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The Northerner

Toys updated for new, old audience

Bree Danielle

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When I was four, He-Man was the coolest man ever – after my Daddy, of course.

He-Man had a giant sword and was the brother of She-Ra.

He carried a battle-axe and he rode a Battle Cat.

He fought in opposition to evil and waged war against Skeletor in hand-to-hand combat.

Meanwhile, some of his friends simply knew him as Prince Adam of Eternia.

The best thing about He-Man and his buddies is that they came in a durable figurine size.

I had armloads of the generic beefy-bodied men with rubberized heads.

Whenever there was trouble, He-Man was there to save the day.

Even though I was somewhat of a tomboy, my sugary-sweet girl side still reigned when it came to all pink things.

I slept with my squishy Luv-A-Lot Care Bear, saved my precious pennies in a vinyl Rainbow Bright bank and of course, I always smelled fresh like Strawberry Shortcake.

Over time, I packed away the Galahad-haired He-Man and traded in Ms. Bright for a Dodge Neon and an iBook.

Recently, on a blue-moon trip to the mall, I discovered that my beloved toys from the past are coming back a bit more “modern” than they were when they left with my childhood.

Blue jean-wearing Strawberry Shortcakes and a plethora of slightly smaller Care Bears took over an entire rack at Claire’s Boutique.

Giant Care Bears smiled in the window at Hallmark.

Rainbow Bright, the same exact doll I had in 1985, is now a reissue “blast from the past” item for $15 at Hot Topic.

The thing that annoyed me however, was He-Man.

Gone is the goofy medieval haircut and generic body style.

He-Man is now a Neanderthal; a mullet-wearing, hulking creature with a constipated look on his face.

His arch-nemesis, Skeletor, is now a creepy-looking monster.

Battle Cat packs guns.

While I dwell on Prince Adam and his alter-ego, He-Man, I can’t help but wonder about the toy companies and their alter-ego, “Ideal-less.”

Why are they revamping toys from 20 years ago?

Aside from hoping to create a new generation of He-Man, Care Bear and Rainbow Bright fans, the original fans aren’t old enough to feel compelled to repurchase toys from their youth.

At least not like the original Barbie and G.I. Joe reissues did.

I may want to reminisce about my days on the front porch with He-Man in one hand and a Luv-A-Lot Care Bear tucked under the other arm, but I’m not quite ready to spend my hard-earned adult cash on the modernized versions of the toys that I loved before.

Except for a new, used Rainbow Bright bank.

I justified needing a bank to put away money to pay off my car.

Uh, yeah-that’s it.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Toys updated for new, old audience