Thursday, 16 February 2012

Hands up who remembers the seventies?

Youngest son and I finished the jigsaw last night. The title is the “1970s Toy Box Memories”.

While I remembered Starsky and Hutch and took some satisfaction in completing the CHiPs motorbike my twelve year old had no idea who they were. 

He kept calling Emu the “big blue bird” – he has never seen that infamous interview with Michael Parkinson.

However plenty of characters have stood the test of time.

The Wombles occasionally stick their heads out from underground to be re-invented. One of the first things I spotted on the jigsaw was the Womble Game. My mum and dad still have it in a cupboard somewhere but I have never met anyone else who had even played it apart from us. The idea is you move around Wimbledon Common picking up pieces of litter, stashing them away in your tidy bag. 

Another enduring children’s favourite is Paddington and my son could easily identify Humpty too although he would have struggled spotting Hamble and Jemima and is far too young to have heard of Playschool. Let's look through the round window.

Star Wars is just as much a favourite toy/franchise now as it was all those years ago – dare I put a number to it, 35 sounds impossibly high!

Nowadays they are filling in the gaps between the films and have created a whole new era of characters and stories entitled The Clone Wars. Even episodes one, two and three feel retro and the first episode has just undergone the 3D treatment.

Youngest son is going to see it with his uncle. I’m quite happy to wait until episode 4 is rereleased, Han Solo in 3D just might be worth watching.

And then there are the Muppets. The new film makes plenty of references to the fact that they have disappeared from our consciousness. Clever marketing has tapped into a new generation and will surely catapult Kermit and Miss Piggy back to the top of the toys-every-child-wants-for-Christmas list.

Not that I am cynical, nostalgia is big business as we fondly remember our childhood heroes.  It carries us back to a simpler time when we didn’t have to worry about paying the household bills and the state off the euro and how it will affect our pensions…

The film has reminded me how much I liked Miss Piggy as a girl. I too could flick my hair and do the karate chop. I tried to be feisty, asserting my feminine charm in the playground – with very little effect it must be said!

The modern Miss Piggy has matured; she is more pragmatic with her true love and doesn’t resort to tossing her hair or fluttering her eyelashes for attention. She is a pig who still knows what she wants and commitment from her frog is top of her wish list.

She really is a pig after my own heart – now where can I find a frog to kiss? One that turns into a handsome prince just like all good fairytale happily ever afters, and preferably one who looks like Han Solo and knows all the words to Minuetto Allegretto by the Wombles!

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