Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Toy Stories

I love toys. I always have. Toys were a very important part of my childhood. They were a way to express myself, tell stories, and even relate to others. I will go so far as to say that some of the toys I had as a kid, helped me become who I am. Not literally, but more in a round about way.

What I love about toys are the stories they tell. Not Necessarily the stories that children tell with them, but the stories that they tell. The little bit of paint that is rubbed off of a nose, or a chew mark on the right arm. Heck, a missing arm. These little plastic people can tell as many stories as their owners. This is one of the reasons I like going to flea market and yard sells so much. I like to find these stories. I like to bring these stories home with me.

To me a well played with vintage action figure is worth so much more than a vintage action figure that is still in the box. Toys can be securities for children. Some children escape into their toys to get away from less than desirable circumstances at home, some may just want to get away from a brother or sister, and others want to tell stories. Toys make all of these things possible. And in 20 years that kid will look onto that toy fondly.

I have had a lot of toys in my day (as a child and as an adult) I have gotten rid of some and I still have some. The ones that Stay the closest to me are the ones that mean something to me. I have acquired several He-man and Skeletor figures over the years, but MINE sit astride their Battle Cat and Panthor and battle it out on my desk. These figures got me through childhood and they are some of my most prized possessions, not because of a monetary value, but because they are MINE But these toys can tell a story on their own. He-man is dirty, and his legs are loose, but I don’t want to clean or fix him, because that dirt represents hours of battles we had together. I don’t want to change him because he is mine and is important to me the way he is.

Toys are important to children and I think that it is important for children to have these physical, tangible things that they can hold in their hands, as a security and as a developmental tool. Video games can be fun, and they can even learn from them. But they are not tangible, the adventures they have are scripted by a game designer. Giving children toys to play with may be more important than you can imagine.

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