Journey Down the Toy Aisle: Christmas Special

1213jdtta Separator

by Justin Keys (@mrjroc83)

Every year during Christmas the market seems to anoint a toy as a “must have,” and if you don’t buy it for your kids or receive it as a gift for Christmas then you’re lame or missed out.  The more recent toys that come to mind are video games and re-launched Furby, and ever-popular ones, such as Barbie and Nerf.   Do you remember the rampage that people caused for the Tickle Me Elmo—the doll that laughed and vibrated as you would “tickle” it?  The toy caused such a craze that people were willing to do whatever it took to buy one, from causing store employee injury (Elmo-mania, anyone?) to people willing to pay as much as $1,500.  What are the reasons behind such madness?  Are shoppers that desperate for a toy? Is it for its collectability? To give happiness to a child? Or is it due to other aspects?

We have seen many Christmas movies centered on a toy, but not just any toy, a special toy that the child had to have.  Think for a moment about a Christmas movie in which the toy was the main prop.  What comes to mind?  Perhaps it is A Christmas Story, with the classic Daisy Red Rider BB gun.  What about other movies such as Jingle All the Way, or even Home Alone?  Hollywood does a great job of patronizing the toy industry, but they also show the emotional bond between children and toys.

When you were a child, do you remember getting the toy that you wanted more than anything?  Was it a Talk-Boy from Home Alone 2? Was it a Barbie or her pink Corvette?  Maybe you wanted a certain My Little Pony or a Hot Wheel set.  Imaginably, you can recall that particular Christmas morning, waking up early and jumping out of bed, rushing to get to the gifts under the tree.  Remember the sound of the wrapping paper crinkling in your hands as you ripped through it to reveal the gift that had your name on it.  There it is: the toy that you asked for all season long. Maybe as an adult you’ve now gone back and purchased that favorite toy from your childhood. That’s what makes them so special. They have a significant place in our lives, providing fun or comfort in times of stress, and never cease to create and bring back memories.

What are your favorite Christmas toy experiences?


    2 Comments

  1. Bryn 2December 13th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I remember the year I got my first NES back in 1988. It wasn’t any old NES… no it was the NES with power pad and zapper. I wanted the system for a couple of years (since it’s release) but our family didn’t have the means. That Christmas I sat and watched my sisters open gift after gift. They both got sweaters and leather coats and random other items. I had gotten the yearly PJs and socks but was beginning to get really disappointed. I felt completely left out. Then the largest box was brought out from my parents room and handed to me. I tore through the paper and immediately forgot all my anger at my sister as I found my new NES. I was screaming so loud I think my parents lost a little of their hearing that day. Best Childhood Christmas. I had that NES until approximately 2004 when it was sold as I was moving. I should have kept it.. even if the zapper and power pad no longer worked. That system was the beginnings of the gamer I would become and I know now how much my parents had to save for that Christmas to give me such a great gift. .

  2. mrjroc83December 17th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @Bryn2
    Wow now that is a cool story! Maybe its time that you go back and buy another NES with the same setup as yours.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

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