P.T. Barnum might as well have said “There’s a Nick Vitrano born every minute.” I am a sucker for television advertising. While most revel in the opportunity to surf at the break, I look forward to watching the ads. Bored with the main event, I will sometimes go so far as to seek out commercials on other channels.
But one product on which I was never sold was My Buddy.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
I don’t remember exactly when My Buddy was introduced to the world - I think it was around 1985-’86 - but I do recall thinking that it was a really bad idea. Targeted at young boys (doesn’t that just hit ya the wrong way), the doll had that “last kid picked” look to him, which I suppose suited well the youngster who occupied that role in playground society. But for those who had real buddies, there wasn’t much use for the doughy-eyed, bibs wearer (overalls that were removable, by the way, which made it even creepier).
We had a kid that lived down the block from me who had a My Buddy, and he really did take that thing everywhere, paying more attention to his inanimate pal than his living ones. It always bugged me. Although, in truth, that kid always bugged me too. He was the neighborhood guy that you really didn’t want to hang out with, but your mom felt badly for him, so you were forced to spend time with him. So perhaps my saltiness towards My Buddy was merely projection of my disdain for his mentor. I don’t know.
Anyway, little girls had a pay-for-play option as well, in the form of Kid Sister. Thankfully, my actual sister was never sucked in to Kid Sister's siren song.
The only thing I liked about the duo was the theme song, which has stuck with me my entire life. Good luck getting this out of your heads…forever: