Friday, September 12, 2008

Childhood Toys

While other blogs are discussing global warming and elections, I decided to post about something near and dear to my heart -- toys. Not just any toys, but toys from my childhood. In this picture are a few things from my childhood. The stuffed teddy bear is my original childhood bear. His name is Ted-Ted. You can tell from the looks of him, I've had him a long, long time. The little white bear holding a watermelon has a very special meaning to me. It was a gift from my father, who brought it to the hospital the day I was born. My dad died before my 2nd birthday, so obviously this old squeaky toy means a lot to me. I remember playing with it and even setting up a spot at the dinner table for it. I don't think he ever had a name, to be honest. You might recognize Mrs. Beasley from the old "Family Affair" show. I remember getting Mrs. Beasley one Christmas. Right after opening her up, I ran into my bedroom, found a marker and then drew great big eyelashes on her. I have no idea why I did that, but I remember doing it clear as day. Obviously, the above doll isn't my original. My mother-in-law bought me this one. Chrissy, the doll in the green dress, is also a replacement. I remember getting her for Christmas one year and was totally fascinated how her hair got longer and shorter. The books pictured are replacements too, but they were both favorites of mine as a child.

I am sad I didn't keep all my original childhood toys. Some broke, some wore down, some I simply grew out of and got rid of. As an adult, I've wanted to get a little of my childhood back. With places like eBay, I can. It's not really that important I have these things. I don't play with them, nor do my kids. They just sit there on my little shelf, but they make me happy. Not pictured is my Mattel Knit Magic machine from the 70s, which I bought on eBay and is exactly like the one I had as a kid. I actually use that and make long, skinny knitted scarves with it. As I wade through my boy's playroom, I often wonder what will be special to them as they get older. Sometimes they say we can get rid of things they don't play with, but I usually hold off. I know better. I know that someday down the road, those toys might have a special place for them -- even if it's only on a shelf somewhere collecting dust.


  1. Hello, Rena. I am reassured to know you still have your toys!

    Have you seen Toy Story II? There is a scene in it when the little cowgirl doll talks about the girl who threw her away. My kids enjoy watching me watch this movie, because I cry out loud every single time that cowgirl sings her song; I can't help myself. It just kills me that the things that mean so much to your kids one year lose their value the next. The Velveteen Rabbit is another story that breaks my heart. The fact that kids grow out of toys is perfectly natural, but it is still bittersweet.

    Somewhere in California I have a drawer with two much loved beat-up old Madame Alexander dolls inside, carefully covered with handkerchiefs. My sister is looking after them for me. God forbid she should ever throw them away...

  2. Oooh, what memories! I had Chrissy, too. I still have a couple of my Barbies and a few of the funky outfits I made for them. And of course, my very favorite stuffed animals (which seem to have a little less stuffing).

  3. What a sweet story about the bear! ((((hugs)))

    The Mrs. Beasley brings back memories for me too. My Grandma and Grandpa always had that doll in their house since as long as I could remember. That doll always makes me think of them and their house. Sock Monkey's too. Those were the two toy staples in their house.


  4. I am glad to hear you have a shelf too! I also have a shelf of just a few toys that are near and dear to my. I have my stuffed monkey named Judy who has been sewn too many times to count. When you look at her (she has a plastic face and hands with a material body) you realize that she is really pretty creepy looking but that was the 70's for you. I also have puppy who lost an ear somewhere along the way but is still the most beautiful orange dog in the world. There are a few books on the shelf as well as a bowl of treasures (rocks, shells, etc). And the best part is everything has a story and brings back a memory.

    Just like your blog did today.

  5. Mary -- Oh yes, I love both Toy Story 2 and the Velveteen Rabbit. Those are both tear jerkers. I don't know why it's important to hang onto stuff like this, but it is for me. I'm constantly looking on eBay at old toys and books, hoping to see something I've forgotten about. I hope your Madame Alexander dolls stay safe. A long time ago I sold 2 old china dolls at a yardsale, not thinking too much about it. Around a year later, I saw those same 2 dolls at another yardsale. They had been cleaned up and they were asking HUNDREDS for them. Definitely one of those slap-your-forehead moments were you say, D'OH!

    Adrienne -- Wasn't Chrissy fun? I loved how her hair grew long and short. And look, she's wearing PLAID! See, we knew what was cool back then! ;) Remember the Skipper doll that grew breasts and got taller? OMG, I had her too and she was just a riot!

    Christy -- That's cool you remember Mrs. Beasley too. If I ever see an old ratty Beasley doll on eBay with great big eyelashes, I'm sure I'll freak out. I never had sock monkeys, but I've seen them around more now. In fact, I saw some sock monkey slippers at Target just yesterday. I think that toy emporium movie has kind of brought them back. My grandmother used to let me play with her Kewpie dolls when I visited her. Remember those? Kind of scary looking dolls, but they were fun too.

    Hey Tracy -- That's so cool you have a toy shelf too. Funny you mentioned the stuffed dog. I used to have this huge, probably 3 foot tall, stuffed poodle. It was pink and blue and I named her Flossie. My neice was scared to bits of her and that's how I kept her out of my room. "You better leave or I'll get Flossie out!" LOL -- I was so mean. I used to keep a beanie on it and whenever my niece bugged me, I'd rip off the beanie and Flossie's hair would stand straight up. It would scare her to death. She's an adult now and is probably still in therapy ... ;)

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog, everyone!

  6. oh what memories...I love it...

    My grandmother made me a sock monkey that I still's tail looks a bit worn and I've been told that I carried it around by it's tail all the time...

    When my son was born, my grandmother made him a sock monkey and he also carried it around everywhere (by the tail also)...he still has his monkey sitting in the corner of his computer desk here at home...

    I also had a Chrissy doll...mine had blonde hair and for a long time, I thought if I put my hair in a pony tail, my hair would do the same thing as hers...grin...

  7. Brenda -- Yours and your son's sock monkeys sound great. Now that we're talking about them, I saw cute little ones at Walmart today. I don't know if they were keychains or something, but they were in the toy section.

    And wouldn't that be cool if we could do that with our hair like Chrissy? Short one day, long the next. ;)

  8. I remember a lot of these toys too. Even had a few of the dolls but I've not thought about where all my stuff went to or is in a long time. Most didn't hold as many memories I guess. We were constantly moving and things would get lost in moves so I guess it never did make sense to get too attached to something because you never knew if it would show up at the new house or not.

    I remember watching "Family Affair" all the time.

    Thanks for sharing your memories with us - E :)

  9. Hi Eylsabeth -- a lot of my stuff was lost or gotten rid of too. I guess that's why as an adult, I want to get a little of it back. Toys today are so high tech and complicated. I remember Growing Up Skipper and thinking she was the coolest thing in the world. Now they have Barbies that can talk and their jaws move. It's amazing.