Wednesday, March 08, 2006
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Sooner or later, just about every kid gets told by their parents that such-and-such a toy will not be allowed into the house for ideological reasons. We've informed the girls that they can forget about building up their Bratz collection because this particular line seems (to our parental eyes) especially fixated on that odious commercial intersection of Childhood & Sexy!
My parents had this conversation with me when I was in Grade 2. I put in a request for a G.I. Joe, and was told there was no way a toy soldier would ever be welcome in my Mennonite toy box. It was a confusing edict, particularly given the era: 1972. The zeitgeist in North America did not blow favourably for military toys in general, so G.I. Joe received a distinctly non-military makeover: he was a member of The Action Team, not the Army. He no longer shot at people: he rescued archaeolgoical artifacts from poisonous snakes. My observations and arguments fell on deaf ears, however, and I was denied all access to Joe Fuzzhead and his sidearm.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood, of course. But although I indulge my inner child on other fronts, I'm not at all tempted when it comes to "action figures". For one thing, I honestly find the current incarnation of G.I. Joe rather disturbing. Also, my childhood was happy enough as it is, and whatever I lacked in the G.I. Joe department is something this guy's adulthood makes up for -- with a vengeance.
Still, I hope the Hasbro flack who cooked-up "Kung Fu Grip" was rewarded for his genius with untold wealth and a long and happy life. Kung Fu Grip -- even though we mocked it in the schoolyard, we wanted it. It was just too cool to resist.