As an only child, I had boatloads of toys, particularly dolls, even when we were broke. But really, aren’t toys a waste of money on some kids? The littlest ones I’ve seen seem just as happy with Scotch tape as they are with the latest technology, but that’s before they get to the age of the WII. Here’s the breakdown of toys from a 1970s childhood:
* Baby Magic. An enormous, blond, ugly doll in a pink tuxedo, that could do tricks. Each hand had a hole, so whenever you stuck a trick in its hands and squeeze the belly, air would flow through and you got…and exploded wand or whatever. Conclusion: I didn’t really stay interested in it too long. I stored the tricks in the box it came in, and Dad, in his ever-eager cleaning mode, tossed the whole thing. We were all bummed after that because the cash wasn’t flowing at the time.
* Baby Alive. Yet another kind of fugly, weird-looking doll, whose selling point was that you could feed it actually food provided in the packaging….and had the questionable benefit of pooping it out. I think they made it ugly because they were trying to be realistic. Conclusion: Since the food actually tasted good (it was 100% sugar), I fed all of it to my cousin Aimee, and never played with the actual doll.
* A menagerie of stuffed animals. In particular, I had a handful of teddy bears. Conclusion: Didn’t play with them, because the glass eyes creeped me out. Eye contact gave me the willies.
* Barbie & Company. That Mattel conglomerate was a huge part of my childhood and then some. No brunette dolls here! Conclusion: I played with these for hours, um, for more years probably than I should have. (What can I say, my maturity rate may be as slow as my metabolism.) It is totally a materialistic toy — there is so much to buy, the dream house, the dream car, the dream little sister, the dream boyfriend. Not sure if that culture was the healthiest to grow up with, but oh, how I loved them.
* Board games. Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, etc. Conclusion: Probably not the best gift for an only child. If I were really bored, I’d play Monopoly by myself, which didn’t help my ability to share. Yeah!
Did anyone play with Legos?