There was an advert on TV in the mid 1980s which demonstrated with dazzling effectiveness the brilliance of the Milton Bradley toy BigTrak, a kind of programmable toy tank which you could send clattering through your house after the cat. I wanted one desperately, but I recall my chief motivation very clearly. In the advert the lucky boy who owned a BigTrak attached the optional trailer and ordered the vehicle to scoot off to the kitchen. When it got there, his doting mother loaded it up with an impressive cargo – a big glass of coca cola – which was duly delivered to the somnolent kid, who hadn’t had to leave the living room sofa.
From the moment I started badgering my parents to get me a BigTrak, this function was basically the only thing I had in mind. I would sit at one end of the house and my new toy would fetch me endless glasses of coke. When I finally got one for Christmas, I was utterly delighted. When I realised that the route to the kitchen was obstructed by an un-navigable step, I threw a tantrum and lost interest in the toy forever.
Saw this in the window of a charity shop the other day. It’s a mini BigTrak! Since when did they start making smaller versions? Cool. I must have been sulking about the step too much to notice.