Nolen Gertz published an article in The Atlantic about how a children’s toy can be an identity marker for adults.
“On my desk are several action figures, ranging from the heroic (Superman) to the historic (Alexander the Great) to even the academic (Freud). But as long as I’ve owned them, these action figures have remained actionless: I do not make Superman fly, or Alexander conquer, or Freud psychoanalyze. Rather, I leave them standing, in the same pose, in the same place, in the same spatial relationship to all of the other items left static on my desk. And yet, in their own way, they’re still acting. Any toy can be played with, just as any rarity can be collected, but what makes action figures special is their ability to shape, and reveal, the nature of their owners.”
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