There’s a unique generational thing going on right now – the stuff that we enjoyed as kids is all cool again. I can’t think of many toys I had as a kid in the 1980s that represented brands and characters that my parents also loved as kids. The opposite is true for my son and I now – I can’t think of many brands and characters that my son and I don’t love together. This means that toy companies like Playskool are making toys for my son…but deviously so, they appeal to me too.
Sure, my father and I shared stuff like baseball, basketball and tabletop games like checkers. And I read some of the books my mother read as a kid. But even characters like G.I. Joe debuted when my dad was heading into college, which put him out of nostalgic toy age. The brand we shared most was The Avengers, and though their first appearance was in 1963, our link is a little more interesting; my dad was an actor for years and appeared in a couple episodes of The Incredible Hulk TV series alongside Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby. My father was also in 1979’s Captain America II: Death Too Soon, a TV movie that was…well, it was somethin’. He also had a part in the 1985 TV movie, Stark, which…uhhh…had nothing to do with Tony Stark or The Avengers.
The Avengers are still cool, and now I share them with my kid. So, when Avengers toys come out, it’s tough enough for me not to get them for myself. It’s the same story with a lot of the characters out there now: I watched the movies and shows, read the comics and play with the toys when I was little. Stuff like The Avengers, Transformers and even the Jurassic World franchise, those aren’t just franchises. Those are memories for me. I remember experiences I had with the action figures and movies back when I was a kid. So when I get my son action figures now, there’s an added “fun” in it; I’m buying toys for him…for me.