Joe and Barbie in the 21st century

Admit it. You’ve been to a Toys ‘R’ Us when you weren’t shopping for a kid, haven’t you? If you haven’t, I think you’re really missing out. Even if you don’t buy, go have a look. Toy technology has advanced beyond the reasonable.

When I was a wee lad, an exciting toy was an action figure, like G.I. Joe. The grunts, all in camo, carried M-16s and drove Jeeps. Apparently, now Joe wears robotic battle armour and flies. Well good for him. Maybe his new hi-tech uniform will help him get a date with Barbie in her remote-control VW bug (the new one).

Back then, if my friends and I had a water fight on a hot day, we’d chase each other with squirt-gun pistols. The modern water warrior carries pneumatically powered cannons that could blast the paint off a car if one isn’t careful.

Not even infants are spared technology’s cold touch. Can you call yourself a good parent if you don’t mount an electronic music maker in the crib? Flashing lights and a curiously mechanical version of Mozart will reward a wee one for correctly operating the panel of lighted buttons. I don’t think I saw a good old fashioned mobile — except the motorized, musical ones.

The Toys ‘R’ Us is truly something to behold. It’s the bleeding edge of technology for the young, which could only be topped by their next business venture: Borg Implants ‘R’ Us.