Two or three years ago, this prototype of a bike helmet would have meant nothing to me. I didn't grow up with Playmobil toys. I wouldn't have even recognized this as Playmobil hair.
Now my house is filled with these tiny, plastic things. In fairness, most of them have been purchased by my seven year-old daughter, who diligently saves her money and buys purchases them for herself.
Despite the fact that I step on Playmobil pieces all the time, this bike helmet does not appeal to me. It's clever and amusing, but I would never consider wearing it.
I hate bike helmets anyway.
But the Internet went crazy over this helmet last week. People clamored for it to move beyond the prototype stage and onto store shelves. Adults dreamed of a day when they could wear a helmet just like this as they ride down the street.
I thought they were a little crazy, but I also understood.
I think that some things - toys, foods, books, movies, specific places - become a part of us as children and never leave. They become infused with our DNA and maintain a powerful hold on us for the rest of our lives.
For me, it's canned cranberry sauce. The Twilight Zone. Yawgoog Scout Reservation. Star Wars. Treasure Island. The Atari 2600. The New York Yankees. Whiffle ball. Not wearing a bike helmet.
These are just a few of the passions of my childhood.
But if we miss out on the opportunity to interact with these things as kids, it's much harder to understand or feel the same level of attraction to these things later on.
There is something about childhood that makes things bigger and brighter and better. More permanent, too.
Playmobil didn't play a part in my childhood. The toys existed, but I can't recall ever seeing a single Playmobil set or even watching a Playmobil commercial on TV. For me, it's just a helmet. A weird looking helmet.
It might mean something more to my daughter, though. She may love it someday. She may become one of those crazy adults clamoring for its existence beyond the prototype.
That said, this video on how the helmet was made was pretty fascinating.