Remember when you loved Christmas? I mean, when you really loved Christmas? Sure, we all love the holidays. It’s a time to reflect, to relax, to reminisce. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
Go back to your childhood and try to conjure memories of the sweet anxiety and desire that ran season-long and culminated in a sleepless Christmas Eve. It was torture then; you can only wish that you could experience such a passionate longing now.
Go ahead, tell me about the damages caused by materialism and excessive consumerism. I get it. But try to remember why you too went so ape-shit as a little kid. If you were, like I was, a child of the 1980s, the answer is obvious: the toys back then (like the sugary, brain-rotting cereals) were totally sweet. Here are 10 of the most memorable.
Alright, it’s Operation, the wacky medical malpractice game! The mere memory of that harsh buzzing noise the game emitted when your tweezers hit the metal ridges of the patient’s gaping wounds is enough to trigger panic attacks and heart palpitations. The permanent, wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression of pain twisted on the patient’s face didn’t help any. Still, it was an oddly addicting game, and a beautiful gateway to the wonderful world of sadism.
Doesn’t matter what you’re selling — if you can talk this fast to peddle a product, shut up and take my money.
My Buddy/Kid Sister
Usually when companies market to consumers who are lonely and/or socially awkward, they’re a little more subtle in their targeting. Not the case here. No friends? We’ve got your friend right here, kid. I mean, these dolls weren’t much different than any other plush toys that have ever been sold, but the way they were marketed makes them seem like a G-rated preschooler’s version of a Real Doll.
Check out the guy in that commercial. I don’t know about your dad, but mine also liked to don a collared suit and tie when he played He-Man with me. But seriously, this was a great toy, as there were a number of excellent “base” toys in the ’80s. The Transformers Micro Master bases were among them. This one, from Robo Force, was not.
Cabbage Patch Kids
I never really understood Cabbage Patch Kids. Why did kids love them so much? They were plush Campbell’s Soup kids: chubby, dumb-looking, expressionless dolls. Girls and boys loved them to an extent I didn’t understand until I met my wife many years later. I once pretended to punch a friend’s Cabbage Patch doll in the face and he started crying. I actually got in trouble for pretending to beat up a pretend person.