It’s that time of year again; the Christmas music has been playing non-stop since September, you’ve already pre-ordered all the cool crap you want just in time to be disappointed when delivery dates get pushed back, and you are frantically searching for last minute gifts for co-workers who defied the odds and didn’t get fired last week as you expected. But let us travel back to a simpler time, when all the gifts you gave were handmade and crappy, and all the gifts you received came courtesy of your parents’ bank accounts!
Through the next 25 days, Non-Productive.com will be highlighting 25 years worth of the BEST. GIFTS. EVER. – those amazing finds under the Christmas Tree (or Hanukkah Bush, or Non-Denominational Houseplant) that made the holidays so special to so many of us. Best of all, we promise not to feature anything stupid like “the gift of laughter” or “a loving family” or any of that crap.
1975/1983: Our First Ride…
If there is one thing that unites all generations, it’s the need to escape. After all, adults just don’t get us kids, man! When homework got too rough and big sis was looking for an excuse to bash your brains in, sometimes all you can do is roll up a pack of candy cigarettes in your shirt sleeve and head for the open road.
Or at least head to the sidewalk outside your front steps.
Bikes have been a tried-and-true gift for around a century, but starting in ’75 little kids had a durable, plastic, and cheaper option – the Big Wheel.
Big Wheels were great because they allowed you a sense of freedom, but without any of the danger of a real bike and a real possibility of getting anywhere outside your neighborhood. Plus, they weren’t for little kids like tricycles, or so we were convinced by genius marketing folks. They were sleek like a race-car or a motorcycle, and they held onto a sticker like a mofo. What’s not to like?
But for me, my step into the Big Wheel genre of rides was 1983’s amaze-balls He-Man Mighty Cycle.
I loved everything He-Man related as a kid (something you’ll see a lot of in this countdown) and when my parents brought this beast home I was set. It looked like something He-Man would have actually rode in the show, which again, is a testament to the fabulous job 80s marketing people did and how phenomenally gullible 80s kids were.
The sad thing about gifts like these is that they rarely see any love in attempts to do nostalgia driven revivals. Sure, Masters of the Universe might get a new custom toy line every few years or so, but no one is bringing this back. Which is a shame, really, as I would pay good money to drive a full-sized version wrapped around Harley parts.
Got a fond gift memory you’d like to share? Simply email [email protected] and ask us about writing a guest post!
We’re always interested in hearing from fans and sharing their stories. And if you are a toy maker or seller interested in sponsoring a post, we can make that happen too!