As I write this, I am inspired to do the research but right now I’m just going to write my thoughts.
I wonder if children buy toys anymore? Specifically I’m curious if children buy Hot Wheels, Star Wars figures, or any of the Marvel Legends or DC Multiverse action figures. These are toy lines that have huge adult collector bases. And if they do, what is the percentage of those purchases vs. the adult collector.
I don’t collect any more yet old habits die hard (that’s right Mr. McClane!). When I enter a Target or Wal-mart, the first area I hit is the toy aisles. I don’t go there to buy but to peruse. I’m still intrigued and interested by toys. Both boy and girls focus. In some alternate timeline I became a toy designer. I think I would have been good at that. So, when I’m in the aisle I very rarely see children. It’s not during school hours. Usually on the weekend or evenings. I can’t recall the last time I saw a kid going through the Hot Wheels. But I do see adult men all the time.
Then I start wondering if Mattel just makes Hot Wheels for old guys. As if they gave up long ago that kids want to play with little metal cars on winding plastic tracks. The same thought process goes for Barbie. Over the holidays I saw the Christmas Barbie — just sitting on the shelves. I remember when grown women would fight (literally as in push and shove) for these dolls in the 1990s. These dolls were designed for the adult collector because they had a price point of $29.99 and up. The ones this year were marked $39.99 and no one was buying. And I’m sure parents wouldn’t spend that on a child — in any decade.
Toys are for kids so I hope they are still buying them!
Going back isn’t an option. It took me years to stop worrying about what I didn’t accomplish. The worrying had turned to regret. I regretted not going down certain roads — turning right when maybe I should have turned left. I knew that I shouldn’t regret where I was. I was on this path because that is where my destiny took me. The regret may have caused anxiety of missed opportunities; the path dreamed of a better life.
Things may have not gone to plan but I’m still moving forward. I’ve learned so much. I’m stuck my foot in my mouth several times. There was a time where I would have told someone, I will always collect Star Wars toys. Well, I’ve not collected a Star Wars toy in a decade. (Golly! Has it been over ten years since the end of the Prequal Trilogy?) Then there was a time that I would have told someone, that I will forever keep my collectibles. I’ve sold most of them and I’m continuing you sell and purge the things I don’t need. (I’m really moving toward a life of simple and minimalism.)
As I child, I had a hand in so many geek things: playing D&D, collecting Star Wars and Star Trek, building plastic model kits of naval ships and World War II airplanes, and reading / hoarding comic books. Some of these hobbies have come and gone. As I head into the second half of my life, I’ve found that some of those hobbies have returned. At first, I criticized myself for not being more true to those past hobbies. Figuring that if I had been building model kits for the past 20 years, I’d be much better at it. Then, I realized that actually I have something I would have lost—the ability to enjoy the discovery. So, I’ve returned to building plastic model kits. Instead of stating, “I’ve built that and that and that. what’s left to do?” I can say, “I can’t wait to build that and that and that!”
Life takes us where we are meant to be. We don’t get a rewind button. Nor should we have one. Know that your core will always be true but the small details can and will change over time. Embrace it!