Well, fuck. I'm not changing the title, cause it's all the way up there ^ so I'm just gonna leave it as is and hopefully we can all act like adults and move on.
So nobody point out how much this thing looks like a dink, okay?
What the hell happened to you, Christmas toys? You used to be cool. You used to be guns that turned into robots...who had guns (inside those guns? more guns). Like Megatron down there. If he was underneath your tree on Christmas morning, it is for one reason: He wanted to be there.
I was at the store the other day buying a chicken (all my best stories start out that same way) and I saw a Christmas toy that is for some reason super popular this year. The size of the display for this thing was staggering and it took a lot of time out of my chicken shopping trying to piece together exactly what the hell they were. Just to be sure, I did exhaustive research when I got home (20 minutes of wikipedia followed by watching "Speed" on bluray. So good) Before I get to letting you know what this toy was, I figured I would take a look back and try and find out when they got shitty. Oh, and if you're wondering how Speed turned out, it turned out great for....almost everyone. (spoiler alert, although if you haven't seen Speed we need to hang out)
Now I can't speak for the 70s gifts or anything earlier, because I hadn't decided to exist yet (even so I was on the fence about it in the mid 80s but my mum and...well, gravity, decided it would be best for me to be a thing). In hindsight, that worked out pretty good for me. Existing is awesome. I get to hang out with monpeeps, watch movies, play hockey and eat cinnamon buns. You can't put a price on that. Apparently Cinzeo disagrees with me, but my letter writing campaign for free Cinnamon Buns should yield positive results.
If it's alright with you I'm going to make some "uneducated guesses" as to what the top 3 gifts were for the 50s 60s and 70s.
1. A box of cigars
2. Canadian rye whiskey
3. A smack in the mouth if you got out of line
1. Bell bottom jeans
3. Bay City Rollers records
Okay, so we've established a Christory for pre-80s gifts. By the way, I regret trying to combine the words "Christmas" and "History" and then subjecting you all to my magnificient failure that just happened. I promise I will never use that word again. Don't let the fact that I opened with a dick joke fool you, I hold the entire staff here at "j.B.C.S." to incredibly high standards of taste and decency.
The 80's and 90's were the shit. Lets take a look at the 80s by year
1980 - Rubiks cube. Helped me learn such valuable motor skills such as...how to peel off stickers and put them back on by color, in order to impress my parents.
1981 - Lego Train. Holy shit, what? A functioning toy train made out of Lego? Man, I built a Lego castle once and cut tons of corners because I don't believe in instruction manuals (check my entertainment unit for confirmation of this). I cut corners on the castle and at worst comprimised some perimeter defenses. You cheat at Lego train, Lego people will die. And that block blood will be on your hands.
1982 - BMX Bikes - Until youtube, I have difficulting seeing the relevance of these in my life. Now though, if I ever need to see a douchebag (or 60) take a tumble, I have 1982 to thank.
1983 - My Little Pony. Fuck yeah! "This shit was rules" One of the more bad ass of the 80s xmas toys, MLP dominated Christmas. Fizzy and Galaxy were the leaders. They went to war with another toy that xmas and soundly defeated it in sales and awesomeness. Sorry He-Man, you just lost to a bunch of horses who kinda look like strippers.
1984 - Care Bears. And the hits just keep on coming! Although Trivial Pursuit was the top selling board game this year (and the cause of many domestic disputes) 1984 belonged to the Care Bears (only the cause of a few domestic disputes). Ironically I couldn't care less about most of them (see what I did there? Me idiot). As far as I'm concerned the rest of the Care Bears can go fuck themselves, there was one who stood head and shoulders above the rest.
1985 - Transformers. For years I carried on thinking that they were robots in plain sight. Oh, how wrong I turned out to be. Turns out, they are robots IN DISGUISE. Which makes a lot more sense then what I thought. Although they've had a rough go of it in terms of decent live action movies they were the shit as cartoons and toys. My one sentence review for the first live action movie: "They certainly did transform, and nobody can take that away from them", and for the second: "Uhh...what?"
1986 - Panini Football Stickers. Seperately, I like all these things. But by "football" they mean soccer and by "stickers" it seems they mean trading cards and by "Panini" they do not seem to mean delicious oven grilled sandwiches, so I'm not really a fan of this one. So I'm gonna give this spot to He-Man because I feel a little bit of pity for him when I think about how much more awesome MLP was. HOLY SHIT! I didn't know these existed but they surely represent balance and harmony. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the HE-MAN and SKELETOR MY....LITTLE....MUTHAFUCKIN' PONIES!
1987 - "Rubik's Magic" was the hot ticket this year. It was a follow up to the Rubik's Cube, which left us all with tons of unanswered questions like...why would anyone play with this? Rubik's Magic seems overly elaborate, needlessly complicated and in no way fun. It is the "Pirates of the Carribbean Sequels" of Christmas toys.
Did I just reference "Pirates of the Carribbean"? GUESS WHAT I FOUND!
1988 - Ghostbusters. Who you gonna call? j.B.C.S. hall of famer Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), that's who! No matter what the situation, he should be the one you contact immediately. If Spengler picks up the phone, you tell him to fuck off and put Winston on. And if anyone every disrespects his contribution and simply refers to him as "the black Ghostbuster", have your fist "cross the streams" to hit them in the face.
1989 - Well look who had the top selling Christmas items in 1989. Take a bow, gorgeous!
In the summer of '89 two things happened. "Batman" descended onto theatre screens (that's right, descended!) and Bryan Adams refused to re-write "Summer of '69" to commemorate such an event. There was Batman shit EVERYWHERE. Not even the breakfast table was free of his crusade on crime.
There was no product that wouldn't embrace the Batsignal that year. And I mean that. Everyone was getting in on the fun. In fact, I think I'm going to answer a question of yours before you even ask it. The answer to the question is: "Oh yes he did".
My Little Pony - Batman. Altogether now "Oh no he didn't" and I feel that I should say it again, for the people in the cheap seats: Oh yes he did. Greatest...find....ever.
So that wraps up Part 1 of 3 in the "Peninsula of Misfit Toys" series. Next up I will be making stupid comments about some of the more popular xmas toys of the 1990's, so if you are dissappointed to not see "Tickle Me Elmo" on the list (or as it should be called, "babies first sexual harassment suit") worry not, I will get to it eventually before the 25th. It is a busy month at j.Bowman Can't Sleep, but it's not like there is stuff I have to do from Midnight - 7 am.
In closing I want to say thanks to all you fine people who read and commented on my last post: "My 6 Point Plan to Sit at The Adult Table". It has absolutely destroyed my other posts in terms of views ("7 Days of Bullshit Horroscopes" took it really hard and won't stop crying) and I really appreciate all the feedback and "likes" and forwarding people have done. I will gladly read any of your blogs in the future and show you the same support. With this new one, "j.Bowman Can't Sleep" turns 40 posts old. It was a bit of a dick as a kid, then after some awkward teen years it found some purpose and a groove in it's 20-30s, I look forward to the blogs forthcoming "mid-life crisis". Most future posts will be about sports cars, broken dreams and how much I like blogs that are only 20 posts old (ain't nothing but a number, people!).
As a special treat and an extra thanks to everyone, I've searched for and found some more insane My Little Ponies. Enjoy:
(NOTE: I originally was only gonna put like 4 of 'em but I just kept finding more and more awesome mods and I want them all to get a showcase. I think you'll all agree these are awesome. Well, one of them I hate, but I appreciate the detail)
Like all great things, this should end with Mr. T.
Thanks for reading
Head over to the j.Bowman Can't Sleep Facebook Page and if you feel so inclined, give 'er a "like". Please help me in my battle to show my mom I'm not wasting my life. You could make a difference. Yes, you!