Me: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
My 5 year old: “I am going to be a Super Hero”
The absolute certainty in his voice got me thinking. What is it that makes the whole concept of Super Heroes so attractive for the little boys? (OK I know that there are some very big boys thinking they are Super, but this is a subject for a different kind of blog!).
Is it because most superhero stories offer a combination of magical and real: the characters live in a real-looking world (Superman had a job!) but have magical powers? Or is it the feeling of being invincible and omnipotent that most of us have in our early childhood and which life gradually strips out from us?
One thing that certainly drives my son’s ongoing obsession with Super Heroes is his imagination. Although he loves the traditional Spider Man and Super Man characters, he tends to come up with stories of all kind of new and amazing Supers. His latest Super Hero is able to change colours, can be invisible and has a pet dinosaur as a companion. And yes, we have to make sure the dinosaur has a comfortable place to sleep in before my son goes off to bed….
The kids fashion industry has long caught on the superhero trend and there is no shortage of merchandised t-shirts and dress-up costumes. However, I find that these often turn out to be just something my son wears. It is when he finds clothes that he can interact with that my little Super Hero comes alive. A plain hoodie with incorporated Super Hero mask, an old bedsheet for a cape, and he is off to the end of our garden for his adventures.
Not being a great fan of merchandised kids’ clothes, I was very excited to find Yporque – a Spanish brand that really pushes all the buttons for me. Every item they produce has a playful element, something imaginative and original that seems to resonate with kids. Their range of hoodies (superhero, crocodile, shark, wolf) is simply brilliant: I am yet to see a little boy who’s eyes do not lit up when he sees them. Their award winning t-shirts with sound were a new and amazingly simple concept: a detachable pouch that plays the sound linked to the design of the t-shirt (before you ask – “drums” are cool and popular with rocker dads, the “motor racing” gets quite grating after a while!).
My son’s appreciation of the playful and imaginative clothes was what originally attracted me to Yporque, versatility and robustness of their designs turned me into a convert.
I know that my son will grow out of his superhero craze in a few years. But I hope that his imagination grows with him, helping him see the magic in simple things.
Photographs courtesy of Little Bou.