I have opened and assembled some interesting toys for you in the past year or so, but one of your 3rd birthday gifts just really takes the birthday cake.
It wins the prize for not only “Just Plain Bizzare,” but also…
“Clearly Not An American Product!”
This Tomica car playset, which I hinted to Nonna to buy for you as a birthday gift when we were at TJ Maxx with her and Papa a few months ago, is labled as “Hypercity Rescue Gas Station Fire.”
As I was unboxing it for you, I took a picture so you could see how weird it was.
It reminds me of the very memorable and always hilarious “freak gasoline fight accident” scene on the movie, Zoolander:
I like how on the cover of the box there is a nerdy guy having to run away from his extremely cool sports car convertible, and how the fireman is instantly on the scene, putting out the fire.
Clearly, there are no injuries. The fireman saves the day and the man who drives the red convertible runs out of the way just in time. It is assumed the insurance company covers the expenses lost in the explosion of the building. Happy ending every time.
Again though, clearly not an American product.
I think it’s safe to say Hot Wheels would never create something this weird.
Granted, they make a car playset where cars drive up a ramp in order to jump into a live T-Rex’s mouth, which Mommy and I bought for your birthday… but that’s nothing compared to “Hypercity Rescue Gas Station Fire.”
Not to mention, this set comes with a lot (!) of stickers to apply and no instructions.
Just the good ole fashioned, “Figure it out yourself!” deal.
From what I could understand, the set is designed to be easily wrecked, so the “on fire” stickers can be revealed when the assumed 3 year-old boy who is playing with the set decides to blow it up every 45 seconds.
You wanted a gas station playset for all your cars. Well, you got it.
Two weeks from today, you’ll turn 3 years old. Today Mommy picked up a few Hot Wheels pick-up trucks as party favors for your very small birthday party coming up; the theme is “Trucks.”
The intention was for you to receive one of these party favors yourself, at the time of your actual birthday party.
You convinced Mommy to let you “just hold” your favorite truck out of the bunch, a brown 1987 Toyota.
That’s right, you carried it, in the package, all day, out in public. We went to your school’s Halloween party today, with each member of our family having to hold your in-the-package pick-up truck at some point.
As you were receiving candy and prizes from your teachers along the way, there we were carrying around a packaged toy.
On the drive home tonight, you announced, “Somebody said I can open it.”
You’re unsure of exactly who it was, of course. Being that the only other two people in the car were Mommy and me, it really made the “somebody” a real mystery.
By the time we walked in the front door, Mommy left it up to me. The ridiculous compromise we settled on was that we would let you open your truck, but we had to keep the package in tact and “pretend” to open it in front of your birthday guests so it would seem like a surprise to you too.
Patience is a virtue… that you’re still working on. But hey, so am I. Honestly, who’s not still working on that one?
It’s so hard to hold back sometimes, even though the timing just isn’t right yet.
I know I’ve lived that lesson more times than I wish to count.
The good news for you is, I don’t see a lot of repercussions with you privately opening your own birthday party favor two weeks early.
No one ever has to know, especially since we managed to open the package without tearing it too badly.
Every time we visit my parents’ house, you take back with you a few souvenirs.
Typically, they are my old Hot Wheels from when I was about your age in the mid 1980s.
You now have so many toy cars that you regularly ask me:
“Daddy, where’d I get this one? It was yours when you was a boy?”
I’ll look over and see an orange paint-chipped Gremlin or Snoopy driving a tow truck (that was before Mater was cool) and reply, “That’s right: Nana and Papa got me that one when I was a boy, like you.”
You are lucky that my parents didn’t give away any of my childhood toys. So each time you visit their house, you can try out and even walk away with anything on display in the 1980s museum I grew up in.
“Hey, that’s a Smurf car!” you so excitedly announced, holding a red car being driven by Smurfette.
I guess you didn’t realize that Smurfs are in their offical comeback phase- that at one time, they were 20 times cooler than they are right now.
You like to take my ’80s cars into school each morning, only to store them in your cubby all day. I take it as a compliment. It’s your way of taking a piece of me with you each day when I can’t be with you.
Sure, it’s been a few decades since I’ve been a boy, but I can totally relate to your excitement about toys- especially ones from the ’80s.
It also subconsciously points to something we share in common: boyhood.
You recognize that I’m an adult, but you understand the concept that I was once a boy who was a lot like you:
I was a boy with an orange Gremlin and a Snoopy tow truck.