Adults and toys … time wasters or development tools for stress relief? Everybody needs a little Kung Fu Grip now and again


Pictured above … a 500,000 piece Lego diorama model of the World War II Pacific Theater Battle of Peleliu that somebody spent a lot of time, effort and skill for undefined goals.

Toys. I have thought some about TOYS lately, and noticed a few posts for children’s toys in the hands of adults on the Net (read mostly Facebook) and adult toys in the hands of … well adults (thanks Mandy for all you do for me)
 I saw a Gizmodo post yesterday displaying somebody’s 500,000 piece Lego diorama of a World War II Pacific invasion force hitting the beach during the September 1944 invasion of the Japanese stronghold on Peleliu

My first thought was: Man, people, push away from the Legos. They are everywhere and they hurt when you step on them in the morning. 

Then I thought that was a rash thing to blurt out loud in between bites of a sandwich. Really, this could be a history teachers gift to future classes, a combat veteran coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder … or a guy/gal who just cannot get a date. 

I had Legos as a kid – like a nine-year-old kid. They were just plain snap it bricks in a tub or something and you used your imagination to come up with a square block building that looked like a pump house for a mobile home park. 

When I was older, like 15 or so, the Lego models of Star Wars vehicles – X-Wing and TIE Fighters – became popular and I think there was an Obi Wan or Luke Skywalker Lego figure with a lightsaber. Never had those. I was too old for Legos.

And that brings me to an old friend of mine – Jennifer – who made the point yesterday that there is indeed a time and place, at least to her, for Legos. 

Jennifer wrote: “I dated a guy whose whole living room was nothing but stuff like this. LEGO crap everywhere. It was a BIG living room but he could barely fit a couch and a TV in it. What a turn on! NOT!
“Just like Trix (the cereal), Legos are for kids!”

 I still felt bad for judging somebody and their Lego hobby. I rationalized it with the “Well at least they are not kidnapping women and throwing them in the basement.” argument. Or, the “Everybody has hobbies. Everybody doesn’t think like I do” counterpoint. 

Then I thought: “Nah, that is one hell of a lot of Legos. And like Trix, they tend to end up near, around, in and under the sofa for years.”

I wondered about toys for a few minutes. What do they really do to kids and adults? There is the old saying of putting away your toys that adults use to beat up teenage boys and girls in order to get them to stop asking a parent and adults to spend any more money on toys. Oh yeah, and the secondary goal is to get them to grow up. I think that is the purpose. I don’t remember. I always tuned out after the “No” bit.

However, I have toyed with plenty of Ford Mustangs since the age of 16, and I have had dozens of computers and hundreds of computer games … well, I call ’em simulations

 Plenty of adults have “collectibles” in and around their desks. I cannot tell you the number of dolls I have seen on engineers desks – and lest the military cubicle farms and offices I have been in get a past all I gotta say is you people have a thing for working, well lit sensor, site, helicopter and missile models and prototype gear just laying on your desks … for years. 

This morning, I saw a model that sold in the 1950s of a Westinghouse Nuclear Reactor, and briefly I wanted it. The kid in me did. I felt nostalgic. I felt cheated. Wow, if I hadda had that as a kid, and not the “GI Joe with Kung Fu Grip” (screw you Joe and your decaying rubber fingers) maybe I woulda been … exactly the same guy I am today.” 

I laughed at the thought. No plastic model reactor would have made a difference. I built plenty of airplanes and model Goodyear blimps and didn’t become an aeronautical engineer, and now I am … not searching the Net to find that Nuclear Power Plant model. Nope. Not at all. 

The Colonel


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