Boys never grow up.
Most women agree with this, of course. Most guys do too. It helps in maintaining the “totally selfish existence” illusion. This illusion comes in mighty handy when others casually suggest we act more responsibly or do something we’d rather not. If all we have to endure is a few eye rolls and a sarcastic comment or two from our ladies it’s a pretty cheap price to pay to be able to hit the bar for a hockey game or buy something silly and motorized.
But is it true?
Sadly, I fear more so now than ever before.
I cannot in any way imagine men of past generations ever entering their general store and going monkey-zoo over a new Radio Flyer wagon on the shelf. They would not buy it, they would not take it home and they would not forbid their kids from playing with it out of fear that it might “lose its value.” No, they’d probably buy some snuff and a new tool that would serve to improve the life of their family in some tangible way. They would act more like what we now refer to as “adults.”
Me? I just bought a Hot Wheels car at Toys R Us because it was shiny, green and neat. I am sad, and I am pathetic but I am also surprisingly pleased with myself for buying it. Whatever have we wrought?
Enter Dodge, who appears to know my inherent age, as they made a commercial just for me.
You’ve seen it I’m sure. They run the heck out of it during hockey and every other “guy” event they can.
In it, the infamous Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots (lovingly rendered in realistic CGI style) are fighting it out in a gym, pounding away at each other as we enjoy the delicious clank of metal banging metal. This is an important detail because while our elementary school imaginations certainly heard such titanic body blows, the unfortunate reality of plastic striking plastic is somewhat less impressive. Eventually the blue one dunces the red one and pops the loser’s head up. Our undisputed victor then realizes he needs bigger fish to fry and busts out of the ring, heading for the street. Punching the door open with a square fist, he smashes outside, causing normal folk to run in fear (as yet another one of my secret toy fantasies is fulfilled in Technicolor).
Mr. Rock‘Em Sock‘Em Blue comes up to a bright red Dodge truck and begins hammering away on the grill until, you guessed it, his robot head pops up, signifying the truck as the ultimate winner.
I just love this ad.
I wanted Rock’Em Sock’Em robots so bad as a kid that when I visited a far-off cousin who had them I was so excited I could have cared less about ever seeing him. It was one of the better memories from my lifetime relationship with toys.
For Dodge to resurrect this emotion just to draw me to their truck is evil genius. To see long gone objects of my youthful desire (other than Cindy Crawford of course) walking and talking and looking better than ever gets me so jazzed that it glues my eyes to the screen. Those robots are the bomb, and Dodge wants my “love” transferred to their truck.
Pretty smart move. I wish they would take it even further and give out key chains or small metal versions of the robots. Maybe posters. Hell, even mugs would be pretty sweet.
These companies are so good at using my own heart against me when it comes to selling stuff. They seem to crawl right inside my head, grabbing around for anything they might exploit successfully to part me from my savings. God help me if they ever find out just what the “Dukes of Hazzard” really means to me down deep. I may have to cancel my credit cards just in case.