Now that I've got a wee tot myself, I've been going through the memory banks and trying to remember the things I liked when I was his age. I'm having trouble with it, because he's 2, but I do have a couple of memories that I can draw from. I had a plush zebra that I slept with incessantly, among other things. Painter has a donkey. I remember my parents both had really big paychecks come in one year, when I was 4, and we had a gigantic Christmas. It was the one year wherein they decided to officially spoil us, even once. Out of the huge medly of toys I received that year, two stand out. These are the greatest toys ever made. No matter what toys you liked when you were a kid, these beat those toys up all day long.
The Speak & Spell is pretty obvious. I played with mine from the age of 4 until 8. I rigged it to alternate power sources, I toted it everywhere. It is no wonder I later became a writer. I spent my childhood staying inside and spelling shit all day.
The only difference is that my Godzilla figure shot its fist off with eye-blacking power, and his other hand was replaced with red missiles that were best launched with a trajectory leading them to my toddler brother's head. I have no idea why this toy had rockets for one hand, or what sort of bizarre marketing that was, but I loved the thing.
Painter plays with Hot Wheels cars. That's his thing, for now. We've got a thousand, at this point.
And when he falls asleep, I play with the Hot Wheels cars.