Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Round Robin Challenge : Kids @ Play!



I've kind of been away from the whole United Blogger Front of Toy Collecting Enthusiasts From Around the Globe of Planet Earth (yup, that's that the new official title by the way), but this week's challenge intrigued me enough to jump back in.

2 Minute Toy Break brings us a challenge called Kids @ Play! It essentially asks the question of, "How did you play with your toys?"

I played with my toys alone. There was no room in my imagination for a third party to step in and impose his or her own thoughts and ideas into my interactive mind. I simply wouldn't have it. I saved my outside playtime for friends, and my inside playtime was reserved for myself.

I was fortunate as a kid to have a lot of toys. I don't really remember a time where I only had one or two items from a series as my mom was always very generous when it came to birthdays and Christmas. My typical haul of toys would consist anywhere from ten to twenty action figures, as well as playsets and vehicles. I had boxes (and action figure cases) full of Star Wars, He-Man, Thundercats, G.I. Joe, Captain Power, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a regular staple in my toy diet, and I played with them all in very different ways.

STAR WARS

These were the first action figures I had as a child. My play sessions with these often times involved reenacting the movies from a galaxy far, far away. For this, I enlisted my father's video and audio equipment - Which he really didn't appreciate.

I was also a strict organizer when it came to putting them away. I had numerous Darth Vader and C-3PO carry cases that were all meticulously labeled with the included stickers showing the character's name. For sticker I didn't have, labeled masking tape became crucial for organizing them.

G.I. JOE

I don't honestly remember if G.I. Joe or He-Man came first in my toy collection, but I do know that I had way more Joes than He-Man. I was a steady "collector" from around 1984 / 1985 through around 1993 / 1994. I had boxes and boxes of figures, vehicles and playsets - No, I wasn't one of those kids that had the carrier or shuttle playsets. My parent's drew the line at those.

I played with my Joe's in episodic adventures - Much like the show. Every time I got a new figure, that character became the center of the story, and showcased how they came to be a member of their respective team.

As I got older, my play style shifted with the figures. I didn't incorporate the vehicles or playsets into the mix, but instead made two piles - Good guys, and bad guys. I would then grab a random figure from each pile, and role two dice - One for the good guy, and one for the bad guy. The highest dice won, and that figure stayed in the fray for round two, and on until they were eliminated. The loser was put aside in the "you are dead" pile. I would keep rolling until one of the piles was gone. The obvious victor was the pile of remaining figures which could be anywhere from one to ten figures by the time I was done.

HE-MAN

I honestly only had a couple dozen He-Man figures in my collection. While I loved playing with them, as I said above, I had way more Joes. They were cheaper, and obviously in more abundance with how many were released each year. It wasn't until a very short lived trade with another kid that I accumulated a ton of them, and it was that play session that I remember the most.

I set up every figure, and acted out a massive Eternia battle. I don't really remember the "story" I concocted in my head, but I do know that Ram Man and Man-At-Arms played a big role in the whole thing.

Of course, that night my mother got a phone call from the other kid's mom who was all ticked off that he traded a duffel bag full of He-Man figures for a handful of Captain Power figures / vehicles and video tapes. Long story short, by the next morning the trade had been nullified by the United Parents Association.

Oh well. As I grew older, and started earning my own wages I bought my own entire collection of the vintage He-Man line. So, I get the last laugh.

THUNDERCATS

Much like He-Man, my Thundercats collection didn't grow very fast or far. I had about ten to twelve in total, and only the Thundertank as a vehicle. Beyond that, not much more. Thundercats were mainly a grandparents gift I received one year, so I really never expanded beyond that.

I recall having a blast with the light up features of Lion-O and Mumra for a couple days, but beyond that really didn't play with them.

CAPTAIN POWER

I don't recall how I got into Captain Power, but I do know that I had both of the ships, a handful of figures, and all of the video tapes.

I played with Captain Power like anyone else would who played alone - I fired the ships at the interactive episodes. I eventually got smart, and cheated my way through by covering the hit detection sensor, so I never took any damage on my end.

Captain Power really wasn't all that enthralling for me in the long run, and as noted above were utilized for a short lived trade that was way in my favor.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

TMNT was probably the last line I really collected before shifting from toys to Nintendo (and video games in general). When I was first introduced to the turtles, it was via my mom coming home from the store, and laying down the entire first series in front of my brother and I. She then had us take turns picking one each until they were divided up. Fortunately for me, my brother really didn't play with toys as a kid (he was more so into his bike), so I eventually ended up with all of them.

I honestly don't remember playing with the Turtles all that much. Instead, I opted to start drawing them. This lead to a very long love affection with the original Mirage Comics stories, and a focused carer on becoming an artist for the company. Sadly, just as I graduated high school, and was putting a portfolio together, the company fizzled out, and the TMNT comics discontinued.

HONORABLE MENTION

Like I said above, my brother wasn't really into playing with toys. However, there was one game we played a lot when it came down to playing together. Like many kids, we had an abundance of marbles, and even more army men (the green and beige ones).

We would lay on our stomachs on opposite ends in the hallway, and set our respective teams up. Then we would rotate turns flicking marbles at each other's men to simulate gunfire. The obvious winning factor was to the be the team left standing.

Out of all of my toys, that was probably the most fun I had as a kid. Probably because it was that rare occasion that my brother and I actually played together.

Well, there you have it. How I spent my days as a child with toys.

Other people played with toys to, and not surprisingly alone. I think most kids enjoyed their toys solo. To hear their stories, head to;

Alexis Universe
2 Minute Toy Break
Green Plastic Squirt Gun
Mr. Smith's Plastic Bubble

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9 comments:

  1. Fantastic read!I did the same whenever I acquired a new figure lol.That roll of the dice game sounds like a lot of fun.Kind of like stratomatic for action figures!

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    1. Thanks! Get your Joe's out (or any toy line), and have a game of dice with them. It's super fun!

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  2. Its strange how all of us played in similar fashion. who need human interaction anyways lol

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    1. I think it's fairly common for kids to play with their toys alone.

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  3. the detail about not wanting anyone else to impose their thoughts and ideas makes me remember the feeling that the other person just wasn't doing it right.

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    1. Yeah thats how I felt and why I played alone, I just got annoyed that they could not play "correctly" with me at all lol

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  4. I do find it weird on how we all seemed to play with toys in similar ways lol. Also I'm jealous lol I had lots of Star Wars and Joes but only a handful of the others as a kid lol.

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