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.
When my son is pretending to be a superhero, or playing with superhero action figures, his imagination is at its best. And when he’s engaging in superhero play around his friends, or even just a washed-up old dog like me, creativities collide and create something even better.
Let’s get this out of the way; a couple of weeks ago, Hasbro sent me some Iron Man 3 toys to play with: a bigger, motion-activated, talking Arc Strike Iron Man figure, and a couple of Iron Man Assemblers – little action figures whose arms and legs come off so you can mix-and-match them. Also, an Arc FX Gauntlet, which shoots foam discs and will leave a welt at point blank range.
So one day, my son came home from preschool and handed me his Iron Man action figure that he’d brought in for share time. As he handed it over, he told me plainly that there’s no “Iron Man stuff allowed at school.” There had to be a story behind it, I thought. The statement evolved into a shrug and “no superhero stuff,” but we didn’t have much else to go by.