I love watching my children enjoy the same toys that I loved as a kid. Toy makers don’t need to do anything fancy—millennial parents like me just want to play with the same stuff we had in the 80s and 90s!
Transformers were big for me growing up. I have distinct memories of my cousin receiving Optimus Prime for his birthday and how he sang the theme song in his own unique way: “Transformers! Go Bots in your eyes!”
Cub has tried the old-school Transformers show but found it a bit too dark. He also has a Transformer I bought him at Value Village (I didn’t actually know it was a Transformer), and he struggles to actually transform it. The solution is Rescue Bots! If you have a preschooler, you’re likely familiar with this gentler, less scary version of the Transformers franchise. Whenever we see a helicopter, Cub says it must be Blades. Playskool Heroes has a full line of Rescue Bots toys that are larger and easier to manipulate for little hands. Basically, these are Transformers for children whose parents’ inability to transform their action figures leads to indescribable frustration.
I am hoping that when he moves on to “big kid” action figures, Cub will pass his High Tide Playschool Hero onto his sister. (This may be wishful thinking.) In the meantime, Santa’s bringing her a transforming toy of her own. Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head are classic examples of toys I always played with at other people’s houses but never had for myself. Obviously I need to give one to my daughter! At sixteen months old, she is learning to name her body parts. She can point to her nose and her teeth and her tongue … sort of. Assembling and disassembling Mrs. Potato Head will help us reinforce those words! Also, fun fact I just learned: Mr. Potato Head pieces were originally designed to be used on real potatoes! Imagine receiving this gift under the tree only to discover your mom had already peeled and mashed all the taters in the house!
So that takes care of the transforming I mentioned in the title. How about some popping? I remember getting the Trouble board game as a kid, and I have also given it as a gift. Cub is really getting into playing board games, and it’s critical to my sanity that only non-annoying games cross the threshold of our home. Games that require hours of set up or complicated rules need not apply. Trouble is simple. You can’t lose the dice or toss them across the room. Pop the bubble, move your (wo)man, everyone’s happy. Naturally, I chose the Avengers version of Trouble for my superhero-obsessed dude!
And what will his sister pop while we play? Hopefully she’ll be occupied with her Busy Poppin’ Pals. Flipping switches, pressing buttons, turning knobs … all her favourite activities. And, bonus—each action makes a cute animal pop up which will without doubt delight her.
Which Hasbro toys are on your children’s wish list?
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