Yawp's Yip Yaps


San Francisco, California, USA
October 18
Teacher, writer, photographer, baby mama, mix CD maker--not necessarily in that order.


DECEMBER 8, 2010 12:00AM

Verbot and Other Completely Awesome Christmas Presents

Rate: 3 Flag
I always said "Thank you," but I didn't always mean it (i.e. socks). There. I said it (now I love getting socks).

Everyone knows there are some Christmas presents that are far superior to others. As a kid, there were certain presents that took on legendary status. They were so completely awesome, that I remember them even now, as I buy presents for my one-year old, who really prefers to play with toothbrush holders and magnets. 

One toy I remember well was Verbot, a voice activated robot. He did not work almost at all, but he was still mind-blowingly cool. The promise on the package was that totally awesome Verbot would learn your voice commands and respond to them like the techno bitch that he was. 1980's technology, however, made this impossible. Instead, Verbot would go forward when we said, "Stop," and go backward when we said, "Forward." We tried programming the voice commands in dulcet tones and near yells, high pitched and low pitched. He remained strong-willed (robot union?). He got caught on everything and constantly fell over. All in all, he was totally cool.

Then there was the Barbie Dream House. It was three stories and had a frickin' elevator! Close behind were the Barbie Corvette and the Barbie pool. Man, did Skipper have some fun times in that pool. The Corvette was  remote controlled, so Barbie got into some wicked crashes, sometimes with Verbot. I never had Ken, so I cut off Country Barbie's hair (even though she had on a lot of blue eye shadow and could wink) and made her the boy. Now that I'm one mom in a two-mom household, I have to wonder...

I was down with educational toys also, as long as they weren't that hard and involved button-pushing. Quiz Wiz qualified. You could put in all kinds of quizzes about different subjects. Eventually, we knew all of the answers and felt really smart, which made it...wait for it...totally cool.

All the Play-Doh toys somehow made smushing brightly colored mush around pretty fun. We made blue pasta, which now we could probably sell for a lot of money in a fancy restaurant.

Though it may seem I was a spoiled brat, my family actually didn't have a lot of money. My parents did, however, save up and go hog wild at Christmas. It was a total orgy of presents after a year of almost total abstinence. 

Now that I am a lower-middle class mom with a one-year old, I will also have to choose varefully where and when to bestow totally awesome presents on my young'un. I wonder what toys Baby will love with her whole heart and remember into her adulthood. Someday soon, it'll probably be a self-transporter or a telepathy chip (insertion surgery not included). I will endeavor to blow her mind with the raddest toys known to baby-kind, though at this point, that may involve curling some ribbon and letting her play with a spatula.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I'd give my kids toys when they were young and inevitably they'd end up playing with the box.
Exactly. Maybe we should just give her empty boxes with curly ribbon while we can still get away with it.
Cool article! It reminded me that I so longed for the Barbie Corvette when I was little. I remember lusting after it in the Penneys Christmas catalog. Never got it, though. Instead, my Barbie drove around in one of my mom's shoes - it was just about the right size. Now that I'm an adult, I realize much of my fun with Barbies was in making my own accessories and furniture for her house. My mom actually made a Barbie house for me out of a cardboard box - she wallpapered it and everything. It was really cool, and I still have it.