DAVE GOODERHAM: Playtime takes me back to the future

A personal view

A personal view

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What have Honduran international Jerry Bengtson, the Delorean from Back to the Future and Ghostbusters’ Egon Spengler got in common?

The answers lies in my current life as I slowly become Bury St Edmunds’ very own Benjamin Button. Despite comfortably into my mid-30s, I find myself slipping further and further back into my childhood.

I could easily point the finger of blame at my children and my six-year-old son Darcy in particular. But my renewed interest in Lego and the Panini World Cup sticker album extends well beyond that.

Take Bengtson for example (he was in the first pack of my, I mean my son’s, stickers by the way). Like so many, a Panini football sticker album was an important part of my childhood. Fast forward 25 years and the obsession has started again. It began innocently, the album is free in certain Bury supermarkets, so why not bring one home for the boy? A pack of five stickers only cost £2 – sling it into the shopping trolley. It’s harmless after all. And so it began.

I read an article this week that suggested the average spend to complete the Brazil World Cup sticker album is around £65 – and I am well on course (I do hope Mrs G isn’t reading this).

My addiction knows no bounds. It doesn’t matter if my son is in the house or not, I will be opening packets, revelling at a ‘shiny’ or a big player and hoping not to have too many swaps.

But I console myself, nay justify it, with the fact I am a big football fan who is excited about this summer’s World Cup.

That brings me on to that Delorean and Ghostbusters.

One of Darcy’s favourite toys is Lego – which means it plays an integral part of Daddy Day Care. We sit for hours building, me pretending that my dire creative skills have actually just produced the latest, greatest robot/house/car – whatever he thinks it looks like basically.

But then I saw it. The Delorean, complete with Marty McFly and Doc Brown characters, on the internet. ‘Great Scott’ indeed. A cool £35, but something Darcy would love. If only he had heard of Back to the Future and was 10+. The same goes for Ghostbusters. The latest in the Lego sets takes us back to 1984, allowing you to build the car and play with our four slime-fighting heroes. Oh the excitement in re-enacting two all-time great films. The excitement would be all mine of course!

So there is my confession. I am clearly nothing more than a big kid.

Regardless of who gets the most joy – and it is a close-run thing – Lego, sticker albums and much, much more are a great way to bond with your children.

So it doesn’t matter if I enjoy it a bit too much. Does it?