Things ‘Aint What They Use To Be, by Will Saunders
Being a parent is sure expensive. The costs are enormous. No, I’m not a parent. But I see what’s happening. The cost of caring for a child requires a lot of money, and I’m not even talking about just the basics of food, clothing, and shelter.
What this is all about is the high price of toys. I went to make a purchase for a ‘Toys for Tots” charitable toy collection drive. I was appalled. Perhaps my shock was due in large measure because I’m not a regular purchaser of toys. As I strolled up and down the toy aisle, I kept saying to myself, in my Robin voice, “Holy Toledo, Batman.” Things are much different than when I was a kid. They weren’t as expensive as they are today. They were, by today’s standards rather basic and ordinary. Some of the ones that immediately come to mind that were popular when I was a kid are G.I. Joe
the Tonka dump truck,
or Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots.
All of those gadgets were phenomenal. My most treasured toy was the handheld Mattel Electronic Football game.
The Nerf basketball
was up there too. All of those items were virtually inexpensive, and gave kids hours of fun and enjoyment. The funny thing is, whenever I talk to young people about the kinds of toys from my childhood, they often think those toys sound pretty darned boring. I’m sure 20 years from now, those kids will look back to today and might possibly think toys of today are boring.
Many of today’s toys are much different. A lot are computer-based, with embedded chips and downloadable software, and a lot of them can be connected to your Mac or PC (or your TV), which help to bump up their costs. There are a lot of tablet-based toys, even for little kids (toddler age), and I know it must really break the bank. I know many parents want to accommodate their kids’ desires, especially at Christmas. Many want to shower their kids with gifts even if the kids didn’t ask for such gifts. Of course, these advanced, electronic gadgets do have a plus side: they help prepare the young’uns for tomorrow; computers are everywhere and in everything we do. Learning at a young age gets them ready for real life. Toys of today are definitely different than they once were. Toys used to be just toys. Now, they can be so much more. Things ‘aint what they used to be. Makes me think of that old Marvin Gaye song.