Journey Down the Toy Aisle: Christmas Special
by Justin Keys (@mrjroc83)
Every year during Christmas the market seems to anoint a toy as a “must have,” and if you don’t buy it for your kids or receive it as a gift for Christmas then you’re lame or missed out. The more recent toys that come to mind are video games and re-launched Furby, and ever-popular ones, such as Barbie and Nerf. Do you remember the rampage that people caused for the Tickle Me Elmo—the doll that laughed and vibrated as you would “tickle” it? The toy caused such a craze that people were willing to do whatever it took to buy one, from causing store employee injury (Elmo-mania, anyone?) to people willing to pay as much as $1,500. What are the reasons behind such madness? Are shoppers that desperate for a toy? Is it for its collectability? To give happiness to a child? Or is it due to other aspects?
We have seen many Christmas movies centered on a toy, but not just any toy, a special toy that the child had to have. Think for a moment about a Christmas movie in which the toy was the main prop. What comes to mind? Perhaps it is A Christmas Story, with the classic Daisy Red Rider BB gun. What about other movies such as Jingle All the Way, or even Home Alone? Hollywood does a great job of patronizing the toy industry, but they also show the emotional bond between children and toys.
When you were a child, do you remember getting the toy that you wanted more than anything? Was it a Talk-Boy from Home Alone 2? Was it a Barbie or her pink Corvette? Maybe you wanted a certain My Little Pony or a Hot Wheel set. Imaginably, you can recall that particular Christmas morning, waking up early and jumping out of bed, rushing to get to the gifts under the tree. Remember the sound of the wrapping paper crinkling in your hands as you ripped through it to reveal the gift that had your name on it. There it is: the toy that you asked for all season long. Maybe as an adult you’ve now gone back and purchased that favorite toy from your childhood. That’s what makes them so special. They have a significant place in our lives, providing fun or comfort in times of stress, and never cease to create and bring back memories.
What are your favorite Christmas toy experiences?