Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Toy Generation Gap

Ever since I saw the commercial on TV the other night, I have been wanting a Crayola Crayon Maker. Anything involving crayons appeals to me. A box of 64 and a new coloring book - what's better than that? But this Crayon Maker thing calls to me as did those toys of my youth - Etch-a-Sketch, Spirograph, Vac-U-Form, and Give-a-Show Projector. Each was creative and high-tech (for the early 1960s), but the high-tech part was secondary to the creative for me.

I know for a fact that I can find hours of entertainment in an Etch-a-Sketch (thanks to blog-pal, Elsie, who supplied me with one a couple of years ago) and suspect a Spirograph and Vac-U-Form would amuse, as well. Not so sure the Give-a-Show could still rivet me, though it'd be fun to see some of those old Flintstone story strips again.

Now, I'm not a complete old fogey. Even I have spent endless hours with various computer and video games, though I've never tried Wii. The thing is that after a period of time - a week, a month, a summer - I leave them behind for either some hot new electronic gizmo or spend the time with an old fashioned book (the paper kind). I never return to those older computer/video games once I bid them farewell.

But stick crayons and coloring book, Spirograph, or Etch-a-Sketch under my nose, and I can amuse myself for hours.Nothing boring about any of those. Too bad Vac-U-Form is considered dangerous (that metal plate did get awfully hot . . . ), because I'd love to mold me some plastic junk again. Ah, the smell of melting plastic!

Well, there's a nostalgic feel about the Crayon Maker to me. It seems very Vac-U-Form-y/Easy Bake Oven-y, and therein lies the attraction. Create new colors and crayons out of my old crayon pieces? Whoa! I can't imagine ever getting tired of doing that. Why, I can see that still being fun when I'm in assisted living.

I wonder, however, if anyone under the age of 45 has a childhood toy that they never tire of (and I'm not talking dolls, block, and trains - I mean the "hot" items of the day). Are there adults who still can't get enough of Space Invaders or Pac Man, or are those just too boring now? What is the GenX, GenY equivalent of Etch-a-Sketch or Vac-U-Form?

Is there a toy generation gap? And is Santa listening? I've been an awful girl this year. I mean, an awful good girl this year.

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