Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's Old is New Again

If you follow me on facebook, you'll know that I just got an email from telling me that jelly shoes are back and they're now for grown-ups--along with a very grown-up price tag of $40.  For anyone who doesn't remember jelly shoes, they were basically shoes made out of a flexible plastic that kind of felt gelatinous.  They were the kind of shoes that you'd find in a giant box at a Wal-Mart or Target with the two shoes tied together (this is where all of my shoes came from until about age 10), and I imagine they cost about $5.

While they were awesome in theory, jelly shoes did not work so well in practice.  The plastic would steam up as your feet got hot, and then you'd start slipping around in them creating blisters unlike you'd ever had before!  But, they came in tons of rad colors, and I'm sure I talked my mother into buying me at least two pairs.  The best thing we ever did with jelly shoes was put them in the freezer.  They'd freeze in about five minutes, and then you'd stick your feet in the super cold shoes, and walk around squealing until they thawed again.  This never got old.

So this is just the latest in pieces of my childhood that are now available for purchase again.  Rainbow Brite and Transformers have been back for a little while and now I'm just waiting to see new commercials for My Buddy and Teddy Ruxpin.  What's most bizarre about this whole turn of events is that fact that I (and people my age) are being targeted so aggressively with all our old toys.  Whatever happened to being inventive and creating something new?  Is this what happened to my parents when they were my age?  I realize that most of the people I graduated high school with have full-time jobs and kids who might love Rainbow Brite, but for me (childless and part-time), it's just so foreign that I feel like the advertisers are trying to get me to reinvigorate my love for childhood toys--for myself.  I guess that is the case with the jelly shoes, actually.

I won't be duped though.  As kitchy and cool as it might be to show up to a party wearing new jellies, I remember all too well the pain that they caused to my feet.  And considering the $40 pricetag--that's not a pain I'm inflicting on my credit card.


  1. I would definitely not pay $40 for jelly shoes. Getting them as a kid was such a huge treat, and I wore mine proudly at the beach. I always wore them swimming, because the beach was not dirty, but an old logging area, so there were a lot of wood chips on the bottom. Plus when we went out farther into the water, it got slimy. Wearing shoes solved this!

  2. I ALWAYS wanted jelly shoes, but my (sensible) mother explained that they would just give me blisters. But they were so pink, sparkley and cute.

    Speaking of things that are back, have you seen the new My Little Pony? I never even watched that as a kid, but the new cartoon series is seriously hilarious (it's probably half-aimed at people our age, rather than kids).

  3. I haven't! Is it on early Saturday morning? Isn't that when cartoons are on? I'm curious now...

  4. And the SMELL of those darn jellies! phew...

  5. Ha! I forgot about the smell! I wonder if the new version captures that essence of jelly...