Why are toys so difficult to open but break so easily? This is the burning question I have. What is it? Is there some government mandate involved? Was there some study done? Does it improve sales? When I was a kid you'd simply open the box and GI Joe would come tumbling out. (By the way, 30 years later my boys still play with these same GI Joes. Granted there are a couple of them dismembered but by and large they still work.) Now days the average toy, like a GI Joe, has 47 twisty tie things, a half-dozen screws, double-sided-tape indiscriminately placed on every conceivable semi-movable part and then is vacuum wrapped in some kind of NASA-designed- fire-resistant-plastic-synthetic-mold. It's unbelievable.
These aren't military secrets. They're toys.
But that's just half the issue... once they're opened they break within minutes. I've literally experienced the trauma of spending more time extracting a toy from it's packaging than the amount of time spent by the child playing with the toy before it broke! (i.e. rockets, pens, weapons, punching bags, magic sets, model cars and every walkie-talkie system... ever!) And if you emailed this post to 5 parents my bet is 4.5 out of 5 of them would say the same thing.
I don't need a return to the "good ole' days". I don't spend inordinate amounts of time reminiscing about the way things used to be. But with respect to the toy making industry somebody missed something, somewhere and it was probably all in the name of progress. (Ogden Nash, once wrote, "Progress might have been all right once but it has gone on too long.")
So here's to the days when toys opened easily and lasted. Yes, they had parts that you could easily choke on and yes, they were bulky and heavy, at times had sharp edges and were probably made of something semi-toxic but... they endured and sometimes like in the case of my GI Joes, the original ones are still in tact after more than 30 years.