I sometimes wonder if other people remember things with the same amount of detail I do. I was looking at a video of my niece Niah playing with a puppy stuffed animal and suddenly I was awash in memeories of toys I had as a child. Some may be jogged slightly by photographs of a very small version of me happily playing with them, but more often than not I can just remember tiny details about these precious playthings by thinking back to a time when I was happy and content to use my imagination. Niah will grow up and look back at all kinds of video representations of her childhood. People from my generation don't have that same luxury, but if they're lucky they can still recall their favorite toys.
Here in no particular order are ten amazing toys I had as a kid and a few things I remember like they were yesterday...
I had an amazing rocking horse. I think every one of my siblings played with it, but it was mine last so I call it my own. It was a very realistic reddish brown horse with running legs that was mouted on a coppery colored frame of metal tubes and suspended on four springs. I can still hear the "sprishtyspreek sprishtypreek" of those springs as I bounced in the saddle. I clutches the neck and curves of the molded fiberglass mane as well as the broomstick handles for dear life as I pretended I was riding in the meadows or the Kentucky derby.
Baby Beans was a favorite doll when I was very little. It had a hot pink body made of felt filled with styrofoam pellets and a shock of molded blonde hair. Her face had a permanent black smudge on the cheek and her peaked hat looked like a hoodie that was glued to her face. She was hard to clean and my mom preferred she didn't come to church with us.
My tender loving care newborn was so tiny. Her rubber skin was scented like baby powder and she was weighted to feel like a real baby. Her polyester onesie had a drop bottom that exposed her tiny bottom. She had brown curls that were slightly greasy feeling and a tiny cap to cover them.
I had a red plastic apple filled with chimes. Tinkling lovely bell sounds would tone when you rolled it or shook it. It had a face with freckles and knowing painted on eyes.
My xylophone may have been my favorite toy ever. If I still had it I would still play it. It had a rainbow of metal tiles on a white wooden base and a yellow plastic mallet. It also had a yellow cord you could pull it with.
My chatterbox telephone had eyes that would shift up and down as you pulled it on a cord behind you. It had a squally squabble sound when pulled. Its red plastic hand piece was hollow and always felt a little off. I knknethe weight of a real sans set so it was far too light.
My mom bought me an anatomically correct drink and wet doll I named David. It had the most wonderful hair that was textures so carefully onto the plastic It felt as though it were flocked. He had brown eyes and I shocked my neighbor Mrs. Sed into silence when she saw his plastic baby penis. His diapers had Velcro on them because my mom was a whiz with the sewing machine.
I had dozens of Barbie dolls and I loved them, but none so much as Ballerina Barbie. I played with her so often the white satin of her tutu's top became grey and threadbare. I loved the tiny dots of pink in the inner corners of her eyes, her puckered lips and her blonde banana curl hairstyle. Her plastic roses were given by Ken to her after every performance. Her gold plastic crown perfectly fit my pinky as she spun and twifled her way through Swan Lake.
My father made my Barbies a picnic table made of plywood and clothespins. It was painted a reddish brown and it went to school with me every rainy day for indoor recess. Every Barbie wanted to sit with my Barbies at the picnic table. They are a lunch of cake shaped erasers that smelled like sweet vanilla and tiny plastic burger in plastic boxes that really opened and closed from my Barbie loves McDonald's playset. If they were feeling fancy sometimes they used the candelabra from Sindy's dining room but they were always warned not to drop it because picnic tables were wood and we didn't have a fire truck.
My sisters passed an amazing steel Winnebago down to me. It was my favorite thing to play with. When I was very small I could sit on it and push it with my feet. As I grew the plastic top was often slide up and over the side to make an awning where my dazzle dolls could sit and chat over erasers shaped like bowls of ice cream or sodas that came out of the fantastically cool vending machine bank my dad bought me at a truck stop. Flossie, Diamond, Glisten and the girls would end their days of shopping in the Dazzle Dream mall by climbing into the camper and sleeping on their bunk beds or driving to the grand canyon. Barbie came too, but she was a giant in Dazzle City so she usually rode on the roof so she was more comfortable. My little mermaids came along too but only when they and their Lilly pads were dry after bath time (which was practically never since Ginger and her baby were my constant bath buddies and I took a bath every chance I got - every red haired doll I had was called Ginger because I was a big Gilligan's Island fan).
I sincerely thought of at least ten more toys while I wrote this (My Big Wheel! The Weeble Wobble Micky Mouse Clubhouse! The Fisher Price Treehouse with Captain! The doll house my folks made of game boards and wall paper samples! My Sindy stereo that really worked! My pretend ice cream bars and popsicles! The Easy Bake Oven! Key lock roller skates! My Barbie Ferrari! My She-Ra dolls!) that I would said were my favorite. Every toy is my favorite. Toys are awesome.
What was your favorite childhood plaything?