3.25.2010

List Four - Favorite Childhood Toys

1. Shrinky-Dinks

Remember these? What fun I had with Shrinky-Dinks! I remember sitting down at our kitchen table, pulling out the colored pencils, and creating Shrinky-Dink masterpieces. And to watch them transform before your  youthful eyes, right there in your Mom's oven....amazing! This process was especially enthralling for an inquisitive six year old. Reminiscing about these artsy toys got me thinking: Wouldn't it be fun to have a grown up version of this iconic novelty? Well, guess what? Check out this blog! You can easily make your very own home Shrinky-Dink decorations. I'll definitely try this next Christmas!

2. Colorforms
I could spend hours playing with my colorforms. If you don't know, these toys were uncomplicated, yet entertaining. Simply comprised of thin sheets of plastic that could be placed upon a slick cardboard background, they came in many different popular themes. My favorites were PeeWee's Playhouse and Mickey Mouse.

3. Barbies
There's no denying it- I'm definitely a Barbie Girl! As an only child, Barbie Dolls were my best friends! Never one to play with baby dolls, I had much rather spend time with Barbie, Ken, and Skipper. I had more Barbies than any girl I knew, and I was proud of it! Barbie Townhouse, Barbie Cars, Barbie Ice Cream Shop....these were all important accessories in my ever-expanding Barbie empire. Even today, I can't always stop myself from steering my Target shopping cart through the Barbie aisle....just to get a glimpse of that wonderful plethora of pink.

4. Paper Dolls
Just talking about Paper Dolls seems so old fashioned, but they were, in fact, one of my favorite activities as a child. I would love to pick out new paper doll books during quick trips to the store with my mom. And I especially loved when she would let me have her old catalogs, so that I could create my own custom paper doll family. I specifically remember my most favorite paper doll....Miss America 1990. MyPaper Doll Miss America walked down pretend streets, and attended pretend parties. I would prop her against windowsills, walls, and even the seat of the car, where she'd inevitably bend and fall over. I enjoyed dressing her in her beautiful paper gowns. I wanted her to know how fashion transformation felt. All was well with her and her paper wardrobe, that is, until the tiny paper tabs on her shoulders and sides began to wear away. Below is a picture of me, and to the right is my box of paper dolls. Please disregard my crimped hair.

5. Alphie
Alphie was a robot. And he's on this list, because as a child, one thing I wanted more than anything was a robot of my very own. When I received him for Christmas in 1989, I anxiously awaited for him to boot up and be astounding. Unfortunately, I was a bit disenchanted when he immediately offered me a nameless greeting, and began babbling about colors. I didn't understand why he wasn't rolling around the house cleaning up my messes, and bringing me beverages and snacks. Alphie didn't even move...He only encouraged me to learn math, spelling, and matching skills (Gasp!). Those sneaky toy manufacturers....

6. Cabbage Patch Kids

I mentioned earlier that I didn't enjoy playing with baby dolls as a child, so if you consider the Cabbage Patch Kids as baby dolls, they would be my one exception. I think what I loved most about these little dolls was the fact that they were each individuals. No two alike, each and every one came with a personalized birth certificate which stated their fabulous, often off-the-wall, name. I had four Cabbage Patch Kids, but my favorite was Quentin Oscar. He was the best because I adopted him at the Babyland General Hospital....the Birthplace of Cabbage Patch Kids in Cleveland, Georgia. These dolls are an example of one of the few relics that survived the 1980's; they are still relatively popular today. Here I am, below, at Babyland General Hospital.

7. Creepy Crawler Thingmaker
Oh, sure, I had an Easy Bake Oven.  But who wants to bake those yucky, hard morsels, when you could make your very own creepy crawlers!? The Creepy Crawler Thingmaker included an oven, a cooling pan, tongs, different colors of goop, and metal molds in the shapes of worms, bugs, spiders, etc. And with a little practice and a good sense of timing, you could create a variety of perfect rubbery buggy models. With the Thingmaker, you were thrust into the creation trade....making you a mini mother nature. You became a creepy crawler factory, churning out one goopy bug after another.

8. Lite Brite

"Lite Brite, Lite Brite, turn on the magic light of colored lights..." If you were a child of the eighties, like myself, you probably remember that little jingle. If you are feeling reminiscent...check out Hasbro's website and make your own virtual Lite Brite design!

9. Puffalump Bunny

I had a white Puffalump Bunny that I received in 1986. And I loved it very much. Remember Puffalumps? They were soft, squishy, and easy to love! I used to adore how the silky fabric felt...cool against my little face. I loved my Bunny soo much I snuck it into my Easter Picture that year (pictured below), probably disappointing my mom, who didn't imagine her '86 Easter Portrait including a raggedy Valentine-themed Puffalump.

10. Dream Phone
Today's kids play games on their cell phones. Eighties kids played phone-inspired board games. And, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am an admitted board game lover...I don't think I've ever met a board game I didn't like, much to the avail of my non-game-lover husband, Will. Dream Phone was similar to Girl Talk, but much more exciting for a "boy-crazy" pre-teen! In this game, players use a "phone" to contact a potential hot date! I'm laughing right now as I imagine my 11 year old self playing with the oversized, pink, clunky phone....never imagining that less than a decade later I would have a real phone, that was portable and much smaller than the Dream Phone. But, don't worry, I wouldn't use said real phone to call real boys....as a young Southern girl, you know better than to call boys, they have to call you!

11. Mall Madness

"Oooh a long line...try again later!" Remember this game? What young girl wouldn't love a board game, that revolves around the mall, and even lets you have your own credit card? Mall Madness strikes a chord in the true passion of all females- shopping. You and your "friends" race around the mall for the best bargains and whoever finishes their shopping list first wins. Definitely one of my favorites.

12. Guess Who
"Does your person have a hat?" "Does your person have black hair?"
Maria, Bernard, Alfred...these were just a few of the characters on my '80s version of Guess Who. It was a entertaining guessing game. A flip and find mystery face game, you had to ask questions to figure out the character. The best part? The click-clack of the cards being flipped as you narrowed down your guesses. I used to be sneaky and save up people to flip, so that I could knock down more cards at one time. Click Clack Click Click.....it was all about the psychological edge!

13. Hello Color Bath Doll
This toy was a bit more obscure than I thought it would be. Anyone out there remember Hello Kitty Hello Color? These stuffed animals could go with you in the bathtub, and they would change colors depending on the temperature of the water. After looking for days, I finally found some pictures of these Hello Color animals, but they were all Hello Kitty. I was beginning to think that I imagined mine....it was some sort of dragon-like creature. And then I ran across a picture of it! I'm still not sure what the character is (dragon? unicorn? horse?), but I do know that bath time just wasn't fun without it!

14. Poochie

Poochie was a favorite stuffed animal of mine. She was a poodle with neon pink ears, that were fun to brush. I had all kinds of Poochie paraphanalia, including Poochie stamps and Poochie books. The picture below is me, in January of '86, proudly displaying my beloved Poochie!

15. Eleroo Wuzzle
The Wuzzles were an animated television series that premiered in 1985. Wuzzles were animals that were part one animal, and part another. My stuffed animal Wuzzle was Eleroo, part elephant, part kangaroo. On the show, he was nice, but accident prone. I used to love to play with Eleroo.....in the picture below I'm having dinner with my Eleroo. Look at his little plate and bib!

I really enjoyed reminiscing while writing this post! I would love to hear what your favorite childhood toys were!

(4 down, 48 to go

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

I remember these toys so well, you did love your stuffed animals. You had such an imagination, you could entertain yourself for hours. By the way, we still have some of these things!!!! Can you believe it!