in 1988, Burger King had a promotional crossover with DC Comics and their Super Powers toy line. You might think this would primarily involve the addition of DC toys in their kid’s meals, but what it actually meant was something every child of every decade loved and had an intense passion for: Cups and character cupholders.
Whether or not that’s true, who knows, but they did it. Tiny plastic cups being held by your favorite DC Comics characters (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and even the villainous Darkseid). My parents, knowing full well that little four year old Rob K loved Superman with enough passion to hang a red towel from his back and run around the house pretending to be the last son of Krypton, keep a Betamax compilation of old Max Fleischer Superman cartoons on repeat in his room, and yes, actually give a shit about a DC Comics character cupholder, decided one fateful day to buy one for me. That Superman cupholder became my de facto Superman action figure and proceeded to follow me just about everywhere.
All of this, by the way, I had completely forgotten about until about a week ago when a random advertisement for an item on Facebook Marketplace unlocked a hidden area of my brain and brought long forgotten childhood memories flooding back to my now thirty-seven year old brain.
There he was, in all his plastic glory. Superman, arms outstretched and waiting for his plastic cup (not included in this version), was being sold on Facebook Marketplace for around seven dollars (plus S&H). I couldn’t believe it!
So, of course, I ordered it immediately and it just arrived two days ago. I’ve held it in my hands, now much larger than they once were, and stared at it with the same tinge of wide eyed wonderment as I did thirty-three years ago. If I’m being completely honest, it almost brought me to tears.
Memories and nostalgia are weird things. I can’t explain why this tiny item, this totem of my childhood, this artifact of my past, brings me such joy as a grown man. But it certainly does.
Do you have any similar items from your past? Any childhood mementos, gone to the wayside over the years, that you’d like to reclaim as an adult? Did you know cupholders could be so cool?