yuck faceEver notice most parents today whine that their kids have too much stuff? But if anyone from our parents' generation makes a comment about it, boy we're quick to defend that playroom overflowing with crap toys! Be honest: you're just trying to give your kids "better than you got" and overcompensating in the process.

You know what I mean. You never had a dolly that talked, so your kid has five. Your husband never had a toy train, so you bought out the Thomas line. And yet their childhoods just never seem to reach that mark in your mind of how fabulous childhood is supposed to be ... right? Let me let you in on a little secret.

Today's toys pretty much suck!

Sorry, but they do. They're mostly plastic hunks of junk with too many buttons that suck the creativity right outta playtime.

Oh, I will admit there are the one-offs that have really improved on the stuff we had. I recently found out Crayola makes these Paintbrush Pens that don't drip all over the place and are washable. It was all I could do not to buy out the entire rack at the store for my little artist. They. Are. Fabulous. And I got a press release the other day assuring me that today's girls do not have to tape the ends of their friendship bracelets to their bare knees (or pin them to a sock like my friend Amber did back in the day) because there are now handy dandy "makers" that will hold that thing steady for you. Guess what my kid's getting for Easter!

But when I look around the playroom, these types of modern-day improvements are few and far between. I was feeling so depressed about the fate of fun in 2012, I turned to friends on Facebook hoping they'd cheer me up with some more fabulous finds (and maybe ideas for that basket?) that represent better than we got. They admitted the Nintendo Wii is a heckuva lot cooler than the Atari. But that's about it. Out of 10 friends, they couldn't come up with any other toy of today that lives up to the stuff of yesterday -- even with the lead paint and choking hazards we endured.

That's a big fat nothing! In 2012. How can this be? Isn't every generation supposed to be an improvement on the last? We can make cars that run on old cooking oil. But we can't seem to make toy trucks that don't lose their wheels after a few days of kids being kids with them or action figures that don't shed limbs faster than you can say "where did I put that receipt?"

Thank goodness the good old outdoors is still there for them with the fresh air and trees to climb ... well, for now anyway.

What modern toys do you think are an improvement on what we had as kids -- are there any?