The other day I was trying to explain to my kids what original video games were like. I was standing in the kitchen during the morning hustle and bustle reminiscing while I packed their lunch boxes for school.
The original gaming console, I was telling them, was unlike anything else. Did you have an Atari 2600?
With Pac Man, Combat’s 8-bit graphics, of the bip-bip-bipping of Space Invaders or Solar Fox and my favourite Pitfall with its crocodile infested traps.
My kids exchanged glances as I cut fruit and placed their yoghurt and sandwiches in their lunch boxes. I am sure at least one of them thought, “Mum's really lost it today.”
As I glanced at the numerous screens around our home, filled with high-tech graphics, cinema quality video and an App for every occasion, I longed for the simplicity of what-used-to-be. It made me wonder what other toys make you nostalgic, make you wish your kids could have the same experiences that delighted us as children?
A walk down the memory lane of the toy shelves of our childhood isn’t complete without mentioning the 80’s Troll Doll. My Troll Dolls lined my bookshelf grinning at me with their slightly maniacal gaze, their neon hair lighting up the room. The eclectic blue Troll, the eye-blindingly pink one, something about them makes you think they might just have been the innocent forefathers of the Bratz phenomenon of our children.
Sunday night wasn’t complete without the whole family sitting down to watch Alf. Remember that concept? The whole family actually sitting down together and watching the one screen? The popularity of the show led to a whole range of Alf paraphernalia and the ultimate was the Talking Alf doll. There was no need for fancy downloads or cell batteries, you just pulled a string on his back and you were blessed with gems like, “Be there or Be Square.”