Yeah that’s from Wargames.
So I thought I would do a structured blog today. I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately. Where it comes from, who knows how to wrangle it, what are my ‘pilot lights’?
I decided that most if not all of where my initial thinking comes from is my eternal desire to play. Tracking back to my childhood from age 0-10 I was an only child. I wasn’t very popular. What I lacked in friends, I made up for with toys, games, and imagination.
I felt it was then appropriate to itemize my top five favorite toys to show them a bit of respect.
#5 Building Egg-crate Thing-
So I know this isn’t a great leaping off point. However, I don’t know what they were called but essentially they were 1/8″ acrylic panels that were different transluscent colors. I remember the amber colored one in particular. I also remember one of the first senses of hostility towards my mother for selling this at a garage sale. The panels would egg-crate together to build abstract shapes. I think this was probably the first toy that instilled a sense of architecture in my head.
#4 Crossbows and Catapults
The object of the game is to build a wall of plastic bricks to protect your fort, then alternate turns shooting the walls down using crossbows and plastic discs, or by lobbing discs over the wall with the catapult.
I think this further enhanced my ability to problem solve as I had no-one to play it with, I would make mega castles and then figure out the most efficient way to destroy the building.
#3 Speak and Spell
Okay, I know this one is a bit cliche, but I honestly wouldn’t be able to speak or speel as well as I can now…;)
In case you were in a hole in the mid to late 80’s-
#2 Merlin the Electronic Wizard
This one may be a little niche. Merlin the Electronic Wizard was sort of a prototype for the cellphone. Only it played games instead of drunk dialing. You could play games such as-
- Tic Tac Toe
- Music Machine
- Echo, a game similar to Simon
- Blackjack 13
- Magic Square, a pattern game similar to Lights Out
- Mindbender, a game similar to Mastermind
The other day while pondering this blog, I came across a gold plated Merlin. It was very tempting.
I am almost wondering if the design cue was taken from the original Cylon design from Battle Star Galactica?
That brings us to my #1 toy of my childhood-
Mister Machine, holy crap.
I believe the version I had was a reproduction or something, it didn’t have the bell, nor the brake in the back. You’d wind him up, and he would choo-choo all around the room.
The plastic had sort of smoked over with age and the screw nose would always come undone (by yours truly). It was really a toy that brought me joy all the way until I moved out of my house. It is still at the old house in a toybox somewhere. Maybe one day I will pick it up and it will inspire me some more.