Each generation feels that theirs was the best when it comes to the toys that define it. With the current emphasis leaning heavily upon digital technology, I think that us thirty-somethings can safely lay claim to the late 70s-80s being the greatest time to have been a kid.
Microchips and touchscreens and fiber-optics create toys, mainly video games and their attendant platforms, these days that are light years beyond what we played with right around twenty years ago. However, I think that that’s a cheat; too easy. Because much of our current entertainment devices require no imagination — only the ability to sit and stare at the screen playing Skyrim for a hundred-billion hours — the toys of the past win.
Current playthings do the work for you while my childhood’s days required interaction. We were fortunate enough to come up in the time where Kenner and Hasbro reigned supreme. I mean, come on… Star Wars? He-Man? G.I. Joe? No contest!
Then there was the ultimate in child-toy interaction: Transformers. Robots shape-shifting into vehicles and dinosaurs and weapons as a means of camoflage was the coolest. And you, the kid with the imagination, full of wonder and excitement, made it happen; not some mother board or game cartridge. Every kid I knew wanted to be the heroic leader of the good guys, the Autobot Optimus Prime.
Side note: I had an Apple IIe and an Atari 2600 when I was a kid. Second side note: the only Transformer I had was Soundwave. Not some cool race car like Jazz, not a laser-blasting version of a Walther P-38 like Megatron… no, I had the stupid boom box. The transforming cassette tapes that came with him were cooler than Soundwave!
Sigh. Then, the inevitable happened. I got old and traded in my broken toys for new ones. New ones like Ruckus Brewing’s Hoptimus Prime.
You gotta love both sides of that name, but what’s in a name, right? Thankfully, the beer behind the label is just as cool. Hoptimus is burnished gold in color and has wonderful scents of orange blossom, pine and caramel malt. Its a double IPA so the big bitterness is there, but it’s finely balanced with malt sweetness. Grapefruit and tangerine flavors explode across the palate with tropical fruits and a touch of toffee and honey. Despite its IBU content of 92, the hops never overwhelm, only lend pure flavor giving Hoptimus a clean finish.
Gonna go worry the neighbors by running around the yard with a bed spread cape, tin foil-and-cardboard tube space gun and a big bottle of Hoptimus Prime. Please don’t call the authorities; I’m only re-living my childhood.