I don’t like it and you don’t like it, and yet, here we are. Right now I am inclined to go hot stove leaguing all the way over there, away from the congratulatory messages to Giancarlo Stanton.
I am approaching a difficult era in the purchasing of Christmas gifts. My nephews are edging away from the toy aisle, but not so much that they can appreciate a free car detailing, so I already have to shop vicariously through friends who conducted their adult lives correctly and remembered to have children of their own.
What’s going on out there is the utter ruination, as usual. of the peak of Western Civilization, which as we all know occurred in 1985.
Uno, once a staple of rainy days and snow delays, was a relatively quiet, non-shooting-your-eye-out card game. Originally, when a player drew a card, it was docilely selected from a non-moving, non-weaponized pile.
No more!Now the cards come to you, at a high rate of speed and pretty much directly right at your sternum. I can’t say that I dislike it; this version builds character. Uno Attack ensures that the most car-seated, corners-covered generation ever born will at least know some element of danger.
I played this version with my nephews once and it was at least as terrifying as Spoons. Aunt Beth is giving them therapy for Christmas.
Toss Across is a tic-tac-toe game played with beanbags. I had the original version of this game when I was a child. Toss Across was large. So large that it lived in the basement. You had to chuck the meaty bean bags with your entire body to flip the X and O boards. Or at the nearest sibling.
The current Toss Across now sits on a sad, small percentage of a tabletop, a plasticy shadow of its former self. If you put it on the floor, it shall be lost amongst the carpet fibers. What’s going to happen with the 2017 version is you’re going to overshoot these Chicklet-sized beanbags, badly, and quite possibly take out your glass of Scotch, and you’re going to start doubting your eyesight as you continue your inevitable slide towards irretrievable oldness. Available at toy retailers near you!
Fisher-Price Little People
They’re enormous, okay. Where Toss Across has shrunk alarmingly, the Little People are now the size of your average Imperial Star Destroyer. The redesign probably keeps them from getting jammed into little windpipes– whatever. But… they’re just so freakishly huge. And they have shoes. And it’s like I don’t even know what America is all about anymore.
Connect Four Launcher
Because checkers plopped into a plastic frame aren’t good enough.
This version makes Connect Four three-dimensional, and also weaponized. I eagerly await a fourth-dimensional version, so that I may launch checker rims at the face of Thor.
This…thing, Rubik’s Revolution ,is supposedly an upgrade. It lights up. It lights up.
This is incredibly upsetting. Where are the stickers? Where are the cheatin’s? A Rubik’s Cube should not need batteries. Think of the spatially incompetent. Think, as always, of what I want. Which is Scotch.
Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis is a freelance writer and college teacher who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Her home site, BlondeChampagne.com, has existed in at least some form since 2003, and Mary Beth has been a regular columnist with one publication or another from the age of 16. Her first book, Drink to the Lasses, was published in 2006. She currently teaches college, runs personal wine tastings, gives literary readings, and stares into the middle distance.