In 1973, this was the toy I got for my eighth birthday. I remember how desperately I wanted it, and how disappointed I was when I finally got it. What looked amazing on the television ad paled in comparison to the clunky experience it was in real life.
I was talking about this to friends last night over dinner (can’t recall what spurred the memory!) and no-one at the table could remember this toy. So of course, as you do in today’s world, we retreated the Internet to help fill the gaps. And it didn’t disappoint.
This began the search for other childhood memories. Drowsy, my close friend’s favourite childhood doll, was found.
Smash up derby cars, a boy’s dream.
And then we found the ultimate object of desire for young girls in the early 1970’s. Chrissy, she of the hair that extended when you pulled her ponytail. I vividly recall standing in a local store looking longingly at this doll, hoping that it would be mine one day.
We had so much fun recalling childhood memories, and the experience was made that much better because we could find the original television ads. TV, the visual medium we consumed as we used up our cognitive surplus sitting in front of black and white screens in the early 70’s. The new medium our children consume is what we sourced last night. The difference for the children of today will be that they are less likely to be exposed to the repetitive screening of ads selling them a message. What will their memories be like when they are older recounting their youth. Will they be recalling memes? YouTube stars? Apple ads?
Who knows? Even more intriguing, what will they be using to revisit those memories?