I Found a Time Machine and I’m Giving it to My Kids

Spider-Man and His Amazing FriendsA few months ago, I was in my basement and came upon a box of glorious awesomeness. I knew it was down there but had forgotten about it for awhile. Inside this seemingly ordinary cardboard box was my old Atari 2600 video game system. And yes, it still works.

I brought it upstairs, hooked it up in the living room and proceeded to pull out the 100+ cartridges I still had for it. I was so curious how my kids would react. Would they love it? Hate it? Think it’s way too lame or easy? And the graphics too blocky?

Oddly enough, they saw it and could not wait to try it. Like me, they found some games boring (E.T., I’m looking at you!), but others so much fun they couldn’t stop (SkyDiver!). It really blows my mind that they can have some crazy technological wonder like a Nintendo 3DS… and still sit for hours with a one-button Atari joystick, playing Frogger.

But it’s not just the Atari. Recently, they’ve started getting into superheroes. All thanks to the incredibly amazing Avengers movie. Since watching it, they’ve been asking me countless questions about this superhero and that villain. Ryan keeps asking me, “What’s an origin?” And for some reason he keeps mixing up Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker. But it’s okay, I’ll let that one slide. Anyways, it got me thinking so I dug into the guest room closet and pulled out my comic book longboxes. I carefully dug through my old Captain America issues and found a few appropriate comics I think they’d love. And guess what? They did!

Hawkeye comic book

I used to be a serious comic collector. Yes, I had the boards and the bags on each issue. I’d keep them in perfect condition, sometimes buying multiple issues so I could read one and save the other. Fine, I was a comic nerd. That’s not the point.

With my kids, I don’t care anymore. Just seeing them sitting on the bed, with their eyes wide as they read about Hawkeye or Superman and the Legion of Substitute Heroes does my heart good. I’m actually cursing myself out a bit that I sold a lot of my old issues.

And now we’ve taken an even bigger step. Thanks to Netflix, I’m watching my all-time favoritest cartoon ever with my kids: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. It’s cheesy. It’s not the slickest animation. And the dialogue and stories are pretty laughable. But I still love it. And after watching three episodes together while mommy was out working, we’re all hooked on it. Thankfully there’s a full 21 more episodes left to watch.

So my kids are literally getting to enjoy the things I enjoyed as a kid. The video games I played. The comic books I read. And now the cartoons I watched. None of them are just stories being told, or modern versions of what I used. They’re the actual items. In essence, it really is like finding a time machine and bringing my kids back with me to the 1980s. Thing is, I think I’m enjoying all these things even better the second time around.

8 thoughts on “I Found a Time Machine and I’m Giving it to My Kids”

  1. This is going to reveal my age, but I remember watching Gumby, Felix The Cat, Mr. McGoo, Fat Albert, Pink Panther, School House Rock, The Tom and Jerry Show and many more.

    And I can remember the Atari. I thought that was the coolest invention ever, besides my Magic 8 Ball and Etch a Sketch. LOL

    I loved Comic Books! My brothers and I had a ton of them along with Mad Magazine.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • Hey, Kim! Well if that reveals your age, then you sound about as old as me. (I won’t say it, though if you look around my blog you can find out I’m 40… I mean… shhh).

      I remember everything you mentioned .I LOVED School House Rock. Even have all the CDs and the DVD, though my kids couldn’t care less. I should try putting it on again. And yeah, I had a slew of Mad Magazines at home. My kids actually watch the MAD cartoon on TV now and love it, even though I think half the jokes go over their heads.

  2. Oh how I miss my Atari, I love frogger! Though I have to say a large part of my childhood was spent not on the Atari, but on the Nintendo staring zombie-like at Tetris determined to always have the high score. I still love video games, especially those based on super heroes. Jake is 15 and has outgrown the super hero stage, but there were many years that all we talked about, dressed in, and decorated in were super heroes.

    • Hey there, Billie! Thanks so much for the comment! And yeah, I do miss my Atari. Well I still have it, I just mean I miss having sooo many hours a day to play it. 🙂 My wife LOVES Frogger. I enjoyed it but suck at it. Pitfall was always my go-to game. Sorry Jake’s outgrown superheroes. Maybe he’ll get back in it!

  3. Okay – an Atari! That is so cool!

    And my boys watch Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends too on Netflix! Do you have Apple TV? My husband has downloaded some of the old Batman cartoons – the boys love it. My favorite is the one with Batman and Scooby-Doo! It’s crazy seeing two favorites team up!

    • It never fails to impress people when you mention Atari. Everyone has at least one fond memory of that awesomely simple system. 🙂

      I don’t have Apple TV, but we have wifi-enabled Blu-ray players so we can access Netflix on almost every TV. I loved that Batman and Scooby Doo one from when I was a kid. I may have to show that one to my kids too!

  4. Have you and your boys considered/are watching the new Ultimate Spider-man cartoon on Disney XD? It looks pretty slick.

    Regardless, how great that they are becoming so enamored with superheroes! Reading your story makes me feel a little bit better that I skipped past the bags and boards with my floppies. I’d much rather someone read the New 52 Justice League comics I’m collecting than just stare at a cover. 🙂

    • Hey, Mandy! Thanks for the comment! I remember seeing the commercial for Ultimate Spidey and groaning. I hear it’s actually pretty good, though so maybe we’ll get to it. I’m just happy they’re eating up superheroes left and right!

Comments are closed.