Economics of Childhood


BGOBGAI! Quickie:

Forget all about Adam Smith and Karl Marx (the least funny of the Marx Brothers), when I was growing up, economics could be successfully explained by which robot toy was owned by which kids. First, you had the lower class, who owned the Tranzor Z, a sorry robot that fought bad guys by having a kid jump into the top of his head and steer the sad, sad robot into battle.
Then you had the Voltron Lion Force for those in the middle class. Oh, this was the greatest toy of its kind and consisted of five robot lions that combined to form Voltron, Defender of the Universe. In my memory, these lions not only saved the Universe every day, but even rescued Teela from the Masters of the Universe toy line (I liked to branch out in my action figure world.)
Then you had the “rich” Voltron, which consisted of about one thousand smaller vehicles that combined to form the Voltron robot. This was the one the rich kids had due mainly to its cost (I think it cost about one and a half arms, or the cost of a little brother). It wasn’t fun to play with, but it cost a lot and that was all that was important.

So what about you? What was your class defining toys of your generation?

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