My son was buying a car and I was co-signing for it. We finally get to the finance manager all serious and stern. I start playing with the ash tray like it’s a toy. My son (25 yrs old) scolds me like a three year old, embarrassed. I was bored and wanted to get out!
It comes out I design toys. He ask what toys? I mention Fireball Island and the guy transforms into a child like state, just glowing.
You could see the rush memories hitting him. He turns red!
I speak, of course, of Bridgeport Mill, our Bridgeport Mill. Lovingly cleaned and painted our trademark yellow, this ever dependable machine of consummate accuracy and joy to use served us well too, as he, or she had no doubt, many, many others before us.
Now we say adieu. A hug, a kiss, a tear or two, and… goodbye. May you make beautiful things now with someone new.
She, or he, was the best. The crème de la crème of their race, their ilk, or whatever. They were once a hero, one of the “Greatest Generation”, of those who built America and the world before, after and during the great wars. And now, after all these decades of service to us all, he, or maybe she, is ready to scale back, kick back, glide into at least semi-retirement.
The time is taken up by conversations with our business attorney, or patent attorney, our licensing attorney, our accountants, or maybe on some days, our bookkeeper or building liability insurance inspectors, village fire inspectors, delivery people and shipping.
And then the day will be over.
Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to work on inventing some wonderful new toys and games for you and yours.
Actually, tomorrow doesn’t look good either.
Friday is a short day, end of the week meetings, oy vey!!
But today, like many days, the time it takes to run the business leaves no time for the imagining, or inventing, or developing or licensing, of toy and game concepts. The hours of the day are often taken up by dealing with such things as changes in health insurance, issues related to our physical plant, the office we occupy and utilize, the dead bushes out front killed by a drunk driver careening off the road and into our front yard.
Did products like Mousetrap, Mr. Machine, Rock’em Sock'em, Simon, and legions of other entirely new toys to the world when first introduced inspire the imaginations, creativity of generations of children to go on to do imaginative and creative work in their adult lives? Who can know? But I will guess… YES, indeed they were the seeds of what could be, of what was possible. Brains were influenced and affected by play with these legions of excitingly new-to-the-world inventions.
And should the innovation, invention, fresh thinking, amazement and wonder go out of toys....who will be inspired then?
These are just one mans' musings on the nature of toys and the impact they may have on the progress of our world.