Like A (Grown Up) Kid In A Toy Store

Okay, I will make a confession – I still like toys. Although my toys now are grown up and usually more expensive, I can get easily distracted when I pass the toy department in a store.  Don’t look at me that way I’m shopping for a child.  Yeah, that’s what I’m doing.

Recently, my wife and I went shopping at Phillips Toy Mart which is an awesome toy store in Nashville. I was in awe of the place. If there was a toy store in heaven this would be it.  It was difficult for me to stay focused on why we were there.  I wondered off several times. I know we were shopping for our grandson but I saw a few things I wanted.

In one aisle I stopped abruptly when I saw a batmobile. I loved that cheesy television show as a child and my parents got me some action figures and even a bat cave one Christmas. I never got a batmobile but I improvised as I teamed up batman with my G.I. Joe (with Kung Fu) grip to fight imaginary battles against the bad guys.  I played with those for hours.

I walked down another aisle and the space shuttle grabbed my attention. Although the space shuttle program was a few years past my childhood, I thought back to my childhood obsession with the Apollo moon missions. I used to tell people I was going to be an astronaut when I grew up (since I couldn’t be Batman) but my mother reminded me that I would have to overcome my fear of rising the Scream Machine at Six Flags over Georgia before I could become an astronaut. I even drank Tang back then which was a powdered form similar to today’s Gatorade which was supposed to be what the astronauts drank. One time they actually had the lunar rover wrapped with the drink. I HAD to have it!

As I rejoined my wife in shopping for our grandson, it wasn’t long until I was lured away into the games section and found an electric football game. I’m not talking about a video game or some handheld game. This was the old electric football game played with plastic football players on a metal field with a cotton football. With this game you place your players then turn on the switch to make the players move. Hey, it was the high tech game back in my day. I remember that something happened with my cord and when I could no long turn the power on to make the players move, I discovered that I could tap the field and cause the players to move.

Yes, the trip to the toy store brought back some memories of Christmas presents past and recapture the feelings of being a child again.

I remember some of the toys I received for Christmas.  As I mentioned, I got the GI Joe with Kung Fu grip.  He replaced the first GI Joe I ever got.  You pulled a cord and he would say something like “Incoming…hit the dirt!!!”  In later years I got those Mattel Handheld games like baseball, football, basketball and soccer.  Yes, I collected all the sports games.  Football was the first one as I played that for hours watching those red dashes play football on a tiny screen.  A few years ago I got it again for a gift and was just as excited then as I was when I got it the first time.

The basketball game came in handy for getting a seat on the school bus.  When I had it with me, people wanted me to sit with them so they could play it.  Without it, no one would let me sit with them.  Yes, when you catch the bus in front of the church where you dad was the pastor, you used any advantage you could find.   That Mattel basketball game gave me an advantage for seating.

So, a trip to the toy store may take a while if you take me with you.  It’s nice to see the new toys as well as the old toys that I used to play with.  If I go shopping for a child, I might slide something in the basket for myself as well.


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I feel compelled to write. It's just something I do. I have always heard that "everything happens for a reason". I feel like I write for a reason.

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