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#964130 - Tue Jan 29 2013 07:27 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
ren33 Online   content
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Great memories everyone. Did anyone have the case of matchbox cars made like a big plastic matchbox car box with a handle? My daughter did and it was full up and still is. Some great old models in there. I loved my clockwork crocodile that snapped as it chased across the floor. The height of wickedness was when I took it to school and let it run under the teacher's desk. My first doll (I was 7, sob, I know, it was the end of the war) was sent by a GI called Harry after he returned to the US. Harry and my Mum had established very good Anglo American relations. She was gorgeous, had open and shutting eyes and a frilly dress. Her name was Evangeline Marie Josie after various Aunties.
Matchbox carrying case


Edited by ren33 (Tue Jan 29 2013 07:35 AM)
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#964135 - Tue Jan 29 2013 08:09 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
ClaraSue Offline
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Registered: Sun May 18 2003
Posts: 7837
Loc: Arizona USA
Wow, this thread is a walk down memory lane!

I had a spirograph (which I had forgotten about until I read it above!). I spent a lot of time playing with that.

A Lite-Brite brought out the artist within. Using a black piece of paper, it was molded onto a frame with a light behind and you'd put colored see-through pegs in the paper to create a designs that would light up.

A rag doll was my favorite. My grandmother gave me an ugly witch-looking doll that I named Penelope Witchepoo. My sister got a Raggedy Ann. I remember I was so offended by my doll, I was sure that grandmother liked my sister best. But Penelope became so loved that I still have her. A photo of her will be going up in the Photo Threads.

We grew up in the mountains so we played outside every day, even in the winter where snow sledding was great fun! Toys and games were for playing with at night after dark. Many days were spent on our horses exploring the countryside and taking mountain trails through the forest. During the summer months, we'd wake at daybreak, grab the horses, and head up the road to pick up more friends on their horses and ride for miles and miles and get back at dark. Ages ranged from 6 years old to 13 years old. When we became adults, we used to tease our parents that they must have not cared about us to let us be gone like that and not know where we were. It was such a safe and innocent time. I can't imagine allowing a child to do that nowadays.
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#964180 - Tue Jan 29 2013 10:47 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
JaneMarple Offline
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Registered: Fri Jan 30 2004
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And don't forget the reliable "Etch-a-Sketch"! Hours of fun. I never had Spirograph (probably because of the fiddly pins!) until I was much older, but I did have "Dial a design", based on the same lines, but no pins.
There was also Stickle bricks (before you were old enough for Lego) which were plastic bricks with "teeth" which stuck together, and also Fuzzy Felts. Great fun with designing pictures with fuzzy felts.
Finally, there was "Weebles" with the memorable tag-line "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down". Plastic characters with weights at the bottom of them. Try as you might, you couldn't keep them to lie down! laugh
As my nieces grew up, they had the more "modern toys" mentioned above, which I enjoyed playing with - Polly Pockets, Slyvannian families etc.
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#964190 - Tue Jan 29 2013 11:09 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Chavs Offline
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Following on from the Sindy-envy confessions, although I had a Sindy I did not have an Etch-a-Sketch so that was what I longed for. And going to other people's houses to play was essentially just an excuse to find either an Etch-a-Sketch or a piano to play with.


Edit: Oooh, or a swing! Or a kitten.

Why was it that friends with a swing, piano, etch-a-sketch or kitten never wanted to spend all afternoon watching me play with said items? I'm not saying I was a "cupboard-love" sort of friend but looking back I seemed to have an agenda when choosing whom to visit...


Edited by Chavs (Tue Jan 29 2013 11:14 AM)

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#964202 - Tue Jan 29 2013 11:41 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Santana2002 Offline
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I never did get a Sindy, sadly ... and while my daughter had several Barbies (nowhere near as good as a Sindy, hehe), she never played with them. It kind of took the shine off the toy for me.

I was a bit of a tomboy and usually played with my brother's pals. Snail races, stone fights (we really were horrible grin The street kids would split into two teams and fire stones at the opposition for a good part of many an afternoon), and other non lady-like activities were part of my everyday activities.

We also played tennis in the street once Wimbledon started, scutched apples from the neighbour's trees, collected butterflies, played Swingball and football, did gymnastics from the goalposts, swung on a rope tied around the street lamp and generally never got bored! I don't think we had time to miss not having actual *real* toys!
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#964208 - Tue Jan 29 2013 11:54 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
salami_swami Offline
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Other than video games and Beanie Babies...

My favorite childhood toy was probably Lite-Brite. I had a few legos, but I was never really a "Lego Kid".

I have always enjoyed card games and board games, though. I'd always play Trivial Pursuit with my parents (even young, 3 years old). I'd win, because we'd play the Disney version with kid cards that I knew, and my parents didn't know the adult cards. :P

I'd play board games by myself if my parents didn't want to play. Twisting rules to match the number of players was always something I've done. I still do that; if there are two of us, and it's a 3 player game, we make it work. :P
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#964293 - Tue Jan 29 2013 05:25 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
veronicavee Offline
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Registered: Tue Jan 29 2013
Posts: 42
Loc: Algarve Portugal
Teddy. He is still with me.

Dress up dolls....were made of cardboard and had cut out clothes.

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#964296 - Tue Jan 29 2013 05:46 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
george48 Offline
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Registered: Wed Jul 01 2009
Posts: 312
Loc: Ottawa
  Ontario Canada   
OH! I forgot to mention my Slinky, our house had lots of stairs, so this got a lot of use, actually i still have one. I also remember having the freedom to explore pretty well everywhere, sadly not the case anymore.

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#964299 - Tue Jan 29 2013 05:55 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
flopsymopsy Offline
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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
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Loc: Northampton England UK      
I wasn't into dolls. I had some but they didn't really interest me. One of my aunts made all sorts of lovely clothes for my dolls. I shoved them in a suitcase and kept them under the bed. When my sister's kids arrived home from an overseas posting and played with my dolls they ruined a lot of the clothes so I locked the case. When my mother died my dolls were still under her bed. With a lot of dead moths, lol.

I had a cap gun. One of those which used a roll of "bullets" that went BANG! when the hammer hit the roll. And I also had a cowboy hat. In Wiltshire. Where they farm pigs. Well, it made sense when I was six. I liked jacks, skipping, hopscotch, and rounders. Our road was tree-lined and four of them formed a neat square so we used them as bases to run round. Americans call that sport "baseball" and made such a big thing of it they even write quizzes about it - imagine that! wink

There were only boys up our road, apart from "Penny" who was several years older and considered herself far too grown up to play with us. She did play Statues with us once and swung "Ken" so fast that when she let go, he landed in the flowerbed and lay perfectly still for ages. He won the game outright but he was so still that eventually we called a grownup and he/she called an ambulance. Ken had broken his neck. He was okay though, after several months in hospital with weights on his head. The weights gave him a bald spot at the back of his head which was quite exotic for a seven year old.

I got pneumonia when I was seven and spent the best part of a year on a chair in the front room. At night the back would come down and that was my bed, in the day it went up. My brother sent me a toy matador and a toy bull - they had magnets inside so when the bull got close the matador would swing round and the bull would charge past along the arm of the chair. How to learn the principles of magnetism without thinking about it. If only he'd sent me toys with the principles of chemistry, I might have been a scientist!

And books. I started reading when I was three so by the time I had that year off school I was reading ahead of my age. A librarian would visit me most days and bring me the new books as they came in. A teacher would come round as well - when I went back to school they had to put me in the year above; instead of falling behind I'd fallen in front.

But despite my not liking dolls, there was Pinkie. Pinkie was an elephant, standing on his two hind legs, about nine inches high, and made out of pink velvet hence his name. Of course, by the time I was three he'd lost the nap of velvet and faded to a dull grey but he was still Pinkie. I dragged him everywhere by the trunk, which fell off more times than I can remember. He got patched a lot and in the end his trunk was more patch than original, and a decided shade too horrid to mention. He lived for many years but one day he just fell apart at the seams. Never was an elephant more loved. cry

I had something else too. A swing. My dad made it from railway sleepers. The uprights were bedded in concrete, and because it was built so solidly you could go very high on it, higher and higher and almost over the neighbour's fence. Kids would queue to go on that swing - and no one ever came off. These days I think my parents would have been reported to someone or other for child endangerment, we just had a great time. grin
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#964356 - Wed Jan 30 2013 04:03 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
ren33 Online   content
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Wow! All that talk of dangerous games reminds me. Mum and I lived in a Doctor's house, she was the housekeeper, the doctor had two older boys and the house was big and great for exploring. The boys used to climb up to the conservatory roof, crawl across to the landing window and slide down the banisters. The game was to see how fast you could get round without stopping. I did a great job of pretending to do it but in fact I started and stopped on the ground floor sections and never actually did the climbing until I was about 8 and I made it round and broke the record. It was great.
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#964357 - Wed Jan 30 2013 04:59 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
ren33 Online   content
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which brings me on to dressing up. That same doctor had a dressing up box. It was a really old one like a pirates chest. Inside were all manner of wonderful clothes, including her own mother's wedding dress which was early Edwardian and made of satin.
There were all sorts in there and you could really let your imagination let fly, not like now when you go and buy your fancy dress from ToysRus.
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#964521 - Wed Jan 30 2013 04:59 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1641
Loc: Essex UK
Oh memories. I had books, jigsaws, which I still do quite a lot of. I remember a toy, can't recall the name, but you had a closed hoop on a handle which you had to guide over a metal tracks full of loops and twists without touching the track, a buzzer sounded if you touched it and the you started again. I had a little accordian which drove my parents mad. I remember spending hours in the winter playing with a toy farm, and using my pocket money to get more animals. Mind you it was an odd farm, mine had sheep and elephants grazing happily together. Table tennis was a favourite in our house. Monopoly, Scrabble, Ludo, Pollyana, Snakes and Ladders. Various card games, and a Magic Robot quiz game.

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#964590 - Thu Jan 31 2013 06:11 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Santana2002 Offline
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I was never much into dress up as a kid, except for Halloween, at which time we made do with our parent's clothes, make-up and a healthy dose of imagination. My own kids, however, loved dressing up, especially any sort of cloak! I made a very very rough-and-ready red crushed velevet cloak complete with black-spotted white (faux) ermine, which was used and abused by every kid who came to the house, it started off being floor length on them all, and over the years the legs got longer, and the hemline of the cloak got higher and higher until it became a sort of upper body cape stopping at waist level.
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#965115 - Sat Feb 02 2013 09:45 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
bitterlyold Offline
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Loc: Arkansas USA
O, to have been in England as a child. My toys included several rocks, a piece of lead that fell off of a car tire (tyre? -- ugh, why can't you spell?), and part of a cat's skull.

I'm kidding, of course (sorta). What we had was imagination. We did have toys, but we spent most of our time outside. I don't consider sports equipment "toys," and we had just about everything sports-related. We had board games, but rarely spent time with them. I am from the US south, so rain really didn't keep us in much.

When we did have to stay in, we all enjoyed reading. Newton Minow was right: television was "a vast wasteland."

My eldest brother loved math and science. His favorite "toy" was his Lego set. My middle brother loved girls from the moment he drew his first breath. His favorite toy was, um, God-given. I am the artist. I love all things artistic: music, dance, acting, writing, you name it. My favorite "toys" (if you will) were pencils, paints, and paper.

My brothers are long since gone, and I miss them. I thank you for this trip down memory lane.

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#965237 - Sun Feb 03 2013 05:06 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
cubswin2323 Offline
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That was great, Thom. My favorite things were my tricycle, a wagon, and later a Big Wheel. When I was 8-9 years old, sports became a big part of my life. I also had a couple of different Tyco racetracks. THAT was a lot of fun!
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#966319 - Sat Feb 09 2013 02:54 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Jazmee27 Offline
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I don’t remember all my toys—but that’s like everything else (traumatic childhood to say the least). I’m actually surprised I remember what I do.

I had this doll named Olivia (I had others, but that’s the only name I remember—oops, shouldn’t have said that, I remember one other, Sylvia). She was one of those dolls that actually closed her eyes (they both were, actually, Olivia and Sylvia). For some reason, I used to take Olivia to SACC with me (the only day that sticks out in my mind was the day one of my friends, Colleen—I’ll never understand why she did this—took a pencil and poked out Olivia’s eye. (I seem to remember another time when one of the b”bully kids,” Craig, snatched Olivia from me and threw her in the mulch.)

One thing I haven’t grown out of is my enjoyment of card games and board games—I own a checker game and playing cards, both a regular deck and Uno. (I used to have Connecct Four, but I haven’t been able to find that one). I’ve even played Checkers by myself when there was no one to play with (I seem to remember doing the same with the cards).
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#968236 - Wed Feb 20 2013 01:31 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Jakeroo Offline
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Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
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Loc: Alberta Canada
We lived in a shoebox, in the middle of the road.

Games? Surely, you jest.

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#969099 - Mon Feb 25 2013 10:39 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
mberry923 Offline
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Registered: Mon Mar 19 2012
Posts: 6
Loc: Texas USA
Reading through everyone's childhoods has been a treat. I thought I had every kind of doll under the sun, even a Bless You Baby Tenderlove (sneezed when you pushed in on her belly), but I've never even heard of a Sindy doll. I think I want a do-over.

One thing my sister & I liked to do was take the tiles from the Scrabble game & build walls for the rooms & make furniture on a Clue board, then make our Liddle Kiddles have soap-opera type adventures in their "new home". Spirograph was another huge favorite of mine. Loved Lite Brite, too. Unfortunately, some of the modern versions of toys are not nearly as good, like the Lite Brite. I've found myself buying vintage toys on ebay for my daughter--like the tiny Polly Pockets mentioned above.

Outside was the ultimate. We never collected the bees in a jar, but we did lightning bugs. Oh, & I'm sure we drove my mom nuts in the summer when we'd come in to get a few ice cubes, kick them down the street barefoot until they melted, then repeat. Good times, good times. We'd leave the house in the morning & come back in for dinner. Nowadays, I don't feel too safe letting my daughter roam the neighborhood. Sad.

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#969113 - Mon Feb 25 2013 03:18 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
sisterseagull Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 16 2011
Posts: 192
Loc: Torquay Devon England UK      
Spirograph... I had one of those - for a brief period. If you remember the plastic pieces were secured, using pins, to a sandwiched cardboard base upon which the paper was taped. If I recall one of my younger sisters had 'stolen' my cardboard sheet to do something for one of her dolls so I, or at least as my mum is so fond of telling me, taped my paper to my grandmothers best french-polished dining table and then pinned my spirograph to the paper AND said table.

Boy, were my legs red and stingy for a couple of days after that! haha

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#969117 - Mon Feb 25 2013 03:37 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Tekka Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2012
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
BC Canada
I've really enjoyed reading all of your entries. Here are a few of my pastimes from when I was a kid in England:

There was no money for fancy toys so we used our imagination when we played 'doctors and nurses' (with one of the youngest being the patient!). We played 'shop' by having the food out of the pantry (canned goods etc) and had a homemade cash register and borrowed coins off Mom. We had stamp albums and were so excited when someone gave us a stamp from overseas which we carefully soaked off the envelope. We learned lots about other countries through the information in our albums, many of the countries don't exist today. We played Snap, Ludo and Tiddlywinks (this definitely dates me!)and we played Pit with the grownups. My parents loved having company over and we always played cards or imaginative party games. Does anyone remember Bombardo? We had that game which was made by WWII veterans.

For outdoors I had an old blue scooter, the type you had one foot on it and the other pushed you along - I must have done miles up and down the street on that and felt free as a bird. We played games with marbles and envied the kids with the huge aggies. We skipped rope and played ball up the wall and cited all sorts of rhymes as we did it. We made the most of what we had and didn't feel as if we were missing out on anything.

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#969118 - Mon Feb 25 2013 04:12 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
jabb5076 Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
Posts: 185
Loc: Georgia USA
I was never into dolls, although I had the first Barbie issued. I was either outside playing, or if inside, reading. I remember saving my allowance so I could buy the latest Nancy Drew mystery, but the only real 'toys' I remember were an etch a sketch and the wooden stilts my father made me. Those were great fun---too bad I'm too clumsy to try them today.

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#969127 - Mon Feb 25 2013 07:04 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
ren33 Online   content
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Welcome MBerry!. Sindy was an England only-produced version I think.
Tekka, you must be my age as all that sounds like me. I remember the Country names on stamps too (Magyar, Helvetia).
Tragic that so many of today's children will not have such memories.


Edited by ren33 (Mon Feb 25 2013 07:09 PM)
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#969130 - Mon Feb 25 2013 09:12 PM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
Tekka Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2012
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
BC Canada
Yes Ren, the old names for the countries that I learned from those stamps all those years ago have helped me in a few quizzes here on FT.

Rhys, one of my grandsons who's 13, is into stamp collecting, but it's not as intriguing as it was years ago as different stamps seem to be issued almost every day. He also collects coins as I did as a kid, the oldest coin I have is a George III penny dated 1804.

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#969202 - Tue Feb 26 2013 07:22 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
MadMartha Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13695
Loc: Georgia USA
Oh my! Such memories! We had a weeping willow tree in our front yard. The long pliable limbs made wonderful boas - who needed feathers, hula skirts, ropes, etc. At a very early age (5 years or so), I had a rubber Popeye doll. Oh how I wish I had saved it as it would be worth a nice sum of money now.

My daughter had one of the original Barbie dolls with lots of clothes, which I gave away. My sons had every GI Joe set and accessory available, which I gave away. They also had a collection of baseball cards including such players as Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, etc. It was a very nice collection which my sons remember attaching to bicycle wheels so they would make a "cool" noise. What they didn't ruin I gave away. What I am trying to say is that I think I gave away my retirement money! smile
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#969240 - Tue Feb 26 2013 11:26 AM Re: Memories of Playthings [Re: ren33]
ClaraSue Offline
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Registered: Sun May 18 2003
Posts: 7837
Loc: Arizona USA
Ooh,I forgot about the wooden stilts my dad made for me. I had a lot of fun with those. I also had a pogo stick which was great fun, although I got in trouble more than once for using it in the house. laugh
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