I love shopping, now that it's possible on Amazon.
It makes me feel a little bit like The Flash, moving between sites and products at a speed that would result in instant death for a mortal attempting the same kind of dexterity in a mall. Japan is beginning to catch on. I think it may take another five years before the Japanese discover their own iteration of progressive shopping.
I ordered some cool stuff this year, but probably the coolest toy I ordered is for my older son. He's six, and recently he's discovered Transformers. Can you believe the toys have been around since 1984? Transformers is an American concept by the toy company Hasbro, based on two toys from Japanese maker Takara Tomy, Diaclone and Microman. The Transformers franchise is more popular than ever. My son digs the Netflix shows (there are three, and he's into the middle one).
My first transformer - and one of my first toys ever - as a kid was Bumblebee. I still have it, and I entrusted Bumblebee to my son when he turned two. He didn't destroy it, thankfully. It's small, maybe a couple inches long, and looks like it would cost about 25 cents to manufacture.
So this year I splurged (shhhh... my son doesn't know it yet). I found out that there's a special set of toys called Transformers Masterpiece, which looks to be designed almost entirely in Japan. The designs are award-winning, and it shows:
Growing up as a kid, I remember a completely different kind of toy than what I see today in the stores. My dad took me to the toy store and told me I could pick one toy. So I did: A big metal Tetsujin 28 Godaikin by Bandai. Metal, bigger, heavier, built-to-last, and the design didn't scream cheap-made-in-China. There was some really intense detail, and it was cool. I was a kid, I didn't know anything about foreign policy or the scary stuff people around the world were doing that could blow it up, and I didn't care. I just got deep into playtime and imagination. This Bumblebee toy reminds me of those days.
It looks like a really cool toy. I really hope he digs it.
But even if he doesn't, you can count on finding me playing with it for hours around the tree this year.