Toys Gone By #reflection

Toys Gone By

I am sitting here right now staring at a blank page and wondering what it is I should use to start this with. And really as I think about it, it should be easy. I am about to talk about a couple of my favorite things, my babies and toys. And still, with that, finding the right words seems be more difficult than it should be. I’m just going to jump into it and see where it all leads.

It all started with an idea. Not mine. My wife said to me that we should head up to Grand Rapids and check out their current featured exhibit. She was talking about a history of toys thing they have going on right now. (Yeah, I am not giving it any credit right at this moment, that will change). Of course, we can’t go to something like this without taking the grand babies. So you know what that means?

toys gone by

Not where I started playing it. I came into the game during the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons age. (1st edition ADnD to be precise).

Yeah, we packed three car seats into the back of our car. Mind you, after the earlier part of this winter where we lost our four door Milan, we ended up with something a bit smaller. We are driving a Chevy Cobalt (it’s red but we named it blue because of reasons). I don’t know if you have seen one on the road, but they tend to be a bit smaller. Ours is a two door with a tiny back seat. It’s pretty much a sports car on a budget (and yeah we like it. We don’t have room for anyone but us most of the time). Three car seats in the back of this thing is an incredibly tight fit. But we did it and nary a complaint was to be heard. Anyway, we made the drive, roughly an hour each way.

Toys Gone By

Turned out they had two big exhibits going when we got there. Animatronic Dinosaurs and toys through the years. Lots of hands on stuff to entertain some midgets. I could leave it at that but it wouldn’t really set you up for the pictures. And really, all this lead up is to the pictures anyway. But some more words along the way.

Toys gone by

At one time I had all of the Masters of the Universe stuff. Sadly, I was at a wrong age to appreciate it at the time and the world around me got the better of me. I care so much less what other people think of my odd toys now.

Walking through the toys was a nostalgic trip. For some of them, I can remember when I had the toys (and in some cases I still have them). It was great that there were a few places where you could play with some of the collection. Which brings me to the one thing I didn’t get a good enough picture of…

Toys Gone By

If you didn’t have a Bozo the Clown bop bag, I don’t even know how to talk to you anymore…

They actually had a working arcade, like from the 80s. If you didn’t spend your youth playing games like space invaders and frogged in an actual arcade, I just don’t know what to say to you. It really gave me the 80s experience too when one of the games ate our quarter. I think it might have been a Ms. Pac-Man tabletop machine. The girls and I ended up playing Tetris (more like I controlled as much as I could while fighting against their desire to bring the pieces down Willy nilly). It brought to mind the summer nights at Putt Putt Golf and Games where I could easily blow through 5 to 10 bucks a night on all manner of game. The worst was the crane game. The first clue on that, the crane game is designed so that you always think you are incredibly close to getting a big prize. When you finally do, you spent 10 to 30 bucks on a 2 dollar stuffed animal that you never would have bought on its own. But I digress…

toys gone by

The toys and games that came from this generation, my generation have strong influences on what we have available now. And the odd thing, so many of us never really let go of that part of our childhood.

Maybe like me, some of the old toys could bring back old memories. Or maybe, if you find them in the wild, you can make some new memories with those who have never even heard of them before.


If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.

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