A Visit To The Toy Store
The great thing about being a dad to small kids is that you always have a built-in excuse to be in the toy aisle. And if you have your kids with you then nobody looks twice at you as you gawk at all the amazing stuff on the store shelves these days. We are living in a golden age for toys and board games. Sure, there were a lot of really cool toys that I miss from the seventies and eighties that I wish my kids had a chance to experience, but today’s market offers a certain quality and vast variety of toys and other amusements that the old days could never touch.
A couple of weeks ago I took the kids out to the local toy store. The girl’s allowance had reached critical mass, and she was looking for a new pony to buy. While she ruminated on whether to go for the special Halloween-garbed Rainbow Dash or the little MLP remote control car thingy, I had a chance to poke around and see what the current toy scene is like “on the ground”. These are not necessarily the best of what I found, but just a few things that caught my eye.
The Duck Dynasty Duck
It’s a talking duck, actually. Of the “Billy the Big-Mouth Bass” variety. I guess if you’re a fan of the show, you might appreciate this. Personally, I find it hard to love. It’d be cool, I think, if it only did duck calls and social rants. Curiously, this is the only piece of Duck Dynasty merchandise I saw. The family would make good action figures, don’t you think?
Johnny the Skull
Not gonna lie, this guy got me so pumped for Halloween, and summer’s still in full swing! I try to appreciate the seasons for everything they have to offer, and I feel kind of ridiculous starting my personal Halloween countdown when it’s 100+ outside. Better to wait for the grackles, they’ll always tell you when it’s time. But how can I ignore stuff like this? He projects ghosts on the walls with his giant googly eye, which you then shoot with your laser blaster. Kind of like Laser Tag meets Ghostbusters. I can imagine playing this in one of the kids’ rooms come fall with all the lights turned out on a late Saturday night, with a mug of hot chocolate and a ghost story or two. I can’t believe I didn’t leave with this in the basket.
Zed the Zombie
Johnny’s cousin, I think. This game involves building the zombie from its component body parts before the timer runs out. Another spooky-themed game that didn’t grab me quite as much as Johnny did.
Lite Brix Moonlight Monsters
I admit it. I freaking LOVE Lite Brix, and the Moonlight Monsters line in particular. Damn them for only marketing this to little girls, because light-up Legos is one of the coolest toy augmentations to ever hit the market. The structures you can create with these bricks are nothing short of beautiful, and I would gladly buy up this whole series for my own personal amusement. I practically begged ThePonyOwner to spend her hard earned allowance cash on this piece, but she was all about the ponies, big surprise. Come Halloween I may find a reason to incorporate something like this into our little spooky village scene.
The Beatles Yellow Submarine Building Set
I noticed this primarily for its trippyness, and because it seems an odd piece of pop culture to commercialize. To a little kid coming at this with no context, it must seem like a really bizarre toy. I’m sure I would have wanted this for the strangeness factor alone.