Sunday, November 6, 2011

Now: 2011 Best Old Toys

From time to time (actually it's pretty much a constant) the area of my brain that regurgitates conscious thought spits out an idea wrapped in the trappings of random.

So while on the porch playing with my terrier a distinct picture arrived in the foyer of this brain area, dressed as a glowing yellow ball. 

"I wonder if they still make those blow-up, yellow balls you stick the light wand into?" Then a ghost me stood in the back yard of the house watching four-year-old me playing with one in 1983. 

If anyone remembers what this thing was called, do tell. It was a rectangular, yellow ball you stuck a glow wand into to play at night. I loved that thing. We had, like, 3 of them for some reason.

The November special issue of Woman's Day has a 2011 Toy Insider section including games, dolls, and trends. I recognized some and pondered the point of others.

I was content with my G.I. Joes and dolls that didn't require batteries. I think a few games and toys are still classically enjoyed by children. So here's my list:

1. Lite Brite

Turn out the lights and watch it glow. There's just something about putting the colored pegs into those holes. Check out this guy, my hero of the moment.

2. Glow Worm

Y'all know you had a Glow Worm and some of you carried that raggedy thing around well into school age. You can still find these for babies but I say give it to your five year old and demand they allow you to live vicariously through them.

3. Silly Putty

Let's call it a stocking stuffer. All I know is, I used this for a Sunday School object lesson and when I picked up an image on newspaper, I swear to god (excuse my emphasized blasphemy), the kids accused me of being a witch. Not one of them had ever seen Silly Putty and the oldest was 11. 

The most fun thing about Silly Putty is getting hair in it and endlessly pulling them out. There's just something slightly obscene about the entire experience.

4. Operation

You get to take out the organs of some poor sap or in later years, some unsuspecting Disney character. If you fail, you hear a buzzing sound that, although expected, causes you to fly several feet into the air, knocking over the other folk hovering over you, wishing you all manner of bad omens. You can also scare small children into actually thinking you've gotten electrocuted and that's the very best thing of all.  

5. Moon Shoes

I never had these. I just really want them now. Not to be confused with Moon Boots which I would also wear if I had an outfit to match. 

6. G.I. Joes

Anything you can tie to a handkerchief and throw out the window equates awesome. Unless it's a younger sibling. Except in the case they survive without injury and then it's just a really funny story. You may refer to my uncle for this brand of jovial tale (but don't ask dad). 

7. Legos

This one explains itself. Legos don't just build cool stuff. They build up engineers. And people who have nothing better to do with their time than create uselessness

I still collect the ones that have some meaning for me (like Irish Barbie or Still-Unmarried-Past-30-Barbie). Growing up in a conservative Christian household, I learned that a lot of little girls didn't play with her because she caused bad self image, but then I discovered when I grew up that King James and Hasbro had some sort of pact going so it was all just a conspiracy theory after all. Real bad self esteem comes from reading Cosmo and I learned that from the NIV version of the Bible (they have a partnership with Mattel so it's totally ok). 

9. Connect Four

Nothing will make you more angry when you lose.

If you don't believe me, watch Stand by Me. Stephen King and Rob Reiner should know what they're talking about. 

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