I read recently that Generation X parents are more likely than others to purchase toys from their childhood for their children.
So all those new "retro" toys? Yes, they are marketing directly to me in a freakishly successful way.
I actually haven't bought many "retro" toys so far. My son got CandyLand, but he still doesn't play it "right." (Hullaballoo and Cariboo are much more fun.)
I did buy a Little People "retro" barn off eBay a few years ago, and I don't know how many times I have replaced the door on that thing. You know that saying, "They just don't make toys sturdy like they did when we were kids?"
Yeah, that doesn't apply to the Little People barn circa 1975.
My mom sent my son the Lincoln Logs that I had as a kid so every couple nights we have a giant cabin building affair. This requires both parents in attendance because my son has finally decided he likes to build, while my daughter's single goal is to knock down logs as violently as possible. To minimize the screeching, one of us sits and builds structures for demolishing, while the other shows off our engineering abilities.
I will admit to spending money on “retro” DVDs. I have succumbed pretty heavily to the DVDs of my favorite shows as a kid. I finally this year gave in and purchased the Charlie Brown holiday DVD set. I used to pretend to be the Little Red Haired girl, but probably identified more with Charlie Brown and not just because I had a cute little blonde sister that looked a lot like Sally.
My son has latched on to the Charlie Brown set and has watched The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (and the Mayflower episode) to this point. He doesn't know there is a third yet. I cringe just a little every time he watches one and I hear “stupid” thrown around.
My daughter, on the other hand, is showing an inclination towards the Muppets. I have Seasons One and Two on DVD and while my son doesn't seem to care for them (Kermit the frog is *just* the frog from the Mahna Mahna “movie” on YouTube) and only whines for Scooby Doo when I put one on. My sweet daughter has recognized the similarities between her favorite Mahna Mahna video and these DVDs. She was overjoyed yesterday when "Never Smile at a Crocodile" came on during the Sandy Duncan episode.
This episode though caused me to pause as an adult watching these clips. Who exactly was the targeted audience? I laughed to see her singing about "What's a girl like me doing in a place like this" as she danced around a bar sipping whiskey sours. (Yum.) Apparently all this went completely over my head as a kid.
Oh, and then Statler and Waldorf commenting about Duncan’s performance... "makes me feel like a young girl, how about you Statler?" "Yeah, me too. Maybe I should go find one!"
Maybe there is a reason I should stick to purchasing contemporary toys?! You know, listen to those people who claim that retro Sesame Street isn’t appropriate for today’s youth?
Naw. I will just stick with the notion that my kids aren’t any smarter than I was at that age.