Some say the children of this generation will be the first in a long while to have life harder than their parents. The economy, the environment, the wars... the future has looked brighter.
We would feel sorry for them, but then we see their fucking toys, which pretty much makes the stuff we played with look like bullshit.
Back in the 80s, toymaker Hasbro was forced to answer the difficult question, "How does one harvest a profit from young boys' innate need to blow each other away with firearms, whilst keeping lawsuits to a minimum?" The answer was NERF: harmless foam ball-shooting, air-powered toys.
The first NERF shooter, uninspiringly named "Blast-A-Ball," required raw elbow grease to fire balls at other children. The harder the pump, the farther the ball flew. The execution was simple, yet painful, which appealed to the kids. Its total lack of resemblance to a real gun kept moms relatively happy as well.
From Popular Mechanics.
Ladies and gentleman, meet the NERF Vulcan EBF-25. Presumably the fucking nightmare of mothers everywhere, this battery-operated (SIX D-cells!), belt-fed, fully automatic monstrosity can rain down a shitstorm of NERF darts for as long as the 25 or 50 round belts will last.
A far cry from the Blast-A-Ball indeed. No toy in history has better allowed young boys to greet the arrival of their little sister home from school with a reenactment of the Normandy beach landing. The only downside is the limited range. If only you had some kind of...
Oh, yeah. NERF made a sniper rifle. The victims will never even hear the shot that NERFed them.
First released in the late 80s, the Super Soaker was also created by Hasbro, possibly as a more refreshing version of their NERF gun. It was designed to harness the ungodly power of water and wind into a small children's toy. Since then it has remained at the forefront of traditional "summer fun" imagery.
The first Super Soaker was, believe it or not, designed by an actual rocket scientist named Dr. Lonnie Johnson. It used a very rudimentary pump to pressurize water and a simple valve and trigger system to shoot it, which is disappointingly about as far from rocket science and nuclear engineering as the design could have been.
This is the appropriately named Super Soaker Monster XL. With the capacity to hold 3500 milliliters of water (or urine, depending on who you're playing with) and the ability to shoot liquid humiliation up to 41 feet, the whole rocket scientist thing is starting to make sense.
The Monster XL also features not one, but TWO barrels with 6 different nozzles per barrel. That adds up to about 36 different ways to put out your best friend's eye. The ludicrous weight and the fact that it takes 43 fucking pumps to get the water up to pressure offer up reasonable disadvantages, but since water gun fights are always half water gun fight and half "who brought the biggest dick" competition, none of that really matters.
We're sure we're not telling you anything you don't already know when we say that Hot Wheels are miniature die-cast cars with dynamic multi axular momentum technology (ie, they roll). They are usually based on real-life production cars but sometimes are modeled after bad acid trips, with wheels added later (for the rolling). Shortly after the introduction of the cars, Mattel launched various tracks to take full advantage of the cars' rollability.
The classic tracks were just gravity mixed with about five feet of plastic all topped off with a small jump at the end. The "jump" was complete with a flat "ring of fire" cardboard cutout, so as to help the kids send a message that said "I'm edgy, yet boring and miserable."
As a rule, the moment classic toys are introduced to electricity, shit starts getting out of hand. This rule has not been lost on Mattel who recently released this: The Speed Racer Sky Jump Track.
This is the culmination of cars, track, electric motors and gravity all wrapped into one giant ball of sheer what-the-fuckery. We've examined the photos and we've even watched this commercial for the thing and still have no idea what's going on. It is awesome, however, so we really couldn't care less how it works.
Transformers toys are remembered as being awesome, even if the backstory left some unanswered questions (what were the Autobots called before they landed on Earth and chose to be cars? Did they really think people wouldn't notice a bunch of driverless vehicles bombing around town? What if one gets pulled over for speeding?).
The first toys from the 80s were not quite as awesome as you probably remember them. The car usually transformed into a cumbersome and downright awkward-looking robot.
And even though Optimus Prime up there couldn't move around a whole lot in his robot form, he did transform in about four easy steps.
With the 2008 release of the new Transformers movie, Hollywood's godless pedaling of cheap merchandise called on Hasbro to release a newer, updated version of the classic Optimus Prime. We'll let this video do the talking.
Now that looks like a freaking robot. And it transforms and walks by itself!
Okay, that is a lie. You still have to do it by hand and it takes like 20 minutes (the new one has more moving parts in his feet than the old one had in his whole body). To make Optimus Prime far more badass they wound up creating the the goddamn Rubik's Cube of toys. You know, like, if the Rubik's Cube weren't already a toy. Shut up.