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Toying with time

by | May 27, 2022 | Latest, Opinion

By John Moore

I don’t recognize toys anymore. Our grandkids are coming from out of state to visit and I can’t find anything to get them as a surprise.

Why? I don’t know what anything is or does.

Toys should teach you how to prepare for life and be fun.

Bakugan – Japanese Power, was one of the first things that showed up under a search for popular toys. The website says:

“The Great Collision. The event that once captivated the world’s attention now seems like a distant dream. But today, the planet is awakening…and the era of Bakugan is here.”

What does this do? Is it a card game? A board game? A primer on hand-to-hand combat?

Another big one is the Magic Mixies Magical Misting Cauldron with Interactive 8 inch Blue Plush Toy.

Huh?

Things that 50 years ago would have seemed as foreign as something on The Twilight Zone are now the top-selling toys for our tots.

I feel like I’m shopping on the planet Mongo.

When I was a kid we had sensible toys like chemistry sets, where a child could explore the wonderful world of small explosions, right in the comfort of his own home.

I had a chemistry set, and I learned quickly which chemicals you were not supposed to mix, just by reading the instructions. Of course, I had to test it to make sure the instructions were correct.

My sister had an Easy Bake Oven. Any little girl could combine dirtying her mom’s pots, pans, and silverware with electricity.

Today, parents put covers over electrical outlets, but not the Greatest Generation. No, they knew how to toughen up kids. 

Mom: “Jimmy, John is trying to stick a knife in the electrical outlet.”

Dad: “Well, he won’t do it but once.”

One of my favorite toys was the Creepy Crawlers. I begged for one of those. It had a set of different heat plates of whatever bug shape you wanted. You’d pick one, insert it into the top, which was 350 degrees, pour in ample amounts of the slimy gel, and poof.

Perfect for learning about the insect world and second-degree burns.

Plus, you also had a bunch of rubber bugs you could use to scare your sister while she was baking.

But the toys today seem like they’re encoded. Only the toy makers and kids know what the heck is going on.

In my day, the dangers were printed clearly right on the box.

I want to get the grandkids something they’ll like, but I also want to know what I’m buying. I just don’t know what that might be.

Our granddaughter might like some jacks. That’s another toy my sister had. Jacks were a simple game she and her friends could play, and then leave out for my dad to step on in the dark.

Dads today think LEGOs were the originator of 3 a.m. foot injuries, but no, it was jacks.

Maybe our twin grandsons might like a set of Lincoln Logs. They can build the ultimate tiny home. At current prices, they may need it for a place to live after college.

Maybe a View-Master? I can recall riding in the back seat of our 1960 model Buick with the View-Master up to my eyes, facing the window. I’d look at 3-dimensional pictures of national parks, Disneyland, and other places we couldn’t afford to go because the vacation money was used on my hand and dad’s foot in the E.R.

Here’s what I’ll get all three of the grandkids. A magic set. It says it has 101 easy-to-learn tricks. I’ll be sure to learn as many as I can before they get here so that I can wow them.

My first trick will be to make their Bakugan or Magic Mixies disappear if they bring either one.

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