|Gizmo, the toy
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
The summer of 1984 saw some pretty epic film releases. The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, and Gremlins are just a few of the flicks I saw at the theater. I was 11 years old at the time, and like all the kids my age, I got caught up in the hype of the marketing machine. I sported a Ghostbusters shirt. My brother and I shared the Indiana Jones action figures. And I had one of those Gizmo figures (it wasn't a doll).
Just like Billy did in the movie, I made a little bed for Gizmo. I set it on the nightstand next to my bed, careful each night not to let too much light shine on him. We all remember the rules from the movie, no bright light or your Mogwai will die. I also kept him away from water, because I didn't want Gizmo to multiply. Obviously, I didn't feed him after midnight, as he didn't open his mouth.
I don't know why I had it in my mind that these things could actually happen to my toy. To me, Gizmo was real. I guess it was partly wishful thinking, and partly just having an imagination. I think a lot of kids believe their toys are just like the ones in the Toy Story movies, coming to life when no human is around.
It's what I miss about being a kid. Suspending belief and believing in the impossible. Despite all the electronics and handheld devices children have access to now, it still happens from time to time. I remember a boy who turned 11 years old and anxiously awaited an acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. That letter didn't come, just like Gizmo never multiplied when I dropped him in our swimming pool. But having that belief is what being a kid is all about.