Boys’ Toys and Bah Humbug…

Cars

Buying a new bulb for a headlamp yesterday in a well known chain of high street car part retailer we couldn’t help but notice on the stack of Christmas-oriented kids stuff, a Ferrari 430 Scuderia in miniature, about big enough for a kid under the age of four to climb onboard.

The mini supercar, in authentic Rosso with the stripe down the middle, was advertised as coming with an electric motor and brakes and a real foot-operated accelerator pedal for the lucky kids to play with. It was retailing at about the same price as your average starter bike.

At first it occurred to me how lucky the little bleeder who got that at the foot of his bed on Christmas morning would be. Then I looked closer at the thing, and I rapidly began to change my mind.

It was, of course, licensed officially by Ferrari…but in all aspects it bore no resemblance to the brand…it was molded horribly, with bits of plastic fraying at the edges of every design, and the plastic itself was thing gauged and horribly cheap-looking.

It then occurred that the lack of detail in this toy car was the element that was missing. And detail is the essential element that makes a good thing really special and defines the difference between something truly good and something, well, bad.

Anyway, it occurred also to me that there is more virtue in something truly miniature but infused with the details elements of spectacular car culture. This vette, for example, retailing for half the price but existing as a thing in itself with true, if tiny presence.

Happy Christmas shopping, anyway.

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