Several days ago, I wrote a post about Dangerous Playthings - the kind of toys we used to amuse ourselves back in our Snot-Nose Days that no rational parent would give their kids today... alas.
What inspired me to write that post was a memory that came burbling up, unbidden, in the recesses of my hindbrain... the memory of a specific toy. In my usual ADD fashion, I managed to forget to mention that toy in the very post that its recollection inspired.
What toy was that? Glad you asked.
It was a Crash Car. The Crash Car was plastic automobile - built to 1/24 scale in the form of a late 1950’s sedan, if my recollection serves - that had spring-loaded body panels, doors, and hood. When the car was rolled into an obstacle, the front bumper would actuate a release mechanism and cause the car to blow to flinders. Crash!
Playing with the Crash Car provided endless hours of amusement, slamming it into convenient walls and pieces of furniture, watching it fly apart, searching for all the little plastic pieces, and then snapping them all back into place for the next crash. If only it had come with a couple of little crash-test dummies inside it that would spray some sort of (nontoxic, washable) fake blood on impact, it would have been the perfect 1950’s plaything.
There’s absolutely No Fucking Way you could sell that toy today.
Small parts, easily swallowed by kid brothers and/or sisters? Check.
Flying shards of plastic that may embed themselves in youthful eyeballs? Check.
Creating amusement out of destructive acts? Check. This wasn’t a nerdly Educational Toy intended to teach you the locations, capitals, and major products of the (then) 48 states - I had one of those, too. The only thing you learned was that, hey, smashing up cars is fun! Waaaay more fun than making “cookies” out of Play-Doh and then burning the crap out of them with a real working toy stove. Or burning the crap out of your hands with a woodburning set. (Yeah, I had those, too.)
Good Gawd, I miss those days.