Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Toys Story

Wendy and I visited our grandson Grant this past week, in his native habitat so to speak, checking to see what toys he got for Christmas. The little guy was a bundle of energy pushing a button on this one, flipping a switch on another one, with all kinds of sounds emanating everywhere.

He has his own key chain complete with door lock chime and a remote starter, even a light. Then there's a discovery table with what appears to be a cell phone and a calculator, both of which make a variety of sound effects. And he has a pint-sized house facade with working doorbell. The kid made out okay with Santa.

It's amazing how far toys have come since I was a kid. The only time my toys made a sound was when I wound them up or pulled a string. And they didn't say or do much. We had to supply voices and sound effects with our own imagination. With computer chips implanted in so many toys now, they're capable of doing their own thing.

While shopping myself for a toy for Grant recently I passed down the toy aisle and suddenly had a pack of toy dogs barking at me. They must have had motion sensors, right? They don't make toy dogs yet with a sense of smell, do they?

I ended up buying a soft "singin' soccer ball" that promised lots of fun for ages six months and up. And for the ball, I think. Cause when I brought it to the checkout and put it in front of the cashier. the ball called out, "Wheeeeee, this if fun." I had to smile. It was cute . . . the first time.

Then I put it way in the back of the car as I headed out to make some deliveries for my employer. But as soon as I got out on the road I heard, "Wheee, this if fun." I get it. The ball responds itself to being bounced around and stuff. Another kind of motion sensor.

I hit a bump in the road. "Goallllllllll!" the ball called out. This was getting annoying. A few seconds later as I changed lanes I heard, "Let's play."

Let's not. I could see that this could continue the rest of the afternoon so I pulled into a parking lot, got out and opened the rear hatch door. Not happening, ball dude!

I pulled the ball of the bag--"Wheeeeee, this if fun"---and looked for some kind of instructions on the box. I didn't find any. Was there a battery or something I could remove? I found some kind of velcro flap but I had trouble opening it because the ball was securely attached to the box. I didn't want to tear the box apart to silence the ball.

Then I remembered. To make the ball talk initially, I pressed on a nose on the face of the ball. Maybe if I pressed it again, it would shut up. So I did.

"It's music time," the ball said.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! Anything but songs for babies and toddlers. I pressed the nose again.

"It's learning time," the ball responded. Hmmmmm, maybe I could handle that. I got back into the car and drove on. Strangely, that shut him up.

Maybe the ball thought it was in class and had to be quiet. Boo-yeah.


Blogger Lynilu said...

The good thing about grandkids is that you get to buy those noisy toys for them. And then you get to go home and leave toys and babies for their parents to deal with!!

I got a chuckle and a flashback to childhood at your statement "The only time my toys made a sound was when I wound them up or pulled a string". I'd add "Or clipped a playing card to it with a clothes pin!"

9:55 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LYNILU--Yeah, I'm sure I added some some playing cards to my bicycle spokes a couple times. Made the bike harder to ride though.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

LOL! Sometimes I wonder what the kids today would do if they had to use their imaginations. My three yeard old grandson knows how to use his Mommy's iPad. I thought of getting him one of those kiddy computers for Christmas, but then figured, "Why bother?"

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

ROTFLOL Poor Dave. :o)

Reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode featuring Telly Savalas and that doll, "Talking Tina".

When I was little, I had a Ms. Beasley doll I was terrified of. The technology now makes her seem ancient.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

NANKIN--I've heard the experts say no i-pads before three years of age, but even our grandson was having fun playing with one at Christmas (he was ten months).

DEBBIE--That sounds familiar, Ms. Beasley doll. Of course, you're being politically correct here. I think it was a Mrs. Beasley doll. They're quite collectible I hear.

6:45 AM  

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