20 Toys That Will Help Dad To Be A Kid Again
What brought you unadulterated joy as a child — and why don’t you still have that toy? This list proves it’s never too late.
Remember that feeling you had as you peered around the corner, back to the wall, heart pounding, Nerf blaster at the ready, waiting for the release of full battle? Or maybe it was you in complete concentration, controller in hand, Brett Favre on the screen in 16-bit glory, avoiding the blitz and finding the pixelated green sea that was the end zone. Toys can bring back memories of childhood that are the stuff of life – or to be more exact, the stuff of pure, unadulterated excitement. Oh, to relive those moments.
It’s certainly worth a shot. Certain toys, posters, games, and clothes can bring back some of the joy, through nostalgia and a little bit of letting go and being a kid again today. The responsibilities of being an adult and parent will still be there at the end of the day, but spending 30 minutes with modern-day remote control cars, go-karts, or action figures will bring a smile to your day. So go ahead and relive a little of your childhood — or get that Batman action figure or video game your parents forgot to. It’s never too late.
For over five decades, there have been several toy versions of the Starship Enterprise from the legendary sci-fi franchise, Star Trek. But, the 2022 new toy version of the classic 1966 Enterprise might be the best one yet. Measuring nearly 19 inches long, and boasting several classic sound effects, this Enterprise is perfect for imagining space battles at warp speed with your kid or simply sitting on your own desk. Plus, if you ever need William Shatner to motivate you by yelling “fire photon torpedoes,” this will do the trick. For collectors, retro-packaging is a nice touch.
This palm-size remote control car can fly around your house at speeds up up to 9 mph, just like the ones you had as a kid. Unlike the ones you had as a kid, the Real Racer has a roof-mounted HD camera that connects to your phone, giving you a first-person view of you racing through the house with the included smartphone headset.
McFarlane Toys makes extremely detailed action figures geared towards adult collectors. A stand and twenty-two points of articulation on this Rebirth Batman figure make it perfect for posing and displaying in your office. Plus, the added batarang and grapple gun make it easy to have him fighting crime on your desk when no one’s around.
Sledding in plain rubber tire tubes is for kids. L.L. Bean’s Sonic Snow tube is the upgrade for adults, thanks to features like the stability handles and the handle leash for dragging it back uphill. Plus, it comes with a variety of great styles (our favorite is the Red Buffalo Plaid).
Back in 1964’s Goldfinger, James Bond (Sean Connery) rode this tricked-out sports car for the first time, and almost sixty years later, there’s still no Bondmobile better than the Aston Martin. Daniel Craig may have taken the silver DB5 out for one last ride in No Time To Die, but something tells us we haven’t seen the last of this iconic car in future Bond movies. This LEGO set lets you build your own Aston Martin to tide you over until the next 007 is announced.
Remember those pump-action NERF blasters you had when you were a kid that would shoot five darts before you had to reload? NERF has made some upgrades since then. The N-Strike Mega Mastodon not only has a whopping 24-dart rotating drum, but it’s also fully automatic, which means you can hold down the trigger and rain fire on the neighborhood during your kid’s next NERF war.
Designed to work with the Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit lets you set up any room in your house as a Maro Kart track. Place the gates at various spots along your homemade track, and the Switch displays coins, boxes, and the finish line in augmented reality while your Kart reacts in real-time to virtual powerups like mushroom boosts or when it gets blasted with a virtual shell. Plus, just like the video game, you can unlock track features, gates, and costumes as you play.
If the Madden games leave you missing the era of pass interference and frenetic 2-minute quarters of football, Arcade1Up’s NFL Blitz Legends arcade cabinet will bring you right back to the rowdy 00’s of your youth. Besids the coolness of having an arcade game in your home, this setup brings three NFL Blitz games, 4-player action, and a live mode where you can play other people around the world and rise up in the rankings.
This ain't Monopoly. Dwellings of Eldervale, now in its second edition, combines, strategy, world building, magic, monsters, and war into an epic board game. Think of it as Settlers of Catan and Risk mixed in a blender with a Guillermo Del Toro film.
A combination of two classic games, this full-sized shuffleboard and bowling table doubles as a piece of home decor, thanks to its gorgeous walnut finish. It comes with eight weighted chrome shuffleboard pucks, a full bowling setup, and an AC adapter for its onboard LED lights.
Teaching your kid to play chess is one thing. But, what about teaching them to play chess like Spock? In Star Trek, members of Starfleet don’t just play chess in one dimension; they do it in three dimensions. With three boards and rules that allow chess pieces to move up and down as well as across the boards, this chess set is one-of-a-kind. And, if nobody wants to play it with you, it will look amazing in your home office.
Built just like the ones you’d find in an English pub, this Rustic Dartboard Set from Pottery Barn is made from reclaimed birch, giving it vintage vibes as soon as you mount it. It’s got everything you need to get a game going, including two sets of three stell-tipped darts and chalkboard scoreboards.
Laser tag sets have come a long way since you were a kid. This set from Squad Hero comes with four blasters and four vests with targets on the front, back, and blaster. You can see how your team is doing with the lives and team data available on LED screens mounted on the vests, and each gun has four weapon modes: Pistol, Automatic, Laser, and Rocket.
The covering your walls in movie posters phase (hopefully) ended in college. But putting up canvas wall art? Timeless. These artistic canvas minimalist movie posters are the perfect compromise between your Karate Kid fanboy days and your interior decorating present.
Remember those really really big LEGO builds you took on as a kid?They're even bigger now. Standing at just under five feet tall and with a whopping 10,001 pieces, nothing tops the LEGO Eiffel Tower for sheer size. Filled with interesting details like arches, supports, cross bracing, and railings, as well as an esplanade with Parisian lampposts, benches and foliage, builders get to top off the tower with a French flag. The only problem will be finding out where to put it.
The greatest TV car of all time is still a jet-black 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am. But, if your kid has no knowledge of Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) and his sentient sweet-ride, K.I.T.T., that’s okay. This Playmobil K.I.T.T. is exactly the kind of toy you buy for yourself but then pretend like you bought it for your kid.
Pickleball’s popularity isn’t hard to explain - it’s easy to learn, hard to master, and it gives you an excuse to go sweat it up at the playground like you used to during recess. Nettie’s Double Pack set has everything you need to get a game going: Two honeycomb polymer paddles with carbon fiber surfaces, two pickleball (because you’re bound to lose one), and two sweatbands to make you feel like a pro (even if you can’t play like one).
This folding soccer goal is sturdy, comes in three sizes, and folds down to fit inside your car’s trunk when you take it to the park. The aluminum frame is durable yet lightweight, so it’s easy to carry, and it takes about ten seconds to set up, so you’ll be playing in no time.
If you’re gong to practice your short game, make it as close to the real thing as possible. These greens from Birdieball come with three different green speeds that replicate public, private, and championship greens, each with settings that let you practice with or against the grain. Also, it rolls completely flat with drop-in cups so you don’t have to work around contrived ramps.