Saturday, September 1, 2007

My childhood, resurfaced

I don't know if this happens with every generation, but it is very prevalent with mine: the things I grew up with back in the 80s and early 90s, things that (in most cases) totally disappeared for years, have resurfaced with re-vamped toys and cartoons for a new generation.

I don't know why this is. My best guess is that it has to do with taking advantage of a huge group of consumers who already have (emotional) ties to the product, and even though they aren't in the market for it anymore, their young children are. Am I being taken advantage of? I don't know. As exciting as it is to see parts of my childhood returning, it is also a little heart wrenching. Most of them have changed...a lot. Some of them haven't. But these things are MY childhood, and as excited as I am (in some cases) to introduce these things to my own future children, they are a part of my finished childhood and it doesn't seem quite right to bring them back again. Make sense? Besides...they changed most of them, taking away much of their charm and causing me to wonder, "Were things really so different back then? Would the same toys be so much less entertaining to today's kids that they had to make drastic changes?"

I have some examples of how toys from my younger days have gone and returned, just for reference and, of course, for the fact that it's freaking interesting.

Click on the pictures for a bigger view.

Strawberry Shortcake: Then


She was a cute little girl who wore a disgustingly girly outfit. I think that was what was so appealing about her--she was old-fashioned and darn sweet.

Strawberry Shortcake: Now

They modernized her. Now she's no better than a pre-pubecent Barbie--she's just another fashion doll.

Polly Pocket: Then

She lived in a little world the size of a make-up compact. This was a very portable toy. Polly herself wasn't much bigger than your thumbnail.

Polly Pocket: Now
Surprised? She turned into a fashion doll, too. She doesn't come with a tiny little playset...because she grew several inches. Her wardrobe consists of weird, rubbery clothes.

My Little Pony: Then
Having a pony is every girl's dream, right? I loved having a herd of ponies living in my toybox. Their long hair and cute symbol on their butts were the best parts.

My Little Pony: Now
This toy has changed remarkably little, but technically this is the 3rd generation of ponies, not the second. They brought MLP back for the second time a few years ago, but they were skinny, strange-looking creatures that apparently did not sell well. The company realized that the more classic look would sell better, and it's true--they look a great deal like their 1st generation predecessors . Once change, though, is that the new ones have magnets in their hooves (so they can use playsets, etc).

Littlest Pet Shop: Then
The idea behind these toys was that children could have their own miniature pets to care for. They were very popular and much loved by kids. They came with playsets, carriers, toys, and all the fun stuff.

Littlest Pet Shop: Now

Holy crap. Their heads are disgustingly huge! That's pretty much the main problem I have with these new imposters.

Care Bears: Then
I loved these guys! They were so sappy, but come on--they were so freaking caring! What a good influence on kids....right?

Care Bears: Now
They haven't changed too much. This was one of the first toys that re-emerged from the 80s several years ago. These days they are all pastel and brighter than ever.

Cabbage Patch Kids: Then
These little fellows had delightful yarn hair and the signature of their creator on their buttcheek. They had many varieties and were, although sort of ugly in their way, just so lovable.

Cabbage Patch Kids: Now
The yarn hair is gone and their look has slightly changed. The hair was their main thing...but I know why they changed it--yarn is impossible to brush :) Still...how could they change it?

Barbie: Then
THE fashion and beauty doll. She had beautiful hair and clothes, but most of her ourfits were kept simple and were easy to take on and off.

Barbie: Now
Barbie today is WAY different than she used to be. She has evolved over the years to be...well, what she always was, only now it's worse. She dresses like an extreme hooker and seems to be getting younger and younger. After all, who wants to play with a toy that looks like an old person? Her eyes are huge and so are her lips, and huge globs of make-up adorn her face. She is even skinnier than ever.


There you have it.

1 comment:

(chandelle) said...

what the crap happened to strawberry shortcake?! :(