When I was a kid, I was really into sports and anything else that I could turn into a structured competition. This led to the creation of my favorite game: Crashing Cars. I would simply take all of my Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars and crash them together (that sound you just heard was every Matchbox and Hot Wheels collector simultaneously fainting). Whichever car stayed on its wheels was the winner. This wasn’t quite structured enough, so I made it best 2 out of 3.
Then, as I got older and my collection grew, it became more complex. I started setting up brackets. Much like NCAA basketball, I would start with 64 contestants and whittle it down to 1 overall champion. At one point, I got super-crazy and actually started tracking the stats for different cars. I knew going into every matchup who the early favorite was and upsets were always enjoyed. I knew the strengths and weaknesses of every car. Some were heavier. Some had wider bases or lower centers of gravity. Some were really light but the front was sloped, so other cars tended to go flying over them like a ramp. I knew them all, and it was awesome!
I don’t know what happened to all my cars, but I’m willing to bet that they ended up at the local day care along with all of my Master’s of the Universe action figures (I’ll probably forgive my mother for this one day). Wherever they went, they were a major part of my life for a few years.
Last weekend, I decided it was time to pass this game onto my son. He was playing on the floor with some of his toy cars, so I figured that he was ready to learn the awesomeness. He’s only 3, so his collection is still fairly small, and he’s not able to understand all the rules, but he’s on the right track. We set up a bracket of 16, and I had to help him with the best 2 out of 3 concept, but he picked it up fairly quickly.
He still has a lot to learn. You have to switch hands every run to compensate for one arm being stronger than the other, and he sometimes likes to throw the cars at each other (and me). Overall, though, I’d say he’s starting to pick it up. He’s coming along quite nicely.
Now, if I can just find a He-Man and Skull Mountain…