The New Age of Toys

As you no doubt noticed, this is National Toy And Breast Appreciation Week here on SpaceBrew. And since we spend plenty of time already appreciating breasts around here, we’re dedicating every column to Toy Talk this week. Even our Bacon Talk is gonna be full of toyful awesomeness. We’ll talk about what toys we like and which ones we played with as children – and maybe even which ones we play with as adults.

My daughters love toys. They play with the pink, girly things like Barbies, Polly Pocket, Disney Princess, and everything that is pink and girly looking – even if it isn’t supposed to be a girly toy. They are your basic standard American kids: suckers for good toys that fit their age and gender. Now my boy, on the other hand…

I think he stopped playing with toys when he was like eight. Huh? I’ve tried sitting him down and talking to him about this. “Son, look. I played with toys until I was close to sixteen. And the onlyest reason I stopped then was because I could now drive, and I learned of a different kind of toy. One for each hand.” Seriously. Why would he stop playing with toys at half the legal toy age? We only get to be kids for so long in our lives before we become adults. And adulthood lasts a lot longer than kidhood. And once you’re an adult, you’ll never come back to playing toys. Well, most people don’t. I might be an exception here.

But yes, he did. He gave them up a few years ago, which causes some pain and suffering in my life. I no longer get to stroll through the toy section of the store and claim it’s for my child. I actually don’t buy my children toys. I don’t believe in it. They can buy their own damn toys. Just kidding. But when a hotfoxy lady would walk by and eye me suspiciously, I’d start talking, acting like I was on a hidden blue tooth, saying things like, “Okay, I’m in the section, but I’m not seeing it, little buddy!” And as she walked away and caught me looking at her behind, she’d say, “It’s not there either, little buddy.”

I still stroll through the toy section just about every time I go to the super market. Well, specifically, every time. Not almost every time. I love looking at the new technologies and ideas they’re putting on the shelves these days. I look at them and think, “Man, I sure would have loved that when I was a kid. I wonder if I could get into it now?” And most of the time, of course, I can’t. I still would like to buy some Hotwheels cars and check them out, but I know I’d get bored of them in a few minutes. I’m so much more of a collector than a toy playwither anyway, so I don’t blow my money on crap like that. But I sure like to look at it.

So what is the right age for kids to stop playing with kids? My son rides bikes, scooters, skate boards and baby giraffes. He plays all these sports and the occasional toy gun in the front yard, but hasn’t even cracked the seal on the big bucket of K’Nex I got him last Christmas. Dude, by now I would have made a freakin’ shortwave radio with it. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, except that my red-haired wife steadfastly refuses to believe he no longer plays with toys. She still brings home Toys R Us catalogs and has him circle what he wants for Christmas. I’m like, “Really, babe? We’re gonna waste more money on toys he thinks he wants but will never even open?” And she swears he’ll play with them. He won’t.

And secondly, why is it so frowned upon to play with toys when you’re over, say, thirty-five? Really, ladies. Is it really a big deal when you walk through the parking lot toward your car and you see me standing there with a friend playing Beyblades on the tailgate of a pickup? Does it really make you feel better to make fun of me for hosting a Beyblades tournament later this month with all my adult male friends? Just leave me alone, okay? I know you all play with toys, too. I’ve seen them in your nightstand drawers!

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