Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The One With The Most Toys....


Toys, I absolutely LOVE toys!  I must have toys of some sort in my life.  My fully loaded smartphone, my PSP, my laptop, my silver Ipod Nano, my vintage motorcycle.  My tools are even toys, in a way.  My matching kitchen utensils are toys that I play with when cooking.  Drum fill to Phil Collins on the counter with a ladle and a straining spoon.  Nailed it!  The best thing about toys are that they come in my favorite color: Shiny.  

Toys.....  Geez, I’ve had some cool toys over the years.

My older next door neighbor had a REAL Batman costume.  I had a yellow towel.  We were banished to the back yard for about 3 weeks one summer for running around doing the Batman theme song. Non-stop. For 3 weeks.  I’m lucky to be alive to tell the tale.

Tonka trucks made of REAL METAL.  Who doesn’t like to dig up the garden with the bulldozer and dump truck?  Do you remember hitting your younger sister in the head with the dump truck when she tried to take it from you?  That’s why they don’t make them out of metal anymore.

Did you have a Big Wheel?  They came out after I was already too big for them.  It did not prevent me from snatching the little kid who lived down the street off of his for a spin down the street, however.  Green Machine was kick ass, too.

Army Men.  Countless hours of digging foxholes, throwing rocks, (then later firecrackers) yelling commands to those little green men that were in constant epic conflict the back yard.  Burying them alive was a common practice.  I bet there are still a few back there, left to be excavated by the next little kid who lives there. The bazooka guy was the coolest one.

GI JOE.  Sadly, I had an Action Jackson.  The redheaded stepbrother of JOE.  I think mine really did have red hair.  Like a Ginger Jackson.  Still fun; cool astronaut outfit, too.  I had a paratrooper outfit, and the parachute actually worked out of my bedroom window and into the neighbor’s birdbath.  It worked about a hundred times before Mom told me to stop running in and out of the house. I think it had some ripoff version of Kung Fu grip. I lost him somewhere along the way.....  Action figures were possibly the oddest toy ever. Girls play with dolls, and boys have action figures.  And YES, it’s funny making GI Joe hump Barbie, and you know it.  Thank you Robot Chicken!

Cox P-40 Warhawk.  Hands down, one of the most dangerous toys, ever.  A gas powered engine attached to strings and a handle with divebombing capabilities.  No child in the neighborhood was safe.  AND it can catch on fire.  You put your finger on the blade to start it.  Make sure you get it out of the way when it starts running!  I lived on a cul de sac, and we had dog fights with multiple planes.  A moment of silence for my buddy Pete’s Stuka.  It was run over by the mean old man that lived next door, while mowing his front yard.  He didn’t ‘see it’.  Well, he did have a glass eye, so maybe it’s true.  German insignias all over the grass.  It wasn’t pretty.

SSP.  Super Sonic Power!  YES!  Put the red plastic pullcord into the gear that’s attached to the big rubber tire, and yank it out, and watch this thing go all the way up the street.  This would not be so fun for the doughy kids of today, who prefer to sit in front of the TV and push the controller to make the cool looking car go.  Built upper arm strength, pulling that cord about 150 times an afternoon.

Bikes.  Multitudes of bikes.  I even painted and built one myself.  By building, I mean new seat, bars, tires, rip off the fenders and chain guard, and put on new waffle grips. Streamers?  Seriously, no self respecting kid would rock streamers, including the cool girls.  Growing up in suburban America, we could ride all over our neighborhoods.  I don’t think kids these days are allowed to have that much freedom, nor is it safe enough for them to do that.  We could ride anywhere within our school district!  Miles and miles, dirt tracks in the woods, jumping wood and cinder block ramps like we were Evil Knievel.  Helmets?  We don’t need no stinking helmets!  

Electric Football.  (I can’t believe I just added this while proofing.) Seriously, the craziest concept for a toy, and it was a huge hit.  40 million sold.  Loud, annoying buzzing vibrating noise, but you couldn’t stop playing. You can still buy custom figures in your favorite college team!

Tennis ball cannon.  Not exactly a toy, as much as a potential life threatening Weapon of Mass Destruction.  I don’t know who decided to build one, but me and my buddies shot tennis balls over my house (flaming tennis balls, mind you) laughing hysterically at how far they went.  Tennis ball cannon, aimed over the front of the house into the backyard.  It was fun until one of us singed our eyebrows off because of overloading the ignition chamber with charcoal lighter fluid, and then looking down the barrel to see why it hadn’t fired yet. Yeah, nothing too dangerous about that thing.  (Mom) “What happened to you?!?”  (Me) “Nuthin.”  Thank GOD YouTube didn’t exist!

I’ve still got my Sizzler track that I bought a few years back in the closet somewhere.  Off to the store to buy C batteries for my gas pump charger.  Yeah, let’s get this thing set up in the living room!

Would someone please send me the Sears Wish Book?


  1. Oh, you never outgrow your toys. My dad built us this truck that could fit two of us in it. He forgot one very important element: it had no way to steer it. We lived on a very steep hill. We also used to ride out sleds (metal...not the plastic shit they have today) straight down the middle of the road and around the (blind) turn at the bottom. "We don't need no stinkin' helmets!"

  2. Metal sleds.. I had a flexible flyer. It was as tall as me! What a fun, speedy rush that was. Did you put parafin on the rails? I could fly past everyone on that thing. Mine had the chrome trim piece across the front. A 'bumper' of sorts. Still waiting for our first real snow of the season.