Sunday, August 1, 2004

TOYS

My husband and I watched the Evel Knievel movie last night and Steve got all excited when the little Evel Knievel action figure was shown.  He idolized Knievel as a child, much to his family's dismay, and the little white clad plastic motorcycle stuntman (stuntbike sold separately!) was his favorite toy.  That got me to thinking about my toys.  I don't think I had toys as a child.  We were pretty poor so  most of our presents, regardless of the occasion were practical, like clothing, underwear, and books.  I didn't mind though, because these gifts usually came in boxes of various sizes, with ribbons and bows that were always so much fun to play with after all the presents were unwrapped.  Seriously folks, my siblings and I always had as much fun with the wrappings as we did with the presents themselves... and in the case of underwear... even MORE fun.  And hey, for those long months in between birthdays and holidays, just toss us an empty paper towel tube or a packing box and we were in heaven!  They were trumpets, they were telescopes, they were microphones, they were baseball bats or swords, they were castles and forts, cars and planes, virtually anything and everything we could imagine.

I do remember Barbie dolls.  But my Barbies looked nothing like the glamorous fashion beauties of today.  By the time it was my time to inherit a Barbie, she usually had no hair, had wires sticking out from the backs of her knees, and had chew marks and ink stains all over her naked limbs.  You see, I was the 4th daughter, and my Barbies were all hand-me-downs.  I honestly don't remember ever having a new Barbie, one with perfect hair, posable legs that actually stayed bent and clothes! 

All of the old toys are coming back.  Remember Lincoln Logs?  Those were my favorites.  I used to make the coolest one room cabins.  Now you can make a 3 story mansion with all of the extras!  I got my kids a colorful Barrel Full of Monkeys, another of my childhood favorites.  They just looked at the pile of plastic monkeys with blank stares.  By the end of the day we had monkeys hanging off of the lights, hanging off of ears, stuck in the vacuum, chewed up in the disposal, and launched onto the rooftop with a rubberband... there were no monkeys in the barrel.  So much for sharing that fond childhood memory.  All of their fancy, modern toys were strewn all over the house and they were running up and down the stairs, chasing each other with the long empty wrapping paper tubes, swinging them like swords, shooting pingpong balls from them, or trumpeting out a melody.  And I was right there with them, waving my wrapping paper tube over my head like a warrior princess with a bent sword, with my calico ribbon crown sitting lopsided on my head.  Outwardly I was spending quality family time with my children.  In my mind I was thinking:  "note to self.... don't waste money on toys this Christmas, just get a bunch of boxes and tubes, and stick some pretty bows on them.  More fun, less money, completely disposable!"

11 comments:

cneinhorn said...

LOL :-) Kids think they want everything they
see on TV, but when it comes right down to
it, they really do like the simple stuff.  
jerseygirl

purplectigger said...

Thank you for sharing . This entry made me think about my toys when I was growing up. Your right , even there was only three of us, we were poor also. We made our own toys. Just like you said. wrapping paper tubes, and packing boxes. Ya know I don't remember being unhappy with what we had. I think the more simpler time's were great.
Have a great day.
R.C.

hestiahomeschool said...

Refrigerator boxes are the BEST!  I also like long tubes from wrapping paper, and I like the make things out of spaghetti and mini-marshmallows.

mzgoochi said...

LOL This is a great entry Dorn. There was five of us and we were the same way. I do remember getting a Barbie once, she had her own pool. I bet I only played with for about a week then got bored and went back to making mud pies and sand castles. We loved the big refridgerator boxes. They were perfect club houses, until it rained. LOL Rubberbands was another of our favs. I once shot a folded peice of paper with one and broke the window. LOL Hey, I think I'll write about that in my journal. Thanx for the idea!

Lahoma

phantasiadream said...

OMG Lincoln Logs were my favorite too, and following a close second was Tinker Toys :).. I also had some kind of girder set that I could build airports and other buildings out of.. I could be entertained for hours.. even days with those things!

On an off note.. I'm still alive and the squirrels have not abducted me...YET...I think it's too hot for them to plan anything at least until the fall :)

~Tasia

luciente100 said...

My husband is 40 & he still talks about how much he wanted the Evil Kneivil toy. Unfortunately his family believe in quantity not quality when it comes to presents. Rather than 1 nice gift they prefer to give a bin bag full of crap. His presents were always bought in bulk on the local market & were always the "knock-off" version. So he basically begged & begged & begged for the evil kneival toy & got something like Biking Bert which fell apart by the end of Christmas Day! He's never got over it!!

bigred3392 said...

I do remember having very pretty barbies, but my sister and I would always mess them up by playing "hairdressers" and giving them a patchy, uneven crew cut-type thing. Once we got the family dog, NO doll was safe...
http://journals.aol.com/bigred3392/steppingstonesandcoffee

judithheartsong said...

I grew up much like you... the family did not have a lot of money. Boy, this took me back. Remember when your folks could scrounge up a refrigerator box? Now that was a treat for weeks. My imagination was always the stronger for the experience. Great entry and thank you for sharing!

sdoscher458 said...

LOL it's so true kids like the boxes more than anything...I went the same route with my grandkids, wanted them to know the wonderful feeling of having the Slinky make it down a whole flight of stairs without stopping..remember?  I like your stories....

sdoscher458 said...

LOL it's so true kids like the boxes more than anything...I went the same route with my grandkids, wanted them to know the wonderful feeling of having the Slinky make it down a whole flight of stairs without stopping..remember?  I like your stories....

sprite1229 said...

I think EVERY kid in the world has had a ball with those wrapping papper tube thingys..how can u not??