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Archive for the ‘toys’ Category

Kids these days play video games practically everywhere. They have their own little noise-making devices that they carry around and annoy the heck out of people in restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, everywhere. Oh, I get that as a parent, these types of “toys” provide the perfect distraction and keep those little minds busy and perhaps their mouths quiet. Quiet is a precious commodity when you have little ones after all. 

girl-playing-video-game-in-car

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A lot has happened this year. My family felt the pangs of a cross-country move. My life changed significantly for the better. Terrorism, radicalism, school shootings, disrespect for authority, hit all time highs. Daily news reports made us weep.

If you’re still struggling with gift ideas amid all of this chaos, I offer the following suggestions:

Image courtesy Google Images.

Image courtesy Google Images.

Merry Christmas loyal followers and best wishes for a peaceful new year. May god bless you and keep you safe in the months to come. Be kind; to yourself and others.

Word of the Day: Remarque

Fun fact about me: If I could find the right picture, I’d get a tattoo.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Image courtesy Google Images.

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That’s right folks, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s contribution to the 1964 world’s fair – his “little boat ride,” sponsored by Pepsi to benefit Unicef.

Disneyland's It's A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland’s It’s A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

“When we completed ‘It’s a Small World’ for presentation at the New York World’s Fair, we felt that we had accomplished what we’d set out to do. We wanted to foster a better understanding among the nations of the world by showing the dress, the customs, the language, the music, and a little of the culture of our neighbors around the world – – and we wanted to show it to be a very happy one. And I think it’s safe to say that having fun has universal appeal.” -Walt Disney

Who would have thought that this delightful little one minute boat ride, complete with animated dolls and a musical ditty in multiple languages would have survived the test of time? Did you know that when Mr. Disney had the ride dismantled and moved to its permanent home in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California he called upon dignitaries from more than 50 different countries to help fill the water canal for his “little boat ride?” That’s right, 50 children from 50 different countries brought water from their native countries to pour into the canal that carries millions of people annually through the magical small world of animated dolls.

Now imagine if Walt wanted to complete this project today and asked 50 little kids to bring water to California. Can you just see them trying to explain to the TSA officers at various airports around the world, “Yes, it is only water that I’m trying to bring on board with me. I’m taking it to Mr. Disney to pour into a canal for a new exhibit that’s opening in Disneyland. No, I’m not going to make explosives with it. It’s sacred water, symbolizing the united bond between all countries around the world.” Yeah right. That’ll work.

But, I digress. It’s A Small World was not Walt’s first exhibit to be featured at a world’s fair. In 1958, in conjunction with General Electric, Walt debuted his “Progressland” attraction; a revolving theater that sent audiences on an historical musical journey through the evolution of electricity. That very same attraction still exists in the form of The Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom park in Disney World Florida.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot - Disney World - Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot – Disney World – Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Also appearing at the 1964 world’s fair were the magic skyway attraction, an aerial ride narrated by Walt himself that toured Earth’s past from the dawn of time through the age of the dinosaurs, culminating in a glimpse of Walt’s vision for a futuristic space city. Does this sound familiar to you Disney buffs? That’s right, a similar time travel attraction exists in the form of Spaceship Earth at Epcot at Disney World. And a similar time-travel experience can be had riding the Disneyland railroad around the park. The skyway ride at Disneyland, however, no longer exists for various reason, all of which are too discouraging for me to mention here. Suffice it to say, the sky buckets were a popular attraction for amorous lovers and bratty “camel-like” kids, if you know what I’m saying.

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

And last, but not least, one of my all-time favorite attractions also got its start at the 1964 world’s fair; Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. I love this show and the similar show at Disney World – The Hall of Presidents. Very inspiring narrative and ingenious use of audio-animatronics, the first ever of its kind. If you haven’t seen Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln and have a few minutes to spare, or if you have seen it and just need to see it again, here’s a link:

So that’s my Disney history lesson and tribute to a family-favorite Disney ride (well one of mine, the hubs isn’t so keen on it), It’s A Small Word. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.

So, how about you, are you a Disney nut? Do you like to ride It’s A Small World? What’s your favorite Disney attraction? Come on, spill it. I’m dying to know.

Word of the day: Vermeil

Fun fact about me: My favorite Disney ride is the Peter Pan flight.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt January 2014. Photos courtesy Disney Parks blog, Google Images and Wikipedia. Video courtesy YouTube.

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I’m not normally in the market for toys this time of year (or any time of the year for that matter), but I usually get a toy or two for the Marines’ annual toy drive each year. This week, as I strolled the aisles of several stores, seeking out that perfect toy for some less fortunate boy and girl (I get one of each you see), I noticed a conspiracy of sorts in the in the doll/action figure department.

I know now why everyone wants to be Barbie, because it’s true what they say, that Bitch does have everything. It’s like tiny Paris Hilton’s cramming the shelves at Toys R Us. And, I’ve got to be honest, it sucks to be Ken. If you’re looking for a Barbie, you have options my friends. Besides the choices for hair and skin color, there are hair style options as well.

Barbie hair 1

Photo courtesy Google Images

This one’s nice.

Barbie hair 2

Photo courtesy Google Images

I had one like this.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Super glam Barbie.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

This one is way over the top.

Like I said, options. But, not if you’re in the market for a Ken doll to keep your uber-sexy, so refined, super rich Barbie company. Here’s what you’re likely to end up with.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

That’s right. Poor Ken doesn’t even get “real” hair, although he does have nice white teeth.

And Ken doesn’t get to the be man in the relationship. I mean, Ken doesn’t even have his own car for God’s sake. Barbie on the other hand, she has several models to choose from.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

She might choose this hot little convertible number. While not a problem for Ken and his plastic hair, driving this beauty anywhere is sure to wreak havoc on Barbie’s updo. Perhaps this one is a better choice for a night out on the town.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

No, wait, it’s a convertible, too. This one is better to keep the curls in place, but only if she keeps the stylish sun/moon roof shut.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

No guy I know would be caught dead in one of these contraptions on wheels. Well, except for this guy.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

He’s obviously confident in his masculinity.

Now if Ken’s like that little guy and doesn’t mind riding shotgun in a pink car, what could be more enjoyable than heading to Barbie’s house after a night out? I’ll tell you what, driving up to this place.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Ah yes, the Barbie dream house. Not so dreamy for Ken, I’m thinking. I mean, seriously, what guy do you know who would live in a bubble gum-colored house complete with Pepto Bismal-colored furniture and appliances? Yeah, this is every guy’s dream house, right here. You think Ken even wants to get lucky in a pink bed? Hmmm.

Why is there no Ken dream house? How come no one’s created a Ken Dream Cave? Think of the accessories you could sell to go with this thing. Ken could have like a 175 inch super-size t.v. screen, maybe a chainsaw, a snow blower and other really cool Ken Dream tools and other guy shit. And why is there no Ken 4×4 monster truck? The Matel folks are missing a market here, I’m telling you.

Of course Ken might change his mind on the living arrangements when he sees all of Barbie’s toys parked in the garage. In addition to your standard issue vehicles (Corvettes are only standard issue if you’re Barbie by the way), she’s got her own RV, airplane, horse trailer, boat with optional boat house if her dream house is near the water, motorcycle and the list goes on and on. Ken could be a very lucky man, if he doesn’t mind pink, and what guy doesn’t want to surround himself with a sea of cotton candy? Can you just see Ken cruising around Barbie dream town on a hot pink scooter? How cool would his friends think he is? I’m guessing even the Gay community might find this a tad too much.

I came to the conclusion as I completed my shopping excursion, that if I’m Barbie, why in God’s name would I even want or need Ken anyway? What the hell is he bringing to this relationship? I mean, he doesn’t even have a . . . you know . . . a certain boy part. Seriously – IT SUCKS TO BE KEN!

What are your thoughts? Would Ken be comfortable in Barbie’s world? Should Barbie even want Ken in her world? Did you (or do you still – I’m won’t judge) have a Barbie dream house?

Word of the day: Stelliform

Fun fact about me: I had 7 Barbies and 2 Kens when I was a kid, but no dream house or dream car. I had to steal one of my brother’s Tonka trucks if we needed to go anywhere. And I built a Barbie not-so-dreamy cabin out of my brother’s Lincoln Logs.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2013. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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