I have a confession to make.
I’m 32 years old and I buy toys.
I’ve never really been able to get away from buying toys; action figures, toy guns, Nerf stuff, I love toys.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m somewhat responsible with my toy buying. I don’t buy a lot, I don’t buy expensive, I buy what I like but I don’t buy everything I want.
That would get a little expensive.
I’m not sure if it’s truly a geek thing or not but I do find a lot of nerdy males still buy toys well past what many other “adults” consider a reasonable age for purchasing such things. I think it’s in part to the culture of geekdom. We tend to love what we love no matter what the age. Comics in a lot of ways gear us towards that youthful thought process because even though many of us read more adult fare like Scalped or Sandman, a majority of us started on Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. Buying action figures for me, kind of brings me back to my childhood.
I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. I didn’t grow up poor or wanting for anything, but I don’t really remembering picking out toys myself. I remember getting them for my birthday and Christmas and such but the only times I remember actually picking out toys was with my grandfather on the way to the cottage. I remember vividly picking up a Destro figure (complete with that little suitcase he had) as well as a Prince Adam from He-Man. My Grandpa died when I was around 5 and my memories of him are very few and far between. In a weird way, when I pick up a figure, a small sliver of my grandfather comes back in my mind.
Which means my Grandpa is responsible for both my addiction to comics and action figures. I hope that the mechanic in him is okay with the fact he helped his grandson down the path of geekdom.
And to be completely honest, toys are a lot more awesome then they were when we kids. Sure we had some cool stuff. The Real American Hero line of GI Joe’s is still fantastic and my love of Transformers and He-Man from the era of my youth has not wavered (yes, I’m old, stop snickering). But there are some toys now that have snagged me and make the kid in me extremely jealous.
I’m currently a collector of the Marvel Universe line of figures and Nerf guns.
I love the Marvel line of figures mainly because I tend to like characters who are not particularly popular; Captain Britain, Adam Warlock, Moon Knight. Guys with cool costumes and interesting origins. For the longest time, figures were resigned to popular characters like Spider-Man and Wolverine. With the Marvel Universe line there are even figures of AIM guys.
The yellow guys in bee keeper outfits.
I’ve gotten guys like Captain Britain (in both current and original costumes), Moon Knight, Yellowjacket and Adam Warlock (complete with removable Infinity Gauntlet. I’ve been tempted to give it to The Red Skull to go with his Cosmic Cube). The 8 year old in me just loves them to death. As a kid, there wasn’t much in the way of Marvel figures (The Secret Wars line was probably the most prominent) and now I’ve got these cool, posable, statues. And it also leads to conversations with my girlfriend over characters she’s never heard of and maybe to ably help convince her how awesome Captain Britain is.
And then there’s Nerf.
God, I love Nerf guns.
When I was a kid we had some toy guns and a lot of sticks we pretended were guns. A lot of times we played Star Wars or GI Joe. Nerf has made an arsenal capable of arming 8 year old Joe and Cobra troops everywhere.
Personally, my all time favourite is the Nerf Maverick. Sturdy, reliable, it’s a pistol with good distance and easy to mod.
Yes, I said mod… but I’ll get to that in a minute.
But once again, the kid in me loves the fact that there are Nerf guns like this in the world.
That’s the Nerf Vulcan. It has a chain of ammo.
If Rambo used Nerf guns, this is what his Nerf gun would look like.
Now, Nerf guns tend to come with rules from significant others. For instance, I am not allowed to shoot my girlfriend’s cats or my girlfriend. This has since been amended to being allowed to shoot at her cats when they start meowing at 2:30 am. My girlfriend has also discovered the Nerf bow that’s coming out with The Avengers film so I imagine as soon as she gets her hands on it, I’ll have to amend the agreement again to “Not allowed shooting my girlfriend unless she shoots first”.
Nerf guns also lend themselves to modding. See the following pic?
That’s a Nerf replica of a Pulse Rifle from Aliens. It started off life as this…
Search the net, you will find tons of mods for Nerf weaponry. Mods to make them shoot faster, for the darts to cross a greater distance. But weirdly, I’m not interested in those. It’s painting my guns that I’m starting to get into. I don’t want to alter the physical parts of a Nerf gun, I want just change the paint on it. I want my Nerf enemies to see a black and slightly silver dart machine of death.
God, I love toys.