Good morning and happy Friday, SpaceBrewers! It’s been an interesting week here with all that has happened. Wade Phillips got fired, the Cowboys lost another game – anyone surprised by that anymore, really? – and Celine Dion did another two shows at Caesars Palace. Wait. That’s not out of the ordinary. Anyway, we’ve pulled up our stuffed Argentinian Whale Bladder recliners and filled our favorite mugs with SpaceBrew. And there’s a plate of hot, greasy bacon in front of us. So you know what that means!
Bacon Talk! Woot woot! Hooray! Woo hoo!
What? You guys aren’t excited? That’s something that doesn’t even register with me. How can someone not be excited about Bacon Talk? Good morning, Haycomet. At least tell me you’re excited. Please?
I’m super excited, Space! So don’t get discouraged. Let’s rock the heck out of today’s Bacon Talk! And I must say, these recliners are quite comfortable. I never knew whale bladders were so supple and soft.
Hey, Space, what is that box you have with you? Looks as if it contains a lot of cool stuff.
Oh, no, it’s nothing interesting. That’s just my velvet-lined box full of baby newt kidneys. I carry it pretty much everywhere I go. Would you like a newt kidney with your bacon? No, what you’re interested in is the box I have hidden behind my recliner here. Check this out!
It’s full of toys! These are some of the toys I played with when I was a kid. Some of my favorite stuff; and I dare say that if I were a kid today, I would still play with them. Wait. Of course I would. No, what I meant was, I would actually like to play with them today. Wait. Why don’t I? I’m not sure what I’m saying. Maybe it’s just that I miss playing with them.
I went through a lot of toy phases when I was a child. I played with Masters of the Universe, or He-Man figures a lot. He-Man must be the gayest name for a series I’ve ever heard. But I played the hell out of them. I even had Castle Greyskull. I had probably twenty or twenty-five figures too. See, that’s the thing with me: when I get into something, I go wide open, all the way. And if there are 150 in the set, I do everything possible to get every single one of them. I don’t just settle for one or two of the coolest ones.
I had forty or fifty Star Wars figures, at least as many G.I. Joe figures, and probably well over a hundred Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. I had a bunch of Transformers, MASK, MUSCLE (I still remember what that stood for: Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere…) guys and everything else that could be collected. MUSCLE figures were the weakest ass, gayest waste of money toy ever created. But I got heavily into them just because there was such a large variety of them I could collect. I am a collector. I’ve said before that I collect collections. That’s how serious I am. But yes, I also played with these toys.
So what kind of toys did you play with as a child, Comet?
I remember my Slinky, one of the original wire ones, not the plastic dual-color ones, though they were cool (and I had one). I liked the sound of it and watched the metal flow hypnotically from one hand to another. I had the typical girl stuff though, I don’t remember really wanting My Little Ponies, but my mom bought them for me, so I played with them (which basically involved brushing their manes… ooo, fun… not). I also had Strawberry Shortcake figures. Yes, they were lame – maybe not for the 80s – they smelled good at least.
I had a weird childhood. How many kids do you know who had a freakin electric organ in their rooms? I spent time trying to teach myself how to play that thing. Then I moved onto the Casio keyboard. I was into art and music more than toys. I did have toys that made art. My favorite was the original Spirograph! I think I was given my dad’s. It was so awesome!
The one toy you know I had to have, Space, was the Easy Bake Oven. How much cooler can you get than baking brownies with a light bulb?
Space, how do you think today’s toys differ from the ones we had when we were kids? Do you think one era trumps another when it comes to toys?
My daughter has an Easy Bake Oven too. She got it out of the box last Christmas, and it went directly into the pantry. It’s never been used. I’ve been thinking about digging it out myself just because I’m lazy, and anything that lets you bake something easily I’m all for. I somehow think most of the toys we had when we were kids trumped today’s by a long shot. Because they seemed to be made and manufactured better.
Toys have changed so much now though that it almost freaks me out. Look at Star Wars figures, for example. Used to, they were stiff-armed, stiff-legged figures that only moved at the hips and shoulders. Now the elbows and knees bend as well. That’s not a major change, obviously, and it’s not necessarily a detriment to the toy, but it’s just different. And Hotwheels are completely different now too. You can’t even get a realistic looking sedan. They all have gay ass flame paint jobs and stupid chrome engines sticking out the hoods, or they’re shaped like a freakin space ship. It’s ridiculous.
It’s not all bad though. Some of the new technology is awesome. Like the remote-controlled helicopters and airplanes, the robots that walk around and do stuff… Those are awesome, and I would have loved to play with those when I was a kid. I see stuff every time I walk through the toys store now days that I just about drool over. I would love to be a kid again. Or, at the very least, raise the age at which we’re supposed to stop playing with them to about forty-five. That way I’d still be covered for a few years. Think about it, Comet: if the average human life is around seventy-five years, isn’t it only fair that we don’t mature and grow out of toys until half that? I say at thirty-seven or so, we finally grow bored of them. Sigh. What do you think of this?
What I want to know, Space, is who set the age limit in the first place? I think the limit is all about giving into peer pressure, and a society that thinks it is supposed to get mature and better as it ages. That’s just not the way it works. We’re not evolving and getting better, we’re deteriorating, and we’re doing that at a faster rate than the previous generations before us. So I say let’s raise the age by encouraging our kids to be kids as long as possible. Let’s encourage today’s teens to play with toys. Let’s make it lame to not play with toys!
With age comes aches and pains, and what better to help us forget about our pains than toys? I know when my daughter is super sick or not feeling well, I get her a cheap little toy or stuffed animal. It makes her feel better. I know I had a crappy day at work on Tuesday, but when I got home I played with a cool metal puzzle cube; it made me relax and I felt better.
Personally I hope to never stop playing with toys. In fact, I was playing with Beyblades by myself this past weekend.
Other than the battle tops, name a toy that always makes you feel better when you get a chance to play with it.
Well that’s a simple one, Comet. If I’m feeling stressed or bored or tired or unmotivated or angry – or just about any other emotion – I can pick up one of my fine Rubik’s toys and just get lost in it. I have the two-by, the three-by, the four-by and the five-by. I hope to get the six-by for my birthday, which is December 3 for those of you who don’t know. But seriously, I usually pick them all up, scramble them all, then sit there and solve them all, biggest to smallest, and see how quickly I can do it. I have found, however, that it makes me sleepy because of all the brain power it uses. It’s like trying to solve a hard math problem. But I’ll take sleepy over bored or stressed or angry any day!
How technically advanced do you want to see toys become? Would you want something like that creepy bear from Artificial Intelligence: AI? Or maybe you want the ultimate Rubik’s cube? What would the ultimate Rubik’s Cube even look like, Space?
I think there should be varying levels of technology in our toys. Some toyists (I use the word toyists, which I just invented, so as to remove the stigma of an adult playing with toys – instead of the word ‘children’ – you like that?) might like simple toys like action figures or die-cast metal cars. Others may like Transformers, which are a little more advanced. Yet some others may like Lego or an erector set, where they have to build the toy before they can play with it. But I think we are ready for another level, like hi-tech stuff. And fortunately, it’s now available. You can now buy spy gear at any local toy store or Walmart. Spy camera watches, snake cameras, NVGs and even helicopters with video cameras on them. This is pretty awesome stuff.
The ultimate Rubik’s Cube? I don’t know. I tried out the Rubik’s Touch Cube last year, and loved it, even though it was terribly designed and difficult to manage. I loved the idea. Maybe if they could work out the kinks with that, it would be the ultimate. But I could also go the other way and just say more cubies. Give me a 7x7x7 or a 10x10x10 and set me to work on it. I’ll let you know pretty quickly if it’s the ultimate toy or not.
Okay, so bottom line, Hay. Here’s the old famous island question: you’re still a toyist and you’re sent to an island. You can only take five toys with you. Which five will they be?
- The largest Erektor set available
- One of those wind-up children’s camping lanterns
- A large, colorful kite
- The Wild Water Slip-N-Slide
- A big plush toy (like a teddy bear)
I think you see where I’m going with my choices. They’re all cool things on their own, but I’m thinking about survival and posible rescue or escape.
So what one toy would you choose, if you could only ever play with one toy for the rest of your life?
Man that’s a tough one. If I were trapped in a prison cell rotting away, or stuck on an island or in a cave, I’d probably have to go with the ole reliable Rubik’s Cube. Because I still can’t solve it with my eyes closed, but I know people who can. So there is still improvement to be made. If not that, then I’d strongly consider a set of jacks. Those can be pretty entertaining.
All right, well that wraps it up for our week of ToyTalk here on SpaceBrew. We hope you enjoyed it. See you Monday.