I turned 27 yesterday, and in the tradition of getting older, I’m going to take this opportunity to complain about how things are ‘nowadays’. The subject matter: toys.
First off, GIJoe. These are ancient action figures (1960’s), and they used to be really large. They made a huge comeback when I was little, probably due to the fact that they had the sense to size them much smaller (so boys didn’t feel like they were playing with dolls), moved away from the straight up army stuff, and made some interesting characters with wacky and unique abilities. Zartan was a glow in the dark master of disguise, Snake Eyes was mysterious, and Destro was just a bad ass with an unexplained metal noggin. They produced new characters that coincided with the plotline of the cartoon, and the women characters had strong roles. All in all, good stuff. On my last visit to a toy store, they had a selection of original, large GIJoe characters. These were recreations of the originals, their purpose completely escaping me. Collectors don’t care, since new stuff isn’t worth squat - and kids don’t care, because by today’s standards, these toys are seriously, seriously lame. Boys don’t want to play with dayglo orange vest wearing Ken dolls.
Item 2: Transformers. These used to be beefy metal, almost all of them transforming uniquely from each other. They seem to be mass producing 5 different types now - when they want to sell another character, they change the plastic color and give it a different name. They are brain dead easy to transform, and are lacking in nearly every way possible when compared to their 20 year old counterparts. The worst thing ever: They gave a new transformer the name ‘GrimLock’, some shit ass bulldozer or something. Grimlock was originally the t-rex of the dinobots. How dare they crap upon my childhood like this?
Item 3: Masters of the Universe.
I’m not even going to go into this right now.
Even more of a bummer is thinking about things to come... there are entire generations of kids that grew up on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Pokemon. They will eventually grow old enough to make movies. You think the Hulk was bad? Just wait.