Many of us traded action figures for Nintendo back in the days, at a age of around 10-13... But I know, what you mean...
I think the real point is a child this age actually knowing how to operate an iPhone. :hmgrin: When I was his age I was happy with a yo-yo and a Slinky. My Max was playing games on Kim's iPad -- at least it was her iPad until he got his hands on it -- when he was three. Just before his fourth birthday Kim got a call asking to verify that she'd purchased $350 worth of games in one day. You got it -- our little Max bought the games. The agent laughed and said this sort of thing happens once or twice a month. He was very nice, credited back the purchases and asked Kim to explain to Max that buying some games costs money. Kim did that and immediately afterwards locked down her credit card.
Seriously, it does astound me how advanced and tech-savvy kids are today. I remember when our oldest son, Alex, first got into video games close to a decade ago. It always amazed me that he was six and seven years old and could get a new game and instantly know how to play it. I'm not a gamer, partly because I could just never get the hang of how to play them. Most likely that's because I'm an older guy. Kim told me Alex could play the games instantly because "gaming is his native tongue." By extension I realized she meant that it was a second language for me, and thus much more difficult. But I've always been in awe of the fact that kids pick it up so quickly and are somehow wired for it.
When I a child the challenge for parents was to make children grow up faster. Today the challenge is to keep them young longer. In that regard I do think that action figures can play a positive role. Even more importantly, action figures and playsets allow children to use their creativity in a way that iPads and video games do not. There is certainly a place for both, but I can tell you that our Max has tons of action figures and playsets and he likes them every bit -- if not more -- that his iPad games.
Our generation were the first to experience action figures as a big deal, before that it had only been sporadic "doll" lines which never hit it big. There's no reason to believe that it would be around forever. Look at toy trains, those were a huuuuuge deal in the 40's and 50's and today mostly just older men still buy them...
But yeah, it does make you a bit melancholy
What's to discuss?
The kid prefers video games to action figures.
I do as well so I can't say he is making the wrong choice.
So my feelings towards this picture are...I have no feelings towards this picture, it simply is what it is
This is not a critique of the present, I think it's great and very positive children to interact with the technology, but also I think it has its downside.
video games serve you everything on a plate and with action figures fly your imagination.
i look at the pic and think he's taking a toy break and playing some games. when I was a kid I was never just into one form of fun. we played nintendo, football, soccer, tag, hide and seek, man hunt, motu, transformers grandizer, voltron, the a-team, we'd build forts make big plans all summer long. when we dedicated time to say a water fight, the toys games and sports stuff stayed home (I carried my power sword and shield though to defend against water balloon attacks.)
Although admittedly I haven't been much of a gamer these past few years, for some reason I wanted to play Batman AA & AC. With Arkham Asylum, i've yet to finish it as I started playing it a few days ago. Weird thing is, i've completed Arkham City... IMO better than Asylum.
I prefer videogames to action figures. I collect MotUC, and I have my vintage stuff, but I don't really collect figures anymore. I pick up the odd one here and there, but really, Videogames are what most of my spendable money goes to.
My son is 9 and loves collecting action figures, and splits his time between gaming and playing. I don't think much has changed since i was his age, it's just that consoles, tablets, and laptops are a bigger part of life now and not to mention cheaper.
Get the kid some better toys!
"Why can't we have a go?"
This picture is an accurate representation of the current state of action figures.......
Depressing... This is my Brothers to a T. Born in '82, I'm all about the toys, them born in '86 and '89 can't pull them away from their Game Boxes. Don't get me wrong i like playing games, just not for 12-16 hours straight. Every now and then I will see them peak interest when I mention toys, but they are more excited about a new Final Fantasy or Call of Duty. Sad... And Depressing.
Besides the joke, it is a pity that pic is a sign of current times and IMHO, it truncates some childplay imagination
I started to lean towards video games near the end of the 80s myself. I remember times my Masters were sitting in a corner and I was playing away at Mario... That said...
Even after the NES made the first impact and video games got BIG, I didn't play them exclusively! I had a well-rounded childhood between toys, video games, and playing outside with my friends, and I would never trade that for more of one or the other. It was the balance that kept each thing fresh and exciting to me.
Things are a lot different now, though.
you know what that pic says to me?
That that one specific individual child (and therefor not a representative of children as a whole) would rather for that one moment in his life be playing video games. For all any of us know he could have just finished playing with those toys and decided to move his attention to something else.
I mean do you spend the WHOLE day looking at your action figures or do you do other stuff as well?
You're right that it's "possible". It's also possible a meteorite is going to fall in my backyard overnight. It's just not likely.
So let's think about it -- which do you think sell more and takes up more playtime with today's children -- action figures or video games?
Sorry to be the one to break the news, but U.S. sales of video games more than doubled between 2008 and 2010, up to $25 billion, while last year action figure and play-set sales had a double digit drop to $1.3 billion. Oh, and worldwide video game revenues were $67 billion.
This isn't something I'm happy about. As I said, I believe action figures and play-sets are much more engaging for children's imaginations. But this is just the way it is.
If we had video games as advanced as today's at the beginning of the 80s, and not as large of a price gap between toys and video games as we did then, how do you think He-Man, Transformers, Voltron, and the rest would have fared?
I'm crying myself to sleep over it.
Sad :(. What a waste of action figures.
My friends boys play with guns n video games. I've never seen them with an action figure. I guess it's a sign of the times.
And when I saw that pic all I could think about was I hope their imagination hasn't died
I agree with you about the lack of creativity in today's toys -- the incredible work of the 4 Horsemen being a notable exception. But I disagree with you on price, as it relates to the 80s being an issue. The cost of three action figures and a vehicle purchased for $25 in 1980, when adjusted for inflation comes out to sixty-eight dollars in 2013 dollars -- about the cost of a top video game. So price-wise all things are about equal so when we're talking about action figures back in the 80s vs. video games of today -- price-wise, at least -- it's a level playing field.
The thing that I think factors in most -- and this will sound odd coming from someone that's been a TV writer for over thirty years -- is television. Much of children's television makes it so easy for kids not to think and that's the death of creativity. As with the 4 Horsemen in the toy arena, there are wonderful and engaging exceptions in television, such as YO-GABBA-GABBA, DORA THE EXPLORER and others. The problem comes in when the audience demographic moves to eight years old and above. I'd love to see more series for older children that inspire creativity as there are for younger viewers. The same goes for video games, though I have noticed lately that there are a handful of video games moving in that direction, with real stories, fully developed characters and player-interaction. I find that hopeful as it's a lot better than just sitting there blowing zombies to pieces.