Saturday, February 19, 2011

How many TOYS did you have?

I found this really neat report from TIME magazine, the top toys of each decade.

In my toy decade-I picked the 1950's I had quite a few for a kid from a family without a lot of money, but I think the fact that I was the youngest of 5 kids meant that:

1. I was a spoiled brat and got more than the others got
2. They got it first and passed it down to me
3. Toys were so much cheaper then, and you could actually save up money and buy it yourself. Novel concept.

My two favorites from the list were Silly Putty and the Hula Hoop. I marveled at the science (technology was not a common word then) involved to make a mirror image copy of anything you pressed this magic stuff onto-my favorite to copy were the comics-full color with a pink tinge from the silly putty. And when you were done, you just kneaded the stuff together a few times, and
presto-chango, a clean palate. I remember the excitement I got from showing this "magic" to people. It was stored in and egg, and it got hard and unusable if you left it "out".
The hula hoop was a fun toy, and either you could do it or not, and it fell to the ground. I think I did pretty good with it. The wiffle ball mentioned was also part of a toy set that was bought for me in Pittsburgh when visiting a SAunt, SUncle and SCousin. It had two ball catchers that had a scoop like in Jai alai (pronounced hi lie), and a whiffle ball. I thought I was just so IT to have this before the kids in my home town. It was a lot of fun.
Did you have a slinky? The original metal ones did not get tangled so much like the new plastic ones that I bought for our SGrandSon. They were really fun to watch work. SSon had a real metal one or two.
I had at least 5 troll dolls. Do you know what they are:
Wiki says that they were popular in the USA starting in 1963, not the 1950's even thought they started in 1959 in Europe. I think this was correct because I turned 11 in 1959 and I think I was a little older than that when I collected them. I had troll dolls on my dresser when I started swooning over Ringo of the Beatles at age 14. I think they were part of a give-away program from some product. Packed away in a little cardboard case upstairs I have my little bride doll and a troll. Most of my trolls had clothing to go with them, they were not streakers like in the photo above. I gave my SDaughter two to play with when she was little. They were pretty indestructible, made of rubber, funky hair loved bathtubs.
From the list of toys in the 50's, as a family we had the water balloons, fake vomit, Chatty Cathy doll, paint by number kits, Mr. Potato Head and Frisbees. Not on the list were ball and jacks, marbles or games like cootie, monopoly and checkers-regular and Chinese and pick-up-sticks, Kingers made with chestnuts and a shoelace. I remember my family being very patient with the youngest with these games. (Not pinochle-that is another story left for when I am in a "poor-me" mood). If we did not have these toys, our friends did, along with an assortment of balls to play kickball, seven-up or dodge ball.
We also owned something wonderful-chalk. We would draw pictures of course on the sidewalks, but also we would draw boards like hop-scotch, and categories. And we also sat on my SFriend Juliet's front steps and would pick a car category like Ford or Chevy or car colors and the most of the one you picked that passed by in a set amount of time would win. Imagine, there were so few car companies that even little girls would know the models and could play this game! We would use scraps of cloth to hand sew doll clothes that we designed.
I am sure I am forgetting a bunch of toys or games or activities that we did, we were always busy and outside. Even in the rain, we sat on the cement stoop and played under the small metal awning.
Not one toy required a battery or a code to enter online.
Winters, we did not have snowsuits, we had each others cloths to put on in layers! We built snowmen and ladies, had snowball wars-my SBrothers were sharp shooters as I remember. Made snow angels in our minuscule yard and loved every minute of it. Snow days from school were so rare, and yet not one kid was inside during the snow day.
I loved thinking about my childhood writing this blog. We all need a trip backwards to appreciate what we had.

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