When my boy turned 7 a month ago, the only toy he requested was “Rescue Bots,” and he specifically wanted an Optimus Prime. Lucky for him, the Birthday Fairy brought him just that, and after some assembly, all was right with the world (the Grandparent Fairies gave him Legos, but that has no relevance to this post).
So, when Hasbro reached out to me about my interest in letting my boy try out some Rescue Bots as part of its “Playskool Heroes” campaign*, my natural response was, “Well, I do know my boy would love him some more Rescue Bots, but do we need another hero? Do we need to know the way home?” I was assured that we do, in fact, need another hero (and that there is life beyond Thunderdome).
A few weeks later, the Brand Partnership Fairy sent us the Transformers Rescue Bots High Tide playset, which was great, because my son has known the importance of a high tide every college football season for as long as he’s been alive. Also, he watches the “Rescue Bots” cartoon on Netflix all the time, so he knew exactly who High Tide is.
In fact, he didn’t even remove the green “Hulk” paint from his face when the package arrived.
Then he went to work with the bit of required assembly.
It’s a ship! With a rescue hook! Which is nice, because Optimus Prime is a lousy swimmer. And you know what lousy swimmers need? A hero. And if Optimus Prime sometimes needs a hero, well, then we all need another hero.
Speaking of needing rescuing, this dude probably doesn’t like being eaten by a T-Rex while a 5-year-old eats a burrito, oblivious to the carnage, giving nary a damn.
In our box from Hasbro were a Jurasic World T-Rex and an Iron Man “armor up” fortress set we didn’t anticipate! Which is great, since I have 3 children living in my house, and righteous indignation runs deep in my progeny.
The eldest readied Mr. Stark for rescuing the poor sap lying between an enormous reptile’s incisors.
The little Stark action figure drops down into the Iron Man suit and then swoops into the danger zone and ensures widespread recognition of our need for a hero.
There’s even an included battery, which is totally better than every toy I had in the 80s, with their boilerplate “batteries not included” advertisements during Saturday morning cartoons. Screw “batteries not included.” That’s like opening a fortune cookie with no note inside. I ain’t got time for that.
But what I do have time for? Is heroes. With batteries.
*Thanks to Playskool Heroes, which compensated me for this post, and for encouraging kids to play “heroes.” My views, children, and ’80s references are all mine.