By Anthony R. Ashley
Arizona Daily Wildcat February 27, 1996
If you remember G.I. Joe, GloWorm, Strawberry Shortcake, My Buddy, Rainbow Brite and Transformers, then come with me as I weave a tale of memories, adventure and fun.
In this corner we have Duke, Scarlet, Destro, Cobra Commander, Optimus Prime and some bald-headed Cabbage Patch Kids. In that corner, we have the Mighty Muffin Power Rangers. Round One. (No, I will not walk out in my two-piece holding a sign reading "Round One!")
You wanna know why the American youth of today is all messed up? It's because their toys are so incredibly dull, boring, and lacking creativity. I remember when my friends and I would play with the our G.I. Joes (Scarlet was my favorite) and Transformers (Autobots and Decepticons!), we would learn informative messages, like telling the truth and not judging people, from them. It seems like today's toys advocate violence, promote sex (not that I'm knocking that), and send the message that guns and drugs are your friends.
Example: Who could ever forget the little lessons at the end of the G.I. Joe cartoon? "Now you know. And knowing is half the battle!" Take me back to the early '80s!
Of course, girls had the ever-present and true material girl Barbie and her whole entourage. A question for you ladies, and some of you boys (don't even try to deny it!): who didn't want to then and who doesn't now want to be like Barbie?? Girlfriend has got it all!
Today's toys are all of the video game thing, all spawned off of "Mortal Kombat" or "Street Fighter." Kicking, punching and ripping people's heads or spines out of their bodies. Do you think any of them know what an Atari 2600 is?
Whatever happened to "Pac-Man" or "Ms. Pac-Man" or "Donkey Kong?" I've heard even he's been modernized. Can't they leave those endangered species alone?? OH the humanity!!
Aside from video games, most of the toys today are the same as the children of the '80s had, the only difference is that they're modified for today's more violent world.
I went to Toys 'R Us, the cornucopia of toys as Hell-ga says, and saw G.I. Joes, Transformers, even Star Wars action figures. What boy in the early '80s didn't have those?
The Joes of today are of the "Street Fighter" series and the Transformers are "The Next Generation." They had something called Beast Transformers, and the only one I saw resembled a rat. What beasts those rats are!
For today's little girls, the only thing out there is, again, that materialistic Barbie. I saw Barbie knock-offs, but who wants the fake when you can have it all? I hope Ken is listening to this.
The best girlie toy I saw was this doll called, "Imani, the African-American Princess." She IS the black Barbie. She comes in "Denim Fun," sportin' an Asymmetrical Shroom; "Ribbon 'N' Braid Fun"; "Kente Fun" showing off her Afro-Puffs; and "Loves to Swim," weaves included.
I think in order to make today's toys a little more interesting and enticing, toy makers should make action figures, dolls, etc. that are educational, yet fun. You know, toys that reflect today's society, from da hood to anorexia.
First, there would be none of those Power Rangers or Ninja Turtles (yes, they still make those) in existence.
Next, Barbie would become totally diverse.
First, Gangsta Bitch Barbie. She would be decked out in a little half shirt, big ol' baggy jeans, Doc Martens, and a denim jacket. Her hair would all done up in braids. She would also have a beeper, activation and batteries not included. She would also be able to snap her neck all around whenever she had to display attitude.
Playeristic Ken would roll up in his lowered Suzuki Samurai showin' off the boom on his new system. He would wear his Nike hat to the side, a gold tooth, and a whole Nike ensemble. He would be rollin' with his boy K-Ron, drinking 40s and rolling big ol' blunts.
Barbie's sister, Welfare Mother Skipper, would come with a housecoat, rollers, a screaming baby in her arms and three more tugging on the housecoat, and a month's supply of food stamps.
Barbie's best friend would have to be, according to Notorious C.D.P and Sam I am, Ho-Happy Jackie. She would always be carrying some Seagrams and Sunny Delight orange juice.
They would all live in Barbie's Dream Projects. Complete with screaming children running wild, a broken elevator, crack-hos, pimps, dealers, players and a lazy super.
(Just a note, I'm not generalizing anyone. This is called sarcasm, not racism.)
Barbie would also be in many forms like: Trailer Trash Barbie (Dream Trailer Court), Teen Acne Barbie, Unwed Mother Barbie, the Hester Prynne Barbie, modeled after Demi Moore in her "Oscar-worthy" role, and my personal favorite, "Showgirls" Barbie ... She's a "SIN-sation."
Ken would not be left out. After years of speculation, Mattel would come out with "Coming Out Ken." Decked out in super-tight, sequined hot pants, a muscle shirt, freedom rings and platform shoes.
Also, to come out would be her biggest secret, Sugar Daddy Ken. Now we know where she gets all her stuff.
G.I. Joe would not be left out. New from Kenner: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell G.I. Joe, Tail Hook Scandal Lady Jaye and Scarlet," and "Dominatrix Baroness and Slave Destro." (Like we didn't know.)
Joe would be sashaying down to the Officer's Hall in some super-short, hot pink cut-offs, military boots and a black feather boa (complete for any Queen With Taste). Those gay boys who are into that Marine/uniform fetish will squeal with delight upon seeing this at the local Kay-Bee or Toys 'R Us.
Other fun toys to reflect today's society should be My Buddy the Anorexic or Bulimic, or My Abortion Buddy; a Slinky condom; Transformers, the catch on these would be they aren't robots, instead they transform from Man to Woman back to Man (thanks Geraldo!); baby dolls addicted to crack and other illicit substances from their mother; DDT and Pesticide-sprayed StrawBerry Shortcake and friends; Last but not least, GloWorm, it glows not from batteries, but from actual radiation exposure!
Hurry! Only 307 more shopping days till Christmas!