Martha Thinks

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pokemon - it's a boy's world

Over these many years raising all these boys I have come to see a definite pattern in their interests. They start out with the truck phase, dumptrucks, augerdrillers, watching the video of backhoes pushing sand around over and over and over again. Then they move on to the dinosaur phase. "Fierce and tiny Compsagnathus" as little Carter would yell running around with his plastic model. Stegosaurus, Platyosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops they were all painted on the bedroom wall by his wonderful mother!

My personal favorite and the toys I still have and I don't care what anybody says they
are completely precious to me - the Thomas the Tank Engine phase.

How I loved (and I really mean that) the pleasant sound of George Carlin's voice narrating those videos. Ringo Starr and Alec Baldwin not so much. This, perhaps the most costly of all hobbies as each train rang in at about $7-$14 a pop and the accessories! A bridge for $50? Yes, all worth it to me. Brady wouldn't go to sleep with out "uck, uck"...Duck, the green engine. Worn to shreds. Metal, then. Paint chewed off. Well, at 16 he's still with us, so no harm no foul.

Finally we come to the Japanese Phase. Oh they won the war, all right. They won the war on the wallets of parents in America with 5 to 9 year old boys. It started off as a tiny ripple on the toy scene, back in 1996. That lasted for about a week. Then full-on Pokemon. Cartoons like Dragonball-Z and Digimon, cards, movies, games. Hundreds and hundreds of cards. Special collectible folders. Letters home from school - "Principal bans Pokemon cards at lunch!" Pikachu - Charzard - MagiKarp - Squirtle - Jigglypuff - make it stop, please somebody, make it stop!!! At that point, these cards were only available in a little collectible store near where we lived, not yet mass-marketed at Target, and believe me, those shop owners are resting comfortably on their yacht in the Bahamas right about now with their winnings.

I signed off all things Pokemon when I knew it was over my head. I wasn't smart enough to play the game. There, I've said it. I provided the goods, but no way no how was I even talking about it. The Pokemon cards of the late 90's are valueless, what a surprise, just a lot of yard sale inventory. But what you say? It's made a comeback? Yes, the little boys like it again. There's a big Japanese brother on the horizon, though. Bigger and tougher. BAKUGAN. Little plastic balls that transform when you throw them on magnetic plates. $9 each. The current wave "must have toys". Money for college? What's that?

Ronan and his friend enjoying the last days of summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment