Playtime!

Recently, The National Museum of Play recently inducted some toys into the Toy Hall of Fame. This year’s class includes: Nintendo’s Game Boy, the Ball, and the Big Wheel.

When I was 11, I wanted a Game Boy for Christmas. For weeks leading up to Christmas, I’d say…when I get a Game Boy. I’d be reminded “if you get a Game Boy”. Oh, I wanted a Game Boy. I knew I was getting a Game boy. I hoped I got a Game Boy. I woke up Christmas morning, looking at all the presents, and my heart sank. None of them were…Game Boy shaped. I’d open one, it was another Ninja Turtle. That was fine, I like the Turtles also, but, it wasn’t a Game Boy. I opened a fairly big box, and it was a TV for my room. That was pretty cool. I went to open another present, but my Aunt told me to open this one first. I did. I made my first tear, and I took a deep breath….”A GAME BOY!!!!” I went back to the other present, I was about to open, it was Dr. Mario-a Game Boy game. (It would have been pretty silly for me to open the game first, and then the game boy)

As soon as I was done opening my presents, I started playing the Game Boy. It was about 10, 0r 11. At 5 that night, my aunt pointed out I hadn’t even took my TV out of the box. I’d just been playing my Game Boy. Honestly, that year, I could have gotten one present that year, and I’d be fine.

I have fond memories of the Big Wheel. When I was finally able to leave the front yard, I would ride my Big Wheel around the block. Here, I would just go around and around, from the time I got out of school, to the time Gramma called me in for dinner. With that toy, I didn’t have anything to worry about…well, maybe the occassional car. Then, I’d come in, and if I was good, I could go out into the back yard. I wonder what ever happened to that thing.

And then, the Ball. What kid could live without a ball? Probably my favorite one was my kickball. My Aunt got it for me one day when I spent the weekend at her place in Conway. When I got back home, my friend came over, and we played with it. We had two trees out in the front yard, just a few feet apart. I’d kick it, try to get it past him, and he’d try to keep the ball from going between the trees. That day, while we were playing with it, one of my kicks were off, and it went over beside the house. When I found it, it had hit a stick and popped. We were very sad. We didn’t cry, because we were boys, but still, that ball, while it lasted, was a lot of fun.

Ah, growing up, and the toys we had. Looking back, I remember all the fun I had with them, and almost wish I could leave the days of bills, work, and responsibility and go back to just playing, all day, every day.

And then I realize that if I did that, I’d have to get all the other stuff that came with it. Not being able to do anything by yourself, always having to report to someone. Never being taken seriously. No thanks, I’ll keep the worse parts of today, if that means I get to keep the better.

What about you? Do you have any fond memories of these toys growing up? If not these toys specifically, what about the other toys in the Hall of Fame?

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