At least there is some success in the UK economy with the toy-maker Lego reporting a 51% rise in UK sales today on BBC News. This has great memories for me because as a young child I had a biscuit box full of Lego pieces.
I can remember saving my pocket money for weeks and going to Barker's Toy Shop in Cottingham to buy a tiny box of red bricks 'eight dots' long. The long bricks gave stability! I played incessantly with Lego and I bought my kids loads of Lego when they were young, but the product had naturally changed over the years. Little figures are now available and all sorts of extras and add ons with moving pieces and flashing lights, themes such as pirates and witches. I remember a thrill at getting bricks that had wheels on which meant I could build cars!
Does anyone remember the boy's toy Johnny Seven? It was a multi-purpose gun type weapon which fired spring loaded plastic bullets and grenades and let me tell you my Action Men figures got a real raw deal being constantly bombarded the long length of our Victorian hallway. Me at one end protected by piles of coats and my action figures with their impotent plastic guns surrounded by a cardboard fort at the other end.
I loved books and drawing. As an only child living in a three storey Victorian house, I also enjoyed exploring although there was one room, as a child frightened me. The door was in the middle of a wall on the stairway between the first and top floor. What I didn't know was that it was the water tank room, but of course no-one ever told me and it was always locked with a key in the lock. What or who was being kept prisoner in there? I always ran past it, never dwelling anywhere near it.
Well today, our kids have their imagination stretched to the full by the variety of entertainment and intelligent toys and computer based stuff which they can interact with - perhaps parents have been able to abrogate a little of their responsibility to interact with their kids as they get older. Who knows.
"Anyone who can hate children and dogs can't be all that bad,"