Cruelty is too strong a word for this story but it wasn’t exactly nice. Action figures and toy lines generally came with two teams. Transformers had their Autobots and Decepticons, Go-Bots had Guardians and Renegades, Barnyard Commandos had R.A.M.S. and P.O.R.K.S., MASK had…well…MASK and VENOM… There were so many awesome toys to be had, but I usually thought one side was better than the other. Of course Dave and I could not both collect the same team. So once I decided which team I wanted to collect I made sure Dave collected the other.
I do remember having to sell him on the toys I didn’t want. With TMNT stuff I had him collect the turtles and secondary characters I didn’t want, but we both had goodguys and badguys. Dave never really got to choose which toys he would collect. I made the choices for him. I would try to convince him that the team I wanted him to collect was good or cool or better. I don’t know how many time I cajoled him into getting a toy he didn’t really want with his allowance, or to put stuff on his Christmas list that complemented the stuff on my own.
I don’t think he was ever really convinced by my salesmanship, but I think he just decided it would be easier to go along with me so we could just play already. I made sure I got my way and I would not relent until he gave in and accepted the role I gave him. If he refused, there was always my favorite punishment/enforcement method: punching him in the shoulder until he gave in.