On a Lighter Note, Toys You Always Wanted But Never Got For Christmas
While I was out shopping for the kids the other day, I caught myself thinking about all the toys I wanted when I was a kid myself but never got.
As many know, when I was growing up my family was, well.. poor. One of my most vivid memories I have as a kid is waiting in line in the Carson City community center for Government issued cheese and powdered milk. The memory is stamped into my brain as clearly as the plain black letters on the white background of the packages of the food we were waiting for. Despite our station in life at the time, we were able to have a good education through the miracle of Catholic charity which allowed me and my brothers to attend a parochial elementary school.
One of the more interesting things about going to St. Theresa’s Catholic school at that time was we were in classrooms with a lot of kids who very much could afford to go there. Several of my classmates had parents who were doctors, orthodontists and one of my friends was the son of the Lt. Governor (later Governor after we moved) at the time. The great and terrible thing about this is we had access to some of the greatest toys of the time, which is how every 4th grade boy rates his existence, but only while visiting friends houses.
On Christmas mornings back then, my friends were getting new Diamondback or Hutch bikes, opening a new Nintendo Entertainment System or ripping open the packaging of the latest Transformer.
At the Cody household, we would instead be opening up Go Bots (or their knockoffs) and other toys that were more affordable and three boys could share. Not that I have any regrets or am complaining by the way, I wouldn’t trade the memories of those Christmas mornings in for anything, and I appreciate things now later in life as a result of not “having it all” as a kid.
The one exception to the “I never got any of the ‘awesome’ toys as a kid” rule, is the one year my brother Scott and I got real Transformers under the tree. They weren’t Go Bots or Dashbots, but real Transformers just like on the cartoons! Mirage and Bumblebee.
Of course the irony was that we were so eager to play with them, we opened them weeks before Christmas and when we were caught opening empty boxes Christmas morning, they were taken away for good.
So we got by as kids tend to do, and like I said, I don’t regret it a bit.
But I walking down the toy isle the other day, I did feel some of that old nostalgia coming back, especially when I saw the G.I. Joe toys.
Again, for most boys my age, G.I. Joe toys were where it was at. On top of tapping into the natural fascination of all things military that young boys often have, we would always make it home from school to watch the cartoon at 3:30 where the slogan “Knowing is half the battle” taught us in a tough, cool way things like the importance of staying away from downed power lines.
Luckily for us, G.I. Joe action figures were also moderately priced, which meant that around Christmas time and birthdays we could expect a few under the tree to play with. If things were going well at work, or we had made a few extra batches of “Wisconsin Bell” flags on the side for my moms company (A whole other story…) we might even get an accessory like jeep or tank to go with our G.I. Joe action figures. Most of the time, we would end up taking our action figures and jeeps over to the friends houses who’s parents could afford the more expensive toys.
So in the interest of Christmas and keeping things on the lighter side for the next few days, I share with you my top five toys that I lusted after but never received as a kid. Maybe you’ve got some of your own to share?
The “Jetfire” Transformer. He was massive and shiny and huge and sold from the top shelf at Mervyn’s.
Star Wars AT-AT – Again, another huge toy that we probably didn’t have the action figure manpower to operate, but very desirable none the less!
G.I. Joe “HALO” Parachute Pack – I actually did get this for a birthday, but was only able to use it once as Duke and his HALO parachute were never recovered after their initial launch. Weather conditions were good, but looking back, the model rocket engine we strapped him to may have been a bit too powerful. He was last seen accelerating out of my backyard and towards Lake Tahoe, much to the initial delight of my friends and I.
The U.S.S. Flagg – Another massive toy. Looking back, we probably didn’t have enough Joes to actually man the ship.
1984 Diamondback dirt bike. Dirt bikes were a big deal in Nevada in the mid-80′s. This is a good example of a classic 84 Diamondback, although I would have preferred some axle pegs on the front and back. And check out the links on that chain. Awesome.
So what are some of the toys you look back fondly? Have a great Christmas!