The Tail, er Tale, of the Long Lost Starfox Game Watch
In the spring of 1994, I had bought with my own $2/week allowance, two giant boxes of Kellogg’s Cornflakes, and ate them every morning for breakfast so that I could have the two proofs of purchase needed for an epic mail-away – A Starfox videogame watch. Not just a watch with Starfox on it, no, this was a watch that you could actually play Starfox on. After laboriously consuming the cereal, I still had to wait until I had saved up the $9 needed for the processing and shipping. Waiting, week after week, I watched the mail box. The form had said sixty days for delivery. But it did not take sixty days. Was there a mix up at the factory? Was there a thieving Postal Worker out there somewhere playing with my loot? Finally, after a hundred days, and yes, I counted them, it arrived. Oh, the beauty of it! It had a plasticy rubber watch band, with the face displaying LCD in all of its 1990s glory. The tiny, gray, pixilated Arwing tilted as it wove to the left or the right. Pew-pew sounds emanated from the hidden speakers. If you wanted to do covert gaming, you could even turn the sound off. It quickly became one of my prized possessions. I did not own a Super Nintendo, so this was my only source for Starfoxy action.
We moved that winter to a large city in Missouri. I had been wearing my Starfox watch to school for months back in Iowa, and didn’t think anything of wearing it to school. I didn’t play it in class, just used it to tell time. But the other kids in my class had never seen such a novelty. Even though I was not playing it, they wanted to see it, so they gathered around my desk, and refused to sit down when the teacher called the class to order. So she confiscated the source of their distraction, my prized watch. I saw her take it and put it into her top desk drawer. After school I asked her for it back. She said that I needed to be taught a lesson about bringing electronics to class, and that she was going to keep it a week. I was understandably upset, but she wouldn’t listen to my pleas. I told my parents, and they said that the teacher is the teacher and she has the right to decide what to allow in her class and what not to. I’m not entirely sure that they believed me that I wasn’t playing it at school. The week passed slowly, and when the time was up, I asked for it back. The teacher denied ever taking it. She claimed to not know what I was talking about and that she never would have taken a watch from a student. I complained to my parents. They called the school. The principal told them that it was my word verses the teacher’s and that they had to take the word of an adult over that of a child. I gathered witnesses. Some people, who weren’t gamers, didn’t remember the incidence at all. The ones who did were now my fast friends and the school said that they couldn’t take their word for it because a bunch of friends will do anything for each other.
I was distraught. I didn’t really want to try to mail off for another watch, as it had taken so much time and money, but I didn’t see any other option. Unfortunately, none of the stores were carrying the marked boxes of cornflakes any longer! I went back to wearing normal watches, looking depressed whenever I looked at the time. For Christmas that year my parents bought me a Star Trek watch, which played the original series theme song at the press of a button. I recovered from my Starfox watch addiction. But to this day, I can’t play a Starfox game without tears streaming down my face over the unfairness of my treatment at the hands of a vicious teacher, who probably was playing Starfox on a watch in her spare time.
I come to you now, hoping to find my long lost watch. Nintendo did put out a Starfox watch which was not from Kellogg’s, but I do not want that one. The one I am searching for had four red buttons on the front, and two large dark blue buttons on the sides of the watch. Of the red buttons, two, the top and bottom, were trapezoid shaped; the left and right buttons, meanwhile, were triangular pentagons. These buttons differentiate this watch from the later release. I am looking for this watch, in working order, for $20 or less. I’ve checked eBay and the like to no avail, although there are a couple on there in the $50 range, but they aren’t selling for that, just sitting there. Obviously that is not the going rate. Have you seen my piece of nostalgia in your local gaming, thrift, or pawn shops? Do you have one just collecting dust somewhere? Help me recapture my lost childhood. Please...