When I think of ‘vintage’ toys I think of a simpler time…. a rag doll, a homemade wooden truck, etc.
This past Christmas we watched quite a few Christmas movies as we were home more than we ever have been. In one of the movies,“The Santa Clause”, two of the adults in the film (who have lost their Christmas spirit) are reminded of the time they asked Santa for toys that meant so much to them…. an “Oscar Meyer Weeny Whistle” and a “Mystery Date” game.
Today I was reminded of some of the toys that myself and my brother and sisters used to play with when we were little. When I looked up the images online they all came under the title of ‘vintage toys’. So. I am officially old. ha ha.
I remember when we got our tabletop hockey game and how excited we were to play with it. All the players were made of thin metal and you stuck them on rods on the ice. You would stand across from each other and twist and pull 2 handles to make your players skate and your goalie save. They still make a version of this game today but the players are rounded plastic and it is a little better quality, I’m sure. But it didn’t matter to us. We couldn’t wait for our turn and I used to try and make my brother mad by pretending I didn’t know how to pronounce the players names….( for example…. Jacques Plante. I would purposely pronounce the goaltender’s name like ‘Jack Plant’. Naughty sister that I was).
My sister, Paula, loved her Spirograph game and I secretly wonder if all those hours spent making those colourful designs were her first inspiration for the wonderful colourful paintings she creates today.
That game and Lite-Brite are also still made today and we all had fun creating designs on this game too. Oh! And I just remembered loving “Etch a Sketch”!
I remember one day that my sister,Paula and I were reading a comic book and at the back of it you could order these super cool ‘spy glasses’. They were cheap, plastic sun glasses that had a mirror in the corner so that you could see who was walking behind you. Ooooooooh, cool ! But even though they probably cost only a few allowances( we got paid 25 cents an hour to do chores at one point) to order them, those glasses inspired hours of evening play. Paula and I played ‘spy’ in the evening with our siblings and our neighbour,Jay, across the street. It was sort of like an evening game of ‘Tag’ but a lot of hiding involved. ha ha.
I always wanted an Easy Bake Oven and I think one of my sisters received one one year. Funny that I wanted to bake those tiny cakes so badly but I never offered to really bake at home. Now I LOVE to bake and pies are my specialty. Thank goodness my mum taught me to bake these!
I always wanted a ‘real’ Barbie. With five children and a modest, three bedroom home without a basement and one bathroom, it was clear that our parents did not have a lot of money. But we never felt that we were lacking for anything. We had the happiest, laughter filled childhood, and I am blessed to still have all my siblings and parents today. They are just the most kind, wonderful folks.
But when I was little I saw all of my friends playing “Barbies” and I hoped with all my heart that one day I too would receive my first Barbie. The image above is the exact Barbie that I had the pleasure of receiving one year and Paula had “Skipper“,her little sister I think. We never had a dollhouse or anything grand like that but we would throw a big blanket on the back of the couch and when it fell we would use all the folds and pockets created from the throw as the ‘home’ for our dolls that day. Our brother, John, had a “G.I.Joe” doll and sometimes he stood in for “Ken”. ha ha.
Sometimes I feel sort of sad at how many children are missing out on simple play experiences because of cell phones. My cousin, Daniel, actually wrote a blog on this topic today and inspired my own blog. I see parents in parks looking at their phones instead of their children playing across from them too.
My play time memories with my brother and sisters created a bond in us that is very strong. We learned to share and laugh, imagine and create.
What kind of toys did you have growing up?