Friday 11 October 2013

A Smile To An Old Wrinkled Face

I spent the day looking after a sick Hurricane and an even sicker Tornado. Hurricane is just mildly sick and could go either way, but Tornado is sore throat, runny nose and ear infection sick. Both were pretty much just cuddle monkeys today which was all that I was up to since I have my own issues. We stock enough cookies, chips, candy, pop, juice and popsicle bribes to make the day flow pretty well just as long as there is an animated movie or kids TV show playing in the background at all times.

It was during one of these shows when I watched the early Christmas toy commercials. I think it is a little too early to start this crap, but I also appreciate that the toy manufacturers need to sell their product, and times are tough all over. Most of the commercials were advertising toys that don’t do anything. They do a lot in the ad, but when a kid went to play with it, it wouldn’t fly, speak or shoot lasers from its eyes. That is all done with Computer Graphics of course and when the poor kid opens the box all they get is a painted lump of plastic. Once the kid plays with it for a minute or so, it is tossed away and collects dust under the bed for a year or so.

There were a couple of interesting things that caught my eye and both used new technology. One was a Ninja Turtle game (I could be wrong) where you buy the figurine and somehow you can upload its image to your smart phone, or tablet. Of course there is a game that you upload the figure to and I would imagine bad guys to fight with swords and fists. I don’t really get why you need the plastic figurine, but as a marketing ploy it is pretty clever. I just hope that the game itself is interesting for at least as long as the figure lasts.
 Barbie Digital Makeover Vanity Mirror
The other ad that caught my eye was for Barbie of all things. I think it was for Barbie, but at this point I had Tornado using my stomach as a conga drum and my attention was being divided. The toy was designed with girls in mind and it was a makeup mirror with lights on each side. The neat thing about it is that it was a frame that you would slip your iPad inside. I guess that you would get an app loaded on your iPad and it would act like a mirror. I think the girls would be able to apply digital makeup to the image on the iPad and learn how to use makeup and also how not to use makeup. I seriously doubt that any little girl could do what the little girls on the commercial did, but then the flying dinosaur couldn’t shoot lasers from their eyes either.

I looked around the room and I saw some of my old toys collecting dust on shelves and window sills. There was a Mexican marionette, a small baseball pinball game with pins and steel bearings, one of those viewfinders that allowed us to see Mickey Mouse in 3-D and my perennial favourite, a jack-in-the-box. In the other room there are other toys from my childhood, but the ones that I just had to have a Christmas haven’t lasted. It will be interesting to see what toys Hurricane and Tornado have on their shelves collecting dust in fifty years. Somehow I don’t think I will be around, but I am sure that whatever toys are there, they will bring a smile to an old wrinkled face.

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