Toys suck these days.
They all seem to have these safety features that basically say, “Hey, we know your kid is a boob so here’s something that won’t mess him up too bad.”
Here are a few toys I’ve seen online:
- The Dirt Devil Junior (3 AA batteries included! Serious power)
- Aquadoodle (Ooh, fun with water! Watch out, don’t get too wet!)
- Softestware (updated version)
Did I mention software?
IMHO, all of it sucks.
Back in sixties we had TOYS.
We had goop cookers that plugged into a wall socket, BB guns, metal that got white-hot, chemistry sets that would make Homeland Security shudder; these were unsafe, exciting and a wee bit scary but we loved them all.
Sure they could burn down your house and kill your dog but hey, look at all the cool stuff you could make.
Adult supervision? Uhhhhhh…nope.
We had toys that were so cool they could actually ‘make’ other toys.
There was the Mattel Fright Factory (similar to Creepy Crawlers) that came with a square-shaped cooker/heating plate that worked on electricity (no batteries, thanks).
If it heated up long enough and you absentmindedly forgot about it and stuck your hand on the plate—BANG!—Edward Scissorhands for you.
The Factory came with cast iron molds that you filled with this stuff called plastigoop.
After cooking the hell out of it, you would notice delicate fingers of smoke rising into the air; a monster was born.
The cooking plastigoop had this really odd, almost toxic scent to it too.
Oh, yeah, this stuff could probably kill brain cells faster than a case of whip-its but we loved it. God, I made some great monsters.
These toys taught us patience (wait until the cast iron cools down *before* you touch it), creativity (who says a monster can’t be 14 colors?) and responsibility (unplug the damn thing when you’re done or you might run the risk of burning the face of your little baby brother who still puts his mouth on everything).
The list goes on but I’m thinking you get my drift.
Girls had a similar toy called “Fun Flowers” or something like that. (thanks to my wife for the name)
It made frilly flowers but still had the awesome capacity to really mess you up if it was misused.
It was toys like the Easy Bake Oven that put me off and made me realize the toy industry was badly tanking.
A low-wattage bulb that cooks brownies? That’s just plain frickin’ stupid.
Maybe that’s the little boy in me.
I would have been interested in something called the ‘Three Mile Island Super Bake 5000’, an oven equivalent to that of a 1,500 watt microwave.
Hey, this thing could blow up a tomato in like 60 seconds. How cool is that?
Granted, the technology wasn’t available back then but if it was, boy, oh boy, we may have seriously screwed some folks up.
But you know what?
We didn’t and I’m living proof.
So the next time you want to reminisce and stumble down Memory Lane, open up a fresh box of Crayola crayons and sniff.
Amazing how it all comes rushing back, huh?
There I go showing my age once again.