Hey, remember this?

Let’s see how old my readers are:

This isn’t exactly a deep revelation or anything, but for some reason this commercial popped into my head this morning as I was getting ready for work.  I strongly suspect if you’re within five years or so of my age you have this jingle memorized still, but have you ever really thought about just how impossible it would be to market My Buddy in today’s kids’ toys market?  Things weren’t as rigidly gendered in the 1980s as they are now– that is a straight up doll being marketed directly to boys, doing boy things like riding Big Wheels and hiding in a clubhouse and climbing trees.  They’re not even trying to muddy the waters with the label “action figure.”  My Buddy was a doll, and never wanted to be anything else.

There are not many ways in which I think American culture has backslid since the 80s, but the rigid adherence to gender essentialism in absolutely fucking everything related to kids is definitely one of them.  I had a parent come in this morning looking for white bedroom furniture for her son, and it threw me for enough of a loop that I almost needed to have her repeat it to make sure I was hearing her right.  Because no one buys white bedroom furniture for boys.  We have a couple of sets that are gender neutral and you should see how incredibly confused people get when they can’t immediately figure out what genitalia the children in the room with the furniture are supposed to be.  It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.


Oh man it’s SO TALL.

I build a toy, pt. 2: The Finishening

SO the boy got home, and saw the Falcon, and immediately any thought of me not finishing it tonight went out the window.  And therefore:

IMG_4276This is the end of bag five.  IMG_4277Bag Six, mostly concerned with building out the middle section of the Falcon.IMG_4278Bag seven.  Most of this was actually underneath the ship, putting in the belly gun and landing gear.  IMG_4279Bag Eight, AKA “Build this exact same thing a whole bunch of times.”IMG_4280

And the completed Falcon.IMG_4281You can fit two minifigures in the cockpit, at least barely.  Rey and Han are piloting.IMG_4282And the top blooms out to reveal the inside.  Hi, BB-8!IMG_4283Cooool.IMG_4284

Random bits that were left, and the Lego Separator, which I’ve never used.  I took a bunch of them and just sprinkled them around the outside of the ship, especially the bright red circle bits.  I don’t know why these were extra, as I didn’t miss anything.  I swear.  The extra missile is good, as the two missiles fire unexpectedly far and they’re going to get lost soon.  The rest?  Whatever, I’ll throw them in with the rest of the Legos.

Some random thoughts and also I build a toy

Stayed up last night and livetweeted the convention up to the point where Tim Kaine’s speech finished; I’m always amazed that I don’t have a ton of unfollows during these things, as I tend to tweet a lot when I’m watching anything remotely political.  But no!  Only six people all day yesterday, which is a perfectly normal number.  I ended up liking Tim Kaine more than I thought I would– a thought that I think my Twitter feed shared.  There was a lot of making fun of him going on but it felt affectionate, if that makes any sense, and dude has succeeded in making his stupid Donald Trump impression worm its way into my brain– meaning that every time the idiot says “believe me” again, people are going to hear Kaine doing it.  He’s like Ned Sanders, but with a really sharp knife, the kind where you don’t realize anyone cut you until your head falls off.  I still would have preferred several other options, but I’m starting to think I can get to like this guy.

Anyway it’s my day off and I decided to build the Millennium Falcon.  Legos have gotten fucking complicated, guys.


That’s a lot of bags.  They are labeled 1-8, but several numbers have more than one bag, some of the bags have other bags inside them, and one bag has no number on it at all.  There’s maybe 12 outer bags.  IMG_4265That is one big-assed instruction manual.  I got through about 90 pages of it before deciding I’d had enough for the morning.

IMG_4266This is the part where I realized I’d screwed up for the first time, as you really need to pay attention to the colors in the instruction manuals and the right pieces were inexplicably in the unlabeled bag.  At any rate, you start by building the superstructure of the thing and I made mine too short.


There, that’s better.  As it worked out, this was my only big mistake, or at least the only one I’ve noticed so far.  The engineers for these things are crazy people and the people who make the manuals are crazy geniuses.  IMG_4268IMG_4269

Adding the floor.IMG_4270Finishing the first step of the build with some work on the underside.  This is crazily complicated already.  All of this was the first bag, by the way.  IMG_4271On to the second bag.  We’re making progress!  IMG_4272The end of Bag Two, which was mostly furniture and detail stuff.  Also, I got to put in some decals.  IMG_4273

The end of Bag Three.  Which, weirdly, doesn’t look all that different from Bag Two at first, until you look a little closer.  IMG_4275

And here’s the end of Bag Four, putting me halfway through the build.  At this point I realized my eyes were bleeding and decided to be done for a bit.  There are at least two more minifigures in the bags somewhere, because I haven’t found Rey or BB-8 yet.  The first four bags took about two hours, so I’ll probably end up finishing this tomorrow.  Whee!

I have to tell this story right now…

…before I forget it happened.

Two of the boy’s great-aunts (my aunts, in other words) were in town this weekend while he was spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and one of them brought a big bag full of games and toys that her grandson has outgrown to give him.

One of them is a neat little anatomy puzzle, four layers deep, where the top layer is a clothed boy, the layer underneath has no clothes, the layer under that has no skin (in other words, just the muscles), then the organs, and then the final layer is the skeleton.  The skeleton isn’t a puzzle, it’s just printed on the frame that contains everything else.

The puzzle is obviously European.  The instructions on the back of the box are printed in six different languages, and the naked boy on level 2 is anatomically accurate.  Now, I don’t give a damn about the boy having a puzzle with a cartoon penis on it.  He has a real penis he can look at whenever he wants; there will be no damage done to him by looking at a cartoon penis.

I am enough of a juvenile, however, that I was in tears laughing when, just now, after having put the puzzle together, he brought it to me and informed me that it was missing a piece:


We found the piece, by the way.