Quilting, Farming, Variety

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


How do you think toys made today compare with those 40 - 45 years ago? I know what I think: way down on the scale from one to ten. Plastic has overtaken the toy industry and very few toys now require some degree of imagination. Too many are electronic, giving the child little opportunity to be active in his or her playtime, maybe resulting in some of our problems with obesity in children. I can't imagine sitting for hours twiddling my thumbs on some little gadget.

It is my feeling that the best toys came out of the 1960's through the 1980's; maybe it's because those were the years when my girls were playing with toys. My generation had toys which were fair: dolls, metal trucks, bicycles, metal doll dishes, jigsaw puzzles, etc. My parents had less; they made toys from objects around them and made up games to play outside.

Now I hope you don't think of me as a hoarder when you see and read about the toys on this post. We kept most of the girls' toys for them, although none has shown a real interest in them since they're grown. But when their children were born, I was glad to bring things out of storage for them to play with. Someday, when the time comes to clear things out of this house, they'll know which toy belonged to whom and they can dispose of them as they please.

These two toys were given to Daughter One on her first birthday, making them forty seven years old. (Sorry for revealing your age.) The old red race car still rolls, although a little wobbly, after years of Indy 500 runs down the hall and back. The musical chime toy in the front, well, what can I say about it except it has been loved by babies and hated by adults. It makes a really loud chime! It's still able to chime when pulled although its wheels have pieces broken off and its handle was replaced with a string a long time ago.

I know the Army Jeep was given to Daughter Two and would be around forty six years old. It hardly has a scratch on it but I think it used to have a canopy. The truck was probably a shared toy since they were so close to the same age. It sits on top of a cabinet in my kitchen, loaded with antique wooden stacking blocks.

By the time Daughter Three came along, Fisher Price toys were available and I believe the barn was one of the first of their toys which she got for Christmas in the coming years. Some of the decorative decals have come off, but the cow still moos when the door is opened. The "little people" have faded smiles; in this picture the mom and farmer are from a later set. All the grandchildren called this woman, "Mama Charlotte" because she was the only one with white hair and I have white hair. The cow is almost as good as new, but the dog has lost his ears, and the horse, well, he can't hold his head up and he's lost all four feet! Poor horse!

This is an assortment of wooden toys: Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys (a bit worn so they don't fit as well as they used to), stacking rings, a pounding bench (another annoying noise maker), and the pull toy, mother duck and her babies.

This old hen is in marvelous condition for her age. Her decals are good, her pull string is still attached, and best of all, she still cackles when pulled. That noise doesn't annoy anyone. She's around forty seven years old.
And last, but certainly not least, is Mr. Bim. What can one say about Mr. Bim other than I believe he's reached the same social status as the Velveteen Rabbit; he's almost real. He's been dragged around for about forty years, had that banana stuffed inside his mouth no telling at the times, and used as a nap partner. I think everyone loved him with the exception of one granddaughter who was afraid of him.
So, that's a visit with the past. Two generations of little hands have played with these toys and I bet another generation would enjoy them too. Do you have saved toys?


  1. So interesting seeing all the old toys. The only "toy" that is being passed on from my house is a wooden doll cradle that my grandpa made me for my 6th birthday, making it a whopping 52 years old. I used it, then it was put aside for my baby sister to use when she was old enough, put aside again until I had children, they used it and now my granddaughter uses it mainly to hang clothes on! 8 year old girls just don't play with baby dolls like we used to.

  2. Oh, what memories this brings back. I can still remember the red car racing down the hall...it took some BRUTAL crashes at the end of each run! LOL

    Don't think I wasn't interested in the toys though. I think it was more a protective thing. So long as they stayed at your house they were safe. The ones you sent home with me have suffered -- a LOT. You should see Chief Cherokee. He's about like the horse that came with the Fisher Price barn.

    So just hang on to them. Maybe someday we can have a "toy" museum or something.