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they used to be as crappy as they are now

When we got a catalog the other day from "Back to Basics Toys" (tag line: "They Do Make Them Like They Used To!") I was a little excited to see what was on offer. After all, we're old-school here at the squibix household: I think the best things we've gotten for Harvey so far are a set of little wooden cars and airplanes with an undeniable rugged appeal. More appealing in theory at this point, true, than in practice when I give him one and after chewing on it for a bit he drops it onto his forehead and cries, but still.

Imagine my disappointment, then, when I paged through the book and found it was actually nothing more than the Greatest Hits of the 60s and 70s, toy style. It's not aimed at parents who want real, well-made toys, in other words, but at those who want to exercise their nostalgia by inflicting upon their offspring a variety of awful plastic crap from their own childhoods. I mean, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots? Fisher Price pull-along Chatter Telephone?! ("I had that one!" says Leah. It was already nostalgic then, having come out originally in 1962.) Plus some random Sharper Image-esque junk like a plastic piggy bank with an LED display of the balance. Needless to say we will not be placing any orders.

One wonders, though, what the response will be of the little tykes who do get something from Back to Basics on Christmas morning. The little girl on the cover (pictured above) seems, on the surface, happy enough with her matching set of dead-eyed Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls, but look a little closer and you can see the desperation... I bet she asked for a Bratz doll. Don't worry little girl, in thirty years you'll be able to get one for your own daughter from the Back to Basics catalog!

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