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Toys. Trash. Is There a Difference?

When I was a kid, toys were durable, strong, quality pieces of playfulness.  They withstood drops, rarely needed new batteries, and seemed to last forever.  I still have lots of my old toys from childhood and they are in great condition.  I just can't help but notice that toys these days are overpriced pieces of JUNK!  Seriously, they are double if not triple in price what we paid as kids, and the quality?  Don't even get me started.  I can not believe how they have cheapened things.  I'm sure some of it probably has to do with law suits and stuff throughout the years, but seriously - quality in every aspect these days is hard to come by, and sadly, it's no different with kids toys.  I think the main route companies choose these days is cheap and fast - pop 'em out as quick as you can and mark them up 75%.

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!

Absolutely ridiculous.

(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 ....

I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. Oh that is so sad!! I have been dying to get one for my girls but now what is the point??? Thanks for saving me the trouble. Now maybe I will go on a mission to find an old school one :)

  2. Oh I totally agree! We got the new Lite-Brite for Christmas, and I was so excited because I LOVED Lite-Brite. This one just needs to go in the trash. I HATE IT! Very sad.

  3. I just found an original Lite Brite at a garage sale for 2 bucks! I wanted to get it, but the pieces are too small for T right now. ...I kind of wanted to play with it, though :)

  4. What a disappointment! I loved Lite Brite. I cannot believe what they've done to it! That is sad.

  5. That Lite Brite just makes me angry.

  6. Hahahaha!!! I have been saying the same thing ever since the girls were born!! The toys these days are just pure junk. They had a lite brite, too, and it made me so angry I eventually threw it away. Ha!

  7. The original Lit Brites came with the paper too that's how you made the pictures, but they weren't so thick. The reason toys are cheap and crappy now is because it's cheaper to mass produce everything in foreign countries where there is no quality control. American made stuff is much better quality but costs much more to produce.

  8. I remember my Lite Bright! I also remember my dad stepping on the pieces at night if I wasn't careful with the clean up hehe. I think the Lite Bright peg pieces were plastic though.

  9. Oh no!!! That's just wrong! The one thing I've found that's durable are the Little People toys. They last forever, but I agree. We pay too much for junky toys.

  10. Maybe you should write the company and complain. Maybe, then, they would make better toys. I'm so glad we saved our Tupperware and Fisher Price toys from when C & D were little! I guess Poppy will have to get work making these boys some toys!!!!

  11. Maybe you could order an old one off Ebay!

  12. Maybe you got a defective one. My daughter has one and she loves it. She got her's for her 6th birthday and she's going to be 8 this year.
    I wanted one as a child but never had one, so when I first played with it I didn't put the paper on and my husband had to tell me about it ( he's in his 40's) so I think it always came with paper to make the design.

  13. This makes me so sad. I had forgotten about the Lite Brite until now, but knowing this makes me never want to buy a new one.

  14. My daughter is 4 and plays with my old lite brite. It's one of the old ones from the 1970's. She loves it and I'm so glad I kept it all those years. I totally agree that toys these days are disappointing.

  15. I agree about the crappy toys that are for sale. Here in Germany, I am impressed with the quality of the wooden toys that are the main toys for the kids. Yeah, they're more expensive, but so well made it's worth it. We are getting our girls 1 or 2 wooden toys for birthdays and holidays while we live here. I hope to keep them for many years to come. And I highly recommend you invest in high-quality wooden toys. :)

  16. I got one for Christmas when I was five (so 1982?) and I remember mine having black paper too. That was how you knew where to put what color peg. I will agree that new lite brite looks pretty lame though.

  17. We bought the same one for our four year old's birthday, and have the same problem! Any time she wants to do a new picture we have to bring out the pliers and painstakingly remove each peg. Such a waste of money, and now she never plays with it either!

  18. I have noticed this decline in quality too! Even clothing brands that used to be nice quality (Land's End for example) are now made in China. I have heard that American Girl dolls are made in China now as well. :(

  19. I have an original in the box..let me know

  20. I have an original in the box..let me know

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