Growing up is hard to do. Really, really hard to do.
My cartoon watching is becoming slightly more socially acceptable. It was really difficult for a 25 year old to browse the childrens section of the local Blockbuster Video. People would give you strange looks and I’d have to have those awkward conversations at the checkout. You almost want to go in disguise except that would make you look even more creepy. Now that I can get everything by mail or watch it online, my Batman, Justice League, and Spiderman cartoons can be watched stress free. I can also check out the new versions of TMNT and Scooby Doo that I first watched when I was actually little.
However, toys are still something that grown men are supposed to put away once they get a job, a relationship, and respectable friends. Sure, you can still play video games without getting any strange looks. In fact, most of them are made for an adult audience these days. But having action figures, lego, or models lying around in plain sight will change how so-called normal people think of you and could seriously hurt your chances of getting sex ever again. Even the kid from Toy Story had to give his toys away rather than become a social outcast when he went to college.
It’s true that some of the things that we loved as kids are just not the same when reexamined with out adult brains. However, there are plenty of other toys that only get better now that you have the size, dexterity, brainpower, and finances to make them really awesome.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about collectables that have never been taken out of the box. Toys should be played with. As an adult, you should try to think of them as cooler plastic versions of those clay/glass figurines that no one seems to have a problem with. If fairies, animals, and angels are acceptable coffee table and shelf decor, than why not the Incredible Hulk or Thor. Plus, you can pull them down and play with them when no one is looking.
Probably one of the most successful toys of all time, Lego teaches kids to build things and use their creativity to create something completely unique. However, whenever you see a massive and incredibly detailed Lego model on the news, it was always built by an adult. That is because adults have learned a few things about design and engineering and kids are easily bored and can rarely afford to rent out an airplane hangar or acquire the thousands of pieces needed to build such massive projects.
I’ve always loved trains, but never had a model train set when I was little. If I move to house or apartment with extra space, this is a hobby I could pick up. Instead of just laying the track and watching the train go around in a circle, you are building entire miniature worlds with stations, bridges, houses, factories and people. It requires patience and attention to detail.
What was missing from every nerf battle you had as a kid. Many times you had adequate firepower (until you lost most of the ammo) and numbers, but all your tactics come from watching James Braddock or John Rambo. Nerf guns allow for a truly epic battle without pain or death.
These started very simply when we were young. Each puzzle was in two dimensions and included only 60-100 pieces and all you had to do was recreate the picture on the box. As adults, we need a bit more of challenge. There are thousands of pieces and many of the puzzles are three dimensional. Doing puzzles also keeps your mind sharp.
Everyone remembers playing Monopoly, Risk, or Scrabble with their family growing up and every family seemed to have slightly different rules for playing them, which I suppose is why they led to so many family arguments. In my life now, boardgames are often pulled out at dinner parties as an icebreaker because most people know how to play them. For more regular players, there are clubs and weekly boardgame nights in most cities. The more serious players practice online and play in cash-prize tournaments. For them what was once a simple family activity, has become something more akin to serious strategy games like chess.
What toys do you still like to play with? Tell us all about them in the comments section below.