Thursday, September 9, 2010

Childhood Toys (Part One?)

When I finished writing this, I realized that this doesn't even scratch the surface of childhood toys. Most of the things you play with as a kid aren't even toys at all, they're adventures straight out of your imagination. I stuck mostly to toys for which I could find pictures and specific comments about, but there are so many more toys. Play-doh, bubble wrap, coloring books, Colorforms, Fisher Price Kitchen, Easy Bake Oven, Waffle Blocks, Lite Brite (the list goes on) did not make it to the already long list.

Then there are the non-toy aspects of childhood which are even more fun to remember like hiding in a dark closet with a flashlight making shadow puppets, imaginary friends, playing house, playing tag, playing dress-up. I could talk about these things forever. This is likely the first of an installment of posts about childhood, the one subject I feel that I have an authority to talk about. Sit'n Spin: The idea for this article spun off a sudden memory flashback of one simple toy: the Sit and Spin. This thing is amazing. For a three year old, it's like the teacups at Disney that you can operate yourself. It was even more fun to stand on it and spin. I loved that thing even after I had well exceeded the target age range, but I would play with one of those if I had one now. I spin around in my desk chair all the time.

It was even more fun with two people. These kids have the right idea.

Fisher Price Doll House: My grandma recently returned it to me from her garage where it has laid dormant for 10 years in all it's in it's worn, torn, and rainbow-sticker ornamented glory. Guess what I did when she gave it back? I furnished the rooms and put the family in the living room to watch TV. I still remember the names of all the dolls (most named for the kids on Barney because those were the only names I knew, except for one that I called Anadudadaka to distinguish her from her identical twin sister, Jane). I loved to load the family into their little pink jeep and drive them around.

Polly Pocket: This was Polly when her house could literally fit in your pocket. Her house would come in a pocket-size case that you folded open, and Polly and friends were less than an inch tall. Their feet had little circles that fit into circular holes all over her house. I'm actually preferable to the new Polly Pocket with the stretchy clothes. I borrowed my sister's in fourth grade and my friends and I would play at recess. Funny thing is we would joke about being too old for it, using the excuse that it was my five-year-old sister's toy.

Furby: Talking fluffy robot that looks like a Gremlin. It comes with a Furbish dictionary that helps you decode it's language, and supposedly if you played with it enough, it would gradually learn English. Interesting little things. I got one from my uncle for Christmas when I was seven. It was a combination of cute, scary, and intriguing.

Tamagotchi: Adorable little virtual pet that you hatch, take care of, and grow. When I was five or six, my cousin gave me her old one. My mom said she didn't want me to have it because I wouldn't take care of it, it would die, and I would cry. I told her I would take care of it. It died. I cried. What a shock.

Push Pop and Ring Pop: Not toys, but perhaps the best lollipops ever. I used to love after you licked a Push Pop enough at the top, it would form a sharp point. I used to try to only lick around the middle to make it look like an hourglass, but I was never successful. The new Push Pops have springs in them, so you don't have to push them, but before that, you had to stick your finger in the barrel and push it up yourself. Your fingers would always get sticky. Awesome stuff.

The other candy love of my childhood is the Ring Pop. This is a lollipop you wear like a ring. My mom always said they look more like pacifiers, and when they're in your mouth, they do. I remember this exact commercial for them and thought it was so cool at the end when the girl had one on every finger.

Cardboard Boxes: There are so many things a kid can do with a cardboard box. I, like just about any little girl, liked to play house, so I would draw on windows and hide out in there. Having a cardboard box big enough to hide inside is one of the memories of childhood that makes life seem a little less serious.

Now, for what is in my opinion the best childhood game there is...

Forts: Taking those blankets, those pillows, those chairs, and the back of the couch and creating the most insane, kick-ass, epic fort there ever was. Hiding inside and feeling like no one can get you. Hanging out there all day with a coloring book. Designating separate rooms and moving your dolls into them. Spreading out on the floor with a million pillows. Turning off the lights, bringing in a flashlight, and chilling in the dark. Awesome. Also, I wish I had a bed like this. My cousins had bunk beds and I thought those were the coolest things ever. We used to jump off the top onto the floor over and over and over. Like I said, the list of things I could talk about is never ending.



  1. I remember all these toys and they were all great! I loved making forts out of bed sheets and pillows. One time Sean flushed my Tamagotchi down the toilet and I almost killed him for that cuz I loved Tamagotchi. I still have my Furby but it has no batteries. When it used to work not too long ago I realized how creepy they actually are XD I still have some of my Polly Pocket toys in my closet somewhere. I never realized how many awesome toys we used to have!

  2. I know, right? So awesome.
    Haha sounds like something Sean would do. I got obsessed with Tamagotchi again in like 8th grade. I figured I was old enough to handle the responsibility lol. And Furby is the kind of thing that you don't want staring at you when you're trying to sleep XD

  3. I LOVE THIS POST!!! I didn't have the Tamagotchi or the Sit-n-Spin, but I remember everything else. The Fisher-Price dollhouse was one of the first things I remember playing with. I was very sad when I lost it. Sometimes I still wonder what happened to it. XD I still have all of my Polly Pocket stuff too.
    You guys are right. Furby is pretty creepy. Ironically enough, I hate The Gremlins. At least the Furby dolls I had were the cheap plastic ones that came with Happy Meals or something, not the fuzzy ones. I would continue but I might as well write my own blog post about this.