Take for instance, Transformers. When I was a kid, my brother had a toy box full of those little things and they were so durable that they're still around. They were made of all metal and it was simple to switch them from automobile to big metal guy. A cinch. Today? Today they are made of plastic. Today you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to transform them. And then when you do figure it out - oops! There goes an arm! Or a wing! Or whatever the heck it is because it's so cheaply made it doesn't even look like anything but a weird pile of plastic.
Glow worms are like 1/3 of the size mine was.
Board games were way bigger, the box actually fit the game once it was assembled, and the pieces were not all made of plastic.
Dolls came with accessories. You didn't have to purchase them separately.
Oh, the list goes on and on. We'd be here all day if we wanted to compare the differences between our toys and our kids'.
Plastic has overtaken our world it seems. Now, if you want a quality toy made of wood or metal, you pay out the wa-zoo for it! It's crazy to me because that's what ALL toys used to be made of and they were cheap! Oh, it makes no sense.
The thing that got me really fired up the other day was Levi's new Lite Brite. Does anyone else remember the Lite Brite from the 80's? It was huge, it was bright, it was was MAGICAL! It came in a giant box so big that you had to clear out a close to fit it. It was electrical - plugging into the wall. It came with hundreds of the little pegs, and they were made of glass or something of the sort. It actually glowed. It was easy - self-explanitory. It was fun, keeping us entertained for hours.
Imagine my excitement when we went to open Levi's. The box was but a fraction of the size, but I expected that. Everything is tiny these days. What I didn't expect was this...
It's battery operated. You have to find a screw driver to get the back opened. There are about 50 pegs. The pegs are plastic. The light? Oh, the light. There is basically NO light.
"Isn't this FUN?" I feigned excitement with Levi.
"Um .... yes." Levi said with a confused look on his face.
We kept plugging the pegs into the holes and could barely tell it was lit up. The whole thing seemed pointless. Then, Levi dumped out the box and there were these little black sheets of paper with weird designs on them. I picked them up, grabbed the instruction manuel, and tried to figure it out.
You have to place a black piece of perforated paper ON the Lite Brite in order for it to glow.
WHA?!?!?!?!?!?! I mean ... SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!?!
(The black paper to the left slides onto the screen.)
So, I placed the paper on the board and we started to punch the pegs through the paper.
Can you say impossible?
My thumbs were ACHING and Levi could barely get one through!
(Poor kid has no idea what he's missing out on.)
I wanted to complete it for him, so I endured the pain and kept on a pushin' ... shaking my head the entire time.
And getting them off once you're finished? Forget about it. I can not get them off, so how on earth do you expect a child to do it? Seriously, I tried hard and could only get some back out. Unbelievable.
(Here is what the Lite Brite looks like today, except with all the paper torn off.)
I mean, I just have no words.
If only my boy knew what real toys were like. If only ....