My best Christmas present & surprise was in 8th grade/1980. A few of the "rich kids" had Atari and they would talk about all their games and forming an Atari club, etc... They would often talk smugly about their Atari.
Me being one of the poorer kids wanted an Atari Game of my own so bad I could taste it. My brother & I let it be known early & often that, that's all we'd want, a combo gift between us of Atari. My father being just a city garbage man wasn't exactly rolling in dough, so it would be a stretch. At one point my Stepmom got so tired of hearing about this need of Atari pretty close to Christmas, so she told us, "look your not getting an Atari game, Sorry, we just can't do it"... I was visibly crushed, as she told me later.
Christmas morning opening up our typical gifts we weren't too enthused till one last gift that we got to open together, it was INTELLEVISION! the brand new, way better than Atari game system. We were both shocked, the picture taken of us opening it is a great memory trigger for me.
Oh man we played the piss out of that game. Back in school after the Christmas break, the rich Atari kids were once again going on about their new game cartridges, when one asked me "did you get anything good"... I said, "yeah I got Intellevision". with that you could hear the wind blow out of their collective sales as their jaws dropped. It was priceless.
I was just retelling that story to my wife yesterday, she then says, "I guess that was a moment for you?". I said, "yup, 33 years later and it hasn't faded".
Funny thing is, my Father gave out three Intellevision games that Christmas! They must've "fallen off a truck"... Thanks Dad!
My wife just got me the new retro Atari this Christmas that has the 75 games built in it, We're all having a good time with it.
I also remember playing with my friends girder & panel set, we killed many hours & days building buildings & playing with our Matchbox / Hot Wheels cars.
I didn't like the fake cars, I liked the ones made like the real cars. My favorite one was a birthday gift from my friend, it was a Cadillac Sedan Deville. It's the Italian in me my Father used to say