It's a sound that comes every Christmas time. No, it's not the sound of reindeer hooves stomping on the rooftop. Nor are we referring to the sounds of carolers on our door step. We're not even talking about the jingling of bells or those disturbing noises some people make when they are sucking face under the mistletoe or the scraping of plates as people try to quickly give the dog a piece of fruitcake off their platter or the chatter of family members as teenagers complain about YET AGAIN being at the kiddie table when they are 16, MOM, and are adult enough to drive to and from the grocery store to pick up last minute details. These are, for most people, a lot of the traditional sounds of the Christmas season but for us here at the Majak Kingdom, nothing quite symbolizes that the season is upon us than the string of complaints that come the moment the first decoration is put up at retail stores.
"Christmas has become way too commercial," a chorus of voices sing together. Nine times out of ten this is being said while somebody is busily maxing out their credit card because nothing honors the birth of baby Jesus quite like financial ruin. Maybe? Anyway, it's the most common complaint about how NOW Christmas is a holiday completely focused solely on the giving and receiving of presents and no longer about the values of peace, love and harmony that it once did in that magical time of indeterminate date called "back in the day."
Now, we'll admit that Christmas time is really a consumer-driven holiday. Most retail places make a bulk of their income from this time period. We just think it's funny how people act as though this is somehow some recent development. Last time we check, the tacky-fest that is "Santa Baby," a song so gleefully materialistic it makes "Material Girl" look Mother Theresa-esque in comparison, is not some new song. People have always been sort of greedy or O.Henry wouldn't have to write morality tales like "Gift of the Magi" to get across the "true" spirit of the season.
Anyway, we here at the Majak Kingdom are really shallow people so we embrace the commercialism of it all because presents=love.
So here we are going to present some of the greatest toys to receive for Christmas. Ever. Because the only thing we love more than commercialism is commercialism infused with misplaced nostalgia.
First up, the Teddy Bear any Latch-Key Kid could love: Teddy Ruxpin
We had one of those toys as a kid and quickly used it for karate practice. But for the brief time we used it for its intended purpose, we have to say we adored every slightly creepy bit of the toy. We're pretty sure the toy was created solely to lessen the guilt of busy working 1980s parents, too harried from trying to have it all while catch episodes of "Thirtysomething" to be attentive so Teddy Ruxpin was created so their kids would be read to, even if it wasn't by them.
The Teddy Ruxpin theme song because in the 1980s/1990s, more than any time other, cartoons were basically just infomercials for toys.
Next up, one of our personal favorite toys as a kid: Popples
They were cute and fluffy and lacked the fucked-up, gene-splicing back story of Wuzzles.
Every year there is some sort of toy craze from Tickle Me Elmo to Cabbage Patch Dolls to Pokemon. Some of our fondest memories from childhood was the sheer hell we put our parents through trying track the majesty that were Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toys. We're pretty there has to be at least ONE parent on death throw because of killing somebody for one in the aisle of a Toys R US.
You know, as many people rail against the wave of political correctness that swept through the country during the 1990s, that wave took a long time to splash on the shores of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers since the show initially had the Black Ranger be African-American and the Yellow Ranger be Asian. Even in elementary school, we were like:
We will say that we still obsessively play our Mighty Morphin Power Rangers game on our SuperNintendo. We don't know if that makes us a dork or a hipster. I suppose if we did so earnestly, we'd be dorks; if done with a sense of irony while wearing a Scott Pilgrim shirt, it would make us a hipster.
Speaking of Super Nintendo, we can't believe we actually own the shift-fest of a game that is the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York game.
The only thing dumber than this game was the craze that swept through pretty much every middle school: Pogs.
There is not even GURL PLEASE at the idea that there was/is a World Pog Federation that ruled over all things pogs.
I wonder what their opinion is of Alf Pogs.
And here's a present you could buy for that special man or lady in your life and wanted them to know that you liked them enough to buy a present but not enough to buy them something decent: Designer Imposters
You really don't think we were going to do an old school toys for Christmas post and not include the HBIC of all toys.
So 1980s tacky fabulous it makes us
Hold onto your wigs everybody and prepare to have your mind blown with the following Jem remakes using the actual Jem and the Hologram dolls.
Damn it, Aretha, we told you to hold onto your wig!
Well we end this Yule Blog before Aretha starts tearing down everything up in here.
Have a merry Christmas everybody!
Now get the hell out of here.
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