When your childhood moves out of your parent’s basement before you do, it goes to Big Fun to live forever. Located on the place that is Coventry road in Cleveland Heights, several generations of childhood memories live together harmoniously in nostalgic bliss. From Howdy Doody to Adventure Time all your memories are belong to Big Fun. It is a shrine to pop culture collectibles, gag gifts, and a treasure trove of time capsules that will spark the memories of anyone who ever was a kid in America. Rashad and Max are both of those things. The expedition had begun.
Immediately, Max went for the Pez, it’s always his first stop on Big Fun visits. His Pez collection is always in need of additions. The hunt was on and ended with the acquisition of three Pez he didn’t recall purchasing though probably had before at least twice.
Rashad watched silently and tried not to judge his friend in the throes of Pez lust. It’s an actual medical condition, look it up. Max tried not to judge Rashad as he recalled a misspent youth collecting Care Bears, Popples, and Pound Puppies. All things which one can still find at Big Fun. Rashad then corrected Max, while he did have all of those things as a child, he never collected them, just loved them dearly.
The next leg of the journey brought the nostalgia prospectors to everyone’s favorite heroes in a half shell (an entire area devoted to the lean green fighting machines and their plentiful pals). Whereupon they noticed true action figure gold. An attempt at making a barbie ninja turtle crossover figure. The Babetacular Ravishing Reporter April O’ Neil. Quite possibly the most sexist action figure ever created. They both recounted the figures and vehicles they had or wished they had.
Next, they came upon the area devoted to devotees of faith. The King of Kings Vs. the Prince of Egypt.
Remember when you went to the doctor and were promised goodies from a toy box if you survived. This must be where those medical professionals fill those treasure boxes. So now you know. Mystery solved. Also, Pogs!
Then they found a ViewMaster, Max saw the future. It involved an ice cream summit in the year 2000. Rashad told him not to look but it was too late. Curiosity was not rewarded that day. He saw things….
Speaking of the future, remember when this guy owned this character?
Remember when Wolverine was a woman? No? Neither do our intrepid explorers.
They moved on to where things might make sense again. The 80’s. Just kidding, but they had to move on. Noting again the figures they had and wished they had had. Wondering aloud if the employees ever get tired of hearing those phrases. We dare to hope not.
Max interacts with the local wildlife. Nature in pristine pvc. Big Fun never ceases to amaze.
Their travels then took them to the historical video game display. From Atari to Nintendo and Sega. All major and some minor consoles were represented. But the best thing might be the art from the NES cartridges. They knew how to make 8-bit graphics appear ridiculously enticing. Or just ridiculous.
At that point Rashad wandered off separating from his brother in toys. It was on his own that he would discover that which he coveted most. Amongst Pee Wee’s playhouse, Pokemon and Alf, set alongside Voltron, Power Rangers and Micronauts sat Robotech figures. Rashad found the toys he always wanted but never had. Yet again. That’s the magic of Big Fun.
The expedition was over when it was decided through the power of seeing through radical tinted glasses the real world is an ok place to be when you can always visit the things that excite your imagination…or insanity.
“The adolescents of my generation, greedy for life, forgot in body and soul about their hopes for the future until reality taught them that tomorrow was not what they had dreamed, and they discovered nostalgia.” – Gabriel García Márquez, Memories of My Melancholy Whores