I’m feeling a little old lately, having a nine month old child in the house. Over the years, even prior to having a little munchkin in the house, I pitied the toys and content kids were being exposed to — crap like Barney, Veggie Tales, etc. Even when they tried to remake good old properties like the Transformers, they did it horribly wrong — opting for slick computer animation that was very sterile and didn’t have the character of the old 80’s stuff like G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. and the original Transformers. The toys and shows alike rocked, and we had a blast with everything within those types of properties. Sure, some of that is nostalgia creeping in, but I still felt like the crap kids are being exposed to 20 years later is utter crap.

But then, there are some big changes that technological advances that have made for some cool as hell toys. We recently got a green stuffed animal dog from LeapFrog called “Scout.” Initially, the thing is hooked up to a computer via USB where you customize it with things like your child’s name, favorite food, color and animal. Then, these are all incorporated into songs and conversations the toy has. Very cool.

It’s also amazing how many of his toys have sound and lights, and their complexity. Thanks to better and cheaper tech like LEDs, these things are so much more of a multimedia experience than stuff we had growing up.

So while our kids will never know the Autobots as anything but GM vehicles, the technology is light years ahead of the stuff we all grew up with.

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