Jealous of a 7 Year Old's Toys
I decided to help a friend out and be a clown for his kid’s birthday party. Well, not a clown really, but a stormtrooper. I have a set of stormtrooper armor. I used to use it all the time, but now I just don’t get much time for that sort of thing. I brought it out of semi-retirement to amuse my friend’s son who loves star wars and deliver his birthday present. It went well, and everyone got a good laugh out of watching him freak out and run up to his room upon my entry. After his mother coaxed him out to get his present and make nice, there was food and cake and presents.
Ah, presents. See, when I think of birthday presents for a seven year old, I think of trucks and transformers and gijoes and such. Maybe a few boardgames and of course socks and underwear from my mom. Seeing the presents this kid got made me very angry. I was pissed off to have been born about thirty years too early.
Now don’t get me wrong: the kid is not spoiled. His parents are in about the same financial caste that mine were at that age. He got as many presents as I would have on my birthday. But it’s the quality of toys that gets me irate.
He got the board game Memory. But not just Memory, but Spider-Man Memory. Seriously? I would have been the coolest kid ever if I had that. When I was a kid we had plain old Memory, and I think you had to match two bricks, two dishrags, two buckets of gruel and so on.
He got a Star Wars tank thing. It shoots missles! When I was a kid, they took AWAY the ability for Boba Fett to shoot missles because some little brat might poke his eye out. Now they actively arm the little felons with projectile weapons. And the box even turns into a playset.
He got an Iron Man toy. I had an Iron Man toy was I was his age. It was an action figure. You could move his arms and legs and move him around like he was flying and go “zoooom zoooom pew pew pew”. However, his Iron Man toy is 12 inches high, lights up like a christmas tree and says all kinds of stuff and makes sound and light effects to simulate weapons fire. It has a metallic sheen and multiple points of articulation.
Whiskey. Tango. Fox Trot.
And people actually wonder why geeks my age still collect action figures and toys and shit. Are you kidding? Do you see what they can do? Take a stroll down the toy aisle at Target and look at all the wicked awesome gadgetry available to todays rugrats. This is jealousy, pure and simple.
Now, some crotchety old farts will say things like “We didn’t need all that fancy stuff; We used our IMAGINATIONS.” Yeah, whatever. We all did the same thing: we lined up all the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other and fired weapons at each side or drove vehicles into one another until only one side had people still standing and declared them the winner. And that shit still goes on, and it’s like a million times cooler. Now kids don’t have to manually shove those trucks loaded down with COBRA figures into the line up of GIJoes defending the base, they can just remote control that death machine into the 5 story electronic superbase while it flashes its lights, makes machine gun noises, fires poison gas and nuclear-tipped saw blades and does a loop-de-loop before landing on top of General Hawk and exploding.
So yeah, I feel like I missed out on some fun.
Barry Robb is a starving web designer, internet marketer and webmaster/producer/co-co-host of a certain pop culture webshow. He wishes he were seven years old, but could legally drink and hit on women.