Does Buddy have a lot of toys? Yes and no. Instead of buying different types of toy for him, I focused on getting the same of certain types. Like I got him quite a lot of Thomas & Friends trains a couple of years back, as well as dinosaur models. But it was also because Buddy was only interested in both, unlike many other kids who have toy guns, transformers, remote control cars, and all the fancy whiz bangs produced by the toy industry.
However, last year, Buddy suddenly developed an interest in the Teenaga Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), and that was when he lost interest in trains ever since. Lucky for the dinos, he is starting to regain his interest after a long hiatus. I am ready to sell or give away the trains and tracks, but not the models. I did my research to get the good stuff, and they are certainly not some ridiculous fake-looking figures!
Back to the TMNT, I had initially bought him the Leonardo set comprising of the eye mask, sword and Sirikans since he wanted to be Leo.
But, soon after, he started to switch roles to the other Turtles. Instead of getting the rest of the sets, my husband decided to make the weapons for him like the samurai sword, staff and Sais (below). The Sais were made from papers with chopsticks inside to give it structure, and lots of transparent tape, whereas the staff was made from cardboard paper.
We were not sure if we could make the nunchucks, and I even checked out Etsy for something safe for him, but they were going for more than USD30 excluding shipping cost. Eventually my husband had an idea; he used Buddy’s socks stuffed with cotton balls. That turned out to be rather ingenious!
Kids being kids, they don’t stay interested in any one thing for long. Buddy discovered the Avengers, starting with Captain America. He wanted the shield, and again I wanted to take the short cut and thought of getting one from Toys R Us. Then I realized that we could get it made using paper plate. Basically we only had to color the design on the underside. However the paper was not durable; so we switched to disposable plastic plate. To reinforce the structure, my husband taped it up, and he made a pair of handles on the other side using masking tape.
The other Avenger hero that Buddy wanted to emulate was Thor. By now, he likes the homemade toys so much that he wanted us to make him a hammer. We were like, “how in the world are we gonna make a kiddy hammer?” I told him I would search for a toy hammer instead but he refused, and insisted we make one for him. My husband wrecked his brain, and finally got the idea to use the trusty sock and cotton balls again. So here we have a safe hammer with handle just like Thor’s.
Buddy wanted to dress up like Thor as well, and so we used the swaddle cloth for the cape. Though he later wanted something in red because that’s the color of Thor’s cape. I gave him my red scarf which he happily accepted. Now, my numerous scarves, which I haven’t used for donkey years, are put into good use for Buddy’s play acting.
My husband even made him the Thor’s helmet, though, admittedly it doesn’t look like one but Buddy was happy with it.
Another Avenger character that Buddy liked a lot was Clinton, the archer. When the request for bow and arrows came, we were stumped. My husband decided to tie a piece of string to an old staff to make it into a bow, but arrows? That is a whole new ball game. Lucky for us, my parents found a set of toy bow and arrows for him. I can tell you, strangely, they are as elusive as the snow leopard.
Buddy is also a fan of Marvel hero, the Hulk, and thank God Hulk doesn’t have any weapon. But Buddy insists on wearing green tops and blue pants, because those are Hulk’s colors. (Don’t ask me why.)
So now, is Buddy still big on Avengers? Nope! He has moved on to Guardians of the Galaxy. He loves that movie so much that I’ve lost count of the number of times he has seen it. He is also a fan of Drax, because he is similar to Hulk. He wanted the knives that Drax has, and, with weapon making experience under his belt, my husband made a pair for him.