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Mystery Bin Find - the lost X-Panders?!


Readers of the recently revived Preserve may recall my discovery of the rare, apparently impossible to find toy line 'X-Panders'. Having earlier only discovered 1/3 of the collection, I was sufficiently impressed by the design and construction to hope against hope that the remainder of the collection was someplace, lost in the depths of the Preserve backstorage. Making matters more interesting is that I've so far been unable to find any example of this line on eBay, which is surprising given historical trends. This evening, this very evening while moving some boxes I did a double, nay triple take as I uncovered, in the barn, something I could hardly believe.

I realized the historical importance of this box, as even though it was sealed and labeled by my own hand some 13 years previous in our history, I had no idea what it might contain thanks to my dodgy memory. I decided that the Preserve readers needed to experience the opening of the box at the same time I did, so much like the photos for The Toughest Man in the World, I took the pictures LIVE as I saw it! It was time for the grand opening, and what better tool to use than the very key behind which the items were imprisoned these many years!

People sometimes ask me why I have so much stuff, and why there are 8 storage bins full of stuff that I have yet to look through. Days like this remind me why I refuse to part with the masses before I have a chance to ponder every box. The excitement of unraveling this mystery, and possibly discovering the remaining parts of an '80s toy line which has been all but lost to the ages, is what the Preserve is all about.

The burst of color shined through the gap in the cardboard seal, unmistakable '80s styling! This was a good sign, but it was still too early to be certain if I was seeing the promised vehicles or, still cool, boxes from another line.

Then there it was, a Mega Force box, and the Set 1: Basic Rules, and Set 2: Expert Rules Dungeons & Dragons boxes from 1983! There was also D&D material in the other X-Panders box...and the packing proximity shines forth! By way of additional partial explanation: Mega Force is a military themed vehicle and plane series from the late '80s that Ryan Schubert and I bought way too many of when we discovered them at Kay Bee in Willow Grove Mall for 70% off one summer. They turn up here and there during searches of the Preserve archives, and will eventually be collected together and photographed. What's more astounding though is finding my old D&D set. I never was as big into that passtime as many of my friends, even currently, but I did play briefly, and with Ryan. It seemed that the theme of my long lost friend was developing, but now it was time to see what lay beneath this top layer of awesome.

Success! There it was, the Hovercraft, and the promise of a second box as well!

Perfect! Two of the remaining three items from the series, both large vehicles with lots of features, if the previous toys are to be any guide.

That's it! That's the entire collection! There at the bottom of the box - the largest of the set, perfectly fitted in its 13 year cardboard conveyance. I can hardly believe it, but my father was always complete when it came to such things as this. Now the task before me is to carefully document each of these three new pieces, and bring to completion the X-Panders toy section!

It is a bright day for the Preserve!

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New Additions
Play Meter Magazine: April 15, 1985
Play Meter Magazine
April 15, 1985
Yahoo! Internet Life: August, 2001
Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine
August, 2001
The Pinball Trader: July, 1986
The Pinball Trader
July, 1986
IEEE Internet Computing - July/August, 2005
IEEE Internet Computing
July/August, 2005
Science Activities - November, 1973
Science Activities
November, 1973
NASA Station Break Newsletter: June, 1991
NASA Station Break Newsletter
June, 1991
Countdown Magazine: December, 1990
Countdown Magazine
December, 1990
The Bisquick Banner: March/April, 1984
The Bisquick Banner
March/April, 1984
NASA Activities Newsletter: September, 1983
NASA Activities Newsletter
September, 1983
Egon: w/ Symmetrical Book Stacking
w/ Symmetrical Book Stacking


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