Besides having a healthy offspring that I could love, cherish and teach new things to, I also can't wait to have a kid because of all the cool toys I can buy him or her. Granted, I would probably spend more time playing with the toys than my child but that is beside the point. I am a big kid at heart, and this post will break down some of my favorite child hood toys, and some that totally sucked ass. If you feel that you want to add some of your favorites feel free and comment.
The Big Wheel: As a kid I was a master of the big wheel, beating my other friends whenever we raced. Whether it was skidding out with it or racing over bumpy terrain, people knew that I wasn't to be fucked with when it came to the almighty Big Wheel. I loved this toy, but there was a downside to it also. For one thing, when the big wheel wore out the plastic wheels would cave in and you would have one irritating ride whenever you used it. Also, when you realized that you weren't going that fast, you began to use it as a glorified skateboard. Holding on to the handlebars, putting one foot on the seat, and pushing off with the other foot gave you 3 times the speed.
Stretch Armstrong: One Christmas I got this toy and I was totally psyched. Stretch Armstrong was a simple toy, like his name suggests he has the power to stretch in every direction that you pull him in. Personally, If I was Stretch Armstrong there would only be one body part that could stretch to ungodly lengths, but hey that's me. The problem with this toy, as I found out on that fateful Christmas day, is that the Stretch Armstrong toy was a piece of crap. I found out that if you stretch the toy too much that the toy tears, and this toxic blue goo comes oozing out of it. My old man was so freaked out over the blue goo that after he wrapped the toy up tightly in a trash bag he threw it away in a nearby dumpster, not in our garbage can.
Hot Wheels and the race track with it: Collecting hot wheels is as American as apple pie and invading a country illegally. I used to collect all kind of cool cars, all type of exotic types, and it was always cool to compare your cars with the ones your friends had. Hot Wheels eventually came with a race track so you could compete against your friends to see whose cars were the fastest. There was a downside to those race tracks when all was said and done: 1) The race tracks were a parents nightmare because if you had a decent sized track that would mean more clutter at the end of the day. 2) If you fucked up, and your parent was about to beat the brakes off of you, that race track was a legitimate ass whipping object. So the toy that you love and adore was also imprinted on your hind-parts.
He-Man: "By the Powers of Greyskull, I have the Power!!" I used to love that shit, along with the toys that cartoon produced. It seemed like I had every He-Man action figure out whether it was "He-Man", "Man at arms", this green guy who actually smelled like pine, you name it I had it. As a kid I was hooked to the cartoon because He-Man was not to be fucked with, and I liked that. But I must admit that my affection for the show changed when my mother bought me the toy version of Castle of Greyskull for me one day. The commercial for said toy made it look like it had all these features that a kid could spend hours enjoying. The truth was that it was a 25 dollar piece of plastic crap. It was flimsy as shit, and I knew that the toy was shit when my own mother said, "What a piece of shit this is!" She was right. Also, as an adult I kind of see He-man in a different light. It seems like a very homo-erotic cartoon to me now that I'm older. See the outfits he was wearing, straight from a gay pride parade. But then again, I have that same theory about many cartoons. I'm not homophobic, but the Smurf colony was all gay because only a select few tried to get with smurfette. Velma from Scooby-Doo was a card carrying lesbian, so was Peppermint Patty from the Charlie Brown cartoons. They aren't fooling anybody. I think that Fat Albert had some sugar in his tank as well, but I don't feel the need to "Out" him at this particular time.
Nerf Products: The other day some college friends and I were playing a game of football in a park near my house. It surprise me that they were playing with a Nerf Football, something that I hadn't seen in years. For those of you who don't know, the Nerf football isn't a regulation football, it is made out of a foam type substance. You could literally throw that thing for miles, and if you could catch a Nerf football you were branded a bona fide "pussy" by all of your friends. It was a great product, but there were also some downsides to it. First off, after some time it would wear down and pieces started coming out of it, thus affecting the velocity of it when thrown. Also, if you fucked up and threw the football in some water it would become water-logged and be heavy as shit.
Bee-Bee Gun: Some genius in my family gave me a be-be gun for my birthday one year. I forgot who gave it to me, but I knew automatically that the fact that I had a weapon that could hurt people totally went undetected by my folks. How did this fly under the parental radar? I guess they thought it was a water gun, or maybe they weren't paying attention, but I wasn't going to ask them about it. This wasn't the rifle type of be-be gun, this was of the pistol variety. Granted, it wouldn't puncture your skin by no means but it would definitely leave a mark. I used to hide in some bushes assassin style and shoot people I didn't like. Watching them scream and wonder where the shot came from was priceless. If a bully fucked with me, they were getting shot. If a grown up gave me shit, they were getting shot. If a store owner kicked us out of his store, he was getting shot. It all came to an end when a friend of my dad caught me in some bushes about to take someone down. So he took my gun and I begged him not to tell my dad. It is good that he intervened, because who knows what kind of life that would have led to.