Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ages 5 and Up

I like gadgets. And toys. And gadgets that are also toys... and toys that are also gadgets.

I also like to have gadgets and toys handy to play with while I'm working. (Which makes me realize that what my desk REALLY needs is a Rubick's cube. How fun would that be? While I'm mentally problem solving I could also be puzzle solving! Oh man. I need to get one. But I digress.) As a result of my need to fidget while working, I have toys and gadgets on my desk.  No big.

A couple of weeks ago I saw the new Transformers movie and let me just say this: loved it. One of the (many) things I enjoyed about it? There were NASCAR vehicles that were ALSO Autobots. It's like the movie gods thought, "How can we make Danielle really love this movie? Let's see. Massive explosions, check. Josh Duhamel and Patrick Dempsey, check. Giant killer robots, check. Linkin Park soundtrack, check ... we need something else... Oh I know! NASCAR!" And there it was, Dale Jr's car, all Transformer'ed out. I believe I may have uttered a small shriek of joy. (To be perfectly honest, the only thing that could have made it any better would have been the involvement of Mark Harmon and/ or 30 Seconds to Mars. However, that level of awesome may have caused my head to explode. I'm just saying.)

(Also, I know that my confession of love for Michael Bay movies and the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing has probably lowered me in the opinions of some readers. To which I can only say: listen up, Mayor McJudgie of Judgertown. I don't demand that you love what I love, so I'd like to be allowed a little space for the low brow. Plus, watching stuff explode on screen is fun, as is watching people turn left at really high speeds for several hours. To each her own.)


So last weekend, I was at Target and I realized that there is a TOY version of the Transformer that looks like Dale Jr's car. And then I realized that having that on my desk would bring me hours of worktime enjoyment. So I bought it.

Let me say now: I had Transformers when I was a kid. I loved them. They were awesome. (I kind of wish I still had them, to be honest.) They were fun. They were complex and gadgety and cool.

I do not remember needing to have an engineering degree to make them, well, transform.

Oh times, how they change.

The box for this little gem of a toy says "Ages 5 and up". I don't know where Hasbro is recruiting 5 year olds from, but I'm thinking ... Mensa. Because holy hell, is this thing hard to figure out. It took me well over an hour to change it from a car to a robot. And by "well over an hour" I mean to say "I'm not going to tell you because it's embarassing, but I went to bed at about 12:30 and I got home with the stupid thing at about 9ish and you can do the math". Even then, I could tell I hadn't done it properly, because my kick-ass robot looked like he needed to spend some time in a repair facility for Autobots that had perhaps been partying too hard the night before. Standing was an issue for him to the point that his posture looked sheepish, as though he was trying to apologize for failing to lay off the high test.

When I woke up the next morning, he was slouching there on my nightstand. It made me feel bad, and also? A little dumb. This is a toy for CHILDREN, I thought. I am THIRTY FIVE. Surely I can figure this out.

Surely the first thing I did was accidentally pop his head off. His tiny robotic gaze spoke to me. It said, "You are a moron."

I put his head back on and began to carefully, painstakingly once again try to follow the diagrams that came with him. Now he stands boldly on my desk, weapon in hand, ready to take on any and all who might annoy or enrage me.

It's awesome.

However, needing two days to figure out a toy designed for use by children as young as 5? Not so awesome.

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