May 26, 2011
In May of 1977, I went to the movies with my friend Kim to see a new movie called Star Wars. It was a fun science fiction movie, a great backdrop for popcorn, wacky packs and talking about the cute boys in our seventh-grade gym class. I gave little thought to the film afterwards, never imagining that more than 20 years later, I would have an entire room in my house dedicated to this classic.
My five-year-old son, Bob, was introduced to Star Wars two years ago when my husband passed along his own childhood action figures. (We must call them “action figures,” for I’ve found that referring to them as “dolls” makes the guys cranky. Does that mean Barbie is an “action figure?” Just wondering.)
Little Bob was curious about the figures’ names and stories, so next came books from the library about Star Wars, holiday gifts of Star Wars Legos and homemade Star Wars posters. Bob’s grandma gave him Star Wars sheets for his fourth birthday, and his room became a shrine to his love for a movie he had never seen. That’s some good marketing.
Lately, Bob has been branching out and showing interest in two other movie-related toy themes: Prince of Persia and Raiders of the Lost Ark. He hasn’t seen these movies yet, but they have spawned some pretty cool stuff. Toys that invite dynamic play, storytelling, and make-believe for my kid are okay by me, regardless of whether they were created as a movie tie-in or not.
I don’t get out much to the movies anymore, but I plan on making the trip to the theater this summer to see Cowboys and Aliens. I bet they’ll make some cool toys, too.
—Lisa is a former comedy writer for television. She now writes about her funny family at her blog Smacksy.com.