I remember a time when the only form of negotiation I was concerned with was how many Pogs I could get off my friends for a metal Slammer.
At the time, the going playground rate was five. I once, however, managed to haggle the extra sixth out of the Year 5 new starter, Kyle Toomley, who was as it turned out still very wet behind the ears.
Later on in life, I was able to secure the equivalent to a week’s worth of vending machine tuck for a stack of Pokemon trading cards I’d found in the woods.
Sadly however, life must move forward and this last week I have instead found myself on the phone to the internet’s population of carpet fitters and on the receiving end of some of the best price haggling I have ever experienced.
Yes, having moved into a house all of my own this week, I now must begrudgingly refer to myself as an adult.
But I’m not the only one to grow up here at ToyNews, of course. Even Billy ‘The Kid’ Langsworthy has moved on from his Nesquik only diet to ordering a cheeky Strawberry Daiquiri at the local.
In fact, and if the photos attest to anything, he is most likely on his fifth one now, as he visits this year’s Chitag event. And if any of you fancy getting in to a drunken row with him over which Woody Allen film is best, or simply just fancy a catch up while you’re there yourself, be sure to drop him a line.
But back to the matter at hand, and as my Grandmother would always shout at me from over the deafening sound of her Breaking Bad binge-watching session, age is but a number.
An ethos, I think you the inventors would identify with only all too well.
The latest inventor to hit the headlines this week, former plumber Colin Furze, certainly appears to recognise this.
Never heard of him?
Well, he is only one of Lincolnshire’s most prolific inventors and the man behind an array of bizarre contraptions including the Eight-Spoon eating machine (the man clearly loves cake), the World’s fastest pram and his all-time favourite Magnetic Shoes.
Furze is making headlines this week for having built his own man-cave bunker beneath his back garden. Decked out with TVs, a functioning kitchen and a spot for a drum kit, the bunker really is a sight to behold.
It’ clear that this 36 year old refuses to grow old, and this is something that with almost 1.7 million YouTube subscribers for his videos, he has managed to make a career out of.
But perhaps such is the nature of inventing?
Perhaps success lies in the ability to reimagine ways to look at life, re-define the conventional and probably most importantly, refusing to grow up.
It’s hard to imagine, after all, a stuffed suit and tie coming up with the idea of Cards Against Humanity, or even Tumbling Monkeys for that matter.
So it is with thanks to Furze and the plethora of toy inventors that we come face to face with each week, that I enter my own adulthood with a refreshed sense of spirit.
After all, if you can all manage to survive it, then surely I can too?
Oh, and for anyone concerned that I may have taken advantage of the naïve Kyle Toomley (not his real name) back in my primary school days, the bastard soon got his own back on me.
He went out with my sister for three years.