The Christmas Advert Calendar Door Six – You Bloody Geoffrey

Christmas. That means presents right? Well, who like presents the most? Kids. And what do kids like? Toys. If you were going to buy a child a present, what would you buy it? A toy. Are you keeping up? Good. So, if kids like toys, and kids like presents the most, and what kids want for a present is a toy, then surely the retail world would capitalise on this demand and create some sort of ‘toy warehouse’? That would be the most sane approach surely… Oh.

Yes! Of course I’m talking about Toys ‘R’ Us. The mecca of children country wide. A magical place, with toys in their millions, all under one roof! At least that’s how it used to be;

Man, remember that time, before the internet, when you had to go to shops to buy toys and other things like music, and videos, and computer games? A time where you couldn’t read user-reviews, or parents reviews on how naff/shit/super-awesome a toy is, or better yet, watch an instructional video on “how to get the best from your nerf gun” youtube? Yeah, me too. I liked that time. In fact, it was one of my favourite times.

You see, my Nan used to live in Cardiff, and Cardiff had an absolutely massive Toys R Us, smack bang in the middle of the city. Whenever my nan would give me some “pocket” money, I’d immediately cash that cheque at the bank of mum, and whinge until I got to go to the warehouse of ‘Shit I’ve never wanted before, until I see it on the shelf’. It was amazing! The shelves were stacked taller than my Dad, and he’s like 5″7! To a seven year old, that makes him an actual giant. I’d make sure that we went down every isle, and I’d make a short list of my “best toys” so I could then spend half an hour deliberating whether to get the green ranger, or the red ranger. Pro-Tip; Always the green ranger. Tommy was bad-fucking-ass.

I actually still have some of the toys I bought from there, my favourite being a miniature WWF wrestling ring, with 6 characters, and various extra bits and bobs. It was a brilliant collection; Undertaker, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, Kane, and Al Snow (That time in 1999 when he broke into the mid-card, remember? Didn’t think so). I spent the four hour train journey on the way home playing wrestling, and doing insane over the top moves, like a Rock Bottom from the top of a window ledge, right to the arm of the chair. Amazingly, HHH actually managed to kick out of that one!

Sorry, I digressed a little there. Basically, Toys R Us has a good place in my childhood memories, and with that, goes the original advert that I can quote almost word for word. It’s a pity then, that instead of just re-airing that lovely little animated sing-along, they come up with a spot about being a Toys R Us kid, and how I’m going to flip my lid, and all of those other really bad rhymes that end in ‘id’. It’s shiite. Look at it!

Jingles are old news folks, why even try? How is that making you relevant? Surely with internet shopping being so easy, the creatives should be focussing on that nostalgic hold that Toys R Us had on the children of the 80s and 90s (who have probably grown up and had their own children), rather than trying to associate themselves with the 9 year old gun-runners who stab and rape in their free time? I read that in the Daily Mail somewhere don’t you know.

Oh! Boy! The ad is all a bit rubbs really. I’m loving the addition of star wars Lego, but the oversized Barbie dolls remind me of those sex toys that creepy old men pay thousands of dollars for. What else is there? The jingle is rubbish, the animation isn’t exactly brilliant, and seeing as I’m always going to hold a special place in my heart for Geoffrey, it’s done nothing to nestle in with that slice of nostalgic pie I’ve obviously eaten. It’s a shame really.

When I’ve got a child, I’m going to take it around places like Toys R Us, and let him/her also choose one toy to play with for six months. Don’t get me wrong, it’s got nothing to do with the advertising, or because I particularly like Toys R Us, but more because it’s one of life’s lessons a child must learn. Managing to weigh the pros and cons of a power ranger versus a box of Lego made me the man I am today. Brilliant.

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