Did you get the hover board you've been begging for this year?
Of course not, because toys are for children and you are a grown adult who asks for bath towels for Christmas. Or, sorry, was it dishes?
But there was a time, before you grew up and sold part of your soul to the man, when Christmas was all about the toys. There was nothing more exciting than waking up and sprinting to the tree to unwrap all your goodies. Unless of course your goodies didn't include that year's hottest toy, in which case you threatened to disown your family forever.
That's because back in the day (otherwise known as the '80s and '90s, folks!) there were certain gifts that were THE GIFT. People went crazy for the things—like if every time there was a new iPhone, the only customers were screaming children and their emotionally overwhelmed parents. Merry Christmas?
Since we so easily forget the magic greed of our youth, we decided to take a little journey back in time and test out some of yesteryear's most popular toys. As it turns out, the magic wears off a little bit when you've aged twenty years and have the benefit of technology. Just how kids got along without the benefit of Apple, we'll never know.
Appearance: See for yourself. It's still nightmare-inducing and oddly cute at the same time, only now it has the millennial touch, thanks to some crystals and a good ombré.
Experience: How much time do you have? The new Furby is not the Furby of your childhood, this is the Furby of the iPhone-at-seven-years-old generation. Buckle up. After whipping out your screwdriver and installing batteries (yep, 2015 still brings the fear of Batteries Not Included), download the Furby app. That's right, it has an app now. This version is basically Siri in fur form, with the additional options of caring for the thing through the app. (There's even an option to feed him digital cookies). There's still some old-Furby features, like tickling or shaking, but those just seem silly when you can ask your toy how it's doing today.
Conclusion: Run, children. Run to books.
Appearance: This particular N64 is black with purple buttons, aka the coolest color scheme of the '90s. It's so bulky and plastic-y compared to the sleek, shiny Wii U I have next to it. But it's got a vintage charm and that reset button? Still satisfying to press in in the hopes it'll fix your frozen Golden Eye game.
Experience: Ridiculous as it was, that Nintendo 64 controller fit into our hands like no time had passed. And in case you were wondering, we still totally have the magic touch when it comes to blowing the dust out of the Mario Kart cartridge. We don't care if experts say blowing into the cartridge is actually bad for the game; the man can't keep us down! Princess Peach is still our go-to character, and that damn blue shell was still the death of us right near the end of Rainbow Road. By the way, Rainbow Road was almost definitely made by someone on an acid trip. Or it was made for someone on an acid trip.
Conclusion: Let's make this into a grown-up drinking game, stat.
Appearance: There was once a day when we owned the biggest collection of beanie babies this side of the Mississippi. Now this is the only one we could scrounge up. How the mighty have fallen. Either way, we have to admit to the beanie babies being a lot smaller than we remembered (is that because of our giant mitts? Who knows), but just as cuddly. Is that creepy for an almost 30-something to say?
Experience: It turns out that while TY can still get it in the cuteness department, these don't actually do much. Like, really, how did we possibly pass any time with these things? It literally just sits there. It's soft, sure, but how far does soft get you? We're starting to understand more how being an only child really affected our social lives—we shudder to think about the imaginary conversations we had with these.
Conclusion: We've officially outgrown stuffed animals, but that's definitely a good thing.
Roller Coaster Tycoon
Appearance: You guys, computer games are hilarious. Just the act of holding a plastic case with a CD-ROM is a blast from the past. And the graphics...forgive, but we remember RCT as being a super lifelike 3D experience that was basically like being on a roller coaster ourselves. Now it's...a janky computer picture of an obviously-fake roller coaster. Who knew.
Experience: So get this: The game broke our computer. Well, broke is an exaggeration, but it certainly caused some major drama. Perhaps something that was meant for Windows 95 isn't quite compatible with today's machines? Before the technological meltdown, however, we got a solid 10 minutes of...epic roller coaster failure. Seriously. We suck at this game. If memory serves us correctly, we used to be quite the high falutin theme park builders back in the day. But apparently computer game skills are something that died back when...computer games did. Our spatial skills are squat, and our creativity is nothing compared to what it used to be. All the twists! All the turns! All the awesome roller coaster colors! We blame adulthood for zapping us entirely.
Conclusion: We might have been smarter as eight-year-olds. But we also have a strong inner desire to master this game. Let's revisit in a month's time, when we will have created the most magnificent theme park in the world.
Appearance: Umm. Classic? Retro? What are other nice words for "old?" They are actually just like we remembered them, only now we have an image of the creepy divorced men who would drive them in real life.
Experience: At first glance, we thought we'd have another beanie baby situation on our hands: A toy that used to fascinate us, but now bores us with its lack of flash. But it turns out that Hot Wheels are actually a total blast. You can annoy your coworkers for hours running these things back and forth across your desk. And they do tricks! Well, you can make them do tricks! You'd be surprised how well a plastic car holds up when you launch it off the back of your computer. The true irony of this discovery is that we were never interested in these as a child. My how we missed out.
Conclusion: They still got it.
Appearance: Slick as the night.
Experience: One word: Fun. Fun, fun, fun. You are never too old to fly down the streets (okay, office hallways) at the speed of light, with the wind in your hair. The best part? There is no skill required for this toy. It's a brain vacation! And that's the best kind of vacation.
Conclusion: Is it drastic to sell our car now?