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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

When Did Toys R Us...

...become a dealership?

I don't know about you, but I am of that very last Slinky and Game of Life generation, which thought Atari was like dying and going to rec room heaven.

One of my happiest moments, growing up, was going to check out the Hamley's classic board game floor, where I would peer with longing at that Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head for hours.

You have to understand -- my parents were exceptionally, exceptionally generous with me.

Only children are often pampered, but even so, their guilt-trip gift-giving was extraordinary.

Not all kids have a room of their own, let alone a room just for their TOYS, but I did.

Toys are a good way for an only child to make friends, since every girl within spitting distance would come to play with me, since I had the only Malibu Barbie for miles.

But even so, there were some toys my parents refused to buy me, and Mr. Potato Head was one of them.

To this day, I hold it against them. Dammit.

So when the other day, I was passing by a Toys R Us store, I said, what the hay, haven't been in there for a while.

I went in.

First up, Toys R Us try to bedazzle the kid with their cheap toy collections.

This is where you can find everything from jacks to marbles, to swimming flippers. Obviously, most tweens and younger flee when they get there.

Then, you see the sports equipment, which is also not for me.

I have a lot of bats and quite a few balls, already.

That's when I saw it, near my favourite place at any Toys R Us -- the bicycle racks.





Mama mia! Che bella.

A purple Jeep Wrangler, looking not dissimilar to my Malibu Barbie Dream House.





Alas, for greed. It comes before a fall:

Sticker price shock-itis. This lovely semi-motorised kiddie Jeep was all of U$299!

Three hundred dollars, for a kid's toy? My dad would've freaked.

And get this, they were sold out! It had a rain cheque tag on it, as did its masculine cousin.





Dear me, toys had really come a long way from Parcheesi and UNO...

Of course, that's when I remembered the board game aisle.

Speaking of which, here I am playing Naked Twister, with two girlfriends beside me.





I told you I was popular.

Looking everywhere, I finally caught a glimpse of it, tucked unceremoniously to the corner: about 3 rows worth of board games.

Wow, things had really changed since I was a kid.

There used to be stacks of them, as far as the eye could see -- and kid eyes can see a lot because of their Lite-Brite vision.

Gone were the days where you had at least 5 versions of Monopoly and Clue (which we in the UK call "Cluedo" by the way, not sure why you call it just "Clue").

I didn't even see one RISK set, and never mind Stratego!

In fact, this game was a sobering sight for us Gen-X'er arrepentidos.





Oh brother -- even Toys R Us are trying to cash in on Dan Brown and his Da Vinci Code phenomenon.

After grabbing a 70th edition tin of Monopoly (real cast iron pieces! I'm always either the thimble or the hunter, by the way), I scooted out of there, feeling very much my age.

These puppies might be amazing for any 8 year-old to have...





...but nothing beats a quick game of clothing-optional Scrabble with your friends.

20 Comments:

  • Darling, I was under the impression that one used an oil (vegetable?) while playing Nekkid Twister. Am I wrong?

    By Blogger I R A Darth Aggie, at Tue Mar 28, 08:38:00 am GMT-5  

  • Oh, to be green or yellow or blue or red and round!

    By Blogger Val Prieto, at Tue Mar 28, 08:40:00 am GMT-5  

  • Victoria, did you know that there's also a Da Vinci Code diet book? S'truth!

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Mar 28, 08:45:00 am GMT-5  

  • Okaaaay, let's have your address and I'll send you a Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, even more, I'd love to get in a game or two of Twister with you. Just you though. I do have my modesty and reputation to think about.

    The thing about those motorized (motorised) cars, the cheap ones, is that they have no shock absorbers. I have seen a child bounce rather violently in one when going across a bumpy patch of turf. The seats aren't cushioned either.

    I'm usually the horse or the racing car and lastly, we'd like to know why you call it Cluedo?

    By Blogger Paul, at Tue Mar 28, 11:03:00 am GMT-5  

  • Speaking of which, here I am playing Naked Twister, with two girlfriends beside me.

    Victoria, which one are you? I am planning a game at my place for tomorrow!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Tue Mar 28, 11:55:00 am GMT-5  

  • I'm a bit disappointed in that 'naked twister' photo.

    Not because none of the 'naughty bits' are showing, rather they are just using the mat as a prop, and aren't actually playing the game (unless it's the aftermath of one of them losing their balance, but that seems unlikely).

    And besides naked twister is fun conceptually, but us men have 'naughty bits' full of far too many nerve endings. Someone who is making a fast, blind sweep of their hand (or worse, their foot) to touch the indicated bodypart/color combination could easily contact said dangly bits and put a poor gentleman in a world of pain (unless the room were kept at a low temperature, in which case those dangly bits tend not to dangle so, but most men don't like the overall less than desirable aesthetic of the accompanying shrinkage of cold weather when appearing naked in front of others).

    Still it's the thought that counts, any non-contact board or card game can safely be played naked, or in a 'strip' version, and with any of those you have my whole-hearted endorsement (given the room is nice and warm, naturally)

    Word Verification that I would have made up, but blogger provided anway:

    uhhum

    By Blogger XWL, at Tue Mar 28, 04:32:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Why play naked twister when Strip Yahtzee is much more... daring?

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Mar 28, 07:43:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Strip any game. I'm all for 'em!

    You never had a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head? Unimaginable! Did your Folks have a reason?

    I loved "Risk", and "Monopoly" - but I had "Monopoly" before it came in "editions".

    I had a friend with "Stratego", and I had the "Scrabble" game. Can't recall who had "Battleship".

    Still remember "Chutes & Ladders" fondly, but only remember "Uncle Squiggly" vaguely.

    *Ahem! Games? Childish silliness! Grow up, benning!*

    (Love Cribbage, the other card games are for sissies. That's all. Shhhhh)

    By Blogger benning, at Tue Mar 28, 08:46:00 pm GMT-5  

  • nsfw warning please! One person looking over my shoulder and I'm suddenly "the naked twister guy."

    I somewhat remember the battery powered cars, they were called Power Wheels. "Pow! Pow! Power wheels! Power wheels power makes it go!"

    Game of Life was my favourite board game. We would play for hours trying to win. Monopoly seemed a little boring and only came out with our cousins at Christmas or Easter.

    Hot Wheels and electric racing tracks were great toys. We had an entire town created for the dinky cars.

    By Blogger Renato, at Tue Mar 28, 09:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Darling, I was under the impression that one used an oil (vegetable?) while playing Nekkid Twister. Am I wrong?

    I use Crisco. HTH.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:11:00 am GMT-5  

  • Oh, to be green or yellow or blue or red and round!

    Pink and medium-long is good too. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:12:00 am GMT-5  

  • Victoria, did you know that there's also a Da Vinci Code diet book? S'truth!

    What! No way. Have you a linkie-poo?

    This I gotta see. :)

    "Atkins for Albinos"

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:12:00 am GMT-5  

  • Okaaaay, let's have your address and I'll send you a Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head,

    I have since moved on, Paul. :)

    even more, I'd love to get in a game or two of Twister with you. Just you though. I do have my modesty and reputation to think about.

    Twister is all right when you're 8, or drunk. Whichever comes first. :)

    The thing about those motorized (motorised) cars, the cheap ones, is that they have no shock absorbers. I have seen a child bounce rather violently in one when going across a bumpy patch of turf. The seats aren't cushioned either.

    Yeah, I remember the Big Wheel's lack of shock absorbency.

    Mind you, I never had a Big Wheel, but I remember using the neighbour's one, in Toronto. :)

    I'm usually the horse or the racing car and lastly,

    In the I Love Toys marathon, on VH-1, they said that the first thing people argue when they play Monopoly, is who is going to get the racing car.

    Pfff.

    Monopoly used to be played, in the very beginning, with household items, and thus, that's why thimbles and irons became game pieces.

    Having a car in your kitchen, doesn't make sense. :)

    we'd like to know why you call it Cluedo?

    When I heard the explanation, it made sense, but not sure you all will understand.

    See, there's an old game called Ludo, and it was thought that Cluedo would remind people of that more popular, established game.

    I think I like Cluedo, better than just Clue, although the movie sucked, whatever the name. :)

    P.S.: I will be coming out with a related post on toys, soon!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:18:00 am GMT-5  

  • Victoria, which one are you? I am planning a game at my place for tomorrow!

    As Sam Goldwyn said, count me out!

    Me resfrie, in the meantime.

    We'll talk Naked Twister when I get better. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:19:00 am GMT-5  

  • I'm a bit disappointed in that 'naked twister' photo.

    An unsatisfied customer!

    Not because none of the 'naughty bits' are showing, rather they are just using the mat as a prop, and aren't actually playing the game (unless it's the aftermath of one of them losing their balance, but that seems unlikely).

    Actually, that's true. But their sorority sisters, so what can you expect. :)

    And besides naked twister is fun conceptually, but us men have 'naughty bits' full of far too many nerve endings.

    (Snip!)

    (Not the naughty bits! That's not kosher)

    That was waaaaaaaay too much information, meester.

    Anyway, I like men's dangly googlies.

    And I'm very gentle when Twistering.

    Still it's the thought that counts, any non-contact board or card game can safely be played naked, or in a 'strip' version, and with any of those you have my whole-hearted endorsement (given the room is nice and warm, naturally)

    I once played Strip Poker...at University...with two guys, and two girls...but being a beginner, I won. :)

    BTW, one richie American Rhodes Scholar was going to buy the FAO Schwartz version of Monopoly, which comes with real money, and solid gold pieces!

    He let it be known that anyone wanting to play the game, had to do so naked, since that way, you couldn't hide the money on your person.

    He's never seen my crevices. :)

    Word Verification that I would have made up, but blogger provided anway:

    uhhum


    Very Billy Bob Thortonesque. Uh-hum.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:24:00 am GMT-5  

  • Why play naked twister when Strip Yahtzee is much more... daring?

    Toys R Us actually had a super cheap version of Yahtzee Poker, which I didn't get ($4.95).

    I see an incentive now. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:26:00 am GMT-5  

  • Strip any game. I'm all for 'em!

    Me too!

    You never had a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head? Unimaginable! Did your Folks have a reason?

    You know, my mother doesn't remember, and I haven't asked my dad yet.

    I'm thinking because of racist reasons (which my parents were sensitive about, being 70s people), since they came with big lips and what not...

    I loved "Risk", and "Monopoly" - but I had "Monopoly" before it came in "editions".

    Yes. :)

    I have several Monopoly versions, but international ones.

    I had a friend with "Stratego", and I had the "Scrabble" game. Can't recall who had "Battleship".

    I had all 3. I tell you, my home was packed on rainy days. :)

    Still remember "Chutes & Ladders" fondly, but only remember "Uncle Squiggly" vaguely.

    I never played either of those!

    *Ahem! Games? Childish silliness! Grow up, benning!*

    Nonsense. Being a kid rocks.

    (Love Cribbage, the other card games are for sissies. That's all. Shhhhh)

    Old Maid! Nuff said.

    ...once again, stay tuned for my upcoming toys post. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:29:00 am GMT-5  

  • nsfw warning please! One person looking over my shoulder and I'm suddenly "the naked twister guy."

    Beats your other moniker,

    "Stud Italian perv with a mullet"

    I somewhat remember the battery powered cars, they were called Power Wheels. "Pow! Pow! Power wheels! Power wheels power makes it go!"

    Hmm, I don't recall those! Are there Canadian-only games? :)

    Game of Life was my favourite board game. We would play for hours trying to win.

    Were you the pink car? *g*

    Monopoly seemed a little boring and only came out with our cousins at Christmas or Easter.

    We always played with time-restrictions.

    Whoever had the most properties after 2 hours, won.

    Or, whoever had the most properties, after one person went bankrupt.

    Etc. :)

    Hot Wheels and electric racing tracks were great toys. We had an entire town created for the dinky cars.

    Did you have Lincoln Logs? I didn't, and wish I had!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 29, 02:32:00 am GMT-5  

  • here ya go: Da Vinci Code Diet Book linkage!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9451724/

    not out yet, but you can preorder...

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Mar 29, 09:56:00 am GMT-5  

  • Victoria, I don''t know if you were feeling ill when you began responding to these comments, but ...
    /
    /
    /
    /
    /
    /
    I giggled through the whole thing! Hehehee! Get better!

    By Blogger benning, at Wed Mar 29, 11:19:00 pm GMT-5  

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