Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The amazing Spider-Man

In 2002, soon after Lori and I bought our first DVD player, we bought the movie "Spider-Man" at Blockbuster. The store was having a deal in which you bought the movie on DVD and got 10 free movie rentals. With us being brand new DVD owners, we were going to rent movies anyway, so this was essentially getting "Spider-Man" for free. We didn't realize that we were getting more than one free Spider-Man.


Unbeknownst to us, by purchasing the "Spider-Man" punch card, we were entered to win a life-size Spider-Man sculpture that each Blockbuster had been sent to promote the movie. One day, I got a call from the store saying I had won a "Spider-Man" prize. I wasn't sure what to think of it, but went to the Blockbuster to claim whatever prize I had coming to me. I got there and was asked by an employee how I was going to get it home. "It" was the 6-foot Spider-Man sculpture. I was stunned when I fully realized what we had just won. Spidey was made of Styrofoam and dressed in a real costume. I told the store that I would have to come back -- Lori had the station wagon, which was the only way we were getting Spider-Man home. When arrived later that night, they brought out the box to pack the sculpture, and Lori broke down laughing after reading on the side of the box: "Contents: 1 Spider-Man."

We got the sculpture home and kept it in its box, fearing the cats would use it as a scratching post. Our goal was to sell it on eBay (the retail value, according to Blockbuster, was $600), but several were being sold on the website without a lot of luck. Shipping this was going to cost $100 in itself. So it stayed in the box, waiting for the day we'd sell it. I thought about consigning it at a comic book shop, or trying Craigslist or KSL classifieds -- I didn't care how much we got for it -- but never quite got around to it. We moved it to our new house, where it sat in our guest room, still boxed up.

Finally, we took action last weekend. Spider-Man returned.

The boys are old enough to appreciate Spidey. We had space for him in my office. The current cat isn't quite the scratcher our old ones were, and we are going to keep the office closed anyway. And selling Spider-Man was just going to be a pain. Why not keep it and show it off? After all, how many people can say they have a life-size Spider-Man in their house?

So out of the box, Spider-Man emerged, for the first time in almost 10 years. He was not as in mint condition as we thought -- either the moves or simply the wear and tear from being in the store slightly damaged the three-dimensional costume. The cat didn't know what to think of him but didn't try scratching. The dog was funny -- she thought it was another person in the house and even brought him a dog toy in the hopes he would play with her. I'm a little paranoid that Spider-Man is going to be watching me as I work at my computer, and Lori has double-taked a few times when she walks into the office, thinking another live person is in the room.

But the boys' smiles when they first saw Spider-Man were the best. No, it's not really a toy, but it is a superhero in their basement. I'm glad we never sold Spider-Man over all those years it was in the box. His presence, and the boys' enjoyment of his presence, is worth more than the few hundred dollars he might have brought.


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