Most people won't admit it, but one of the very best parts of having a kid is the freedom to act like a kid again yourself. Other parents will gush about the feeling of total selflessness, pride in the child accomplishing everything from smiling to pooping regularly, & the security of care in their old age. Not me. Uh-uh. I'm all about snagging some of that Halloween candy, gleefully running down toy aisles with a Nerf gun in one hand & a toy shield in the other, & buying sugary cereal & fruit snacks of cartoons I've never even heard of. Keep in my mind, my son is only fifteen months old; I'm just getting started with my vicarious second childhood!
Let's be honest, who the hell wants to grow up once they're out of their emo-angsty 'I can't do anything!' mid-teens? Being an adult sucks compared to being a kid - you have to earn your own money, you can't eat whatever you want without getting heart burn & a fat gut, your 'playtime' consists of golf, video games, or gambling, & you're responsible for everything. I'm only 24, & I've realized its all downhill from here, baby.
So with that in mind, I'm regressing to provide my son the most awesome childhood I can, so when he's my age he can do the same for his kid/s. Its a circle of age-denial! And, not to sound shallow & materialistic, a huge part of my fond childhood memories involve the toys of my youth. Most everyone insists their generation had the best toys, & as a 90's kid, they might just have me beat (most everything to do with the 90's sucked). However, I know these toys still will kick most every other toys ass!
Nerf Guns & Supersoakers!
If you saw this on the opposite team, you'd
switch sides in hopes of getting a turn with it.
As I mentioned already, I love Nerf guns. I've always loved Nerf guns. The 90's was a pretty gender-neutral time, & that applied to kids as well - girls were as likely to take part in epic Nerf (& water) battles as boys, in my neighborhood anyway. However, our toy guns might of been more fluorescent, the weaponry of today throughly shames the guns I remember. Look at that damn thing, it has a clip. It shoots three darts per second.
Our Super Soakers were all the same, until suddenly a double-bottled one was released, then one with a freaking catchment backpack. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a Super Soaker with enough force to blow a kid's guts threw their spine these days.
This thing is equal to a Happy Meal toy in coolness
- and not McBoo pail coolness
The Cozy Coupe & Big Wheel
Look at that smarmy face. Ugh.
While 15-18-24-bajillion speed mountain bikes were the cool kid thing to have once we took off our training wheels, waaaay before we even thought about two-wheeled contraptions, Cozy Coupes & Big Wheels were the rides of kings.
The Cozy Coupe has changed significantly since I was a kid. I hate that stupid face (that smile is definitely a sticker, & will peel off in the first rain). The CCs of our days had actual steering in them, in these toned-down modern kiddy cars, they do nothing but feature a bleepy horn that will make a Korean-manufactured auto's sound mighty as a lion's roar. We also had pedals, rather than relying on Flintstone foot-power, or mom pushing you around with the built-in handle. That all said, I appreciate the beefed up front posts; the cool thing in our neighborhood was to tie a CC to a bike with some rope & see how loud you could make the little one inside it scream.
Can you believe these things cost $60 nowadays?
What the hell man, are we running out of plastic?
Dinosaurs, Army Men, Cowboys & Indians - Vinyl Combatants
Just think - today's kids don't clap their hands over
their mouths & do the doofy fake warcry.
Looking back on my childhood, I seem pretty damn bloodthirsty. I didn't play 'house', have tea parties with my friends, & I had an acute fear of dolls (still do, thank god I didn't have a daughter). Instead, I staged epic mock battles between tiny races - the cowboys versus the Indians (Native Americans, children aren't PC), dinosaurs versus other dinosaurs (& sometimes versus army men), army men versus the dog, whatever. I loved collecting those tiny vinyl toys, mostly because they were cheap, & back in the day it was all about who had the biggest army. Each little dude (or creature) had my initials lovingly written on the bottom of its foot, & they were all special - until they were lost in the sandbox, mud pit, at the beach, or devoured by the dog. Rest in peace, MIA toys.
Damn straight I get to be the black knights, son.
My very fondest remember toys are of the playset varieties. I enjoyed building forts, castles & skyscrapers with Legos, then smashing them to bits, but the blocks just lacked detail in comparison to molded plastic. And far & away my favorite playsets were from Fisher Price's Great Adventures series, a castle & pirate ship. I proudly owned the castle & its eternally dueling retinues of knights & ruling kings, & my best friend owned the pirate ship & its band of surly seadogs. What I loved about this series of sets & their accessories were the details, like trap doors, cannons that fired with a good 'umph', figures with hack & slash action. Out of all my childhood toys, these sets are the ones I've been hunting for my son the hardest.
What toys activate your childhood nostalgia?