Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Childhood Toys

As many of you already know, I tend to get attached to inanimate objects and end up holding on to items for far longer than I should, simply because of nostalgia.

And items such as my favourite childhood toys are no exception to this rule. Actually, they seem to be tailor-made for this rule.

But back in the late spring of 2005, I finally came to the realization that I needed to get rid of some of my old toys out of necessity. (Read: I was running out of storage space for them, and I needed the money.)

So we had a garage sale..... and I've regretted it ever since.

I remember thinking at the time that it would be great to keep those items forever and then one day pass them on to my daughters, if I ever ended up having any.

And, of course, that was the clincher. What if I never had a daughter? Or any kids at all? I never really liked kids very much anyway, so that thought is what sealed the deal for me. I just plowed ahead and got rid of almost all my beloved childhood items.

Fast forward five years later almost to the day and, of course, I gave birth to a daughter. Hindsight's a real bitch, but I digress.

Friday's Top Five - Favourite Childhood Toys:

5) Doctor Kit

Yep, this item was sold at the garage sale. It still had all it's pieces and was in near-mint condition, but I never gave it much thought until my daughter was born and became HYSTERICALLY AFRAID of doctors. Well, of all people, actually, but this behaviour was most stressful when it came to her doctor visits.

(During one particularly nerve-wracking visit, she even peed on me. And whenever the doctor tried to listen to her heartbeat, he always commented that the only thing he could hear was screaming. Oy.)

As much as I always wanted to lock myself up like a hermit and never leave the house again after those visits, I came to reason that the more appropriate response was to help my daughter somehow overcome her irrational fears. So we went to Toys R' Us and bought a newer version of the doctor kit for her.

And it's all right, I guess -- she certainly loves giving everyone check ups and is fairly fearless in that she now marches into her doctor's office and strikes up conversations with random strangers in the waiting room -- but, of course, my beloved Fisher Price kit just seemed a little more sturdier to me instead.

It's true that they just don't make toys to last like they used to.

4) Sesame Street / Cabbage Patch Kids Figurines

I at least had the good sense to hold on to these toys. My reasoning at the time was A) they're small and can be stored in a shoe box, and B) if any kids stop by my mom's house, she can pull these figurines out for them to play with.

And I was right. Not only did these items bring me years of joy as a child, but they continued to entertain many generations of younger cousins who visited my mom's house after that.

Plus, my daughter has now taken a liking to them and plays with them whenever at my mom's as well.

Phew! I knew I was justified in keeping them.

The Cabbage Patch figurines were all purchased at Zellers and K-Mart when I was a kid, but the Sesame Street figurines were collectibles that came from a local gas station.

Back in the '80s, gas stations used to regularly sell various forms of collectible items, like the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics glasses that we have in our china cabinet and, of course, these little Sesame Street figurines.

If I remember correctly, a different figurine would be released every few weeks, and you couldn't buy them anywhere but at this chain of gas stations.

I was never able to get all the pieces -- too much demand for certain characters, I guess -- but my daughter doesn't seem to mind that it's not a complete set.

3) Mickey Mouse Record Player

This is the one thing I most regret having sold at the garage sale, simply because we sold it for less than $5.00.... yet I'm now seeing the same item being hawked on eBay for over $100.


And, the truth is, I really did love this old record player and spent hours in my room listening to my Mini-Pops record and my Disney's Merry Christmas Carols.

I suppose my record player was for me what the iPod is for today's young kids. And, yeah, it still boggles my mind that kids in elementary school have iPods these days, but I guess I'm just old school.

I know for fact that my daughter would have LOVED this record player. The child loves dancing and singing along to music, but she always has to ask us to put on one of her CDs for her.

Whereas this record player was so simple and easy to use that even my three-year-old could have mastered it.

I repeat..... Doh.

2) Cabbage Patch Dolls

I haven't heard any horror stories, but I'm sure my family must have been among those grown-ups caught up in the mad dash to purchase a Cabbage Patch Doll for all us kids one Christmas in the mid-80s.

As a child I was oblivious to the stress that parents felt in securing this item that year, but I knew it was a special gift that cost a lot of money at the time, so I took excellent care of my doll for many years thereafter.

And, yes, I still have that original doll, plus a second one acquired years later, in storage at my mom's..... not too mention all the clothes my mom used to knit for them, too. We're talking a HUGE wardrobe collection here.

(Some things you just can't part with, yo.)

My daughter has plenty of toys to keep her busy right now, so I don't think she's quite ready to be introduced to my beloved dolls just yet.

Plus, she's not yet capable of taking care of her toys to the same level as I was, and I don't want them ruined. (Am I obsessive? Yes, yes I am.)

1) Barbies

Ah, Barbie. She's never shied away from controversy regarding body image, and she remains to this day one of my favourite toys.

When I wasn't being babysat by the television as a kid, I was playing with my Barbies.

The beauty of this toy, like the Cabbage Patch Dolls above, is that I didn't need to have any friends over in order to play with them. Sure, it was always fun to play with other kids, but I was more than happy to sit there for hours, just brushing my Barbie's hair and changing her clothes by myself.

And, yes, I was incredibly spoiled in that I had dozens of dolls to play with. Most of them were the less expensive, knock-off versions, but it didn't matter.

I loved them! And all their super-cool accessories!

I mean, what little girl wouldn't love escaping into Barbie's world?

She had a corvette! And a motor home! And her own gym!

(I'm pretty sure many of the Real Housewives of Orange County subconsciously aspire to be just like Barbie, but that's an issue best saved for their therapists.)

So the question I'm sure you're all wondering is, did I keep my Barbies or did they get sold at the garage sale?

The answer is: BOTH. I kept most of the actual dolls and hand-made clothing, but the houses and a lot of accessories were all sold.

Like I said, we needed the money and the storage space, so something major had to give.

But there's still plenty left so that I never have to buy my daughter any new Barbies at all as she gets older. (Much older, that is. No Barbies for her any time soon!)

That's my list for this week. As per usual, check out my friends' blogs for their take on the same subjects: Divulge with DaniThe Brooding Woman, and A Piece of Apple.

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