I had plenty of toys as a kid but I remember being more into books. I'm not entirely sure if this was a nature or nurture situation because I also remember not being given the opportunity to shop for toys very often. Department stores usually had a small toy section in those dark ages (also known as the '70s) but they weren't overflowing with stuff the way even grocery store toy aisles are today. And we certainly didn't have the wondrous internet to help us complete our Star Wars action figure collections…
Hawaii in the '70s was significantly more backwards than it is today. We got movies months later than the rest of the US and even our TV programming seemed to be behind the mainland. So I never really knew about the hot toys anyway, unless they were featured in comic books. I was pretty obsessed with the library, since we didn't have gigantic mega bookstores back then, either. Once a year, the military exchanges (my dad was a Marine) would set up their Christmas annexes and there would be a ridiculous stampede with everyone clamoring for the toys. It was the one time of year that the shelves would be brimming with multiples of the same toys instead of one or two lonely dolls and hula hoops.
I thought it was magical then but now I can't even imagine lining up and shuffling through to buy the same stuff everyone else is getting from Santa. I'm happy to have a kid who asks me to find old She-Ra stuff for her on Ebay, although I am sure she would also be psyched if our house was completely filled with Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony toys. Although I suppose I would brave the mall crowds for Roo or Jasper if they REALLY wanted something that badly.
The Parent Bloggers Network is holding a blog blast this weekend to spread the word about Hasbro's Hot Summer Toy Event. For every item you buy during the Hasbro's Hot Summer Toy Event (7/20/08 – 8/2/08), Hasbro will donate a toy to Toys for Tots, up to $400,000 worth!
Toys for Tots is a longstanding USMC initiative: I remember their bins in place during the aforementioned holiday shopping excursions and realizing for the very first time that there were other kids who didn't have any toys at all. (Or food. Or books! I was very distraught.) If you visit Hasbro's Hot Summer Toy Event, shipping is free and you'll be getting something not only for your kid, but for someone else's, too. Nice.