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As I have been perusing the various Christmas commercials, banner ads, and mass mailed catalogs, I have been struck by the stark difference in the toys of today and the ones we had when I was a kid.  And, when there are always improvements in some areas, I feel sorry for kids these days.

The toys we had were so much better overall.

Back when I was a kid my Tonka trucks were heavy, metal monstositys. I search Amazon for Tonka today and I’m given a menu of brightly colored molded plastic.  My Transformers were made of die-cast metal.  These days, unless you buy the Ultimate Platinum Super-Dragon Limited Edition ones they’re made of the same molded plastic.  When did we start making toys so cheesy?

And, don’t even get me started on Star Wars figures.  Yes, mine had cheesy plastic capes, lightsabers that slid in and out of their arms, and only 5 points of articulation.  Yes, there was the minor inconvenience of Chewbacca not fitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.  But, come on.  These new toys may be pretty, but can they live through the beating we put them through back then?  And what about the cool Darth Vader head shaped carrying case?  Where’s that these days?

Now, there are some areas where you can argue things may be better.  After all, how did we survive childhood with all the choking hazards?  Between the eyes and antennae of the Cootie bugs to the tiny weapons of our aforementioned Star Wars figures it was a wonder we weren’t all in the hospital with something lodged in our throats on a weekly basis. 

Then again, I may have blocked the memory.  After all, we didn’t wear bike helmets either and would regularly subject one another to the random ice or slush ball in our snowball wars.


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