Do they make PSP games in Santa’s workshop?

When my 9-year-old nephew, Nick, e-mailed me his Christmas wish list a few weeks ago, I did a quick skim and saw a name I was down with for a holiday purchase: LEGOs. It would be some kind of terrific set we could piece together on a snowy afternoon: a firetruck, or the space shuttle! No, wait — the castle! The king’s castle set!

But when I reviewed the list more closely the other day, I realized the request was actually for “Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy,” for PSP.

All of his wish list, for that matter, had a PSP tagline. And so goes the generational schism many adults know: that time when our playtime rarely took place in front of any kind of screen — except for a Lite-Brite, of course.

No, I prefer the old games and toys where you provide the make-believe yourself. I think many of us do, like when I asked Journal-World photographer Nick Krug whether he had personally built the Lincoln Logs cabin for our ‘classic toys’ feature. (“Of course.”)

So we thought you’d also enjoy reading about favorite classic toys, whether they’re still available and what kids can learn from them. Maybe there’s still time to throw an oldie but goodie in the stocking.

I hope my nephew doesn’t have a long face when he opens his present and it’s not a new video game. Maybe I’ll remind him of when we played with his Thomas the Train set — he would be Thomas, I would be Percy, and we would attend to some vaguely defined transatlantic emergency. He’ll remember that.

Because here’s the alternative: Would he really ever fondly recall playing Wii Tennis with his Aunt Christy?