When is a toy more than just a toy?December 16, 2016
I love toys, you could say I love toys. Of course, you’ve probably figured this out already, I mean it’s not like there is a fair few clues scattered about the place!
Why do I love toys? Three reasons. The main reason is because I love my children and take a keen interest in the items and activities they enjoy. This, of course, is one of the reasons which prompted me to start this blog where I review toys and games on a regular basis. So my love of toys also bestows a practical advantage.
But then there’s the third reason I love toys – I love toys because I’ve always loved toys and because, deep down, I’m a big kid at heart.
And I’m not alone.
Just because we’re fully grown up doesn’t mean we’ve grown up fully. And toys for big boys and big girls is also really big business.
This is particularly true in recent times; whereas previous generations strived to act as sombre and “grown-up” as possible, we’ve learned that it’s much healthier to show our childish side from time to time. It’s good for relieving stress, for one thing, and giving your imagination a workout is also highly beneficial.
No wonder, then, that the people who enjoy toys the most, those who are the biggest collectors of toys, and the most obsessive toy fans, aren’t children, they’re always adults.
The North Pole has a strict embargo on grown-ups, however (too much naughty, not nearly enough nice), which means we need to finance our little guilty pleasure toy purchases ourselves.
Christmas For The Roguish Ones
So, for the second Christmas in a row, we’ve got a Star Wars movie in the cinema. Which, of course, means Star Wars toys will once again feature prominently in many letters to Santa Claus.
You’ll notice, also, that I’ve already compiled a review of some of the best Star Wars gifts for Christmas while I was all hyped up to watch the new Star Wars Rogue One movie.
For me, the best thing about Star Wars isn’t the space ships or the lightsabre battles, nor is it the characters, great as they are. These days it’s more about the fact that it brings us all together.
As mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the franchise and love that my kids are too – it’s something we can all enjoy together.
Of course as Star Wars fans go, we barely scratch the surface. Because Star Wars is also the ultimate when it comes to fandom and toy collecting.
A Santa List for Grown Ups
Every Christmas there’s that must-have toy, the one that’s on every kid’s list yet no store seems to stock enough of them. Last year’s toy, without a doubt, was BB-8.
That said you need not look far, either, to find men who, despite being all grown up and having children of their own these days, still bear more than a little resentment that they never got that Millennium Falcon they asked Santa Claus for. (Not naming any names!)
Star Wars toys were never cheap and, almost four decades later, that’s not changed. This is particularly true if you’re looking to track down vintage toys, where original action figures like Darth Vader and Boba Fett can easily cost up to £5,000!
(The only thing more expensive is actual Star Wars memorabilia, such as the original Luke Skywalker Lightsabre, which made almost a quarter of a million dollars when it was sold at auction a few years back.)
Still, that’s not to say there aren’t bargains to be found. Much of the value in these toys is because they’re in their original packaging – this is key to their collectability, and therefore overall value.
If, on the other hand, you’re purchasing it purely for nostalgic and sentimental reasons, then the original packaging doesn’t matter so much.
So, if you know a lad who’s still grumpy he never got that Star Wars toy he wanted for Christmas, have a look on eBay. Last year I found an original (or “vintage” as the collectors call it) Millennium Falcon, still in its packaging, for £250.
Not the cheapest toy purchase by any means, but more than worth it to see the reaction. Tears of joy welling up in the eyes of a grown man as he tears off the wrapping to find that toy he always wanted, plus a little note from Santa Claus explaining there was a “mix-up at the North Pole” and apologising for the delay!
Was there a toy you always wanted for Christmas but never received?