Monday, December 28, 2009
Old Favorites, New Looks
Ever wonder what happens to the toys we left behind? Those with children of their own are able to revisit the latest versions of old favorites, but for those who haven’t had an excuse to check out Etch-E-Sketch 2.0, here’s a breakdown.
Doctor, lawyer and killer flight attendant, Barbie has done it all in three inch heels and tiny skirts. But now, after almost fifty years of controversy, Barbie has developed a new, thicker look. The original Barbie was designed on a scale of 1/6. This means the real life Barbie would have been 5’9.” The proportions of Barbie, however, were entirely unrealistic. She would have had a 36 inch bust and 18 inch waist. Her original weight of 110 pounds would make her at least 35 pounds underweight for her height.
But after years of concern and scorn about Barbie promoting unhealthy body images and unrealistic standards for the young women who played with the many versions of the doll, Barbie is a new woman. In 2000, Barbie gained a belly button and a wider waistline. Her waist also moved up into a more natural position, ostensibly to make more modern fashions fit more appropriately, but some wonder if the changes are a long overdue response to criticism. Waistlines aside, Barbie games are still intensely popular with girls of all ages, and Barbie games have also gone online where they are reaching even more enthusiastic fans.
LITE-BRITE Flat Screen
Like the flat screen in your living room? Modern flat screen technology has a broad reach and now you can enjoy flat screen technology while you play with your LITE-BRITE. Decades ago, LITE-BRITE took tiny colored pegs and backlit the designs you created through black paper with a standard light bulb. The set-up was large, bulky, but good for hours of fun.
Today, you can use a boxy set-up or the new flat screen. If you opt for the box, you now have four sides to choose from. Gone is the console style backing in place of a newly designed lit cube ready for your latest and greatest designs – four at once, that is. Or keep things compact, but opting for the flat LITE-BRITE instead. While it might not be HD, it’s definitely a step up from what we had a short generation ago.
You might have played with Hot Wheels or Matchbox, but the style of cars was the same. Tiny metal cars to collect, bury in the sandbox and leave painfully underfoot have been enjoyed be generations of vehicle enthusiasts. Today, the basics are the same, but the styles and accessories have been very updated. Naturally, the cars produced today are indicative of the available auto lines produced the world over.
But in addition to that, children paying with Matchbox cars have much more to do with their cars than we did a generation ago. If we were lucky, we were able to secure a track and possibly a ramp for our cars. All sound effects and aerial acrobatics were performed by the driver – you. Today, you can buy the basic die cast cars or you can branch out and buy the ones that make noise, play inspiring music, or run on their own. Accessories for the cars include elaborate cities, race tracks, and parks where cars can be levered or moved without your assistance. While most of the Matchbox cars remain true to the classic nature of the toy, if you want a digital micro-car experience, it is readily available.