Sunday, January 13, 2008
We have all these resolutions around here pertaining to living a non-materialistic lifestyle. And more to the point, Mommy and Daddy get angry when they find all sorts of plastic Made In China lying all over the play room floor. So we've worked the toy collection around here down to a minimum and kept it there. What we have is generally stuff like blocks, stuffed animals, wooden trains and dolls which can be played with in a free-form sort of way.
However, the girls were giving signs that a wider range of characters were needed. They've not yet reached the point where one endows a sweet looking stuffed bunny with evil will to power -- so a collection entirely of nice stuffed animals and baby and princess dolls was limiting the play. Plus whenever we had people with little boys over to play, the fooled around with the trains for about ten minutes and then announced they were bored.
Daddy contemplated the problem for a while, and realized that what we needed was boy toys. So as the after Christmas sales raged, daddy girded up his wallet and went in search of what was needed.
Who can truly be happy without a large, metal, yellow dump truck? No red-blooded American child, I immediately realized. Into the cart it went.
Every kid needs some toy dinosaurs, so a pair of those went in as well: a "big headed meat eater" and a "long necked plant eater" to use the terminology the girls have developed.
And a dragon, who can resist a big plastic Chinese dragon?
But the real find from Daddy's point of view was the toy knights. I'd had a number of Britains toy nights as a kid: great toy knights, but only about an inch tall, with removable weapons, and thus clearly not for the under 8 set. But these are about three inches tall, beautifully painted, but all in one piece with no removable parts. They're made by Schleich , a company in Germany, and I found them on clearance at Target: several knights and a princess dressed in pink with a fan. (It's all girls here except for Daddy, so a princess is an essential part of any game involving knights, dinosaurs and a dragon.)
That seemed like exactly what was needed: I bought one of each type that was on sale.
I'd considered a bucket of green army men, of the sort I spent so much time with as a child, but the cart was looking full, and they seemed a little too edible for the youngest. But there's some simply awesome stuff these days in the way of toy soldiers. There was a whole line of detailed, die-cast WW2 tanks along with men to go with them. Why didn't they have these when I was a kid?
So I took all the loot home (where it was well received) and informed MrsDarwin it's her job to get a boy on the scene post haste, lest I be forced to start getting all these great things to play with myself.