos, and hoarded small Pokemon figurines. The glittery, girly approach did not always work with me.
Whenever anyone was dumbfounded as to what to give their quiet sister, niece, or daughter, there was one infallible solution – cater to her favorite animals. As a child, I was obsessed with three creatures in particular; I was intrigued by dragons, captivated by orcas, and infatuated with wolves. Wolves were by far my favorite among the three.
One birthday (or Christmas, I can’t remember which), I met Silverbolt. I had never quite seen a figurine like him before; Silverbolt was half wolf, half eagle. He had the wings, tail and claws of an eagle, and the head, torso, and hind legs of a wolf. He was a character from Beast Wars, a television show I had never seen, but that didn’t matter. In my wide, young eyes, he was a flying wolf, the greatest wolf I had ever seen.
As a Transformer, Silverbolt had the ability to be either in his animal form, or in his two-legged, human form. I kept him in the former build most of the time, and liked to set him on my shelf that way. Alongside Silverbolt, I had received Torca, a half-elephant, half-orca Transformer from the same line of toys, but Silverbolt was the cemented star of the show.
As my brothers and I grew older, we were urged to go through our old toys and give away what we had outgrown. As a teenager with far more on her mind than toys and games, I had added Silverbolt to a box of childhood memories. My father took them to a friend, to give to his kids, and in an instant Silverbolt was gone.
Years later, I told my boyfriend about my Silverbolt in a discussion about Transformers. I admitted that if there was ever a toy that I regretted letting go of, it was him (sorry Torca, but a flying wolf is pretty hard to top!). As my birthday approached, he said he had a surprise for me.
After browsing Amazon and Ebay, he had found a Silverbolt action figure for sale. It was out of the box but in good condition, without missing pieces. Looking at him again made me ridiculously happy. He looked just like I remembered him! He might not be the same Silverbolt I gave away, but he stirred the same excitement in my heart that he had so many years ago, when I had opened him for the first time.
Today, Silverbolt sits on my computer desk, watching over me like the days he spent on my shelves when I was so much younger.