Desert Island Toys
In our continuing series, we take someone from the toy industry and maroon them on a desert island. We’re not completely heartless, though. We’re letting them pick the 10 toys they would like to take with them.
This week, our castaway is John Mc Glinchey, who runs the world’s only toy detective agency…
Lego – I’ll allow myself to be accused of making an all too obvious choice, however, these plastic construction bricks really were my favourite childhood plaything. When I was given a new set, I would race to complete the instructions, but it wasn’t long before I demolished the original model and built something of my own architectural vision. My own creations genuinely included a public house, video games arcade and a horse racing course. Castaway seclusion could be the perfect opportunity to create a Lego version of 221B Baker Street.
Pinball Machine – I never owned one myself, but thoroughly enjoyed playing a friend’s toy version that was made by Tomy. Recent attempts at playing the game remind me that I am no pinball wizard. However, it is addictive, improves reactions and can get the adrenaline going; an ideal way to pass those endless days.
BladeZ Salvation R/C Helicopter – I enjoy playing with remote control vehicles more now than I every did as a child. They seem so much better these days and some can even fly. There are lots of radio controlled helicopters available but models with robust metal construction and features that help make flying easier appeal to me the most, hence my choice of a BladeZ version designed for outdoor play.
A doll called Billy – Being a castaway will inevitably leave me feeling lonely and isolated. So, I would hope to have the company of my childhood companion Billy. This doll was given to me by an aunt for my second birthday. Not only was Billy a perfect comforter, he was also a very versatile toy; he was just the right size to join Action Man in military jeeps and tanks. Now, worse for wear – with alopecia, gnarled hands and a bean-filled tummy that has burst – I still keep Billy by my desk in the Toy Detective Agency.
Magnadoodle – I love to draw and doodle and if I did manage to smuggle some paper and ink onto the island, I’d probably use it up all too quickly. Magnadoodle – with its simple swipe-away drawing screen – is an ideal substitute when faced with a lack of more traditional sketching materials.
Schoenhut Piano – Whilst I’ve enjoyed playing a few ditties on various instruments, such as recorders, the Stylophone and even an InnoTab app to name but a few, I’d love to own a Schoenhut toy grand piano to help develop my undeveloped musical side. I might even compose a piece entitled: The Toy Detective Theme Tune.
Plasticine – Provides me with another opportunity for creative expression, this time through the medium of sculpture. As a child I (like many others) possessed a talent for turning almost any piece of Plasticine into a discoloured blob, meshed with carpet fibres. Hopefully, I’ll be able make something that’ll show what can really be done with the famous modelling clay that never dries out.
Nerf guns – A guilty pleasure of mine. I find something very satisfying about hitting a target with one of these toy guns. The Nerf Vortex Praxis is a particularly good (although not the most expensive) model. The disc shape of the projectiles is less prone to jamming compared to other kinds of foam dart, and it gives a very satisfying clunk-clink as I perform the pump action required before pulling the trigger.
Pack of cards – When I first saw someone play the game of patience, I was enthralled. Fortunately, I don’t spend (or waste) too much time at my desk playing computer varieties but without work obligations I’d happily indulge myself. A deck of playing cards will also be useful for practising some sleight-of-hand card tricks; be they of the magician’s or poker player’s variety.
Record player – Another favourite of mine was my Fisher-Price Record Player. Not the plinky-plonky sounding variety with tough plastic discs, but one that could play real records and had a built-in speaker. The one I had was bright blue in colour, had a very big needle and could play 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records. Although I’m no obsessive record collector, I still enjoy listening to music on proper vinyl LPs. Hopefully, I’ll be able to take some of my more recent music purchases with me, rather than being solely left with the copy of “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?” I repeatedly played.
John Mc Glinchey runs the world’s only toy detective agency at The Toy Detectives, which investigates all manner of playthings and publishes its case files online.
If you would like to be a castaway on ToyTalk’s exclusive desert island, just let us know!
Our Desert Island Toys artwork is by freelance designer Megan Sayers. Visit her at www.megansayers.com.