09 September 2009

childhood revisited (but better)

even as a kid, m21 was fascinated with design. he'd spend hours drawing buildings and cities, and of course, he harbored fantasies of being an architect when he grew up (until he discovered that the insides of buildings- where people actually do their living- was where it was at for him, creatively speaking). naturally, his favorite toys were things he could design and build with, and if the toy wasn't made with design in mind, m21 would turn it into one- no war games for maison21 and his g.i. joes, but he sure wishes he had a picture of the platform waterbed he made for joe out of lincoln logs and a ziploc baggie... pure design genius! ;-)

maison21's number one favorite building toy was legos, and he still has a portion of his once vast collection stored in a closet somewhere, in case friends with kids come to visit. loved the legos, and we often still have fantasies about buying a huge quantity of white bricks, and going to town with them (but who has time for that as an adult)?

his second favorite toy was this:
astrolite was too cool- building toy and light sculpture, all in one. released in 1969 at the height of the space race, it was a moon landing fascinated little boy's dream toy, and though we might not have played with it as much as our our legos, it served as a decoration in our bedroom for years and years until teen embarrassment set in, and we got rid of it.
our one complaint with astrolite was that it didn't come with enough pieces, and though our parents were awfully indulgent of our creative toy needs, we just couldn't convince them to by us a second set. maybe we didn't even try very hard- we were lego obsessed after all, so i'd imagine if we had a choice of spending our meager allowance on something, we chose extra bricks...
so when m21 recently came across not one, but two, complete vintage sets of astrolite, he decided to indulge in a long lost childhood fantasy and spend a lazy hour or two of his holiday weekend recreating his childhood, but better...
like all attempts to recreate childhood, it was fun a while, but ultimately just doesn't work as an adult- an astrolite city of the future is a cool sculpture, but it doesn't exactly work with our decor. so we'll separate the sets again, and pack them away or pass them on; but for a minute there, it was pretty cool to be 6 again, but this time a six year old with his own credit card- to make a visit to the past just a little bit better...

7 comments:

HOBAC said...

How cute (sans any trace of sarcasm).

tula said...

I don't remember this toy! I can only imagine how much more fabulous my life would be had I had this toy as a child.

Julia said...

I always wanted one of those! It was a "Boy Toy" and no matter how many times I asked, I never got one.

Lucky you!

Suzy said...

lol - love it! I loved lego too, but have never heard of or seen Astrolite before..wish that'd been around in suburban Australia when I was a kid!

Nicolette said...

It's a very glamorous structure. Somewhat threatening though, don't you think?

Nicolette
http://www.furnitureanddesignideas.com/

Lucinda said...

I think I remember this, maybe slightly before my time but it looks something like a fancy erector set.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I never heard of this before! I think your city is absolutely amazing! I am now on my way to ebay now to find more of them! ... I'm thinking bathroom chandelier!