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High Tech Christmas Gifts I Wish I’d Received As A Kid

Topics: Technology | 2 CommentsBy admin | December 19, 2009

With some random musings on why today’s kids shoot each other, why marshmallows are the new pink, and the fat old bastards who blocked my view at the hobby shop when I was little.

Marshmallow is the new black.

If your dad was anything like my dad, he walked 17 miles to work every day in 6 feet of snow, barefoot, with a headwind both ways, and ate boot broth soup for lunch, so he could make 13 cents a week. He also might look at you funny when you used a calculator to do some multiplication and say “Puh! We didn’t have them things in MY day“, and prove it by asking for some big numbers and then piss you off by easily multiplying pairs of two-digit numbers in his head. My dad could do pairs of three-digit numbers, but would have to stare off into space for a second mouthing and moving his finger in the air. My generation – on the whole – couldn’t do this, but seems to me to be a little more in possession of average intelligence across the board. But when I meet today’s kids, I don’t meet many “average” kids, they all seem to be vidiot savants who can’t spell but can ace you on any video game known to man or fix your wireless network, or Einsteinian freaks who get Montessori training, business and accounting tutoring, and therapy twice a week. I personally think this can all be explained by the toys we had or have. And I have to add that if you ever want to take control of my mind, set me loose in a toy store for about an hour, and after the spontaneous hypnotic age regression that occurs, I will be a pliable drooling zombie drone that will do anything you say. The same thing happens when I browse the doodads on Amazon, which I made the mistake of doing yesterday, and which led to this roundup of high tech toys I wish I had when I was a kid.

I’ll just be picking this “toy” up
for myself, thank you very much.

Nerf toys got tired pretty fast when I was little, but that’s because we didn’t have a Nerf N-Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35 Dart Blaster. Although on reflection, Nerf toys that got boring really fast might get boring even faster if someone is machine gunning you with one of them. Along the same lines we have Wild Planet Dodge Discs, which at least have a bit a rethink of the idea, and with melon candy pastel colors! And speaking of a rethink of the “violent assault with spongey objects” idea, you can also piss off your overly-PC friends by shooting FOOD around with a Cheetah Marshmallow Shooter. It’s hip, it’s pink, it’s in a cheetah pattern. Lady Gaga could wear it as an accessory. Just you watch, marshmallow will be the new black. And speaking of shooting people, I have a theory that the recent generation of school shooting teens was the result of boomers not letting kids play with guns like previous generations did. I mean, most of my family and friends had guns all over the place, we shot them, I had all the toy guns a boy could want, and as an adult, I really don’t like them around, and I know why. So we have two more ideas for introducing war and violence into your kid’s life. First up: Battleship. In grade school, my best friend and I were MENSA wannabes, so although Battleship was one of our favorite games, we always wished there was another layer of action. We would have, er, killed for something like Electronic Battleship Advanced Mission. And since we live in a more cynical, more globally connected era, you might as well get the kids used to the horror of frag grenades and cluster bombs with toys like the Wild Planet Spy Gear Roll-In Blaster. I have to say, the company that makes that toy (Wild Planet Spy Gear) must be run by the NSA or something. They make some “questionable” toys, but they’re all also toys that my generation would’ve loved; I mean, who wouldn’t have died for a Spy Gear Motion Alarm or Spy Gear Lazer Tripwire to keep the siblings out of your room, an Educational Insights Sonic Sleuth to spy on your older sister or brother, or a Spy Gear Voice Scrambler for prank calling. I think my favorite of these Wild Planet “toys” is the Spy Safe Cracker, which includes in the main review the observation that “Parents may wish to consider the philosophical implications of a toy that teaches kids how to commit felonies, but even youngsters who are not preparing for a life of crime are likely to be entertained and challenged by this set“. Awesome. They also have Spy Gear Handcuffs, but I’ll just be picking a pair of those up for myself, thank you very much.

This is the kind of old geezer that
always blocked the counter at
the hobby shop when I was a kid

I was going to include something about how the crappy walkie-talkies in my day weighed two pounds and had a range of twenty feet, and how they now have wristwatch walkie talkies, but as I started typing, my seven-year-old nephew called me on his cellphone and I realized it was kind of a dead issue. I will say though, that as a kid, I would have been thrilled to have even a broken modern flip phone to “play Star Trek” with. I hate you children of today. I hate you. I also got sort of gypped the other way around; when I was a kid, radio controlled planes were the domain of adolescent old men who could dish out the several hundred bucks to buy one. The memory of these old geezers blocking the counter at the hobby shop to buy toys that were rightfully MINE is still fresh in my memory. I shake my now adult fist at you bastards! I hope all of your planes crashed, costing you thousands of dollars! But today we not only have radio controlled airplanes, we have freakin’ radio-controlled helicopters. And things that would’ve been AWESOME when “playing Godzilla” with our Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, like radio control dinosaurs and tarantulas.

Cool, but it just doesn’t smell right.

One last item actually got me thinking about the realities of our petroleum-addicted culture: the Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike. As cool as it may have been to have one as a youngster, and as much as I love the idea of alternative energy vehicles, I also had flashbacks thinking about the dirt bikes that I had as a youngster. I can’t begin to imagine riding trails as a teen without the grit, petrol smells, and raucous noise of those things. I can see how that must have plugged into a lot of the boomer generation’s obsession with fuel inefficient monstrosities like Harleys and Hummers. But enough of my reminiscing and bellyaching…any toys you wish they’d had when you were a kid?

Read Comments

  1. Posted by TeacherPatti on 12.20.09 1:53 pm

    I think we should all get walkie talkies and use them to call each other. That would be fun.

  2. Posted by admin on 12.21.09 12:32 pm

    What in Sam Hill is a “walkie-talkie”? Why, in MY day, all we had was them string-can phones an’ smoke signals!