I don’t know about you, but when I was a young boy, I loved Hot Wheels cars. I asked for them for my birthday, for Christmas, got them with allowed extra money I had… I loved them. I still enjoy playing with them with younger kids. There is something about a shiney metal car you can drive. You can drive it anywhere. Make it do anything. A little hot wheels car is an adventure waiting to happen.
While this grew less as I aged, I remember something which I did with the hot wheels which stands as some of my fondest childhood memories. It wasn’t building the huge tracks with the rolly launcher. It wasn’t organizing them based on color (yeah- I did that). It wasn’t even racing them with my younger bro.
What I loved to do most, was to setup a car sale. When I setup a car sale, that meant my most loyal customer would come and do business with me. And that was my dad. He would bring a handful of change, and come do business. He would take half the cars, and I would take half the cars. Then, we would work deals, trades, and more. There was never a time limit on this, sometimes we played this for 15min, sometimes for an hour or more. When we were done, I would give him the change I had, and he would give me back the cars. We did this countless times as I grew up, and those times have stuck with me today.
I remembered this particular flashback as I was in Target, and saw a young boy picking out a brand new hot wheels with his dad. It made me wonder why I still had such fond feelings whenever I passed that blue isle. I think this is why… See, Hot wheels, like any other toy, by themselves are pretty boring. Add a little imagination and you get somethign playable. Add another person, and you’ve got an afternoon of activities. I don’t remember car sales because it was something I played with. It was because dad took the time out of his busy schedule, and invested in me.
So I guess the point of this flashback isn’t to advertise for a certain toy brand, but to simply ask-
“Who are you investing in?”
Because as petty as something may seem, like playing with a young kid and his favorite toy, it makes an impact. An impact that will, more likely than not, stick with them for the rest of their life.